Facts about Hingham
Hingham is a market town and civil parish in mid-Norfolk, England. The civil parish covers an area of 14.98 km2 (5.78 sq mi) and had a population of 2,078 in 944 households at the time of the 2001 Census, increasing to 2,367 at the 2011 Census. Grand architecture surrounds the historic market place and town greens. According to an 18th-century source, a fire destroyed many of the town’s buildings, leading the better-off local families to build the handsome Georgian homes for which the town is known. The same source claims that the Hingham gentry were “so fashionable in their dress that the town is called by the neighbours ‘Little London'”.
The towns name means ‘Homestead/village of Hega’s people’. The town, originally spelled “Hengham”, is an ancient settlement, as its Saxon name denotes. It was the property of King Athelstan, in 925, and of William the Conqueror in 1066 and 1086 as a well populated parish in the hundred of Forehoe, and retained many privileges coming from its royal ownership, including “the grandeur of St Andrew’s,” a parish church rebuilt in the 1300s. Thomas de Morley, 5th Baron Morley is buried in its chancel. In the years that followed, the town was a clear royal domain, for William the Conqueror and many others.