Great Yarmouth History

The Tolhouse

The Tolhouse has, since 1961, been a museum of local history. In the past this house itself has contributed to the history of Great Yarmouth. The Tolhouse which dates to the mid 13th century was probably built as a private dwelling. As early as 1306 it was being used for municipal purposes. It has functioned as a Borough Court, Admiralty Court as well as Assize Court and Quarter Sessions. There has been a gaol on the site for centuries. Perhaps the most notorious inmates were the sixteen woman held in the Tolhouse gaol in 1645, until their executions for witchcraft. One of its most important functions in medieval times was as the meeting place of the baliffs of Yarmouth and the Cinque Ports who administered the annual Herring Fair. If you are interested in finding out more about this unique building then, when next in Great Yarmouth why not spend and hour or two of your time visiting this fascinating museum.