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Hyde900 Festival of Archaeology 2024

datePosted on 20:03, May 13th, 2024 by Website Admin

July 19th  – 21st   The City Museum, Winchester, SO23 9ES

The Winchester Festival of Archaeology, , will take place at the City Museum, Winchester 19th to 21st July.  Organised by Hyde900 in conjunction with Hampshire Cultural Trust, and as part of the Council of British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology, Hyde900 will once again be providing workshops on a medieval theme and displays of finds from the community digs on the site of the church and cloisters of Hyde Abbey. Hyde900’s architectural advisor, Dr John Crook will be giving a talk “There’s a monk at the bottom of my garden!” which will reveal how the results of the digs have enhanced our understanding of the abbey.

See the finds from the gardens of Hyde householders whose gardens were dug in the community digs of 2016 to 2023 FREE! No need to book!

The key finds from the 2016 to 2023 community digs will be exhibited to illustrate the history of the area of Hyde once occupied by Hyde Abbey, the final burial place of Alfred the Great. They will tell the story of this area of Hyde from prehistoric to modern times.

The exhibition will feature a chronological display of finds ranging from flint scraper blades from the neolithic period through to the remains of a 2nd World War air raid shelter!  The display will include remains from Roman occupation of the area and the materials of the construction and rebuilding of the abbey over its life from the 12th to the 16th century.  Finds from this period include a medieval trader’s token and many examples of medieval floor tiles.. Also on display will be finds from the of the county Bridewell (prison) built in the 18th century on the site of the abbey church and demolished mid 19th century. Finds from more recent times include beer jugs, ceramic eggs and a Jersey coin of 1894 with a value of one twenty fourth of a shilling.

Experts will be present to discuss specialist areas of pottery, ceramics, geophysical surveying, medieval glass, stonemasonry, and monastic architecture.


Make a tile the medieval way! Using the traditional methods children – and adults – of all ages can make a true replica of tiles found on the site of Hyde Abbey. Booking is strongly recommended. The fee includes the glazing and firing.  

The moulds (“stamps”) that you will use are based on the patterns of the medieval tiles found during the community digs over the years. You will be preparing the clay to ensure that there are no air bubbles to affect the firing. No skill is required! As in medieval times, you will have to be patient as the tiles need to dry for up to 3 months before they can be safely fired. Booking is strongly recommended.

Festival Tile Making / Friday

Festival Tile Making / Saturday


MAKE a true replica of a seal of the abbot of Hyde that is attached to a lease of Abbots Worthy to Richard Eric Joan in 1538. Open to all ages, your seal will be affixed to a parchment that will be certified as a true replica by the current abbot (or his stand-in!) Special family rates apply!

Seals can be made from beeswax, the same material as the of the original seal, or  sealing wax as was often used. The seal will have through the centre a slip of parchment, as in the original, which will be joined to the parchment certificate. Booking is strongly recommended.

Seal Making / Sunday – Morning Sessions

Seal Making / Sunday – Afternoon Sessions


Meet one of Winchester Cathedral’s team of Scribes, watch a demonstration of calligraphy skills and then have a go at calligraphy under their expert guidance. Minimum age 10 years. Booking is strongly recommended.

Calligraphy / Saturday


Hear Dr John Crook talk at St Bartholomew’s church Hyde at 7.30pm on Saturday 20th July entitled “There’s a monk at the bottom of my garden!” He will descibe about how the Hyde900 community project has revealed the plan of Hyde Abbey and how we now understand so much more about the architecture of the buildings.

Dr John Crook has had an illustrious career as an architectural historian, archaeological consultant, and photographer, and has been Hyde900’s archaeological consultant since 2016.

Talk / Saturday

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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.

The excavations took place in gardens of both King Alfred Place (no 19) and King Alfred Terrace (Nos 8 and 14). We are indebted to the householders for allowing us to dig their gardens.

Once again our advisory team consisted of Dr David Ashby of the University of Winchester (Archaeology), Dr Dave Stewart (Geology and Cartography) and Dr John Crook (Architecture).

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