King's Lynn Things to Do

  • King's Lynn Minster
    King's Lynn Minster
    by SallyM
  • Flood level markings by the West Door
    Flood level markings by the West Door
    by SallyM
  • Things to Do
    by SallyM

Most Recent Things to Do in King's Lynn

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    The Minster (St Margaret's Church)

    by SallyM Updated Apr 6, 2014

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    King's Lynn Minster
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    The Minster was until recently known as St Margaret’s Church. It was dedicated as King's Lynn Minster by the Bishop of Norwich in December 2011.

    The original church on the site was founded in 1101, but it was partially rebuilt in 1741 after a storm caused the spire to collapse into the nave. By the west door are markings showing flood levels.

    In the South East Aisle are the two largest memorial brasses in England, dating from the fourteenth century.

    There is also a display about the life of Margery Kempe (born c.1373), the medieval pilgrim and mystic who 'wrote' the Boke of Margery Kempe, and who was a native of the town.

    Margery Kempe (b.1373) was the daughter of a former mayor of Lynn. Although she came from a comparatively prosperous background she decided to start her own brewing business, which initially went well. But after a few years things went wrong and she had to close down. She tried another business enterprise, grinding corn with a horse-mill, but that also failed.

    She was a wife and mother of fourteen children, but in later life she made a religious vow to live chastely with her husband and embarked on pilgrimages, including to Santiago de Compostela and to Jerusalem. She became renowned as a mystic, her devotion leading her to weep loudly in public. She was accused of heresy, but managed to rebut these claims.

    She dictated her life story to a priest, leading her to be considered the first English autobiographer. This book, ‘The Boke of Margery Kempe’ has now been digitized and is available online from the British Library.

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    Greyfriars Tower and Tower Gardens

    by SallyM Updated Oct 13, 2013
    Greyfriars Tower

    Greyfriars Tower is all that remains of a thirteenth century Franciscan friary. It is a lantern tower, and was built at various stages between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. It is about 28 metres tall.

    The surrounding area is now a pleasant park.

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    Lynn Museum

    by SallyM Updated Sep 14, 2013

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    Lynn Museum
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    The Lynn museum is the home of Seahenge, the Bronze age timber circle that was discovered on a beach and subsequently removed for preservation. The museum displays a full size replica of the original structure as well as the preserved timbers.

    The rest of the Museum, which is housed in the former Union Baptist Chapel building (c.1859), has well-presented exhibits about West Norfolk’s history and heritage from a hoard of iron age coins from the Iceni to Victorian fairground attractions and a recreation of an old-fashioned chemist's shop. There are plenty of activities that would interest children.

    Admission £3.70 adults, children £2.10. during summer (£1 discount with 'Discover King's Lynn' voucher). October to March admission is free.

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    Tales of the Old Gaol House

    by SallyM Written Sep 8, 2013

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    The 1930s desk sergeant
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    The building dates from 1784 and originally housed the town gaoler. It was used as the town police station from 1938 until 1954.

    The first room visitors enter is the Charge Room, which is set up as it would have been in its heyday, complete with a waxwork of a desk sergeant. Visitors can take their fingerprints, or get a friend to take their ‘mugshot’ by the measuring ruler, with their name chalked on the board. Visitors then take a look at the cells. One is occupied by a Teddy Boy, another is invitingly open so visitors can test the softness of the bed…

    In the 18th century prison yard are exhibits about the history of crime and punishment, including stocks and pillory, burning at the stake and hanging. There are also some 18th century prison cells to visit, with details of some of the more notorious occupants.

    Visitors then pass through the Regalia rooms, which are housed in the undercroft of the 15th century Trinity Guildhall. Here you can see civic regalia and replicas of some of the historic documents held by the Borough Archives. The archives themselves may be visited on Fridays only.

    Photography is permitted in the Gaol House, but not in the Regalia exhibit.

    Admission £3.30 adults, £2.20 children (or half-price with 'Discover King's Lynn voucher).

    Open October-March, Wednesday to Saturday, 10-4

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    Custom House

    by SallyM Updated Sep 8, 2013

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    Custom House
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    This should be the first port of call for visitors to King's Lynn, as it houses the Tourist Information Centre, where a 'Discover King’s Lynn' leaflet can be picked up.

    The building itself dates from the 17th century. It was designed by Henry Bell (1647-1711) and opened in 1685 as an Exchange. It became the Customs House from 1703 and remained so until 1989.

    Visiting the upstairs exhibition costs £1, but this entitles you to a discount leaflet for other attractions (half price at the ‘Tales of the Old Gaol House’ ,True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum or a repeat visit to the Custom House and £1 off the Lynn Museum. You only need to visit two of them to be in profit.) There are two rooms to visit upstairs. The first of these is the ‘Long Room’, where ships’ masters came to ‘make report’ of their vessels and importers came to ‘make entry’ of their goods. Rooms for this purpose were always called ‘Long Rooms’, regardless of their shape, after the room in the London Custom House.

    In the Long Room can be found information about the history of trade in Lynn, which was a trading port from at least the eleventh century. The Hanseatic League, which dominated northern European trade established a warehouse in King’s Lynn in 1475 and a model of a typical Hanseatic trading vessel is on display. The other room is the Surveyor's Room, which was the office used by the Collector of Customs.

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    Lynn Museum

    by Airpunk Written Aug 11, 2012

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    Lynn Museum is more than the usual local museum where you find some local history and old furniture. The most interesting part is the one about "Seahenge", an ancient cult place which was found in the North Sea. The exhbitions explains how this place could have been used, the preservation methods used and the discussion about leaving it in the place where it has been found. Beside that, there is a collection of Victorian Roundabout models - and of course, local history.

    Entry fees are 3.60 GBP (discounts for children, groups and other concessions, actual as of 2011). An Audioguide for the seahenge exhibition is available for free.

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    Greyfriar's Tower and Tower Gardens

    by Airpunk Written Aug 11, 2012
    Greyfriar's Tower

    As many other medeival cities, King's Lynn was home to a mighty monastery - in this case, a Franciscan one. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, most monasteries were demolished, left into decay or used otherwise. The Greyfriars tower for example, is one of only three remaining of its kind in England and the most complete of them. It dates back to the early 13th century.

    In 1911, a new garden was designed to honour the coronation of George V. The gardens are partly located on the grounds of the former monastery and also include a monument to the vicitims of WWI (Lynn War Memorial) which was unveiled in 1921.

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    Old Custom House and George Vancouver

    by Airpunk Written Aug 11, 2012
    Old Custom House
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    The custom house was built in 1683 by Henry Bell and Sir John Turner and reflects the importance of King's Lynn during the heydays of the Royal Navy. It replaced an older building from 1620 which became to small for the augmenting sea trade and was in use until 1989. Today, it houses the tourist information in the harbour area and is home to a small maritime museum. Beside a statue of Charles II (the reigning monarch at the time of consruction) above the entrance, there is a statue of George Vancouver next to the building. He was born in King's Lynn, became an important figure in the Royal Navy and in the exploration of the American West Coast. The city of Vancouver, Canada was named after him. Due to its location, the custom house is one of the first buildings which arriving seamen would see when arriving at the harbour of King's Lynn. It is widely seen one of King's Lynn's most important landmarks, a true symbol of the city.

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    Trinity Guildhall

    by Tom_Fields Updated Jan 2, 2006

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    The Trinity Guildhall in King's Lynn

    Built in 1422, on top of the foundation of an older building, this guildhall has a distinctive checkerd pattern on its front. Over the entrance are the coats of arms of King James I and Queen Elizabeth I. It served as the town hall until 1895. Inside are a number of attractions, including the medieval gaol.

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    The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 2, 2006

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    Our Lady of the Mount, aka the Red Mount

    A rather odd, mysterious structure, this octogonal-shaped chapel is also called the Red Mount. The plaque says that it was built in 1485. it's built on top of an artificial mound called Guanock Hill (the word means "beacon"), by Robert Corraunce. Originally, it was a rest stop for pilgrims en route to the shrine at Our Lady of Walsingham.

    Some say that it once housed a holy relic associated with the Virgin Mary. Another tale has it that a secret tunnel connects it to Castle Rising Castle, but it has never been discovered. There is a tale of a drunken fiddler who went looking for this tunnel, along with his dog; they were never heard from again. Some claim to hear their ghosts when visiting the place. The tunnel's purpose was to allow the exiled Queen Isabella, living at Castle Rising Castle, to come here and worship.

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    GARDENS AND DEER PARK

    by BerniShand Updated Aug 24, 2005

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    a nice place to sit for a while

    aside from the house there are lots of things to see at Houghton, you can wander through the 450 acre deer park to see the herd of white deer and other unusual deer breeds, and visit the old church

    closer to the Hall is the 3 acre walled garden which is divided into gardens within gardens, all well planted with interesting stock, there is a small stall sat the entrance with reasonably priced plants for sale

    after you have visited the Model Soldier Museum [see tip below] take a look around the Stables with its collection of equipment from the days before cars !

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    MODEL SOLDIER MUSEUM

    by BerniShand Updated Aug 24, 2005

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    actually photography is not allowed in here...oops

    My brother-in-law is nuts about model soldiers so he was delighted with the collection here which is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world

    the collection was started by the late Lord Cholmondeley while still a schoolboy in 1928, he never lost his interest in the model soldiers and continued to build the collection all his life
    from Houghton it was moved to Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire and returned to Houghton in 1980 not long after the Hall was opened to the public

    I found it fascinating, and I usually have little to no interest in Militaria, but the model armies in their hand painted scenery were really interesting, there is also a small but beautiful collection of ceramic figures

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    HOUGHTON HALL

    by BerniShand Updated Aug 24, 2005

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    HOUGHTON HALL

    Houghton Hall was built in the 1720 for Sir Robert Walpole, who was Britains first Prime Minister, the house is built in Palladian style and the symmetry of its structure extends to the grounds at the rear of the house where planting and garden furniture are balanced perfectly

    Sir Roberts daughter married the the 3rd Earl of Cholmondeley, and the house is now owned by the 7th Marquis of Cholmondeley, giving a continuous famiy tie to the house for almost 300 years

    inside the house the rooms open for public viewing give an idea of what it was like to be super-rich in the 17th century ! the ceilings are particularly good, all beautifully painted and well maintained
    the house has remained untouched even missing out on the Victorian passion for remodelling and redecorating and so it is pretty much as it would have been in Sir Roberts day

    there are special events held here at various times during the year, check the website for details
    the house and grounds are open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from late March to late September
    the house is not very well adapted for wheelchairs, though this may change next year when new legislatioin comes into force

    admission charges for house and grounds are £7 for adults and £3 for children [5-16 years]

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  • Well worth a visit...

    by Amy_Lynn Written Jul 13, 2004

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    My husband and I just returned from a job interview in King's Lynn. Unfortunately we didn't get the position, but we were so impressed with the charm of the King's Lynn town and people we recommend that other's give it a go.

    It was our first trip to England, so of course we visited London for a few days but we enjoyed the quiet atmosphere of Norfolk County even more! We recommend the town shopping center for a relaxing afternoon stroll...not to mention the great prices we found!!

    Also take a trip just a bit south to the Ely Cathedral...it's really beautiful and not too busy to tour through comfortably.

    Overall we found it to be a great area that seemed fairly preserved with history. Too bad we won't get to make it our home!!!

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    King's Lynn Parks

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 2, 2006

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    Park in King's Lynn
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    King's Lynn has some fine public parks and gardens. Too bad the weather was so miserable when I visited. Strolling about the town, one can enjoy a pleasant afternoon simply exploring them.

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King's Lynn Things to Do

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