The Caister-on-Sea Roman Fort Ruins.
The Roman Saxon Shore Fort at Caister-on-Sea was built from around 200 AD, after the Romans arrived in Caister-on-Sea in the 1st century, and occupied until the end of the 4th century by units of the Roman army and navy. It was a base to defend the east coast of Britain from Anglo-Saxon invaders and pirates from across the North Sea who came to plunder the local settlements. The Latin word 'castra', which means castle, was the basis for the village's name 'Caister-on-Sea'.
There were two Roman Saxon Shore Forts in the area - Burgh Castle to the south which overlooked what is now Breydon Water on the Norfolk Broads, and guarded the southern part of the estuary, and the much larger Caister Roman Fort which housed the stores, supplies, infantry, cavalry and sailors. Much of this site is now covered with modern houses and buildings but there is still a lot to see. Sections of the outer wall and ditch together with the remains of some of the internal buildings are clearly on view. The fort had a strong stone wall backed by a substantial earth rampart, forming a square with sides about 175 metres long. There were towers at the corners and at gates in the middle of each side.
Caister Roman Fort, which was to support Roman military operations and protect merchant ships in the estuary, was located on an island on the north side of an estuary where the rivers Ant, Bure, Yare and Waveney entered the sea. This estuary is now mostly dry land occupied by Great Yarmouth. The ruins of Caister Roman Fort are now looked after by English Heritage.
From Great Yarmouth, follow the A149 northbound and then the A149 Caister Bypass. Follow brown tourist signs for Caister Roman Fort. From other directons follow signs for Great Yarmouth and then brown tourist signs from the Caister Bypass roundabout. Parking and the entrance to the Fort are situated off a lay-by on Norwich Road 400 metres from the roundabout heading into Caister.
Caister Roman Fort,
Sat Nav NR30 5RN