Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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

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

Suffolk fisherman Harry Simper

A young Suffolk fisherman has netted himself a national award.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Photo: David Tett

From half-term fun and open gardens to the Suffolk Show and air displays, there’s plenty to see and do in Suffolk during the school holidays.

John Popplewell with his 45lb stingray

A Clacton fisherman caught a “monster” stingray weighing nearly three and a half stone on an Essex beach this week – and filmed it all on his new GoPro.

Essex fire crews.

Firefighters attending a blaze in the basement of a Harwich home initially thought someone was trapped in the house.

A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO outside Heveningham Hall. Picture: Cameron Maynard/Aperto Photos.

An 18th Century Suffolk mansion has announced plans to host a gathering of rare classic cars as part of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of its annual country fair.

BBC's Springwatch has arrived in Minsmere Nature reserve for the third year.
Presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan.

A new Springwatch star is likely to be born at RSPB Minsmere in the next three weeks to capture the hearts of millions of viewers in the same way that a hapless little fish did during last year’s immensely popular BBC nature showcase series.

Gina Long celebrating with the family on receiving her MBE

Three community heroes from Suffolk were honoured for their selfless work and made an MBE by Prince Charles.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24