SWAFFHAM TRAIL Swaffham, The Beginning Home

The town of Swaffham is believed to have existed as early as the bronze and iron ages, although it was not known as “Swaffham” until Saxon times.


Its name comes from Old English. It means “the homestead of the Swabians”, a tribe which then came from the north of Germany.


Romans had settled in Swaffham and many coins from this period have been found, some near Peddar’s Way. Peddar’s Way is an ancient track running from near Thetford in the south to Holme-next-the-sea in the north.


By the 14th and 15th centuries Swaffham had a flourishing sheep and wool industry and sheep fairs were held on the market place up until the twentieth century.


A settlement stone was put towards the north side of the market place on Lynn Road by fifth century pagan Anglo-Saxon settlers. It may have been moved from near the war memorial where once the market cross stood.


Domesday records a population of around one hundred people.