Fun-filled programme for Lynn’s Hanse Festival

A flashback to last year's Hanse medieval parade through Lynn town centre
A flashback to last year's Hanse medieval parade through Lynn town centre
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The Hanse Festival will bring Lynn’s medieval history to life this weekend – and now there are even more events which have been added to the schedule.

The Newport Ship mobile museum exhibition will be in the Hanse House on both days of the festival.

The award-winning Zalvarinis will be on stage at the King Staithe Square on Saturday from 9pm

The award-winning Zalvarinis will be on stage at the King Staithe Square on Saturday from 9pm

This fascinating exhibition tells the story of the discovery, excavation and conservation of the Newport Ship, a 15th-century sailing vessel. The ship was built around 1450, and then lay undisturbed on a riverbed in Newport, Wales, for over 500 years.

It is the best preserved example of a 15th-century ship ever found. Hundreds of artefacts were found during the excavation and the mobile exhibition will have some of these on display.

Visitors can learn what life was like aboard, explore the artefacts, and even press a coin similar to those found on the ship.

A feature of Saturday’s programme is the medieval parade through the town centre, starting (at noon) and finishing at the town hall.

Also on both days there is a medieval market at Hanse House, medieval dancing, guided walks and Hanse talks.

On Saturday 21 at 5pm, if festival-goers aren’t tempted by the live music in King’s Staithe Square, they can attend a specially organised concert of classical music. The Chanot Ensemble will perform music by Handel, Bach and Pachelbel among other composers. The concert will be at All Saints’ Church, Hillington Square, and will be free to attend.

Hanseatic Characters is a chance to learn about some iconic Lynn figures and pioneers from Hanseatic times – as brought to life by the very entertaining Room at the Hanse Theatre Company.

Father William Sawtrey, a 14th-century parish priest, introduces his own story, which the company will act out in medieval style as a Morality Play. Sawtrey met a terrible fate as the first man in England to be burned for his beliefs. He will also relate the story of two of Lynn’s most famous residents: Margery Kempe, medieval visionary and author, and her father John Burnham, Hanseatic merchant, mayor, royal agent and MP for Lynn at the time of Geoffrey Chaucer.

The characters will be in the Reception Room at the Hanse House, with performances on Saturday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm; tickets are £5 per adult with accompanying children free.

And the action-packed Saturday programme will now finish with a firework display. At 10.30pm, as the live music ends, a short firework display will be able to be viewed from the waterfront. The display has been made possible thanks to the generosity of local businesses, as it has sponsored by members of the BNI Hanse of King’s Lynn, and Whitelightning Pyrotechnics.

Cllr Nick Daubney, the English Commissioner to the Hanseatic League, said: “There will be so much going on! These events have been added to an already packed programme of a medieval parade and market, arts and crafts demonstrations, have-a-go archery, Hanse walks and talks, free live music and much more, all happening around King’s Lynn’s historic waterfront.”

To find out more about this unmissable two-day festival, visit or pick up a colour programme from the Tourist Information Centre at the Custom House.

The sponsors of the firework display are: 1-2 Call Worksafe Ltd; Aflame Ltd; All Signs King’s Lynn Ltd; Bespoke Norfolk; CJM Electrical Specialists Ltd; Core Technology Projects Ltd; Eastern Gas Works; Fix My Mind Ltd; Human Capital Department; King’s Lynn IT Solutions Ltd; Kirby & Haslam; Proctor Roofing; Ring Associates; Rolfe Joinery Ltd; Russen & Turner; Splash of Colour; St James’ Place Wealth Management; Steele Media Marketing & Design; Steggles Larner; The Solar Shed; Whitelightning Pyrotechnics; Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk.