April 27 – Day One

datePosted on 10:00, April 27th, 2018

A successful first day…

6.30 pm It has been a marvellous start to the community dig. The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm or prevent good progress being made in all the trenches. Trench 8, the continuation to last year’s Trench 7 (where parts of a Norman arch were found), has been the subject of much anticipation, and the first day’s discoveries have proven as exciting as we could have hoped.

We are lucky enough to have Dr John Crook, consultant archaeologist to Winchester Cathedral, with us on the dig. Here, he explains how things are looking so far in Trench 8…


Mark Mardell from Radio 4 jokes with householder Justine Field.

4.30 pm  The dig has its first visit from the media, with a visit from Mark Mardell from Radio 4 to record interviews for this Sunday’s “The World This Weekend.”

Luckily the weather cleared up in time for him to visit all the gardens and catch some sound effects of digging and sieving, as well as chatting to some of the diggers and supervisors. The programme goes out at 1pm on Sunday, and we’ll be looking forward to hearing it.

Children from St.Bede’s Primary School take part in the dig

3.50 pm This afternoon twelve children from the local primary school came to take part in the dig. Undaunted by the weather, they took turns sieving, digging and cleaning. Fantastic to give them a taste of a real archaeological dig in their own neighbourhood.

Keep an eye on the blog. We should have a video of their visit by tomorrow morning.

Rio and Ben

Rio and Ben have been working hard in Trench 11

12 children from St.Bede’s take turns digging, sieving and cleaning


Olaya, Lucien and Joey from St.Bede’s watch the digging

Isabella looks like a natural as she carefully removes a layer of soil

Olaya is beaming as she digs in Trench 11

Wet weather makes the going soggy

3.30pm Good progress is being made but the weather threatens to intervene.


Iain Rushbrook and Julian Dineen from Bellman’s Auction House examine today’s pottery finds


1 pm.  A number of pottery finds have already emerged from the top, mainly Victorian, layers of soil. Experts Julian Dineen and Iain Rushbrook from Bellman’s Auction House in Hyde Street dropped by to have a look and explain to Hyde900’s Janet what they are.

Digging is coming along well. There are already significant signs of what may prove to be a medieval wall in Trench 8 in the garden of No.14.


Mayor David McLean views Trench 8


11.40am  Digging is coming along well. Here, you can see John Crook, chief archeologist of Winchester Cathedral, showing Mayor David McLean signs of archaeology that have already come to light through the sterling digging efforts of Ben Goddard and Caroline Beasley (pictured).


Judy Gregory and Sarah Bianchi sieving in No.15


11am  Digging is underway. The top layers of each trench are being carefully excavated, with all the soil that comes out them being sieved for small finds.

All six new trenches are being dug by our first teams of participants.

The dig is declared open

John Leeson declares the 2018 Hyde900 dig open

9.30am The dig has begun! John Leeson from Belgarum Estates, who have sponsored this year’s dig, officially opens the dig.

Here you can see him congratulating householder Justine Field as he announces that the dig is open and wishes us all a productive and enjoyable weekend.

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