Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Colchester, a municipal and parliamentary borough of Essex, on the right bank of the Colne, 12 miles from the sea and 51 miles from London. Three bridges cross the river. The town forms an oblong upon the ridge and sides of a promontory, called the Hythe, which stretches down to the river and forms the port. Colchester owes much of its importance to the fact of its being the natural port and outlet of a great corn-growing district, and to its oyster fishery which has belonged to the corporation from the time of the Norman conquest, if not longer, though the fishery is not now so important as formerly. There was formerly muoh manufacture of baize and serge an industry introduced by the Dutch refugees, but this trade has died out, its place having partly been taken by the manufacture of silk. Colchester is a town of much historic interest. It was the British town of King Cunobelin, and then the Roman colony, Camulodunum. Roman remains are abundant in the neighbourhood, and some of the walls date from this period. It was also an important place in the Middle Ages. In Edward III.'s reign it provided five ships and 140 sailors for the siege of Calais. It was besieged and captured by Fairfax in 1618. and the castle was dismantled. The castle keep is the largest example of Norman architecture of the kind existing in England, its area being double that of the White Tower of London.