New Buckenham is an historic market town, now effectively a village, in the Breckland District of Norfolk, England. Surrounded by mixed farmland, it lies some 15 miles (24km) SW of Norwich, 4 miles (7km) from Attleborough and 8 miles (13km) from Diss. Of particular interest and linked to its long history is the layout of streets in a near orthogonal medieval grid pattern.
William d'Albini, of Norman origin, founded the Castle (of which only the motte, bailey and ruined keep remains) in 1145. There had been an earlier stronghold on the site of Old Buckenham Priory.
To service the castle and garrison, the town was built up around the castle to provide services and labour, and probably covered much the same area and layout as is seen today.
Apart from the castle, the earliest existing buildings are St. Mary's Chapel (early 13thC), and the Parish Church (1246). Among the earliest existing houses are those on the west side of the Market Place which have their origins in the 15th century. Queen Elizabeth 1st awarded a Town Charter, permitting markets and fairs to be held. This tradition lives on with the May Day Fair and August Bank Holiday fete being held each year.
New Buckenham functioned as a small town until the 1930's, but trades have since declined. In 1906, a fire destroyed a department store, adjacent to the site of the Wine Cellars, leading to Pump Court (now B&B) being used for a time as the town's fire station.
Also of interest is the Common, which has been grazed for at least 800 years and is largely unchanged in that time.