Dereham (or East Dereham) is a busy market town in the centre of Norfolk.
Dereham Windmill © Roger Gilbertson
The town is famous for its association with the poet William Cowper (1731-1800), who is buried in the grounds of St Nicholas Church.
The part Norman parish Church of St Nicholas, in the centre of town, has two towers, one central and the other a detached bell tower. The building was formally part of a 7th-c nunnery founded by St Withburga. Born a princess, she was the youngest daughter of of the King of the East Angles. She relinquished her life of luxury for one of piety and was buried in the monastery grounds. Although, her remains were later moved to Ely, Withburga's holly well can still be visited in the churchyard.
Many interesting buildings surround the town's charming market place, including the Assembly Rooms (1756) the George and King's Arms Hotels, a pillared Corn Hall of 1857 and an 18th-c Guildhall, along with many attractive Georgian redbrick houses.
A row of early 16th-c whitewashed thatched cottages, once owned by the Bishop Bonner, display a fine facade of distinctive Norfolk pargeting. Bonner (1500-1569) was chaplain to Cardinal Wolsey and a former Bishop of London. The cottage in which he lived is now a museum and the home of the Dereham Archaeological Society.
Dereham windmill, on the edge of town, was built in 1836. Visitors can view the old workings and a display of photographs of other East Anglian mills. Outside is a car park and landscaped picnic area.