Builder backs preservation of Roman Circus

Gazette: Can you dig it? Archaeologists on the site Can you dig it? Archaeologists on the site

A DEVELOPER has voiced support for plans to preserve Colchester’s Roman Circus.

Taylor Wimpey is building on part of the site, which was discovered in 2004.

There have been efforts to preserve it, including a failed bid by Colchester Council for £1million of lottery funding to build a visitors’ area.

Since then, Destination Colchester has been set up, with a brief to keep in public ownership as much as possible of the chariot racing circus’ footprint.

The group, which includes Colchester Archaeological Trust director Philip Crummy and historian Jess Jephcott, has suggested creating a grass mound to mark the site of the circus, which is underground.

It also wants a visitor centre set up within the Old Sergeants’ mess, where eight starting gates were unearthed, and part of the track to be recreated.

Amy Taylor, a spokeswoman for Taylor Wimpey, said it had not been approached, but wanted to help preserve the site.

She said: “Taylor Wimpey continues to support and encourage Colchester Council in its valiant efforts to enhance, present and interpret this monument to its best advantage.”

Taylor Wimpey has planning consent to convert the mess into homes, but Destination Colchester has suggested they be built on another site within the redevelopment.

Alternatively, the mess could be bought, possibly using funds from a lottery grant, a public appeal or private equity.

Comments (4)

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3:31pm Wed 1 Jul 09

Shrub Ender says...

A token gesture as half of it is already burried under concrete and houses. A massive mistake by our borough council again in the interest of lining its grubby pockets.
A token gesture as half of it is already burried under concrete and houses. A massive mistake by our borough council again in the interest of lining its grubby pockets. Shrub Ender

10:11pm Wed 1 Jul 09

Sdapeze says...

It would be good to see some action not words from Taylor Wimpey. Give us back our circus please. The site is blighted by its archaeology so building yet more flats on it is not an option. Build your flats elsewhere please. And to say that Taylor Wimpey have not been contacted is simply untrue. Get your facts right Gazette.
It would be good to see some action not words from Taylor Wimpey. Give us back our circus please. The site is blighted by its archaeology so building yet more flats on it is not an option. Build your flats elsewhere please. And to say that Taylor Wimpey have not been contacted is simply untrue. Get your facts right Gazette. Sdapeze

9:55am Thu 2 Jul 09

The Rooster says...

So much land, so many houses alreday built. Surely we can see the merits of keeping this site available for the world to see. C'mon everyone concerned, let's save this important piece of our past.
So much land, so many houses alreday built. Surely we can see the merits of keeping this site available for the world to see. C'mon everyone concerned, let's save this important piece of our past. The Rooster

4:32pm Thu 2 Jul 09

Poacher says...

As I understand this is a unique site in the UK. Why on earth are we allowing it to be developed?

We do not need yet more homes, Colchester is fall of empty properties yet we still see new builds creeping up in every nook and cranny.

What may I ask is wrong with open space????
As I understand this is a unique site in the UK. Why on earth are we allowing it to be developed? We do not need yet more homes, Colchester is fall of empty properties yet we still see new builds creeping up in every nook and cranny. What may I ask is wrong with open space???? Poacher

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