THE Duke of Gloucester heard the latest news on the search for the bones of King Alfred the Great on a visit to the University of Winchester yesterday. (MON)

The duke talked to archaeologists and members of Hyde 900 who initiated the project.

Last January the university and Hyde900 made international headlines when they announced the discovery of a fragment of pelvic bone, thought to belong to the Saxon king or his son, Edward the Elder.

Hyde 900 now wants to re-open a dig at Hyde Abbey Garden where the bone of Alfred was discovered.

Interested in the story, the duke toured the Department of Archaeology, met the team who exhumed the unmarked grave at St Bartholomew’s church in Hyde and members of Hyde900.

He heard from Dr Nick Thorpe, head of the Department of Archaeology, who described the exhumations and findings in the Search for Alfred, and met PhD student David Ashby who carried out the exhumation of the grave along with lead archaeologist Dr Katie Tucker, human osteoarchaeologist at the University of Winchester.

“We were delighted to welcome the Duke of Gloucester to the university,” said Professor Joy Carter, vice-chancellor of the university. “The Search for Alfred the Great is such a fascinating piece of research and it was a pleasure to have this opportunity to showcase the project.”

The university, city council and Hyde900 are in discussions about undertaking further investigations at the site of Hyde Abbey to find further remains of King Alfred and the Wessex royal family.

The exhumation of the unmarked grave revealed medieval bones, too recent to be Alfred. But subsequent research of stored artefacts from an earlier dig on the site of Hyde Abbey revealed the pelvic bone which is Anglo-Saxon.