Heritage Open Day 1: The Tuesday Market Place and its Environs

The first of a series of posts about Heritage Open Day 2015, which happened last Sunday. The focus here is on the Tuesday Market Place, an air raid shelter, some classic cars and a masonic lodge.


Sunday was Heritage Open Day, with no fewer than 57 sites open to the public for the day. While my aunt and my mother were both involved in actually running the event – one of the venues being right next to my aunt’s home, I was merely unofficial guide for my cousin Edward and his partner. This post is the first of several which will be devoted to telling you about the day, accompanied by loads of splendid pictures.

This, on the Tuesday Market Place, was the place to find information about the event as a whole.


The event itself ran from 10AM to 4PM, but, remembering from last year, I reckoned that we needed to be early for our first destination, the air raid shelter underneath the Tuesday Market Place. This was confirmed to be the case – even though we were so busy checking out the cars that we missed being at the front of the queue we only had a brief wait. Before moving on here are some early pictures…

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This air raid shelter made use of pre-existing tunnels, which are known to have been used as storage in the 17th century, and it would probably not have survived a direct hit. Here are some photos of those tunnels we were allowed to see (we were going round in groups of 20, and during the war these tunnels sheltered 200 people at a time)…

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One of the smaller 'wardens'!
One of the smaller ‘wardens’!



Philanthropic Lodge 107 to give it its formal title is housed inside the Duke’s Head Hotel which looks out on to the Tuesday Market Place. The person who told us about freemasonry also told us that there is now a female lodge in Norfolk, though he does not where (apparently the nature of the initiation ceremony is such as to prevent mixed lodges from being a possibility). The only thing I was not allowed to photograph (an even then it was put to me as a request) was a single framed certificate. The masonry part of a freemasonry is a reference to the stone masons who built the pyramids of ancient Egypt although I respectfully beg leave to doubt as to whether the freemasons have actually been around for all that time.

Here are some pictures from this remarkable establishment…

This clock is in the hotel before one gets to the lodge.
This clock is in the hotel before one gets to the lodge.
The doormat at the entrance to the lodge
The doormat at the entrance to the lodge


This is the  temple, the heart of the lodge.
This is the temple, the heart of the lodge.

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Not easy to photograph a ceiling decoration!
Not easy to photograph a ceiling decoration!

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An interesting little document.
An interesting little document.



Having seen and enjoyed to Masonic Lodge it was time to move on, and of all the streets leading off the Tuesday Market Place, the best one to follow both in terms of the overall direction we wanted to head in and in terms of finding interesting things to see was King Street, virtually every building along which was open for the occasion. This will be the subject of the next post in this series. I leave you with the last set of pictures from the Tuesday Market Place, going to town on a one hundred year old Ford…

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Heritage Open Day 3: Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple, at the heart of Philanthropic Lodge 107, is quite remarkable, all the more so  for being housed within another building that serves an altogether different purpose – The Dukes Head which faces the Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn.

Masonic regalia frequently goes under the hammer at James and Sons auctions and has been known to do well, but this collection was astonishing.

There are rumours that Mozart joined a Masonic Lodge, while Sherlockians will recall that Jabez Wilson in “The Adventure of the Red Headed League” is a freemason. For fans of more modern literature, Matthew Reilly’s Jack West series features freemasonry.

The next installment of this series features a house on Ferry Lane and in the meantime here are my attempts to do photographic justice to Philanthropic Lodge 107…

Philanthropic 107
The door mat tells you what you are entering.

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Even the ceiling had points of interest!
Even the ceiling had points of interest!

Throne Sword Flags

I particularly liked this display

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Atc and Compass
The famed arc and compass

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