reepham (towns and villages)
Reepham is an attractive 18th century Market Town situated on the B1145, 12 miles north west of Norwich. Set in beautiful country side the Bure and Wensum valleys, the Market Place is still the main focus of the town.
18th Century houses border the Market Place where a local market takes place every Wednesday morning. The historic town centre remains relatively unchanged, whilst the outskirts have seen some developments. Reepham has been the setting for a variety of television programmes including Agatha Christies Poirot, and boasts a number of picturesque streets and alleys. There is ample free parking within the town.
the three churches of repham
Although referred to as an 18th century Market Town, Reepham actually dates back to just after the Norman conquest of 1066. The town is unusual in that it once had three churches situated within one churchyard. Originally the churchyard was once the Market Place where the three manors of Reepham, Hackford, and Whitwell all met. As a popular meeting place all three parishes decided to locate their churches here.
The two churches of St Mary and St Michael still survive although the third church, which belonged to Hackford, was destroyed in the 'Great Fire of Reepham' in 1543. The Hackford Church tower was removed in 1790 and now only the wall survives. St Mary’s remains as the Parish Church and St Michaels is used for meetings and other community purposes. Both church buildings are now listed.
Reepham Market was founded in 1277 when Sir John de Vaux, whose lordship of Hackford extended into the parish of Reepham, obtained a charter from King Edward I for a weekly market. Reepham remains proud of the fact that it is a Market Town, notwithstanding that it nowadays equates in size to a rural village (around 1200 households).
Present day Reepham Market Place is mostly 18th century. The Old Brewery House Hotel is a listed Georgian building and was built in 1729 and originally named the 'Dial House' because of a large sun dial over the front door. In 1972 the house was converted to a commercial hotel and renamed 'The Old Brewery House Hotel' to recognise its previous role as residence of the family that, for generations, had run a brewery in Reepham, and because one of the hotel's principal rooms used to be the brewery. The King's Arms is another of our listed buildings, but older than the Old Brewery House Hotel. We are not yet certain when its oldest parts were built, but much is timber framed, suggesting at least 16th century. It was a 'coaching' inn until the demise of stage coaches in the middle of the 19th century.
Reepham Market is every Wednesday in the Market Place.
The Reepham town sign was installed in June 1992. It shows a group of three, churches, villagers, farm labourers, sheep, lambs, and 'sisters'. The design is the work of the local High School (Reepham High School). All elements are based upon the myth that three sisters were responsible for building a church each! But, in fact, the medieval churches (all three in the same churchyard) were built over a span of several generations.