MCC123 - The Siege House, East Street, Colchester


Late 15th or early 16th house.


Grid reference TM 00742 25321 (point)


Type and Period (1)

  • HOUSE (Medieval Colchester II. to Modern - 1500 AD? to 2050 AD (at some time))

Full Description

Late 15th or early 16th house.

DOE survey: The Siege House is of early 16th century construction with some outstanding timber work. It was extensively restored in 1905 after it had been acquired (1902) by E. Marriage & Sons Ltd, owners of the adjoining mill property. They had all the external plaster stripped and this revealed many bullet holes in the timbers of the west side and south front, dating from the time of the Siege of Colchester in 1648. The house is of L shaped plan and the upper storey projects on the west side and south front with a heavy diagonal carved corner post. The East part of the moulded bressumer is original and the upper storey of this part of the building has an original window with diamond shaped mullions. On the west side is an original shaft with moulded capital supporting a curved bracket. The interior has a number of original features- moulded ceiling beams, panelling and remains of the original roof construction.<1>

RCHME Survey: The Siege House was built late in the 15th or early in the 16th century, and is of L shaped plan with the wings extending towards the east and north. The upper storey projects on the south and west sides with a heavy diagonal bracket at the angle springing from a moulded capping. The exterior is very much restored, but the east part of the moulded bressumer is original and near the middle of the upper storey is an original window with diamond shaped mullions. On the west side is an original shaft with a moulded capital, supporting a curved brace; part of the moulded frame of the adjoining window is also original. The timber-framing is much pitted with bullet holes, dating from the period of the siege. Inside the building several rooms have original moulded ceiling beams. The north room on the first floor has a modern fire place with a mid 16th century overmantel, of two panels with carved male and female heads; on the east wall plate is carved one of the beatitudes and in the south wall is an original doorway with a fourcentered head and now blocked. In the window are two medallions of arms in glass reported to have been removed from a house in another part of Colchester: (1) the quartered coat of Katherine Parr, with an ornamental border including the initials and date W.S. 1546 and a merchant's mark; (2) the quartered coat of Howard, Duke of Norfolk (with Brotherton in the first quarter) with an ornamental border, 16th century. The roofs have remains of the original construction of king post type.<2>

Two sketches were made during the conversion of the Old Siege House into a restaurant and officers. No original timbers were removed. The drawings show broad details about the roof structures and timbers exposed on the first floor.<3>

Observation of renovations to 'Marriage's Mill' and 'The Old Siege House' during renovation of buildings for use as a hotel and restaurant. Light buildings behind the mill were demolished and various fixtures and fittings were removed from within it. The front elevation was cleaned. No holes or service trenches were observed anywhere.<4>

Sources/Archives (4)

Finds (0)


  • Conservation Area
  • Listed Building (II*) TM0025 SE 7/69: Title not entered

Related Monuments (0)

Related Events (5)

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