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Swaffham Museum

The David Butters Room

Carpenters and cobblers tools Carpenters and cobblers tools

This year this room has a fascinating insight into life in Swaffham during the 19th Century. A local boot and shoemaker, James Philo (1810-1877) wrote a diary in 1850 and revisited it in 1873. It tells the story of changes in education, economics, the unions, entertainment and his own personal sentiments.

 

 

In 2016 we took back the earliest known painting of Swaffham. This had been through a long process of cleaning and enhancement. It is thought to have been painted in the early 1800's. Displayed now in a light box, the image shows the original church spire or fleche. This was erected in 1778 while the present day spire was erected in 1897 after the original one was struck by lightning. The painting shows many buildings which we can see today in our twenty-first century Market Place. 

Section of the painting - The Town Pit and Well ... or Weighing Machine? Section of the painting - The Town Pit and Well ... or Weighing Machine?
The marketplace in the 1930s. A tabletop model made by Harry Carter The marketplace in the 1930s. A tabletop model made by Harry Carter