Downham Market

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Downham Market
Clock Tower in Downham Market
Downham Market is located in Norfolk
Downham Market
Downham Market
Downham Market shown within Norfolk
Area 5.20 km2 (2.01 sq mi)
Population 9,994 (2011 Census)[1]
• Density 1,922/km2 (4,980/sq mi)
OS grid reference TF611032
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DOWNHAM MARKET
Postcode district PE38
Dialling code 01366
Police Norfolk
Fire Norfolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
NorfolkCoordinates: 52°36′N 0°23′E / 52.60°N 0.39°E / 52.60; 0.39

Downham Market sometimes simply referred to as Downham is a market town and civil parish in Norfolk, England. It lies on the edge of the Fens, on the River Great Ouse, some 11 miles south of King's Lynn, 39 miles west of Norwich and 30 miles north of Cambridge.[2]

The civil parish has an area of 5.2 km² and in the 2011 census had a population of 9,994 in 4,637 households. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.[3] It is part of South West Norfolk parliamentary constituency.

Fire Station in 2006, now a heritage centre

It was an agricultural centre, developing as a market for the produce of the Fens with a bridge across the Ouse. During the Middle Ages, it was famed for its butter market and also hosted a notable horse fair. The market is now held Fridays and Saturdays on the town hall car park.

Notable buildings in the town include its mediaeval parish church, dedicated to St Edmund, and Victorian clock tower, constructed in 1878. The town is also known as the place where Charles I hid after the Battle of Naseby. In 2004 the town completed a regeneration project on the Market Place, moving the market to the town hall car park. The decorative town sign depicts the crown and arrows of St Edmund with horses to show the importance of the horse fairs in the town's history.

A heritage centre, Discover Downham, opened in a former fire station in 2016.[4]

Governance[edit]

The electoral ward of Downham Market exists but covers a lesser area than that of the parish. The population of this ward taken at the 2011 Census was 7,988.[5]

Transport[edit]

Downham Market railway station

Downham Market railway station, which serves the town, is on the Fen Line from London to King's Lynn. It opened in 1846.

The town’s signal box is one of five rare examples across the region to have been granted Grade II listed status in 2013. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport awarded listed status to 26 signal boxes across the country as part of a joint project between Network Rail and English Heritage to secure the nation’s railway signalling heritage. Downham’s signal box was built in 1881 for the Great Eastern Railway Company but will soon be decommissioned as part of a 30-year modernisation project.[6]

Education[edit]

There are two primary schools in Downham Market; Nelson Academy, which has a nursery for children aged 3-5, and Hillcrest Primary School. The town has one secondary school, Downham Market Academy which includes a sixth form.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Downham Market Leisure Centre is located on Bexwell Road. A Non-League football club Downham Town F.C. play at the Memorial Field.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey (1999). OS Explorer Map 236 – King's Lynn, Downham Market & Swaffham. ISBN 0-319-21867-8.
  3. ^ Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes[permanent dead link]. Retrieved December 2, 2005.
  4. ^ Bale, David (29 March 2016). "West Norfolk town finally gets its own heritage centre". Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Historic England. "Downham Market Signal Box (1414022)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Truss, Liz. "About Liz Truss". Retrieved 16 July 2014. 

External links[edit]