In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Colchester like this:
Colchester, parl. and mun. bor., market town, and river port, E. Essex, on S. bank of river Colne, 52 miles NE. of London by rail, 11,314 ac., pop. 28,374; 4 Banks, 7 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday. C. is of great antiquity. It was the Camalodunum of the Romans; the Colneceaster of the Saxons; and a favourite stronghold of the Danes. The Roman walls remain almost entire, and Roman remains, including villas, with tesselated pavements, hypocausts, and baths, Samian pottery, and coins, have been found in the greatest profusion. ...
The castle (12th century) is the largest Norman keep in England. C. is the centre of a large agricultural district, and has extensive corn and cattle markets. Corn, malt, and oysters are exported from its port and suburb, Hythe, 15 miles from the sea. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) The oyster fishery, however, is not so extensive as it once was. The baize mfr. has also declined, and is superseded by silk, more especially the kind employed for umbrellas. Among the minor industrial establishments are flour-mills, engineering works, rope-yards, and lime-kilns. C. returns 1 member to Parl.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Colchester has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Colchester. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Colchester and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Colchester in Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th June 2013
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