There is evidence to suggest that North Walsham is an ancient town that had a settlement in Saxon time. The charter of King Edward also indicates that a church was there before the Norman Conquest in 1066 AD.
During medieval times Norfolk as a whole grew in status due to the vast production of woollen cloth. North Walsham and its neighbouring villages would have been full of weavers working to produce cloth and there was also a Walsham Cloth.
Market day is on a Thursday in North Walsham, which was originally granted by Henry III. During the 14th Century construction began on the great church that stands in the town centre, Church of St. Nicholas, funded by the men who had made their fortune from wool and cloth.
The Industrial Revolution meant the weaving trade faded and Norfolk became the centre of innovation in farming. North Walsham became the centre for the manufacture of agricultural tools.
During June the Medieval Fair takes place, which is a fun-packed day for the whole family.
North Walsham is situated on the Bittern Line railway, providing easy access to the nearby north Norfolk coast. The Weaver’s Way footpath also runs through the town for those who want to explore the surrounding area on foot.
Interesting facts about North Walsham
- In 1600, a great fire destroyed much of North Walsham, but the town’s church remained mostly undamaged
- The English naval hero, Horatio Nelson and his brother William were both educated at Paston College in North Walsham
- North Walsham was involved in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. The peasants' leaders were defeated at the Battle of North Walsham and the site is marked by a wayside stone near the town's water towers
- North Walsham's church of St. Nicholas is one of the UK's largest parish churches and its tower is the second tallest in Norfolk, Norwich Cathedral being the tallest
- North Walsham is home to the Norfolk Motorcycle Museum, a privately-owned collection of around 150 motorcycles from the 1900s to the 1980s