ARCHAEOLOGICAL excavation work on a medieval earthwork in the New Forest – believed to be a royal hunting lodge – have been under way for a second season, enabling a team from the University of Winchester to discover more about the medieval and prehistoric landscape of the National Park.
Last year, the excavations in Denny Inclosure – led by Dr Paul Everill from the University’s Department of Archaeology – produced fragments of medieval pottery, and charcoal that was radiocarbon dated to the 14-15th centuries.
The excavations also revealed evidence of an underlying prehistoric enclosure, indicating that the site, on a low ridge overlooking the open forest, had been an important focal point for several millennia. The current excavation is investigating both the medieval and prehistoric evidence from the site.
The site at Denny, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument protected by law, was the first of the New Forest hunting lodge earthworks to be excavated for over a century when it was investigated by Dr Everill and his team in 2016.
A number of hunting lodges were constructed in the New Forest by order of King Edward III in the mid-14th century: others were added by his immediate successors. The reign of King Edward III is the epitome of the English age of chivalry, when he and his knights would return from war and engage in hunts that fostered the martial spirit.
The archaeological project is a collaboration between the University of Winchester and the New Forest National Park Authority. The research builds on the historic links between Winchester, the ancient capital of England, and the New Forest, and will encompass a number of related sites over the next few years.
The University is one of the leading institutions in the UK for teaching archaeological field skills. It was the first department in the country to validate a degree in Archaeological Practice and to achieve recognition as a Registered Organisation with the Chartered Institute for…