|return to Our Lady's Mirror home page|
plan of the Shrine property
click on picture to enlarge
Spring Number 1937; Summer Number 1937; Autumn Number 1937
1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
It is always sad to have to cut down trees, especially old trees, it is something like ordering the death of a friend – but we have had to execute two or three of the oldest apple trees in the garden as well as the old – very old iron bound mulberry tree. It's really heart rending, fortunately two or three young boughs from the latter had been cut and put in boxes, high up in the branches over a year ago – with the result that we have two good young trees taken from the parent stock.
A pair of beautiful iron gates similar to those enclosing the Altar of the Holy Cross have been given and set up at the Chantry Chapel. The grills are painted black and each gate carries a shield – one bearing the arms of Edward I and the other of Edward and his first Queen. It is almost impossible to imagine the tremendous improvement the addition of these grills, together with those at the other altar, has made to the West-end of the Shrine. The donor wishes to be anonymous.
We have all been very disappointed not to have seen the commencement of the new buildings before now. We had quite expected to begin the foundations at least by February 2nd. There have been several good reasons for this delay to say nothing of the attack of ‘flu which invaded the Architect’s drawing offices. There is, however, every reason to hope that the Extension will be completed by early autumn.
This Church, in honour of the mystery of the Incarnation and the Mother of God, will we hope, be a worthy successor to the great and famous Church which originally stood in Walsingham. Erasmus compared Walsingham with the Cathedral at Antwerp and voted for the greater beauty of the latter, but he also tells us that the glory of the Shrine outshone the splendour of the Shrine of the three Kings at Cologne. We cannot aspire to rival either Cologne or Antwerp yet, but perhaps some day those who come after us may raise such a fane upon our more modest foundation just as the Cathedral at Antwerp has developed from an even smaller beginning than the present Walsingham Shrine.
Many of our friends still seem very confused about the development under consideration. Firstly let it be clearly understood that the existing buildings are to remain as they are at present. There is a very real reason for this being so, for they are a reproduction as far as dimensions go of the actual Sanctuary, the centre of the Pilgrimage which stood in the cemetery of the Canons, to the north of the Great Priory Church. Even if it were considered right or desirable to rebuild the outer Church (that building which encloses the Holy House) in order to raise a truly magnificent Chapel, we should feel compelled from historic motives to retain its present dimensions.
But there is NO IDEA or WISH to alter these buildings.
The whole of the extension is to be in the gardens beyond the outer wall at the window end of the Holy House, and to link these two together (the end where S. Joseph now stands for instance); the whole of that wall will be removed and a central arch and two smaller arches, in the aisles, will be built.
The new building is to consist of seven bays – in the last of which is to stand the High Altar raised on three steps, approached from all sides, rather after the arrangement of the altar in the lower Church of S. Francis of Assisi. Behind this and at some little distance from it, is to be a gallery gilded and painted with scenes from the life of Our Lord and His Mother.
In this gallery there is to be the Chapel dedicated to Christ the King, S. Columba and the Celtic and British Saints. This is one of those Chapels which have already been given. Also there is eventually to hang here a great Rood under a celure. Here too, it is proposed to keep in special cases being built into the walls, the various relics of the Saints which from time to time have been given to the Shrine.
Under this gallery is to be the processional way going of course behind the High Altar. Here will in all probability be the Chapel of the Society of Our Lady of Walsingham which is being generously subscribed for by members. On either side of the Nave there are to be four Chapels. These four Chapels have each been given or are being subscribed for.
The first on the right-hand side is the Chapel of the Priest Associates of the Holy House, who most generously and enthusiastically have and are subscribing in order to have their own Chapel to guard the Holy House.
The next, on the same side is the Chantry Chapel of Father Wilmot Phillips and Father Tooth. On the right-hand side (gospel) the first Chapel is to be that of the English Catholic Scouts throughout the world. It has been given by one who is very interested and keen on Scout work and who hopes it will become a rallying place for members of that movement and be an extra urge for them to make the Walsingham Pilgrimage. For particulars of this Chapel and enquiries about its fitments, etc., letters should be sent, for the present, to the Reverend Arthur Rumball, c/o The Vicarage, Walsingham, Norfolk.
The fourth Chapel has been given and is to be fitted up as the Fynes-Clinton family Chantry.
Finally at the end of the South aisle under the gallery and facing the present altar of the Holy Cross in the existing buildings, it is proposed to erect a very small Apsidal Chapel, the Chapel of the Resurrection. To balance the apse in the South aisle, there will be a similar extension which is to contain the stairs, leading up to the gallery and its Chapel. In the roof of the bay immediately in front of the High Altar there is to be a lantern – about ten feet in diameter, which will flood-light that end of the Church with sun light – when the sun shines!
On the “North” side of the Church will be the Sacristies. They will be approached at the end of the North aisle by a vestibule with a door to the east leading to the outside pulpit, which will face the altar pavilion in the garden. Another door to the “North” giving access to the lavatories, while the one to the west will open into the Sacristy; this is to be a room 21ft. by 27ft. and from it there is to be a small porch, leading to the Hospice and to the Sacristan’s room where there is to be a stairway to store rooms above.
Over the Sacristy provision is being made for an organ, which some day we hope to see in place, the first part of which will cost £400. We mention this in case any of our readers who are particularly interested in music, might like to make this, in part or in whole, their gift to the National Shrine.
This briefly gives an outline of the work we have got at present in hand, a not inconsiderable amount for a start! Later on of course, if some generous donor comes along, there are the Cloisters and porches on the “South” side of the Church; the library with rooms for Priests above; and the adaptation of S. Augustine’s into the dwelling house, together with the new wing just mentioned for Priests. It is hoped to use these buildings also for men’s retreats, both private and conducted.
Land has been acquired to the “North” of S. Augustine’s for the erection of a new refectory, rest-rooms, etc. for pilgrims as well as sleeping accommodation for them, and for retreatants.
“WHAT CAN I GIVE?”
At the risk of frightening our readers we append a list of necessary things for each altar, and remember there are seven of them, but of course, we expect everyone who has taken over one of these Chapels as a Chantry or private Chapel to supply everything required.
But even then, it will leave the High Altar and the Chapels of the Societies to be furnished. It is rather a terrifying list. Each Chapel will need:-
(1) A cere
plan has been drawn to enable readers to understand the relative position
of the different parts of the Shrine property. It has been prepared as
donors often enquire about sites they have been asked to help us purchase.
If you look at the plan we will begin with A.B. which is the garden immediately
around the present buildings of the Shrine. This garden was given by Sir
William Milner in 1931 to the College of Guardians, which was formed that
year, for the erection of the Sanctuary.
6a is the position of the Calvary. 6b of the Sepulchre. 6c of the Altar pavilion given by the late Lord Halifax. 6.6.6. show the extent of this piece of property. 7. is the old Hospice of S. Augustine while 8 is its garden and 9 with the two cottages (above the letter 9) is known as Army Yard.
All this piece of property 3 to 9 belongs to Sir William, who bought it about twelve years ago, to safeguard it for the Shrine then in the Parish Church, and in the hope that we shall be able to buy it sooner or later. At the moment, this part 3 to 9 inclusive, is rented on a lease of 99 years from Sir William, with the option of buying it, whole or in reasonable parts, at any time during that period. The dotted lines of 2 and 2a which represent the new buildings are shown to encroach upon this rented property, but Sir William is making over, as a free gift to the Shrine, that part which is required for the extension.
black spot and the small space covered by the number 10 has for some time
been our “Naboth’s vineyard” as it represented the one
space out of the control of the Guardians, on this “island”
piece of land.
Numbers 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 represent the old cottages and house with garden which came into the market two years ago and for which we appealed for donations so that we might secure them for the future development of the precincts of the Shrine. For these parts of the “estate” 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 we have had to raise the sum of £1,900 of which £1,100 has already been contributed. The plot No. 11 is the site of the old pilgrim Hospice, the Bolt and Tun. No. 13, 14 and 15.15 represents the Croft, a delightful 15th or early 16th century house and grounds the “reversion” of which was bought and presented to the Shrine in 1935 by an anonymous donor in response to our appeal. 13. is the house 14. is a barn while 15.15 represents the extent of the Croft grounds.
Nos. 16 and 16, are some more condemned cottages which extend beyond the plan shown, down to the river Stiffkey. These came onto the market about four years ago and were to be converted into public garages and a fried fish shop! The Administrator and Bursar felt it was incumbent upon them to endeavour to save a site so near the “West” end of the Shrine from such ugly neighbours and these cottages, six in all with a large garden were secured in the hopes that ere long an Hospice will be built to provide a home for aged and lonely Priests where their declining years may be lived in the practice of their religion and among friends. This of course remains to be built and, obviously, endowed.
In the recent number of the Mirror there has been mention made from time to time of the proposal to build a College for Priests who will be in charge of the Shrine. Nos. 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 represent the site of the proposed College, while 11 and possibly 12 will ultimately be converted we hope into new large Refectories, kitchen, rest-rooms and sleeping accommodation for pilgrims and retreatants as it is hoped this College will devote a large part of its time to that work. In a future number we hope to show this plan in its relation to the ruins of the Priory Church, and point out some interesting discoveries and theories about these sites.
It is interesting to note that until about one month ago all sums of money of £100 or over were given to the Shrine by men, the one exception being in recent days for a Chapel in the extension. So far with this one exception, no cheque of over £100 has ever been given by a woman.
WALSINGHAM COLLEGE TRUST ASSOCIATON Ltd
As we have during the part years acquired a certain amount of property as the above plan will show, and as the Shrine is to be extended involving as it does an expenditure of several thousand pounds, the Guardians have felt that some safe legal method of holding this property had to be decided on. After much consideration and discussion on various methods, the Guardians determined to follow the example of such bodies as Mirfield and Kelham and form a private Company limited by shares under the name of the Walsingham College Trust Association Ltd. And this was incorporated under the Companies Act on September 9th, 1936. By this means when one Director dies another is elected without legal formality or expense.
The directors are the Revd. A Hope Patten, the Revd. Derrick A. Lingwood, the Revd. Henry Fynes-Clinton, the Revd. H. Elton Lury, Sir Eric Maclagan, the Revd. Humphrey Whitby and Sir William Milner, Bt.
For those readers who do not know the Guardians we give their names.
Treasurers of the Building Fund: The Master and The Right Reverend Bishop O’Rorke.
illustration: the plan of Shrine property [above]; Enid Chadwick's drawings of the Abbey Gate and the Refectory pulpit