The Friends of Hyde Gate gathered on June 4 in the Hyde Gateway as part of the Jubilee bank holiday to revisit exhibitions and displays from the past fifteen years celebrating the history of Hyde Abbey.

There was special focus on the abbey’s link with the monarchy notably King Alfred the Great and King Edgar who put the abbey under his special protection in the year 966.

Drawing on archive material, visitors were able to see a display of exhibition boards from the Treasures of Hyde Abbey event in 2010 in the former Discovery Centre along with a broader ‘History of Hyde’ exhibition from the Hampshire Record Office.

The stars of the show, however, were the enormous ‘Golden Charter’ banners from the British Library exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms in 2018 and, on a smaller scale, a model of Hyde Abbey.

Hampshire Chronicle: Model of Abbey from Treasures Exhibition 2010

“We wanted to mark the Platinum celebrations by releasing this exhibition material which has been hidden away for too long and has nowhere to be displayed,” said Edward Fennell, the Friends of Hyde Gate co-ordinator.

“Following the weekend we have now given away to local residents all the treasures exhibits while the King Alfred pub in Saxon Road is now displaying in its garden an older collection of exhibition material about the abbey.”

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As well as supporters from Hyde the exhibition also attracted visitors from London and Cambridge. “Wow!” said one when confronted by the massive Golden Charter banner.

Meanwhile, a Hyde resident was thrilled by the model which put the enormous site of the abbey complex – destroyed in 1538 - into its modern context.

Hampshire Chronicle: Exhibits laid on floor

“As well as being an interesting event in its own right today’s exhibition has shown what a terrific heritage venue the Hyde Gate would be if only it could be cleaned up and developed sensitively by the city council,” said Edward.

“We had to lay out these materials on the floor – just imagine what it could look like if the displays were on the walls!”

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