Celebrating the fishing community in King’s Lynn
True’s Yard is a heritage site and town museum celebrating the fishing community of the North End which made a significant contribution to Lynn’s economic and social life for 900 years. The local fishing industry remains important today! The Museum complex has been enlarged and developed through two HLF funded extensions (1998 & 2010); it has become a premier Lynn tourist attraction and education centre as well as a community venue.
The last surviving fisherfolk yard
For visitors to discover and enjoy Lynn’s North End past and present is the aim and the Museum has remarkable heritage assets. At its heart is the last surviving fisherfolk yard with cottages. Though 4 of the 6 cottages were demolished in the 1930’s, the two remaining were built in the late 18th century, and their historic fabric and fixtures are largely intact. In 1818 William True purchased True’s Yard for £295, hence its name.
The Museum’s HLF extension project
In 2009 the Museum’s HLF extension project included the discovery of a small smokehouse at 3-5 St Ann’s Street. The latter property is late 18th and 19th Its industrial rear range was converted for domestic use but the historic fabric remained. This allowed the restoration of the smokehouse to enrich True’s Yard as a heritage site and attraction.
True’s Yard is of special architectural and historic interest
True’s Yard not only informs visitors about Lynn’s built up environment or housing for much of its population in the 18th and 19th centuries, but contrasts nicely with the town’s grand merchant mansions. Survival of such Georgian working class dwellings in urban England is rare. Indeed, True’s Yard is of special architectural and historic interest from a national perspective, and the two cottages and smokehouse were listed grade 2 by English Heritage in 2009.
Officially opened in March 1993
True’s Yard was officially opened by HRH, The Prince of Wales, in March 1993. In February 2010 an extension to the Museum was opened by HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH Prince Philip. Since 1991 nearly 250,000 people have visited this community Museum.
40 enthusiastic volunteers
True’s Yard is a Charitable Trust overseen by 10 trustees and managed by three members of staff. It is however much dependent on its loyal band of 40 enthusiastic volunteers.
Pat Midgley MBE
Cooperating with primary schools has been particularly important for the Museum. The amazingly dedicated founder of True’s Yard, Pat Midgley MBE, gave priority to education and local school links from the first. To preserve this unique heritage complex is the first duty of the trustees, but their mission is equally to ensure the Museum works for the public benefit.
Engaging exhibition programme
We have lunchtime talks, an engaging exhibition programme, family history classes and tours of the North End. There is a shop and pleasant tearoom with Georgian panelling.