Colchester lies 51 miles from London, and has a population of 10,089. A large and populous borough and market town of great antiquity, it is chiefly built on the southern declivity of a hill, rising from the banks of the River Coln. Colchester is with great probability supposed to have been an ancient British settlement before the invasion of this island by the Romans. Though history may reject the story of King Cole, yet it is certain that this town was one of the most important establishments of the Romans so long as they continued masters of this country.

The streets are regular and well built throughout the principal part of the town. There is a large and convenient market-place, where fairs are held on Easter Tuesday for woollens, 5th of July for horses, 23rd of July for cattle and horses, and 20th of October for cattle, horses, butter and toys.

The River Coln is navigable for small craft to a place called the Hithe, within three miles of the town, where there is a quay and a customs house.

The principal manufacture is of a kind of coarse woollens called beizes and serges, said to have been introduced here in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The trade is under the control of a Corporation of the Governers of the Dutch Beize-Hall, whose officers have authority to examine the cloth previous to its sale. Among the articles of produce for which Colchester has been noted are candied eryingo roots and oysters, of which last, quantities are sent to London and elsewhere."
[Cole and Roper "The British Atlas...", 1801]

"It is situated on a fine eminance near the Coln, which is navigable within three miles of the town for ships of large burden, and for hoys and small barks to a place called the Hythe, where is a quay close to the houses. Here is a manufactury of baize and says; and it is noted for oysters called natives. It has an ancient castle, and some other fine buildings both ancient and modern. It is a principal station on the Eastern Counties Railway. It is 51 miles from London. Markets, Wednesday and Saturday. Population, 17,790."
[Barclays Complete & Universal English Dictionary, 1842-1852]

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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL9973325492 (Lat/Lon: 51.892180,0.901260), Colchester which are provided by:

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