South East Tower

Great Yarmouth Town Wall

It is claimed that historic Yarmouth has the second best preserved medieval town wall in England, after York.  The town wall, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, traces its origins to 1261 when King Henry III granted permission to enclose the town with a wall and ditch.

It took years to complete – the main work was finished in 1346 but continued until about 1400.  The fortification, which was last manned during the English Civil War, was more than 23 feet high and 2,280 yards long, with 10 gates and 16 towers.

Ground floor entrance, SE Tower, by Derek Jackson   Stairwell, SE Tower, photographed by Derek Jackson   Interior showing beams, SE Tower, by Derek Jackson








The wall is currently being maintained by Norfolk Conservation LTD. Starting by repairing the areas that are in most need of the repairs, the aim is to repair the most hazardous areas first, then it will just be needing to be maintained on a regular basis, making sure that there is no risk of any collapse. 

Plans for Town Wall Tower

The South East Tower is part of Great Yarmouth’s mediaeval town wall. The lower part of the tower is 14th century the upper part is 16th century. The Preservation Trust is delivering a project for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, owners of the tower, to repair and undertake a very light conversion for holiday use.

The Trust has drawn up the scheme and will manage and supervise the works. We have surveyed and recorded the tower with works begining in 2014. Revenue generated from holiday lets will be used to maintain the tower into the future.

NE view of SE Tower, photographed by Derek Jackson    Entrance, SE Tower, photographed by Derek Jackosn   View from balcony, SE Tower, photographed by Derek Jackson








The inital proposal was to convert the tower to include a living room on the top floor, a kitchen on the fourth floor, a bedroom on the third floor, another bedroom on the ground floor and a bathroom in the sub-basement.

Staircase, SE Tower, photographed by Derek Jackson   1st Floor, SE Tower, photographed by Derek Jackson








The work was taken by Wellington TLD under the supervision of the Preservation Trust in 2015 after initial surveys in 2014. With the interior needing a lot of repairs and modifications, and the outer walls needing to be repointed, the project was finished in 2015. The interior has repaired wooden flooring, and some new party walls in areas to create private rooms, however the exterior still has the original flint and bricks, as well as the arrow slots being used as windows. Original wooden beams that were in good condition are still in place.

The final design of the tower was for the top floor to have a kitchen and dining room, lounge on 4th room, master bedroom on 3rd floor, another bedroom on ground floor and bathroom in sub-basement.

The tower will continue to be maintained, with the interior walls needing to have a new limewash over time, as well as the outside needing to be repointed, as well as any ivy that may appear to be removed. The roof may occasionally need repairs, as due to the age of the tiles, some will crack over time.

Thanks to the repairs to the tower, it has been removed from the buildings at risk register.

Kitchen   Bedroom   Bathroom   Master Bedroom