Colchester Castle

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For a day out from Brentwood, we drove eastwards to the ancient city of Colchester. This is a photo of Colchester Castle which has had a long and varied history.

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Inside the castle is an excellent museum, so Lawrence and I explored further while his Mum sat down near the entrance. The receptionist came to check if she was OK and had a long chat with her about Colchester’s history. The city was very powerful in the days of the Romans but if you are interested in Roman archeology, then you are thwarted by the Medeaval remains which lie above it and cannot be disturbed.

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The museum provides a lot of dressing-up opportunities, so here is Lawrence modelling himself on Marcu Favonius Facilis who died just after the AD43 invasion of Britain.

And below is a representation of the Temple of Claudius, in Colchester. Clearly this was a very important location for the Romans in Britain.

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When the Fenwick company were developing a building on the high street, they uncovered some Roman remains and the building work was suspended for 3 months to allow the archeologists to do some work there. With just 3 days to go, they struck gold, literally! They discovered a muddled mass of jewellery which became known as the Fenwick Treasure and which the company then bequeathed to the city. There were bracelets, rings and earrings which would not look out of place in the jeweller’s window today. It is believed that the hoard was buried in haste during Boudica’s sacking of Colchester in AD 60.

The museum houses many other interesting artifacts, such as this green object and a set of ancient surgical instruments.

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In the prison section of the museum was an interesting display listing crimes and their punishments. If, for example, you refused to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty (known as mute of malice) then your punishment was "to be tied flat on the floor and pressed to death with heavy weights". This could take up to five days.

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We will obviously have to come back to Colchester to explore it further; simply in walking from the carpark to the town centre we coud see history everywhere.

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