16th July 2017
True’s Yard is a heritage site and town museum celebrating the fishing community of the North End which has made a significant contribution to Lynn’s commercial and social life for 900 years. The local fishing industry remains important in 2017. The Museum has been enlarged and developed through two Heritage Lottery funded extensions (1995 & 2009); it has become a premier Lynn tourist attraction and education centre as well as a community venue. Its Silver Jubilee Appeal (1991-2016) has allowed the repair of all the buildings in the complex.
It is the aim of True’s Yard museum to ensure visitors discover and enjoy Lynn’s North End past and present. At its heart are the last surviving fisherfolk cottages and yard in Lynn. Though 4 of the 6 cottages were demolished in the 1930’s, the two remaining were built in the late 18th century, with their historic fabric and fixtures remaining largely intact. In 1818 William True purchased True’s Yard for £295.
True’s Yard cottages and smokehouse were both listed grade 2 by English Heritage in 2009, consistent with the guidelines for historic buildings dating 1700-1840. They continue to amaze and fascinate visitors of all ages. Not forgetting the recently redecorated tearoom with Georgian panelling!
True’s Yard not only educates visitors about Lynn’s 18th and 19th century built environment but contrasts nicely with the town’s grand merchant mansions. True’s Yard is of special architectural and historic interest from a national perspective as survival of such Georgian working-class dwellings in urban England is rare.
From the 18th century the North End depended completely on The Wash fishery. Herring, cockles, shrimps, winkles, mussels, whelks, oysters, crabs and lobsters were all harvested before 1914. The Lynn fishermen and their families led hard and difficult lives but their community values endured through the generations.
The teeming population of Northenders and their yards and cottages have disappeared through modern redevelopment, save for True’s Yard – where you will be welcomed by staff and volunteers and discover a fascinating story. You can also enjoy the guided tours of the Old North End in the summer months.
Dr Paul Richards – Trust Chairman
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