JUNE 2014 - To start
our journey we called in at Thetford where there is now a statue of
Captain Mainwaring of "Dad’s Army" fame, and the Thetford Guild Hall
which became Warmington-on-Sea Town Hall. Journeying on to King’s Lynn
which is a 12c medieval port situated on the River Great Ouse. The
Hanseatic merchants wanted a base with many warehouses some which still
can be seen today.
Captain Vancouver was born
in the Town in 1757 whose voyages took him to Canada where he founded
the Town which bears his name. South Gate, (grade 1 listed), was
constructed during the 14c rebuilt 1450. The front is merely a façade
added 1520. The gate is actually made of bricks and mortar making it the
oldest bricks and mortar building in the country.
Greyfriars Tower is as seen on the TV programme "Restoration" presented
by Griff Rhys Jones. One of only three remaining Franciscan Towers in
England. King Henry VIII allowed it to remain because it was a seamark
for ships sailing into Kings Lynn. Work has been carried out to correct
the lean and the gardens have been set out. King’s Lynn jailhouse
adjoins the 15c Trinity Guildhall and now has tours showing what the
prison was like.
The Library was funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie 1835-1919. Son
of a handloom weaver, his family moved to the USA where they later
opened the Carnegie steel works, the Carnegie Library and Carnegie Hall,
New York. The reason for opening King’s Lynn Library was its proximity
to Sandringham and Andrew hoped for a knighthood.
The Red Mount Chapel 1485, was a wayside chapel for pilgrims on their
way to Walsingham. It is octagonal and on three floors. My husband’s mum
and dad later lived at the Burkitt Alms Houses (1909), grade 2 listed,
built in memory of William Burkitt who was a Maltster and Seed merchant,
and Mayor of King’s Lynn on two occasions.
Also on the list of things
to do in Lynn. His mum often had people peering through the windows!
King’s Lynn Mart was granted a charter as a market in 1204, in the reign
of King John. Henry VIII granted a charter for a Valentines Fair in
1537. During the latter half of the 19c it became a spectacular event
where Fredrick Savage of King’s Lynn displayed his latest fairground
rides to the Showmen. The mart is the first fair of the showmen’s year.
Dukes Head Hotel classical building overlooks the Tuesday Market Place.
It was a 16c coaching inn. Opposite is the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange in
the baroque style (1854).
The Custom House was designed by Henry Bell and built by Sir John Turner
in 1685. Initially only the top and ground floors were used for trading
by merchants, but they disliked being so far away from the Tuesday
Market place, and in 1717 Customs took over the whole building.
St Margaret’s church (1101), was commissioned by the Bishop of Norwich
Herbert de Losinga, and rebuilt in the 13c at the request of Bishop
Grey. The tower was rebuilt in 1453 during the siege of Lynn .In the 15c
a cannonball destroyed the main west window, and the ball now hangs in
the doorway of Hampton Court. In 1741 the spires were damaged by a
storm, and despite donations from George II and Walpole, couldn’t be
restored to their former glory.
In 1985, the film "Revolution" directed by Hugh Hudson and starring Al
Pacino was filmed largely in the Old Dock Area of King’s Lynn. Some
houses had false fronts, and a stream was restored to its former glory. (Best
wishes from Jackie Towler)