Archaeological collections covering 2,500 years of history, including some of the most important Roman finds in Britain.
Built on the site of the Temple of Claudius, a symbol of Roman power when Colchester was the capital of Britain, Colchester Castle is the largest Norman keep in Europe.
It was constructed around 1080 after William I ordered a royal fortress to be built at Colchester, but for most of its life the castle has been used as a prison. In 1645 'Witchfinder General' Matthew Hopkins appropriated it as a base for interrogating and imprisoning those believed to be witches. It first opened to the public as a museum in 1860, and it is in that capacity that it continues today.
Explore interactive displays and star exhibits like the Colchester Gladiator Vase and Fenwick Hoard of Roman treasure. Have a go at building a Norman archway, dressing as an Iron Age Briton or steering a Roman chariot. Be wowed as a large scale projection transforms the east wall with light and sound. Tours, led by expert guides are offered daily and can take you down into the Roman vaults and up onto the castle roof.