Awarding the grant at his Policy and Resources Decision Day meeting on 16 December, County Council Leader, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “The 20th century archaeological study of Winchester, led by the eminent Professor Martin Biddle, was ground-breaking in many ways. It is still regarded internationally as one the most important and influential excavations of its kind. The investigations unearthed volumes of material providing extraordinary insights into the fortunes of the city over the centuries. The ‘Winchester Excavation’ team is now fundraising to complete this pioneering project and to make its findings widely available online, enabling people here in Hampshire and around the world to access the historic material. I’m confident this will add to Winchester’s global reputation as a leading heritage destination, which supports vital jobs in tourism, culture, hospitality and education. Therefore, I am pleased to confirm a £200,000 contribution from Hampshire County Council to the Winchester Excavation charity.”
Between 1962 and 1971 the Winchester Excavations Committee carried out the largest programme of archaeological excavations and historical research ever undertaken in a British city, with more than 2,000 people digging on its sites. The team sought to understand more about why Winchester’s fortunes waxed and waned over 2,000 years from the Iron Age, through Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval times, through to the emergence of the modern city in the Victorian period.
In recent years, the Committee has been undertaking a major fund-raising campaign with the twin aims of publishing the remaining volumes of work and bringing the outcomes to a wider audience. For more information, visit Winchester Excavations Committee