Wymondham is a delightful market town located 10 miles southwest of Norwich and 30 miles from the Norfolk coast and is on the Norwich to Cambridge train line. Its market cross was re-built after suffering fire damage in 1615 AD; this, as well as 300 houses, suffered severe damage.
There are many fine 17th and 18th century houses scattered about Wymondham’s winding streets and an imposing abbey with two towers, one at each end, which look somewhat unfinished with their plain tops. Inside there is a Norman nave of nine bays stretching for 112 feet. The Norman triforium and the clerestory direct the eye to the magnificent 15th century hammer-beam roof that is adorned with 76 angels and exquisite bosses decorated with leaves. There is a 24 sconced candelabra dating from 1712 AD and the font with its beautiful cover is 19 feet above ground level. The organ dates from 1793 AD and the stone gallery where it stands was built during the restoration in 1901.
Market day is on a Friday in Wymondham and on the 3rd Saturday of each month it hosts a farmers’ market, selling a wide selection of local produce.
The town has a variety of shops, cafes and pubs, a library and a popular leisure centre with a good range of facilities, equipment, classes, courts, pool and spa.
Wymondham Heritage Museum has many films, audio tracks, display panels, information sheets and objects and is housed in an old prison building, once ‘the vilest prison in England’. There are permanent displays that focus on aspects of the life and times of Wymondham and its inhabitants as well as special displays that change each season and events such as art exhibitions.
Ketts Park in Wymondham has excellent community facilities including a full size floodlit 3G artificial pitch and other smaller pitches with spectator viewing, natural grass football pitches, three floodlight tennis courts, community and recreation centre, including a multi-purpose hall with linked meeting/bar facility and changing rooms.
Interesting facts about Wymondham
- Wymondham's most famous inhabitant was Robert Kett, who led a rebellion in 1549 of peasants and small farmers in protest at the enclosure of common land. He fought for and held the City of Norwich for six weeks but was defeated by the King's forces and was hanged from Norwich Castle
- The Great Fire of Wymondham broke out on Sunday 11 June 1615. Two areas of the town were affected, one area being Vicar Street and Middleton Street and the other in the Market Place, including Fairland Street and Bridewell Street. Around 300 properties were destroyed in the fire including important buildings, the Market Cross, (dating from 1286), the vicarage, schoolhouse and the Town Hall. The fire was blamed on three Romani and a local person
- Wymondham was home to one of MI6's Radio Security Service direction finding stations during the Second World War
- Wymondham Music Festival which was originally born as Wymondham Music Week in 1996, is where you can enjoy a wide range of classical and jazz concerts, young artists, street performances, a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Midsummer Jazz Picnic and more. Many events are free, and others have affordable ticket prices, especially for those who are under 18. Providing local music for local people, it has grown into South Norfolk’s biggest and most successful annual arts event
- The Rev Catherine Relf-Pennington was the first female vicar of Wymondham Abbey
- Wymondham Abbey was founded in 1107 as a Benedictine monastery. In the 16th century Henry VIII ordered that Wymondham and many other monasteries be demolished and the stone repurposed, however part of the building survived, and still stands today
- Cavick House Farm in Wymondham is where you will find Norfolk's first Egg Vending Machine! Here you can also enjoy coffee and cake, a gift shop and stay overnight on their caravan site
- Hethel is a small village in Norfolk, near the market town of Wymondham, and has been home to Lotus Cars since 1966