CAISTER ON SEA
A Roman walled town on the N shore of the Yare estuary,
5 km N of Great Yarmouth. The Saxon Shore fort of
Burgh Castle was 8 km away, across the estuary. The
defenses of Caister, a square of 3.6-4 ha, are of two
periods, a palisade of the 2d c. succeeded by a stone wall
of undetermined date. At the SE angle, as presumably
at the others, was an internal turret. It is unknown
whether external towers were ever added to the circuit.
Much of the interior is covered by modern buildings,
and the only excavated area is part of the S end, between the S gate and the SW angle. The only substantial
Roman building recorded is a large structure round a
courtyard or part of one. One of its wings had been divided into several small chambers, indicating that it may
have been an inn or a brothel.
The position of Caister on an estuary points to its use
as a port, but the associated installations have not yet
been traced. It is possible, though unproven, that the
place played some part in coastal defense during the late
1 (1901) 293; J. A. Ellison, “Excavations at Caister-on-Sea 1961-2,” Norfolk
33 (1962) 94.