Bungay Town Trust dates back to at least 1639, and was the body responsible for civic governance in the town until the Urban District Council was created in 1910. Bungay was fortunate in having a Town Purse which had built up over the years from legacies of land, buildings and monies bequeathed by residents, and the administrators of this fund did not want it absorbed into the coffers of the Urban District Council. The Trust was then set up as a registered charity, to ensure that this pot of Town Money would remain free from political and national influences and be effectively ring-fenced for the sole use of Bungay.
The Trust is headed by a Town Reeve, a position unique to Bungay, and which dates back to the 16th Century. The Reeve serves for a year, and appoints his/her successor from amongst the Trustees, who are known as Feoffees.
Today the Trust uses the income from its land and buildings to make grants to individuals or other deserving causes around the town.
It also owns and runs 13 almshouses for retired Bungay residents, in Outney Road and Staithe Close.
Through its ownership of the Buttercross, the Trust is also responsible for Bungay's weekly Thursday Market.