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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1203: summary

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Archaeological investigations at Greytown House, 138-140 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YJ: March-September 2017
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Stephen Benfield)

Date report completed: December 2017
Location: Greytown House, 138-140 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YJ
Map reference(s): TL 9955 2523 (c)
File size: 17,133 kb
Project type: Archaeological monitoring and recording
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: Cups Hotel, Roman, floor, Boudicca, Boudiccan, destruction, early medieval, wall foundation, stone house

Summary. Archaeological investigations, consisting of two phases of monitoring and a recording project, were carried out to the rear of Greytown House, at 138-140 High Street, Colchester, Essex in advance of groundworks associated with the redevelopment of Greytown House. The development site is located in an area of the highest archaeological importance in Insula 19 of the Roman town and in the core of the medieval town of Colchester. Excavations on the development site in 1973-4, after the demolition of the Cups Hotel (in advance of the construction of Greytown House), revealed significant modern disturbance over the entire site caused by a series of cellars. However, building remains from both the Roman and medieval periods were uncovered. Phase 1 monitoring was located in the car-park/loading-bay area immediately behind Greytown House. All groundworks took place through concrete and make-up dating to the 1970s redevelopment of this site. However, the discovery of a short length of wall foundation and floor suggests that not all of the Cups Hotel cellars had been completely removed. During phase 1 monitoring, a section was identified on the northern edge of the development site which stood 1.5-2m higher than the car- park/loading-bay. When cleaned, the section revealed remains dating to the post-medieval/modern and Roman periods. Significantly, the Roman remains included floor layers dating from the early Roman period, through the Boudiccan destruction of the town and into the 2nd century. Phase 2 monitoring along St Runwald's Street to the north of Greytown House revealed Roman layers, an early medieval wall foundation (from an early medieval house first identified during the 1970s excavations), two medieval pits and post-medieval/modern structural remains.