Colchester Castle commemorates the Siege of Colchester

PUBLISHED: 31 May 2023

Colchester Castle is pleased to announce that a new temporary display will be available to view from the 7 June to mark the 375th anniversary of the epic Siege of Colchester.

The Siege of Colchester took place in 1648 during the English Civil War. The Royalists, who supported King Charles I, had taken control of Colchester, but the town was besieged by the parliamentary forces led by Thomas Fairfax. The siege lasted for eleven weeks, and when the Royalists surrendered, they were punished severely.

The display will feature a range of historical objects that date back to the period, including siege tokens, coins that were fashioned and used during the siege when money couldn’t circulate, a spade that could have been used to dig the parliamentary defences, and several pamphlets on loan from the Essex Society for Archaeology and History via the University of Essex.

One of the highlights of the display will be a letter written by Thomas Fairfax himself, which will be on display for the first time. The letter provides a fascinating insight into the mind of the parliamentary leader during this turbulent period of English history.

Councillor Michelle Burrows, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “Don't miss this rare opportunity to see some unique objects from the period and learn more about the Siege of Colchester and its significance in English history. The display will run from 7th June until 1 December, so there is plenty of time to visit and explore this fascinating period of history.”

Visiting in August? Learn more at the Colchester Siege Spectacular, a free re-enactment event happening over the weekend of the 19-20 August. Taking place in Colchester’s Castle Park and city-centre it is part of Colchester’s Year of Celebrations, to mark its new city-status.

Find out more
Colchester Siege Spectacular - Historical Event in Colchester, Colchester - Visit Colchester


Page last reviewed: 31 May 2023


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