History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Globe Hotel

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

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 52.7557 / 52°45'20"N

Longitude: 0.3934 / 0°23'36"E

OS Eastings: 561616

OS Northings: 320255

OS Grid: TF616202

Mapcode National: GBR N3Q.B7V

Mapcode Global: WHJP1.0ZMR

Entry Name: Globe Hotel

Listing Date: 1 December 1951

Last Amended: 31 August 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1298223

English Heritage Legacy ID: 384167

Location: 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

Find accommodation in
Kings Lynn


A former merchant's house or town house, thought to date to the early C18, and later altered and greatly extended in the C19 and C20 to form a hotel.


A former early C18 town house, later converted to hotel use, and significantly altered and enlarged in the C19 and in the mid-C20. The building was completely remodelled internally in the mid-C20 and again in the early C21.

MATERIALS: Stuccoed brickwork and colourwashed brick, with plain tile, slate and artificial slate roof coverings.

PLAN: The building is L-shaped on plan with ranges to King Street and Ferry Street, enclosing an internal courtyard to the rear.

EXTERIOR: The King Street elevation is a symmetrical composition of five bays and three stories beneath a deep modillioned eaves. The central entrance has C20 double doors and is flanked by debased Doric engaged columns which support an entablature, the frieze with triglyphs and guttae. To either side are two, six over six-pane sash windows. The first floor has five such windows and the upper floor has five six over three-pane sashes. There are advanced painted quoins to each end, the north end quoining incorporating an ornamental bracket with the figure of Atlas supporting the globe on his back. Between the first and second floors is a full-length painted banner with the words GLOBE HOTEL within a roll-moulded surround. To the south of the King Street frontage is a C19 two-storey building which now forms part of the hotel. It has a narrow frontage with a doorway to the left, two glazing bar sashes to the ground floor and three two over two-pane sashes above. A tall ridge stack is located at the south end of the roof.

The return elevation to Ferry Street is of two bays, with a small dormer within the hipped end of the roof, and sash windows to each floor as in the front elevation, one ground floor window now altered to form a doorway. Back-to-back quoining to the west corner of the building leads on to a C19 six-bay, three-storey addition with ridge chimneys and a dentilled eaves, with single and tripartite sash windows to the first and second floors, and C20 door openings inserted between tripartite sash windows to the ground floor. Beyond the quoined west end of this range, a further, slightly lower and similarly detailed five-bay range with single and tripartite glazing bar sash windows, and a cluster of four single-light C20 openings to the ground floor. The two-storey, three-bay addition at the west end is not of special interest.

INTERIOR: The interior of the building has been completely remodelled to form hotel and bar facilities, and no elements of the original town house interior plan or that of the extensions appear to have survived.


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.

The Globe Hotel is thought to have been built as a prominently-sited town house or merchants house built in the early C18, and occupying a corner plot facing onto King Street, close to the spacious and commercially important Tuesday Market Place. It is not clear when the building became a hotel, or when the ranges added to the rear of the house and facing onto Ferry Street were built, but it may be that the additions would have originally been warehousing associated with the house, and later rebuilt or remodelled to form additional accommodation for what had become an inn or hotel. The present Ferry Street range appears to be of C19 date, although the remodelled two-storey building at the west end of the range which now forms part of the hotel premises may survive from an earlier phase of development. The hotel was first listed in 1951, at which time the interior was recorded as having been completely remodelled. Further alterations took place in the 1960s and again in the early C21 when the present ground floor open-plan arrangement was completed.

Reasons for Listing

The Globe Hotel on King Street, King's Lynn is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a prominently sited and distinctively detailed C18 merchant's house or town house, later converted to commercial use as a hotel on the periphery of the town's historic Tuesday Market Place.

Group value:

* for its very considerable geographic group value with other listed building in the vicinity of King Street and Tuesday Market Place.

Selected Sources

Book cover links are generated automatically from the sources. They are not necessarily always correct, as book names at Amazon may not be quite the same as those used referenced in the text.

Source title links go to a search for the specified title at Amazon. Availability of the title is dependent on current publication status. You may also want to check AbeBooks, particularly for older titles.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.