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TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF THIE
COUNTY OF SUFFOLK.
Lowestoff und Saxmundham. Gorleston, or Little Yarmouth, is situated on the Yare river, at the north-eastern extremity of the county. It is a well built village, and had formerly a house of Augustine friars, founded by William Waldergrove and bis wife, in the reign of Edward the First or Second, and granted to John Eyre. Here was also an hospital for lepers founded in the year 1372.
About two miles and a half to the east of Gorleston is Burgli Castle, situated upon the Waveney; it is a fortification erected by the Romans to guard the coast against the Saxon pirates, and is supposed to have been the Gurianonum, where the Stablesian horse had their station.
Mr. 'Ives, who has given a very ample and ingenious dissertation on this castle, says, great quantities of oyster-shells are digged up near its walls, as also upany iron rings belonging to ships : from which he irfers, that the æstuary of Yare once washed its ramparts. The era of its erection he supposes to have been during the reign of the Emperor Claudius, A. D. 49, and that it was built by the proprætor Publius Ostorius Scapula, who conquered the lceni, or people inhabiting the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Huntingdonshire.
Burgh Castle stands on an eminence near the conflux of the river Yare and Waveney. Its present remains form three sieles of a quadrilateral figure, having the angles rounded off. Whether the fourth side next the river was ever inclosed seems doubt. ful; perhaps the water might then have run closer to the works, and with the steep bank be deemed a sufficient security.
The length of the norib and south sides are nearly equal, each measuring about 107 yards, just half that on the east side, which measures 214. The height throughout is 14, and thickness nine feet; the area included is somewhat less than four acres and three quarters.
The wall, which is grout work, has at certain intervals hands or courses of Roman bricks. It is buttressed by four round solid towers, or rather L'yo linders, of about 14 feet diameter on the east: ove on the south, and another on the north, banded likewise with Roman bricks. The towers seem to have been built after the walls, and join to them only at the top. On each of them, at the top, is a round hole, two feet deep, and as many in diameter, designed, as is supposed, for the reception of a kind of circular centry box. The principal entrance was on the east side.
“ The south-west corner of the station (say's Mr. Ives) forms the prætorium raised by the earth taken out of a vallum which surrounds and secures it, and which is sunk eight feet lower than the common surface of the area. Near this was placed the souldı tower, which being undermined a few years since by the force of the water running down the vallum, after some heavy rains, is fallen on one side near its former situation, but remains perfectly entire. The north tower, having met with a similar accident, is reclined from the wall at the top about six feet, and has drawn a part of it, and caused a breach near it.”
The field adjoining to the eastern wall is supposed to have been the common burial place of the garrison, “ Here (continues Mr. Ives) great numbers of Roman urns have been found, and innumerable pieces of them are every where spread over it; but neither the workmanship nor the materials of these urns have any thing to recommend them. They are made of a coarse blue clay, brought from the neigli.
bouring village of Bradwell, ill-formed, brittle, and porous. In the year 1756 a space of five yards was opened in this field, and about two feet below the surface a great many fragments of urns were discovered, which appeared to have been broken by the plough and carts passing over them : these and the oyster-shells, bones of cattle, burnt coals, and other remains found with them, plainly discovered this to have been the Ustrina of the garrison. One of the urns, when the pieces were united, contained more than a peck and a half of corn, and had a large thick stone operculum on the top of it ; within was a considerable number of bones and ashes, several fair pieces of Constantine, and the head of a Roman spear.
• The eastern situation of this field corresponds with that of Mons Esquilinus at Rome; the place assigned there for the interment of the common people, and a situation for which they seem to have had great veneration. The officers of the garrison might possibly be interred within the area of the camp; and four years since, in pulling down part of the hill which formed the Prætorium, urns and ashes were discovered in great abundance. Amongst them was a stratum of wheat, pure and unmixed with earth, the whole of which appeared, like that brought from Herculaneum, quite black, as if it had been burnt. A great part of it resembled a coarse powder ; but the granulated form of the other plainly shewed what it had originally been..
“ In the same place, and at the same time, was found a Cochleare or Roman spoon; it was of silver, and had a long handle, very sharp at the point, that being used to pick fish out of the shell.” Rings, keys, buckles, fibulæ, and other instruments, are frequently found hereabouts, as also a number of coins, silver, and copper ; but these are mostly of the Lower Empire. Robert de Burgh had anciently this castle and
manor, and after him Gilbert de Wisebam. It being surrendered to Henry the Third, he on April 20, in the 20th year of his reign, gave it to the Priory of Bromholme in Norfolk, where it remained till the dissolution; it was afterwards in the crown, and Elizabeth granted it to William Roberts, from whom it devolved to Joshua Smith, Esq.
A small distance north of it are the remains of a monastery built by Furseus, a Scotchman, in the time of gbert, about the year 636, as is mentioned by Speed; which probably dwindled a few years, as we meet with little or nothing of it afterwards.
Resuining our journey, on leaving Gorleston, we proceed southerly, and at the distance of three miles from Gorleston, we pass through the village of Hopton, about four miles to the west of which is Herringfleet Hall, the scite of which, together with a considerable estate, comprehending almost the whole parish of Herringfleet, about half a century ago passed from the Bacon family to Hill Mussendon, Esq. who begueathed it to his elder brother Cars teret, who had taken the name of Leathes. There was a priory of black canons founded here by Roger Fiiz Osbert, of Somerley (the last of that family) to the honour of St. Mary and St. Olave the king and martyr, in the beginning of the reign of Henry III. Herein were, about the time of the dissolution, five or six religious, who were endowed with 491. Us. 7d. per annun. The scite of this house, with great part of the lands, were granted to Henry Jerningham, Esq., patron, 26tli Jan. 38tb of Henry the Eighth. The remains of the priory were chiefly taken down in the year 1784, but some parts of it are still left.
Somerley Hall, situated a little to the south-east of the last mentioned place, was the residence of Roger Filz-Osbert, who founded the priory at Here ringtleet. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the
estate, which consisted of the greatest part of the island of Lothingland, was in the possession of Henry Jerningham. From the Jerningham family it went to the Wentworths. Sir Thomas Wentworth held the manor about the year 1627, who afterwards sold it to Admiral Sir Thomas Alen, about 1669. The Admiral's son, dying a batchelor, gave the estate, &c. to Mr. Richard Anguish, upon condition of his taking the name of Allen, who then became Sir Richard Allen; and from him it descended to Sir Thomas Allen. In this parish is an exceeding good parsonage house, rebuilt, at a considerable expence, by the Rev. Mr. Love, the rector.
Returning to our road, at the distance of three miles from Hopton, we pass through the village of Gunton, a small parish, containing only five houses. The church is a small plain building, with a round tower, rebuilt by Charles Boyce in 1700, and dedicated to St. Peter; there is a very old architrave for the north door.
About one mile and a half from the last mentioned place we pass through LowESTOFF, a market-town, situated 114 miles from London, on the most eastern part of England : standing upon a lofty eminence, it commands a very extensive prospect of the German Ocean, and has the noblest and most beautiful appearance from the sea of any town upon the coast. Its shore is safe, having an easy declivity into the water, with a fine pebbly bottom; here are good bathing machines, and this place is much resorted to in the bathing season by the nobility and gentry.
The town is about three quarters of a mile in length, and consists chiefly of one principal street from north to south, intersected by several small streets, and is paved. The number of houses, according to the late population act, was 512, and of inhabitants 2,332, viz. 1,089 males, àod 1,243 females.