In the spring of 2002 our archaeologists Bob Davis and Gary Whale spent a week excavating and surveying at the Dolphin Hotel in Romsey, a disused 200-year-old Grade II listed pub. This is being converted into a restaurant and store by its new owners, Smith Bradbeers department store, and a record of the building was needed before work began
Although the stucco-fronted building is described as being built in the early 19th century, Bob found timber framing inside that was as early as the 15th century. Stables at the back of the hotel dated to the 18th century.
The building survey was able to trace how the Regency façade was created in 1828 and to point out the large arched brick cellars under the hotel which probably date to the 17th century.
The Dolphin’s car park, which will be built on, was also excavated, with three trenches dug using a machine. Bob and Gary found pieces of pottery from Roman and Medieval times and also one piece from even earlier – Bronze or Iron Age (between about two and four thousand years old). Other finds included parts of a medieval wine bottle.