Sunday, 2 May 2010

Report on the St Nicholas Treasure Trail

From Blog-Heads
One of the highlights of our compass group in 2009 was looking around the historic church called St Nicolas, near the docks in Kings Lynn this served a close section of the community within the area near Trues Yard where fishermen's families lived many years ago. Many of their homes got knocked down during redevelopment half a century ago so this church has seen many changes throughout the years.

The group decided to create its own treasure trail that people with learning disabilities could try, half of our group looked for features on or around the church, church yard and outbuildings. Once a question had been put together the other half chose various angles to take pictures to act as clues.

This church is no longer in use for baptism, marriages, services or funerals so we could not do reports or pictures inside the building however, we found lots of detail on the site outside this historic site. Paul had not trained as a steeplejack so it was useful to have a really good camera with a zoom lens we also gathered information from many wall plaques and used the guide book to check things out.

The more we looked around the number important features increased there were three arch doors on the west north and south side and we counted the windows that still contained stained glass.

Like many of the local churches we found lots of gargoyles which are carved figure heads that quite often get used as rain water spouts. Later we discovered that the layout of the grave stones was different on the north side to that on the south so we had to explain why. One large grave at the west front was that of a famous rich local man.

The church was built by William Turbus, third Bishop of Norwich in the twelfth century. On entry through a wrought iron gate at the front dated 1794 when the early spire was built you get a view of the replacement from 1869 its octagonal in shape. There are many windows some clover shaped and others that have been filled in with stone to replace the stained glass. On the lower left corner there is a ordinance survey bench mark which shows you sea level at key points. Other churches show check marks for past floods.

The church clock was supplied by James Suddleton, a local watchmaker in 1835 at a price of £104, 4s. In the porch on the south side there are a variety of crests also ceiling bosses that stretch from one side to the other.

If you follow the path around you're sure to see a very old building used by the rector that looks like a witches house with low ceilings and doorway, posts were put in the cobbled streets as protection from passing horse drawn coaches. Preservation plates give you even more clues on the age and use of the building.

We look forward to future trails around St Margaret's, a second old church on the other side of town.

Trevor Smith.

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