A CITY councillor has renewed calls for Colchester Castle to have a rooftop “experience” after concerns were raised over drainage problems.

Darius Laws has previously called for the landmark’s roof to be transformed into a rooftop garden.

But following a report outlining the risk to the castle from drainage issues on the roof, the councillor has called renewed his appeal in a bid to see the roof repaired.

“Some dismissed my idea to sell coffee and cake during the day and a few G&Ts at night on the roof of Colchester Castle,” he said.


“But perhaps now is the time to explore all options.

“Creating a rooftop garden experience with catering facilities served from the

Chapel area would provide visitors and residents with new experiences and could open up new lines of income. Imagine the stargazing opportunities.’

A spokesman for Colchester City Council said access to the castle roof is currently restricted due to its limited capacity and must be strictly managed through guided tours or other organised visits with a limited number of participants.

He added: “Most of the roof is inaccessible as it is not designed for people to walk over.

“Mr Laws’ idea is an exciting one but would need very significant investment to deliver as access routes, fire exits and the nature of the roof would need major adaptation.

“Our current priority is the necessary repairs to the northwest tower, where our regular surveys identified issues of water ingress as highlighted in the recent Heritage at Risk report.


“Likewise, any future development has to be considered in the context of the protection of the building and our conservation management plan, in consultation with Historic England.”

In response to this article, a Historic England spokesperson added:

"The priority is to repair and save this important structure for the future and Historic England is giving advice and guidance to Colchester City Council.“

"The potential for converting the Castle’s roof to a garden area / viewing platform could be explored at the time when the roof is assessed for repairs. Detailed proposals would need to be developed, demonstrating that there was no adverse effects to the structure and fabric of this important monument. Early engagement with relevant statutory authorities is recommended.”

The roof is currently open to the public during guided tours and because it was built in the 1930s, it has Grade I listed protection.