Great Yarmouth Castle

Great Yarmouth Castle.
Palmer 1882.


  • Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
  • OSGB – TG 525 073
  • Monument Number 134109



Medieval castle.

The earliest description we have of the castle states that it was

Seated in the middle of the town with four turrets, which do serve instead of a watch tower or signal. (Palmer 1882).

We know the castle once belonged to the Bardolf family, as we have a record of

William, Lord Bardolf, married Julia, daughter of Hugh Gourney, and that she brought as her dower, with other possessions, the castle of Great Yarmouth. (Palmer 1882).


Timeline for the site,

1075                       The manor and lands were acquired by the de Gourney family, who had assisted William the Conqueror when he invaded England.

1330                       Built.

1399                       First recorded and had four turrets.

1525                       Conveyed to William Boroughs and Sir Reynold Rous. They granted the town use of the castle.

1550                       The whole castle was granted to the town corporation. They used it as a gaol and a courthouse.  The East Wall was rebuilt.

1554                       The castle was strengthened, and a beacon was erected on the top of the tower.

1562                       Repaired.

1596                       A beacon was again set up on the castle turrets.

1620                       The top of the castle was demolished, and the lower section was used by the Admiralty for storage of dues.

1808                       Sold to Thomas Penrice who built a Coach House with stabling over most of the site.

1621                       The remainder of the castle was demolished.

1980                        Field Investigation.


References & Bibliography.

Manship. H. 1854. The History of Great Yarmouth. L. A. Meall

Meall. L. A. 1854. Pictorial guide to Great Yarmouth. L. A. Meali.

Palmer. C. J. 1872. The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, with Gorleston and Southtown. G. Nall.

Pettifer. A. 2002. English Castles: A Guide by Counties. Boydell & Brewer

Urban. S. 1872.  Great Yarmouth. Gentleman’s Magazine, Or Monthly Intelligencer, Volume 94. Edward Cave.


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