Burgh Castle

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Burgh Castle
Church of St Peter and St Paul
Burgh Castle is located in Norfolk
Burgh Castle
Burgh Castle
Location within Norfolk
Area6.76 km2 (2.61 sq mi)
Population1,150 (2011)[1]
• Density170/km2 (440/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTG476049
Civil parish
  • Burgh Castle
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNR31
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°35′08″N 1°39′13″E / 52.58547°N 1.65365°E / 52.58547; 1.65365Coordinates: 52°35′08″N 1°39′13″E / 52.58547°N 1.65365°E / 52.58547; 1.65365
The Roman fort remains from above
Burgh Castle walls, 1845 engraving

Burgh Castle is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is situated on the east bank of the River Waveney, some 3.7 miles (6.0 km) west of Great Yarmouth and within the Norfolk Broads National Park.[2] The parish was part of Suffolk until 1974.[3]

Roman Fort[edit]

Burgh Castle is the site of one of several Roman forts constructed to hold troops as a defence against Saxon raids up the rivers of the east and south coasts of southern Britain (the Saxon Shore). Possibly the fort was called Gariannonum, a name that appears in one original source;[4][5] the identification was once thought secure, but is now thought debatable by some specialists. The fort is roughly rectangular, approximately 205 m (673 ft) by 100 m (330 ft), with three of the tall massively built walls still extant; the fourth has fallen into what was once an estuary but is now a marsh, Breydon Water.

The site is owned by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, with the walls in the care of English Heritage. The site is freely open to the public and has a major access and interpretation scheme created by the Trust, with funding and collaboration from Natural England and English Heritage. There is a timber viewing platform overlooking the rivers and marshes, which provides an ideal spot for wildlife observation.[6][7]

Other history[edit]

Since William Camden, Burgh Castle has been suggested as the site of Cnobheresburg, the unknown place (a castrum or fort) in East Anglia, where in about 630 the first Irish monastery in southern England was founded by Saint Fursey as part of the Hiberno-Scottish mission described by Bede. Historians find many arguments against this location, but are unable to agree on a better one. The Roman fort at Burgh Castle was excavated by Charles Green during 1958–61. A detailed report by Norfolk Museums Service in 1983 (East Anglian Archaeology 20) found no evidence of any monastic settlement in Burgh Castle itself.

The church of Burgh Castle, St Peter and St Paul, one of 124 existing round-tower churches in Norfolk, has been a Grade II* listed building since November 1954.[8][9] The majority of the church building dates from the 13th and 15th centuries. Points of interest include a well-preserved 14th-century "East Anglian Lion Font" and some magnificent stained glass windows, especially the small lancet "Fursey" window. In 2015 the first stage of a major restoration programme, repairs to the north aisle, was completed. The church is open daily from 10am to 5pm April to October and at weekends from 10am to 3pm during March and November.[10]

The civil parish of Burgh Castle has an area of 1,670 acres (680 ha) and in the 2001 census had a population of 955 in 376 households. For the purposes of local government, the parish today falls within the district of Great Yarmouth. However prior to the Local Government Act 1972, the parish was within Lothingland Rural District in Suffolk.[11][12]

The House of Burke take the original form of their surname de Burgh, from the area.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey (2005). OS Explorer Map OL40 - The Broads. ISBN 0-319-23769-9.
  3. ^ "Parish Summary: Burgh Castle". norfolk.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Error 404". 5 January 2007. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  5. ^ Crisp, F.R.J. (1825). The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. 143, The Strand, London: J. Limbird. pp. 257–158.CS1 maint: location (link)
  6. ^ "English Heritage website: Burgh Castle". Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Burgh Castle - Norfolk Archaeological Trust". www.norfarchtrust.org.uk. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  8. ^ Service, Norfolk Historic Environment. "Norfolk Heritage Explorer". www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  9. ^ Stuff, Good. "Church of St Peter and St Paul, Burgh Castle, Norfolk". www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Burgh Castle: St Peter & St Paul - A Church Near You". www.achurchnearyou.com. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  11. ^ Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Retrieved December 2, 2005.
  12. ^ Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 1 Part II Non-metropolitan counties.

External links[edit]