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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

From Thursday 19th March all of Colchester Borough Council’s building are to be closed to the public, as part of the steps to combat the spread of COVID-19. As a result, Colchester Castle, Hollytrees Museum and the Natural History Museum will be closed for the foreseeable future. This decision follows the advice from the Government on mass gatherings and around self-isolation, which will have an impact on the levels of council employees available to staff the venues.

The council will be reviewing these closures on at least a weekly basis and will look to reopen them as soon as possible within Government guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Click here for the latest news on the council’s work to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Click here for the latest public health guidance visit 

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Museum From Home

The buildings might be closed, but we’re doing what we can to bring the museum to you!

Each week, our team will be sharing a variety of activities, inspired by the collections, to help educate and entertain.

Check out our growing library:

#MuseumFromHome

Welcome

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. 

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. 

What You Can See

The Building

Built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius, Colchester Castle is the largest Norman keep in Europe.

Now a museum, it showcases the history of Colchester from Celtic Kings, through Roman invasion and Boudiccan revolt, to Norman conquest and medieval life.

Its Civil War story and terrible link to Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins can also be explored in the surviving prisons.

The Collections

Some of the most important historical finds in Britain can be found in Colchester Castle, from Celtic coin hoards to Roman statues and mosaics, medieval paintings to civil war armour.

Look out for the famous Sheepen Cauldron, a huge and mysterious vessel from the Bronze Age, and the hastily hidden Fenwick Hoard of silver and gold jewellery from Roman Britain.

The Tours

Why not join one of our special tours? 

Visitors can climb the Great Stairs, take in the view from the Castle roof and descend into the Roman foundations.

Simply ask at the welcome desk when you arrive.

Escape At The Castle

Set in Europe’s largest Norman keep, come and explore the mysterious goings on that have caused several members of staff to go missing.

Why not bring your family or friends along to solve the puzzles and crack the clues to break THE SERPENTS CURSE.

 

Colchester Museums was a winner in the 2019 Hoop Awards, scooping Best Holiday Workshops in Essex!

See What's On and come experience our range of family-friendly activities for yourself!

 

Plan Your Visit

Opening Times

Monday – Saturday
10.00am – 5.00pm
Last admission 4.30pm

Sunday
11.00am – 5.00pm
Last admission 4.30pm

Tickets

Adult (inc. Seniors): £10.00
Child (aged 4-16): £5.25
Student: £6.75
Qualifying concession: £5.25*
2 x adults plus 1 x child or concession: £23.00
1 x adult plus 3 x children or concession: £23.00
2 x adults plus 2 x children or concessions: £27.00

*Visitors who are registered disabled and a carer; welfare benefit recipients and serving Military personnel – proof of reduced entrance fee status required and may be requested on entry.

Admission tickets, Resident Passes and guided tours can be purchased at the Castle on the day.

There is an additional fee for small activities admission, usually around £5.

You will need to call us to pre-book private guided tours, children’s holiday activities or for group visits of 12 people or more- contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Prices valid until 31 March 2020.

Tours

The roof and Roman Vaults 

Adult: £3.00
Child:  £1.50

November – March

12noon, 1pm and 2pm

April – October

12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Book your place at the welcome desk

Shop

Our museum shop offers a wide range of products, from activity books for children to jewellery inspired by the Fenwick Hoard, games and fancy dress to replica Roman objects. Whether you’re looking for a memento or the perfect gift, we have something for all tastes and budgets.

 

Access

Every effort has been made to make Colchester Castle a great place to visit for everybody.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the building, guided tours may be inaccessible for anyone with mobility difficulties. Please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Facilities include:

  • Parking spaces for blue badge holders by Castle Park in Museum Street, and on the High Street.
  • Two accessible lifts.
  • Seating throughout the museum.
  • Guide and helping dogs welcome.
  • Ladies, gents and accessible toilets.
  • Baby changing facilities.
  • Breastfeeding welcome.
  • Twiddlemuffs (sensory aids) available on request.
  • Ear defenders available on request.
  • Audio guide description facilities.
  • Tactile/braille maps.
  • School lunchroom available for packed lunches at weekends.
  • Vending facilities for drinks and snacks.
  • Free drinking water available on request.

Colchester Castle Autism-Friendly Tour

This short film will highlight some of the key sensory features of your visit to Colchester Castle. We recommend visitors with particular sensory needs, such as people with ASD or dementia, watch this film before they come. It is also useful for anyone who could benefit seeing what the venue is like before making a visit. 

Where will your adventure start?