The Tolhouse, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

This building was possibly built as a merchant's fortified house in c1150. It was later used as the medieval Town Hall, Court of Justice and prison as well as the place for the receipt of port dues (taxes). In the 14th century it was privately owned and hired for town use. In 1362 Stephen de Stalham, who had bought it from the executors of William atte Mawe, bequeathed it to his wife. By 1552 it was Corporation property and continued in use until 1882 when the new Town Hall was built. John Howard visited the gaol in 1776. In 1808 the Corporation purchased land west of the prison so that it could be extended. In 1819 the gaol was capable of holding 30 prisoners. It was noted that the Corporation had purchased premises to extend the gaol so that prisoners could be properly classified. The gaol was enlarged by Francis Stone between 1818 and 1824. In 1883, after the Corporation moved to the new Town Hall, the prison buildings west of the Tolhouse were demolished and the building was restored. It was used as a museum and library from the 1880s. The fortified first floor hall house illustrates an early adaptation of military architecture to a domestic use. It was bombed in April 1941 and restored 1960-1.


Norfolk Great Yarmouth


Medieval (Middle Ages) (1066 - 1484)


house toll jail fortified court police station office hall Medieval (1066 - 1484)