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‘Spectacular’ discoveries from back garden digs unveiled

Archaeologists have discovered a stone carved archway from King Alfred’s burial place following a three day back-garden dig.

The “spectacular” finds were unveiled to an invited audience of professors, councillors and representatives of the Hampshire Cultural Trust last Friday.

The stonework was part of the 12th Century monastery, Hyde Abbey.

The “elaborate” large carvings and dozens of fragments were pieced together for the exhibition at St Bartholomew’s Church in Hyde.

John Crook, the architectural consultant to the cathedral, said: “Hyde now is in people’s minds and they will come and they will look at and walk about the area where this big Abbey complex stood and understand it and I hope feel for it a little better.”

The “community dig” saw 150 volunteers of all ages join the Hyde900 group in search of the Norman remains in two private gardens in King Alfred Terrace, where Hyde Abbey once stood.

David Spurling Hyde900 trustee said: “The aim was very much to involve the local community because on the first dig we had 40 local people of all ages, the youngest was four and that was a very exciting experience for them.

“Everyone at the end said they wanted to do it again, hence this year’s dig we went from 40 to 150 participants.”

Hyde900 said it hoped to carry out more excavations to complete the arch by 2018.


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