Future High Streets Fund – South Gate Gateway

Future High Streets Fund – South Gate Gateway

King’s Lynn Preservation Trust has very serious concerns about the the Borough Council’s proposals for changes to the roads at the South Gate. The council’s scheme would by-pass the historic gateway and create a new large road to connect the Southgates roundabout to London Road.

King’s Lynn Preservation Trust to express our very serious concerns about the proposals for changes to the roads at the South Gate.
Alternative impression of how the new entrance to the town could look as visualised by Matthew Rice

Lorraine Gore
Chief Executive
Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

17th August, 2020

Dear Lorraine Gore
Future High Streets Fund – South Gate Gateway

I am writing on behalf of King’s Lynn Preservation Trust to express our very serious concerns about the proposals for changes to the roads at the South Gate.

We believe that the proposals to re-route traffic to by-pass the gate will greatly erode the significance of both the South Gate and the town. Entrance to the town through the gates and along London Road is a spectacular introduction to the town. These proposals will deprive visitors of that very special sense of arrival that is given by passing through a major historic gateway. Setting it to one side of the carriageway will take it out of the direct public view and assign it a purely decorative role. King’s Lynn’s historic assets should be centre stage in proposals to revitalise the town – not side-lined in this way.

Protection of the integrity of the structure and the immediate environment of the Gates must be the top priority. However, this could best be accomplished by diverting the largest vehicles via other routes to the heart of the town and/or limiting their size.
It is completely unrealistic to imagine that the proposed new road layout will significantly improve traffic flow and aid the economic well-being of the town. We should not be repeating the mistakes of the 1960s and 70s when so much of the historic environment was sacrificed to make way for the motor car. Research has shown that great economic value comes from focussing on, and celebrating historic assets. King’s Lynn is still well endowed with great buildings and it should make the very best use of these to reinforce the sense of place and confirm it as somewhere that residents and visitors value.

At a time of unprecedented and profoundly upending change, it is more than ever important to be imaginative and innovative in the defence and promotion of the town’s unique architectural and historical assets. They should be regarded not just as a footnote to the town’s heritage but an integral part of King’s Lynn’s 21st century social fabric. We urge you to make much better use of any new funds that you receive to improve the town’s heritage offer – including refurbishment and re-use of existing town centre buildings to restore the community to the town centre.
Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Balaam

Thoresby College, Queen Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1HX
Telephone: 01553 763871 Email: Web:

Coronavirus/COVID-19 at Thoresby College in King’s Lynn

Coronavirus/Covid-19 and King’s Lynn Preservation Trust

Following the recent pandemic, The King’s Lynn Preservation Trust decided to close the internal courtyard to visitors and the Halls to individuals and groups. During the “lock down” period, Thoresby College saw it’s commercial premises closed by Tenants, and a new, more restrictive management of residential premises was successfully agreed and maintained with residents. As the “lock down” begins to ease, the Great and Lower Halls are now available again for hire to groups at reduced capacities (to coincide with Government Recommendations), and it is hoped that the commercial tenants will return to their offices soon.

KLPT Ladies - Diana Bullock

Trust to build Archive

The King’s Lynn Preservation Trust have been awarded a grant to build a new archive store within their offices by The Audrey Muriel Stratford Charitable Trust, who “support the recording of the past, contemporary and developing history of King’s Lynn”. The Preservation Trust have records of their involvement in a number of projects across the town, and hope that the archive store will not only provide a fire proof and flood resiliant storage facility for these documents, but also make them more accessible for any local individuals or groups interested in the Town’s history.

Fire at Thoresby College

Restoration of fire-damaged flat at Thoresby College almost complete

Fire Damaged flat at Thoresby College, King's Lynn

Fire Damaged flat

In December 2018, a small, localised fire caused significant damage to one of the flats on the Queen Street elevation of Thoresby College. Luckily the building was evacuated quickly and efficiently, and all tenants were kept safe. The flat however was not so lucky, despite the exceptionally fast response of the local Fire Department. Work on restoration began in Autumn 2019, and is now approaching completion. Works have been carried out by Smith Building Services Ltd., to a very high standard. It is hoped that the remaining works to the stonework and sash windows on Queen Street will be completed later this year.


The Bath House at King's Lynn Conservancy Board

Restoration Project? King’s Lynn Bath House

King’s Lynn possesses one of the few surviving early Victorian public swimming baths. The baths were opened in 1856 and have survived remarkably intact.  The original building comprised an entrance portico, a superintendent’s house, pool and poolside areas, changing spaces, settling tank, boilers and other ancillary spaces.  It is a grade 2 listed building. (

It is now owned by the King’s Lynn Conservancy Board (KLCB) and they currently use the western section as offices.  The pool hall was used as a boxing club training venue for some time but has been unused for the last few years and the ancillary areas are now derelict.

The project

The Trust is working with the Conservancy Board to identify a viable use for the bath buildings that will retain their character. We have appointed consultants to undertake a feasibility study which will investigate the potential for repair, conversion and re-use of the Baths to ensure the preservation and future economic use of the building. A number of options are being considered including offices and performance spaces. 

Once we have identified a preferred option for the future of the baths we will develop a restoration project in conjunction with the Conservancy Board. 

We are very grateful for support for the feasibility stage of the work by a grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund.