Our Five District Towns

Attleborough is a market town located on the key A11 trunk road with a rail station on the Norwich to Cambridge line.

In 1998 Attleborough Town Council acquired and refurbished premises at Queens Square which now serves as the Attleborough Town Hall and Archive Room. The clock for the hall was donated by Attleborough W.I. The hall is used for meetings and incorporates offices for Citizens Advice Bureau and Tourist Information.

The Mayor, who wears a chain of office consisting of a medallion and engraved Silver Gilt plates with the names of previous holders of the office, and Deputy Mayor are elected by the Town Councillors annually. The Town Council has responsibility of various recreation grounds, Decoy Common, the cemetery and St.Mary's Churchyard.

The council support various organisations within the town through grants, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Youth and Voluntary organisations and Attleborough Town Charities. Monthly meetings of the Town Council are held on the first Monday of each month, save for Bank Holidays, to discuss planning and general issues affecting the town.Further information on Attleborough can be found by visiting their website.

Dereham is at the heart of Norfolk and is Breckland District's second largest town and services its surrounding villages and countryside with its shopping facilities, schools and leisure amenities.  The town's business has historically been linked with agriculture; being in the middle of one of Britain's most important farming regions, some businesses still maintain this link. The town has encouraged, and continues to encourage, businesses from small to large and is an excellent centre for commercial activity.

Dereham's communications are improving all the time with the A47 being extensively improved, making links with Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and the Midlands easier.  It is also growing as a centre of tourism with most of Norfolk's attractive coastal resorts and numerous other attractions, including the Broads and many National Trust properties, within easy driving distance.  The town is also served by a regular bus service to all of these places.

Dereham Town Council offices can be found on the corner of Ruthen Place and the Market Place in the Assembly Rooms (opposite the War Memorial).  This building was built in 1756 on the site of the old Market Cross and Prison.  It is one of the oldest buildings in the town, mainly due to the great fires of 1581 and 1670 which destroyed most of the old wattle and daub thatched houses.Further information about Dereham can be found on their website.

Swaffham is an attractive, family friendly Norfolk market town which sits at the very northern point of the Brecks, an area of outstanding tranquillity and beauty which stretches across Norfolk & Suffolk.

Swaffham's fine Georgian buildings are a reminder that this town has long been a commercial centre - reputed to be a one-time favourite of Lord Nelson - there is a bustling Saturday Market and monthly Farmer's Market; the church of St Peter and Paul dominates the skyline and the town is a great place to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, a drink or just relax and enjoy the Norfolk way of life.

There is plenty to see and do in Swaffham; from the church of St Peter and Paul which dominates the skyline to the Swaffham Museum with its many artifacts and stories through the ages; there is something for everyone

Swaffham Town Council, consisting of 13 local Councillors led by the Mayor.For further information on Swaffham, visit their website.

Thetford is situated at the heart of East Anglia at the centre of the Brecks natural area.  Thetford's beginnings can be traced to the Neolithic flint miners who extracted the prized black flint from an area known as Grimes Graves north of the town some 5,000 years ago and the ancient trackway known as the Icknield Way that crossed the rivers here.  The local Iceni tribe built an important defensive fort to guard this crossing and during Boudica's time an important ceremonial site was constructed. 

Thetford was the principal settlement in East Anglia during the Viking period and was the sixth largest town in the country at the time of the Norman Conquest.  The town was an important ecclesiastical centre during the medieval period and has a claim to being one of the oldest mayoralties in the country.  Thetford's most famous son, Thomas Paine, turned the world upside down in the eighteenth century and in the nineteenth century Burrell Traction Engines were exported around the globe.

During the twentieth century, the area had many important military links many of which continue today.  Following the town's expansion during the 1960s and 70s Thetford is now home to businesses producing many well-known household products.

Today, the town is known for being the headquarters of the British Trust for Ornithology and for Thetford Forest which attracts an ever increasing number of visitors each year, as does the Dad's Army Museum which celebrates Thetford's role as Walmington-in-Sea!  The pleasant riverside walks, the romantic Priory and Castle ruins, coupled with the town's three museums, make it a growing tourist destination.

Today Thetford Town Council is responsible for the town's Allotments, Cemetery, Guildhall and Carnegie Room which are available to hire. 

Further information on Thetford can be found by visiting their website or downloading the 'Thetford Town App' from Google Play or the Apple App Store

Watton has a thriving community with a bustling high street where you can purchase the locally made 'Wayland Sausage' and 'Wayland Bap', browse for antiques or get your freshly baked bread.  Wednesday is market day and there is a weekly Auction just outside the town centre every Tuesday.

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. Opened in 2018 there is now a Museum for Watton to explore.

On the town sign are the two 'babes' from the popular fairytale. 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.

One of the most popular events held in Watton is the Wayland Show. The yearly agricultural show attracts thousands of people to the town where it hosts livestock, vintage cars and various displays.

Information on Watton can be found on their website.

Last updated: 06/05/2020 11:29:09