ARCHAEOLOGY experts have discovered an ancient Roman mosaic buried just metres from Colchester High Street.

Predicted to measure as big as 25 feet by 25 feet, the fascinating find lies just one metre beneath the pavement in Red Lion Yard.

Workers began a targeted dig in the yard, which is walked over by thousands of people every day, earlier this week.

And now a major breakthrough has been made after the mosaic was uncovered yesterday morning.

Colchester’s heritage boss plans to encase it and turn it into a transparent walkway for residents to tread the same path the Romans did nearly 2,000 years ago.


Read more: Here's why a dig was undertaken in Colchester today (and it's fascinating)

Colchester councillor Darius Laws said: “It’s great to know we found it – I felt a bit relieved as it was a game of battleships to pinpoint the spot.

“Conveniently, it appears we’ve found a middle section which we can pinpoint to a picture we have of it from 1988.

“It means we’ve figured out the majority of the mosaic is in Red Lion Yard which will make everything relatively straightforward.

“Going forward to need to work out how we can move service cables and pipes and we will then come up with a plan to put glass over it for people to enjoy.

“Now it’s exciting we can continue the project and turn it into an exciting attraction for people to see.”

Gazette: Dig - the mosaicDig - the mosaic

In Mr Laws’ vision, it will later be on display in a similar fashion to the Berryfield Mosaic at Firstsite in Lewis Gardens, which was unearthed in 1923 at the site on which the building now stands.

Intrigued residents have been stopping to inquire about the dig as it takes place and have been supportive of his idea, the heritage boss said.

He added: “They seem really excited to hear of the concept. It gives me the confidence we’re doing the right thing.

“This is the start of a movement in which more of this will be done.

“Wherever possible, Roman floor surfaces should be incorporated into the built environment and where regeneration occurs I want developers to know I expect them to help make Colchester more Roman.”

Lion Walk boss Martin Leatherdale added: “We will work closely with Colchester Museums and archaeologists to bring the mosaic back to life.”