Site Event/Activity record ECC949 - Excavations on North Hill, Colchester, 1965


Location North Hill / Nunn's Road, Colchester
Grid reference Centred TL 9946 2532 (45m by 95m)
Map sheet TL92NE
County ESSEX



Colchester Excavation Committee





Early in January 1965 a large area of terraced gardens to the east of North Hill became available for excavation ahead of the construction of a new NCP car park. The Colchester Excavation Committee was able to excavate on the site between January and March 1965, using mainly unskilled paid labour and local volunteers. A further three weeks of excavation was undertaken in the following June. The site consisted of three terraces, of which only the northern and central two in Insula 10, were immediately threatened. Trenches A and B on the northern trenches revealed nothing but sand and gravel spreads. Attention was thus turned to trench C on the central terrace where the edges of two mosaic floors projected from the southern section. The topsoil from an area approx. 90 ft. by 40 ft. was scraped away by mechanical digger and then the site was excavated down to the natural by hand. Features revealed included several early (possibly military) pits and a hearth an overlain by a Claudian building which was later destroyed by fire (Boudican destruction). Following this destruction a second building was built on the site which was later extended twice, before another rebuild also with later extensions. The southernmost terrace of the site was excavated for three weeks in June 1965. It was extensively trenched by a mechanical excavator but proved to be almost entirely barren due to considerable disturbance by rubbish pits, drains and cellars. In one trench near the southern edge of the site, Roman levels survived intact revealing the back premises of a house fronting the Roman street beneath the modern High Street. The work was preceded by other excavations which resulted from the same development (see ECC940 and ECC951). <1><2><3>

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Article in serial: Dunnett, B.R.K.. 1966. Excavations on North Hill, Colchester. 123:1. pp.27-61.
  • <2> DESC TEXT: Dunnett, B. Rosalind. K.. 1971. Inventory of Roman Colchester (unpublished MA thesis). Insula 18 (5).
  • <3> Unpublished document: 1963-1965. SMR file: North Hill, 1965. NCP car park.

Related Monuments/Buildings (8)

  • Early Anglo-Saxon pottery, North Hill, Colchester (Find Spot)
  • Element Group, NCP Car Park, Nunn's Road, Colchester (Element Group)
  • Military hearth, North Hill (Insula 10), Colchester (Element)
  • Roman building with masonry drain, North Hill (Insula 18), Colchester (Monument)
  • Roman building, North Hill, Colchester (Monument)
  • Roman building, North Hill, Colchester (Monument)
  • Roman building, North Hill, Colchester (Monument)
  • Roman street between Insula 10 and 18, Colchester (Monument)

Record last edited

Oct 10 2016 8:27AM

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