Monument record MCC442 - Dutch Refugee Church (demolished), Church Street, Colchester


16th or 17th century Dutch refugee church.


Grid reference TL 99380 25132 (point)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The Dutch community founded a church in Colchester in 1563, although the location of the church is unknown until 1677 when it was situated on the corner of Head Street and Church Street.

In 1948 Alderman Alex Blaxill undertook a documentary and deed search to locate the 17th century Dutch Church believed to have been situated on Head Street. Records show the church operated from 1563-1728. Blaxill concluded that the site could be narrowed down to the corner of Head Street and St Mary's Lane. See plan <1>

There is a note by William Wire in his copy of Rev Philip Mprant's History of Colchester stating 'The (Dutch) congregation had a chapel and house for the Minister in Head Street, the wooden framework of the front and other parts of which were sent from Holland, cut and made ready to put together. It was a handsome building of considerable extent. The front of what appears to have been the chapel forms one side of a quadrangular court, occupied by the minister's house and various offices and outbuildings. On the window frame in the front towards the street, date 1677 appears, and a cipher including the letters S.R.B., with the same date, is impressed on the brickwork of other parts of the building. In the interior is a staircase of oak, ornamented with carvings of superior style and workmanship. The building has lately been handsomely fitted up as a bazaar (Wright's Essex, I., p.335)(1831-1835). It was burnt down in 1835, and it is believed no drawing of it was ever taken. (Burn's History of Foreign Refugees,p215). The chapel stood at the corner of Head Street and Church Street. WW'.<2><3>

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Blaxill, E, Alec (Alderman and Mayor). 1948. Social History File: Dutch Church.
  • <2> Monograph: Morant, Philip. 1748. History of Colchester (Wire's copy).
  • <3> Monograph: Blaxill, E, Alec (Alderman and Mayor). 1948. The Nonconformist Churches of Colchester.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2016 9:43AM

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