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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1401: summary

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Archaeological evaluation by test-pitting, Stage 2, soil investigation and monitoring at Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3NB: January-March 2019
by Dr Elliott Hicks
(with contributions from Dr Matthew Loughton, Laura Pooley, Alec Wade, Chris Lister, Ben Holloway, Mark Baister, Sarah Carter, Emma Holloway, Philip Crummy)

Date report completed: July 2019
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. The second phase of a pre-development archaeological evaluation (seven trial-trenches) was undertaken 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. Monitoring of an associated programme of soil investigation and groundworks for the erection of four posts was also carried out. 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 trial-trenches were excavated in the north car park revealing ten Roman/ possibly Roman pits, a pit/posthole, a kiln-related feature, a linear feature and layers of demolition material which might represent the remains of kilns or funerary monuments. Roman contexts were recorded starting at 32.75-31.44m AOD.

Three trial-trenches were excavated in the south car park. These revealed significant disturbance from modern footings and drainage runs, which presumably have truncated archaeological deposits in this area. The remains of a Roman hearth were uncovered, along with two pits and a ditch, none of the latter yielding any dating evidence. These features were recorded starting at 33.91-32.98m AOD.