The beautiful abbey in Wymondham was founded in 1107 by William d'Aubigny, butler to King Henry I, and the church was completed around 1130 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church was originally cruciform in shape, with a central tower and twin west towers. When it was built, stone from Caen in Normandy was shipped specially across the English Channel to face the walls. After centuries of splendour, following King Henry VIII's break with Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1534, the abbey was closed and surrendered to the King in 1538, which led to its slow decline. The monastic buildings were gradually demolished and the stone used for other purposes. But in 1573, Queen Elizabeth I visited the church and ordered a series of repairs to be made.
The abbey’s notable artistic features include the Norman nave with its splendid 15th-century angel roof, a gilded altar screen by Sir Ninian Comper, that was unveiled in 1921 but not completed until 1934 and the fine wooden roof in the North aisle.
In 2021, the church’s traditional halogen lighting was replaced with a new system that immediately resulted in significant energy savings. This solution, featuring Palco and View luminaires, also allows power ups to be controlled in order to enhance the beauty of the artworks on display.
The vast majority of products were Palco projectors ranging from 4° super spots to 42° floods. These were installed with high level either via surface mounted base plates or short lengths of track. The fittings were installed within the Nave wall arches and aimed down to illuminate the Altar, Sanctuary, Nave, Choir stalls, as well as highlighting the splendid gilded altar screen.
Additionally surface mounted versions of the Palco and View fittings were installed on the arch sills, so that they could be used to illuminate the ornate wooden roof above the Nave. View fittings were also located on the Arch sills to illuminate the inner surfaces of the arches themselves using wide 104° flood optics.
The range of power ups is ideal for embracing the congregation low lighting levels as well as underscoring the magnificence of certain moments of celebration.
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