Welcome to the Martham Local History Group and Archive

This is the place to find out about Martham in the past.  We started over ten years ago.  We have about 80 members who pay ten pounds a year.  We have a programme of lectures, guided walks, and visits to historical places each year.  Reports on each event can be found in these pages.  We also keep a digital archive, some of which can be found in these pages, of documents, photographs and artefacts.

Check the 'Contents' page below for links to all our pages.  On any page you can return to this home page by clicking on 'return to home page' by the cog picture, which looks like the one below:
Martham sign post

Latest information:

For our current 2022 Programme  See programme for details (click here!).

The Martham Local History Group is publishing a book of 100 pages called 'Martham - 70 years of change 1952 to 2022' to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 
The initial print run will be 250
There has been some local sponsorship and the aim is to print more if it is popular.  See https://gofund.me/c2869cf0
It is written by Ann Meakin, local historian.  Here's hoping the booklet is published successfully shortly!

The book will be sold at a subsidised price.


History Group Activities
Current programme
Previous talks
Previous visits
Reports and administration
Martham Archive

Martham stories

Contact Us

Shop and downloads

Links to our favourite websites

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


[Below: children coming from school, early postcard, c1903. Early postcard from MLHG Archives, copyright unknown]

Martham Black Street, children coming from


Martham has been a large village since Saxon times and long before.  The village, at the northern end of the large Flegg Island, owes its name to the Saxon settlers in 600 AD who were  farmers and called the place 'Mearth' which means pine martin and 'ham' which meant settlement.  The land was wooded and the pine martens a source of rich fur much prized by scribes.  The village is growing and numbers nearly 4,000 people now.  The village church, built in about 1370 is a source of local history.  The knapped flint and stonework is testament to local wealth and power.

Who we are and what we do

We are not academic historians, but ordinary people who are interested in learning about and recording the history and heritage of Martham, its surrounding area and East Anglia. This website is essentially a series of short reports on the talks, trips and other events that have taken place over the years, usually at the rate of one each month. Some of our talks have attracted audiences of over one hundred and "ordinary" meetings are now threatening to exceed the capacity of the Methodist Church whose excellent premises we are very grateful to occupy. Go to the 'Reports and administration' page for our detailed Aims

One high point came in June 2012, when we staged a four day Jubilee Exhibition to mark the changes that have occurred in Martham during the sixty years of the  reign of Queen Elizabeth II.  Copies of the accompanying booklet are still available (contact Secretary). Well over 400 local people visited, and, along with members of the Parish Church, we raised some £3,000 to help vital restoration work on that Grade I listed building.

Then, in 2013, we worked alongside Media Projects East, long-standing local people and students from Martham's Flegg High School to produce "Martham Stories". Follow the link on this page to 'Martham stories' and discover a fascinating record of life in Martham two or three generations ago.

A highlight of 2014 was a coach trip to London and Parliament which you can read about in this website. In 2015 we conducted another hugely successful and heavily subscribed coach trip to Constable Country, whilst in 2016 we made a fascinating visit to Castle Acre. Have a look at this year's programme.

In 2017 we funded and arranged our first historical blue plaque in Martham, to celebrate two of our famous residents - a significant missionary couple from the nineteeth century.  In 2018 we set up a study group to look at the enclosures and their impact on the village, followed by the tithe map which is a record of who owned every piece of land in the parish.  In 2019 we increased our guided history walks and improved our website.  In 2020 we published a history trail leaflet and researched nineteenth century Martham during the national health crisis.  In 2021 we developed this website and our archive and held our first online talks.

A note on copyright
Nothing on this website may be copied or published without the permission of the Martham Local History Group.  This does not mean we will not give permission, but you do have to ask us.  The archive material has come from many sources and there are many copyright holders.