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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 603: summary

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Report on an archaeological watching brief at the new play area and the park service yard, Upper Castle Park, Colchester, Essex - April-June 2011
by Adam Wightman
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield)

Date report completed: September 2011
Location: new play area and the park service yard, Upper Castle Park, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 99922 25434 (c)
File size: 1,936 kb
Project type: Archaeological watching brief
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman, tessellated floor, building, post-Roman, dark earth

Summary. An archaeological watching brief was undertaken by CAT in the Upper Castle Park, Colchester, Essex between April and June 2011. Seventeen monitoring visits were made during landscaping works associated with the laying out of the new play area and the park service yard, including the installation of a new access road, metal and concrete fences, hardstanding and services. Archaeological remains dating to the Roman period were encountered within the area stripped for the new access road and in the base of two of the postholes. Elsewhere, ground disturbance was confined to the dark grey/brown sandy-silt which overlies the archaeology and is interpreted as a modern topsoil with an underlying post-Roman dark earth. Part of a Roman tessellated pavement was uncovered along the line of the new access road. The remains of a probable clay-block wall lay to the south. The pavement and wall were on the site of the former putting green. The pavement had been partly uncovered in 1927-9 but, now lying 0.3m below modern ground-level, it was significantly shallower than it had been in 1927-9 when the floor was at depth of ‘18 inches’ (0.45m; Hull 1958, 91). This change suggests that the ground-level has been reduced in this part of the park, presumably when the putting green was made.