Monument record MCC8278 - Colchester - Castle Park


Excavation 1950 near the NE corner of the Norman bank to the N of the castle where a corner of Roman masonry was exposed about halfway down the bank.


Grid reference TL 9990 2539 (point) (FCE)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (9)

Full Description

Excavation 1950 near the NE corner of the Norman bank to the N of the castle where a corner of Roman masonry was exposed about halfway down the bank. Roman structures uncovered comprised an earlier and later street separated by an intervening silt; walls and floors of a terraced masonry building, a later demolished wall, a sealing layer of earth which represented the occupation in the area from the late Roman period to the arrival of the Normans. The early street ran E-W, parallel with the street at the S side of insula 6 which lies under the present bandstand and was excavated in 1920. It is separated from it by the space of a narrow insula of about half normal size. Metalling was of good quality, unrepaired and produced no finds. On plan it appears to fit the main atreet grid as originally postulated. The outer or northern wall of the masonry building was sited just below the crest of the slope and was built up against an artificially levelled area to form a terraced structure. Footing walls of red brick with a rubble core. The upper courses showed a few facing stones of dressed septaria blocks. Traces of partition walls suggest a terraced building with 3 rooms. Structurally the building is of later date than the earliest street found. Finds associated with this phase are too scanty and indeterminate to permit any secure dating of the building. The later street was laid over the silt and is of rough cobbling with many brick fragments; it is sited nearer to the north wall of the building than the earlier street. Pottery from this metalling is consistent with a late C3 date; no coins were found. On present evidence it is tentatively suggested that any pre-Bouduccan occupation of the area is still unproved. the initial Roman structure found on the site was the earlier of two streets laid on the original turf and was sterile and undateable. It appears on plan to form part of the main street plan of the Colonia. At the NE corner of an artificially levelled platform a terraced building was built which contained at least three rooms. Its foundations were cut through the earlier street. This fact and the reused material in the core of the walls fail to support a Claudian date for its build, but lack of close dating evidence associated with its build or use prevent its being dated at present within a wide bracket, last half of C1 to mid C3. The inner wall of the building was destroyed and rebuilt on a more northerly line in Roman times. This later wall was of indeterminate use and was itself demolished during the Roman occupation of the area. A later street was laid out over the earlier during the late C3-C4. <1> Other refs. <2> <3>

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> EXCAV REPORT: Cotton, Aylwin in Hull, MR. 1958. The excavations of 1950. pp180-189.
  • <2> DESC TEXT: Laver. 1906. Trans Essex Archaeol Soc. Vol 9, p.123.
  • <3> DESC TEXT: Wheeler. 1921. Trans Essex Archaeol Soc. Vol 16, p19.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 17 2017 9:02PM

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