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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1420: summary

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Archaeological evaluation on land west of Low Road, Dovercourt, Essex. CO12 3TR: March-April 2019
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Emma Holloway, Dr Matthew Loughton, Alec Wade, Adam Wightman, Robin Mathieson)

Date report completed: May 2019
Location: Land west of Low Road, Dovercourt, Essex. CO12 3TR
Map reference(s): TM 23250 30180
File size: kb
Project type: Evaluation
Significance of the results:

Summary. An archaeological evaluation (102 trial-trenches) was carried out on land to the west of Low Road, Dovercourt, Essex in advance of the redevelopment of the site into a housing estate. Cropmarks on the development site included two ring-ditches, a square enclosure and several linear features set within a wider landscape of significant prehistoric and Romano-British remains. Evaluation located one of the ring-ditches and the square enclosure, which contained Bronze Age and possible Iron Age pottery respectively. Eighteen ditches, pits and a gully contained finds (pottery and worked flint) of prehistoric date. A further ten ditches, pits and a ground hollow contained finds (pottery and ceramic building material) of Romano-British date. Most of the prehistoric and Romano-British remains were concentrated on high ground in the northern third of the site. Four pits ranged in date from the medieval to post-medieval/modern periods, and by the late 19th century eight field boundary ditches had divided the site into nine fields within which had been dug 20 modern rubbish pits.

Geoarchaeological evaluation (9 test-pits) revealed a basic sequence of gravels, sands, silt and clay, resting on Red Crag and London Clay, which can be linked with the geology of earlier work at Spring Meadow School, built on the former Gants (Pounds) Farm site, and with the SSSI at Little Oakley.