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The History of The Tudor Rose Hotel

Built around 1500 by a local merchant, the Tudor Rose Hotel is situated in the old town of King’s Lynn where the old town wall (now at the side of the council office) surrounded this historic port town.

The timber framed and jettied street frontage contained a shop below and a living room above. Behind this street range was the main house or hall, accessed by the passage which still has its original door.

The Tudor Rose was a typical of almost all medieval merchant houses of King's Lynn in being ‘L’ shaped. The back bar today is the stem of the ‘L’ or the main house.

Alternations date from the time of Elizabeth I with the plan to make the house more comfortable and fashionable. Classical columns and a wooden canopy were added to the front door. The building was inherited by Thomas Sneiling in 1623 from Mathew Clark who is believed to have carried out the remodelling work. Though not a public house at that time, there was a small brewery on the site, not uncommon in those days.

Memorials to Clark and Sneiling can be found in the nearby St. Nicolas chapel where some of Lynn’s wealthiest merchants are buried. Daniel Defoe almost certainly visited Kings Lynn and the chapel, (which the Tudor Rose stores the key) as a person called Robinson Cruso is buried there. The inside of the church is beautiful and a line of wooden angels are on either side of the ceiling towering above.

A further extension, a modern brick townhouse was added in the 1640’s (now the old part of the hotel) Remains of the Dutch gable can been seen froM the courtyard with the date “1645”. The courtyard door faced a lane leading to the River Great Ouse which ran just behind St Nicolas street until the estuary cut altered its course in 1852.

More alterations were made in Victorian times and in 1970’s the Tudor Rose was saved from decay by the borough council and restored as a hotel and inn. It is one of the most fascinating buildings in Lynn and has the oldest working door in Kings Lynn.

A darker more mysterious side to the hotel is that some believe it to the most haunted place in King’s Lynn with a number of ghosts. The hotspots are the restaurant the back bar and room 7.

One named ghost is that of the Grey Lady known to haunt the restaurant. Rumour has it that she was killed by her newly wed husband, the reason for which is disputed.

Situated near the Tuesday Market Place as well as famous for its market and a fair every year the market place was also the place for public execution and the burning and hanging of witches. One story that has been told in Lynn for many a year is the story of a hanging of a witch where her heart burst out of her body onto a building facing the square now in St Nicholas street . Today there is a carved sign in the shape of a heart which represents where the so called ‘witches’ heart landed on the wall.