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Refurbished South Gate reopens

a view of the the new activity table inside the newly-refurbished south gate in King's Lynn

Published: Monday, 30th July 2018

The South Gate in King’s Lynn reopens to visitors on 4 August, after a month-long closure for an interpretation renewal project.

The interpretation renewal improves the way information about the building is presented, making it more attractive and engaging to visitors.

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk worked in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service to secure £89,500 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players. The project also received a generous donation of £3,500 from The Friends of The Walks, a group of volunteers who show visitors round the South Gate and the Red Mount; the 14th-century chapel in King’s Lynn’s renowned town centre park.

The work done includes installing new interior lighting, and replacing the information panels inside the building, which date from the 1980s. New panels outside the building will be added later this summer. Some of the panels will show the view from each window as it may have looked in centuries past; a fascinating way to see how Lynn has changed around the South Gate. The view to the south is inspired by the Wenceslaus Hollar's map of King's Lynn, which shows the town's 17th century defences.

Interactive elements like a scale model, and an activity table, and displays of replica furniture and objects will bring the history of the South Gate to life; younger visitors can even try on replica helmets for a taste of life as a defender of this ancient gateway! Visitors can also see a fascinating display of replica food inspired by archaeological food remains discovered in the 1980s, and dated to the 17th century.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “The South Gate is one of Lynn’s most interesting and ancient buildings; its history as the gateway to our town is absolutely fascinating, and we want more people to know about it. The refurbishment will bring its heritage to life in a much more modern and appealing way, and we hope lots of visitors and residents alike will come along and take a look at what’s new.”

The South Gate is open to the public on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm, from mid-May to mid-September.

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