TAKING its name from a majestic Roman mosaic hidden for centuries, Lion Walk dates back much further than the 1970s shopping centre we all know today.

As archaeologists discovered during a huge dig between 1971 and 1974, a large Roman house used to stand on the site in the 4th Century, and the mosaic uncovered would have taken pride of place.

The work of art, depicting a lion, was found just beneath the surface outside where Boots now stands. It was given to the Colchester Castle Museum and a replica was put up in the shopping centre in 2009 to mark the historical find. 


Centuries on, Lion Walk became a house-lined street leading to the Red Lion coaching inn. The street was dominated by Lion Walk church, which was built in 1863.

A report by Colchester Civic Society in 1968 outlined the following 14 years of development in Colchester, including redeveloping Lion Walk, Culver Street, St. Peter's Street and St. John's Street. 

The original streets and buildings were destroyed to make way for the new Lion Walk precinct, and the archaeological dig was completed before work started on the shopping centre, which opened in 1976.

The original centre had a bridge linking the units in Culver Street East and Culver Walk but was taken down during a £20million revamp of the site in 2009.