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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 360: summary

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An archaeological evaluation rear of 95-96 High Street, Colchester, Essex: January 2006
by Brooks, H

Date report completed: 03/03/2006
Location: Colchester town centre, Essex
Map reference(s): TL9987325240, TL9987324300
File size: 341 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: medieval, post-medieval, Temple of Claudius, Roman arcade, town gate, Colchester castle, earthworks, medieval and later buildings, temple, Roman arch

Summary. This site straddles the line of the arcade on the south precinct wall of the Temple of Claudius, close to the presumed position of the central gateway. A trench on the north edge of the vacant plot at 96 High Street revealed Roman masonry (5.7m wide north-south) at 2.0m below modern ground. The depth below modern ground and the flat top of the exposed masonry suggest that the trench position actually coincided with the passageway through the centre of the gateway. There was some damage to the north edge of the masonry, and the modern nature of the deposits sealing the Roman masonry suggest that the excavated layers may simply be the soils tipped back into Rex Hull's 1931 excavation trench. It is possible that one of the excavated soil layers is part of the Norman bank built over the top of the partially-demolished Roman arcade when the castle earthworks were being created. It is speculated that the west side of the Roman gate arch should survive west of the trench position and very close to modern ground-level (under Crowther's Entry). It is not certain whether the east side of the gate survives, but, if so, it should coincide with the rear of 95 High Street.