The Crutch, Kings Lynn

Has been described as a Certain Artillery Fort

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameThe Crutch, Kings Lynn
Alternative Names'ye croche'
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishKings Lynn

The centre of this site is a sub-rounded mound with a potential east to west length of 115m and a width of 80m. This is almost certainly a saltern mound, and forms a small group along with sites NHER 27129, 27130 and 27131. This in turn is part of an extensive saltern complex on the former saltmarsh at South Wootton. Dating evidence for the salterns is scarce although isolated finds from sites further to the north would suggest that the majority of these mounds are medieval in date.

The mound is enclosed by a relatively large sub-rectangular ditch, which has a width of up to 8m in 1946, although it may be much altered and silted up by that time. The ditch may be contemporary with the saltern but the size of the features has given rise to the identification of the site as a fort, possibly from the Spanish Armada period (1588). Two cannon were also allegedly found on the site. This location may have been strategically important to guard the approach up the River Ouse, and a saltern mound may have been utilised to build such an installation under urgent circumstances. However, NHER 31431 to the immediate west appears more like a fortified site, although they may both be fortifications of different periods. (Norfolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Large, for a coastal battery, rectangular earthwork enclosure for artillery built in 1588 and soon allowed to decay.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTF633222
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Kent, Peter, 1994, 'Armada and 17th-Century Defences' in Wade-Martins, P, (ed), An Historical Atlas of Norfolk (2edn Norwich; Norfolk Museums) p. 136-7
  • Kent, Peter, 1988, Fortifications of East Anglia (Lavenham: Ternence Dalton) p. 225


  • Hurst, D.G., 1968, 'Post-medieval Britain in 1967' Post-Medieval Archaeology Vol. 2 p. 176-7
  • Cozens-Hardy, B., 1938, 'Norfolk Coastal defences in 1588' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 310-14