city in Essex, United Kingdom
(Redirected from Camulodunum)

Colchester is a city in the northern part of the English county of Essex. It has a population of 130,245 people. People believe that Colchester is the oldest Roman town in England.


Colchester Town Centre
Population130,245 (2021 census)
OS grid referenceTL997254
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCO1 – CO7
Dialling code01206
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
Colchester Castle



Before Roman times, Colchester was Camulodunon. This is a Celtic name that came from Camulos. Camulos was the Celtic god of war. The Romans called Colchester Camulodunum (written "CAMVLODVNVM") and made it the capital of Roman Britain. Colchester was attacked and burnt by Boudicca in 61 AD. The Romans moved their capital of Britannia to Londinium (now London), but Camulodunum remained an important city until the fifth century, when the Saxons conquered the region.

The Roman wall of Camulodunum, still standing in modern Colchester

The Roman town of Camulodunum, officially known as Colonia Victricensis, reached its peak in the Second and Third centuries AD.[1] It may have reached a population of 30,000 in those centuries,[2] but when the Romans withdrew from Britannia in 410 AD it probably had fewer than 5,000 inhabitants.[3]

The church at the Benedictine abbey of Saint John the Baptist was destroyed in 1539. This action was part of the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII. Only a gate remains, that people still go to visit.

King Cunobelinus (or "Cunobelin") was from Colchester.

Until 2022, Colchester was officially a town, not a city. On 5 September, Queen Elizabeth II signed letters patent to grant it city status. This was planned as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. However, she died three days later.[4] On 29 September, these letters were publicly released.[5]

Twin cities


Colchester is twinned with the following cities:

  1. Faulkner, Neil. (1994) Late Roman Colchester, In Oxford Journal of Archaeology 13(1)
  2. McCloy, A.; Midgley, A. (2008). Discovering Roman Britain. New Holland. p. 60. ISBN 9781847731289.
  3. B. D'Ambrosio. "Roman Camulodunum". University of Genova ( [1])
  4. "Queen Elizabeth II: Colchester city status ceremony plans postponed". BBC News. 9 September 2022.
  5. "Crown Office - The Gazette". 29 September 2022.


  • B D'Ambrosio. "Roman Camulodunum". Universita' Statale di Genova (Genova University). Genova, 2007