a small market town with a good selection of shops and a weekly market held along the High Street
Things to do in
Watton is a small market town with a good selection of shops and a weekly market held along the High Street. With plenty of local history, the museum in the Town Hall is worth a visit. There’s also a small art gallery in the Old Police Station, which is where the Local MP currently has his office.
Watton boasts a very pleasant 13th century round towered church. It also has a very interesting 17th century clock tower.
Things to do in
On the outskirts of the town is Wayland Wood. The 78-acre wood has a history going back over 1,000 years and is a must for wildlife enthusiasts. It is a designated SSSI containing many species of plants, birds and insects. It is said that the story of The Babes in the Wood originated there!
The History of Watton
There is evidence that there was activity during the Stone Age around the area where the town of Watton is today. There’s a Bronze Age Barrow on the outskirts of the town and there have been Roman and Saxon finds, including a Saxon inhumation. However, the first evidence of a distinct settlement comes from the Norman period.
The main church, dedicated to Saint Mary, has a round tower. It was built over 800 years ago and, although some of the early church still exists, much of what we see dates from the 15th and 19th centuries. The early Victorians carried out a major remodelling project, and extended the Church too.
Watton developed into a prosperous market town but, as with many towns in the area, there was a fire in 1674 which destroyed much of it. The town was rebuilt after that, possibly on a new site, further from the church. Archaeological finds suggest that the earlier town was just to the north of the Church