All Posts By



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



Page 1


Saturday 7 August Outing to the Lewes area, with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward. Application form enclosed.

Saturday 4 September Outing to Colchester, with June Porges and Stewart Wild.

Tuesday 12 October Lecture by Lucia Gahlin: ‘Egyptology’.

Tuesday 9 November Lecture by Paul Wilkinson: `Durolevum’. Tuesday 7 or 14 December Christmas Dinner – to be confirmed.


It’s that time again! Following on from our successful training dig last September, we are holding another one this year on the weekend of August 21st/2211d. Avenue House have very kindly offered to be our hosts again. Having carried out a resistivity survey in February, we believe we have identified the location of a former ornamental pond in the park and we propose to test this by putting a trench across the probable location. Training will be given on many aspects of modern excavation techniques with a special emphasis on safety. For insurance reasons we can only take applicants over the age of 16 and in terms of numbers we can only take 10 trainees, so first come, first served. Please apply to Don Cooper at the contact details below.


An inauspicious beginning to our trip: rain, cloud, cold and no coach! An accident on the Ml on Wednesday morning delayed the start of our journey by about an hour, However, by hook, crook and Jackie’s mobile ,we arrived at the Cumbrian Campus of the University of Central Lancashire on time, and in the golden glow of evening sunlight. It was an attractive site with low level buildings, set in grassy plots with flowers and shrubs . There was a ‘villagey’ sense of space, colour, nooks and crannies and at the edge of the site, a beautiful garden with wild flower beds. The site taught agricultural and equine studies but was also branching out into other subject areas, such as computers and business. We were well looked after on all counts: accommodation, food and a bar. Unfortunately, neither Dorothy nor Jack could come this year. Dorothy’s cheerful, calm presence was very much missed —- as was the hint of iron in the velvet glove! We even missed Jack’s loud, ‘non pc patriarchal’ comments from the back! We all wish them both well and look forward to them being with us on next year’s trip. It was a fascinating few days of visits : varied and imaginatively planned. (Details to come later) Our thanks go to Jackie who coped with everything from minor housekeeping issues to major programme changes. Quietly in charge, flexible, good humoured, and equable, she will always be my role model for ‘grace under pressure’! We all appreciated how much work and time went into organising the trip plus all the wear and tear and worry about the outcome. And it was wonderful !!!! Thank you, Jackie!

Page 2

Oetzi the Alpine Iceman: The Plot Thickens by STEWART WILD

Readers will remember the remarkable news that broke in the summer of 1991 when a frozen mummified body was discovered in a melting glacier high in the Alps on the Italian side of the border with Austria. The body was initially thought to be that of a modern-day climber and was nicknamed Oetzi after the valley of the nearby river Oetz. Then an axe and a knife and a quiver of arrows were found nearby, and these items were later proved to be around 5,300 years old. Scientists have been carrying out detailed studies of this individual’s life and death ever since. Oetzi was found to be a 46-year-old male, dubbed The Iceman, and it was originally thought that he must have become lost during a sudden storm in the high Alpine pass and fallen victim to hypothermia. But latest research suggests that Oetzi met a more sinister end — shot in the back by an arrow fired by someone who came from the same area as he did himself Where was this? Recent research has looked at isotopes and bio-minerals found in the Iceman’s teeth and bones. These were compared with soil and water samples from a wide area of the Alps. As a result, it is thought that Oetzi probably grew up in the Eisack valley, in the southern Tyrol, probably in or near what is now the Italian village of Feldthurns. Excavations have revealed a standing stone nearby dating back to the Copper Age. He may well have spent his summers up in the mountains and moved down to the valleys in winter as this is a pattern of seasonal migration that started in the middle Neolithic period and is still practised today. An arrowhead was discovered in the mummified corpse in 2001. And, says Professor Annaluisa Pedrotti of Trento University, it speaks volumes about an ancient assailant. “The type of arrowhead found in Oetzi’s body has a very specific `tanged’ shape. This occurs only in the southern Alps and in northern Italy, not in the northern Alps where arrowheads tend to have a flat base. That means that the guilty party came from south of the Alps and was probably one of Oetzi’s own people.” Speculation now points to the Iceman as perhaps being a victim of a feud between hunters, or even of ritual sacrifice. Thomas Loy, an archaeologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, led the team that studied DNA samples gathered from the Iceman’s weapons and clothing. He found that the samples contained blood from four individuals. Using this information, and the location of the different samples, together with forensic data on the wounds found on the Iceman’s body, the team has postulated Oetzi’s final moments. Loy believes that the Iceman died in a boundary or property dispute with several individuals. Others are unconvinced by this theory. Johan Reinhard, a National Geographic expert on mummies and ritual sacrifice, finds Loy’s theory “an unlikely scenario”. Reinhard cites the quantity, quality and placement of artefacts found by the body as evidence that the Iceman could not have been fleeing a battle. Additionally, his grass-filled shoes would have made travel through the snow a slow process, and notes that the body was found on the highest point of the pass. Reinhard does believe that a fight could have been possible, but within the context of a ritual. “We know that people have been lured into places and killed. As an example,” he said, “the Celts reportedly performed human sacrifice by shooting people in the back.” One thing all the experts are agreed on, however, is that research must be ongoing. The Iceman is now housed in a specially built refrigerated unit in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, which opened in 1998 near Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. For more information, visit Sources: National Geographic Science BBCNews

Resistivity at Pinner Hill Golf Course by DON COOPER

On 7th Jul 2004 At the request of Ken Kirkman of the Pinner Local History Society, members of Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS) brought their resistivity meter to Pinner Hill golf course. Avoiding ‘golf balls and in a strong breeze, Andrew Coulson, Jim Nelhams and Don Cooper laid out a 20m by 15 grid by the side of the 18th fairway and close to the club house (itself an early 19th century manor house!). Our objective was to confirm the presence of traces of a building believed to be the remains of a 17th manor house. These traces had been observed as parch marks during a very dry summer some years ago. As can be seen from the results of the resistivity survey, (sample on the left) there are indications of structures beneath the soil. Although not easy to directly “map” the recorded parch marks to our survey, there is a remarkable similarity between the sketch of the marks that Ken had made at the time and the outlines that show up from our survey. Whether or not they are the remains of an old manor house is another issue. A small test excavation across, perhaps, one of the corners outlined by the survey might tell us what was there and maybe how old it was. Our thanks are due to Ken for his hospitality and assistance. With another survey under our belt, we are increasingly confident at using the new machine and interpreting its results.

Camilla Raab remembered

We are sorry to hear that Camilla Raab died in June. Camilla was an active member of HADAS for many years.She worked as a proof-reader for Routledge Kegan Paul. She had a distinctive personality and strong political views, took a great interest in current affairs and always enjoyed a good discussion. Camilla was well known in the Hampstead Garden Suburb where she gave much time to voluntary work, especially for Fellowship House. Many people will remember her.

Page 3

Other Societies Events by ERIC MORGAN

Sunday 1 August 2.30 pm, Heath and Hampstead Society, Burgh House, New End Square NW3. West Heath Walk concentrating on Society’s Heath Vision Statement led by Martin Humphrey. £1.

Tuesday 10 August 8 pm, Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave., N3. Fossil Collecting in the London Clay. talk by Jeff Saward.

Wednesday 11 August 11.30 am, Alexandra Palace History Tour. £4.50. Must be booked in advance: call 8365 2121 or ask reception.

Saturday 14/Sunday 15 August, 10am-4pm, Archaeological Excavation Open Days, Turnershall Farm, Mackerye End (off Marshalls Heath Lane) Wheathampstead, St Albans Museum 3rd Excavation of Roman Burial site. Visited by HADAS in 2003.

Thursday 19 August 7.30 pm, Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, The Dissenters Chapel,Kensal green Cemetery, Ladbroke Grove, W10. The Story of Pears and his Transparent Soap, talk by Andrea Cameron. £3. Refreshments.

Saturday 21/Sunday 22 August 12-6pm, Friern Barnet Show, Friary Park, Friern Barnet Lane, N12. Friern Barnet Local History Society will have a stand with, hopefully, the latest details of our Resistivity Survey. £3.50, conc.£1, including art exhibition and many stalls.

Sunday 29/ Monday 30 August, 10am-5pm, Enfield Steam and Country Show, Trent Park, Cockfosters Rd., Enfield, Herts. Heavy Horse Display and Whitewebbs Museum of Transport. £5, conc. £2.

Sunday 29/Monday 30 August 12-6 pm, Harrow Show, Pinner View, North Harrow. The Museum and Heritage Centre will be open till 5 pm each day.

Wednesday 1 September 6-8pm, Highgate Wood, walk to look at places of historical interest in the wood. Meet at information hut.


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



Page 1

Congratulations to Dorothy by Denis Ross

Congratulations to our Vice-President Dorothy Newbury, who has been awarded an MBE for services to Archaeology in North London. This is a very well-deserved honour as Dorothy has devoted herself to HADAS for many years, during which time she has raised large sums of money for the Society, organised outings and newsletters, served on the committee and pursued the Society’s interests in many other ways.

The Four Hundredth NEWSLETTER.

This is the four hundredth edition of HADAS Newsletter, which first appeared in October 1969. This took the form of a personalised letter to each member from the secretary, Daisy Hill, as will be seen from this extract from Ted Sammes’ letter.

Hon. Secretary,

Miss D.P. Hill

9, Prince of Wales Road, Hendon N. W 4

Dear Mr Sammes” October, 1969.

This is the first issue of a new venture which we hope in future to send members at, about six-weekly intervals.In addition to giving news of the Society’s increasing activities both in field work and research, the newsletter will also provide details of lectures and outings. That is why we have not sent you a programme card this year – we hope you may find the news letter, with its information about immediately forthcoming events, more helpful as a reminder. Brigid Grafton Green took over the secretaryship shortly afterwards. In Newsletter No 6 it was reported that: ‘with 6 books of Green Shield Stamps the Secretary can get one wheelbarrow, so if you can spare any GSS. the treasurer would be delighted to receive them to purchase equipment’. Looking into our well-equipped garage today, it would appear that a great many books of stamps were collected!

HADAS has a complete set of newsletters in its archives, which Andrew Coulson has recently scanned into the computer. In due course it will be possible to do keyword searches, to find all references, however minor, to subjects, people and places which have appeared in the Newsletter: a very powerful research tool.


Wednesday 14 July to Sunday 18 July Long Weekend to Cumbria. There have been two cancellations so contact Jackie Brookes to enquire if these are now filled.

Saturday 7 August, Outing to the Lewes area, with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward. Application form enclosed.

Saturday 4 September, Outing to Colchester, with June Porges and Stewart Wild.

Tuesday 12 October, Lecture by Lucia Gahlin, ‘Egyptology’.

Tuesday 9 November, Lecture by Paul Wilkinson, `Durolevum’.

Lectures start at 8.00pm in the Drawing Room Avenue House, East End Rd, Finchley, N3. Buses 82, 143. 260 & 326 pass close by, and it is a five to ten minute walkfrom Finchley Central Station (Northern Line).


As this Newsletter goes to press a small resistivity survey is planned for Wednesday 21 July, at Kingsbury School, Kingsbury, where it is intended to examine a 10-metre grid prior to an excavation by pupils of the school. It is hoped to find the remains of a Tudor cottage. A further resistivity grid was surveyed on 2 May on behalf of the Enfield Archaeological Society, which is to excavate the gatehouse of Henry VIII’ s Elsyng Palace as part of National Archaeology Day, 18 July 2004. (See below).

The Secretary’s Corner

The Society’s Annual General Meeting took place on 8 June 2004 at Avenue House with the President, Harvey Sheldon, in the Chair. 34 members attended. All the Resolutions set out in the Notice of Meeting were duly passed. The Meeting marked the retirement of Micky O’Flynn as Treasurer having given excellent service in that Office for some years. The Meeting thanked her for all her efforts and wished her well for the future. Fortunately, the Chairman had encouraged his neighbour, Jim Nelhams, to take on the job. The Officers elected for the current year are: Chairman: Don Cooper Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering Hon.Treasurer: Jim Nelhams Hon. Sec.: Denis Ross The following were duly elected as other members of the Committee: Christian Allen, Bill Bass, Jackie Brookes, Stephen Brunning (a new member of the Committee), Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Nicholson, June Porges, Mary Rawitzer (Membership Secretary), Andrew Selkirk and Tim Wilkins. The Meeting expressed its regret at the death during the year of Brian Wrigley —a stalwart of the Society for so many years — and was pleased to see Joan Wrigley at the Meeting. The Chairman referred to the proposal to purchase a bench from donations, to be placed in Avenue House Gardens with a suitable plaque in Brian’s memory. The Meeting agreed to offer honorary membership of the Society to the holders of certain Offices with the London Borough of Barnet which are relevant to the Society’s activities.

Page 2

HADAS excavations at West Heath Lecture report by Graham Javes

Following the AGM Sheila Woodward gave a talk on the Society’s excavations at West Heath on the edge of Hampstead Heath. The Heath is outside our borough, in Camden, and was at that time administered by the Greater London Council Parks Department. What began as a two-week full-time dig in May 1976 eventually turned into nine seasons, with the number of flints running into many thousands: as Sheila commented: ‘a lot of us cut our digging teeth on the Heath’. HADAS member Alec Jeakins discovered the site in 1973. Whilst walking over sandy bluff adjacent to Leg of Mutton Pond he realised that he was kicking worked flints, which looked mesolithic. Alec contacted Ted Sammes who showed the flints to Desmond Collins, who taught archaeology at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Alec and Desmond continued to collect flints in quantity: the site was being eroded away by walkers. Daphne Lorimer directed excavations from 1976-81, with Desmond Collins as adviser. No other organisation seemed interested and it became our dig by our members. It was exciting because it was the first mesolithic site in the Greater London area. Space and time were not a problem with no developer breathing down our necks. Mr Chalon of the Greater London Parks Department fenced the site off. We gridded the site with a 2-metre grid and worked alternate grids. The mesolithic hunter-gatherers left no structures but hearths were found. Sheila recalled it was an idyllic site: always sunny in 1976 with the site in dappled shade: ‘It was a joy to dig: great fun.’ Squirrels took your sandwiches (which for safety had to be left in the one car which was allowed on site) and came to join the party. One day one tapped Sheila on the arm asking for food. There were the sounds of birdcalls: whooper swans and ducks on the Leg of Mutton pond, and cranes and peacocks. The excavation was the subject of much public interest and camera teams descended upon us. Riders and walkers showed much interest. Desmond Collins devoted a great deal of time as adviser and helped with answering the questions. It was not local flint, which is small and poor, but almost certainly from the boulder clay of the Ice Age. The nearest place where this is found is in Finchley. A glass-lidded box was made to display a selection of the finds at the fence. Thermoluminescent dating of burnt flints suggests a mesolithic date between about 6000-4000 BC. In 1978 HADAS was authorised and privileged to run training digs accepted for the University of London Diploma in Archaeology. West Heath involved so many members and membership swelled: there was always something people could do — trowelling, finds processing, drawing, photography, speaking to visitors, making the tea; Margaret Maher experimented with flint-knapping and fitting flakes on to actual cores. When it rained trenches filled with water and frogs by the handful had to be removed each morning before work could commence. It was decided to get environmental evidence and attention moved upstream. Two experts were involved, James Greig on plant remains and Maureen Girling on insects. It was decided that the area had been fairly lightly forested in the Mesolithic period. Trespassers on site were a problem and netting was used to discourage trampling over the trenches. After a site but was vandalised and ‘nicked’, a light-weight hut was designed which could be put up in about eight minutes, removed at night and camouflaged under heaps of branches. There were some obvious attempts to plant fraudulent objects. Work ended in 1982 when it was thought we had reached the fringes of the site, but after further material came to light, a second phase was undertaken from 1984-86, directed by Margaret Maher: Daphne had by then moved to Orkney. After which it was decided that this was enough. The site was back-filled and a cake baked to celebrate the end. The 1976-82 excavations formed a BAR publication: publication of the second phase is forthcoming. Sheila’s lecture was fully illustrated with slides taken during the excavations, which provoked many memories and occasioned much nostalgia amongst those who had dug. (Dorothy admitted to still having her Mini Traveller parked outside, which she ruined with all the fetching and carrying.) And for those of us who joined HADAS later, it proved fascinating. We can all take pride in the achievements of West Heath. See: Desmond Collins & Daphne Lorimer, Excavations at the Mesolithic Site on West Heath, Hampstead 1976-1981, HADAS, 1989. Copies are available from HADAS.

Page 3

Membership Renewals by Mary Rawitzer (Hon. Membership Secretary)

As expected, the increase in annual subscription from April 1st has caused quite some chaos, especially for those paying by standing order. All those whose payments were not quite right – for a variety of reasons, but sometimes due to banks’ apparent inability to read – should have received a letter from me by now.If you normally pay by cheque and we have not yet had your payment you will find a reminder note enclosed with this newsletter. Unless we hear from you during July we will not send out any further newsletters or meeting notices.

An Appeal from Dorothy.

This Newsletter is edited by a team of 12 members, who each produce one Newsletter per year. However, there are occasions when editors have to miss their issue, when their place is taken by a reserve editor. Recently we have lost two of our regular team. Will someone offer to be a Reserve Editor? We really need two people. Please ring Dorothy, 020 8203 0950 to find out what is involved. We also need someone (possibly two members to work together) to help organise one of the outings next year. Again, contact Dorothy for further information, , or speak to Sheila, Tessa, June or Micky Watkins.

From Peter Pickering on Roman Roads

Dear Sir In Jim Nelham’s interesting report of our President’s lecture about Roman roads, he says, ‘Some Roman roads have names… but we do not know what the Romans called them.’ I was not, unfortunately able to attend the lecture myself, but presume that Harvey was here speaking only of Roman roads in Britain. For we know the names of many roads in other parts of the Roman Empire. Besides the Appian Way (via Appia), built and named by Appius Claudius Caecus in the fourth century BC to link Rome with south Italy, there were, for instance, the Egnatian Way (via Egnatia) from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, named in the second century BC after the proconsul of Macedonia, and the Via Domitiana named after the emperor Domitian — that road was the subject of an obsequious poem by Statius. Perhaps sometime we shall find the name of a road in Britain from an inscription or a Vindolanda tablet. The author of the article on roads in the Oxford Classical Dictionary tells us the Roman roads “spectacularly expressed Rome’s power over the landscape”. Just like motorways today. Yours faithfully Peter Pickering

Development proposals for The Sternberg Centre by Don Cooper

The Sternberg Centre at 80 East End Road, Finchley is a major North London Jewish complex, housing a school, a synagogue, the administration centre for the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, and a fine Jewish Museum, which is open to the public. The site has important archaeological interest, with a 1720s grade 2* listed Manor House, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument based on the remains of a moat, sluice moat and fish ponds of an earlier medieval manor house, located behind the present 1720s building. The medieval manor house, known as Bibsworth Manor, is mentioned as being in the possession of the Bishop of London in 1512, in a record at the London Metropolitan Archives. Many other documents relate to its subsequent history. Plans for a considerable development within the area are currently being submitted, and an opportunity to study these proposals was provided on Monday 24th May 2004, which was attended by members of HADAS. From a heritage point of view the effect of the developments would be to: • carry out repairs and improvements to the 1720s manor house itself • demolish the 20th century additions to the north of the 1720s manor house • improve the setting of the manor house by removing car parking from the front of it • bury/destroy the moat of the ancient manor as it would be below the footprint of the proposed new buildings cover the site with a much greater density of buildings than at present, which may or may not have an effect on the archaeology. MoLAS carried out an auger survey in January 2002 (MHF02) and confirmed the presence and probable alignment of the moat. A small excavation of the moat was also carried out by MoLAS in 1991 (MHB91) prior to a previous application for planning permission, which produced pottery from the 17th century, as well as some residual sherds from 15th century (London Archaeologist, vol.6, no 15, page 415). Both English Heritage and MoLAS are expected to be involved in the development if planning permission is granted. Members wishing further details should contact David Leibling at the Sternberg Centre.

An Anecdote From Maurice Canter

Dear Dorothy Replying to your enquiry for anecdotes on HADAS history, one incident calls to mind that the members may be interested to hear. It was a HADAS trip some years ago to an excavation dig on Hayling Island We arrived at the site but the coach driver found he could not take us too close as the lanes leading to the dig were too narrow. We therefore were dropped some distance away, while the coach waited for us to go to our next stopping place. After spending some time at the dig we made our way back to the coach. As usual a head count was made and one of our ladies had not returned. We waited some time but there was no sign of her and two of the men went back to the site to see if they could find her. Both returned with news that they had spotted her and shouted to her that she he was going the wrong way and pointed out the lane that she must take. They said she was behind them and would be appearing any moment. Time passed and there was still no sign of the missing lady. The men who had gone to look for her could not understand where she had got to, after they had told her where to go. Our next venue was a country hotel for tea, and as time was passing it was decided that the driver would take us to the next venue and then return to the site to try to find our lady. When we arrived at the hotel who should be there to greet us but the lady who had gone missing! Then we heard what had happened. The lady found standing at the open site was too cold for her and she decided to cut short her visit to the dig and go back to sit in the coach until we were ready to leave. When she got to the place where the coach had dropped us she found there was no coach waiting. As the lane was too narrow to allow the coach to stop, the driver had driven away to find a better waiting area and would return in time to collect the group after they had finished. She knew the name of the hotel where our tea was being arranged and she saw a passing local bus, which stopped and she found that the bus was indeed going to the hotel. She caught this bus and duly arrived at the hotel to wait the arrival of the coach. What of the two men who had gone to look for her? They had seen a local lady out for a walk who they mistook for our missing lady. She must have thought these two fellows were raving mad, as they were waving their arms frantically and telling her she was going the wrong way, and she should follow them. They were certain it was the missing person and did not bother to check if indeed she w as following them. I wonder if the naughty lady remembers the problems she caused us on that cold windy day?

Page 4

`Under Your Feet, the Archaeology of Enfield’, National Archaeology Day, 18 July.

To mark National Archaeology Day Enfield Museum Service and Enfield Archaeology Society are hosting a family activity day at Forty Hall, Forty Hill, from 11.30am-4.00pm with last admission at 3.30pm. Members of the public are invited to watch EAS excavate the site of the Tudor Elsyng Palace, where HADAS has carried out a preparatory resistivity survey. There will be experts on hand to identify visitors’ finds, a display of metal detector finds, and events for children. For further information ring Enfield Museum Service r? 020 8363 8186, or go to For a full national list of events for National Archaeology Day on the weekend of 17th & 18th July go to

Macbeth at The Mount

Members will know that fellow member Derek Batten has his own castle in Northamptonshire. Derek lectured to us on the castle some couple of years ago, prior to our visit to see the excavations there. The castle was the subject of a later Time Team dig. Derek has written to Dorothy with details of a production there of Macbeth, by Heartbreak Productions, described as ‘Britain’s premier open-air touring Shakespeare professional company’. The dates are Saturday & Sunday, 7th & 8th August at 7.30pm. The venue is The Mount, Alderton, Towcester. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments. Tickets are £12.50 (cons. £8.50). Contact Derek for details. Tickets may also be booked online at

A Walk through Ephesus. by Tessa Smith

The ruins of Ephesus are magnificent and elegant, set between two dramatic hills and sloping steeply down to what was formerly the Aegean Sea. The streets are paved in marble and edged with columns and statues. We were there in May when the temperature was perfect, in the low 70’s, and poppies, campanulas and wild antirrhinums dotted the ruins. At the top end of the city stands the Palace of the Council, built by Emperor Augustus in the 1st-2nd century, the dwelling place of the governmental body of the Province, where the Eternal Flame burned. It was here during excavations in 1956 that three statues of Artemis were found, thought to have been hidden for preservation. Adjacent to the Palace can be seen the Varius baths, the Basilica area and the Odeon, a small theatre seating 1,500 people. Walking on down Marble Street we came to the Square of Domitian. We saw statues, a beautifully carved relief of Nike, the Goddess of victory, and the Temple of Domitian, a two-floored ruin which had had warehouses and shops on the first floor and the temple on the second floor. Then the street became steeper and changed its name to Curetes Street, passing through the two carved columns of Heracles and the wonderful Trajan Fountain, which must have been so refreshing in the heat of summer. On the left-hand side an enormous excavation of the fifth terrace has revealed two high status houses, with rooms ornamented with exquisite frescoes and mosaics. For protection and to allow the public to view the houses in-situ, the excavations have been covered with huge plastic roofing. However this has made the whole site extremely hot, both for excavators and for the public. At the moment the project is on hold until further funding is forthcoming. Further downhill, where the route turns right, we caught sight of that most famous building in all Ephesus, the Library of Celsus. We sat in the shade of a pomegranate tree to admire this elegant building, before we attempted to climb the nine very steep steps to see closer the statues and the double walled niches where the scrolls had been kept. It should have been possible to visit the grave site of Celsus, however his beautiful white marble sarcophagus has been excavated and stands in the Ephesus Museum. The Marble Road then led on past the Baths of Skolastica, which not only had a swimming pool and the usual caldarium, tepidarium, frigidarium and apodyterium, but also three floors to accommodate people wishing to stay there for several days. Nearby a left footstep carved into the pavement shows the direction to the House of Love. At the end of Marble Street, we were intrigued to hear a wonderful baritone voice singing the Lord’s Prayer. We had reached that monumental masterpiece of Ephesus, the Great Theatre, set into the mountainside, and seating 25,000 spectators. It is here that Pavarotti, Sting and Elton John have performed, and on this particular day an unknown singer, the wonderful natural acoustics being the same for everyone. It was also here in this theatre that one of the verbal combats between the followers of Artemis and those of Christ took place, as a result of which St. Paul was taken and put into prison. Finally we looked down Harbour Street towards what would have once been the bustling harbour of the most important commercial centre and capital of the Roman province. But where the Aegean Sea once lay and cargo boats plied their trade, now dinky little red tractors tend a rich and fertile plateau, the whole area having silted up, and Ephesus now lies 6 km from the sea. When the Ionians conquered Ephesus -they found a wooden, walled-temple in this area devoted to a mother goddess. They named her Artemis and her statue was accepted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. King Croesus rebuilt the temple in stone. In the middle of the 19th century English archaeologists excavated here and these rare finds are now in the British Museum and the Istanbul and Ephesus museums. Since that early time Ephesus has been invaded by the Persians, Athenians, Spartans and the Romans, Alexander the Great was here and St John lived here: what about a visit by HADAS?

The former stables at The Mitre Inn, Barnet.

Does anyone know of the existence of a photograph showing the former stables of The Mitre Inn at High Barnet? At the time of their demolition, about 1990, it was suggested that the stables dated from Tudor times. Has anyone any evidence to substantiate this claim? If so, please contact Graham Javes,

Other Societies’ Events: Eric Morgan’s Round-Up for July.

Sat & Sun, 3rd & 4th July, 12 noon – 7pm, East Barnet Festival, Oakhill Park, East Barnet. Community & craft stalls. HADAS hopes to have its usual stall, for which volunteers are needed, please. Contact Eric Morgan,

Sunday 4th July, 10.00atn – 6.00pm, Kensal Green Cemetery Open Day, Ladbroke Grove, W10. Tours of the cemetery, catacombs, crematorium and displays.

Sunday 4th July, 2.00 — 4.00pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, Tour of North Finchley, with Oliver Natelson. Meet at corner of Dale Grove and Ballards Lane, N12. Cost £1. Includes the Arts Depot, old roads, the oldest shops, 1840s houses in Torrington Park, ancient hedges from 1780s, and the site of Finchley nudists’ colony.

Daily, until 8 July, Barnet Borough Arts Council, Remembering the Bull. Exhibition mounted by Pam Edwards. Bring your own written reminiscences for this final event at the Bull.

Tuesday 13 July, 8.00pm, Amateur Geology Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave., N3. The Role of the Amateur in British Science, (including archaeology), talk by Stuart Baldwin.

Sunday 18 July, 2.00pm — 4.30pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, Tour of Friern Hospital. Meet New Southgate Station forecourt, Station Rd, N11. Cost £1. Linear walk to include ancient parish boundary, the railway serving the old asylum, asylum grounds, gate house, old cemetery, and covered reservoir. Not for the squeamish.

Saturday & Sunday, 24th — 25th July, from 12 noon. City of London Archaeological Society. Public Open Days & Archaeological Displays, at Tower of London Wharf and Foreshore.

Saturday & Sunday, 24-25 July, North London Transport Society, Rally, in Finsbury Park. Golden Jubilee of the Routemaster bus. Stalls, etc.

Wednesday 28th July, 8.00pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, N20. The Two Remarkable Stephens: the history of the famous ink firm, by Norman Burgess. £2.


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



Page 1



Drawing Room, ground floor, Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3. The meeting will close promptly at 10pm, after discussion and coffee. Buses, including the 82, 143, and 326 pass close by, and it is a five minute walk from Finchley Central Tube station.

Wednesday 4 July — Sunday 18 July.

Long weekend in Cumbria. Now full. If you want to go on the waiting list, please ring Jackie Brookes (020 8349 2253). Saturday 7th August OUTING to the Lewes area with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward

Saturday 4th September OUTING to Colchester with June Porges and Steward Wild Application forms for outings are sent out with the Newsletter the month prior to the event

Page 2

Roman roads. Lecture by Harvey Sheldon reported by Jim Nelhams

Purpose: According to 1066 and all that “The Roman road ran absolutely straight in all directions and all roads lead to Rome.” Generally, Roman roads are straight. They are potent expressions of Roman engineering and military power and a marked feature of Roman expansion. It is estimated that there were 55,000 miles of first class roads in the empire, in North Africa and the Middle East, and along the Rhine and the Danube. In the first century AD, a road was built from Tangier to Alexandria — later extended to Antioch and the Bosphorous. In the second century, a road was constructed between Holland and Belgrade along the Rhine and the Danube. Major roads were public roads built at state expense, possibly by contractors and sometimes maintained by local landowners. In “frontier” provinces, they were more likely to have been built by the army. A new recruit might spend 6 months probation building roads. Much evidence shows that these projects were to the glory of the emperor. Roads were indispensable for communication and the movement of troops. (Answer to a later question — there is no evidence that roads were built by slaves or prisoners. They would have needed feeding and guarding. There is always the need to keep the army busy.) In Britain, roads distinguish between the Roman and the pre-Roman eras. Many Roman roads are the routes of major arteries today. It is estimated that there could have been 10,000 miles of roads in Britain, but maybe only 2,000 to 3,000 in the first century of Roman rule. The Royal Engineers, as the main engineering resource of the British Army, have carried out a study of the Roman road from the Kent coast to London — about 70 miles. They estimate that if the road was built for tactical purposes, it would have taken about 15 weeks and required 1,200 men in construction and guarding, about 3% of the occupation army. If properly engineered to strategic standards, it would have taken around 3 years using 4,000 men — 10% of the forces available. Some Roman roads have names — maybe in Saxon or Scandinavian form, but we do not know what the Romans called them. Alignment: There would have been a surveyed line. The actual course would have followed this as closely as possible. A straight line gives a shorter distance, giving less cost, less road to defend and greater speed of movement. Much pre-planning would have taken place to find suitable terrain, river crossings and suitable local materials. There would often be a number of short straight stretches determined by the topography, with directions changing on hilltops. Roads could have been surveyed and planned by direct sighting or using beacons. The engineers had the equipment and mathematical knowledge to draw scaled maps. Much is traceable today, though where a new road follows the old line, evidence would have been destroyed. In some cases, changes in the environment could mean that the roads were diverted — e.g. to a new river crossing point — and where this happened, evidence along the original route could have survived. (Answer to a later question — there is no evidence that the Romans used hilltop routes. There would have been no military purpose in doing this. Trade goods would have been moved by water, and only used the hilltops to get from one catchment area to another. Construction: Construction was based on a raised mound agger maybe one metre high and made of gravel, clay, sand or chalk. This provided a foundation, a vantage point (highway) for viewing and drainage. It could be 15-20 metres wide. Roads on top are 7-10 metres wide, but they may originally have been wider and eroded over time. Ditches would have run alongside. (Answer to a later question — Roads could have had several tracks, possibly using different materials. The Roman legions would have marched 8 abreast on the top. Trade would have used tracks on the side.) Gravel surfaces, metalled, are tough to excavate. There is a surprising shortage of good archaeological information on Roman roads in Britain; good examples are rare and need conservation. Britain had 13-14% of the Roman army so has a lot of roads. Trees near the road would be cleared, particularly in hostile areas, to give good vision. (Answer to a later question — the army would need enough time to get organised if attacked, they might also clear buildings near the road.) If roads were extensively used after the Roman period, they would have been damaged. In the 19th/20th century, services (water, gas, etc.) were placed under road surfaces. In these cases, there is not much chance of finding structural evidence. Some evidence has been found near Old Ford in East London, since the road was diverted to a new crossing point on the River Lea. There have been several digs confirming that the road was a three track highway more than 22 metres wide. Quarries are often found close to roads, and near settlements; burial sites can also be found. The ANTONINE ITINERARY documents show many Roman roads, including many “stations”, their names and distances. Between London and Verulanium, it shows a station named Sulloniacae. One theory is that this was at Brockley Hill, close to the Roman kiln, but this seems to be too close to St. Albans and Harvey suggested that a more likely site was at Red Hill (Burnt Oak) close to the Silk Stream or at Edgware. Later, Watling Street would have been a major pilgrim route. The road from Kent into London would have been diverted at Greenwich Park to avoid the Thames flood plain. Digs have taken place along the side of the Old Kent Road, and at Southwark cemeteries have been found. In Southwark, there were islands of gravel used as part of the river crossing, excavations have found that timbers were used to provide support for the foundations, and these have been well preserved by the damp. Two roads have been identified and the joining point plotted. London Bridge would have needed high gravel to launch it.

Page 3

New Geology Guides

The British Geological Survey has just published Exploring the Landscape of Assynt under the `Earthwise’ trademark series. Assynt in North West Scotland is home to Britain’s oldest rocks. The guides are aimed at walkers and include fold-out colour maps showing the different rock types. The BGS is also planning to extend its range online, including for example a picture library and historic maps. (CILIP Gazette 7 May 2004)

Another memory from HADAS past by Joan Wrigley

West Heath dig, more years go than I care to remember. Site director: Margaret Maher. Margaret busy digging, up comes a mounted policeman and says, “I’m looking for a man —” Margaret replies — “Aren’t we all…” Visitors to the site: a man asks Joan (then `T’ lady) for explanations. Joan says she’ll ask an archaeologist to come and talk to him, “I’m only the `T’ lady.” Man replies, “Thank you, I’ll have tea with milk and two sugars please.”

Page 4

Hendon Fields and Factories. Lecture by Hugh Petrie reported by Peter Nicholson

In the recent past HADAS’s monthly lectures have taken us as far afield as the rock art of Australia, but April’s lecture could not have been more local. Hugh Petrie is the London Borough of Barnet’s Heritage Officer at the newly located Archive Centre in Daws Lane, Mill Hill. As Hugh explained his talk was a report on work in progress as some details were still needed. With only a little simplification, the talk could be said to describe the four ages of Hendon; sadly none of them a golden age, though that perhaps is still to come. In the mediaeval period the local economy was based on the gathering and supplying of wood to the urban population of London, and this may also have been the main activity in the preceding Roman period. In the 15th century coal began to replace wood as the main source of fuel. Hendon Manor was largely cleared of forest and corn growing became the main activity, with a little fruit growing and the keeping of sheep and pigs. In 1574 rent in the Manor was paid in corn. From about 1600 there was a gradual switch to hay as the main crop and by 1786 only Church Farm was growing corn. The change was probably brought about by more hay being needed for fodder and bedding for the horse population of London which increased in step with the human population. Production of good hay required high soil fertility, which was maintained by rotation of crops plus night soil, carted out from London. London also supplied extra labour for haymaking as it did for hop picking in Kent. In the mid 19th century, Sir Joseph Bazalgette designed and built London’s sewers and greatly improved the health and ambience of the capital. But this resulted in a cut in the supply of night soil to the surrounding areas and in Hendon soil fertility and agricultural activity declined. This was replaced by industrial development of which only a sketchy outline can be given here. Industries in the area included Tilley Lamps, the Express Dairy at Cricklewood, Smiths Clocks, the Phoenix Telephone Co., numerous laundries and many others. The development was helped by the building of the Midland Railway and tram links, which brought in workers from more heavily populated areas such as Kilburn and Willesden. The most spectacular development was the Claud Graham White aircraft factory where production soared during the First World War, but faded rapidly in the peace that followed. Most of the area’s other industries have also disappeared so Hendon is now moving on to its fifth age.


Tuesday 15 June 8.15pm The Bishop’s Hunting Park at Highgate. Speaker: Malcolm Stokes, member of HADAS. Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, 11 South Grove, Pond Square, Highgate N6.

[We regret we could not publish a full list this month due to production difficulties]


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



Page 1


Tuesday 11th May Lecture on ROMAN ROADS Harvey Sheldon

Tuesday 10TH June ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (Details enclosed)

Lectures start at 8.00 p.m. prompt in the Drawing Room on the ground floor of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley N3, and are followed by question time and coffee. We close promptly at 10.00. Buses, including the 82, 143, 120 and 326 pass close by, and it is a five to ten minute walk from Finchley Central Tube Station.

Sunday 9th May CHURCH END FESTIVAL The festival will be held in the garden of Avenue House, Finchley. HADAS will have a table at the event, also there will be an ‘open day’ with a chance to look around Avenue House and The Stephens Collection.

Saturday 7th August Outing to the LEWES area with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward.

Saturday 4th September Outing to COLCHESTER with June Porges and Stewart Wild.

Application forms for outings are sent out with the Newsletter the month prior to the event.

Photographers urgently needed

Many HADAS members are keen photographers and list this among their interests and skills. If they haven’t already seen it some among you may be interested in the following advertisement which appeared in The Guardian’s volunteers section on March 31. (and maybe elsewhere): A groundbreaking heritage initiative, supported by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, requires volunteer photographers in various areas across Britain. If you have time to spare, take good quality photographs, and have a 35mm camera, we would like to hear from you! Expenses paid. For more information about the project and opportunities in your area please contact Sarah Meaker on 01793 414 643 or email

`An urban Roman site in Colchester’: a lecture by Ben Holloway, reported by Graham Javes

Our March lecture was given by Ben Holloway, field officer for Colchester Archaeological Trust, who spoke on Roman Colchester and the recent excavations. Before the Roman invasion, Colchester was a fortified British township, which King Cunobelinus (10 to 40-43 AD) had made his capital and was the most important centre in southern Britain. Emperor Claudius, who badly needed a conquest for his own political reasons, seized the opportunity to invade Britain after Cunobelinus’ death, while his sons distractedly fought each other. Claudius arrived in time to lead his troops in triumph into Colchester, which he made his capital. The Romans built a legionary fortress at Colchester (Camulodunum), building work commencing in 44. In 50, the first colony (colonia) in Britain was founded there, most of the population being army veterans and their families, that is Roman citizens. An influx of merchants and tradesmen followed, increasing the population to possibly 15,000 with an expansion of the settlement to the east of the fortress. The fortress was apparently manned until sometime in the 50s, when the legion was withdrawn. Tacitus said that the Romans were brutal in their treatment of the native population and, despite new prosperity, there was a wrangle in 61 over the appropriation of land. That year, Boudica, who had suffered at the hands of the Romans, marched on Colchester, which was largely undefended. No effort was made to defend the colony by the veterans, who were outnumbered. The Britons burnt everything. The Romans, according to Tacitus, sought sanctuary behind the bronze doors of the temple of Claudius and waited for help, but two days later the Britons broke through the roof. Mr Holloway showed a slide of the Boudican destruction horizon, a 1-2 cm thick layer of deep red material which now lies over a large area of the town: the heat of the fire in a glass and pottery shop causing molten glass to drip on to stacks of pottery below. Re-establishment of the colonia was important for two reasons: Colchester was very important to the administration of the province, but the Britons needed to be taught that the Romans were here to stay. Provision was made for extensive fortification of the new town called CoIonia Victriciensis, based on the old fortress. A coin of Nero (dated the year 64), the absence of a significant break in the pottery sequence, and the lack of weathering of artefacts, indicate that the town did not remain derelict for a long time. Last year, the Colchester Archaeological Trust dug on the Harper’s shop site, four buildings on a site previously destroyed by fire in 1839. Investigations were in two phases. Evaluation trenches were dug in April 2002 to a depth of 1.4 metres, when material dated to 43-49 was found. One feature contained essentially blocks of Roman concrete, the foundations for a wooden building. A small quantity of pottery dated to the first century was found. There was evidence of clay buildings. New clay floors of a building would be laid from time to time when the floor became too rutted. A tessellated floor of a town house ran the length of two trenches. This was made up of 1cm cubes set in Roman concrete called opus signinum which sets under water. Used for bath houses, this was not to be seen again until the arrival of Portland cement. Three medieval and post medieval pits pierced through the tesserae. Archaeology was restricted to the pile and slab depth of the development. A very large oven, probably associated with the external kitchen of a post-medieval house, was discovered. Post- medieval metalworking on the site included a family bell-founding industry, though lower grade bronze cauldrons, saucepans etc, with a higher zinc content were made, rather than bells. After back-filling of trenches a watching brief was maintained on the new foundations, but due to depth restrictions, excavation stopped about the Boudican layer. Digging continues this year and HADAS will visit the excavations on 7th August.

Page 2

Barnet Local Studies and Archives Service Graham Javes

Barnet Local Studies and Archives Library, which closed its doors last September, has reopened in newly refurbished premises in Mill Hill. The new address is: The Local Studies & Archives Centre, 80 Dawes Lane, Mill Hill, London NW7 4SL. (Tel 020 8959 6657, Email: Opening hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.30-4.30 and Thursday, 1.00-7.00pm, Saturday opening (1st and 3rd Saturday only) 9.30-4.30. It is to be regretted that the archive cannot open every Saturday, late-night opening until 7.00pm on a Thursday is really no substitute for those who must work on weekdays. As before, a prior appointment by phone or email is necessary. The new accommodation should prove more comfortable than at Egerton Gardens – no draughty windows, we trust, and superior loos! Better computers are promised, and there is now disabled access throughout. Yasmine Webb has replaced Andrew Mussell. Yasmine is a qualified local history librarian, previously employed at Islington Local Studies Library. Hugh Petrie, who lectured to HADAS last month on the subject of ‘Hendon Field and Factory’, will work alternate weeks in the Local Studies Library and at Church Farmhouse Museum. One of his tasks is to bring the two centres together.

The Load of Hay, Brent Street, Hendon by Bill Bass

During October 2003, Oxford Archaeology carried out an evaluation at the above site. The evaluation revealed the bases of late 17th and 18th century boundary ditches (possible tenement blocks) and an 18th century buried soil horizon. The upper strata of the site had been heavily truncated during the construction of the recent car park. No evidence of earlier archaeology was encountered during the evaluation. (Source – English Heritage, London Quarterly Review)

Page 3

Battle of Barnet Working Group by Andrew Coulson

HADAS and the Battlefields Trust (South Eastern Region) have combined to form the Battle of Barnet Working Group. It consists of six members, three from each organisation, has a close association with the two local history societies and with Barnet Museum, and consults with outside experts as necessary. Its remit is to collect and collate evidence concerning the Battle, with the proviso that anything and everything is to be considered to have some relevance until proved otherwise. It meets monthly but sub-groups within the Group meet more frequently as dictated by their particular activities and interests. It is currently producing a comprehensive data-base of finds, traditions, typographical features and sources. Presently using maps and over-lays, it is hoped to develop a computerised model of the locality on which to compare speculative ideas on routes and troop deployments.

Memories from HADAS Past by Dorothy Newbury

Can anyone else write in (funny or serious anecdotes) about happenings in HADAS history? Please send any tale to our next editors.

Daphne Lorimer

Our more ‘mature’ members will remember Daphne, an active member of HADAS before she moved to Orkney. I have spoken to her on the phone since Christmas, and she tells me that she has had to give up the Orkney Archaeological Society work she so loves, due to ill health. Many of our members will recall the excellent HADAS week in Orkney that Daphne organised in 1978, which was successfully repeated in 2000. Daphne would be pleased to hear from HADAS folk. Daphne helped on occasion at a short excavation run by Ann Trewick, as has Percy Reboul, who sends in the following anecdote

Page 4

Devilish Hard Work by Percy Reboul

The 1975 excavation in St James churchyard, Friern Barnet Lane, had some memorable moments — some of which did not appear in the official report. We were looking for possible foundations of a Saxon church and, right up against the east wall of the church, a lead coffin came into view. Knowing the golden rule — puncture a lead coffin with extreme care, I was cautious but surprised t see that it had already been crudely opened in the same way as you might open a tine of sardines with one of those old-fashioned lever-type tine-openers which leave a jagged edge. One of our diggers went into the trench saying that he would look inside to see the state of the skeleton. He bent back the top, looked inside and let out an almighty scream of fear. When I plucked up courage to peep inside, I saw the grotesque sight of a skull out of whose two temples were large curved tree roots looking for all the world like devil’s horns! A second abiding memory occurred a minute or so later when the rector, who was standing at the edge of the trench said to us, “Is there any jewellery on the body? A ring perhaps on the finger? Please remember that anything of that nature belongs to the rector of a church.” He may have said it with tongue in cheek, but to this day, I am not quite sure.

Rocket Science? by Graham Javes

Members participating in the Long Weekend visit to Cumbria and Carlisle might like to ponder on the following notice, which hangs in the side entrance to the Duke 0′ York pub, on the former Great North Road, just north of Hadley: ‘A New Elegant Four-Inside coach called the Rocket sets out every morning at 9 o’ clock from the Duke of York to The Fountain Inn & Tavern, Carlisle.’

Page 5

Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan

Wednesday 5th May 6.30-8.30 Pm Highgate Wood Information Hut – A walk to look at places of historical interest in the wood

Thursday 6th May 10.30 am Mill Hill Library, Hartley Avenue, NW7 — “Edmonton before World War One”

Thursday 6th May 7.30 pm London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, N1 – “Grain, gravel and gunpowder, the Thames Sailing Barge yesterday and today” Talk by Elizabeth Wood, concessions £1.25

Sunday 9th May 9.00 Church End Festival, Avenue House grounds, East End Road, Finchley, N3 , and also Avenue House Open Day with guided tours of the house. HADAS will have a display stand here. We welcome any offers of help on the day with our new display boards, selling our books and publications, and helping to gain new members.

Wednesday 12th May 8.00 pm Barnet and District Local History Society, Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapytton Road, Barnet. “Janes I and Hertfordshire”. Talk by Dr Alan Thomson

Wednesday 12th May 6.30 pm London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, Interpretation Unit, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2 “The inside story Diarists’ views of London”. Talk by Heather Creation.

Thursday 13th May 7.30 pm Camden History Society, St Michael’s Church, Camden Road, NW1. “St. Michael’s Church, Camden Town: A masterpiece by Bodley and Garner’

Sunday 5th May 11.00 am North London Transport Society. St Paul’s Centre, Junction Church St, Old Park Ave, Enfield. Enfield extra transport bazaar, road and rail memorabilia and models. Admission £1.50, light refreshments.

Friday 16th May 8.00 pm Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, junction Chase Side and Parsonage Lane, Enfield Romans and Time Team in Greenwich”. Presidential address by Harvey Sheldon (also HADAS president. £1 Barnet Borough Arts Council, The Spires, High Street, Barnet. Exhibitions and What’s On. Paintings and drawings, also information from member societies including HADAS.

Finchley Arts Centre Trust, The Bothy, Avenue House Grounds, East End Road, N3. Open day in the garden. (HADAS are usually in the Garden Room on Sunday morning s from 11.00 am.

Thursday 20th May 7.30 pm Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, The Dissenters’ Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery, Ladbroke Grove, W10. “Abney Park Cemetery”. Talk by David Solman, refreshments 7.00 pm, donation £3.00

City of London Archaeological Society, St. Olave’s Church Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. “The Roman building complex at Shadwell”.Talk by Alistair Douglas (Pre-Construct Archaeology)

Wembley History Society, St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9. “Prints and drawings of Brent from the archives”. Talk by Malcolm Bares-Baker. Visitors £1.


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



Page 1


Tuesday April 13th LECTURE “Hendon Field and Factory” by Hugh Petrie. Hugh has been Heritage Officer for the London Borough of Barnet, and works at Church Farmhouse Museum assisting Gerrard Roots. He will tell us about the different phases in the economy of Hendon — the changes in its agriculture from wheat to hay in the eighteenth century and diversification into dairy, horses and mushrooms in the late nineteenth century, and then industrialisation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Tuesday May 11th Lecture by Harvey Sheldon (our President) on Roman roads.


Wednesday July 14th to Sunday July 18th Long Weekend in Cumbria. Now full. If you want to be on a waiting list, contact Jackie Brookes Saturday August 7th Outing to Colchester with June Porges and Stewart Wild.

Saturday September 4th Outing to the Lewes area with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward.

Lectures start at 8pm 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, and it is alive to ten minute walk.from Finchley Central Tube Station

RESISTIVITY Don Cooper and Peter Pickering

HADAS’s famous resistivity meter has been upgraded, and is now even less effort to work. No need to press a button, only push the two metal probes at the bottom of the frame into the ground; at once the meter registers the reading in its memory, and bleeps to tell you. Then take another stride — the tapes are helpfully marked by the indefatigable Andrew Coulson with red at metre intervals — and do the same again. When the meter comes to the end of the tape it bleeps twice to remind you to turn round and go back. It is easily lifted and moved by one person; how very different from our old meter, which took five people to work, one carrying it; one recording the readings, two sticking probes in the ground and one untaffling all the wires! The digging team tried out the upgraded machine on 29th February in the grounds of Avenue House. Despite the threatened snow the morning was pleasant, even balmy, and we laid out a grid of twenty metres by twenty metres in the lawn, where we knew from old plans and cropmarks seen last summer that there had been a pond. It took about an hour to take all the readings, and then the meter was plugged into a portable computer. Lo and behold, a mosaic of squares appeared – black, white and varying shades of grey – with the white and light grey, denoting the highest resistance, forming a polygon just where the pond had been. The meter is a wonderful tool for non-destructive investigation, and we look forward to using it a lot in the coming years. The next weekend Andrew Coulson, Peter Nicholson and Don Cooper attended a “master class” on using our resistivity meter at Millbrook in Bedfordshire run under the auspices of the Council for Independent Archaeology (CIA). The course was given by Bob Randall of TR Systems, the manufacturer and supplier of the TRS/CIA meter. All aspects of resistivity were covered with emphasis on good pre- survey preparation and accuracy in laying out the grid and probes. A detailed description of all the features of the machine was provided as well as examples of how to transfer the information to a computer and produce meaningful results. There was a large attendance from amateur archaeological societies from around the country and a lively day ensued with lots of interesting questions and discussions. Let us hope we shall get the opportunity to try out our new skills this summer.

Page 2


In 2001 HADAS undertook a resistivity survey at Copped Hall, in a hidden corner of Essex, where we helped the West Essex Archaeological Group who were trying to find an Elizabethan manor house in the grounds of the standing but romantically derelict mansion. The Copped Hall Trust Archaeological Project is going to run training courses from 29th August to 18th September, cost £170 per week. At least one of our members is planning to attend. If anyone else is interested, information is available from Mrs Pauline Dalton, Roseleigh, Epping Road, Epping CM16 5HW,


This is the title of the current exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum, which runs until 16th May. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, postcards were a cheap and very quick means of communication (for a halfpenny stamp a card posted within London in the morning would be delivered elsewhere in the city at noon). The introduction of the ‘topographical’ postcard – one with a photographic view of any urban or rural scene – in the 1890s coincided with the increasing development of the area now covered by the London Borough of Barnet. The “Past Views” section of the exhibition traces this change from villages to suburb through postcards and other photographs from the early 1900s onward. The “Past Voices” are eleven different interviews, carried out by long-standing HADAS member Percy Reboul in the 1970s and 1980s; recordings will be played only at set times: please telephone the museum (020 8203 0130) for details. The memories of the speakers stretch back as far as the 1900s. They bring alive the work of sweet-shop owners, postmen, tram drivers, butchers and teachers, and give fascinating insights into such varied activities as nursing or digging Tube tunnels. Almost all of the participants were from the Borough of Barnet. Also on display are examples of nearly a hundred years of written memories from the Archive collection of the borough’s Local Studies and Archives Centre, which is now situated in Daws Lane, Mill Hill, NW7. (020 8959 6657).

Memorial to Brian Wrigley.

Several members of the Committee feel that it would be appropriate to donate a bench to Avenue House Grounds in memory of Brian Wrigley. Brian did an enormous amount for HADAS, including providing a most comfortable venue for Committee meetings (as his widow, Joan, has continued to do.) The cost, including a brass plaque, would be about £500, and more than £200 has already been pledged. If any members would like to contribute, please let Denis Ross (address etc at the end of this newsletter) know.

Daphne Lorimer – website

The Orkney Archaeological Trust have marked the retirement of Daphne Lorimer from its chair by constructing a website dedicated to her and her work. Daphne is one of our Vice-Presidents, and was very active in our Society between joining in 1969 and moving to Orkney in 1982. So of course HADAS has contributed to the website. Those members who are connected to the Internet (and of course access is available at libraries for those who do not have computers at home) will wish to visit this website at It is described by the Orkney Archaeological Trust as follows:- The site, which pays tribute to Daphne Home Lorimer MBE, features a selection of archaeological papers and pictures, including details of a newly discovered Pictish figure incised on a bone found in Burray. Mrs Lorimer was instrumental in setting up the Trust in 1996 and has been at the organisation’s helm since its inception.

Page 3

Vacancy for a Treasurer.

Our long standing Treasurer has decided that her other commitments mean that she will have to resign at our Annual General Meeting in June. If any member would like to help our Society by becoming Treasurer, please get in touch with our Secretary, Denis Ross (address etc at the end of this newsletter).

CBA Winter Meeting Peter Pickering

On February 27th, for the second year running, the Winter General Meeting of the Council for British Archaeology was held in the elegant rooms of the British Academy in Carlton House Terrace. I was able to stay only for the morning. The keynote speech was to have been given by Lord McIntosh, Minister for Media and Heritage, but he was prevented by Parliamentary business, and his place was taken by Sir Patrick Cormack, the Chairman of the All-Party Arts and Heritage Group, who reminded us of the vision of those who founded the CBA in the dark days of 1944; we, their successors, must show the same vision and conviction of the importance of archaeology. The theme of the meeting was the relationship between history and archaeology, and in the morning Professor Wendy Davies of University College London contrasted the text-based discipline of history, concerned with what happened on particular dates and much less with precise location, and the object-based discipline of archaeology, happy with dating to decades or even centuries, but very concerned with precise location. At the formal General Meeting itself we learnt that George Lambrick will be leaving the post of Director during 2004 after five years, having found living in Oxford and working in York was not conducive to a satisfactory lifestyle, and that the CBA itself will be relocating in York to rather larger premises. George’s report was upbeat — membership is increasing; on-line publication is booming; there are now over 70 Young Archaeologists’ Clubs, and there is to be a conference relating to them in May; it is hoped that there will be National Archaeology days at 200 venues or more this year. The CBA is very energetically putting the case for archaeology at the current Public Inquiry on the plans for the roads near Stonehenge.

Temple Bar by Audree Price-Davies

This arch, built after the Great Fire of London as a grand archway to the City, was moved from Fleet Street in 1878, because it caused Victorian gridlock. It was moved stone by Portland stone as the gateway to Theobalds, the country estate of the brewer, Lord Meux. He and his wife used a room over the arch for entertaining. Later, the arch became a ruin in the woods, fenced off to thwart vandals, This arch, Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar, was visited by HADAS in 2001 (see illustration.) For a century it had been in this Hertfordshire field, close to the M25. Temple Bar has witnessed great historical events. In an earlier version of the arch, in 1356, the Black Prince after victory at Poitiers rode through the Temple Bar; in 1381 it was damaged in the Peasants’ Revolt; in 1588 Elizabeth I rode through it on a chariot to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada — but the new Temple Bar will witness nothing worth the name. It is being taken down ready for transport back to London. to be rebuilt not in Fleet Street but as the centrepiece to the new Paternoster Square development, a part of the new development that consists of a variety of styles. The reincarnation of Temple Bar is a mixed blessing. It survives but only by casting off its proud past and becoming a part of the new development, not as a gateway to London but as a gateway to the new Marks and Spencers.

Membership Renewals: Payments by Cheque Now Due

Mary Rawitzer (Membership Secretary) As previously announced, HADAS membership charges for next year (which starts on April 1st 2004) have increased to £12 for individuals and £4 each for further family members at the same address. Corporate membership has also risen to £12. If you normally pay by cheque, postal order, etc, you will find a form enclosed with this Newsletter. There is also a Gift Aid form for people who have not yet completed one, but might like to help increase HADAS’s income in this way. Any mistakes, questions or uncertainties? As usual, please let me know and I’ll be happy to track down the answer – contact details are shown on the back page.

Page 4

London Archaeological Prize Peter Pickering

I am sorry that no HADAS member has yet nominated a publication for this prize, which SCOLA and LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST are offering for the best publication relating to archaeology in London that appeared in 2002 or 2003. The award, of £250 plus a certificate, will be presented at a ceremony in October 2004. The publication must be in letterpress or digital form and must relate to archaeology in the area of Greater London. There is no restriction on the type of publication, which may be professional, commercial or amateur, nor is there any restriction on the target audience — scholars, the general public, or children. The judges will be looking for quality and excellence; they will want to know how well the publication succeeds in its aims, whatever those aims may be. I am sure that many HADAS members have come across a publication that they think deserves recognition. Please do not be shy. Send your nomination to me (Peter Pickering, 3 Westbury Road, London N12 7NY; 020-8445 2807; now; do not wait until the closing date of May 15th. Just name the publication and give on a single A4 sheet the reasons you believe it is worthy of the prize. I can let anyone who asks have our standard nomination form, but using it is not necessary; nor is there any need to provide copies of the publication.

London Archaeological Forum Peter Pickering

The last meeting of the London Archaeological Forum was held at the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, Mortimer Wheeler House, on 11th February. I attended for HADAS as well as for the Standing Conference on London Archaeology. There was a very interesting presentation by John Clark of the plans for the new Mediaeval gallery at the Museum of London. He was optimistic about the funding for it, and I think it will be exciting. We were also taken on a tour of the new Ceramic and Glass store. This is a fine and diverse collection, from prehistoric to very recent indeed. It was fascinating to go round what was in effect an old-style museum display; the maximum number of objects and the minimum amount of `interpretation’. I am sure that HADAS members with more than a passing interest in ceramics and glass would find a visit to the store worthwhile. But though the meeting was reasonably well attended, and received a report of recent archaeological work in London, there was little in the way of contributions from either contractors or local societies. If the Forum is to flourish, and meet the high hopes of its early meetings, there will have to be more genuine exchange of information and views at it.

Page 5

Churchyards of Greater London: Decay and Resurrection. A talk by Dr Roger Bowdler given on Tuesday 10 February 2004. Reported by Liz Gapp.

Dr Roger Bowdler, who works for English Heritage, introduced himself, explaining that he has the title of Designation Inspector with responsibility for London and the Southeast. He has a background in the study of tombs. There is, he said, currently a crisis in the maintenance of churchyards, a crisis which dates back to the 1960s, as they do not have the status that buildings have in respect of the preservation priorities of English Heritage and others. However, the Hendon and Finchley churchyards, which were the subject of the evening’s talk, were well maintained. A history of churchyards has yet to be written. The first churchyard talked about was St Mary’s, Hendon of which there exists a watercolour by Alan Sorrell showing it in former times. A development to the church porch meant that the headstones in that area had been moved, so there is now a line of them either side of the path leading to the church door. These headstones form part of the best 18th century collection of headstones anywhere in London. The audience were shown slides of several of the gravestones and monuments from the churchyard, juxtapositioned with some of those from cemeteries such as Kensal Green. Interesting details like the stone used for the structures, and some of the common ciphers used, with their meanings, were revealed. Before the 18th century, Portland stone was the most commonly used stone for graveyard monuments. After this, the emergence of canals facilitated the transport of stone such as York stone which then superseded Portland stone as the prime material. Granite was also used on some prestigious monuments. Some monuments also incorporated marble, such as Carreras marble, which unfortunately does not weather well. With respect to ciphers, a very common one is the skull and crossbones. This does not mean there is a piratical connection. The skull and crossbones was only adopted as an emblem for pirates in the 19th century, and the majority of graves incorporating it date from well before then. This cipher was also used in Jewish churchyards. It really represents the decay of the body. Father Time is also used as an agent of decay, seen with the time-glass and scythe as the destroyer and devourer of time. An open book represents devotion; an hourglass represents time going by. Other ciphers are a tail-biting snake symbol known as an orobolus; putti which act as a consoling reminder; and palms which represent a symbol of Christian victory over death. A display of bones at the bottom of a gravestone shows the family as facing up stoically to what actually happens in death. Very few of the stonemasons who created these gravestones and monuments are identifiable, as they did not generally sign their creations, although there are one or two exceptions to this — an interesting example is a monument in Kensal Green cemetery signed by Princess Louise, one of Queen Victoria’s children. People have been buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Hendon for 7-800 years. As a result, close examination of the soil shows fragments of bone. In any churchyard, the procession through the graveyard to the church is a reminder of the human end. The early 18th century was a fascinating time for the development of monumental outdoor monuments, and a return to a Roman pattern of burial. With this came the problem of monumental decay. Monuments were frequently quite fiddly in their construction, often built with a core of brick and a facing of stone, held together with iron cramps. The problem is that unless they are built with the ability to throw off all the falling water, water creeps through every nook and cranny, ultimately corroding the iron, resulting in the collapse of the structure. Another cause of water creeping in is the build-up of leaves, such as pine needles, at the base of tombs. Cemeteries were slow to grow, as people were uneasy about being buried outdoors, especially in a cemetery rather than a churchyard. This can partly be explained by the existence of body snatchers. One unfortunate example was that of a 7 foot 6 inches man, who was buried in Hendon in a grave 15 foot deep to deter such people. A guard was kept on his grave for a few weeks. Unfortunately as soon as this ceased, the body, despite the unusual depth of the grave, was stolen. Part of the St Mary’s, Hendon churchyard is gravelled, instead of grassed, round the graves. This is unusual in Christian churchyards, although one section of Jewish graveyards, possibly that of the Sephardic Jews, favour a gravel base so that the graves are not interfered with by growing plants. Generally churchyards are maintained as controlled, nature-friendly environments. The best ones are like this, not too manicured, but not totally out of control, allowing for individual personality to be expressed, so producing the special atmosphere that the best graveyards contain. The true beauty of graveyards is created by their combination of architecture, history and nature. An interesting connection of the St Mary’s, Hendon graveyard is with the Mint. Several graves are of people who worked there, epitomised by that of John Haley, a moneyer from the 17th century. The rise of cemeteries, which started in 1833 with the Kensal Green cemetery, was brought about by the fact that in 1850 to 1860 a large majority of church graveyards were full. Currently, the graveyard at St Mary’s, Hendon is still open, but that at St Mary’s Finchley is closed. The St Mary’s Finchley graveyard was then briefly touched on with, again, some illustrative slides. An interesting feature of this graveyard is the preservation of the iron railings round the grave plots. Many of the country’s graveyards were stripped of their railings in the Second World War, as indeed was that at Hendon, but here at Finchley the vicar considered the railings were too important for this to happen. In this graveyard, an obelisk monument erected in 1835 by public subscription to the memory of Major John Cartwright, the Father of Radicalism, who died in 1824, is being conserved. This monument has a carving of Major Cartwright which is badly decayed, with the result that the message is lost. The original drawing from which this carving was made still exists. This raises the issue of whether the conservator’s mantra ‘To conserve as found, never restore’ is sometimes inappropriate, as here the information exists to faithfully restore this memorial. There is also an unusual outdoor sculpture showing a grieving woman on printed cottons and with mourning rings, which is on top of a tomb to Elizabeth Norris, who died in 1779. To sum up, Dr Roger Bowdler said that there is food for thought in the current consultation of the Home Office on what is to be done when, as will happen soon, cemeteries run out of burial space. This consultation lasts until June, and does not include churchyards in its brief. As a final thought, who is responsible for maintaining the churchyards? Currently the Hendon one is still owned by the church, although the vicar has made approaches to the council to maintain the churchyard. The Finchley one is currently maintained by the council. The problem of course is a lack of money for maintenance, compounded by a skills shortage for conservators. For anyone wishing to pursue an interest in churchyard graveyards and monuments further, a couple of books were mentioned as a starting point. They are: 1. English Churchyard Memorials by F. Burgess, published in 1963 in London by Lutterworth Press. 2. English Churchyard Memorials by H. Lees, published in 2000 in London by Tempus Publishing Limited.

Footnote by the Editor

HADAS undertook the recording of all the tombstones in Hendon Churchyard in 1974, just before many of the more recent ones were moved to provide open space for the use of the pupils at St. Mary’s school. The Finchley Society recorded those in Finchley Churchyard in the 1980s.

Page 6

Dick Turpin: the Myth of the English Highwayman by James Sharpe 258pp, Profile Books, £15.99

Dick Turpin is associated with York. Rightly so — he was hanged there in 1739. But he is also associated with Hendon and Finchley, and especially Finchley Common, the area between East Finchley and North Finchley on either side of the Great North Road. In this well-written and interesting book, the author deals with the facts and myths surrounding this ne’er-do-well’s rather uninteresting and unedifying life. He was a butcher and burglar from Essex, and belonged to an Epping Forest gang that went in for robbery with assault. When the gang was broken up, Turpin took to highway robbery, apparently with no great success. He never made the famous ride to York on his mare Black Bess; indeed there was no such mare. He went north when London became too dangerous for him, and when he was arrested in York on charges of horse-stealing he was living under an assumed name. He was not well known in his own lifetime and after his death was forgotten for 100 years. Now, however, Turpin figures in the heritage industry. There are, apparently, not only 37 pubs but also a brand of sausages named after him. So how has this rogue become such a celebrity? The responsibility rests with the Victorian novelist W Harrison Ainsworth whose first novel, Rook-wood, features Turpin and the ride to York. Ainsworth adapted this ‘fact’ from a similar ride by another highwayman named William Nevison, but it was Ainsworth who gave it to Turpin and immortalised him and his mare. The author has three aims in this book. First, to cut the historical Turpin down to size. Secondly, to give us an accurate picture of the criminal world of the early 18th century and the response of the forces of law. Thirdly, to ask what sort of history we want. Should historical myth triumph over reality? Should we worry that so much of what we are fed by the heritage industry is not only fanciful but dishonest? Criminals, the author reminds us, are not romantic but generally nasty, selfish and often brutal scoundrels. One thinks of the Kray brothers. But the author respects Ainsworth’s achievement in creating a figure of Turpin’s stature and celebrity — not easy for a mere novelist. The evil character lying in an old cemetery in York now, it seems, will live for ever. Adapted from a book review in The Daily Telegraph by Allan Massie.

Page 7

Other Societies’ Events Compiled by Eric Morgan

Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th April, 11 am to 5 pm. RAF Museum Grahame Park Way NW9 ‘Those magnificent men in their flying machines.’ Family event, including talks, exploring the work of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War.

Easter Sunday 11th and Monday 12th April. Enfield Archaeological Society Myddleton House, Bulls Cross. Fieldwork — test pit in the grounds (Tom Tiddlers) to establish if anything remains of Bowling Green House foundations. If anyone wants to help call Mike Dewbrey at his office on 020-8346 2244. (HADAS did resistivity surveys here.)

Wednesday 14th April 6.30 pm. London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Interpretation Unit, Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2. `4th century “Bling Bling” — South London’s Roman Cemetery at 1 America Street Southwark.’ Talk by Melissa Melikian.

Wednesday 14th April 8 pm. Barnet and District Local History Society Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet. ‘The Diary of Anne Wickham — Wife of a Hertford Brewer 1852-6.’ Talk by JeanRiddell.

Wednesday 14th April 8 pm. Hornsey Historical Society Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Road, Weston Park, N8. ‘The Work and Development of the Museum of London.’ Talk by John Shepherd. Visitors £1.

Thursday 15th April 8 pm. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society joint meeting with Enfield Historical Society. Jubilee Hall, Junction 2, Parsonage Lane, Chase Side, Enfield. ‘Architecture and Historic Buildings.’ Talk by Peter Riddington. £1

Thursday 16th April 7 pm. City of London Archaeological Society St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. `The Role of the Consultant in Archaeology.’ Talk by Duncan Hawkins.

Monday 19th April 8.15 pm. Ruislip.N, St Martin’s Church Hall, Ruislip ‘The History of Bushey.’ Talk by Hugh Lewis £2.

Friday 23rd April-Saturday 15th May 10 am to 5 pm (Mon-Sat) Barnet Borough Arts Council Arts Depot, The Bull, 68 High Street, ‘Barnet Exhibitions and What’s on’ — Paintings, and also information from member societies, including HADAS.

Thursday 29th April 8 pm. Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road N3. ‘Our Garden Through the Seasons.’ Talk by Bruce Bennett.


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



Page 1


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.

Page 2


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.

Page 3



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.


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



Page 1


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.

Page 2

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:


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments


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)


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments


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.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments


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.