April 29 – Day Three

datePosted on 08:05, April 29th, 2018

Professor Martin Biddle comes back to see how things are going…

The Hyde900 dig has been extremely lucky to have the input of Professor Biddle. He returned to the dig this morning to see what has developed since his visit yesterday.
Here, he explains why what has emerged so far during the dig is so important for our knowledge of the layout of the Medieval Hyde Abbey…

Moments from day three…

St.Bede’s Primary School visit…

We were delighted to have a group of children from the local primary school visit the dig on Friday afternoon. A really important part of this dig is the opportunity it creates for young people and children to get hands-on experience of a real archaeological dig and watch history coming to life in front of them. The children from St Bede’s were a great bunch, and seemed to love taking part. I spoke to a few of them to find out what they made of it all…

Lunchtime archaeology update from the trenches…

Dr John Crook examines a line of reused Norman stone in Trench 8

1.30pm Things have really been developing in Trench 8, the continuation of the trench where last year’s extraordinary finds were made. The new trench has been extended lengthwise this morning, to try and get a clearer picture of the meaning of wall features that have emerged, and Dr John Crook plans to extend sideways as well.

What has become clear this morning is that we seem to be in the buildings of the Medieval rebuild (14th Century) of the Hyde Abbey south claustral range – the buildings to the south side of the cloister: possibly the large refectory where the monks had meals. Trench 8 has revealed a wall with a returning wall, which would have divided two interior rooms.

This looks as though it could be Quarr stone from the Isle of Wight, which was mainly used in the 12th Century

Equally excitingly, the 14th Century wall is clearly made up of beautifully preserved voussoirs – parts of arches from the original Norman Abbey that were reused in this wall after the original abbey was demolished, following a fire.

Some interesting finds have come from Trench 8 too. Here, Dr Crook examines a piece of carved Abbey stone.


David Ashby drawing in Trench 12

Meanwhile, in Trench 12, David Ashby has finally reached the bottom of the rubble in-fill where one of the Medieval Abbey walls has been robbed out. 1.2 meters down, he has finally hit the alluvial base.

Next job is to clean up the wall feature in the trench, which he believes may be pre-Medieval, ready for photographing and recording.


Hear about the dig on Radio 4

1.10pm  Just heard a great piece by Mark Mardell about the dig on Radio 4’s “The World This Weekend.”

You can hear it by following this link  –https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b0lz4v


Diggers are still hard at work…

Kayra and Ezra busy in Trench 10 under the watchful eye of Alex.

Kayra examines a find in Trench 10

The open day attracts local visitors and tourists…

Open day visitors examine progress in Trench 8

11.30am. Visitors have been touring all three gardens during today’s open day, asking the supervisors about what’s being found in the trenches and watching the digging in process.

Things are changing rapidly in today’s excavations. Lots of questions are arising, which we hope this afternoon’s digging will answer.


Early visit from ITN

Mel from ITN asks David Spurling about the background to Hyde Abbey

9.15am This morning started with battening down the hatches in preparation for a breezy day promised by the forecast – we don’t want the gazebos blowing away. Next on the agenda was a visit from Mel at ITN Reading, who did several interviews and filmed the trenches.

Previous years’ digs have attracted plenty of media attention and this year is proving to be just as popular with the press.


Yesterday’s highlights…

Good morning! Here’s an an update on yesterday’s excitement and developments. We’re clearly in for a fascinating Day Three. We’ll keep you posted as the day progresses…

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