Call to improve historic market place
RICHARD PARR A leading historian has called for the historic Tuesday Market Place in the centre of King's Lynn to be enhanced and improved so that it rivals European squares.
A leading historian has called for the historic Tuesday Market Place in the centre of King's Lynn to be enhanced and improved so that it rivals European squares.
Former Lynn mayor Dr Paul Richards says German and Dutch Hanseatic cities and towns make much more of their open spaces and that Lynn should follow their example.
He supports the competition being run by Royal Society of British Architects (RSBA) and backed by King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council to find new designs for future enhance-ment and development of the square which has been described as one of the finest market squares in Europe.
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His views have been supported by the town's Civic Society but the main issue that appears to hamper any plans for the square, which is surrounded by a variety of interesting buildings, is its current use as a car park.
Civic Society secretary Sally Smith said that over the years her organisation had looked at the square and how it could be made more attractive but believed that nothing could be achieved until alternative car parking spaces are found.
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Dr Richards also feels strongly that greater public amenity use of the square is being restricted because of car parking and “boy racers” using the perimeter roads as a race track.
During the year, the Tuesday Market Place is used for a number of public events including a weekly Tuesday market, the annual Lynn Mart in February and the summer open-air Festival Too popular music shows. It is also used for a Freedom parade by RAF Marham and one or two commercial events.
Dr Richards, a renowned local historian and town guide, who has also written a history of King's Lynn, says the Tuesday Market Place has been described by a number of eminent people over the years as one of the most important Squares in Western Europe.
He cited the example of Lubeck in Germany. “Their square is very important to them and there are things happening within the space and it is not dominated by car parking,” said Dr Richards.
He said that in Hanseatic Europe town squares were made greater use of than the Tuesday Market Place and in many cases the European squares were not so large as the space in the centre of King's Lynn.
Current Lynn and West Norfolk deputy mayor and Lynn resident Michael Langwade said the main problem was the use as a car park. He said it was one of Lynn's treasures and must be retained whatever future ideas were forthcoming.