The History of True's Yard
True's Yard is virtually all that remains of King's Lynn's old fishing community, the North End
The mangle was used to remove excess water from clothes after washing; turning the handle was often a chore given to children. Located in the yard it was shared between all the families who lived there.
The last surviving smokehouse in the North End; herring were smoked here from the 1880s or earlier. This particular smokehouse and adjacent shop on St Anne’s Street were owned by Mr Thomas Westwood, a former fisherman of North Street. He married Mary Anne Benefer in 1869 in St Nicholas’ Chapel and raised five daughters and two sons. The daughters would have likely been employed in the shop and smokehouse until they married or found employment elsewhere.
The Samphire Cart
Donated by the Benefer family, it has been used by five generations to hawk samphire. Samphire is an edible sea plant, known as the poor man’s asparagus.
Built in 1904 by the Hornigold brothers (two fishermen) she is a typical Lynn half-decker shrimp and shell fishing smack. The Activity was used to harvest shrimps in the summer months, whilst at other times of the year she could be used to gather cockles and mussels. The Lynn fishermen are referred to as ‘inshore fishermen’; they do not go to deep sea.
The Activity has a shallow draught in order for it to navigate the largely shallow waters of the Wash at low tide.
The sea and ships contributed so much to the town in the past. Today, the rich merchant’s houses in the riverside streets contrast with the tiny cottages of the fisherfolk at True’s Yard.
This building was once the North End blacksmith’s shop, in the days when nothing was thrown away but repaired whenever possible. This is the main Museum space, displaying more artefacts kindly donated by North End families.
Don’t forget to visit our tearoom and gift shop. The shop was once Southgates' shop and family home.
Seniors (over 60) £2.50
Children (under 5′s go free) £1.50
Family (2 adults + 2 children) £6
Research Centre Free
No dogs allowed except for guide dogs.