Monument record MCC453 - Roman inhumation cemetery, St John's Abbey Grounds, Colchester


Roman inhumation cemetery in St John's Abbey Grounds, defined in 1972.


Grid reference TL 99895 24789 (point)
Map sheet TL92SE


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The remains of 34 Roman graves were found in 1972, all having contained inhumations. The graves were up to 1.25m deep and the bones were poorly preserved. Evidence for nailed wooden coffins was observed in most graves and took the form of iron nails or traces of decayed wood or both. The evidence survived erratically and it’s possible that all the burials had incorporated coffins. Grave goods were almost entirely confined to children. The cemetery was in existence in AD 270-80 (dated from a rich child burial) but it is impossible to establish upper and lower limits for its period of use. The high incidence of graves aligned east-west suggests that some of these graves were later than c.AD 320 in line with the pattern observed at the Butt Road site.<1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Serial: Crummy, Philip. 1993. CAR 9:Excavations of Roman and later cemeteries, churches and monastic sites in Colchester, 1971-8. 9. pp.207-209.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2016 10:07AM

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