Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nelson Street, King's Lynn

click photo to enlarge
Nelson Street, King's Lynn, shown in today's photograph, was formerly called Lath Street, a name recalled in Lath Mansions, a building that was a merchant's house and which is now divided into flats. Re-naming of the road took place after a British fleet under Horatio Nelson won a famous victory over a combined fleet of the French and Spanish navies at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson was a Norfolk man who was born at Burnham Thorpe only twenty five miles north east of King's Lynn. For anyone interested in architectural history the story of the street's name, fascinating though it is, definitely comes second to the sequence of buildings that line each side.

Nelson Street is only 166 yards (150 metres) long yet it has a total of 26 buildings (either as individual structures or in groups) and a length of garden wall that have been Listed as being of architectural or historic importance. These span the years from the medieval period right up to the nineteenth century and include relatively humble dwellings as well as the fine Georgian town houses of wealthy merchants. Quite a few are buildings that have been modified as succeeding centuries tried to bring them up to date. The architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner describes the sequence of Nelson Street, St Margaret's Place and Queen Street as "one of the most satisfying Georgian promenades in England." He's right (though I'd add King Street to his sequence), and so, rather than describe the architectural riches at great length I invite you, courtesy of Google Street View, to take that "promenade" yourself. Don't forget to look left and right as well as up and down as you make your way through the narrow streets.

Google Street View - Nelson Street, St Margaret's Place, Queen Street, King Street.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 65mm
 F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On