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A couple pointing at artwork in an Hunstanton shop. The woman is wearing a red top and grey shorts and the man is wearing a beige jumper and dark grey three quarter length shorts.

Arts and Crafts in West Norfolk

West Norfolk has a fascinating rich arts and cultural history, reflected in the art galleries and organisations in the area, along with its locals. King’s...

West Norfolk has a fascinating rich arts and cultural history, reflected in the art galleries and organisations in the area, along with its locals.

King’s Lynn

Being home to notable visual artists throughout history, from the renowned painter Walter Dexter (1876-1958) to fine artist Gustav Metzger (living in King’s Lynn for around 8 years from 1953) and the contemporary sculptor and Royal Academy regular Andrew Schumann amongst many more, it is no surprise that King’s Lynn is a town with fantastic opportunities to explore the visual arts. Indeed, the town centre itself is testament to this, featuring a wealth of public art and sculpture on its streets, in its parks and public gardens, and on main pedestrian areas.

Located on King’s Lynn’s Purfleet Street, opposite the town’s superb Custom House, GroundWork Gallery is a modern art exhibition space with an exciting and innovative programme of exhibitions focussing on how art can enable us to respond to our changing environment and shape its future. Always featuring a striking and bold arts and crafts programme throughout the year, the contemporary – and often cutting-edge – nature of the exhibitions at GroundWork Gallery gives the opportunity to experience the cosmopolitan atmosphere of a city arts gallery in a stunning rural environment.

Exterior of The Groundwork Gallery, King's Lynn
GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn [Image: GroundWork Gallery]
Art exhibition at The Groundwork Gallery, King's Lynn
Adam King’s installation in the stairwell in 2019 as part of On the Edge at GroundWork Gallery [Image: GroundWork Gallery]

Alongside the South Quay, The Hanse House gallery space on the first floor of the Hanse House complex shows a varied and modern selection of art exhibitions at certain times of the year (check their official website for more details), with one-off cultural events, craft and education workshops also happening at the gallery space throughout the year.

Exterior of the Hanse House, King's Lynn
Hanse House in King’s Lynn
Art exhibition inside The Hanse House, King's Lynn
The Hanse House gallery is currently available to let on a long or short lease basis [Image: Lenzman Photographer Peter Rye]

Complementing the rich heritage of literature in the area, King’s Lynn notably hosts the annual King’s Lynn Poetry Festival. This popular Literature Festival is held during a single weekend in September each year, the guiding principle being to present some of the best contemporary writers in a congenial, historical and informal setting.

West Norfolk

West Norfolk has a fascinatingly rich arts and cultural history, reflected in the art galleries and organisations in the area, along with its locals: being the past and present home of modern British artist Matthew Hilton (son of abstract artist Roger Hilton CBE) and international sculptor Antony Gormley OBE respectively, among many other artists.

The area also has a strong heritage within the world of literature, being the home of internationally renowned diarist and novelist Fanny Burney (1752-1840), famous author Daniel Defoe having been a regular visitor to the area, and writer/actor Stephen Fry having grown up – and continues to be a long-term resident – in west Norfolk too. King’s Lynn resident Margery Kempe (c.1373 – around 1438, alive when the town was named Bishop’s Lynn) was a Christian mystic known for writing ‘The Book of Margery Kempe’, a work considered by many to be the first autobiography in the English language.

There is a lively arts scene in west Norfolk, providing high quality gallery exhibitions and open-air entertainment throughout the region. Whether it is that ‘special something’ to take home with you, a handmade objet d’art, traditional craft ornament, or even a contemporary artwork or sculpture to add to your collection, west Norfolk has it all.

Take a visit to the regular Craft and Collectables Market at Downham Market too, held on many Fridays and Saturdays, for something more traditional.

Outside the Garage Studio in Ringstead
The Garage Studio in Ringstead [Image: The Garage Studio]
Inside the Garage Studio in Ringstead
One of the gallery’s three rooms [Image: The Garage Studio]

Along the west Norfolk coastline, Hunstanton boasts a range of popular arts and entertainment festivals too, including the Hunstanton and District Festival of Arts and the Old Hunstanton Flower Festival, where there are all sorts of horticultural or home-made creative gifts to buy. The Garage Studio in Ringstead sells wonderful pieces from artists to fund the creation of Peddars Meadow in Ringstead, Norfolk.

In the heart of Dersingham, you will find Dersingham Pottery and Gallery which recently celebrated its 50th year. The gallery showcases the hand thrown porcelain and stoneware pieces by June Mullarkey and the superb paintings in acrylic on canvas by Ben Mullarkey.

Artwork sold in West Norfolk
A window display of stoneware and porcelain at Dersingham Pottery & Gallery [Image: Dersingham Pottery & Gallery]
Artwork sold in West Norfolk

The Thornham Triptych in the gallery is acrylic on canvas by Ben Mullarkey [Image: Dersingham Pottery & Gallery]


For details of festivals, exhibitions and special craft markets around West Norfolk visit the events listings for the latest details.

Art and Culture Venues

From the famous performances at the ‘Festival Town of King’s Lynn’, to the work of artists inspired by the architecture and landscapes of west Norfolk, check out details of a host of locations to visit including our leading regular entertainment venues.

Please note that the information provided on this webpage was accurate on the date and time it was published [30/06/2022 13:09]. Details may have changed after this time and date.

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