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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

Fascinating finds in Hampshire

Published: 21 October 2009
Students dressed in medieval armour

University of Southampton archaeologists joined Kingclere Heritage Association to unveil the latest excavations at Tidgrove Warren in north Hampshire at a summer open weekend.

The site includes an Iron Age and Romano-British settlement, as well as a Royal hunting lodge; a Bronze Age barrow lies nearby. Tidgrove Warren has given dozens of Archaeology students, especially first and second year undergraduates, their first experiences of fieldwork including the techniques of geophysics. School parties have also been welcomed to the excavation, five miles to the west of Basingstoke.

Evidence exists for the remains of a lodge built for King Henry II in 1172 on the downland, together with the floor of the large aisled hall in which the king may have held court and the stone walled cellar in which he could have kept his wines. It is also probable that Kings Richard I and John also used the lodge when travelling in the area.

‘This is a substantial site with much of interest,’ said Southampton archaeologist Kristian Strutt. ‘We have discovered a great deal, but there is still much work to do. We appreciate the chance to work alongside the community in north Hampshire in this joint enterprise to discover more about their heritage.’

The public open days attracted many members of the public to see the site, along with local MP George Young. They had the opportunity to meet an archer who taught longbow shooting and an armourer who brought a collection which visitors could try on. There were also displays of medieval cooking and jewellery making.

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