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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 599: summary

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A watching brief at firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex - December 2010-March 2011
by Adam Wightman
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield)

Date report completed: March 2012
Location: firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 0013 2520
File size: 978 kb
Project type: Archaeological watching brief
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman, street, building, tessellated, floor, medieval/post-medieval, well

Summary. An archaeological watching brief within Insulas 31 and 32 of the Roman town was undertaken by CAT during the installation of services and landscaping works associated with firstsite in Colchester. Roman remains were encountered between 0.45m and 1.10m below modern ground-level and two medieval/postmedieval wells were uncovered just below the surface. Archaeological remains identified during the 2006-8 archaeological investigations at firstsite (CAT Report 477) were encountered again in the 201011 watching brief. A gravel surface was identified in a position coinciding with the expected line of the east-west Roman street on the southern edge of Insulas 31 and 32. A wall foundation was also recorded in an area where a Roman building had been previously identified (Building 215 in the Colchester Buildings series). A red tessellated floor was identified in section in the northern access road to firstsite. The floor is believed to be previously unknown and is from a Roman building (Colchester Building 220), perhaps a town-house. Two medieval/post-medieval wells were also uncovered during the groundworks. A stone-lined well was uncovered in the back garden of 15 Queen Street and a brick-lined well was recorded in the northern access road to firstsite. The brick-lined well had been constructed in the back yard of a property which once fronted onto the High Street.