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The legacy of King Alfred celebrated in annual festival in Winchester
12:36pm Monday 21st October 2013 in Winchester
THE 1,114th anniversary of the death of King Alfred will be marked this weekend with activities to reflect the great king’s legacy, in Hyde his final resting place.
The King Alfred Weekend starts on Friday evening in St Bartholomew Church, with the opening of the 'Re-uniting the Stones of Hyde Abbey' exhibition and the ‘Negative Capability 2’ show which is Hyde900/St. Bart’s contribution to Ten Days/Winchester/Creative Collisions arts festival.
'Reuniting the Stones of Hyde Abbey' brings together research undertaken over the past year to track down, identify and classify the stones from Hyde Abbey (demolished in 1538 during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII).
Headbourne Worthy resident David Spurling has examined walls, buildings and stores both in Hyde itself and further afield to trace the stones, believed to have been recycled from the abbey.
The exhibition features a number of the more interesting discoveries to explain their function within the monastery and to create a sense of what the abbey would have looked and felt like.
The architectural consultant to the exhibition, Ross Lovett, has provided in-depth advice and illustrations to bring back to life one of medieval Winchester’s most powerful buildings.
'Negative Capability 2' brings together artists from the successful Leylines show from 2012’s King Alfred Weekend to work with writers to respond to the Re-uniting the Stones exhibition. It complements the Negative Capability 1 exhibition which opened recently at the Link Gallery at the University of Winchester.
The Friday evening programme continues at 7pm with the annual King Alfred lecture by Prof Christopher Mulvey. Titled 'The First King’s English: Alfred the Language Maker' it will examine how Alfred promoted the use of English both administratively and in scholarship and fostered the first steps towards creating an English-literate society.
The exhibitions and other events will continue in St Barts and the surrounding area on Saturday and Sunday.
At 11am on Saturday a guided walk to the abbey precincts will be led by Alys Blakeway, churchwarden of St Barts, starting from Hyde Gateway. In the church there will be the opportunity to meet Winchester City Council museum staff and to handle Anglo-Saxon artefacts.
On Saturday at 7.30pm, as part of Hyde900’s Michaelmas Music series, choirs from the University of Winchester will perform the annual King Alfred Weekend Concert which concludes with a candle-lit procession to Hyde Abbey Garden where singing and chanting will take place.
At 9.30am on Sunday St Barts will hold a commemorative communion service.
Steve Marper, chairman of Hyde900, said: “We are delighted to be able to join with the St Barts’s community for the third year running to contribute once again exciting events and activities to mark the special link that Hyde has to King Alfred the Great.”
For more information go to www.hyde900,org,uk. Reservations for the lecture and concert can be made by e-mailing email@example.com or by phoning 01962 864487
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