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In November 1998 Cotswold Archaeological Trust carried out an evaluation at the Moler Works, Hythe, Colchester (3.5ha. in area). In total, 371.5m of trench comprising 1.6% of the study area was sampled by means of trial trenching (24 trenches). The evaluation was designed to locate a ring ditch (Barrow E), located on the site from aerial photographs and any associated features. However, apart from one small stream channel no features of archaeological interest were found. There was no evidence for the ring ditch and its survival is likely to have been severely compromised by the recent demolition of factory buildings and by tipping. <1>
Natural deposits proved to be deeply buried under modern debris to a depth of 1.4m (trench 2) to 2.1m (trenches 16 and 18). This debris consisted of material associated with the construction, use and demolition of the brickworks and by modern tipping.
No features or finds of archaeological interest were found in the evaluation apart from a small linear ditch (502) in trench 5. This ditch was aligned from north-east to south-west, 1.5m wide and 0.4m deep and cut through the natural gravels (503). It was filled with a gravely light grey sandy clay (501) and is interpreted as a former stream channel running into the River Colne. It was covered by modern debris (500) 1.6m thick. It is possibly the remains of the Salary Brook, which was realigned when the railway was constructed. However, it is perhaps surprising that the stream channel was not defined in other trenches.
Note that only the south end of trench 18 is likey to have intersected with the ring ditch (if accurately plotted). Traces of a possible former topsoil, which incorporated numerous small modern brick fragments, was found directly overlying natural deposits; this topsoil was covered by 1.9m of modern debris. Given the survival of topsoil, there remains a possibility that the trial trenches missed the barrow.
Colchester Museum accession no. COLEM: 1998.260
MCC3043Barrow cemetery, East of Moler Works, Colchester (Monument)
Record last edited
Mar 21 2016 8:16AM
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