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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Wymondham Abbey, Norfolk

Town sign
The delightful market town of Wymondham is located about 9 miles west of Norwich just off the A11. Some of Lis's ancestors came from this small town, so we feel some connection with here.

Wymondham Abbey
It has a fine abbey with 2 towers.  At one time it had 3 towers. The abbey was founded in 1107AD by William d'Aubigny but it was sacked in the Middle Ages. It became the parish church of Wymondham in 1538. The early days of the abbey were notable for disputes between the monks of the abbey and the townsfolk.

The first photo showing the 2 towers of the abbey was 
Wymondham Abbey Towers
taken on an earlier visit (2012) when we had better weather. The second picture showing the towers was taken today.

Wymondham Market Cross
These days the abbey gets around 20000 visits annually and they are always looking for new stewards so the abbey can remain open for visitors most of the time.
Wymondham - Market Street

There were alterations going on outside when we visited today on a miserable  "anticyclonic gloom" day (Feb 11th). The temperature today was 5 degrees C.  The alterations were in relation to the "Abbey Experience" project. A large National Lottery grant has been awarded, but £1M has to be raised locally.

Guided altar screen
Since much of the original abbey was destroyed, what remains today is much smaller than the original abbey on the site. With the sacked abbey on the south side, the original abbey occupied about four times the present area.

The large guilded altar reredos was started in 1922 as a memorial to WW1 dead. It was completed in 1934.

Becket Icon
In 2000 a small  Becket Icon in the modern Orthodox style was created in memory of St Thomas Becket by the late Rev David Hunter who served as Assistant Priest at the abbey.

We ate a modest lunch (sandwiches and a panini) at the Heart in Market Street. There is low cost parking in a car park just off Market Street opposite the Heart. There are plenty of places to eat in Wymondham.

Lots more on the Wymondham Abbey website.

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