Record Details

NHER Number:9
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of Ber Street Gate


Ber Street Gate was first mentioned in 1146 AD, and it was built on a corner of the city wall (NHER 384) which runs southeast and southwest from the gate. It is thought that an early stone gateway was set into an earthen bank in the mid 12th century, and that this earthwork was replaced by a stone wall after around 1290. Ber Street Gate was demolished in 1808.

An excavation in 1948 on the site of Ber Street Gate recorded a number of features. These include traces of a World War Two air-raid shelter. There only a few finds, and no traces of the early bank expected. Some fragments of Late Saxon pottery were recovered.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 2356 0771
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

1948. Excavation [1] adjacent to electricity sub-station.
Traces of air-raid shelter of World War Two. Few finds, no traces of early bank. Fragment of Late Saxon pottery.
Two sections were cut across the line of the medieval defences, plus other trenches for the N.R.C. and N.N.A.S., courtesy of Norwich Corporation.
The Gatehouse was first mentioned in 1146 AD (S3) and was demolished in 1808.
The stretch of wall running south-east from the angle was set on the crest of a bank of compacted loam around 1ft (0.3m) thick.
The stretch of wall running south-west had foundations around 5ft (1.5m) deep onto the natural gravel.
This differing sequence suggested an early stone gateway set into an earthen bank in mid 12th century, with a bank replaced by a stone wall after around 1290.
The houses immediately adjacent to this site, 3 and 5 Bracondale, were formerly the Richmondhill Tavern. In the late 1970s a query appeared in the NIAS newletter asking for the location of this building as a 19th century account was stated to have identified it as the site of a medieval bell foundry. No further details appeared but there are several excavated examples in other walled towns of bell foundries being dug into earthwork defences.
E. Rose (NLA), 15 September 2000.

The bell foundry was in fact said to be Newman's, which was post medieval in date.
E. Rose (NLA), 5 October 2002.

Probably first mentioned between 1175 AD and 1186 AD in the Liber Albus.
Member of the public states gate pulled down in 1726 and rebuilt with red brick. Archway nearby rebuilt 1727 and north tower pulled down. Gate finally demolished 1808. Wall between Ber Street and Brazen Doors ordered to be rebuilt 1727.
Gate repaired also 1680, 1699.
E. B. Green (NCM).

Monument Types

  • BELL FOUNDRY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOWN DEFENCES (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1808 AD)
  • GATE (12th Century to 19th Century - 1146 AD to 1808 AD)
  • BELL FOUNDRY (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • AIR RAID SHELTER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Jennings, S. 1981. Eighteen Centuries of Pottery from Norwich. East Anglian Archaeology. No 13.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 NW 100.5.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. The Ber Street Duel.. 23 October.
---Record Card: NCM Staff. 1973-1989. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card - Norwich.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
<S2>Article in Serial: Jope, E. M. 1952. Excavations in the City of Norwich, 1948. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXX pp 287-323. pp 294-295; Figs 5, 8.
<S3>Article in Monograph: Dugdale. 1655. Charter of Carrow Abbey.. Monasticon Anglicanum. Vol I, p 246.

Related records

20Parent of: Part of Ber Street Gate, post medieval pottery sherds (Monument)
384Part of: Norwich City Defences (Monument)

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2020 Norfolk Historic Environment Service