Lothingland on the Internet - Burgh Castle - Garriannonum
For the Burgh Castle picture page, click here
This fort, which lies on the river Waveney, to the south west of
Gt.Yarmouth was built in the second half of the third century, when the
threat of attack by Saxon pirates increased. To co-ordinate resistance
to these attacks a series of strong forts known as the Forts of the
Saxon Shore were built. Those at Brancaster, in Norfolk, and Bradwell
on Sea in Essex , have left little trace above the ground but the site
at Burgh Castle is very fine.
The garrison was a detatchment of the elite Stablesian cavalry from
Greece, they had served in Holland and were accustomed to marsh warfare.
When built the fort looked over the estuary to Caister-on-Sea. The
standing part of the south wall retains all its facing-flints separated
by rows of tile bonding-courses and 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 111 took
the troops with him to fight in Europe.
It is mentioned that in 630 AD . Fursey, the Irish monk had settled at
Burgh Castle where he formed, by permission of King Sighebert a
In the 19thCentury, evidence was found of a timber wharf at the foot of
a low cliff beside the river.
Now the massive walls are an impressive reminder of the Roman legacy in
10 July 1999
last revised 20 February 2004