Welcome to Hyde900

Hyde900 is a community project in Winchester, Hampshire, to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the founding of Hyde Abbey. For more details see the "What is Hyde900?" page.

The Hyde900 Community Dig returns for 2018!

The dates for your diary are April 27th to 30th

For the third annual Community Dig, we have been invited back to numbers 14 and 15 King Alfred Terrace (courtesy of Chris and Anne Prior, and Justine Field), as well as a completely new area at number 10 King Alfred Terrace (thanks to Chris Scott), to continue the exciting excavation of the abbey cloisters.

In 2017 the finds proved to be of international significance, and the display of part of a stone arch of the Norman cloister is destined for Winchester Museum.

Those who attended last year’s dig may remember that the stones from the Norman arch were found in an area next to the shed at number 14. Chris Prior will be moving the shed to allow us to explore the medieval wall and paved area that continued underneath it. Altogether there will be at least four new sites to excavate, all in the expected area of the Norman cloisters, so we are anticipating a fascinating dig.

Once again, Winchester Archaeological and Local History Group (WARG) will be providing a full roster of supervisors for all stages – digging, sieving, finds processing and recording, together with the equipment. David Ashby of the University of Winchester returns as advisor to the dig, and we are also extremely lucky that Dr John Crook, Consultant Archaeologist to Winchester Cathedral, will be with us again for the event.

We are delighted to be sponsored again by Belgarum Estate Agents, and we look forward to welcoming their Managing Director, John Leeson, back once more to open the dig.

As before, the cameras will be there courtesy of Solent Moviemakers to record the highs and lows of the excavation. There will be a daily blog which will enable you to see all the action on the website as the dig progresses.

Bookings will open March 1, but click here to register to ensure you are kept up to date with developments and receive priority when booking.

Reconstruction of the cloister arcade of Hyde Abbey (Photo Mike Caldwell)

Reconstruction of the cloister arcade of Hyde Abbey (Photo Mike Caldwell)

2018 Hyde900 Community Dig  

This year’s Hyde900 dig at 14 and 15 King Alfred Terrace (courtesy of Chris and Ann Prior and Justine Field) yielded finds exceeding all expectations. Justine’s garden yielded a minute “Christmas Pudding Doll” – put in Christmas puddings in Victorian times – whilst Chris and Ann’s garden Norman stonework “of international importance” (Professor Biddle, Professor of Archaeology, University of Oxford)

The display features the voussoirs (wedge shaped stones) and an abacus (sitting above the capital) which match with the capital and springer stone from the abbey unveiled to an invited audience in St Bartholomews’s Church at the King Alfred Weekend.

Hyde900 are delighted that the 2018 community dig can return to these gardens to complete the exploration of this key area of the abbey’s cloisters. In addition we will be putting test pits in an additional garden, 10 King Alfred Terrace, by kind permission of Chris Scott. Those interested in taking part will be able to register their interest via this website shortly.

In the meantime may we thank those of you who succeeded in voting for the Aviva grant. We reached just over 1000 votes, and will be informed as to whether we were successful on January 16 2018


We hope to see you at the dig – April 27 to 30.


The spectacular finds from the 2017 Hyde900 Community dig were unveiled at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Hyde, at the start of the 2017 King Alfred weekend.

The stonework discovered during the dig was found to comprise many pieces of what proved to be part of the cloister arcade of the abbey as it was built in the first part of the 12th century.

The stones had been reused in a mediaeval wall which was found during the dig Whilst adding to our understanding of some of the constructional details of the cloister, it is still very unclear as to the layout of the abbey. Hyde900 has been invited back for a second year of digging in these gardens.

Read more…


In a remarkable post-script to the previous announcement  issued earlier today by Hyde900 concerning the

Intricately moulded stone find in Trench 7, 15 King Alfred Place

Intricately moulded stone find in Trench 7, 14 King Alfred Place

 discoveries made in its Bank Holiday Community Dig, we are delighted to announce a further important development.

Following the cleaning of stones this afternoon by Hyde900’s David Spurling in one of the principal excavation pits in King Alfred Terrace, householder Chris Prior decided to take a closer look at what had been exposed. Having scooped away some loose mortar he realised that what he had come across was, almost certainly, a capital to a column (a very rare object in the Hyde context). In fact, as he trowled further there appeared to be a series of these capitals.

In Chris Prior’s words, “I noticed that in the stone it was possible to see a very definite curved shape filled with mortar. So I had a dig around and it vanished into a bit of a void. As I looked more closely I noticed that the jointing of blocks on what looked like the surface of a wall was equidistant at about 280 millimetres and each one had a scalloped edge looking like the edge of a capital. And when we cleaned up further we saw the pattern continuing. So in fact we have found three – or maybe four – capitals making up the surface of the wall.”


Following further investigations, Hyde900 is able to report that the ‘capitals’ referred to in the report have now been identified, in fact, as ‘voussoirs’ (wedge-shaped stones which constitute an arch).
We will be issuing further information about this important find later on in the year when we hope to be able to put the voussoirs into the wider context of the abbey’s construction.

Read more…

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