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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 256: summary

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A test-pit survey on the Balkerne Heights development (the former St Mary's hospital site), Colchester, Essex: September 2003
by Benfield, S

Date report completed: 12/12/2003
Location: Colchester town centre, Essex
Map reference(s): TL99172525
File size: 489 kb
Project type: Other
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman ditch, Roman building, Roman street, ceramic building materials

Summary. A survey on a series of 14 machine-excavated test-pits located on and around the area of the proposed southern sheltered housing block of the Balkerne Heights development demostrated surviving Roman deposits across the whole of this area of the site. Most of the deposits consisted of Roman soil accumulation layers and fills of deeper features representing pits or graves. A substantial Roman feature in the south-east corner of the development probably represents the town ditch. Close to the town ditch, part of a stone and mortar Roman building foundation was observed, and on the central-west area of the site part of a Roman street or lane was recorded. Except for the fill of the town ditch, which was not bottomed, the identified surviving Roman deposits, including fills of deeper features such as pits, averaged about 0.8 m in depth.