Overview

Probably the finest surviving merchant's town house in England, grade-one listed Clifton House provides 'the most remarkable catalogue of building periods from the middle ages onwards' (Pevsner).

As well as Tudor, Stuart and Georgian interiors and a magnificent staircase by Henry Bell, the tour includes the famous Elizabethan tower with its Jacobean murals and spectacular views. 

The house was begun in 1250 and subsequently remodelled by owners up to the Georgian period. The huge medieval wine cellar is the earliest brick structure in Norfolk; the kitchen has the largest domestic medieval tiled pavement in England (visible through hatches) and the five-storey tower, built in the 1570s, is unique. After half a century of institutional use the house is now being restored as a family house.

Clifton House can be visited through InviTation to View tours only

Tour details

Tour of the house and the Elizabethan tower led by the owners.

Directions

The house is in the centre of King's Lynn. Follow signs to South Quay and park in the Baker Lane car park. The house is 17 Queen Street, immediately recognisable by its barley-twist columns on the front door.

Tour price

£18.00

Refreshments

Tea, coffee and home-baked cakes.

Access notes

Very limited access.


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Find Us
Find us

Clifton House is situated in the heart of King's Lynn old town. The nearest parking is at Baker Lane or South Quay.

To reach us via public transport, regular train services run from London and Cambridge to King's Lynn, and bus services run from Peterborough and Norwich. Bus & train stations are approximately 10 minutes walk from Clifton House.

Parking

  • Both of the nearby car parks (at Baker Lane or South Quay) are Public Pay & Display sites.

Admission
Admission

£17.50 per person

Group Visits
Group Visits

Group tours are guided by owners Dr. Simon Thurley or Dr. Anna Keay and can be tailor-made to your group’s requirements. In collaboration with Dr. Paul Richards tours can be extended to other buildings in the town.


Fun Facts
Clifton House is the most important house in the historic town of King’s Lynn. A merchant’s house in the heart of the town, it retains an amazing series of historic interiors dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries and is Grade 1 listed. Features of interest include two tiled floors from the later 13th century (the largest in-situ tiled floors in any secular building in Britain); the 14th-century vaulted undercroft; the five-storey Elizabethan tower and a series of rooms created by the architect Henry Bell in 1700.

Upcoming events

15 May 2020

Clifton House, East

800 year old merchants’ house now the home of Simon Thurley and Anna Keay. The tour includes period rooms of the 17th and 18th century, medieval wine vaults, an Elizabethan tower with Jacobean murals and tea in the Tudor kitchen.