A Georgian townhouse building seen from the front
  • A Georgian townhouse building seen from the front
  • A cream coloured ancient-looking building called a folly, situated within an established garden
  • A group of people standing in front of colourful artworks in a gallery
  • A walled garden with grass and trees
  • An art gallery full of art materials and colourful drawings, with two adults and a child making art together.

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Colchester born Clarence Victor Batte-Lay was an avid collector of paintings and furniture. After the death of his wife in 1955, the Victor Batte Lay Trust was established with the instruction that ‘An ancient building of antiquarian or archaeological interest’ be bought in her late husband’s memory, to house and exhibit his collection ‘for the benefit and advantage of the inhabitants of Colchester’, hence the Minories was acquired.

74 High Street has long been an essential part of any visit to the town center, and in the warmer months it’s secluded garden is a particular delight. To discover its peace and calm for the first time is a memory that certainly seems to remain in many visitors’ hearts. Inside, in the galleries and reception rooms, elegant spaces can be found ideal for quiet, visual contemplation.


Our programme includes a range of exhibitions, artist residencies, events and workshops. More information is available on our website.

We also have a cafe called 'The Commons Cafe and Community Kitchen', which is run by a local community cooperative called 'Common Ground Colchester'. The cafe serves ethically sourced coffee, locally made cakes and affordable nourishing food, cooked by local people with local produce, supporting local growers & land-workers and contributing to the local food economy.

We also host intimate weddings and other events, please see our website for more details.


Gallery and Cafe: Thursdays to Sundays 10am - 4pm All Year Round. Entry to the gallery is free. 

The cafe is also open Fridays 6pm - late. Entry is normally free, but they sometimes have special events which can be charged for.

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  • Disabled access - The ground floor is wheelchair accessible from the back gate

Booking & Payment Details

  • Free Entry


  • On-site catering

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted - Well-behaved dogs allowed in the cafe

Target Markets

  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

High Street, Colchester

Public Transport Directions


We are conveniently situated on Colchester High Street in the City Centre. You can access the building via the front entrance on the High Street, or via the rear gate which is opposite Firstsite.


Many bus routes stop at Colchester High Street from various locations.


We do not have any on-site parking, but there are several City Centre car parks nearby. The closest is Greyfriars, which is almost directly opposite.

The Minories

Type:Art Gallery

74 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UE

Opening Times

* Gallery and Cafe open Thursdays to Sundays, 10am - 4pm. Free Entry.
Cafe also open Fridays 6pm - late

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