Site Event/Activity record ECC60 - Evaluation of Eastern Approaches Road, Colchester, 1993


Location The Hythe, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TM 0166 2434 (677m by 678m)
Map sheet TM02SW



Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd





Nine small areas were examined during an evaluation ahead of the construction of the Eastern Approaches Road, Colchester. Of these, six produced no archaeologically significant observations, two contained minor evidence of late or post-medieval activity in their vicinity, and one revealed well-preserved remains of occupation originating in the late 12th or 13th centuries.<1> Trench 1 was situated at the Elmstead Road frontage of the Tesco site. It produced nothing of archaeological significance but revealed widespread ground disturbance. The trench contained two phases of modern infill extending to a depth of 1.5 m from the ground level which had been previously reduced by machining. Trench 2 was situated at the southern end of the Tesco construction site and produced nothing of archaeological significance. The trenching revealed a natural stratigraphy of sand, gravel and silty clay. All features were of 19th-20th-century date. Trench 3 was situated on the Hepworth site adjacent to the railway footbridge. It contained no archaeologically significant material. Within the trench 20th century demolition debris sealed two distinct phases of ground make-up. This material extended to a depth of 1.1 m where it sealed natural sand, clay and gravel. Trench 4 was situated between the railway line and the River Colne. Turf and imported topsoil overlay a layer of brick rubble which overlay natural sand, clay and gravel to a depth of 1.1 m to 1.2 m. There was nothing of archaeological significance in the trench. Trench 5 was situated at the western end of the Travis Perkins yard. It produced nothing of archaeological significance. A predominantly clayey soil overlay a 0.45 m thick layer of sandy clay loam subsoil which merged with natural gravel and sand at an overall depth of approximately 0.7 m. Trench 6 was situated on the site of the new swinging basin and provided a short profile of the raised river bank and the lower ground to the north-east. The bank displayed two phases of construction the earlier being late medieval or post-medieval. The second phase consisted of modern deposition. Trench 7 was located on land to the south of the Moler Works where 0.65 m of recently deposited topsoil and silt loam sealed a dump of modern refuse from the Moler Works. This extended to a depth of 1.3 m where it seemed to interface directly with the natural sand and gravel. Excavation ceased on reaching the water table at a depth of 1.4 m. An eighth trench was located at the front of the former Colchester Tractor premises at 79 Hythe Hill. Removal of 0.3 m of post 18th century material revealed a mortared septaria east-west wall. At a right angle to the wall was a north-south slot partly filled with mortar. To the east of the slot was a clay floor which exhibited in situ burning. Other features of interest included a pit containing 12th/13th century pottery and a small area of mortar representing an earlier phase of wall. Natural sand and gravel was reached at a depth of 1.1 m. The ninth area examined consisted of an exposed section south of Hythe Hill. The section contained an unremarkable stratigraphy which consisted of 0.5 m of dark soil above natural sand, much of which had been removed by earlier terracing. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd.. 1993. Archaeological Evaluation of the route of the Eastern Approaches Road, Phase 1.. pp.2-3.

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

  • 16th/17th century house, Hythe Hill, Colchester (site of) (Monument)
  • Mid 17th - late 18th century house, the Hythe, Colchester (Monument)

Record last edited

Mar 26 2018 12:00PM

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