Marks Hall

T J Dennis

Colchester Archaeological Group

Timelapse video sequences recorded at CAG's Marks Hall excavations; preferred player Apple QuickTime.
Click preview images to display.

Area 1 high-resolution panorama, 22 November 2012

Click to download.

Area 1 composite images, May 2013

Excavation work on Area 1, covering the south front of the former mansion, was completed 12 May 2013, and the area subsequently backfilled.

Cellar, west side of front porch

(click on preview images to download)

Foundation and surviving wall fragment (4-5 brick courses), south front west bay

Foundation, south front east bay

There is no surviving wall, but the probable line of its outer edge can be detected in the brickwork. The foundation level of walls surviving on the west side of the mansion is about 1.5 m below that on the east side, probably reflecting the original land surface contour, and seems to have accommodated cellar space. This level difference is not visible on pre-demolition photographs.

Stereo Pairs

Click on the thumbnails to download the full-sized images, then save as separate files. To view without 'optical aids', scale images to fit side by side on screen, 'left' image on RIGHT of screen, and vice versa.

You will need to go cross-eyed to bring the two views into convergence. When this happens, you will see three images and the one in the middle will be in stereo.

This can be difficult at first and takes practice to achieve: your eyes are converging on a point nearer than the screen, but focus will have to relax to make the picture sharp.

Marks Hall, front west bay window: base of front wall and foundation

Further excavation on west bay foundation

Tudor drain parallel to and outside west wall of the former mansion

Possible ancient ditch later used as a midden:
this feature is elsewhere overlaid by Tudor-period foundations

Ground Penetrating Radar surveys: 'Timeslice' sequences

Save the files and animate in a standalone player (Apple QuickTime preferred) in single-step (manual) mode.

Surface soil conditions and obstruction from vegetation meant that GPR worked poorly on the site but it was able to detect sections of the east wall of the mansion, including a probable entrance porch. The July 2011 survey detected the drain outside the west wall.

Thanks are due to Ralph Potter and Michael de Bootman for use of Mala and Noggin GPR systems respectively.

Magnetometer and ground resistance surveys, 2011-2012

'Drain Cam' video

(Best downloaded and viewed in single-step mode)

Sequence recorded September 2011 showing the interior of a small Tudor brick culvert running parallel to the south front of the former mansion. It was used up to demolition in 1950 to carry water from roof downpipes and possibly also for surface drainage. The sequence starts about 19 m into the culvert and the camera is then progressively withdrawn. Construction changes to cylindrically carved capping stones near the entry. The culvert can be traced for 31 m to the west of the building before probes encounter a blockage, and it was the first of three located so far on the site.

Composite high-resolution vertical photograph of a newly-exposed structure (right), thought to be the foundations of an entrance porch exterior to the east wall of the former mansion, in situ remains of which run vertically on the left side of the image. Identified from the GPR surveys, the porch does not appear on plans of the site back to at least 1758, so may have been demolished as early as 1609 during reconstruction work carried out by Robert Honywood.

A very substantial foundation of the interior north wall of the Tiled Hall is starting to be excavated at lower left.

Sample geophysical survey results

Colchester Archaeological Group's Facebook page

Marks Hall homepage

©T J Dennis, Email:

Last amended: 13 August 2013