HISTORY buffs will be able to see one of the most significant Roman finds in Europe when a new cafe opens next month.

Claudius Gateway is opposite Colchester Castle, in Castle Bailey, and the cafe and museum forms part of the One Castle House block of apartments.

Its main feature is glass flooring which allows people to look down on part of the historic Claudius Gateway.

The gateway was a 120 metre structure, which 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.

Some of the remains were uncovered during archaeological work in preparation for the new flats, while other parts of the foundations were discovered in the Fifties and Sixties.

One Castle House is owned by the Flying Trade Group, a Harwich-based company, which also owns the nearby George Hotel.

Rather than open a restaurant, the company has decided to turn the ground floor site into a volunteer-run museum and cafe to showcase the historic find and raise further money for good causes through its World Food Aid charity division.

The company is staging an open day at the George Hotel in High Street on Friday for people to call in and see the opportunities available.

Suki Dulai, chief executive of Surya Foods, which forms part of the Flying Trade Group, said his company is delighted to be fully-funding the project, with the help of his suppliers.

He said: “This truly unique project offers the people of Colchester a cultural offering, great tasting coffee all with the added benefit of donating to charity.

“We are extremely excited about this venture and looking for volunteers that believe in giving something back to the community thus allowing us to run the project, raising even more money for good causes. We have the support from Paddy & Scotts which will be providing coffee, machinery and ongoing training to the whole team involved in the project – investing tens of thousand of pounds.”

Paddy & Scott’s founder and chief executive Scott Russell said: “We have been working with Surya Foods across its whole estate over the past few years and are delighted to be working with the team on this project.

“We are a proud British company so to be involved in this project closer to home really resonates with us.”