King's Lynn Publishers

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Factfile for Kings Lynn:

Location of Kings Lynn: Norfolk, East Anglia, England, UK.

Post Code for Kings Lynn: PE30

Kings Lynn Dialling Code: 01553

Kings Lynn Population: 42,800 (Census of 2011)

Ordnance Survey Map Reference for Kings Lynn: TF62390

Initially called Lynn or Lin (and later as Bishop's Lynn), the dynamic market town of King's Lynn in Norfolk was at one time one of the most important ports in Britain. The town now has a resident population of roughly 42,800 and draws in a fairly large number of visitors, who go to soak in the story of this attractive city and also to experience its countless excellent tourist attractions and events. The name of the town (Lynn) derives from the Celtic term for "lake or pool" and indicates the reality that the area was in the past engulfed by a significant tidal lake.

King's Lynn is positioned the bottom end of the Wash in West Norfolk, the large bite out of England's east coast where King John is believed to have lost all his gold and jewels in 1215. He had enjoyed a feast by the landowners of Lynn (which it was called back then), then a successful port, but was engulfed by a fast rising October high tide as he headed west over treacherous mud flats towards Newark and the jewels were lost and never to be found again. Shortly after that, John passed away of a surfeit of lampreys (or a surfeit of peaches), subject to which narrative you believe. Today King's Lynn is a natural hub, the route for business between the East Midlands and East Anglia, the railway terminus of the London, Cambridge, Ely main line, and the bridge which connects 'high' Norfolk heading toward Norwich to the east, with 'low' Norfolk, the flat marshes and fenlands to the south of the Wash.

Kings-lynn-river-great-ouseThe royal connections with King's Lynn really are greater at present compared to the days of King John. A few kilometres toward the north-east you will find Sandringham, one of the Queen's exclusive estates and a major tourist attraction. King's Lynn itself sits largely on the easterly bank of the estuary of the wide, muddy River Great Ouse. The majority of the streets beside the river, in particular those near the St Margaret's Minster Church, have remained very much as they were 2 centuries ago.

If the town has a focal point it would likely be the old Tuesday Market Place into which King Street leads, especially in the past several years because the Corn Exchange has been remodeled into a substantial entertainment centre. The majority of the houses and buildings around the Tuesday Market Place are Victorian or earlier. These include the magnificent Duke's Head Hotel, erected in 1683, and a grade II listed structure ever since 1951, the Corn Exchange (1854) and the Globe Hotel (originally erected in 1650).

A History of King's Lynn - Perhaps in the beginning a Celtic settlement, and most certainly later an Anglo-Saxon settlement it was indexed just as Lun in the 1086 Domesday Book, and owned by Bishop Almer of Elmham. The town only became known as King's Lynn in and after the sixteenth century, and had at first been known as Bishop's Lynn (and just Lynn previous to that), the Bishop's a part of the name was assigned as it was the property of a Bishop, who founded a Benedictine priory there in the late 11th C, and it was this Bishop who initially allowed the town the legal right to hold a street market in 1101. It was furthermore at approximately this period that the first St Margaret's Church was constructed.

Bishop's Lynn slowly but surely grew to become a very important commerce centre and port, with goods like grain, salt and wool exported via the port. By the time the fourteenth century arrived, it was among the chief ports in the British Isles and a lot of trade was done with the Hanseatic League members (Baltic and German traders), and the Hanseatic Warehouse built for them in the late 15th century.

Bishop's Lynn lived through a pair of huge catastrophes during the 14th C, the first in the shape of a great fire which impacted a lot of the town, and the second in the shape of the Black Death, a horrific plague which resulted in the death of over half of the people of the town in the years 1348 and 1349. In 1537, at the time of Henry the 8th, Bishop's Lynn was taken over by the monarch rather than a bishop and was hereafter identified as King's Lynn, the year after the King also closed the Benedictine Priory during his Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536 to 1541).

During the Civil War (1642 to 1651), King's Lynn intriguingly fought on both sides, initially it followed parliament, but later changed sides and was ultimately seized by the Parliamentarians after being under seige for 3 weeks. During the next two centuries the town's influence as a port decreased in alignment with decline of wool exports, though it did still continue exporting grain and importing iron and timber to a lesser extent. The port equally impacted by the expansion of west coast ports like Liverpool, which prospered following the Americas were discovered.

The Lattice House Inn, King's Lynn - - 1589499There was nevertheless a decent amount of coastal and local trade to keep the port alive throughout these times and later the town prospered all over again with the importation of wine coming from Spain, France and Portugal. Likewise the exporting of farm produce grew after the fens were drained through the mid-seventeenth century, furthermore, it developed a significant shipbuilding industry. The railway found its way to King's Lynn in the 1840s, sending more prosperity, visitors and trade to the area. The populace of the town grew enormously during the 60's mainly because it became a London overflow area.

King's Lynn can be entered by car from the A149, the A10 and the A17, its around 38 miles from Norfolk's capital Norwich and ninety four miles from London. King's Lynn can even be reached by railway, the closest airport to King's Lynn is Norwich International (46 miles) a drive of about 1 hour.

A selection of Kings Lynn streets and roads: Howard Close, Common Road, Norfolk Houses, Mill Hill, Manor Close, Chilvers Place, Hall Close, River Walk, Marshall Street, Cherry Close, Old School Court, Sheepbridge Caravan Park, Diamond Terrace, Kings Green, Hockham Street, Kestrel Close, Austin Fields, Grange Close, Malthouse Crescent, Gaywood Hall Drive, Windermere Road, Thompsons Lane, Terrace Lane, Churchwood Close, Reg Houchen Road, Higham Green, Whitefriars Terrace, Leziate Drove, Crown Gardens, Barmer Cottages, Drunken Drove, Blenheim Road, Purfleet Street, Pilot Street, Copperfield, Norfolk Road, Dove Cote Lane, Becks Wood, Well Street, Bagge Road, Vong Lane, Sandles Court, Bridge Close, Shelduck Drive, Castle Road, Lamsey Lane, Hills View, Smallholdings Road, Victory Lane, Norfolk Heights, Redfern Close.

Attractions, places of interest, things to do and places to visit in and around Kings Lynn: Metheringham Swimming Pool, Trues Yard Fishing Museum, North Brink Brewery, Denver Windmill, Castle Rising Castle, Roydon Common, St Edmunds Chaple Hunstanton, Green Quay, Grimston Warren, Farmer Freds Adventure Play Barn, Snettisham Park, Gooderstone Water Gardens and Nature Trail, Battlefield Live Peterborough, Planet Zoom, Ice Skating at Oasis Leisure, All Saints Church, Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary, Oasis Leisure Centre Hunstanton, Playtowers, Doodles Pottery Painting, Fun Farm, Octavia Hills Birthplace Museum, Alleycatz, Old County Court House, St Georges Guildhall, Hunstanton Beach, Custom House, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, The Play Barn, Red Mount, Play 2 Day.

For your escape to the East of England and Kings Lynn you could arrange accommodation and hotels at the most cost effective rates by using the hotels search facility offered to the right of this page.

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Must Watch Video - Step Back in Time and See King's Lynn 1940's to 1970's

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If you find you appreciated this guide and tourist information to the East Anglia resort town of Kings Lynn, then you could possibly find a handful of of our additional town and village guides invaluable, such as the website on Wymondham (Norfolk), or perhaps also the guide to Maidenhead (Berks). If you would like to see one or more of these web sites, just click the appropriate town or village name. We hope to see you back on the web site some time. Alternative spots to see in Norfolk include Wymondham, Swaffham and Heacham.