Element record MCC1515 - Roman drain, Castle Park, Colchester


Vaulted Roman drain aligned N to S in Castle Park, exposed during excavations in 1852/3, 1927-9 and 1954.


Grid reference Centred TM 00009 25485 (13m by 200m)
Map sheet TM02NW
County ESSEX


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

A vaulted drain in Castle Park runs from the north east corner of the so-called 'Mithraeum' building (MCC1518) in Insula 15, roughly N to S along the west side of a Roman street (MCC1852), passing across Insula 7 and out of the walled town via 'Duncan's Gate' (MCC1831), where it presumably emptied into the town ditch (MCC659). Its purpose, presumably, was to drain excess water from the 'Mithraeum' building.

The drain was first discovered by Dr. P. Duncan in 1852 during his excavations (ECC621) within the Botanical Gardens.<1> These excavations were observed on several occasions by William Wire.<2>

Further excavations were directed by P.G. Laver between 1927 and 1929 (ECC793 and ECC795) and the drain was once more exposed during excavations by Rex Hull in 1954 (ECC1760).<3>

The top of the drain, through the gateway (MCC1831), was exposed in a test pit in 2016 (ECC3809).<4>

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Serial: The Essex Society for Archaeology and History. 1858. Vol. 1 (Old Series), Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society. Vol. I. pp.210-228.
  • <2> DIARY: Wire, William. 1842-1857. Journal of William Wire. 01/09/1852, 06/09/1852, 01/01/1953.
  • <3> Monograph: Hull, M.R.. 1958. Roman Colchester: Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London. No. XX. pp.85-90.
  • <4> Evaluation Report: Baister, Mark. 2016. Historic building recording and test-pit evaluation at Duncan's Gate, Colchester, CO1 1UN. CAT Report 1022.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Nov 23 2016 9:28AM

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