‘One of the most important excavations Worldwide of the 20th century’ – The Times, Millennium Edition, 1 January 2000.

‘No one excavation had a greater impact on archaeology in Britain in the later twentieth century than Martin Biddle’s project in Winchester in the 1960s’
– Professor John Collis in Great Excavations, edited by John Schofield 2011.

Between 1962 and 1971 the Winchester Excavations Committee carried out the largest programme of archaeological excavations and historical research ever undertaken in a British city. For the first time the centre of interest was the city itself, the urban phenomenon and how it waxed and waned over 2000 years from the Iron Age, through Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval times down to the emergence of the modern city in the Victorian period. In 1968 the Excavations Committee founded the Winchester Research Unit to complete the excavations and historical research and to prepare the results for publication in a series of ‘Winchester Studies’.

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The ancient cathedral of Old Minster and the abbey church of New Minster once stood at the heart of Anglo-Saxon Winchester. Buildings of the first importance, honoured by Anglo-Saxon and Norman kings, these great churches were later demolished and their locations lost. Through an extensive programme of archaeological excavation begun in 1961, and as a result of years of research, the story of these lost minsters can now be revealed. Written by Martin Biddle, Director of the Winchester Excavations Committee and Research Unit, and marvellously illustrated by Simon Hayfield, The Search for Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon Minsters traces the history of these excavations from 1961 to 1970, and shows how they led to the discovery of the Old and New Minsters, bringing back to life the history, archaeology and architecture of Winchester’s greatest Anglo-Saxon buildings.

Search front cover

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