Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Magna Carta Drama ~ In Pictures

magna carta 800 fighter full

The culmination of the Magna Carta 800 weekend was an historic dramatisation, held on the Tuesday Market Place, in which King John seals the Magna Carta after a heated debate with his barons, followed by the King taking a symbolic toast of tea with the Borough Mayor and Mayoress.

magna 800 enactment group fight

magna 800 enactment group with King John

King John takes a symbolic toast of tea, with Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning and Mayoress Mrs Julie Manning in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured.

King John takes a symbolic toast of tea, with Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning and Mayoress Mrs Julie Manning in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured.


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Marking Magna Carta ~ 2 day event

MagnaCarta-295x300This weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June) King’s Lynn’s will host a range of free medieval themed activities as it marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta – the document which laid the foundations for modern rights and freedoms.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “The Magna Carta had a huge impact upon shaping the rights and freedoms we enjoy today and our fun family event will celebrate this and King’s Lynn’s particular links with infamous King John! I hope lots of people come and join in the fun.”

Magna Carta 800 will include falconry displays, fire breathing, a knights’ tournament and historical enactments and will be based in Tuesday Market Place from 10 am until 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. All activities are free of charge.

As well as enjoying the exciting displays, people will be able to learn more about King John’s Magna Carta and the monarch’s particular associations with King’s Lynn at Lynn Museum. One of the things they will discover is that King’s Lynn was one of the places to mint King John pennies during John’s reign.

In recognition of this, people will be able to strike their own King John pennies as a souvenir of the day. The pennies can also be used to pay the storyteller based in Baxter’s Plain. For the price of a King John Penny, the storyteller will tell you tales of ancient kings, saints and exciting adventures! Entry to the museum is free of charge on 13 & 14 June.

During the weekend, families will also be invited to take part in the King John treasure trail. The trail takes a route around King’s Lynn’s streets, where participants will search for pennies hidden in shop windows and solve the word clues to be in with a chance of winning their own bag of treasure. Treasure maps are available in Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre and Lynn Museum or can be downloaded here.

At 3 pm on Sunday 14 June, King’s Lynn will join in with the national Liberteas celebration. King’s Lynn Minster, in Saturday Market Place, will ring a quarter peal of bells . There will also be a brief dramatisation, in which King John seals the Magna Carta after a heated debate with his barons, in Tuesday Market Place. Finally, the actor playing King John will take a symbolic toast of tea, with Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning and Mayoress Mrs Julie Manning in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured (Tuesday Market Place).

The anniversary of the Magna Carta and King John’s connections with King’s Lynn are also the subject of an exhibition at King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre (TIC) (Custom House, PE30 1HP), which runs until 30 June (£1 entrance fee applies). With special focus on the King John Charter, the exhibition provides a real insight into why, this famously unpopular king found such support in the town. The TIC has also organised a free quiz for children on 13 & 14 June (prizes available).

Magna Carta 800 has been organised by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and is part of Stories of Lynn – an ambitious project which as received £1,850,600 of Heritage Lottery funding and funding from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and is being delivered in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service and Norfolk Record Office.

2 Day Magna Carta Event

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Monday Evening Walks with the Town Guides

Every summer the King’s Lynn Town Guides produce a special programme of walks on Monday evenings, covering a wide range of historical topics.

The walks are especially aimed at local people who may not be able to take part in the daytime walks because of work or other commitments.

This year’s programme lasts throughout June and July. Tickets may be purchased in
advance from the Tourist Information Office but people are also welcome to just come along and pay the Guide at the start of the walk.

Prices: Adults £5, Concessions £4, Children £1

town guides evening walks

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Two day Magna Carta event

Magna carta

King’s Lynn will mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta by King John in a two-day event taking place on 13 & 14 June.

The Tuesday Market Place will be transformed into a hive of medieval activity with falconry displays, craft demonstrations and historical characters including an archer, storyteller and of course King John and his barons, as well as the opportunity to make a King John Penny and search For King John’s treasure. Includes free entry to Lynn Museum.

Activities take place throughout both days (10 am – 4 pm)

Tuesday Market Place

  • Falconry display
  • Fire breathing
  • Knights’ Tournament
  • Craft demonstrations – pottery, spinning, net making
  • Historical characters – including King John, an archer and fanfare minstrel
    King John will make his proclamation about the freedoms contained within the Magna Carta

Town Centre

Search for King John’s lost treasure! Download a trail map here

Pick up a treasure map from Lynn Museum or the Tourist Information Office (maps available from 23 May).

Lynn Museum

  • Free admission
  • Make your own King John Penny and use it to pay the storyteller in Baxter’s Plain
  • Explore activities and displays about King John
  • Make your own Magna Carta – what rights and freedoms would you demand?

Baxter’s Plain

  • Medieval storyteller
  • Pay the storyteller a King John Penny and he’ll tell you a tale!

This event is part of the Stories of Lynn project which has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Unlocking eight centuries of King’s Lynn history

kings-lynn-concept

King’s Lynn Town Hall and Gaol House is about to be revitalised, revealing hundreds of years of the town’s history through its archives and objects.

A new exhibition ‘Stories of King’s Lynn’ will transform the Town Hall complex, including Trinity Guildhall and the three story Gaol House, showcasing the bejewelled King John’s Cup, amongst many other items of regalia as well as archives belonging to the town’s long history of trade, migration and immigration.

The beautiful King John Cup

The beautiful King John Cup

The exciting project has been made possible thanks to a grant of £1.8 Million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will bring to life the stories from King’s Lynn seafarers to merchants, explorers to adventurers, mayors to magistrates.

It will draw on the outstanding archives of King’s Lynn as well as the Regalia and silver collections of the Borough and help create a high quality heritage resource at the heart of the local community.

Says Sarah Oswald, project director at designers PLB, “Our work will help paint a picture of the town through the years through the eyes of the community whose lives are recorded and reflected in the Town Hall’s archives and collections. We will also consider how this project will link with other heritage sites across the town, enabling visitors to build a fuller picture of the town’s heritage.

“Our role is to help the Borough open up this wealth of history, build on the local pride and make the complex once again the centre of town life with a wider appeal amongst new audiences, including tourists and young people.”

kings-lynn-concept2

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PICTURES ~ Hansa Festival

Hanse Festival horse riders

hansa festival fire breather

hansa festival medieval parade

medieval dancers

hansa festival medieval parade 3

hansa festival medieval parade 4

hansa festival medieval parade 5

hansa festival medieval parade 6

hansa festival medieval market

hansa festival kampen kogge

All Photos: John Beck

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VIDEO ~ Kamper Kogge arrives in Lynn

The Dutch vessel Kamper Kogge arrives at the pontoons on Thursday afternoon, ready for the Hanseatic Festival Weekend.

Cameraman: Alan Taylor Shearer for King’s Lynn Online
Produced in association with Dutch website kampenonline.com

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Kamper Kogge arrives

Kamper Kogge 400
The replica 14th-century Hanseatic trading ship Kamper Kogge, has arrived in King’s Lynn from it’s home city of Kampen in the Netherlands.

The historic ship moored at the pontoons on the South Quay as part of the Hanseatic Festival, which takes place on the 16th and 17th May.

The Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Barry Ayres climbed aboard and presented the crew with a flag depicting the King’s Lynn coat of arms, which was quickly hoisted up at the stern.

Experienced guides will be welcoming people aboard at the weekend to have a look around and learn about the history of the Hanseatic Kogge.

Members of the crew, with Dr Paul Richards (centre)

Members of the crew, with local historian Dr Paul Richards (centre shades)

King's Lynn coat of arms flies above the ship.

King’s Lynn coat of arms flies above the ship.

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Hanse Festival Weekend 2015

Kamper Kogge 600

King’s Lynn’s rich and colourful Hanseatic heritage will come to life this weekend, 16 & 17 May, as the streets are filled with medieval characters, fire breathers and knights on horses.

A food and drink market, BBQ and specially created cocktails will all tempt the tastebuds, whilst you take in the town’s historic backdrop.

The Kamper Kogge, a replica of a 14th-century Dutch Hanseatic Kogge is visiting from the Netherlands.

The Hanse Weekend celebrates the 10th anniversary of the town’s membership of the new Hanse.

Other events on Saturday include live music from 5pm on King’s Staithe Square including the Jessie’s Ghost, Marga Musika (Lithuania), Roving Crows (England) and Arstidir (Iceland). Fireworks follow at around 10pm lighting up the river and waterfront.

Medieval dancing and a medieval market will be inside the Hanse House, along with a Hanseatic League ‘office’ to explain medieval trading customs of the time. But keep an eye out for the beggar, pickpocket, drunken soldier, crosslaced woman and general ne’er-do-wells who inhabit the dockside!

The Saturday Market Place will be bursting with local food and drink producers and at King’s Lynn Arts Centre, interactive arts workshops will take place throughout the weekend where visitors can learn about the history of King’s Lynn as a trading port, and get creative with Hanseatic-themed crafts such as creating paper boats inspired by Hanseatic Kogge or designing trade maps or postcards from Hanseatic trading posts. Perfect for all ages and abilities.

Visitors to the Hanse House will be able to meet and discuss medieval crafts and guilds with the Cordwainer, Potter, Chapman, Alchemist, Spicer, Tailor, Painter, Cook, Blacksmith, Netmaker and Tiler. A Firebreather will add his skills to the show, and storytelling will delight all who stop by to listen. Have a Go Archery will be available for any to enjoy, alongside demonstrations of this ancient skill during the day.

Guided Hanse Walks have also been organised by the King’s Lynn Town Guides.

Sunday 17 May sees the culmination of the Hanse Crazy Composers project. 70 pupils from Whitefriars Church of England Primary Academy will perform some special pieces with the newly-formed Hanse Orchestra of King’s Lynn, which is made up of leading professional baroque musicians from the UK and guests from other Hanseatic countries – a unique initiative in the Hanseatic world.

Costumed Characters launch Hanse Festival
www.kingslynnhansefestival.co.uk

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Kamper Kogge sets sail for Lynn ~ Video

The replica 14th-century Hanseatic trading ship Kamper Kogge, has set sail for King’s Lynn from it’s home city of Kampen in the Netherlands.

The historic ship is set to arrive in Lynn on Thursday May 14th, and will be moored at the pontoons on the South Quay as part of the Hanseatic Festival, which takes place on the 16th and 17th May.

The robust oak ship was constructed using the same methods as would have been used originally, and features a castle on the stern, meant to defend against pirates and enemies.

Experienced guides will be welcoming people aboard to have a look around and learn about the history of the Hanseatic Kogge.

The video above was produced by our ‘sister’ website in the Netherlands kampenonline.com, and we will be collaborating with them to produce a video of the ship arriving in King’s Lynn.

Costumed Characters launch Hanse Festival
kamper-kogge.nl

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Freedom of borough granted to local historian

Deputy Mayor Colin Manning presents award to Dr Paul Richards

Deputy Mayor Colin Manning presents award to Dr Paul Richards

Local historian, Honorary Alderman and former Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Dr Paul Richards was granted Honorary Freedom of the Borough on Thursday, 23 April 2015, following a unanimous decision at the specially convened council meeting.

Nominated by Cllr Nick Daubney, Dr Richards is the first individual to have this honour bestowed upon him since St John Barbirolli in October 1969.

The Honorary Freedom is the highest award the council can bestow and it must be agreed by resolution at a special meeting of the council passed by no less than two-thirds of the members at the meeting.

paul richards freedom group

The granting of this honour is an exceptional event and in this case was granted because of Dr Richards eminent services to the town. He was a borough councillor from 1991 to 2003. He was the first and only Mayor of the borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk to serve two terms in succession 1998/99 and 1999/2000. He is a well known author of historical books on the area and has worked tirelessly to promote the history of the borough and its links with the Hanseatic League. He is a town guide, Chairman of the North End Trust and a supporter of many other worthy organisations including the Purfleet Trust. He was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk in 2014/15.

Deputy Mayor Colin Manning who presented the award said: “It was my privilege to chair last week’s full council meeting in the town hall. When the normal business was concluded I opened the special meeting when I asked Dr Richards to join me and stand in front of the dais together with the council leader Cllr Nick Daubney and the Chief Executive Mr Ray Harding.

“I presented Dr Paul Richards with the scroll confirming his Freedom of the Borough. Paul Richards gave a few words and the whole council chamber gave him a standing ovation. It is an understatement to say he was a first-class, unanimous choice to receive this honour.”

Dr Paul Richards, on receiving the award, said: “When I received a letter from the Council Leader, Cllr Nick Daubney, saying I might have the Borough Freedom bestowed on me, I was lost for words – an unusual occurrence!

“The grand event on 23 April, at the Town Hall, coincided with St George’s Day. The gallery for visitors was full.

“After welcome by the Deputy Mayor and the reading of the Resolution by the Chief Executive, Ray Harding, followed by a speech by Cllr Nick Daubney, Council Leader, I addressed the audience in our magnificent Assembly Rooms.

“For me, it was simultaneously an awesome and humbling experience, a unique event in my life, never to be repeated. I was born and bred in Lynn and returned to my home town after 7 years at university. My end line was that I was proud to be English, a Norfolk man and a “Lynn Boy” and (cheekily borrowing Nelson’s phrase) – I glory in so being!”

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Costumed Characters launch Hanse Festival

Hanse Fest Costumed Chracters

Colourful costumed characters were posing for the media outside the Custom House on Tuesday morning to help launch the King’s Lynn Hanse Festival which takes place on 16 & 17 May, celebrating International Hanse Day and the 10th anniversary of the town’s membership of the new Hanse.

A fun-packed weekend of activities will celebrate the town’s 10th anniversary as a member of the new Hanse.

The Kamper Kogge

The Kamper Kogge

The King’s Lynn Hanse Festival promises to offer something for everyone with a host of interactive activities, music, food & drink, fireworks, a medieval procession through the town and a visit from the replica Hanseatic trading ship the Kamper Kogge.

Other events include live music from 5pm on King’s Staithe Square including the Jessie’s Ghost, Marga Musika (Lithuania), Roving Crows (England) and Arstidir (Iceland). Fireworks follow at around 10pm lighting up the river and waterfront.

Medieval dancing and a medieval market will be inside the Hanse House, along with a Hanseatic League ‘office’ to explain medieval trading customs of the time. But keep an eye out for the beggar, pickpocket, drunken soldier, crosslaced woman and general ne’er-do-wells who inhabit the dockside!

Hanse Fest Costumed Chracter male

The Saturday Market Place will be bursting with local food and drink producers and at King’s Lynn Arts Centre, interactive arts workshops will take place throughout the weekend where visitors can learn about the history of King’s Lynn as a trading port, and get creative with Hanseatic-themed crafts such as creating paper boats inspired by Hanseatic Kogge or designing trade maps or postcards from Hanseatic trading posts. Perfect for all ages and abilities.

Visitors to the Hanse House will be able to meet and discuss medieval crafts and guilds with the Cordwainer, Potter, Chapman, Alchemist, Spicer, Tailor, Painter, Cook, Blacksmith, Netmaker and Tiler. A Firebreather will add his skills to the show, and storytelling will delight all who stop by to listen. Have a Go Archery will be available for any to enjoy, alongside demonstrations of this ancient skill during the day.

Guided Hanse Walks have also been organised by the King’s Lynn Town Guides.

Sunday 17 May sees the culmination of the Hanse Crazy Composers project. 70 pupils from Whitefriars Church of England Primary Academy will perform some special pieces with the newly-formed Hanse Orchestra of King’s Lynn, which is made up of leading professional baroque musicians from the UK and guests from other Hanseatic countries – a unique initiative in the Hanseatic world.

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Local History enthusiasts needed

town guides red badge
Do you enjoy learning about King’s Lynn’s history and heritage? Would you be able to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors to the town? If so, the King’s Lynn Town Guides would love to hear from you.

The Town Guides take visitors (and locals) on regular walking tours of the town from May to October each year. They are all volunteers, with paid expenses, and all the money raised is used to support heritage projects within the town. Last year was the most successful yet, with £4,700 being donated to local buildings and organisations.

The Guides are seeking recruits to join a new training course planned for September. The course will last for three terms and will include a detailed study of the history of Lynn, background knowledge in tourism and practical guiding skills. Those who pass the course will be awarded the King’s Lynn Town Guide Red Badge by the Mayor in a special ceremony in the Town Hall.

If you think this might be for you and you would like to find out more – come along to the Guides’ Open Morning, to be held at Thoresby College Great Hall, Queen Street on Saturday 25th April from 10.30am to 12.30pm, when some of the Guides will be on hand to talk to you and provide further information.

For further details, please contact Doreen Leventhall, Tel: 01553 671204

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Contract awarded for town hall project

Guidhall kings lynn town hall 600

Pentaco Construction Ltd has been appointed by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk to carry out works at King’s Lynn Town Hall.

The £1.4 million contract will remodel and extend the building in preparation for the creation of a brand new exhibition space for the Stories of Lynn attraction.

The first phase of work will focus upon the creation of the new archive document store, collections resource area, enhancement of the existing exhibition spaces and the construction of a new lift and stair extension to the rear of the complex.

Work will begin on site on 13 April and is expected to be completed by late autumn.

Following the building works, a contractor will be appointed to fit the new exhibition and the facility is due to open to the public by Easter 2016.

Opening in 2016, Stories of Lynn will enhance and remodel the town hall complex, allowing people to explore the buildings and learn more about the economic and social history of King’s Lynn – one of England’s most important medieval port towns.

Using the archive, collections and fabric of the buildings, innovative interpretation devices and a diverse activity plan, the attraction will unlock the stories of the seafarers, explorers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants who have shaped King’s Lynn.

Although based within King’s Lynn Town Hall, Stories of Lynn will act as a gateway to other heritage sites and attractions in King’s Lynn, drawing together elements of the town’s history to provide a complete story of our unique heritage.

The project has been made possible thanks to a £1,850,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and £800,000 investment by the borough council and has been developed by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service and Norfolk Record Office.

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Nelson’s Column To Relocate To North Norfolk

nelsons column 2

Plans are underway for Trafalgar Square’s iconic Nelson’s Column to be relocated to the North Norfolk coast in time for the 210th anniversary of the death of the region’s most famous son.

Visit North Norfolk has formally approached the GLA and Boris Johnson about the suggestion and has a petition of over 100K signatures from people across the globe who want to see Nelson returned to his home. Lucy Downing of Visit North Norfolk puts forward the argument:

“Lord Nelson was born in the tiny North Norfolk village of Burnham Thorpe and also lived there with his wife between 1786 and 1793 while waiting to be assigned a ship. It is time Nelson once again gazed across the coast he loved, rather than the metropolitan vista he has endured for the past 172 years. What’s more, given North Norfolk is one of the driest places in the UK, it will mean the statue will be less open to rain erosion.

David Henry, Senior Construction Manager of MJS Projects added:

“It is entirely feasible to transport and re-erect such a structure with carefully planning and the right people on board. According to history, Hitler had planned to relocate the structure to Berlin had he won the war. And if it was possible to London Bridge to Arizona, moving Nelson’s Column should be a far simpler task”

An area within Pensthorpe Natural Park*, Fakenham, inbetween the Millennium Garden and Wensum Wetlands has already been prepared for the statue, chosen because it is in the heart of North Norfolk. Just 10 miles from his birthplace, it will allow Nelson to gaze across his beloved county and out to sea. The park itself boasts over six natural lakes and is set alongside the River Wensum, allowing the naval hero to be close to water. It is also rumoured Nelson was a keen birdwatcher and, from his new perch, he’ll be able to enjoy a vast array of different species as North Norfolk is a bird spotters’ paradise.

At this stage, Visit North Norfolk has no plans to include the four lions in the relocation. If an agreement with GLA is reached, it is hoped the delicate work of removing Nelson’s Column section by section will begin after the Easter holidays. It is hoped it will be installed by 21st October – the 210th anniversary of his death.

visitnorthnorfolk.com

More on Nelson

The Remembering Nelson Exhibition is housed at luxury hotel, The Hoste, in Burnham Market – formerly the Pitt Arms and a place Nelson used to frequent in his early years.

Before being recalled to service in 1792, he is known to have stayed in Room 5. Nelson would also catch the morning coach to London from Burnham Market, as well as receiving his dispatch papers there.

He also used the Pitt Arms as a recruiting post. ‘A History of The Hoste’, a book celebrating The Hoste’s strong maritime connections and links with Lord Nelson is available from The Hoste – thehoste.com

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Lynn’s magnificent treasure on the move

From Left: County Archivist Gary Tuson, Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Council Leader Nick Daubney and Project Curator Dr  Andy Mills.

From Left: County Archivist Gary Tuson, Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Council Leader Nick Daubney and Project Curator Dr Andy Mills. On the table: The 14th Century Red Register, King John Cup & King John Charter.

Staff at King’s Lynn Town Hall have started packing away the town’s archive and collections in preparation for a £2.7 million enhancement project.

Around 250 objects including the 14th century Red Register, one of the earliest paper records in England, the King John Charter, silverware and paintings will be carefully packed ready to be transferred to the Norfolk Record Office.

The collection housed at the town hall also includes a number of ceremonial items, such as the Queen Anne silver maces and the King John Sword. These items will be retained in the borough and continue to be used at civic functions, including Mayormaking in May.

The beautiful King John Cup

The beautiful King John Cup

The King John Cup, sword and a facsimilie of the King John Charter will also be retained within the borough and will be exhibited as part of celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Following cleaning and any necessary conservation, all the items will return to King’s Lynn ready for the opening of a new Stories of Lynn multi-media exhibition and purpose-built archive space.

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk has invested £800,000 into the project and has been made possible thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1,850,600.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Marketing, said: “Today is a very exciting day for us, as it marks the moment where all our planning is beginning to be turned into reality.

“Medieval Lynn was a port of national importance with a thriving economy and active political life. The legacy of these times is evident in our extensive archive and the very fabric of the magnificent buildings which make up the town hall complex.

“Stories of Lynn will enable this history to be brought to life, giving people greater access both to the buildings and archive, and, through the multi-media exhibitions and programme of activities, new ways to explore our history.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund said, “Like a treasure trove of family heirlooms, these remarkable collections will be carefully packed away… but not for long! When they return they’ll be part of a multi-million pound project that puts the Stories of Lynn back at the heart of the town.”

Work is due to be completed by Easter 2016.

King John Charter

King John Charter

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