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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 41: summary

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Watching brief at 40 Osborne Street, Colchester: August 1999
by Benfield, S

Date report completed: 31/08/1999
Location: Colchester town centre, Essex
Map reference(s):
File size: 147 kb
Project type: Watching brief
Significance of the results: Neg
Keywords: Post-medieval, small finds

Summary. Observations during contractors' machine reduction of the north-eastern area of 40 Osborne Street revealed a sequence of post-medieval deposits and occupation. At the base of the excavation were dark brown sandy loams (between 1.0 m and 0.7 m below the modern pavement level) which possibly represent accumulation into the small valley of the now infilled stream south of the town. The upper part of these deposits (between 0.9 m and 0.7 m below the pavement level) appear to be of at least 17th-century date. No features were observed pre-dating the brick foundations of a building which had been cut into these accumulation layers. The building had a brick-built cellar at its west end and a room to the east of this contained a fireplace. All of these foundations appeared to be contemporary with one another and the bricks (recorded samples taken from the cellar wall) were thin and unfrogged and suggest that the building is of earlier post-medieval date. The frontage of this building, represented by the foundations, was set back about 1.0 m from the present frontage line on Osborne Street. To the west of the building were a series of yard surfaces (at between 0.8 m and 0.55 m below the modern pavement); initially of brick, which was replaced by cobbles, and finally a softer mortar surface which may indicate that this area was later covered over. No finds were retained from the site and this report constitutes the full site archive.