Earlier this year we listed some sites that we thought you would find interesting when travelling the UK. Here is some information about Walsingham and why it’s considered a pilgrimage site.
The story goes as follows:
The Walsingham legend is set in roughly 1061. Richeldis, the widow of the lord of the manor of Walsingham Parva, had a vision of the Virgin Mary. Richeldis was taken, in spirit, to Nazareth when Angel Gabriel has appeared to her. She was told to take note of the measurements of the Holy House and build a copy of it in Walsingham. Richeldis saw this vision 3 times. The carpenters were instructed to build the house, but they were unsure where. There was heavy rainfall and two spaces on a meadow remained dry. Richeldis took this as a sign and chose one of the plots. The workmen tried to construct their but were unable to do so, so consulted Richeldis again. She spent all night in prayer and the next morning a miracle was discovered. The chapel had been fully built overnight in the other dry spot.
By the late Middle Ages, it was held to be the duty of every Englishman that at some time during his life he should visit Our Lady at Walsingham.
Little is known about the earliest pilgrims, although they carried back the word that their prayers had been answered following their visits to the Holy House, and their illnesses healed by drinking the water from the wells.
Pilgrims travelled all over England visiting multiple religious sites, but travelling was very hazardous with miles of open or forested countryside, poor tracks, outlaws and wild animals like wolves and boar, so pilgrims were encouraged to travel in groups.
Today around 250,000 pilgrims visit Walsingham each year, as individuals or as parish groups accompanied by their priest.
Things to do around Walsingham:
There is plenty to explore if you’re in the area, they have guided tours, cycling tours, the steam railway, beaches and more!