PUPILS at a Romsey school were treated to a day dedicated to investigating history at a town abbey.

Year 4 children at Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School, Church Lane, played the role of archaeologists when they delved into the Saxons at Romsey Abbey.

The pupils were helped by their class teacher Kathryn Holyland and Gemma Ingason from Trench 1 - an organisation supporting schools to teach archaeology through workshops.

Kathryn said: "Romsey Abbey is very significant as it lies on the site of the original Anglo-Saxon building.

"Guided by Gemma from Trench 1, the pupils did a wide variety of activities to help them discover more about how archaeologists safety gather evidence and use it to discover more about the past.”

"The pupils enjoyed a range of exciting activities, including identifying present day equipment and clothing required for archaeologists to be safe so high-visibility jackets and hard hats became a firm favourite with the children.

"We located Saxon evidence around the Abbey including some extremely old hair, dating back from Saxon times, which really shouldn't exist.

"We built bridges to explore the strength of arches in architecture, considered the symmetry of the Abbey and identified important Saxon artefacts."

She added: "Gemma taught the children how to weave, how to write using the Runic alphabet and then, using lots of imagination, considered what life was like as an adult and child in the Saxon era."

The Romsey children also learnt about the legends of Romsey Abbey's own saint, Ethelflaeda, who was a nun at the Abbey in Saxon times and features in their school’s logo.

Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School's headteacher, Julie-Anne Palfrey, said: “We are so fortunate to have Romsey Abbey associated with our school – it’s like having a huge extra classroom and so important to the children because they can have hands-on history lessons, which is always the best way to learn.”

One pupil added: "I really enjoyed weaving a bracelet and smelling the cubes which went with our smelly story.”

Trench 1 run a number of workshops in the Abbey aiming to help school children join in the "adventure to find the Saxon secrets" hidden within the building, learning, according to a spokesperson from the school.