Colchester: Iron Age sites and Roman settlements

Gosbecks Archaeological Park, Colchester

Gosbecks Archaeological Park, Colchester - Credit: Archant

Lotte Sherman explores some of the rich history around Colchester

Route of the Colchester District walk

Route of the Colchester District walk - Credit: Archant

Here we go again – the old Roman trails around Colchester! Combine them with some of the more recently established areas, (Spot the Temple 1) they open up new horizons and make for a refreshing journey.

Arrive by bus near Shrub End Parish All Saints Church and make for the very popular car park named Cheshunt Field, Iron Age & Roman Settlement (Also named ‘Archaeological Park 2 ), less than ½ km away on Maldon road. On your journey you pass through a dense nature reserve by the Roman River, view a giraffe in the remains of Stanwell Hall Church, stride out on The Dyke bordering the site of the Roman Fort and can stop for a picnic in Westland Country Park (details are available on the web). Once refreshed, exit by the top gate back onto the lane exiting onto Maldon Road facing the Archaeological Park.

Start from the exit opposite the main entrance of the car park and walk between the meadows in a southerly direction towards Oliver’s Lane. Have a look at the two information boards giving details of the Roman Site. From Olivers Lane turn right to the end and follow the way markers on the left (Wildside walks) leading through gates downhill to the footbridge over the river. Take the very narrow path on the extreme right, leading through low-lying scrubland and ending at the junction with the combined cycle and footpath. (Cycle Route Nu1) Proceed left uphill, continue on Leas Lane, ignoring all turn-offs, until you reach Baymill at a green triangle.

Maintain a northerly direction on the bridle way going over a footbridge. Soon the way opens up running between two fields and ending by a corner of Butcher’s Wood. (From here you can spot the Giraffe! 3 ) Go straight ahead along the inner left border of the wood to exit onto the B1022. Cross over safely to the 1km Dyke; veer right at the end to Stanwell Green, continue to the right and right again past the junction with cycle route Nu1. Keep right onto the lane bordering Westland Country Park and running south to Brickwall Farm opposite Cheshunt Field.

From the lane look out for the first gate into Westland Park; pass through it and meander towards the centre where you find the bench donated by the ‘Friends’ of the park inviting walkers to rest awhile. (4) When refreshed, make for the exit further along to the right, back onto the lane. Turn left directly to the B1022 opposite the start.

If you arrived by public transport, stay on this side of the road and walk safely on verges past the civic amenities site towards the appropriate bus stops.