Colchester’s oldest doorway

Door at Trinity Church ColchesterColchester’s oldest doorway

Located near the top of Trinity Street is the redundant Trinity Church, now used as a popular market and cafe. This is a building that we all walk past every day, just as the people of Colchester have done for the past thousand years. The main body of the church was rebuilt following the siege in 1648, however the tower tells a different story.

The base of the tower is circa 1000-1030 (Anglo-Saxon) and predates the castle by over sixty years, making the base of this tower Colchester’s oldest building and one of the oldest in England, even older than the White Tower at the Tower of London!

By the road is the doorway located on the bottom of the west side of the tower. This doorway is quite unique as it has a triangular arch above, a feature more commonly associated with windows of this period rather than doors. The wooden door itself could be 17th Century having been replaced following renovation after the siege, but could be even earlier if the wood or door itself was reused. All the the bricks are reused Roman bricks as were many buildings of that period using the remains of existing ruined buldings, or others from demolished buildings.

Have a look next time you are passing and take a closer look at one of the gems of Colchester’s rich heritage.

2 Feedbacks on “Colchester’s oldest doorway”

  1. Its interesting to speculate – and indeed speculate is all we can do – about how it has survived when every single pre-conquest building inside the walls of Colchester was destroyed as part of the Norman’s policy to build the castle and repair the crumbled defensive walls from the materials mined from the destruction. As we know this was done largely by slave labour,I am imagining that the tower was spared so that they could be a high place slap bang in the centre from which they could simultaneously oversee the demolition, keep and eye on the slaves and also watch for invading resistance armies. Has anyone a better theory?

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