News

Big free open day!

The big event at the Roman circus and it’s all free! It’s Heritage Open Day 2018, Saturday 8th September 11.00 am – 4.00 pm. If you’ve never visited us before, now’s a good time. There will be lots to do and see. If you’ve been before but not for a little while, why not come again? We’re gradually improving and updating our displays so there is likely to be things here now you’ve not seen before. The circus site itself is changing too. The curved far end of the circus has been marked out on the ground and the plan [read more…]

News

The West End visits Roman Circus House!

We have a special treat to mark the end of the summer opening of the Roman Circus Centre and Café – a concert on Saturday 29th September at 7.30pm. Quattro Amici, an exciting vocal quartet (Natasha, Fiona, Gerry, and Howard, accompanied by Joe Richardson), will be presenting an evening of songs ranging from Mozart, Delibes, Bizet and Gilbert & Sullivan, via Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein to Lloyd Webber, Disney and the Beatles. The programme of solos, duets, trios and quartets includes such classics as the Flower Duet and the Pearl Fishers Duet. It also features highlights from Phantom of [read more…]

News

More rings – this time at Coggeshall!

An evaluation followed by an excavation on the northern side of Coggeshall has uncovered three ring-ditches. Unlike the ring-ditches recently excavated in northern Colchester which were possible burial places, these were almost certainly prehistoric house sites – with the ring-ditches being ‘eaves-drip gullies’ – drains around circular houses, perhaps enhanced by rainwater running off the conical roofs. Other features such as pits and ditches indicate this was an Iron Age settlement site. There is clear evidence of Roman settlement in Coggeshall, but its earlier history is unknown. So, this Iron Age site is a major contribution to our understanding of [read more…]

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Prehistoric ring ditches found in northern Colchester

Since 2011 we have been evaluating and excavating sites in advance of the Colchester North housing development. In 2017 we excavated a medieval pottery-producing site near Cants Rose Fields (now ‘Chesterwell’), and we have recently moved south to excavate a site identified by the 2011 evaluation as a possible ‘ring-ditch’ site. There are two different interpretations of ring-ditches – they are either the ditches surrounding prehistoric burial sites, or ditches around the sites of prehistoric circular timber house. The 2011 evaluation revealed only a part of a ring-ditch, so we didn’t know which type it was. The excavation showed us [read more…]

News

A hot-spot in Fingringhoe

In the first few decades of the first century, the Colne and Blackwater estuaries were ringed by salt-producing sites now known as ‘red hills’. Red hills are so called because they consist of heaps of red debris which is the waste product from the heating process necessary to extract salt from sea-water. Over 300 of these sites are known in Essex, and we have just added one more dot to the distribution map. Most of our archaeological fieldwork consists of evaluation – a required step in the planning process whereby test trenches are cut across sites of archaeological interest. This [read more…]