Great Yarmouth Town Wall
Has been described as a Certain Urban Defence
There are major building remains
|Name||Great Yarmouth Town Wall
|Civil Parish||Great Yarmouth
The Medieval Town Wall of Great Yarmouth runs from the river Bure to the banks of the river Yare and is about 23 ft high, 2238 yards long and encloses an area of 133 acres. The construction of the wall was authorised by the Crown in 1260 but building did not begin until 1284. The method of construction was that a trench, later the moat, was dug to a depth of 5ft. Its base was lines with large flagstones to form a solid level surface. Walling of knapped flint, some 2ft 6ins thick was then built as a revetment containing the loose material forming the trench sides. A 5ft trench was dug along the inner side of the revetment wall and at intervals of about 11ft. heaps of flint were placed to form piers for the brick arcading. The brick work formed the inner walling and knapped flint was built on the basal revetment to form the outer facing. In between the piers arrow slits were placed constructed of Caen stone. The top of the brick arcading was finished off as a wall walk and the flint facing was built up to form the parapet. Towers and gates were constructed at intervals along the wall. The wall was completed in the late C14th. In the C16th an earthen rampart was thrown up against the inner side of the wall as a defense against gunfire from ships. Gun ports were constructed on top of the rampart. The Mount (see TG 50 NW 17) and the South Mound (see TG 50 NW 5) were constructed at this time as emplacements for ordnance.
The town was refortified during the Civil War when the moat was redug. By the late C18th the moat was refilled with soil and rubbish and the wall had ceased its defensive function (Gt Yarmouth Town Wall Report Oct 1969; Turner 1971).
Great Yarmouth Town Wall is in the main visible throughout its entire length. Modern buildings occupy a few short lengths and modern roads now replace the old gates but many of the towers remain. Traces of the internal earthworks are still visible but there is no trace of the moat
Where best preserved the thickness of the wall attains 2.0m with a height of 6.0m (F1 RSC 28-OCT-80).
In the 16th century the Duke of Norfolk ordered that the wall be reinforced. This was done by the building up of a rampart of largely domestic rubbish behind the wall. This reinforcing process was repeated several times in 1557 and 1587. (PastScape)
This site is a scheduled monument protected by law
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law
Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||TG526073