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The Minster Church of Great Yarmouth
History of Great Yarmouth Minster
Great Yarmouth is on the east coast of England. Although very popular with tourists in the summer with the fun fairs and amusement arcades, the town is also steeped in history. One prominent place in the town which is popular with visitors is The Minster Church of Great Yarmouth.
Great Yarmouth Minster is situated in the heart of Gt Yarmouth with the prominent tower overlooking the marketplace. Dating back over 900 years, it is steeped in history and drama. If walls could talk, it would certainly tell you a tale or two!
The Minster was founded in 1101 by Herbert de Losinga. Herbert was born in Normandy. He grew up and studied in France. But he moved to England when King William Rupus invited him over, where Herbert became Abbot of Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire, which is now part of Cambridgeshire. After being consecrated as Bishop of Thetford, Norfolk, he was responsible for founding St Nicholas church (as it was called then), Norwich Cathedral and St Margaret's Church in Kings Lynn.
In Medieval times, Gt Yarmouth was the fourth riches town in England. (Although you wouldn't believe that nowadays!) And this showed in the Church. There was gilded walls, stained glass, 19 guild chapels and beautiful and ornate furnishings. But in 1649 the Puritans took over the use of the Church and divided the Church into 3 parts. This was an interesting time as the Anglican Church used the south tower, as did the Puritans, and the Presbyterians used the north aisle.
It was during World War 2 when the Church took its most destructive damage. In 1942 the Church was completely destroyed to rubble by a German air raid. Only the walls and Norman Tower was left standing. The Church was restored over the years with the help of a grant from the War Damage Commission, local businesses and people in the area. The Church now is back to its former glory.
In 2011 St Nicholas Church was renamed The Minster Church of Great Yarmouth and was attended by the Lord Bishop of Norwich (about 30 miles west of Great Yarmouth.) This took place on 9th December 2011.
This Minster is unique in the fact that this is the largest Parish Church in the Country. It is open daily to the public throughout the year with a small cafeteria inside where you can sit and relax in the beautiful surroundings. There's also events throughout the year with free lunchtime recitals. The Minster is set in extensive grounds with a huge graveyard behind the Church. This is also popular with people passing through and people leaving nuts for the many squirrels that live in the grounds. The graveyard is tended by dedicated volunteers and the grass kept cut in the summer by the local council.
What I personally enjoy about visiting the Minster is, although it is set in the heart of the town, once you are inside the Minster you wouldn't think so. It's so peaceful and relaxing. As you can see from the photo above, it has ornate stained glassed windows and high ceilings and walls. I always feel relaxed and very humbled after I have visited here.
Great Yarmouth Minster
A video of Great Yarmouth Minster
© 2017 Louise Powles