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GARIANNONUM (Burgh Castle) Suffolk, England.

The Roman fort is situated on high ground overlooking the river Waveney. It was probably built in the middle of the 3d c. against the threat of pirates. The Notitia Dignitatum refers to its mid 4th c. garrison as Equites Stablesiani Garrianonenses. Occupation continued well into the Saxon period, as shown by the continuous use of a burial ground outside the fort. A monastery was probably established within the Roman fort by St. Fursa soon after A.D. 630.

The fort is quadrangular, covering 2 ha. On all but the W side the wall is very well preserved: it is built of flint rubble faced with flint, with triple tile courses every 1.5-1.8 m. Particular interest attaches to the external bastions: they were added during construction, after the wall had reached a height of 2.1 m. Thus the lower part of the bastions are butted against the wall while the upper courses are bonded into it. It also appears that internal corner towers were begun but never finished. The evidence therefore strongly suggests a change in the style of defensive architecture while the fort was being built. The main entrance lay in the middle of the E wall; partial excavation suggests the existence of internal gate towers.


A. J. Morris, “The Saxon Shore Fort at Burgh Castle,” Proc. Suffolk Institute of Archaeology 24 (1947) 100-20.


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