Industrial record MCC5013 - Paxman's Britannia Works, St Botolph's Street, Colchester


Mid 19th century iron foundry, now demolished.


Grid reference Centred TM 0007 2491 (196m by 82m)
Map sheet TM02SW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Paxman’s Britannia Works, later part of Ruston Paxman Diesels, was located on the site of an earlier iron foundry built by William Dearn in 1839. Paxman left Wallis and Coleman in 1865 (MCC5014) and established his first foundry in Culver Street, later enlarging and adapting Dearn’s original foundry buildings. Operations ceased in the 1980’s and the superstructure was demolished in anticipation of re-development. The site is currently used as a public car park, the surface of the car park being largely the ground floor of the works. The remains of tramlines, floor furnishings, and steel girder supports are apparent, suggesting that below ground evidence of the later, and perhaps earlier, foundry may still survive. Paxman's was one of the many foundries in Colchester that helped establish the town as the first and major provider of Iron goods in Essex and the south-east. None of the Colchester foundries retain upstanding remains.<1>

An archaeological desk-based assessment was compiled in 2003 by Oxford Archaeological Associates in advance of, and to inform, the redevelopment of the former Britannia Works.<2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Garwood, Adam. 1997. Iron Foundries in Essex.
  • <2> Desk-based Assessment: Oxford Archaeological Associates. 2003. St Botolph's Quarter Regeneration Schemes, Colchester. Cultural Heritage (Archaeology) Statement. Part 1. Background and Existing Situation..

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Jul 25 2017 9:38AM

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