Record Details

NHER Number:13622
Type of record:Monument
Name:Savage's Engineering Works (St Nicholas' Works)


This is the site of Frederick Savage's engineering works, founded in 1853, and moved to this site in the 1870s. The firm became well known for its agricultural machinery and steam-powered fairground rides and Savage himself became Mayor of King's Lynn in 1889. During World War One the firm were engaged in making aircraft.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6193 2078
Map Sheet:TF62SW

Full description

Savage's Engineering Works was founded by Frederick Savage in 1853. He worked from several locations, including a forge in the 'Mermaid and Fountain' Yard in Tower Street, a forge in Railway Road, and the former premises of St James' Workhouse on London Road before moving to St Nicholas' Works. In 1873, four acres were purchased for the Ironworks, and a further five acres were added later. The site included a foundry, boiler and fitting shops, warehouse, and drying sheds and a railway access was eventually added. "Estuary House" was constructed adjacent to the yard as the residence of Mr. Savage. The firm became well known for its agricultural machinery, particularly steam engines and steam roundabouts, and gained an international reputation for steam-powered fairground rides. Savage himself became Mayor of King's Lynn in 1889 (Information in this section from S1).
From 1914 to 1918 the factory was used to manufacture Voisin biplanes (patents acquired from Bleriot in 1914). A field was also aquired to use as a landing strip for testing the aircraft. This airfield may have been location to the north of the factory, but the exact location is undertain. The aircraft factory itself is said to have been constructed from the buildings of a brickworks at Sedgeford.
The site was cleared by 1974 and many of the original buildings have now been demolished, but they were recorded by the King's Lynn Museum and the Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society (S2). Many of the patterns from the foundry are held within the collections of the King's Lynn Museum (S3) and a special exhibition of these works was held there in 1997 to mark the 100th anniversary of Frederick Savage's death (S4).
Further information is available from the King's Lynn Museum and the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.
Also see (S1) and (S2) for further details.
E. Rose (NAU), 3 August 1981.
Updated S. Spooner (NLA), 18 August 2006.
Updated H. Hamilton (HES), 29 January 2015.

1970s?. Photographic Survey.
Members of the Norfolk Industrial Archaeological Society created an extensive photographic record of the Savage factory prior to its demolition in 1975.
See (S2) for further details.
W. Arnold (HES), 22 December 2010.
Updated H. Hamilton (HES), 29 January 2015.

Monument Types

  • AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING WORKS (19th Century to Late 20th Century - 1853 AD to 1973 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT FACTORY (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • AIRFIELD (World War One - 1914 AD to 1918 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.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Article in Serial: Sparkes, W.. 1975. Mr Frederick Savage, King's Lynn. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Journal. Vol I No 6.
<S2>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1975. Unique collection of patterns. 12 November.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1997. Savage's gentle art. 19 September.

Related records - none

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