European Escapades

Snowdrop Walks and the Pilgrims Progress




Last Remaining Wall of Walsingham Abbey Last Remaining Wall of Walsingham Abbey.

Oh what a perfect time to be in Walsingham and to visit the Abbey Grounds and Shirehall museum.  Walsingham was one of the places that Frances wanted to visit whilst we were in the area as it is a very famous Christian pilgrimage site and a shrine to “Our Lady”.  That’s the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus for the uninitiated like me. Why the perfect time? Because at this time of the year the snowdrop walk is a picture postcard setting, creating a perfect walk through the grounds of the abbey and woodland beyond. Yes it was a little muddy but you have to accept that to be able to see the beautiful mass of snowdrops and aconites in full bloom along the pathways and bank of the river Stiffkey you have to go and see it at this time of the year.

The ruin of one wall of the Abbey , which is the only part still standing, tower above you and the manor house next door. The actual priory is on the site of a shrine built in 1061 by Richeldis de Faverches.  She said she had a vision of the Virgin Mary, in which she was instructed to build a replica of the house of the Holy family in Nazareth in honour of the annunciation. The priory of Cannons Regular was built on the site in 1153 and the site grew in importance over the centuries. It was destroyed by the command of King Henry VIII in 1538 in the dissolution of the Monasteries.

Snowdrops in the woods A field full of snowdrops in the grounds of the Abbey.
Lighting of the Candles for our departed mums Lighting of candles for our departed mums.

By a rescript of 6th February 1897 Pope Leo XIII blessed a new statue for the restored ancient sanctuary of our Lady of Walsingham. The reformation pilgrimage took place to the Slipper Chapel, which was purchased by Charlotte Boyde in 1895 and restored for Catholic use. This was the other site we visited and whist there we lit two candles in memory our two departed mums.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 3:59 pm and is filed under Travel Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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