"THETFORD, an ancient Borough and Market Town, was once a large and important City, being the capital of the kingdom of East Anglia, in the Saxon era; and the See of the Bishopric of Norfolk, from the year 1070 to 1094.  . . . It also shared with Norwich as the capital of Norfolk, till 1833, when the Lent Assizes, which had previously been held here, were removed to Norwich. It is a widely spread town, mostly on the north and partly on the south side of the Little Ouse river, which divides the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and receives here the small river Thet, from which the town has its name. It is encompassed on the south and west by extensive sandy heaths, abounding in rabbits, and is distant 12 miles N. of Bury St. Edmund's, 6 miles E.S.E. of Brandon; 28 miles S.S.E. of Lynn; 28 miles S.W. by W. of Norwich; 19 miles N.E. of Newmarket; and 80 miles N.N.E. of London.  . . . The BOROUGH OF THETFORD encreased [sic] its population from 2246 souls in 1801, to 3934 in 1841, and comprises 835 houses, and 6976 acres of land, divided into three PARISHES, of which the following are the names, areas, and population, viz.:- St. Peter's, 2281 acres, and 1184 souls; St. Cuthbert's, 215 acres, and 1543 souls; and St. Mary's, 4480 acres, and 1207 souls. St. Peter's is wholly in Norfolk, but all the land in St. Cuthbert's and St. Mary's, except about 100A., is in Suffolk, as also are 58 inhabitants of the former, and 677 of the latter. St. Cuthbert's has also about 1300A. of warren, which is returned with Lackford Hundred, Suffolk, making the total area of the three parishes 8270 acres, " [William White  History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


Thetford consists of the parishes of St Cuthbert, St Mary and St Peter.


Archives & Libraries


Business & Commerce Records

Clark, Ronald Harry
Chronicles of a country works: being a history of Messrs Charles Burrell and Sons Ltd. of Thetford, the famous traction engine builders.
[London, Percival Marshall, 1952]
Lane, Michael R.
The story of the St Nicholas Works: a history of Charles Burrell and Sons Ltd.
[ISBN 0906290074, Stowmarket, Unicorn Press, 1994]


See also Norfolk Parish Links: Censuses



There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History

Brooks, Edward Charles
A short history of the parish church of St Cuthbert, Thetford.
[Gloucester, British Publishing Co., 1964]

Church Records

Dymond, David (Editor)
The Register of Thetford Priory.
Part 1: 1482-1517. [ISBN 0197261604, Oxford University Press, Norfolk Record Society, Records of Social and Economic History, v.24, 1996]
Part 2: 1518-1540. [ISBN 0197261612, Oxford University Press, Norfolk Record Society, Records of Social and Economic History, v.25, 1996]
Parish Registers of St Mary's Church
List of Surnames of People who come from other Parishes
(these people are often known as "Strays")
Parish Registers of St Mary's Church
Baptisms, Banns, Marriages and Burials

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Church Records


Description & Travel

Clarke, William George
A short historical guide to the ancient borough of Thetford, in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.
[Thetford, W. Boughton, 1908]
Osborne, David
Thetford: A Century Remembered: from 1900 to the present day.
[ISBN 0951348418, 1996]
Osborne, D.J. and Benz, S.A. (Editor)
Thetford, Brandon and District: A Portrait in Old Picture Postcards.
[ISBN 1870708377, 1990]
Thetford and District Chamber of Commerce
A short historical and descriptive guide to the ancient borough of Thetford.
[Thetford?, 1948]
Wilkinson, Joseph
The architectural remains of the ancient town and borough of Thetford, from drawings by the Revd. J. Wilkinson.
[London, Rodwell and Martin, 1822]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Thetford which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Thetford has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Blomefield, Francis
The history of the ancient city and burgh of Thetford.
[Fersfield, 1739]
Clover, R.D.
Tale of an area: a village study and history of Croxton, Kilverstone, and Barnham (Suffolk) and the infancy of Thetford.
[ISBN 0950547905, Thetford, 1975]
Crosby, Alan
A history of Thetford.
[ISBN 085033604X, Chichester, Phillimore, 1986]
Hunt, A. Leigh
The capital of the ancient kingdom of East Anglia, the mighty city in the east: being a complete and authentic history of the ancient borough town of Thetford and its antiquities in Norfolk and Suffolk.
[London, Dennant, 1870]
Martin, Thomas, 1697-1771
The history of the town of Thetford, in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.
[London, Nichols, 1779]
Millington, F.H.
The history of the Guildhall, Thetford.
[Thetford, Boughton, 1902]
Osborne, D.J.
A History of the Borough of Thetford Fire Brigade.
[ISBN 095134840X, 1988]


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL871832 (Lat/Lon: 52.415037, 0.748958), Thetford which are provided by: