Areas of Common Staithe Quay car park in King’s Lynn will be cordoned off from Monday for a week to allow archaeological surveys – part of an ongoing project to uncover more of the town’s history. 

West Norfolk Council in partnership with Norfolk County Council, has commissioned Oxford Archaeology East to undertake the work, being funded by Historic England.

For centuries, Lynn was one of the most important ports in England and the quay formed part of the historic port area.

Graham Middleton, borough council deputy leader and cabinet member for business, culture and heritage, said as part of the five-year Heritage Action Zone project, research has been carried out into the archaeology and buildings of the town. 

“This has included a mixture of building and ground surveys, map regression and archive image searches. 

“These investigations have also included archaeological coring. The King’s Lynn Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) aims to show how well-designed new development which works with historic King’s Lynn can reinforce the economic, social and environmental vitality of this modern medieval town. 

“Coring at Common Staithe Quay has the potential to uncover buried archaeological material relating to medieval domestic occupation as well as industry and trade, from medieval, Hanseatic and later periods. 

“Any items uncovered could reveal information about the contemporary landscape. Previous archaeological excavations in King’s Lynn suggest any excavation in the town’s historic core has the potential to reveal well-preserved organic material due to waterlogging.” 

 A similar exercise at the Chapel Street car park has indicated activity from the medieval period.

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England said he was looking forward to seeing what is discovered. 

“These rich connections to King’s Lynn’s historic past and people are vital for understanding and celebrating its unique character. Such understanding can help heritage play an important role in regeneration and economic growth in the town.” 

He said the partners would work together to preserve, record and understand the remains.