19 Colchester Facts Uncovered On The 'Roman Town' Of England

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 05, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Feb 22, 2022
Located in the northern part of the county of Essex

Colchester is located in the northern part of the county of Essex, about an hour east of London.

It is the oldest Roman town in Britain and was also the capital of Roman Britain in earlier times. The town has a population of around 197,200 people and is known for its Roman ruins and connections to historical figures such as Queen Boudica and King Alfred the Great.

There are many great things about Colchester that make it worth visiting including its impressive castles, churches, and abbeys - even though they were built long ago during medieval times.

Colchester also has some museums with interesting exhibits from prehistoric eras such as dinosaurs fossils or items related to ancient Rome like swords used in gladiator fights!

The cobbled streets in the town center make for some fun shopping with quaint cafes along every corner too so you'll never run out things do while exploring Colchester's historic charms like going on tours where guides will take groups through famous landmarks like Colchester castle.

The Colchester Castle is believed to have been built over a Roman temple that is old.

Colchester Location

  • The town of Colchester is located in Essex and is the largest settlement within Colchester Borough. It lies on the River clone travel, around 35 mi (56.32 km) northeast of London.
  • The town has a railway station which makes it easy to get to - the journey from London's Liverpool Street Station only takes about an hour!
  • There are also plenty of buses that go through Colchester so visitors will never have trouble finding a way to get there.
  • It is known as 'the oldest recorded town' because it was first established by Romans around AD 43-45 and has been occupied ever since!
  • The town center itself has many attractions such as museums and galleries, while its close proximity to other major cities like Ipswich provides additional entertainment opportunities for visitors looking for something different than what they might find at home!

History Of Colchester Town

The famous nursery rhymes 'twinkle twinkle little star', 'Humpty dumpty', and 'Nat king cole' all originated from Colchester!
  • Colchester is a word that comes from the Latin for Colchis, meaning 'red' and esterum which means 'place' so Colchester's name literally translates into red place!
  • The history of Colchester has strong ties with the Roman era! Roman Colchester was the town center of a local Celtic tribe called the 'Trinovantes'. Hence, its Celtic or ancient Roman name was called 'Camulodunon'.
  • The Romans then took over Britain in 43 AD and made it the capital of Roman Britain.
  • To symbolize the Roman capital, they built a large temple and the remains of this temple might most probably be the oldest remains from the Roman times you'd find in the United Kingdom!
  • The temple was built by the emperor Claudius who also led the Roman conquest of Britain. As a result, the roman temple has been named after him. In 1727, the temple was handed over to a private owner named Charles Gray.
  • The late Roman Colchester Castle was built over the remains of this temple. During the 13th century, this Norman Colchester castle was used as a prison. This castle experienced very little military effort during its history.
  • One day in 1215, King John was believed to have attacked the Colchester castle, which further led to the famous event of the signing of the Magna Carta. In the 17th century, two royal leaders named Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lyle were executed behind Colchester castle during the second English Civil War.
  • Local legend claims no grass grows in this spot! Today, the Colchester castle is located inside the Colchester Castle Park, which is divided by the Roman wall remains into the Upper and Lower Park.
  • The patron saint of Colchester is St Helena, who was the mother of Emperor Constantine. She discovered the True Cross in Jerusalem on her way back from visiting him at his palace near Rome.
  • This event led to a major religious pilgrimage site being built where she found it so that pilgrims could visit the sacred spot themselves!
  • A local school for young kids is named St. Helena's and the school has her statue on top of their town hall, although it was initially believed to be a statue of the Virgin Mary.
  • Colchester Castle Museum tells us more about its history in Roman times while other places like Hollytrees offer tours where visitors can walk through these old buildings without any modern distractions such as TVs or computers.

Climate And Population Of Colchester

  • Colchester has a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. The average temperature throughout the year is around 50 F (10 C).
  • In July, the hottest month of the summer season, temperatures can reach up to 81 F (27 C) whereas January represents the winter season where temperatures fall below -32 F (0 C) on occasion.
  • Spring months between March through May offer enjoyable weather for outdoor activities such as walks or bicycle rides along River Colne Trail, which extends from Colchester Castle Park all way down south towards Mersea Island – a famous place in Essex county known for its oyster farms!
  • The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics in 2016 show that Colchester's population had reached a total of 121,000 residents.
  • This figure accounts for both the urban and wider borough area, which makes Colchester one of England's larger towns. The town sees continuous growth with an increase of around 1000 people per year.
  • The culture and traditions in Colchester are reflective of its diverse population. The town has a large number of residents who have migrated from countries all over the world, such as India, Pakistan, Poland, and Romania to name a few.
  • This cultural diversity is celebrated through various events that take place throughout the year, including the popular Moon Festival which celebrates Chinese culture and heritage.
  • The people living in Colchester are very friendly and open to meeting new people from other cultures. They enjoy socializing with friends at bars or restaurants where they can relax over a few drinks whilst discussing topics such as politics, sport, and music.
  • The town has many popular pubs, too, which serve traditional British food – including roast dinners on Sundays!

Famous Points Of Attractions In Colchester

  • This town, having roman roots, is placed perfectly in Essex as it gives you an opportunity to explore the local areas of Essex coast and Constable country along with East Anglia and London at a distance.
  • Life in Colchester is quite relaxed and easygoing. The town has a number of parks where residents can enjoy outdoor activities or take part in sports such as tennis, basketball, and football.
  • Just walking around Colchester will give you some great visuals of the architecture, which can be seen in the Jumbo Water tower and Colchester Town Hall.
  • There are also plenty of shopping centers around the area that offer both high street brands as well as local boutiques selling handmade items made by artists living within Essex county!
  • Colchester's most popular attraction has to be Colchester castle, which dates back nearly 2000 years ago when it was first built by Romans during their occupation in Britain. It became a museum in the 1860s and here, you can find gold coins that were used in pre-Roman times!
  • The Colchester town center offers plenty of entertainment options with museums galleries while those looking for something different than what they might find at home should definitely not miss out on visiting Colchester zoo, which is one of the largest in England and home to over 500 animals from all corners of the world.
  • Hythe Quay situated on the River Colne, this quay offers lovely views of both the river and Colchester's skyline. It's a great place for a walk or to relax with a cup of coffee too.
  • The Mercury Theatre is an award-winning theater located in the town center and stages a variety of plays, musicals, and operas throughout the year.
  • The Colchester Archaeological Trust have also opened a visitor center in 2004 as well as a museum at the old Calvary Barracks, displaying the Roman Circus. This Roman Circus consists of various finds and replicas of the circus along with some finds from the nearby roman cemeteries.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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