TThe Farming Community of Watton By Chris Pye

The Town grows around the Market

Although the farmers sold their goods at the market, they relied on Watton for such things as boots, clothing and haberdashery, and other things which they were not able to make themselves. Most of the equipment used in agriculture – wagons, harnesses, tumbrels etc. were produced locally, in and around Watton, and many of the light industries in the town had a connection, one way or another with farming.


Many of the shops and businesses grew from small beginnings as they served the community, a community that itself was totally reliant on the prosperity of agriculture. It is interesting to note that even the value of property in Breckland, was related to the land. Where the land was very sandy and not very fertile as around the area of Thetford, house prices were very low, but in Dereham, where the land had a clay base and was much more fertile, property was equally more expensive. Watton lay somewhere in between, to the west was sandy land and to the east, a much stronger land with a clay base.

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