This has been the site of Christian worship for over a thousand years. Wymondham was a small but significant town from very early times, located between the important trading centres of Thetford and Norwich. Saxon Wymondham probably had a stone-built minster church, serving the town and surrounding villages. Its foundations may lie beneath the church we see today.
Following the Conquest of 1066, the lands passed into Norman ownership. William d’Aubigny (d. 1139) from St Martin d’Aubigny in Normandy, gave money and land in 1107 to establish a small Benedictine priory here. This was a dependency (or ‘daughter house’) of the great St Alban’s Abbey where William’s uncle was Abbot. Construction began at the eastern end of the new church, then extended westwards to incorporate a church for the local parishioners. The whole church took about fifty years to complete and was shared by monks and townspeople, an unusual arrangement that was to cause frequent disputes in later centuries.