Monument record MCC2791 - Roman temple-tomb, Colchester Royal Grammar School, Colchester


A temple-tomb built in the mid 3rd - 4th century, the ground plan of which was a hollow hexagon within a square, recorded by excavation in 2005.


Grid reference Centred TL 98752 24797 (12m by 12m)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

A temple-tomb built in the mid 3rd - 4th century AD.<1>

The ground plan for the temple-tomb was a hollow hexagon within a square. The square measured 9.2m externally, and 8.4m wall-centre to wall-centre. The hexagon was slightly uneven in size, with a maximum width of 5.2m. It had an irregular circular central space (diameter 3.0m to 3.2m). The outer wall varied in thickness from 0.86m to 0.94m.

The temple-tomb survived at foundation level only, with the exception of the north wall where a course of septaria in mortar capped by a single course of dressed and externally chamfered tufa blocks gave some impression of the nature of the superstructure. The foundations were of unusual build, with alternating layers of loose, sandy gravel, and cemented, mortared, small stones. The hexagon foundation was broad enough to support a substantial superstructure, such as a tower. There is no indication of any decorative schemes – the only surviving fragments of painted wall-plaster, one yellow and one white, were recovered from Phase 2 layers and therefore presumably relate to an unknown earlier structure.

A line of rubble had been dumped along the line later followed by wall F6. This was not a convincing earlier structure, and is interpreted as preparatory work to infill a patch of soft ground prior to construction.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Watching Brief Report: Brooks, Howard (CAT). 2006. A Roman temple-tomb at Colchester Royal Grammar School, 6 Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex. August-September 2005. CAT Report 345.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Dec 19 2016 12:46PM

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