Great news! The Friends have won their first battle to improve the setting of the Roman Wall.

The Government Planning Inspector has upheld the Discontinuance Notice served by Colchester Borough Council on the advertising company JC Decaux. Decaux will now have to remove the advertising hoardings along Middleborough.

The Inspector ruled that the hoardings were damaging the wall – a scheduled ancient monument. He also said he was surprised the Discontinuance Notice hadn’t been issued long ago.


Our first AGM

We held our first Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 5th October. Around 30 Friends and supporters attended. The constitution, accounts and next year’s budget were approved and the trustees formally elected.

AGM 2011
Our Chair and Secretary at the AGM
5 October 2011

Our chair, Henry Spyvee, then gave an update on our work mentioning in particular:

  • The advertising hoardings at Middleborough. The owners of the hoardings, JC Decaux, appealed against the Borough Council’s order in April and the matter is now with the Secretary of State. That process is supposed to take a maximum of six months, which means we should hear very soon.
  • Fundraising. We have received several pledges of support for our project to place interpretation boards around the wall. We are almost half way towards what we need. We’re are currently waiting for the Museums Service to finalise the design for the project and then we hope to begin implementation very soon afterwards.
  • Charitable status. Charity Commission rules prevent us from registering as a charity until we have an annual income of £5000. In the meantime we are making arrangements with HMRC to enable us to recover Gift Aid on donations which would increase the value of donations by 28%

Explaining the wall

‘It is part of the vision of the Friends of Colchester Roman Wall to install a chain of thirteen Interpretation Boards around the Wall. That way both local people and tourists can learn more about the history of our fascinating Wall.
We will start at Balkerne Gate, the most high profile point on the Wall, where an old Board, well past its sell-by date, needs to be replaced. Boards cost about £1,000 each and we have the funds for this first one. Our aim is to install all of them over a period of about three years. That depends on the number of new Friends we get, other donations and sponsorship of individual Boards by businesses or people near them.
The style of the Boards will line up with signage at the Castle in its coming new makeover. The Friends are in consultation with Colchester and Ipswich Museum Services and its graphic designer about this.
This ambitious project is part of our plan to make the Wall look more cared for and more interesting than it does now. The Roman Wall is one of our greatest assets from the past. It is too easy for Colcestrians to take it for granted.’


Welcome to the Friends of Colchester Roman Wall. We are a group of local people committed to improving our historic Wall and its setting. We were founded in 2011. Join us!