Visit Wymondham and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Wymondham, Norfolk, lies on the main London to Norwich road, the Al1, at the junction with the B1135. It is consequently a busy market town subject to heavy traffic. Its name is pronounced Windham, and its centre is still the market place with the market cross, a charming octagonal building dating from 1617 and raised on wooden arcading. Nearby are some timbered houses, including the Bridewell with the goal attached (1787). Among the many fascinating local inns are the King's Head, the Crossed Keys, and especially the Green Dragon, half-timbered and most attractive. However, the pre-eminent building is, of course, the great Abbey Church of St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury.
The priory was founded in 1107 by William de Albini for the Benedictine order. In 1448 it became an abbey and its remains are dominated by the two fine towers, unusually placed one at either end of the church. The octagonal one was originally a central crossing tower, for at one time the church continued well beyond its present position. Differences of opinion between monks and villagers caused the church to be not only spiritually but physically divided and when the abbey section was destroyed it was the part belonging to the parishioners which was saved. Even so it is incomplete, for the west tower never received its parapet and battlements.
From the outside the church appears to be Perpendicular in style, as are its windows and panelling. Within is a magnificent Norman nave; this, however, has a superb l5th-century hammer-beam roof, decorated with angels and huge star bosses. The east end is still shut off by the wall built as the result of the disputes centuries ago and is now faced with an elaborate reredos made in 1935 by Sir Ninian Comper. Near the altar is a terracotta monument to Abbott Ferrers, similar to that at Oxburgh, and therefore probably of the same date, c. 1525.
There are the remains of the l3th-century font of Purbeck marble, and another typical East Anglian font complete with the Four Lions and Four Wild Men. The association of the church with the St Thomas whose name it bears is brought to mind in the Chapel of St Thomas a Becket, in Church Street. It was begun shortly after his murder and rebuilt in the 14th century. It is 84 ft by 40 ft.
The fire of 1615 caused considerable rebuilding in the town and as a result there are some fine houses; among later Georgian houses is Caius House, and others near it in Middleton Street.
The dissolution of the abbey in the 16th century resulted indirectly in the conflict between Robert Kett and John Flowerdew which led to the famous Kett Revolt of 1549. Kett's Oak associated with this is some 3miles north east of the town on the A11. Kett himself was put to death shortly after his short-lived success.
Nearby cities: Norwich
Nearby towns: Attleborough, Diss, East Dereham, Thetford
Nearby villages: Buckminster, Chadwell, Colsterworth, Coston, Cottesmore, Edmondthorpe, Freeby, Goadby Marwood, Gunby, Little Dalby, Market Overton, North Witham, Saltby, Sewstern, Skillington, South Witham, Sproxton, Stainby, Stonesby, Waltham on the Wolds
Have you decided to visit Wymondham or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Wymondham bed and breakfast (a Wymondham B&B or Wymondham b and b)
- a Wymondham guesthouse
- a Wymondham hotel (or motel)
- a Wymondham self-catering establishment, or
- other Wymondham accommodation