St Nicholas' Chapel,
For over 600 years the wonderful carved roof angels, the dazzling stained glass and the history contained within St Nicholas' Chapel have inspired locals and visitors alike. The Chapel, though still consecrated, is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT).
The Friends, formed in 2002, promote the Chapel and work with the CCT to conserve and maintain this historic building and, along with our enthusiastic volunteers provide an informed welcome to our many visitors . By subscribing as a Friend you will add to the funds which are available to conserve the Chapel as a fine venue for a large variety of community events.
In 2015 the Chapel was reopened after 18 months of restoration following a campaign by the CCT, Friends and local people which had resulted in a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This has provided heating and new lighting, toilets, a kitchenette, extensive re-roofing, solar panels, a sound system and interpretation material.
In tandem with this main project the Friends were able to raise another fund with the help of the HLF in order to restore and re-fit the Chapel bells, which are now a fine ring of 8.
Here we hope to encourage you to visit this magnificent Chapel, become a Friend and maybe a more active volunteer. Also to provide some more detailed information to add to the excellent interpretation material to be found in the Chapel.
Booking and Events
The Churches Conservation Trust are the managers and details regarding
Opening hours Tuesday - Saturday (inclusive), 10:30am - 4pm. We are sometimes closed for private functions - please check CCT website on the day of your visit.
The font cover is returning. The Friends of St Nicholas’ Chapel are launching an appeal to raise money to return the missing font canopy to St Nicholas. It disappeared around 1968 and has resurfaced in a London antiques showroom. Discovering that the 17 foot high structure rightly belonged in the Chapel, Westland Antiques have offered it to the Friends at a special cost price so it can be ‘brought home’ to Lynn. ‘Westland have conserved it well and it would be wonderful to see it back in the chapel.The Churches Conservation Trust who own the Chapel support its return, but they have over 350 other churches to care for, and do not have any money to assist us. That’s why we need to ask the public to help us. We have already raised half of the estimated purchase and re-erection costs of £4,500, so please support us to achieve the rest. We are hopeful that soon we could see this unique historic feature back where it belongs in Lynn.’ Any donations should be sent to the ‘Friends of St Nicholas’ Chapel’, St Nicholas Chapel, St Annes Street by 15th October.
We were give a copy of Extracts from The Church Wardens' accounts of 1616 to 1660 compiled by Edward Milligen Beloe in 1926. There are some interesting entries which give a snapshot of the times.
The records include the granting of 3£ 11S for font cover in 1627 and 3s 4d for the painting thereof.
There is record of payment from the bellfounder John draper in 1616 for exchange of a large bell for two smaller ones. The clock bell at St Nicholas'Chapel is signed and dated by him.
In 1617 is recorded a sum of 6£ 1s 1d for the construction of the 'Consistorye' which included beer and bread for the workforce and shortening of the old communion table.
Bellfounding is mentioned in Common Staithe and in the 'Towne of Jermans'. Founding, maintenance and ringing is mentioned quite a few times, the bells being rung for the Bishops visit in 1637 and the ringers receiving 3s.
Communion wine , 'Muskedyn' was charged at sixpence a pint and in 1639, 450 pints were bought.
For 1s in 1636 Frankinsence and charcoal were bought to mitigate the large number of burials in the Chapel, 17 being recorded in that period.
To see the whole account to the Links page where the full version can be found.
Having stumbled upon a website of baptisms at St Nicholas’ Chapel (SN) in 1843 I compared this with similar data from All Saints’ Church (AS) and St Margaret’s Church (SM) in relation to the occupation of the fathers. As in a lot of records several children from the same family were being baptized together. Record for the Methodists, Catholics and Quakers did not mention occupation.
Maritime occupations were particularly prevalent. There were 98 Mariners with the highest number at AS. Fishermen numbered 14, of whom 12 were at SN. AS had 9 Master Mariners and 6 Shipwrights. Pilots, Watermen, Customs Officers, Block makers, Harbour Master and Boat Builders were the other occupations mentioned.
Porters numbered 44 with the majority at SN. Some of these were specified as porters of particular item such as wine, coal or corn. Of interest were Deal Porters who were a specialist group who handled baulks of softwood or "deal", stacking them up to 60 feet high in quayside warehouses. This was a demanding and dangerous job which required physical strength, dexterity and a head for heights, to such an extent that they were nicknamed "Blondins" after the famous acrobat, Charles Blondin. Deal porters wore special leather headgear (backing hats) with long "aprons" over their shoulders to protect their heads and necks from wooden splinters.
There were 5 Meters who must have been those that measured quantities of items being loaded or unloaded. Shoemakers were mostly at SN and SM and numbered 16. Innkeepers were 6 with 3 Brewers and a Victualler. I would have thought there would have been more with the large number of pubs in Lynn at the time. There were 11 Butchers, 14 Bakers and 3 Grocers. And finally 3 of the Fathers were entered as Gentlemen!