A Historical Walk around Thetford

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This is a true historic exploration of this magnificent Brecks town. Starting off at Nuns Bridges the route heads straight for Nunnery Arch (just beyond Waymark 2). This arch dates from the 17th Century and was once the entrance to Place Farm.

The route then heads round to the Nunnery, which was dedicated to St George. Constructed around 1120AD, there are some substantial ruins left in the grounds of the BTO and numerous views to the enigmatic remains. The route then heads along a section of the Little Ouse River, past a water mill and up to the ruins of the old friary. These are now built into the school and are passed along the route.

The next area of historical significance in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is passed directly and offers the walker a look into the only church dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre in the country! From here the path heads to the first castle of the day, known as Red Castle. Red Castle is a medieval ringwork, dates from the 11th Century and is probably the older of the two castles in Thetford. Through thick foliage the earthworks can be hard to see but when things have died down the banks and ditches are easy to make out.

From here the path heads back to the Little Ouse and takes a direct route to St Mary's Priory, which is by far the most substantial monastic ruins of the day (see general photo). The ruins are in the care of English Heritage and entry is free. Much remains of this beautiful building and also do head north, following the signpost to the gatehouse for another spectacular historical treat!

After passing through the town centre the route leads to Castle Park, where the last two historical features are encountered in the form of several massive Iron Age banks and ditches marking a substantial Iron Age fort and in the middle of them, the huge (second highest in the country) motte from the Norman period. Steps allow the walker to take in the view from the top of this 12th Century monolith.

England - East England - Norfolk - The Brecks


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Castle, Church, Flowers, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, River, Wildlife, Woodland
1/24/2022 - Paul Oakes

A very interesting walk indeed, plenty to see and take in. Thetford feels old and the history oozes out at every turn. A couple of points to consider, the length of the walk is nearer four miles, we measured it on our Garmin just out of interest so you will finish quicker than you expect. At point 6 there is now a large hotel at the bottom of the footbridge. Perhaps the point should read 'turn right off of the footbridge and walk past the Travelodge to the road. Turn left. Point 7 then becomes active