WANSTEAD was not built in a day and a community project is asking residents to help them uncover the area's Roman past.

The Wanstead Parklands Community Project (WPCP) is stepping up its efforts to find the location of the Roman Villa believed to be under part of the park, and they want local people to bring any Roman artefacts that might have turned up in their gardens or the surrounding areas to the Temple next weekend for identification.

The group are mounting a Roman weekend, when there will also be the chance to learn about the Roman history of the park and even test some of the food that the Romans used to eat. Children will also be able to make up their own mosaics to take home.

WPCP member Tricia Moxey said: "The items found in the past can be used to explain that the Roman building, now buried beneath the ground was large and of high status with under floor heating, mosaic floors and painted wall plaster. The pottery used indicates that the Roman occupiers traded with suppliers from many parts of England.

"We are hoping that people who live near the Park will come along to the Temple with any odd finds that have turned up in their gardens such as bits of broken pottery, roof tiles, painted plaster, or tesserae (the squares that make up the mosaic floors).

"If they have by some chance a Roman coin or a fragment of Roman glass that would be even better!"

Staff from the London archaeological archive and research centre (LAARC) and the Museum of London present to help identify artefacts found in local gardens.

They will be at the Temple from 2pm to 5pm on the afternoons of July 14 and 15.