Record Details

NHER Number:12005
Type of record:Building
Name:Lattice House, 37-39 Chapel Street


A late 15th century timber framed house with various later alterations and extensions. The house was built in about 1480 as a single timber-framed range fronting the street, probably with shops on the ground floor and domestic accommodation above. In the late 15th century the south wing was added, followed by the north wing in the early 16th century and the central wing in the 19th century. The façade has a jettied first floor, with a dragon post at the southeast corner. Inside there is an open hall with a crown post roof as well as some original window frames and wall paintings. The building is now a public house.


  • Lattice House, King's Lynn.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 6181 2032
Map Sheet:TF62SW

Full description

1963-1970 (at some time). Building Survey.
This is one of the last 15th century buildings to remain standing in Lynn. The street range, which is two storeys high and timber framed, extends for about 100feet along Chapel Street, and there is reason to suppose it was once even longer. At right angles are two short cross-ranges roughly contemporary with the front, and a third lying between them, which is a 19th century insertion. Both the original back ranges were entered from the side, the one on the south (No. 37) from Market Lane, and the one on the north (No. 39) from a passageway leading under the Chapel Street front.
Both of the houses have the same basic plan type as No. 9 St Nicholas Street and No. 13 Friar Street but have definite evidence of storeyed sections beyond the hall. No. 37 (to south) has one ground floor room and two first floor rooms into the part fronting onto the street, divided on the first floor by original timber partitions. The hall, now floored in, abutted at right angles onto the front range. It rose through two storeys into the roof with a decorated crown post truss over the centre. The storeyed section behinid the hall was jetteyed into the hall space on the first floor, and although the building now ends one bay beyond the hall it once extended further west. A chimney in the middle of the north wall of the hall could be original - there is no sign of another position for a medieval fireplace.
No. 39 (to north) has a plan similar to No. 37, except that in this case the entry passage from the street halves the size of the ground floor front room. The first floor is divided by original timber partitions and the hall behind it at right angles was two storeys high with a carved roof truss. The use of the building beyond the hall is uncertain. Extensive redecoration of this house in the 18th century has removed traces of the jetty from the back rooms of the hall space, if it existed.
Taken as a whole, the group of buildings known as Lattice House poses some interesting questions about the way in which medieval property in Lynn was developed. The long timber street range was clearly erected in one building operation and divided only by thin timber partitions. It may at one time have been in single occupation either as a house or warehouse, but the two halls behind suggest that very soon, if not immediately, the front range was in multiple occupation as part of the premises of the owners of the halls. It is suggested that the front range may have been erected as a speculative venture of some sort, perhaps originally divided and leased as shops and solars. The halls may then have been added by the tenants of the shops. The differences in the roofs of the hall ranges suggests that they are not of exactly the same date.
The Lattice House arrangement was not unique. A similar complex once stood at 30-32 Broad Street (NHER 17904). There were also other buildings which replicated just the street range of Lattice House, for example 41 and 43 Chapel Street (this numbering is incorrect and these buildings have been demolished, (S1) presumably means NHER 63527) and a row of buildings which still stands on the south side of St James' Street (NHER 17905).
See (S1) for further information, plans, elevations and drawings.
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 25 July 2019.

1976. Stray finds.
Medieval green glazed sherds found in building work excavations.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 February 1982.

November 1977. Field observation.
Building derelict. Exterior appears to be early 16th century.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 February 1982.

29 October 1979. Excavation below hall floor by A. Rogerson (NAU).
Glazed Grimston ware, cooking pot sherds and limestone mortar fragment. No hall floor layers survived, but considerable floor layers and brick wall stubs etc below indicate presence of earlier medieval buildings.
See (S2) in file.
Finds to KLM October 1982.

July 1980. Stray finds.
In back yard, found in building work; green glazed Grimston sherds, glazed post medieval sherds, medieval unglazed sherds, combed ware. [1] retains fragment of French polychrome ware.
E. Rose (NAU), 1 February 1982.

1982. Site visit.
House under restoration. A piscina was uncovered by the door in the south wall of the south hall. This may be a portion of monastic lavatorium brought from the Augustinian Priory post-Dissolution and reset here. Wall paintings were uncovered on the first floor comprising fleur-de-lys, and a fireplace in the northern wing with brick moulded jambs of late 15th or early 16th century date was also revealed.
See (S3).
E. Rose (NAU), 1 February 1982.

1982. Documentary research.
The street range at least was built by 1487. (S4) disagrees with (S1)'s assertion that the street range was once longer than it currently is. The building was owned by a merchant in 1487, and in that year he died, giving the building to the Chapel of St Nicholas in his will. (S3) dates the wallpaintings mentioned above to around 1700 and states that they were found in the chamber above the shop at the northern end of the building. The name 'Lattice' was given to the southern end of the building in 1714 which probably coincides with it becoming a public house, which it continued to be until March 1919. St Nicholas' Chapel sold the building to West Norfolk District Council in 195.
See (S4) for further information.
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 25 July 2019.

April 2001.
Building in excellent condition; owned by Borough Council, tenanted by Wetherspoons.
E. Rose (NLA), 26 April 2001.

(S5) notes the similarity in the layout of the south range of this building and the 13th to 14th century building recorded at 50 King Street (NHER 1165).
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 10 January 2019.

See also newspaper cuttings

Monument Types

  • HALL HOUSE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1480 AD? to 1699 AD?)
  • JETTIED HOUSE (Medieval to Modern - 1480 AD to 2050 AD)
  • SHOP (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1480 AD to 1714 AD?)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Medieval to Modern - 1480 AD to 2050 AD)
  • MERCHANTS HOUSE (Medieval to Unknown - 1487 AD)
  • PUBLIC HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1714 AD? to 1919 AD)
  • PUBLIC HOUSE (Cold War to Modern - 1982 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1291415.
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. [Articles on the Civic Trust awards awarded to 28-32 King Street and the Lattice House, King's Lynn]. 30 November.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2000. Welcome assurance over wall paintings. 19 January.
---Publication: Ingleby, H.. 1924. The Treasures of Lynn. p 77.
---Photograph: Lawerence Tring Architects. 1998. Lattice House, King's Lynn, Norfolk.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1977. Legal move against firm?. 4 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1979. 16th-century house to be restored. 31 August.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Lattice House is back in business. 7 July.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1998-2000. [Articles on the reopening of the Lattice House as a Wetherspoon].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 499-500.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2015. Historic pub one of 34 to be sold by chain. 16 November.
<S1>Monograph: Parker, V.. 1971. The Making of King's Lynn: secular buildings from the 11th to the 17th century.. pp 48, 53, 61, 64-72, figs 13, 14, 36, plate 8.
<S2>Unpublished Document: Rogerson, A. 1979. Lattice House, King's Lynn. 1 November.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Rose, E.. 1982. Building Report.. Building Report.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Kelly, G.I.. 1982. Lattice House, King's Lynn: A Full Documentary Account.
<S5>Monograph: Clarke, H. & Carter, A.. 1977. Excavations in King's Lynn 1963-1970.. p 162.

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