the seal of the medieval priory
Important Dates in the Shrine's History
the modern logo

Outline histories of pilgrimage at the Shrine from the earliest times to the present are found in many of the books mentioned on the Bibliography and Shrine Publications pages of this website. For copyright reasons the only essay we are able to reproduce here is an excellent overview by Fr Peter Cobb, written in 2003.
 Richeldis's vision of Our Lady, and the building of the Holy House
c 1153 The Augustinian Priory of Walsingham was founded by Geoffrey de Faverches
1347-8 The Franciscan Friary was founded
1538 The Augustinian Priory of Walsingham was dissolved, and the image of Our Lady was taken to London and probably burnt there
1921, 19 January Fr Alfred Hope Patten was instituted to the living of Great and Little Walsingham with Houghton St Giles
Fr Patten preferred to use his second Christian name of 'Hope' rather than Alfred. In the late Victorian era the name 'Hope' is found as a baptismal name for both boys and girls. Addressing him later as a priest, people would use 'Fr Patten', as in those days a priest's Christian name was not generally used. But his custom of signing and using 'A. Hope Patten' led to his name often being interpreted as a double-barrelled one without a hyphen: 'Hope' as a Christian name had by then all but disappeared and was more thought of as a surname, hence the confusion in a name so frequently spoken and written about. (If he had been called Alfred John Patten the situation would never have arisen.) Consequently, after his death, he was increasingly referred to as 'Fr Hope Patten' and still is today. With the appearance of the new biography, perhaps we should now try to clarify this once and for all, and henceforth refer to him as was done in his lifetime - simply, 'Fr Patten'.
1921 an image of Our Lady was carved, a copy of the figure on the seal of the medieval Priory
1922, 6 July this image of Our Lady was blessed and set up in the parish church; restoration of pilgrimages, the first being that of the League of Our Lady in October (note that one writer once wrongly gave this date as 6 July 1921, and this error is still occasionally found, perpetuated from this source): Fr Patten's description, years later, of this day and of the first pilgrimage programme
1925, 20 August Society of Our Lady of Walsingham founded: The Society's Book
1926, January first issue of Our Lady's Mirror
1928 first Pilgrims' Manual published

the Holy House [the Shrine] was built; on 15 October it was blessed, Mass said in it for the first time, and then the image of Our Lady was solemnly translated from the parish church to the Holy House: details of the Translation

1931 Priest Associates (or Priests Associate) of the Holy House founded (note that this date is sometimes given as 1927, the reason being that the phrase 'Priest Members of the Society' was used in a 1927 Our Lady's Mirror and was misinterpreted later as the foundation date of the PAHH: this error was copied as definitive in a much later OLM, and in turn taken and published by Fr Colin Stephenson in 'Walsingham Way', his biography of Fr Patten)
1932, 15 October the first anniversary of the opening of the Holy House was observed as the Feast of the Translation of Our Lady of Walsingham
1932, 16 October Rosary and Intercessions, said daily in the parish church since 1922, were transferred to the new Shrine
1938, 6 June [Whit Monday:] the enlarged Pilgrimage [Shrine] Church was opened and blessed in the presence of crowds of pilgrims; a Whit Monday pilgrimage has been held ever since; order of service.
1952, 15 October the 21st anniversary of the Translation: legend has it that Fr Patten made a great observance of this 'birthday', as he called it, as he felt that he might not live to see the Silver Jubilee in 1956
1956, 13-15 October the Silver Jubilee of the Translation
1958, 11 August Fr Patten died
1958, 14 August Fr Patten's funeral
1959 new Comper reredos installed as a memorial to Fr Patten
1961 The Walsingham Review replaced Our Lady's Mirror
1964 North Cloister of the Shrine Church built, as a memorial to Fr Patten: order of service for blessing.
1967, March Second Refectory opened
1972 South Cloister added, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the Shrine in the parish church: order of service of blessing by Bishop Mervyn Stockwood; photographs
1985 St Joseph's opened
2001 Third Refectory and Norton Room opened by Princess Alexandra
2006 75th Anniversary of the Translation
2008 Milner Wing in use
2009 Milner Wing opened by The Duke of Edinburgh
2011 950th anniversary celebrations

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