Record Details

NHER Number:33479
Type of record:Monument
Name:The Walks


The Walks were laid out in the early 18th century as a promenade for the people of King's Lynn, and are one of the oldest surviving examples of town walks in Britain. Various extensions, alterations and planting schemes were implemented during the 19th and 20th centuries, and one of the most striking features are the avenues which form the framework of the designed landscape.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6244 1979
Map Sheet:TF61NW

Full description

One of earliest surviving Town Walks in Britain with later important development. Complex and large area. See Survey for full details: briefly, this comprises:
(1) The Broad Walk - originally called New Walk or Mall laid out 1713, provided with alcoves 1762. Alterations at west end, and replanting 1822-30; land to south opened to public 1849, land to north 1864. Air raid shelter (NHER 39557) at west end dates from World War Two.
(2) Extension Walk, now east end Broad Walk, made 1845 on line of 18th century footpath. Extension Fields to south became football ground 1871, to north opened to public 1885. 1906 avenue made in line with -
(3) St John's Walk perhaps contemporary with church of 1846 but not recorded before 1867. Former St Margaret's Burial Ground incorporated at west.
(5) St James's Park planted 1887, opened as park 1902 with fountain - island of buildings on site of St James's Chapel lies between this and remainder of Walks.
(6) Framingham's Hospital moved here 1847-8; almshouses which with gardens form the entrance to Broad Walk. The Town Wall Walk forms an integral sixth part but is separately recorded under NHER 5486.
(S1) grades this garden as three-star (national importance).
E. Rose (NLA), 27 February 1998.

March 1998. Registered Park or Garden, Grade II.
The whole area, and the adjacent southern section of NHER 5486 were designated by English Heritage as a Registered Park or Garden (S2).
E. Rose (NLA), 20 March 1998.

Press cuttings in file.

August 2000.
Inspection of area prior to lottery bid for restoration. Extra point to note; South of east end of St John's Walk, northwest of Red Mount, are two mounds now of modern appearance but deriving from an earlier feature; rabbit holes reveal much wood; they are on south side of former Purfleet course. In St James's park the gravestones from the former cemetery are stacked in lines, some are of good quality but all are now in poor condition.
E. Rose (NLA), 25 August 2000.

June 2004. Desk-based Assessment.
Assessment of potential impact of planned enhancement of The Walks. It was concluded that these works would have a limited effect on known archaeological deposits.
See report (S3) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 3 February 2017.

February-November 2007. Watching Brief.
Excavations along the various walks revealed evidence for the primary layout of the park during the 18th century.
See published article (S4) for further details. See also assessment reports (S5) and (S6) and publication draft (S7).
S. Howard (HES), 6 February 2012.

5 August 2008.
Gravestone discovered during work by NPS installing a cycling proficiency track within the King’s Lynn Nursery School playground. At TF 62166 19817, just inside the eastern boundary, the top edge of a tombstone was exposed a few inches below the modern ground surface. It appears to be vertical, but its depth was not ascertained. It also appears to be on the edge of a service trench of some sort. This is probably from the cemetery of 1805, the gravestones from which are stacked in lines within a few feet to the east of this location, although it is difficult to explain why it is at such a great depth. It has been left in situ.
See list in file
D. Gurney (NLA), 5 August 2008.

(S8) provides a detailed history of The Walks, including details and dates of major planting schemes and developments within the park.
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 5 February 2020.

Monument Types

  • FOUNTAIN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PUBLIC PARK (18th Century to 21st Century - 1713 AD to 2050 AD)
  • PLANTATION (18th Century - 1773 AD to 1773 AD)
  • SHRUBBERY (18th Century - 1773 AD to 1773 AD)
  • GRAVESTONE (19th Century - 1805 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • PLEASURE GARDEN (19th Century - 1820 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • BANDSTAND (Early 20th Century to 21st Century - 1920 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds

  • GRAVESTONE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Registered Park or Garden

Sources and further reading

---Website: Friends of the Walks. History of the Walks. 4 February 2020.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1999. Residents' dismayed as trees are felled in Lynn's Walks. 24 November.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1999. [Article and letter to the editor on the proposed lottery bid for The Walks, King's Lynn].
---Correspondence: Rose, E.. 2004. Email. 13 July.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 2000. Ashamed to show off The Walk. August.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1999. 'Don't change our park'. 8 January.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2005. 'Trees on Walks could last another 25 years'. 7 September.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 489.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1998. Take a peaceful walk. 24 March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2004. £5m bid to revive park at heart of historic town. 28 May.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Taigel, A. 1997. Norfolk Gardens Trust: Town Gardens Survey - Volume One. Norfolk Gardens Trust.
<S2>Designation: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England..
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Cope-Faulkner, P. 2004. Desk-based Assessment of Land at The Walks (Urban Parks Conservation Project), King's Lynn, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services.
<S4>Article in Serial: Hardy, A., Santana, J. N. and Wilkinson, D. R. P. 2010. Archaeological Investigations of the Red Mount Chapel and The Walks, King's Lynn, 2006-7. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI pp 29-47.
<S5>Unpublished Contractor Report: Santana, J. N. 2006. The Walks, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Post-Excavation Assessment and Research Design. Oxford Archaeology.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hardy, A. 2009. The Walks, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Post-Excavation Assessment and Research Design. Oxford Archaeology.
<S7>Unpublished Report: Santana, J.N.. Archaeological Investigations of the Red Mount Chapel and the Walks, King's Lynn, 2006-7. Publication draft.

Related records

44112Parent of: Excavation and test pitting at The Walks (Monument)
63548Parent of: King's Lynn Football Ground (Monument)
64059Parent of: North Guanock Gate (Monument)
64062Parent of: Seven Sisters, post-medieval mill mound (Monument)

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