Site Event/Activity record ECC3731 - Stage 2 excavation, Alienated Land Area L/N (Goojerat Barracks), Colchester Garrison, Colchester, 2010


Location Alienated Land Area L/N, Colchester Garrison, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 99063 23859 (91m by 128m)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


June-July 2010



In June-July 2010, an excavation was carried out by Colchester Archaeological Trust (c.0.58ha in area) on the site of the Roman building debris and the potential enclosure, defined by trial-trenched evaluation in 2007. The excavation showed that archaeological deposits had survived over substantial areas, despite substantial truncation by recent Garrison infrastructure. The majority of the excavated features were the multi-phased ditches of two rectilinear Late Iron Age and Roman enclosures.<1> Residual flints indicate some passing activity here in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Fragments of loom-weights of ?Middle Iron Age type indicate local weaving, and (by implication, more permanent activity here) in the MIA. However, there were no features associated with these MIA finds. The majority of the excavated features were the multi-phased ditches of two rectilinear Late Iron Age and Roman enclosures (Enclosures 1, 2). The excavated areas coincided with most of the southern and western sides of E2, but with only the western and northern parts of E1, which lay mainly off-site. Finds indicate that a demolished Roman structure may have lain off site or that they were associated with the timber framed rectangular structure within a smaller enclosure (E3). Enclosure (E3) was located in the angle between the eastern side of E1 and the northern side of E2 (with which it was probably contemporary). The trapezoidal enclosure contained a well and groups of pits, post-holes and beam slots, the latter group of which are convincing as the ground-fast elements of the structure. Given the existence of the well, and the constrained size of the enclosure around the structure, it is quite likely that this was a domestic structure. Other ‘packed’ postholes are evidently part of another structure whose ground-plan is not apparent. In the mid-2nd to mid-3rd century the late Iron Age to early Roman enclosures were in part replaced or re-defined by two new field/enclosure ditches that were laid out across the centre of E1 and the western edge of E2. Although it is possible that the alignment of the southern edge of E1 was followed by one of these new ditches, their presence indicates a change in land use which did not involve the continued use of the enclosures or the building within E3. Another change in land use is indicated by the later 3rd-century (or later) ring ditch which was placed close to the centre of the former E1 and beside one of the later field ditches. This ring-ditch shows strong similarities with the late Roman ring ditches around cremations excavated on Garrison site C2 (on the southern side of the Roman circus, 1200m to the NE). The excavation followed a trial-trenched evaluation in 2007.<2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Brooks, Howard, Benfield, Stephen, Holloway, Ben (CAT), and Masefield, R. (RPS). 2012. Stage 2 archaeological excavation, Alienated Land Area L/N (Goojerat Barracks), Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex. CAT Report 588.
  • <2> Evaluation Report: Brooks, Howard and Holloway, Ben (CAT). 2008. Stage 1b archaeological evaluation, Alienated Land Area L/N, Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex, October 2007. CAT Report 456.

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Roman field system at the former Goojerat Barracks, Colchester (Element Group)

Record last edited

Mar 14 2016 10:38AM

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