After reading for what seemed like weeks on the local history & being completely fascinated & intrigued by it all I started to look at the actual site we are investigating, it turns out the first records of the property belonged to Winchester cathedral…… Plans for construction of this site had been prepared & approved by the Royal fine arts commission, Church commissioners, Dean and chapter of the cathedral, and the city corporation. Under the bill it was approved to remove restrictions on disused consecrated burial ground, it was said that in medieval and earlier times a great deal of the neighbourhood had been used for burial of the dead, and the extent of the area was unknown.
Excavation finds such as Saxon and medieval domestic buildings which, according to confident speculation, may be associated with the minister church founded by King Alfred at the end of the 9th century could also be found on the grounds. Two wells, one Roman & the other medieval border this location, surrounded by a large number of shells, parts of the medieval building, various pits and cellars were also found. To give you an idea of underground burial around the area a water engineer had found 18 human skulls under the high street when he was fixing a single water pipe.
In 1854 the grounds to our location were closed as a burial ground and in 1886 all the tombstones were removed, expect 12 which were later removed when the land was leased to the city corporation.
The land was excavated under Archaeological control. The property we are investigating today appeared to be a house with an open courtyard, the time required to deal with the overlying levels and the height of the water-table which covered even the latest floors prevented any examination of the early levels, and the construction of the houses not therefore dated, The house was built on sloping land. In the centre of the rear wall there was a change in the construction method, it was a rectangular mosaic panel set in the red tessellated floor, the mosaic was almost entirely destroyed, but was presumably meant to decorate the entrance into the house. It was covered in a large amount of rubble debris and many stone roof slabs, the rubble had filled one of the wells, (the slots for the structure had survived) and was sealed by a later mortar yard, once excavated finds were a Victorian coin and by the latter courtyard were forty coins of the 3rd century, the latest coin was one of carausis. The rubble & coins can only of come from the destruction of this house which on the evidence of the coins seem to have taken place before c. 300 – The complete absence of 4th century coins from the occupation levels and the occurrence of only three 4th century coins in the demolition levels strongly suggests that it remained open land after c.300.
There were other remains of further roman buildings found during the contractors excavation. Three distinct periods of construction were observed, most of them built on piles, a fact which suggests that this area was water-logged even in roman times.
Fifth to Ninth century finds surrounding the land in question consisted of cobbling, flints, other stones & large animal bones, when excavations were underway cobbling was cut and in turn cut by a later grave, other burials had cut into the cobbling. Pottery finds seemed to be late Roman but the cobbles found suggest a post-roman date however must be earlier than the graves which are part of the cemetery, (possibly of 10th century). When first discovered in 1961 the cobbles were interpreted as a rough track and preserving the line of a Roman street.
I would strongly recommend a visit to the area for anyone interested in this amazing history or to view the cathedrals website for further information - the cathedrals history alone would of taken too many pages…….. Surrounding the cathedral grounds there are remains of the medieval defensive wall, with Winchester school, the house where Jane Austen died, a medieval town gate, and the river Itchen all lying just outside the grounds.

150 BC Hill fort built on St Catherine's Hill.
150 BC Trading centre established on western side of modern city, near Oram's Arbour.
 

70 AD Romans start to create a defended city "Venta Belgarum - marketplace of the Belgae", a regional capital.
410 Romans depart, Venta disintegrates.
 

400 - 600 The era of the legendary warrior King Arthur. Was Winchester 'Caer Gwent', Camelot?

Winchester becomes a royal and ecclesiastical city, the centre of Wessex and England.
635 King Cynegils brings Christianity to Winchester.
648 First Christian church, Old Minster founded.
861 Bishop Swithun, confidant and advisor to Alfred, dies.
871 King Alfred crowned and makes Winchester his capital. Founds New Minster. Nunnaminster is founded by his queen.
971 Swithun's grave opened, prior to re-interring in enlarged Old Minster, 40 days of rain.
1035 King Canute dies, buried in Old Minster.

1066 Winchester surrenders to King William the Conqueror, who extends the Saxon royal palace and builds a castle.
1079 Construction of present Cathedral begins.
1086 Doomsday Book is compiled in Winchester.

1100 Wicked King Rufus buried below Cathedral tower. 7 years later it collapses.
1137 Bishop Henri de Blois founds Hospital of St Cross.
1141 Chaos in Winchester during war between Stephen and Queen Matilda.
1160 Illuminated Winchester Bible created.
1207 King Henry III (often Henry of Winchester) born at Castle, baptized in Cathedral.
1222 King Henry III modernizes Castle and builds Great Hall.
1290 Approximate date of Round Table.
1302 Fire destroyed royal apartments at Castle, which were not rebuilt. Later royal visitors stayed at Bishop's Palace, Wolvesey.
1348 Black Death kills half of Winchester's population.
1382 Bishop William of Wykeham founds Winchester College.
1402 King Henry IV marries Joan of Navarre in Winchester - great feast at Wolvesey Palace.
1486 King Henry VII's first son, Arthur, christened in Cathedral.

1522 King Henry VIII entertains Emperor Charles V in Great Hall. He has his own image painted on Round Table to stress the antiquity of his line.
1538/39 King Henry VIII's commissioners destroy St Swithun's shrine in Cathedral. Dissolution of the city's three monastic institutions.
1554 Queen Mary Tudor marries Prince Philip of Spain in Cathedral.
1603 Sir Walter Raleigh tried for treason at Great Hall, but later reprieved.

1642 Roundhead troops ransack Cathedral. West Window smashed, library raided.
1644 Battle of Cheriton
1645 City, then the Castle, fall to Parliamentarians.
1651 Castle destroyed on Cromwell's orders.

1665 King Charles II favours Winchester. Plans a grand palace designed by Wren. King's house is not completed by time of King's death.
1666 Plague strikes the city, resulting in loss of quarter of the population in the next decade.
1714 'New' Guildhall, now a bank, built. Rival Members of Parliament provide Town Clock and statue of Queen Anne. 

City prospers with small shops and trade and the growth of the professions. 1817 Novelist Jane Austen dies in Winchester.
1819 Poet John Keats visits Winchester and writes his ode 'To Autumn'.
Victorian
1840 The new railway brings prosperity and day tourists.
1863 Royal Hampshire County Hospital built, Florence Nightingale consulted on design.
1887 To mark Queen Victoria's jubilee, a statue is commissioned from the sculptor of Eros, Alfred Gilbert. It can be seen in the Great Hall.
1894 King's House destroyed by fire. Peninsula Barracks rises from ashes.
1901 City is centre of international celebrations to commemorate King Alfred. A statue by Hamo Thorneycroft is erected in the Broadway.
 

1905 - 1912 - William Walker, the diver, saves Winchester Cathedral.
1937 Controversy as the new bypass separates city and St Catherine's Hill.
1944 Churchill and Eisenhower review troops at Peninsula Barracks prior to D-Day.
1986 900 years since the Doomsday Book was compiled - major exhibition held in the Great Hall.
1987 - 1988 Excavations of Roman, Saxon and medieval Winchester at the Brooks.
1993 900th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral.
1994 Le Tour de France visits Winchester.
1994 The old bypass is closed as the missing link of the M3 cuts controversially through Twyford Down.

1999 An archaeological dig at Hyde Abbey discovers the likely location of King Alfred's tomb - in this 1100th Anniversary year.