Toggle menu

Would you like to help uncover Great Yarmouth's history?

A unique new archaeology mission is set to launch next week allowing residents to join with professionals to explore Great Yarmouth's history.

Old image of Great Yarmouth Minster with credit to Library of Congress

As part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone Scheme, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is partnering with Cotswold Archaeology to create the 'Uncovering Yarmouth' project, which will see them investigating the history of the Great Yarmouth Minster churchyard and around the Market Place.

The project will kick off on Monday 14 February, using ground penetrating radar to extend our knowledge of the area's past. Radar is used by archaeologists to identify structures beneath the ground without having to dig it all up.

The aim of the survey is to discover the line of the medieval town wall and the probable St. Nicholas' Gate, which was totally demolished in 1799 to extend the churchyard as well as any other structures that might have stood in the area in the past. Surveying the line of the old town wall might help establish the shape of the towers and whether the towers were round or square.

There will also be many other community engagement opportunities within this project, including building surveys, test pitting and schools' activities.

Keen archaeologists, hobbyists and anyone interested is encouraged to get involved with the project, which will also offer the chance to undergo skills training and education but most importantly will help build up a picture of the history of our important town.

Those interested in getting involved are encouraged to email for more information.

Cllr Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "We've always known, and been extremely proud of, the rich culture and heritage Great Yarmouth has to offer. This opportunity to dig deeper into that history, and learn more than ever before, is an exceptional experience."

Jo Caruth, Principal Post-Excavation Manager at Cotswold Archaeology, said: "Our team are delighted to be working so closely with the local community and Borough Council to uncover the history of your renowned market town, which is historically far more significant than its Golden Mile and sandy beach."

Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to get truly hands-on with history and to discover the stories that the fragments buried beneath our feet can tell us about the lives of ancestors. I'm sure that local communities will be involved, inspired and informed, learning new things about the people who lived and worked in Great Yarmouth years ago."

Revd Simon Ward, of Great Yarmouth Minster, said: "It's a unique opportunity in one of the oldest parts of our town to unearth secrets without even disturbing any earth. It's exciting to understand more of the churchyard our forebears knew, and technology allows this to happen in a respectful and discreet way."

The archaeology mission is part of the £2.4m Great Yarmouth High Street Heritage Action Zone project, which puts heritage and the local community at the heart of revitalising the town centre.

The High Street Heritage Action Zone is a four-year programme, led by the borough council in partnership with Historic England.

Last modified on 03 January 2024

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email