Search

A-Z of Norfolk nostalgia: A history of Dereham in pictures

PUBLISHED: 09:38 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 11 May 2017

Dereham High Street. Photo: Archant Library

Dereham High Street. Photo: Archant Library

Archant

Take a trip down memory lane with our A-Z of Norfolk and Suffolk’s towns and villages. Continuing with D, we take a brief look at the history of Dereham.

Right in the heart of Norfolk, Dereham is Breckland District’s second largest town with origins dating back to the Saxon era.

It is thought that the name Dereham, (formerly known as Deerham), derived from a deer park that once existed in area.

The town was likely founded in the seventh century when its own Saxon Saint, St Withburga, established a monastery. She is commemorated visibly on the town sign above the Market Place entrance to the high street as well as at her original grave, now marked by a spring, in the Churchyard.

Withburga was the youngest daughter of Anna, King of East Angles, who was killed in battle in 654. After his death she became a nun and settled with other holy women in Dereham, which they had picked as a site for a holy religious foundation.

Large quantities of the town’s ancient buildings were destroyed in two fires, in 1581 and 1679, which burnt down over 500 timber framed and thatched buildings. Some evidence of the medieval town still remains with excavations on the High Street revealing that by the medieval period the town had expanded.

Within the last century Dereham has materially improved by widening and levelling the streets, rendering it one of the handsomest market-towns in Norfolk.

MORE: A-Z of Norfolk nostalgia: A history of Cromer in pictures

Other news

Yesterday, 17:27

Major works on the £80,000 refurbishment of a mid Norfolk car park begin later this week.

Yesterday, 16:51

A pair of men who tried to steal lead from churches in two Norfolk villages have got off without jail time.

Yesterday, 16:27

A persistent burglar head butted a police officer and knocked him to the floor in an attempt to resist arrest, a Norwich court heard.

Yesterday, 13:49

Proposals which would see all but seven of Norfolk’s children’s centres close have been attacked by two of the county’s MPs.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:27

Major works on the £80,000 refurbishment of a mid Norfolk car park begin later this week.

Read more
North Norfolk District Council
Yesterday, 16:51

A pair of men who tried to steal lead from churches in two Norfolk villages have got off without jail time.

Read more
Norwich Magistrates Court
Yesterday, 13:14

American classic cars and bikes are set to take centre stage at this year’s Reepham Classic Car and Bike Festival as the popular event returns for a fifth year.

Read more
United Kingdom
Saturday, January 13, 2018

The coastal town of Wells is a huge attraction for tourists and as the number of visitors continues to grow the town council is trying to mitigate the strain on infrastructure.

Read more
Allen Frary
Yesterday, 16:27

A persistent burglar head butted a police officer and knocked him to the floor in an attempt to resist arrest, a Norwich court heard.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 12°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Fakenham and Wells Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy