Archive afternoon, 2019

with Ann Meakin

Are you missing something?

You may have missed that wonderful series of programmes on BBC 4 entitled ‘Ponds, pubs and powers – the story of the English village’, by Ben Robinson.   It is still available on iPlayer so do look out for it. Lavenham is covered, so is Walthamstow - an urban village. Port Isaac in North Cornwall, famous now as the location for Doc Martin, but also as the place where one or two of us slipped down the coast to buy the best and freshest fish, direct from the Atlantic.

Strangely, Martham was not one of the villages included - so what is Martham’s story?  Why did those Saxons find it such a desirable place to settle?  Were they the first settlers?  What happened in later centuries after the Norman Conquest?

Martham has the most incredible and unusual collection of archives going back through all the centuries to Domesday Book.  Some are in the British Museum, some are in the Public Record Office and some are in the Norfolk Record Office.  All are very fragile and need to be kept in the right conditions to ensure their continuing preservation.   Scholars have studied these documents and interpreted them for us today and we have copies in our village collection of a vast number of interesting archives.

During the winter months, in addition to our main programme, members of the Martham Local History group meet in small groups to discover what our archives tell us about Martham’s story.  If you would be interested to join one of these groups, please get in touch.  For members the Archive Afternoons are free.


We are always glad to welcome new members to the Martham Local History Group.  To belong, the cost is only £10 a year - excellent value – and you can join at any of our meetings.   

On this website look for Martham Stories if you have not seen it before.  It's inspirational.   

Ann and Noel       01493 749775. 

  • White Instagram Icon

Contact Us

© Copyright 2018 by MLHG.

Proudly created with

Tel Pat (Secretary) on 

01493 749775

or email:


We meet at the Methodist Church, Martham