The port town of King’s Lynn in West Norfolk, was one of England’s foremost ports as early as the 12th century. Aptly described as ‘The Warehouse on the Wash’ it maintained its prominence as a port until the railways robbed it of much of its traffic in the mid 19th century.
Originally known as `Linn’, the town is thought to have derived its name from the Celtic word for a lake or pool, and it is recorded that a large tidal lake originally covered this area. By the early 13th century with the granting of the charter, the town became Bishop’s Lynn which grew rich on trade both with Britain and abroad. The Hanseatic League, a powerful German trading organisation made up of merchants from North Germany and neighbouring countries around the Baltic Sea contributed greatly to this prosperity. The legacy of this history is still very much in evidence today. Fine late medieval merchants houses stretch back to the river between cobbled lanes and create a mish-mash with the downbeat 1960’s retail outlets. The town boasts a theatre, pool, museums and plenty of historic buildings. Trains from the station reach London in 90 minutes, while the coast is just a 25-minute drive away.
Fact: today Kings Lynn has more registered heritage sites than York.