Site Event/Activity record ECC436 - Osborne Street Excavations, Colchester, 1988-89


Location Osborne Street, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 99820 24892 (150m by 83m)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd


November 1988 to April 1989



Rescue excavations took place in the Osborne Street surface car park prior to the redevelopment for a multi-storey car park with shop. Excavation began in November 1988 in a trench at the eastern end of the site (Site A) on the periphery of the development and continued at the western end (Sites B and C) until April 1989. There was extensive machine trial trenching over the remainder of the site. Timber, leather (over 300 scraps) and other organic material survived on the site, c.2.0-3.0m bgl.<1> Site A A small part of a Roman floor (including a tesselated pavement added in the mid 2nd century) lay at the east end of the site, in Site A (at a depth of c.3-3.5m). This belonged to an extra-mural building (Building 178) fronting onto the Roman street lying below St Botolph's Street. An east to west line of (Roman) timber planks probably relate to a revetment. A series of well-preserved wooden features of late 12th to 14th century date was stratified within the dark earth sealing Building 178. The features were largely of stake and wattle construction, and lined the sides of shallow gullies or drains. A quantity of leather scraps may derive from a nearby shoemaker's workshop (based on the remains of shoe fragments). A sequence of deposits relating largely to a single property (Building 179) was also defined, comprising largely mortared plinths but also some timber-framing, dating from the late 14th century into the 19th century. Site B Excavation of a trial trench revealed a north to south aligned stake and wattle fence, sealed by deposits of dark earth. This was probably a boundary fence of late 16th century date at the rear of Building 180 in Site C. Site C The remains of a substantial building (Building 180; MCC662), dated to the 16th to mid 17th century, was excavated at the western end of the site (Site C), which fronted on to Stanwell Street. The building had mortared stone and tile wall plinths and tiled floors.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Article in serial: Shimmin, Don (CAT). 1994. Excavations at Osborne Street, Colchester. Volume 25, pp.46-59. pp.46-59.

Related Monuments/Buildings (11)

  • Late Medieval foundation plinth, Site A Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Late medieval timber-lined drain AF43, Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Late medieval to early post-medieval building, Site C Osborne Street, Colchester (Monument)
  • Late Medieval to early post-medieval stake and wattle fence BF5, Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Late medieval to post-medieval property (CAT Building 179), Site A Osborne Street, Colchester (Monument)
  • Late medieval wall, Site A Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Medieval drain AF43, Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Post-medieval brick-lined drain, Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Post-medieval brick-lined drain, Osborne Street, Colchester (Element)
  • Roman and medieval element group, Osborne Street, Colchester (Element Group)
  • Roman building, Site A Osborne Street, Colchester (Monument)

Record last edited

Dec 15 2017 8:40AM

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