The third of Colchester’s Roman Wall heritage boards was unveiled on Saturday 22 November – very kindly sponsored by the Colchester Civic Society to mark its 50th anniversary.
For the first time, residents and visitors to Colchester now have a permanent explanation of the history of the East Gate – located at the actual site. The board will form a key part of a heritage walk around the entire length of the Wall
Former Mayor of Colchester Henry Spyvee, who is the Chair of the Friends of Colchester Roman Wall said, “We hope that that the Wall Walk will give the townspeople some pride in their heritage and attract visitors to explore Colchester’s long and fascinating history.”
The bulk of the cost of the board was paid for by the Colchester Civic Society with the help of the Friends of Colchester Roman Wall and it was installed by the Colchester Museums Service. It was formally unveiled by Councillor Tim Young, CBC portfolio holder for heritage watched by a small crowd of members of the Civic Society and the Friends of Colchester Roman Wall.
The board stands half-way up East Hill and explains the history of Colchester’s East Gate. The original gate was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD but later destroyed. All that remains are stretches of the Wall itself and a Roman drain. The gate was rebuilt in medieval times and was the site of a dramatic event during the Civil War siege of Colchester in 1648 when the besieged Royalist army attempted to recapture the East Bridge over the river but were repulsed by the Parliamentarians.
The first two boards of the Roman Wall Walk were installed at Balkerne Gate near the Mercury Theatre, at Duncan’s Gate in Castle Park. The remaining boards will be installed over the next year or so to create a multi-stop tour explaining the history of the Wall.