Regardless of the attractions of the shrine Walsingham is a beautiful, if somewhat faded, village - the affluence of the North Norfolk coast has yet to trickle south. Village, however, is not quite an accurate description, for the High St, in particular, has a bit of an urban feel. The Shell County Guide to Norfolk is happy to call it a small town. There are old buildings and several lovely Victorian shop fronts, which once housed the butcher and the baker but are now crammed with any amount of saint-sulpicerie. There are also the remains of the Priory, which sheltered the original shrine, and now part of the grounds of a small country house, and the friary - again part now of a house. The religious live dominates: retired clergy slowly wending their way home with the shopping and nuns cautious behind the wheel of an automobile as they navigate the narrow streets. Unfortunately 'The Martlet', which was a fantastic stationers and book-bindery, has closed earlier thuis year; however there are a couple of good antique shops and an excellent farm shop. One thing to look out in the following photographs for are the black-glazed pantiles. A speciality, I think, of East Anglia, if not Norfolk only. I can't think of anywhere else.
And then, quite unexpectedly and quite deliciously on the very edge of the village, and formed out of the former railway station, is a Russian Orthodox church.
Anyway, on Saturday, with all my contradictions and stupidities, I went on pilgrimage. The weather was perfect, and it was in its way quite a profound experience. Here are some of the images I took.