St Benedict traditionally lived from 480-547 AD, the earliest account of his life was from Pope Gregory. We do know he was born of an honourable family of Nursia in Tuscany and studied at Rome. His journey into the monastic life began with his disgust with the decadent culture and he sought solitude with God in the mountains west of Rome. As the founder of the monastic order of St Benedict he is famous for his Rule which was based on prayer and work and was intended to apply Gospel teaching to the actual circumstances of daily life.
There were up to twenty monks at the Abbey and you would recognise them as Benedictine monks by the black habits. Sadly over some of its history there are records that indicate that some of their habits were indeed dark! However those faithful to St Benedict’s Rule observed a very strict and orderly seasonal regimen of worship, prayer and study with physical labour. The monastery would have had other workers to tend the garden and the fishery by the River Tiffey. The Abbey would also have run the local Wymondham market and may have, as in many other Abbeys, had a brewery, no doubt supplying the Green Dragon of its day!