Community Dig group

community excavation project

Website report on the Hyde900 2023 Community dig

datePosted on 07:27, February 14th, 2024 by Website Admin


Hyde900 2023 Community dig involved three back gardens and a total of five trenches, with over 200 people of all ages taking part. The dig took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend 26th to 29th August with over 150 volunteers taking part. All three sites yielded some amazing finds and added considerably to our understanding of the layout of the inner court of the abbey.

Volunteers at the briefing by Dr Dave Stewart the 2023 dig
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Courtesy of John Tippet-Cooper
Supervisor Mike Brace, Manni Kirchner


The 2018 dig included the garden of the adjacent property, 10 King Alfred Terrace. This dig revealed a major chalk clunch feature abutting the remained wall of a cloister building. The purpose of this limited exploration of 9 King Alfred Terrace was to establish a clearer picture of any continuation of the wall. and the phasing of any redevelopment of this area of the abbey cloister.

Plan 6 9 King Alfred Terrace showing GPR and probe responses.

This trench found a continuation of the wall, most probably from the refectory building, found in the adjacent garden. A probable second phase consisting of a later, chalk block and flint wall core, with a cut resulting from the robbing of facing stone, was found above the foundations of the original 12th century wall. Adjacent was a thin layer of burnt material most probably the remains of the destruction of the abbey during the war between Stephen and Matilda in 1141. Below this was a firm clay base, either natural or that reported as being bought into the site for the original build of the abbey. A wealth of finds included dressed flint and non local stone chunks, some with masons tooling marks, window glass, oyster shell, some animal bone, decorated and some large thick plain tile fragments.

Photo 15 Trench 39 looking North

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