The Iconic Photographs

The Shrine’s early image collection is not as extensive as we would have liked it to be: it relies heavily on the photographs taken by Fr Patten and by a few others associated with the early days of the Restoration. As a result, some pictures have been reproduced so often over time that they have come to be called ‘iconic’. Each of them, like a true icon, is a symbol of something more: it conveys an aspect of the Shrine’s Restoration history, instantly recognisable beyond the image portrayed. These pictures will all be seen in their contexts elsewhere on this website. Some pictures are still in copyright, including Enid Chadwick’s map.
Fr Alfred Hope Patten Restorer of the Shrine Master of the Guardians
Two Sisters walking down Holt Road in the 1930s, passing where is now the Welcome Centre.
Enid Chadwick painting in the Shrine (an earlier St Augustine’s Chapel).
Sir William Milner, holding a candle, in the Translation Procession on October 15th 1931: a larger version of this picture is here.
Boy Scouts heading the procession from the parish church to the Opening and Blessing of the new Shrine Church on June 6th 1938.
The first priests’ pilgrimage 1923.
1931 Fr Patten surveying the Holy House building works just after the well was uncovered. On the right the Calvary, erected at the same time: it stood there until 2019, when the wood had to be replaced. Holding crosses made from some of the old wood are on sale in the Shrine Shop.
Enid Chadwick’s first map of the village (1935): a larger version of this picture is here.
The matron and children from the St Hilary orphanage in Cornwall after their arrival in Walsingham in 1939.
August 11th 1958 The last-known photograph of Fr Patten. After giving
Benediction he carried the Blessed Sacrament back up the stairs to the chapel in the gallery, deposited it in the Tabernacle, and then collapsed. He was helped to his cottage, and a doctor soon attended, and prescribed rest. Shortly after the doctor’s departure Fr Patten collapsed again, and died. His funeral took place two days later.
Looking up Holt Road in the 1930s, with Stella Maris Hospice [now Stella Maris House] on the right; the upper part can be seen in more detail in the picture of the Sisters at the top of this page.