Essex: ‘Nationally important’ Roman treasure found under Colchester department store will remain in the town

Earrings found as part of a collection of Roman treasure found under Williams & Griffin in Colcheste

Earrings found as part of a collection of Roman treasure found under Williams & Griffin in Colchester High Street. Found in September 2014. - Credit: Archant

A treasure trove of Roman jewellery found under a Colchester department store will remain in the town.

A wealthy Roman woman's jewellery collection has been found during excavations at the Williams & Gri

A wealthy Roman woman's jewellery collection has been found during excavations at the Williams & Griffin department store in Colchester High Street. This remarkable find is thought to be one of the finest of its kind ever discovered in Britain. - Credit: Archant

Archaeologists were delighted with the collection found under Williams & Griffin in the High Street during £30million redevelopment works earlier this month.

The collection, thought to be that of a wealthy Roman woman which was buried during the Boudiccan Revolt in AD61, includes three gold armlets, a silver chain necklace and two silver bracelets.

A substantial silver armlet, a small bag of coins and a small jewellery box containing two sets of gold earrings and four gold finger rings.

Conservation work is on-going on the “nationally important” find, but it has now been confirmed the treasure will be donated to Colchester Castle once forensic experts have finished exploring the treasure.

It means the jewellery will be on display at the Colchester and Ipswich Museums’ Service-run site less than half-a-mile from where it was uncovered.


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Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, said: “The collection at the Castle is easily one of the best in the country, but does not have much precious metal, such as gold and silver, so this will make a really outstanding display.

“I am sure the curators will be looking forward to receiving it, and everyone is delighted it will be donated.

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“It is a very relevant spot for it.”

Tim Young, councillor for culture at Colchester Borough Council which co-runs the museum service, said: “I am delighted that Fenwick have generously offered to donate this spectacular find to Colchester and Ipswich Museums for display in Colchester Castle.

“There the Fenwick Treasure will join arguably the finest collection of Roman archaeology outside London and become a must see part of a visit to the Castle.

“Once again Colchester has shown that its Roman heritage is second to none.”

A spokesman for Fenwick, which owns Williams & Griffin, added: “Fenwick wish to hand over the jewellery to Colchester Museum, who are currently in the process of conservation, and the details will be formally concluded by the end of the month.”

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