Text Box:

For Winchester Archaeology and Local History

2017 Excavation  -  Warnford



Welcome to our 2017 excavation, at Warnford Park, a private estate at Warnford, in Hampshire’s River Meon valley.


The site lies in parkland, owned by the Warnford Estate, who are very supportive of WARG’s intentions. The site has a number of historical features including a 13th century parish church with its 1175 tower (it was founded on this site in 682); the Grade 1 listed ruin of St. John’s House; and parkland designed by Capability Brown.


The main building on the estate up until the 1950’s was Belmont or Warnford House, built in the mid-18th century and demolished in 1958. There is some shallow evidence of this together with its adjacent sunken garden.


This structure is well-documented with photographs in the 19th and 20th centuries with building and drainage plans. But this was not WARG’s key objective for exploration, which was an original Elizabethan building.


One William Neale (d. 1610) built a Tudor mansion on the site. It is suspected that much of the building was incorporated into the 19th century house but nothing is documented. However, WARG initially did geophysics on the site (with the help of the University of Winchester) which indicated building structures under the demolished building.


Over two weeks a 20m x 11m trench was dug, which revealed an amazing patchwork of styles, building-types and periods. That the interpretation of the history shown by the excavation has been difficult is one of the reasons why WARG has returned in 2017.


To volunteer for digging or finds processing on our 2017 excavation, please download the application form.