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TVAS News: Excavations and Open Days at Dever Close, Micheldever

The TVAS archaeology team, working on behalf of Drew Smith Ltd and Winchester Housing Trust have been excavating an area on the outskirts of Micheldever, Hampshire in advance of the construction of affordable housing. Preliminary work in the form of an excavation in the 1970s and subsequent trial (evaluation) trenches identified a building which had been subject to several phases of rebuilding since the medieval period and a large number of medieval and post-medieval pits and ditches. We have opened up the area to the southeast of the building in order to record any further structural remains or landscape features that may be at risk from the future development of the site.

The previous excavations uncovered the remains of a wealthy medieval building which had been destroyed by fire and then rebuilt during the Tudor period. The Tudor house survived for about a century until it was mostly demolished and rebuilt on a similar alignment during the 18th century. The TVAS archaeologists have revealed several features which formed part of the gardens of the later houses including a slighted wall that had reused building materials from the original medieval house. This wall seems to have formed the southern edge of a terrace which had been built up using garden soil containing both medieval and post-medieval pot sherds. The area had then been landscaped with dumps of gravel and clay and then had a small garden wall and brick-built garden feature constructed on top.

The southern area of the TVAS excavations revealed a wide ditch that had been recut at least four times and contained some, possibly residual, sherds of Roman pottery. In addition to this the area was dotted with medieval pits, used either for depositing rubbish or quarrying out the local brickearth and chalk for making bricks and lime mortar.

A site open day held while excavations were in progress proved very popular with the local residents and archaeological groups. A series of posters were created detailing our findings in particular detail. These can be downloaded using the links to the right or here: TVAS Educational Resources.

Click on the thumbnails below to download the posters (PDF format, 6.34MB, 3.04MB, 5.70MB and 8.23MB respectively):

Micheldever poster 1. 6.34MB Micheldever poster 2. 3.04MB

Micheldever poster 3. 5.70MB Micheldever poster 4. 8.23MB

Click on the image thumbnails below for larger versions:

Excavating the slighted garden wall. The tilt of the tipped bricks can be clearly seen. Cross-section of the slighted garden wall. Scales: 2m, 1m and 0.5m.

Excavating one of the larger pits on site. Cross-section of one of the smaller pits. Scales: 1m and 0.3m.

Two rim sections of medieval pottery as excavated. Scales: 0.3m. Composite bone comb.