Leaning Tower of Lynn ...




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1,000 Years Of History   

This list of highlights from the past Millennium was compiled by Dr Paul Richards, former Borough Mayor, historian and author.

1000 to 1499
1086 - First mention of Lynn in Domesday Book.
1101 - St Margaret's Church founded.
1204 - First Borough charter from King John.
1216 - King John "loses treasure in The Wash".
1290s - River Ouse diverted from Wisbech to Lynn.
1349 - Black Death - at least 50 per cent of town population killed (or fled?).
1369 - Death of Nicholas of Lynn, both friar and sailor in the North Atlantic.
1421 - Trinity Guildhall built as a result of fire (Margery Kempe prayed for snow from St Margaret's and town as a whole was saved!).
1429 - Rebuilding of St Nicholas' Chapel completed (tower dates from 1220s).
1430 - St George's Guildhall rebuilt.
1475 - German Hanseatic league secures a commercial HQ in Lynn (only one remaining in England today).
1485 - Red Mount Built.

1500 to 1799
1536-8 - Four Lynn friaries closed and pilgrimages "forbydden".
1548 - Lynn's religious guilds dissolved and Trinity Guildhall becomes Town Hall.
1561 - "Popish relics" destroyed in Lynn's two market places.
1588 - Five Lynn ships joined Armada and all returned safely.
1607 - Storm and high tide flood Lynn.
1643 - Siege of Lynn - the town defended by Le Strange for King Charles I.
1666 - Great Plague.
1683/5 - Merchant Exchange built on the Purfleet by Bell for Sir John Turner. Custom House by 1718.
1702-42 - Sir Robert Walpole - England's first Prime Minister - MP for Lynn and builds Houghton Hall.
1741 - September 8 at noon, great gale: St Margaret's spire blown into nave and this part of church destroyed - tidal wave too.
1753-6 - Town's Walks (part one) laid out.
1766-68 - Tower of All Saint's Church collapses.
1782 - New Assembly Rooms built to the north of the Town Hall (cost 1,300).
1790 - George Vancouver commenced his great voyage to the Pacific and the north west coast of America (born in Lynn in 1757).
1798 - Horatio Nelson made a Freeman of Lynn.

1800 to 1859
1803-6 - London Road laid down.
1818-21 - Eau Brink Cut dug by army of navvies (Ouse now straight to South)
1813 - Methodists build new and impressive chapel in Tower Street.
1814 - On July 22, 2,000 townspeople sat down to a meal on the Tuesday Market Place to celebrate the downfall of Napolean.
1831-32 - King cholera strikes Lynn.
1835 - Lynn and West Norfolk Hospital opened.
1841 - Lynn Advertiser appears.
1846 - St John's Church built (first new Anglican one since 1146) - cost 5000.
1850-2 - Estuary Cut dug by navvies to allow the Ouse a more direct route.
1852 - Board of Health (London) report on Lynn - shocking and disgusting!
1854 - Corn Exchange erected.
1856 - St James' Workhouse constructed after dramatic collapse of the old one in 1854.

1860 to 1899
1861 - Royal family buy Sandringham House - rebuilt.
1869 - Alexandra Dock built and opened by Princess Alexandra (saved the port of Lynn).
1872 - West Norfolk Fertilisers (Muck Works) starts production at South Lynn.
1873 - Frederick Savage founds St Nicholas' Ironworks off Loke Road.
1875 - Alfred Dodman erects his engineering works by the railway to the new dock.
1883 - Port of Lynn's Bentinck Dock built.
1894 - Cooper's founded - making steam diggers (munitions in Great War).
1898 - Lynn Conservancy Board established to oversee shipping into harbour.
1899 - Electricity arrives.

1900 to 1949
1904 - Lynn Museum opened in converted Baptist Chapel (with a spire!)
1905 - Vaughn Williams visits Lynn and picks up over 30 folk songs from the fishermen.
1910 - First moving picture shown in the town at Lynn Mart in February.
1914-18 - Town and Port of Lynn much affected by impact of Great War.
1928 - Majestic Cinema built.
1929 - Bagge family sell up Lynn properties and are the last of the Merchant Princes to leave the town.
1935 - Lynn, the borough, is enlarged to include Gaywood.
1939 - Big new Post Office erected on Baxters Plain.
1939-45 - Second World War - major impact on Lynn as all other towns (evacuees, mobile population, bombing etc)

1950 to 1999
1951 - First Lynn Festival - still going: 50th in year 2000!
1958 - Campbell's Soups came to Lynn - harbinger of a second industrial revolution. Followed by several other big companies (Dow 1957).
1959 - South Lynn railway station closed.
1962 - Lynn signed overspill agreement with GLC.
1967 - Muck Works closed with loss of 600 jobs.
1974 - End of historic Lynn Town Council and the creation of West Norfolk District Council.
1981 - Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk receives Royal Charter.
1991 - True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum opened.
1991 - Electrification of railway line between Lynn and Cambridge.
1996 - Corn Exchange of 1854 converted to modern town theatre (4.6m).
1999 - North Sea Haven - Millennium Project - starts: Regeneration of Lynn's riverside.

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