New interpretation highlights the importance of Gosbecks Archaeological Park

An additional interpretation panel has been installed at the northern end of Oliver’s Lane

Date issued: 6 March 2019

Following the installation of two new interpretation panels at Gosbecks Archaeological Park in December 2018, more interpretation of the site has now been introduced.

An additional interpretation panel has been installed at the northern end of Oliver’s Lane, to provide information to walkers entering the western half of the park. This, along with the other panels in the park, will offer visitors more information about its Roman temple, theatre and historical significance.

As part of the council’s commitment to celebrating Colchester’s heritage, it has worked with the cross-party Heritage Task and Finish Group to make and introduce further recommendations for Gosbecks. This includes white-lining the footprints of the temple and theatre, which will enable visitors to appreciate the size of the buildings referred to on the interpretation panels.

Starting in March 2019, the council has committed to renew the white lining of the temple and theatre, monthly, for the next seven months.

Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “Gosbecks is a site of exciting historical significance and these are the first steps we are taking to raise its profile as a heritage destination. The white lining of the temple and theatre will help give visitors a real sense of what was once there. Celebrating our borough’s rich history is something I am passionate about, for a Better Colchester.”

Cllr Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture and Deputy Leader of the Council, added: “We’ve been working with the Heritage Task and Finish Group to make sure Gosbecks, and it’s historical importance, is highlighted. Colchester has such an exciting past and we are working hard to make sure its future is better for residents, visitors and businesses. If you haven’t visited before, please do so and find out more about this amazing archaeological gem.”.

Gosbecks Archaeological Park was the home of King Cunobelin, a late Iron Age leader, who reigned over a large area of south-east Britain for 40 years. Following Cunobelin’s death, in AD 40, the Romans invaded Britain and it was at Gosbecks that the British tribes surrendered to Emperor Claudius.

The Romans built a temple and a theatre at Gosbecks, turning the site from a royal residence into a public space, where people came to worship or watch a play. It is thought that large assemblies may have been held at Gosbecks, making the site the equivalent of a venue for a modern music festival.

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