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.


You can still learn about archaeology and be trained in finds processing – unless there are further changes to government guidelines!

Full Covid-19 mitigation measures will be in place and bookings will open shortly

Hyde900 have taken the decision, along with other similar organisations and events to postpone the annual community dig until October.

As you will be aware, from Monday 14th September new regulations have been introduced, restricting social gatherings to no  more than 6 people, both inside and outside. However, as the dig will take place at four to five separate sites, with these being operated independently, we plan to go ahead with the excavation.

We want to reassure you that we have taken precautions to make the site as safe as possible and look forward to seeing you on site soon.

We hope very much to be able to offer an exciting opportunity for you to get involved in the dig with many opportunities such as excavating, finds processing and logging finds.

To be kept informed on the dig and other exciting Hyde900 projects, you can register HERE .

To register your interest in the 2020 Community Dig please click HERE

Digging under way on a recent dig

LATE NEWS! 1700 Thursday: Due to cancellation 3 spaces are now available Friday!

Once again Hyde900 will be supporting the Winchester Heritage Open Day events with “in person” tile making which takes full account of the limitations imposed by the current pandemic. By kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Winchester Cathedral, the event will take place in the precinct of the Cathedral and will feature the opportunity not only to make a tile in the medieval manner, but also to view the finds from recent excavations in gardens on the site of Hyde Abbey.

Visitors who have booked for tile making will have the opportunity of choosing from a selection of patterns to use in the free tile making workshop, open for all ages to take part. For a fee they  can also have their tiles fired and glazed for collection early in 2021.

Workshops need to be booked in advance HERE. The display will showcase the finds from the Hyde900 community digs on the site of the cloisters of Hyde Abbey. This will include further amazing finds associated with the stunning Norman cloister arch from the original build of the abbey now displayed in the adjacent Winchester museum. There will be a display of finds of encaustic tiles from the dig and others discovered in the past within the precincts of Hyde Abbey.

The miniature head (about the length of your thumb!) found at 14 King Alfred Terrace

Local resident and owner of the garden yielding the arch fragments, Chris Prior, spotted interesting stonework and tiles in a skip outside a house at the top end of his road. The discovery was to lead him to the remains of a previously unknown medieval building:

  • Flint faced foundations of a wall, over one metre wide, is in exact alignment with the cloister buildings.
  • A densely packed 10 to 20cm thick layer of shells, mainly oyster, but including mussels, whelks, and winkles, possibly indicating the site of the abbey kitchens.
  • Other finds including stonework, brick and tiles dating mainly from the 12th century to late medieval..

A hugely exciting discovery – to be investigated further in the Hyde900 Community Dig, now scheduled for 22 to 25 October. Bookings will open towards the end of September.

For further information see the press release and to see additional additional photos please click read more below.

Local resident Chris Prior reveals the foundations of the medieval wall
Read more…
Hyde900 King Alfred Weekend 2020 – 22nd to 25th October

2020 marks ten years since the original 900th anniversary celebrations of the inauguration of Hyde Abbey, Hyde900’s original mission. Organisation of this year’s programme has necessarily been influenced by the situation and limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Provided the events can take place within government guidelines, the community dig postponed from May will go ahead from 22 to 25th October as part of the King Alfred Weekend. It will then coincide with the CBA (Council for British Archaeology) Festival of Archaeology. More details about the dig can be found here, including a link for those who would like to take part to register their interest here, if you have not already done so.

The King Alfred Weekend programme will also include the very popular guided walks of the Hyde Abbey site, and guided visits to Hyde Abbey Garden, which marks the actual burial place of Alfred the Great and some of his family.

We hope to stage the annual Hyde900 King Alfred Lecture on Friday 23rd, and the AGM with guest speaker and exhibition reflecting some of the last decade’s activities on Saturday 24th. We also hope to provide some sort of cultural – perhaps music or drama – entertainment event on Saturday evening, but all these indoor events particularly, will be very much subject to government restrictions prevailing at the time, which may of course change at short notice.

In the meantime, we have put together a range of free online resources and downloadable activities for adults and children to enjoy at home. More activities will be added regularly, for example, educational worksheets, jigsaws, stories, quizzes and craft activities. We hope you enjoy them.   

More details of the programme will be available shortly. To receive regular updates on these and other Hyde900 activities do register here.


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