Lexden Earthworks and Bluebottle Grove

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours


Colchester, Essex: Lexden Earthworks, off Straight Road CO3 9DD, and Bluebottle Grove, off Prettygate Road, CO3 4DZ

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 City 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. The postcode for nearby houses is CO3 9DD.

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. The postcode for nearby houses is CO3 4DZ.

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 is available near both sites.

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

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Drone flying: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions. Please see our drone filming guidelines for more details, or email our Filming team.

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.