Former King’s Lynn registry office in historic Hanse House re-opens

Inside the wedding room at the Hanse House. Picture: Peter Rye.

Inside the wedding room at the Hanse House. Picture: Peter Rye. - Credit: Archant

Couples can tie the knot again in one of King's Lynn's most historic buildings.

The Wedding Room in the 15th century Hanse House, on South Quay, has been restored to create a stunning venue for a wedding or civil ceremony.

The beautiful medieval room still retains much of its old character including the original beamed ceiling and overlooks the river to the front and a pretty courtyard to the back.

It is licensed for civil ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies for up to 42 people.

As well as the Wedding Room, Hanse House has the Reception Room, which can seat up to 72 guests for a wedding breakfast or party after the ceremony.


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Many couples in King's Lynn will have happy memories of their wedding at Hanse House, as under previous owners, Norfolk County Council, it was King's Lynn's register office for three decades.

Hanse House stood empty for five years after the county put the 650-year-old building –Britain's last surviving hanseatic structure – up for sale.

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James Lee, who bought the property in 2011 to restore and bring it back into public use, said: 'One of the most important landmarks of this project was to reopen the Wedding Room so that local couples could once again have their weddings in the Hanse House.

'I am delighted that the restoration project of the Wedding Room and Reception Room is complete and once again the Hanse House can be the setting for the celebration of marriage.'

Hanse House was built in 1475, after the Treaty of Utrecht allowed German merchants to establish a trading depot in Lynn for the first time. Sea-going traders engaged in long-distance commerce needed a place to stay and store their goods.

Hanse House provided them with lodgings, warehouses, offices and stalls until the 1560s when it was let out to Lynn merchants, who remained until 1751.

By this time the river had receded and the building was sold in its entirety to Lynn merchant Edward Everard. He added the Georgian town house at the east side of the building.

In 1971 it was renovated as part of a preservation project and converted into offices by Norfolk County Council. Re-named St Margaret's House, the complex included the Lynn register office, where thousands of couples were married in more than three decades of conducting services. Before Mr Lee bought the building, there were fears for its future.

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