Monument record MCC1607 - Roman building, St Mary's Rectory (Insula 25a), Colchester


Early Roman building discovered during excavations at St Mary's Rectory (Insula 25a) in 1967.


Grid reference TL 99290 25137 (point)
Map sheet TL92NE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

A Roman building discovered during excavations in the grounds of St Mary's Rectory in 1967 (ECC661). The remains indicated that a large and complex structure stood on the site that measured at least 48ft. by 20ft. continuing beyond the excavated areas to the north and west. Parts of four rooms were uncovered. Two east-west mortar dwarf walls were recorded which may have supported either a timber superstructure or unbaked clay blocks. The buildings two north-south walls were less substantially built, the eastern one being constructed of unbaked clay blocks whilst the western one was represented by a timber sleeper beam which presumably supported a wattle and daub superstructure. The floors were of trampled clay which had been renewed once in all the rooms excavated and south of the southern wall was a gravelled surface which probably formed an external yard or alley. The building had been destroyed by fire, which had baked the floors, carbonised the sleeper beam wall and left the whole site covered in burnt daub from the collapsed superstructure. The daub contained pieces of red painted wall plaster and roofing tile suggesting the existence of a tiled roof.<1>
Crummy suggests that this building was military in origin and thus part of the Legionary Fortress. Its construction and location suggest that it was probably a barracks building.<2><3>

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Article in serial: Dunnett, B.R.K.. 1971. Excavations in Colchester, 1964-8. Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society Vol. 3, Part 1. pp.65-66.
  • <2> Serial: Crummy, Philip. 1981. CAR 3: Excavations at Lion Walk, Balkerne Lane and Middleborough, Colchester, Essex. 3. p.3.
  • <3> Article in serial: Crummy, Philip. 1977. The Roman Fortress and the Development of the Colonia. Britannia Vol. 8 (1977), pp.65-105. p.82, p.85.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 9 2016 1:00PM

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