Wednesday 20th December 2023

We unearth ancient treasures at new Alresford Down development

Archaeologists have discovered remarkable Bronze Age findings at our Alresford Down development in Hampshire. An extensive excavation, led by RPS and PCA Winchester, has found a treasure trove of historical significance, shedding light on the rich heritage of the site and the wider landscape.

Sun Lane aerial view

Unearthing rich heritage

The investigation, which began in July 2023, has revealed the remains of a Bronze Age (2300 BC – 800 BC) barrow cemetery and one of the largest Anglo-Saxon cemeteries discovered in Hampshire, with over 120 graves identified dating back to the 7th century AD. Located high on Tichborne Down and overlooking the River Alre, the three barrows, initially discovered in 2015 through trial work prompted by an aerial photograph taken in 1968, have yielded invaluable insights into the previous populations that once thrived in the area.
Working shot

The RPS team will now create a formal report documenting the historical significance of these discoveries, ensuring their lasting record in the area's history, contributing to a deeper understanding of our cultural heritage. The archaeological findings will also be exhibited at the Winchester Museum. Interested parties are encouraged to come forward with relevant information and if no claims arise, the artefacts will be respectfully reinterred.

All works are being undertaken under the help and guidance of the Winchester District Archaeological Advisor Tracy Matthews, and the site will feature on 'Digging for Britain' on BBC 2 at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd January, showcasing the historical significance of the site and the significant treasures uncovered in its archaeological excavation.

With archaeological investigations now complete and the findings recorded and preserved, Taylor Wimpey Oh has been given clearance to start enabling works on site ready for its launch in Spring 2025. Taylor Wimpey plans to commemorate the historical findings on the site by proposing the installation of a plaque or information board in the public open space, pending approval from Winchester City Council.