Roman Colchester - Boudica and Beyond!
- A day in Camulodunum - Roman capital and Britain’s oldest recorded town
- Special access to the basement of Colchester Castle to see the foundations of the Temple of the Divine Claudius
- Visit the newly-opened interpretation centre at the Roman Circus
In AD 77 the Roman author and scholar Pliny the Elder wrote of Colchester in his Natural History. This is the oldest surviving written reference to any town in Britain, making Colchester Britain’s oldest recorded town. Camulodunum, meaning the fortress of Camulos, soon became the seat of the most powerful kings that ruled in Late Iron Age Britain, including Cunobelin.
In c.AD49, the Romans established their first town and capital at Colchester. In AD60 the town was the prime target of the famous revolt led by Boudica, queen of the Iceni, and the final massacre of the town’s inhabitants took place in the hated temple here. The town was re-founded and rebuilt, but sometime during the latter stages of the 1st Century, London superseded it as the capital.
Not surprisingly, Colchester boasts some of the most important archaeological remains surviving from Roman Britain. We explore temple foundations, the theatre, two gates and the remains of the only known Roman Circus in Britain. War, peace and prosperity in a thriving Romano-British town.
Meeting time / place
09:00 at Colchester Castle
End time / place
16:30 at Balkerne Gate
Introductory lecture on Roman Colchester, guided tour of the newly re-opened Colchester Castle museum displays, and a private visit to the Roman temple foundations in the Castle basement. Set off on a walking tour of Colchester, including Duncan’s Gate and the Roman Theatre.
On foot to visit sites such as the ruins of St Botolph’s Priory; the site of the discovery of the only Roman Circus in Britain and its newly opened interpretation centre; one of the earliest Christian buildings in the country at Butt Road Church and the iconic Balkerne Gate, situated in the heart of the modern town.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Fact Sheet - Including background information about your Guide Lecturer, historical context for the Day, detailed itinerary, a suggested reading list and directions to the venue
Peter's knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject was a major contribution to the success of the day and the opportunity to access areas which are not usually open to the public was an additional bonus. Guest, 2015
The highlight of the day for us was definitely to have the opportunity of a private viewing of the foundations of the temple of Claudius. This was something my husband has wanted to experience for many years, and the reality fully met with his expectations. We also particularly enjoyed seeing the work being done to interpret the site of the Roman Circus, which was a revelation to us. Whilst these were certainly the highlights from our perspective, however, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and wish to thank our tour guide, Peter for a marvellous experience. He is clearly an expert in his subject and both we, and indeed your company are extremely lucky to have had the benefit of his services. However, beyond that we cannot sufficiently praise Peter for the immense effort he made to maximise our enjoyment of the day, not least by arranging for the archaeologist responsible for ongoing excavations of Roman Colchester to come personally to interpret some of his findings for us.
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See something old in a new way
Andante Study Days offer rare, often unique, insights into the world of working archaeology. All are led by expert guides, and are designed to give guests access to some of the best of British Archaeology...
What to expect
- An expert guide to accompany you throughout the Day
- A mixture of lectures, practical demonstrations, handling sessions, guided tours and walks
- Special access to museums, sites and galleries otherwise closed to the general public (where specified)
- Small Groups 12-25 guests
- The company of like-minded people!