Photographs overview

and pre-1931

The early Archives photographic collection, part of which is shown on this website, is sadly not extensive and relies heavily on the photographs taken by Fr Patten himself, by Stanley Smith (the Bursar and Pilgrimage Secretary for 42 years), by Claude Fisher and by Kenneth Faircloth, the village photographer. Kenneth took photographs for the Shrine’s purposes, and was also well known by pilgrims for providing pictures of themselves in the Saturday night processions. On this website the larger collections shown are Fr Patten’s own albums of the building of the Holy House (1931) and the Church (1938), Fr Kenneth Pearson’s album of the latter (1938 the best photographs), the Guardians’ Gallery (begun in 1950) and Fr Patten’s Funeral (1958). The press report pages for 1931 and 1938 have some of our archive photographs alongside. A few of the Shrine’s pictures have been so widely reproduced that they have come to be described as ‘iconic’. They appear in their contexts throughout the website, but have also been brought together for display on a separate page. The photographs below, believed to be copyright-free, were taken in Walsingham between 1923 and 1927.
1924 The site just purchased. The Beeches (now Stella Maris House) in the distance, Knight Street to the right, the Abbey wall to the left, and a wall on the corner of the gardens where the Holy House will be built in 1931 and the church in 1938.
The Beeches (Stella Maris) gardens
Sprinkling (sometimes called bathing) by the Abbey’s Holy Wells before the Shrine’s Holy House and its covering building, with well, were built in 1931. Sprinkling was only available on Wednesdays, when the Abbey grounds were open to the public.
Scenes in the village, and (below) the earliest known photograph (1923) of a priests’ pilgrimage procession

photographs of the statue

in the Parish Church,

where it had been blessed

and set up on 6 July 1922,

and from where it was

translated in solemn

procession to the Holy

House on 15 October 1931