Properties for sale in Walsingham
Living in Walsingham: the local area guide
Walsingham is a small village set in the lush countryside of Norfolk in England. It is made up of two locations: Little Walsingham and Great Walsingham (which is, confusingly, the smaller of the two) and is famed as a site of religious importance to Roman Catholics.
In 1061, a local Saxon noblewoman called Lady Richeldis claimed to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary. In the vision she was taken to Nazareth to see the house where Gabriel gave Mary the good news, and instructed to re-create the structure back home.
She ordered the construction of a simple wooden replica, around which an enormous priory was eventually built. Thanks to this shrine, Walsingham began to attract vast numbers of Christian pilgrims, from the humble to the high and mighty. Knights, Queens and Kings all made the journey, which, unfortunately, meant it drew the attention of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. The priory was plundered and destroyed, including the shrine, and little remains today except a spectacular archway.
However, during the 19th century there was a resurgence of interest and a papal order meant a statue to the Virgin Mary was blessed and brought to the site of the old shrine. Now, 250,000 pilgrims visit every year to see the old priory, and enjoy the pretty medieval village.
Walsingham is very small, with just 819 people taking residence across the two villages. As is the case with most of rural England, the population is older than the average for the nation. 60% of locals are over 45, the national mean is 39.3. In addition, unemployment is very low, at 2%, compared to the national rate of 3.3%!
Walsingham, as a highly visited tourist village, has a friendly and welcoming community where all are willing to contribute to events and projects. For example, the National Pilgrimage Day, which occurs every year on the last Bank Holiday in May, attracts 8,000 people and is heavily reliant on local support and enthusiasm.
In April 2013, four of the local primary schools decided to assemble as a federation under the governance of The Pilgrim Federation. These are Walsingham, Blakeney, Hindringham and Kelling. While each have their own individual character, they are heavily Christian influenced and strive to promote the values of love, compassion, kindness, generosity and tolerance.
For parents looking for something different, or looking for somewhere to send older children, Fakenham has a few options including Fakenham High School. A little further afield, King’s Lynn has plenty of different schools with different approaches, so parents can be sure that they will find the right place for their children!
Walsingham doesn't have its own railway station, but regular busses take residents to King’s Lynn and Norwich. Both offer good rail connections to London Kings Cross. Journey times average between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Drivers will find transport more convenient, with Fakenham a few miles away and King’s Lynn less than 40 minutes away along the A148. Norwich is also relatively easy to access with a 45-minute drive down the A1067. A number of residents can, therefore, be seen making the commute to such locales each morning.
Amenities and shopping
Walsingham is served by some basic conveniences, as well as a number of quirky and interesting artisan outlets and craft shops. It also has excellent restaurants, pubs, cafes and tearooms to explore.
For more essentials, Fakenham is very convenient and has two large-scale supermarkets. For other shopping needs, a trip to King’s Lynn is necessary, where visitors will find big High Street names along with independent boutiques throughout the centre of the town.
One notable venue in King’s Lynn is The Vancouver Quarter, which is home to several stores, cafes and restaurants."
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