Element Group record MCC3065 - Group of features outside the Medieval Abbey Church of St John's, Colchester


Group of pits and post-holes (some of which were unexcavated, and all only partially defined) defined by trial-trenched evaluation (Trenches 3 and 4) in 2010-11 at the Garrison Officers Club, outside of the abbey church but several cutting the robber (foundation) trench of the church (MCC3062).


Grid reference TL 998 247 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE
County ESSEX


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

Features outside church (to the west): <1>
F34: Dark soil deposit with abundant oyster shell - large pit outside church? Unexcavated. Cut through by robber trench F33. Only residual Roman finds.
F35: Pit, lots of whole oyster shell as well as small inclusions. Not excavated. Mostly outside of trench.
F36: Post-hole, c.30cm diameter, cutting natural L4. Not excavated.
F38: Unexcavated large pit (or complex of pits) all with very similar medium brown silty sand fills). Post-med finds and residual Roman CBM. Perhaps associated with robbing/demolition?
F40: Pit with dark fill cutting mortar rich deposits (F41) next to church masonry F39. Straight sided with a flat base. Slate observed in fill (according to notes).

Post-medieval pit complex B – outside church (to the west)
F43: Large pit which is presumed to abut (rather than cut) masonry F39. Dark soil fill. Presumed to be post-med or later.
F44: B. Earlier pit in pit complex series.
F45: Sub-square looking pit cutting robbing material F46.

Pit complex C: late post-medieval pits cutting robber trench F1.
These pits clearly post-date the 17th century robbing of the church, and their finds indicate that they probably post-date the Lucas House. Probably associated with military use of site.
F25 :One of a series of pits in a row along southern edge of Trench 3. Possible more pits in Pit complex C series may have been lost when F1 SX 2 was excavated. Fill was dark and contained post-med/mod pot, CBM and small coal frags. Quite a bit of F25 was beneath a modern foundation.
F30: Based on shape could have been two pits. Half sectioned to retrieve finds and find out depth. Pot, peg-tile and clay pipe recovered. Dark fill, cut F1 SX3- which was notably solid in base of pit.
F31: One, or two pits, unexcavated.
F32: Unexcavated post-medieval pit.
F48: Photographed as F25 when it was believed that F25 was a linear. Certainly another discrete pit in series of pits.

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 (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 10 2017 9:45AM

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