An attractive, historic Norfolk market town with the massive towers of its Abbey set against greens fields of the Tiffey valley.
An Introduction to Wymondham
Wymondham is an attractive, historic Norfolk market town with its red roofs and the massive towers of the Abbey church set against green fields of the Tiffey Valley. While Wymondham has changed with the times, it has maintained its market town atmosphere with an attractive town centre, some outstanding old buildings, a good range of shops and other facilities. Like many East Anglian towns, Wymondham earned its wealth from wool, but another industry which survived in the town was the making of small wooden objects - spoons for example - and some of the streets of Wymondham take their name from this, such as Spooner Row. Wymondham has a magnificent, twin tower Abbey, founded in 1107 by William d'Albini and has been adapted over the centuries. Finally, make sure your do not miss Wymondham railway station - which has been restored and its buildings house a themed restaurant.
We start our tour of Wymondham in the centre of town at the Market Cross. This cross was built in 1617 at a cost of £25! and yet repairs in 1989 cost £95,000! Set out around the Market Cross is Wymondham main shopping area, containing some lovely mid-seventeeth century properties and narrow medieval streets.
Wymondham Market Cross
Wymondham health foods shop
At the top end of town is the Wymondham Heritage Museum at the Bridewell. This building was a former prison (until 1827), women's house of correction (until 1878), a police station (until 1963) and a magistrates court (until 1991). It is now a museum showing local Wymondham history.
At the lower end of town is Becket's Chapel, which was founded in 1174 by William d'Albini, son of the founder of the Abbey. It was used as a grammar school in 1559 and then as coal store from the early 1800's. It is now houses the Wymondham Arts Centre.
Wymondham Heritage Museum
Beckets Chapel, now Wymondham Arts Centre
There are plenty of facilities in Wymondham town centre for a refreshment - from pubs to tea rooms.
The Heart pub Wymondham
The Lemon Tree teashop in Wymondham
Moving away from the main shopping street towards Beckets Chapel, we come to the Wymondham town sign. This sign depicts scenes from the Wymondham past wood turning industry.
Wymondham Town Sign
Wymondham Town Sign
Moving down towards Wymondham Abbey, we come to The Green Dragon Pub. This late fifteenth century building, standing next to the Abbey gate, once served as a hostelry for Abbey visitors. It is the oldest inn in Wymondham, with Tudor windows from the sixteenth century. Well worth a swift pint to take a look inside!
The Green Dragon Pub
Wymondham Green Dragon Pub
Wymondham Abbey was founded in 1107 by William d'Albini and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Alban, this was later changed to St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury.
When built, the church was intended to serve both Benedictine Monks and the parishioners of Wymondham. However, quarrels between the two groups over issues such as bell ringing lead to each faction building their own tower!
The parishioners built the great west tower ...
and the monks built the east tower (now a ruin).
Wymondham west tower
Wymondham east tower
At the Dissolution in 1538 the Abbey church was granted to the people of Wymondham and a wall was built blocking up the Monks tower! Sir Ninian Cooper designed a great gilded screen, and dedicated it to the young men who had fallen in the First World War.
Wymondham Abbey gilded screen
Inside Wymondham Abbey
Adjacent to the Abbey is the Abbey Hotel ...
and this lovely cottage - called "Bell cottage".
Abbey Hotel Wymondham
Bell Cottage Wymondham
And finally, do not miss Wymondham railway station. Built in 1845 and on the Norwich to Ely line, the station once employed over 100 staff! The station still links Norwich, London, Cambridge and the Midlands with train services. This award wining station has been restored and there is a railway themed restaurant, called 'Station Bistro', complete with train carriage seats!
Wymondham Railway Station
London & North Eastern Railway, Wymondham
Station Masters Lounge at Wymondham
Station Bistro themed restaurant Wymondham
Wymondham a summary of what to SEE and DO
Stroll the town's streets and admire the old buildings
Enjoy a refreshment in a pub or tea rooms
Visit the Abbey and see the gilded screen
Find the old Market Cross and Becket's Chapel
Visit the Wymondham Heritage Museum
Walk to the historic station and visit the Station Bistro
Wymondham is a lovely Norfolk town with plenty to see and do; the Abbey is wonderful. Make sure you also get to see the station, as it really is worth it!
This is a good and comprehensive Norfolk guidebook
This is a great book of Norfolk Trivia!
The best paper map for North Norfolk Coast walkers
If you like circular walks to a pub, this is the book for you!
Hello, We have recently moved to Wymondham and absolutely love it!! I'm looking at your tour as I was talking to friends in Holland to tell them where we lived and will be sending them this link to show them; so well done. Regards, Tracy and Michael.
Thanks for the great pictures and information on the town of Wymondham. My ancestors came from here many years ago and it was nice to see just what kind of place it was. I live in Australia and maybe one day will get to see this quaint town in person. Regards, Amanda, Australia.