Hidden gems of West Norfolk’s borough archives

Hidden gems from King's Lynn's archives will be unveiled at a special session  Picture: Ian Burt

Hidden gems from King's Lynn's archives will be unveiled at a special session Picture: Ian Burt

A free session at King’s Lynn Borough Archives is a chance to see a selection of fascinating documents up-close and learn all about their history.

The resource holds thousands of original documents that tell the story of 800 years of the town’s history.

In this ‘Hidden Gems’ session, a selection of some of the archives’ more colourful and obscure records will be on display, and the archivist will talk about each document’s history and provenance.

Luke Shackell, trainee archivist, said: “There are so many rare and unusual documents in the King’s Lynn Borough Archives that this session could go on all morning.

“So we’ve selected a small number of really interesting documents that are rarely seen, and we’re going to tell their stories in depth. Anyone with an interest in history and how it’s recorded will love this session, so if that’s you, book your free place without delay.”

The documents on display will date from ancient to (relatively) modern, and will include:

Plans for a new cinema in Broad Street (1911). A plan for one of the first cinemas in King’s Lynn. It shows the impressive front façade as well as internal plans and is all hand-coloured. The building was pulled down in the 1960s, but this plan helps to show how Broad Street used to look.

These building control plans are being indexed with the help of volunteers at the King’s Lynn Borough Archives.

Letters patent of Henry VI (1428). King’s Lynn has an unparalleled range of medieval charters and letters patents, dating from 1204 to 1981, which granted or confirmed rights and powers to the Corporation.

This particular example is a colourful and finely illuminated example.

Report on borough records (1868). Produced by Henry Harrod while he was cataloguing the archives, this report gives his account of the records held by the Corporation.

This volume includes several sketches of watermarks of important buildings within the town as well as merchant marks.

The Hidden Gems session is being held on Wednesday 13 June (10.30 - 11.30am).

Booking is essential by calling Stories of Lynn on 01553 774297 or by emailing, and including a telephone number, which is needed to confirm a booking.

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