Colchester, England is home to about 156,000 residents. It is Britain’s oldest recorded town, with a colorful history dating back over two thousand years. It’s a history you can share by visiting the town’s award-winning museums, where you can see collections of international importance.
From a Roman temple to cutting-edge 21st century design, amid Victorian splendour and medieval timber frames, panoramas of beautiful buildings reflect the town’s history and contemporary appeal.
Some facts about Colchester:
- It was the capital of Roman Britain when London was just a trading post
- It has the largest surviving Roman gateway in Britain.
- It has 1½ miles (2½ km) of Roman wall, the oldest town wall in Britain.
- It has a large number of ancient mosaic floorings, one of the largest concentrations for a town of its size. Some remain untouched in the ground under modern day buildings in and around the town. Others are now the responsibility of Colchester Museums and are either in storage or on display in Colchester Castle Museum, such as the Middleborough Mosaic unearthed in 1979.
- Colchester Castle is the largest surviving Norman keep in Europe.
- Colchester Castle pre-dates the Tower of London and was in fact the blueprint for it.
- Colchester Castle was the first Royal Castle outside of London.
- Colchester Castle is built on the massive foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius.
- Colchester was under siege for 11 weeks during the English Civil War in 1648.
- The town’s skyline is dominated by two Victorian masterpieces - the Town Hall and ‘Jumbo’ a water tower built in 1882-3. It became known as Jumbo after the famous elephant in London Zoo which had then just been sold, amid national protests, to the American circus showman, P. T. Barnum.
- Colchester was the location for a major British earthquake in 1884.
- Colchester has one of the country's few Frisbee Golf courses which has hosted the European Frisbee Golf championships. Its located at the University of Essex.