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.
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.
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.