A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.
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The following section covers the streets in the area of the medieval town as they were before the construction of the inner relief road in 1973. Except where otherwise stated it is based on: E. Blaxill, Street Names (1936); J. B. Harvey's Report of 1889; P.N. Essex; Speed, Map (1610); Morant, Colch. 3-4, and map (1748); Chapman and André, Map of Essex (1777); Benham, Colch. Map (1848); MS. notes on Colch. street names by Philip Laver, in E.S.A.H. Libr., Hollytrees, Colch.
Arthur Street, 1845, named after Arthur Thomas Osborne. (fn. 3)
Balkerne Lane, 1429, (fn. 4) from Crouch Street to Middleborough: it was Balkerne Hill north of Popes Lane by 1848.
Ball Alley, 1748, because it led to a bowling alley.
Butt Road formerly Lane, 1676, (fn. 5) because it led to the shooting butts: earlier Holmer, Holmere, Holmer's Lane, 1407; (fn. 6) also Lyard Lane, leading to Layer-de-la-Haye, 1748; Holmers Lane, later 18th cent.; Butt Lane, 1818; (fn. 7) also Mill Street, 1839, because it led to Butt mill; (fn. 8) Butt Road, 1856. (fn. 9)
Castle Road, 1861. (fn. 10)
Chapel Street, 1845. (fn. 11)
Childwell Alley formerly Lane, 1748: Cheldervelle Lane, 1340; by 1936 the northern end was Ernulph Walk.
Culver Street, or Lane, 1334-7: probably also Master John's Lane, 1332; (fn. 20) Culver Lane or Back Lane, 1748.
East Hill, 1748, from High Street to East Bridge. Earlier not distinguished from East Street which extended to Harwich Road.
Eld Lane, 1482: (fn. 21) (le) Oldelond, 1341; (fn. 22) Oldelane, 1405; perhaps Thelstreet, 1406; part was Almshouse Lane, 1748; Beast Lane or Stone Street before 1748; also Poor Row (from Trinity Street to Lion Walk), 1848.
George Street formerly Lane, 1823: (fn. 23) George Yard, 1748.
High Street, 1399: (fn. 26) the western end was called Cornhill, 1337; (fn. 27) Hevedstreet, 1412; (fn. 28) in front of All Saints' Church was King Street, 1748; in front of Greyfriars was Friars Street, 1388. (fn. 29)
Lion Walk, 1748: formerly Cat Lane, 1357.
Maidenburgh Street, Maidenborough, 1312: (fn. 33) cf. Rob. de Maydenburg, 1248; (fn. 34) also St. Helen's Lane, 1387; (fn. 35) or St. Helen's Street, 1438; (fn. 36) Tennants Lane, a corruption of St. Helen's, 1610; St. Helen's Lane or Maidenburgh Street, 1758. (fn. 37)
Museum Street, 1851: (fn. 40) earlier the entrance to the castle bailey.
North Hill, 1511: North Street, 1196. (fn. 41)
Nunns Road formerly Cut, 1860, (fn. 44) named after Roger Nunn, mayor 1842: perhaps Grafton Street, 1880.
Osborne Street, 1851: (fn. 45) named after Arthur Thomas Osborne whose brewery was nearby.
Pelham's Lane, 1748, named after William Pelham, common councillor 1623-43, who had a shop there: Whitefoot's Lane, 1306. (fn. 46)
Quakers Alley, 1748: St. Martin's Lane, 1876. (fn. 52)
Queen, or Queen's Street, 1748: South Street or Southgate Street, 1333, 1438, because it led to the south gate (St. Botolph's gate); not distinguished from St. Botolph's Street, 1610; perhaps also Silver Street, 1629-30. (fn. 53)
Roman Road, 1861: (fn. 54) built in the 1850s.
Ryegate Road, 1891: (fn. 55) earlier an unnamed common way.
St. Botolph's Street, 1401: (fn. 56) South Street, 1339; (fn. 57) St. Botolphs Street, 1610; Southgate Street, Brook Street, or Botolph's Street, 1628; (fn. 58) St. Botolph's Street, sometimes called South Street, 1748.
St. John's Avenue, 1897. (fn. 61)
St. Nicholas Street, 1841: (fn. 64) earlier not distinguished from Wyre Street.
St. Peter's Street, 1844: (fn. 65) possibly Fowles Lane, 1330; (fn. 66) Dead Lane, 1702, or Deadman's Lane, 1748; (fn. 67) Dead Lane, 1840; (fn. 68) Factory Lane, 1851, after Brown and Moy's silk factory there. (fn. 69)
St. Runwald Street, 1936: possibly Hospital Yard, 1748.
Sheepen Road, formerly Lane, 1550, because it led to Sheepen farm: Reyners Lane, 1411; (fn. 70) Water Lane, 1748; also Water Lane North, 1848; Sheepen Road, 1936.
Shewell Road, 1936, named after a member of the Society of Friends, Joseph Shewell (d. 1875): formerly a private cul-de-sac.
Short Cut Road, 1871: (fn. 71) unnamed in 1848.
Sir Isaac's Walk, 1811: (fn. 72) Sir Isaac Rebow's Walk, 1748, paved by Sir Isaac Rebow c. 1690; earlier part of Eld Lane.
Stockwell, Stockwell Street, 1329. (fn. 75)
Stockwell Street East, 1311: (fn. 76) also called Calayse Street c. 1380; (fn. 77) Beirs Lane, 1692; (fn. 78) Bear Lane, from an inn on the corner with High Street, also St. Martin's Lane, 1748; East Stockwell Street, 1841. (fn. 79)
Trinity Street, formerly Lane, 1610: Trinity Lane or Schere Street, 1748; Trinity Lane or Shiregate Street, 1777.
Vineyard Street, 1861: (fn. 83) Beres Lane, 1312; (fn. 84) Bere Lane, 1504; (fn. 85) Black Boy Lane, 1678; (fn. 86) Blackboy or Bear Lane, 1767, (fn. 87) 1777; also Brickyard Street, 1861; (fn. 88) in 1963 the middle section was closed to make a car park and the western end was incorporated into Osborne Street.
Whitewell Road, 20th cent: Stanwell Road, 1876; (fn. 89) perhaps Whitewell Street, 1767.
Williams Walk, 1848.