Bestwestern blog

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BEST WESTERN Rose and Crown Hotel, Colchester

The Granddad of hotels

Since starting my job at Best Western nearly 3 years ago I am still fascinated by all the wonderful facts, stories, celeb visits and historical background that I find out about each and every one of our hotels – they really do have their own little personalities!  With every working day at Best Western being a school day, my latest fact finding mission occurred the other day when one of our Colchester hotels popped in to Central Office.

With the BEST WESTERN Rose and Crown Hotel being the oldest hotel in the oldest recorded town in England I expected them to have a fair few stories, but not quite the colourful past that I discovered.

With its oak beamed walls, original chimneys and black and white exterior the hotel certainly looks very much the former 14th Century coaching Inn that it once was (in that quaint – I am old but you don’t have to go outside to use the loo anymore way!).

In a former life the hotel was used to house prisoners and at a later date was converted into a police station, so has most definitely seen some not so pleasant characters in its past – let’s hope none of the inmates were charged for anything too serious!

Although the hotel has moved on from its criminal past it does seem like there is something, or someone that the resident ghost is keen to keep locked up, with the door to the four poster bedroom mysteriously locking from the inside when no-one is around.

The most intriguing fact about the hotel is hidden deep underground, where secret tunnels lead directly from the hotel to Colchester Castle – I’d love to find out  what these were used for  but there’s no way I’ll be offering to go down first!

Do you know anything about the hidden tunnels from the BEST WESTERN Rose and Crown Hotel to Colchester Castle, or do you have some fascinating stories about the area? Jot them down in the comments as I would love to know.


  1. Born and bred in colchester all my life… I have only just learnt that colchester holds tunnels… I am very intrigued by these tunnels and would love to investigate further. Some say they are myths.. others say they are real… I think they do exist.. due to the historic of colchester. Would like to know more.. but cannot find on the internet.

  2. Pure and utter rubbish. Their is a cell in the stairs to the old police holding cell and that is it.,the tunnels would need to go at least 100m under the hotel to miss the river up hill and some 1 mel from the castle. Chilean miners can produce a more factual description of th truth than a pathetic attempt to form a knowledge. Fail little lady

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