Monument record MCC555 - Roman Balkerne Gate, Colchester
|Grid reference||Centred TL 99235 25194 (12m by 31m)|
|1848 Parish||ST PETER|
|Non Parish Area||COLCHESTER, COLCHESTER, ESSEX|
Type and Period (1)
See CAR3, pp.121-123 for a discussion by Philip Crummy of the Balkerne Gate.<1>
See MCC718 for the monumental arch, which was incorporated into the gateway. The gateway was constructed as a double-arched gateway with flanking walkway arches and external guardrooms. Around AD 300, the external defensive ditch (MCC659) was extended so that it crossed and therefore cut off the London Road (MCC475) just beyond the Balkerne Gate. The monumental arch and most of the gate were demolished and the gap filled in.<4>
Excavations were undertaken in 1913 on the initiative of the Morant Club (ECC622). The investigations were begun under the direction of Dr. Henry Laver, F.S.A. , and Mr. Ernest N. Mason. The faces of the two northern piers were uncovered.<5> Excavations were also carried out in 1917 under the direction of Mortimer Wheeler (ECC623). Conditions were difficult as access could only be obtained by renewed tunnelling under the King's Head public house (renamed the Hole in the Wall in 1963).<5>
A watching brief was held during emergency repairs to electricity cables in 1992 running through the opening of Balkerne Gate (ECC1658). Generally, very little damage occurred to the deposits beneath the gate. Most of the trenches followed the lines of previous trenches but one was located too far to the north of the cable and as a result a feature was revealed. The feature was a very hard, compact layer probably laid beneath the gate as part of a foundation infill.<3>
In 1975, a small trial hole was excavated into the flower bed in the terrace of the old balcony of 'The Hole in the Wall' public house prior to its demolition for a new balcony (ECC565). The hole was dug to confirm a number of points about the Balkerne Gate and adjacent deposits. Most of the area examined had been destroyed by a late 19th or 20th-century pit which may have been the result of the excavations of 1913 by the Morant Club and 1917 by Wheeler (ECC622 and ECC623). Some stratified deposits had survived, however, particularly at the trenches northern end. The trench was at first confined to the flower bed but was later extended westwards to locate the blocking wall. The trench located the blocking wall where it crossed the remains of the monumental arch (MCC718). The blocking wall appeared to be about 0.2m wider than as shown on the plans published in CAR 3.<2>
- <1> SCC100 Monograph: Crummy, Philip. 1981. CAR 3: Excavations at Lion Walk, Balkerne Lane and Middleborough, Colchester, Essex. 3. pp.121-123.
- <2> SCC101 Monograph: Crummy, Philip. 1992. CAR 6: Excavations at Culver Street, the Gilberd School, and other sites in Colchester 1971-85. 6. p.816.
- <3> SCC188 Unpublished document: Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd. 1985-1995. Colchester Archaeological Trust Unpublished Archive. 3/92a.
- <4> SCC72824 Monograph: Gascoyne, Adrian and Radford, David. 2013. Colchester. Fortress of the War God. An Archaeological Assessment. p.109 & Fig. 7.4.
- <5> SCC123 Serial: The Essex Society for Archaeology and History. 1921. Vol. 15 (New Series) Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society. 15 (New Series).
Related Monuments/Buildings (4)
Related Events/Activities (6)
- Event - Intervention: Archaeological monitoring and recording along Balkerne Hill, Colchester, 2019-20 (Ref: ECC4358) (ECC4358)
- Event - Intervention: Balkerne Lane Excavations, Colchester, 1973-6 (Ref: ECC332) (ECC332)
- Event - Intervention: Excavations of Balkerne Gate by Morant Club, Colchester, 1913 (Ref: ECC622) (ECC622)
- Event - Intervention: Excavations of the Balkerne Gate by Wheeler, Colchester, 1917 (Ref: ECC623) (ECC623)
- Event - Intervention: Excavations of the Balkerne Gate, Colchester, 1975 (Ref: ECC565) (ECC565)
- Event - Survey: Watching brief at Balkerne Gate, Colchester, 1992 (Ref: ECC1658) (ECC1658)
Record last edited
Mar 23 2020 1:50PM