The meaning of the word 'Fakenham' can be split into two: 'Faken' and 'ham', both of which derive from Old English. The former refers to somebody by the name of 'Facca', with the latter meaning 'a village / a homestead', making the direct translation 'Facca's homestead'. 'Magna' translates from Latin as 'great', hence the alternative name of the village of 'Great Fakenham'. During World War Two, however, the village was referred to as 'Little Fakenham', which was used to avoid confusion with the larger civil parish of Fakenham in Norfolk.
Some of the earliest evidence of human activity in the civil parish of Fakenham Magna has been discovered archaeologically, from the Neolithic period, in the form of leaf shaped arrowheads as well as a variety of axes. However, the earliest document recording Fakenham Magna is the Domesday Book, in the form of two entries from 1066 and 1086. There are noticeable differences between the two, such as with the agriculture of the village. There is a reduction in the amount of livestock in the 20 year timespan, with four cobs and 40 pigs in 1066 decreasing to three cobs and 20 pigs by 1086. The amount of cattle and sheep remain the same, at 12 and 300. The meadowland also suffers a reduction, from 20 acres of meadow in 1066 to just four in 1086. Despite this reduction, agriculture eventually became the most dominant occupation for males in Fakenham Magna, with ⅔ of them employed in this sector by 1881. Another significant change in the village is that in 1066 it was documented that there was a mill and two churches, however today there are no recorded mills and only one of these churches remains.
If anybody would like to expand this series please do. I would just ask that you let Smokeypugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.