Monument record MCC474 - St Runwald's Graveyard, West Stockwell Street, Colchester


Graveyard of St Runwald's Church on the corner of St Runwald Street and West Stockwell Street, detached from site of now demolished church (which was on the High Street).


Grid reference Centred TL 99587 25265 (16m by 16m)
Map sheet TL92NE
1848 Parish ST RUNWALD


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

In 1362 a plot of land 45ft by 43ft at the corner of West Stockwell Street and St Runwald's Street, 100 yards from the church of St Runwald's, was granted to John Newman, the rector, to make a churchyard.<1>

A watching brief was carried out in 2009 by Colchester Archaeological Trust at the rear of the Town Hall (on the southern part of the graveyard) during the construction of disabled access facilities. Parts of two headstones (F2 & F3) were uncovered in situ in the eastern part of the site. The upper parts of the headstones had been broken off. F3 lay only 50mm below the modern ground-level. Both headstones were retained in the graveyard. The lower part of the fill (L2) of the trench for the stair-lift, approximately 1.4 - 1.65m below the modern ground-level, was loose and soft, and contained voids. This was probably due to the effects of settlement of the backfill of graves following the decay of the underlying wooden coffins, including those associated with F2 and F3. Investigation of a void at a depth of 1.65m below the modern ground-level in the northern part of this area revealed well preserved human bone from an in situ inhumation. The bone lay immediately below the proposed level of the concrete slab for the stair-lift. It was covered over and left undisturbed. Well-preserved disarticulated human bone fragments were found frequently during the groundwork. In two cases, in the eastern part of the site, the clusters of bone had clearly been placed in small circular pits (F1 & F4). These pits were presumably dug and filled with the human remains unearthed during earlier phases of building work on the site.<2>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Monograph: Cooper, Janet (Ed). 1994. Vol. IX, The Borough of Colchester, A History of the County of Essex. Volume IX. p.334.
  • <2> Watching Brief Report: Shimmin, Don (CAT). 2010. Watching brief at the Old Library Town Hall, West Stockwell Street, Colchester, Essex. CAT Report 570.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Oct 19 2016 11:52AM

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