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Pictures of Colchester

a Historic Market Town in the county of Essex

About Colchester

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Fascinating historic Essex town in which there was probably a settlement in both the 5th-century BC, and the Ist-century AD. The invading Roman's occupied Colchester in AD 43, and by AD 48 there was a major colony there. At the time of AD 60 soldiers under the command of Queen Boadicea revolted against Roman rule, they destroyed the temple and massacred the Roman occupants. Thus, we are assured of the long history and illustrious legacy of the town where the Roman's first settled in Britain.

The waters of the River Colne skirt the northern edge of Colchester, the north bridge is built on a site where a Roman bridge once stood, and a few of the cottages that once formed part of a Medieval suburb remain to this day. So too, do parts of the old walls of the town, and the massive Balkerne Gate to the west of the town.

Interestingly, this is England's oldest-recorded town. It has stood on the banks of the River Colne amid fine Essex countryside throughout some of history's most tempestuous times, its main streets still follow the course of those laid down centuries ago and now form part of modern Colchester - a vibrant city with a fine University, major commercial business interests, excellent sporting facilities, cultural enterprises, and modern buildings that blend well in a town crammed with historic properties telling of its ancient past.

The beauty of the Essex countryside is well documented, this surrounds the town and within there are acres of parks and open green spaces so that almost every street offers a glimpse of something fresh and green. Some places of course, look out over the waters of the Colne to meadow views which have inspired centuries of artists, including the noted John Constable.

Places of interest to those visiting the town will be Colchester Castle Museum, this takes you on a splendid historical journey covering over 2,000 years of history. Bourne Mill is another interesting building, this is found beside Bourne Pond and was originally built in 1591 as a fishing lodge. In the centre of the town stands the Town Hall, a gracious building of 1902 crowned with a clock tower topped by a statue of St. Helena facing towards Jerusalem. Legend has it that St. Helena was the daughter of the mythical King Cole of Colchester made famous by the nursery rhyme, other legends link the town to Camelot and Humpty Dumpty.

The attractive "Dutch" quarter of the town is well worth seeing, here there are some lovely houses dating back to before the 16th-century, in other parts of Colchester there are buildings from the Medieval, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods. Holly Trees Museum is in a beautiful town house built in 1718, this shows commemorative collections of craft and military objects from the 19th-century onwards. The Minories is yet another attractive property from the Georgian period, this houses a superb collection of art, furniture, china and silver, and the town's Natural History Museum is housed in what was formerly All Saint's Church. Here visitors can see a unique celebration of the county's rural and natural life, this encompasses reclamation from the sea, the salt marshes and a look at local geology.

In East Street visitors can take a look at the Old Siege House, this is an attractive 15th-century building with walls riddled by Royalist bullets from the Civil War siege of 1648. The house is now a comfortable Italian Restaurant.

With treasures from past and present, an abundance of nature reserves, particularly at the mouth of the Colne, fine parks, old churches, historic castles and a wealth of legends, Colchester makes an interesting visit for everyone. There is all of this and much more. It is a thriving, up to the minute city with modern shopping and pleasure facilities catering for all ages and all tastes. It is close to the sea, with a famous harbour and is impressive in the extreme with out of town lanes, rivers and creeks lending enchantment to every road you take.

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