Site Event/Activity record ECC2438 - Fieldwalking of The Boat Field, High Woods, Colchester, 2000


Location High Woods, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TM 0035 2670 (550m by 301m)
Map sheet TM02NW



Colchester Borough Council, Museums Service





Fieldwalking and metal detector survey of the Boat Field and adjacent field to west at High Woods. The fields were ploughed prior to trees being planted. The field walking produced a quantity of clay pipe and a few sherds of C2-4 Roman sandy greyware and c.17th body sherds of Westerwald stoneware. The metal detecting survey recovered four powder measures, also casting spillage, lead sheet and musket balls of Civil War date.<1> Grid reference TM600200, 226600. A note sent for publication Post Medieval Archaeology reads "P.J. Wise of Colchester Museums conducted a combined field-walking and metal-detecting project within High Woods Country Park in the N. suburbs of Colchester. The survey involved members of the Colchester Archaeological Group and the Colchester Metal-Detecting Club. Previous finds in the area have included a large quantity of lead shot of possible Civil War date leading to a suggestion that this may have been the site of Fort Rainsborough, an earthwork fortification built by the Parliamentarian forces in the Siege of 1648. The survey produced a wide range of finds, including prehistoric and Roman material. The most numerous finds were post-medieval in date: clay tobacco pipe bowls and stems, fragments of glass wine bottles, sherds of imported German Westerwald pottery, and pieces of English slipware and salt-glazed stoneware. Especially interesting were a small group of mid-17th century artefacts, including a silver Scottish twenty pence coin of Charles I, four lead powder measures and a copper alloy book clasp. The largest single group of finds was some eighty-five musket balls which were studied in detail. The balls were weighed and measured and found to be suitable for firing from a range of Civil War firearms. There was also a significant quantity of lead casting spillage which is believed to be a manufacturing waste from the production of musket balls. This evidence confirms probable military activity in the area during the Siege of Colchester in 1648. However the precise location of Fort Rainsborough remains elusive."

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Johnston, Simon. 2000. Field walking Survey of The Boat Field.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Civil war pottery, pipes and musket balls, High Woods, Colchester (Find Spot)

Record last edited

Mar 15 2016 8:11AM

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