History of King’s Lynn in 100 Objects: No62

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This print by artist Edward Edwards shows a civic procession outside King’s Lynn Town Hall.

The Town Hall is one of King’s Lynn’s most important buildings. It has been at the centre of civic life for almost 700 years. It is formed of four distinct but connecting buildings: Guildhall, Porch, Municipal Building and Gaol House.

Although they are all similar in style, these structures were built over a period of 400 years and together they create the Town Hall Complex. Sir Nikolaus Pevsener, author of The Buildings of England described the complex as “a delightful group of four buildings... all quite different and yet forming a perfect sequence.”

The Guildhall of the Holy Trinity is the earliest building, constructed during the 15th century.

The Porch was added in 1624 and replaced an earlier external staircase.

Edwards’ print predates the erection of the Municipal Building in 1895.

The Gaol House was built in 1784. Its design is typical of the Georgian period. It has the appearance of a grand townhouse, however the chains that hang above the door suggest that its inhabitants were not wealthy merchants but debtors, thieves and maybe even murderers.