Bit of background info. re. the siege: A Royalist army, gathered from Kent, Hertfordshire and Essex occupied colchester. They were supporting King Charles I against Parliament. Once inside the town walls, they were surrounded by the Parliamentarian army, commanded by Lord Fairfax.
The siege lasted through a very cold and wet summer, ending on August 28th 1648. By this time, the residents of the town were so desperate for food that they had begun to eat rats.
(1)The Old Siege House, East Bridge, East Street.
The Old Siege House, taken from the bridge
This Tudor building overlooks a bridge across the River Colne. It was originally part of a mill. The mill was occupied by members of the Parliamentarian army on July 5th 1648. This cut off the bridge, which was used as a route into town by Royalist raiding parties searching for food. It also posed a threat to the south of the town, a place still called The Hythe, which was a port. The Royalists, therefore, decided they could not allow this occupation to take hold.
The building now called The Old Siege House still shows holes from some of the musket balls from these fights:
[above] The beams under the "overhang" at the front of the building- more holes left by musket balls.
Spot the holes? This [above] is at the side of the building, facing the river.
(2) The Monument, Castle Park
What happened in Colchester after the siege?
The Royalists surrendered to the Parliamentarians. The townspeople, who had suffered at the hands of both armies, were fined £14,000 (about £2 million in today's terms). Most of the town had been burned. The town walls were ordered to be pulled down, so that nobody would be able to fortify the town ever again. Those remaining Royalist soldiers who were unable to purchase their freedom were herded out of the town, stripped, beaten and left to starve. Many were sent abroad as slaves to the West Indies.
Remember Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle? The leaders of the fight at East Street? Here is a monument to them, in the grounds of Colchester Castle, where they were later held prisoner, before being executed:
The obelisk marks the spot where they were executed:
I hope you've found this brief look at some of this town's history interesting.
Last, but not least, this wee fella was keeping watch over the monument, so I threw him a nut:
Hard to believe such things took place here, when it was so peaceful walking about with my camera, feeding the squirrels. Perhaps because of the cold and the clear sky, it was so quiet.......
For links to everyone else doing the ABC Wednesday, & instructions on how to take part, visit Mrs Nesbitt's site.