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Wall which has stood for centuries smashed down in suspected drink drive crash

PUBLISHED: 16:48 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 19 February 2018

A man was arrested on Sunday night for drink driving, after crashing into a wall on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

A man was arrested on Sunday night for drink driving, after crashing into a wall on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A historic wall which has stood for hundreds of years has been smashed down after a crash involving an alleged drink driver.

A man was arrested on Sunday night for drink driving, after crashing into a wall on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtA man was arrested on Sunday night for drink driving, after crashing into a wall on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Only rubble lies where the entrance wall belonging to the 13th century Gaywood Almshouses in Gaywood Road, King’s Lynn, once stood.

The crash happened on Sunday night, where police arrested a man suspected of drink driving.

The eight almshouses were originally built on the site of the medieval hospital of St. Mary Magdalen - or later referred to as Gaywood Hospital - that was founded in 1145.

The Gaywood Almshouses in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe Gaywood Almshouses in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

It was destroyed during the siege of Lynn in 1643 and rebuilt in 1649 before being modernised in the 1960s.

The listed building has been converted into a residential living complex for the elderly, where one woman - who did not want to be named - awoke on Monday morning to find rubble outside her window.

She added: “I have no idea what happened, I never saw it. I just looked out this morning and thought oh dear, who has done that?

A man was arrested on Sunday night for drink driving, after crashing into a wall on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtA man was arrested on Sunday night for drink driving, after crashing into a wall on Gaywood Road in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

“I did not even know what sort of thing could do that, I thought maybe it was a lorry.”

She remained optimistic that the damage will not be permanent, adding: “They will have it back to normal I’m sure.”

One Gaywood Road resident, Matthew Berycz, 40, who lives opposite the almshouses with his wife Emma and seven-year-old son, said he had heard a loud bang between 10-11pm.

Chairman of the King's Lynn General Charities, David Whitmore assessing the damage to the Gaywood Almshouses front wall. Picture: Ian BurtChairman of the King's Lynn General Charities, David Whitmore assessing the damage to the Gaywood Almshouses front wall. Picture: Ian Burt

“My wife heard a massive bang and thought our son had fallen out of bed,” Mr Berycz said.

“We were looking out the window and saw the car smashed into the wall. We saw the flashing lights and ambulance as well.”

Mr Berycz said he was disappointed to see a piece of history had been knocked down, adding: “It is not everyday you see a bad accident outside your door.”

Chairman of the King's Lynn General Charities, David Whitmore assessing the damage to the Gaywood Almshouses front wall. Picture: Ian BurtChairman of the King's Lynn General Charities, David Whitmore assessing the damage to the Gaywood Almshouses front wall. Picture: Ian Burt

A King’s Lynn police spokesman said Virgaudas Guze, 25, of Jarvis Road, Lynn, has been charged with drink driving and is due to appear before Lynn magistrates on March 2.

Man arrested on suspicion of drink driving after crashing into a wall in King's Lynn. Photo: King's Lynn PoliceMan arrested on suspicion of drink driving after crashing into a wall in King's Lynn. Photo: King's Lynn Police

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