Little Wymondley - which is now much bigger than nearby Great Wymondley, but was presumably once smaller - was the site of an Augustinian priory founded in the early 13th century. Remains of the priory's church are incorporated into a house (not open to the public); the impressive associated tithe barn, which has been tree-ring-dated to 1540-1 (though some elements may be earlier), is now used as a wedding venue. According to that monumental work of Edwardian scholarship the Victoria County History the priory's then owner had the splendidly imperialistic name Colonel Unwin UnwinHeathcote (I'm not sure if his surname is misprinted and is meant to be hyphenated).
It's hard to dig up any similarly offbeat facts about the disappointing parish church, half a mile south. It's alleged to have Norman origins, and to have had an apsidal east end, but there's nothing visible to confirm this. What is seen now dates from the early 15th century, restored and added to by John Thomas Lee (c.1845-1920) in 1875. There are few architectural features of note. The tower seems to struggle to rise high enough to apologetically peep over the top of the nave, and inside the north aisle (by Lee) with its lean-to roof is narrow and characterless.
|Chancel arch and nave, looking west|
|Chancel arch and chancel, looking east|
The stairs to the former rood loft, and their associated doorways, were discovered as recently as 1948; their presence accounts for the bulge in the south wall of the nave (visible in the photo at the top of the page).
|East window, 1875, by Heaton, Butler and Bayne|
|Reset 15th cen piscina|