A Saxon Church and St Botolph’s Priory, Walk With Words

Walk With Words, 19th June 2024 / Location 1

A Saxon church dedicated to St Botolph once stood at the site of St Botolph’s Priory. During this time the church tower resembled that of the oldest surviving church building in Colchester: Holy Trinity Church (Trinity Street, City Centre). The conversion of the Saxon church to England’s first Augustinian priory began with a priest called Norman, who after studying under Italian Benedictine Monk, Anslem of Canterbury in France, settled in Colchester. Norman joined a college of priests who had resolved to join a religious order. Under Norman’s recommendation, this became the Augustinian order.
Around 1200, St Botolph’s Priory became mother church of the order in Britain.
The priory was largely destroyed in a siege by General Fairfax, but remains of the building still decorate the sacred site today. The site is a wonderful example of early Norman architecture.