Work to preserve historic gateway

By Sharon AsplinA HISTORIC gateway to a town has been given a new lease of life as part of a scheme to safeguard its Roman past.Work has started on preserving Duncan's Gate in Colchester under the borough council's management plan for the Town Walls.

By Sharon Asplin

A HISTORIC gateway to a town has been given a new lease of life as part of a scheme to safeguard its Roman past.

Work has started on preserving Duncan's Gate in Colchester under the borough council's management plan for the Town Walls.

The annual programme of work by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers has begun with the removal of damaging plants and litter.


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Masonry has also been repaired by specialist contractors and a new interpretation panel has been installed.

The panel gives information on the history of the gate and includes a reconstruction of how it might have looked in the Roman period.

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Duncan's Gate is one of the two gateways into the Roman city of Colchester that still survive. It is located in the north-east corner of Castle Park and originally consisted of a single entrance below a tower.

This site was discovered during excavations in 1853 by Dr PM Duncan, later Mayor of Colchester, and was again excavated in 1927-9 by Rex Hull, curator of Colchester Museum.

It is of great archaeological importance because it has been left undisturbed in a semi-rural setting for much of the town's history.

More task days have been arranged with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and these will concentrate on the Balkerne Gate area and Priory Street in Colchester.

The borough council has already released £50,000 for preservation work within the Priory Street stretch of the Town Walls,

It will allocate a further £50,000 as a contingency for the repairs in Priory Street and fund works along the Roman Road stretch of the Town Walls.

Future improvements will include installing a temporary fence to protect the wall, establishing a management regime for vegetation and commissioning an archaeological and wildlife survey.

sharon.asplin@eadt.co.uk

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