Swaffham went back to the Middle Ages at the weekend as a packed programme of events marked the official 800th anniversary of the town’s market.
Thousands of visitors descended on the town for a two-day medieval festival on Saturday and Sunday.
While the traditional Saturday market took place in the Market Place, thousands of visitors enjoyed a host of entertainment both in the square and on the nearby Campingland.
The Campingland is close to the site of the St Peter and St Paul Church, where the market originally traded.
Medieval re-enactments, a fire breathing display, music and the chance to have a go at archery were just a few of the attractions.
And David Wickerson, chairman of the Town Team, which organised the festivities, said the weekend had been “absolutely fantastic.”
He added: “We’ve had a great turnout. The weather has been kind to us.
“I think everyone has been very complimentary about what we’ve been able to put together here in Swaffham.
“It’s a great occasion and really puts Swaffham on the map in terms of our ability to put together this sort of event. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
The festival was the centrepiece of a programme of events taking place throughout the summer to mark the first written reference to the market in 1215, when King John ordered it to be dissolved if it was felt to be affecting a market in nearby Dunham.
A re-enactment of the order was among the programme of entertainment during the weekend, which was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Live entertainment, including music and other historic performances, took place throughout the weekend at the Buttercross and were hosted by the town crier, Nigel Wilkin.
The market celebrations will continue tomorrow night with a free screening of Norfolk Past – The County Our Parents Knew at the Sacred Heart School’s Barn Theatre.
Doors will open at 6pm and the screening, which will launch the town’s film festival, starts at 7pm.
Then, on Monday, Professor Mark Bailey, of the University of East Anglia, will give a talk on the development of Swaffham’s market and how it became an important market town in the medieval period.
The event is taking place at the Green Britain Centre and will start at 7pm. A further talk by Swaffham Museum manager Sue Gattuso is scheduled for September 14.
And a market festival on food, drink and festivities through the ages will take place from September 17 to 20.
For more information about the anniversary events programme, visit www.swaffhammarket800.co.uk or email email@example.com.