The Village of Swaffham in Norfolk

Swaffham Norfolk Holidays

A visitors guide to the hustley bustley Georgian Market Town of Swaffham with its large wedge shaped Market Place flanked by 18th century building.  The Market Place is the heart of the town, and where the Saturday market is held.  Its a traditional market selling local produce as well as other interesting knick knacks.

Swaffham became a fashionable place in Georgian times for its social and sporting functions and much of the architecture you see today comes from that period, but of course the town is much older than that.

In the summer months, the town is awash with colour with large tubs of colourful plants. At Christmas time, the town decorates itself with twinkling Christmas lights all around the market square. Swaffham has many interesting nooks and crannies with good places to while away a few hours with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, before exploring the market and the shops.

At the south end stands the Tounda or Butter Cross, which is supported on eight columns and surmounted by an elegant rotunda topped by a statue of the Roman Goddess of the harvest 'Ceres', the Tounda was a gift from Lord Orford in 1783.

Lord Orford formed a hare coursing association which was named the Swaffham Club. He adored greyhound racing and had a favourite dog called Czarina. Unfortunately whilst watching his dog one day Lord Orford became so excited he fell off his horse and died. Swaffham used to be the winter retreat of the prosperous farmers and landowners who would to come to the town and host extravagant soirees and parties.

The skyline of the town is now dominated by large wind turbines, the largest one is open to the public and forms part of the Eco Tech centre. It is well worth a visit not just for the view one can have from its lofty heights, but also as a modern environmental attraction.

The Swaffham Village Sign was made in 1929 by Harry Carter and shows the Swaffham Pedlar whose story can be found in Yesterdays. 

The magnificent church of St. Peter and St. Paul is one of the finest medieval churches in East Anglia. It has a fantastic hammer beam roof with carved angels. The carvings on the front pews of the church are believed to represent John Chapman otherwise known as the Pedlar of Swaffham. 

Just down the road is the historic village of Castle Acre managed by English Heritage.  A 15th century prior's lodging, though the actual priory was built in 1090 AD by the 2nd Earl of Surrey. After the 1536 Dissolution, the Prior's Lodge became a farmhouse.  This hilltop village commands fine views over the Nar Valley, not easily accessible to large vehicles as the place is still walled in parts and entered by a 13th century Bailey Gate.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Wildlife Parks and Nature Reserves - Click the What to do Link. Harry Carter a local craftsman was responsible for carving over 200 village and town signs around Norfolk. One of his relatives, was the well known Howard Carter who uncovered the tomb of the Egyptian boy King Tutankhamum.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Caravan Sites - Click the caravanning Link.s Nelson and Lady Hamilton are said to have been occasional visitors to Swaffham.

To the west of the market place is a large rock reputed to have been placed there by the Vikings as a town marker.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Wildlife Parks and Nature Reserves - Click the What to do Link. Another local figure is W.E. Johns the creator of the fictional air ace ‘Biggles’. More can be found out about this character in the local Swaffham museum, along with other fascinating reminders of the towns past, located in the main high street.

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