Community Dig 2022 group

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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Courtesy of Amber and Phil Clark#
Supervisors Dr David Ashby, Nikki Goodwyn


The dig returned to a garden where the 2020 excavations uncovered the remains of a two-storey building with a major find of 5 kilos of medieval window glass adjacent to the inner side of the wall foundations (currently being evaluated by Historic England). The garden also yielded 20 kilos of oyster shells and other crustaceans on the outer side of the wall. The garden was unusual compared with other gardens dug by Hyde900, in that it yielded significant quantities of medieval brick. Two trenches were put in to investigate the strong GPR responses.

The Excavations

Trench 37

Trench 37 was put in as a result of the strong GPR response during a geophys survey of the garden carried out earlier in the year. The trench revealed a huge hearth possibly associated with a kitchen, or to provide warmth to the building. Also found was the possible medieval stone wall which abutted the fire place. This may have been a continuation of the wall in trench 38. Finds included a fragment of glazed medieval roof tile and a complete medieval brick.

Trench 38

This trench revealed an east to west running medieval wall, with two in situ facing stones showing traces of plaster on the south facing side. The function of an interesting square masonry feature at the base on the south side of the wall has yet to be established. Finds included significant quantities of medieval glass and a worked neolithic flint blade.

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