The Walsingham Archives

The Archives of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham


The Walsingham Archives websites were created to provide a way of accessing our history through documents, photographs and artefacts. We hope that together they will give present and future generations of pilgrims, especially those who never knew Walsingham in Father Patten's lifetime, a picture of how it all started, what pilgrimage was like in those days and how it and the buildings have changed over nearly a hundred years.
How best to find your way around this site THE NAV BAR (left) is on every page and links to the first page of each section, or back to here (Home), from wherever you are on the site. And there’s always the browser’s back arrow, which should be specially useful for getting back to where you were in the Index before you followed a link elsewhere, or back from another page of this or the other websites. THE SITE MAP gives a detailed menu of each section, with its sub-menus and pages, good for seeing the shape of the site, and for quick access to individual pages. THE SELECT INDEX is of people, places and things in the Shrine’s history, particularly of those whom we meet in the records. It is NOT a comprehensive index of the whole site, but for help with other specific names or subjects, or if you just can’t find what you’re looking for, contact the honorary archivist, as above. To find out about the history of the Shrine and its Restoration by Fr Patten try THE SHRINE’S OWN HISTORY PAGE ‘The Story So Far’ then don’t forget to come back and read on … BIOGRAPHIES of FR PATTEN lists books and monographs about his life and work: the first definitive biography didn’t appear until 2006, when Michael Yelton published his Alfred Hope Patten and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, An illustrated biography. Michael had unrestricted access to the archives and other sources, and this book gives the greatest detail about Fr Patten’s life and the history of the Shrine in his time to be found in a single volume. The book sold out very quickly and has been unavailable for years. The good news is that a revised edition was published on 1 June 2022. This incorporates much information coming to light since 2006. (Available from the Shrine Shop and online.) On Trinity Sunday 2021 was published Vicars of Walsingham 1921-2021, a series of profiles of Fr Patten and successive parish priests, written by Fr William Davage SSC. This was to commemorate the centenary year of Fr Patten’s appointment. THE BIBLIOGRAPHY lists the best-known books about Fr Patten and the restored Shrine. Core books relating to the history of Medieval Walsingham are listed in the Medieval Bibliography. And see the IMPORTANT DATES IN THE SHRINE’S HISTORY. LIST OF MASTERS OF THE GUARDIANS & PRIEST ADMINISTRATORS LINK TO THE SHRINE’S OWN WEBSITE FR MICHAEL REAR’s Walsingham: Pilgrims and Pilgrimage (2019) is the second (revised) edition of his comprehensive history from the pre-Christian era to the present day. During his research he too made thorough use of our Shrine’s archives. About the archive websites and Privacy and Cookies © 2005-2024 WCTA Ltd, IMFS and the Estate of Enid Chadwick throughout unless otherwise stated PHOTOGRAPHS: all photographs are © as below, or are reproduced with permission; in the very few cases where copyright has not been established, all reasonable steps have been taken to do so, and new information will be welcomed. Fr Alfred Hope Patten, Claude Fisher, Stanley Smith and Kenneth Faircloth were responsible for most of the early local photographs, including many used in Our Lady's Mirror: where applicable their copyright is acknowledged. Most of the modern-day photographs on this site are © Graham Howard: other photographers are acknowledged on their work, and those remaining not acknowledged are © WCTA Ltd. top of the page
Welcome to the history of the restored Shrine from its archives
The old website has been divided into four parts. This one contains most of the old site. History hasn’t changed and it’s all here, slightly revised and updated where necessary. The other sites are [Our Lady’s Mirror] We believe that all the facts on these sites are accurate, and that we have used the most reliable sources and witnesses. If anything jars with your own knowledge or recollection, please do contact the honorary archivist (as below) so that together we can get the record straight for posterity.
Father Alfred Hope Patten, Restorer of the Shrine
A 1930s photograph, looking up Holt Road, with Stella Maris Hospice (now House) on right. A photograph taken at the same time, from the other direction, is on the Sisters’ page.
Fr Alfred Hope Patten Restorer of the Shrine Master of the Guardians
TO CONTACT THE HONORARY ARCHIVIST PLEASE USE olwarchives [at] or write ℅ The College, Walsingham NR22 6EF marking the envelope ‘Please Forward’