Yesterday (7th February), over a hundred members of the Friends of the Colchester Archaeological Trust (FCAT) – including some of the Trust’s dedicated volunteers – came to the annual lecture session which the Trust presents at Lion Walk Church in Colchester. Five Trust archaeologists gave illustrated talks about some of the archaeological fieldwork and building recording projects which we undertook in 2014. Mark Davies, the chairman of FCAT, thanked everybody for coming along to the event and introduced the archaeologists.
Adam Wightman kicked the session off by talking about a recent project at Thaxted in Essex and then our excavation in the Williams & Griffin store in the High Street at Colchester. The Williams & Griffin excavation produced a huge amount of material evidence, from the remains of the modern iron foundry to the Roman town-house which was destroyed during the Boudican revolt in AD 61, culminating in our discovery of the ‘Fenwick treasure’, a remarkable Roman hoard of jewellery and coins which had been hidden under the floor of the destroyed house. Ben Holloway talked about our work on the site of the Roman temple of Jupiter at St Helena School in Colchester. Don Shimmin spoke about our watching brief at Abbey House at St John’s Green in Colchester, including the cellar with German graffiti and the fragments of carved stonework from St John’s abbey. Don also discussed the remains of the massive and unparallelled arcade which formed the front of the precinct of the Roman Temple of Claudius and which he uncovered at 97 High Street in Colchester. Chris Lister described some of the more interesting buildings of the group of 22 which he recorded in detail at the grand More Place at Much Hadham in Hertfordshire. Trust director Philip finished the session off with brief notes about some of our other projects in 2014, such as at Hedingham Castle and Brightlingsea, and a review of our current works at the Roman circus centre in preparation for the opening day on Saturday 28th March 2015. Then everyone was able to recover with tea and biscuits.
Before the lecture session, in the morning, FCAT had held their AGM here at Roman Circus House. Annual reports were presented by chairman Mark Davies, membership secretary David Walton, events organiser Brenda May and treasurer Nick Hines. The officers were all re-elected for the year, and the new post of social secretary was created, with the intention to appoint a member of FCAT.
Thanks to everyone for coming to the lecture, and we hope to see you all at the circus centre opening day!
The image shows Adam giving his presentation to the assembled members of FCAT at Lion Walk Church, yesterday.