Finding Medieval Colchester in a Modern City

Should we make more of Colchester’s history?

Westminster

IMG_3055 Sign at Colchester Town train station

Colchester boasts a long history: from Roman settlement and Boudicca’s rebellion to a Norman castle, Protestant martyrdom, and Royalist stronghold in English Civil War.   So why does the town need to claim “more than” this past?

A pamphlet from the Colchester visitor information office echoes the same sentiment as the sign: “Colchester just seems to get on with it- history that is, and history in the making…there’s no licking of wounds from battling Boudica or civil war sieges here.”  Colchester’s message is clear: we are proud of our past, but we are just as proud to be a modern town among the ruins of this history.  Does this emphasis on modernization, however, take away from its history?   

My first impression upon arriving in Colchester was not its ancient history but its commercialization.  The downtown is packed with modern shops and…

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