Winchester Urban Archaeology Assessment

October 2016 | City of Winchester

Patrick Ottaway has been appointed consultant by the City of Winchester for the completion of the Urban Archaeology Assessment, a project funded by the city and Historic England. The first part of the project, which is already complete, involved the upgrading of the city's Historic Environment Record (HER) and Urban Archaeology Database (UAD). The second part, the Assessment, will be a volume which reviews the resources for the study of Winchester's past. It will include an introduction setting out the character of Winchester's natural environment and archaeological resource. This will be followed by eight period-based chapters, each of which will present a summary of past archaeological work, an account of what is currently known about aspects of the city, such as the defences, the street system,  royal and ecclesiastical sites and the dwellings of the citizens, and conclude with a statement on the importance of the archaeology and priorities for future work. The final part of the volume will be an overview of the archaeology of the city and will address aspects of the management of the archives and resources. 

Winchester, near the south coast of England, in the valley of the River Itchen, has a rich prehistoric past concluding with a great Iron Age enclosure. It was then an important Roman town (Venta Belgarum) with many fine buildings and a rich material culture. In the Anglo-Saxon period Winchester was chosen as the site of bishopric and then became the capital of the Kingdom of Wessex under King Alfred in the late 9th century. Winchester's importance was recognised by the Norman kings who built a great castle there and by the first Norman bishop who built the great cathedral which still stands today. The Assessment will be a substantial contribution to the study of one of Britain's most important historic cities and one which has been extensively explored archaeologically. 

Publication of the Assessment by Oxbow Books is expected in spring 2017

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