How well do you know the Wayland area of Norfolk?
PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 October 2017
It was one of the old hundreds of Norfolk and boasts of picturesque villages and an interesting history. But how well do you know Wayland? Here are 10 interesting facts.
• Found within the Breckland district, Wayland covers an area of 1,000sqkm and consists of the market town Watton and 13 villages.
• Wayland Wood is home to the Babes in the Woods legend, where two children were abandoned and left to die. It is depicted on Watton’s town sign.
• The ‘Great Fire of Watton’ destroyed much of the town centre in 1674. It has been started 60 hours were damaged and it cost £9,000.
• Watton’s clock tower was built in 1679 by Watton mercer Christopher Hey. It is believed to have been constructed to house a bell to warn of fire as a result of the events of 1674.
• There are 18 historic medieval churches all in regular use. St Margaret’s church in Breckles has a round Saxon tower dating from around 750AD.
• Thompson Common is famous for its pingos - a rare type of lake created at the end of the last ice age. The Brecks has the largest density in the UK.
• The market is Watton’s strongest link to the past. The charter for the market appears to have been granted in 1204. It is now held on Wednesdays.
• Peddars Way runs through the heart of Wayland. The route, which follows an old Roman road, starts in the Brecks and takes in a number of Wayland villages.
• Author Christopher Bush, who wrote under the pen-name Michael Home, was born in Great Hockham. He wrote more than 50 detective novels.
• Watton is home to the Wayland Show, one of the country’s longest-running agricultural shows which welcomes thousands of visitors every year.