King Alfred Weekend group

The King Alfred Weekend is Hyde900’s annual showcase of the projects it has undertaken in bringing to light the heritage and talents of Hyde and its community.

The 2020 King Alfred Lecture

datePosted on 15:15, January 15th, 2021 by Website Admin

The 2020 King Alfred Lecture was given on 23rd October as part of Hyde900’s “King Alfred weekend” of community activities.  This was an absorbing talk by Patrick Ottaway, an academic peculiarly well-acquainted with Winchester’s archaeological history. His professional career began in Winchester where he was Assistant City Archaeologist from 1976 to 1981. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Member of the Institute for Archaeologists. He is Manager of PJO Archaeology, an archaeological and heritage consultancy based in York.

He has a keen interest in archaeology and education and has written all sorts of fascinating publications including the intriguingly named Archaeology in British Towns: From the Emperor Claudius to the Black Death. He has been involved with the Time Team from time to time and took part in the BBC Timewatch programme ‘The Mystery of the Headless Romans’ screened in April 2006.

There are several publications of interest to Winchester archaeology enthusiasts including, The Roman Cemeteries and Suburbs of Winchester, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Suburbs of Winchester (Hampshire Cultural Trust, 2018) and in 2019 an excellent archaeological study of Winchester’s City defences and areas adjacent to them entitled Winchester’s Roman and Medieval Defences: A Report on Excavations 1974 – 86 and a Gazetteer.

Most excitingly, PJO Archaeology is working with Hampshire Cultural Trust on a new volume in the Winchester Museums Service series of reports on excavations in the 1970s – 1990s which is concerned with Hyde Abbey. The report will cover re-excavation of the burial site in the church and examination of human bones which may come from the royal graves. Publication is anticipated in late 2020.

Hyde900 King Alfred Weekend 2020

datePosted on 09:34, September 24th, 2020 by Website Admin

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 limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, so a proper celebration of this first 10 years will now be in 2021.

The community dig postponed from May will go ahead at the same time as the the King Alfred Weekend, and full details are below.

The King Alfred Weekend programme also includes the usual highlights; 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. The annual Hyde900 King Alfred Lecture will be based on a virtual event on Friday 23rd, and the AGM and exhibition reflecting some of the last decade’s activities on Saturday 24th in Hyde Parish Hall.

The full programme is available HERE.

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King Alfred Weekend – October 2018

datePosted on 13:12, September 10th, 2018 by Website Admin


We are delighted to publish the details of this year’s KING ALFRED WEEKEND 25-28th October which marks the 1119th anniversary of the king’s death and 908 years since he was buried in Hyde Abbey.

For this year we have a very varied line-up with a strong focus on our commemoration of the men from Hyde who were killed in the First World War. Also, for the first time, we look at the story of the County Bridewell (prison) which was built directly over the nave of the abbey church in 1788. It survived for over60 years and played an important – but sad – part in local life.

Leading off on the evening of Thursday 25th October is our annual King Alfred Lecture which is delivered this year by Dr. Simon Roffey of Winchester University who will be discussing ‘what did the monasteries ever do for us?’ On Friday night will be our big Hyde Soldiers commemoration of the 1918 Armistice with a party to match. On Saturday and Sunday there will be local history workshops dedicated to investigating the lives of servicemen and women together with 18th and 19th century Hampshire convicts. And on Saturday evening there will be an extraordinary film about war artist Paul Nash accompanied by live music from the Cabinet of Living Cinema, a highly regarded group from London. There will also be lectures on Thomas Hardy, the romantic legacy of the monasteriesin the 18th century and the Bridewell story. And for Hyde900 members – on Saturday lunchtime – there will be an innovative Annual General Meeting to be addressed by the Reverend Canon Doctor Roland Reim, Vice-Dean & Canon Chancellor Winchester Cathedral and a chance to meet the Hyde900 Committee.

So don’t miss out on the interest and excitement.

All priced events come at a standard £5 (£4 for Hyde900 members Under 16s Free) but many events are free. We strongly advise that both priced tickets and free reserved places should be booked in advance online or alternatively, if easier, phone 01962 864487.

Printable version of the programme

To see the programme


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King Alfred Weekend 2016 Update

datePosted on 12:27, November 13th, 2016 by Website Admin

Encaustic Tile Workshop – November 2016

Griffin tile found at the Hyde Abbey site

Griffin tile found at the Hyde Abbey site

Some 24 apprentice medieval tile makers ranging in ages between 5 and 75 got their hands dirty taking part in this year’s King Alfred Weekend tile workshops.

The four workshop sessions gave people an opportunity of trying their hand at tile making in an authentic medieval manner. The workshops were ably run by artist Kate Arnold – who had recently produced stunning drawings for the programme to accompany the very successful Hyde900 performances of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis – and who took her apprentices though the patterned encaustic tile making process. She had previously produced the “stamps”, carved from well seasoned beech. The two patterns were based on finds of tiles from the Hyde abbey site. Together with “frames” and a bow cutter these were used to create the tiles using raw clay kindly supplied by Michelmersh Brick and Tile Company.

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King Alfred Weekend 2016

datePosted on 14:32, September 8th, 2016 by Website Admin

The King Alfred Weekend

The King Alfred Weekend is Hyde900’s annual showcase of the projects it has undertaken in bringing to light the heritage and talents of Hyde and its community.

This year there is an exceptionally rich and varied mix. We begin by commemorating the casualties from Hyde in 1916, the year of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland and then move back one thousand years to consider the state of the English language at the time of King Alfred, whose remains still lie on the site of Hyde Abbey.

What’s left of the abbey itself is then exposed and discussed in a number of specialist sessions before a celebration of the links between Hyde and Shakespeare through a performance of his most distinguished poem, ‘Venus & Adonis’ . We will be talking about our plans to do more to interpret the Hyde Abbey site and giving a chance to our friends and supporters to contribute to our future strategy at the Annual General Meeting. We are particularly delighted this year to welcome Mr Alan Lovell, Chair of Hampshire Cultural Trust and a key partner for Hyde900, to outline his vision of what the future might hold for Winchester as a world-class heritage venue.

If you are a local resident or interested in this unique corner of Winchester then the King Alfred Weekend is an exceptional opportunity to get under the surface of what lies locally and discover more than you might imagine.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Steve Marper
Chair, Hyde900

See the information boards from 2016 `King Alfred` exhibition

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