Oldest Recorded Town




Colchester has the distinction of being the oldest recorded town in Britain. This is evidenced by a passing remark made byone Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) who was born around AD23 in northern Italy and died as a result of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in Southern Italy, which overwhelmed Pompei in AD79. He mentioned Camulodunum in connection with an interesting astronomical occurrence that could be seen from Mona (modern day Anglesey), some 200 miles from Camulodunum.

Mona quae distat a Camaloduno Britanniae oppido circiter ducentis milbus.

However, Colchester's history can be traced back long before this date. Excavated coins from the Trinovantian king Cunobelin's (died circa AD 42) reign referring to his father Tasciovanus, to mention just one written instance, not to mention pottery finds from 1000 years previous to that.

My home is close to what has recently been named Gosbeck's Archaeological Park, the epi-centre of Camulodunum, the ancient, pre-Roman, British name for Colchester. These are exciting times for archaeology in Colchester and only time will tell what else will be uncovered on the site and in the environs.


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