Monument record MCC2832 - St Botolph's Church, Colchester


Mid C19 church in Neo-Norman style by William Mason of Ipswich, located c.15m to the south of the remains of the Augustinian Priory of St Botolph. It has been suggested that there could be an 11th century church, on or close to the site, predating St Botolph's Priory, which was served by a community of secular cannons.


Grid reference Centred TL 999 249 (48m by 28m)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Original Listing Description:
1836 by William Mason. Early example of Norman revival of remarkable quality. Aisled nave with shallow sanctuary. Built in gault brick with much moulded enrichment especially to west tower. 3 light windows with roundels above, parapet to roof. Galleried interior essentially C18 in character with arcades on high piers, plain waggon ceiling, aisles groined.

St Botolph’s Priory was founded on a site near to St John’s Abbey between 1100 and 1104, formed by a small group of priests who were probably serving an existing church and had decided to adopt a monastic order. The existence of a church pre-dating the construction of St Botolph’s Priory is implied by the small company of priests that founded the Priory c.1100.<1><2>

Evidence for the southern cloister of the priory was apparently uncovered when the present church was built in 1838.<3>

In the Norman style, 'White brick, with a massive W. tower with pointed turrets, plenty of Norman ornament, and a broad interior with coarse Norman columns in two tiers, the upper one at the level of the usual galleries of that time. The gallery railings are decorated with intersected arches. Groin-vaulted aisls and tunnel-vaulted nave. Straight E. end with only the shallowest of chancels, also usual for that time, but no longer acceptable by 1882 when the church was 'restored' by E.J. Dampier. A deeper chancel was formed by taking down one bay of the gallery on either side at the E. end, and introducing low screen walls and open iron screens to the N. and S. as well as a chancel screen (ironwork by A.G. Mumford).'<4>

SE extension by Tim Venn, 1996-2001 (see ECC3040).

Two digital photographs of St Botolphs, Colchester, taken in August 2016.<5>

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Monograph: Crummy, Philip. 1997. City of Victory. p.149.
  • <2> Serial: The Victoria history of the Counties of England. 1994. A History of the County of Essex. Vol. 9. p.313.
  • <3> Monograph: Gascoyne, Adrian and Radford, David. 2013. Colchester. Fortress of the War God. An Archaeological Assessment. p.225.
  • <4> Monograph: Bettley, James and Pevsner, Nikolaus. 2007. The buildings of England: Essex. pp.264-265.
  • <5> Photograph: Tipper, J.. 2016. Photographs of Church of St Botolphs, Colchester. Digital.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Nov 6 2019 4:20PM

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