ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting a real Roman fort in England at Burgh Castle, Norfolk: two millennia of stone solidity

Updated on June 27, 2013
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
South wall, Burgh Castle
South wall, Burgh Castle | Source
19th century engraving of the walls of Burgh Castle on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, from: Charles Knight, 'Old England: A Pictorial Museum (1845)
19th century engraving of the walls of Burgh Castle on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, from: Charles Knight, 'Old England: A Pictorial Museum (1845) | Source
Map location of Great Yarmouth
Map location of Great Yarmouth | Source

A mind-bending historical span

Travelling in England can confront the visitor with some really striking timescales. One place where such a feeling is very acute is Burgh Castle, a Roman fort measuring approximately 205 metres by 100 metres, a substantial proportion of which is well preserved. Burgh Castle was one of a series of Roman forts built — it is thought — to resist attacks from the sea. Records refer to a Roman fort called Garianorum, and, whether this refers to Burgh Castle itself or to a neighbouring fort, it is certain that the castle's location, by marshland near where the Waveney River joins the Yare River, close to the North Sea, has been regarded as a strategic location for some thousands of years (1).

The fort is built of a combination of flint, brick or tiles. Archeological evidence suggests that the Romans occupied the fort from the 3rd to the 5th centuries.

Many centuries later, after the Norman Conquest, Norman lords adapted the castle for their own use, adding extensions.

Burgh Castle is also the name of a village, the nearby parish church of which is a Medieval stone structure with a round tower. Today, Burgh Castle is situated within Great Yarmouth district, close to Gorleston-on-Sea. But despite its relative closeness to an urban area, the visitor — especially the visitor during the winter — can get a sense of how bleak its once estuarine location must have seemed. The Romans, who saw themselves as civilized, must surely have imagined that the walls of the fort at this then-remote location was all that stood between civilization and the hostility of both barbarian foes and the winter weather which near the North Sea coast can be very rough and forbidding.

Note

(1) Even today, one gets a sense of the strategic importance of Burgh Castle's location — if not its actually military value — in that travellers heading inland from the Great Yarmouth area must either stay north of the Yare River for many kilometers, with only a ferry crossing and an occasional bridge a long way distance to take them significantly southwards. It is remarkable, when over the centuries history's decisions are made, how geography is not far behind helping to take those decisions.

Also worth seeing

Great Yarmouth (distance: 7.5 kilometres) has Anna Sewell's House, a residence associated with the author of Black Beauty, near the magnificent St Nicholas's parish church.

The Cathedral City of Norwich (distance: 39 kilometres), with its deep, architectural heritage, should not be missed.

Thorpe Abbotts (distance: 47 kilometres), with its US 100th Bomb Group aviation museum, with be of interest to aviation buffs.

...

How to get there: Continental Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Great Yarmouth (distance from Burgh Castle : 7.5 kilometres) is served by rail from London Liverpool Street Station. Burgh Castle is 265 kilometers from Heathrow Airport. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kafsoa profile image

      kafsoa 

      7 years ago

      Great castle! Many places in this world must be visited before I die:)voted up and awesome MJ:)

      Kafsoa

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)