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 monastery.

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 England.
first posted 10 July 1999       last revised 20 February 2004