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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 601: summary

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St John's abbey church: An evaluation at the Garrison Officers Club, St John's Green, Colchester, Essex - February-March 2011
by Adam Wightman
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield, Howard Brooks, N Crummy, Dr Tim Dennis)

Date report completed: November 2011
Location: the Garrison Officers Club, St John's Green, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 9981 2477
File size: 5,444 kb
Project type: Archaeological evaluation
Significance of the results: ***
Keywords: St John's, abbey, church

Summary. The site of the Abbey church of St Johnís has been discovered in an evaluation on the site of the Garrison Officers Club. Three evaluation trenches were cut in the first instance, and two more were added when structural remains were discovered. The parts of the church exposed in the evaluation were the west wall, the north and south nave walls, and internal walls which are probably the south wall of the north aisle and the north wall of the south aisle. No superstructure survived. The only below-ground structure was a length of footings for the west church wall. To judge by the evaluated part of the church site, the church has been completely demolished (probably in the 17th century), and all walls and floors removed. Notable finds included painted glass and decorated floor tiles, presumably from the church structure. Non-church finds included a few Roman pits, two medieval inhumations (40m to the north of the north wall of the church), and many pits and much robbing activity probably connected with the conversion of part of the demolished church into the Lucas House which occupied the (church) site until it was demolished in the late 17th century (after it suffered severe damage in the civil war), or with the military use of the site thereafter.