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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 797: summary

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Archaeological attendance and recording (watching brief) at The Toll House, 217 Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex: November 2014
by Ben Holloway
(with contributions from -)

Date report completed: December 2014
Location: The Toll House, 217 Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 96877 25146
File size: 213 kb
Project type: Archaeological watching brief
Significance of the results: negative
Keywords: modern

Summary. The Toll House is a Grade II listed building dating to the end of the 18th century. It is located on the north side of Lexden Road, and is bounded on three sides by Spring Lane Park. It is in an area of high archaeological potential - within the nationally important Iron Age oppidum of Camulodunum, which was protected by a network of defensive earthworks (dykes). The site lies between two of these, the Lexden Dyke to the east and the later Roman Triple Dyke to the west. It lies north of the Roman road from London to Colchester, and close to the western edge of the site of the extensive Roman cemetery along this road. A watching brief was carried out in November 2014 during contractors’ excavations for the construction of a new garage to the east of Toll House. These dug through modern hard-standing and topsoil, an accumulation horizon, and into natural deposits of hill wash or colluvium. No archaeological features or horizons were identified, nor were any finds recovered. There was no evidence of burials, or of Late Iron Age or Roman occupation or industrial activity. This is probably due to the site’s location to the west of the main Roman cemetery and to the east of the industrial area at Sheepen.