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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 304: summary

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An archaeological watching brief at 35 London Hill, Rayleigh, Essex: September-October 2004
by Benfield, S

Date report completed: 12/12/2004
Location: Rayleigh, Essex
Map reference(s): TQ802909, TQ8023090950 TQ8022690923
File size: 533 kb
Project type: Other, Watching brief
Significance of the results: Neg
Keywords: medieval, post-medieval, ceramic building materials

Summary. A watching brief was carried out on groundworks for the construction of an extension to the existing property for an indoor swimming-pool. The site lies at the west end of the upper garden terrace. On the north side of the site were deposits of clay which contained archaeological finds to between 1m and 1.2m deep. Part of the south edge and probable west end of the clay deposits were exposed which gave the impression of a large feature terminating on the west side of the site. The upper clay deposits (500mm-600mm) within this feature contained finds of modern to post-medieval date, with a small quantity of residual medieval and Roman finds. The lower deposits produced very little other than occasional peg-tile pieces and a small sherd of medieval pottery. It is not clear if the clay deposits represent a cut feature. It is possible that they are soil dump or infill associated with the terracing on the slope, though the stratigraphy and finds suggest that they represent more than one episode and could represent a sequential accumulation of layers filling a feature. Although at an angle to the garden terracing, the feature is approximately consistent with the line of the upper terrace further east. However, previous excavations along Bellingham Lane have located a large ditch considered to be part of an outer bailey. The clay-filled feature observed during the watching brief also shares the line of the bailey ditch and thus may represent a continuation of it.