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All that glisters is gold - the Wymondham Abbey altar screen

The parish church of St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham in Norfolk, is all that is remains of a Benedictine Priory founded in 1107 by Wiliam d'Aubigny, which was raised to abbey status in 1448. When Wymondham Abbey was dissolved in 1538 at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the people of Wymondham were granted as their parish church the nave of the abbey church, the part of the church that for four centuries.  The eastern arm was then left to fall into ruin and the arch between the nave and the central tower was roughly blocked in and plastered over, it remained that way until the twentieth century. The nave is a splendid piece of Norman architecture dating from 1130, each arch decorated with a different motif and with the whole structure rising to some height through a Triforium and Clerestory. The eastern end of the nave with it's temporary blocking looked rather plain and mean compared to the surrounding architecture and was not a fitting setting for the

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