Site Event/Activity record ECC3615 - A trial-trenched evaluation on land to the north of the abbey precinct wall, St John's Green, Colchester, 2011


Location St John's Green, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 997 247 (46m by 10m)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


December 2011



Two trial trenches (T9 and T10; 25m in total length) were excavated by Colchester Archaeological Trust to the north of the medieval precinct of St John's abbey. They were located next to St John's Green on a narrow strip of land bounded along its southern side by the remains of part of the medieval wall which enclosed the abbey precinct.<1> In both trenches, there was an organic rich topsoil L1 (0.6m thick), and an accumulation deposit L2 (0.1m thick), with natural (L3) at 0.7m below ground-level. The investigation revealed a few Roman features (two narrow ditches and three pits) and three modern features including a substantial pit. No medieval features or finds were found, most of the finds being Roman. Modern pit F3 (in T9) contained a large quantity of residual Roman material in its upper fills, ie pottery, tile, shell and animal bone as well as a modern copper-alloy ring and Roman pot counter. The Roman pits and ditches indicate that there had been Roman period occupation in the general vicinity of the trenches, and building materials of the same date from the trenches suggest that this had focussed around a substantial Roman building of some kind. This had mortared foundations if not mortared walls and at least one tessellated floor. This conclusion is reinforced by the absence in the trenches of any evidence for burials. Occupation in this part of the Roman town rather than burial is in accord with similar evidence found during the investigations in 2007, a short distance to the south of the trenches within the site of the abbey precinct (CAT Report 405).<2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Evaluation Report: Brooks, H. and Holloway, B.. 2012. An archaeological evaluation by trial-trenching on land to the north of the abbey precinct wall, St John's Green, Colchester, Essex December 2011. CAT Report 630.
  • <2> Evaluation Report: Pooley, L., Brooks, H. and Holloway, B. (CAT). 2007. Stage 1b archaeological evaluation, Alienated Land Area B1a, Colchester Garrison. CAT Report 405.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Roman pits and ditches/gullies, adjacent to Abbey House, St John's Green, Colchester (Element Group)

Record last edited

Jul 27 2017 1:30PM

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