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Centurion
March 2021 issue

A new management plan for Colchester’s Roman Circus

A new strategy for the management of Colchester’s Roman Circus – the only known chariot-racing track in Britain and one of only a few unearthed in northern Europe – has moved a step closer, following a recent public consultation.

The new Roman Circus Management Plan sets out the roles and responsibilities of the council and key stakeholders involved in protecting the nationally important heritage asset, providing a vision and framework for its conservation, enhancement, interpretation, presentation and celebration over the next five years.

Though its remains are now entirely below ground, the scale of the Roman Circus is impressive, being around 450m in length and once able to seat 8,000 people.

It was discovered in 2005, within the site of the old garrison, and is a Scheduled Monument – receiving the same status and protection as heritage sites such as Colchester Castle and the Roman Walls.

Further consultation has also taken place on a draft development brief for the adjacent site, which was once used as a military vehicle repair facility, after the Ministry of Defence announced its intention to dispose of the land for redevelopment.

Both documents could form guidance for any potential planning applications and policies to further protect the monument and its setting from redevelopment pressures.

Page last reviewed: 26 February 2021

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