A market town with scenic walking, good shopping and historic buildings
Check out our handy ‘know before you go’ guide to make your visit a huge success!
The market town of Bungay has been the focus of this part of the Suffolk countryside since the Anglo-Saxons called the area home. It’s a town that has so much to recommend: scenic walking, good shopping, historic buildings, and of course the River Waveney that has been the lifeblood of the town over the centuries.
Did you know?
The unusual name of this market town is thought to have come from the Anglo Saxon title Bunincga-haye, which showed that the land once belonged to a Saxon chieftain from the tribe of Bonna. Other folklore linked to the area is the legend of Black Shuck or the black dog of Bungay who is said to have burst through the doors of St Mary’s church in Bungay in 1577, terrorising the residents of the town.
Bungay is also the only place in the UK to have a town Reeve; a senior official with local responsibilities under the crown- and a post made famous by Chaucer. The current person to hold the position in Bungay has responsibility for the market and various wills made to the settlement.
In 1688 Bungay was almost destroyed by fire, an event that devastated many families and destroyed many buildings. The fire did not however touch the Holy Trinity church and the door has a plaque with the words ‘Here was the fire stayed 1688’. The stylish rebuilding of the town, with its spacious marketplace, made it a popular place for people to visit and earned Bungay the nickname ‘Little London’. Famous visitors included George IV and even the highwayman Dick Turpin.
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