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King’s Lynn, in West Norfolk, is a medieval port steeped in maritime history, which stands on the River Ouse. In medieval times it was considered a very important port, only being exceeded by London and Southampton. Its trade brought great wealth to the area and many fine buildings were built. The town was protected by walls and gatehouses and the South Gate is still present today.
In the heart of the town stands the church of St Margaret. Its foundations date back to the 12th Century, although the present building is not as early and has a very interesting tide clock. Also situated in the town centre is the Saturday market place which has been in use for 900 years.
In 1349 AD the Black Death struck the town and nearly half of the town’s population perished. The town also suffered great loss of life when floods and gales caused shipping disasters.
The town’s Trinity Guildhall is the home of ‘Tales of the Old Gaol House’. Visitors can see the original cells of the town’s jail and listen to the corresponding information by personal stereo. During the summer months there are guided walks from the Gaol House for those who want to learn more about the town’s history.
Adjacent is the Town House Museum, which recreates the domestic life of theLynn residents from medieval times. The Lynn Museum hosts displays of archaeology and history dating back to prehistoric times.
In 1683 the magnificent Custom House was built, which is now home to the town’s Tourist Information Centre. It also houses a special display of the town’s maritime history.
King’s Lynn has an abundance of history and is also a thriving centre with three weekly markets and an excellent variety of shops. There is a wide range of places to eat suiting every conceivable budget and taste.
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