The ancient town of Thetford is the gateway to the Brecks, an area of outstanding wildlife, rich history and the perfect location for outdoor eco-adventure.
After the Norman Conquest, Thetford’s Priory was built as was the Castle – today you can climb up what is the largest motte, or earthworks, in England. The views are good.
In the riverside town you will find three significant statues that tell later stories.
The first is of 18th century radical Tomas Paine, whose writing about the Rights of Man encouraged the American War of Independence and the abolition of slavery. The second is of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the first Sikh to settle in the UK, and who gave as a gift to Queen Victoria the world’s largest diamond, the Kooh-i-Noor, which is the focal point of the Crown Jewels. Duleep Singh built Elveden Hall just outside the town.
The last statue is of Captain Mainwaring, the irascible leader of the Home Guard detachment in the popular BBC comedy Dad’s Army which was mainly filmed at Thetford.
Discover more at the Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life.
Nearby are Neolithic flint mines at Grime’s Graves – you can descend into one shaft – and the National Trust-run, moated Oxburgh Hall.
Explore the Brecks