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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 125: summary

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An archaeological excavation at 64-76 Hythe Hill, Colchester, in 1999
by Benfield, S
(with contributions from Archibald, M; Brooks, H; Crummy, N; Ryan, P; Wade, A; Walker, J.)

Date report completed: 30/06/2001
Location: Hythe Hill, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s):
File size: 14454 kb
Project type: Excavation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Ceramic building materials, Roman pottery, medieval pottery, post-medieval building, prehistoric flint, small finds, leather, coins, animal bone, roman painted wall plaster

Summary. The excavation was limited to investigation within footing trenches for a new building fronting onto Hythe Hill; this produced an overall sample of the archaeological sequences across the site area, but did not allow the establishment of clear overall building plans. A very few finds suggest prehistoric activity, while small quantities of Roman building materials and pottery indicate Roman occupation in the area. Activity on the site in the late medieval to early post-medieval periods (11th/12th-16th century) is represented by a number of pits, while a few small pits or post-holes could indicate a building. During the 17th century, the street frontage was built up and occupied by a series of timber-framed buildings, probably three properties. These buildings were set on mortared plinths with internal clay floors and gravelled yards to the rear. One of the buildings may have had a tiled floor. While these properties appear to have been domestic, there is evidence for two phases of industrial activity associated with one of them; the earlier phase of this is thought to be iron-working, probably blacksmithing, and may represent a workshop fronting onto Hythe Hill. That at least one building appears to have had its long axis parallel to the road frontage suggests that there was little pressure for building in the area. The archaeological sequence is comparable to that from an adjacent 1994-95 excavation at 79 Hythe Hill, though the main building development there is slightly earlier, dating from the 16th century (Brooks 2000).