THE fourth Hyde900 Community Dig is to return to shed light on King Alfred’s last resting place.

The excavation in back gardens in the Hyde area of Winchester will take place from May 21-25.

The 2020 Hyde900 Community Dig will be returning not only to the site of the cloisters of Hyde Abbey, but also the nave of the abbey church.

Hyde900 says this latter area has never been excavated. This will be the first of a series of events in the Hyde900 10th anniversary programme.

Hyde900 will again be inviting residents of Hyde – and further afield – of all ages to take part. A choice of different activities will be available - digging, sieving, finds processing and recording. For those new to archaeology a full briefing will be provided.

Hyde900 trustee David Spurling said: “Hyde900 have been invited to dig two more gardens in King Alfred Terrace, where in 2017 and 2018 the finds proved to be of international significance. ”

In addition, to the north of the cloister, Hyde900 has been offered two adjoining gardens in King Alfred’s Place to excavate. This will provide added interest as the dig is likely to find not only the foundations of the church, but also the foundations of the county bridewell, or prison, built over the site of the church in 1788, about which little is known.

Dig coordinator Donna Price said: “King Alfred’s Place, built in the 1920s, was the location of the finds and the capitals are now on display in St Bartholomew’s church. These are regarded as the best examples of 12 century Romanesque sculpture in Britain. David Ashby of the University of Winchester will be archaeological adviser to the dig, and we are also extremely lucky that Dr John Crook, Consultant Archaeologist to Winchester Cathedral will be with us again for the event.

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