Tourist Information in Norfolk
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Thetford Town Information

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Remains of Cluniac Priory - Photo © Bob Jones
Remains of Cluniac Priory - Photo: Bob Jones CCL

Once the capital of a Danish kingdom ruled first by King Sweyne and then Canute, Thetford later became a Norman stronghold with a powerful castle. All that remains of the 12th century castle is a large mound, while the remains of a Cluniac priory founded in 1103 by the aptly-named Roger Bigod, first Earl of Norfolk, stand on the banks of the Little Ouse, one of two rivers that meander through the town. The Ancient House Museum is a timber-framed Tudor building with fine carved beam ceilings.
Thetford was the birthplace in 1737 of the radical philosopher Thomas Paine, author of ‘Rights of Man’ and ‘Age of Reason’ and a statue of him stands outside the Elizabethan Bell Hotel. Nearby is the 50,000-acre Thetford Forest where four species of deer and even the rare red squirrel flourish. Grime Graves is a 4,000-year-old Neolithic flint mine discovered in 1970's.