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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Book Review. Colchester Castle: 2000 Years of History

Colchester Museum’s new guide book was launched in December 2015 at a special evening for ‘Castle Pass’ (season ticket) holders.  The black cover is adorned by an Iron Age gold coin with barley ears and the letters CAMV for Camulodunum, the one adopted as the logo of this Society from 1985 to 2010.  Highly illustrated with objects both large and particularly small on display this 78 page one hour read tells the story of Colchester from its origin down to 1648.  The book complements rather than accompanies the visitor.  Although there is a fold out plan showing the location of key exhibits – including the Fenwick Treasure due to arrive in Spring 2016 – this book would be a difficult to follow case by case guide.  It includes an interesting account of the building of the Castle and its subsequent creation of a Museum, but does not mention the important role the Essex Archaeological Society had in its foundation.  All that said this is a fabulous book of a fabulous museum.  Tom Hodgson and Philip Wise have done a marvellous job in writing an accessible overview.  It is a must have for anyone interested in Colchester’s and Essex’s history.  Price: £6.

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