Swaffham is a pretty market town with many Georgian buildings scattered around the market place. It is located 30 miles from Norwich, 17 miles from Sandringham and Thetford Forest and 28 miles from the coastal town of Hunstanton. The beautiful Norfolk Broads are only about an hour away.
The Butter Cross is an interesting feature in the town and is situated in the market place. It was erected in 1783 AD and comprises eight stone columns and a dome featuring a figure of the Goddess Ceres.
On the town sign the legendary ‘Pedlar of Swaffham’, John Chapman, is depicted. Figures of John and his wife are also carved on a bench end that is within the spectacular parish church.
Swaffham has a small, independent social history museum with annual exhibitions plus displays from the Stone Age through to modern day. It is home of the Symonds collection of figures based on characters from literature and history. Learn about local heroes such as Howard Carter the archaeologist, Admiral Sir Knyvet Wilson, Jem Mace, W E Johns and the Swaffham Pedlar. Suitable for all age groups, the museum is well worth a visit.
Swaffham market is held every Saturday and has over 30 stalls including fresh meat, fruit & vegetables, cheeses, eggs, housewares, confectionary, clothes, tools, bric-a-brac and plants. There is also an auction.
Interesting facts about Swaffham
- The church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is one of only a few churches that have angels carved in wood instead of stone, around the top of the walls
- It is thought that Swaffham was a favourite of Lord Nelson
- Famous people associated with Swaffham include Stephen Fry, comedian, actor and writer, Dominic Byrne, newsreader, Michael Carroll, lottery winner, Howard Carter, archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, Christopher Dawes, author of Rat Scabies and The Holy Grail
An important Norfolk visitor attraction, Castle Acre Priory is one of the largest and best-preserved monastic sites in England dating back to 1090. Home to the first Cluniac order of monks in England, visitors can witness the Cluniac love of decoration, which is reflected everywhere in the extensive ruins.