Site Event/Activity record ECC2020 - Evaluation at Colchester Institute Playing Field, Colchester, 1996


Location Colchester Institute Playing Field, Sheepen Road, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 9906 2549 (177m by 202m)
Map sheet TL92NE



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


October 1996



A number of test pits and trenches were dug as an archaeological evaluation of land occupied by playing fields, tennis courts and a car park. The evaluation was carried out in response to proposals for a new retail park on the site. Eight test pits were excavated in the Colchester Borough Council lorry and car parks but revealed no clear deposits or finds of archaeological significance to depths of around 2m below present ground levels. However, a ?water deposited sandy clay layer at the base of some of the pits could possibly be of medieval origin and contain preserved organic material. Six test pits placed in the former tennis courts of the Colchester Institute produced a quantity of residual Roman material but no deposits or substantial finds of clear archaeological significance were encountered to depths of 2 metres below the ground surface. However a silt and sandy clay layer occurred in three trenches and contained some preserved organic material in the form of wood/timber one piece of which appears to be structural timber of medieval date. The trenches on the Colchester Institute playing fields demonstrated clear Roman deposits in water-logged levels occurring at about 1.2m below the ground surface in each trench. Remains included individual finds and a small number of features including a ditch and spread of mortar containing fragments of red painted wall plaster. A trench at the southern end of the site showed possible Roman levels occurring close to the ground surface.<1><2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd. 1985-1995. Colchester Archaeological Trust Unpublished Archive. 11/96e.
  • <2> Evaluation Report: Benfield, Stephen. 1996. Archaeological Evaluation at the Colchester Institute Playing Field and Tennis Courts and the Colchester Borough Council Car Parks, Sheepen Road, Colchester. CAT Report 11/96.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Roman ditch, Colchester Institute, Colchester (Element)

Record last edited

Apr 16 2018 11:31AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.