King's Lynn Minster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
King's Lynn Minster
St Margaret's Church, Kings Lynn - - 1447487.jpg
King's Lynn Minster
LocationKing's Lynn
DenominationChurch of England
Former name(s)St Margaret's Parish Church, King's Lynn
DedicationSt Margaret of Antioch
Heritage designationGrade I listed
Number of towers2
ParishSt Margaret with St Nicholas and St Edmund, King's Lynn
DioceseDiocese of Norwich
Vicar(s)Canon Christopher James Ivory
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: Church of St Margaret, Saturday Market Place
Designated1 December 1951
Reference no.1211336[1]

King's Lynn Minster (St Margaret's) is a Grade I listed parish church in the Church of England[2] in King's Lynn.


Benedictine priory[edit]

The church was established by Herbert de Losinga, Bishop of Norwich in 1095 to serve a Benedictine Priory and dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. The priory was subordinate to the Priory of the Holy Trinity in Norwich.

Architecturally, the slender 12th-century south-west tower in the Early English gothic style predates the larger north-west tower in the Perpendicular style of the 15th century. The chancel, with clerestory dates from the 13th century, when the nave was also rebuilt to replace an earlier Norman nave.[3] Elements of the Norman building survive in the base of the south-west tower.[4]

Parish church[edit]

After the English Reformation St Margaret's became the parish church for the town of King's Lynn, and its property was used as an endowment for Norwich Cathedral. Prior Drake was made prebend of the fourth stall in Norwich Cathedral.

The central lantern and south-west spire collapsed in 1741, which destroyed much of the nave. This was reconstructed in a programme of rebuilding between 1745-46 by the architect Matthew Brettingham in an early Gothic revival style.[3][4] The Church retains its medieval misericords.

St Margaret's church was granted the honorary title King's Lynn Minster in 2011 by the Bishop of Norwich.


The oldest bell is a Sanctus bell dating from 1657 by Thomas Norris. The main ring of 10 bells is in the key of C with a tenor weighing just over 28 cwt.


The organ dates from 1754 when it was installed by John Snetzler. The church organist for nine years from 1751 was the music historian and composer Charles Burney.[5] The organ has been through many restorations and rebuildings since then, the latest in 2003 by Holmes and Swift. Specifications of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.[6]



  1. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1211336)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  2. ^ The Buildings of England : Norfolk: Nikolaus Pevsner.
  3. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus (1962). North-East Norfolk and Norwich. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin Books. p. 62.
  4. ^ a b Knott, Simon. "St Margaret's Church, Lynn". Norfolk Churches website. Retrieved 2017-05-21.
  5. ^ ODNB: John Wagstaff, "Burney, Charles (1726–1814)" Retrieved 23 March 2014, pay-walled.
  6. ^

Coordinates: 52°45′5.12″N 0°23′43.59″E / 52.7514222°N 0.3954417°E / 52.7514222; 0.3954417