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King's Lynn comes up against Chesterfield in online battle for UK's top town/city




Lynn is competing against a Derbyshire market town in a social media poll to find out the best town in the UK.

The World Cup of UK Towns and Cities poll is open for 72 hours with the most popular town qualifying for the next round.

Lynn has come up against Chesterfield, 11 miles south of Sheffield, in round six of the competition.

So how do the two towns compare?

Population

Chesterfield should be the favourite for this poll given its population is more than double the size of Lynn. Indeed, Chesterfield is the largest town in Derbyshire with an estimated 104,000 people living there compared to approximately 43,000 in Lynn.

Churches

Lynn's Minster is a focal part of the town and provides a picturesque backdrop to the Saturday Market Place having been founded in 1101 by the first Bishop of Norwich, Herbert de Losinga.

It became a Minster in 2011, while St Nicholas' Chapel has over 600 years of history and has become a multi-purpose venue for functions and events. St. John's Church in The Walks is another eye-catching building in the town.

The Minster in King's Lynn
The Minster in King's Lynn

However, Chesterfield boats one of the quirkiest churches in the country with the crooked spire at the St Mary and All Saints.

This church is the largest in Derbyshire and was built in the late 13th Century. The Spire was 'twisted' when unseasoned wood was used during its construction and it is a talking point for visitors and residents alike.

Shopping

Chesterfield has an open air shopping centre close to the town's market, as well as Chesterfield Market Hall reopened in October 2013 following a major four million pound refurbishment.

King's Lynn Vancouver Quarter shopping centre. (42530024)
King's Lynn Vancouver Quarter shopping centre. (42530024)

There is also a 100,000 square foot retail park which includes Debenhams. Lynn has its own retail park in the form of the Hardwick Industrial Estate, while the Vancouver Quarter shopping centre is dominated by the imposing H&M store.

Sport

It's an exciting time for football fans in Lynn with King's Lynn Town FC preparing for their first National League fixture of the season in front of the BT cameras tomorrow .

Chesterfield FC are also in the National League with the Linnets travelling to the Technique Stadium in late December before the return fixture at The Walks in April 2021, coronavirus permitting.

National League North champions King's Lynn Town
National League North champions King's Lynn Town

The Spireites play in a 10,500 capacity stadium and were relegated out of the English Football League at the end of the 2017–18 season. Chesterfield FC Women play in the East Midlands Womens Regional Football League and King's Lynn Town Ladies FC compete in the Eastern Region Women's Football League.

The Adrian Flux Arena, home of King's Lynn Stars speedway team. Picture: Ian Burt
The Adrian Flux Arena, home of King's Lynn Stars speedway team. Picture: Ian Burt

Lynn of course has a very successful speedway team in the form of King's Lynn Stars, Premier Trophy Champions in 2006, 2007 and 2009. They were moved up to the Elite League in 2011, rebranded as the SGB Premiership.

Tourism and history

Lynn is less than 20 miles from the beaches of Hunstanton and Snettisham, while the The Wash is teeming with wildlife and is a haven for birdwatchers.

Lynn's historic ferry service continues to transport people across the River Great Ouse presenting views over the town and 17th century Custom House when travelling from West Lynn. The ferry is 800-years-old.

Custom House by David Brownbill
Custom House by David Brownbill

The Custom House reflects the town's vibrant past as one of the major trading ports of England. Stories of Lynn, Lynn Museum and True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum welcome visitors of all ages to learn about the history of the town and West Norfolk, including the old fishing community, the North End, which existed for hundreds of years.

The historic ferry
The historic ferry

The 15th-century Hanseatic warehouse on St Margaret’s Lane was a base for German merchants while Bank House is a Georgian quayside townhouse on King’s Staithe Square, now converted into a restaurant, hotel and bar.

Chesterfield began as a Roman fort, which was built around 70 AD with Chesterfield Museum telling the story of the town, including the crooked spire, coal mining industries and its growth as a market town.

Chatsworth House. Picture: Gary Rogers and Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House. Picture: Gary Rogers and Chatsworth House

Chesterfield is less than 10 miles from Chatsworth House as well as being a short drive from the picturesque Peak District National Park, a popular destination for walkers across the country.

Both towns have connections to King John with a life-sized statue erected in Lynn town centre. In 1204, the king granted a charter which would be instrumental for the town developing into a busy port.

The Stories of Lynn museum houses the King John Cup, used at feasts in the Middle Ages and believed to be a gift to the town.

King John statue, New Conduit Street, King's Lynn (34640622)
King John statue, New Conduit Street, King's Lynn (34640622)

The story goes that King John's baggage train became mired in quicksand as the monarch crossed The Wash in 1216.

Chesterfield is also connected to King John as it was the Charter granted by the medieval king in 1204 that gave the town the right to hold a market twice a week and an annual eight-day fair at the Feast of the Holy Cross in September.



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