a1 Colchester Archaeological Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org
The circus at Colchester was discovered late in 2004. By the end of 2007, a succession of targeted investigations helped reveal its basic plan and provided some limited dating evidence for its period of use. The building proved to have been of average length for a provincial circus (457 m) but, at about 71.5–74 m across, it was relatively narrow. The stands appeared to have been raised a section at a time. The seating was carried on an earth bank revetted by two stone walls. The circus possessed only eight starting-gates. Excavation of the near meta yielded some remarkable evidence about the size and nature of the cones, the supply of pressurised water to the barrier, and the tactics adopted by the charioteers as they swung around the metae. The circus was built in stone probably in the second century A.D. The building ceased to be used if not c. A.D. 275, then sometime later in the Roman period.