Great Yarmouth Town Walls

Great Yarmouth.
By Tanya Dedyukhina, CC BY 3.0,


  • Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
  • OSGB – TG 5267 0734


Medieval town defences, rampart, measuring approximately 23ft high, 6,714ft long and enclosing 133 acres. It included 10 gates and 16 towers.


1261                      Henry III ordered a wall and moat to be built due to the Simon de Montfort rebellion. However, work started 24 years later.

1284                       Started.

1349                       Work on the wall stopped due to the Black Death.

1369                       Edward III ordered the townspeople to pay towards the construction of the town defences owing to corruption of the funds.

14th C                     Completed.

1545                       Henry III instructed the Duke of Norfolk to demolish houses which had been built against the walls. The Duke of Norfolk inspected the defences and found they were in need of repair.

1553-1558              During: Additional works were added.

1587                       Defences modified.

1588                       A walk was made on the rampart.

16th C                     Earth embankment constructed west of the town wall which stood approximately 10.5ft high.

1625                       Inspected under orders of Charles I. They were in a bad state of repair and were strengthened.

1642                       The town followed Parliament and was put in a state of defence. Houses against the town walls were taken down, the gates were repaired, locked and well guarded.

1642                       23rd December: The town had to pay £1,200 for the fortifications.

1643                       October: The town was defended by a company of soldiers.

17th C                     The sixteenth century earth embankment was widened.

18th C                     No longer used as a defence.

1972-1973             Northgate Street excavated.

1978-1980             Priory Plain excavated.

1984                      General Hospital excavated.

1986                      Mount excavated.

1994                      Lancaster Street excavated.

1995                      Pudding Gate and west of King Henry’s Tower surveyed.

1996                      Watching Brief of southern part.

1997                      St. Nicholas churchyard excavated.

1997                      Watching Brief at St. Nicholas churchyard.

1998                      Market Gates Shopping Centre evaluated.


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