Red Mount Chapel, King’s Lynn, by Thomas Baines 1854. Norfolk Museums Service (Lynn Museum)
Journeys, Pilgrimage, People and Places is fascinating new exhibition at Lynn Museum which takes visitors on a trip through time. The show looks at the many types of journeys people made and continue to make: journeys of faith, of trade and exploration, migration and settlement and journeys for fun.
The exhibition is on show from Saturday 22 June 2019 until Saturday 13 June 2020.
King’s Lynn has been associated with pilgrimage since medieval times when thousands of pilgrims passed through the town on their way to the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham.
Lynn Museum’s fine collection of medieval pilgrim badges sits at the heart of the exhibition. Discovered in the mud in the rivers Purfleet and Ouse, the badges were worn by pilgrims as a keepsake, a good luck symbol and for their religious potency.
Journeys is part of two wider projects – Green Pilgrimage and Coastal Treasures – which sees council departments working together to boost green tourism and encourage walking and cycling in north and west Norfolk.
Councillor John Ward, Chairman of Norfolk Joint Museums Committee said: “We’re delighted Norfolk Museums Service is helping people find out about the exciting heritage of this special corner of Norfolk. We hope this display will encourage people to make their own journeys to explore our beautiful county.”
Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, Chairman of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Area Museums Committee, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to share the stories of these journeys past and present. We hope that visitors will enjoy the displays and be inspired to try one of the Coastal Treasures walks or cycle routes.”
The exhibition begins with the story of medieval pilgrimage and features a display of pilgrim badges from Walsingham and Canterbury.
Norfolk has evidence for some of the earliest human journeys in Europe. On the coast at Happisburgh, some remarkably preserved footprints were discovered from over 850,000 years ago, alongside ancient flint tools.
Other journeys include Journeys of Trade made by King’s Lynn merchants and Journeys of Fun explores the trips made by train from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton for summer holidays.
There are more up-to-date stories too with travellers telling their stories of a pilgrimage to Mecca, moving to King’s Lynn in the 1960s, walking to Santiago de Compostella, being a wartime evacuee and travelling around Britain as a showman.
Coastal Treasures is funded by the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund to boost tourism and support local businesses in north west Norfolk.
Lynn Museum is one of 10 museums which make up Norfolk Museums Service (NMS). The service includes collections study centres and countywide services relating to archaeology and education, as well as museum sites. NMS remains a unique partnership between Norfolk County Council and Norfolk’s district councils, funded through council tax, earned income and grants. NMS is now regarded as one of the leaders in the museum sector and in 2017 was successful in its bid for continuing major investment from Arts Council England. Since April 2018, NMS is a National Portfolio Organisation for Arts Council England, one of only 45 out of 845 heritage and arts organisations in England to be awarded the highest level of support.
For more information, admission and opening times visit