A STRETCH of land including part of Colchester’s historic Roman wall is set to go under the hammer.

Advertising firm JCDecaux is selling the piece of land and wall along Middleborough.

It will be sold at Strettons Auctions, in London, on July 14 and has a guide price of £4,500 to £5,000.

The section of wall is part of Britain’s largest surviving Roman Wall which dates back nearly 2,000 years.

Much of the wall is a Grade I listed by Historic England.

In 2011, Colchester Council asked JC Decaux to remove billboards on the wall, fearing they could damage the scheduled ancient monument.

Advertising boards had been above the wall in some form for more than 50 years.

JCDecaux appealed the decision but a planning inspector ruled in the council’s favour.

At the time inspector Anthony Wharton found the hoardings “most discordant and visually harmful elements within the street scene”.

His report said: “I share the council’s concerns about the visual impact that they have on the setting and features of the historic town wall.

“In my view, due to the sensitive nature of the scheduled monument I consider that the injury to visual amenity is substantial.”


  • Henry Spyvee looks at the billboards as they appeared in 2010

Now JCDecaux is looking to sell its section of Roman wall.

The wall is the earliest stone built defence structure of its kind in the country, dated to AD 65-80, and was built following the Boudican Revolt in AD 60, which saw the violent destruction of the town.

The wall formed a circuit 2,800 metres long and 2.4 metres thick.

The original height is not known and the highest surviving part is 2.6 metres above modern ground level but it is thought the original height may have been over six metres.

A triangular piece of land at the junction of The Avenue and Ernest Road in Wivenhoe will be sold at the same auction.

The 1,589 sq ft piece of land is listed with a guide price of £20,000 - £25,000 and says it has the potential for development.

For more details on the listings visit www.strettons.co.uk.