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When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1538, the town and manor became royal property. The names King’s Lynn and Lynn Regis reflect this change. The town became very prosperous from the 17th century through the export of corn; the fine Customs House was built in 1683 to the designs of local architect Henry Bell.
The town went into decline after this period, and was only rescued by the relatively late arrival of railway services in 1847. In the post-Second World War period it was designated a London Expansion Town, and its population roughly doubled as thousands of people were relocated from the capital.
To the south of town, a large area of brownfield land is being transformed into a big housing estate.