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Great Yarmouth Minster

Great Yarmouth Minster, the parish church of St. Nicholas, was founded by Herbert de Losinga, the Bishop of Norwich, in 1101 as a penance for an act of simony. It is the largest parish church in the country and arguably the oldest building in Great Yarmouth.

The Minster is usually open to visitors daily from 10am to 1pm. The café inside serves light refreshments when the church is open. The church has a beautiful interior and houses a free heritage exhibition showing its role in the history of Yarmouth. The Minster hosts a number of events, from exhibitions to recitals throughout the year, in addition to regular church services. 

Great Yarmouth Minster

Brief history of the Minster

During the Medieval period the church was at its most magnificent with stained glass, tapestries, painted and gilded walls, frescos, 19 guild chapels, various relics of the saints and ornate furnishings. At this time Great Yarmouth was the fourth richest town in England. The interior was destroyed at the Reformation and the Priory dissolved.

In 1649 the church was divided into three parts as the Puritans, who were now in the ascendancy, demanded use of the building as their church. The arches were bricked up (two feet thickness) on the north side of the nave, the eastern side of the transepts and the eastern side of the tower. The three portions of the church were used by the Anglican Church (south aisle), the Puritans led by Rev. Bridge (the chancel, which they fitted up as a church house) and the Presbyterians (the north aisle).

A new door to the chancel destroyed the altar tomb of Thomas Crowmer, the Bailiff of Yarmouth from 1470-97. The mutilation of this tomb was contrary to the Act of Parliament of 1644, which allowed the demolition of monuments of idolatry and superstition, but not monuments to dead people, unless they were deemed to be saints. The windows in the east end were filled up with bricks. The north aisle was used by the local militia as a drill hall when the weather was wet. All the three denominations held their services simultaneously and the alterations to the church were paid out of a rate levied on the townspeople.

At the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, the Puritans were ejected from the church, however the bricked up arches put up by the Independents and the Presbyterians were not taken down until the restoration of 1859-64 when the church became undivided for the first time in about 200 years.

Over time, the church gradually declined, the fabric deteriorated and the chancel collapsed. It was the Victorians who mounted several large and expensive restoration schemes and by 1905 the church had been completely renovated.

In 1942 the church was gutted during a German air raid leaving only the Norman tower and the walls standing.

With the aid of a War Damage Commission grant and fund raising by local people and businesses the church was rebuilt and reconsecrated in 1961 by the Bishop of Norwich. St. Nicholas celebrated the 50th anniversary of its reconsecration in 2011, and was subsequently designated as a Minster in December 2012.

Today the Minster is the focal point of the town from the Market Place, its tall spire a dominant feature on the town's skyline. Many events take place inside the church, known for its superb acoustics, throughout the year, including many services, recitals and the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival.

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Events at the Minster

Great Yarmouth Brass Spring Concert

Great Yarmouth Brass Spring Concert

Great Yarmouth

Sun 29 Apr 2018

Enjoy a Brass Spring Concert with all profits going towards the Mayor;'s charities - Heart 2 Heart, Palliative Care and Cinamon Trust.

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 6 May 2018

Great Yarmouth has its fair share of unpleasant and murderous stories to tell; join one of our trained tour guides on this wicked walk and hear all the gory details. This is definitely not a walk for the faint hearted.

Gravestones&Tombstones of Great Yarmouth Minster

Gravestones&Tombstones of Great Yarmouth Minster

Great Yarmouth

Sun 3 Jun 2018

Join us at Great Yarmouth Minster, England's largest parish church for some fascinating stories about the characters laid to rest next to the Medieval Town Wall.

Medieval Town Wall Then & Now Heritage Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall Then & Now Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Tue 5 Jun 2018

Have you ever taken our Medieval Wall walk before? Would you like to know more? On this'special' heritage guided walk you can re-cap on the history of this iconic medieval wall & appreciate the work being undertaken to preserve it.

Art in the Minster

Art in the Minster

Great Yarmouth

Sat 9 - Sat 16 Jun 2018

A wide selection of paintings and photographs by local artists many of which are for sale. Throughout the exhibition there will be demonstrations of painting, drawing and photography.

Great Yarmouth Minster

The Waveney Sinfonia

Great Yarmouth

Sat 9 Jun 2018

The Waveney Sinfonia Musical Society was formed in 1978 and was the brainchild of Richard Featherstone. The aim was to give Waveney an orchestra and to provide an opportunity for local young people to play with more mature musicians.

Organ Recital

Organ Recital

Great Yarmouth

Wed 13 Jun 2018

John Stephens was the organist and director of music at the Minster for many years and will play a delightful programme of organ favourites.

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Thu 14 Jun 2018

Great Yarmouth has its fair share of unpleasant and murderous stories to tell; join one of our trained tour guides on this wicked walk and hear all the gory details. This is definitely not a walk for the faint hearted.

Cavick String Quartet

Cavick String Quartet

Great Yarmouth

Thu 14 Jun 2018

The Cavick Quartet was formed in 2009 by leading string players in Norfolk with a shared passion for chamber music and the realisation that performance was an essential part of their enjoyment.

Chorus of St. Cecilia

Chorus of St. Cecilia

Great Yarmouth

Fri 15 Jun 2018

The concert will cover a variety of music including works by John Rutter, Vivaldi as well as English Folk Songs, and songs from various musicals.

Art in the Minster

Art in the Minster

Great Yarmouth

Sun 17 Jun 2018

A wide selection of paintings and photographs by local artists many of which are for sale. Throughout the exhibition there will be demonstrations of painting, drawing and photography.

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 17 Jun 2018

Isolated on the east coast, fear of pirates and invasion gave the people of Great Yarmouth a distinct last frontier mentality. Once King John granted the town its Charter, a wall was the answer.

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 1 Jul 2018

Isolated on the east coast, fear of pirates and invasion gave the people of Great Yarmouth a distinct last frontier mentality. Once King John granted the town its Charter, a wall was the answer.

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Tue 3 Jul 2018

Great Yarmouth has its fair share of unpleasant and murderous stories to tell; join one of our trained tour guides on this wicked walk and hear all the gory details. This is definitely not a walk for the faint hearted.

Dixiemix at the Minster

Dixiemix at the Minster

Great Yarmouth

Sat 14 Jul 2018

Dixieland Jazz - East Anglia's Hottest Jazz Band.

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 15 Jul 2018

Isolated on the east coast, fear of pirates and invasion gave the people of Great Yarmouth a distinct last frontier mentality. Once King John granted the town its Charter, a wall was the answer.

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 22 Jul 2018

Great Yarmouth has its fair share of unpleasant and murderous stories to tell; join one of our trained tour guides on this wicked walk and hear all the gory details. This is definitely not a walk for the faint hearted.

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 29 Jul 2018

Isolated on the east coast, fear of pirates and invasion gave the people of Great Yarmouth a distinct last frontier mentality. Once King John granted the town its Charter, a wall was the answer.

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 12 Aug 2018

Isolated on the east coast, fear of pirates and invasion gave the people of Great Yarmouth a distinct last frontier mentality. Once King John granted the town its Charter, a wall was the answer.

Pirates, Witches & Thieves of Olde Yarmouth HGW

Pirates, Witches & Thieves of Olde Yarmouth HGW

Great Yarmouth

Thu 16 Aug 2018

Take a light hearted but factual guided walk with some of our trained heritage tour guides in this 'special' walk to find out more about some of Great Yarmouth's Pirates, Witches & Thieves of Olde Yarmouth.

Medieval Town Wall Then & Now Heritage Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall Then & Now Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Thu 23 Aug 2018

Have you ever taken our Medieval Wall walk before? Would you like to know more? On this'special' heritage guided walk you can re-cap on the history of this iconic medieval wall & appreciate the work being undertaken to preserve it.

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 26 Aug 2018

Great Yarmouth has its fair share of unpleasant and murderous stories to tell; join one of our trained tour guides on this wicked walk and hear all the gory details. This is definitely not a walk for the faint hearted.

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Medieval Town Wall - Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 16 Sep 2018

Isolated on the east coast, fear of pirates and invasion gave the people of Great Yarmouth a distinct last frontier mentality. Once King John granted the town its Charter, a wall was the answer.

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Gory Stories on a Wicked Walk Heritage Guided Walk

Great Yarmouth

Sun 23 Sep 2018

Great Yarmouth has its fair share of unpleasant and murderous stories to tell; join one of our trained tour guides on this wicked walk and hear all the gory details. This is definitely not a walk for the faint hearted.

Churches in Greater Yarmouth - not all are open to the public

St Mary Magdalene's, Gorleston

St Mary Magdalene's, Gorleston

Gorleston-on-Sea

The church of St Mary Magdalene in Gorleston-on-Sea in the heart of the community is very much alive with a full programme of events for all.

Christchurch

Church

Great Yarmouth

Christchurch, Great Yarmouth, offers a range of social activities in addition to its religious services. Why not visit the coffee shop or join in one of the regular weekly clubs, the perfect place to meet and make friends.

St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew's Church, Gorleston

Gorleston-on-Sea

St Andrew's church has many architectural features dating back to the Medieval period. With stained glass windows from the Victorian era and church organ dated 1904. The Bacon Brass dating back to 1292 can be seen in the Lady Chapel.

St Margaret's, Hopton

St Margaret's, Hopton

Great Yarmouth

The new St Margaret's church in Hopton-on-Sea near Great Yarmouth was built in 1865 to replace the Medieval church which had burnt down. The ruins of the old church are still to be seen on Coast Road.

St Mary's Church, Southtown

St Mary's Church, Southtown

Great Yarmouth

A daughter church of Great Yarmouth Minster serving the Southtown community of Great Yarmouth. A range of community groups meet in the Church hall.

St Edmund's, West Caister (Norfolk Churches)

St Edmund's, West Caister

Caister-on-Sea

St Edmund's in West Caister, near Great Yarmouth, stands near the top of the hill on West Road, looking out on a splendid view over the fields to Great Yarmouth and Breydon Water. A Victorian chapel built in 1854. (Image: Norfolk Churches).

St Mary's, West Somerton

St Mary's, West Somerton

Great Yarmouth

St Mary's Church in West Somerton, near Great Yarmouth: a 13th century thatched roof church famous for the Medieval wall painting and the tombstone of Robert Hales, the famous Norfolk Giant.

Holy Trinity, Caister-on-Sea

Holy Trinity, Caister-on-Sea

Caister-on-Sea

Holy Trinity Church in Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth: originally a 14th century church, re-built in the 18th century and beyond with an impressive ornate 15th century font which was brought in from Suffolk and some incredible windows.

St Peter's Parish Church, Clippesby

St Peter's, Clippesby

Great Yarmouth

St Peter's at Clippesby is a very attractive church with a round tower base and an octagonal top built in 1875. The main church is noted for its antiquity dating from the 12th century. Inside there are some fine pew carvings.

St. Margaret's

St Margaret's, Ormesby

Great Yarmouth

St Margaret's Church in Ormesby St Margaret near Great Yarmouth has an impressive south tower dating back to the 15th century. A truly magnificent church with beautiful stained glass windows. (Image: Norfolk Churches).

All Saints, Billockby

All Saints, Billockby

Great Yarmouth

Part-ruined Medieval church dating to 13th century. The only parts of the building in regular use are the chancel and porch which are used for public worship between Easter and September. Access via Billockby Hall Farm during office hours.

St Peter & St Paul, Burgh Castle

St Peter & St Paul, Burgh Castle

Great Yarmouth

St Peter & St Paul in Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. A small round towered church consisting of nave, chancel and north aisle, 14th century font and some magnificent stained glass windows. (Image: Norfolk Churches).

St Margaret's, Burgh St Margaret

St. Margaret's, Fleggburgh

Great Yarmouth

One of only 53 thatched churches in Norfolk has been restored and renovated many times. The south doorway dates from the Norman period but the porch, navel and chancel are 14th entury.

St Edmund's Thurne

St Edmund's, Thurne

Great Yarmouth

This lovely thatched church is dedicated to St. Edmund, King of East Anglia and martyred by Danish invaders in 872 AD. It dates back to the 13th century.

St Peter & St Paul, Mautby

St Peter & St Paul, Mautby

Great Yarmouth

Possibly built as early as the Noman conquest, the church has a thatched roof, round tower with carstone banding and a 15th century font. It is also the burial site of Margaret Paston of the famous 15th century Paston Letters.

Holy Trinity and All Saints, Winterton

Holy Trinity & All Saints, Winterton

Great Yarmouth

Nobody could fail to be impressed by the magnificent tower of Winterton-on-Sea's parish church which dominates the skyline. The tower rises to a height of 132 feet and is the third highest in Norfolk.

All Saint's Church

All Saint's, Filby

Great Yarmouth

All Saint's, Filby, is a Medieval church building with 15th century painted rood screen dado. Filby is one of the earliest settlements in the Fleggs and the present church, begun about 1350, stands on the site of the original building.

St Nicholas, Bradwell

St Nicholas, Bradwell

Great Yarmouth

St Nicholas' church in Bradwell near Great Yarmouth was built between 1320 and 1390, and restored in 1875 with Victorian furnishings having been gutted by fire. It has a round tower containing three bells. (Image: St Nicholas, Bradwell).

St Edmunds, Fritton

St Edmund's, Fritton

Great Yarmouth

St Edmund's church in Fritton near Great Yarmouth, a Norman round towered and thatched church featuring an apse, chancel and 14th century nave. With a Victorianised interior and stained glass windows. (Image: Norfolk Churches).

St Peter & St Paul, Repps

St. Peter & St. Paul, Repps

Great Yarmouth

The church of St Peter and St Paul at Repps is an architectural mix of styles. Part of the west wall and the base of the tower are all that remains of an earlier Saxon building. The present round tower, with its octagonal belfry is Norman.

St. Mary's

St Mary's, Hemsby

Hemsby

St Mary's church in Hemsby near Great Yarmouth: a Medieval church and tower dating from the early 14th century, built by the Monks of Norwich Cathedral priory, with Medieval bosses retained in the roof and porch.

All Saints Church, Horsey

All Saints Church, Horsey

Great Yarmouth

An ancient Saxon Church, with round tower and thatched roof serving the village of Horsey.

St. Andrews

St Andrew's, Stokesby

Great Yarmouth

The present church dates from the 13th century but various Norman mouldings point to there having been an earlier building.

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