Rogue metal detectorists warned by police over holes at Roman temple site

·1-min read
Gosbecks Archaeological Park (Google)
Gosbecks Archaeological Park (Google)

Police have warned rogue metal detectorists to stop digging holes at a Roman temple site.

Several holes were discovered at Gosbecks Archaeological Park in Colchester, Essex, earlier this month.

The 160-acre site, which includes Roman and Iron Age remains, has been legally protected from all excavation since it became an ancient scheduled monument in 1939.

The council has warned metal detectorists, known as “night hawks”, that it is illegal to dig holes on the grounds.

City councillor Pam Cox said they’re “working closely” with Essex Police.

Ms Cox, the council’s portfolio holder for culture and heritage, told the BBC the site was “both important for the history of our city and as a refuge for wildlife”.

“We will take appropriate action to deal with illicit metal detecting and are working closely with Essex Police and appeal to the public to report any concerns,” she said.

Essex Police has been patrolling the area more often in wake of the illegal digging.

The park includes the remains of the largest of the five known Roman theatres in Britain, with seating for up to 5,000 people, and a Romano-Celtic Temple located within a large four-sided precinct.