Element Group record MCC2954 - Roman field system at the former Goojerat Barracks, Colchester


The remains of ditched field system of a rectilinear or co-axial Roman landscape, aligned SW to NE and NW to SE, were discovered during a stage 1b trial-trenched evaluation in October 2007 of Colchester Garrison Alienated Land Areas L and N (the area of the Goojerat Barracks).


Grid reference TL 98968 23900 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

A focus of Roman activity was identified in the south-east part of Area L/N (the area of the Goojerat Barracks), where the configuration of ditches intercepted by trial-trenches T19, T14, and T17 hinted at three sides of an ?enclosure, the fourth side of which (if it existed) may have lain beyond the eastern edge of Area L/N. A large volume of Roman building material was recovered from the ditches of this ?enclosure, from F23 in T17 and from F7 in T19. This material included not only Roman bricks and roof tiles, but also a shaped piece of limestone which was probably architectural, ie a lintel, or a threshold or window embrasure. This evidence indicates the site of a Roman building nearby (there was over 11kg of Roman building material). Most of the debris came from T17, which may indicate that the Roman building was in the northern part of the ?enclosure (although the greensand came from T19 in the southern half of the ?enclosure). The alignment of the Roman ditches in Area L/N indicates that there was a co-axial Roman farmed landscape here, aligned SW to NE and NW to SE. <1>

Some elements of the field system however may be dateable to the Late Iron Age and may have been recut in the Roman period.

There were also groups of post-holes and isolated post-holes at various points across Area L/N.

There were seven Roman or undated and possibly Roman pits. Given that the severity of the truncation of Area L/N may have seriously affected the survival of pits and other archaeological features, it was noticeable that the pits clustered on the east edge of Area L/N and close to the ?enclosure, and also on the west edge of Area L/N. However, the pits on the western side of Area L/N only contained (collectively) a single piece of Roman tile.

A small axial valley, infilled with colluvium that largely post-dates the Roman ditch (in T12), was located extending east-west to the north of the Roman ?enclosure.

Subsequently, in June 2010, the evaluation was followed by an area excavation (of approximately 5800m2), which defined the multi-phased ditches of two rectilinear Late Iron Age and Roman enclosures. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Evaluation Report: Brooks, Howard and Holloway, Ben (CAT). 2008. Stage 1b archaeological evaluation, Alienated Land Area L/N, Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex, October 2007. CAT Report 456.
  • <2> EXCAV REPORT: Brooks, Howard, Benfield, Stephen, Holloway, Ben (CAT), and Masefield, R. (RPS). 2012. Stage 2 archaeological excavation, Alienated Land Area L/N (Goojerat Barracks), Colchester Garrison, Colchester, Essex. CAT Report 588.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Dec 8 2015 4:38PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.