UK Travel Guide


Burgh Castle

Description: Burgh castle is a fort, which lies on the river Waveney, to the south west of Great Yarmouth and was built in the latter half of the third century, when the threat of attack by Saxon pirates increased. It was part of a co-ordinated response to these attacks. Collectively the forts were known as the Forts of the Saxon Shore. There is little trace of the other forts above ground unlike the well preserved ramparts at Burgh Castle. The garrison at this location was part of the elite Stablesian cavalry from Greece, they had served in Holland and were accustomed to marsh warfare. When the fort was built it looked over the estuary to Caister-on-Sea. The remains of the south wall are well preserved showing all its facing-flints separated by rows of tile bonding-courses and it forms a magnificent stretch of Roman Masonry, eight feet thick at the base, and fifteen feet high. The fallen bastion shows a circular socket for anchoring a Roman ballista which hurled stone balls and other weapons on to the attacker. The fort was occupied until the fourth century when Constantine III took the troops with him to fight in Europe. In 630AD there are records which indicate that the Irish monk, Fursey, had formed a monastery at Burgh castle with the permission of King Sighebert. In the 19thCentury, evidence was found of a timber wharf at the foot of a low cliff beside the river.
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Notes: The remains are a good reminder of the Roman occupation of Britain.