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This section of the website provides details of the current dig and excavation reports relating to previous projects.

Anyone interested in taking part in future work should contact: Excavation manager: ten.kugacnull@snoitavacxe

St John’s Abbey

English Heritage gave permission for an excavation that took place over the summer of 2015, part funded by a grant from the Council for British Archaeology’s Mick Aston Archaeology Fund.

The dig was successfully completed by members of CAG, under the direction of Philip Crummy from Colchester Archaeological Trust.

Photos from the time can be found on the CAG Facebook page. The excavation report and the geophysics report can be seen here.

SJA Excavation Report

St John’s Abbey Geosurvey



Fordham Start June 2015GB (2)Work in conjunction with Fordham History Society started in June 2015 and is ongoing. Digging takes place on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays.

Site director is Jonathan Oldham.  Anyone interested in taking part should contact him on moc.kooltuonull@gac.ohj for further details.

The Phase 1 report on the Excavations at Fordham has been completed covering the period from June 2015 to the end of May 2016 and is available here

Marygolds Fieldwalk

In 2014 an informal fieldwalk took place at Marygolds, near the Marks Hall Estate, the purpose of which was to find evidence for a reputed Roman Building. The report of the fieldwalk can be seen here:



Brick Kiln near Wormingford Lodge

Kiln Visitors day



A large old brick kiln discovered after being struck by a plough in 1961, was fully excavated by the group in 2011 – 2012.

Possibly 15th century, the design and construction are fully detailed in the CAG report by A J White & R G Marriott.

Wormingford Brick Kiln


Marks Hall

Axe Head found on the 1st August 2013 by Keith

Axe Head found on the 1st August 2013 by Keith


The groups work at Marks Hall has now been completed. Many thanks to the Marks Hall Trustees who provided facilities.

The excavation is now being analysed and a report and publication on the site will be completed in 2015.One unexpected find was an impressive  flint Adze (or Axe head) by Keith. This could be early Neolithic and probably used to work the land, e.g. hoeing, rather than chopping down trees.

If you would like to see some interesting time lapse photography from the site go here:- http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~tim/ARCH/MARKS_HALL/



Cowlins Farm Mount Bures: 2011 excavation of Neolithic Long barrow

Originally identified from Aerial Crop marks, following field walking and a Geophysical survey, an excavation by CAG took place in October and November 2011 to explore further these intriguing features.

Cowlins 2011 Excavation 2011

Cowlins Excavation Team 2011



New Graffiti uncovered in Colchester Castle.

Graffiti in Colchester Castle - St Peter, standing in an arch or doorway

Colchester Castle Graffiti- St Peter, standing in an arch or doorway with a triangular top.

CAG members were originally involved in a survey running from 2002 to 2005 to record the graffiti found on the walls of Colchester Castle. Reports appeared in Bulletins 42, 43 and 45 as well as in some CAG newsletters. With the closure of the castle for major renovation work in 2013 the opportunity arose to check for more.

The two most impressive pieces of new graffiti were found in the second window niche. On the left hand side a circle contained what appear to be four boats. Nearby are several crosses and other marks and on the opposite side several lines. Another significant feature is a figure standing beneath crossed keys, suggesting this represents St Peter, standing in an arch or doorway with a triangular top. Read the full report here:-  Castle Graffiti 



Report on the 1928 and 1996 Longinus excavations

Longinus Tombstone, with Outline & Missing Parts

In 1928 workmen clearing a building site off Beverley road in Colchester discovered what turned out to be the tombstone of Longinus Sdapeze, a Thracian cavalry officer from the Roman period.  This rare stone was found lying face down, broken into several pieces.  The curator Rex Hull, arranged for it to be put on prominent display in Colchester Castle Museum, where it was been seen by thousands of visitors over many years, who would have observed the face of Longinus was unfortunately missing.  Rex Hull suggested the memorial may have been deliberately vandalised during the Boudiccan revolt of AD 60.  In 1996 the Colchester Archaeological Group, led by the late James Fawn, were given the opportunity to re-excavate the site, look for more evidence, the missing face and the course of the road alongside which Roman burials and memorials were erected.  This report gives the technical details of the excavations as well as the excitement when the missing piece is found and raced to the Castle to check it matched with the rest of the tombstone.

Longinus Tombstone

Authors: John Mallinson, Stephen Benfield, Denise Hardy & Michael J Matthews

Link to PDF download: Longinus-Excavation-1928-1996

Prior excavations

For other excavation reports please follow the links below:

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