What’s going for it? Been round some time, Colchester. Seen all of it earlier than. That is, in any case, apparently the oldest frequently inhabited city within the land. It’s seen Romans (they went wild for its oysters), and extra historical tribes earlier than them. Cymbeline. Sure, the Cymbeline. Previous King Cole. Sure, the Previous King Cole. Pliny writes about Colchester. Pliny by no means wrote about Nuneaton. So respect to Colchester; it’ll outlive you or me. It retains up with the instances, don’t get me unsuitable, with its (actually) dazzling Firstsite artwork gallery, the Colchester Arts Centre and its new Curzon cinema. However this can be a place with outdated bones. Look previous the Nando’s, to the outdated stones of the fort, the curly wurly curlicued city corridor, the heroic politics of its postwar college, the ghosts of Flemish weavers within the Dutch Quarter. Colchester is a metropolis worthy of an epic, like Troy. It’s obtained tales to inform. Possibly when Boudicca burnt it to the bottom. Or when the Normans constructed the most important fort in Europe. Or perhaps when the parliamentarians laid siege to it within the civil struggle and the residents had been pressured to eat rats. There are many juicy plots right here. So, who’s going to write down it?
The case towards Too many govt estates of toy city tat constructed within the noughties. The Golden Banana: adore it or hate it?
Properly related? Trains: the principle Colchester station has 4 or 5 an hour to Chelmsford and Ipswich (each 18-26 minutes), and London (49-66 minutes); Colchester City goes to Walton-On-The-Naze (hourly, 42 minutes). Driving: 30 minutes to the coast at Clacton and Harwich port, 20 minutes to Dedham Vale and Constable Nation, Ipswich 30 minutes, Stansted Airport lower than an hour, the M25 45 minutes.
Colleges Primaries: most are “good”, says Ofsted, with Hamilton, St Teresa’s Catholic, Dwelling Farm and Montgomery Infants “excellent”. Secondaries: The Stanway , St Benedict’s Catholic, The Thomas Lord Audley, St Helena, Colchester Academy, The Gilberd are “good”; Colchester Royal Grammar wants a extra up-to-date report; Colchester County Excessive “excellent” in 2009.
Hang around at… Church Road Tavern for Mersea oysters; Grain for wooden pigeon and hazelnuts. Oh sure.
The place to purchase On the town, the historic coronary heart has all of the character you’d anticipate, particularly within the well-known Dutch Quarter of Tudor, 17th- and 18th-century townhouses and cottages. Past, west is finest, between Lexden Street and Maldon Street. And out to Lexden itself, particularly Poets Nook. Massive detacheds and townhouses, £450,000-£1.25m. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £200,000-£450,000. Semis, £150,000-£500,000. Terraces and cottages, £125,000-£350,000. Flats, £100,000-£400,000. Leases: a one-bed flat, £525-£825pcm; a three-bed home, £800-£1,400pcm.
Cut price of the week Interwar and postwar houses, like this four-bed indifferent in St John’s; £385,000, with michaelsproperty.co.uk.
From the streets
Chris Coates ‘It’s commutable, when the trains are working, and Essex College is simply outdoors city.’
Alan Bullard “Beautiful outdated Roman city with fairly slender streets, Roman wall, and Citadel Park stretching from the city centre to the river.”
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