Monument record MCC2537 - Medieval St Mary Magdalen's Hospital, Colchester


Living quarters of Medieval hospital, Brook Street, Colchester.


Grid reference Not recorded
Map sheet Not recorded


No mapped location recorded.

Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Building of St Mary Magdalen's Hospital. Excavated in 1995.<1><2>

Medieval hospital living quarters built with extensive reuse of salvaged Roman tile and stone. Heated by a tile hearth prominently placed at its western end, its early earth and clay floors retained marks of occupation including two heavily-fired areas used for the melting of lead. Whether the molten metal was for building repairs or the casting of lead objects is not clear, although the fact that this actability seems to have occurred repeatedly inside the building suggests that the latter is more likely. Among the everyday artefacts left behind by the medieval occupants were quantities of cooking pots, bowls and jugs, but considerably fewer imported vessels seem to have been in use here compared to the pottery recovered from another nearby Medieval site at Hythe Hill, half a mile away. One type of artefact was conspicuous by its absence: no obvious medically related glassware, pottery or instruments were to be found anywhere on the site.<1>

In the 17th century the ruinous hospital building was re-established as an almshouse. The medieval building was enlarged and repaired. It was maintained for a further 200 years until it was finally replaced by the 1830's almshouse terrace that stood until the late 20th century (demolished in c.1995).<1>

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Serial: Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd.. 1996. The Colchester Archaeologist (Issue Number 9) 1995-6. No 9. p.11.
  • <2> Article in serial: Crossan, Carl. 2004. Excavations at St Mary Magdalen's Hospital, Brook Street, Colchester.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Oct 18 2016 11:31AM

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