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.


We are delighted to publish the details of this year’s KING ALFRED WEEKEND 25-28th October which marks the 1119th anniversary of the king’s death and 908 years since he was buried in Hyde Abbey.

For this year we have a very varied line-up with a strong focus on our commemoration of the men from Hyde who were killed in the First World War. Also, for the first time, we look at the story of the County Bridewell (prison) which was built directly over the nave of the abbey church in 1788. It survived for over60 years and played an important – but sad – part in local life.

Leading off on the evening of Thursday 25th October is our annual King Alfred Lecture which is delivered this year by Dr. Simon Roffey of Winchester University who will be discussing ‘what did the monasteries ever do for us?’ On Friday night will be our big Hyde Soldiers commemoration of the 1918 Armistice with a party to match. On Saturday and Sunday there will be local history workshops dedicated to investigating the lives of servicemen and women together with 18th and 19th century Hampshire convicts. And on Saturday evening there will be an extraordinary film about war artist Paul Nash accompanied by live music from the Cabinet of Living Cinema, a highly regarded group from London. There will also be lectures on Thomas Hardy, the romantic legacy of the monasteriesin the 18th century and the Bridewell story. And for Hyde900 members – on Saturday lunchtime – there will be an innovative Annual General Meeting to be addressed by the Reverend Canon Doctor Roland Reim, Vice-Dean & Canon Chancellor Winchester Cathedral and a chance to meet the Hyde900 Committee.

So don’t miss out on the interest and excitement.

All priced events come at a standard £5 (£4 for Hyde900 members Under 16s Free) but many events are free. We strongly advise that both priced tickets and free reserved places should be booked in advance online or alternatively, if easier, phone 01962 864487.

Printable version of the programme

To see the programme


Hyde900 had over 1,000 visitors to its stand and more than one hundred participants in its medieval tile-making workshop, making this year’s Heritage Open Days as the best ever.

“We’ve enjoyed unprecedented levels of interest in the Hyde Abbey story and are delighted that there continues to be enormous enthusiasm among the public for the process of reproducing tiles modelled on the original medieval designs from Hyde,” said Hyde900 Chairman Steve Marper.

People of all ages were visibly enjoying the opportunity to work with clay to form tiles bearing complex patterns derived from the medieval originals, tutored by local artist Kate Arnold. “Many participants were totally amazed by the high quality of what they were able to produce,” said David Spurling, co-ordinator of the event. “Once they have been glazed and fired they will be good enough to grace the cathedral itself!”

Visitors to the Hyde900 stand also had the opportunity to see the reconstructed arch from the abbey cloisters using ‘voussoir’ and other stonework which had been discovered during the recent community excavations. The arch will be on permanent display in the Winchester Museum early in 2019. Further details on

The Cloister arch display was previewed before its move to Winchester Museum in 2019

The Hyde900 marquees were frequently at capacity


See the downloadable banner showing the major finds of the 2018 dig and the revised outline of the cloister on the basis of the refectory walls

So how did the dig go?

It’s all over at the Hyde900 community dig for another year, apart from the examination and interpretation which will go on for some months. The trenches are back-filled, the finds are cleaned and catalogued, and the data are being collated. Here, some members of the dig team give us their impressions of how the dig went and what we’ve learned from it so far…

In more detail…

We have been extremely lucky to have had the participation of Dr John Crook, archaeological consultant to Winchester Cathedral, in the dig. He has laboured tirelessly in Trench 8 throughout all four days, with the help of volunteers from the community and the owner of the garden, Chris Prior, who had so generously moved his shed to enable the dig to take place where it had stood.

Those who took part in the dig may well be wondering what, exactly, we have learned so far from our excavations of the wall in Trench 8. Dr Crook took time out from wrapping up the excavation to give us this wonderful explanation of what the dig has taught us…

The operation of lifting the stones begins…

The careful task of lifting the 12th Century stones in Trench 8 has begun. A dozen magnificent arch stones (voussoirs) from the original cloister have been found, reused as part of a wall in the great 14th Century rebuild of the cloister range, and they all need to be lifted to protect them.
Here, while Hyde900’s David Sommerville back fills trenches in No.10, you can see the moment when Chris Prior, the owner of No14, lifts the first of the row of voussoirs while onlookers watch expectantly.

The clear up is underway…

Chris Prior lifting the voussoirs to protect them from future damage

The task of carefully lifting the voussoirs in Trench 8 has begun. Because they are so close to the surface they need to be lifted to protect them, and it is slow, painstaking work.

Between and above the voussoirs there are many other fragments of important and informative stone from the Norman abbey, reused as rubble, which are being removed for cleaning and cataloguing before they can be studied.


Susan Jones back filling one of the Trenches in No 10


Meanwhile, in the garden of No.10, the backfilling team are shovelling the sieved soil and rubble into wheelbarrows and refilling the trenches. A heroic effort by all concerned. The plan is to make sure the top layer that is returned is topsoil and not the rubble removed from lower down, so the householder, Chris Scott, will be able to plant a lawn or make flower beds.


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