History in Structure

Tudor Rose Hotel

A Grade II* Listed Building in King's Lynn, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.7571 / 52°45'25"N

Longitude: 0.3958 / 0°23'44"E

OS Eastings: 561772

OS Northings: 320417

OS Grid: TF617204

Mapcode National: GBR N3Q.4W2

Mapcode Global: WHJP1.1YRP

Plus Code: 9F42Q94W+V8

Entry Name: Tudor Rose Hotel

Listing Date: 1 December 1951

Last Amended: 31 August 2018

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1298153

English Heritage Legacy ID: 384299

Also known as: Tudor Rose Hotel, King's Lynn

ID on this website: 101298153

Location: North End, King's Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk, PE30

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Electoral Ward/Division: St Margarets with St Nicholas

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: King's Lynn

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Tagged with: Hotel Pub

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Number 10 St Nicholas Street, built in the mid-C15, and number 11 (formerly 28 St Ann’s Street and later St Nicholas’ House), built in the C16, rebuilt in 1645 and re-fronted in the mid-C18, now the Tudor Rose Hotel.


Number 10 St Nicholas Street, built in the mid-C15, and number 11 (formerly 28 St Ann’s Street and later St Nicholas’ House), built in the C16, rebuilt in 1645 and re-fronted in the mid-C18, now the Tudor Rose Hotel.

MATERIALS: Number 10 is timber-framed with brick infill, having brick and carstone to the rear projection. Number 11 has red-brick walls laid in Flemish bond. Pantiled roofs to both.

PLAN: Number 10 is constructed on an L-plan, having a narrow two-storey range facing south to St Nicholas Street, and a perpendicular cross-wing running north, originally containing the hall range. To the east, number 11 is double-pile in plan. The 1970s extension is attached to the east elevation of number 11, filling the corner of St Nicholas Street and St Ann’s Street.

EXTERIOR: the Tudor Rose Hotel comprises two houses: the west house (number 10) was constructed in the mid-C15, and mainly comprises a timber frame with brick infill, and carstone and brick to the rear projection; the east house (number 11) was constructed in the C16, linked to number 10 by a gallery in the early C17, rebuilt in brick on a double-pile plan in 1645, and re-fronted to St Nicholas Street in the mid-C18. Both houses have pitched pantiled roofs.

Number 10 is two storeys in height and roughly four bays in width. The ground floor of the front (south) elevation is rendered and colour washed, and the first floor is jettied, having close-studded timber framing with brick infill. The left bay of the ground floor has a four-centred chamfered stone arch with chamfered reveals, containing an oak plank door with four stiles dividing five vertical panels, each with a carved tracery arch of the proto-Perpendicular type current in advanced ecclesiastical architecture of around 1345. The door is flanked on either side by an engaged Tuscan column (a cornice is shown in historic photographs and drawings, but was removed around 1960). To the right of the door is a sash window with eight-over-eight panes, and right of this a small casement and a doorway (introduced after 1924). The doorway has a four-centred timber arch, and three-light mullioned window to the left, unified under a single hood moulding. The first floor of the front elevation is jettied, with close-studded timber framing and brick infill. There are five renovated two-light cross casements with leaded lights of early C17 origins, grouped in two pairs to the left end with the last isolated to the right end, lighting the early-C17 timber-framed connecting gallery (the last known to survive in Lynn). The roofs of number 10 and the connecting gallery are pitched, that of the connecting gallery being lower. The cross wing to the rear is two storeys in height, and contains the hall range. The roof is pitched, with a reconstructed ridge stack near the centre; a chimneystack on the north gable was removed in the 1970s. The west elevation has one four-light transomed ovolo-moulded cross casement to the ground floor and two similar windows to the first floor; towards the south end is a three-light mullioned window. The ground floor of the east elevation is dominated by a five-light transomed ovolo-moulded cross casement with a hood moulding, and a similar two-light window to its right. The first floor is lit by a tripartite late-C18 sash window with glazing bars and a two-light mullioned casement to its right, both with ashlar surrounds. The north elevation shows evidence of door and chimneystack openings, representing a former link to St Ann’s House which was dismantled between 1914 and 1916 and transported to America.

Number 11 was constructed to the east of number 10 in the C16, rebuilt on a double-piled plan in 1645, and re-fronted to St Nicholas Street in the mid-C18. Number 11 is two-and-half storeys in height, with five symmetrical bays, and 1970s dormer windows to the pitched pantiled roof. The front (south) elevation is composed of red brick laid in Flemish bond, over a brick plinth course, with a three-course platband over the ground floor. The front elevation has a blocked door opening to the central bay (blocked around 1925), retaining a boot-scrape recess to the right of the door, and a blind window opening over the door. The four-pane sash windows are mid-C19, re-using C18 boxes. The rear pile is also two-and-half storeys in height, arranged in six irregular bays. The westernmost bay of the first floor was originally single-storey in height: the first floor and attic storey were infilled in the early 1970s, and three flat-roofed attic dormers added at the same time. The roof is pantiled, the roof pitch of the western half (to the rear of number 10 and the connecting gallery) being lower. The ground floor has one C20 glazed door, two C19 sashes with glazing bars, and one C19 three-light casement. The first floor is lit by six mid-C17 two-light cross casements (that to the west bay being a later addition). The Dutch east gable has prominent kneelers and an open pediment, dated 1645. A stepped gable-end stack rises out of the pediment. A two-storey extension was added to the east elevation of number 11 in the 1970s, bracing the corner of St Nicholas Street and St Ann’s Street, and is constructed of red brick with an integral carriage arch.

INTERIOR: The ground-floor west room of number 10 has a multiple hollow-moulded bridging beam, plain joists, and late-C20 panelling (dated 1986). The cross wing, formerly containing the hall, has an inserted early C16 stack at the south end; the fireplace has double roll-moulded stone jambs and a similarly decorated timber bressumer. Immediately east of the fireplace, there are two arches of a former screens passage, one of which is readily apparent (the screens passage was obscured by the abutting 1645 structure). A fireplace on the north wall retains ashlar quoins and a timber lintel, though the chimneystack has been dismantled. The front first-floor room of number 10 has three crown-post trusses, with cambered ties supporting square-section crown posts, dropping arched braces from ties to posts, and arched braces from posts to crown purlin. The east wall bears a chimneystack and carved stone fire surround, having a roll-moulded bressumer and jambs, with a blocked window opening to the north of the fireplace. A door south of the fireplace appears to be early C17 in date, and provides access to the C17 gallery (reputedly the last C17 gallery to survive in Lynn). The gallery has a central canted tie beam and 13 pegged collars supporting a pantiled roof; the door at the east end is blocked. The open court to the north of the gallery was infilled with staff accommodation in the 1970s, extending east into the attic of number 11, with dormers introduced to the north and south slopes. The first floor of the rear cross wing is largely of C19 character.

Within number 11 the ground floor reception room has a chamfered bridging beam, aligned north-south, off-centre towards the west, and a finely-detailed C18 cornice to the eastern section. The north wall has a C19 fireplace, with a niche to the left and a doorway to the right to the stair hall. The east wall has a tall round arch at the south end, apparently a blocked opening to the east room (now a bedroom). The rear pile has an L-shaped room (now a bedroom) to the west of the stair hall, having an ornately carved beam with ovolo mouldings, and a fireplace on its east wall. The stair hall contains an C18 stair with a panelled balustrade, which appears to have been relocated or reconfigured around 1925. To the east of the stair, the former kitchen (now sub-divided as a bedroom and corridor) retains early reeded joists (likely dating to the construction of the rear pile in 1645). The first floor room over the reception room has an ornately-carved bridging beam with sunk quadrant mouldings.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a red-brick boundary wall is attached to the north elevation of the cross-wing, and extends east to St Ann’s Street, enclosing the rear yard.


King’s Lynn, first called Bishop’s Lynn, was founded in 1095 by Bishop Herbert de Losinga, who in the previous year had transferred the see from Thetford to Norwich. There was already an existing settlement which appears to have been based around a salt-water lagoon, or series of inlets, with its centre round the present All Saints Church. Losinga’s town developed to the north of this, between All Saints Church and Saturday Market Place where St Margaret’s Church and Priory were established from Norwich around 1100. Rapid expansion from the C12 onwards required an extension of the town, and Bishop William Turbe laid out a new settlement north of the Purfleet from around 1145, with its market at Tuesday Market Place and the Chapel of St Nicholas as a chapel of ease to St Margaret’s. Both settlements were united under a royal charter in 1204, the united town being named Bishop’s Lynn. Until the early C13, the Great Ouse emptied via the Wellstream at Wisbech, however following floods in the C13, the river was redirected to join the Wash at Bishop’s Lynn. The town became one of England’s busiest ports, serving the Ouse and its tributaries, exporting wool and cloth, and importing wine, timber and luxury goods, being adopted as a member of the original medieval Hanseatic League. This extremely influential trading association linked a group of towns around the Baltic and the North Seas, and played an important role in the prosperity and development of Bishop’s Lynn as a national port, which by the C14, was ranked as the third port of England (after London and Southampton).

Losinga’s town round the Saturday Market was protected from the river immediately to its west by the ‘great bank’, an earthwork which ran along the present line of Nelson Street, St Margaret’s Place and Queen Street. By about 1500 the river had moved approximately 50m west and was consolidated another 45m by the new South Quay in 1855. The period of development of the area between the Millfleet and Purfleet can therefore be identified, as well as building types and plans. The generous-sized plots are reflected in the surviving buildings dating from the C14 to the C17, which surround open courtyards. To the north, on Bishop Turbe’s ‘newe lande’, much the same pattern emerges: originally the west side of Tuesday Market Place was washed by the river, with King Street forming the line of the bank. The west side of King Street was built upon in the C13, with narrow plots, elongating in stages until river movement ceased in the C17. As land became available, warehouses were built straight onto the river front. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536-1537, the town and manor became royal property, and Bishop’s Lynn was renamed King’s Lynn or Lynn Regis.

Lynn’s prosperity as a national port was based entirely on trade, and the merchant class dominated the social and economic life of the town until the C19. When the Fens began to be drained in the mid-C17 and land turned to agricultural use, King’s Lynn grew prosperous from the export of corn: cereal export dominated from the C16, and especially in the C18. Coal and wine continued to be imported for distribution inland, and until the railway age, Lynn was the chief East Anglian port for both. Prosperity continued until continental trade was disturbed by the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), followed by a brief revival. The economy and population dwindled following the relatively late arrival of railway services to King’s Lynn in 1847, compounded by the irrevocable decline of coastal trading.

Numbers 10 and 11 St Nicholas Street, now the Tudor Rose Hotel, is an amalgamation of two houses: the earlier house to the west (number 10) was constructed in the mid-C15; and that to the east (number 11) was constructed in the C16, rebuilt in 1645, and re-fronted in the mid-C18. The buildings face south to St Nicholas Street (previously known as Woolmarket until around 1800), with number 10 having a narrow street frontage. Constructed on a conventional L-shaped plan, number 10 has a hall range to the rear, the east and west sides lit through mullioned windows, and a chimneystack was inserted in the early C16. East of the fireplace one of the two arched doorways for the screens passage can still be seen. The front first-floor room overlooking St Nicholas Street features a crown-post roof with arched braces from ties to crown posts in the Lynn manner. Number 10 became attached to St Ann’s House to the north (dismantled between 1914 and 1916 and shipped to America), as is evidenced on historic Ordnance Survey mapping (1887 and 1905), and blocked door and chimneybreast openings on the north elevation.

It is reputed that number 10 was occupied successively from 1587 by Richard Clark, his son Matthew, and the latter’s son-in-law Thomas Snelling (Hillen). The Clark and Snelling memorials which adorn the walls of the nearby Chapel of St Nicholas are among the largest and earliest in the chapel, exhibiting the wealth and prosperity of these families, who held official and mayoral positions. It is probable that the gallery linking numbers 10 and 11 was constructed in the early C17, linking two buildings occupied by members of the same family (as happened in a number of instances in Kings Lynn). It is likely that the Tuscan orders were added to the entrance of number 10 in the early C17, exhibiting the wealth and sophistication of the inhabitants. Historic photographs and drawings show that the Tuscan columns formerly had a cornice over, however this was removed in the 1960s. A photograph of number 10 in 1925 shows that the mock-Tudor door and window now under the gallery were not in place, so it must therefore be assumed they were introduced in the mid-C20.

Number 11 St Nicholas Street, formerly 28 St Ann’s Street and later St Nicholas’ House, was added to the east of number 10 in the C16. Number 11 was rebuilt on a double-pile plan in 1645, the southern pile being re-fronted in the mid-C18. Following the construction of the rear pile in 1645, it is probable that the doorway on the north elevation became the principal entrance, until the building was re-fronted to St Nicholas Street in the mid-C18. The mid-C18 sashes to St Nicholas Street were replaced by larger panes in the mid-C19, and C18 boxes retained. A small two-storey extension stood against the east elevation of number 11, and was most likely built in the late C18 or early C19 as service accommodation (the red brick plinth of the mid-C18 frontage does not continue along the extension). This service wing was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a large two-storey extension at the corner of St Nicholas Street and St Ann’s Street.

Number 11 was purchased for a curate of the nearby Chapel of St Nicholas in 1921. A document in which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners grant-aided the necessary improvements in May 1925 provides useful information regarding the ‘messuage or tenement with the yard, outbuildings and small garden’. It was at this time that the central mid-C18 entrance from St Nicholas Street was blocked permanently; the north-facing door became the primary entrance, and the address became 28 St Ann’s Street. It was also at this time that the main staircase in the rear pile was moved into its present position, but it is not entirely clear from where. Included in the works of this time was the removal of a service stair, presumably at the east end of the building. Curates lived in the house from this date until 1973. For a while in the early and mid-C20, 28 St Ann’s Street seems to have carried the name ‘St Nicholas’ House’, so called in a 1924 schedule of alterations and on the 1966 Ordnance Survey map. In 1973 the properties forming the St Nicholas Chapel Estate were in the process of being sold, and 28 St Ann’s Street was sold to the recent purchasers of number 10 (then known as ‘The Tudor Rose’ restaurant) in 1976, after which time the service wing was demolished, and the new accommodation wing for the Tudor Rose Hotel was built on the site of the former service wing and garden, with an integral archway to the rear courtyard. The small open court between numbers 10 and 11 was infilled and the single-storey link built up to create first-floor and attic-storey staff accommodation.

Reasons for Listing

The Tudor Rose Hotel, comprising 10 St Nicholas Street, built in the mid-C15, and 11 St Nicholas Street (formerly 28 St Ann’s Street and later St Nicholas’ House), built in the C16, rebuilt in 1645 and re-fronted in the mid-C18, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* the building retains a significant proportion of its historic fabric, notably the crown-post roof structure, timber-framed walls, and entrance of number 10, built in the mid-C15, and the timber-framed structure, ornately moulded beams, and C18 stair of number 11, built in the C16, rebuilt in 1645 and re-fronted in the mid-C18;
* the historic plan forms of numbers 10 and 11 remain legible, clearly showing the sequence of various stages of construction and alteration.

Historic interest:
* constructed in the mid-C15 and C16, number 11 having been rebuilt in 1645 and re-fronted in the mid-C18, the Tudor Rose represents the prosperity of King’s Lynn as a national port from the medieval period to the Georgian period, and the area surrounding the Chapel of St Nicholas in particular.

Group value:
* it has strong group value with many neighbouring listed buildings, notably the Chapel of St Nicholas (listed at Grade I), and 26 St Nicholas Street, 78 and 80 Chapel Street, and 14, 16 and 18 St Ann’s Street (each listed at Grade II).

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