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Easter pilgrims to stop at the Red Mount Chapel in King’s Lynn on their way to Walsingham

11:51 02 April 2012

Pilgrims on a previous journey arrive in King's Lynn by ferry. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Pilgrims on a previous journey arrive in King's Lynn by ferry. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Archant © 2010

Easter pilgrims on the well-trodden path to Walsingham are to visit the historic Red Mount Chapel in King’s Lynn on Wednesday.

Pilgrims have stopped at the 15th century octagonal chapel in The Walks since medieval times, pausing for prayers on their way to the Shrine of Our Lady.

The grade I-listed chapel was originally a meeting place for pilgrims travelling to Walsingham from across Europe, but the landmark stopped featuring on the route when it fell into disrepair.

It was extensively restored as part of a £4.3m renovation project at the park and prayers can be held safely inside for the second time since the work was finished.

The chapel will also open to the public this summer, giving visitors the chance to explore the fascinating three-storey building with its magnificent fan-vaulted ceiling, passageways and graffiti dating back to 1639.

West Norfolk councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, said: “The Red Mount Chapel has long played a role in the town’s history. Being able to open it once more to pilgrims brings this important part of the town’s story to life.

“We also open the chapel to visitors in the summer months so they too can experience first hand what pilgrims over the centuries have.”

The pilgrims will travel from Leicester and Nottingham on foot, crossing The Wash by ferry and carrying a large cross through the town centre.

About 60 are expected to arrive at the park from about 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Built in about 1684, the chapel rises proudly from a mound believed to be the remains of an ancient motte and bailey castle. It has been used for water storage, as a gun powder store and as an observatory over the centuries.

The chapel will be open to the public from noon to 3pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between June 2 and September 9.

Entry is free and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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