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.


Twenty  tile makers from September’s Hyde900 Heritage Open Day event have so far  collected their tiles – and have been universally delighted with the results. Emails have gone out to all who wished to have their tiles glazed and fired – at least those where the email addresses could be deciphered! The two other days for collection are Saturday 19  and Tuesday 22 January. If any tile maker wishes to collect their tile, and hasn’t already been in contact is invited to contact the event organiser at david@pekingparismorgan.com.”


 

The Grimes family (Elias (lion), Ivan and Heather, a bit overawed by the photography, but delighted by the results


Tile making in full swing


Tiles ready for collection

 

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
https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/news/archaeological-treasures-hyde-abbey-be-displayed-winchester-city-museum

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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