It was built in 1076 on the foundations of a Roman temple, the Temple of Claudius. It has the largest keep in Europe with sides 150 by 110 feet and it was constructed by Bishop Gundulph, the designer of the Tower of London. It once stood over 100 foot high, but was partly demolished in 1683 when the top storey of the keep was pulled down. There does not appear to have been any curtain wall around the keep, the Roman walls being used instead as with Pevensey and Portchester. The castle was used as a prison from 1226 until 1835 and a museum was started in 1860. It is open all year.
The Roman walls were erected in AD60 after Colchester had been destroyed by Boadicea. They are one and a half miles long in total and surround the town. Approximately two thirds of the wall is still standing.
|In the town centre|
|Castle Park, Colchester CO1 1TJ|