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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1219: summary

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Archaeological evaluation at Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Hub Plots 2-3, east of Colchester Park and Ride, Mile End, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JA: November-December 2017
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Steve Benfield, Lisa Gray, Adam Wightman, Mark Baister, Ben Holloway, Chris Lister, Emma Holloway)

Date report completed: May 2018
Location: East of Colchester Park and Ride, Mile End, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5JA
Map reference(s): TL 99878 29486
File size: kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results:

Summary. An archaeological evaluation (120 trial-trenches) was carried out at Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Hub Plots 2-3, Colchester, Essex, in advance of development works. The development site has been divided into 11 plots with Plots 2 and 3 representing potential areas for the development of sports and leisure facilities.

The most significant archaeological remains consisted of 24 charcoal-rich pits probably relating to charcoal production. These were sub-round or sub-oval charcoal-rich features with occasional evidence of in situ burning. Dating evidence was mostly lacking but two of the pits contained finds dated to the Roman and post-Roman periods. With radiocarbon dates from charcoal in another two of the pits dating to the Middle Iron Age and late Anglo-Saxon/early Medieval period. Together with another 77 charcoal-rich pits known from previous archaeological investigations, they suggest that charcoal production was occurring in this part of northern Colchester from the Early Iron Age through to the medieval period.

Other archaeological remains included residual prehistoric work flints, a single treethrow containing a prehistoric worked flint which may or may not be residual, a small number of undated pits and tree throws, and a number of modern field boundary ditches, many of which are visible on old OS maps dating from the late 19th-century to the late 1990s, with associated agricultural features.