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Dig finds abbey walls

Hyde900’s fifth community dig attracted a record 260 people to dig in five gardens close to the site of Hyde Abbey, Winchester — Alfred the Great’s last resting place.

The expert archaeologists in charge chose locations for the trenches based upon extensive research. The results exceeded all expectations with finds of both abbey walls and floor surfaces from the medieval monastic buildings.

On Day 1 there was a find of a silver three penny coin with Day 2 starting to see mortar from the destruction of the abbey as a result of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. Day 3 finds included fragments of medieval pottery and the beginning of sightings of the robbed out foundations of the fourteenth century walls of the abbey.

The excitement mounted as Day 4 produced finds ranging from Roman pottery to medieval drinking vessels. By the end of the day diggers had revealed foundations of no less than three walls — previously unknown — and stonework of the original 12th century abbey. The walls included an original 12th century section of plastered wall with the original tiled floor adjacent.

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