• Britain’s oldest recorded town.
  • The first Roman capital of Britain.
  • Home to the University of Essex.
  • The home of 16th century scientist Dr William Gilberd, a key figure in the understanding of magnetism and first to use the term ‘electricity’.
  • The Abbey of St John the Baptist was the fourth largest in England at the time it was closed.
  • Twinned with Avignon (France), Wetzlar (Germany) and Imola (Italy).
  • Has the oldest and longest surviving town wall in Britain.
  • The largest Norman castle keep in Europe.
  • The only Roman circus (chariot racing) found in Britain.
  • There are ten other Colchesters named after the original - our daughter settlements in Australia, South Africa, USA and Canada.
  • Endured an 11 week siege in 1648 - many buildings still show the damage.
  • St Botolph’s Priory was the mother house for the Augustinians in England. The home of 19th Century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the ‘Prince of Preachers’.
  • Remains of one of the oldest churches in Britain (early 4th century).
  • Britain’s largest garrison town.
  • Renowned for oysters.