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Old Windsor - Saxon Palace

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Eleventh century copper alloy sword guard

Between 1953 and 1958 Dr Brian Hope-Taylor carried out a series of excavations at Kingsbury, Old Windsor, with the aim of uncovering the location of the historically recorded royal palace of Edward the Confessor. The work revealed continuous Saxon occupation from the seventh century. Brian Hope Taylor’s unpublished synopsis, written in 1983, suggested that the Saxon landscape pattern revealed by his excavation could reflect that of a Romano-British villa estate, although the earliest firm date for the site is AD690 given by the dendrochronology of the timbers from the Great Ditch or leat for a watermill. Evidence was found of timber buildings of the right date to be related to a royal palace complex for Edward in the eleventh century with a long succession of major buildings and rebuildings.

The finds from the excavation were given to Reading Museum which also holds specialist reports, drawings, some of Brian Hope-Taylor's notes and the negatives of the photographs taken during the excavation. We are currently recording and cataloguing all these finds and archives.

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