South East Town Wall Tower, Great Yarmouth

South East Town Wall Tower, Great Yarmouth

Start Date: February 2015
Completion Date: February 2016
Construction Value: £160,000
Location: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Sustainability: Holiday accommodation



Client: Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust
Local Authority: Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Project Manager: n/a
Architect: Wellington
Consulting Engineer: Morton Partnership



The second best preserved example in England (after York), Great Yarmouth’s town wall traces its origins back to 1261, when King Henry III granted permission to enclose the town with a wall and ditch.  The main work was not finished until 1346, and the fortifications were more than 23 feet high and 2,280 yards long, with ten gates and 16 towers.

The lower part of the South East Tower dates from the 14th century, with the upper part built in the 16th century.  Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, on behalf of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, appointed Wellington to repair and undertake a sympathetic restoration and conversion of the tower as a holiday let.

The plan was to convert the tower to include a kitchen and dining room on the top floor, a living room on the fourth floor, a bedroom on the third floor, another bedroom on the ground floor, and a bathroom in the sub-basement.

The interior needed lots of repairs and modifications.  Wellington repaired wooden flooring, built some new party walls in areas to create private rooms, and used original wooden beams where they were in serviceable condition.  Outside the walls were repointed, with the original flint and bricks being left in place, as well as arrow slots being used as windows.

Although the building is not listed, it is an important historic monument, and as such the project came under intense heritage scrutiny, with Wellington drawing on its considerable expertise and experience in heritage restoration to create a unique holiday let, the income from which will help maintain the tower for the future.

SE Tower 3

SE Tower 1