VISITORS to Alton this summer could have been forgiven for thinking they had stepped back in time with the appearance of an Anglo-Saxon camp on the gardens next to the Curtis Museum on Crown Hill.

Erected by Portsmouth-based living history group Weorod, the camp provided an opportunity for folk to find out about medicines and cures of the time, learn about fashion and textiles, and how pots were made, watch the leather worker and marvel at the weaponry, including replicas of the sword and spears found during the Mount Pleasant Road excavation which, in the early 1960s, revealed an Anglo-Saxon burial ground in the heart of Alton town.

Viewed as one of the most important Anglo-Saxon sites in Hampshire, the excavation also threw up jewellery and pottery, some replicas of which were on display at the festival.

According to a spokesman for Weorod, a great deal of archaeological knowledge can be gleaned from items unearthed from burial grounds and the Mount Pleasant site contained both graves and impressive cremation urns.

This, the fifth annual Anglo-Saxon Festival in Alton, also hosted three demonstrations: the first on how to dress a warrior, the second a weaponry demonstration, and the third the burial of a dead warrior.

* To find out more about how to get involved with Weorod, visit, e-mail Wayne Letting at [email protected], or call 07528 082580.