Tuesday 14 November 2023

Castle Treasures

 Reporting from our recent visit to Colchester Castle which houses the town's main museum. A few highlights for your delectation......

1. Exhibit one plus facial close up [you know me I just can't help myself!] This is one of the so called Grey Face pots. They were cremation urns associated with the Roman army. I'd rather like something along these lines I think!

2. Exhibit two. Supposedly this is a fragment of 'human' skin found in Copford church. Essex has a bit of a tradition of flaying Viking invaders as punishment for their raiding of our churches. The skin was then displayed on the back of the church door. The most famous example of the so called "Daneskin" is at Hadstock church where fragments were found under the hinges. Modern tests have proved that this is complete twaddle and that it is infact cow hide and used during the Medieval period as a means of keeping out draughts and making it a little less chilly inside.

3. Exhibit three. A replica Medieval water jug called a aquamanile.

4. Exhibit four. Stag head fire dogs from a grave of a Briton dating from AD 40-60 

5. Exhibit 5. These little figures are actually Roman. We both liked their characterful expressions. There was a whole case of them all gurning away.

6. Exhibit 6. Another Roman offering and yes that is not your eyes deceiving you👀 I would imagine that it was intended as a visual joke to be enjoyed by all those who saw it, but the male phallus featured heavily in Roman culture because it was believed to be a symbol of good luck.

7. Exhibit seven. A greenman corner post. This fellow is 500 years old and used to stand on the site of where the town hall is now.

8. Exhibit eight. Rather blandly described as 'a naked woman'. Actually a sheela na gig [more info here if you're interested to read more about them https://sheelanagig.org/] She originates from the nearby church at Easthorpe, but was deemed to be too rude so she has wound up here for people like me to enjoy instead.

We did so enjoy our mosey around the museum and I hope that you enjoy some of the things we came across.



  1. I learn the most amazing little snippets on this blog! I did enjoy the mosey, and it sent me straight off to a little nosey around google.

    1. I do target the exhibits that are completely new to me every time I go to a new museum. Arilx

  2. From the exhibits 5 it seems the Romans were none too respectful about their teachers - these poor guys look like seriously worn down High School teachers. That's quite a collection they have there. I particularly love the Green man.


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