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Discovery sheds light on Wymondham's past

Originally released on 13/12/2016

Rare wall paintings have been discovered in Wymondham's oldest surviving building.

South Norfolk Council has been working with the owner of the Grade II listed building at 9 Town Green to preserve the historic finds for future generations.

Recent renovation work revealed extraordinary painted wall decorations, featuring Tudor Heraldry. 41 Tudor shields were identified by historian and heraldry expert Edward Martin whose report has shed new light on Wymondham's past.

It also revealed the building's true age. Originally it was thought to date from the Tudor period, however the latest works exposed architectural details which showed it was built in the 14th century – making it Wymondham's oldest surviving building.

Norfolk's leading authority on historic buildings, Stephen Heywood, said:

"The restoration of the building has revealed a 14th-century timber-framed house of high status. Arch-shaped timbers, oak posts and beams indicate a massive medieval hall. The parlour or private quarters of the lord also still survive in part but were once twice the size. In the medieval period it would have been surrounded by countryside before buildings encroached and eventually enveloped Town Green."

South Norfolk Buildings Preservation Trust along with owner Ken Edwards funded local conservation expert Dr Andrea Kirkham to report on the paintings and carry out stabilisation work.

Chair of the South Norfolk Buildings Preservation Trust Steve Beckett said:

"The Trust was set up with funding from South Norfolk Council to help with historic buildings at risk. We were able to share the cost of the work by Andrea with the owner and were delighted to be able to help in this exceptional discovery in Wymondham."

The walls have now been lined out to retain the interior's archaeology, with sections covered in glass offering a tantalising view of what lies beneath.