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Proud history of King’s Lynn Custom House

An artist paints the Custom House in 1961  Picture: Archant

An artist paints the Custom House in 1961 Picture: Archant

One of the town’s best-known landmarks, the Custom House has overlooked King’s Lynn’s historic quays for centuries.

The Custom House seen from above in the early 1990s  Picture: ArchantThe Custom House seen from above in the early 1990s Picture: Archant

Designed by Sir Henry Bell, it was built in 1683 to house customs officers keeping their eye on Lynn’s bustling waterfront.

Merchants originally traded from its ground floor, but they decamped claiming the Custom Housse was too far from the Tuesday Market Place - a short walk down King Street.

Architect Sir Nicholaus Pevsner, who wrote The Buildings of England, called it one of the most perfect buildings ever built.

Nowadays, the Custom House is home to west Norfolk’s main tourist information centre, while its upper floors host exhibitions.

Walter Dexter with his painting of The Custom House, painted for the City of Vancouver in 1936  Picture: ArchantWalter Dexter with his painting of The Custom House, painted for the City of Vancouver in 1936 Picture: Archant

Its first floor windows offer a stunning view of Purfleet Quay, with its statue of the 18th Century explorer Capt George Vancouver, who came from Lynn.

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