Monday, 7 September 2015

A Day Trip

In Camolodunum again today, I travel the world you know, I discovered a church building I had passed but ignored for some reason.  This lay behind the Roman wall, note the red bricks and the construction of the wall, solidly built to ensure no more Boudica's attacked and burnt the place down again.  Amazing to see these walls, ignored by most through walking past them daily, these solid walls were erected in the first century and stand proud, if not beautifully, today.

This was the first time I had noticed St Mary's by the Wall, and naturally I first took a picture of the once elegant door.  It is likely a Saxon church once stood here, the Norman's liked to build stone churches where old wooden ones once stood, and this one dates back to the 1200's.   You can see the lack of respect for history as the lower walls are built using portions of the Roman wall!  The tower above is probably the only remaining original portion, the church was rebuilt in the 1700's and many unreadable tombstones stand there some from that date as far as I could make out.

During the English Civil War, which imperiously included invading Scotland by the Margaret Thatcher of the day, one Oliver Cromwell, the church was used for defence by the Royalist side as Colchester opposed Cromwell and the Parliamentarians.  Whether the people had a choice is not noted!  A man named as Thomson set up his gun there and directed fire on the besiegers until the many returning cannonballs brought him and the tower down.  The top of the tower has been renovated with red brick and shows in between the remaining Roman bits.

I wondered a bit about the sign above the door.  What kind of church is this that has a licence for booze?  A Catholic one looking after the priests?  An Anglican one with a thirsty vicar?  In fact it is a redundant building now used as the Colchester Arts Centre.  I didn't go in.  There may have been a chance to look around but I considered they may have an 'art' exhibition on and I would possibly express my opinion, and I don't like losing new friends...

The graveyard is a bit of a mess in truth, this was one of the better graves established in 1797 but imaginatively I forgot to check the name.  They clearly were important enough to have a block of stone and iron railings around their tomb.  Most of the others must have dated that far back, the town must have been on the up during the 1700's and wealth flowing in the right places, but the place is a sad site now.  Only one drinker was found there today and we shared a couple of words but clearly many more waste their lives here.  How sad is that?

 On the way to the bus driven by a man unsure of the braking capabilities on offer I once again was impressed by the war memorial.  This angelic creature is a magnificent example of war memorial of the time.  Totally ridiculous regarding the conflict but like many others a magnificent creation.  What soldiers thought I know not, but less was spent on wounded men's care than on this!

On the way home I bought two appropriate inner tubes for future use!  No fool me!  This time I spoke to someone who knows about bikes, and recognises an idiot also.  This shop ought to be nearer home I say!



Jenny Woolf said...

How amazing, I did not know those Roman walls were still going a reasonable job in Colchester. From the name I know it is Roman but I don't know much more about it. One of the interesting things about Britain is the way you can see signs of the past everywhere. As for the booze licence in the church.... hmmm.... a bit sad.
Glad you have got the inner tubes, soon there will be no excuse for staying in! (Though, well, I suppose you could use the weather now winter is in view)

Lee said...

I never cease to be amazed and intrigued by how advanced they were all those centuries ago. It's incredible; it's fascinating and if the proof wasn't there for all to see, it would be unbelievable.

Thanks for an interesting post filled with great photos, Adullamite.

the fly in the web said...

I used to like going to Colchester....a proper town, quite apart from the Roman remains.

I remember how pleased people were in Norwich when old churches were turned into arts centres and other such frippery...I didn't share their views.

Very much enjoyed the poster.

Mo said...

After having just finished reading about the Bishop's brothels (in Southwark) a bit of booze seems rather minor.

Adullamite said...

Jenny, So many buildings around Essex have Roman bricks. people happily reused old villas etc and they remain standing now.

Lee, Advanced? People are the same now as then, human nature does not change.

Fly, A bit grubby these days but a proper town with all you require.

Mo, Southwark, outside of London's control, had an 'interesting' history...

Lady Di Tn said...

Mr A
Thanks and if by any chance it makes a coin or two, I will share happily. Oh so many go by unaware of history but you have graced us with another education post. I have been pondering about getting a bike as they are so much fun. Our Mayor has spent most of the cities money and lots of it on Greenways to walk, run or bike. Peace

Lee said...

Advanced in that they could build such buildings etc., without the equipment etc., that is at hand today; and that the buildings etc., remain to this day. I wasn't referring human nature, Adullamite...I thought you would've understood what I meant.