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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1255: summary

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Archaeological evaluation by test-pitting, Stage 1, Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3NB: March-April 2018
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Steve Benfield, Lisa Gray, Sarah Carter, Ben Holloway, Emma Holloway)

Date report completed: June 2018
Location: Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3NB
Map reference(s): TL 98923 24878
File size: kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results:

Summary. A stage 1 archaeological evaluation by test-pitting (seven test-pits) was carried out in the north and south car parks of Essex County Hospital, Colchester in advance of the redevelopment of the site, to ascertain the depths of significant archaeological horizons. The hospital is located on the site of a Roman cemetery where excavations in 1820-1 uncovered the Colchester Sphinx sculpture from an elaborate tomb. Roman kilns were also recorded on the site.

Four test-pits were excavated in the north car park revealing at least five Roman/ probably Roman pits and the remains of a Roman structure, possibly an oven or kiln, in test-pits 2, 4 and 5. There were no significant archaeological remains in test-pit 3. Roman contexts were recorded at depths of 0.4-0.95m below current ground level.

Three test-pits were excavated in the south car park revealing significant depths of modern and post-medieval remains. Sealed beneath were an unidentified cut Roman feature, an unidentified and undated cut feature, an undated ditch and an undated pit/grave. These remains were recorded at depths of 0.81-1.35m below current ground level.