Colchester Archaeological Trust
CAT Report 1008: summary
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Archaeological excavation, monitoring and building recording at 'High Trees', St Clare Drive, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3TA: February-July 2016
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield, Lisa Gray, Chris Lister, Pip Parmenter, Val Rigby)
Date report completed: January 2017
Location: 'High Trees', St Clare Drive, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3TA
Map reference(s): TL 9738 2512 (c)
File size: 9,810 kb
Project type: Archaeological excavation, monitoring and building recording
Significance of the results: **
Keywords: Roman, post-medieval, modern, undated, ditch, pit, post-hole, WW2 Anderson shelter
Archaeological excavation, monitoring and a building recording was carried out at 'High Trees', St Clare Road, Colchester in advance of the construction of four new dwellings, garages and an access road. The development site is located 60m west of Lexden Dyke and on the northern edge of the Late Iron Age and Roman 'Lexden cemetery'.
Roman features consisted of four north/south ditches, one east/west ditch, fourteen
small pits, one large pit(s) and three postholes. The ditches are probably either field
boundaries or relate to a nearby settlement, with the presence of a moderately wealthy
finds assemblage suggesting that the latter may be more likely. So, not only were
people being buried in this part of Roman Colchester but they were living here too.
A second phase of activity dates to the post-medieval period (16th/17th to early 18th century) with two large quarry-pits showing that gravel was extracted on the site. Modern pillar post-holes, pits and a boundary ditch probably relate to the old house and garden.
A building recording was also carried out on a Second World War air-raid shelter located on the site.