Archive | Local History

First Christ Church built in 1904

Birth of a church

The story of Christ Church in Ireton Road The church known as Christ Church in Ireton Road was first established back in 1904. The church was built by the parish of St. Mary’s at the Walls, due to the need to provide additional places at the Sunday service. Colchester was experiencing an expansion in house […]

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Musket ball impact marks at the Siege House

The Scars of Battle

The Scars of Battle The siege of Colchester in 1648 changed this town in so many ways, especially when it came to the damage and destruction inflicted upon the town’s buildings, including some the town’s churches. Every parish was effected by the siege in some way with St. Botolphs fairing the worst with 53 houses […]

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1648 gld ten shilling siege coin

Colchester Siege Coin

Colchester Siege Coin In the former church of St. Giles, there is a framed certificate with a gold coin upon it with the words: “This gold coin is a replica of the original gold ten-shilling piece, now in the British Museum, which was struck by the Royalists during the siege of Colchester in 1648.” Was […]

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Elephant signs

Colchester and the elephant

Colchester’s two thousand year association with the elephant When we think of elephants in Colchester, our minds automatically think of the elephants up at Colchester Zoo which first opened to the public as Stanway Hall Park Zoo in 1963.  Colchester has had a long association with elephants for nearly two thousand years and with elephants […]

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Statue of Eudo

Eudo de Rie

Eudo de Rie The name of Eudo de Rie is one of best known of all the historical figures associated with Colchester. Who was Eudo and just why was he so important in this town? Eudo de Rie is better known as Eudo Dapifer, the word dapifer being the Latin for steward, a position he […]

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St. Leonards Church Lexden

Legal connections at St. Leonards

Legal connections at St. Leonards Church Lexden There is so much more to a churches history than the building itself or the events which have occurred outside its walls. The plaques on church walls tell stories of past parishioners and the cemetery is where they now rest. Occasionally there are some interesting connections that can […]

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Langhorne Bell

Colchester’s oldest bell

Colchester’s Oldest Bell High up in the tower of Colchester Town Hall there is an old bell which remains unheard and silent. The tower contains five other bells which are heard every day as these are linked to the clock and chime the hours and quarters. These bells were cast by John Warners of London […]

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Old cell door

Old Police Cells

The old police cells of Colchester Behind the town hall, on West Stockwell Street lies one of Colchester’s newest restaurants, but the building itself has a much more interesting history dating back over a hundred years to the earliest days of the Colchester police. Colchester Borough Constabulary, as it was known back then, was formed […]

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Roderick Gray in stained glass

Memorial Window

Memorial window to a fallen soldier The church of St. Leonards in Lexden contains many historical connections to Colchester’s past, however her stained glass windows are very special and unique, in particular one window located to the left of the Chancel, in the lady chapel. The window itself depicts a mediaeval knight kneeling on the […]

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Red Lion Yard

Murder at the Red Lion

A tale of murder and ghostly apparitions at a Colchester Hotel This is Red Lion Yard in Colchester, part of what is now the Red Lion Hotel and the location for one of Colchester’s most well known murder stories. Alice Katherine Miller was one of the chambermaids  working in the hotel who was pushed to […]

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