Saxmundham celebrates big anniversary in royal style
This month Saxmundham celebrated an historic anniversary. 750 years ago, King Henry III granted their first market charter, allowing market trading to take place in the town.
The historic moment was marked on 9th July with a town-wide celebration, featuring a re-enactment group setting up camp on Fromus Green, a vintage street market, family activities and three performance areas with packed line-ups of entertainment.
Visitors were invited to spend time in the medieval encampment on the green to immerse themselves in the music, cooking and fighting featured in the daily lives of people at this time. The highlight of the day was a royal procession through the town, visiting key landmarks before presenting a replica charter to the town on the steps of the Market Hall. Receiving the charter, in front of crowds of visitors, was Chair of Saxmundham Town Council Di Eastman who described the event as “A lovely day, blessed with good weather – it’s not every day you can celebrate a 750th anniversary.”
An estimated thousands of visitors flocked to the town, enjoying the free day out as well as the glorious weather. Event Co-Organiser Jess Palmer remarked “We were delighted to see the crowds arrive in Saxmundham. It’s a beautiful market town with thriving businesses and community so seeing the whole place bustling with activity and people having a wonderful time was very gratifying.”
After speaking with some of the High Street businesses, Cllr Eastman said “it was clear that they had had their best trading day ever. This is what the monthly Saturday market programme is all about – it’s not just about the market traders who come along and support them, it’s also about increasing footfall through the High Street to support the many excellent small businesses which adorn our Town Centre.”
As part of the wider celebrations to mark the 750th anniversary, the Town Council have also launched monthly Saturday markets for 2022 which have been very well supported by residents and visitors alike. So much so that they will be continuing into 2023 as a further legacy of the town’s market-chartered status and the enjoyable day of 750th celebrations.
Cllr Di Eastman said “on behalf of the Town Council, I would like to thank Jess Palmer and Bryony Peall for the incredible amount of work they put in to make the 750th anniversary celebrations happen and make the day such a success. Saxmundham is very fortunate to have such talented women who give so much to this community. I would also like to thank the numerous volunteers from the community groups and charities who helped with the event, the various entertainers who performed for us, and the businesses and residents of the town centre for their support.”