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Colchester has the earliest, best preserved and one of the longest Roman town walls in Britain. Its construction began in the period AD 65 to 80 following the destruction of the town during the revolt by Queen Boudica against Roman rule. The entire wall circuit is 2,800 metres, or 1¾ miles, in length and it once stood nearly 6 metres high.
In the Roman period the wall had six gates located at regular intervals. Of these only two survive above ground today: Balkerne Gate and Duncan’s Gate. The Balkerne Gate was the original main entrance to the town. It was upgraded to a Triumphal Arch celebrating the conquest of Britannia by the Roman Emperor Claudius. The remains of a Roman Guardroom can be found next to the Balkerne Gate. Originally, it would have been the gate for the main road leading towards London. There were two large archways for wheeled vehicles and two smaller ones for pedestrians. Today, only the southern pedestrian archway and guardroom survive, representing less than a quarter of the original gateway.
The Roman Wall can be walked around today and is best seen in Castle Park and at the top of Balkerne Hill near the Hole in the Wall public house.
Download a walking tour map of the Roman and Medieval gates.
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The nearest railway station is Town station, which is 1 mile away.