With the first cornerstone laid in 1101, the Minster is thought to be Great Yarmouth’s oldest building in continuous use. In common with most urban churches over the ages, it would not originally have just been a house of worship, but also hospital, almshouse, refectory and many other support services for the community and travellers.

Its attraction is not just its architectural splendour, The Minster has a fascinating history, involving familiar names such as Charles Dickens, Horatio Lord Nelson, Daniel Defoe (of Robinson Crusoe fame) and Anna Sewell (who penned Black Beauty). More recent Royal visitors include HM The Queen and HRH Prince Charles.

Here is a brief timeline of some of the key events for The Minster:

Nine Centuries of History at The Minster

1101 Herbert de Losinga, first Bishop of Norwich lays the first stone
1119 St Nicholas Church is consecrated
c1190 Large expansion of the Church nave, tower and arches
mid 1300s Extension of aisles and transepts to accommodate 19 individual guild chapels
c1400 Addition of 186’ high spire on the tower
c1560 Huge damage and destruction as part of Henry VIII’s church reformation period
1650 The Cromwellian era sees St Nicholas become three separate churches inside
Late 18th century St Nicholas’ decays with much of it in ruins
1804 – 1901 Full restoration of the church completed
1942 Fire completely guts the interior, following Nazi bombing
1942 – 1956 Church sits as a hollow shell with just walls, tower and arches standing
1957 – 1960 Stephen Dykes Bower completes a full neo-Gothic restoration, St Nicholas is reborn
2011 St Nicholas’ officially designated as a Minster Church by the 72nd Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James