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Walsingham Abbey

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Walsingham Abbey

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Walsingham Abbey

Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since the 11th century when a local noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary and was told to build a replica of Mary and Joseph's Nazareth home. The site was a major European pilgrimage centre for many centuries, but the shrine and its associated abbey were destroyed during Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries, even though the King himself had visited the shrine. It was to be a long time before pilgrimages by both the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church were restored at the beginning of the 19th century. Today, Walsingham is a major pilgrimage centre, with accommodation available for the devout. In winter, the abbey grounds boast a nationally famous display of snowdrops.

NOMINATION 940 OF 1170

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This lone, standing arch of the east wall of the former abbey is all that is left of what was the most important pilgrimage site in medieval England. Walsingham, affectionately known in the middle ages as "England's Nazareth", was visited by every monarch from Edward I to Henry VIII. Indeed, on his death-bed Henry VIII 'bequeathed' his soul to Our Lady of Walsingham. It is an enigmatic ruin set in the magnificent gardens of Walsingham Hall.

Julian Litten


For centuries England was known (and is still known to many) as 'Our Lady's Dowry', and Walsingham is her greatest and most ancient shrine in England. What better symbol of the land that Jesus gifted to his mother's care?
Amina Wright


Place of pilgrimage since eleventh century, home to Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Shrines of Our Lady, ruined Abbey, typically English village.
J. Betson


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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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