Great Yarmouth Town Wall

slideshow image

Pictures by permission of Frederick Riley

Great Yarmouth has one of the best preserved town walls in the country. King Henry III ordered the wall to be built in 1261 effectively turning Great Yarmouth into a fortress to deter any would be invaders. All buildings outside the wall were demolished.

Everyone in the town was forced to help build the wall which stands some twenty three feet high. If you were wealthy enough you could pay someone to do your share of the work. This was known as murage. The Wall is constructed from Beach Pebbles and Flint, which were the only local building materials in the middle ages.

The original wall was some 2200 yards long with accompanying towers and gates along its length. A good proportion of the wall still survives largely due to luck. Over the centuries houses had been built using the town wall as one wall of the house. When these houses were finally demolished the Town Wall was disovered largely intact, so it was saved for posterity.