The Abbey Experience is a project about integrating the use and experience of Wymondham Abbey, the surrounding meadow and ruins, and the archives and collections, in a way that transforms the current experience and learning opportunities offered to visitors. This has been achieved with the provision of much needed facilities: new flexible spaces, servery, lavatories and storage to cater for a wide range of activities, displays, interpretation and learning, to welcome everyone to the Abbey.
The extensions have been designed to have minimal impact on the existing fabric of the building, but of sufficient scale against the large imposing Abbey and now allow for a complete circular route around the church, with new ramps and steps to the aisles. The extension walls are made of Clipsham stone, using traditional stonemason’s skills and techniques. The southeast extension employs soaring, tapered cruciform shaped steel columns to keep new structural elements away from the south chancel wall, and new rooflights wash the extension in light and allow an uninterrupted view of the existing archaeological wall and tower beyond.
The project was part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other private trusts and individuals, and in July 2016 scooped two NAA awards.