Colchester’s Street of Tombs….

The Roman Circus Centre re-opened last Saturday bigger and better than before. Boudicca was there plus a party of Roman soldiers to make sure there was no trouble. Fortunately all went well.

Archaeologist Sarah with one of the bread ovens found on the Essex County Hospital site.

There are now several new major exhibits in the Circus Centre plus a new temporary exhibition about the recent excavation at the front of the former Essex County Hospital.

What’s more, we reveal for the first time a most interesting place you will never have heard of. Intimately bound up with hospital site , it’s Colchester’sStreet of Tombs’. The name gives the game away. But if you want details, there’s a lot of them so you’ll need to visit!




Three of the new exhibits focus on charioteers and the daring way they rode their chariots. The fourth features our new model of the Roman town. Making the model is a big job and there’s still much to do but you can now get a good idea of what the finished product will look like. Hopefully you will like what you see.

To create the space for the exhibition and make the centre Covid safe, the tearoom has been moved out into a marquee in the garden where table service is provided.

The exhibition will run until Saturday September 28th 2020 when the Circus is due to close for the winter. Opening times are 10.00am to 4.00pm, Wednesdays to Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

We are determined to make your visit to the Circus Centre as safe as possible so, as well as social distancing, masks and the frequent use of sanitisers, we are limiting the number of visitors inside the building to ten at any one time. A guided tour of the circus will follow at the end of each slot.

Visitors are asked to book in advance to ensure admission. Tickets cost £3.75 including the agency booking fee and VAT. (To book, see here.) The garden tearoom is open to all at any time during opening hours. No ticket needed of course.

Photo copyright Sean George.

We are grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a grant under the Heritage Emergency Fund which has enabled us to reopen by making the Circus Centre and garden Covid friendly.

The excavation was facilitated, commissioned and funded by Essex Housing (Essex County Council’s housing development team) as part of preparatory work for the redevelopment of the site, which secured planning permission. Essex Housing sponsored the exhibition in the Circus Centre about the excavation.