King John statue planned for King’s Lynn

18 New Conduit Street, King's Lynn (RBS Branch) ANL-150325-103217009
18 New Conduit Street, King's Lynn (RBS Branch) ANL-150325-103217009
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One of England’s most notorious monarchs will be immortalised with a new statue in Lynn town centre.

West Norfolk Council will be spending £6,000 on creating a bronze-effect statue of King John.

The life-sized statue, which will stand in New Conduit Street to commemorate the town’s links with the infamous monarch.

Earlier this year, the town and the rest of the country celebrated the 800th anniversary of John signing the Magna Carta.

Although widely unpopular during his reign, the king had support in Lynn, which was perhaps because he granted the town a special charter in 1204.

The charter established Lynn as a free borough, which gave the town the power to rule itself locally.

A council statement says: “The idea behind the bronze-effect fibreglass statue is to capture the attention of shoppers and visitors to the area, encouraging them to explore the town’s historic quarter and to visit the soon-to-be opened Stories of Lynn exhibition in the Town Hall.

“Many people who visit the town never go to the historic area or visit the Town Hall.

“Artworks and statues have been used in other towns and cities as a way of drawing attention to local attractions or exhibitions and it is hoped that seeing this figure will spark interest in the town’s rich heritage.”

Artist Alan Herriot will be creating the statue based on a variety of sketches, images and theatrical portrayals of King John.

It is hoped it will be ready for installation in spring next year to coincide with the opening of the Stories of Lynn exhibition.

The statue will be accompanied by an interpretation panel providing information about his connections with the town.

An information board will be situated next to the statue signposting people to the nearby historic attractions.

John is reputed to have famously lost his treasure, including the crown jewels inherited from his grandmother, while crossing the Wash following a visit to Lynn.

He contracted dysentery and died at Newark Castle.

King John, who is often portrayed as a villain in the Robin Hood story, which is this year’s pantomime at Lynn Corn Exchange, was buried at Worcester Cathedral.

Lynn Town Hall is undergoing a major transformation thanks to a £1,850,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and £800,000 investment by the borough council.