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Coordinates: 51°53′30″N 0°54′11″E / 51.8917°N 0.903°E / 51.8917; 0.903
Colchester town center.jpg
Colchester Town Centre
 Colchester shown within Essex
Population 104,390 (2001 census)
OS grid reference TL997254
District Colchester
Shire county Essex
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CO1 – CO7
Dialling code 01206
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Colchester
List of places
Colchester Castle

Colchester is a town in the northern part of the English county of Essex. It has a population of 104,000 people. People believe that Colchester is the oldest Roman town in England.


Before Roman times, Colchester was Camulodunon. This is a Celtic name that came from Camulos. Camulos was the Celtic god of war. The Romans called Colchester Camulodunum (written "CAMVLODVNVM") and made it the capital of Roman Britain. Colchester was attacked and burnt by Boudicca in 61 AD. The Romans moved their capital of Britannia to Londinium (now London), but Camulodunum remained an important city until the fifth century, when the Saxons conquered the region.

The Roman wall of Camulodunum, still standing in modern Colchester

The Roman town of Camulodunum, officially known as Colonia Victricensis, reached its peak in the Second and Third centuries AD.[1] It may have reached a population of 30,000 in those centuries,[2] but when the Romans withdrew from Britannia in 410 AD it probably had fewer than 5,000 inhabitants.[3]

The church at the Benedictine abbey of Saint John the Baptist was destroyed in 1539. This action was part of the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. Only a gate remains, that people still go to visit.

King Cunobelinus (or "Cunobelin") was from Colchester.

Twin cities

Colchester is twinned with the following cities:


  1. Faulkner, Neil. (1994) Late Roman Colchester, In Oxford Journal of Archaeology 13(1)
  2. McCloy, A.; Midgley, A. (2008). Discovering Roman Britain. New Holland. p. 60. ISBN 9781847731289 . 
  3. B. D'Ambrosio. "Roman Camulodunum". University of Genova ( [1])


  • B D'Ambrosio. "Roman Camulodunum". Universita' Statale di Genova (Genova University). Genova, 2007