View all the report titles
View a summary of a chosen report
View the full report in PDF format of a chosen report
Search archive using keywords
Home Page

Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 428: summary

(Click on report title to view full report in PDF format)

Archaeological excavation[s] on Alienated Land Area S2 (South), Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex: Feb.-March 2007
by Brooks. H, Holloway. B, Masefield. R,

Date report completed: October 2007
Location: Garrison, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL99282208, TL99352209, TL99572193, TL99672197
File size: 1,372 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, flint, grooved ware, round-house, Berechurch Dyke, oppidum

Summary. Following an evaluation earlier in 2007, four sites with a total area of approximately 0.5 ha were excavated on the sports pitches south of the Roman Way Camp (ie on Colchester Garrison Alienated Land Area S2 (south)), Sites A-D. This land is situated inside the oppidum of Camulodunum, with the Berechurch Dyke (one of Camulodunum’s defences) extending along its eastern side. These excavations revealed a number of phases of occupation. Early prehistoric flints, Grooved Ware and a Beaker sherd may indicate a passing presence here in the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages. The first permanent settlement is marked by a possible Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age roundhouse. A single ditch approximately at right-angles to the Berechurch Dyke may date to the Iron Age although a later (Anglo-Saxon or medieval) date is also possible. There was no firm evidence of Late Iron Age activity here, and only a minor Roman presence can be demonstrated, presumably because in both periods this was farmland inside the oppidum. However, a small stock control system probably used for the close handling of sheep and tentatively dated to the Roman period shows some pastoral use of this landscape. Elements of a farmstead’s enclosure (probably fronting onto the medieval precursor of Berechurch Hall Road) and further field boundaries were laid out in the medieval period. These may have been maintained and added to up to the mid 18th century. At that time, a small agricultural building, possibly a barn, was erected. Later, but still in the 18th century, the old field system was rendered redundant by the creation of a large enclosure. This is shown on the Chapman and André map of 1777, and appears to contain a large building, which would have stood beyond the east edge of Site D. This enclosure was itself no longer used by the final quarter of the 19th century.