Caister-on-Sea is a charming village in Norfolk just 3 miles from Great Yarmouth on the 'Golden Mile'. It is a popular seaside resort with its main attraction being the big sandy 'Georgian' beach. Caister's history goes back to Roman times and the ruins of a Roman fort and buildings, now open to the public, are now looked after by English Heritage
Caister Holiday Park is one of the oldest in the UK. It opened in 1906 and accommodation was in tents but Chalets later replaced the tents after the First World War. It was a huge site on over ninety acres of land and situated right on the beach. Today, it is a modern, busy holiday centre with all types of accommodation and superb holiday leisure facilities.
Caister's history dates back to Roman times. In around AD 200 a fort was built here as a base for a unit of the Roman army and navy. However its role as a fort appears to have been reduced following the construction of the Saxon Shore fort at Burgh Castle on the southern side of the estuary in the latter part of the 3rd century. The name 'Caister' derives from the Anglo Saxon word 'ceaster' meaning 'Roman fort'
In the 1950s, a building near the south gate at Caister was excavated in advance of a housing development. These buildings do not appear to be military as they include a hypocaust and painted wall plaster as well as female jewellery, and it has been suggested that this building may have been an officer's house, or possibly a ‘seamen's hostel’ which may be a polite name for a brothel. The site appears to have been abandoned in the 5th century, but 150 Saxon burials have been found to the south of the enclosure. The remains excavated in the 1950s are now managed by English Heritage and are open free of charge to the public as Caister Roman Site
There has been an offshore lifeboat in the area since 1791. It was used by a beach company to salvage ships wrecked on the sand banks.
In the late eighteenth century some brave men from Caister set up their own lifeboat sevice known as the Caister Volunteer Rescue Service. It was formed to rescue seamen from the treacherous channels and sandbanks around Caister and was independent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The volunteer crew put to sea in all weathers and it was one of the country’s busiest lifeboat stations. Following a horrific disaster in 1901, nine brave lifeboatmen lost their lives when the lifeboat Beauchamp overturned while trying to put to sea for a rescue on a stormy night. A monument now exists in the Caister cemetery proclaiming "Caister men never turn back".
Ruins of Caister Castle
Caister Castle consisted of two rectangular courtyards which were surrounded by a moat and connected via a drawbridge. The inner court housed the state apartments and the main living quarters and was offset by a tower on its northwestern corner. The tower is 28 metres tall and measures a good 7 metres in diameter; it has five stories, the spiral staircase still exists and access to the top is possible. The castle was built in 1432 by Sir John Falstaff on the site of an earlier fortified manor house. Taken by a siege commanded by the Duke of Norfolk in 1469, the castle was returned to its rightful owners in 1475. Part of the surrounding brick wall remains and gunloops as well as arrow loops can still be seen.
To claim this virtual, please take a selfie of yourselves by the Caister on Sea sign (Your face does not need to be in the picture). For the camera shy you may have a picture of a personal item, Caching name on a piece of paper or trackable with the sign in the background.
Virtual Rewards 3.0 - 2022-2023
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between March 1, 2022 and March 1, 2023. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards 3.0 on the Geocaching Blog.
About Village Sign Caches
This cache belongs to the Village Sign Series, a series of caches based on ornate signs that depict the heritage, history and culture of the villages that put them up (generally on the village green!).
The signs can be made of different materials from fibreglass to wood, from forged steel to stone. They can depict anything from local industry to historical events. The tradition probably started in Norfolk or Suffolk and has now spread across most of the country so we thought we would base a series on them!
More information, bookmarks and statistics can be found at the Village Signs Website
If anybody would like to expand the Village Sign Series, please do.
I would ask that you request a number for your cache first at www.villagesignseries.co.uk
so we can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.