Site Event/Activity record ECC2845 - Land Adjacent to Elmstead Road and Boundary Road, University of Essex


Location Land Adjacent to Elmstead Road and Boundary Road, University of Essex
Grid reference Centred TM 0229 2419 (461m by 381m)
Map sheet TM02SW



Essex County Council Field Archaeology Unit


February 2004



A trial-trenched evaluation undertaken by ECC Field Archaeology Unit of two large, hedged fields 9.6ha. in area (in total) in advance of the southern extension of the University Research Park. The western field lies within the floodplain of the Colne, while the eastern field is mainly above the floodplain. The western edge was defined by Salary Brook, although the line of this stream was altered during the construction of the railway in the mid 19th century.<1> Twenty-six trial trenches were excavated, generally measuring 30 x 4m, to give a 3% sample of the area. In the western field, the topsoil was directly over alluvial clay and mixed gravels. In the eastern field, many of the trenches contained a layer of subsoil, interpreted as hillwash; features were both sealed by and cut into this layer, suggesting it is not recent. A background scatter of residual Neolthic worked flint and prehistoric (probably Bronze Age) pottery was recovered. There was a concentration of Roman ditches, post-holes and deposits centre around Trenches 21, 23, 24 and 25 (in the eastern half of the site), containing mainly abraded material. The report suggests these remains are consistent with agricultural activity. There are three upstanding mounds (presumed round barrows) in the western part of the area, and one trial trench (Tr27) was targetted on one of these. The ring ditch was visible as a slight circular depression, c.25m in diameter. The evaluation established that the mound is at least 800mm tall and may have been constructed in a far dryer valley. Several worked flints (the latest were Iron Age) were recovered from the mound material, and abraded Roman pottery was recovered from the edge of the possible ditch/mound edge. A small sherd of prehistoric pottery was also recovered. The trench did not penetrate deep enough into the mound to determine if there was a central burial. It was concluded that the barrow was likely to be Bronze Age in origin, perhaps reused and the ditch recut in the Iron Age and/or Roman periods (but they could originate from then). A ditch was encountered in Tr. 4, which contained post-medieval roof tile, and a ditch in Tr. 10, which contained post-medieval roof tile and modern glass. Elsewhere in the western field, a flint spread (all undiagnostic) was defined in Tr. 10.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Evaluation Report: Ennis, Trevor. 2004. Land adjacent to Elmstead Road and Boundary Road, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex. Archaeological Evaluation..
  • <2> Evaluation Report: Ennis, T. 2004. Land adjacent to Elmstead Road and Boundary Road, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex: Archaeological Evaluation.

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

  • Barrow cemetery, East of Moler Works, Colchester (Monument)
  • Group of features at the Knowledge Gateway, the University of Essex, Colchester (Element Group)

Parent/preceding Site Events/Activities (1)

  • Archaeological monitoring at ‘The Meadows’, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester (Ref: ECC2850)

Record last edited

Mar 31 2020 8:40AM

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