EssexCOLCHESTERStBotolph(saltmarshCC-BY-SA2.0)1 Saltmarsh

St Botolph

St Botolph's church is of special interest as a late Georgian town church built in a powerful neo Norman style, listed Grade II.

Colchester, Essex

Opening times

Visitors are welcome on Fridays, between 10am and 12.30pm.
Events taking place in the church are listed on our website and members of the church will be available to show you round before or after such events. The church is also open on Ride+Stride and Heritage Open days.


St Botolphs Church Walk

It was built in 1837 on the site of the 12th century Augustinian Priory of St Botolph. It stands where the monastic kitchens and refectory were, adjacent to the impressive ruins of the Priory Church. Its architecture, inside and out, reflects that of its 12th century predecessor.

St Botolph’s church, dominated by its massive tower, was built in white brick, earning itself the nickname 'The White Elephant'. The external brickwork has weathered to a darker hue, but, inside, the visitor is greeted by a bright contrast of white, scarlet and gold.

The church retains its original plan and most of its three sided gallery in the style of the London gallery churches. The east windows are of splendid Flemish stained glass and a window in the south aisle commemorates Archbishop Samuel Harsnett, who was born in the parish.

The particularly fine organ is by JW Walker, 1890. The nave was reordered in the 1970s by the removal of the pews, resulting in an extremely flexible interior, while preserving the sense of the original building.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • National heritage here

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Train station within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • Level access throughout

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Church of England

  • Repair Grant, £10,000, 2018

  • Our Repair Grants funded urgent repair work to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Mary at the Wall

Colchester, Essex

The former church St Mary at the Walls (now Colchester Arts Centre) is built against the Roman Walls and overlooking the south western corner of the old walled town of Colchester.

St Matthew

Leavenheath, Suffolk

The church is notable for its collection of seven rare WWI wooden battlefield crosses, gifted to the families when replaced by permanent stone memorials.