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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1488: summary

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Archaeological excavation on land at the former car park off Ravensdale, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 4QH:October 2019
by Dr Elliott Hicks
(with contributions from Dr Matthew Loughton, Laura Pooley and Alec Wade)

Date report completed: November 2021
Location: Land at the former car park off Ravensdale, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 4QH
Map reference(s): TM 17729 16572 (centre)
File size: 4490 kb
Project type: Excavation
Significance of the results:

Summary. An archaeological excavation (following an evaluation) was carried out on land at the former car park off Ravensdale, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex in advance of the construction of nine almshouses together with associated groundworks. The site is located immediately to the north of the mid 12th-century church of St John the Baptist and to the south of the former site of Great Clacton Hall.

This investigation has determined that historic activity on the development site dates to the medieval period, c 12th to 14th century. The predominant features revealed by the excavations were a series of stone foundations. In 2004, another stone wall foundation was uncovered just to the northeast of the church, and was interpreted as the southern external wall of a private chapel dating to the 12th-15th century. The foundations uncovered during this investigation appear to form part of this same structure. Artefactual evidence was recovered from some of these foundations, permitting a more accurate dating to the period from the mid 12th to the 13th century, broadly contemporary with the construction of the existing church.

The excavations also revealed evidence of earlier activity at the site. The foundations overlaid a number of pits dating to around the 12th century. These pits contained material indicative of domestic activity and were probably the product of settlement in the vicinity of the church prior to the construction of the putative chapel. Residual Roman brick and tile was also recovered across the site.