SWAFFHAM TRAIL BUTTER CROSS Home

Swaffham’s most obvious landmark, the Butter Cross sits in the centre of the market place. It was built in 1783  for £400 by George Walpole, the Earl of Orford.


The eccentric Earl of Orford, spent much of his time in Swaffham and established the town as the national centre of hare coursing.


It is a Grade 1 listed building. It has eight stone columns supporting a dome and the figure on the top is Ceres.


Ceres is the Roman goddess of the harvest. The word cereal derives from her name.


It is said that the figure of Ceres cost half of the total it took to build the whole Butter Cross.


It is called the butter cross because people from nearby villages would gather to buy locally produced butter, milk and eggs which would be displayed on the steps.   


The butter cross replaced a market cross which was built in 1575 and which stood near the war memorial at the north end of the market.