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Explore history and heritage in Great Yarmouth

Heritage - discover the unexpected

A landscape changed by the sea over the centuries

Discover the unexpected in Great Yarmouth, an area where the sea has had an incredible impact on life and landscape over the centuries.

Great Yarmouth has fascinating heritage to explore from almost every era and beautiful architecture to match. Roman ruins can be seen at Burgh Castle and Caister-on-Sea. Almost every village in the borough has a Medieval church and Great Yarmouth itself has the second most complete Medieval town wall in England with eleven out of the original 16 towers still standing.

Discover more about the area's maritime heritage and architecture from Row Houses to Smoke Houses which founded the town's herring industry - see our ideas for fascinating heritage days out.

With five museums in central Great Yarmouth to explore, including the award winning Time and Tide museum, come and trace the fascinating Great Yarmouth heritage and history along the Medieval town wall to the Fishermen's Hospital via the old Tolhouse gaol. Admiral Lord Nelson was a frequent visitor to the busy port, where wealthy merchants built their houses.

As you're walking around the resort, look up over shop and amusement façades and admire the history of Great Yarmouth with some stunning architecture, dating back hundreds of years, with ornate carvings and embellishments, architrave and decoration.

If you'd like to find out more, our guided heritage walks start in April and go through to the end of October and depart from various points around Great Yarmouth.

Heritage Open Days in the borough of Great Yarmouth take place from 11-20 September 2020 with more unusual and different buildings open and with tours available.

Heritage signpost

Heritage Quarter Map

Discover just some of Great Yarmouth's heritage sites located in the town's heritage quarter just off South Quay.


Museums and heritage sites

Time and Tide - Museum of Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth (1 miles, 1 km)

Reopen 3 August! Pre-booking essential. Time & Tide in Great Yarmouth is set in one of the UK's best preserved Victorian Herring curing works, and tells the story of the area from its ice age origins to the present day.

Great Yarmouth Town Hall

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 0 km)

Arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in the town, Great Yarmouth Town Hall was built in the 1880s and is a classic example of fine Victorian Gothic architecture.

Elizabethan House Museum

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 0 km)

No opening confirmed. Explore four centuries of history under one roof. Stroll around the period rooms in this Elizabethan merchants home, from the Victorian kitchen and scullery to the grand Elizabethan rooms upstairs.

The Tolhouse Gaol

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 0 km)

No opening date confirmed. Visit one of the UK's oldest gaols, dating back to the 12th century. See the original cells and discover the fate of the thieves, smugglers, witches, pirates and murderers who were confined here.

Scroby Sands Visitor Centre

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 1 km)

Reopening TBC.Scroby Sands Visitor Centre, Great Yarmouth, is the place to find out interesting info all about Great Yarmouth's working windfarm of thirty turbines. Perfect for groups & individuals with an interest in renewable energy.

Lydia Eva - The Last Steam Drifter

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 0 km)

Lydia Eva YH89 built in 1930, last steam drifter returned to her home port of Great Yarmouth in spring 2009 after an extensive restoration facilitated by a heritage lottery grant & other grants as a floating museum of the fishing industry.

Greyfriars Cloisters

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 0 km)

Greyfriars Cloisters, Great Yarmouth - substantial remains of a church of Franciscan grey friars dating back to 1271. Access to Greyfriars’ Cloisters is by pre-arrangement only.

St Olave's Priory

Great Yarmouth (7 miles, 10 km)

St Olaves priory houses a wonderfully complete 14th century brick-vaulted refectory undercroft - later a cottage occupied until 1902 - of a small Augustinian priory.

Burgh Castle Roman Fort

Great Yarmouth (4 miles, 6 km)

One of the best preserved Roman monuments in East Anglia, and one of the most impressive Roman buildings to survive anywhere in Britain. During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD it was one of a chain of ‘Forts of the Saxon Shore’.

Caister Castle Car Collection

Great Yarmouth (3 miles, 5 km)

Caister Castle Car collection near Caister Great Yarmouth, probably the largest private collection of motor vehicles in Great Britain

Somerleyton Hall and Gardens

Lowestoft (6 miles, 10 km)

Come and explore 12 acres of fabulous landscaped gardens, get lost for a while in our famous 1864 yew hedge maze and let our tour guides take you on a grand tour of Somerleyton Hall's sumptuous state rooms.

Burgh Castle

Great Yarmouth (4 miles, 6 km)

Burgh Castle Fort: Imposing stone walls, with added towers for catapults, of a Roman 3rd century 'Saxon Shore' fort. Panoramic views over Breydon Water, which the fourth wall collapsed into a long time ago.

Merrivale Old Penny Museum

Great Yarmouth (1 miles, 1 km)

Merrivale Old Penny Amusement Arcade in Great Yarmouth. Come and try out some old-fashioned fun. Part museum, part good-old fashioned fun! Buy a bag of Old Pennies and try your skill and wits against these Victorian devices!

Great Yarmouth Minster

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 0 km)

Great Yarmouth Minster was founded in 1101 by Herbert de Losinga (Bishop of Norwich), as a penance for an act of simony. It is the largest parish church in the country and arguably the oldest building in Great Yarmouth.

Wind Energy Museum - The Morse Collection

Great Yarmouth (9 miles, 15 km)

Reopen 2021. The Wind Energy Museum - Morse Collection at Repps with Bastwick is the only historical collection of wind engines in Britain, demonstrating the history of Norfolk drainage, with an example of a working scoop wheel.


Great Yarmouth (1 miles, 2 km)

The Falcon Brewery, Great Yarmouth, a working brewery producing over 7500 pints of craft ale every week, with a Lacons gift shop and a visitor centre charting Lacons local brewing heritage. See website for public open days and tours also.

Great Yarmouth Row Houses

Great Yarmouth (0 miles, 1 km)

Great Yarmouth Row Houses: Experience the sights and sounds of yesterday's Great Yarmouth. Visit these unique and vividly presented houses, one set in 1870 and the other in 1942, just before the incendiary bombing.

Royal Assembly Rooms

Great Yarmouth (1 miles, 1 km)

Royal Assembly Rooms is a Grade II listed building set back from Great Yarmouth' s seafront. Owned by Great Yarmouth Masonic Association, the venue also plays host to private functions, marriage ceremonies & Receptions & meeting rooms.

St Benets Abbey

Great Yarmouth (10 miles, 16 km)

Ruins of a monastery founded in AD1020 by King Canute. A 14th century gatehouse with important carvings, 18th century windmill tower, the foundation of the abbey church and a perimeter wall around the 34 acres of earthworks with fishponds.

Caister Roman Fort

Caister-on-Sea (3 miles, 5 km)

Caister Fort: Partial excavated remains of a Roman 'Saxon Shore' fort, including wall and ditch sections and building foundations. Built around AD 200 for a unit of the Roman army and navy and occupied until the end of the 4th century.

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