Silfield is located within the town of Wymondham within South Norfolk in England in the United Kingdom. Wymondham is a historic town just south west of Norwich. Its most famous for its inhabitant Robert Kett who, in 1549, led the peasants and local farmers in a rebellion to protest the distribution of common land for which he was later hanged.
In 1615, a fire broke out in two separate areas of town, destroying about 300 properties including the Market Cross building which was 400 years old at the time, the town hall, the schoolhouse and the vicarage. It is alleged that three drifters, William, John and Ellen Pendleton, started the fire along with a town resident named Margaret Bix for which they were executed that same year. The new Market Cross that was rebuilt following the fire is still standing today.
The history of the area implies that misdeeds were not taken lightly. The area falls within the parish of Wymondham and covers almost 45 square kilometres. The population of the full parish is about 12,000 people. The government of the town is run by 15 councillers and is split into five wards of which Silfield is one. The last election was held in 2011 and the council is primarily made up of Conservative Party members with only two being Liberal Democrats and two being independent. Wymondham’s mayor is Robert Savage. The parish falls under the South Norfolk district.
The Market Cross in the centre of town, which had formerly burnt down in 1615, serves as a Tourist Information Centre and is run by the local town government. It was originally built to house valuable documents to protect them from any ill events that might befall the town. In fact, it is said that live rats were nailed to the outside of the building to ward off vermin. They were taken down in 1902. Wymondham houses the headquarters the local Constabulary although the jail is now a Heritage Museum. The local railway station was voted the Best Small Station in 2006 and houses a piano showroom as well as a restaurant which was featured in a comedy film in 1996 called “Caught in the Act, starring Annette Badland and Sara Crowe. There is also a railway museum on site which was also featured in the BBC comedy “Dad’s Army”.
The town has been the home to a number of notable residents including Bill Bryson the author and travel writer, the poet George Szirtes, car engineer Oliver Winterbottom, Justin and Dan Hawkins of The Darkness, Simon Beaufoy who wrote the films “The Full Monty” and “Slumdog Millionaire” and MP Edwin Gooch who was the President of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers prior to his death.