Wymondham (pronounced 'Windham') lies approximately 9 miles south-west of
Norwich in the Tiffey valley.
It is a busy market town - conveniently located next to
the A11. It is also famous for its Abbey which was
founded by William de Albini in 1107. The present church
incorporates nine bays of the Norman nave and features a
fine hammerbeam roof with angels.
Wymondham Market Cross
Henry Peacham (?1576- ?1643) was the Master of the
Grammar School in the town and wrote The Compleat
Gentleman - which was published in 1622. Dr Johnson
used it as a source for the heraldic definitions in his
George Szirtes, the poet and translator, also lives in
the town - together with his artist wife, Clarissa
Upchurch. Szirtes was born in
Budapest in Hungary in 1948. His family moved to England
as refugees in 1956 - and he studied Fine Art in London
and Leeds. He won the Faber Memorial Prize in 1980 and the T. S.
Eliot Prize in 2005.
In 1994 he moved to Norfolk to take up the position
as Head of Creative Writing at the Norwich School of Art
and Design. He now teaches at the
Szirtes' poetry deals intimately with everyday concerns -
but viewed through the eyes of an outsider. Here
is one of the sonnets from his
sequence which focuses on Wymondham itself: