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.
There’s still time to take part in this year’s dig. Don’t miss out – Book now!
Last year’s community archaeological dig, searching for the walls of Hyde’s medieval abbey cloisters, was hugely successful and enjoyable, uncovering exciting finds that turned out to be of international importance.
This year Hyde900 have been invited back to excavate more sites in the area of the abbey cloisters and are confident that there is more to find – more walls and, hopefully, further stonework to help piece together the layout and architecture of the ancient abbey, which is Alfred the Great’s final resting place.
Hyde900 hope that as many people as possible will participate in the dig. It is open to all ages and abilities. Participants can take part in digging, sieving, cleaning finds and various processing activities, and training will be provided by the supervising archaeologists on site.
Hyde900 said, ‘We are keen to involve young people, to give them a taste of hands-on archaeology and how it brings the past to life … a group of pupils will be coming to take part on the opening afternoon of the dig from St Bede’s primary school (which is located next to the abbey precinct). Please do book your children in to come along with you and participate at the weekend or after school on Friday.
We have a great team running this year’s dig. WARG, Winchester’s Archaeology and Local History Group, will once more be providing archaeological supervision and equipment for the dig, and David Ashby of the University of Winchester has again kindly agreed to be advisor for the event.
We are grateful to be sponsored again for this year’s dig by Belgarum Estate Agents, and have just heard that we are going to receive a £1000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund.’
The dig will be filmed, courtesy of Solent Moviemakers, and you will be able to follow all the action as it unfolds with regular blog posts on the website.
Registration is open for this year’s dig on the Hyde900 website now. Go to the website to sign up and be the first to get booking information and updates – or just to find out more information about this year’s dig.
Bookings for specific time slots will open on the website from March 1st.
The British Historic Towns Atlas of Winchester published by The Winchester Excavations Committee and The Historic Towns Trust was officially launched on Wednesday 15th November at The Guildhall in Winchester. The book is available to order online from Oxbow Books and in local bookstores. Get yours today at a reduced price of £55.
Full details and photos of the event are available to view HERE.
The Winchester Historic Towns Atlas is due for release early in November 2017 and is available to pre-order at a special price of £55. This offer will be valid until 31st December 2017. Order yours now from Oxbow Books.
This volume follows on from the publication of the highly successful folding Historical Map of Winchester about 1800. Published by The Historic Towns Trust and The Winchester Excavations Committee and edited by Martin Biddle and Derek Keene, the Atlas covers the whole development of the city from prehistoric times up to the modern day in a series of seventeen maps to Ordnance Survey standard, accompanied by a text of about 60,000 words, a 54,000 word gazetteer of places and street-names, and 140 illustrations of the city, its buildings, and streets taken from watercolours, engravings, and photographs. This volume forms part of the British Historic Towns Atlas series as well as the Winchester Studies series.
For more information on the British Historic Towns Atlas series, please visit: www.historictownsatlas.org.uk