Report number: 2/2018

Title Chapel Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk: The History and Archaeology of the Chapel Street Car Park
Summary A project to investigate the history and archaeology of the Chapel Street Car Park site in King’s Lynn was undertaken between April and October 2017 by Sarah Newsome of Historic England’s Historic Places Investigation Team (East). It aimed to understand the potential nature of buried archaeological deposits and provide information on the past character of the site to inform future development. The project was undertaken as part of the wider Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project for King’s Lynn in partnership with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. It involved researching the history and archaeological potential of the Chapel Street site based on documentary sources including aerial photographs, historic photographs and maps and existing geotechnical data. No field-based or intrusive archaeological research was undertaken. The research has revealed that the site was occupied from at least the late 13th century onwards. In the later medieval period it was densely developed and evidence for a number of timber-framed, and possibly stone, buildings was discovered, some of which survived into the 20th century. Most of these buildings were houses, at least one of which also had a shop front, and some may have been high status. Despite later developments, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the construction of the large hall known as St Nicholas Drill Hall in the north-eastern corner of the site, a number of the plots were never redeveloped once the medieval buildings had been demolished. This suggests high potential for the survival of well-preserved sequences of medieval occupation deposits buried beneath the car park. On other plots archaeological potential may remain high where later foundations have not disturbed these buried medieval remains. Analysis of excavations in the immediate vicinity and in the wider historic town suggests that any buried deposits are also likely to be waterlogged and therefore may preserve organic material such wood, leather and plant remains.
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 72
  • Newsome, S
Keywords Medieval