The Market Town of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England

In Counties, En-Route, Norfolk, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Strolling the Historic Centre

We visited King’s Lynn one sunny morning.

A town with quite a significant amount of maritime history.

The statue to Captain George Vancouver, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

King’s Lynn is one of the few Hanseatic towns in the UK, during the 14th century The Hanse defensive alliance was set up in Europe, this league included significant seaports & market towns. During this era, King’s Lynn in the East of England was one of our most important ports for sea trade.

Many historical buildings from this period remain today along the cobbled streets and on the banks of the River Great Ouse, Custom houses, Guildhalls, warehouses & a large communal market square.




By Train

King's Lynn is around 106 miles (171km) from London and about 1hr 40mins by train.

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Custom House

On locating the 17th-century Customs House in Purfleet Quay, we also found that this is now the local tourist office, so armed with a map we set off to discover the historical centre of King’s Lynn.

Purfleet Quay & the Customs House, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Custom House was King’s Lynn’s first classical building and originally used as a merchant’s exchange. The House was built in this prime location to witness the comings and goings in this once busy port.

The River Great Ouse, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK




Quay

Strolling around this pleasant Quay, you’ll wander into King’s Staithe Square, still used through the 18th century for trading in corn & wine.

King's Staithe Square, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Heading along King’s Street is England’s largest surviving 15th-century Guildhall, the medieval St George’s Guildhall, now a theatre.

St George's Guildhall, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK




Tuesday Market Place

Walking into Tuesday Market Place was quite a surprise, considering the size of King’s Lynn this is rather a grand square and quite a quirky name.

Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Within the same square is the Corn Exchange, an elegant building with a classical façade, built in 1854 and where merchants and farmers traded their wares.

The Corn Exchange, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

On the opposite side of Tuesday Market Place, is The Duke’s Head, this striking Inn was built as a coaching house in 1685 and was used by many local traders for business including ship auctions.

The Duke's Head ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

In contrast, The Maid’s Head just next door was frequented by a slightly lesser clientele of local smugglers.

The Maid's Head ,Kings' Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

It all builds up quite an image as to how this bustling town was in its heydey.

Market Day

Take your time around Tuesday Market Place, relax and watch the world go by.




The North End

True’s Yard is a museum dedicated to the fisher folk who worked in the old fishing quarter at ‘The North End’ and was opened by HRH Prince of Wales in 1993.

True's Yard Museum, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Continue along St Ann’s Street is St Nicholas Chapel, the name given as St Nicholas was the patron saint of sailors and merchants.

St Nicholas, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Opposite the chapel is another wonderful example of a merchant’s house ‘The Tudor Rose’ which was built around 1500.

All of these buildings give so much character to King’s Lynn.

The Tudor Rose ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK




Queen Street

Turning right from Custom House you follow along Queen Street, once again the cobbled lanes full of charm and some wonderful historic architecture.

Queen Street ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Heading towards Saturday Market Place, the chequerboard style building on your left is King’s Lynn Town Hall & Trinity Guildhall. Through the 19th-century the merchants would have used the Guildhall as a base to stamp their authority across the town.

The Town Hall and Trinity Guildhall ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Minster

Dominating the view opposite is the wonderful St Margaret’s, Minster. Originally built around 1100, the Priory Church has grown over the years, and in 2011 the Bishop of Norwich designated St Margaret’s as a Minster Church.

St Margaret's Minster ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK




Merchants galore

All around the surrounding area of Nelson Street are merchants houses and the Hanseatic warehouses dating from 1475.

Constructed around a narrow court, the large warehouses were owned by Hanseatic League merchants until around 1751.

The Hanseatic warehouses ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Nearby Hampton Court was another prominent merchant warehouse which was built in the 14th century and had additional wings added during the 15th & 17th centuries.

Hampton Court ,King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

Something to make your travels easier?

Why not visit?

King's Lynn is a bustling town and an ideal base if you also want to visit Sandringham Estate, just 8 miles (13km) away.




Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of King’s Lynn

Why not subscribe to our channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Have You

Visited King's Lynn, or enjoyed any of North Norfolk? What was your hightlight? We'd like to go back and spend a little more time in the town to explore further.

Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit King’s Lynn?

You can use it as a base for a North Norfolk Road trip along to Cromer.

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

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The statue to Captain George Vancouver, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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