Site Event/Activity record ECC2547 - A trial trenched evaluation on Area KR at Colchester Garrison, Colchester, 2002


Location Colchester Garrison, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 98677 23291 (857m by 770m)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


June to July 2002



A trial trenched evaluation was undertaken by Colchester Archaeological Trust in Kirkee McMunn barracks (Area KR) at the Colchester Garrison PFI site, Colchester.<1> Thirty-eight trenches were excavated in Area KR. With regard to ‘pre-modern’ features, there were only three Late Iron Age or Roman features. No prehistoric flints or pottery were recovered. The main findings are: 1. The nature of the excavated archaeological material reflects the fact that Area KR is a built-up barracks. Archaeological contexts such as footings trenches, areas of rubble or concrete, kerbs, roads or paths, rubbish-pits, service-trenches and dumped soils make up a major part of the excavated sequence. 2. The expectation that an active barracks would undergo much repair, rebuilding and adjustment throughout its life is confirmed by the discovery of substantial remains of recently demolished structures in Trenches KR6, KR10 and KR23 (and to a lesser extent in other trenches). However, the damage is localised and extensive areas of potential archaeological value may still exist undisturbed between the foundations and other modern features. The barracks were built before the era of deep ploughing and, as a result, the archaeological remains on their sites have escaped the extensive plough damage suffered by equivalent remains in the arable fields nearby. No evidence was noted of terracing which might have disturbed archaeological remains over a wide area, and several of the trenches showed the existence in several places of thick layers of dumped soil and other material which will have served to protect the archaeological remains. 3. Significant archaeological features consisted of two ditches dated to the Late Iron Age or Roman periods. Even allowing for destruction by modern building work, this is a surprisingly low level of activity. 4. No prehistoric sherds or flints were recorded. This suggests a low level of prehistoric activity in this area. The character of the archaeological remains identified in Area KR can be summarised as principally modern in date, with smaller numbers of undated features and very few significant archaeological remains (Late Iron Age and Roman linear ditches). Features generally contain few artefacts. Previous evidence from crop marks, geophysical surveys and the evaluation of Areas C, E and F showed that the oppidum contained field-ditches and trackways and was unoccupied and rural in character, with a farm estate operating from the site previously identified to the west of Areas E/F. Evaluation trenching in Kirkee McMunn Barracks has recovered two LIA/Roman field-ditches. At face value, this would suggest that the field system was not as well defined in Area KR as in Areas E/F. However, the relatively high level of modern disturbance encountered means that the surviving archaeological remains may under-represent the original extent of the LIA/Roman field system.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Evaluation Report: Brooks, Howard (CAT). 2002. An archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching on Area KR at Colchester Garrison PFI site, Colchester, Essex. CAT Report 205.

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

  • Late Iron Age/Roman ditch, Garrison Urban Village (Area KR), Colchester (Element)
  • Late Iron Age/Roman ditches, Colchester Garrsion PFI site (Area KR), Colchester (Element)
  • Late Iron Age/Roman field ditch, Area KR, Garrison Urban Village, Colchester (Element)

Parent/preceding Site Events/Activities (1)

  • Evaluation of Garrison Redevelopment Project, Colchester, 2006 (Ref: ECC2659)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2016 8:40AM

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