Revealed: King's Lynn's history as a 'vibrant' Jewish community

Study highlights market town's Jewish influence in medieval times


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A new study released by the Foundation for Jewish Heritage sheds light on the “small but vibrant” medieval Jewish community of King’s Lynn.

The research was undertaken by archaeologist Joe Abrams, who has collated what was known of the Jewish community of the Norfolk market town, flagging streets and locations where they may have lived.

In medieval times, King’s Lynn was an important trading port linked with the Hanseatic League.

After the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290, echoes of the community remained — for example, a street off the main market area was called Jews Lane until the 19th century. The research has been shared with those involved in local heritage and is timely given the Urban Archaeological Database for King’s Lynn is being updated.

It is also intended to stimulate discussion on what remains may exist and links to broader issues such as economy, settlement patterns and trade.

Mr Abrams said that by “shining a light” on King’s Lynn and other medieval Jewish communities, understanding would increase.

Foundation chief executive Michael Mail hoped the study “can act as a springboard for increased efforts to address the medieval Jewish experience from the perspective of archaeology”.


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