Once a Benedictine priory that was home to a small community of monks, Wymondham Abbey is now a beautiful parish church. Despite it’s history dating back to the 12th century, the church is still active and continues to serve residents of Wymondham, Norfolk.
It was originally founded in 1107 by William d’Aubigny, a prominent landowner who owned a number of estates within the area. The monastery was established as a dependency of the Benedictine monastery in St Albans, where and uncle of William d’Aubigny was Abbot.
The priory initially started as a relatively small organisation with just 12 monks in residence. However in the years after it was founded, Wymondham Priory grew vastly in wealth and influence. The Abbey hosts some of the most beautiful Abbey architecture in the United Kingdom and is famous for its 15th century angel roof.
It’s twin towers are a prominent local landmark and are distinctive in their unusual design.
Yet despite its initial connection with St Albans there were numerous disputes between the two organisations. In 1448, after petition to the king, the Pope authorised the Wymondham priory to become an independent Abbey in its own right.
In 1130, the monastery church was completed and was initially dedicated to the Virgin Mary. However following the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170, his name was added to the dedication. A few years later, the son of the monastery’s founder built a chapel in the town which he dedicated to Becket. The chapel was designed to suit the needs of the townspeople and the monks and the nave was split into two sections.
The Abbey is open every day and welcomes almost 20,000 visitors a year. Where could be a better place to stay than a room with a view?
Looking for more travelling tips while in the area? Have a read of our Journal.