The house was built in 1605 by John Atkin, merchant and four times Mayor of Lynn. It appears it was in the family’s possession until 1660 when his grandson, Thomas, sold it.
The building seems to have been divided into two at an early stage when the southern portion became a public house, called either “The Watermen’s Arms” or “The Fishermen’s Arms”. But it was later renamed for sailors in the whaling industry, which was of major importance to the town’s economy until the arrival of coal gas lighting in the 19th century.
It is Grade II* listed and is thought to be one of the last timber framed buildings to have been erected in King’s Lynn. The interior features an important series of Jacobean wall-paintings.
Main image credit: Jon Jackson