Facts About Lexden
Lexden is a suburb of Colchester, Essex, England. It was formerly a village, and has previously been called Lessendon, Lassendene and Læxadyne. Lexden is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Lexden is approximately one mile west of central Colchester. It is home to a public house, the Crown; and St Leonard’s Church (Church of England). The Leonard in question is Saint Leonard of Noblac, the patron saint of prisoners.
Lexden’s original name, Læxadyne, is Old English for “Leaxa’s valley”. It is referred to as the “Hundred of LASSENDENE” in the Domesday Book. It is now cut into two-halves by a modern bypass, Spring Lane. Within the space of a few hundred yards there are two 400-year-old watermills, (both now private residences), a 100-year-old iron bridge over the River Colne, two local nature reserves and several interesting walks.
The site on which Lexden now stands was crossed by the fortifications of iron age Colchester, the remains of the earthen ramparts can be seen at Bluebottle Grove, Lexden Park and alongside Straight Road. A number of burial mounds or tumuli remain, notably Lexden Tumulus in Fitzwalter Road which is reputed to be the burial place of Cunobelinus or Cymbeline, the king of the Catuvellauni.
In 1648, Lexden was the headquarters of Lord-General Thomas Fairfax during the Siege of Colchester, and his army camped on Lexden Heath. A Parliamentarian fort was built on Great Broom Heath (now called Hilly Fields) which overlooks the town. During the Great Plague of 1665 to 1666, the burial ground for Colchester was near The Mount.