Just another 15th century room in Lynn. Cardinal Wolsey was here and had a hand in ensuring the 1437 building was completed with a proper roof and stone frontage in 1520. Many kings and queens have come to this building in subsequent years. Almost all the population of the town has been through it. Certainly on Monday, September 24, 2007, according to a count by Norfolk County Council, 12,451 people used the road underneath this room. And that was just between 7am and 7pm. And 238 of them were bus drivers – passenger numbers weren’t recorded. There were even 15 very brave cyclists. The room is at the top of Lynn South Gate.
The building deserves much more than the recently-announced £85,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant spending on it. The town cannot do the South Gate justice while it is struggling to play a part in Lynn’s 21st century road traffic system. We need to divert the road round the side through the little park, and make a park around the gate. Then the South Gate can be what it was always intended to be – a gathering place for travellers to learn about the town. Its intimate surroundings would also be ideal as a venue to hold meetings, chamber concerts and feasts.
The South Gate is not just a Grade I listed building, it is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument – one of only nine in the town. Let’s use it well.
Ken Hill, former South Gate Keeper