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24 April 2012

Visit St Mary's Willesden

This weekend, your author passed a very rewarding Saturday seeing the sights of Brent, and one particular highlight was St Mary's Church, Willesden, where by chance a member of the local history society was on hand to conduct a faultless guided tour.

The site has been a place of worship since around 938 AD, when was given by King Athelstan and it is thought that a small wooden church was created, in what was then a largely rural setting on the edge of a small settlement. By the 13th century, the church had become a place of pilgrimage, and the shrine of the Black Virgin of Willesden drew people from all around until it was destroyed in 1535, burned at Chelsea on the same fire as the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Some also float the theory that as a place of pilgrimage, Willesden was home to a Holy Well, though your author's enthusiastic guide, as a true historian, was reluctant to hypothesise and had never seen any proof.

A truly magical place for even godless souls like your author, St Mary's Willesden and its graveyard are full of history, and run by a dedicated team of volunteers who organise regular events. For more, see http://www.stmarywillesden.org.uk

1 comment:

  1. ...Its a really beautiful old church...and has a
    wonderful sense of peace about it, this makes
    you feel so relaxed...theres a shrine dedicated
    to the Archangel Raphael with carvings of
    Angels...you can sit here and say a prayer....
    There are also been healing waters on the site,
    You can drink this/take some with you...!!