Category archives for: Features

‘In the days before banks’ (about a Roman Colchester coin hoard) from “the Colchester Archaeologist” magazine no 24 in 2011

This feature was published in issue no 24 of the Colchester Archaeologist, the Trust’s magazine, in 2011. ‘… Garrison: In the days before banks It’s not every day a complete coin hoard turns up on an archaeological excavation site. But one did on the Hyderabad Barracks site. A small pit filled to the top with […]

‘Toto’s pizzeria serves up a feast of archaeology’ from “the Colchester Archaeologist” magazine no 23 in 2010

The little strip of land between Museum Street and Cowdray Crescent where the War Memorial stands is an archaeological treasure trove. Here, buried beneath the shops and offices, lies precious remains of important monuments of Colchester’s Roman and Norman past.   These include a massive Roman foundation, over four metres wide, which carried a once impressive facade and a large monumental arch leading to the massive Temple of Claudius. These remains are exceptionally well preserved because they lie under the earthen bank of Colchester castle. But there is much more. Don Shimmin, who has been following recent building works in this important part of the historic town, explains how some puzzling fragments of foundation in Museum Street are likely to be part of a medieval barbicon – a defensive structure which helped protect the castle’s main entrance. The area around Museum Street and Castle Bailey is of exceptional archaeological interest. The southprecinct wall of the Temple of Claudius has been investigated several times over the years. Less well-known are the remains […]

online gallery of our 2012 archaeological display

For the Heritage Open Weekend in September 2012, we set up a display of archaeological finds and materials in our large downstairs room at Roman Circus House. We kept the display so that visitors on our guided tours of the Butt Road car-park excavation site could see it, from October to December. The display has now been cleared […]

Butt Road car-park excavation site: selected images – NEW!

.   This image shows part of the excavation site.   This image shows a Roman burial.     This image shows a burial plot. (Photo. by Dr Tim Dennis; copyright Tim Dennis 2012.)   This image shows the Medusa medallion.     All images copyright the Colchester Archaeological Trust 2012 and 2013 unless stated […]

‘Circus update’ from “the Colchester Archaeologist” magazine no 20 in 2007

The need for a major upgrading of the services for the new Garrison development meant that the the roads which overlie the site of the circus have had to be dug up and very large new pipes laid along them. The new services along the north-south roads (Flagstaff Road and Circular Road East) were laid […]

‘Tomb of the falconer?’ from “the Colchester Archaeologist” magazine no 19 in 2006

A spectacular discovery during building works at the Colchester Royal Grammar School revealed the remains of an extraordinary monument to a wealthy citizen of Roman Colchester. The monument incorporated an impressive tower which, in its day, must have been a landmark on the main entrance in and out of the walled town. But the significance […]

An Ossian connection in Essex?

The true nature of the Braxted folly in Braxted Park, Essex, has been in question. The building has been variously described as an ice house, a bath-house, a hermitage or a cave. However, the map evidence is clear, because on the Ordnance Survey maps published from 1874/5 to at least 1974, the folly is referred […]

About St John’s Abbey

From Colchester Archaeological Report 1 . (iii) The accounts of the foundation and early history of St John’s Abbey There are four key texts relating to the early years of St John’s Abbey, of which two contain material concerning the relationship between Eudo, Colchester, and the castle; one of these is in the British Library, […]

‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ – Colchester!

In AD 43, Claudius led his army in triumph into Camulodunon, stronghold of the late British king Cunobelin. Could Julius Caesar have done the same a hundred years earlier? It’s an intriguing question, but only one of many that concern Colchester’s earliest years. When, how and why was Camulodunon established? What did it look like? […]

Druids in Colchester?

Mention the Druids to the media and you’ve got yourself a story or two. And that’s what happened with the Stanway site. Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology, has been pushing the idea that our ‘doctor’ at Stanway was in not just a medical man, but he was in fact a Druid. Plenty of newspaper […]

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