The Town Trust, now a registered charity, dates back to medieval times and has always been headed by the Town Reeve and his or her committee of feoffees which are, in effect, Trustees of the charity.
The office of Town Reeve uniquely remains in Bungay, dating back to Anglo-Saxon, then medieval times as an overseer of lands and/or people. Appointed annually (by the outgoing Reeve among much local speculation).
The Town Trust owns land in and around Bungay, including a significant number of ‘goings’ on Outney Common. A going is a right to graze livestock, originally linked with property in the town. There are 300 goings which were sold off and away from the properties over the years. They are now owned by organisations and individuals who together form the Common Owners who collectively manage the land for the enjoyment of all.
The Town Trust also owns and maintains the almshouses in Outney Road and Staithe Road; Market Place and the Butter Cross, Castle Hills, the Borough Well and the Town Clock on St. Mary’s church.
Each year, in December, the Trust hosts the Town Dinner, usually at the Fisher Theatre, which anyone can attend (in their posh frocks and dinner suits) and represents the climax of the Trust’s year. This is the last official function for the Town Reeve, with the new Reeve announced a week or so later at the Town Meeting.