Search site

History at your fingertips - Colchester Borough Council launches free online heritage site

Date issued: 23 January 2018

Want to find out more about the archaeology of your area? For the first time, the Colchester Historic Environment Record for Colchester Borough is now freely available online thanks to the Colchester Heritage Explorer project, supported by Colchester Borough Council.

Historians, archaeologists, visitors and curious Colcestrians can now freely browse the Colchester Historic Environment Record (or HER) database of the Borough's archaeological sites and historic buildings. 

Interested parties can use the site to find out more about:

  • Your local area, including historic buildings, archaeological excavations and finds
  • Any period of interest including early prehistory, the Iron Age, the Roman period and the medieval period
  • Industrial activity in and around the Borough
  • Archaeological finds such as prehistoric flint tools or Roman pottery

The HER currently contains over 10,000 records detailing the heritage of Colchester Borough from the earliest human activity to the Cold War. Colchester is the oldest recorded town in the British Isles and has a rich archaeological and historical background and archaeologists and historians have been collecting information about Colchester's past for hundreds of years and this website brings together the results of their research.

Councillor Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture said: "The development of this website is an invaluable resource for anybody interested in the fascinating history and significant archaeological discoveries that Colchester has become so well known for.

"Having this data presented in such an accessible manner is wonderful, and I urge people to visit the site and see what historic gems might be, literally, on their doorstep!"

The HER website,, will continue to grow as more information, map resources, drawings and photographs from collections are added. 

You can also upload and share your own information onto the Heritage Explorer, helping to expand the community database and map of local heritage for everyone.