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Museum Services

Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service (CIMS) was formed in 2007 to create a stronger, more dynamic service for the two towns.

Colchester's Museum service consists of Colchester CastleHollytrees Museum and the Natural History Musuem . These iconic buildings and Colchester's diverse history combine to make Colchester an award winning tourism destination.

Colchester Castle is the largest Norman Keep in Europe. It was constructed on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius, built when Colchester was the first Roman capital of Britain.

The Castle is one of England's most important heritage sites and one of the most popular visitor attractions in the East of England. The Museum showcases archaeological collections of international quality covering 2,500 years of history, including some of the most important Roman finds in Britain.

Hollytrees Museum, is also home to Colchester's Visitor Information Centre. There you can follow the story around this beautiful Georgian building taking in domestic life and childhood in Colchester over the past 300 years.

Meet many different characters from the past and experience Colchester's fascinating history. Discover what family life was life for the rich and the poor. Then be transported back to the days before washing machines to try out a dolly peg and dress up as a servant.

Colchester's Natural History Museum gives you the opportunity to get close to nature, plus find out about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change.