Swaffham – Church Rooms

This quite imposing building dates from 1838, when it was built as Swaffham’s national school. It was designed by William Donthorne (1799-1859), a notable Norfolk architect who had been born in Swaffham and he also designed Cromer Hall, elements of Felbrigg Hall and Aylsham Workhouse. The national schools were established by the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, which taught religion along the Church of England lines, and from 1833 the Government provided grants for the running of these schools.

There was a treat for the children on New Year’s Day 1839, when the new school held a celebration dinner to mark the opening of their new building. The local press reported that there was “an excellent dinner of beef and plumb pudding, provided for them by the inhabitants of the town. It was gratifying to witness the interest taken by the company present on this occasion, and great merit is due to those individuals who so kindly exerted themselves in providing this treat”.

The building was converted in the twentieth century into church rooms and they remain in use for this purpose today.