AFTER decades of work a new book provides a comprehensive account of the archaeology of Winchester.

Winchester City Council and Historic England have announced the publication of a landmark volume which forms part of a national archaeological programme sponsored by Historic England.

The book is called Winchester, St Swithun’s ‘City of Happiness and Good Fortune': An Archaeological Assessment and is written by Patrick Ottaway.

It reviews more than 2,000 years of the history of Winchester and provides a critical assessment of the archaeology of the city, including the work led by Prof Martin Biddle dating to late 1950s. Prof Biddle, director of the Winchester Research Unit, has written the foreword.

The richly illustrated book also assesses Winchester’s role on the wider regional, national and international stage over its long history and covers archaeological discoveries in the city from the first recorded find of Roman and Saxon antiquities.

The book has been produced by the Archaeology Section of Winchester Museums and the Historic Environment Team at Winchester City Council.

Archaeologist at Winchester City Council Tracy Matthews said: "The publication of this book represents many years of hard work by former and current staff of the city council and I am delighted to see it finally appear in print.

"Patrick has written a volume which will form a key source of information for anyone interested in Winchester and its past, as well as those interested in urban archaeology generally."

The book may prove useful when it comes to the future of the Silver Hill site, which is yet to be developed, and the future of the Station Approach area, which the city council also aim to develop in the coming years.

A spokesperson for Historic England added: "We have been supporting archaeological work in Winchester for many years, and we are delighted to have made this publication possible. It presents a huge amount of information and knowledge in a single volume. This will make it much easier for everyone - residents, visitors, researchers, planners and others - to see how rich Winchester’s archaeology is, and to find out more about it."