Historic town wasteland transformed into vivid urban garden

Town wall community garden

A long stretch of wasteland by Great Yarmouth's medieval town wall has been transformed by volunteers. - Credit: Civic Society

A strip of overgrown wasteland by a town's medieval wall has been turned into a community garden.

Instead of avoiding the untidy stretch along the Blackfriars section of Great Yarmouth's great wall people are reportedly making a beeline for the lovingly tended walkway which aims to improve the historic structure's setting and promote the benefits of gardening.

Community garden Great Yarmouth town wall

A huge volunteer effort is blooming in Great Yarmouth as Civic Society members tackled unloved areas including around the Blackfriars section of the town wall. - Credit: Civic Society

The work has been completed by Civic Society volunteers who have rolled up their sleeves to achieve the transformation in line with the group's stated aim to "clean up, green up, and light up Great Yarmouth" and weed out some of the more unlovely areas.

Hugh Sturzaker, society president, said: "It was just a jungle with brambles and weeds all over the path. Now it is lovingly looked after and we would hope to encourage others to do the same.

"The aim is to make people aware of the wall and stimulate an interest in gardening - it is so beneficial for physical and mental health, and improving the appearance of the town.

The South East tower on the Great Yarmouth town wall is being transformed into accommodation. The vi

The South East tower on the Great Yarmouth town wall is being transformed into accommodation. The view from the top of the tower towards the remains of the Blackfriars tower.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015


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"It's not just a flower bed. It's several hundred yards long."

As well as donations from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston in Bloom, Blackwell Print, and Sainsbury’s he thanked Ann Hacon, Angela Powley and Clare Southern who have overseen the project and done most of the work.

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To show what has been achieved there will be an open day on Saturday August 7, 11-1pm, when refreshments will be available and plants will be for sale. Mr Sturzaker added: "We hope that the local community will come and see the results of this work and trust that it will inspire some to work on their own gardens and the communal grounds of flats and apartments in the area."

According to Norfolk Record Office Yarmouth's town wall is among the best preserved in England ranking alongside those at York and Chester.

Work started in 1285 after Henry III granted permission to enclose the town with a wall and ditch. 

It was paid for by a tax called "murage", levied on goods brought into the borough. Many Yarmouth citizens also made a voluntary contribution to the wall’s construction by leaving money in their wills.

Great Yarmouth's medieval town wall is one of the best preserved and most complete in England. A scu

Great Yarmouth's medieval town wall is one of the best preserved and most complete in England. A sculpture trail is taking shape around it creating an outdoor gallery Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The wall is not a complete circuit. It encloses the town on three sides, with the river being the defence on the fourth side.

The main part was finished in 1346, but work continued until about 1400.





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