Probing the past at Oliver's Battery

Residents at Oliver's Battery, Winchester, are searching for information about the origins and development of their parish.

Enthusiastic residents are investigating archaeology, historical documents, maps and photographs to build up a better picture of how the area has been used and changed by humans, from the earliest times to the present day.

The results of their searches so far are on show in a small exhibition in the Winchester Lending Library in Jewry Street. As well as describing the project, the display includes a time-line of discoveries made in the area.

The local history detectives are working in close co-operation with Winchester City Council's Museums Service, whose staff are providing help and advice.

Principal Archaeologist Dick Whinney said "The Oliver's Battery Community Heritage Project has only been going for about 6 months, but thanks to the hard work of local enthusiasts, we already have a much better picture of how the area has changed and developed over the centuries.

"In particular we already know much more about the later development of the parish, from the First World War onwards. However, work will continue over the coming year and during that time, we hope to gather more data about the earlier prehistoric, Roman and medieval periods."

Ross Turle, Keeper of Recent History with the Museums Service added, "The display illustrates only a little of the large amount of work already undertaken by local people. It shows just how much information can be gathered together in a short time by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers."

The display can be seen in Winchester Lending Library during normal library opening hours, from 13 to 30 December.

For more information on the project, or if you wish to get involved, please contact either Dick Whinney or Ross Turle at Winchester Museums Service, 01962 848269, or email