800 Years of King’s Lynn

A timeline of objects immerses you into the history of Lynn. An exciting game teaches you about the Hanseatic League, a group of powerful trading towns and cities around the Baltic and North seas. Hanse merchants traded in Lynn, and their imprint on the town is visible to this day.

Lynn’s most celebrated characters, such as Frances (Fanny) Burney and Margery Kempe come to life on the walls, to share their stories with you.

Children can dress up in mayoral robes, and examine place settings of meals that Lynn’s mayors would have enjoyed in different eras of history- some more lavish than others.

The Treasury

The Treasury is a dark and dramatic space designed to showcase some of King’s Lynn’s most impressive historic artefacts.

On display is the King John Cup, a 14th-century drinking vessel, lavishly decorated in gilt and enamel; a very rare example of a secular medieval cup.

It is accompanied by the King John sword and silver maces, magnificent regalia still used to this day in King’s Lynn’s annual Mayor Making ceremony.

The Old Gaol House

Stories of Lynn is home to The Old Gaol House, which was where, for over 400 years, Lynn’s most notorious citizens were imprisoned.

The Old Gaol House began as a medieval prison with just four cells, then became a House of Correction, or Bridewell, housing petty criminals and debtors.

At its peak as a Victorian gaol, it held up to 50 prisoners. When the gaol closed, the building became a police lockup, and was in use as recently as the 1950s.

The Old Gaol House explores the town hall’s history as King’s Lynn’s magistrate’s court. Visitors will hear the eerie sound of a prisoner being called up the narrow stairs from the cells to the court, to learn his fate. Or see the skull of a schoolteacher who was convicted of murder! It was preserved as the Victorians believed in phrenology: reading someone’s character in the shape of their skull.

Young visitors can dress up as gaolers and prisoners, see a ducking stool and leg irons, and explore the dark dungeons.

Stories of Lynn App

The Stories of Lynn app brings local history, vividly to life, with a self-guided tour of the Stories of Lynn Exhibition, Gaol House and King’s Lynn town hall, including special content that is only ‘unlocked’ when you visit the exhibition.

The app also provides a self-guided walking tour of King’s Lynn, giving visitors a chance to explore the historic town and its wealth of heritage sites and attractions.

Download the app and start planning your visit to historic King’s Lynn!