Walsingham is a village in North Norfolk, England, famous for its religious shrines in honour of the Virgin Mary. It also contains the ruins of two medieval monastic houses.
Walsingham is a major centre of Pilgrimage. In 1061, according to the Walsingham legend, a Saxon noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches, had a vision of the Virgin Mary in which she was instructed to build a replica of the house of the Holy Family in Nazareth in honour of the Annunciation. Her family name does not appear in the Domesday Book.
A priory of Canons Regular was established on the site in 1153, a few miles from the sea in the northern part of Norfolk and it grew in importance over the following centuries. Founded in the time of Edward the Confessor, the Chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham was confirmed to the Augustinian Canons a century later and enclosed within the priory. Walsingham became one of northern Europe's great places of pilgrimage and remained so through most of the Middle Ages. Walsingham Priory's fate was sealed during the Dissolution of the Monastries at the hands of Oliver Cromwell.