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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1001: summary

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Archaeological monitoring and recording at St Helena School, Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LE: August-October 2016
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Mark Baister, Emma Holloway, Laura Pooley)

Date report completed: October 2016
Location: St Helena School, Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LE
Map reference(s): TL 9883 2583
File size: kb
Project type: Monitoring
Significance of the results:

Summary. Archaeological monitoring and recording was carried out at St Helena School, Sheepen Road, Colchester in advance of the construction of an amphitheatre and other groundworks. The development site is located within the scheduled monument of Sheepen and directly over a Roman temple and its precinct (Colchester Temple 2).

The footprint of the amphitheatre was stripped to a depth of 200mm below current ground level (bcgl), no significant archaeological horizons were encountered.

Test-pits 1-3 were excavated in advance of proposed works to lay granite paving slabs above the foundations of the Roman temple to mark out its location. The test-pits were excavated to ensure that the depth of groundworks for the slabs would not impact on the archaeological remains. No Roman wall foundations had survived within the testpits but the trench for the foundation was recorded in two of them along with Roman ground level, at a depth of 170-300mm bcgl. The foundation trenches identified in all three test-pits were full of backfill from the 1930s excavations. It is uncertain if the 1930s excavations had just removed later/post-Roman robbing at these locations or had actually removed surviving temple wall foundation. The granite paving slabs were eventually laid within minimal ground disturbance 100mm depth through topsoil.