Located in Colchester, Lexden and Bluebottle Grove are the few surviving Iron Age defences in Britain. In the Roman Period Colchester was known as Camulodunum, and was obtained by the Catuvellauni tribe under King Cunobelin from 10AD.
First built in the last quarter of the 1st Century BC, the great defence system now known as LExden Earthworks was built by pre-roman settlers as many graves have been found in the area of Lexden Dyke from this era, the best known of which is called the Lexden Tumulus.
In 1924 excavations revealed burial grounds of an Iron Age nobleman located in a pit beneath the barrow approximately 30 meters in diameter. The pit was surrounded by luxurious objects of which most of them were imports, these objects could only have belonged to a man of great importance.
The nobleman was once thought to be Cunobelin himself, but as modern technology progressed the surrounding objects have been dated to about 15-10BC which makes the whole story untenable as Cunobelin’s death was recorded in AD40.
It does seem likely that the burial place was of the Trinovantes or their ruler Addedomarus. Or his successor Dubnovellanus who succeeded him in about 10-15 BC, who was also his son.
Lexden Earthworks was named to the western side of the location and the Bluebottle Grove the southern. The most impressive is the outermost rampart knows as Gryme’s Dyke. It expanded from the Roman River to the River Colne and till today can be traced for most of its length.
King Coel’s Kitchen is a large gravel pit and marks the point where the Roman roads from Cambridge and London joined to cross this Dyke. The remains of the earlies system can be found east of Gryme’s Dyke. These can be found towards the East which extends south to Bluebottle Grove and travels north of the Colne, it was once known as Moat Farm Dyke.