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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 376: summary

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An archaeological watching brief at nos 1-3 Queen Street (Colchester Visitor Centre), Colchester, Essex: May-July 2005
by I GĀ¾rniak, M

Date report completed: 07/07/2006
Location: Colchester town centre, Essex
Map reference(s): TL9995825226
File size: 6394 kb
Project type: Watching brief
Significance of the results: Neg
Keywords: medieval, post-medieval, Roman building, robber trench, animal bone, ceramic building materials, opus signinum, Roman pottery

Summary. An archaeological watching brief was carried out at nos 1-3 Queen Street, the property which currently accommodates the Colchester Visitor Centre. The watching brief was focussed on the ground floor where nine trenches of various depths and dimensions were excavated by the building contractor. The groundworks were mainly in no 3, but there were also two trenches in no 2 and one in the property's inner courtyard to the rear. In places, the works provided very limited exposures of what appears to be the remains of a substantial Roman house in the form of a robber trench for a foundation and Roman demolition debris. There were no surviving medieval deposits other than the 12th- to 13th-century robber trench. Unfortunately, the archaeological investigation was very restricted, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the structural development of the standing building. However, its fabric shows no 1 to be a late 18th-century construction (originally one unit incorporating the present 67-67a High Street). It is a red-brick two-storey house with attic. Nothing appears to survive above ground of its predecessor. No 2 is also mainly a rebuilt red-brick edifice of the late 18th century. However, there is evidence indicating a late medieval origin, and showing that this house was once part of no 3. The southern part of the Visitor Centre (no 3) was erected in the 15th or possibly early 16th century. Originally it was a three-storied, jettied, half-timbered building with a narrow carriage archway at its southern end. A large red-brick chimney was inserted into nos 2 and 3 in the early 17th century.