The ruins of Walsingham Abbey stand in haunted splendor, a stance that aches for it’s story to be told.
Once the home to monks of the Augustinian Canons, the Abbey was seized by the crown at the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII.
Until it’s destruction in 1538, the site was an important location of pilgrimage. To this day the main road of the pilgrims through Newmarket, Brandon, and Fakenham is still called the Palmers’ Way.
Many were the gifts of lands, rents, and churches to the canons of Walsingham Abbey, and many the miracles wrought at Our Lady’s shrine.
In July, 1538, Prior Vowell assented to the destruction of Walsingham Abbey Priory and assisted the king’s commissioners in the removal of the figure of Our Lady, of many of the gold and silver ornaments and in the general spoliation of the shrine.
For his ready compliance the prior received a large pension of 100 pounds a year, while fifteen of the canons received pensions varying from 4 pounds to 6 pounds.
The shrine dismantled, and the priory destroyed, its site was sold by order of Henry VIII to one Thomas Sidney for 90 pounds, and a private mansion was subsequently erected on the spot.
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