There has been a lot of activity in Winchester this year, marking the 1100th anniversary of Alfred's death. The museum is undergoing refurbishment, the Cathedral library has hosted an exhibition titled The Legacy of Alfred, and recent archaeological work at the site of Hyde Abbey may have found Alfred's last resting place.
Winchester was one of the regional centres (burhs) which prospered as a result of Alfred's urban and military policies, and became his capital. The city remained an important royal centre into Norman times, when the Anglo-Saxon Old Minster was replaced by the current Cathedral. Alfred was initially buried at the Old Minster, but his son Edward transferred his remains to the New Minster (later moved to Hyde Abbey) which Edward built nearby. The city continued to be rich and important in medieval times, as demonstrated by the wonderful Cathedral (particularly fine Norman and 14th century bits) and Winchester College, one of the oldest schools in the country.
Hyde Abbey was disolved by Henry VIII, and only the gatehouse remains standing. This year (1999) there has been excavation of what is believed to have been the site of the high altar, which now rests under a public park and a car park, and in September archaeologists uncovered part of a pelvis and some stone fragments, which they hope may indicate the final resting place of Alfred, his queen Eahlswith and son Edward. Unfortunately the site has been disturbed several times ober the past 500 years, and although Ken Qualmann, head of Winchester's museum service, is confident that they have found the location of the 3 tombs, there are no remains to be found. The fragment of pelvis, found in backfill from an excavation of previous centuries, will be carbon dated to establish whether it is at least contemporary with Alfred.
Recent pictures of the gatehouse (88k), and 3 views of the dig A (73k), B (118k) and C (95k)
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