Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Colchester: Archaeologists find a Roman road, bones and a well

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 February 2013

Adam Wrightman with medieval well and sheep leg bones

Adam Wrightman with medieval well and sheep leg bones

Archant

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have hailed a host of historic discoveries found at a renovated town centre manor house.

The Stockwell, on the corner of East and West Stockwell Street, in Colchester, is due to open as a restaurant next month.

When the doors are opened it will complete the three-year dream of owner Robert Morgan to convert what was a dilapidated 14th Century ruin into a luxury dining venue.

But along the way the building has thrown up some incredible ancient finds, according to Adam Wrightman, a project officer at the Colchester Archaeological Trust, who worked on the site last year. They include the remains of a Roman road, a medieval well and 600 sheep leg bones.

“This was probably one of the most productive jobs I’ve been on,” Mr Wrightman said. “As we worked down layer by layer, we found something about the history of the plot at different points dating back up to 2,000 years.

“We dug down about a metre to find the Roman road, which has helped us understand better the road layout of Roman Colchester.

“The sheep bones are evidence the site was home to a tawyer (tanner) in the 17th or 18th Centuries, who worked with leather materials such as sheep and deer skins to make shoes. The bones were used to hang the skins up for oiling.”

Mr Morgan, 57, has found the archaeological side of the £1million renovation one of the most rewarding aspects of the project.

During work on the interior of the building, he has also unearthed some fascinating items such as a bowman’s thumb ring, a Roman key ring and a host of old coins.

He intends to display some of these items in a glass case in the eaterie.

He said: “It is like the building is giving something back because it had been neglected for so long. We ended up removing about three tonnes of dirt from the walls and found lots of things there.

“Archaeologists told us that previous inhabitants hadn’t thrown things away and instead they hid them in nooks and crannies in the building. Only last month when we were putting in lighting we found a 15th Century leather pouch in a hole in one of the beams.

“We hope by putting these artefacts on display, it will add to visitors’ appreciation of the building.”

1 comment

  • It would be fantastic if the property owner could incorporate the Roman road as a patio floor in the new restaurant, so they could develop the space while preserving a fascinating piece of history.

    Report this comment

    Chris Wood

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Seven suspected Ukrainian illegal immigrants have been arrested after their yacht ran aground on the Suffolk coast today.

It may have been a forgettable season finish for Blues fans at Portman Road on Saturday – but one moment of magic should cheer even the most desolate of supporters.

Former Bread star Giles Watling is hoping to make it third time lucky when he tries again to be elected as Conservative MP for Clacton next month.

A critical care nurse is to take on her first ever open-water swimming challenge in memory of her best friend who she lost to meningitis.

One sixth form in Ipswich experienced the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with its own red carpet event last week for its film students.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell helped give Ipswich Labour Party a big boost at the start of the General Election as the star guest at the town’s May Day Festival in Alexandra Park.

Could you open your home to one of these cats and dogs all looking for new homes?

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24