Monument record MCC5409 - 60-66 East Street (formerly Charles Brown & Sons), Colchester


Several phases of occupation from the 12th century to the modern period were defined by excavations in 2003 and 2004 and also by building assessment.


Grid reference TM 0078 2532 (point)
Map sheet TM02NW


Type and Period (9)

Full Description

Archaeological investigations were carried out within the interior of 60-66 East Street. The ceramic evidence indicates a start date for occupation on the site in the 12th century or possibly earlier. This phase of habitation was followed by the mid 14th-century timber-framed open hall building. A wall plinth, probably from the 14th century building, was recorded under the floorboards in Room G12. This may have been for a timber wall which divided the open hall from a parlour.The eastern extent of the 14th-century open hall building is uncertain. A sequence of medieval and post medieval clay floors and occupation layers were exposed within this part of the building, indicating uninterrupted occupation till the present day. The peg-tile hearth in Rooms G6/G7 is likely to relate to an intermediate phase of the building (not 14th century). However, the main hearth to the open hall remains uncovered. There is nothing in the pottery assemblage, which would suggest that the building was any other than a domestic structure. A second peg tile hearth at at the east end of of the present (17th Century) building, in Room G2, provides evidence of another medieval building adjacet to the 14th century one.

There was also evidence of subsequant occupation and changing layout of the building in the 15th and 16th centuries. Three wall plinths of this period, made of various combinations of flint and peg tile, roughly follow the alignment of the walls to the standing building.

Various late post medieval or modern brick partition wall foundations were exposed just under the floor boards.

A 'Witch bottle' was retrieved from behind the wooden laths at the exterior of no 60. This had probably been inserted as a protection against evil spirits in the 19th or 20th century.

Unfortunately, the contractors trenches and the archaeological excavation were restricted, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about the structural development of the building. What can be stated is that there was a complex sequence of structures on the site and more then a neat replacement of the 14th century open hall with the 17th -century hall.<1>

Between July and November 2004, a watching brief was carried out during groundworks for new dwellings to the rear of 60-66 East Street.These groundworks did not expose any archaeological features of particular note. It was predicted that there may hve been Medieval occupation here, predhaps out buildings to the medieval building at 60-66 East Street or even a precursor to it. However no evidence of this was observed <2>

60-65 East Street, Colchester 18th May 2000 photos.<3>

See also MCC3033 and MCC3034.

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> DESC TEXT: Orr, Kate. 2005. An archaeological watching brief and limited excavation at 60-66 East Street, Colchester, Essex May 2003-April 2004.
  • <2> DESC TEXT: Orr, Kate. 2005. An archaeological watching brief at the rear of 60-66 East Street , Colchester, Essex July-November 2004.
  • <3> Photograph: unknown. 2000. 60-65 East Street, Colchester. colour slide. Colour Print.

Finds (7)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (5)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2018 9:15AM

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