Archaeological dig begins at proposed Stanway leisure site

An archaeological dig is underway on the proposed Stane Park Leisure Quarter development in Stanway.

An archaeological dig is underway on the proposed Stane Park Leisure Quarter development in Stanway. - Credit: Archant

An archaeological dig is underway at a proposed leisure quarter site in Stanway.

Finds from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages could be found as well as Roman remains on the site opposite Sainsbury’s.

The research has been commissioned by Churchmanor Estates, which has submitted plans for two phases of development on the site to Colchester Borough Council (CBC).

Its proposed Stane Park site would have three restaurants, including Nandos and Bella Italia, drive-thru eateries and a public play area.

The southern boundary of the site follows the line of a Roman Road known as Stane Street which linked Colchester with London.

Some scattered remains have already been found including medieval features, and pre-historic pottery which suggests there are remains of a burial mound that has been levelled by ploughing.

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A crop mark has also been found which marks a possible Neolithic or Bronze Age ring ditch, while part of the extensive Colchester Dyke System which originated in the Iron Age and was used extensively during Roman times is within 1km of the site and it is possible it may have extended towards the proposed development.

Stephen Clark, managing director at Churchmanor, said: “A number of prehistoric artefacts have previously been discovered in the Stanway area and Colchester was the area of much activity in the Roman era so we are anticipating finds of historical interest.

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“This will be an exciting project to see if any further remains are discovered which can give us more insight into the local history of Stanway.”

A decision on the planning applications is expected in August.

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