Find Spot record MCC2532 - Civil war pottery, pipes and musket balls, High Woods, Colchester


Civil war pottery, pipes and musket balls at High Woods.


Grid reference TM 0021 2670 (point)
Map sheet TM02NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Field walking and metal detector survey of the Boat Field and adjacent field to west at High Woods. The fields were ploughed prior to trees being planted. The field walking produced a quantity of clay pipe and a few sherds of 2nd-4th century Roman sandy greyware and 17th century body sherds of Westerwald stoneware. The metal detecting survey recovered four powder measures, also casting spillage, lead sheet and musket balls of Civil War date.<1> Grid reference TM600200, 226600.
A note sent for publication Post Medieval Archaeology reads, "P.J. Wise of Colchester Museums conducted a combined field-walking and metal-detecting project within High Woods Country Park in the N. suburbs of Colchester. The survey involved members of the Colchester Archaeological Group and the Colchester Metal-Detecting Club. Previous finds in the area have included a large quantity of lead shot of possible Civil War date leading to a suggestion that this may have been the site of Fort Rainsborough, an earthwork fortification built by the Parliamentarian forces in the Siege of 1648. The survey produced a wide range of finds, including prehistoric and Roman material. The most numerous finds were post-medieval in date: clay tobacco pipe bowls and stems, fragments of glass wine bottles, sherds of imported German Westerwald pottery, and pieces of English slipware and salt-glazed stoneware. Especially interesting were a small group of mid-17th century artefacts, including a silver Scottish twenty pence coin of Charles I, four lead powder measures and a copper alloy book clasp. The largest single group of finds was some eighty-five musket balls which were studied in detail. The balls were weighed and measured and found to be suitable for firing from a range of Civil War firearms. There was also a significant quantity of lead casting spillage which is believed to be a manufacturing waste from the production of musket balls. This evidence confirms probable military activity in the area during the Siege of Colchester in 1648. However the precise location of Fort Rainsborough remains elusive."<1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Johnston, Simon. 2000. Field walking Survey of The Boat Field.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Oct 18 2016 10:52AM

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