Colchester Garrison

RPS CgMs was commissioned by RMPA Services on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in 2002 as archaeological consultants for the redevelopment of 160 hectares at Colchester Garrison, under a Public Finance Initiative. The project included residential redevelopment of a series of former garrison blocks by Taylor Wimpey. RPS CgMs managed archaeological excavations and munitions clearances ahead of construction. Investigations included a middle Iron Age enclosure with high status roundhouse, elements of field-systems of the Iron Age oppidum of Camulodunum and Roman farm elements.

RPS CgMs was appointed as archaeological Project Managers with responsibility for designing, coordinating and completing archaeological evaluation and mitigation investigations and to act as the point of contact between our client, the local planning authority and English Heritage. RPS CgMs applied for and achieved Scheduled Monument Consent for works within St Johns Abbey SAM. The discovery of the remains of a monumental Roman chariot racing arena (circus) has led RPS CgMs to advise our client of creative ways of incorporating the remains of the Roman circus within both greenfield public open space and brownfield re-development areas of their scheme. The 450m by 70m structure comprises one of the most significant Roman finds for decades and is the only verified example of a circus in Britain. In addition over 1000 Roman burials around the circus were recorded and cleared. The circus was designated a Scheduled Monument by English Heritage in 2007 (following our advice to our client, English Heritage and CBC) to enable the consented development, whilst also enhancing the preservation and display of the monument. This has included advice on sensitive demolitions, surface treatments and service instillations within the circus in addition to demarcation within the development. The projects comprise the largest investigation undertaken within Camulodunum.