September 17 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 2, 2014
After being closed for more than a year and having millions of pounds spent on it, Colchester Castle has reopened its doors to the public.
And the instant reaction is that the restoration has resulted in an attraction that should be well-placed to attract visitors from far and wide.
The official opening was carried out by Colchester mayor Colin Sykes. He said: “We feel very privileged to have had the honour of reopening Colchester Castle to the public after its impressive renovation.
“The Castle has been transformed into an incredible must-see attraction and we would encourage all Colchester residents and visitors to come along and take a look for themselves.”
Also present at the ceremony was Claire Cottrell, a descendent of the Round family who once owned the castle and several actors dressed up as key historical characters from it’s history.
The improvements to the Castle include several new installations, interactive displays and digital technologies which will bring alive the stories of the past.
The £4.2 million development was made possible after the project received a grant of £3.2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Further support came from the EU Norman Connection, Colchester Borough Council, Arts Council, Roman Wall Society and the friends of Colchester Museums.
The new Roman Collection, which includes rare finds from the Roman Circus and a Roman Villa mock-up is a highlight, and sits beside an interactive Roman Chariot experience.
Throughout the weekend, the Castle will be open to the public to enjoy medieval storytelling, weapon demonstrations and historical dance.