Monument record MCC775 - Roman military building (CAT Building 83), legionary fortress, Culver Street, Colchester


Roman military courtyard building recoreded during excavations at Culver Street between 1981-2 and 1984-5.


Grid reference TL 99542 25111 (point)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (15)

Full Description

During excavations at Culver Street between 1981-2 and 1984-5, the south-east corner of a large military building (CAT Building 83) was examined. A total of twelve rooms and a central yard could be interpreted from the excavated remains with the southern range incorporating two structural phases.

The walls were mainly built using square or rectangular posts set into trenches up to 1.1m deep although the walls of the two phased southern range utilised smaller posts and may have been of the wattle-and-stake type. A single east-west timber ground-plate was discovered which may have supported a wall for a passageway or veranda around the central yard. The absence of plaster in the demolition debris illustrated that the building had not been decorated internally.

Internal features included at least six hearths, an oven, gully, drains, pits and a timber-lined latrine/cess pit. The room which contained the latrine and a timber box-drain may have had a timber floor. The latrine pit contained human coprolites and indications of a 'diverse diet in the military period'. The central yard was surfaced with layers of sand and a little gravel but no metalling was observed. One of the drains was constructed to take waste water away from somewhere near the centre of the building and to deposit it in the drain around a building to the south (MCC776), passing beneath the street (MCC779) where the lid appears to have been strengthened by short timbers set into slots.

This large square or rectangular building was interpreted as being one of the eight buildings which normally occupy the scamnum tribunorum of Roman legionary fortresses. It may have been a tribunes house as the contents of the latrine pit suggested the inhabitants enjoyed a wide diet and used expensive table-ware. The building was demolished and succeeded by a new street (MCC733) and buildings (MCC780 and MCC782) on a new alignment prior to the Boudican revolt.<1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Monograph: Crummy, Philip. 1992. CAR 6: Excavations at Culver Street, the Gilberd School, and other sites in Colchester 1971-85. 6. pp.50-54.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 22 2017 12:04PM

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