Friday, 28 December 2012

ESAH Forum: Colchester Castle Museum Closed During 2013

Colchester Castle
The Museum at Colchester Castle will be closed after 6 January 2013 for major redevelopment and will open once again in Easter 2014.  

The Colchester Castle Museum website says:

Constructed on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius, Colchester Castle is the biggest Norman Castle in Britain – in fact, it’s the biggest ever built by the Normans anywhere in Europe.
The Castle is also one of Colchester’s most important tourist attractions. But from 7 January 2013 until spring 2014, we regret that the Castle must be TEMPORARILY CLOSED TO VISITORS for essential redevelopment.
These works will ensure the Castle remains an outstanding visitor attraction fit for the twenty-first century. More of the Castle’s historic interior will be revealed as a result of the renovation, new displays will be introduced, and the building will be made fully accessible for wheelchairs. We’re also improving the shop and the toilets; the Castle roof will be insulated, and under-floor heating will boost energy efficiency.
When it reopens in 2014, the Castle will tell the 2,000-year story of Colchester in a fresh and exciting new way.
You’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and Norman invaders, discover the story of the Witchfinder General, and learn why Queen Boudica burned Colchester to the ground. There will be a full-size burial reconstruction, audio character stories, replica objects to handle, and much more.

The site will be open to the public for a short while after the museum artefacts are removed so that the bare interior can be viewed.  The Essex Society for Archaeology and History is planning a Visit in April 2012 for its members. 

The Museum is of importance to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History because in its early years its members gave a large number of antiquities to form the main part of the collection.  In 1927 W Gurney Benham mentioned in his Guide to Colchester that "The Colchester Museum is chiefly the property of the Colchester Town Council, but partly also the Essex Archaeological Society, whose library is also housed here".

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