ARCHEOLOGISTS have discovered new bronze age findings, described as extraordinary, at Taylor Wimpey’s Alresford Down development.

An excavation by environmental consulting group RPS and archaeological consultants PCA Winchester has found a trove of findings, shedding light on the history of the site and the wider landscape.

The investigation, which began in July, has revealed the remains of a Bronze Age (2,300 BC – 800 BC) barrow cemetery and one of the largest Anglo-Saxon cemeteries discovered in Hampshire, with more than 120 graves identified dating back to the 7th century AD.

Hampshire Chronicle: Aerial view of the archaeology siteAerial view of the archaeology site (Image: Taylor Wimpey)READ MORE: Roman remains discovered on proposed Hampshire pipeline route

Located on Tichborne Down and overlooking the River Alre, the three barrows, initially discovered in 2015 through trial work prompted by an aerial photograph taken in 1968, have yielded insights into the previous populations that once lived in the area.

The RPS team is currently creating a formal report documenting the discoveries before the findings go on display at the Winchester Museum.

Notable among the findings is the poorly preserved skeleton of a young woman buried with a rare gold disc pendant and adorned with intricate gold filigree forming a cross shape. Many of the other graves included small iron knives, while one was buried with a sword.

Hampshire Chronicle: The gold disc pendentThe gold disc pendent (Image: Taylor Wimpey)Matthew Smith, director of archaeology and heritage at RPS, said: “The archaeological findings at Alresford Down are nothing short of extraordinary.

“Unearthing the remains of a Bronze Age barrow cemetery and a vast Anglo-Saxon burial ground has provided a rare opportunity to piece together the rich history embedded in this site. We are proud to contribute to the preservation of our shared past through this remarkable excavation.”

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Katie Brandham, technical director for Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties, said: “We are humbled by the historical treasures unearthed at Alresford Down. The discoveries offer a unique window into the lives of those who lived here centuries ago.

Hampshire Chronicle: Some of the gravesSome of the graves (Image: Taylor Wimpey)“We are committed to working closely with the archaeological teams and local authorities to ensure these findings are preserved before any building.”

With archaeological investigations now complete and the findings recorded and preserved, Taylor Wimpey has been given clearance to start enabling works on site ready for its launch in Spring 2025.

To find out more about the development, visit the Taylor Wimpey website.