Great Yarmouth Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are no visible remains

NameGreat Yarmouth Castle
Alternative NamesKingstonhus
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishGreat Yarmouth

The site of Great Yarmouth's medieval castle. The castle was probably constructed before 1208. In 1550 it was given to the town and used a gaol. In 1621 it was demolished. Little is known of its structure, although C16 illustration shows it as a keep with four towers. Deep foundations and a floor found in 1965 during building work were probably part of it. Rutledge states that the name Castle was not used until 1396, but before this it was called the Kingstonhus which must take its date of foundation back to before 1208 when the town was in the king's hands. (Norfolk HER)

In 1620 the upper storey was removed and the materials used for enclosing the mount The following year the whole structure was demolished. (PastScape ref. Palmer, 1984)

Gatehouse Comments

Presumably Kingstonhus is a contraction of 'King's Stone House' suggesting a masonry castle from the start. The description seems to be that of a C12 Norman Tower. This demonstrates the very flexible way the term castle and other terms were used in contemporary records.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTG525073
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 57
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 159
  • Rogerson, Andrew, 1994, 'Castles' in Wade-Martins, P, (ed), An Historical Atlas of Norfolk (2edn Norwich; Norfolk Museums) p. 68-9
  • Margeson, S., Seiller, F. and Rogerson, A., 1994, The Normans in Norfolk (Norfolk Museums Service) p. 24
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 310
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 308 online copy


  • Palmer, C.J. (ed), 1854, Manship's History of Great Yarmouth (Yarmouth) p. 50, 239 (written temp. James I) online copy


  • Richard Nevell, 2014-15, 'Castles as prisons' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 28 p. 203-224
  • Rutledge, P., 1990, 'Before the Walls (of Great Yarmouth)' Yarmouth Archaeology p. 43
  • Palmer, C.J., 1864, 'The Town Wall of Great Yarmouth' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 6 p. 117 online copy