A MURAL depicting Colchester's Roman heritage has been painted in a town centre car park.

The artwork spans the south stairwell of St Mary's car park and was completed for free by an anonymous artist.

It features Roman soldiers and gladiators taking inspiration from the town's connections to the Roman Empire.

The work took five months to complete, as the artist worked on a voluntary basis late in the evenings, with the support of Colchester Council.

It was completed following many hours researching the town’s history and drawing sketches, before completing the final designs.

The artist said: “The mural focuses on the Roman presence in Colchester, which was their biggest settlement at the time, around 49 BC.

"Their influence had a significant impact on the town, and many remains can still be observed today such as the famous Roman wall, some of which is located just across the road from this car park.

“The main challenge was to try to represent the diverse aspects of Roman life, arts and traditions, such as chariot racing, gladiatorial combats, and the art of mosaics.

"I tried to use familiar, recognisable images such as the eagle, Roman soldiers and gladiators.

"Finally, I added olive branches, grapes, an orange tree and the iconic cypress trees to add a Mediterranean touch.”

It is the second mural to be completed, with the first painted in the car park back in October 2018.

Mike Lilley, Colchester Council's communities boss, said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to collaborate with the same local artist to create this second history-inspired mural in St Mary’s Car Park.

"I hope that by highlighting the town’s history in this way, people’s pride in their community will grow."

The artist has now started work on murals in the staircases at St Johns car park.