In 1727 the castle was bought by Mary Webster for her daughter Sarah, who was married to Charles Gray, the Member of Parliament for Colchester. A SYCAMORE which sits atop Colchester Castle has been named as one of the best trees in England. The sycamore tree which grows on top of Colchester Castle is one of those shortlisted. Archaeological evidence has found that these embankments were thrown up over the remains of the Roman wall of the temple precinct and on the northern side were probably constructed at the same time as the first phase of the keep. Within months, John had refused to be bound by the terms of the charter and the First Barons' War broke out. Holmes, maltster, of Colchester (Executors of Susan Morton, widow, of Colchester) to Jn. It has been a county prison, where in 1645 the self-styled Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins interrogated and imprisoned suspected witches. 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This tree has guarded the entrance to Wick Court farm for hundreds of years and may have been there when Elizabeth I came from Berkeley Castle, having been reprimanded for killing too many stags. Read about our approach to external linking. The walls of the keep sit on narrow foundation trenches filled with rubble and mortar, and directly abut the edge of the Roman podium, except in the south where they are set back to avoid the original temple steps and to facilitate the digging of a well. [21][page needed] Following the capture of Colchester, Harengood was reinstated as constable and made sheriff, but in 1217, the castle was handed-over to the French and the barons as part of a truce agreement. [17], The chapel was rebuilt during the second phase and the hall had a large fireplace added at around the same time. More recently, researchers have supported a three-storey model and some of the latest work suggests that there may have only ever been two storeys. Adam Cormack, head of campaigning at the Woodland Trust, said the aim was to protect trees as many are "constantly under threat of felling due to inappropriate developments". However, it was recovered by the boy king Henry III in the Treaty of Lambeth in September 1217 which finally ended the war, and William of Sainte-Mère-Église, the Bishop of London, was made constable. Built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius, Colchester Castle is the largest Norman keep in Europe. The site is on high ground at the western end of the walled town and at the time of the Norman Conquest, a Saxon chapel and other buildings which may have constituted a royal vill lay close by the ruins of the temple. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Six oak trees, a sycamore and a twisted Scots pine are in the running to be crowned England's Tree of the Year. Colchester Castle is the largest Norman keep in Europe, predating the Tower of London.Now a museum, it charts the town’s fortunes through the ages, starting with Cunobelin “King of the Britons” who ruled before the Romans, Vikings, Normans, and Saxons put in an appearance. She is believed to have planted the sycamore tree which is still growing on top of the southeast tower, either to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 or to mark her father's death in the same year. The obvious motive for reusing this site was the ready made foundations and the availability of Roman building materials in an area without any naturally occurring stone. This sycamore growing on top of Colchester Castle's south-east tower was planted by the mayor's daughter in 1815 to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Colchester Castle Museum (1,093) 4 min. Speciality Museums. The last surviving cork oak from a plantation planted by the Cork Manufacturing Company more than a century ago, this tree flourishes at a major junction on London's North Circular and, according to the Woodland Trust, shows how "nature and trees can thrive even in adverse urban environments". Are universities doing enough to look after students? [14], This is based on pre-demolition depictions of the castle, which despite errors and inconsistencies, all show the squat profile evident today rather than an immensely tall three- or four-storey tower, also the short time frame in which demolition can have occurred, and finally analysis of various surviving internal details which suggest that, unlike the White Tower, the great hall was on the first floor. The castle has since 1860 housed Colchester Museum, which has an important collection of Roman exhibits. The Colchester Castle Sycamore in Essex was planted by the mayor's daughter to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, according to local rumour. He created a private park around the ruin and his summer house (perched on the old Norman castle earthworks, in the shape of a Roman temple) can still be seen. We recently came second in this competition! The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. The castle endured a three-month siege in 1216, but had fallen into disrepair by the seventeenth century when the curtain walls and some of the keep's upper parts were demolished; its original height is debated. The Colchester Castle Sycamore, which sits atop the Grade I listed building in Essex, came second, and the mythical Dragon Tree on the Isle of Wight was a “close third”. It has been growing on top of the south east tower for around 200 years. Get to know the area. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Nellie's Tree in Aberford named UK tree of the year, 'Tree of the Year' competition shortlist announced. In the late 1740s Gray restored parts of the building, in particular the south front. Rayner, senr., merchant, of Colchester", "Colchester Castle - Appendix F: Timeline for Colchester Castle", "Extract from Parliamentary Surveys, 1650 (ERO T/P 64/24)", "Colchester Castle - AppendixJ: Miss Smith and her family", "Colchester Castle Redevelopment - History", "The Vaults under Colchester Castle: A Further Note", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colchester_Castle&oldid=985313662, Buildings and structures in Colchester (town), Museums of ancient Rome in the United Kingdom, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from January 2020, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Bailey wall and keep battlements, 17th century, This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 07:08. His daughter Mary Ann Smith was born there in 1777 and lived her whole life in the castle, becoming the librarian until her death in 1852. He also added a library with large windows and a cupola on the south-east tower, which was completed in 1760. The keep of the castle is mostly intact and is the largest example of its kind anywhere in Europe, due to its being built on the foundations of a Roman temple. In the meantime, the barons had appealed for help to King Louis VIII of France and accordingly, a French contingent had arrived to garrison Colchester Castle for the barons. Video, My grandad’s ‘triggering’ 1960s race documentary, iPhone helps me navigate the street without sight. Built from 1076 (some say from 1069) and completed in around 1100, Colchester Castle was constructed under the order of King William I for use as a royal fortress. After "great devastations" in which much of the upper structure was demolished using screws and gunpowder, he gave up when the operation became unprofitable.[26]. In 1624 Stanhope granted the lease to Thomas Holmes, gentleman and maltster, the father of John Holmes, who emigrated to Plymouth Colony and became Messenger of the Court there. It seems likely that either a financial or military crisis dictated that the partly completed keep had to be made defensible. In 1882, J. Horace Round proposed that, like the White Tower, Colchester would have had four storeys, with a double-height great hall and chapel. [12] In 1683 an ironmonger, John Wheely, was licensed to pull it all down - presumably to use as building material in the town. No trace of the stone walls has been found, which suggests that were located at the top of the rampart. [28] Between January 2013 and May 2014 the castle museum underwent extensive refurbishment costing £4.2 million. [12], The defences of the bailey consisted principally of a large earthen rampart and ditch surrounding the keep, the northern section of which survives but was heavily landscaped in the 19th century. [18] Inside the bailey, a late Anglo-Saxon chapel stood close to the southern edge of the keep and a domestic hall to the southeast of, and aligned with the chapel, were both retained during the first phase of keep construction. although that didn't prevent them from being arrested there. [14] Further uncertainty surrounds the position of the original entrance; the current main doorway in the southwestern tower dates from the second phase of construction which saw the addition of the first floor and staircases. The Colchester Castle Sycamore, growing on the walls of the Essex stronghold, came second while the mythical Dragon Tree on the Isle of Wight was a ‘close third’. Blown over in a storm, this oak clung on to life with its last remaining roots and has flourished in an unusual position. Ten trees have been shortlisted by the Woodland Trust, with the winner to be .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}chosen by a public vote. [22][24] In 1649 Hay sold his interest to Sir John Lenthall, while in 1650 a Parliament Survey condemned the building and valued the stone at five pounds. Could Brexit make your food more expensive? [13] The keep today has only two storeys; the original height is unknown because of demolition work carried out in the late 17th century. A museum of artefacts owned by the borough had been on display at the castle since 1860, and the roofing over of the keep in the mid-1930s allowed for a considerable expansion. [7] Siting the castle so close to the centre of the town makes Colchester the exception to the rule that Norman castles were built as a part of the town's external defences, with access to open countryside. The local court is said to have met under its branches in medieval times as they had no courthouse. 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It is thought it grew that way entirely naturally, bent down by wind or snow and then reaching towards the light once the pressure was lifted. "There are students, students everywhere" It seems like everywhere you look in Colchester there are … © 2020 BBC. It had to be removed in 1985 for wall repairs but it survived and was put back into its original position in 1987. In 1214, the hereditary constable was William de Lanvalai, who was one of the barons opposed to King John. Colchester Castle keep from the south, showing the main entrance, "Some Documents Relating to Colchester Castle", "Assignment of rest of 21 yr. lease by Tobias Weaton, turner, of Colchester, Amos Woodward, carpenter, of Colchester, and Thos. .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. This tree was planted to commemorate the launch of Bristol's city-wide public housing scheme by Dr Christopher Addison MP, who was responsible for the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act which led to the first council houses to be built to provide "homes fit for heroes" returning from World War One. To begin with, Gray leased the keep to a local grain merchant and the east side was leased to the county as a gaol. 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