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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 692: summary

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Archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching at Colnebank House, 30 St Peter's Street, Colchester, Essex - March 2013
by G Adams
(with contributions from Adam Wightman, Stephen Benfield)

Date report completed: April 2013
Location: Colnebank House, 30 St Peter's Street, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 99651 25590 (c)
File size: 462 kb
Project type: Archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Roman, landing area, 19th-century, silk mill

Summary. The results from this evaluation by test-pitting within the building of Colnebank House are similar to those of the evaluation by trial-trenching undertaken by CAT in the area around the building in 2009 (CAT Report 526). Beneath the modern layers associated with Colnebank House are the remains of the 19th-century silk mill, the buildings of which dated from 1826 and were demolished in 1967 for the construction of Colnebank House. The mill was constructed on top of a thick deposit of alluvial silts containing occasional pottery sherds, CBM and oyster shells, which probably represent rubbish dumped in this area from the Roman period until the post-medieval period, when it was probably marshland between the town wall and the River Colne. However, concentrations of Roman finds were found just above the river gravels which very likely relate to the remains of a landing area along the south side of the River Colne to service the movement of goods between the Roman town and the Colne estuary. All site levels below about 2.55 m are water-logged and this may represent a Roman river frontage. The archaeological evaluation undertaken by CAT in 1998 to the west of the current site, at St Peter's House, identified a similar gravel area which separated riverine deposits to the north of the site from layers of Roman make-up on the south of the site (CAT Report 25) and presumably represents part of the same landing area.