|The village sign|
The story goes that many years ago a pedlar from the Norfolk market town of Swaffham dreamed that he should travel to London where a man on London Bridge would tell him where to find a buried treasure. The pedlar's name was John Chapman (an old word for pedlar) and he told his family of his dream but they laughed and said he would be wasting his time. But Chapman ignored them and, taking his dog and his pack, set off for the capital.
|15th century original|
He told no-one of his find, and placed the pot among the others in his home. The surface was decorated and had a Latin inscription around it, but the pedlar could not read Latin. Then one day a monk on his way to a pilgrimage in Walsingham told Chapman what it said. The inscription translated as "Where you find me, dig to find another." So Chapman went back into his garden and dug in the same spot, where he found an even bigger pot full of gold coins.
Enough money was left over to build the tower and spire.
And now the facts:
There really was a churchwarden called John Chapman who paid a great deal of money towards the church restoration in 1460. Contemporaneous carvings of a pedlar carrying a pack, a dog, and a woman using rosary beads are currently incorporated into the clergy stalls. They are believed to be from the original Chapman family pew. When the Victorians replaced the old-fashioned box pews they put a replica carving of the pedlar on the front row of the new seating.