New project aims to reveal King’s Lynn’s Civil War secrets

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A new bid to unearth the secrets of Lynn’s role in the English Civil War could provide a major economic and tourist boost for the town, a councillor has claimed.

The comments come after plans for a major new research project looking at the archaeological remains of the town’s defences from the period.

Although the scheme, called King’s Lynn Under Siege (KLUS), will only be formally launched at the annual Heritage Open Day in September, work is already underway to identify potential sites for excavation.

And project manager David Flintham, a military historian who specialises in military conflicts of the period, believes there could be a lot to learn of local, national and possibly even international significance.

He said: “The fact that King’s Lynn had pre-Civil War fortifications, was besieged and then re-fortified means that, from an archaeological perspective, it offers considerable potential.”

An important port at the time of the war, Lynn was initally captured by forces loyal to King Charles I in the summer of 1643.

But it was taken over by Parliamentary troops a few weeks later following a land siege and sea blockade.

They then re-fortified the town, turning it into one of the strongest fortresses in the region.

It is believed that the area now known as Hardings Pits was part of the fortifications.

And the area’s county councillor, Alexandra Kemp, said she was excited and what might be unearthed.

She said: “South Lynn as an internationally important archaeological site would prove a massive boost to tourism and the local economy.”

Officials say the project aims to build on the work of attractions such as Stories of Lynn and the town’s museums, plus groups like the Harding’s Pits Community Association and the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeological Society.

West Norfolk Council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said: “I am pleased that the Kings Lynn Borough Archives has been used to assist with this research for the KLUS project.

“King’s Lynn has a wealth of history, much of which has now been brought to life in Stories of Lynn, some of which is yet to be discovered.

“It is very exciting to be involved with something that will explore a further element of the town’s history.”

To find out more about the project, email kingslynnundersiege@outlook.com or search for King’s Lynn Under Siege at www.militaryhistorylive.co.uk.