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University of Essex Campus at Wivenhoe Park (Colchester)

Wivenhoe Park is home to our Colchester Campus.

Wivenhoe Park is a striking landscape of more than 220 acres. Home to a range of plants and wildlife including some extraordinary and historic trees, this picturesque paradise can only be appreciated fully in person.

World-famous painter John Constable immortalised Wivenhoe Park in his 1816 painting which hangs in Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art. Much of the landscape is older still, from medieval oaks to the grand Wivenhoe House of 1758.

Today, the campus comprises 18 major habitats, with many notable species among its 2,800 trees. Our three artificial lakes provide homes for carp, cormorants, and kingfishers, while 220 acres of grounds support much more fauna, flora, and fungi.

Our tranquil parkland home has been voted one of the top ten green spaces in the UK, in the People's Choice Award - the only university to receive this award over the last 4 years consecutively. Thanks to the caring stewardship of our Grounds team, we are also the proud winners of our sixth Green Flag Award, the only university campus to achieve this prestigious honour.

Sustainability is a core priority for the University. To preserve Wivenhoe Park for the future, our Grounds team is introducing new wildlife areas, reducing chemical fertilisers, and developing a dedicated green space policy.

Wivenhoe park is the perfect place for long walks, exploring natural habits, or losing yourself in tranquillity. 

Colchester City

Colchester, a historic town located in Essex, England, holds the distinction of being Britain's oldest recorded town. Its history is rich and extensive, dating back to the Roman period. Founded as a Roman colony named Camulodunum around AD 43, it was the first Roman-founded city in Britain and played a pivotal role during the Roman occupation.

Colchester's heritage is evident in its remarkable landmarks. The Colchester Castle, a prominent feature in the town centre, is a Norman keep built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius. This castle now houses a museum showcasing local history and archaeology. Another significant historical site is the Roman Wall, constructed in the 2nd century AD, parts of which still stand today, encapsulating the town's ancient past.

The town also played a significant role in English history, particularly during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381 and the English Civil War, where it was subjected to a notable siege in 1648. These historical events have left an indelible mark on the town, contributing to its rich cultural tapestry.

Today, Colchester is a thriving, modern town that balances its historical significance with contemporary development. It is home to the University of Essex, a leading academic institution, and numerous cultural establishments, including art galleries, theatres, and a zoo, which is one of the UK's top zoological gardens. This blend of ancient history and modern vitality makes Colchester a unique and fascinating destination for visitors and scholars alike.  Colchester was long classified as a town until 2022 when it was awarded official city status as part of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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