A Brief History

We know Daniel Jones Senior started the legal practice in 1730, but just where in Fakenham he had his office we are not sure. However, we do know that the present building was registered as a Law Office in 1775 when Daniel’s son (who was also a Solicitor) purchased the building.

Daniel Jones the younger formed a partnership with George Cook Watson who, upon the death of Daniel Jones the younger in 1820, purchased the property from his estate.

From 1826 onwards George Watson and his descendants carried on a Law Practice on the premises in association with various partners until 1953 when the then partnership of Watson Digby and Pope sold out to Mills & Reeve. After a short period of time Peter Nelson Hayes took over the practice. In 1970 he was joined in partnership by Ronald Storr and the firm has continued to practise in that name ever since.

Fakenham was throughout the 18th and 19th centuries a thriving and important commercial and agricultural centre. Under the influence of two great estates, Holkham and Raynham, it remained so. The arrival of the railway in 1849 also brought other commercial opportunities. Miller & Son, printers, at one time employed 600 people until its closure in 1982. However, printing on a smaller scale still plays an important commercial role in the area, as do companies such as Kinnerton, Berendsen Laundry, Hain Frozen Foods and PMC.

By the end of the Second World War there were eight aerodromes within as many miles of Fakenham. These were gradually reduced over the years. However, the USAF based its mighty 47th Bombardment Wing in the area from 1952 until 1962; this helped support commercial interest especially through the austere post war years.

At the start of the 20th century the population of Fakenham was in the region of 2000; at the start of the 21st century it was estimated to be 9000. As history shows, Fakenham has managed to survive the centuries and continues to thrive by commercial adaptation. With both its growing population and commerce, there is great potential within Fakenham and its surrounding areas, especially for those who can match customers’ needs with excellent service.

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