Colchester - Capital of Britannia
Britain’s oldest town through the ages
Colchester positively oozes history. The first Roman capital of Britannia boasts some of the most important archaeological remains surviving from Roman Britain. Walking through the historic town, we will find notable highlights, including the foundations of the massive temple of Claudius, the earliest and some of the best preserved Roman town walls, as well as an exceptional collection of mosaics and one of the earliest Christian buildings in the country. The city also preserves remains of two theatres and the only known Roman circus in Britain. Camulodunum is mentioned by Pliny the Elder, in what remains the oldest surviving reference to any town in Britain, thereby making Colchester the oldest recorded town in Britain. Camulodunum, meaning the fortress of Camulos, was the seat of the most powerful kings who ruled in Late Iron Age Britain, including Cunobelin. It is perhaps for this reason that Rome, in AD 49, established its first provincial capital here. In AD 60 the town was the prime target of the great revolt led by Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, and the massacre of the town’s inhabitants took place in the temple of Claudius. Although the town was re-founded and rebuilt later in the 1st century, it was overtaken by the better placed London as the imperial capital.
There are no twin rooms available at the hotel
Your Departure date
Deposit: $250 Single supplement: $295
Day 1 - Colchester
We gather in Colchester for the start of the tour and meet in our hotel at 18:30. Before dinner your expert Guide Lecturer, Peter Berridge, will give you an evening lecture on Colchester to set the scene for the tour that lies ahead. Dinner at the hotel at 19.30.
|Hotel||GreyFriars Hotel, Colchester|
Day 2 - Colchester
The day begins with a short walk to look at the Castle exterior walls, then onto the Roman wall in Priory Street then St Botolph’s Priory, an erstwhile Saxon church transformed into an Augustinian priory in the Norman period by a follower of Anselm of Bec. From there we make our way to St Johns Abbey Gateway, where we have special access to this former Benedictine abbey built in the Norman period using Roman spolia. We proceed to the Roman Circus, the only one of its kind in Britain, where we meet Philip Crummy, the Director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust who will speak to us about the excavations carried out here. After lunch at the Roman Circus we walk to the Butt Road Roman Church foundations then a visit to the Balkerne Gate, the 1st century AD gate which is the largest of its kind in Britain. In passing we will also note St. Mary’s church which figured in a dramatic episode in the 1648 siege of the town and the immense Victorian water tower, nicknamed’ Jumbo’. We then venture to the Firstsite art centre to see the Berryfield Mosaic once decorating the triclinium of a 3rd century AD domus, restored to its former glory near where it was found.
|Hotel||GreyFriars Hotel, Colchester|
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 3 - Colchester
We begin at Castle Park, where we venture to the so-called Duncan’s Gate, one of the two surviving gates belonging to the Roman wall before exploring the foundations of some Roman Townhouses and onto the remains of a Roman theatre.
Then we begin our exploration of the famous Castle, In this historic setting, Peter Berridge will give a talk on Roman Colchester, from its role as the first capital to Britannia to the Boudiccan revolt. We proceed to an exploration of the castle, built on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius, the focus of so much of British ire against the Roman presence in Camulodunum. We then tour the Colchester Museum housed in the castle to see its fine iron age artefacts. After lunch we visit the Hollytrees museum then view Holy Trinity Church , we finish at Tymperleys Tea Rooms a stunning Tudor house to say our goodbyes. At 16.00
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|21 June 2024||ASCB240621||21 June 2024 (Friday)||23 June 2024 (Sunday)||Peter Berridge||$1,370
|$250||$295||Book your trip|