Thetford

Introduction

Thetford in Norfolk is an ancient market town filled to the brim with history and heritage sites, quiet gardens, open parkland and a relaxing riverside.

 

HISTORY

 

The Thetford area dates back to Neolithic times to around BC 2500. In fact, Grimes Graves is believed to be the earliest major industrial site in Europe and the Icknield Way the oldest road in Britain. As far back as BC 500, the Iceni tribe built earth fortifications and by AD 40, Gallows Hill, famous for the Thetford Treasure, had become a major ceremonial site. The town is also known for its links with Boudicca.


In its heyday, the town could boast being the Saxon capital of East Anglia and in the 10th century Thetford even had its own mint with its coins being found as far afield as Scandinavia.

During the Middle Ages, Thetford established itself as an important religious centre and still retains a bishop to this day. when King Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries all the important religious buildings were destroyed and the town lost a lot of its wealth and prestige.

By the 19th century Thetford’s fortunes had again improved and for a while it enjoyed a reputation as an elegant spa town and the manufacturing centre of the world-famous Burrell steam traction engines.

 

GEOGRAPHY

Thetford lies just off the A11 in the Breckland area of Norfolk and is surrounded by the largest low land pine forest in Britain.

 

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

 

Go Ape! - tackle a high wire forest adventure course of rope bridges, Tarzan swings and zip slides high above the forest floor, crawl through tunnels and tackle high wire rope bridges. Go Ape! Has a minimum age of 10, minimum height of 1.4 metres (4ft7) and a Maximum weight of 130kg (20.5 stone). It is located at High Lodge Forest Centre, Thetford Forest, just off of the B1107.

 

Bressingham Steam & Gardens An attraction dedicated to times gone by, Bressingham boasts over five miles of narrow gauge steam railway, two restaurants and three different gardens. Located on the A1066, near Diss, in the small village of Bressingham.

 

UK Parachuting – Skydiving centre with over 30 years of experience in tandem skydiving and accelerated freefall courses. Located just outside Attleborough in Old Buckenham.

 

Broadland Balloon Flights – Operate scheduled balloon flights from Norwich and Eye (near Diss) on a daily basis, offering unrivalled views over Norfolk.

 

New Buckenham Castle – Here the remains of a Norman castle can be seen, a moat and massive ring-work surround the inner bailey and ruins of the circular flint keep. The castle is free entry and located on the B1113 (Castle Hill Road).

 

Old Buckenham Mill - The largest diameter corn mill in the UK built in 1818, the mill is now static but open to visitors free of charge. It is located just off the A11 near Attleborough on West Carr Road.

 

Thetford Forest Park – maintained by the forestry commission, Thetford Forest is a working forest and can be explored from any one of the many picnic sites scattered around the forest. It is likely that you will be able to spot a large amount of wildlife including, deer, night jars and cross bills.

 

Grimes Graves – Neolithic flint mines comprising of over 300 pits and shafts, 5000 years old first excavated in the 1870’s. Now open to the public in Foulden off the A134 to the north of Thetford Forest.

 

High Lodge Forest Centre – Has a shop and restaurant and offers a high ropes course, adventure playground, walking, cycle hire and much much more. Located in Thetford Forest.

 

Lynford Arboretum Forestry Commission – A collection of more than 200 varieties of broad leaved and coniferous trees considered to be of national importance. Part of Thetford Forest, admission is free.

 

Peter Beales Rose Gardens – Three acres of Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Gold Medal winning varieties of rose, together with a bistro restaurant. Situated on London Road in Attleborough.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015