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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1733: summary

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Archaeological monitoring at Harbour House, 6-8 Hythe Quay, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JF: March-April 2021
by Laura Pooley
(with contributions from Dr Matthew Loughton)

Date report completed: November 2021
Location: Harbour House, 6-8 Hythe Quay, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JF
Map reference(s): TM 01471 24651 (centre)
File size: 14866 kb
Project type: Monitoring
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Harbour House

Summary. Archaeological monitoring was carried out in the car park for Harbour House, 6-8 Hythe Quay, Colchester, Essex, during groundworks for new walls and a gate. Located within the Hythe Conservation Area facing the River Colne, the development site is at the centre of the medieval port of Colchester. Harbour House is a Grade II listed building built c 1720, and the car park was previously the site of a 15th-century house of two tenements (nos 4-5 Hythe Quay) before the building was demolished in the early 20th century.

Monitoring revealed four brick plinths on the site of the 15th-century house, all four of which dated from the 18th to the 19th century and must therefore have been inserted into the earlier building. These plinths would have raised the wooden ground-plates of the timber-framed building off of the ground to stop them from rotting and effectively underpin the structure.

Also revealed was part of the 19th- to 20th-century pavement of Hythe Quay and an associated cobbled passageway leading from the road through to the rear of the property. Underneath the cobbles was evidence for at least three phases of earlier activity/occupation dating from the early 11th to early 13th century onwards. The earliest remains included a metalled surface along with a slot for an earlier ground-plate and post-holes. These remains were later sealed by a possible hearth and floor layers.