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“Some great exhibits”

Colchester Castle Museum
Ranked #11 of 78 things to do in Colchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Keep in Europe. Constructed on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius, built when Colchester was the first Roman capital of Britain, the Castle Museum today reveals many fascinating layers of history to visitors. Archaeological collections of international quality covering 2,500 years of history are beautifully showcased, including of the most important Roman finds in Britain
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 22 July 2014

I was interested to see how the museum had been improved seeing as it was closed for so long. My husband and I enjoyed our visit but I think this is because we already had a basic knowledge of the history. I felt that children would end up with quite a distorted view of historical periods without some guidance, as so many are included. There are many truly fascinating exhibits and the building itself is remarkable. We probably will return in a year or two for another visit on a rainy Sunday. One other minor comment , and forgive me I know it is pedantic, is that there is a spelling error on the very first information board by the entrance. The spelling is 'metre' not 'meter'!

Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"guided tour"
in 65 reviews
"iron age"
in 23 reviews
"chariot race"
in 26 reviews
"roman period"
in 15 reviews
"interactive displays"
in 29 reviews
"castle museum"
in 37 reviews
"on display"
in 41 reviews
"roman times"
in 16 reviews
"vending machine"
in 9 reviews
"civil war"
in 12 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 10 reviews
"local history"
in 18 reviews
"school children"
in 13 reviews
"all ages"
in 46 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 33 reviews
"visit colchester"
in 9 reviews
"few hours"
in 20 reviews
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649 - 653 of 842 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2014

I was absolutely appalled at the treatment we received recently on visiting this attraction. Many years ago I visited with my daughters and we enjoyed our visit to the museum. As they have gotten older they have visited again on school trips and always enjoyed it. Hearing that the museum had been "upgraded" recently I was looking forward to accompanying my younger daughter on her school trip.


Unfortunately from the moment we arrived at the museum our party were treated as second class citizens - ironic really considering part of the history of Colchester is based on the Roman's treatment of others.

The gentleman who spoke to the group was rude and did not appear to want the children there. No real information or advice was given other than that already handed out to us by the class teachers and to be quiet. Parts of the museum were cordoned off and the worksheet bore no relation whatsoever to the exhibits, several of which were not working. No floor plan was available and there was no indication how the museum should be navigated.

The story of the Temple Siege and the Iceni is projected onto a large wall, unfortunately this is in a cavernous space which echoes so no-one can actually hear what is being said unless the Museum is empty. It was much better when this was played in a side room.

There were several interactive activities available which looked as though they might be interesting but when my children approached them they were told to "leave them alone, these are not for you".

All in all I can only assume that the Museum had double booked or forgotten about our party and therefore had no time for us, There were some lovely touches - such as the dressing up clothes at various points and the various items that could be investigated in the Round House. However organisation was poor, no guidance was given and I feel that what could have been a very interesting educational experience was wasted. What a shame - without inspiring the minds of our children through trips like this the lessons of history are completely wasted.

6  Thank alicemiracelchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014

I had not visited Colchester Castle museum for at least 6 years after I moved away. It has been closed for a long time for a very expensive revamp so I was keen to see it again.

Entry is £7.50 for an old person (no concession here!).

I did enjoy the museum - the lighting is certainly much better than it used to be.

However, I actually found it much more confusing than I remeber - it obviously covers a long period of time and I felt it went back and forward so that, if one had little background knowledge, it would be even more difficult.

The inside of the outer walls of the museum are now generally dedicated to having activities for children so I would think that is an improvement for families.

There is no coffeee shop - there is a utilitrian area where people can eat their packed lunch - perhaps this is because the Castle is very close to the town centre with masses of places to eat and there is also a place in the park.

I would not say "don't bother" but I do feel that the renovation was expensive for the result.

Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Be aware of prices. The board at the entrance gives an entrance fee for "concessions". However this dos not mean pensioners as all other places I have visited. It applies only to those that are on benefits....

Thank g0aut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 July 2014

We visited today and found the castle museum very interesting and informative. We can't understand how some reviewers have found something to complain about as we couldn't fault the layout of the exhibits and the information displayed, or the lack of cafe facilities. We took a packed lunch and sat at the benches near to the prison, and were able to get a hot drink from the vending machine, which was reasonably priced. The shop was mainly aimed at children, but it didn't matter to us, and stopped us spending! To anyone who might read this review, don't be put off by others' reviews, we had a great time!

Thank Ninja1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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