Colchester – St. Botolph’s Priory

In the tenth century, there was a church here dedicated to St. Botolph, but a Kentish priest with the name of Norman fancied setting up an Augustinian priory. So, after some research and approval, this magnificent structure was built and the religious institution was established. It was the first Augustinian priory to be constructed in the country and it also, very sensibly, honours St. Julian.

The rather glorious remaining section of the west front of the priory.

Much of the church has been reconstructed using Roman brick that was robbed from various walls and buildings around Colchester.

These pillars have stood the test of time…..

This is the nave, looking towards the west end of the priory. The priory was closed down during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but the nave area was saved as this was used by the local population at their church. Everything that the monks used, such as the cloisters, numerous chapels and their area for prayer was all pulled down.

The church in its new form survived until 1648, when it was destroyed during a siege that took place during the English Civil War. There were plans to rebuild the church after the Civil War, but they never came to pass, so the ruins have stood here now for over 350 years, currently under the management of English Heritage.