Record Details

NHER Number:12083
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Welwick House, Union Street


An early 18th century brick mansion with various alterations. The house was a school during the early 19th century before housing the town museum from the mid 19th century onwards. After the collapse of St James' Workhouse in 1854 the house was used to shelter some of the workhouse inmates. The King's Lynn Society of Arts and Sciences began its life at Welwick House in 1913, and occupied this building until 1963. It was demolished in the mid-1960s to make way for the Hillington Square housing estate.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6198 1953
Map Sheet:TF61NW

Full description

This mansion house was constructed on a generous plot close to the Church of All Saints. The entrance to the house was originally via Church Lane, and the mansion originally incorporated adjoining houses and stables fronting All Saints' Street (S1). One of these houses had a date stone on its All Saints' Street frontage bearing the date 1743, which may date the construction of the entire mansion, although some parts may be earlier. The house had a late 18th century stair turret and 19th century additions.
Welwick House was used for a variety of purposes throughout its history. In the early 19th century it was home to a school run by four sisters named Raven (S1). It became home to King's Lynn's first museum, established by members of the Lynn Conversazione and Society of Arts in 1844. The museum moved to the Athenaeum in 1854.
In 1854 the tower of St James' Workhouse collapsed, and Welwick House was used to accommodate some of the workhouse inmates until the new workhouse was built on Exton's Road in 1856 (NHER 14153).
In 1869 it was owned by Mr A E Baron, also the owner of King's Lynn Gas Works, who gave it the name Welwick House. By the late 19th century it was once again a school, and the 1881 census calls it Welwick House Ladies' School. Around 1894 the site was purchased by the catholic Church, a Catholic School was built in the garden to the east of Welwick House, and the house was again sold.
The King's Lynn Society of Arts and Sciences began its life at Welwick House in 1913, and occupied this building until 1963 (S1 and S2). A detailed description of the building in 1913 can be found in (S3).
Welwick House was demolished sometime before 1967 to make way for the Hillington Square housing estate.
Amended by A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 26 April 2019.

May 1964. Building survey.
The north front and much of the interior decoration is of the early 18th century. The south-west wing was added in the early 19th century and at the same time the old east wall of the main block was cut away, an addition put on, the existing stairway put in and a post inserted to carry the partly cut away upper floor. The building itself may be earlier than the early 18th century. it retains a lobby entrance, and, on the first floor, a passage way througbh the stack to a small front room. In the cellar is a window with moulded brick mullions. The north front is almost certainly not a re-fronting, but there is nothing to suggest a complete rebuild either, and its brickwork is the same character as that of the main block. It may be that this is a very late lobby-entrance house.
See (S4) for further information.
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 26 April 2019.

Monument Types

  • MANSION HOUSE (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1743 AD)
  • SCHOOL (Post Medieval - 1813 AD? to 1827 AD?)
  • MUSEUM (Post Medieval - 1844 AD to 1854 AD)
  • WORKHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1854 AD to 1856 AD)
  • SCHOOL (Post Medieval - 1878 AD? to 1894 AD?)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1894 AD to 1913 AD?)
  • LEARNED SOCIETY BUILDING (Modern to Cold War - 1913 AD to 1963 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Anderson, G.H.. 1916. Welwick House and its Associations, from a lecture given about 1916.
<S2>Publication: Ingleby, H.. 1924. The Treasures of Lynn. pp 8-9.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1913. Lynn News. 10 October.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Smith, J.T. and Mercer, W.E.. 1964. RCHME Survey. Welwick House, King's Lynn.

Related records - none

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