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The Minster Church of Great Yarmouth

Updated on October 21, 2017

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:
Church Plain, Great Yarmouth NR30 1NE, UK

get directions

Great Yarmouth Minster

A video of Great Yarmouth Minster

© 2017 Louise Powles


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      It's absolutely beautiful, Yarmouth brings back so many memories as we used to go there all the time on Holiday.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      What a lovely inspirational place! Thanks for all the information. I've never been to Great Yarmouth, in fact I haven't visited much of the east side of my country, mostly due to the fact that I'm way over in the west!

      Cathedrals and minsters are always so grand but I didn't realise this one was purely a parish church. Thanks for the education, Louise.

      I shall make the effort to visit when I can.


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Looks and sounds like The Minster Church of Great Yarmouth is the perfect place to relax and be inspired. Thanks for the information and the view.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very educational.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      900 years! This is such a beautiful church that I’d love to visit. Thank you for writing about it and describing its history.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      Nice Info.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love visiting cathedrals and old churches. Great Yarmouth Minster is a place that I would very much like to visit. Thank you for introducing it to me, Louise.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou all for the lovely comments. It certainly is a very beautiful place to visit.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      How lovely to read of and see some of this restored church!

    • srsddn profile image


      2 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Finding peace in a busy town is really difficult, Louise. Windows, high ceilings and walls of this historic Church look fantastic. Thanks for introducing such a historic place.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      2 years ago from Norfolk

      Perhaps because it is the largest parish church in the country and arguably the oldest building in Great Yarmouth.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      This is a beautiful church, but I thought most of Briton (and Europe) was Atheist or Agnostic. I wonder why they funded the rebuilding.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      2 years ago from Norfolk

      I will have to put this church on my to-do list when I am in the area. Interesting! I love visiting these old churches.


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