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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 538: summary

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An archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching at Colchester Royal Grammar School, 6 Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex: February 2010
by Ben Holloway and Howard Brooks

Date report completed: March 2010
Location: Colchester Royal Grammar School, 6 Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL9868624834
File size: 345 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman, road, walled cemetery

Summary. The site lies in an extensive area of Roman cemeteries, north of one of the Roman roads which meet at a junction (the site of which is now under the Colchester Royal Grammar School), and immediately south of the Roman 'walled cemetery' which was discovered in the school grounds in the 1940s.

Two small evaluation trenches within the footprint of a proposed extension to the sixth form block revealed a possible robber trench and two modern features. When plotted against the position of the main Roman road from Colchester to London and the Roman walled cemetery, this evaluation should have exposed the Roman road gravel, but did not.

There are two reasons why the road gravel may be absent here. First, the walled cemetery and road may have been plotted too far to the north, and perhaps should now be projected approximately 4m to the south. In this position, the line of the northern side of the road would pass south of the evaluation trenches, and the possible robber trench in T1 would be close to the position of the south wall of the walled cemetery (ie it would represent the robbed-out south wall foundation of the cemetery). Second, and more likely, the road gravel has been removed by gardening or landscaping activities, or perhaps by archaeological excavation in the school grounds.

No Roman burials were revealed during this evaluation.