Record Details

NHER Number:10550
Type of record:Monument
Name:Harbour Fort


Harbour Fort was built in 1648 or 1663. It is shown on old maps as being a polygonal brick fort with ravelins, two half moon batteries, no ditch and brick crenellations. Inside the fort were barracks, a magazine and a storeroom. The building was generally kept in good repair and well armed. However, reports in 1741 state it was being enlarged and yet by 1746 it was leaking and local people were throwing stones down the air holes. It was dismantled in 1834 after a bastion was washed away.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 532 038
Map Sheet:TG50SW

Full description

Site of Harbour Fort.
Marked on (S1) as polygonal with ravelins. (S2) refers to this as Yarmouth Castle (not to be confused with medieval castle at St George's). 23.18m (76 feet) square interior fifteen guns, two half moon batteries, no ditch, brick crenellations. Barracks, magazine and storeroom within. Repaired 1746 but leaking, and people were throwing stones down the air holes. [1] notes a survey of 1757 saying the guns were ten 6 pounders and five 24 pounders. The fort was originally built by Commonwealth troops 1648, probably with reused material. A bastion was washed away in 1832 and the whole dismantled 1834.
See (S3) in which a detailed plan is reproduced.
E. Rose (NAU), 23 March 1984.

Further details, including armament in 1811 of six 24 pounders and four 6 pounders, and of good condition in 1819 'though not used for many years' in (S4).
E. Rose (NAU), 10 May 1985.

Site wrongly numbered NHER 13373 and placed around 530 043 on basis of old Ordnance Survey information in (S5), which according to (S6) must either be a mistake for this site, or based on (S7) which shows a fort on each side of the river as an Armada defence, but which seem never to have been built. (S8) states that the fort shown by (S1) was armed with 32 pounders. This does not square with the information above.
E. Rose (NAU), 21 August 1985

(S9) states that this fort was built in 1663 and properly known as Harbour Fort. He does also show a 'Bulwark' of 1539 to the northwest where site NHER 13373 was marked which he states had three guns. This therefore predates (S7); but what is the evidence for its location? He states only that it was 'by St Nicholas Gat' which he shows on p 196 as the present harbour mouth.
E. Rose (NLA), 5 November 1998.

The fort is shown in (S10); now at Towneley Hall, Burnley.
E. Rose (NLA), 21 August 2001.

(S11) notes that in 1741 the fort had two round bastions and two angular bastions to the river; it had 18 to 20 guns, was built of brick and being enlarged.
E. Rose (NLA), 4 February 2003.

Monument Types

  • FORT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
<S1>Publication: Faden, W. and Barringer, J. C. 1989. Faden's Map of Norfolk in 1797.
<S2>Unpublished Document: 1750. Survey of Great Yarmouth town defences.
<S3>Serial: 1984. Yarmouth Archaeology. VolII, I. Vol.II, I, p.11. p 11.
<S4>Article in Serial: 1985. [unknown]. Yarmouth Archaeology. Vol 2, No.2, p 27. p 27.
<S5>Archive: Bolingbroke Collection.
<S6>Article in Serial: 1977. Great Yarmouth Town Wall.. Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society.
<S7>Map: 1588. Map of Great Yarmouth.
<S8>Publication: Kent, P. 1988. Fortifications of East Anglia.
<S9>Publication: Evans, J. and Britton, J. 1810. The Beauties of England and Wales: or Delineations, Topographical, Historical and Descriptive of each County. Vol 11.
<S10>Illustration: George Vincent. The Mouth of the Yare.
<S11>Article in Serial: Wilson, R.. 2002. Journal of a Tour of 1741.. East Anglia's History. p 270.

Related records - none

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