This is a self-guided walking tour of the inside of Wymondham Abbey by one of the former tour guides at Wymondham Abbey. If you read this on your mobile or tablet it should take you around 40 minutes to complete the tour. However, if you read all of the linked information you will need much longer!
If you are not actually visiting the Abbey physically them there is a Google virtual tour available by Paul Britten where you can walk around the abbey and find most of the locations on our tour! Click on the Google map icons where you see them and the back arrow by his name to return to the tour:-
The tour is compiled from sources that are listed here. It draws on the some of the material originally used in my Wymondham Abbey’s guided tours This tour is a spiritual exploration of some of the treasures and pleasures of the Abbey.
The Abbey has a guest wi-fi network you can use to access this tour mobile data free. Ask one of the stewards for the password or look for the signs.
As you approach Wymondham Abbey you can marvel at the human acheivement of one of those great buildings constructed in a time of limited technology from the 12th century onwards, but with doubtless skill and intelligence; but in our picture here it is set in the greater cathedral of the blue sky of the cosmos made by no earthly hand. To enter into a spiritual journey we do need to see that God is not bounded by the stones before us!
It is primarily a church and former Benedictine monastery, its purpose was, and still is, to glorify God as creator and its construction was an act of both worship and love of Jesus as Saviour of humankind. Prior to the 12th century there stood a much more modest Anglo Saxon church, but William d’Aubigny who came over with the Norman conquest laid the foundation of the new church in 1107, bringing stone from Caen in France to construct a gift to his God which he prayed would win him favour in Heaven. It was costly to build and furnish and costly to those who gave themselves to its construction, some with their lives.
The majesty and grandeur of the current building is earthly, added to and enlarged over the century, but the God whose Spirit seeks to inhabit those who worship within, is one not to be contained by mere stone and wood, but comes to those who seek a spiritual experience. This tour will cover some of the essence of the building, art and architecture with the ability to drill into these details, but is essentially seeks to mine a deeper essence of what to look for.
From a distance it is imposing and unusual with its two towers: one ruined is the remains of the place where monks served, and one more recent tower housing the ten bells that are regularly rung as a call to worship and celebration. Over the years it has changed since its monastic origins, the single west tower replacing two others at its sides, the roof raised during that same monastic heyday, almost all that remains of its pre-reformation glory.