News from Hyde900 group

News from Hyde900

Newsletter – February 2021

datePosted on 10:00, March 17th, 2021 by Website Admin

Hyde900 had an exciting and successful 2020, despite all the restrictions.

After a lot of work by the volunteers on the committee and many willing helpers on the event days we were able to take part in the Winchester Heritage Open Day festival in the summer.

The King Alfred weekend and community dig went ahead in the autumn and despite the rain, was bigger and better than before.

Please click here to see the Hyde900 Newsletter – February 2021

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Latest News – February

datePosted on 15:28, February 12th, 2021 by Website Admin

Did the Hyde900 2020 Community Dig discover the abbot’s lodging?

Want to know more about the background to the archaeology of Hyde Abbey?

Did you miss Patrick Ottaway’s talk on King Alfred of Wessex at the King Alfred weekend?

Heritage Open Day Medieval Tile Making Progress Report

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King Alfred Weekend 2019

datePosted on 10:08, September 10th, 2019 by Website Admin

The Hyde900 King Alfred Weekend is held annually as close as possible to the anniversary of the King’s death on 26th October 899, which this year falls on a Saturday. St Bartholomew’s has long commemorated the occasion, but since the Hyde Abbey 900th anniversary celebrations in 2010, Hyde900 has organised a programme celebrating the Hyde area, both the history ancient and more recent that we have been uncovering, plus more contemporary events including music and the visual arts.

This year’s weekend starts as usual with the annual Hyde900 King Alfred Lecture, and includes the last event for the Hyde Soldiers WW1 project which will conclude this year on Sunday November 10th, more from research on the County Bridewell which stood on the Abbey site for part of the 18th and 19th centuries, and an opportunity to discuss how the Abbey Gateway (apart from St Bartholomew’s, the only remaining Abbey building still standing) might be better cared for and presented.

Please click here to download the brochure.


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The spectacular finds from the 2017 Hyde900 Community dig were unveiled at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Hyde, at the start of the 2017 King Alfred weekend.

The stonework discovered during the dig was found to comprise many pieces of what proved to be part of the cloister arcade of the abbey as it was built in the first part of the 12th century.

The stones had been reused in a mediaeval wall which was found during the dig Whilst adding to our understanding of some of the constructional details of the cloister, it is still very unclear as to the layout of the abbey. Hyde900 has been invited back for a second year of digging in these gardens.

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In a remarkable post-script to the previous announcement  issued earlier today by Hyde900 concerning the

Intricately moulded stone find in Trench 7, 15 King Alfred Place

Intricately moulded stone find in Trench 7, 14 King Alfred Place

 discoveries made in its Bank Holiday Community Dig, we are delighted to announce a further important development.

Following the cleaning of stones this afternoon by Hyde900’s David Spurling in one of the principal excavation pits in King Alfred Terrace, householder Chris Prior decided to take a closer look at what had been exposed. Having scooped away some loose mortar he realised that what he had come across was, almost certainly, a capital to a column (a very rare object in the Hyde context). In fact, as he trowled further there appeared to be a series of these capitals.

In Chris Prior’s words, “I noticed that in the stone it was possible to see a very definite curved shape filled with mortar. So I had a dig around and it vanished into a bit of a void. As I looked more closely I noticed that the jointing of blocks on what looked like the surface of a wall was equidistant at about 280 millimetres and each one had a scalloped edge looking like the edge of a capital. And when we cleaned up further we saw the pattern continuing. So in fact we have found three – or maybe four – capitals making up the surface of the wall.”


Following further investigations, Hyde900 is able to report that the ‘capitals’ referred to in the report have now been identified, in fact, as ‘voussoirs’ (wedge-shaped stones which constitute an arch).
We will be issuing further information about this important find later on in the year when we hope to be able to put the voussoirs into the wider context of the abbey’s construction.

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David Ashby, University of Winchester and Advisor to the 2017 Hyde900 Community Dig, in Trench 7 with abacus

David Ashby, University of Winchester and Advisor to the 2017 Hyde900 Community Dig, in Trench 7 with abacus

Two major surprise discoveries lit up the final hours of Hyde900’s Bank Holiday Weekend Community Dig (supported by WARG, the society for Winchester archaeology and local history) to shed new light on the history of Hyde and to solve a mystery linked to St. Bartholomew’s church.

Excavations over the course of three days in the gardens of two houses in King Alfred Terrace covering what is believed to be the cloisters of Hyde Abbey had revealed a mass of building and other material dating back to the middle ages. However it wasn’t until the final day that startling conclusions were reached which could transform our understanding of this area of Winchester.

Potentially most important was the unearthing of a significant amount of Roman mortar fragments together with tesserae (small blocks of clay used in a plain mosaic floor) in one of the five trenches which had been opened up by the volunteer archaeologists. Located at a level lower than that of an adjacent wall and floor – probably part of the medieval monastery – this prompted a re-evaluation of the site. “The volume of material that we have found opens out the possibility of a building from the Roman era in this location,” explained David Ashby from the University of Winchester. “The Roman road from Winchester to Silchester ran about one hundred metres to the west and it is possible that this material came from a nearby house in the countryside just to the north of the Roman city. But we had never seen this before.”

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