Alan Schmidt - 'Wending our way to Walsingham' Framed Picture
For almost five centuries the little Norfolk village of Walsingham played host to the countless pilgrims who flocked to its renowned shrine - The Holy House of Nazareth.
Inspired by a visionary dream and raised anew to the glory of The Virgin Mary by the Lady Richeldis, it was to become one of the three principal focuses of pilgrimage in medieval Europe.
Here came Henry the Third in 1241, and here knelt the first three Edwards, Henry the Sixth, Edward the Fourth and his queen, and King David of Scotland with a score of knights.
Henry the Seventh sent his banner here after his crowning victory at the Battle of Stoke.
Catherine of Aragon was on her way to venerate Our Lady of Walsingham when she learned of the momentous victory of Flodden.
Four years later came the great Cardinal Wolsey in all his pomp, unaware of his imminent fall from grace, whilst his lethally inconstant monarch, Henry the Eighth, had made his own pilgrimage - walking barefoot to bestow a valuable necklace on the figure of The Madonna in prayerful hope of a male heir.
Within a few short years that same monarch was to be the means of destruction of not only The Shrine and the great Priory that had grown around it but also of the entire English Catholic Church.
‘Wending our way to Walsingham’ painted to celebrate the 950th anniversary of the great shrine, seeks to convey an impression of the show, the colour and the spectacle of the great royal visitations.