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the Trust investigates even more remains of the Roman circus

                      The week before last (the week of the 26th-30th June), the Trust was able to uncover and investigate even more remains of part of the Colchester Roman circus, during our very long-running watching brief on works at the Flagstaff House complex of buildings. This is being redeveloped as a residential complex. It stands within the old Colchester garrison, and just round the corner from our HQ. We only recently uncovered further remains of the Roman circus at the nearby Arena Club site, where we also excavated the bone of [read more…]

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remains of the Roman circus AND a remarkable find!

Remains of the Roman circus Today (16th June), the Trust will complete an archaeological evaluation on the site of the Arena Club within the old Colchester garrison. We began our fieldwork there on the 23rd May. During the evaluation, we uncovered further, well-preserved, remarkable remains of the Roman circus. These survive very close to the surface. The Roman circus was about 450 metres long and it consisted of a long, narrow U-shaped arena with a set of eight starting-gates and a central archway at the square end, and tiered seating-stands around the rest of the circuit. There would have been [read more…]

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the Trust completes excavation at the Flagstaff House complex site

On Monday (4th January), the Trust resumed work on our site at the Flagstaff House complex, within in the old garrison at Colchester and round the corner from the Roman circus centre and the Trust’s HQ. We started work on the site in July 2015 with an evaluation for mitigation purposes, having monitored ground investigations on the site in 2013. The evaluation led into our excavation of the site, and we completed the excavation at Christmas. Our work on the site has now become a watching brief on groundworks ahead of construction. We excavated several areas of the site (grouped [read more…]

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a timeline of Colchester’s Roman circus

Today (29th December), some of the Trust’s staff were back at work here at Roman Circus House after the Christmas break… As most people are still on their break until after the New Year, and the Roman circus centre is closed until the 4th January, it was very quiet outside, so we took the opportunity to go out and get some photo.s of the circus site and the surviving buildings of the Artillery Barracks around the circus centre. This blog post presents a timeline of Colchester’s Roman circus, with reference to the item which we posted in this blog on [read more…]

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more mortar: some fascinating fragments of the Roman circus

Today (4th November), Trust volunteer Jane was cleaning some large fragments of Roman mortar here at Roman Circus House. The fragments are of a special hard-wearing, waterproof mortar – opus signinum – which is pinkish in colour because it was made of lime mortar which included tiny fragments and powder from crushed brick and tile. We have five trays of these mortar fragments and they were excavated at our Flagstaff House site in Colchester in September. The site is within the Flagstaff House complex of buildings in the old garrison and within the precinct of St John’s abbey. The excavation [read more…]

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a very interesting fragment of brick from the Roman circus!

Yesterday (6th October), the Trust’s pottery specialist Stephen Benfield identified a very interesting fragment of Roman brick in one of the crates of archaeological material which has been brought to Roman Circus House for processing. These crates are from our current site at the Flagstaff House complex of buildings in the old garrison, not far from Roman Circus House. We began work on the site in July and we are now conducting an evaluation for mitigation purposes there, ahead of the redevelopment of the buildings and the open space between. The fragment of brick identified yesterday was excavated from demolition [read more…]

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more of the Roman circus at Flagstaff House

We are currently still conducting an excavation on a site at the Flagstaff House complex, in the old garrison at Colchester and just up the road from our building, Roman Circus House. This is a very limited excavation: we are excavating the service trench for the new residential development at Flagstaff House across the site of the Roman circus. Other than this work, the circus site here will not be affected by the development. The circus site will, however, be included in the development as an open space. We have uncovered part of the foundation of the outer wall of [read more…]

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latest photo. of Roman circus remains

The Trust is currently investigating a site at the Flagstaff House complex of buildings, within the old garrison at Colchester, and just up the road from our building – Roman Circus House – and the Roman circus centre. The site is so important and interesting that Trust director Philip has made several site visits this week and taken several of his own photo.s! Last week, the excavation team uncovered part of the remains of the Roman circus on the site. We have been able to plan the circus, and the remains here are exactly where we expected them to be. [read more…]