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!