County town of Essex and England's oldest recorded city. It has been a garrison town since at least Roman times when it was the capital of the province of Britannia for a while. The settlement was originally created by the emperor Claudius in 49 AD and was originally named Camelodunum.

During Boudicca's revolt against Roman rule in 60 AD her followers descended upon the city and completely destroyed it, as well as slaughtering most of the Roman citizens there, before marching onwards to London.

Nearly 1000 years later the Normans built a castle at Colchester which was one of the first stone castles seen in Britain. Its keep is larger than that of the Tower of London (which it pre-dates) and is still very well preserved. A military garrison has been stationed here on and off ever since and the British army has had a large permanent presence in the city since the Crimean War.

Today Colchester is a typically diverse British city: it is no longer so important as a port but is a major regional employer, and is the main home for the University of Essex.

E1 node, updated for E2 06-Oct-2000

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.