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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 540: summary

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An archaeological evaluation at 80 West Street, Rochford, Essex: January 2010
by Stephen Benfield

Date report completed: March 2010
Location: 80 West Street, Rochford, Essex
Map reference(s): TQ 8738290555
File size: 325 kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results: neg

Summary. The evaluation consisted of two 10 m-long machine-excavated trenches, each trench located within the footprint of one of two proposed buildings. One trench was situated close to the road frontage on West Street, the other at the rear (northeast corner) of the development site.

Overall, a small number of features dating to the post-medieval and modern periods were located. These consisted of small pits, post-holes, a probable drain and a soakaway. The features cut or were sealed by layers of accumulated soil, demolition material or make-up dating to the late medieval/post-medieval and modern periods. These layers sealed natural clay at about 700 mm, which must be close to the water-table as all of the features excavated at below about 800 mm immediately filled with water.

Close to the road frontage on West Street, accumulated soil with finds dating to the late medieval or early post-medieval period and an absence of any significant archaeological features suggest that the area was open, possibly cultivated, land during that time.

At the rear (north-east corner) of the development site, two features dated as post-medieval which contained waterlogged wood - parts of preserved timber posts or stakes - were located. They were sealed by 19th- to 20th-century demolition material consisting of pantiles from the roof of an earlier building of post-medieval or later date. These features and the probable earlier building here may well be connected with industrial activity dated to the 18th century which was recorded on the adjacent plot to the east (76-78 West Street). On that site a number of timberlined pits were located which were possibly used in tanning or cloth-working.