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Town landmark’s 400 year anniversary marked with new book

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 July 2018

Heritage Society executive committee members, trustees of the Market Cross Fund and town councillors at the launch of the 400 year anniversary of Wymondham Market Cross this summer. PHOTO: Philip Yaxley

Heritage Society executive committee members, trustees of the Market Cross Fund and town councillors at the launch of the 400 year anniversary of Wymondham Market Cross this summer. PHOTO: Philip Yaxley

Archant

An iconic town landmark’s anniversary has been celebrated with a new souvenir book.

Restoration of Wymondham Market Cross in 1950. PHOTO: Wymondham  Town Archive and Philip YaxleyRestoration of Wymondham Market Cross in 1950. PHOTO: Wymondham Town Archive and Philip Yaxley

The 400 year anniversary of Wymondham’s famous Market Cross was marked by a launch at the Bridewell Room for a new enlarged souvenir book.

It has more history, colour photographs and is fully updated from the late John Wilson’s original text.

The 400th anniversary project is run by the Trustees of the Market Cross Fund and the Wymondham Heritage Society.

Richard Fowle, the anniversary coordinator who was responsible for updating the book, gave those attending a flavour of the story of the Market Cross and the Market Place.

A prominent and historical landmark in the centre of the town. PHOTO: Simon BamberA prominent and historical landmark in the centre of the town. PHOTO: Simon Bamber

The town’s Friday market dates back to a charter of 1204 and for some time the Market Cross was probably used for sessions of the Market Court, where traders who didn’t comply with the market rules were punished.

Blickling’s Hobart family had owned the Market Cross and the Market Place, but Wymondham town council purchased them in 1936.

A number of restorations have taken place, perhaps most notably in 1863 and 1988-89, the latter following an appeal headed by Philip Richardson, then the town mayor and now a trustee of the Market Cross Fund.

Since 1990 the Cross has been home to the Wymondham Tourist Information Centre, but with the possibility of a new tourist information point at Becket’s Chapel the future use of the Market Cross is uncertain.

Wymondham Market Cross, early 20th century. PHOTO: ArchantWymondham Market Cross, early 20th century. PHOTO: Archant

Story-writing competitions for local school pupils were also held to celebrate the anniversary and the winners will be announced during Vintage Day on September 9.

The souvenir book covers colourful episodes in the history of the Market Cross and the Market Place including the Great Fire of Wymondham in 1615 and the hanging of two murderers in the Market Place in 1713.

It is on sale at Wymondham outlets and at Jarrolds and City Books in Norwich for £3.


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