"Englands Oldest recorded Town" Top 5 Page for this destination Colchester by PeterVancouver
Colchester Travel Guide: 76 reviews and 227 photos
The rich history of this town dates back well over 2000 years and much of the information of its development can be found at the museum at Colchester Castle Although evidence shows that an early settlement was started on the site of modern day Colchester as early as 7th century BC.
At the beginning of the 1st century AD King Cunobelin ruled over South-East England from the then capital Camulodunium, today known as Colchester. Queen Boadicea, and her tribe, swept down against Colchester in AD60, at the time the Romans' main colony in Britain. It was weakly defended - partly because the British had previously ambushed and killed 1,500 Romans who were marching to reinforce the town. Its tiny garrison held out for two days but when it fell there was wholesale destruction and slaughter. The layer of ash left by the massive fires can still be found on archaeological digs.
Little is known about Saxon Colchester, from remaining records it appears there was very little settlement in the area during this period.
Towards the end of the 11th century, a large castle was built in the town, on the foundations of the old Roman temple. It was built as a result of the Norman invasion and much of it still stands today.
During the English civil war, Colchester fell to the Parliamentarians after an 11 week siege.
Matthew Hopkins, known as the Witchfinder General, was one of the most notorious figures to emerge from the 17th Century. His headquarters were in Colchester and in two years, from 1644, he was responsible for the deaths of at least 300 people, all supposedly witches.
The town was on the main defence line, should the Nazis have had attacked via the Essex coast. During the second world war the garrison town of Colchester was under serious threat from the Nazis and was bombed on a number of occasions.
The largest loss of life was a raid which caused Severals Hospital to be bombed killing 38 people.This was followed in September 1942 by bombs falling on South and Essex Streets killing 8, and in February 1944, an extensive incediary bombing of the Paxman factory which made and repaired diesel engines for tanks, and St Botolphs area which destroyed two thirds of the Paxman Brittania Works. These works were closed in 1982 and the building was demolished in 1987. On a corner of the site, on the east side of St Botolph's Street, a crankshaft from a 1946 Paxman RPH engine now stands on a plinth as a reminder of the old Britannia Works.
Today Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town and much evidence from previous settlements remains. Recent archaeological finds have revealed much about Colchester's past and the people that once inhabited the area. Most of the finds from recent years can be found at Colchester Castle Museum.
In total contrast the University of Essex is based on the outskirts of Colchester overlooking the town from wivenhoe Park. This Uni has many facilities for 21st century learning
Have their home in Wivenhoe Park on the outskirts of Colchester and now have satellite campus in Loughton and Southend on Sea. A dynamic Uni which offers accomodation for first year students and have plenty of reasonably priced private facilities nearby, especially on the Greenstead Estate.
Nelson Mandella was the guest speaker at the 1997 graduation ceremony
- Pros:Quite good shopping area
- Cons:parking becoming a nightmare unless you know the local secret places
- In a nutshell:A history buffs treasure
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