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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 624: summary

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An archaeological evaluation by test-pitting at North Primary School, John Harper Street, Colchester, Essex - November 2011
by Howard Brooks, Ben Holloway
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield)

Date report completed: December 2011
Location: North Primary School, John Harper Street, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 9919 2584 (c)
File size: 1,942 kb
Project type: Archaeological evaluation by test-pitting
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman, occupation, floor or wall foundation

Summary. There was a Roman suburb including high-status buildings with tessellated and mosaic floors in the vicinity of the HSBC bank (formerly the Midland bank), the Victoria Inn and the Globe hotel (now the Mirchi Rasoi restaurant) on North Station Road in Colchester. The North Primary School lies close to the site of this Roman suburb. In advance of the proposed construction of new classroom bases and the laying of an all-weather sports pitch, six test-pits (TP1-TP6) were excavated in the playing field to the rear (west) of the school. Stratified beneath approximately 600mm of topsoil and made ground was a Roman deposit containing 2nd-century Roman pottery, tile, and oyster shell. Natural ground was reached at between 1.0m and 1.2m in four of the test-pits. In the other test-pit (TP4), a consolidated mortar spread was found at 1.0m below modern groundlevel. It was not possible to determine whether the mortar spread was part of a Roman floor or a wall foundation.