St Giles Church was once the largest parish church in Colchester. It has been, since the 1970's converted for use into a Masonic Centre and Function Suite.
Roman: With the arrival of the Roman Empire in AD43, Colchester was one of its important military garrisons in Great Britain. Evidence of the Roman occupation can be seen in the brickwork at St. Giles
The Normans: William I conquest of Britain in 1066 resulted in his son sending his trusted staff to Colchester. Eudo, the Steward, whose statue can be seen on the Town Hall, built many large projects around Colchester including St. John's Abbey. As part of the Abbey a smaller church was built for the needs of the staff. St. Giles' Church was consecrated in 1211 and has been here ever since, even though rebuilt and expanded on more than one occasion.
Siege of Colchester: History was not kind to Colchester at the time of the English Civil War. Although the Abbey became ruinous following the dissolotion of the monasteries, St.Giles managed somehow to survive, it becoming under the charge of the Lucas Family. This family was to suffer a heavy price with the deaths of Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle at the end of the siege, whose black gravestone hangs as a feature within the centre today.
Pre-1950: The church of St.Giles serviced the needs of its Parish, once the largest in Colchester, until it was deemed no longer viable because of the pressure of another church (St.Botolphs) in close proximity and so St. Giles shut in the 1950s.
Post 1970s: The church in disuse became a store room for the St. Johns Ambulance, but eventually purchased by Freemasons in Colchester, after their original Hall was bulldozed in the building of Southway dual carriageway.