Traces of Hyde Abbey Found in England

England Abbey BeakheadWINCHESTER, ENGLAND—The Hampshire Chronicle reports that the remains of a twelfth-century wall and some floor surfaces have been unearthed at the site of Hyde Abbey in southeastern England by HYDE900, a community archaeology project. The remains of Alfred the Great (r. 871–899), who died in 899, were moved to the abbey church when it was completed. After the abbey was torn down in 1538 by King Henry VIII, the stone was reused in other buildings. The newly unearthed wall and floors, which are located in the yard of a private home, are thought to be the only traces of the 260-foot-long structure ever to be found. “The excavation now confirms the exact location of the abbey nave,” commented homeowners Paul and Kat McCulloch. “In addition, the find of a rare sculptured beakhead, perhaps representing a mythical beast, such as a Griffin, was a bonus. It is most likely to be a fragment of a voussoir (the wedge-shaped stone which is part of an arch) forming one of the orders of the arch over the doorway to the church,” they added. The beakhead will be displayed at Winchester Museum. To read about efforts to find Alfred’s tomb, go to “In Search of History’s Greatest Rulers: Alfred, King of Wessex.”


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