Computer generated image of how the arcade would have looked (SWNS)
The remains of a 400-foot long Roman arcade, thought to be the biggest ever built in Britain, has been unearthed under an apartment block in Colchester.
The Roman Monumental Arcade had 28 arches and would have been an impressive gateway to the “Temple of Claudius”, which stood in Camulodunum, as modern-day Colchester was known to the Romans.
“It is the biggest Roman structure of its kind to be discovered in the UK,” said Colchester Archaeological Trust director, Dr Phillip Crummy.
“Its closest rival in terms of size stands in northern France, and shares some of the architecture we can see here today.”
The arcade had 28 arches and a large arched gateway (SWNS)
The remains were first discovered 62 years ago (SWNS)
The arcade was actually discovered in 1954 but only now has excavation work taken place to reveal the full glory of what was built some 2,000 years ago.
Ruins of the grand structure have now been used to create a computer model to show what the arcade would have looked like 1,800 years ago.
The remains can be seen by the public after the company which owns the apartments granted access.
Suki Dulai, boss of the Flying Trade Group, said: “We purchased this property over 8 years ago with a view to opening a restaurant however after the discovery of Claudius Gateway, we’ve decided to preserve and celebrate our history with the community of Colchester.”
Camulodunum served as a Roman military base and capital (SWNS)
An archaeologist at the Roman dig in Colchester (SWNS)
The Romans ruled Britain from 43 AD until the year 409 or 410.
Camulodunum was an important centre for the Romans, who used it as a military base and made it their first capital.
The Temple of Claudius was also attacked in a raid by local British tribe, the Iceni, who opposed Roman rule and were led at one stage by the famous female warrior Boudica.