H E Hurst
Gloucester Archaeological Publications, £25
Review Richard Hodges
Gloucester City Museums reacted to the zealous regeneration of the city’s historic centre in the 1960s by appointing a graduate student, Henry Hurst, to lead a massive campaign of rescue excavations.
Concentrating around Southgate Street, Hurst’s meticulous open-area investigations revealed the Roman legionary headquarters, over which he discovered remains of the later Roman forum. Above lay the very different archaeology of the 10thcentury renewal of the town, an Anglo- Saxon basis for the city’s heyday in the 13th century. I was a young volunteer on these excavations, spellbound by Hurst’s masterful management of slim resources to tell a great story about one of Britain’s first coloniae, then an early Roman city and its medieval successor.
This marvellous report – long in gestation – is not only a great tribute to its author and Gloucester Museum, but wonderfully showcases the huge pre-modern significance of this Severn-side city.