Introduction of Colchester
Town in Essex, 53 mi NE of London. Capital of the Belgic ruler Cunobelinus, it was the site of the first Roman colony in Britain, founded by Claudius in a.d. 43. Although destroyed by Boudicca (Boadicea) in 60, it became one of the chief towns of Roman Britain. During the Civil War it was captured by Parliamentarians under Fairfax in 1648 after a long siege. Numerous Roman ruins and early earthworks remain as do two 11th-century churches and the impressive Norman castle of 1070, built over Claudius’s Roman temple.