Help us to continue preserving and protecting Colchester’s history and inform the future of our work for generations to come.

Leaving a gift in your Will is an amazing way to ensure that your support for Colchester Museums continues into the future.

Our mission is simple – to inspire and enrich our local community through heritage. Above all, we want to make sure that Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the wonderful collections that they house are protected, explored, and shared for future generations to enjoy.

Leave a lasting legacy

Why leave a legacy gift?


The work that Colchester Museums Development Foundation does relies on the generosity of individuals, members, sponsors, trusts and foundations. Leaving a gift to the Foundation in your Will, no matter the size, enables us to continue and improve upon the great work we do.

Most importantly, this is YOUR legacy. Your gift will only be used by Colchester Museums for the purposes you outline, whether this is for the conservation of our unique collections, or for improving learning opportunities for young people. Whatever you decide the gift should be used for, we will honour this.

A gift can reflect your interests and passions and can be directed to specific areas of the Museums’ work, including:

  • Vital care for our collections and historic buildings
  • Learning and community programmes
  • Research and acquisitions of new collections

Types of gifts


Gifts to charities are tax free, so 100% of your legacy will go to Colchester Museums. There are three different types of gifts which you can leave:

  • A Residuary Gift – This is a gift of a percentage or part of the value of your estate (e.g. 2%), once all your other commitments have been settled.
  • A Pecuniary Gift – This is a gift of a specific sum of money (e.g. £500).
  • A Specific Gift (of an object) – This is a donation of an object (e.g. a collection of photographs).

You can also give in memory of a loved one. To discuss an In Memory Gift, please contact Development Officer Sarah Emerson at sarah.emerson@colchester.gov.uk to discuss your ideas.

What information would I need to include in my Will?


When making or updating your Will your solicitor or Will writer will need the following information:

  • Registered name: Colchester Museums Development Foundation
  • Registered Office: Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3WG
  • Registered Charity Number: 1192018

Suggested wording for your Will: ‘I give free of tax the [sum of / item specified / residue of my estate] to Colchester Museums Development Foundation for Colchester Museums.’

Please note, this information is not intended as legal advice. When making your Will, please do so in consultation with an independent professional adviser.

More information?


If you are considering leaving a legacy gift to Colchester Museums, or if you have a specific activity or project which you would like your legacy gift to support, please contact Development Officer Sarah Emerson at sarah.emerson@colchester.gov.uk to discuss your ideas. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

Already left us a gift?


If you have kindly remembered Colchester Museums Development Foundation in your Will or are considering doing so, thank you so much! Please do let us know using the information below, so that we can thank you and keep you involved and informed through news and events. We can also discuss the ways in which you might like your gift to be recognised in the Museums or in print.




Colchester Castle

A visit to Colchester Castle is better than ever before with interactive displays and star exhibits, like the Colchester Gladiator Vase and Fenwick Hoard of Roman treasure. 

Hollytrees Museum

Enjoy 300 years of history in this beautiful Georgian townhouse through hands-on exhibits and displays. Discover what family life was life for the rich and the poor.

Natural History Museum

Get up close to nature and find out more about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change at this family-friendly museum. 

What's On


Discover something new in Colchester. Browse the diary to find fun, family-friendly events all year round.

Exhibitions + Displays

Our displays showcase the variety of the collections from art to archaeology, costume to clocks.


Where will your adventure start?