Monument record MCC2117 - Roman road, Colchester Royal Grammar School, Colchester


Roman road, Colchester Royal Grammar School, aligned NNW-SSE, recorded during the 1950s.


Grid reference Centred TL 98707 24877 (145m by 120m)
Map sheet TL92SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Roman road, Grammar School, running NNW-SSE. A possible 'Cambridge Road' but more likely to be local road leading to Sheepen Kilns.

In 1885 Laver records that a road was encountered in the Grammar School grounds, A.F. Hall believes that this must refer to the terracing done in 1852. In the 1950's the line of the terrace could be seen on the west of the school, the 1852 line lay north of this (See Fig 1 of 'Roman Colchester').<1>

Excavation took place of a large number of trenches to examine a triple carriage Roman road running through the grounds of Gurney Benham House. Excavations were carried out by A.F. Hall with staff (including the Headmaster and pupils from the Grammar School). Trenches and pits were also opened to examine the line between Balkerne Gate and Gurney Benham House. Three small trial pits were sunk by Hall in search of the junction between the two roads. These were followed by a further two pits.<2>

Excavations in the garden of 12 Lexden Road, 'Camulodunum', and in the adjacent plot to the south in the grounds of the Colchester Royal Grammar School. Pupils at the Colchester Royal Grammar School dug an extensive series of small trenches during the mid 1950s.<3>

'The school has been fortunate in obtaining permission to dig in the garden of Camulodunum to investigate the course of the Roman road which runs through the north garden of Gurney Benham House towards Elyanore, Finds have been interesting, puzzling, and far beyond expectation. but the present position is in a state of flux, and it is hoped to present a more detailed account in the next issue'.<4> 'The area has proved very rich in Roman remains of the first and second centuries, with many pits and trenches on both sides of the road, some of them even encroaching upon it and one of them crossing it. There are remains of burials in great quantity.'<5>

Excavations by P.W. Crittenden in the back garden of No.14 Lexden Road. Work was undertaken in an attempt to track the continuation of the 'Cambridge Road'. The excavations revealed metalling of a Roman road going north-west to south-east.<6><7>

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> LIST: Department of the Environment. 1971. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Borough of Colchester (Essex). pp.5-7.
  • <2> Monograph: Hull, M. Rex. 1958. Roman Colchester: Reports of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London. No. XX. pp.6-7.
  • <3> Serial: Hawkes, Christopher, F. C. & Crummy, Philip. 1995. CAR 11: Camulodunum II. 11. p.137, no.68.
  • <4> Serial: Colchester Royal Grammar School. 1953. The Colcestrian (December 1953).
  • <5> Serial: Colchester Museums. 1962. Colchester Museum Reports 1934-1962. p.14, 1st April 1954-March.
  • <6> Serial: Colchester Royal Grammar School. 1966. The Colcestrian (December 1966). December 1966.
  • <7> Serial: Colchester Royal Grammar School. 1967. The Colcestrian (July 1967). July 1967.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 14 2016 1:55PM

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