Watton is a Norfolk market town that is 20 miles west of Norwich and 45 miles west of Great Yarmouth and is the smallest of Breckland’s five towns.
The Parish Church of St Mary dates from the 12th Century and has a Norman tower with an octagonal belfry. Watton also has a Methodist Church situated in the High Street and both have regular services.
In the High Street there is an unusual clock tower, which dates from 1679 AD. This was erected after a fire destroyed much of the town in 1674, reputedly so that its bells could warn townsfolk should such a disaster strike again.
On the town sign are the two ‘babes’ from the popular fairy-tale. It is said that the nearby Wayland Wood is where the two ‘babes in the wood’ unfortunately met their fate. The hare (wat) and barrel (tun) also feature on the town sign showing the derivation of the town name.
Watton has a thriving community with a bustling high street where you can purchase the locally made ‘Wayland Sausage’ and ‘Wayland Bap’. Wednesday is market day with an additional farmers’ market held on the first Saturday of every month.
Interesting facts about Watton
- Wayland Show is one of Norfolk's oldest agricultural events, having been held for more than 140 years. It attracts vast crowds to see displays of livestock, falconry, marquees, trade stands, classic cars, vintage tractors, gun dogs, horse and carriage rides and many equestrian events. It is held at the western side of Watton
- The Dragonfly Gallery and Visitor Centre is an art gallery in Watton and is the only community owned gallery in the area and supports artists and craftspeople from across East Anglia
- Wayland Wood near Watton, the alleged site of the ‘Babes in the Wood’ legend has a recorded history going back to the 10th century and has a rich mix of flora and fauna
- In 2017 extensive repair work on the historic clock tower in Watton was completed. The clock has been a prominent part of the town’s landscape for more than 300 years and its tick and tock are now back to full working order
Watton Town Council Website