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Rediscovering Hyde Abbey

datePosted on 09:41, November 21st, 2017 by Rahsan Spurling

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.

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FINAL BURIAL PLACE OF ALFRED THE GREAT

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

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

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.

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2017 Community Dig video

datePosted on 13:41, July 13th, 2017 by Rahsan Spurling

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HYDE900’s ‘COMMUNITY DIG’ POST-SCRIPT: FURTHER IMPORTANT MEDIEVAL FINDS FUEL SPECULATION ABOUT ABBEY’S CONSTRUCTION

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.”

COMMUNITY DIG UPDATE May 6 2017

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.

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DISCOVERIES ON HYDE ABBEY SITE BY VOLUNTEER ARCHAEOLOGISTS GIVE NEW INSIGHT INTO ANCIENT TIMES

David Ashby, University of Winchester and Advisor to the 2017 Hyde900 Community Dig, in Trench 7 with abacus

David Ashby, University of Winchester and Advisor to the 2017 Hyde900 Community Dig, in Trench 7 with abacus

Two major surprise discoveries lit up the final hours of Hyde900’s Bank Holiday Weekend Community Dig (supported by WARG, the society for Winchester archaeology and local history) to shed new light on the history of Hyde and to solve a mystery linked to St. Bartholomew’s church.

Excavations over the course of three days in the gardens of two houses in King Alfred Terrace covering what is believed to be the cloisters of Hyde Abbey had revealed a mass of building and other material dating back to the middle ages. However it wasn’t until the final day that startling conclusions were reached which could transform our understanding of this area of Winchester.

Potentially most important was the unearthing of a significant amount of Roman mortar fragments together with tesserae (small blocks of clay used in a plain mosaic floor) in one of the five trenches which had been opened up by the volunteer archaeologists. Located at a level lower than that of an adjacent wall and floor – probably part of the medieval monastery – this prompted a re-evaluation of the site. “The volume of material that we have found opens out the possibility of a building from the Roman era in this location,” explained David Ashby from the University of Winchester. “The Roman road from Winchester to Silchester ran about one hundred metres to the west and it is possible that this material came from a nearby house in the countryside just to the north of the Roman city. But we had never seen this before.”

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2017 Community Dig Diary

datePosted on 11:49, April 26th, 2017 by Rahsan Spurling

April 26 – Set Up Day

The team arrived to collect equipment  for the dig which was duly moved to the gardens of 14 and 15 King Alfred Terrace, the site of the year’s dig and the second in the series of annual Hyde900 digs on the site of the church and cloisters of the lost minster of King Alfred the Great.

The position of the trenches had been the subject of several discussions – we had  the information on what had been found  during  gardening by Chris Prior, who with his wife Anne owned no 14.

To read more please click here


April 27 – Day One

P>The day got off to an early start with the writer getting to the BBC Radio Solent for an interview at 0725, followed by an hour of traffic jams to return to Winchester. Somewhat vital as I had the Organisation and Sign on tent in the back of the car. However, this was mantled in time to receive the first set of enthusiastic volunteers….

To view videos of the opening day of the dig see the link below.

To read more please click here


April 28 – Day Two

 

To view videos of todays dig see the link below.

To read more please click here


April 29 – Day Three

 

To read more please click here


April 30 – Day Four

The writer must apologise for the lack of written updates since Day One. His (inadequate) excuses include the unexpected number of participants in the dig (150 versus the – what we felt would be challenging – target of 100), the level of media interest (features on Solent Radio, visits to site for filming by ITV News and That’s Solent TV), and of course the totally amazing and  unexpected outcomes  of the dig itself……

 

To read more please click here


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News

datePosted on 20:36, April 25th, 2017 by Rahsan Spurling

Project Space 2017

Submission date for bursary applications now extended!

Project Space is the visual arts element of the ‘Hyde Abbey – the Lost Minster of King Alfred the Great’ project, and for the first time, bursaries are being offered to artists.

To read more please click here

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2017 Hyde900 Community Dig April 27th-30th

datePosted on 01:30, March 29th, 2017 by Rahsan Spurling

Bookings now open for the 2017 Hyde900 Community Dig April 27th-30th

Hyde900_communitydigHyde900 are organising a further community dig event to take place April 27th to 30th, following on from the highly successful event organised last year. We very much hope you will take part or visit the dig on the Open Day on Sunday April 30th. Full training will be given and booking is now open on.

 

Read more…

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St. Bede Pupils Explore Mysteries of local Abbey with aid of Hyde900 – And come up with an exciting  NEW DISCOVERY!

Two pupils from St. Bede School, Thomas Agombar and Ezra Holliday, made an astonishing discovery

Two pupils from St. Bede School, Thomas Agombar and Ezra Holliday, made an astonishing discovery

Two pupils from St. Bede School, Thomas Agombar and Ezra Holliday, made an astonishing discovery within the precincts of Hyde Abbey last week as part of a project to turn the historic site into a learning resource for Year 5 pupils.

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King Alfred Weekend 2017

Hyde900’s Annual King Alfred Lecture 2017

ProfessorSimonKeynes20 October 2017 – Friday

‘The Liber Vitae’ – One of Hyde Abbey’s greatest treasures

Speaker: Professor Simon Keynes (Cambridge University)

We are delighted to welcome from Cambridge, Professor Simon Keynes one of the UK’s leading experts on the age of King Alfred and, in particular, on the Liber Vitae which was was probably the outstanding manuscript held in the library of Hyde Abbey. Now in the British Library the Liber Vitae lists the names of brethren and benefactors of the New Minster, Winchester, recorded for commendation to God during daily mass.

Read more & Booking …

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