Record Details

NHER Number:12030
Type of record:Building
Name:Southtown Arsenal

Summary

Built in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars, this arsenal had enough stores to equip two ships of the line, four frigates and six sloops. The complex of buildings became disused after the end of the war, and were leased out for civilian storage purposes before being converted to a militia barracks. They were eventually sold to Colman's, the food manufacturers, in 1891 when many alterations were carried out. The arsenal buildings were partly demolished and partly destroyed by World War Two bombing. The remaining structures, including the armoury and barrack block, are in civilian use or abandoned. An 18th century cannon was unearthed in 1982, and is now in the market place.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 5232 0682
Map Sheet:TG50NW
Parish:GREAT YARMOUTH, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

This arsenal was built in 1806 and designed by Wyatt. It cost £15,000 to construct, had a stone wharf and contained sufficient stores to equip two sail of the line, four frigates and six sloops.
Disused in 1826 according to (S1).
The buildings were later converted to barracks which were still in use in 1880.
Altered 1893 when the site was acquired by Colmans.
Part demolished and much altered. Central block formerly Swift's Abbatoir. North range engineering works.
Entrance blocks 244 and 245 Southtown Road.
Cannon excavated 1982. Now restored and in Yarmouth Market Place, see (S2) and (S3).
See (S4) and (S5) in file.
See also photographs (S6) in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 3 October 1985.

When peace was restored in 1815 the Ordnance Store became surplus to the Navy's requirements and some of the buildings were leased for civilian uses.
At the outbreak of the Crimean War (1853-6) the Store was used as a barracks for the 2nd Battalion of the East Norfolk Regiment and various other militia regiments, and two new barrack blocks were built, of which only the north (NHER 55959) survives.
The site was purchased by Colmans, the food manufacturers, in 1891. It is unclear what they used the site for, but grain storage seems probable. A number of new buildings were erected at this time, but none survives.
Information from (S5).
Demolished buildings on this site include two parallel ranges of Storehouses which ran from the east side of the Arsenal to the riverside. They were built to a common plan: each Storehouse was a single-storey building of 15 bays divided into stores of 5 bays. The rear walls of these stores formed the perimeter wall of the site.
Adjacent to the Armoury (NHER 55960) was a Magazine which appears to have been built to an adapted version of the standard Board of Ordnance magazine plan, but was half the length (35 feet as opposed to 64 feet) noted on the standard plan, and intended to hold less than half the amount of powder. A cooperage was included within the magazine compound. Other buildings which no longer remain include the Officers' Quarters, Stable, Chaise House and Fire Engine House, all of which occupied a single-storeyed building on the south site of the site, west of the armoury.
See also (S7), (S8) and (S9), cited in (S5).
For details of extant buildings on this site, all of which are Listed, see NHER 55958-55963.
A. Cattermole (HES), 11 August 2011.

Monument Types

  • ARSENAL (Post Medieval - 1806 AD to 1815 AD)
  • COOPERAGE (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1806 AD)
  • FIRE ENGINE HOUSE (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1806 AD)
  • MAGAZINE (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1806 AD)
  • OFFICERS QUARTERS (Post Medieval - 1806 AD to 1831 AD?)
  • STABLE (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1806 AD)
  • STOREHOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1806 AD to 1928 AD?)
  • BARRACKS (Post Medieval - 1850 AD to 1890 AD)
  • GRAIN WAREHOUSE? (Post Medieval to Unknown - 1891 AD)

Associated Finds

  • CANNON (Post Medieval - 1806 AD? to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Serial: 1826. Excursions Through Norfolk Supplement..
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Cover-up so bang goes old cannon. 15 February. 2.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1982. Yarmouth Cannon Surfaces. 26 February. 2.
<S4>Unpublished document: Rose, E.. 1985. Building Report. Southtown Arsenal, Great Yarmouth..
<S5>Unpublished document: Williams, A.. 1999. The Royal Ordnance Store, Southtown and Gorleston Great Yarmouth Norfolk. March.
<S6>Photograph: CUW 18-24.
<S7>Documentary source: Ordnance Survey. 1810. Return showing the Whole Extent of the Ordnance Lands at Great Yarmouth.
<S8>Documentary source: Ordnance Survey. 1831. Return showing the Whole Extent of the Ordnance Lands at Great Yarmouth.
<S9>Documentary source: Ordnance Survey. 1851. Return showing the Whole Extent of the Ordnance Lands at Great Yarmouth.

Related records

55958Parent of: 244 Southtown Road, Gorleston (Building)
55959Parent of: 244a Southtown Road, Gorleston (Building)
55960Parent of: 244b Southtown Road, Gorleston (Building)
55961Parent of: 245 Southtown Road, Gorleston (Building)
55962Parent of: Utility Block east of 244A Southtown Road, Gorleston (Building)
55963Parent of: Workshop range east of 244A Southtown Road (Building)
MNO6492Related to: 244a Southtown Road SOUTHTOWN AND GORLESTON (Revoked)
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