Weybourne Fort

Has been described as a Possible Artillery Fort

There are no visible remains

NameWeybourne Fort
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishWeybourne

During the invasion scare of 1587, the 2 miles of beach west of Weybourne to Cley was identified as the weakest undefended beach in Norfolk, and an elaborate plan of defences was drawn up by Edmund Yorke to defend the coast. This included a pentagonal bastion trace fort on the high ground at the eastern end of Salthouse marshes. It is unknown how much of the plan was created, the time being too short for proper defences to be created. (PastScape ref. Kent, 1988)

A series of quite dilapidated channels and trenches are visible to the immediate north of the Anti-Aircraft Training Camp at Weybourne on aerial photographs. It is possible that these angular linear earthworks are the fragmentary remains of the post medieval sconces and fortifications at Weybourne Hope. The site is centred on TG 1042 4379. The main and most obvious component of the site is a channel or trench that runs from TG 1026 4385 to TG 1083 4375, up to 6.5m wide. This earthwork has quite an angular course and is flanked by a bank fragmentary bank to the north, the longest section of which runs from TG 1048 4376 to TG 1073 4374 and again is up to 6.5m wide. A further stretch of ditch is visible to the west from TG 0983 4394 to TG 0994 4391. Centred on TG 1044 4379 are a group of possible raised area or earthwork platforms, although it is possible that they are the remains of old saltmarsh features. The line of the main channel is depicted on the 1902-7 2nd edition map and has the appearance of a creek rather than an artificial feature. It is possible that all of these 'earthworks' relate to former saltmarsh creeks and channels, although the main ditch in particular seems quite pronounced and too well defined and angular to be of entirely natural origin. It is possible that these fragmentary channels may be related to trenches or sconces of the Armada phase construction or renovation of fortifications, as depicted in the Hatfield House map

Due to coastal erosion it is likely that the majority of any defences relating to that period have now been lost. In Peter Brook's book on the history of Weybourne the area of fields and cliff line to the north of Weybourne village is referred to as 'Sconce and No Man's Friend Furl' on a pre-enclosure map of the early nineteenth century. This is positioned to the immediate north of the present coastline and therefore the majority of these defences would have now been eroded away. However reference to the 'planned' design of the sconces, they do turn inland significantly to the west and therefore it is possible that elements of them may have survived until relatively recently. This area of coast has eroded away since the features were mapped from the 1946 aerial photographs. (Norfolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Formed one end of an intended linear beach befence the other end being Black Joy Fort

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTG104437
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Hooton, J.J., 1996, Glaven Ports: Maritime History of Blakeney, Cley and Wiveton in North Norfolk (Blakeney History Group)
  • 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. 178-80
  • Brooks, P., 1984, Weybourne: Peaceful Mirror of a Turbulent Past


  • David Robertson with Peter Crawley, Adam Barker and Sandrine Whitmore, 2005, Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey (Norfolk Archaeological Unit Report No. 1045 for English Heritage) fig. 26 online copy