You’d have thought that, having lived in Norwich for ten years, I’d have visited Wymondham Abbey before last weekend. And you’d be wrong…
Although I’ve been to Wymondham many a time in the last decade, I haven’t ventured much further than the high street, and apparently I’ve been missing out.
Wymondham Abbey was originally a priory, founded in 1107 by Benedictine monks. It would have been a huge complex of buildings, which you can see from the many maps around the area. The ruins in the graveyard give an impression of how grand it all was before the monastry closed in 1538 and most of the buildings were taken down.
Within the remaining church there are many other objects of interest too. For example, there is a breathtaking gilded alter screen, which was commissioned as a war memorial after the First World War. The picture doesn’t really show how intricate and detailed it is – it’s worth visiting for that alone.
The wooden roof also has some amazing detail (I am always fascinated by the ceilings in churches). It has carved angels supporting the roof struts, which are incredibly intricate (I apologise, my camera didn’t pick these up). The guide that we spoke to said they weren’t sure of the age of the angels, but they were probably installed with the pitched roof in the 15th Century.
In addition, there is medieval artwork on the walls, a triptych – so much. A guide will really help you to appreciate all of the artifacts and their history.
Wymondham Abbey is on Church Street, Wymondham. If you’ve been somewhere interesting in Norfolk, let me know and I’ll check it out.