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New project shines light on history of Hyde Abbey
2:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
A UNIQUE project is shedding light on the fate of a Winchester monastery destroyed by Henry VIII nearly 500 years ago.
At the same time it is showing that recycling is nothing new.
Re-uniting the Stones of Hyde Abbey reveals how the building material from the monastery, the burial place of King Alfred the Great, was reused in the following centuries.
David Spurling has tracked down salvaged rubble from the abbey in 30 houses in Hyde and four in Headbourne Worthy, just outside Winchester where he lives.
The exhibition at St Bartholomew’s church in Hyde was the centrepiece of the King Alfred Weekend which marks the 1,114th anniversary of the death of Alfred.
Around 300 people attended the launch event on Friday evening and the exhibition in the church on Saturday and Sunday. (OCT 26-27) One of the co-organisers, Edward Fennell from Hyde 900, said: “The project is reconnecting the residents of Hyde with their history. People are fascinated by it.”
He said the research was paying tribute the skills of the craftsmen who built the monastery that stood from 1100 to 1538.
Mr Spurling has pored over 16th and 17th century documents in the Hampshire Record Office chasing leads to see what happened to the stones.
He has worked closely with Ross Lovett the head mason at Winchester Cathedral to identify the pieces that have been found.
Mr Spurling is keen to hear from anyone who thinks they may have stones from the abbey built into their house. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the long-term, Hyde 900 wants to produce and extensive database of the stone’s destinations especially those with distinctive features.
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