Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
King's Lynn, Norfolk, before it became Royal property was called Bishop's Lynn. Nowadays the town is usually known simply as Lynn. It combines the attractions of a busy town, seaport and agricultural centre. Once it was a walled city of considerable importance; traces of the walls still remain. Its two great churches, two market places and two Guildhalls tell of its former size and there are many reminders of the Grey, Black, Austin and White Friars, all of whom had houses in the town. It had long been a port handling large quantities of wool, cloth and agricultural products and its position 2 miles south of the mouth of the Great Ouse made it a natural site for a harbour. Most of the development is on the east bank. West Lynn, connected by ferry, is famous for the views it provides of Lynn proper.
The town centred round the Saturday Market and Tuesday Market, the former with its Church of St Margaret and the latter with that of St Nicholas. Its first charter was received from King John in 1204. Soon after the Conquest Bishop Losinga of Norwich founded a priory here and commenced St Margaret's, a huge church, 235 ft long, made of white limestone. In keeping with its size it has two towers at the west end, a very rare feature for any parish church. There are many impressive features including the chancel with multiple columns and finely carved caps, the west window of the nave (between the towers) which has seven lights, and the Perpendicular shafts of the chapel attached to the north-west tower. The early Georgian pulpit, the brass lectern and above all two brasses, perhaps the largest, and certainly among the most famous, in the country, are immensely fine pieces.
St Nicholas' in St Anne's Street, is almost as long, and its west front has an even more magnificent window. There is a superb Perpendicular south porch c. 1410, not dissimilar to those at Walpole St Peter and Pulham St Mary. The font was given to the church in 1627, but an earlier one is still in the church. One of the benchends has a medallion with a remarkable carving of a bishop.
Saturday Market and Tuesday Market both have interesting houses. Greyfriars in St James's Street was founded in the mid- 13th century and enlarged at the beginning of the 14th century. Its tall octagonal tower survives. All Saints' has the remains of a Norman chapel. The most remarkable ecclesiastical building is probably Red Mount Chapel, built on a mound, octagonal in shape and dated c. 1485. It served as a wayside chapel on the Pilgrim's Way to Walsingham, and is situated in a park called The Walks. Slightly later in date, c. 1520, is the South Gate, the last surviving gate of the town walls, through which traffic still passes on the main London Road.
The Guildhall and Town Hall in Queen Street are both built in a striking chequer design in flint. The Guildhall was built in 1421 for the Guild of Holy Trinity and the fašade features a tall Perpendicular window of seven lights. Next to the Guildhall is a decorative porch, patterned in flint to match its neighbour and added in Elizabethan times. Inside the Guildhall is a remarkable collection of regalia including King John's Cup, a beautiful piece of medieval plate, gilded and decorated with translucent enamels showing hawking and hunting scenes, and the King John Sword, another medieval piece. The Town Hall close by dates from 1895.
One of the most photographed and famous of King's Lynn's many outstanding buildings is the Customs House built in 1683 by Henry Bell. Bell was a local architect who achieved far more than local reputation. The roof is surmounted by a lantern tower, and a niche contains a statue of Charles II.
Facing the Guildhall is Thoresby College, founded in 1500. Mostly 17th-century, it includes a Perpendicular archway. Nearby in Nelson Street is Hampton Court, timber-framed and now converted into flats. Opposite is the Hanseatic Warehouse (1428) which served as both home and warehouse for Hansa merchants. Other merchant buildings of great interest include Clifton House, restored and rebuilt in 1708, and the Greenland Fishery House in Bridge Street (1605), again timber-framed. St George's Guildhall in King Street dates from 1406.
Nearby towns: Dersingham, Downham Market, Fakenham, Harpley, Holbeach, Hunstanton, Swaffham, Wells-next-the-sea, Wisbech
Nearby villages: Anmer, Castle Rising, Clenchwarton, Dersingham, East Walton, East Winch, Flitcham, Gayton, Gayton Thorpe, Gaywood, Heacham, Hillington, Marham, Marshland, Narborough, North Runcton, Runcton Holme, Sandringham, Setchey, Shernborne, Shouldham, Snettisham, South Wootton, Stowbridge, Terrington St. Cleme, Terrington St. John, Tilney St Lawrence, Walpole St. Andrew, Watlington, Wiggenhall St. Germa, Wiggenhall St. Peter, Wolferton
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation