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By | Past Newsletters, Volume 7 : 2000 - 2004 | No Comments



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Tuesday 9 March – An Urban Roman Site in Colchester – lecture by Ben Holloway (field archaeologist and site supervisor for Colchester Archaeological Trust) about last year’s excavations in Colchester where finds included a 2nd C Roman town house. Ben Holloway has also worked on the Isle of Man and the west coast of Scotland.

Tuesday 13 April – Hendon – Field and Factory – lecture by Hugh Petrie

Tuesday 11 May – Roman Roads – lecture by Harvey Sheldon

Tuesday 8 June – AGM

July – HADAS long weekend in Cumbria.

Lectures start at 8 pm in the drawing room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road. Finchley. N3. Buses including the 82, 143, 260 and 326 pass close by along Bollards Lane, a five to ten minute walk from Finchely Central Tube Station.

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Our first lecture of 2004 was given by Nicole Weller, who spoke about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which arises from the 1996 Treasure Act. Before the 1996 Act, the only formal framework relating to archaeological finds was the ancient common law of treasure trove, which was concerned only with objects made of precious metal and determining whether they should become Crown property. The foundation of the 1996 Act was the recognition that archaeological finds have a value other than that of any bullion they may contain, in the information they can provide, and that this informatkion is worth collecting. The Act extended the definition of “treasure” to include items of high significance which were not previously covered, for instance two or more metal prehistoric objects, of any composition, found together now count as treasure, and, as before, there is a legal requirement to report the finding of treasure to the Coroner to have its ownership determined. Evem under the extended definition, most interesting archaeological finds will not count as treasure, and to deal with these the Portable Antiquities Scheme was set up. This is a completely voluntary scheme set up to promote the recording of archaeological objects found by non-professionals of all sorts, especially metal detectorists, who in the past have had little contact with the archaeological community. It operates through a network of Finds Liaison Officers gradually built up since 1997, which now covers all the counties of England and Wales. Our lecturer, Nicole Weller, is the recently-appointed Finds Liaison Officer (and also Community Archaeologist) for London, stationed at the Museum of London. Nicole is happy to look at archaeological finds of all kinds, as she demonstrated by casting a professionl eye over the multifarious small finds brought to the meeting by members of the Society, which added to the interest of the evening. Finds submitted to her under the PAS will be identified, with the help of other staff at the Museum of London where necessary, and a written report provided. All items prior to 1650 are recorded on a database (with safeguards against unscrupulous interest) and will in due course be added to the Sites and Monuments Record. Some items prior to 1714 will also be recorded, and no-one should be deterred from submitting finds because of doubts about their eligibility for recording – all are welcome. After examination, items will be returned to their finders, unless the objects are shown to be treasure, in which case fair compensation will be paid. Although the scheme has only recently started to operate in our area, since it began in 1997 more than 150,000 finds have been recorded, so it can fairly be described as an established success. The good news: there is a nationwide scheme gathering large amounts of information which would formerly have been lost, and locally we have an approachable and enthusiastic Finds Liaison Officer. And the (possibly) bad news? Funding for the scheme is only guaranteed for three more years. Let us hope by then its value will be as apparent to those who control the purse-strings as it is to us.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS by Audree Price-Davies

Mrs Ann Saunders, a past President of HADAS, is a new entry in Who Who 2004. She was awarded the MBE in 2002 for her work as voluntary editor of journals for the Costume Society and the London Topographical Society. Mrs Saunders said “Clothing is very important, because we say a lot in the way we dress, in the way we present ourselves to the world. Textile production has been a staple industry for a very long time. The London Topographical Society has been going since 1880, and every year we publish one thing – it might be a book or a map.” Mrs Saunders teaches the History of London at City University, and is currently writing a history of the Merchant Taylors.

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Saturday 28 February-Sunday 23 May: Church Farmhouse Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon, NW4. Local Treasures. Some of the historical documents and objects held by the Museum and Council’s local studies and archives. Meetings

Wednesday 3 March, 5 pm: British Archaeological Association, Society of Antiquaries. Burlington House, Piccadilly. W1 The Colonia Family and the Flamboyant Gothic Style in Burgos 1440-1540. Talk by Dr Steven Brindle.

Thursday 4 March, 7.30 pm: London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, London N1. Bournevilles – Chocolate to Cadburys. Talk by Richard Hill. Concessions: £1.25.

Saturday 6 March, 11 am – 2 pm: LAARC – Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, N1. Glass – Open Day. Find out about the fascinating glass collection, and take a tour of the new stores … plus how to spot fakes.

Sunday 7 March 2.30 pm: Heath and Hampstead Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3. History of archaeology of the Heath. Walk led by Michael Hammerson (Highgate archaeologist and HADAS member). Donation: £1.

Monday 8 March 3pm: – Barnet and District Local History Society, Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet. The End of the Line – Story of the Railway service to the GNL Cemetry. Talk by Martin Dawes.

Wednesday 10 March 7 pm: RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, NW9. A chance to see rare and exclusive footage from the archives of RAF Museum.

Wednesday 10 March, 8.15 pm: Mill Hill Historical Society Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, NW7. Claude Grahame White and Hendon Aircraft Factory. Talk by Edward Sargent.

Friday 12th March, 8 pm: Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane / junction .of Chase Side, Enfield. Rock Art of Prehistoric Britain. Talk by Fay Stevens. Visitors £1.

Wednesday 17 March, 6.30 pm: London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. Interpretation Unit, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2. Brunel, the GWR and the Making of Paddington Station (1836-55). Dr Steven Brindle (English Heritage).

Wednesday 17 March, 8 pm: Willesden Local History Society, Willesden Suite, Library Centre, 95 High Road, NW 10. Where Was the Well-on-the-Hill? (Recognition of Saxon geographical features). Talk by Zäe Ayle.

Friday 19th March: City of London Archaeological Society. St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. The Archaeology of Armageddon – The Great War. Talk by Andy Robertshaw,

Saturday 20th March 11 am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm: LAARC, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, NI. Ceramics: Open Day. Explore the ceramics collection – how it’s stored, conserved, researched and documented; and attend a Roman pottery demonstration.

Saturday 20 March, 10.30am – 12.30pm:. Highgate Wood Information Hut. A demonstration of a charcoal kiln.

Wednesday 24th March, 8 pm:. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, St John’s Church Hall Friern Barnet Lane, N12. A Million Years at STC (the History of Standard Telephones & Cables). A talk by Stan Springate.

Thursay 25 March, 8 pm: The Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 Recycling Progress in Barnet – Not A Moment Too Soon. A talk by Fred Woodworth (London Borough of Barnet).

Saturday 27 March, 11 am – 5 pm: LAMAS CONFERENCE, Museum of London Lecture Theatre. HADAS will have a stand there (Please see February Newsletter).

Saturday 27 March, 11 am – 1 pm: LAARC. Mortimer Wheeler House, Eagle Wharf Road, N 1. A Local History for Greater London – Conference by LAMAS. Local History Committee. 2 representatives from HADAS are invited to discuss how LAMAS could be of assistance to HADAS and research potential of Societies combined to provide “joined up” local history for London. Dr Cathy Ross (MoL) will talk on Museum’s projected 20th C Gallery, Wartime Evacuation, parish records. Further tour of ceramics and glass store, coffee and biscouts wioll be served. Apply ASAP to Anne Hignell, Sec., 24 Orchard Close, Ruislip, Middx. HA4 7LS.

Sunday 28 March 10.30 am: Enfield Preservation Society, Jubilee Hall, Junction Parsonage Lane/Chase Side, Enfield. Beneath the City’s Streets – London’s Unseen History. Talk by Mr P. Lawrence.

Thursday 1st April, 8 pm: Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane car park, Pinner. The “Golden Age” of Thames Finds – the social and antiquarian background to finds recovered from the Thames. Talk by Jonathan Cotton.

Sunday 28 March 2004 – 1100 am: – a walk along the ancient boundaries in Kenwood, led by Malcolm Stokes for English Heritage. To book, phone Kenwood House : 020 8348 1286. £3.50 (concessions £2.50). Meet at the main entrance to the house itself.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Sunday 9 May, 1-5 pm Church End Festival, Avenue House grounds, East End Road, Finchley. HADAS will have a stand here.


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Tuesday 11 November 2003: Roman Silchester. Lecture by Professor Mike Fulford. Professor Fulford, from Reading University, is the Chief Archaeologist of the impressive dig at Silchester which we visited during the Summer and will bring us up to date on what is happening.

Tuesday 9 December 2003: HADAS CHRISTMAS DINNER at the Pavilion On The Park Restaurant, Barnet College, Colindale NW9 Tuesday 13 January 2004: Portable Antiquities. Lecture by Nicole Weller Nicole is the new Portable Antiquities Liason Officer and Community Archaeologist at the Museum of London and will talk about her work, the Treasure Act and other related matters. She has also agreed do discuss any small finds that members would like to bring along, so look out those bits you have dug in the garden over the years.

Tuesday 10 February 2004: London Burial Grounds. Lecture by Dr Roger Bowdler Lectures start at 8pm in the Drawing Room of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley N3, and are followed by question time and coffee. We close promptly at 10pm.

Recent finds from Barnet Museum reported by Bill Bass

HADAS member John O’Mahoney has found a medieval axe in a neighbour’s garden in Cedar Lawn Avenue, Barnet. The axe was identified by the Museum of London as being ‘made of iron, roughly straight-sided triangular shape With a tabular sock– et. This form of tool is commonly represented as a carpenter’s axe from the 13th to 16th centuries as depicted in medieval art’. The socket of the axe was split in half which may be a reason why it was dis¬carded. A metal detectorist who has been surveying areas to the north and north-west of Barnet has brought his finds into the museum for identification. Some of the finds include coins – one a Georgian sixpence of 1817, also a Roman coin. A decorated copper finger ring was found as well as what seems to be a plumb-bob of possible medieval date. Other finds including pottery are still being processed. A resident of East Barnet has made inquiries to Barnet Museum about the date of a well in her back garden. Unfortunately it was not possible to closely inspect the brickwork of the structure – approx 1 metre across, as it was (not surprisingly) full of water and the above-ground brick was modern. A look through the maps in the museum showed that the land was once part of the Danegrove and subse¬quent Littlegrove estate (in the Cat Hill area), Danegrove originated in the early 16th century and was probably medieval. Eton Avenue where the well is located is shown to be empty fields on maps of 1817 and 1840 with no signs of estate workers dwellings, out houses or workshops which might account for the well. For now the well is a bit of a mystery, but further work may throw new light on the matter

BRIAN WRIGLEY remembered

It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that Brian Wrigley died on October 25. He had been ill for some time and had just been admitted to the North London Hospice. He was a much respected Officer and member of the Society and he will be greatly missed. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Joan, and his sons.

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Dorothy Newbury has news from a long-standing member of HADAS A story from John Enderby in Fontmell Magna

John Enderby, our only remaining HADAS founder member from way back in 7961, wrote to me last month enclos¬ing an interesting piece about the lovely village at Fontmell Magna where he now lives. Members who came on an out¬ing to his village in 1998 will remember the wonderful place it is. He now tells me that out of 49 villages in Dorset, Fontmell Magna has won first prize for best-kept historic village, and is now entering a country-wide com¬petition. Not only was he a HADAS founder member, but also Principal of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute for 31 years and served on 14 other committees, as well as being a prolific fund raiser for the North London Hospice. If his wife Barbara thought he was ‘retiring’ in 1992 she was mistaken, as he is now on ‘only’ 7 local committees! He is looking forward to HAD AS making another visit to Fontmell Magna in a year or two as he has so much more to show us, including a ‘hush-hush’ proposed Roman exca¬vation on a nearby farm – more about that in the next newsletter. In the meantime here is the interesting piece he sent me. THE ORIGINS OE THE GOSSIP TREE AT FONTMELL MAGNA. Originally, a monumental Stone Cross which was known to the villagers as the ‘Cross Tree’, existed on the present day site of the ‘Gossip Tree’. It was used by the villagers as a meeting place where events, gos¬sip and jokes could be shared. It was also the meeting place for news of events from afar which would be brought by travelling horseman to the gathering. During the Civil War the inhabitants sided with the Royalists cause against Cromwell and in 1643 the Cromwellian army eventually took their reprisal against the villagers for siding with the Royalists and blew the cross u p and the community lost its impor¬tant gathering place. The cross was replaced with a witch elm; a paint¬ing exists within the village to this day which shows that the elm grew in magnificence and girth and it was this tree that first gave name to the ‘Gossip Tree’. This great elm stood for almost 250 years with vil¬lagers still meeting there to air their feelings and dis¬cuss matters of pigs and cows. The year 1976 saw the advance of the dreaded Dutch Elm disease and the disastrous drought of that year to which the great tree eventually fell victim. Only the hollow stump survived from which saplings eventually sprouted but one night local lads set fire to these remains and all was lost. There is legend that anyone taking part in the old tree’s destruction would have bad luck and one can only ponder what became of the youths ! The story does not end here though, as the wood from the tree was used to make small crosses and sold to raise funds. Part of the tree has also been pre¬served in a lovely carved form and is believed to be owned by one of the villagers, John Gadd. To this day the origins have not been lost within the village and a lime tree now stands where the orig¬inal stone cross once stood all those years ago and a ceremonial plaque can be found commemorating the site origins. What of the stone cross? Well this still exists – albeit in modified form – as part of the garden rock¬ery at Foss Cottage where John Enderby and his wife live.

Roman treasure ‘near Baldock’

The Townley Group of the Friends of the British Museum met recently to celebrate a year of support for BM projects and to review the activities during the year. One of these activities has been work at the Roman temple site near Baldock The ‘near Baldock’ hoard of Roman temple treasure is a discovery of most exceptional importance. Intrinsically, the objects in the hoard – gold jewellery, a silver figurine, and votive plaques of gold and sil¬ver – have revealed a wealth of information and have’ shed fresh light on religious practise in Roman Britain. Perhaps most exciting is the appearance of a new goddess, Senua, who is named in the inscrip¬tions on the plaques, and who may have been a water goddess. The limited fieldwork that has already taken place; fieldwalking, geophysical survey (some excel¬lent results) and small-scale excavation, has estab¬lished that the site probably comprised a temple com-plex with an adjacent settlement. It proved very pro-ductive both in terms of the archaeology and the finds, some of which had clearly been ritually deposited. Amongst them was an inscribed silver base that almost certainly belonged to the figurine in the board and identifies the image as Senua. It is evident that the site is well-preserved and clearly warrants further investigation. In particular, it is desirable to excavate more fully the feature provi¬sionally identified as a shrine. The hoard had been buried very close to this feature, and its excavation will deepen our understanding of the context of this fascinating treasure. Further geophysical survey should elucidate the extent of the settlement, while conservation and analysis of the finds will undoubt¬edly bring new and significant revelations. Throughout, this has been a joint project with local archaeologist Gil Burleigh, and there has been full cooperation from the landowner. For further information contact Sharon Daish: 020 7323 8648 or

Have you read about. . .Stewart Wild

keeps an eye on the media for items of archaeological interest. Here are a few of his recent finds.

Treasure hunters unearth “unique’ Roman pan

Metal detectorists have found a bronze pan with Celtic motifs, described as ‘unique’ by experts because of an engraved inscription just below the rim. The exquisite enamelled vessel dates from the second century and it lists the four forts at the west¬ern end of Hadrian’s Wall: Mais (Bowness), Coggabata (Drumburgh), Uxelodunum (Stanwix), and Cammogianna (Castlesteads). It also carries a Greek name – ‘Aelius Draco’. Sally Worrell of the Portable Antiquities Scheme suggests that Aelius draco was perhaps a veteran of a garrison of Hadrian’s Wall and, on retirement, had this pan made to recall his time in the army. The finders are under no obligation to give the pan to the authorities because it is not con-sidered treasure trove.

English Heritage saves Stone Age ‘picnic site’

English Heritage has paid £100,000 for the disused quarry close to Boxgrove, West Sussex which is Britain’s most valuable Stone Age site. The purchase will allow its preservation and let archaeologists explore its secrets. 500,000 years ago the quarry lay on a raised beach at the foot of an 80ft chalk cliff. The discovery of Boxgrove Man in 1993 was one of the archaeological finds of the last century, but it is only one of the trasures unearthed at the site. Over the past decade thousands of bones and tools have been uncovered. The preservation is so good that researchers have found the undisturbed remains of a seaside `picnic’ – including flint tool scrapings that reveal the ‘shadow’ of the individual hunters as they knelt on the ground making butchery knives.

Oldest writing in English found on Anglo Saxon brooch

What is believed to be the oldest form of writing in English ever found has been uncovered in an Anglo Saxon burial ground. It is in the form of four runes respresentating the letters N, E, I, and M scratched on the back of a bronze brooch from around AD650. The brooch is among one millions artefacts recovered from a site at West Heslerton, near Malton, North Yorks, since work began there in1978. The meaning of the writing is not, as yet, understood. English Heritage has provided £55,000 to display the finds at Malton Museum.

A plea from Don Cooper

The HADAS/Birkbeck course processing the Ted Sammes material has started work identifying and analysing the artefacts from the Church Terrace, Hendon excavations in 1973/4.The work is potentially being hampered by the lack of documentation either about the site, the details of the excavation, or the artefacts found.I am therefore making a plea for any infor-mation that might be lurking out there and might be able to shed further light on these important excavations that could potentially tell us much more about Hendon’s Roman and Saxon past. Please ring, write or email Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS Email:


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No. 317                                                             AUGUST 1997                                 Edited by Peter Pickering


Saturday 16 August Visiting Hertfordshire with Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor.

Moats, mills, lock-ups – and we trust, no hiccups. Visiting Reed, Anstey, Buntingford, Cottered, Cromer & Pirford. Booking form within. (Extra pick-up point).

September 4th to 7th Weekend in York

Friday 26th September Thomas Coram Foundation, WC1, and a morning walk with Mary O’Connell. (Please add this to your programme card)


Alec Goldsmith is leaving our Society with regret. His initiation into HADAS was a very, very wet weekend on Hadrian’s Wall in 1974. But that did not deter him, and since then he rarely missed an outing or lecture. Some ill-health (and age) overtook him a year or so ago and he has decided to move to Dorchester to be nearer his sister. We miss him, and wish him well in his new home.

HADAS FIELDWORK – Back on the Heath

Our work on the Anglo-Saxon ditch on Hampstead Heath continues. We have completed the `—contour survey within the Kenwood area and are now using our new resistivity meter on an area where the ditch has disappeared, in order to trace its previous course.

Our main task then will be to produce an interim report on the above work supplemented by descriptions of the state of the ditch, photographs/drawings, locations of its boundary stones, and details of trees and vegetation alongside and within it. This latter task will require expert experience as the excavation team cannot tell a bramble from a blackthorn or a beech from a birch. Our contact at the Suburb weekend will be helpful, but are there any experts amongst our membership?

Our presence on the heath has provoked curiosity (and concern!) but much interest (and relief!) is shown when our purpose is explained. It would be helpful if more members could attend Sunday mornings to help on the publicity side if not on the survey side.

If you are interested please contact Brian Wrigley (959 5982) or Roy Walker (361 1350) for details of the days we are active.


An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms by C Arnold, has recently been fully revised – paperback £17.99, hardback £50.00.


Site Watching (1)                                                                                         by Tessa Smith

If you are walking in any of these areas please take a lively archaeological interest and report any “goings on”

Planning applications have been received regarding:-

Copthall Stadium to be demolished and a multi-sports stadium erected. Pottery and evidence of a possible Roman road have been found nearby by HADAS. English Heritage say that it warrants further consideration.

Brockley Hill Farm – west of Watling Street Extensions to the farm are planned to become a crematorium. Although it is out of our borough, we are still concerned as it is in the areas of the Roman potteries.

The Corner House – Stone Grove – Edgware. The Museum of London are watching this site, where extensions to the public house are being built, alongside Watling Street

Land between Belmont Riding Stables and St. Vincents – The Ridgeway NW7. Robert Whytehead of English Heritage considers that this application warrants further consideration as a mediaeval hamlet stood on the ridgeway – also, prehistoric finds have been made at Mill Hill School.

SITE WATCHING (2)                                                                                                              Bill Bass

HADAS will be observing the ground clearance and foundation trenches of a site at the ex ‘Wheels’ Parking Lot, Potters Lane, Barnet (junction of Potters Lane and the Great North Road). This is due to take place during the middle of August; would any volunteers contact me on 0181­449 0165.

Development of a site on land at the northern end of Barnet Gate Lane has been given a waiver of archaeological assessment/evaluation by English Heritage as it is unlikely to affect any archaeology in this area (none is known).

The vast Aldenham Works, latterly used to overhaul Routemaster buses has been demolished to make way for a business park. It was originally built to service the proposed tube extension from Edgware to Bushey Heath. When this was abandoned it was adapted for aircraft production especially Halifax bombers during the war, the overhead traverser cranes being particularly useful in their assembly. Used as a bus depot from 1955 it was closed in 1986.


Those who watched BBC1’s Omnibus on 7th July would have noticed the scenes filmed at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Weekend. We were there too – selling HADAS books. Our stall, initially, was not under cover but the rain held off until later in the day after we had moved into a nearby tented vacancy. Membership forms were distributed to those who showed interest in the Society’s activities, and a useful contact was made with the secretary of a Hampstead Heath ecology group who can advise us on the horticultural aspects of our ongoing Saxon ditch survey. Our books sales for the one day we were there totalled £60.60, and our presence resulted in a meeting with a local bookshop proprietor who subsequently purchased a selection of publications for resale in his Temple Fortune shop. In all, a worthwhile day, even though we just missed appearing on BBC1 – possibly a blessing! Many thanks go to Arthur Till for transporting our display to and from the Suburb and to Andy Simpson and Vikki O’Connor for manning the stall


The latest volume of Hertfordshire Archaeology is now published. Copies are available from the Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust, The Seed Warehouse, Maidenhead Yard, The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PX. Cost 215.00, plus p&p £1.80.


This was a most interesting week, if at times a little strenuous – we never stopped at one hotel more than two nights! Our round trip started from Maastricht in the south-east, via Leiden (or should I spell it Leyden?) near the coast clockwise northwards to Assen then south to Nijmegen, and Leendert P Louwe Koolimans, our guide, was assiduous in explaining the varying geology of the areas we passed through. This gave a very good picture of the millennia-long contest between dry land and water partly from natural forces and partly from human activities; this has left many areas of past occupation in wet environments so that organic remains are preserved.

A good example of this is the terp, a man made mound for dwelling and cultivation (equals Dutch dorp, village – and English thorpe?). There are many of these in Friesland and Gronigen in the north. Terpen seem to have originated (6th or 5th centuries BC) by the building up of land in areas periodically inundated, and quite often animal dung was used in quantity which has made a useful preservative for archaeology! Examples go from Middle and Late Iron Age to the middle and late Middle Ages, and can show the distribution of dwellings/farms, and the laying out in plots of agricultural land. much impressive archaeological evidence of ancient land use patterns we were also told about at Weert and Someren in the south, where since 1990 large areas of the landscape (formerly mediaeval arable lands) have been surveyed by test excavations, yielding evidence of Early Iron Age urnfield ‘cemeteries’ and, in the area around, traces of dispersed Iron Age farmsteads – 13 at Weert, some 20 at Someren; and besides prehistory, both sites have traces of continuing occupation through Roman times on to the Middle Ages.

Indeed, we got an overall impression of the lack of any dividing line between ‘prehistoric’ and `Roman’ in the attitude of Dutch archaeologists, who have the evidence of the continuity of the way the native population carried on in the same way during Roman times. Some of us prehistoric enthusiasts were a little put out by the amount of Roman stuff we were shown in the areas of the Roman frontier (Limes was a word much used), but we began to realise the advantage of this non-divisive attitude in finding out the story of local communities. And we certainly got an impression of the local-community interest in archaeology, reflected in work being done by archaeological groups in partnership with local authorities – and at Oss, in the south, we were invited to the start of a dig where the local Mayor operated the mechanical digger

..„) open up the first trench at a site of numerous Bronze Age barrows! We were also welcomed by the mayor at Stein, where a boat Museum contains, in situ, a neolithic gallery grave which was the centre of a settlement of the early Neolithic (Bandkeramik), of which the ground-plans of many houses have been found.

Stone monuments are limited in Holland – there is not much rock about. However, in areas in the north, glacial erratics have been used to construct hunebedden, which are gallery-graves, 2 rows of upright stones with capstones across the top; they date from 3400 to 3000 BC and are related to the Neolithic TRB (Trichterband) culture of Schleswig-Holstein and southern Scandinavia. They have yielded quite a lot of grave goods and offerings (pottery, flint etc.) and burnt bone remains. We saw quite a number of these in our travels.

Another point of community interest was the extent of amateur work we were told about. A particular site we visited was the flint mine at Rijckholt, in south Limburg. Here there is what the Dutch call ‘a hill’ (they realised we should think this an exaggeration!) which has chalk below it with seams of flint – very reminiscent of Grimes’ Graves. Research has gone on here since last “century, and vertical shafts were discovered in the 1960s; however these could only be explored with the help of a group of amateur archaeologists who happened to have mining expertise, and this group tunnelled horizontally into the side of the slope, with the result that now there is a neat

Text Box: On 1st January the Greater London Record Office was renamed London Metropolitan Archives. Owned by the Corporation of London, the Archives now offer a greatly expanded range andconcreted passage, with apertures at the side giving a view along the ancient galleries and of the shafts that have been found. The mining experts were most impressed with the extremely safe and efficient mining techniques of their prehistoric predecessors.

Time and space prevent me from giving details of the many more sites we visited than the above few, but I hope this is enough to demonstrate the interest of this trip.


On a recent week in North Yorkshire with the Royal Archaeological Institute we visited Philip Rahtz’s excavation at St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale. The church is especially famous for a sundial (now hidden from the sun in a porch) with an Anglo-Saxon inscription recording its rebuilding by Orm son of Gomal between 1055 and 1065. Research on the church and area, including topographical and geophysical survey, documentary study, structural analysis and excavation, has been in progress since 1994, on behalf of the Helmsley Archaeological Society and the University of York, with some support from North Yorkshire County Council. Important finds include a piece of lead sheet with an Anglo-Saxon inscription of 8th-early 10th century date, and a tiny (6mm by 3mm) bead or fragment of glass with spiral yellow and white trails – “a very classy piece” according to Professor Rahtz, paralleled only from San Vincenzo in Italy; whether it was imported, or made locally it emphasised the importance of St Gregory’s Minster, very remote though it seems now. On our visit there was a 3m by 3m trench open at the foot of the tower; an empty stone sarcophagus had just been extracted from it, and besides bones (including three skulls which had been found facing east) there was a robber trench, probably of the church which Orm rebuilt, and perhaps traces of glass-making.

Also during the week – which was led by Brian Dix, who talked to HADAS recently about garden archaeology – we saw the Roman camps at Cawthorn, in the middle of a forest; when these camps were partially excavated in the 1920s, they were thought to form practice works – it is certainly odd to find adjacent a coffin-shaped camp enclosing some 2 hectares, a square one immediately to the west overlying its defences, and another to its east – the last one subsequently provided with an annex on its eastern side. But re-appraisal suggests that they were used by a permanent garrison up to about 120 AD. From the other end of the Roman occupation of Britain came the Signal Station on the edge of the cliff within the precincts of Scarborough Castle. Little survives of that, but English Heritage are thinking of constructing a replica nearby.


The British Library has recently published a report of the Newsplan project in the London and South eastern Library Region. Member Ann Kahn has drawn attention to a review of this in a recent number of Refer, the journal of the Library Association, which says “No-one should doubt the importance of Newsplan. Although many libraries have acted to preserve their local newspapers, Newsplan offers a co-operative solution, with cost-sharing opportunities, to some of the problems which local newspapers bring to libraries. It works through a two-stage programme in each region. The first stage is an audit of regional resources and preservation requirements and priorities, carried out with substantial financial support from the British Library. In the second stage, which the London and South Eastern Library Region project has now reached, the region’s libraries co-operate, with continuing support from the British Library, to achieve more preservation of local newspapers at less cost.

This volume provides, for the first time, a view of London and south-east England’s local newspapers as a regional resource and in a national context.  This is an indispensable tool for all local historians and researchers into aspects of local studies and a splendid role model for how reference books should be compiled.”

quality of service. There are some 31 miles of archives, books, maps, prints and photographs including a rich and varied collection of official and deposited London and Middlesex archives. The Archives are open to everyone five days a week (nearest stations Farringdon and Angel). There is access for people with limited mobility and parking bays are available for orange badge holders next to the building.


The latest Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society includes an evaluation of the Roman Road at Brockley Hill. Members may recollect our own field walking and small excavation in that area in 1987. The Museum of London Archaeology Service dug fourteen archaeological evaluation trenches in February 1995 and had a watching brief subsequently. In six of the evaluation trenches adjacent to the modern road a Roman road with a ditch on the west side was found directly below the topsoil. Limited investigation showed that the road had been constructed on a bank of clay and gravel layers, and had undergone periodic maintenance as indicated by a number of successive road gravels and re-cutting of the ditch when it had silted up. Dating evidence confirmed the road was in use into the fourth century, Early Roman pottery was of the type produced at Brockley Hill and the Roman ceramic building material was of fabric types produced in kilns found alongside Roman Watling Street. The most significant find was a Roman folding knife.


Members who went to Boxgrove in July 1995 or heard Simon Parfitt’s lecture last year may be interested to read “Fairweather Eden: Life in Britain Half a Million Years Ago as Revealed by the Excavations at Boxgrove” by Michael Pitts and Mark Roberts (Century, £17.99). A recent review of this in the New Scientist by Paul Bahn includes the following paragraph “Boxgrove’s other major contribution to our knowledge of early humans derives from its evidence for butchery and hunting. Cuts on animal bones were first noticed here in 1986. Gradually archaeologists discovered them on the remains of many more large animals, indicating the systematic and skilful removal of muscle from creatures such as a horse and a rhino. Moreover, any marks of carnivore teeth on the bones occur on top of the cut marks, proving that the humans were there first. Finally, a horse’s shoulder blade displays part of a circular perforation which pathologist Bernard Knight found to be consistent with a blow from a thrown spear these early humans were hunters of large, fit, mature animals. They also carried out the butchery of the carcasses in an unhurried, efficient and cooperative manner.”


Professor Doumas of the University of Athens gave a lecture recently in the Institute of Archaeology on the wall-paintings of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Thera or Santorini. These wall-paintings, in mineral colours, and lacking green, were preserved by a volcanic eruption in the middle of the second millennium BC. They come from private houses – presumably from the wealthiest part of the ancient city – and have a great variety of themes – a frieze of a naval expedition, showing its various ports of call; youths holding fish; women gathering saffron; two youths boxing; a woman in obvious pain from a cut to her toe; flowers of various sorts, aquatic birds, dragonflies, and decorative patterns. The style owed something to Egypt and the near east, but Professor Doumas emphasised the European nature of the art. He interpreted several of the scenes with figures as of initiation into adulthood, since heads seemed to be shaven. It was with sadness that the audience learnt at the end of the lecture that there was no point in rushing straight to Heathrow for a plane to Santorini, since the paintings are not yet on display.

Enfield Archaeological Society’s chairman, Geoffrey Gillam, was apparently ‘trampled in, the rush’ of volunteers offering to assist with their society’s activities. Geoffrey – what’s the secret?!!


It is 100 years since Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and twenty years since HADAS published “Victorian Jubilees”, edited by Ted Sammes, in the year of our present Queen’s Silver , Jubilee. It is evocative to read of the celebrations – church services, dinners, teas, sports, processions (in some places these put off for a couple of days and then spoiled by rain); and of the projects – two parks, a cottage hospital, and the refurbishment of the Campe almshouses in Friern Barnet Lane. Members who do not have a copy of this booklet can get one at the genuine bargain price of £1 including postage and packing (50p at meetings) from Roy Walker (2a Dene Road, N11 1 ES).


The Islington Museum Gallery, 268 Upper Street, N1, has an Exhibition: Your Museum: Present schemes and future dreams’ from 6 – 31 August. The gallery is run by the Islington Museum Trust, an independent charity whose aim is to establish a permanent museum located in the Town Hall, Upper Street, which would house and display their collections. The Trust has three support schemes: the Business Friends; Patrons; Friends of the Museum, and they are currently working on a lottery bid. This exhibition offers the chance to view part of their collection, learn their future plans and visit the proposed site. Opening hours are: Wed – Fri 11am – 5pm; Saturday 11am – 5pm; Sunday 2pm – 4pm, Admission free. —

The Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, has an exhibition this month entitled “Made in Heaven”; some 400 wedding photographs selected from a unique private collection. The Museum is closed on Fridays and Sunday mornings.


A day-school “Treasures from the Grave: Latest spectacular Discoveries at Colchester and St Albans” is to be held at The Lecture Room, Colchester Castle, Colchester on Saturday 27th September from 11.00 am to 4.45pm. Fee £16 (£12 concessionary) Speakers are Philip Crummy, Director of Excavations, Colchester Archaeological Trust, and Rosalind Nisbett of St Albans Planning and Heritage Department, St Albans District Council. For more details and tickets send to: The Centre for Continuing Education, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, C04 3SQ). (tel 01206 872519). Cheques payable to ‘University of Essex’.


SCOLA (the Standing Conference on London Archaeology) has decided that it would be timely to revisit and expand “The Future of London’s Past”, that seminal document published almost twenty-five years ago. A conference, with Martin Biddle and Peter Addyman among the speakers, is therefore being arranged for Saturday 6th December in the Museum of London. It will cost £7.50 (£6 for members of SCOLA) to include tea and coffee.

This month’s editor is the Assistant Secretary of SCOLA, and if you will send him (P E Pickering, 3 Westbury Road London N12 7NY) a cheque payable to SCOLA he will send you tickets.

(A stamped addressed envelope would be helpful)


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No. 313 Edited by Liz Sagues                                                   APRIL 1997


Tuesday April 8: Lecture: Claude Grahame-White and Hendon Aerodrome, by Bill Firth. Bill is a HADAS member and for many years has fought hard to have some of the Aerodrome’s original                                                                   buildings retained. Flying began at Hendon in 1910, when Claude         Grahame-White purchased the field and established a flying school. Grahame-White, Engand’s first certificated pilot, is one of the unsung pioneers of aviation, and among his innovations were navigation methods which proved, for the time, entirely practical — he advised following railway lines and dropping low to read the station names! Between the wars, he even persuaded the railway companies to paint the stations’ names on their roofs! In 1911 the first official Air Mail was flown from Hendon to Windsor. Come to the lecture and learn more…

Tuesday May 13: Morning tour of the Garrick Club, with Mary O’Connell. 

Tuesday May 13: Annual General Meeting. Attractions beyond the boring business are planned:


Bill Firth’s lecture and the AGM are in the Drawing Room (ground floor) at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3, starting at 8pm for 8.30pm. Members can also take the opportunity to visit the HADAS library. 

Saturday June 7: Outing to Chedworth Roman Villa and Cirencester.

September 4 – 7: Weekend in York. We are fully booked for this, with a short waiting list. Members are welcome to add their names to this list if they wish.

News of members

Among the welcome rush of membership renewals was a note from Louise de Launay, widow of Jules, who left Edgware in 1977 and in recent months moved to just outside Canterbury from whence she sends her best wishes to HADAS. We reciprocate with just a tinge of envy as she describes her sur­roundings in glowing terms — the magnolia and fruit trees, nearby river and birdlife…

Helen Gordon is now back home from hospital and recovering after a third fall. She has broken a shoulder, one hip and then the other — there can’t be too many more bones left to break. Seriously, though, we wish her all the very best ‘and hope she will be mobile soon.

Ted Sammes is getting stronger and is taking part in a few local archaeological meetings and events when friends can give him a lift.

Victor Jones is also progressing and can now do his own shopping with the aid of an ingenious three-wheeled support which he can steer and brake. Believe it or not, he has started driving again.

Miss Sheldon (Shelley) moved away several years ago but will be remembered by many members for her happy disposition on nearly all our outings and lectures. She is a great age now but still writes interesting letters to Renata Feldman, sometimes with suggestions for HADAS outings.

Julius Baker, probably our most senior member —in his 90th year — should be in the Guinness Book of Records. He is an energetic participant at lectures and on outings, and is at present on a three-month trip to Africa. He was born in South Africa, and now after many years exile in England he has re­turned to his native continent to see many places he has never visited.

Flying to Johannesburg, he is going on to the Okavango delta and anticipates paddling a boat down the streams. Then it’s on to Chobe, Angola and Botswana. Etopsha, north of Namibia, is a wet area swarming with birds and wild animals. In the desert sands of Namibia and Angola he will see the tallest sand dunes in the world and large canyons second only to the American Grand Canyon. Basutoland and Swaziland are also on his itinerary, then he will go down to the Cape coast where the largest diamond deposits are mined.

We admire his enthusiasm and look forward to his safe return in time for our own archaeological excursions in the summer.

Following in the footsteps of the late Brigid Grafton Green, whose contributions to HADAS and to pre­serving and promoting the history of Hampstead Garden Suburb will be ever remembered, another HADAS member, Ann Saunders, has become chair- man of the Suburb Archive Trust. Harry Cobb, CBE, has taken on the duties of archivist.

The Trust was founded in 1979 to collect and preserve documents and other items relating to the history of the Suburb. Since then it has built up an extensive and valuable collection of material and objects, much of which has been transferred to the Greater London Record Office for professional con­servation, protection and cataloguing. The Trust will retain ownership of, and control over, the material, which will be available either in original form or copy for display on special occasions on the Suburb and elsewhere.

The Archive Trust remains committed to its original task, and invites Suburb residents and oth­ers to contribute, or make available for copying, relevant material. The Trust has a limited budget and gratefully receives gifts of books, etc, connected with the Suburb’s history and architecture.

Enquiries, addressed to The Institute, Central Square, NW11, will receive careful attention.

The great outdoors

There may just still be time to catch the spring exhi­bition at Church Farmhouse Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon. “Hidden places and secret spaces in Barnet” is the theme of Our Suburban Countryside, which runs until April 6. Information has been drawn from the surprisingly large number of local organisations with interests in the countryside to provide details of walks, trails, nature reserves, bird-watching and other more esoteric activities such as bat-counting.

Coming next at the museum is The Splendour of Heraldry, a display put together by the North East Middlesex Heraldry Society. If you thought her­aldry concerned only those whose names are in Debrett’s, this exhibition — which takes in pub signs and company logos as well as more formal armorial bearings — should be a revelation. For more details, ring the museum on 0181-203 0130.

Back in order

Numerate members will have spotted that this News­letter and its predecessor do not carry successive numbers. We’ve skipped over No. 312. The reason is — as those same members no doubt also noticed —that two issues appeared last summer with the same number, and we’re now putting the sequence right.

To those members who added a little extra to their fee this year, thank you (on behalf of all).

Our total membership for 96/ 97 passed the 300 mark, and we welcome those who have joined since Christmas — Robert and Eveleen Wright, Pauline Plant and Susan Whitford.

We would very much like to hear from mem­bers pursuing research of any type for, possibly, a new item or short article in the Newsletter, or purely for information should other members be involved in a similar project.

By the way, Andy Simpson’s publication of the cartoon of an irate female, together with a warning about getting your renewals in, appears to have worked! So I’ve hung up the ceremonial sword for another 12 months. On the other hand, if we don’t see a good attendance at lectures, it can always come vs” down again.

Vikki (don’t call me Salome) O’Connor

Newsletter hiccups

Even the impeccably efficient Dorothy Newbury is a victim of printing and other gremlins occasionally. So she offers her apologies to the member whose Newsletter had two blank pages, and another whose envelope failed to contain the promised 1997 pro­gramme card. Anyone suffering similar problems should ring Dorothy (0181-203 0950) and matters will be promptly put right.

A commemorative role …

Wanted: a member with time on his or her hands to update the HADAS publication Blue Plaques in Barnet. A list of the additions has already been made, with details. Some need a black and white picture to accompany the text. If necessary, there is a member who could help with the photography. If you’re interested and don’t have a copy of Blue Plaques, one can be supplied for your guidance. Any­one willing to volunteer should phone Dorothy Newbury on 0181-203 0950.

Janet Faraday

Janet Faraday, a very long-standing member and a regular at lectures, outings and Christmas dinners, died on March 11 at the Royal Free Hospital. Al­though she had been receiving medical treatment for a year or so she entered hospital only a few days before her death. We shall all miss her happy, friendly, helpful disposition. She was a descendant of pioneer electrical engineer Michael Faraday (pictured on the £20 note) and arranged a HADAS visit to the Royal Institution last year in commemo­ration of her illustrious relative.

Sacred sites, ancient on modern

Andy Simpson reports on the February lecture, A History of Hertfordshire

An audience of some 30 members enjoyed a typically entertaining Tony Rook presentation and took the opportunity to browse through some of Tony’s ex­cellent publications. Indeed, these notes are based in part on one of his Nutshell Notebook series — a splendid 50p-worth if ever there was one, covering the salient points of the lecture and illustrated with maps.

Tony, of course, excavated the Roman bath­house now displayed under the Al at Welwyn visited in the past by HADAS — and after describing himself as “archaeology’s foremost fornacator” (a bath-house slave) launched into his lecture, with his motto “entertain, amuse, inform” to the fore. This he certainly did.

For much of its history Hertfordshire was a place that grew things for use elsewhere or provided services for people travelling through. Tony pointed out how radial routes to London cut the county north-south. Moving east-west across it was much harder. County Council meetings used to be held in London as it was the easiest place for everyone to get to!

Until very recently Hertfordshire was entirely agricultural. Earliest occupation had been on the chalk uplands, with the heavy, forested clay low­lands mainly in the south of the county cleared and ploughed only in the Iron Age. London breweries were once supplied by malt grown in the “cham­pagne country” of southern Hertfordshire.

The county’s early occupiers are represented by Britain’s easternmost long barrow, at Royston Therfield Heath, this religious monument of pre-

historic times now surviving on a “sacred site” of the modern age —a golf course. The county also has many ring-ditched barrows, frequently ploughed out. The Iron Age Belgae had a fortified place — a 120-acre plateau fort — at Wheathampstead, where Caesar may have fought Cassivellaunus in 54BC, with a boundary ditch to the north of their territory 100 feet across and 30 feet deep even today. After 43BC the Belgae spread their settlement to the gravel plateaux, represented by Tony’s effort with his Nikon, “2,000 years at f22”, to photograph the Iron

Age Welwyn Garden City (aka Butser). There are 15 Iron Age farms known in Welwyn — as always, Tony remarked, distribution maps plot active ar­chaeologists!

Then came the Romans: “with poor steering gear on their chariots, hence the straight roads”. Most villas were on the light, chalky soils around Verulamium, with parts of the county not cultivated until the Dark Ages. A slide of a reconstructed settlement from that period illustrated the “bio­degradable Saxons” with their timber and thatch leaving little evidence. The 1086 Domesday survey, however, provides a snapshot of late Saxon Hert­fordshire, with an explosion of settlement in the north east of the county, quite empty in Roman times.

The Normans imposed control with castles such as Berkhamsted, while south of St Albans many stretches of forest took over previously cultivated ground. After the Black Death, wages and rent replaced feudal dues. Later, the first-ever toll road was built in Hertfordshire, with Rodwell having the first turnpike stretch. Most roads remained as radial routes. The Reading road was known as the “gout track” as sufferers headed for the healing waters of Bath.

The first canal, the New River, took drinking water—not boats—from Amwell Spring to London in the 17th century. The Grand Union (later Grand Junction) Canal and, from 1838, the London to Bir­mingham Railway, brought the industrial revolu­tion to the west of the county first. The mills and maltings have all now gone or have been converted into desirable commuter homes. The 19th century saw women attain financial independence as straw hat-makers, earning more than their agricultural labourer menfolk. Later Ebenezer Howard sug­gested bringing housing and industry together in Garden Cities such as Letchworth and Welwyn to avoid commuting. Post-war, the Government in­troduced new towns such as Stevenage.

All in all this was a fascinating and enjoyable lecture — Tony certainly did “entertain, amuse, inform”.

Whither archaeology in the 21st century?

Sheila Woodward, HADAS representative on the CBA, reports on a crucial discussion

At the Winter General Meeting of the Council for British Archaeology, held in York on February 2.7, there was a wide-ranging discussion on British ar­chaeology’s future and what the CBA should be doing to publicise its needs. It is difficult to summa­rise such a lengthy and comprehensive debate (a full report will be published by the CBA in due course) but the matters discussed were grouped under five main headings.

National policy and sustainability

There was considerable criticism of lack of co­ordination and consequent variation of standards of facilities, expertise and funding between different areas. Growing archiving problems must also be tackled.

Quality of work being done

Archaeology still lacks adequate status. The growing commercialisation (competitive tendering) can result in excavation by teams with good techni­cal skills but a lack of local knowledge. The increas­ing range of technologies is complicating training. There was also criticism of the lack of monitoring of excavations, and of the whimsicality of Lottery funding!

Attenuation of local government archive services Local government reorganisation has often proved disastrous for archaeology, and the importance of “educating” local councillors was stressed. The future of archaeology in universities

There was some difference of opinion about the content of university archaeology courses as many students do not intend to become practical excavators.

Public participation and communication

These were recognised as increasingly impor­tant and could be valuable assets in improving the status of archaeology.

There was some criticism of the general tone of the debate as being too pessimistic and failing to appreciate the enormous improvements achieved in recent years. The final resolution accepted that criticism.

The wording of the resolution, passed in great haste as time had run out, was amended so often that I cannot transcribe it accurately! However, the gist of it was that, while recognising the large ad­vances made in archaeology in the last 30 years and welcoming the prospects offered by new sources of funding, the Council must press for increased visibility of the subject, draw public attention to threats, refocus the understanding of the needs for studying the subject, and seek to re-establish a common sense of purpose within the discipline.

A window on Victorian attitudes to philanthropy

HADAS member Douglas Morgan has moved south in his study of great stained glass windows. Follow­ing his monograph Windows on Crathie (the Deeside church where Queen Victoria was a frequent wor­shipper), reviewed in the March 1995 Newsletter, comes Great West Window, a study — with fine coloured illustrations — of the Victorian west win­dow in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge.

Douglas Morgan explains that the west window had been included in the original Tudor plan for stained glass throughout the chapel, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. But for some reason — and debate still rages over quite what that reason was — work stopped short, and plain glass was inserted instead.

Even when the offer of a 19th century benefac­tor Francis Edmund Stacey, a former Fellow of the college, to complete what had been intended was accepted, realisation of his generosity was no simple or easy matter. There was the question of the initial design, on “a triumphant hymn of praise”, by the respected firm of Clayton and Bell. The Provost and Fellows of King’s found it too modern, incorporating events which post-dated the Bible.

Even the replacement design, on Stacey’s origi­nal favoured theme of the Last Judgement, had its problems— nudity among the condemned souls was disapproved of, and was the Archangel not over­armed? Finally, after revisions, it was approved, but the disputes and delays carried on, particularly as a result of Clayton and Bell’s request to display the window, before installing it in Cambridge, at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.

The detailed story of all this makes intriguing reading, and opens its own window on the complica­tions of Victorian philanthropy — not a million miles away from those which surround today’s Lottery benefactions.

Great West Window is offered to HADAS members at the special price of £2, plus 75p post and packing. Cheques to Arabesque Publications, 12 Wildwood Grove, NW3 71111 (0181-455 3513).Happy birthday, Hampstead’s saviours

April 7 1897 was an important day for local history in North London. It saw the formation of the Hampstead Heath Protection Society (now the Heath and Old Hampstead Society) and marked the begin­ning of a magnificent, continuing effort to protect, preserve and enhance a very special part of North London.

Since that day the society has extended its pro­tective role beyond the boundaries of the Heath —now four times its original area, largely thanks to the society — to cover Hampstead Town (“Village” is a description applied by newcomers!) and has dedi­cated enormous effort to save the area from sacrifice to the god car, to fight ugly and unneeded develop­ment, to support useful shops, to restore appropriate street furniture and generally to keep Hampstead and the Heath the way everyone loves them.

A programme of events is under way to celebrate the birthday, with highlights including exhibitions at Burgh House (now on) and Kenwood (opening in June), lectures and concerts. And in September the restoration of the Chalybeate Well in Well Walk— one of the famous wells of Hampstead, which brought the Town its initial repute — will be marked by a ceremony in honour of Christopher Wade, Hampstead’s best-known local historian, founder with his late wife Diana of Hampstead Museum, and for many years a HADAS member.

The centenary is being marked, too, by pub­lication of a book, A Constant Vigil, which features selections from 100 years of the society’s annual reports, a fascinating insight into the issues which have made the headlines in Hampstead. Proceeds from sales of the book will help the society continue its work. Copies cost £9.95 from Burgh House or local bookshops.

There was industrial activity on Hampstead Heath after mesolithic man’s tool-making —brick-making in the 19th century. In this article, reproduced from the Heath and Old Hampstead Society’s Newsletter, geologist Eric Robinson explains where and why.

A source of bricks for building the terraces

It. may be difficult to believe that between 1866 and the end of the century there was an extensive brickfield on the west side of the Heath, stretching from the Viaduct down the valley of the Hampstead Ponds. It was an enterprise generated by Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson to allow John Culverhouse, a local builder, to make the bricks needed for the extended terraces of the Village.

Geologically, the ground of the brickfield was underlain by London Clay overlain by silts and clays of the Claygate Beds. Together they make an excel­lent blend of materials for brick-making. When fresh and unweathered, London Clay is rich in iron pyrites (sulphide) which changes to sulphate on exposure to air. Sulphate takes the form of crystals of gypsum—liable to cause bricks to burst when they are fired in a kiln.

On the Heath, the clay was dug by hand, and cut from terraces notching the hillslopes below the Viaduct. It was then left to be washed by rain to flush out the gypsum. Then it could be blended with the fine silts of the Claygate Beds together with the brickearth (wind-blown silt from the top surface of the Heath).

Many of the bricks were fired in very simple kilns. if the wind was in the east, the reek of sulphur smoke must have hung heavily over Hampstead.

The product was a yellowish stock brick. The outer bricks of the kiln often fused together to form dis­torted blocks with glazed surfaces which we often see in garden walls in Hampstead.A well-known photograph of 1880 makes it clear that clay was cut over both sides of the valley (really the headwaters of the River Fleet) at the height of the workings. It would be difficult to identify the area in the present landscape. The benches and terraces have been levelled; the football field occupies the uppermost level. Elsewhere, the thick and tangled vegetation of the valley above the Mixed Bathing Pond and again towards the Vale of Health may indicate deep disturbance of the ground. Like the sand-pits of Sandy Heath and the Spaniards Road, the disappearance of the brickfield is evidence of the speed with which nature colonises open space and broken ground. Ecologically, this is an area of the Heath given over to invasive species.

Neighbourly happenings

· Next lecture in the Barnet and District Local History Society programme is Sir John Soane and His Collection, by Helen Dorey. The amazing “cabinet of curiosities” put together by Sir John, architect of the Bank of England and other notable buildings, is preserved for the nation by the Act of Parliament he instigated, and can be seen at his home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields — one of the most fascinating small museums in London. The lecture is in the Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Staplyton Road, Barnet, at 7.45 for 8pm.

· Enfield Archaeological Society holds its AGM on April 18, with reports of fieldwork and research following the business. The meeting is at Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane, Enfield, 8pm. Visitors are asked to contribute 50p.

· Industrial Archaeology, described by John Boyes, will be the subject of the Finchley Society’s April meeting, on the 24th. The location is the same as for HADAS meetings — the Drawing Room at Avenue House — and the start time is 7.45pm.

Calling all juniors

Junior members are invited by the British Museum to attend its Archaeological Open Day on April 23. The subject is Archaeology in the Near East, and the day which is free — is intended for sixth formers and interested year 11 students. It offers an intro­duction to the archaeology of Mesopotamia and Western Asia in general. There will be lectures, workshops and gallery visits, plus presentations by universities offering degree courses in Near Eastern archaeology. For tickets, apply to the British Museum Education Service, London WC1B 3LA (0171-323 8511/8854).

What the papers say…

“Archaeologists have located the site of the ‘forgot­ten battle of 1066.” The battle for London, almost three months after William’s victory at Hastings, is thought to have been fought just within the walls of the Roman city, at the junction of Cheapside and the Folkmoot, a meeting place long buried under the northern edge of St Paul’s Cathedral. (Sunday Times)

“The fossilised skeleton of an carnivorous amphib­ian dating from the Triassic Period has been hailed by palaeontologists as one of the most significant finds in Australia this century.” The fossil, of a fearsome creature more than 6ft long and equipped with enormous teeth, has been dated at 220 million years old, about 10 million years older than the earli­est dinosaur. (Daily Telegraph)

“The Mildenhall treasure, a magnificent hoard of Roman silver plate supposedly dug up 50 years ago in East Anglia, may have been illegally imported by American troops immediately afterthe second world war.” Dr Paul Ashbee, formerly a lecturer in arch­aeology at the University of East Anglia, suggests it may have been looted by American troops in Europe, flown to the Mildenhall airbase, passed to a local antiquities dealer and declared to the authorities only under pressure, the dealer claiming to have dug it up locally. Dr Ashbee claims British Museum curators knew of the treasure’s doubtful provenance, but were unable to question it to for fear of instigating a diplo­matic row and risking their jobs. (Sunday Times)

“Two-thousand-year old graves containing daggers and long swords may be proof that the legendary women warriors, the Amazons, existed on the Russian steppes.” The archaeologists’ find fits with the location and date of Herodotus’s identification of the Amazons. (The Independent)

Notice of AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the society will be held at 8.30pm on Tuesday May 13, 1997 at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3. Coffee will be available from 8pm.

Nominations for officers and members of the committee must be submitted to me on the nomination form below, to reach me no later than May 6, 1997. The consent of your nominee(s) must be obtained in writing before submitting their name(s).

Resolutions submitted by members for consideration at the AGM must be received by me not later than April 22, 1997.

The ‘traitor’ who found sanctuary in Mill Hill

HADAS is grateful to the Mill Hill Historical Society for permission to publish this article, which appeared in one of its recent newsletters, It concerns one of the area’s earliest links with America — though not the very first, which was through the friendship of botanist Peter Collinson with Benjamin Franklin and another botanist, John Bartram, like Franklin a resident of Philadelphia.

When the War of Independence broke out in 1775 three brothers who held large landed estates in York County, Pennsylvania, sided with the loyalists, sup­porting the British. When a year later independence was achieved they found themselves held to be traitors. All had their property confiscated. William Rankin, a colonel, was arrested and imprisoned in York jail, from which he escaped and fled to Eng­land, as did his other brother.

A few weeks before the Declaration of Inde­pendence in 1776 the third brother, James Rankin, aged 45, had been elected to the Pennsylvania As­sembly. Now he was accused of misrepresenting and insulting the Whig Committee of York County. Though he is said to have confessed, asked forgive­ness, and promised to behave as a good citizen, he too was deprived of his property and fled to New York. There he served as chairman of the Board of Refugees which dealt with the large numbers then emigrating from America to Canada and to this country.

When James Rankin himself crossed to England we do not know, but in 1787 he came to live in Mill Hill. Perhaps he had met his neighbour Michael Collinson, Peter’s son, who is said to have strongly condemned the “unnatural ingratitude of America”. Despite his losses he must still have been a man of means, for he purchased the substan­tial residence of Littleberries on the Ridgeway with the neighbouring house of Jeannettes, with a total estate of 22 acres. He would seem to have let Littleberries soon afterwards to Thomas Kerr, while he lived with his wife Ann in Jeannettes.

For the year 1793 Rankin took the office of an Overseer of the Poor for Hendon and it is interesting to note that in that year £3 18s Vzd was spent on repairing the windows, roof, floors and plaster of the almshouses at the top of Milespit Hill.

While James Rankin was in Mill Hill a small part of his estate in America was restored to a son and daughter, and it is said that the British Government compensated the brothers for their losses. James Rankin died in 1803, aged 72, but his widow continued to live in Jeannettes for another 27 years, dying there at the age of 83 in 1830. They were both buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Hendon.

• Mill Hill Historical Society member Wendy Davis has produced a poster illustrating the door­ways of all the listed buildings in Mill Hill. Copies are available from her at 41 Victoria Road, NW7 4BA (0181-959 7126) for £3.90 plus postage.


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No. 290 MAY 1995                     EDITED BY ANN KAHN
REMEMBER: meetings venue for 1995 – Stephenson Room (1st floor)
Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley N3, starting at 8pm for 8.30pm.
Tuesday May 2 – 8pm  for 8.30pm, HADAS Annual General Meeting
After the meeting Vice President Ted Sammes, FSA will give a talk with slides on “Windmills”. (Members with photographs of HADAS outings or digs over the past year could bring them for others to see before the meeting).
Tuesday May 15. Evening Tour and Supper at the House of Commons with John Marshall, M.P.
Tickets enclosed with this Newsletter. Please bring the ticket with you entrance by ticket only.
Saturday June 17. Outing – Malmesbury, Yatesbury and Avebury
with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins
Saturday July 15. Outing – Colchester with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward Saturday August 19. Outing – Silchester with Bill Bass and Vicki O’Connor
We are looking forward to our first outing of the year which will be on Saturday 17th June. Our annual programme entitles it as “Malmesbury and Compton Bassett” but we learnt from the excellent lecture in March that the Institute of Archaeology dig is now at YATESBURY (a mile or so from Compton Bassett).
On 17th June we will visit Yatesbury first, where one of the archaeological teams will explain the forthcoming excavation of the village site. He will then accompany us to Avebury where he will give us a guided tour explaining new interpretations. In the afternoon we visit Malmesbury to see the ancient Abbey and town. The countryside is lovely and we are sure you will enjoy this outing. (Application forms will be with the June Newsletter).
THE HOME FRONT IN BARNET IN WORLD WAR II: an exhibition at Church Farm Museum
(3 May – 3 September 1995) Gerrard Roots
The Church Farm’s exhibition – with sections on the Home Guard, the emergency services, rationing, ‘make do and mend’, schools, industry, entertainment etc., and with a reconstructed kitchen and Anderson shelter – will show how people in our area coped with day-to-day effect of ‘the war to save democracy’.
A pair of satin, chisel-toed backless gentlemen’s slippers, known as mules, fetched nearly £14, 375. 00 at auction recently. They were highly fashionable in the 17thc but only en extremely wealthy person could have afforded them,
(Daily Mail 17.2.1995. Extract).
From its title “Excavation at Folly Lane, St Albans”, combined with the information that this was a pre-development evaluation of an allotment site to see whether or not any of the well-known local Roman and Late Iron Age remains extended to it, the lecture by Simon West could have been boringly negative. But in fact,of course, it was fascinating, as the dig itself must have been to those engaged on it. What was revealed was a most important and informative native British mortuary site dating from 30-50 AD of a local dignitary (warrior, chief, king?).
Simon’s down-to-earth, factual account took us through a survey of the area, an account of the techniques used, including ground-probing radar and a kite-flown aerial camera (which did not seem to arouse much enthusiasm amongst camera-owning members!), and the progress of interpretation as digging went on. After an Iron Age ditch with some burials, the large rectangular feature began to reveal itself and not surprisingly was first thought to be a Roman fort. Then, however, there were discovered a rectangular palisade ditch within the large enclosure, and within that a cremation burial beside a pit in which were (fortunately surviving) signs and remains of ground beams of a wooden mortuary building. This appeared to have been deliberately destroyed, and there were some postholes around which possibly were revetting for a mound over the demolished structure.
Most of the grave goods had been subject to burning, and it seems that, after a ‘lying in state’ in the wooden building, the body had been taken to a funeral pyre, with goods, and then interred with them. These included a quantity of silver which had been reduced by burning to ‘droplet’ form, and other metal artefacts including horse harness and a chainmail coat. The pottery (?remains of funeral feast) mostly dated to 30-50 AD.
It seems that after the cremation and interment, the mortuary building was destroyed, and possibly a mound built over but the site continued to be respected as later burials in the area indicate, and, as Simon put it, “the Romans came, recognised this site as important, and then we get a temple”, the evidence for which was found.
From the available evidence, a reconstruction was made of the probable form of the wooden mortuary building, and comparisons with other sites in the UK and Europe have shown very similar reconstructions independently made. The uniqueness of this site, however, is in its being the largest enclosure round a mortuary building known in Britain.
The evidence of human activity on site runs from Late Neolithic and Bronze Age flints to a Home Guard gun-pit of 1940 – so it would have been worth the investigation even without the mortuary discovery; but its great importance is without doubt the light it throws on pre-Roman native (Celtic? Belgic?) culture of a period in Britain which often seems to suffer from being a kind of no-man’s-land between the archaeological sub-disciplines of Iron Age prehistory on the one hand and Roman history on the other. It gives us a picture so different from that of Caesar and other historians, of the Ancient British Europhobes of their day, bodies painted with true-blue woad, shaking their spears in defiance of interference with British sovereignty by some European political union
LAMAS Conference Bill Bass
This was the 32nd Annual Conference of London Archaeologists, held at the Museum of London 18/3/95. There were nine speakers on recent archaeology in London.
Those members who attended the HADAS lecture on Compton Basset would have seen a preview of the exhibition boards which farmed our stand at the conference. Themes this year consisted of research, site watching, forthcoming digs, also publicising of the societies lecture, outing and newsletter programme.
First lecture was by Mark Birley of MoLAS who spoke about a site at Cranfield Lane, Hillingdon. Here the plan of a mid Neolithic structure was recovered, this rare find measured 8 x 6.5m with associated pits (3), worn flint artifacts and pottery dating from 4000-3200. A reinforced post line may
have formed a second structure. Nearby evidence existed of a Bronze-age settlement with four circular huts, cooking pit, grain storage buildings and Deverel-Rimbury pottery. The settlements were surrounded by a pattern of field systems, later, differences such as the use of wells rather than sumps and much more use of pottery signalled changes, the field systems began to break down. In the 3rd and 4thC there was Romano-British occupation of a stock enclosure.
Phil Andrews (Wessex Archaeology) dealt with two areas: Prospect Park, Middlx, and Hurst Park, Surrey. The former, north of Heathrow had Neolithic slots, hollows, post-holes and Grooved ware pottery, perhaps associated with a possible long-barrow ditch. The Bronze-age reached here too, as seen by cremations and buildings. Later there are remains of Saxon grubenhauser and halls, one maybe with an apsed end.
Mark Roberts (Oxford Unit) carried out an evaluation at Harefield Road, Uxbridge finding middle Bronze-age ditches and post-holes. This lead to a full excavation
which revealed many more post-holes, so many in fact it was impossible to discern any pattern to them. Together with Iron-age and Roman period material there may have been a boundary bordering the settlement for perhaps a thousand years.
Over at Stratford the Jubilee Line Extension Project has been keeping archaeologists busy. David Wilkinson spoke on Stratford Market Depot, West Ham, this was an excavation on land previously occupied by extensive railway sidings and a fruit & veg market.
Digging has defined an Iron-age and Roman settlement which covers at least one hectare (21/2 acres) on the east bank of Channelsea River. Pits, ditches, gullies and burials were found, a nearby building was dated to approx mid Iron-age by pottery found in the pits. An unusual feature turned out
to be the skeleton of a horse, an adult in good condition. It appeared to have been laid neatly into a pit which was too small, its head and neck were ‘folded’ across its body.
A human burial also Iron-age was found, or rather the legs, the rest of its torso disappearing into the baulk. It was decided to not lift this burial and to leave it for any future work.
Roman occupation directly over the Iron-age settlement was uncovered in a 10 x 8m trench, showing perhaps continuation through the conquest period. Here they revealed a second horse burial, a dog, also an infant burial. This settlement seemed open; apparently with no enclosures. Late Roman plough soil had damaged layers of earlier (Roman) occupation, pottery dated from the 1st to 4thC, the 3rd century being poorly represented. Again a dense concentration of pits, post-hole structures and a system of ditches were recorded; relationship of the ditch system to the settlement is not clear.
Our lecturer asked the question: why bury a whole horse and dog ?. Are these animals associated with a deity for ritual or religious purposes, their deliberate deposition appears to indicate such a direction.The Iron-age occupation maybe connected with the Aylesford-Swarling tradition, burial practice for the Iron-age in general is not clearly known, therefore this site could be important.
Ken MacGowan (Newham Museum Service) discussed excavations at Stratford Langthorn Abbey, this site is almost adjacent to the above location and was dug for the same reason.
The Abbey is thought to have been built by Monks of the Savigniacs – a reformed version of the Benedictine Order, it then came under Cistercian influence. Excavations partly uncovered walls of the Abbey’s eastern end together with its northern transept.
Fountains Abbey (North Yorks) was used as an example to show the layout of the eastern end; how chapels and a crosswing had been added over the years.
The plan revealed at Stratford appeared very similar, with five bays and a lady chapel. Post-holes under the nave indic -ated a possible wooden predecessor. Approx 325 burials were in coffins others included shroud, stone, and lead types. Ash burials may have been a sign of piety. An extension had been added to the northern transept, a ditch to the north of this dissected the graveyard possibly being a division of lay brothers and monks. Another area may have contained parishion -ers as there were adult and child burials, also an outlying chapel to the north could have Cistercian origins.
Peter Rowsome of MOLAS introduced us to the work so far undertaken at No.1 Poultry, City of London. A pre-excavation evaluation accessed by four construction shafts had revealed 1st century timber buildings with clay buildings above and with masonry ones above them – all Roman. Roman, Anglo-Saxon and the medieval periods are preserved in up to 4 metres of occupation sequences. In one shaft, the via decumana running from the Basilica across the Walbrook was located associated with a wooden drain dated to 244-288 AD. 1st century AD metalwork included a huge oil lamp (one of only 6 known) complete with suspension chains.
The main excavation will commence in July beneath the ground floor slab of the new building but already two significant structures have been located in the first phase at this important site. The foundations of St. Benet Sherehog, dating from the mid-llth century and destroyed in the Great Fire, survived to over 2 metres in height and show the original church to have been a single-cell structure with re-used ragstone and Roman tile with Saxon long-and-short work. This was enlarged in the late 15th century. Following the Great Fire the site was used as a burial ground (until the mid-19th century). The second structure, located at the junction of Bucklesbury and Cheapside, was the ‘Great Conduit’. This was a castellated/vaulted cistern built 1236-1280, still surviving intact beneath the street. Originally it had been gravity fed from the Tyburn some 3 km away. On special occasions this early source of fresh water was said to have run with wine. It had fallen into disuse by the 17th century but it has now been preserved beneath Cheapside for future inspection.
Aerial surveys and excavations by Colin Martin of the Scottish History Department of St. Andrews University have revealed rich and some unexpected Roman military remains: permanent structures such as great walls, roads and forts as well as traces of temporary camps and of deliberate scorched earth desolation. Two different Roman strategies could be discerned. The first was associated with Agricola, whose policy from the outset was to grip the terrain in a complex network of roads and forts. Within this web, Rome could make effective use of her most deadly weapon – literacy – to control the land. The Roman army, with its formidable skills in engineering and other civil crafts, could support itself within its operational areas. So towards the the end of the first century AD, the Romans husbanded local resources rather than destroying them. Only at Mons Gropius was it necessary to deploy the iron fist in the purple glove.
A second strategy was deployed a century later. In 207 AD the emperor Septimius Severus, with his son Caracalla, conducted a series of massive scorched earth invasions, curtailed only by his death in York. Vast armies, up to 50,000 strong, campaigned through what became Perth and the kingdom of Fife, the most fertile areas of eastern Scotland. Their strategy can only have been ethnic cleansing, systematic destruction of agriculture and genocide by famine. (The Times 3 April 1995. Extract)
Wooden rails, dating probably from the mid-18th century, have been found at Bersham, near Wrexham. The railway, known as a wagonway because it provided a guided path for wooden wagons bringing coal and iron ore to the blast furnace at Bersham, survives for 135ft. in the form of carbonised timber tracks and sleepers. The most striking feature is a set of primitive points, the mechanism has not survived. (Source: Current Archaeology 141:332-335.
(The Times, 17 April 1996 Extract)
THE HADLEY HERMITS: The hunt continues Pamela Taylor
It is always a pleasure to chase up Jenny Cobban’s references, not least because they lead to such enjoyable places.
In the March Newsletter she reported on a pre-1141 deed from Geoffrey de Mandeville notifying his exchange of tithes which his foundation at Hurley Priory had been receiving from Edmonton, Enfield and South Mimms for 100s in rents. The income was returned to the churches concerned for the support of their priests, and any surplus was to go towards providing food and clothing for the brothers at Hadley living according to rule.
She is absolutely right that the significance of this document for Hadley’s history had never been properly appreciated, but that its existence was known. Her source, the Rev F.T. Wethered, published an English version in his St Mary’s Hurley in the Middle Ages in 1898, a book based on a group of documents at Westminster Abbey (of which Hurley became a cell), whose apparently narrow focus may have prevented a wide circulation. Another version of the deed had, however, long been known. Dugdale in his great Monasticon copied a version from a Walden Abbey cartulary, now BL Harleian MS 3697, in the 17thc, and he in turn was copied by the author of the chapter on Hadley in the Victoria County History of Middlesex (VCH) vol.5 published 1976. Dugdale’s version differed in several respects from Wethered’s, including the omission of South Mimms from the affected churches.
I therefore pursued the originals in the British Library and Westminster Abbey, with interesting results. The Westminster Abbey deed (WAM 2182, Wethered’s no. 8) is an original deed, which therefore makes it more reliable than any cartulary copy. The Walden Cartulary version in the BL turns out in any case to be quite a poor version: it not only omits South Mimms but also makes several grammatical errors. There is one mistake which Dugdale had automatically corrected but which, until I had also been to Westminster, had me and Jenny a little concerned: the brothers at Hadley were described as coming rather than living – venientibus for viventibus. Dugdale and Wethered were both considerably better copyists than the Waldlen monk.
A complete Latin copy of WAM 2182 as well as a transcript of the relevant part of the BL cartulary, are now at the Local Studies and Archives. For those who are interested, the key passage in WAM 2182 reads ‘et de reliquo fratibus de Adlega canonice viventibus victum inveniendum et vestitium’.
The actual truth behind the words remains obscure. One does not have to be very cynical to doubt if the three churches would ever have found a surplus to transfer to Hadley. Geoffrey de Mandeville too may have been disingenuous since the churches were in any case soon reappropriated, this time to his more recent foundation at Walden. Hadley thereafter belonged to Walden, and although it may have remained a cell, the brothers were presumably assimilated. The interest of this document, however, is to show that there were brothers living by a rule at Hadley before it passed to Walden. Geoffrey’s foundation charter to Walden, found in the same cartulary and also in Dugdale, VCH Essex, and our file at Local History and Archives, includes the grant of the hermitage (heremitagium) at Hadley but does not mention its occupants. There is one other tantalising reference in another BL manuscript, Cotton Vespasian E vi, f 26, which contains copies from Walden’s Foundation Book and states that Geoffrey gave to Walden ‘the place of Hadley built by Otuel’ (correctly transcribed in Cass, Monken Hadley, p.37: ‘locum etiam de Hadleia ab Otuela construct’ cum suss pertinentiis contulit.’) Do we have here the name of the original hermit?
As Jenny remarked, a tighter chronology would be helpful. The two chronicles which place Walden’s foundation in 1136 also refer to Geoffrey as Earl of Essex, which was only the case from 1140 until his death in 1144. WAM 2182 has only been dated pre 1141.
The hunt is far from over.
The Department of National Heritage has launched a “Defence of Britain” project, which aims to map and catalogue the surviving structures of the thousands of concrete pillboxes, defensive ditches, airfields and gun emplacements built during WWII. Many have already gone or are disappearing. Amateur archaeologists, including the Fortress Study Group, have been enlisted to survey sites in the field; while English Heritage is supporting a complementary programme of documentary research on 20th century defences.
John Heins, field co-ordinator of the survey, says the Hadrian’s Wall of the 20th century is the line across the South West from Seaton on the Devon coast to Bridgewater in Somerset, where about 280 pillboxes survive, with machinegun emplacements every few hundred yards. One of the big questions is how and why Britain’s defensive strategy changed towards the end of 1940, from static lines of pillboxes to a more fluid strategy in which invaders would be delayed by coastal defences and then engaged by a mobile field army. (Contact: Jim Earle, Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridge CB2 4QR)
(The Times, 17 April 1995. Extract)
JOHN KEATS BICENTENARY CELEBRATIONS – The following may be of interest —
8  April – 25 June. “Keats in Hampstead” exhibition. Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT
Wednesday 14 June. 3pm “Tea and Comfortable Advice”. A taste of food of the period and a talk by an Historic Food Consultant.
Heath Branch Library, Keats Grove, NW3
Please bring cup, saucer, plate and spoon (of the period if possible) Contact: Mrs. Liz Smith, BA (Hons), 7 Crescent Gardens, Eastcote, Ruislip, HA4 8SZ
Friday 23 June. 7.30pm. Lecture. “John Keats’ London”. Dr. Ann Saunders Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT
Thursday 20 July. 7.30pm. Talk. “The Hampstead of John Keats”. Christina Gee to the Camden Historical Society.
Heath Branch Library, Keats Grove, NW3
23,24 and 25 November, 8pm. Saturday matinee. Dramatic Performance.
“John Keats lived here” by Diana Raymond. Hampstead Parish Church. Contact: Mrs. P. Gardner: 0171 794 9912
David Sankey of the Museum of London has discovered traces of a massive church, 4thc AD, on Tower Hill. The building appears to have been 100m- long and 50m-wide, almost identical in design though slightly larger than the St. Thecla in Milan, the largest church in the then capital of the Roman Empire. Its most likely founder was Magnus Maximus, the fanatically ambitious head of the Roman army in Britain, and a deeply religious zealot.
The giant edifice was probably built in the late 370s or early 380s, of secondhand masonry (reused from other nearby earlier structures) and decorated in part with a wafer-thin veneer of black marble. Some architectural details were also pointed up in white marble, the walls were painted with coloured designs and the floor was made of broken tile embedded in a sort of cement.
The date of the building, the probable political motive for its construction and a series of little-known ancient texts all suggest it may have been dedicated to St. Paul, like London’s later cathedrals. In the second half of the 4thc, St.Paul temporarily superceded St. Peter in religious importance. This is expressed in mosaics and other art works throughout the empire where Paul replaces Peter at the right hand of Christ. Nothing could be calculated to enhance London’s status more than to claim it was a Pauline Apolistic centre like Antioch, Ephesus or Athens. (Independent 3 April 1995. Extract).
The front cover of The London Archaeologist, Autumn 1994, shows a photo of two men examining the Roman handless flagon which had Just been excavated on the east side of Brockley Hill, the Hilltop Café site in 1952. We have other original photos of this dig which set the wider scene, to include diggers in braces; onlookers, young helpers, a wonderful old floppy tent, a pushchair and the Roman finds, mortaria and wide mouthed flagons stacked up in cardboard boxes.
But it was the two main figures which sparked my interest – who were they? One, tall, slim, pipe-smoking, standing close to two small
children; and a second figure, shorter and bearded, and to my eyes resembling our own Paddy Musgrove. I asked around but nobody could identify either figure. I searched through relevant documents
and found, in Gillian Braithwaite’s report on Excavating and Fleldwalking at Brockley
Hill a reference to Paddy himself.
“Ancient gravel metalling was seen by Paddy Musgrove under the road in a pipe trench in 1953”. So Paddy was certainly at Brockley Hill during
the dig when Phillip Suggett was the site director. If it were to be Paddy Musgrove it would be an apt tribute to his interest in archaeology that he made it to the front cover of The London Archaeologist!
Can anyone shed any further light on this figure? Is it fact or fiction? When I was trying to get information I contacted a long time HADAS member, Max Hoather, who actually worked with Suggett at Brockley Hill in 1952, and he very kindly donated newspaper cuttings and snaps, which identify the tall pipe-smoking figure as Phillip Suggett. He was tragically killed in a car accident some years later, leaving two young children (those in the photo?)
An interesting spin-off from my quest was to find in the excavation reports of the dig, a diagram drawn and signed by M. Biddle. So that sent me re-examining the photos to see if a teen-age Martin Biddle is in evidence. I think there is! However I have not yet been able to confirm this with him. He worked at Brockley Hill true, but is he in our photographs?
So, not only are there ghosts of Roman potters at Brockley Hill; Matugenus, Castus, Doinus, but also, Phillip Suggett, Martin Biddle, Paddy Musgrove.
Or am I dreaming again?
THE LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST MAGAZINE A. G. M. will be held on Tuesday 16th May 7. OOpm
in the Lecture Theatre, Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, WCI. After the business meeting Chris Green will lecture on John Dwight and the Fulham Pottery.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments


No. 278 MAY 1994                              EDITED BY ANN KAHN


Tuesday May 3 – 8pm prompt for 8.15pm HADAS Annual General Meeting.

PLEASE NOTE – THE AGM WILL BE AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH HOUSE, top of Greyhound hill; Hendon, NW4 (same venue as Minimart and our two 1993 seminars).

The venue for the AGM has been changed in an effort to save costs. We will be showing a video covering the whole of the Borough of Barnet made in the ’70s which some of us saw at the Museum of London during a visit last September. We are very grateful to Tessa Smith who has made two new copies of the video for us. Also to Bill Bass who will be showing pictures of HADAS activities during the year, together with a selection of finds.

Wednesday May 18 Visit – Coutts Bank – Mary O’Connell. We have reached the permitted number for this visit, plus a few over. If anyone else would like to add their names Mary will try and arrange another visit later in the year. (Ring 203 0950)

Saturday June 18 Outing – Dorchester (Oxfordshire) and Abingdon with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins

Saturday July 9 Outing – Richborough and Bishop’s Palace, Maidstone with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward

Tuesday August 9 – Saturday August 13 ISLE OF MAN – ANNUAL EXTENDED WEEKEND This is definitely on – we are now travelling by air, from Luton, reducing travelling time from 10 hours (train and boat) to 1* hours. We are waiting for confirmation from a couple of members, making it a full 29 seater coach for us on the island. We have no waiting list. If anyone would like to add their names, this would be welcome in case the late confirmations do not come in. Please let me know soon as Manx Airlines need deposits now. (Dorothy Newbury tel 203 0950).

Saturday September 3 Outing – The new Butser site, also visiting Old Winchester Hill and Alton with Bill Bass and Vicki O’Connor.



Thursday May 12 8.30pm. The Welsh Harp Pleasure Gardens. Talk by Geoff Hewlett Presented by the Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum. Hendon Library, the Burroughs, NW4. Refreshments from 7.30pm

Monday May 23. All day conference: Sources of Salvation. Museum of London.

(The 15th annual conference of the Heritage Co-ordination Group).

Morning: a panel of experts including Lord Rothschild, Graham Greene and Jocelyn Stevens, with Questions and Answers sessions. Afternoon:
organisations who support churches and chapels, plus an update on the restoration work at Windsor Castle. Details from: Mrs. P. M.Baxter, 14 Lodge

Gardens, Alverstoke, P012 3PY (send SAE) or tel 0705 587675.

Bill Bass LAMAS:31st Annual Conference of London Archaeologists

Museum of London.

This years conference was well attended including a good contingent of HADAS members,there was the usual displays of recent work undertaken by local societies and archaeological units.Our display consisted of the Victoria Hospital excavation,report and finds,also background information on the Church Farm Museum dig.

The morning session was given over to – Recent archaeological research in the London area.Ken MacGowen spoke on the Prehistoric trackways east of the Lea (see April newsletter). Gustav Milne suggested a large project involving volunteers and professionals alike,this site cuts through the centre of London is up to half a mile wide,most of its sites are not even recorded on the Sites and Monuments Record.Gustav’s talk was Surveying the Thames foreshore,as remarkable as it seems there has not been a full scale survey along the foreshore area.Examples such as a possible Iron-age pile built platform,a 17thc jetty near St Pauls,parts of 18-19thc clinker built boats and repair yards,show the potential of this project.Information is being lost through erosion/ pollution and development,Gustav’s idea is that local societies and individuals can become involved in this survey in conjunction with LAMAS.It could be an on-going project monitoring the rate of decay to existing sites.

Our own Brian Wrigley (Vice Chairman) talked on –

Excavations at Church Farm,Hendon.Rather than giving a detailed report,Brian explained how and why HADAS decided to investigate this site.He mentioned previous digs and finds,map and documentary evidence,and the topography of the area.

David Miles (Oxford Archaeology Unit) spoke on the work of the Historical Royal Palaces Agency which looks after buildings like the Tower of London,Kensington Palace,Hampton Court.At Hampton the Northampton Unit has been excavating the Priory Garden before restoration to an earlier layout,the agency has also been involved in archaeology at the Tower

and work following fires damage at the royal palaces.

Nick Bateman (MOLAS),was kept busy presenting two lectures on important excavations at the Guildhall Yard.”What is emerging is possibly the most important picture of late Saxon and early Norman buildings ever revealed in London, there are two main reasons for this.The sheer size of the area being excavated, some 700 sq metres,and the impressive survival of the timber and wattle building elements”,(see full article in Current Archaeology No 137).

The afternon session consisted of recent work on aspects of Roman public building in London, including Dave Sankey hot foot from a site in Londinium’s south-east area. This building had piled foundations 2m wide indicating a tall heavy structure – a public building, perhaps a later Roman basilican church, with evidence of a rare crossing (transept). Pottery in the form of Porchester ‘D’ ware (later than AD 350), and coins of Theodosius of AD 380’s give some idea of date. Mark Hassan talked on buildings and facilities that should have been provided in Roman London but have not yet been found for proved). He gave examples from other cities from the Empire e.g. Tripoli: facilities such as Triumphal arches, monuments and arches at road junctions, theatres and street furniture – drinking fountains etc.

General consensus seems to be that this was a good conference. There now seems to be more encouragement and ideas as to where voluntary archaeology might go, with Gustav’s idea and other suggestions; such as post-excavation analysis of sites from London, a backlog from the late 1980’s remaining unprocessed due to cost and lack of staff.


Report on a survey by the Not Universitybased Trent and Peak

Archaeological Trust on Britain’s only surviving medieval agricultural system at Laxton, Nottinghamshire. The survey, directed by archaeologist Keith Challis and funded by English Heritage, recorded ridges and furrows, banks, ditches, hedges and footpaths, old earthworks, woodland, orchard and meadow areas, windmill mounds, a 13th century fishpond and earthworks of a Norman castle.

Continuous occupation of the area through to present day began with a Roman farmhouse; then with a flourishing Anglo-Saxon village, by 1300 some 2,000 acres were under cultivation. Despite enclosures by the larger landowners throughout the 36th to 19th centuries, the 3-field system survived at Laxton as it was the administrative centre for Sherwood Forest. By 1903 only 899 acres remained, when the local vicar launched a campaign to preserve the village’s unique heritage.

The 3-field system is administered by a village court of law – the Court Leet, plus a jury of villagers sworn in each November. A few other courts have survived in Britain, but only Laxton retains power over the village’s agricultural life, the Jurors still checking annually that farmers have not encroached on communal paths or on their neighbours’ strips. The Countryside Commission has launched a rural stewardship scheme to help preserve Laxton’s heritaage, and this agreement has been signed by the Court Leet, (not by the landowner, the Crown Estate). Although the village is listed as a conservation area, Newark and Sherwood District Council has allowed controversial building works in the village and if further development were to follow this would pose a serious threat to the economic viability and survival of the system, now 483 acres. (The Independent 15 March).

WORTH NOTING: Bibliography of printed works on London history to 1939.
ed. Heather Creston. Library Associaton Publishing, 1994.

Chairman’s Corner, May 1994

HADAS has been riding high recently. Our biggest success has been the PPG 16 excavation at the Victoria Maternity Hospital, now successfully completed with the report already written and sent to English Heritage, the Planning Department, and the developers. This is very much a first for HADAS and a great feather in our cap: PPG 16 is the new system of control over rescue archaeology, and this is the first time that a local society has carried out such a project in north London – indeed as far as I known anywhere in London. All the more credit to Roy Walker and his fellow diggers for having stuck it out throughout the winter, and for having completed the 19-page report in record time. And isn’t the pot drawing on the front of the report (seen here) splendid? This was drawn by Bill Bass and looks just like a piece of abstract art. In fact it is the handle of a medieval pot found on the site.

Our other big success came at the recent LAMAS Annual Conference of London Archaeologists, on Saturday 19th March when Brian Wrigley gave a splendid talk on our excavations at Church Farm. We were the only local society talking – all the others were professionals – and indeed this is the first time for a number of years that a local society has been asked to talk at the LAMAS annual conference.

We also put on a splendid exhibition –thanks to Roy Walker, Bill Bass and Arthur Till. I think I can say that this was by far the biggest and best exhibition – we were virtually the only society that had anything new to display. The exhibition actually was rather sad – there were only half a dozen stands in all. One hopes that other local societies will be inspired to take to the field again!

But all this activity means that the digging team now has a lot of writing up to do – they meet regularly every Sunday morning at Avenue House to continue the work (with a drink over lunch!) But it looks as if we will not be having a dig this summer –the first summer for several years when we have not had a dig. We are still looking hard at the possibility of exploring the (possible) Saxon boundary ditch on Hampstead Heath, but until the surveying and geophysical prospecting is done (much of which is a job for the professionals) we will probably not be able to move in and do the digging. More on this later – but if anyone knows of a small site where we could dig – and it had better be a small one, because the reporting side is still very busy – then do let me (or Brian Wrigley) know.

Andxew Selkirk, 071 435 7517


Rim and handle of Medieval jug of South Hertfordshire ware, famed an the Victoria Maternity Hospital site, Barnet


English Heritage have kept us informed on three recent sites in this area:-

– Hendon Bus Garage, The Burroughs: Archaeological watching brief recommended.

– Hendon campus Middlesex University, The Burroughs: Warrants further consideration

– 40-60 Brent St. and 1 The Approach, NW4: An inn was documented there in 1274, and there is a reference to cottages in 1613; in the eighteenth century a number of “handsome houses had been built there”. (VCH vol.5)

Other development applications which look interesting:-

– Burnt Oak, 16 Thirleby Road: Side and rear extension. HADAS dug in this road
and found Roman material which has been exhibited from time to time.

– Hendon, 9-13 The Burroughs: Proposed erection of 2 houses.

– Sanders Lane, NW7, Scout but and allotment site: Proposed new Scout but and 9 new houses. This site is near to a HADAS dig which found evidence of a Roman road at Copthall Fields.

To all HADAS members in these areas: Keep watching: And please report any digging activity to Tessa Smith or any member of the Committee.


A Roman treasure consisting of some 200 gold and silver objects and 15,000 coins was found at Hoxne, Suffolk and has been bought by the British Museum after two years of fund raising efforts. It is said to be the finest such collection to be found in the UK. (Mil on Sunday 10 April). (Ref: HADAS Lecture November 1st)


In the last newsletter I mentioned my visit to the ruins of some of the Crusader castles in Northern Cyprus. Asked for more copy, I have made some notes about some of the other historic sites that the island has to offer.

One of the oldest is Vouni, a vast collection of ruined foundations on a remote and windyclifftop west of Guzelyurt (Aorphou). The site is stunning; high on a rocky plateau some 250 feet above the Mediterranean, one almost feels halfway to heaven. There are magnificent views in all directions, and, as a backdrop, the dramatic peaks of the snow­capped Troodos Mountains. Firm information is hard to come by, but it is thought that the remains date from around 500 BC and is all that is left of a summer palace built by the Phoenicians for their King Marion.

Our next stop was at Soli, where the ruins of a Greek and Roman settlement moulder in the middle of farmland. The site is known for its 17-tier amphitheatre, unfortunately restored in the 1960’s, and for a number of mosaics of which the best is a beautiful swan, no doubt honouring Leda. Like much of Northern Cyprus, the site has been woefully neglected, and you can almost watch it deteriorating. The basilica seems to have been recycled many times, for there is a jumble of styles including Byzantine built on top of the mosaics. The last excavations were apparently carried out by a Swedish team in the 1930’s.

Many members will remember Lawrence Durrell’s book Bitter Lemons, the story of his house purchase and life in the village’of Bellapais some thirty years ago. We found the house, now the smartest property in the whole area, and met the current owner, also an Englishman. Bellapais Abbey, a few miles east of Kyrenia, has long been known

as one of the most beautiful spots in Cyprus, with sweeping views over cypress trees and citrus and olive groves to the distant Mediterranean. The Lusignans founded the monastery ‘Abbaye de la Paix’ here in the 13th century, building a spectacular Gothic landmark of which the cloister and huge vaulted refectory remain largely intact.

Our next visit was to Gazimagusa, better known as Famagusta, where the massive Venetian city walls overlook a modern port that is Northern Cyprus’ lifeline to the Turkish mainlaind. Prior to the long siege which ended in victory for the Turks in 1571, Famagusta was a wealthy trading post, a convenient way-station between Europe and the Orient.

Down by the harbour, and part of the city wall, stands the famous Citadel, or Tower of Othello, associated with one Christoforo Moro, a )6th century Lieutenant-Governor of Cyprus, and widely believed to be the model for Shakespeare’s troubled Moor. The fortress has three levels of dungeons, casements and battlements, and a poky upstairs chamber which the guardian assured us was Desdemona’s bedroom. The grand dining hall, over 9Oft long, and its adjoining medieval kitchen, are particularly impressive.

Salamis, on the coastal plain some miles north of Famagusta, is one of the island’s most significant sites, at one time counting 100,000 citizens. Under the name Constantia, it became capital of Cyprus in AD 395, but after earthquake damage and raids by marauding Arabs, was abandoned in 647.

The visible ruins date from Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times, and cover a wide area. They include a restored 2nd century amphitheatre, gymnasium and baths, and the remains of an aqueduct. We found scraps of Roman mosaics still visible in apses protected from the weather, but as at Soli there are weeds everywhere and a dreadful air of apathy and neglect. If only it were nearer!

SPACE RADAR TO MAP ANCIENT SITES: Report on a US/NASA space shuttle scanning the earth’s surface and collecting data enough to fill about 20,000 encyclopaedias on topics ranging from tropical forest destruction to ancient historical sites. One of the latter includes the proposed site of the city of Ubar in the Arabian desert, which was once the centre of the ancient frankincence trade. The radar can reveal solid structures buried in several metres of dry sand and could prove invaluable to future archaeological excavations. A team of British scientists, including Dr. Gordon Keyte of the Defence Research Agency, is taking part in the huge effort to calibrate and analyse the wealth of data being gathered. (The Independent 14 April).

ACORNS. Extensive acorn remains have been found at a 19,000-yearold human settlement on the Sea of Galilee, Israel. There is evidence of acorn farming in Corsica, Sardinia and California. The theory is that stone age tribes used to grind the acorn to make flour for bread. Fossilised grains of wheat and barley have been found in Iraq dating back 11,000 years, from which time acorns seem to have been relegated to animal food. (Daily Mail 4 April).

CRICKLEWOOD. Graham Hutchings, HADAS member, is secretary of the Cricklewood Community Forum, and local history is on their agenda. Graham is looking for source material. If members have material on the Cricklewood railway complex, film or aircraft industry, Express Dairy, and other major companies he would welcome details, (31 The Loning, NW9 6DR tel 205 4899).


NEWSPAPER LIBRARY OPEN DAYS                      Dorothy Newbury

Members will have read about the success of our visit to the Newspaper Library at Colindale in January. As numbers were limited, several members could not get in on that occasion. We now give a list below of further open days this year, with details of where to apply. Please mention the HADAS group visit in January 1994 – our guide was Jill Holbrooke.

Thurs. 9 June, Wed. 24 August, Sat. 8 October, Thurs. 1 December.

The weekday visits start at 2pm and finish by 4pm. The Sat. 8 October visit is in the morning, starting at 10.30am. The number of places on each visit is limited. To reserve a place please give in your name at the Enquiry Desk or contact Josephine Skerritt on 071-323 7359.

NEW PUBLICATIONS – from the Routledge 1994 archaeology catalogue

Gender and Material Culture (The Archaeology of Religious Women) by Roberta Gilchrist –examines the differences between the religious life in monasteries and nunneries, and links with local communities. Distinctive patterns observed suggest that gender is essential to archaeological analysis. Available in hardback only, £35.00.

Architecture and Order (Approaches to Social Space) by Michael Parker Pearson & Colin Richards – includes archaeological case studies ranging from hunter-gatherer camp organisation to space in Ctassicar& Medieval worlds, also, aspects of social, psychiatric & architectural theory. Hardback only, £40.00.

The Making of Stonehenge by Rodney Castleden – detailed examination of Stonehenge, in relation to nearby contemporary sites, and in terms of its varied subsequent uses (including UNESCO’s naming it a ‘World Heritage Site’). Hardback only, £25.00

Animals and Human Society (Changing Perspectives) edited by Aubrey Manning & James Serpell – looks at importance of animals in society from social, historical and cross-cultural perspectives. Hardback only, £35.00.

Signifying Animals One World Archaeology Series, vol.16, edited by R Willis – new look at animal symbolism based on world-wide field research. New in paperback £16.99.

What is an Animal? One World Archaeology Series, vol.1 , edited by Tim Ingold – challenges traditional human assumptions about animals. New in paperback £15.99.

Early Mesopotamia Society and Economy at the Dawn of History by Nicholas Postgate – integrates archaeology and historical data. New in paperback £18.99.

The Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf The Experience of Archaeology Series, by Michael Rice -encompassing all recent work in the area. Hardback only, £50.00

The Archaeology of Early Rome and Latium by R Ross Holloway – The author has worked in Italy for 35years as a collaborator of the Italian & Sicilian archaeological administrations. Hardback only, £40.00

SUMMER EXCAVATIONS                                          As advertised in the March 1994 CBA Briefing

Bagshot – 17th century tannery site with underlying Roman-Christian, Romano-British & late Iron Age occupation. 2 x 3-week technical training courses in July & August – details from the director, G H Cole, The Archaeology Centre, 4-10 London Rd, Bagshot, Surrey GU19 5HN.

Bignor – 4th season at Roman villa. Excavation (£90) and Surveying (£185) 5-day training courses in July & August. Details: Natalie Tompsett, Field Archaeology Unit, Sussex Office, Turner Dumbrell Workshops, North End, Ditchling, Hassocks, Sussex BN6 8TG.

Caerwent – forum-basilica of Romano-British town Venta Silurum, 25 volunteers required, July. Details from director: R J Brewer, Dept of Archaeology & Numismatics, National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NP.

Castle Henilys, Dyfed – Iron Age fort and adjacent Romano-British settlement. Training for 15 volunteers, fee £50 per week, July/August. Details from director: Dr H C Mytum, Dept of Archaeology, University of York, 88 Micklegate, York, YO1 1JZ..

Dartington Hall – 2nd season of Gardens Archaeology Project. 6-day training course £98 (£68 concessions) July. Details: Christopher Currie, The Gardens Archaeology Project, 15 Claudeen Close, Swaythling, Southampton, SO2 2HQ. Tel: 0703 558500.

Easton Plaudit – final year, late Iron Age, Romano-British villa and Anglo-Saxon burial site. June-September. Details from director: Marc Line, Bozeat Historical and Archaeological Society, 32 Mile Street, Bozeat, Northants, NN9 7NB

Piddington – continuing excavation at late Iron Age and Romano-British villa site, two weeks in August. Details from directors: Mr. and Mrs. Friendship-Taylor, ‘Toad Hall’, 86 Main Road, Hackleton, Northants, NN7 2AD (send SAE)

Pont de l’Arche’, near Rouen – excavation and survey of unique early medieval fortifications on River Seine. 16/23 July. Tuition fee £95. Details from: Dr. David Hill, Department of Extra Mural Studies, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (Tel 061 275 3279)

St. Kilda – National Trust for Scotland work party, concentrating on building restoration and archaeology. Date: 1994. Details from: St. Kilda Secretary, National Trust for Scotland, 5 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4DU (send SAE).

Symon’s Castle, Powys – 1 week introductory course based on international excavation of a 13th century castle on Welsh borders. 30 July – 6 August. Fees from £90. Details from Dr. G.J. Arnold, Department of Extra Mural Studies, Gregynog, University of Wales, Newton, SY16 3PW

RUSSIAN ICE MAIDEN: A report on the mummified body of a Scythian princess, found fully clothed, decorated and perfectly preserved in the permafrost of the Altai mountains on the Chinese border. The woman died seemingly of natural causes aged about 25, according to Carbon dating, between 500 and 350 BC, when the Scythian empire was at its height. Most spectacular of all was her extraordinary and unique headgear, consisting of a wooden hair grip supporting a tall plume of felt decorated with abstract patterns and animals. The find was all the more significant since the Scythians had no written culture and most burial mounds of the period were looted centuries ago. Almost as important as the body are the many artefacts found with her. Tragically, the Russian archaeologists do not have the resources to deal with their find, and the Ice Maiden is in danger of disintegrating. (Sunday Times 21 March;

ALPINE ICEMAN: Scientists studying the remains of the Austrian Alpine iceman, christened “Otzi”, entombed for 5,300 years have discovered that the hay stuffed inside his boots contained fungal spores. They have now succeeded in coaxing these latter back to life, making them the oldest living fungi known to science. (Daily !Mil 18 March).

HADAS member, Gareth Bartlett, will be taking part in the The Three Peaks Walk over the Spring Bank Holiday week-end (27th-29th May). He will be walking to the summits of Ben Nevis, Scarf ell Pike and Snowden in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust. Gareth would like to attempt the walk representing HADAS and if you would like to sponsor him, please phone him (534 8622).


The April lecture by Gustav Milne, ex-Museum of London, currently a lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, was in part a tribute to the pioneering work of Professor Grimes, a Past President of HADAS, in the hurried days of London’s archaeology after the War. The medieval St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street was destroyed in the Great Fire to be replaced by the third most expensive of Wren’s City Churches. This church, with its wedding cake spire, was destroyed by bombing in 1940. Professor Grimes was asked by the Rector in 1952 to undertake an archaeological investigation funded by the Church, an early example of developer funding, and certainly the first opportunity to fully excavate a medieval church. The medieval churches in the City of London had rarely been studied despite the regularity of their destruction whether by fire, bombing or Act of Parliament.

The techniques of the ’50s were employed, trenches were dug and the sections recorded. The trenches were then expanded and the new sections recorded. The digging was carried out by workmen recruited from the Labour Exchange. Professor Grimes would visit perhaps only twice a week to do the recording, but it must be remembered that during the post-War period his responsibilities were widespread. He was Director of the London Museum, later becoming Director of the Institute of Archaeology and was also undertaking other excavations including the London Mithraeum. His interpretation formed the basis for the current guide to the church with seven phases of development upto and including Wren. He identified a free-standing curfew tower to the south and a Roman building at the east end. Over 5,000 graves were found, some in lead coffins. The lead, in those days of austerity, was reprocessed for use in the printing industry! At the conclusion of the excavation the ground level was lowered to create the crypt display which was on view until last year. This ground reduction was not carried out under archaeological supervision.

Gustav explained that the concept of London’s archaeology had changed since the 1950s. The academic debate of continuity between the Roman and Saxon periods in the City had been settled with the discovery in the 1980s of the settlement at Aldwych and work undertaken in the Fleet Valley Project, 1988-1990, together with a refinement in pottery dating indicated that a reappraisal was needed. This was facilitated by the intention to upgrade the crypt display. Accordingly, a team from University College London proceeded with a detailed survey of the fabric of the remains beneath the existing 1957 church which basically was constructed on a concrete slab on top of its predecessors. The concept of medieval archaeology had also changed over the last forty years with new procedures established from the work carried out at sites such as Wharram Percy where the fortunes of the medieval village could be traced by reference to the structural changes within its church.

The UCL team were able to access the 12th century church foundations via a doorway in Bride Lane. Here the external walls survived one metre above the contemporary ground level, still with traces of rendering. Fabric analysis was carried out involving the recording of the stone courses, locating changes in wall usage (such as blocked windows and doorways) and recording the moulded features on stonework which were dateable by reference to extant examples elsewhere. Using these techniques, the additional information obtained enabled the phasing of the church to be reassessed. The unsupervised lowering of the floor of the crypt also enabled further observations to be made. For instance, Grimes had assumed that the bell tower was always on the south but at the west end beneath Wren’s 17th century tower was an early 15th century tower. It had been assumed that the feature at the west end comprising reused Roman tile, ragstone rubble and loose gravel was the porch of the late Saxon church, the first on the site. This is now interpreted as an early building not necessarily connected with the church. The Roman remains at the east end, (tessellated pavement and collapsed wall plaster) have now been dated , by pottery, to the early 5th century, one of the few London sites with this date The remains are of a standard too high for the structure to have been connected with funerary practices. Gustav outlined and illustrated other details uncovered, researched and recorded by his team which eventually will be published in a new church guide. Professor Grimes’s initial work surprisingly has yet to be published but may be appearing soon. The current guide book gives the church a 6th century foundation based in part on the dedication to St Bride, or Bridget. This was not confirmed by the archaeology and Gustav felt that the Rector was slightly put out to be handed back an 11th century church at the end of the project.

Pub note: Afterwards in the White Bear, Gustav was intrigued to be told by Victor Jones that he had watched St Bride’s in flames as he made his way home on 29th December, 1940.


It is fair to say that Gustav Milne is following the pioneering work of Professor Grimes. He is instituting a foreshore survey to record the archaeology of the Thames and in particular the peats, he has already researched several City churches and is pursuing many archaeological themes within the City. His contribution to local societies and encouragement of volunteers is greatly appreciated and no doubt he will be asked to return to HADAS in the not too distant future.


CAESAR’S CAMP, Heathrow, 1944. W. F. Grimes, J. Close-Brooks et al.

(Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 1993).

A full report of the excavation and excavating method of this ‘rescue type dig’ carried out in 1944. The introductory section reproduces General Roy’s map of Heathrow in 1785. There are two earlier drawings by Stukely of 1723 and a modern plan of the airport. The bulk of the report is very detailed with two drawings of the Temple, the second bearing a number for each post-hole of the Temple. Similar plans are provided for the but rings of the late Bronze Age. The catalogue of finds starts with flints of the Neolithic period, from two pits. This is followed by late Bronze Age, Iron Age and a few Romano-Bitish shards. There is also a note on an Iron Age gold quarter stater coin said to have been picked up at Heathrow in the 1940’s. This description is followed by 2* pages of bibliography. It would take many hours of reading to assimilate this report fully, but it is well worth a try. Ted Sammes


1. De Dion Bouton Factory. This is shown in Kelly’s directory for 1928 at Woodside Works, High Road, North Finchley. It later became a cylinder grinding workshop and has been replaced by set of offices. There is a photo of the facade of the lorry works in the Newton collection at Barnet Museum.

2. The East Finchley pig market. Like so many other important things, this began life in Whetstone. “The George” public house at the top of Totteridge Lane was occupied about 1870 by the Odell family. In order to supplement their income, they kept pigs in fields of about 11 acres roughly where Waitrose’s car park now stands. (See the will of John Page 2 May 1681). They made more money from pigs than from beer. They moved to East Finchley about 1680 and opened another pub also called “The George” and a pig market nearby. They eventually became one of the largest pig traders in the country. In 1713, Thomas Odell of Finchley purchased “The Hand and Flower” at Whetstone.                                     J. Heathfield


On April 10th I attended the 11th annual day school of the Friends of the Chiltern Open Air Museum at Chalfont St. Giles. The day covered a detailed description of tiles and tilemeking from the Roman period to the 20th century. For some inexplicable reason the tiles of the 17th-18th centuries were omitted, which i felt was a pity. If you have not visited this open air museum you should certainly do so. Buildings are being collected and re-erected on the site every year. There are special events for March onwards till the end of October. The

site is probably larger than Singleton and is located in Gorelands Park,Chalfont St.Giles, Bucks. (Tel 0494 871117) Ted Sammes


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments



No: 277                                                APRIL 1994                                    EDITED BY VIKKI O’CONNOR


Lectures are held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, NW4, starting at 8pm for 8.30pm.

Lecture: Archatheogy at St Bride’s Church 1952-1993 Gustav Milne.

Ihe church was originally investigated in the 50’s by Professor Grimes and in 1993, prior to replacing The crypt display, a team from University College, London, led by Gustav Milne re-examined the standing structure with some surprising results.

Gus Milne has provided us with two excellent lectures, in 1986, and In 1988 on tDUAreat Fire of London. He was Then working for the DIJA at the Museum of London; he now is attached to the Institute of Archaeology, University College. It is six years to the day since his last visit – April 5th 1988 – 1 am sure we can look forward to another very entertaining evening.

HADAS Annual General Meeting – 8pm prompt for 8.15pm.

The venue for the AGM has been changed in an effort to save costs, following the doubling of the Library hire charge for 1994.

We will be showing slides of HADAS 1993/94 excavations. Also, we wil! be showing a video covering the whole of the Borough of Barnet made in the ’70s which some of us saw at the Museum of London during a visit last September.

Visit: Coutts Bank – Mary O’Connell

Numbers are limited. Details and application form enclosed.

Outing: Dorchester (Oxfordshire) and Abingdon

– with Micky Cohen & Micky Watkins

Outing: Richborough & Bishops’ Palace, Maidstone

– with Tessa Smith & Sheila Woodward

Outing: The new Butser site – Also visiting Old Winchester Hill, & Alton – with Bill Bass & Vikki O’Connor

If Dorothy receives a high enough response to make the Isle of Man trip viable, the Butser trip will be re-scheduled.

Confirmation in May newsletter,

ISLE OF MAN – Annual HADAS Extended Weekend Away

Details and application form enclosed.

Please advise Dorothy at earliest opportunity it you are interested.

The new lecture season commences Tuesday 4th October.



Another historic factory in the London Borough of Barnet has disappeared recently. On the corner of High Road N12 and Woodside Grove there was a factory with an ornamented façade which was occupied by the McCurd Lorry Manufacturing Company in 1913. The McCurd Multiplane, an early unsuccessful aeroplane may have been assembled here. However, the facade clearly bore the date 1916. The French de Dion Bouton motor car company is believed to have assembled cars here for a time after the 1914-18 war.

The factory, unoccupied for some time, was badly fire-damaged a few years ago and recently it was demolished.

Do any of our members have more details of ‘de Dion Bouton’ in the Borough?

FROM HERE TO MATERNITY … (Fame and glory dept.)                                                  Bill Bass

Members of the HADAS excavation team were featured in a ‘photo special’ article in the Barnet Borough Times, entitled ‘Digging for Gold?’ (we should be so lucky). It pictured Arthur Till, Roy Walker and Brian Wrigley (site director) investigating trench 2 at the former site of Barnet’s Victoria Maternity Hospital.

The report of this dig has now been finalised and will be available soon, as a special paper or summary, with a future HADAS newsletter. It will also have been displayed at the March LAMAS conference.

The March 10 edition of the same newspaper carried an article about housing development in Galley Lane, Arkley, near to HADAS member Myfanwy Stewart, whose garden produced many sherds of medieval pottery, and may have been a kiln site. Myfanwy has been site-watching the area but with no results so far.

Barnet’s northern boundary with Hertsmere has changed recently, so previous planning applications originally approved by Hertsmere also have to be monitored by Barnet and HADAS.


John Heathfield has been handed a find from Mr Weatherall who discovered it when digging his fish pond at 9 Potters Road. John describes the 1″ x 3/4″ flint as leaf-shaped, not tanged, with the haft broken off. The chipping is very fine, ie, flakes of about 2mm. Although it could be dated from 10,000 years, John suggests a possible date of 4/5,000 BC. The flint now resides at Barnet Museum. John commented that it was not as good as one of Arthur Till’s fakes


Twenty years ago this month, we had about 220 members (two-thirds of current membership), our Day Trips, with tea, cost about £2 – £2.50, and our Shropshire weekend cost £12. Our minimart was held in March then and made a grand £115 profit! We took over the whole of Church Farm House Museum and put on a very successful exhibition – “Archaeology in the Borough”. 40 members assisted the late Brigid Grafton Green, driven and guided by her unflagging energy. The late George Ingrams took over the Book Box which held over 100 books! (How many now – 1500?) The late Paddy Musgrove researched a hedgerow in Lyttleton Fields, Finchley, believed to be the boundary of the Bishop of London’s “Park of Haringeye” and, after consultation with professional botanists who found 11 different species, a date of 13th century was arrived at – the first written reference to the Bishops park is dated 1241, The Church Terrace dig under Ted Sammes was coming to an end but an extension was being sought. We were confident that Saxon Hendon had been found. Members can read all about this dig in our occasional paper “Pinning Down the Past”. Old Newsletters can be seen at Avenue House – ring Roy Walker on 081-361 1350.


HADAS members looking for an inexpensive holiday in sunnier climes might well consider the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. 1 spent a week there in February, enjoying mild spring weather, cheap car rental, and a remarkable variety of archaeological sites ranging from Phoenician ruins of the 5th century BC to Roman mosaics and remote Crusader castles over 2,000 ft above sea level.

Although the country is not recognised by the international community (on account of the invasion of northern Cyprus by the Turkish army in 1974), and United Nations troops still patrol the ‘Green Line’ which separates the Greek and Turkish communities, Northern Cyprus is friendly and peaceful, and there is little evidence of the Turkish conscripts that are garrisoned there.

Kyrenia Castle was started in the seventh century by the Byzantines to guard the natural harbour against Arab raids, although excavations have revealed Greek and Roman foundations dating from the first century BC. Richard the Lionheart apparently stayed here in 1191 on his way to the Crusades.

The castle was considerably enlarged and fortified, complete with moat, during the Lusignan period (13th century) and after its capture by the Venetians in 1491. They lost it in 1570 to the Turks who held it for 300 years. During the British administration it served as a prison and police school.

There is plenty to see, especially the Kyrenia Shipwreck Museum housed inside former Royal Guard Rooms. On view is the hull of the oldest trading ship ever found, dating from around 300BC, and raised from the bottom of the Mediterranean, complete with cargo, in 1970. The ship, built of Aleppo pine, originally measured about 47ft by 15ft, and a good part of it has survived, although the conditions in which it is currently kept must raise doubts about its long-term future.

The ship’s cargo is especially fascinating: more than 400 amphorae, from Rhodes; 29 millstones, some with inscriptions; copper nails; lead fishing net weights and rigging rings; spoons, jugs, dishes and cups; and 9,000 perfectly preserved almonds, which have been carbon-dated to between 288 and 262 BC.

Three other Crusader castles are draped some distance from one another along the jagged peaks of the Kyrenia chain, described by Lawrence Durrell in Bitter Lemons as “par excellence the Gothic range”. Near Girne (Kyrenia) is St. Hilarion Castle, originally a monastery in the 11th century, and first mentioned in contemporary accounts of Richard the Lionheart’s adventures on the island in 1191. A splendid conglomeration of ruined towers and crenellated walls on umpteen levels is every child’s idea of what a medieval castle should look like.

After several sieges and changes of ownership, the castle seems to have become a summer residence of the Lusignan royal family, until 1373 when the Genoese arrived. Following the capture of the island by the Venetians in 1489, the castle fell into disuse and was partially dismantled. The vast ruins are on three main levels, and from the topmost crag, some 800ft above the entrance gate and 2,200ft above sea level, there are fantastic views in all directions.

On a distant peak is Buffavento, a heap of crumbling stone, so remote as to be almost inaccessible. Some 40 miles farther east is Kantara, another awesome multi-level ruin over 2,300ft above sea level, started by the Byzantines and supposedly incorporating the remains of a signal tower built by the Romans. For dramatic ruins, Northern Cyprus takes some beating!

If anyone would like further information on TRNC, call the tourist office in Cockspur Street on 071-930 5069.




Details of the Birkbeck Extra Mural Dept Certificate & Diploma in Field Archaeology will

be given later this year, but of interest to people who are contemplating taking thiscourse and perhaps to those who have already undergone this experience, there

were some fundamental changes made to the examination system last year. Instead of writing 10-12 essays each year, entrants now have to write just four, two of which are submitted at the year end as part of the assessment system. These two essays carry 40% of the exam marks. At the same time the pass mark for the examination was lowered to 34%. These revisions were made following changes in the method of funding part-time education in so far as subsidies can only be given for vocational courses, ie those with an examination or assessment element. Birkbeck College are now bringing their courses into line with University courses where course work is taken into account. Evidently the alternative would have been to raise the tuition fees. There have been complaints about the system, although the lecturers regard it as being much fairer than previously where applicants were only assessed by examination, One problem is the poor level of communication from the Extra Mural Dept via lecturers to the students, with ambiguous rules and contradictory information. Some students feel that writing up to a dozen essays was the best way of learning and of revising for the exam whereas only being committed to four pieces of work does not provide the impetus for self-study. The regulations regarding the practical side of the course have been slightly amended but it is still necessary to undertake three weeks of excavation (including one week experimental or surveying) and one week of 50 hours finds processing.


The on-going Compton Bassett Area Research Project situated in the Avebury area of North Wiltshire is undertaking a long-term multi-disciplinary study of an area covering 24 square kilometres, concentrating on the downland and claylands. The project is analysing aspects of human activity from Mesolithic to Post-Medieval periods. The project can offer a 5-day general excavation course running for 6 weeks from 11 July 1994 in and around the shrunken medieval village of Yatesbury. Price for one week is £125, accommodation is on campsite, and the fees include breakfast & evening meal. Alternatively, there is a 5-day course entitled “Understanding the Landscape”, with particular emphasis on field assessment and survey. This 5-day course will run from 15-19 August and costs 2150. There is the alternative of more comfortable b&b accommodation at nearby Caine at prices ranging from £13 to £20 per night and the course fees will have a £10 reduction if this alternative is used. There are washing facilities at the campsite and trips to showers and shops, The village pub is both friendly and close at hand!

Booking form and further details are available from The Compton Bassett Area Research Project, University College London, Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1 OPY.


‘The Independent’ report of 18 January described recent excavations in east London by the Passmore Edwards Museum which indicate a complex network of Bronze and Iron Age trackways and roads covering a 25-square mile area of former marshland, At Dagenham a 2,500 year old, 4m wide gravel road is the oldest proper road discovered in northern Europe. At Beckton a 3/3,500 year old wooden trackway has been found, constructed of brushwood. At Rainham they have excavated a stretch of half-metre wide, 3,300 year old wooden trackway of coppiced alder brushwood. In Barking there is a small brushwood trackway, probably Bronze Age, associated with a large timber structure and a second trackway, and pottery which could indicate a nearby settlement. Based on recent excavations, and given that the life span of trackway is probably 20 years, it has been estimated that there are some 1,100 miles of trackways and roads built over a 2,000 year span, or longer. These excavations, and others planned for this year, will enable an upgraded calculation of prehistoric population density in the London area. Wood, plant and insect remains are presently

being studied at various institutions, and seismologists will be investigating underground fault lines and the possibility that earthquake activity severed one of the trackways. Ken MacGowan of Passmore Edwards Museum spoke on this subject at this year’s LAM AS conference. If members hear further news later this year, please let us know!

LECTURE REPORT: Wood Hall Project

With all due respect to Brian Wrigley (HADAS Excavation Secretary), and to the Readers Digest, this article should be entitled “The man we would most like to dig with”! Simon Tomson, director of the Wood Hall Project N. Yorkshire, provided one of liveliest lectures for some time as well as one which provided keen insight into archaeological interpretation, especially on the phasing of the bridge, more of which later… Firstly, a little background to the area: there are clusters of mooted manors in lowland vale sites, Wood Hall itself lying within the flood plain of the River Aire, near Pontefract. National Power at Egham are one of two power stations sending ash at a rate of 4m tonnes per year to Gale Common Ash Disposal Authority who own the site and have sponsored the dig for £5,000. Hickson Timber have an interest in the site and have also donated funds. Further funding of £1,000 came from English Heritage for the Project’s role as a training dig. Stage 3 of the ash disposal will eventually cover Wood Hall, but not in the immediate future.

The Site

This will be the Project’s fourth major season. The area contained by the moat is almost 4 acres, and three areas within this have been excavated. One is a farmhouse dated 1750-1775, (demolished in 1982). The 2-storey building had no foundations, the unmortared walls were one metre thick – once the building had settled it was held fast by surface tension. The farmhouse had an external, domed cool room with an unmortared brick floor, this was cooled by water evaporation.

At the north-west corner of the moat, they excavated the pre-moat ground surface and noted that an 1185 field boundary ditch bisected the site. They found several animal burials (not ritual!), and, if we are to believe the evidence of Simon Tomson’s slide, cow named Daisy, photographed decked out in sunglasses, sunhat, drink and straw?

The moat proved to be 10m wide minimum, and 1.5m deep (restricted by a clay band. 11,500 cubic metres of spoil formed the island platform to a half metre higher than the surrounding fields, which would bring it above the flood plain. (Rivers rise very fast in this part of the world.) The team excavated lines of post-holes at this north-west corner, which proved to be a pre-moat, single-storey, four-bay building with a six­posthole structure added on. It was constructed around the late 11th/mid 12th 12th century and was aligned with a ridge gently sloping to the stream where the moat was later dug. The local soil comprises sands, silts and soft soil, so all stone had to be imported to site. Simon described this structure as the equivalent of the portakabin -the accommodation of the moat builders and, of course, this corner of the moot was the last section to be constructed. We saw a slide of Jake, the site dog standing on a bank which had arisen from continual clearing out of sediment from the moat.

They investigated a linear feature sealed by the ground surface, and in the first half metre found Iron Age, Celtic, and coarse gritted, coil-built, bonfire fired Pre-Roman pottery. Next season, going back to the same area, in 25 metres they found just one sliver of Roman glass and a late Maglemosian backed blade and scatter – but that’s archaeology!

The other area they excavated was a 30m length of moat on the south side, extracting 18th century finds from black peat. At the edge of an 18th century pond they found a stone surface – a masonry raft with dipping lines, soft stone roofing slabs and 18″ square timber. The following season they dug what was the entrance to the site. Underneath this area was a gatehouse complex, and baulks of silver birch,

complete with leaves, across the backfill of the moat. This was a platform supporting a causeway across the moat. It is easy to imagine the excavators’ excitement as they went on to excavate three superimposed bridges. Around 1670/80 a demolished wall landed in the moat. This came from a two-storey gatehouse. The stone bays either side of the bridge’s entrance to the site were designed to house a drawbridge. The 1562 phase 2c bridge had 45′ bracing re-using timbers from the 1493 phase 2b bridge which had upright bracing and a 3 x 1m unsupported parapet. One of the two towers of the bridge gatehouse complex was cracked and leant at 9.5°. In 1620 the wooden raft base on clay slid half a metre into the moat, possibly caused by earth tremors. The Hall above the gatehouse was then demolished. The earliest bridge, 2a went all the way across, and had seven trestles – a miniature of London Bridge. Tree ring dating will be carried out this year by Sheffield University. Tests on wood last year showed samples to have retained 95% of the original mechanical strength.

Finds from the moat included: all types of local pottery; an expensive Venetian enamelled dessert glass; a crenellated chimney pot; a fire-damaged tripod cauldron; shoes (but the stitching had not survived); and a piece of leather with a punched design – the sleeve of a gauntlet (for hawking?). Simon showed us another object, circular with holes – unfortunately I didn’t catch its name – it was for separating arrow shafts when being carried around to save damaging the flights. The tips were apparently put on at the point of use. Supercooks please note: we were shown an eel fishing spear with spring tines to hold the eel fast whilst it is drowned – the muscles will thus be relaxed and, as you all knew, an eel dying relaxed only takes half an hour to cook. Other finds next to the gatehouse also on a culinary note were: -oysters; whelks; cockles, and a drinking jug. A point made was that this moat must have been kept very clean,

As though on cue, the site yielded a star find on National Archaeology day – a ring inscribed in Medieval Court French, dated c.1420. Pity we didn’t come up with something similar for our visitors at Church Farm House Museum on that day!

The lecture was superb – maybe Dorothy could persuade Simon Tomson to return and give us an update?

An ‘Obituary’ from another Society’s magazine which was, in turn, ‘lifted’ from an old Regimental Magazine…

“FINAL STRAW – We are saddened to learn of the death of Someone Else, a most valuable member of our Society. His passing creates a vacancy that will be hard to fill. Someone Else has been with the Society from the beginning, and did far more than the normal person’s share of work. Whenever there was a job to do, a helping hand needed, or just an ear required, these words were on everybody’s lips – “let Someone Else do it”. Whenever there was a need for volunteers, everyone just assumed that Someone Else would volunteer, Someone Else was a wonderful Person, sometimes appearing superhuman. But a person can only do so much. Were the truth known, everyone expected too much from Someone Else.”

This is not an obligatory April 1st joke – the member who submitted the above (with tongue in cheek) does more than their fair share for us all!

And, when we look at the membership it is obvious that most have done their fair share of: setting up the Society, Committee work, research, digging, ferrying people and equipment, making equipment, writing articles, publishing books, lecturing, drawing, taking photos, setting up exhibitions, running outings, organising the lecture programme, running the library, selling our publications, distributing the newsletter, manning stalls, helping with the Minimart, etc. – which has all contributed to making HADAS a Society to be proud of.

However… there is always room for an extra pair of hands, time, interest/ideas, so

when we do ask for volunteers, we are not just calling on those who have already notched up ‘Brownie’ points. Anyone with a little spare time who has not yet teamed up with an ‘active cell’ – you could be our next ‘Someone Else’ I

And while we are on the subject

It just so happens that Dorothy Newbury is still waiting for volunteers to do a couple of Car Boot sales – she had only one reply to her appeal last month for helpers.



The answer to last month’s puzzle picture is that it shows the parish pump which stood at the junction of Brent Street and Bell Lane until 1866 and supplied water to the southern part of Hendon. The print, which dates from 1828, was reprinted from Hendon, Childs Hill, Golders Green and Mill Hill, by Stewart Gillies and Pamela Taylor, published by Phillimore. (Reviewed by Ted Sammes in our January ’94 Newsletter.)

Membership News                                                                                                        Vikki O’Connor

Renewals are once again hitting my doormat – thanks to all who have renewed promptly – it is nice to get ‘business’ done early in the year and have time later to enjoy HADAS outdoor activities! Membership last year was down slightly, with people moving out of London, etc, but the steady influx of new members means the Society is thriving. The following are our newest members: Assad Khan (who dug with us at Church Farm House Museum), Garrick Fincham, Tim, Lynette and Natalie Wilkins.

Since HADAS was established in 1961, many projects have flowered, fruited and now rest in HADAS folklore, in longer-standing members’ memories, and the archives within our Library. Newer members, like myself, have this wealth of information available to us – but knowing who to ask…? Are there any members with information on the Hog Market which existed at East Finchley? It is on my ‘list of things to do some rainy year’ –unless of course, ‘Someone Else’ has already researched it. Please, contact the next Newsletter Editor (or the next, or the next,) if you have any snippets on this (or any other possible project) to share.


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ISSUE NO 268                       Edited by Peter Pickering                                         JULY 1993


SATURDAY 17 JULY                      OUTING TO STONEA AND ELY – with Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor. Guided walks round Stonea Iron Age Camp and Ely Cathedral, plus optional visit to Stained Glass Museum or Ely Museum. Details and application form enclosed.


SUNDAY 29 AUGUST                    HADAS OPEN DAY. National Archaeology Day.


3-5 SEPTEMBER                               CHESTER AND LLANDUDNO weekend

SATURDAY 18 SEPTEMBER         MUSEUM OF LONDON – private viewing of

Brockley Hill pottery plus talk and walk with Francis Grew.

TUESDAY 5 OCTOBER                  “ASPECTS OF ROMAN POTTERY” – Dr Robin Symonds

First in new series of HADAS lectures.

SATURDAY 16 OCTOBER             MINIMART – at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon

Members with items to donate please contact Dorothy Newbury,





Mark Hassell, FSA, Institute of Archaeology


CHRISTMAS DINNER at University College, Gower Street



We are very pleased to welcome Will Parnaby as our new Treasurer. He has lived in Mill Hill for 25 years, and has two adult sons, one still living in London and the other married and living in the United States of America. He has retired from the Ministry of Defence with whom he had two overseas tours of duty, one in Singapore and Malaysia in the 1960s and the other in Germany in the 1970s. His historical interests until now have been more political and sociological than archaeological – he is an active participant in the RAF Historical Society, and is a member of the Mill Hill Preservation Society.



Frieda Wilkinson is in the Cedars Nursing Home and is likely to remain there for some weeks. The address is 12, Richmond Road, East Barnet, EN5 1SB, She would welcome contact from HADAS friends.

CHURCH FARMHOUSE DIG                                                                      Brian Wrigley

On Sunday June 6th a score or so of HADAS members and supporters assembled at Church Farmhouse to start deturfing, so enthusiastically that in the course of the day we had stripped nearly 100 square metres of turf, During the following week work was continued by a few enthusiasts who completed the turf stripping over two large (2 metres by 33 metres) trenches and cleaning off the stripped area went on the next Sunday.

The strategy is to open as large an area as is reasonably possible, including the two banks on the site, to see the construction of the banks and what features appear for further exploration. As yet we are on mainly redeposited layers and are using this to get into practice with the routines of recording and the collection of finds in readiness for the archaeologically more interesting features that will follow.

We shall be continuing digging every Saturday and Sunday throughout July except for the day of the outing on 17th July. Members will be most welcome to dig or even just to have a look. [It is a much more pleasant site for an excavation than many I have known; you will find lots of friends there; and the Greyhound Inn is just by, with a range of beers and food even on a Sunday. Ed. J

SITES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST                                                            Bill Firth

English Heritage has sent us copies of letters they have sent to Barnet Planners about a number of sites of interest recently. When development starts they may be worth watching.

Spaniards Field, Wildwood Rise, NW11

This site lies on the Bagshot Sands which cap the Hampstead Ridge, an area where scattered prehistoric finds are recorded.

Perry’s Garage, 15/17 Hutton Grove, N12

2/4 Alexandra Grove, N12.

These sites lie close to where flint tools and tool-making waste, dated to the upper palaeolithic period, have been found in Hutton Grove.

110 West Heath Road, NWII

This site lies in an Area of Archaeological Priority proposed for the Borough Plan, which encompasses the West Heath site.

BOSWORTH FIELD AND THE LUNT – a Journey through time. Liz Holliday

On 22nd June 1485 the fighting men of England were put on special alert and the commissioners of array instructed to ensure that “they be able persons well horsed and harnessed”, ready to move at an hour’s warning.

Five centuries later an intrepid band of HADAS members, marshalled by Sheila Woodward and Tessa Smith, left London for the heart of the Midlands and the site of the battle of Bosworth. As we approached our destination, a brief outline of late 15th century politics, background events and major figures in the drama was given by a self-confessed Yorkist and supporter of King Richard III – me!

We were met at the Battlefield Visitor Centre by Pauline Foster, our volunteer guide and set off to follow the two-mile Battle Trail. Although the countryside has changed greatly in the last five hundred years (rich arable and grassland in place of wild open ground and marsh), Pauline’s evocative narrative made it easy to follow the sequence of events on 22nd August 1485.

Standing on the crest of Ambion Hill, beneath the Royal battle standard, we could see the Tudor flag, barely a quarter of a mile away down the slope – just out of bow-shot range. just visible to the north-west, the position of Thomas Lord Stanley and his brother, Sir William. Both cunningly positioned to allow them to join the winning side at the last moment. Behind the royal forces the Earl of Northumberland, nominally the king’s ally, and his men waited until the Stanleys made their move. What should have been a resounding victory for Richard, the most experienced battle commander in the field, degenerated into a two-hour mêlée. In a desperate charge, the king led his bodyguard downhill, across the front of Sir William Stanley’s men, into the heart of the Welsh usurper’s [HADAS disclaims all responsibility for this word. Ed] knights. Richard cut down Sir William Brandon, Henry’s formidable standard bearer, but the battle was lost. Richard was killed in the thick of the fighting. He was the second and last king to be killed in battle and, like Harold before him, was the victim of a man who had even less claim to the throne that he had.

After lunch at the Buttery, we had time to visit Leicestershire County Council’s prize-winning exhibition hall and their excellent book and gift shop.

We then travelled another fifteeh hundred years back in time and arrived at The Lunt Roman Fort, Biginton near Coventry. Once again helped by two excellent guides, John and David, we toured the fort with its impressive reconstructed timber gateway, amazing gyrus (cavalry training ring) and threaded our way round the foundations of the principle (headquarters), barrack blocks and workshops. It did not require too much imagination to visualise this bustling military outpost packed with soldiers and horses ­rather like a Roman Sandhurstl

The fort is situated on a spur of high ground overlooking the River Sowe, with a commanding view over the surrounding area Three periods of roman occupation have been identified from c GOAD to c 8OAD, and only turf, earth and timber were used in the construction of the fort. The reconstructed granary houses a Museum of the Roman Army, Interpretative Centre for the site and many finds.

This excellent trip was rounded off with tea at Coventry Airport.

Industrial archaeologists among us had the added bonus of a railway engine in steam at Shenton Station, Bosworth and a Dakota flying circuits and bumps at the airport. What more could anyone want? Many thanks to Sheila and Tessa for a thoroughly enjoyable day.



The Roman Invasion and conquest of Britain

Richborough Castle on a glorious Saturday in May was the setting for a guided tour of the Roman Fort to commemorate the 1950th anniversary of the Roman invasion of Britain by Claudius – A.D.43 and all that! [Celebrated also by a fine new set of stamps Ed] The day was a complete sell-out and some 200 people met for both the morning and the afternoon sessions. Tom Blagg lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, was our guide for the morning, inspiring us to imagine a spur of land surrounded by sea, instead of to-day’s built up silt flats. The first evidence of Roman building in Britain could be said to be the ditches at Richborough. A huge triumphal arch was built, twice as high as a tree, which could be seen from halfway across the Channel, and officers’ quarters including hypocaust were built nearby, We perched on the foundations in the sunshine.

The magnificent remains of the Fort Walls were the last to be built, incorporating remains from previous structures and taking seven years to build. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring this defensive structure, under the guidance of such a splendid lecturer. But time pressed on and, after a pleasant lunch in a sixteenth century restaurant In Sandwich, which is well worth exploring, we met again at the Guildhall.

Mark Hassell, who is coming to HADAS next November, opened the afternoon to explain, in lively fashion, the background build up in Gaul, with links across the Channel with the Iron Age chieftains in Britain, culminating with Claudius’ invasion in AD 43. Professor John Wilkes highlighted the troubles and the personalities of the Boudiccan revolt, using Tacitus as his reference, for his lecture “Resistance, Rebellion and Acquiescence”. He drew his lecture to a conclusion by looking at events from the point of view of the people rather than the invading Romans.

In the interval, the Kent Archaeological Council awarded prizes to the new Heritage Centre at Maidstone, to the Dartford Archaeological group, and to schoolchildren for their home-made C! Ed7 historical artifacts.

Finally, Brian Philp of the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit discussed “The Roman Military returns to Kent”. His thesis was that the Roman Legion was called back from York to man the Saxon Shore defences at Richborough and that that crucial decision began the gradual withdrawal of the Roman forces from Britain.

Together with the HADAS outing to the Lunt Roman Fort the week before, this has been a thoroughly satisfactory beginning, for this Romanist, to our 1993 travels


Pannonia was another frontier province, but its incorporation into the Roman empire was some 40 years earlier than that of Britain, the limes there was a chain of forts along the Danube rather than a wall, and the legions seem to have been withdrawn from it a few years earlier than those from Britain. The histories of the two provinces have many parallels. Aquincum was the capital of Valeria, the northern of the two provinces into which Diocletian divided the Trajanic province of Pannonia Inferior. It was on the very edge of the Roman world, looking across the Danube to the lands of the Iapyges. It is now a suburb of Budapest, and we had it virtually to ourselves in a heatwave in May. The excavations of the civilian settlement are well laid out, with the usual sets of baths, forum, tenements, a prosperous house with a mosaic of wrestlers, a macellum with a round building in the middle supposed to have been the weigh-house. A wide road and a suburban railway cut across the site – on the other side was the civilian amphitheatre.

The small and attractive museum would have meant more to us if more of the labels had been in a language other than Hungarian. Though there is not much in the British Museum in anything but English, and I puzzled out a few words with the aid of my dictionary.

One of the objects in the museum is however almost unique. That I did not realise until I got home, though I knew that I had never seen one before. It was an organ. There are some fifty illustrations of these instruments on mosaics and the like, a similar number of literary references, and perhaps a couple of fragments from Pompeii, but this is by far the best preserved. It was found with a plaque dating it to 228AD. It is small, 60 x 38 x 25cm, and had 4 rows of 13 pipes each. Unfortunately it is not clear how it got its wind – was it an example of the famous water-powered organs invented by Ctesibius or did it have a bellows? The excavation, in 1959, may simply ‘ not have been careful enough to find any trace of a bellows. Perhaps another organ will be found sometime – perhaps even by HADAS.


Reports on archaeological evaluations undertaken within the Borough by

outside Units such as the Museum of London (DGLA or later MoLAS) or the

Birmingham University Field archaeology Unit are kept in the Avenue House

library for use by members. Some evaluations have resulted in negative

evidence but the reports usually provide an archaeological, historical and

geological background to the site under investigation making them of value

to the local historian or archaeologist.

Our current list includes the HADAS reports on Churc end Farm (1951 and

1962) and the watching brief on Bibsworth Manor (Finchley Manor House) by

Jean Snelling, March 1989, as archived by the DGLA. From outside units we

have evaluations or assessments for the following sites:‑

St Mary’s School, Finchley (DGLA, February 1990)

Iver to Arkley Pipeline, Phase 1 (DGLA, August 1990)

Bibsworth Manor, East End Road (DGLA, November 1991)

Old Fold Manor, Barnet (MoLAS, December 1991)

Hill House, Elstree (BUFAU, December 1991)

Edgwarebury Park Community Forest (MoLAS, March 1992)

Christchurch Lane, Barnet (MoLAS, June 1992)

East Barnet School, Chestnut Grove (MoLAS, August 1992)

Warrens Shawe Lane, Edgware (MoLAS, August 1992)

Tenterden Grove/Finchley Lane, Hendon (MoLAS, October 1992)

Grahame Park Way, Hendon (MoLAS, January 1993)

Hendon Way Depot, Hendon (MoLAS, March 1993)

If you wish to borrow any of these reports please let me know on 081-361-1350


British Gas is laying a new 30″ diameter gas main across open ground from Dyrham Lane, South Mimms to Moat Mount near Target Wood in the London Borough of Barnet. The route comes south across open land from South Mimms, near Blanche Lane, running parallel with the AI. Entering the Borough of Barnet, it crosses Trotters Bottom and the end of Galley Lane and continues to run parallel with the Al as far as the roundabout at the bottom of Rowley lane. Here it veers to the east, runs adjacent to Rowley Lane, doglegs at Rowley Green and crosses Rowley Lane to run across more open land to Barnet Lane. Here it traverses the road just west of Barnet Gate near Hyver Farm and runs south to Moat Mount open space.A 100 foot wide topsoil strip is being removed along the route, pipes will then be laid on the surface (“stringing out”) and finally the pipetrench will be cut. At the time of writing the topsoil stripping is already under way. English Heritage has liaised with HADAS over this matter and to quote Robert Whytehead, the Assistant Archaeological Officer for the London Region: ‑

 “ The pipeline largely follows the route of an earlier one, so that much of the route will already have undergone a topsoil strip, and presumably, subsoil disturbance from the earlier construction activity. The engineers also pointed out that some of the farmland along the route has been extensively cut about for land drainage. There may therefore be considerable ground disturbance encountered.”

Certainly when HADAS members were watching the water pipeline trenches in Arkley adjacent to Barnet Road, nothing of archaeological interest was seen. English Heritage have also advised British Gas that HADAS “may wish to be involved with the archaeological work” should any arise. British Gas have their own archaeologist, David Bonnor, working full time on site, and Brian Wrigley, with Arthur Till and Roy Walker, made contact with him and visited the site but set up near the roundabout in Rowley Lane. However, again quoting English Heritage “there are some limitations, in particular access tq the site will only be allowed during the five day/50 hour working week. British Gas view the entire route as a fenced building site, and access outside working hours will not be possible”. Committee members will be visiting the pipeline this week and I will report on this in the next newsletter.

At the moment HADAS members are involved with the excavation at Church Farm but if anyone is interested in observing any of the pipeline, perhaps they would telephone me (081-449 3025) and I will contact David Bonnor at the site office.

STOP PRESS We have had two cancellations for the Chester weekend – any late-corners please phone Dorothy Newbury 203 0950


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ISSUE NO 267                                  Edited by Vikki O’Connor            JUNE 1993


– with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins. Details and application form enclosed.

OUTING TO STONEA & ELY – with Bill Bass & Vikki O’Connor.

Guided walks round Stonea Iron Age Camp, Ely Cathedral, plus optional visit to Stained Glass Museum or Ely Museum.

Full details in July Newsletter.

PINNER AND HEADSTONE MANOR Walk organised by Dorothy Newbury.


National Archaeology Day Further details next month.

CHESTER & LLANDUDNO weekend Organised by Dorothy Newbury.

MUSEUM OF LONDON – private viewing of Brockley Hill pottery plus talk & walk with Francis Grew,

“ASPECTS OF ROMAN POTTERY” – Dr Robin Symonds First in new season of HADAS lectures.

MINIMART – at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon

Members with items to donate please confact Dorothy Newbury.

“FUN & GAMES IN THE ROMAN BATHS” Mark Hassall, FSA, Institute of Archaeology HADAS lecture


CHRISTMAS DINNER at University College, Gower Street Organised by Dorothy Newbury.

Members wishing to suggest possible future lectures should write to Dorothy Newbury at 55 Sunningfields Road, NW4 4RA.

General enquiries should be addressed to the Hon. Secretory, Gorse Cottage, The Common, Chipperfield, Herts, WD4 9BL

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – musings from the top table                                          Liz Holliday

What is it, I wonder, that makes an AGM so different from an “ordinary” meeting? Well, for a start of course, everything is the wrong way round – I’m up here and all those smiling faces (50 plus) are looking this way … with anticipation? Daphne Lorimer in the Chair, Andrew Selkirk poised to give his Chairman’s Report and Victor Jones clutching his Financial Report. Our Vice Presidents have been confirmed in office: Miss D P Hill, Brian Jarman, Daphne Lorimer, Mary Phillips, Ted Sammes and Andrew Saunders, and the proposal to elect John Enderby was supported unanimously. Andrew Selkirk and Brian Wrigley have been re-elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. Oh! I’ve been re-elected as Hon. Sec. Still no Hon. Treasurer – it really is too much to expect Victor to continue. After all, when you’ve resigned, you’ve resigned… perhaps a volunteer will emerge…

Now the Committee. Must get their names spelt correctly for the Minutes: Bill Bass, Micky Cohen, John Heathfield, Victor Jones, Margaret Maher, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Pickering, Ted Sammes, Andy Simpson, Myfanwy Stewart and Micky Watkins. Good. All done. Meeting closed at 8.50pm.

Finally the part of the meeting that most members have been looking forward to. The showing of a film ­HADAS’ entry for the BBC “Chronicle” competition. We have Alec Jeakins to thank for making the film available… When was that competition? 197 ? How young everyone looks! Daphne’s slides recording the HADAS Roman banquet (what fun that was!); Ted with an excellent selection of slides taken on last summer’s outings (how does Dorothy keep finding such interesting places to visit? ) and Bill Bass’ clear resume of the excavation in Barnet High Street. 

That’s it then. Another AGM over. And no-one need know that we only got sound on the film because I was holding a screw in the microphone socket. I don’t think I’ll tell anyone – looks rather inefficient…


Miss S Spiller who recently moved to France has now resigned from the Society but will however “retain a warm appreciation of the interesting and lively lectures”. Pamela MacGregor who lives in Edinburgh has also resigned and she wishes to thank everyone involved for the interesting and informative newsletters. Our best wishes to them both.

A quick reminder to a small percentage of our members: subs are now due.

LIBRARY                                                                                                                                   Roy Walker

What’s in a name?

While cataloguing the books for the library it is often amusing to note that authors’ names sometimes match their subject. Here are a few surnames and book titles all of which are, of course, available for loan to members of HADAS.

Lambrick                     Archaeology and agriculture

Bass                             Archaeology under water

Field                            English field names

Brothwell                    Digging up bones

Flint                             Glacial geology

Court                           Dartmoor

Hewett                        English historic carpentry

Forrester                      Timber framed buildings

Eh, Again

In the May newsletter I wrote about the “a” missing from “archaeology” on the notice board outside Avenue House. Since then I have visited Bignor Roman villa where, believe it or not, at least two signs had “archaeology” misspelt – the second “a” had again been missed. The Sunday Times which had used the same spelling told me that it had been an error but a librarian at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London thought this was the current American spelling. Presumably, the Sunday Times article was a straight copy of an American press release, not corrected for the British market. Incidently, the Hendon & Finchley Times of 13th May commented on the HADAS newsletter article and published a photograph of the offending Avenue House notice board.


Some 40 people attended the seminar organised as an introduction to the forthcoming dig and Dr Pamela Taylor, Borough Archivist and HADAS member, began proceedings with the development of the Church End area. The place-name evidence for Roman and Saxon settlement in Hendon was confimed by HADAS’ Church Terrace dig of 1973/74, and although the size of Roman, Saxon or medieval settlements and their boundaries is unknown, Dr Taylor believes they would have remained at the top of the plateau. Hendon consisted of a series of hamlets rather than one nucleated village. John Blair’s study of village layouts, when applied to Hendon, leads to the model where the manor house would not be in the village centre; the church would be in the village centre, having been built to serve the community rather than act as the manor chapel. The Domesday Book mentions a priest with a virgate of land in Hendon, suggesting (but not proving) the existence of a church, but we do know it was built by the mid-12th C. In 1312 a new Manor House was built at Parson Street, but the site of the previous building is unknown. The present early 19th C vicarage is in Parson Street and could be on the site of or near a previous vicarage. Parson Street could be named after the rectory or manor house rather than the vicarage. Dr Taylor concluded, reminding us how little is known about the Church End area, that in the Museum garden (as in the rest of Church End) there could be part of a manor house or a vicarage, although more probably there are signs ofmore humble settlement of almost any period before the present house. If no remains are found the result will still be of value as negative evidence.

Gerard Roots, Curator of Church Farmhouse Museum gave a brief history of the building which, it is conjectured, dates from c.1660. Now L-shaped, it was originally rectangular, several changes being made in the 19th C including the building of a porch for the present front door (the main entrance used to face the farmyard). The farm land comprised some 200 acres, although, as Dr Taylor mentioned, individual fields were interchangeable between the three farms at Church End. It is possible that our dig could reveal a barn and stables in the garden area. Mr Roots listed some of the tenants, starting with Daniel Kemp,1688, up to World War II when the Council put in people who had been bombed out of their homes. In 1955 the building became the Museum. HADAS will have a display case in the Museum with information on previous digs, and after the plastics exhibition ends in July we will have a room available to present progress on the dig.

Ted Sammes illustrated the archaeology of the area with slides and maps, summarising the three HADAS digs in the area, at Church End Farm (1961 for 6 seasons), The Burroughs, opposite the White Bear (1972), and Church Terrace (1973-74). In addition, a wide range of finds from these digs was on display, the selection of pottery painstakingly and artfully restored, some of which will shortly be on view at the Museum. Finds on the first above-mentioned dig showed the site was inhabited from the 12th/13th C, the one Roman potsherd was unstratified. The Burroughs site was occupied from 12th C and Ted showed slides of pottery including large body sherds with very little rim. One interesting feature of this dig was the floor of Dutch ballast bricks. Ted showed a slide of a similar, herringbone, floor from a dig at the mineral water factory at 64a Highgate. Finally, Ted recounted the history of the Church Terrace dig, which is detailed in “Pinning down the Past”. Briefly, the finds from this site included a variety of 3rd/4th C Roman pottery including a moulded face flagon neck, colour coated wares (Nene Valley?) and grey wares. Two boundary or drainage ditches were excavated; the contents were mainly later medieval with grass-tempered Saxon ware and a double-headed Saxon pin. Four medieval coffinless burials were located. The finds from this site ranged from Saxon through Tudor to 19th C and included a forged Elizabeth I groat, early handleless teacups, wig curlers, tobacco pipes, a bottles dump, and mocha ware common to 18th C public houses.

Brian Wrigley rounded off the afternoon, detailing preparations to date which include: site surveys; measuring and marking out trench areas; negotiations with Barnet Council (via Liz Holliday); preparing site paperwork; organising the digging team; appointment of members to specific tasks and contacting those who have expressed an interest in taking part.

Our thanks to all involved who, in the space of a few short weeks, organised and executed an informative and entertaining afternoon – in alphabetical order. Helen Gordon, Liz Holliday, Victor Jones, Dorothy Newbury, Gerard Roots, Ted Sammes, Andrew Selkirk, Tessa Smith, Pam Taylor, Brian Wrigley, and other members who helped to set up the room. Andrew Selkirk is preparing a detailed report on the afternoon’s talks to be available to diggers on site, at our Avenue House Library and at Church Farmhouse Musuem.


Site preparation for the Church Farmhouse Museum excavation started on Saturday May 1st. Work included laying out a baseline along the eastern edge of the garden adjacent to the boundary of St Mary’s church. Two trenches were then offset from this line, measuring 2m x approx 20m. A shorter trench will section a bank which falls away at the northern boundary. It has been decided to cut the turf by hand rather than machine strip, opening sections as excavation progresses. A site datum (height above sea level) was also established from a benchmark conveniently situated on St Mary’s church.

Saturday May 8th saw the team conducting a resistivity survey, looking for any walls or ditches located below the turf line. Some rolls of paling fence and stakes have been lent/donated (we are not sure which yet) by Barnet Council. HADAS Removals Ltd were called upon to transport the fencing from a depot in Cricklewood back to the Museum.

The Dig starts on Sunday 6 June at 10am, stripping turf from trial trenches. All volunteers welcome ­if you can bring your own straight-edged spade, or turf-cutter, it will be useful!


CIA, DGLA, EH, LBB, MoLAS, PPG16, SMR and Barnet Borough Archaeology

For those readers who have braved the somewhat forbidding title and actually started to read this piece, the good news is that there is a glossary of abbreviations at the end.

Having given a short talk to the Congress of Independent Archaeologists, at the invitation of their Chairman, who is also ours, at the end of April, I was reminded that it is time to bring HADAS members up to date on the position in Barnet of what one might call ‘official’ archaeology. The themes of the Congress were the effects of PPG16, and of EH’s current policies on scheduled monuments, where do local societies fit into these, and what should be our strategy in the changing world? I will set out first what I know of HADAS’ position.

Barnet’s archaeological maps

I reported in Newsletter 257 that we were awaiting consultation on our draft map of archaeological priority areas. The archaeologists have consulted together (EH, MoLAS, HADAS) and the results of that have been given to the LBB planners by EH, who are of course now (since April 1992) the official appointed advisers to LBB. However, I have heard nothing more of official adoption of our draft map as part of the UDP, although it does seem from what we see of EH’s advice to LBB that the draft map is in fact being used and referred to; one could put it that, whilst the slow processes of official approval grind on, the practical folk who get on with the job are already using the useful tool we have provided.

In Newsletter 257 I said that we were preparing the second map, of sites and findspots. This is now completed in draft (so far as it can ever be said to be completed – new information comes in all the time!) ready for official approval. It includes an outline of the Borough’s geology, thanks to the help of John Whitehorn, a Barnet member of HADAS. Unhappily we have only one master copy, and no facilities for reproducing such large map sheets, except by repeating the labourious process of sticking little numbered dots on a new print of the map. We are hoping that in the course of time, the LBB will help us by providing copies, as they did for the first map. As an index for the “sites & finds” map we found it convenient to use the DGLA Gazetteer of 1988, adding to and amending it as needed, and using the massive computer print-out of the SMR (see my note in Newsletter 240) for reference. A side benefit of this exercise is that we now have all the essential information from the SMR reduced to a 32-page A5 booklet, which can be readily photocopied.

PPG 16

In 1988 I wrote, on behalf of HADAS, a response to the London Planning Advice Committee’s consultation document ‘Strategic Planning Advice for London’; our main point being that in suburban London, the archaeology was to be found mostly buried below shopping centres built on earlier habitation centres, so that chance to investigate only arose on redevelopment and demolition, hence archaeology should be an integral part of the planning and redevelopment process. Although we never had any acknowledgement in 1990 I thought someone must have heard my cry, when PPG16 was issued. This advises planning authorities that it is reasonable; (1) to request… the developer to arrange for an archaeological field evaluation… before any

decision on the planning application (2) to satisfy itself before… permission, that the developer has made… satisfactory provision for… excavation and recording of (known) remains and it is open to them (3) to impose conditions… (for) reasonable access (by) a nominated archaeologist – either … ‘watching brief … or… investigation and recording in the course of the permitted operations and (4) to… use… a… condition prohibiting the carrying out of development until such… works… have been carried out.

This is, in practice, certainly starting to work in Barnet Borough; I think, in the last 12 months there has been more professional archaeological work done in the Borough than I remember during the years I was Secretary. Both EH and HADAS monitor the weekly planning application lists. EH’s Archaeology Officer for this area (who is Robert Whytehead, well known to us as a year or two ago he did the same job for DGLA) advises LBB of any archaeological implications and suggesting evaluation or site-watching as needed, frequently consulting HADAS. We have organised our site-monitoring team, Myfanwy Stewart (Co-ordinator) Bill Bass (Northern area), Tessa Smith (Western area) and Bill Firth (Central area) so that they are in touch direct with Rob Whytehead on sites of interest. On small developments (patios, conservatories etc) where evaluation seems unlikely, we have agreed we will get in touch direct with the applicant/house-holder for permission to site-watch. Time will tell what changes we may need to make in these arrangements, but certainly we have a steady stream of information both ways on the archaeological side, so everyone knows what is going on.

Where an archaeological evaluation is required, the developer chooses the unit he will pay to do it. So far, most have been done by MoLAS; one has been done by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit; two have been done by HADAS (Barnet High Street 1990 and The Burroughs/Watford Way 1991). We receive copies of the reports, and supply ours to EH and MoLAS so that the archaeological information flows freely. Of the two sites where HADAS did the evaluation, one was in the early days of PPG16, where we were already independently in touch with the developer, a local firm, and DGLA after discussion were prepared to leave the work to us; the other was a housing association development, where there was no money to spare for archaeology, so we were put forward as a suitable body – I may say with welcome support and advice from DGLA.

HADAS have also tendered for an evaluation at Victoria Hospital, Barnet last autumn (the development seems to be hanging fire at present and we have not heard what is to happen); doing the paperwork needed for this, for approval by the developer and by LBB with advice from EH (and the help of Rob Whytehead here I gratefully acknowledge) has certainly brought home to me, at least, the realisation that a voluntary society like HADAS is simply not geared to cope with this sort of job as a regularly occurring matter: the fact that, once accepted, it becomes a legal contract with time-scales to be kept, the standards and specifications to be (very properly) kept to, and the need for immediate authoritative research/finds etc back-up, make this something we can only take on rarely. On the other hand, sites where there is no develoment money available, like the forthcoming Church Farmhouse dig, can still be available to us; also, there may be opportunities for small excavations arising from ‘patio’ sitewatching already mentioned. It is good for archaeology that more excavation is being done in the Borough, and being done professionally; as I see it, we have to accept that the increased amount is more than HADAS could cope with effectively. However, HADAS have not dropped out of the picture but are being kept informed, are consulted, and playing our useful part.

The Congress of Independent Archaeologists

The session on PPG16 started with Dr Geoffrey Wainwright, EH’s chief of archaeology. I found it very interesting, not to say entertaining, to hear his good-humoured account of the conception and origins of PPG16 in the need to enliven local planning authorities to their duty to archaeology in planning decisions. From the contributions which followed from local groups, I am sure that it is indeed working in the way intended.

It was clear that many local societies are maintaining a presence (if occasionally against some professional inertia) in active field archaeology, but having to accept the limitations I outlined above for HADAS. There seemed to be a general theme of more emphasis on research excavation, and sites where there is little money; so HADAS’ experience appears to be fairly typical.

What then is the message for HADAS from all this? I suggest it is that we should be willing to adapt ourselves in order to maintain our proper and useful place in the new scheme of things. In the first instance, I think this means accepting a certain measure of ‘red tape’ – formalising the organisation of our work, allocating specific responsibilities to volunteers, and being prepared to deal with an increased amount of administrative paperwork. We have already made a start – the map, the gazetteer, the sitewatching organisation; and these have happened in the best possible way – not be being imposed by rule from above, but by interested people seeing that a job needed doing, and forming a team to get on and do it!



CIA     Council for Independent Archaeology which organises, every 2 years, a Congress of Independent Archaeologists to exchange views.

DGLA Department of Greater London Archaeology of The Museum of London which had a general oversight of Greater London archaeology, originally under the GLC, until April 1992 when the function of advising London Boroughs on archaeology became the official function of EH (qv).

EH       English Heritage, which since April 1992 has been the official adviser to London Boroughs on archaeology, whilst not
taking on actual field-work, which is left to voluntary or commercial bodies such as MoLAS (qv) in accordance with specifications laid down by the planning authority (in Bamet, the LBB) on EH advice.

LBB    London Borough of Barnet, the planning authority for the area of HADAS activity.

MoLAS Museum of London Archaeological Service, the successor to DGLA, but now organised as a commercial archaeological unit undertaking work for a fee.

PPG16 Planning Policy Guidance No 16 ‘Archaeology and Planning’ issued by Department of the Environment in November 1990 for the guidance of local planning authorities, no doubt with the advice of EH (an offshoot of the Department).

SMR            Sites & Monuments Record, the official computerised record of all sites in the country of archaeological importance,
which in Greater London is maintained by al, although originally started on their behalf by The Museum of London;

EH receive, at their request, copies of the HADAS Newsletter so that any items of value go into the record.

BOOK REVIEW                                                     by Andy Simpson

All stations to Edgware

HADAS members with an interest in local transport history would be well advised to look out a newly published book under the title “British Railways Illustrated – Annual No 1” published by Irwell Press, price L8.95. This is an excellent value today for an A4-sized 92 page hardback?

Of particular interest is K Coventry’s 20 page article “Ally Pally, Barnet and Edgware”, a beautifully illustrated historical account of the Great Northern Railway’s “Northern Heights” lines to High Barnet and Edgware, now absorbed into the Northern line of the “tube”. There are detailed track plans and high quality 1930s photographs of the stations at Highgate, Cranley Gardens, Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill, East Finchley, Finchley Church End (now Finchley Central), Mill Hill (The Hale), Mill Hill East, West Finchley, Edgware, Totteridge, Woodside Park and High Barnet. It is fascinating to study the photographs of those stations hardly changed in 60 years, such as High Barnet, and compare them to the situation of the former Edgware (LNER) station site now lost under a supermarket car park.

A little further afield, but still relatively local, is the 16 page article on Watford loco shed, again beautifully illustrated with 1940/50s photographs. Highly recommended.


Roy Friendship-Taylor, Chairman of UNAS, wrote to HADAS advising that they have purchased a redundant Wesleyan Chapel in Piddington and that they plan to create the “Tiberius Claudius Severus Villa Museum” to tell the story of Iron Age and Roman Piddington. The museum, which should open in two years time, will incorporate a children’s education area and house the Society’s library. The HADAS Committee have agreed to make a donation of £20 towards this worthy project. Should members wish to make individual donations to the UNAS appeal, cheques payable to UNAS may be sent to: The Honorary Secretary, ‘Toad Hall’, 86 Main Road, Hackleton, Northampton, NN7 2AD.


The Spaniards Inn

In our February newsletter 263 we reported the planning application to put illuminated signs on the Spaniards Inn and Toll House. We have been informed that the Planning Committee has approved the placing of signs on both buildings but those on the Toll House are not to be lit.

Industrial Heritage Year

One of the better kept secrets of the year is that the English Tourist Board has designated this year Industrial Heritage Year with the slogan “Experience the Making of Britain’. Many museums and societies are co­operating by holding special events and the Tourist Board has published an Events List covering the country. There are also five maps of the country showing industrial attractions. Apply to: Experience the Making of Britain, PO Box 151, London El5 21-IF.

In London the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society is leading a series of industrial walks on Saturdays at 2.30pm. Approximately two hours of leisurely walking will either end at the starting point or at another underground station.

June 12: South of the Border – Southwark/Bermondsey. Meet by Water Carrier statue, north-east end of Blackfriars Bridge, adjacent to Blackfriars Station.

July 10: Markets and Medicine – Smithfield. Meet outside Barbican Station.

Aug.14: Gateways to the North – King’s Cross. Meet in St Pancras Station forecourt by steps down to Pancras Road.

Sept.4: The Eastern Fringe – Whitechapel. Meet outside west entrance, Tower Hill Station.

TAKE ONE METAL OBJECT                                                       by Roy Walker

Many metal objects found on HADAS excavations are corroded beyond recognition – is it a coin or a button? Some copper-alloy items, however, have been restored to a more stable condition by the application of simple technology. Excavation team member Arthur Till, with the aid of a 4.5 volt battery, some iron wires (taken from his wife’s flower arranging kit), washing soda and a jam jar, has been reversing the results of this oxidisation process by the use of electrolytic reduction. Copper wire from the negative pole of the battery, the cathode, is connected to the object (coin, nail, brooch, button or whatever) with a crocodile clip ensuring that the wire is in contact with the object. The anode or positive pole is connected by wire to a piece of ironfor

 carbon. Arthur has found that carbon, taken from the core of a battery, does not work as well as the iron supports used in flower arranging. It does seem as though most of the components of this technique owe more to his wife than to Arthur! The object and anode are then immersed in a solution of sodium carbonate (washing soda) or sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). A current produced by not more than 6 volts is passed to start a process similar to electroplating except that the metal being deposited comes from the corrosion deposits on the object itself , close to its original position. Oxygen bubbles form on the anode and at the end of the process hydrogen bubbles form on the object. Provided the object is not in a state of disintegration good results can be obtained enabling positive interpretation.

There is another method of reduction which works especially well on highly-corroded objects. They are heated in a stream of coal-gas at a temperature of 200°C for thirty minutes and then at 500°C for a few minutes more. It is understood that Mrs Till will not allow rusty coins near the gas cooker but fortunately for HADAS has no objection to losing the odd jam jar in the name of archaeological research.


In August 1991 the Newsletter carried a report on a Finchley Friends of Israel lecture by Alexander Flinder, the underwater archaeologist. In this lecture he described the discovery of the Herodian harbour of Sebastos at Caesarea found beneath the waters of the Mediterranean. A team of archaeologists working last year at Caesarea have now discovered what is believed to be Herod’s palace on a rock that extends several hundred feet into the Mediterranean. Those who have seen Masada will realise the extraordinary architecture of Herod’s works and this palace is no exception. It is built around a 115′ long swimming pool carved into the rock, there is a fountain beneath a half dome at one end of a dining room next to which was a luxurious private hot bath. After his death the palace would have been used by Roman Governors and it is likely that St Paul was imprisoned there around 58AD prior to being sent to Rome for trial.


The RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, is running an exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Dambusters” raid in May 1943, based on the history of strategic bombing. A range of new displays include a Lancaster bomber surviving from the World War II. laser-guided bombs from the Gulf War and an audio-visual display of the darns raid. The exhibition will run until 31st October. The Museum is open daily 10am – 6pm, 24hr information line: 081-205 9191.

FENTON HOUSE, Hampstead Grove, is the oldest surviving mansion in Hampstead, dating from 1693. It is administered by the National Trust and houses a collection of porcelain, furniture and antique musical instruments including a harpsichord played upon by Handel. A HADAS member, a voluntary room steward at the house, has reminded us that this year is of course its 300th anniversary, and in celebration a week of festivities is being held from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th June. The programme of events planned include a harpsichord recital, lectures on local history, painting workshop, a gardens day and the festival fair on Wednesday the 9th 11 am – 330pm which has musical entertainments, refreshments and an evocation of the 17th century by History Re-enactment. The Festival Marquee will have stalls selling National Trust goods, plants, produce and fancy goods. Entrance fee to the garden is 50p. Most events, however, require prior booking as numbers are restricted so a visit to Fenton House may be necessary to obtain the booking form.


The film “Orkney Underground” (40mins running time) will be shown free of charge at the British Museum Lecture Theatre (basement) at 3.30pm on 15 -18 June inclusive.

WHAT HITLER LEFT….                                                            A.M.L.

One little-publicised effect of the recent bombs in the City of London is their impact – literally – on the City churches, the jewels which nestle behind or between those temples of Mammon, the office blocks. In the first bombing at the Baltic Exchange, the church of St Andrew Undershaft rose bodily a few centimetres and came down slightly askew on its foundations. Underpinning has been going on for over a year and then there will be replacement of shattered stained-glass windows. St Katherine Cree also lost most of its east end glass including a fine rose window and St Helen’s, Bishopsgate suffered quite severely. This is an unusual conventised church with a double nave, one for the nuns and one for the parishioners. After the second (Bishopsgate) bomb much of the work at St Helen’s needs to be done again. St Ethelburga, a Saxon foundation with 15th century work, was demolished all but its east wall, and St Botolph’s Bishopsgate – to which St Ethelburga’s parishioners had temporarily migrated after earlier damage to their own church – was badly affected. Both sets of worshippers are on the move again. This is purely IRA damage.

Quite separately, St Mary at Hill was severely damaged by a fire, cause not widely known, and St James Garlickhythe had part of a builders’ crane fall through the roof into the south aisle. The list may not be complete – it is purely the result of recent wanderings around the City, but didn’t some mention an annus horribilis?

St Ethelburga’s, a footnote. The meeting of the North London Archaeological Liaison Committee was told on 19th May that there was an unexpected result of the bombing of St Ethelburga’s church. In the road crater in Bishopsgate were the foundations of a 2nd century Roman building which displayed Hadrianic fire damage (c 125AD). An evaluation of the standing building had in fact been completed by MoLAS prior to the bombing and the Roman remains will now receive their attention.


Further to the Hon.Treasurer’s Report at the AGM, Victor Jones reports that the 1992/93 accounts are now correct and audited. Excellent news for Victor and the Society is that we have been introduced to someone who is interested in becoming our new Hon.Treasurer. Hopefully, we will be able to confirm this officially in the next HADAS newsletter… watch this space.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments


NEWSLETTER No. 266        Edited by Ann Kahn  MAY 1993



Tuesday May 4 HADAS Annual General Meeting. Once we have the meeting over we will see slides from members – our T.V. Chronicle entry on excavations on West Heath and our Roman Banquet, by Daphne Lorimer who is coming down from Orkney; recent outings and our weekend in Dorset (including the Somerset Levels), by Ted Semmes; and the activities of the HADAS excavations group by Bill. Bass.


Saturday May 15 SEMINAR PRIOR TO CHURCH FARMHOUSE EXCAVATION 2pm – 5pm at St. Mary’s Church House, Hendon. (Details below).


Saturday May 22 BOSWORTH FIELD AND THE LUNT – Outing with Sheila Woodward and Tessa Smith. (Details and application form enclosed).


Saturday June 19 BOGNOR AND CHICHESTER – Outing with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins.


Saturday July 17 STONEA AND ELY – Outing with Vicki O’Connor, Roy Walker and Bill Bass.


Saturday August 14 PINNER WALK AND HEADSTONE MANOR – Outing with Dorothy Newbury

Friday. Saturday.




Saturday October 16 MINIMART


Saturday November 6 ST. PAUL’S VISIT with Mary O’Connell.


Tuesday December 7 DINNER at University College, Gower Stret (to be confirmed). This is linked to the Institute of Archaeology and we hope to see something of interest before our dinner. (More later).

NB A list of all HADAS officers and addresses is given on the green programme card issued to all members.



Till June 27 “Hampstead on the Map”. Burgh House, Hampstead, New End Square, NW3. (Open Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 noon to 5pm) Covers the last three centuries, including the rarely seen detailed manor maps of 1762.


Till July 11 “Magic Molecules: the story of plastics”. Organised by Percy Reboul. Church Farm Museum (Mondays to Thursdays 10am – 5pm; Saturdays 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 5.30pm; Sundays 2pm – 5.30pm). Members of the Plastic History Society are holding a roadshow on 6 June (2pm – 5.30pm) to identify and date any interesting or unusual plastic items brought to the museum. (See below for a review of the exhibition).


Sunday May 16 “Family History Fair” Royal Horticultural Society, Old Hall Vincent Square, SWI (10am – 5pm) Admission £1.00

Saturday May 22 “Historic Food Day”. London Museum. Lectures, demonstrations and workshops in conjunction with English Heritage and British Museum publications. (For full list of London Museum events apply for free mailing list to Marketing Officer, London Museum, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN).


Tuesday June 8 “Hampstead Past” (11am). Illustrated lecture by Christopher Wade and Derek Jackson. in the Festival Marquee as part of the Fenton House Tercentary Celebrations. Tickets £12.50 include light lunchtime refreshments and a tour of the House. (Details and full programme available from Fenton House, Hampstead Grove, NW3 6RT).


Saturday 28 August  “National Archaeology Day” Open Day at our dig at Church Farmhouse. (See below for further details).



On 27 March HADAS exhibited at this year’s London and Middlesex Archaeological Society’s conference. The HADAS stand included reports on various sites dug or investigated over the last two years or so, also articles on the Church Farmhouse Museum project and on the Brockley Hill Roman pottery exhibition. Overall attendance seemed quite good (including HADAS members) although there were only six other stands, perhaps reflecting the fortunes of fellow local societies. The theme of the morning session, of what was a busy agenda, was recent archaeological research in the London scene.

Locations included     Neolithic in the Rainham area; recent work on the north-west Surrey
gravels; multi-period prehistoric and Roman settlements; aspects of multi-finds research by members of MOLAS; and excavations in Sutton House in Hackney – in which of course HADAS members are experts after their recent visit and talk. The afternoon was dedicated to work now being carried out on The London Assessment Document. This sets out to assess by period the state of archaeological knowledge in the capital, its priorities, and where to proceed in the future.

Publication is hoped for in mid 1994. Bill Bass


Excavations at Fulham Palace.

Following our Christmas meal and visit to Fulham Palace, Keith Whitehouse, director of rescue operations for the Fulham Archaeology Rescue Group, gave us a talk on the history and archaeological finds to date.

Fulham Palace was the home of the Bishop of London from 704 until 1975 when the site was taken over by the local council. The site had been prone to flooding in early times but, since the river bank has been built up and Bishops Park formed, this is no longer the case. Finds in the locality include the Fulham Road Sword, the Battersea Shieldand a number of other swords; these have dated from 400BC to AD50. In 1962, on the opposite bank in Putney, a funerary pot was found during a dig.

Keith went on to describe the site; at present it is bounded by a moat which is one mile in length and encloses 36 acres; this was filled in the nineteen twenties. The earliest surviving building is the Great Hall built in 1480 by Bishop Thomas Kemp; the present buildings surround two courtyards, the larger being Tudor; the smaller covers a medieval site. The chapel was moved to the great hall following complaints about the smell caused by the bishop’s ale which was stored in a cellar below the chapel. Evidence of this ale store can still be seen in the basement of the east wing, which was designed by Leadbetter in 1814. During restoration the under floor space was found to be filled with building rubble.

The only bridge over the moat leads into the northwest corner of the site; the bridge is of Victorian design built around an earlier core and provides the only access to the site. The moat was originally flushed by the Thames which helped to clear the sewage which flowed into it from buildings to the north. Following a number of accidents and the water becoming stagnant, it was cleaned out and filled in. During 1972 a trench, 10 feet wide and 70 feet long was dug through the moat on the river side of the site, its position being decided rather by the fact that there was a tree missing from the bank than from any particular archaeological reason. As the moat had been thoroughly cleaned out before being filled it yielded no archaeological evidence; the remainder of the trench was found to contain much Roman debris. Skulls of a dog and a horse were found close to a packed post hole, suggesting a ritual burial common to Celtic/Roman entrances. This was possibly the site of the original riverside entrance, in line with the Fulham Road. The Roman finds suggest a settlement around the third to fourth centuries Ad but there was not enough digging done to confirm this.

In 1975, following the erection of marquees on the site of the Saxon palace, a second dig was carried out to discover what damage had been inflicted by the spikes driven in for support. The Saxon palace is situated in the western moated corner of the site; one side of this moat passes under the western side of the Tudor courtyard and may account for the building’s angle to the smaller courtyard as the moat bank was used as a foundation.

Later evidence suggests that a third, larger moat enclosing 42 acres may be present; following subsidence under a building on the northern side and its subsequent demolition, there were signs of another moat. Although the evidence is very confusing, it could be postulated that this site may well have been a ford across the Thames in Roman and medieval times.

David Bromley



Liz Sagues

29 Albury Drive, Pinner, Middx HA5 3RL. 081-868 8431

April 16, 1993

A plastics puzzle for future archaeologists to solve

Past and future come together in an intriguing way in Church Farmhouse Museum’s current exhibition, Magic Molecules: The Story of Plastics. As organiser Percy Reboul ­this time wearing not his HADAS member’s hat but that of chairman of the Plastics Historical Society — points out, plastics will be one of the keys to understanding the past which future archaeologists will value as much as the pottery or metal objects unearthed today.

And just as there are different pottery fabrics and all kinds of different metals, so plastics come in huge variety. Pity the poor archaeologist of the 25th or 30th century, puzzling over the chronology of objects which scientific analysis shows were made of such completely natural materials as milk, blood, wood flour or resins, as well as of oil-based polymers. The typology, too, will confuse. The early moulders were as skilled in handling their material, be it to make the handle of a parasol or produce a decorative plaque in finely-detailed relief, as those of generations and centuries which followed.

With luck, of course, some of the publications of the Plastics Historical Society and other current researchers will also survive, allowing future investigators to learn that plastics even featured in prehistory, when natural polymers such as amber and bitumen were exploited. More documents could direct them to the 17th century, when an Englishman, John Osborne, made mouldings from another natural polymer, horn, and on into the 1800s, when suddenly there was a wealth of invention, from gum-based gutta percha to albumen-mixed Bois Durci.

Truly dedicated delvers into papers past might even discover that the big date was 1862, when a second clever Briton, Alexander Parkesine, displayed the first semi-synthetic plastics material, cellulose nitrate (celluloid), to be followed by the first truly synthetic plastic, Bakelite, in 1907.

But as in the present display, the future archaeologists will find most to intrigue and interest in the plastics objects themselves. From tiny buttons to massive radios, from elegant jewellery to tacky souvenirs, from impressive medical advances such as the insulin syringe which looks just like a fountain pen to the fake plate of spaghetti which would fool no-one, the exhibition illustrates the huge scale of the inventiveness that plastics have inspired.

It ends with a small section on recycling, important in an increasingly green age. Supermarket bags and mineral water bottles, and a whole lot more, can be changed into something new and useful. But if plastics are to be useful to future archaeologists, recycling surely should not go too far!

Magic Molecules: The Story of Plastics continues at Church Farmhouse Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon (071-203 0130), until July 11. Membership of the Plastics Historical Society costs £10 a year, for details write to Plastics Historical Society, The Plastics and Rubber Institute, 11 Hobart Place, SW1W OHL.



One of Jean Snelling’s wishes was that HADAS should receive a selection of books from her collection and with the kind assistance of her brother, Peter, over one hundred books, guides and maps are at Avenue House in the process of being catalogued and classified. There are several CBA research reports including Urban archaeology in Britain, Medieval moated sites and The church in British Archaeology. We now have the counties of Sussex, London (City and Westminster), Surrey, Hertfordshire and Essex in Pevsner’s “The Buildings of Britain” series as well as Domesday Book summaries for the counties of Sussex, Hertford, Middlesex, Berkshire, Oxford, Stafford and Surrey in Phillimore’s “History from the Sources” series. Jean’s interest in the Whetstone House is surely reflected in English historic carpentry (C Hewett), Recording Old Houses (R McDowall) and Timber-framed buildings in Watford (S A Castle). Of local interest are The deserted medieval villages of Hertfordshire (K Rutherford-Davis) and The Anglo-Saxon churches of Hertfordshire (T P Smith). Further afield is Exploration of a drowned landscape (C Thomas) covering the archaeology and history of the Scilly Isles. London is represented by The building of London (J Schofield), The Lost rivers of London (N Barton), Saxon London (A Vince), and The Great Fire of London (G Milne). There are two books by Michael Wood – In search of the Trojan War and In search of the Dark Ages together with Iron-age farm (P Reynolds) The Stonehenge people (A Burl) and Archaeology of Language (C Renfrew). The concise Oxford dictionary of English place names (E Ekwall) adds to our reference collection. Finally in this summary of books donated by Jean is one for the finds processing team to get their teeth into – Dental morphology, an illustrated guide (G van Beek).

There are of course many other books, photocopied extracts from magazines, maps, guides and archival material including newsletters from other local societies such as the Finchley Society, Barnet & District Local History Society, Enfield Archaeological Society and many others at Avenue House. A full list of titles and authors will be issued later this year but if you have the time, it is recommended you pop in one Sunday morning (check first that the room will be open) to see the wide selection available to members. You will most certainly find something of interest.

Roy Walker



Renewals are well over the half-way mark. If you have mislaid your form this need not delay renewal, but please ensure your printed name accompanies your remittance. Our last new member for 92/93 is junior member, Andrew Harris. We hope to have more new junior members this year – our last batch seems to have matured! Has any HADAS family more than two generations in membership? Letters to the Editor please!

Mr & Mrs P D Griffiths, Diana Wheatley, and Mr E F Chubb have resigned from the Society, but send us their best wishes for the future.

Vikki O’Connor – Membership Secretary



The nameboard at the front of Avenue House spells out the HADAS name omitting the second “a” from “archeological” – “Archeological Society”. In April, the Sunday Times featured a report on archaeology and the Bible which throughout spelt “archaeology” and “archaeologist” without this second “a”, thus “archeology” and “archeologist”, even in the headline. It is known that “Mediaeval” and “palaestra can also be spelt “medieval” and “palestra” but was it now to be the fashion to have an alternative to “archaeology”? It may have been that the reporter lived in East End Road and had copied the nameboard (“it must be right, it’s in big letters”) but on the chance that this might have been an Americanism that had crept into our language I checked with an American archaeology handbook. Thankfully, it used “archaeology” with the “a”. However, it does refer to “paleo-Indians”!

Ray Walker




It is hoped that as many as possible of those who will take part in the dig will attend; so that we can discuss, and hear views, on the archaeological significance of the site, the organisation of the dig and the way we mean to approach it, going into some practical detail – for the benefit of new diggers, on techniques, what we might expect to find, and the system for recording our results. Various finds from the locality will be available, so that participants can see and handle the kind of artefacts we may expect to find and hope to recognise.

There will be contributions from:-

Dr. Pamela Taylor on the history of the area

Ted Sammes on the archaeology of the immediate area, including Church Terrace, Burroughs Gardens, and Church End Farm excavations by HADAS

Gerard Roots on the post-medieval history of Church Farm

Brian Wrigley on the organisation of the excavation

Church House is the same place as our venue for the MINIMART, at the top of Greyhound Hill opposite the Church. Tea will be provided during the afternoon, and to cover this and the cost of accomodation, there will be a small charge of £1.00 per head. All will be welcome, whether diggers or not.



The Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum now exist! Local MPs John Marshall and Hasrt ley Booth joined 45 other Church Farmhouse enthusiasts at the inaugural meeting held on 17 March at the Hendon Library. The constitution was adapted, officers and committee elected and subscription (in the form of an “initial levy”) set for the current year. Andrew Selkirk, our Chairman, congratulated Joyce Gawthrop on her election as Chairman of the Friends and, welcoming the formation of the new group, proposed future joint ventures. He invited members of the Friends to attend the Church Farmhouse excavation seminar on Saturday afternoon 15 May.

The Friends have been formed as a self-financing group to support the renovation and development of Church Farmhouse Nuseum. They will play a valuable part in promoting the museum, its exhibitions and collections. Members of HADAS are most welcome to join – there will be a programme of visits, meetings and social activities as well as opportunities to help within the musueum. A Newsletter will be produced four times a year.

To put the Friends on a sound financial footing the subscription this year, as an “initial levy” is £7.50. If you would like a membership application form or more details please contact The Friends of the Church Farmhouse Museum, Libraries Arts and Museums, Educational Services, Friern Barnet Lane, Nil 3DL (081 368 1255 ext 3153)

Liz Holliday, Hon. Secretary, The Friends of the Church Farmhouse Museum



HADAS has designated Sunday 29th August as our Open Day; our contribution to The Young Archaeologists Club’s “National Archaeology Day” programme. The aim is for young people and their families to visit a site of archaeological/historical interest to see ‘archaeology in action’ and take part in some activities on site. Suggestions for activities would be welcome. Ideas so far received include a Roman Barbecue to coclude our Open Day, and an “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” type quiz based on our collection of finds ­with perhaps a year’s junior membership to HADAS as a prize. Please send all ideas and comments to Liz Holliday as soon as possibly (Gorse Cottage, The Common, Chipperfield, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 9BL)



THE OLDEST FOOTPRINTS ever found in Britain has been found on the coast of Howick, Northumberland. They belonged to an animal of the size and appearance of a small crocodile that lived a full 300 million years ago, according to Dr. Maurice Tucker, a geologist at Durham University. Enthusiasts have only one year to see them before natural erosion wipe them out forever. (Daily Telegraph 23 January).

CANTERBURY. The Anglo-Saxon cathedral, burnt down in 1067, and     found

on the site of the existing Canterbury Cathedral was built on a massive scale, the nave being as wide and as long as the present Norman structure, a feat believed beyond the capabilities of the Anglo-Saxons. Professor Martin Biddle, the Cathedral’s archaeological consultant, said that this find tells us that the architecture of the England of Alfred, Edgar and Canute was the match of anything in Europe north of the Alps at that time. The finds, made during excavations to install a new heating system, had vindicated the writings of a monk, Eadmer the Singer, who early in the 12thc wrote an account of the old building, as he remembered it from his childhood.


FRANCE. Archaeologists have discovered what they think is the 3,000 year old home of the French cartoon hero Asterix. The buried remains of a large and heavily defended Iron Age settlement at the precise Breton spot where Asterix’s creator, Rene Goscinny, located his hero’s well-fortified home village, have been found by an Anglo-French team, directed by Oxford University Professor Barry Cunliffe and Dr. Patrick Galliou of the University of Brest. Excavations at Le Yaudet (derived from the Gallo-Roman word for “tribal centre”) near Lannion, have also borne out Goscinny’s claim that Asterix’s village was never stormed by the Romans or occupied by Roman soldiers. So far the excavations have yielded substantial quantities of Asterix-period pottery, and Celtic coins bearing the image of wild boar, the favourite food of Asterix’s friend Obeix. Nearby are some rare Iron Age menhirs of the precise size favoured by the indomitable Obeix, whose job as a menhir delivery man has added a certain academic weight to the books. Archaeologists suspect the real Asterix village was the seat of the local chieftain, though whether his name was actually Abraracourcix, as in the French edition if the books, is of course open to question. He ruled over a part of a Celtic tribal confederacy known as the Osismi. (Independent April)


EGYPT. An intact chamber has been found in the Great Pyramid, which may contain the remains and treasures of the Pharaoh Cheops, every bit as stunning as those of Tutankhamun’s. The discovery was made accidentally by German scientists, led by the robotics expert, Rudolf Gantenbrink, under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo. They were checking pollution problems and were using a robot to explore the air circulation system in the passageways. The robot will now be developed to be inserted through a tiny gap in a miniature stone door with large copper handles found at the end of a narrow sloping passageway at the centre of the Pyramid, designed probably to have functioned as a “spirit path” for the soul of the departed pharaoh. (Independent 16 April).



Congratulations to Alan Hill who has been elected ESA for his work as Publicity Director of the Prehistoric Society and for all the archaeology books he has published. His autobigraphy, In Pursuit of Publishing, was published in 1988, it contains many delightful references to his wife, Enid, well known to HADAS members.


English Heritage are suggesting an archaeological evaluation for a site at West Farm Place, Chalk Farm, Cockfosters. It is near the line of an ancient boundary and historic flint find spots. Bill Bass