Colchester Castle - 2,000 years of history, on one site!
Built on the foundations of a Roman temple, it measures 46m by 33.5m, is the largest surviving Norman keep and has served many a purpose over the centuries.
Construction probably began in the 1070s or 1080s on orders from William the Conqueror. Brick and stone from the ruins of Roman Colchester were used. The first phase comprised a one-floor keep, as illustrated by the battlement, still visible to this day. During the second phase, from circa 1106, the walls were raised, yet its original height remains a matter of debate.
The castle still boasts many Norman features, including a splendid arch in Caen stone. The winding Great Stair is Britain’s largest and the first floor fireplaces are among the earliest examples of their kind…
A royal fortress during the Norman period, the castle was subjected to one major military event, in 1216, when King John retook possession from occupying French troops.
Château de Colchester
Colchester CO1 1TJ
Tel : +44 1206 282 939
Images of the site
1027 - Arlette’s fountain
1027 - William the conqueror’s castle
1046-1047 - Ryes, the ‘Sente au Batard’
1047 - The battle of Val-es-Dunes
1057 - Varaville
11th century - Dives-sur-Mer, the church of Notre Dame
1066 - The Ladies’ Abbey
1067 - Eglise Abbatiale
1077 - The Men’s Abbey
1060 - Caen Castle
1040-1050 - The Olivet Castle mound – Grimbosq
1077 - Bayeux Cathedral
1066 - Bayeux Tapestry
1083 - Church of Saint-Nicolas, Caen
11th century - Church of Saint-Laurent, Falaise
12th century - The Church of Saint-Martin, Ryes
11th century - Church of Saint-Pierre, Thaon
1180 - Church of Saint-Samson, Ouistreham
10th century - The Château Ganne in La Pommeraye