there will be a chance of seeing again a little film at the Electric
Theatre last week.
minutes it gave a first-rate short history of Walsingham and its shrine.
The photography was superb and the spoken comment was accurate
and well informed.
M Gillett (always known as Martin Gillett) was a local historian
and archaeologist, the author of several books about Walsingham
and pilgrimage; he was one of the founders of The Ecumenical Society
of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He would have been the natural choice
of the Catholic Truth Society to prepare such a film at this time.
to Home Page
to Video Records page
was called “A Legend of Norfolk,” and began with a map of
the county, to show how all roads in the county as well as those from
further away once led to Walsingham. The possible route of a medieval
pilgrim from London was traced through Green Lane, in North London,
to Bishop’s Stortford and Saffron Walden, and from there northwards
there was the desolation of the great heaths until one reached the peaceful
havens of pilgrims’ chapels at Hilborough or Weasenham.
at the district of Walsingham itself, the camera made good use of the
great ruined archway in the grounds of Walsingham Abbey as a symbol
of the magnificence of its past, and good use, too, of the old conduit
were scenes by one of Walsingham’s fords to illustrate the story
of the Lady Richeldis, founder of the shrine in the eleventh century.
Her house, it is said, stood near the river, and for lack of remains
of the shrine itself to be photographed some views of the work of Alan
of Walsingham at Ely were inserted to give an idea of what it may have
were beautiful scenes at the twin wells in the Abbey grounds, and the
camera toured the ancient walls of the Priory and the still very antique
streets of the town, making use of every relic of history that could
be photographed to fill out the story.
of the shrine in the reign of Henry the Eighth was dramatically done,
with a series of shots of images smashed, books burned, hurrying feet,
and ruined walls.
of the film were the ruins. There were wonderful pictures of them. The
Friary came in for some good camera work and one could forgive the supplementation
of the strictly local scenes with some good views of similar desolation
of a bearded friar, easily recognisable as a friar now in residence
at Walsingham, was cleverly used for some of the more dramatic moments.
we reached modern times and had our attention impartially divided between
the two modern shrines and their streams of supporters pouring in by
train, car and cycle.
course of the film there were some interesting studies of the interior
of East Barsham Hall, where King Henry stayed when he visited Walsingham.
top of page