Dr Gabor Thomas, Associate Professor in Early Medieval Archaeology, Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading, and director of archaeology for the project, said: “The main objective of this project is to improve access to the church, especially for disabled people, by taking up the existing pathways and replacing them with more level alternatives better suited to wheelchair use. This work has provided the perfect opportunity for us to examine the archaeology of the church hidden underneath the existing paths.”
In the 1850s and 1860s, the remains of the current church’s Anglo-Saxon predecessor were unearthed and subsequently displayed until the decision was taken in 1929 to cover them over — and they haven’t been seen since. Because archaeological practices were very basic at this time, the early remains were poorly recorded. This project gave Dr Thomas and his team a golden opportunity to re-expose the early church and to scan and record data in high levels of detail and precision, to preserve an intricate record of the site’s early history for future generations.