Swaffham is a large market town which
lies approximately 12 miles south east
of King's Lynn. There is a folk tale in Swaffham
about a pedlar called John Chapman who
suddenly became very wealthy and used
some of the money to refurbish
the north aisle of St. Peter and St.
Paul's Church in 1454.
Swaffham Town Sign
According to legend, the pedlar had a dream that he
should go to London where he would
meet a stranger on London Bridge. In due
course the pedlar travels to London and
on his third day in the capital he meets
a stranger who tells him about a dream that he
has had about finding treasure in the
garden of a house in Swaffham in Norfolk.
quickly sets off for home and discovers
a treasure trove in his own garden -
just as the
Wood carving of the Pedlar of Swaffham
inside St. Peter and St. Paul's Church
The pedlar is
commemorated in the town sign - and also
as a wood carving on one of the church's
pews. The town sign was carved by Harry
Carter (1907-1983) who was responsible
for many of the beautiful wooden village
signs in Norfolk. Carter was an art
teacher at Hamond's Grammar School in
Swaffham and was also the cousin of the
Egyptologist Howard Carter.