Site Event/Activity record ECC2660 - Desk-based assessment of land around Grey Friars (Adult Community College), High Street, Colchester, 2006


Location Grey Friars (Adult Community College), High Street, Colchester
Grid reference TM 00098 25315 (point) (Approximate)
Map sheet TM02NW
County ESSEX



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


November 2006



A desk-based assessment was compiled in 2006 relating to the archaeological remains on the site of the Adult Community College, Grey Friars, High Street, Colchester. The site lies at the eastern side of the walled town occupying an area which appears to approximate to what was Insula 24 (a street block) in the Roman period. This insula was situated a short distance to the east of the Temple of Claudius, fronting the Roman town’s main street and close to the town’s east gate. This is a relatively unexplored part of the town centre and very little is known of the nature of any Roman remains that might survive within it. The limited Roman remains recorded to date suggest that the insula was probably occupied by private houses and that the remains of an east-west Roman street might survive under the northern boundary of the Grey Friars car-park. This site derives its name from the Franciscan friary (for ‘grey friars’), which was established there shortly before 1237 and was dissolved in 1538. The friary extended as far north and east as the Roman town wall and incorporated the areas subsequently occupied by Roman Road and Castle Road as well as the Adult Community College site itself (Grey Friars). No part of the friary has been excavated but there is good evidence to suggest that not only the remains of the monastic cemetery survive under the car park of the College, but perhaps also of a substantial part of the main friary buildings including the cloisters and maybe the church. Roman and medieval remains are likely to be well preserved because, in the medieval and later periods, the area was largely open and undeveloped. <1> Grey Friars was built in 1755 with major additions in 1908-1910, and is Grade II listed.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Desk-based Assessment: Orr, Kate and Crummy, Philip. 2006. An archaeological desk-based assessment of land around the Adult Community College, Grey Friars, High Street, Colchester, Essex. CAT Report 391.

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Record last edited

Oct 22 2015 8:45AM

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