The Greenland Fishery, King’s Lynn

The historic former home of Maze Media in Norfolk

We moved Maze Media into the Greenland Fishery, on Bridge Street in King’s Lynn, during December of 2010. The quirky staircases, uneven walls and beautifully exposed beams were enough to send us falling head over heels in love with the building. It really was a perfect setting for those inspiration “light-bulb” moments and creative ideas.

In fact, business was so good there, that two years later we had outgrown it. Luckily we found somewhere equally perfect to grow into in the form of 20a Tuesday Market Place, but our stay at the Fishery has given us many happy memories and this amazing building will always be dear to our hearts.

The Fishery was built in 1605 and was home to John Atkin, a reputable merchant, ropemaker and four-times mayor of King’s Lynn. The 400 year old, grade II listed building has since housed many people, businesses and public houses over the years, decades and centuries.

 Maze Media location, Norfolk

Photo: Greenland Fishery, Bridge Street, King’s Lynn. St Margaret’s Church in the background.

Now half residential, half commercial, the Greenland Fishery was once a popular drinking tavern frequented by King’s Lynn fishermen and sailors. Before the whaling industry really took the town by storm the building was known at different times as “The Waterman’s Arms,” “The Fisherman’s Arms” and, from 1796, “The Greenland Fishery”.

The Fishery was also used as a museum in the early part of the 20th-century, after Edward Beloe saved the building from demolition. He displayed local antiques, maps, plans, paintings and various relics, some dating back to the Iron Age. Some of the Roman and mediaeval artifacts displayed in the museum are still stashed away in the cellar!

At Maze Media we really appreciated this stunning property and felt privileged to work in it. It is often open to the public on Heritage Open Days in September, and well worth a visit should you get the opportunity.

If anyone reading this has any information, photos or stories about Greenland Fishery then please feel free to contact us and share your knowledge.

“One more thing,” I hear you asking, “is it haunted?” You’ll have to visit and find out for yourselves…

Facts about Greenland Fishery;

  • Constructed in 1605, it is believed to be one of the last timber framed structures built in King’s Lynn…
  • Is of the Jacobean Era (Reign of King James I (or James VI if you’re Scottish), 1603-1625) and to this day Jacobean paintings exist on the walls inside the residential half of the building…
  • In the early part of the century the northern part of the building operated as a baker’s shop, known for their speciality “Ships’ Biscuit.”
  • Survived World War I Zeppelin attacks and just about survived World War II air raids over King’s Lynn, despite some severe damage. Much of Bridge Street was destroyed following the WWII raids, but Greenland Fishery stood its ground…
  • Miss Diana Bullock OBE, the former headmistress of Gaywood Park School lived in the Greenland Fishery for over forty years until 1992
  • Consists of four levels covering two separate properties, including a vast cellar and attic…

Photo: The back of The Greenland Fishery, visible from Boal Quay car park.

Photo: The attic with original features still in place and stairway leading to the 1st floor.

Photo: Part of the cellar, which contains what we believe to have been a tunnel (now blocked) that led to the river’s edge.

Photo: Allens Yard runs down the centre of the Greenland Fishery, effectively splitting the two sides.

Photo: Listed features on the walls inside the main 1st floor room (not the clock, however, that’s modern!)

Photo: Fantastic red brick fireplace situated in the attic.

  • Heather Holdgate

    My ancestor, George Holdgate (1773-1837) was the original proprietor of this ‘inn’ … as a working establishment. He owned it from 1822 to 1836-37 and is where he died on 27 Apr 1837.

  • Heather Holdgate

    To rephrase my statement; George Holdgate was the first owner when it became the Greenland Fishery Inn.

    George Holdgate owned this inn and it appears, from the Norfolk Pub website that he was the original proprietor as the Greenland Fishery Inn, formerly called Watermans Arms. He owned this inn from 1822 to 1836-37.

    George Holdgate, the son of John Holdgate and Elizabeth Smith, was born on 1 Dec 1773 in Lynn Margaret and was christened on 30 Jan 1774 at St Margaret’s Church in Kings Lynn.

    He married Jane Towler, the previous wife of Robert Bolding, on 6 Oct 1803 at St Nicholas Chapel in Kings Lynn. She died about 1815 at the Greenland Fishery.

    George died at 64 years of age while still living at the Greenland Fishery Inn and was buried on 29 Apr 1837 at St Margaret’s Church in Kings Lynn.

    George and Jane had no children.

    His siblings were:
    John Holdgate (1775-1775)
    John Holgate (1776-1851) He married Phebe Wakefield and had 11 children
    Benjamin Holdgate (1777-1777)
    William Holdgate (1778-n/a)
    Elizabeth Holdgate (1781-1784)
    Mary Holdgate (1782-1782)