Get ready to discover the Stories of Lynn

Council Leader Nick Daubney stands by one of the stunning  new dispalys.

Council Leader Nick Daubney stands by one of the fascinating new displays. All photos: John Beck

This Easter, King’s Lynn’s stunning new attraction Stories of Lynn will open its doors to the public, inviting them to come in and discover the stories behind the characters that helped shape the town.

Set within the magnificent, newly-revealed vaulted undercroft of the 15th-century Trinity Guildhall, Stories of Lynn is a unique attraction. It combines the town’s fascinating collection of objects and its extensive and nationally significant archive and brings them to life in an interactive and multi-media exhibition.

Listen to Nick Daubney talking to us about Stories of Lynn:

Stories of Lynn - Red RegisterOpening at 10am on 25 March 2016, Stories of Lynn will welcome visitors of all ages who will be able to discover the stories of the seafarers, explorers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants who shaped 800 years of the town’s history.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds said: “This has been a fantastic project that really will bring the town’s history to life. The activities of some of the town’s most influential or notorious characters are documented in the archives and their stories told through the exhibition. It is an exciting and engaging exhibition and with a programme of activities and a new app under development, its appeal should reach an even wider audience. It’s a celebration of the town’s rich history and heritage.”

Stories of Lynn - Display 1The revitalised town hall complex will act as a gateway to the town’s other heritage sites including the Red Mount Chapel, neighbouring King’s Lynn Minster, Greyfriars Tower, True’s Yard, St. Nicholas’ Chapel and Lynn Museum.

Extensive work to the town hall complex and the creation of the new Stories of Lynn exhibition has been made possible by a grant of £1,850,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £800,000 from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and investments from other funders.

Stories of Lynn - Pricelsss Treasures

Stories of Lynn

800 years of Lynn’s history
A timeline of objects immerse visitors into the history of Lynn. An exciting game teaches them about the Hanseatic League, a group of powerful trading towns and cities around the Baltic and North seas. Hanse merchants traded in Lynn, and their imprint on the town is visible to this day.

Lynn’s most celebrated characters, such as Frances (Fanny) Burney and Margery Kempe come to life on the walls, to share their stories with visitors.

Children can dress up in mayoral robes, and examine place settings of meals that Lynn’s mayors would have enjoyed in different eras of history- some more lavish than others.

The Treasury
The Treasury is a dark and dramatic space designed especially to display King’s Lynn’s historic artefacts. On display the King John Cup, a 14th-century drinking vessel, lavishly decorated in gilt and enamel; a very rare example of a secular medieval cup. It will be accompanied by the King John sword and silver maces; magnificent regalia still used to this day in King’s Lynn’s annual mayor-making.

Stocks on display in the Old Gaolhouse.

Stocks on display in the Old Gaolhouse.

The Old Gaol House
In the Old Gaol House visitors can learn of the town hall’s history as King’s Lynn’s magistrate’s court and gaol. Interactive exhibits in the restored gaol cells explore the lives, and deaths, of King’s Lynn’s most notorious citizens. Everyone will be intrigued by the story of one of Lynn’s residents; a school teacher and respected academic who was convicted of murder. Visitors can see his skull, and learn about the old-fashioned theory of phrenology. Young visitors can dress up as gaolers and prisoners, and examine a ducking-stool and leg irons.

The King’s Lynn Borough Archives
Stories of Lynn will house the King’s Lynn Borough Archives, one of the country’s finest borough archives. It contains documents dating back to the 13th Century; which includes King John’s royal charter of 1204, and continuing all the way to the 20th Century. The documents help to tell the story of Lynn as recorded in registers of freemen, accounts, minutes of the town’s governing body and court records, amongst many others. Taking pride of place in the archive is the Red Register, which dates from 1307, and is the oldest complete paper archival book in England.

Working with the Norfolk Record Office, a brand new environmentally-controlled document storage area has been created. Alongside this will be an archive resources room, equipped with a study area and computers. Visitors can use the resources room with the assistance of an expert archivist to view these wonderful documents, by appointment. Visitors can also view digitised versions of the documents on the computers, during and outside of the archive’s opening hours.

The Norfolk Record Office, in collaboration with the borough council, will provide staffing to the archive, along with thousands of digitised images from key documents.

Education and outreach
A programme of educational opportunities, including ‘ask the experts’ sessions, themed masterclasses and an outreach programme, will be developed by Stories of Lynn’s Learning and Engagement Officer, supported by the archivist.

A learning resource room for visiting school groups has been created, along with a changing exhibition space for in-house displays, learning and community work.

Access to the Town Hall
A new extension, housing lift and stairs, has been added to the rear of the Old Goal House providing easy access to the historic first floor building. The first floor contains the 15th-century Stone Hall, and the splendid Georgian Assembly Room and Card Room, which visitors to Stories of Lynn can explore on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Stories of Lynn - LogoStories of Lynn will be open seven days a week, from 10am to 4:30pm, with last admission at 4pm. Tickets will be £5 for adults and £3.50 for concessions and children. A family ticket for two adults and two children will be £13.50. School groups will be charged £4 a pupil for a half day, or £5 a pupil for a full day.

On Tuesdays and Sundays visitors to Stories of Lynn will also be able to visit the magnificent 15th-century Stone Hall, splendid Georgian Assembly Room and the Card Room.

On Sundays a special joint ticket is available giving visitors access to Stories of Lynn, Lynn Museum & the Custom House maritime exhibition. Tickets will be: Adults £7, Concessions £4.50, Child £4.50, Family £16.50.

King’s Lynn Borough Archives will be open Tuesday to Friday, from 12:30pm to 4:30pm, with last admission at 4pm, and on the first Saturday in the month (excluding public holidays) from 10am to 2pm, with last admission at 1:30pm. There is no charge to visit the King’s Lynn Borough Archives.
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