Trinity College, Lynn was the creation of Thomas Thoresby, burgess, merchant and 3 times Mayor of the Borough. Building was still in progress when he died in 1510 and it fell to his executors to see that the intentions of the founder and sole benefactor of the college which perpetuates his name.
Thoresby’s object was to provide accommodation and with it a simple form of collegiate life, for 13 priests employed as chantry chaplains by the powerful Trinity Guild of Lynn. Chambers were also provided also for the charnel priest of Lynn and for Thoresby’s own chantry priests for whom he made provisions in his will and who were to pray for him and his family ‘as long as the world shall endure’.
A good deal of adaption in post-Reformation times to make the building suitable for domestic and commercial use has obscured the original internal arrangements of the College. Nevertheless, ranged around its open quadrangle, Thoresby College is one of the most complete survivals of medieval Lynn.
In 1963 the entire complex was bought by Ruth, Lady Fermoy and her daughter, Mrs Shand-Kydd and presented to the King’s Lynn Preservation Trust for restoration, with the request that the building be used for the benefit of the whole community.
Today sees continuing work on the domestic flats while office space affords accommodation largely for the voluntary sector and the Great Hall with its Undercroft provides a popular meeting place for the town’s people. Thoresby College is also home to the KLPT office.
Main image credit: Nick Ford