English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Caister next Yarmouth

Major Settlement in the Parish of Caister next Yarmouth

Historical Forms

  • Castra 1044–7 (13 Sawyer 1055) KCD 785
  • Castre c. 1020 (13 Sawyer 1528) ASWills 25
  • Castra 1086 DB 1147–9,1155–8,1183 Holme
  • Castre 1186–1210 1195,1196,1199 P 1204 RC 1212 Fees 1220 Cur 1227to1477 FF 1248–53,1270 Ch 1254etfreqto1547 Pat 1257,1269,1286 Ass 1275 RH 1290to1329 Ipm 1307 DeBanco 1323,1388,1492 AD 1330 SR 1346 BM 1370 Fine 1401–2,1428 FA 1468 Bodl 1535 VE
  • Castre Sancte Trinitatis 1254–75 Val
  • Castre-flegge 1387 Bodl
  • Castre monachorum 1391 Pat
  • Castre be Gret Iernemuth 1459 Past
  • Castre faste by Mikel Yermuth 1459 ib
  • Caster 1450to1479 1535 VE 1580 Stiffk
  • Caster St Trinity's 1548 Pat
  • Caistor 1248–53 Ch
  • Cayster 1469 Past
  • Castor c.1750 B


Caister represents OE  (Angl ) cæster 'Roman camp or fort'. The OE term presumably referred to a walled town which was a part of the Roman coastal defence system to meet the threat of Saxon raiders (v. HAN 34 f.). The name is identical with Caistor St Edmunds, Henstead Hundred. Ekwall (DEPN s.n.) identifies Castre ASWills 25 with Caistor St Edmunds (cf. Hart 81, 258). This is a will of Thurketel Heyng in which he bequeaths land to the abbeys of St Benet of Holme and Bury St Edmunds. His lands would seem to have been in East Flegg Hundred (ASWills 180). According to Wagner (218 ff.), Caister next Yarmouth is “clearly the place referred to”.

Ecclesiastically, Caister was formerly divided into two parishes, East and West Caister, which were combined in 1608. The church of St Edmund of West Caister was abandoned in the 16th cent. and fell into decay. Today only the north-west corner and north wall survive (v. EAA 51: 52). The church of Holy Trinity of East Caister still stands (v. Pevsner 108).

Places in the same Parish