The Clock Tower, Downham Market
|King's Lynn and West Norfolk
|South West Norfolk
Downham Market is a town in Norfolk at the edge of the Fens, on the River Great Ouse, some 12 miles south of the town of King's Lynn, 37 miles west of the county town, Norwich and the same distance north of Cambridge.
While outshone as a regional centre by King's Lynn, Downham serves as the centre for the many villages scattered across this eastern part of the Norfolk fenland, and is somewhat less intimidating than industrial Lynn. 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.
Notable buildings in the town include its mediæval parish church, dedicated to St Edmund, and the Victorian clock tower at the heart of the town centre, built in 1878. The town is also known as the place to where King Charles I fled perforce after the Battle of Naseby.
The town has recently undergone a regeneration project on the Market Place, moving the market to the town hall car park. The decorative town sign, a typical feature of towns and villages in East Anglia, depicts the crown and arrows of St Edmund with horses to show the importance of the horse fairs in the town's history.
Downham Market railway station serves the town, is on the Fen Line from London to King's Lynn.
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