Element Group record MCC3063 - Group of pre-abbey church features, St John's Abbey, Colchester

Summary

There were a number of features (various pits and ditches) in Evaluation Trench 2 (at the Garrison Officers Club, St Johns Green) which predated the abbey church (of St John's) sequence. These contained Roman finds, and it is most likely that they were of Roman date. However, given the ubiquity of Roman finds, it is also possible that some could be medieval features containing residual Roman material.

Location

Grid reference TL 99 24 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX
Non Parish Area COLCHESTER, COLCHESTER, ESSEX

Map

Type and Period (2)

Full Description

There were a number of features in Evaluation Trench 2 which predated the abbey church sequence. These contained Roman finds, and it is most likely that they were of Roman date. However, given the ubiquity of Roman finds, it is also possible that they were medieval features containing residual Roman material.<1>

They were :
F2: Small pit cutting natural L4. Sandy silt fill, with oyster shell. Appeared to cut F9.
F7: Small part of a pit at the extreme S end of T2. Cut natural L4, contained one piece of Roman pottery, oyster shell and other inclusions.
F8: Ditch, E-W aligned, and with V-shaped profile. Contained large quantity of oyster and mussel shells. Based on the similarity of the fills, it was infilled the same time as the gully F9 directly to its south. Cut by robber trench F1. Fifteen Roman sherds.
F9: E-W gully alongside and directly S of ditch F8. Roman pottery in fill.
F19: Ditch, E-W orientated, cutting natural L4 at N end of T2. Unexcavated, surface finds only, all Roman. Much slag in this feature.

Also in the centre of T2 was a group of much larger features referred to in site note as ‘Pit complex A’ . None of them were excavated, and all finds were recovered from the surface of the features.
They were:
F10: Large pit, with very pronounced tip line of oyster shells. Only partially in T2. Cut pit
F11. Ten Roman sherds.
F11: Small part of a larger pit, cut by F10. Roman pottery and tile.
F12: Large pit, cut by F13, F14, F16, F22. Lots of Roman pottery.
F14: Small pit cutting F12. No finds.
F15: Pit (or more than one?), cut by F12.
These features probably represent Roman-period (or perhaps medieval) use of the site prior to the construction of the Abbey church. Given the apparent size of the larger pits (F10, F12, F15), it is likely that these were originally dug to extract sand for construction projects in and around the (Roman) town.

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Evaluation Report: Wightman, Adam (CAT). 2011. St Johns Abbey church: An evaluation at the Garrison Officers Club, St Johns Green, Colchester, Essex.. CAT report 601.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Feb 2 2017 2:23PM

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.