Diss is attractive Norfolk market town with a number of fine Georgian and half-timbered buildings. The historic settlement is located in the Waveney Valley, on a low hill above a prominent lake called 'The Mere', providing a pleasant outlook and a haven for wildfowl.
Diss Mere © Travel About Britain
At the centre of the town is a sloping market place, surrounded by a number of fine old buildings, many of which are timber-framed. Overlooking the market is the imposing parish church of St Mary's, its tower dating from 1300. Leading off are a number of narrow winding streets with an attractive mixture of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian architecture. A traditional street market is held on Fridays.
The town, a conservation area and regular winner of the Best Kept Market Town in Norfolk, has a wide variety of independent shops and a good number of cafes, restaurants and eateries. Specialist shops can be found in the 'yards', just off St Nicholas Street.
Diss Market Place © Travel About Britain
Several old inns include the King's Head, the former Dolphin Inn and the timber-framed Greyhound Inn. Opposite this is a house with a carved corner-post. Other buildings of note include the Corn Hall (1854) and Lacon's Maltings (1788), with large arches. In 1998 the Corn Hall ceased to trade as an exchange and was transformed into a theatre and community hub.
Diss Shambles (Museum) © TAB
The history of the town can be traced in the small local Museum, which contains a fascinating collection of artifacts, charting the town's prosperity throughout the ages. The museum is located in a building called 'The Shambles' with a cast-iron veranda - formerly a row of Victorian shops. Exhibits cover the themes of art, history and local archaeology.
Diss, an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "standing water", is derived from the six acre lake (Mere) below it. A public park beside the Mere is an attractive place to spend a few peaceful hours at any time of year.