Situated on an important crossing of the Little Ouse River, Thetford was the capital of East Anglia during the Saxon period. It went onto become an important religious centre with 5 churches mentioned in the Doomsday book. Its fortunes dwindled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but prosperity returned in the 18th Century with production of Charles Burrell’s steam traction engines. The wood paint shop is now a museum.
Thetford is the birthplace of Thomas Paine, the influential and sometimes controversial writer. His statue stands on King Street, holding a quill and his book Rights of Man, upside down. The last Maharajah of the Indian Punjab surrendered his sovereign rights and came to live in Thetford.
A range of free town trails are available, highlighting points of interest with quirky stories. Choose from ‘Dad’s Army’, ‘Thomas Paine’ ‘Heritage’ ‘Maharajah Duleep Singh’ or a special ‘Haunted Trail’.
A small market on Tuesdays and Saturdays complements the individual shops and High Street names. The town has excellent transport connections with a mainline station linking to the national train network and regular coach services with National Express.