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 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
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.
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