The Greenland Fishery | Historic House in King’s Lynn | Maritime Heritage | Whaling History | Heritage Crafts | Whale Workshop | Leather Whales

The Greenland Fishery – Historic House | One of King’s Lynn’s oldest jettied timber-framed buildings. It’s about maritime heritage, whaling history, and these days it’s about leather whales…

The building known as the Greenland Fishery was built in 1605 (year of the Gunpowder Plot), by the then Mayor of King’s Lynn, merchant John Atkin; it seems he lived in it with his family until 1660 (year of the restoration of the monarchy, after the Protectorate under the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell), when it was sold, probably by his grandson.

The Greenland Fishery house in King's Lynn

The Greenland Fishery house in King’s Lynn

Nicholas Pevsner said, in ‘The Buildings of England, North-West and South Norfolk (1962):  “Now along BRIDGE STREET, where, opposite a row of nice minor Georgian cottages, The GREENLAND FISHERIES BUILDING, Jacobean, timber-framed, with overselling upper floor, oriels, and the remains of an overselling second floor. (Some early c17 wall paintings on the first floor.)”  Find out more…

The Greenland Fishery house’s connection to the whaling industry is that it was a tavern. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Greenland Fishery Tavern was home to the whalers who went hunting for whales in the Arctic.

The whaling industry was disastrous for whales and many were hunted close to extinction. At the Greenland Fishery today, whale workshop continues the industry, by making handcrafted leather whales.