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Thetford lays claim to one of the oldest mayoralties in the country and celebrated 800 years of the office in 1999.

The historical power associated with the town is represented by an impressive collection of regalia including the Sword of State (one of only 27 towns in the country to have the honour) and the Ceremonial Mace (a replica of that in the Houses of Parliament).

Henry VIII granted the privilege of a sword of office and a sword bearer in 1532. The current Sword of State and Great Mace were donated to the town by Sir Joseph Williamson in 1675.

In 1974 many of the town’s powers were lost under the local government reorganisation.

Today Thetford Town Council is responsible for the town’s Allotments, Cemetery, Guildhall and Carnegie Room which are available to hire. The town council offices are situated in King’s House in the town centre.

The town has links with four twin towns in Europe; Hurth in Germany, Les Ulis in France, Spijkenisse in the Netherlands and Skawina in Poland. Thetford Twinning Association arranges reciprocal visits and exchanges throughout the year.

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