Norfolk, UK

King’s Lynn

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In the introduction to the book, King's Lynn, by Paul Richards, the publishers in 1990 wrote: "Lynn has a long history. As important to the middle ages as Liverpool was to become in the Industrial Revolution, it was a major port for centuries, with access to ten counties through the Ouse river system. Aptly described as "the warehouse on the Wash" it maintained its position until the railway robbed it of much of its traffic in mid-19th century. After a century in relative decline, the last thirty years have seen vigorous expansion and revival in the town...."


Today, King's Lynn still has a port, although only a minor one exporting wheat, cereals, pulses and scrap metals, and importing timber and timber products from Scandinavia and the Baltic states.  However, though a large paper mill has recently opened on the outskirts of the town, the industrial growth of the town has stalled with the loss of several long-established companies.  However we now have a revamped shopping centre and there is a surge in house building, many being constructed on disused industrial sites. King's Lynn's latest challenge is the influx of substantial numbers of Eastern Europeans from the expanded EU.


The royal residence of Sandringham (Princess Diana was born and grew up at Park House, Sandringham) and the seaside town of Hunstanton are within 8 and 15 miles respectively of King's Lynn.

King’s Lynn

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King's Lynn is a medium sized Market town in Norfolk, approximately 97 miles north of London. The town has a long history based on being a wealthy medieval port at the mouth of the Great Ouse river.


King’s Lynn was originally called Bishops Lynn because the land was owned by the Bishops at Norwich, however in 1537, when Henry VIII dispossessed the Bishops of their land, it was renamed Lynn Regis, which then became King’s Lynn.

Lynn’s flood defences hold — but only just. The water nearly made the very top of the flood defences at St Margaret’s Lane on the South Quay

Picture and caption from: Marinet.org

Being low lying, the central part of King's Lynn is dominated by the presence of the River and the danger of flooding from tidal surges. The river has a large tidal range (6 metres) caused by the geography of the East coast of the UK and the European coast, which narrows like a funnel towards the Straits of Dover. The flood of 1953 is embedded in the memory of King's Lynn but thankfully subsequent improvements to the flood defences have, so far, prevented a reoccurrence of major flooding but it remains an ever-present threat. On the 8th and 9th December 2013 the East coast experienced a storm that travelled down from the East coast of Scotland causing exceptionally high surge tides. Being a little inland, King’s Lynn avoided the pounding waves which caused so much damage around the coast but it did not avoid the exceptionally high tide levels - levels similar to 1953. The water came to approximately 100mm of over-topping the flood gates and although there was some limited leakage and flooding of a few vulnerable riverside properties, the town was spared inundation.

ITV news report

Persons of note born in King’s Lynn

Roger Taylor (1949) Drummer with the band Queen
Martin Brundle, (1959) Former Formula One racing driver and commentator.
Captain Vancouver (1757-1798) one of Britain's greatest explorers and navigators. (Vancouver B.C and Vancouver Island B.C Canada are named after him)
Margery Kempe (1373-1438) Christian Mystic

King’s Lynn online

Hanseatic Connections

Wikipdia - King’s Lynn

King’s Lynn’s Historic Buildings 2

King’s Lynn’s Historic Buildings 1