Welcome to Walsingham Abbey, where the grounds surrounding our historic house are famous for the spectacular ruins of the mediaeval Priory of our Lady of Walsingham.
‘Walsingham’ is two unspoiled, connected North Norfolk villages, Little, or ‘New’ Walsingham, and a mile away, Great or ‘Old’ Walsingham; both have a wealth of historic buildings as well as shops and places to eat and drink.
The entrance to the Abbey Grounds is at Walsingham’s Georgian Shirehall. For 200 years the Shirehall was a courtroom, but it was originally built as a pilgrim hostel in the 15th century.
Today the Shirehall Museum is your way in to the Abbey Grounds. As well as exploring the remarkable unspoiled original 18th century courtroom interior, you can see displays on the history of the village and of pilgrimage, on local law and order, policing, crime and punishment. At the admissions desk you can borrow the key for the nearby Bridewell, Walsingham’s unrestored early 19th century prison.
Visitors can explore the Priory ruins, wildflower meadows, woodland carpeted with snowdrops in the season, or romantically green in summer, and quiet river walks alongside the Stiffkey. You can play, or picnic. Dogs are very welcome if kept on the lead.
Walsingham has a long history of religious pilgrimage, dating back to the 11th century. Here at the Walsingham Abbey we welcome many modern pilgrims, from any denomination, or none. All are very welcome.