Gosbecks Archaeological Park: What lies beneath?

PUBLISHED: 3 January 2019

Date issued: 3 January 2019

Residents and visitors to Colchester can now find out even more about the historical significance of Gosbecks Archaeological Park, thanks to two new interpretation panels.

The recently installed panels at Gosbecks replace existing ones. They form part of a whole family of panels across the borough, including around the Roman Wall. These are part of a coordinated strategy by Colchester Borough Council to raise the profile of Colchester’s rich and varied heritage.

Gosbecks Archaeological Park is a site of great historical significance. It 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 at 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.

Today all this fascinating history is below ground. What appears to be an empty field is a site of huge significance, in terms of Britain’s national story.

Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “It’s so exciting to think about the rich history that lies beneath Gosbecks Archaeological Park. We must make sure that the people who visit it realise just how significant it is. The previous interpretation panels were over ten years old, so we needed to replace them. Making the most of our heritage is a core part of our plans to make a Better Colchester.”

The new interpretation panels are just one way people can find out more about Gosbecks – there's also a wealth of information in the ‘Historic Colchester’ guidebook and on the ‘Ancient Colchester’ app.

Page last reviewed: 3 January 2019


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