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Warehouses on the Wash

Warehouses on the Wash

On the banks of the River Ouse in King’s Lynn stands the last surviving Hanseatic building in England. The brick Hanse House gets its name from the German traders who once owned it, a relic from the days of the Hanseatic League, the powerful medieval trading bloc that stretched all the way from King’s Lynn to the heart of Russia. Lasting hundreds of years, it was one of the most successful trade alliances in history, winning the loyalty of nearly 200 towns around the North Sea and the Baltic and securing the prosperity of north west Europe.

Another reminder of King’s Lynn’s global trading prominence is Marriott’s Warehouse, now a popular restaurant with some of the finest views in town. It’s thought to have been built in its present form by local merchant Thomas Clayborne around 1580 as a store for corn, salt and wine. However, some of great oak beams date back to the 1300s, when the site was already a bustling riverside quay. It’s quiet down by the river these days, but back then the whole quayside would have been rammed with every kind of landing stage, or ‘staithe’, both public and private, where cargoes of wax, wool and pepper were unloaded by sailors and merchants, yelling orders and oaths in a cacophony of languages. Then, the tidal waters of the Ouse would have lapped around the warehouses with ships moored right outside, and by evening the town taverns were full of characters from all over Europe.


South Quay, King’s Lynn
PE30 5GN


Wheelchair Accessible






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