"SWAFFHAM is a handsome and thriving market-town, and the principal place of election of knights of the shire for the western division of Norfolk. It gives name to a large Union, and is situated 15 miles E.S.E. of Lynn, 27 miles W. of Norwich, and 93 miles N.N.E. of London; . . . encompassed by an extensive tract of open heath (more than 10,000 acres,) in this and the surrounding parishes. If carried into effect, the proposed Railway from Lynn to East Dereham will pass near the town. . . . Swaffham parish has increased its population, since 1801, from 2220 to 3358 souls, and comprises about 7550 acres; of which 2375 are heath, 4122 arable, about 600 meadow, and 30A. woodland. All the population and buildings in the town and its immediate suburbs, except a few scattered farm-houses, the most distant of which are, Great and Little Friars' Thornes, nearly two miles W., adjoining the heath. . . . The soil and buildings belong to a number of copyholders and freeholders, the largest of whom is Anthony Hamond, Esq., the lord of the MANOR OF SWAFFHAM MARKET, ... and was anciently held by the Earls of Richmond, who had a prison here. . . . The other manor, called HASFALLS and WHITSANDS, is of small extent,  . . . called the TOWN ESTATE, with commonright over all the heath, . . . The CHURCH (St. Peter and St. Paul,) is a large and handsome pile  . . .  The BAPTISTS have a chapel in Whtecross [sic.] lane,  . . .  and now under the ministry of the Rev. John Hewitt; and the WESLEYANS have one in London street, erected in 1811. There is also in the town an Independent preaching room, and a small Primitive Methodist chapel; and in Westacre road is an old Friend's Meeting House," [William White History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Paddy Apling]


Church History

Linnell, Charles Lawrence Scruton
SS. Peter & Paul Church, Swaffham: pictorial guide.
[Swaffham, 1961]
Rix, William Bertram
The pride of Swaffham: being a synoptical history of S.S. Peter and Paul, Swaffham, from A.D.1454.
[Swaffham?, 1950]

Description & Travel

Clarke, William George
Guide to the town of Swaffham and the country adjacent thereto.
Lamont, Gerald
Swaffham to Fakenham: a portrait in old picture postcards.
[ISBN 1857700406, Seaford: S.B. Publications, 1993]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Swaffham which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Ripper, Ben
Ribbons from the pedlar's pack (Swaffham to 1930).
[ISBN 0901137049, Downham Market: Quaker Press, Government publication, 1972]
Rix, William Bertram
Swaffham: bygone gleanings and present.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF820090 (Lat/Lon: 52.648584, 0.689303), Swaffham which are provided by: