Lexden Earthworks and Bluebottle Grove

View of trees

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours


Bluebottle Grove - footpath from Parson's Hill, Colchester, CO3 4DT
Lexden Earthworks - Straight Road, Lexden, Colchester, Essex CO3 9DD

Before You Go

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.

Read more about the history of the defences.

Managed by Colchester Borough Council - visit their museum website for more ideas on exploring Colchester's fascinating history.

Before You Go

How to Find Them: Although part of the same defensive system of earthworks, Bluebottle Grove and Lexden Earthworks are accessed separately.

Lexden Earthworks are alongside Straight Road, near its junction with Garden Drive.

To visit Bluebottle Grove from Lexden Earthworks, head south along Straight Road and turn left into Heath Road, left into Church Lane, right into Beech Hill and follow the signs to the site to the junction with Parson's Hill and Prettygate Road. Park and follow the footpath signs to walk about 300 metres to the north end of the site.

It is possible to drive slightly closer to Bluebottle Grove by driving into Magazine Farm Way from Prettygate Road and using a small path through from the northeast corner of Magazine Farm Way to walk about 120 metres to the north end of the site.

Parking: No parking on site but on-street parking available near both sites.

Facilities: There are no facilities at either site but both are 2 miles from Colchester town centre.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Plan a Great Day Out

Colchester is home to two other places in our care. These are the remains of two medieval religious houses - St Botolph's Priory and St John's Abbey Gate, both close to the town centre.

Or head towards the coast and visit Landguard Fort, a 45-minute drive from Colchester. This impressive safe haven defended the approach to Harwich Harbour, and was the site of the last opposed seaward invasion of England by the Dutch in 1667.

Your support helps in so many ways

Your membership provides valuable support for our essential work, while you can enjoy free access to the beauty and inspiration of our magnificent historic places. 


About us

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.

How We Are Funded

Our target is to become completely self-funding by 2023. Our confidence in achieving this is based on our track record. During the past 10 years, our commercial income has doubled and we have raised nearly £60m in donated income.

  • 66% Self-generated income
  • 20% One off capital grant
  • 14% Government funding
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