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About Colchester

Norman History.

Little is known of the period between the end of the Roman occupation and the arrival of the Normans in around 1066, known as the Dark Ages when very little recording of history was written.

The Normans arrived to find a busy port and market town at Colchester and, concerned of the risk of an invasion from Scandinavia, almost immediately started construction of a stone castle, one of the first ever built in England.

The castle, having seen very little military action in its lifetime, is still in excellent condition and is open to the public to visit. Its Keep is the largest ever built by the Normans and pre-dates the Tower of London. It is situated in the grounds of Castle Park (opened in 1892) which is host to a beautiful display of coloured flowers in the spring and summer months.

Still below the castle are the remains of the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius, which can be seen on a guided tour.

Colchester Castle

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In the town are also the remains of two major religious sites built during this era, St Botolph's Priory, the first Augustinian house in England, and St John's Abbey, whose gatehouse still survives.



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