Colchester Archaeological Trust
CAT Report 1699: summary
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Archaeological monitoring at The Sweyne Park School, Sir Walter Raleigh Drive, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9BZ: April 2021
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Dr Matthew Loughton and Alec Wade)
Date report completed: August 2021
Location: The Sweyne Park School, Sir Walter Raleigh Drive, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9BZ
Map reference(s): TQ 80155 91685 (centre)
File size: 4637 kb
Project type: Monitoring
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Rayleigh Essex
Archaeological monitoring was carried out on land at The Sweyne Park School, Sir Walter Raleigh Drive, Rayleigh, Essex, during the construction of a new school block. The school is located within an area of multi-period occupation with prehistoric, Anglo-Saxon and medieval remains close by. An evaluation in March 2021 revealed two ditches, a pit and three postholes, with pottery from the features indicating two phases of activity in the Bronze Age to Middle Iron Age and the Late Iron Age. One of the ditches was curvilinear and the presence of postholes and structural fired clay in the vicinity led to a very tentative identification of a roundhouse on the site.
Monitoring of foundation pads revealed two ditches. The first was a northwest/southeast aligned ditch initially recorded during the evaluation, but pottery dating evidence was problematic indicating either a Middle Iron Age or potentially an early Anglo-Saxon date. The only other feature uncovered was another northwest/southeast aligned ditch that probably represents a continuation of the curvilinear ditch from the evaluation. The curvilinear ditch is therefore is not part of a roundhouse but a landscape feature.