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15 February 2010, 00:00
A crumbling wall in Colchester covered up by ugly metal sheets for years - will be start to be restored today.
The work on the medieval abbey wall - which dates back to the 13th century - is expected to last 7 weeks.
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey's undertaking the works. A spokesman said:
"We are proud to be involved in this essential project to conserve and enhance Colchester's medieval heritage. As developers of the Colchester Garrison site we have worked closely with statutory authorities and others in financing the recent archaeological works that uncovered Britain's first Roman circus. We see this work to the medieval abbey walls as part of our continued responsibilities to Colchester's past and future."
All the restoration work is in line with the Management Plan for the Abbey of St John prepared by the Borough Council.
Works to the abbey wall will take place along the both the Mersea Road and also on the stretch of wall to the north of Napier Road.
Both stretches of wall are in need of immediate repair and, as such, the work will involve the temporary closure of the north-bound carriageway of Mersea Road from the Napier Road junction. This will allow scaffolding to be constructed for safe access to the wall. Northbound traffic will be diverted via Napier Road, Circular Road West and Butt Road into Colchester. It's thought the works will take up to seven weeks to complete depending on the weather.
Colchester Borough Councillor Dave Harris said:
"The abbey wall is an irreplaceable part of Colchester's heritage and it is absolutely vital that this work takes place to ensure it can be preserved for future generations to enjoy. After the winter freeze, this is the first opportunity to get the job started and the aim is for the work time to be kept to an absolute minimum. Although there may be some slight disruption caused to motorists, I'm sure people will appreciate the need for this essential conservation work to happen as soon as possible."