The £2.75 million project, supported by a £1.75 million grant for the Heritage Lottery Fund, grants from charitable trusts and local fundraising has greatly improved public access in the building and aims to strengthen links with the local community.
Over the last 18 months two extensions have been added to the east end of the church featuring much needed new facilities, including an activity area for school visits, meeting rooms, space to display items from the Abbey’s archive, colourful interpretation about the Abbey’s story, toilets and a servery. The great West Doors, closed for 50 years, have been re-opened to enable the processional route to be used on special occasions and the South Aisle, once hidden by a large partition, has been restored.
|The procession at the start of the service|
Wymondham Abbey was founded as a Benedictine Priory in 1107 by William d’Aubigny, Chief Butler to King Henry I and was a dependency of the Benedictine Monastery of St Albans. From the start the church was divided between the monks’ and the townspeople’s areas. This was the cause of regular disputes. The priory was closed in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and was gradually demolished, but the parish church survived.
Wymondham Abbey, NR18 0PH, is open daily 10am to 4pm, t. 01953 607062, www.wymondhamabbey.com.