King’s Lynn, Norfolk – Greyfriars

I am in King’s Lynn for the day – on a historic diesel unit (photos on the next blog … can you contain your excitement?). Greyfriars garden is just a few minutes walk from the Minster – TF 621197 – and I remember going here as a child. On one occasion I dropped a thermos flask – I can still remember the wrath of my mother.

The Franciscan monastery in Lynn was founded in 1235 – and there were 38 friars here 90 years later. Elsewhere in the town were the Blackfriars (the Dominicans), the Whitefriars (Carmelites), and the Austin Friars (the Augustinians). Henry VIII got rid of the lot! The 93 feet high bell tower was constructed in the C15, and survived the dissolution – it was a useful marker for shipping. The other two Greyfriar towers in England are in Coventry and Richmond – we tend to forget just how completely the monasteries were swept away.

A Grade I listed building, it was given a major restoration at the turn of the millennium. The gardens were originally laid out in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of George V, the library dates to 1905 (if Lynn is anything like Derby, that will be the next thing to get swept away), and the war memorial in 1921. 569 died in WW1, only 19 in WW2.

The ugly metal box contains lights that were used for Lynn Lumière in 2015 – will it be used again, or left to spoil the view? The project was funded by the EU – wonder how many folk who enjoyed the lights in 2015 voted to leave in 2016? It puts a whole new meaning to “the lights are going out all over Europe.”


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