Testwood Lakes

Fascinating evidence for the early use of rivers, including the oldest bridge found in England, emerged during the excavation of a reservoir and two lakes in Hampshire.

New! An animation of the Bronze Age bridge 3D visualisation is now online.

In 1996 Southern Water began to excavate at Testwood in Hampshire, to develop a reservoir to store water for 200,000 people in and around Southampton.

As with all major construction schemes, archaeologists were called in to see if there were any important remains from the past. While carrying out what they call a watching brief, staff from Wessex Archaeology came across fascinating evidence of early society, including part of the earliest bridge ever definitely identified in England, dating to the Middle Bronze Age, c1,500BC.

Using text and images, these pages tell us about the excavation, what was found and the people who lived during the Bronze Age.