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Market Shipborough

A fictional North Norfolk town which is the base for the popular TV series "Kingdom"

An Introduction to Market Shipborough featured in Kingdom with Stephen Fry

Butter Cross
Windmill
Harbour
Granary
Lighthouse

Kingdom follows the life of Peter Kingdom (Stephen Fry), a small-town solicitor whose work revolves around the eccentric cases brought to him by the population of Market Shipborough, a historic market town with harbour and beautiful sandy beaches. Sorry to disappoint, but the town is entirely fictional, however it does combine some fabulous parts of Norfolk and is a great advertisement to this largely undiscovered part of Eastern England.

Market Shipborough Guided Tour


Where else to start our guided tour of Market Shipborough, but at the offices of Peter Kingdom in Swaffham. These lovely Georgian buildings are typical of the market town of Swaffham.
Kingdom Offices
The Offices of Kingdom Solicitors
Georgian Architecture
Georgian Architecture in Swaffham
George Hotel
The George Hotel, Swaffham

In the centre of Market Shipborough is a dominating structure called the Butter Cross, built in 1783. It has 8 stone pillars supporting a dome with a figure of the Roman goddess Ceres, the goddess of corn! with agriculture being an important industry in Norfolk, this figure is common around the county - for example the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn has a large figure of Ceres on top.
Butter Cross
The Butter Cross in Swaffham

The Pedlar of Swaffham (or Market Shipborough)

Town Sign
Market Shipborough and Swaffham Town Sign
The town sign depicts the legend of John Chapman "The Pedlar of Swaffham". John had a dream that if he went to London Bridge he would hear good news. When the dream was repeated the following night, John packed his bag and walked to London with his dog. He stood on London Bridge waiting for the promised news. As the hours passed, a shopkeeper who had been watching him asked if he needed help. John told him his dream, and the shopkeeper laughed, saying that if he believed in dreams he would be in a place called Swaffham, where ever that was, digging up gold under the apple tree of a man called Chapman, but he didn't believe in dreams. John quickly made his way home to Swaffham and dug under his apple tree where he found a small pot filled with gold coins. He hid the coins and cleaned the pot, finding a strange inscription. As he couldn't understand the inscription he put the pot in his shop. A few weeks later a monk entered the shop and after picking up the pot, he translated the inscription ...

'Under me doth lie, another richer far than I'

When the monk had gone, John quickly dug under his apple tree again, much deeper this time, and eventually found a much larger pot again filled with gold. Soon after, the inhabitants of Swaffham decided to rebuild the church, and were very surprised to find John offering to pay for the north aisle and the tower!!

Market Shipborough harbour is one of the few remaining usable harbour's in North Norfolk. The coastline along this stretch has been silting up since the middle ages and even this harbour is a mile from open sea! However large boats can still access the quay and it is home of the clipper Albatros. One of the oldest sailing boats still afloat, it was built in Rotterdam in 1899 and was used to export grain from Denmark and Sweden. The harbour is actually Wells next the Sea and I am sure Peter Kingdom enjoys walking the mile from the harbour to the beach!
Wells Quay
Wells next the sea Harbour
Wells Harbour
Wells next the sea Harbour
Wells Granary
The Granary at Wells next the sea
Albatros
The Clipper Albatros moored in Wells harbour

As you may have seen on the television, Market Shipborough has a fabulous beach. The stretch of coast to the west has one of the most beautiful sandy bays in the whole of Britain, backed by pine trees - Holkham Bay. But other beaches are also used in the series and Norfolk has a great selection of beaches to choose from!
Mud Walking
Walking in Holkham Bay
OldEmpty Beach
Old Hunstanton Beach, West Norfolk
Norfolk Bay
Sea Palling Beach, East Norfolk Coast
Norfolk Coast
Mundesley Beach, East Norfolk Coast
Holkham Bay Panorama
A panorama of Holkham Bay at low tide

Other places in Norfolk featured in Kingdom are the candy stripped lighthouse actually located in East Norfolk at Happisburgh. There are also aerial shots of the Norfolk Broads, including Horsey Windpump.
Lighthouse
Candy stripped Lighthouse at Happisburgh
Horsey Windpump
Horsey Windpump

We complete our tour of Market Shipborough by showing you some of the places in the town, including some of the pubs, shops and restaurants that I am sure Peter Kingdom, Lyle, Beatrice and Sidney have all visited!
Red Lion
Red Lion
Market Cross
Market Cross Restaurant
Kings Arms
Kings Arms
War Memorial
War Memorial

 

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The first series of Kingdom on DVD
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