- Lexden Earthworks and Bluebottle Grove, Colchester, Essex CO3 9DL
The banks and ditches of a series of late Iron Age defences protecting the western side of Camulodunum – pre-Roman Colchester. There are also many pre-Roman graves hereabouts, including Lexden Tumulus, allegedly the burial place of the British chieftain Cunobelinus.
Lexden Earthworks bound the western side of the site and Bluebottle Grove the southern.
The outermost rampart, Gryme’s Dyke, is today the most impressive. It ran from the River Colne to the Roman River and can be traced for most of its length. South of the London Road it appears first as a hedge and then as a well-defined bank with a substantial ditch on its west side. This dyke is named after the Devil, ‘Gryme’, to whom Christians attributed many ancient earthworks whose origins were long forgotten. A footpath follows it for more than a mile.
The large gravel pit known as King Coel’s Kitchen probably marks the point where the Roman roads from Cambridge and London once converged to cross this dyke.
East of Gryme’s Dyke are the remnants of an earlier system: the Triple Dyke, west of Lexden; and the Lexden Dyke, which extends south to Bluebottle Grove and continues north of the Colne, where it is known as Moat Farm Dyke.
Open any reasonable time during daylight hours.