AFTER last year’s spectacular finds on the site of Hyde Abbey the call has gone out for people to take part in this year’s follow-up excavation from April 27-30.

Registrations open from today at for the excavation in the gardens of King Alfred Terrace over what is believed to be the cloister area. The aim is to probe the same location to see what else might surface.

“A community dig brings local history to life for the participants” says Hyde900 dig organiser, David Spurling. “Residents know that the historic abbey, famous as King Alfred’s burial place, once stood where their houses and gardens are now, and taking part in an archaeological dig gives them an opportunity to see it for themselves.”

Proof of local enthusiasm comes from King Alfred Terrace resident Chris Prior whose garden was the source of the voussoirs’ find last year. Chris has now offered to move his recently-erected shed to facilitate further excavation.

Meanwhile. his neighbour Chris Scott is allowing Hyde900 to remove another shed to enable investigation of the area where the abbey’s “garderobe” ( lavatory) is believed to have been located.

The dig – which will take place from Friday April 27th to Monday April 30th - is open to everyone including children of all ages. Bookings can be made on the Hyde900 website ( to take part in 2-hour sessions with the options of digging, sieving, cleaning finds or recording data. Dig supervisors will provide training and equipment for participants when they arrive, and the event will be under the supervision of archaeologists David Ashby, from the University of Winchester, and John Crook, consultant archaeologist to Winchester Cathedral.

Local archaeological group WARG is also involved. “Based on last year’s discoveries, this year holds the promise of making a huge step towards revealing the layout of the cloisters,” says Steven Taylor, WARG liaison manager for the dig. For people interested in the history and archaeology of Winchester – and especially the link with King Alfred – this may be an opportunity too good to miss.

Registration to take part in the dig is NOW open online at