Site Event/Activity record ECC2095 - Excavation at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, 1997


Location Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gardens, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 9929 2513 (16m by 31m)
Map sheet TL92NE



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


June 1997



Excavations were carried out at the Mercury Theatre in advance of rebuilding work on the southern edge of the theatre complex. The archaeological work consisted of excavating the twelve new pier bases, and carefully recording the archaeological remains exposed in them. In general it was found that Roman remains were well preserved and of great interest. The first metre of ground below the modern surface consisted of recent deposits or relatively uninteresting topsoil layers. Below that lay up to 2.5m of stratified Roman deposits - principally parts of Roman buildings. The earliest of these included parts of military barrack block walls. Parts of early Roman timber and clay structures were also discovered and there were also layers of burnt debris which probably date to the revolt of Boudica. Later layers included Roman mortar floors, tessellated floors, and a fragment of a coloured mosaic pavement which probably dated to the second century AD. Robber-trenches were clearly visible in many of the excavation trenches. There were no significant remains dating after the Roman period, mainly because later activity had disturbed or completely removed them.<1><2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Brooks, Howard. 1997. 97/6a Colchester, Mercury Theatre. 6/97 A.
  • <2> LIST: Colchester Museums. 1992-. Colchester Museum Accession Register 1992 -. 1997.23.

Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

  • ?Medieval cess pit, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Element Group)
  • Roman barrack block, Roman Legionary Fortress, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Monument)
  • Roman hearth, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Element)
  • Roman mosaic, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Element)
  • Roman tessellated pavement, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Element)
  • Roman wall, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Element)
  • Roman wall, Mercury Theatre, Colchester (Element)

Record last edited

Jul 28 2017 1:44PM

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