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REMAINS of Britain’s largest Roman arcade are almost ready to be unveiled to the public.

Foundations of arches from the longest and most imposing Roman arcade known in the country have been discovered underneath One Castle House, which stands in the shadow of Colchester’s Castle Park.

The 120m structure took the form of a series of 28 arches punctured in the middle by a giant gateway, which was used as a meeting place to the south of the Temple of Claudius built more than 2,000 years ago.

The foundations which remain have been excavated by the Colchester Archaeological Trust under the building which is owned by the Flying Trade Group and will be available to see at an open day on Saturday. .

Other parts of the foundations were found during digs in the Fifties and Sixties.

Originally bought with the idea of turning the building into a restaurant, CEO of the Flying Trade Group Suki Dulai has now decided to turn the site into a museum and café, with the foundations available to look at through glass panes in the floor.

All operational costs will be met by the company’s subsidiary Surya Foods with donations upon entry to the museum given to charity via the World Trust Fund.

Mr Dulai said he was delighted the ruins will be preserved for people to enjoy.

He said: “We purchased this property more than eight years ago with a view to opening a restaurant however after the discovery of Claudius Gateway, we’ve decided to preserve and celebrate our history with the community of Colchester”

“Colchester Archaeological Trust have been great and we are thankful for their support finding and uncovering Claudius Gateway, this will benefit Colchester hugely.

“We want to have a collaborative approach with Colchester Council ensuring the consumer has a great historic journey throughout all of Colchester museums.”

The café is likely to be open in early summer but there will be special viewings on Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

Visitors are asked to make their way to the bridge outside the entrance to the Colchester Castle Museum where they will be escorted over in small groups.

Director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust Philip Crummy believes the remains are of huge historical significance He said: “We are highly delighted because we always want there to be as much as possible for people to see when they come to Colchester.

“It is fantastic what the Flying Trade Group are doing and it will benefit the town hugely.”

Colchester Council have helped link Colchester Castle to the attraction by building a new footpath.

The council's culture boss Tim Young: “It is amazing and we want people to come to learn about the Temple of Claudius in the castle and then come over and see the remains of the arcade.

“Working with the Flying Trade Group has been fantastic – what happens often is archaeologists find these sorts of things and then it is just filled in.

“It is going to be brilliant.”