Council teams up with local heritage groups to buy part of Colchester's iconic Roman wall

Colchester Borough Council has joined forces with several local heritage champions to purchase a 53-metre section of the town's Roman wall after it was put up for sale.

Advertising firm JCDecaux has planned to auction its interest in the 2,000 year-old monument, however, following further negotiations agreed to conclude it's sale to the council.

The section of wall was sold for the £5000 auction guide price along with costs. The negotiations follow widespread concern that the ancient monument should be in publis ownership.

While the sale has naturally caused a great deal of local concern, it would never have endangered its status as a protected monument. Nonetheless, its purchase by the council with the support of local heritage organisations ensures that its future is secure and it can be managed for the benefit of local people.

Philip Wise, Colchester Borough Council’s Heritage Manager

The council says this collaborative approach has made it possible for the council to strike a deal and ensure this nationally-important heritage asset is preserved for the people of Colchester for the next 2000 years and beyond.  

I would like to thank the public for their vigilance in seeking to safeguard this substantial section of the Roman Wall. So many people got in touch . This, along with several other heritage projects including lighting up the wall, is reassurance if ever it were needed that we are absolutely committed to protecting the town’s unique history for posterity and for a Better Colchester.

Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of the Council
The Borough Council says it's "absolutely committed to protecting the town’s unique history for posterity and for a Better Colchester." Credit: Colchester Borough Council

Colchester’s Roman Wall provides residents and visitors with perhaps the most stunning visual reminder of the long and momentous past that is woven into the fabric of our town and which most vividly defines its unique status as Britain’s first city. As custodians of such a unique and irreplaceable monument, we are committed to its protection and enhancement for the benefit of future generations.

Cllr Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture & Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council

Read more: Colchester's unique Roman Wall to be scanned and digitised for first time