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Newsletter-278-May-1994

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Newsletter-278-May-1994

No. 278 MAY 1994                              EDITED BY ANN KAHN

DIARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLEASE NOTE DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM 13 AUGUST DUE TO THE ISLE OF MAN WEEKEND.

OTHER EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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


Bill Bass LAMAS:31st Annual Conference of London Archaeologists

Museum of London.

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

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

Our own Brian Wrigley (Vice Chairman) talked on –

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

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

and work following fires damage at the royal palaces.

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


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

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

‘FIELD WORK’ AT LAXTON.

Report on a survey by the Not Universitybased Trent and Peak

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

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

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

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


Chairman’s Corner, May 1994

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

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

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

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

Andxew Selkirk, 071 435 7517


 

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



SITE WATCHING – WESTERN AREAS – APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING PERMISSION

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

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

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

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

Other development applications which look interesting:-

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

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

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

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

THE HOKNE HOARD.

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

MORE ANTIQUITIES OF NORTHERN CYPRUS BY STEWART WILD

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NEWSPAPER LIBRARY OPEN DAYS                      Dorothy Newbury

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

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

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

NEW PUBLICATIONS – from the Routledge 1994 archaeology catalogue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMER EXCAVATIONS                                          As advertised in the March 1994 CBA Briefing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARCHAEOLOGY AT ST BRIDE’S CHURCH, 1952 – 1993 Roy Walker

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

(Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 1993).

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

INDUSTRIAL CORNER

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

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

TILES AND TILING

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

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

Newsletter-277-April-1994

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

Newsletter-277-April-1994

 

No: 277                                                APRIL 1994                                    EDITED BY VIKKI O’CONNOR

DIARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit: Coutts Bank – Mary O’Connell

Numbers are limited. Details and application form enclosed.

Outing: Dorchester (Oxfordshire) and Abingdon

– with Micky Cohen & Micky Watkins

Outing: Richborough & Bishops’ Palace, Maidstone

– with Tessa Smith & Sheila Woodward

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

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

Confirmation in May newsletter,

ISLE OF MAN – Annual HADAS Extended Weekend Away

Details and application form enclosed.

Please advise Dorothy at earliest opportunity it you are interested.


The new lecture season commences Tuesday 4th October.


INDUSTRIAL CORNER          BiII Firth

De DION BOUTON FACTORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SUBJECT OF FLINTS…

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

LOOKING BACK AT OLD HADAS NEWSLETTERS…Dorothy Newbury

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

CRUSADER CASTLES AND OTHER ANTIQUITIES IN NORTHERN CYPRUS Stewart J Wild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

CERTIFICATE & DIPLOMA CHANGES

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

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

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

TRAINING COURSE IN FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY

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

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

PREHISTORIC TRACKWAY

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


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

LECTURE REPORT: Wood Hall Project

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

The Site

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

And while we are on the subject

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

 

ANSWER…

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

Membership News                                                                                                        Vikki O’Connor

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

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

Newsletter-268-July-1993

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

Newsletter-268-July-1993

ISSUE NO 268                       Edited by Peter Pickering                                         JULY 1993

DIARY

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

SATURDAY 14 AUGUST               PINNER AND HEADSTONE MANOR

SUNDAY 29 AUGUST                    HADAS OPEN DAY. National Archaeology Day.

FRIDAY TO SUNDAY

3-5 SEPTEMBER                               CHESTER AND LLANDUDNO weekend

SATURDAY 18 SEPTEMBER         MUSEUM OF LONDON – private viewing of

Brockley Hill pottery plus talk and walk with Francis Grew.

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

First in new series of HADAS lectures.

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

Members with items to donate please contact Dorothy Newbury,

TUESDAY 2 NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 6 NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 7 DECEMBER

“FUN AND GAMES IN THE ROMAN BATHS”

Mark Hassell, FSA, Institute of Archaeology

VISIT TO ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL – with Mary O’Connell

CHRISTMAS DINNER at University College, Gower Street

 

OUR NEW TREASURER

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

 


NEWS OF MEMBERS

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

CHURCH FARMHOUSE DIG                                                                      Brian Wrigley

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

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

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

SITES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST                                                            Bill Firth

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

Spaniards Field, Wildwood Rise, NW11

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

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

2/4 Alexandra Grove, N12.

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

110 West Heath Road, NWII

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Roman Invasion and conquest of Britain


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

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

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

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

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

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

PANNONIA, AQUINCUM AND ITS ORGAN Peter Pickering

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

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

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

SITE REPORTS Roy Walker

Reports on archaeological evaluations undertaken within the Borough by

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

Birmingham University Field archaeology Unit are kept in the Avenue House

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

evidence but the reports usually provide an archaeological, historical and

geological background to the site under investigation making them of value

to the local historian or archaeologist.

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

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

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

have evaluations or assessments for the following sites:‑

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

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

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

Old Fold Manor, Barnet (MoLAS, December 1991)

Hill House, Elstree (BUFAU, December 1991)

Edgwarebury Park Community Forest (MoLAS, March 1992)

Christchurch Lane, Barnet (MoLAS, June 1992)

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

Warrens Shawe Lane, Edgware (MoLAS, August 1992)

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

Grahame Park Way, Hendon (MoLAS, January 1993)

Hendon Way Depot, Hendon (MoLAS, March 1993)

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

BRITISH GAS (NORTH THAMES) PIPELINE Myfanwy Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletter-267-June-1993

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Newsletter-267-June-1993

ISSUE NO 267                                  Edited by Vikki O’Connor            JUNE 1993


OUTING TO BIGNOR & CHICHESTER

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

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

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

Full details in July Newsletter.

PINNER AND HEADSTONE MANOR Walk organised by Dorothy Newbury.

HADAS OPEN DAY

National Archaeology Day Further details next month.

CHESTER & LLANDUDNO weekend Organised by Dorothy Newbury.

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

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

MINIMART – at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon

Members with items to donate please confact Dorothy Newbury.

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

VISIT TO ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL – with Mary O’Connell

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


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

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


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – musings from the top table                                          Liz Holliday

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

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

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

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

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

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

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

LIBRARY                                                                                                                                   Roy Walker

What’s in a name?

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

Lambrick                     Archaeology and agriculture

Bass                             Archaeology under water

Field                            English field names

Brothwell                    Digging up bones

Flint                             Glacial geology

Court                           Dartmoor

Hewett                        English historic carpentry

Forrester                      Timber framed buildings

Eh, Again

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

CHURCH FARMHOUSE EXCAVATION – HADAS SEMINAR, SATURDAY 15 MAY

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

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

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

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

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


DIGGING NEWS Bill Bass

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

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

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

INDEPENDENT ARCHAEOLOGISTS’ CONFERENCE    by Brian Wrigley

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

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

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

Barnet’s archaeological maps

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

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

PPG 16

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

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

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

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

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

The Congress of Independent Archaeologists

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

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

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

 

GLOSSARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOOK REVIEW                                                     by Andy Simpson

All stations to Edgware

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

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

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

THE UPPER NENE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY – URGENT APPEAL

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

NEWS FROM BILL FIRTH

The Spaniards Inn

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

Industrial Heritage Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE ONE METAL OBJECT                                                       by Roy Walker

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

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

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

HEROD’S PALACE, CAESAREA

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

‘ON TARGET’

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

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

BRITISH MUSEUM

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

WHAT HITLER LEFT….                                                            A.M.L.

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

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

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

HOLD THE BACK PAGE…

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

Newsletter-266-May-1993

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Newsletter-266-May-1993

NEWSLETTER No. 266        Edited by Ann Kahn  MAY 1993

DIARY

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Friday. Saturday.

 

Sunday September 3-5 CHESTER AND LLANDUDNO WEEKEND.

 

Saturday October 16 MINIMART

 

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

 

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

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

 

OTHER EVENTS

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

LAMAS CONFERENCE

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

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

Publication is hoped for in mid 1994. Bill Bass

 

Excavations at Fulham Palace.

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

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

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

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

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

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


David Bromley

 

 


Liz Sagues

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

April 16, 1993

A plastics puzzle for future archaeologists to solve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

LIBRARY NEWS

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

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

Roy Walker

 

MEMBERSHIP

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

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

Vikki O’Connor – Membership Secretary

 

Eh?

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

Ray Walker


HADAS

CHURCH FARMHOUSE PROPOSED EXCAVATION SEMINAR SATURDAY 15 MAY 1993 2 – 5pm

CHURCH HOUSE, GREYHOUND HILL, HENDON, NW4

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

There will be contributions from:-

Dr. Pamela Taylor on the history of the area

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

Gerard Roots on the post-medieval history of Church Farm

Brian Wrigley on the organisation of the excavation

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

 

FRIENDS OF CHURCH FARMHOUSE MUSEUM

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

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


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

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

 

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY DAY

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

PRESS REPORTS (edited)

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

MEMBERS NEWS

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

SITE WATCHING – THE NORTHERN AREA

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

 

Newsletter-265-April-1993

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Newsletter-265-April-1993

NEWSLETTER 265      Edited by Micky Watkins   APRIL1993

 

DIARY

TUESDAY APRIL 6 EXCAVATIONS AT FULHAM PALACE Lecture by KEITH WHITEHOUSE Keith Whitehouse is Director of Rescue Excavations for the Fulham Archaeological Rescue Group, a voluntary and unfunded group like ourselves. The group was formed in 1972 to investigate the Fulham and Hammersmith area, formerly the Manor of Fulham. Nothing was known about the area earlier than AD 704 when it was acquired by the Bishop of London. Fulham Palace was their residence until 1973. Excavation and site-watching has continued since then and their discoveries include Neolithic and Iron Age, 3/4 centuries Roman settlement, the site of a medieval chapel, a medieval moated corner within the earlier moat, dating the Great Hall to at least 1480. We saw many of their finds in the Palace Museum when we went there for our Christmas Dinner last year. This will be our last lecture before next autumn.

TUESDAY MAY 4 HADAS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Hopefully we can get the business over quickly and enjoy nostalgia from past events on film followed by some HADAS 1992 slides presented by Daphne Lorimer, Bill Bass and Ted Sammes.

SATURDAY MAY15 SEMINAR prior to Church Farmhouse excavation. 2pm-5pm at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon. Finds from Ted Sammes excavations at Burroughs Gardens, Church Farm and Church Terrace will be on show.

Saturday May 22 BOSWORTH FIELD – Outing with Sheila Woodward and Tessa Smith.

 (not Fishbourne as previously advertised).

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

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

Friday, Saturday,  WEEKEND IN CHESTER AND LLANDUDNO (See separate slip) Sunday Sept 3-5

Saturday Oct 16 MINIMART

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

We still cannot find a venue for our Christmas Dinner that is within our price range.

‘We have received several suggestions where the hall hire alone is anything from £289 upward! We’ll find somewhere in the end_


DIGGING BEFORE THE FLOOD: REPORT ON MARCH LECTURE
by DIANA ROOKLEDGE

Members welcomed the return visit of Dr John Curtis of the Western Asiatic Department of the British Museum to talk in detail about three of the six sites explored by the Museum in Northern Iraq between 1983-6)

It was literally before the Flood We saw slides of a bleak, hilly region northwest of Mosul, part of Kurdistan, with few signs of human habitation, past or present. An open invitation had gone out from the Iraq Government to explore and record the area before it was covered in 1985 by a 60-mile lake behind the new Saddam Dam.

The first two sites described by Dr Curtis were small rural sites from the Hellenistic period until then very little known in this area. These rural sites seemed to be touched only superficially with a veneer of Hellenism unlike the large urban sites Finds were described as unexciting in the main, though we saw slides of characteristic Hellenistic loom-weights with small stamps at the top, and shards of high quality highly-glossed red painted pottery, with stamps of floral designs and palmettes. – The first time this type had been found in a, small rural area. There was also painted pottery, and from the 4th level of Tell Der Situm, coins of the local ruler of Antioch around 150 BC. Dr Curtis had been drawn to this site partly because of a surface find of a beautiful terracotta figurine of a man in a belted tunic, the cloak over his shoulder fixed by a brooch. Another beautiful surface find on the last day was the fragment of a fibula of Assyrian type the bust of a lady with hands clasped under her bosom. No other Assyrian context was found in the area

The site of Tell Der Situn (‘mound of the monastery with columns’) may have been a small fort or police post on a promontory with a water course on three sides. We saw beautiful stone walling, a metre thick and up to 6 courses, making a substantial building 20 metres long, with two large internal buttresses The second Hellenistic site was Grai Darki ( `mound of trees’, though not a tree in sight). The archaeological deposits made on the top 2-3 metres of a 10 metre high mound. Three areas of work were spaced along the length of the mound. There appear to have been two small but very prosperous Hellenistic villages, with luxury painted pottery. An interesting feature was a number of massive grain silos, though these contained no grain, 3 to 4 metres wide and 2 to 3 metres in depth. Similar have been found elsewhere in Iraq.

There were many other Hellenistic sites in the area, but little from other periods apart from the modern village abandoned ahead of the dam. It was perhaps only in the Hellenistic period that there was enough peace and security to settle the area and exploit its agricultural potential.

The third site was very different its buildings of rubble and gypsum mortar showing it to be of medieval date. Kherbet Der Situn ‘ruins of the monastery with columns’) was a much gentler site, only 13 miles from Nineveh with mulberry trees and a spring still visited by the Bedouin with their flocks. Dr Curtis’ slides traced for us the development and various stages of the church. Interestingly, the Church was oriented to the East, and not to the West towards Jerusalem, suggesting the founders came from the West.

But just as interesting, though somewhat involved, were the theories about the foundation and history of the building. It was visited in the 1960s by Father Jean Fiey (qv). an expert on the history of the Syriac Church who suggested that it was the Church of ONE column, built c. 598 by St. Michael, Soldier of Nineveh, who built a, column in front, on top of which he sat until his death.

Alas. the excavators found no trace of ANY column. And the pottery associated with the earliest phase of the building was the multi-coloured incised painted Straffiata ware probably dating it to the second part of the 13th century

HIGHGATE CEMETERY
by LIZ SAGUES

To visitors, nothing has changed at the ever-popular Victorian Valhalla of Highgate Cemetery. The Egyptian Avenue and the Circle of Lebanon still have a romantic atmosphere of decay ­thanks, in part, to archaeological expertise.

Bulging rendering, cracked pediments. a wingless stone eagle, these are exactly the required results of a £150,000 investment, a new approach to building conservation which makes no attempt to put back what has gone but concentrates instead on consolidating what remains. “The fact that it looks as though nothing has been done is entirely to the point,” says cemetery general manager Richard Quirk. English Heritage has met two-thirds of the cost of the conservation programme, which was completed at the end of last year, and the Friends of Highgate Cemetery have funded the rest.Ten years ago there would have been no alternative but to hack off all the render and replace it, to mould new pediments, to cast a replacement wing for the flightless eagle. The new approach is possible largely because of increased familiarity with the use of lime-based materials, which have the advantage that, unlike previously popular cement, they do not introduce salts which lead to damaging cracking and they have a slight inherent flexibility, allowing old structures to move.

Archaeology has also played a part, with skills developed for conserving excavated remains being used by the specialist companies now able to take on such projects, and archaeologists were among the Nimbus Conservation staff involved at Highgate Cemetery. The company, founded in 1982 by a group of specialists who had worked on the West Front of Wells Cathedral, now covers the country and runs a four-year building conservation apprenticeship scheme teaching the new skills.

At Highgate the deterioration which had occurred was inevitable, given the construction method used 150 years ago when the cemetery was established — the catacombs had a brick core dug into banks of wet soil and covered with a hard surface rendering. Brick and render cracked apart and after shrubs and trees took root in the cracks the crumbling became ever more serious. A priority of the conservators has been to stop further cracks appearing, to prevent the cycle of destruction beginning again.

They have gone further, however, restoring function as well as appearance. At the Circle of Lebanon, the ingenious integral drainage and ventilation system has been made to work again, avoiding potentially-fatal disturbance of the roots of the magnificent 300-year-old central cedar. All that is new is an additional waterproof membrane, carefully concealed under a lime mortar capping, to ensure the vaults remain watertight.

The same patience, care and respect for the traditional methods will characterise the next major repair project at the cemetery — the mausoleum of newspaper owner Julius Beer, one of the three buildings whose Grade 2* listing reflect their historic importance.

But there is much more to do, and the Friends of Highgate Cemetery hope to carry it out, as funds and grants permit. They welcome new members: write to FoHC, Highgate Cemetery, Swains Lane, N6 6PJ, or phone 081-340 1834 for details.

This article is based on one originally written by Liz Sagues for the Ham High.

ACTION!

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE 1939-45 WAR       from BILL FIRTH

I am not sure if this is a recognised branch of archaeology but it has been suggested that there should be some record of Civil Defence, Home Guard and other sites connected with the 1939-45 War in the Borough. Of course many of them have long since disappeared but there are still some remains.

I do not regard this as part of industrial archaeology but I have agreed to coordinate the listing of sites. Will anyone who knows of sites which should be included in the list please let me know? It occurs to me that there may be sites from 1914-18 which should also be included.

BILL FIRTH, 49 WOODSTOCK AVENUE, NW 11 9RG, 081-455-7164

SITE WATCHING AND PLANNING APPLICATIONS from BILL BASS IN THE NORTHERN AREA

English Heritage have asked for an Archaeological Assessment of a site at Builder’s Yard, Barnet Road, Arkley. It lies within the likely extent of the medieval village at Barnet Gate. Some of the Barnet courts were held there, which suggests that it was then a larger settlement than now, and that it was, or had been of some special importance. (See ‘A Place in Time’ p 59.)

English Heritage has also given notice of a proposed route for a gas pipeline. The route starts at Moat Mount Open Space, runs north past Barnet gate, joins Rowley Lane then heads along the Barnet By-pass as far as Dyrham Lane. A similar line was laid in 1970 (ish).

HADAS hope to site-watch an area behind 63-67 Wood Street, Barnet. This site lies about 200m. due west of the former Victoria Maternity Hospital, another site of HADAS interest.

MORE DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY DAY1993 will be from Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th August. The aim is for young people and their families to visit a site and perhaps take part in activities. Venues may be Excavations, Monuments, Museums or Resource Centres. This is promoted by the Young Archaeologists Club, but depends on local organisation.

BURGH HOUSE in Hampstead has an interesting exhibition of old maps of the Hampstead area, showing its development over the centuries 13 April- 27 June.

FENTON HOUSE, also in Hampstead, is the nearest National Trust property for many Society members. This year is its tercentenary, which will be celebrated in the week beginning 7 June.

ROYAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM, Hendon. The present special exhibition is on Biggles, and on 13 May this will be followed by “On Target”, an exhibition which features the ‘Dambusters’ as well as the Gulf War.

For children, Flight Activities Week, 14th-22nd August, provides plenty of interest, including a parachute display on 17th August.

PRESS REPORTS

At TROY in Turkey, archaeologists are finding that the city was much larger than they previously supposed. According to a report in the Evening Standard, this means the city was important enough for Greeks and Trojans to fight over and so provides evidence that Homer’s account of the Trojan War in the Iliad may be based on actual events.

Near HERTFORD. site-watching where a bypass is being planned has resulted in the discovery of a Bronze and Iron Age site. The settlement may be 2,500 years old, and pottery, flint and a cremation pot have been found. Report in Hoddesdon Hertford and Ware Herald and Post.

At MONKEN HADLEY Common land is being transferred from Barnet Council to the Parish after a long legal wrangle over ownership. Church wardens successfully claimed that the Parish owned the Common under an Act of 1777. Now they are dismayed to find that Barnet Council is unwilling to continue to pay the E10.000 maintenance needed for this public open space.

At CANTERBURY four previous cathedrals have been unearthed! Buried under the present Cathedral lie remains of:

An 8th century cathedral, possibly built by Archbishop Cuthbert, the first archbishop to be buried there.

A 9th century cathedral, built after the destruction of Canterbury by the Vikings in 850. A 10th century cathedral, probably built by a Viking warrior’s son called Oda who became archbishop in 941.

An early 11th century cathedral, probably built by King Canute. This was very large with 112ft wide west front and two towers.

Archaeologists may yet find evidence of the original 4th century Roman church at Canterbury. As a massive Anglo Saxon cathedral has also been found at Winchester. it seems likely that others are hidden below Norman cathedrals elsewhere in Britain.

MEMBERSHIP         from VIKKI 0′ CONNOR

To date a third of our membership has renewed for 1993-94 – an excellent response’ Sadly, the following members have now resigned from the Society: Marian Berry, Leonard Devenish and Mrs F Gravatt who are no longer able to attend meetings; Ronald Bevan and Mr & Mrs David Kay now live too far away to attend meetings, Mr & Mrs Hacket have also resigned. We wish them all the best and hope they will not forget us!

Finally, we welcome another batch of new members: Mrs Isobel Beazley, Mr Jeffrey Sheaf, Mrs Brenda 0 ‘Mahoney. Mr °kasha Edlaly and Mr John Moreton.

 

Members News

Bryan Hackett One of our younger members for many years till he went to Magdalene College, Oxford to study history was a keen digger at West Heath. We learn that after working for a charitable trust for the handicapped he is now completing his theological training at Westcott House.

Frieda Wilkinson We are sorry to learn that Frieda is back in hospital for a short while.

A letter from friends would be welcome I am sure. These can be sent to her home address for forwarding if necessary.

Andy Simpson has contributed to a book on Midland Bus operations, especially Trolleybuses. Didn’t HADAS do some research on the same subject in Barnet? (Brian Wibberley I think)

Mrs L. Garnier has written to say her husband died last December. We are sorry to hear this sad news and offer our sympathies.

Iohn Enderby has received a note from the North London Hospice thanking the late Jean Snelling’s HADAS friends for their cheque for £44 as a gift to the Hospice in tribute to Jean instead of flowers. Their letter reads “Jean received much loving care from the specialist staff of the newly opened hospice in her last all important days and passed away in peace”.

Alec Jeakins. We owe thanks to Alec for at long last managing to get the 1977 Television Film of our West Heath excavation entry on the Chronicle Programme converted to home viewing. All earlier efforts with the BBC had failed and private conversion would have cost over £100. We will enjoy Alec’s effort at the AGM.

Betty Jeakins  (Alec’s mother ) Another member in hospital for a long awaited knee replacement. We wish her well and hope to see her on our summer outings again this year.

Stephen Conrad has mentioned that thousands of old spectacles are needed by his Rotary Club for despatch to Africa. Dorothy Newbury says she often receives these for the Minimart ( not easily sold ) So could any members who have any OLD SPECS lying about in drawers send them to Dorothy now, or bring them to the April lecture, or take them to Stephen ‘s tailor’s shop, 45 Brent St.. Hendon NW4 The consignment leaves for Africa at the end of April.

Daphne Lorimer Hits The Media!  During renovation at St Ronan’s Church, Iona, foundations were being laid for a museum. Bones from a post-medieval cemetery were found, and Daphne the Scottish expert was called in to report on them. Because it was Iona it caught the public’s imagination. A reporter from the Sunday Observer interviewed Daphne. She said one bone could be female and that’s when the excitement started – what were a woman’s bones doing in a monastery cemetery? Daphne back-tracked, but later found that all the seeable bones proved to he female Then it was found that a female cemetery existed in Ireland near a Nunnery in post-medieval times, and there used to be a Nunnery as well as a Monastery on Iona. Interest increased and all the newspapers got in on the act. Daphne was photographed in ‘The Scotsman’ and the Orcadian Grampian TV put it in their programme. Orkney Radio snapped it up and Daphne was called in to participate in two Scottish chat shows. Scottish TV are now showing an archaeological series on Scottish excavations starting with Scarabrae (memories of HADAS week in Orkney in 1978) and ending in Iona with Daphne ‘in situ ‘. And finally the ‘Sun’ contacted her – not for page 3, I might add -but she never dared buy a copy just in case! D.N.

Newsletter-264-March-1993

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Newsletter-264-March-1993

NEWSLETTER 264                              Edited by Liz Sagues                                             MARCH 1993

Diary

Tuesday, March 2      Excavating in Northern Iraq: From the Greeks to the Mongols

Lecture by Dr John Curtis (postponed from November).

Dr Curtis is Keeper of the British Museum’s Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities, which covers the whole of the ancient Near East. Among the treasures held in the department are the Assyrian reliefs, gold objects and jewellery from the Royal Cemetery at Ur and the Oxus Treasure from Persia. Dr Curtis’s own interests are centred on Iraq and Iran in the 1st millennium BC and between 1983 and 1989 he excavated at eight different sites in Northern Iraq. Members will remember his visit to us two years ago when he gave an excellent talk about the BM’s work at Nimrud and Balawat. This time he will include the excavation of a Mongol period church, and his lecture will be an excellent follow-up to the February talk on cylinder seals from the same area.

Saturday, March 27 LAMAS Conference — see page 7.

Tuesday, April 6         Excavations at Fulham Palace

Lecture by Keith Whitehouse, of Fulham Archaeological Rescue Group. This will be

a further course to our Christmas Dinner at Fulham Palace.

Tuesday, May 4          HADAS Annual General Meeting

Followed by a HADAS miscellany: Great moments from the past, with slides of the 1979 HADAS Roman Banquet and the film of our entry in the 1977 Chronicle competition, with Magnus Magnusson, plus more slides illustrating 1992 activities.

Saturday, May 15 Seminar prior to Church Farmhouse excavation. St Mary’s Church House, afternoon.

Saturday, May 22       Bosworth Field — Outing with Sheila Woodward and Tessa Smith.

Saturday, June 19      Fishbourne and Chichester — Outing with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins.

Saturday, July 17       Stonea (Roman and Iron Age) and Ely

Outing with Vikki O’Connor, Roy Walker and Bill Bass.

Saturday, August 14 Pinner Walk and Headstone Manor An outing right on HADAS’s doorstep.

Early September         Long weekend away — Chester and Llandudno may prove a more possible
destination than the original plan for a trip to the Isle of Man. More details shortly.

Saturday, Sept 18 This planned St Paul’s walk, with Mary O’Connell, has had to be postponed.
Tuesday, October 5 Aspects of Roman Pottery

Lecture by Dr Robin Symonds, from the Museum of London Roman Department, following up our Brockley Hill Exhibition of February 6.

Saturday, October 16 Minimart —please note change of date.

Please keep the Sales and Wants slip going. This is a great help to society funds, with £32 made already this year.

Tuesday, Nov 2           Fun and Games in the Roman Baths

Lecture by Mark Hassan, FSA, making a return visit following his talk on Roman writing two years ago.

Tuesday, Dec 7           Christmas Dinner

To be arranged: Dorothy Newbury is investigating the Royal Society of Arts, but if any member has alternative ideas, please ring her on 081-203 0950. The location must be somewhere of archaeological/historical interest as well as an eating place.

HADAS lectures are held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, NW4, at 8pm for 8.30pm.

As 1993 is the 1950th anniversary of the Roman invasion of Britain, you will notice that this year’s programme has a distinctly Roman flavour.

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Jean Snelling, one of the society’s most dedicated members, died on February 7. A few days beforehand, from the North London Hospice, she wrote to Dorothy Newbury. Her letter, printed below, is followed by a tribute from Margaret Maher.

Love to you all


Dear Dorothy,

HADAS Newsletter 263 is the last one I am likely to read, and what a joy it is. Lying on my back, I keep losing my place and discover some new de­light.

My love to so many friends.

This is a remarkable place — so much care and support from staff and volunteers.

I look out on trees, schoolboys, birds, sky — from a room full of flowers.

My love to HADAS for many happy years. Jean SnellingAlways a pleasure

Jean Snelling was a woman of keen intelligence and quiet charm, always a pleasure to meet and talk with. I shall remember her with affection for so many quali­ties — her unobtrusive efficiency and kindness, and not least her wonderfully dry sense of humour.She joined the society in 1980 and was an active member from the beginning, attending most of the lectures and outings and the annual long weekend away. She studied for the University of London Extra-Mural Certificate in Archaeology and tried to imbue other members with her own enthusiasm for the classes. Another interest was the Finchley Manor House Moat, to which she led a guided tour in May 1991.She will be especially remembered by the many people who dug with her in both phases of the West Heath excavations. Over a period of five years she quietly and unobtrusively contributed much to the success of the work on site and was involved in marking and processing finds after work finished in 1981. She also processed finds regularly for several years in the late 1980s as a volunteer at the Museum of London.Despite increasing ill health she continued to contribute to the society with a five-year stint, to mid-1992, co-opted on to the committee and she liased on behalf of HADAS with the London Archaeologist magazine and the Museum of London. From 1985 she was also one of the team who produced the Newslet­ter, editing an issue a year — a sometimes thankless task but essential to keep members in touch and much appreciated by them.The society will be the poorer for her death.

Several members attended Jean’s funeral, at Golders Green Crematorium, on February 15. Her friends in HADAS collected £40 for the North London Hospice, in place of flowers.

Welcome to new members

The following members joined HADAS during 1992­93 — we hope they have all found something of interest and will continue with us for many years to come:Mr & Mrs Bromley and son, Mr J. Kluger, Mrs P Ashbridge, Mr M. de Sausmarez, Mr Max Satchell, Mr K. Hartley, Miss Emma Rubens, Woodside Park Residents Association, Mr Russell Grant, Mrs S.M. Kutner, Miss Zoe Cameron, Miss Beverley Nash, Mrs Val Ambridge, Ms Selena Murray, Mr C.W. Ikin, Mr & Mrs A. Seminara, Miss E.G. Taylor, Mr & Mrs Devos, Miss M. Yates, Mr R. Calder, Ms Jean Bayne, Miss P O’Connell, Mr P.J. Nicholson, Mr D.J. Ross, Mr Des Williams, Mr A.B. Crawley.

… and the new Membership Secretary

Phyllis Fletcher writes:

I am pleased to say that Vikki O’Connor (081-361 1350) has become our new Membership Secretary and I wish her luck in her new post. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did. After more than 10 years in the post I am pleased to be retiring, but I shall still enjoy HADAS membership and activities.

More dates to note:

RAF Museum, Hendon: To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of the RAF, the museum will be holding a free admission day on April 1. Current special exhibition is The Man Who Was Biggles, a topic which will bring back memories for many (runs until May 2). HADAS member Andy Simpson, who works at the museum, specially recommends its second new exhibition of 1993, “On Target”, which opens on May 13. This is a major display on the history of strategic bombing, to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous Dambusters Raid, and traces its subject from the earliest times to the laser-guided bombs of the Gulf War.

St Albans: The warrior burial from Folly Lane will be described by Rosalind Niblett, who excavated it, at the LAMAS meeting on March 10, at the Lecture Theatre of the Museum of London on Wednesday, March 10, starting at 6.30pm. April’s subject (April 7, same place, same time) is Pigrimage to Canterbury, by Helen Paterson, and in May (May 12) it is St Albans again — Martin Biddle talking on the 1200th anniversary of Offa’s refound ation of the Abbey.

National Archaeology Day 1993, organised by the Young Archaeologists Club, will be on Saturday-Sunday August 28-29, with the aim to show all kinds of “archaeology in action” to young people and their families and involve them in it. No North London activities are yet scheduled watch future Newslet­ters


for information.


Liz Sagues reports on the February lecture


Sealed with a cylinder


Dominique Colton, from the British Museum, quite literally rolled out the 3,000-year history of cylinder seals for members in the February lecture and im­pressed a large audience with slide after slide of skilled craftsmanship in miniature.

She explained that this invaluable bureaucratic invention seemed to have taken place, probably around 3,500 to 3,300 BC, in the area of present-day Southern Iraq/South West Iran, developing from an earlier tradition of stamp seals.

Once invented, the cylinder seal rapidly be­came widely popular. “As cuneiform was adopted by countries around Mesopotamia, so the cylinder seal was adopted too.” It spread, she continued, even as far as India and Central Asia.

The value of sealing documents and goods in transit — “it doesn’t stop people stealing, but it shows that they have” was as evident then as it is now, when the ancient Near Eastern practice contin­ues with modern customs seals.

It was as a means of sealing texts, principally clay tablets enclosed in clay “envelopes”, that cylin‑

der seals were most valuable. They were the right size, about an inch high and rather less than half an inch in diameter. Seals larger than that were less likely to have been in practical use, rather serving some symbolic purpose.

Dr Collon’s slides showed how cylinder seals are an invaluable source of information about past

everyday and ceremonial life, as well as evidence of the highest skills of craftsmanship. One, from about 3,100 BC, provides the earliest known illustration of a composite bow; another, some 800 years younger,

is the first evidence for the lute; water buffalo de­picted on yet another confirm the import of the

animal into Iraq in the third millennium BC (it was not introduced again until the seventh century AD). On a broader scale, they illustrate mythical scenes, offer evidence of trading patterns, indicate dairying or weaving techniques.

Her own particular triumph had been to iden­tify bull leaping scenes on seals from the ruins of

Alalakh near the Syrian coast, dating from around 1700 BC. Did this, she asked, mean there was Syrian influence on Crete? Or were such seals simply evi‑dence that there were bands of athletes travelling around the Eastern Mediterranean area performing the bull-leaping feats?

After about 1200 BC there came the “dark age” of seals, when with the incursions of the Sea People administration in much of the Near East collapsed and with it the use of seals. They were revived in the ninth century, with particularly fine carving on 7th century Assyrian examples. And the last cylinder seal? Probably just before 300 BC, said Dr Collon, answering her own question. “It was probably just a status symbol.”

Her lecture left those who were lucky enough to hear it with an over-riding impression of the beauty of cylinder seals — made in a huge variety of stone, from amazonite to cornelian, from rock crystal to limestone, from mass-produced faience to a rare green garnet possibly from Kashmir or the Urals.

And with an admiration, too, for the skill of those who carved, with extraordinary delicacy and using only copper hand tools, such a variety of scenes — flowing water, rippling muscles, inter­twining serpents, tiny details of dress or weapons, the finest art of the time in miniature.

A small exhibition on 7,000 years of seals continues outside the Lecture Theatre at the British Museum until August.

 

Mesopotamian seal impressions: above, an early “brocade-style” example; below, an Akkadian design showing the sun-god in his boat, dating from around 2300-2200 BC.

 
 
 
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D-Day, 43 AD

Any members who are going to the day of events in Kent on May 29 to commemorate the landing of the Romans in Britain and who can offer lifts to non-motorised members are asked to contact Dorothy Newbury, 081-203 0950.

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Coming to Church Farmhouse Museum:

The Magic Molecule Show

What has ensured the survival today of elephants and turtles? The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is plastics — because plastic billiard balls have become an excellent substitute for ivory ones, and celluloid proved an acceptable alternative to tortoiseshell. And where, later this month, will you be able to see many of the items which helped to spur the plastics revolution? The answer is at Church Farmhouse Museum.

HADAS member Percy Reboul, who is chair­man of the Plastics History Society, is one of the

organisers of Magic Molecules — the Story of Plastics, which opens at the museum on March 14. It is, he says, one of the first displays in the UK to tell the story of how plastics were discovered and how they have grown to become a key modern material.

The exhibition, staged by the PHS in conjunc­tion with the borough’s Libraries, Arts and Museum

Service, draws upon the unrivalled private collec­tions of the society’s members throughout the country.

Of special interest is the display of Parkesine, the first-ever plastics shown in 1862 at the Great

International Exhibition in London. Other exhibits will include early radios, cameras, jewellery, house­hold goods, games and toys —many of which will be remembered with affection by some older visitors.

Teachers will find the display particularly valuable, with information available on topics such

as sources of raw materials for plastics or how

plastics are processed. A small injection moulding machine will be operated from time to time to show

the principles of manufacture. There will, too, be consideration of the effect of plastics on the environ­ment — they can be recycled, Percy emphasises.

He also points out the archaeological implica­tions of the plastics revolution: “It is true to say that

plastics artefacts of yesterday and today will cer­tainly be used as dating evidence for the centuries ahead. Instead of coins and pottery sherds archae­ologists of the future will be finding plastics arte­facts.”

The modern contribution made by plastics is not forgotten. In conjunction with the British Plastics Federation, a collection of some of the best designs and applications will be on show.

PI-IS is also taking the opportunity, on the afternoons of April 4 and June 6, to stage Plastics

Antique Roadshows where their members will be pleased to give advice on identification, conserva­tion and, where possible, value.

 

What the papers say

One of the largest prehistoric sites in the world has been identified from aerial photography, David Keys reports in The Independent. The site, 30 miles south west of Dublin, has three miles of stone ramparts enclosing 320 acres of land with a central citadel encompassing some 25 stone huts. It is thought to date from the eighth or seventh century BC and is suggested to have been a centre of tribal power associated with local mineral exploitation — the nearby Wicklow Mountains were then a rich source of copper and gold.

The Independent also records the discovery of “the world’s oldest religious structure” — a 12,000-year­old wooden platform from which votive figurines were thrown into a lake — by Polish archaeologists. They have recovered 100 highly stylised statuettes, made of willow and the oldest known wooden art­works, and believe thousands more remain in the silted-up lake 130 miles north of Warsaw. The figurines appear to represent both men and women.

And a third article from the same paper notes that 70 yards of Roman city wall, faced with basalt blocks, and the remains of a timber Roman city gate have been identified by archaeologists in Exeter. The city council is currently engaged in a renovation and conservation programme, opening up previously inaccessible areas to the the public.

The Times reports that academic experts on Shake­spearean theatre have decided on the final plans for the “authentic” reproduction of the Globe theatre, due to be opened on the South Bank in 1994.

In the Daily Telegraph’s letters column there is news that the second phase of excavation of the Bronze Age boat at Dover has been completed. The boat is considered to date from around 1300 BC, roughly contemporary with those from North Ferriby, Hum­berside.

 

Francis Grew, from the Museum of London, reports on the HADAS Roman display

Pots of interest

Brockley Hill lies about 3 miles north of Elstree, on the Edgware Road, and was the site of one of the most important potteries in Roman Britain. Many excavations have been carried out here, and HADAS is the custodian of most of the pots from digs in the 1940s and 1950s. The society’s Roman day on February 6 was an opportunity to examine them at first hand, laid out in St Mary’s Church House. The Museum of London is currently working on the pots in its collection — from digs between 1968 and 1975— and I, with three colleagues from the museum and Institute of Archaeology, was very pleased to be able to join HADAS to “compare notes”.

What an excellent day it was. An array of jars, dishes, lids and “miniatures” jostled with the Brockley Hill potters’ specialities: flagons of all shapes and sizes, and mixing bowls — “mortaria”— stamped with the potter’s name. The highlight for me, though, was one of the stamps itself, loaned from the Moxom Collection in Church Farmhouse Mu­seum: MATVGEV FECIT, it reads — “Matugenus made this”. Rarely does one come so close to the craftsman himself, and the tools of his trade.

The day was an opportunity, too, to meet many of those who had helped wash, catalogue and store the pottery, and even some of those who had dug it up: one member recalled working with Philip Suggett, site director in the early 1950s, when one of the most enthusiastic diggers was a schoolboy named Martin Biddle!

As a relief from pottery, in the afternoon we were guided round St Mary’s Church by Ted Sammes. Ted is an expert on Hendon, having directed excavations here and having recorded most of the monuments in the churchyard. The earliest fabric of the church is 13th or 14th century, but almost at the outbreak of the First World War an extension was made on the south side so that it now has an unusually wide planform — 4 altars side by side.

The most important treasure, however, is a Norman font. This shows the church must have been founded not long after — if not before — the Conquest; any refurbishment or redecoration which exposes more of the structure may yield valuable information about this, and must be watched carefully.

Finally, we returned to the hall for some welcome tea and a brief impromptu lecture on the importance of Brockley Hill from Robin Symonds of the Museum of London. Robin had brought along a complete Brockley Hill amphora from recent excavations in Smith-field, stamped with the maker’s name, SENECIO, (pictured above). We must not just look at these as “pots”, he explained, but think of their function: they would have contained wine, and so suggest that viticulture was practised in Roman North London. Chateau Sulloniacae ’83, perhaps?

In all a splendid day, with some 40 people attending and many thanks due to the organisers: Tessa Smith, Helen Gordon and Sheila Woodward, plus Ted Sammes for the walk.

Among the small finds from the Brockley Hill excavations is an earthernware phallus applied to a pottery sherd, writes Ted Sammes. It came from the 1952­/3 excavations by P.G. Suggett, MA, and is illustrated discreetly on page 272 of volume XI part III 1954.

We must remember that to the Romans a phallus was not obscene or just a sex symbol. Their religion carried, somewhat dimly, contacts with the Greeks, Celts and possibly India. In many cases the phallus appears to be a protection against the evil eye — as a hanging pendant or on the outside of buildings as in Pompeii.

The Brockley Hill example probably came from a pot with a possible vertical diameter of about 32 cm. It is coarsely made and impressed on to the pot, there being nail marks and finger impressions on the back. Its workmanship is in great contrast to a whole pot from Horsey Toll, now in Peterborough Museum.

Whatever we like to conclude, the cult of the phallus was spread from Turkey right round to Hadrian’s Wall.

News, news, news…

Plans for the summer dig at Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon, as detailed in the February News­letter, are well under way and Brian Wrigley already has a substantial list of people wanting to be involved. It you want to add your name to the list, contact Brian (081-959 5982) as soon as possible.

· HADAS is planning to update The Blue Plaques of Barnet, adding those plaques installed since the book was published. The photographic side is organised; a volunteer is needed, however, to write the text. Any­one able to help should contact Liz Holiday (0923 267483).

· The inaugural meeting of the Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum will take place at Hendon Library on Wednesday March 17, starting at 8pm. Everyone interested in Hendon’s museum is wel­come, and the founder members will be able to play their part in establishing the goup’s role and how it is organised.

· The Museum of London is also formally launching its “friends” group — The Associates of the Museum of London. Associates have unlimited free access to the permanent displays and special exhibitions, a series of events including tours and behind-the-scenes visits, priority booking for certain public tours and a regular newsletter. Membership is £15 a year (concessions £12.50), and full details are available from Amanda Saunders, Development Officer, Museum of London, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN (071­600 3699).

· Wheelwright’s equipment probably dating from the last century has been found under a concrete floor at the Hammond Coachworks in Parson Street, Hendon. It includes a massive steel tyring plate, some six feet in diameter and very, very heavy, on which wheels were located while their iron tyres where fitted. There are plans to clean up and display the equipment.

· More of the history of Hampstead Heath should be learned from planned research work on the East Heath boundary ditch. HADAS is involved in the discus­sions, but it is likely to be a long-term project.

· Archaeological and heritage bodies, HADAS among them, are being included in consultation on the Forestry Commission’s plans for the Watling Chase Community Forest. This grandiose scheme covers a huge part of South Hertfordshire, stretching into the Elstree /Edgwarebury area, Totteridge and Chipping Barnet. It seems likely that tree-planting will take place only on some parts of the area, and those of potential archaeological concern will not be affected.

· There are plans for a memorial sundial in Hamp­stead Garden Suburb, to commemorate the enormous contribution of Brigid Grafton Green, the Suburb’s late archivist and, of course, one of HADAS’s most energetic and respected members. Members who would like to contribute to the memorial should contact Dorothy Newbury (081-203 0950).

A one-day school on Humble Dwellings Urban and Rural Housing for the Poor, 18th – 20th Centuries is being organised by the Friends of the Chiltern Open Air Museum on Sunday, April 18 at Buckinghamshire College, Chalfont St Giles. The fee, which includes entry to the museum, is £12. For more details ring Liz Childerhouse on 0923 720069 (day), or send a cheque (made out to Friends of COAM) to Les Butler, 15 Copthall Corner, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks SL9 OBZ.

· That ever-expanding supplier of archaeological reading matter, Oxbow Books, is now distributing the publications of the Society of Antiquaries of London — including reports on such important sites as Verulamium, Durrington Walls, Fishbourne and the Gadebridge Park Roman villa. For the new, huge spring list, write to Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford OX1 1HN (0865 241249).


Percy Reboul reviews:

A worthy addition to the bookshelf


“One picture,” they say, “is worth a thousand words.” I, for one, wouldn’t argue with that assessment after reading Finchley and Friern Barnet — the latest addi­tion to the Phillimore pictorial history series. It is quite superb and excellent value at £11.95.This is clearly a book written by professionals whose motives are to strengthen our understanding and enjoyment of the past rather than merely to make money. The introduction is as good a short history of the area as you are likely to find and, on its own, would justify the purchase price.But the real glory is the 180 or so historic photo­graphs which, with their captions, are a treasure trove for those interested in the local scene as it relates to costume, transport, schools, architecture and much more besides.The authors, Stewart Gillies and Pamela Taylor, are our local history librarian and archivist respec­tively. They are also members of HADAS and the society can be   of their considerable achieve­ment. The book itself is a hardback with an attractive dust-cover and one is struck by its value for money compared with some examples of the same genre currently on sale. Finchley and Friern Barnet is a must for the bookshelf. It is available from local libraries and bookshops and will make a most acceptable present for anyone interested in the borough and its past.

Lots of places to go 

North, south, west

Early summer in the Orkneys, autumn in Brittany? Do archaeological outings to such richly prehistoric locations appeal to HADAS members? Jim Smith is tempted by both trips, study tours organised by the University of Keele’s adult education department, and wonders if other members would like to join him to form a HADAS contingent.

The brief details of the two trips are:

Archaeology of the Orkneys, June 25-July 3, with residence on the Island of Burray, leader Carol Allen, with visits to sites including Maes Howe, Skara Brae, the Tombs of the Eagles, Mid Howe and the houses and tombs on Papa Westray. Brittany, September 6­15, based near St Mato and Benodet, leader Robert Speake, with visits including Mont St Michel, Cap Frehel, Carnac, Locronan and Quimper.

For more information, write to Adult and Con­tinuing Education, Keele University, Freepost (ST1666), Newcastle, Staffs ST5 5BR, or contact Jim Smith on 081-458 6575.

The Keele trips apart, there is a huge choice of other archaeological holiday ideas. The Department for Continuing Education at the University of Ox­ford has one to Burgundy (June 4-12), which in­cludes Alesia and Bibracte as well as more modern monuments such as the Hotel-Dieu in Beaune, and another to Western Anatolia (September 17-27); while

Speciality Tours offers such British locations as Chris­tian Northumbria, the Fens and the Cheshire salt

mines; and Andante Travels suggests Discovering Imperial Rome on Foot, Carthage and Classical Tu­nisia, or Sicilia Antigua, as well as the prehistoric cave paintings of the Dordogne and Northern Spain (separate trips).

Details: Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, 1 Wellington Square, Ox‑

ford, OX1 2JA; Speciality Tours, 69 Glisson Road, Cambridge CM 2HG (0223 67615); Andante Travels, Grange Cottage, Winterbourne Dauntsey, Salisbury SP4 6ER (0980 610979).

OUDCE also has weekend symposia and Satur­day day schools in Oxford,on subjects as diverse and the Origins of Venice and Medieval Palaces of Eng­land, contact address as above.

…and in London

Artist and archaeologist: the two great qualities of Howard Carter are splendidly examined and ex­plained in the current British Museum exhibition celebrating the 70th anniversary of the best-known Egyptian discovery of them all — the tomb of Tutankhamun.But it is some of the smaller, less spectacular exhibits which are most revealing of the character and skills of a man whose private persona was never suited to the public exposure his spectacular discov­ery generated.The exhibition’s documents record many of the most important moments in his life, from his ap­pointment by the Egypt Exploration fund as its jun­ior illustrator in the field to the tomb opening itself.Carter’s record cards of the Tutankhamun finds are the epitome of a painstaking archaeologist’s work — meticulous in their detail, with drawings which combine precision with artistic elegance. Archaeol­ogy comes first there; in another, equally revealing exhibit, priorities are reversed. His painting of a hoopoe nesting in the wall of a Theban temple, the liv ing bird settled beneath the protective wings of the painted vulture goddess Nekhbet, is fine art in an archaeological setting, Carter the artist immersed in the archaeological milieu — his life, precisely.

There is plenty of conventional Egyptology on display, including finds from many of the excava­tions in which Carter was involved, as well as per­sonal items such as his paintbox and the magnificent brass and mahogany plate camera with which his patron Lord Carnarvon recorded great moments in the history of archaeology.But it is an exhibition about a man as much as his discoveries, and all the more revealing for that.

Howard Carter: Before Tutankhamun continues at the British Museum until May 31, with accompanying lectures and gallery talks. The book of the exhibition, by Nicholas Reeves and John H. Taylor, illustrates much of what is on show; for the full story of the man himself read Howard Carter: The Path to Tutankhamun (Kegan Paul), the excellent new biography by T.G.H. James, former keeper of the BM’s Department of Egyp­tian Antiquities and a resident of Hampstead Garden Suburb.


Andy Simpson provides this extract from The Times, which emphasises the value of archaeological disci­plines in the office…

The stratigraphy of the desk top

Anyone sneering at a colleague’s untidy desk should think again — for that mountain of paper could be the key to a new, user-friendly filing system.Dr Mark Lansdale, ergonomics expert at Loughborough University, dismisses conventional wisdom that a clean desk is the mark of a dynamic executive and vouches for those whose desks are a jungle of discarded memos, invoices and unanswered mail.The mountain of paper is, he says, like a vol­cano: “A vaguely conical heap with a crater in the middle.” Documents come into the crater and are dealt with. But if unimportant, they migrate to the edge, fall off and are thrown away by cleaners. When searching for a document, the worker, like an archaeologist, uses time and context to guide him. The older the document, the deeper it is buried; related documents tell the searcher when he is in the right area.Most filing systems involve semantic memory whereby documents are categorised — a method unsuited to human beings, according to Dr Lansdale, because of our inefficiency at remembering the cat­egories. He is developing an “autobiographical” filing system whereby documents are retrieved by entering into an electronic diary the date of when they were last seen.“Until the system is perfected,” says Dr Lansdale, “the office mess seems well suited to the way the memory works.”



Time to pay up

Subscriptions will be due on April 1 and this year, because of rising costs, they’re going up.

The new rates are:

Adult £8

Second member of same family £2.50

Over 60/Student £5

Institution £8

Members paying by banker’s order will find new forms enclosed with this Newsletter. Please complete them and send them to your bank as soon as possible —banks take at least a fortnight to process them and if they go in late you may find you are paying twice. Also, HADAS has changed banks, to reduce costs, so this makes the form-filling even more important and urgent.

To put the subscription rises into perspective, here is a list of some of the society’s major, unavoid­able costs:

Anticipated 1993 rental and service charges for the HADAS room at Avenue House £1,577

Cost of storage space at College Farm £160

Charge for use of Hendon Library for lectures £180 (£30 up on last year and known to be rising again from April).

These costs alone swallow up the current sub­scription income, and emphasise how important such fund-raising activities as the Minimart are, in keep ing the society afloat. The committee hopes to hold subscriptions at the new rate for several years. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 1993

Members are reminded that the AGM will be held on Tuesday, May 4, 1993, at Hendon Library, starting at 8.30pm.

The HADAS Newsletter thrives thanks to everyone who contributes material to fill its pages ­so keep sending articles, cuttings, news and all the other items which other members like to read. Here’s the list of editors for the remainder of the year, with the deadline dates, so you know who to address contributions to and when to send them:

Newsletter-215-February-1989

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Newsletter-215-February-1989

 

NEWSLETTER 215: February 1989                                                            Editor: Liz Sagues

HADAS DIARY

Tuesday, February 7 ALEX WERNER on London’s Dockland – Its.

Archaeological Discoveries and Potential.

Alex Werner works for the Department of Working History and Museum in Docklands Project. He led us on an excellent day trip to Dock-lands in July last year. By popular request we asked him to come over to Hendon and tell us more. This is an opportunity for members who missed out on the trip to come to see slides and to hear Alex Werner talk on this huge area, so near yet so unknown to many of us. HADAS will have a permanent attachment to the Docklands Museum as it has taken the winding gear rescued from Barnet for inclusion in the display when the museum is finally set up.

NEWS  OF  MEMBERS.

Serious swordplay: HADAS secretary Brian Wrigley will be briskly rousing post-lunch slumberers at the second day of the Prehistoric Society Spring Conference (April 1 and 2) with a demonstration of the use of Bronze Age weapons – a rare skill he displayed to HADAS members briefly at last year’s AGM. An ex-fencer, he explains that ancient warfare was a logical combination of two interests. “No-one knew anything about the use of old weapons, so I started doing some­thing about it myself.” Using wooden models, he will demonstrate attack and defence techniques and will argue that without practical understanding of how weapons work, study of their development lacks a solid, factual background. Theme of the conference, at the Department of External Studies, Oxford University, is War and Prehistory.


On stony ground: Myfanwy Stewart will be the first speaker at the 26th Annual Conference of London Archaeologists, organised by LAMAS at the Museum of London on March 11. Her subject is to be Recent Surface Flint Collection from Brockley Hill and her talk will be complemented by a HADAS stand, as usual. Final details of lecturers and ticket applications will be published in the March Newsletter, but meanwhile Victor Jones (458 6180) will be glad of offers of help with the stand.

Much other news of members, sadly, is more depressing. Mrs Crossley, who we congratulated last autumn on reaching the age of 103, died after Christmas after a short spell in hospital. John Enderby went to the funeral.

Mrs Jacqueline Morgan, wife of Eric Morgan, has sadly died at the early age of 47 after several months in hospital. Both she and her husband often came on outings and Mr Morgan attended lectures.

Mrs Tallant, formerly a regular at lectures and on outings for many years, has been involved in a bad fire in her flat, suffering severe burns which have necessitated amputation of both legs above the knee. Although over 80, she was still very active and as recently as November had spent a holiday in Malta. She is progressing well in Mount Vernon Hospital, is very cheerful and is looking forward to being provided with a special chair.

‘PETER’ GRIMES: THE FIRST RESCUE ARCHAEOLOGIST

Professor W.F. “Peter” Grimes, HADAS President since 1965, died on Christmas Day, aged 83. HADAS sends deepest condolences to his widow – and recalls happy memories of April 1982, when he gave a presidential address on the occasion of the society’s 21st birthday. His subject was Prehistoric Burial Rites in Britain and, in the words of the Newsletter report, “he gave us an expert and exciting survey of pre­historic burials and the information they provide about the central role of death in the life and religion of the people”.

Seventeen months later, Professor Grimes led a HADAS group during two days of a long weekend in Wales – including a memorable climb in the Prescelly Hills in “stinging sleet” and “the full blast of a gale… it was the worst mountain weather ever remembered by the Professor himself”.

HADAS chairman Andrew Selkirk contributed an obituary of Professor Grimes to The Guardian, which is reproduced in part below:

W.F. “Peter” Grimes is best known as the uncoverer of one of the most spectacular Roman discoveries in London since the war, the temple of Mithras.

During the late war, he was seconded to the Ministry of Works and became the country’s first rescue archaeologist. Rushing round the country salvaging what archaeology he could from the construction of wartime aerodromes, his most notable discovery was the unique Celtic temple that be found under what is today the main runway of Heathrow Airport.

From 1945 to 1956, he was director of the London Museum, but his most important work was as the honorary director of the Roman and Medieval London Excavation Council, and from 1947 to 1972 he salvaged archaeology on the bomb sites of war scarred London. Though the Mithras temple was his most spectacular discovery, his more important work, to the archae­ologist, was the discovery of the Cripplegate fort, a fort attached to Roman city which remains unique in the Roman world outside Rome itself. 

In 1956 he was appointed director of and Professor of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology. The previous director, Gordon Childe, was a brilliant scholar but no administrator, and Grimes was chosen to rectify the situation.

Under him the institute entered its most successful phase, doubling the number of staff and tripling the number of students. The major change came in 1956 when it opened its doors to undergraduates, and during his long tenure it became a centre of archaeological technique and expertise. After his retirement in 1973 Grimes returned to his beloved Wales where he served with distinction as chairman of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust and continued teaching and his excavations at regular summer schools.

His administrative abilities saw to it that he served on the councils of, and indeed as chairman of, virtually all the major archaeological societies, and with his dapper charm and the frequent flower in his buttonhole he adorned every committee he sat on.

It would be too easy to describe Grimes as a talented administrator who had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time, for in so many ways his career foreshadowed what has gone since. In his work during the war he became the first rescue archaeologist and his work in Roman London paved the way for today’s highly successful unit at the Museum of London. Above all, with that twinkle in his eye, he made archaeology a happier discipline.

A personal tribute comes from Anne, Julian and others who excavated with him:

Besides Peter Grimes’ many professional talents and achievements his personal qualities were equally outstanding. He was an excellent and polite communicator, and an amusing after-dinner conversationalist, but the depth of his character always showed itself in his skill at directing an archaeological excavation.

He had a natural leadership ability, disguised behind his relaxed and pleasant style, to elicit hard work, loyalty and much dedication from the many volunteer archaeologists he directed. His personality assisted them to forget the many discomforts of excavating and he gave them his full personal attention, making each individual feel an essential part of the dig. He had mastered inspired leadership without domination.

We shall miss him, because of his extreme kindness and his charming manners over the 12 years that we were at Dale in the summer time.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN                                                                   by Percy Reboul

My father died at the age of 78 just before Christmas. He was not a member of HADAS and the only reason I presume to write this obit is that HADAS was directly responsible for making him into a super­salesman and well known as an authority on the history of Whetstone.

It started a decade ago, when I recorded his memories of working as a milk delivery boy for the Al Dairy over 60 years ago. This appeared in the Newsletter, made the columns of the local rag and eventually went on to the ultimate accolade of being included in Brigid Grafton-Green’s Money, Milk & Milestones.

Flushed with success (and to my astonishment) upon retirement at 65 he began to lecture on the history of Whetstone to schools, WIs, old people’s clubs and the like. Many letters among his papers testify to his relaxed, warm and witty style. His philosophy, he told me, was simple: “As long as you give the audience the right dates,” he obser­ved, “they don’t doubt that you know everything else.” I haven’t yet made up my mind about this…!

 

At the same time, he released his wonderful collection of photographs of old Whetstone to the local newspapers which brought him letters and comments from all over the world.

Finally, he developed techniques for selling HADAS publications which are an object lesson for us all. I would describe them as classic tinged with eccentricity. It was not unknown, for example, for him to board a bus and follow the conductor down the gangways offering HADAS publications when tickets were being dispensed and money was to hand. How he would have loved the Barnet Press headline “Mr Whetstone dies”. I know I did.

STAIRWAYS TO THE STARS

Betty Jacobs reports on the January lecture

HADAS celebrated the New Year with a flourish and a full house, inviting George Hart, well known for his gallery talks and lectures at the British Museum, to describe the Pyramid Age in Ancient Egypt, spanning the first half of the third millennium BC – the first flowering of Egyptian civilisation.

Chronologically, this follows the unification of the two lands, the Delta and the Valley, around 3100BC under Narmer (Menes) King of the South. This highly-significant event is recorded on the Narmer Palette with its representations of Narmer as King of Upper and Lower Egypt and pictorial descriptions of his conquest.

The kings of Dynasties I and II (of the Old Kingdom) were buried in mastabas, table-topped shafts lined with mud brick and roofed over with protective limestone. In Dynasty III King Dzozer and his architect Imhotep created the Step Pyramid at Saqqara by building, in limestone, a tiered series of six mastabas of diminishing area, symbolising a 60-metre-high stairway to the heavens, and surrounded by a vast wall enclosing many festival buildings and storehouses. This pyramid, the first known stone building, marked a dramatic change in the architecture of the world.

On a practical level, this achievement is awesome, but magic had its place too, for all but one of the entrances are dummies and the famous statue of Dzozer seated in his serdab has two holes at eye-level, to keep watch or to inhale incense.

Though Dzozer’s complex was never repeated, other pyramids followed. We saw evocative slides showing the development from the Step to the true pyramid. That at Maidum, which may have been started by Huni, last king of Dynasty III, and completed by Sneferu, his son, first king of Dynasty IV, demonstrates vividly this transition. Its outer casing slipped and much of the pyramid collapsed probably 1,000 years after its construction. The remaining upper tiers stand among the mass of fallen material, showing the inner steps which would have been faced with limestone to create a true pyramid.

Sneferu built at least three pyramids, one, the Bent Pyramid, so-called because of its changed angle of inclination. That change remains of mysterious origin did the king die unexpectedly, limiting the building time, or was the original angle too steep for stability or, most probably, does the double angle symbolise the duality of Ancient Egypt?

The first true pyramid surviving is the Northern pyramid at Dashur and from it we came to the Great Pyramids of Giza those of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, with smaller pyramids for their queens. The still-complete Great Pyramid of Khufu was built on a scale never equalled and exemplifies the power and determination of the king and also the consummate skill of its creators.

Its casing having been shed, the precise apposition of the 21/2 million limestone blocks is clearly visible. Unusually, the sepulchre is in the superstructure. The gallery has a graffito date which confirms its origin.

Beside this vast pyramid there were at least two boat-pits. The boat in one of them has been reassembled to occupy a specially built museum nearby. This beautiful boat, the oldest of its kind in the world, is wholly functional, for there is evidence that it had been used, perhaps to convey Khufu to his last resting place. The craftsmen who built it had only the simplest of tools – adzes, saws, stone pounders and blades of beaten copper, no bronze, no iron, no pulleys.

Nearby is the pyramid of Khafre (Chephren), whose splendid statue of diorite shows him protected by the wings of a hawk and seated on a throne with the entwined papyrus and lotus, heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt. He is also the king of the famous Sphinx of Giza.

The third pyramid at Giza is that of Menkaure, with its base of granite slabs and the gashes made by treasure seekers. In fact, all the pyramids had been robbed by 2000E0.

Menkaure’s pyramid, being much smaller than the others at Giza, heralds the beginning of the demise of the Pyramid Age of the Old Kingdom. In Dynasties V and VI, pyramids became amorphous heaps but texts inscribed in them give us the world’s first literature, spells of the ritual of the royal cult. In association with the pyramid of Unas, the last king of Dynasty V, there is the evidence of the huge causeway of inscribed blocks linking the mortuary temple with the valley temple on the river, where the king’s embalming may have been performed, from which the funeral procession would leave and where building materials would have arrived by river.

The king, paramount in power, was surrounded by courtiers, who were rewarded by him with tombs and statues. They were buried in mastabas, often close to the king’s pyramid. Stelae give details of their names and titles and show family groups united for eternity, listing pictor­ially and numerically their requirements for the afterlife. They are represented in the prime of life, as they wished to be for ever.

So the preponderance of evidence from tombs speaks not of morbid associations, but rather of the Egyptians’ hope and expectation that life in the hereafter would continue to be enjoyed. Idealist repre­sentations are at times tempered with a touching reality, as in the stela of Seneb, keeper of Khufu’s wardrobe, who sits cross-legged, with his son and daughter occupying the space beneath him and disguising his dwarf stature, while his wife sits full-size alongside.

We saw slides of scribes, all-important in Ancient Egypt, where every­thing was counted and recorded. Their part in the organisational management for the building of pyramids is obvious. For this was not a land of slaves. The annual inundation meant that the mainly agri­cultural population was unable to work on the land for four months each year. This labour was utilised annually for the building of pyramids during these months – the regular pyramid workforce of 4,000 swelled temporarily to 50,000. They were well treated, supplied with basic rations of bread, beer and onions, water supplies were protected and they were rewarded in kind.

Other slides showed feasting with dancing and music, hunting and domestic scenes with a love of flora and an unmistakable appreciation of their animals.

From this zenith of a civilisation lasting some 3,000 years, George Hart brought to us such a wealth of information and interest that we under­stood, as he said in his opening remark, why the Egyptian galleries, with the Elgin Marbles, are joint first destination for 99 per cent of the annual four million visitors to the British Museum.


INTO A LAND OF FANTASY

Peter Pickering explores Cappadocia and South-Eastern Turkey

Last autumn we spent a fortnight in Ankara, Cappadocia and South-Eastern Turkey, using public transport and hotels varying from international top-class to scruffy. Here are a few highlights.

The landscape of Cappadocia is truly fantastic, with the tufa produced by Mount Erciyes long ago now carved by water and wind into gorges, pinnacles and cones. Into these hundreds of churches were carved and decorated with frescoes during Byzantine times. Natural decay, vandalism and desecration have taken toll, but the Turkish authorities are making great efforts to protect and restore them: such are the benefits of tourism, though too large numbers of visitors are also a threat.

The frescoes are remarkably varied, in date, style and context, with several scenes inspired by apocryphal gospels. Oldest were some childish drawings of birds and monstrous insects in red, which one authority thinks were Byzantine military standards.

We also visited two whole cities dug underground, with passages on up to eight levels, as refuges from invaders during the troubled history of these parts.

Next, we visited the mountain sanctuary of Nemrut Dagi, built by the megalomaniac Antiochus I of Commagene (64-32BC). The minibus ride up the mountain from Malatya took six hours, including one minor and one major breakdown. We were thus almost late for the sunset on the western terrace, but in the morning – after a night in a simple hotel – saw the full glory of the sunrise from the eastern terrace.

The giant headless statues on the side of the central tumulus, and the fallen heads below, most with pointed hats and curly beards, are unforgettable, as are the faces of the majestic and inscrutable, but endearing, eagles.

The south-east was really too hot for us. But the massive walls of Diyarbakir, the Amida in which the historian Ammianus Marcellinus was besieged in 359 by the Persian king, were great compensation. And in Urfa we sat by pools full of carp sacred to Abraham, visiting the cave where, legend has it, he was born and the place where the wicked emperor Nemrut threw him into the fire.

We went through the northern part of the Fertile Crescent – the reality of tells coming home to us – to Harran, with its strange beehive houses and its ruins all around. How are the mighty cities fallen! Finally, Mardin, still off the tourist trail, but with fine buildings of the various Moslem dynasties who ruled there in medieval times. Nearby is a Syrian Jacobite monastery, very neat and tidy, unlike some of the churches in Diyarbakir which testify to eastern Christian communities whom time is passing by.

Central and South-Eastern Turkey are full of monuments. The museums are good. Prices are low. The people are friendly – trust the self-appointed guides (some do not even want a tip, or to sell you a carpet). Some women are emancipated enough not to wear head-scarves. The food is good though at the very end we had some which did not agree with us. Visit the area.

THE EMPEROR’S MONEY MARKET

Liz Sagues reports on a lecture given by Andrew Selkirk to the Society of Antiquaries (reprinted from the Ham & High)

Roman London was no ordinary provincial city of the empire, democrat­ically run. It was the emperor’s private property, a free zone where entreprenerus were at liberty to go about their money-making activities as they wished.

 

With that argument, Andrew Selkirk, editor of Current Archaeology, aimed to upset the archaeological establishment. He contended that archaeology had become “dull, boring and, worst of all, soggy”, too bureaucratically-oriented and increasingly out of touch with popular enthusiasm for the past.

His controversial thesis on Roman London – the central “lollipop” of an example in a broader discussion of monetarism and archaeology – was one reaction to that. But it wasn’t a new theory, he pointed out. Tacitus had said London was not a colony, but full of traders, and the Greek geographer Ptolemy had called it a city of the Cantii, from Kent.

Most self-governing Roman towns, he explained, were ringed with villas, the homes of their town councillors. London had none. Its basilica, the largest Roman building north of the Alps, was far too big for a normal Roman town and its “parallels must be found in Rome itself”. “London clearly was not an ordinary Roman town. But what was it? The answer I believe is that London was the emperor’s private property, part of the imperial domain. Once this is accepted everything falls into place.” And it became, he added, “a free zone in which entre­preneurs could get on with making money without any interference from local authorities”.

Money, he said, was the key to the middle revolution of the three that were critical to understanding the past. Between the neolithic revolution and the industrial revolution came that of the Greeks and Romans – in which the Greeks provided the world’s first market economy and the Roman empire was the first victim of inflation. A satisfactory explanation of that and of the succeeding 2,000 years, plus a new “symbiotic relationship” between archaeology and the present age, was essential to bring back “some of the excitement and some of the con­troversy into archaeology”, he said.

But despite his description of his lecture as a Christmas cracker, the archaeological luminaries in the audience seemed reluctant to pull it. While Ralph Merrifield, doyen of London archaeologists, described Mr Selkirk’s theory as “very one-sided”, he admitted there was a “great problem” about the city’s status.

EXCAVATION IN 1989

Calling all diggers – young, old, experienced or novice

With the amount of development currently going on in the Borough of Barnet, we have to be prepared to get in quickly on redevelopment sites if valuable archaeology is not to be lost – readers will remember the heart-rending story of Chipping Barnet High Street told by Jennie

Cobban in Newsletter 213! We still have hopes of digging, this year, in Chipping Barnet and also at The Burroughs, Hendon; both are places which we think important for their good prospects of finding remains of medieval settlement.

We need to be ready to call up a team when the chance of digging occurs – so if you want to be in on this please write or telephone

Brian Wrigley                                                          or              Victor Jones

21 Woodcraft Avenue, NW7 2AH                                         78 Temple Fortune Lane,

(959 5982)                                                                                NW11 7TT        (458 6180)

Please don’t be reluctant because of lack of experience – it’s the very purpose of this society to enable complete novices to join in a useful dig to learn at the side of other diggers. We hope shortly to prepare a small leaflet of advice to new diggers.


METAL DETECTORS AND ARCHAEOLOGY

The committee recently had occasion to discuss this topic, and it was generally felt we should adopt a positive attitude. It was agreed that we should encourage the use of metal detectors under suitable archaeo­logical supervision in appropriate situations, and it would be sensible to initiate investigations ourselves making use of them. The sort of situations in mind were examining spoil heaps (archaeological or building ones) or plotting concentrations of metal on new sites.

As a start, it would be interesting to know how many members have a metal detector available. If you have, and would be interested in using it on HADAS sites, please let Brian Wrigley (address and phone number on previous page) know.

AN ORIGINAL QUESTION

Bill Firth (49 Woodstock Avenue, NW11 9RG, phone 455 7164) has a plea for help:

I have been asked about the derivation of the name Silk Stream and if it has any connections with the silk industry. My, admittedly scanty, records of Hendon do not tell me. Can anyone help, please?

ORDERS TO CHANGE

Membership secretary Phyllis Fletcher reminds all members that, from April 1, new subscription rates apply: £6 for members aged 18 to 60, £4 for members under 18 or over 60, £2 for dependent relatives residing with a member and £8 for corporate members.

All those members who pay by standing order should complete a new form – sent with this issue of the Newsletter – and send it on to their bank as soon as possible, certainly before April 1.

COURSE NOTES

Several series of courses of archaeological interest run at the City University, EC1, during the coming months. First to start (10 meetings weekly, Tuesdays 4pm to 6pm, from February 22) is Britain Before History, by Brian Oldham, on the archaeological evidence for the ritual, social and economic development of people in Britain.

Inquiries to: Extra-Mural Studies, Centre for Continuing Education, City University, Northampton Square, EC1V OHB (253 4399, extensions 3268, 3252).

Down on the farm, at Butser Ancient Farm, the 1989 course programme ranges from General Experimental Archaeology to Pollens or Fire, Clay and Metal, the six-day courses running through from late March to late October. Fees, including full board, are normally £95. Details from: Dr P.J. Reynolds, Director, Butser Ancient Farm Project Trust, Nexus House, Gravel Hill, Horndean, Hants (0705 598838 – office).

Newsletter-212-November 1988

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Newsletter-212-November 1988

Newsletter 212: November, 1988 Editor: Brigid Grafton Green

RECORD BREAKING, HADAS STYLE

There’s only one possible lead story for this month’s Newsletter – and it ought to be written in letters of gold, not dull old everyday ink: we had a Minimart last month and it made a profit of £1200. Yes, do savour that: twelve hundred pounds. That’s £300 more than last year; it’s well into four figures for the first time; and it’s a 25% advance in 12 months.

The Minimart is a co-operative effort: everyone in the Society who can puts their bit into it, so our corporate thanks are offered to all helpers, whether they heave heavy tables, make mouth-watering quiches or tot up the takings. But top credit for this year’s magnificent result must go to Dorothy Newbury (without whom there would be no Minimart on the scale to which HADAS has become accustomed). Her record of steadily rising profits year by year is one that blue-chip companies like ICI or Glaxo might well envy.

 

HADAS DIARY

Tues Nov 1 1988 Special General Meeting at 8 pm at Hendon Library, followed by lecture “Excavations at the Mint” by Peter Mills, who is known to many of us for his work with the North London Section of the Department of Greater London Archaeology. He has led excavations at Westminster Abbey as well as at the Mint, which is the subject of this lecture.

Tues Dec 6 Christmas supper at St Georges Shakespearian Theatre, Tufnell Park Road, N7. We have had an excellent response for this and have reached the maximum number that can be catered for, plus a short waiting list.

Departure times for this will be

Finchley Central 6.10 pm

Hendon Quadrant 6.15

Golders Gr. Refectory 6.25

Royal Oak Temple Fortune 6.30

Will members who have booked please let Dorothy Newbury know C203 0950) their required pick-up point.

OTHER DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Nov 19/20 Pot and Potter: practical residential weekend at Rewley House, Oxford*

Sat Nov 26 11am-6pm, Museum of London. 23rd Local History Conference.

Theme: From the Armada to the Glorious Revolution – Change and Growth in London 1588-1688. Lectures and local society exhibits, including a HADAS display on the Hendon ice-house. Tickets £3.50 from Miss P A Ching, 40 Shaef Way, Teddington TW11 ODQ

Wed Dec 7 LAMAS lecture by Ralph Merrifield on the Archaeology of Ritual (subject similar to his book published last year, The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic). Lecture 6.30, Museum of London, preceded by coffee/sherry 6.00. Members of affiliated societies (HADAS is one) welcome.

Dec 9/11 What Can We Learn from Human Bones? Residential weekend at Rewley House, Oxford*

Fri Jan 20 One-day conference, 10am-5pm at Soc. Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, on the Archaeology of Rural Wetlands. Speakers on the Somerset Levels, Fenland Project, estuarine environments and river valleys*

*Further details from Brigid Grafton Green 455-9040

 

WALK ROUND A MELTING POT MICKY COHEN enjoys the last outing of 1988

For the last outing of the season Muriel Large took us on a fascinating walk round Stepney – once a village on the outskirts of the City of London, where people went to refresh themselves and follow country pursuits. Only later did the stews and opium dens replace the countryside, attracting Dickens who was looking for local colour and the toffs of the day who were looking for thrills. Over the centuries Stepney has received waves of immigrants – a racial melting pot.

We started at the Royal Foundation of St Katherine, a leafy oasis in a commercial area, now a retreat and conference centre. Originally founded in 1147 near the Tower, the Foundation moved in the 18c to Stepney to make way for St Katherine’s Dock. The chapel blends Gibbons carving, 14c choir stalls and a lamp which was the gift of Henry III with modern sculpture and painting.

On to Cable Street, scene of a famous battle between Mosleyites and locals in 1936, now somnolent with old cottages upgraded to Yuppy standards and modern Council blocks. The devastation of the war has made way for the new.

Passing an attractive row of early Victorian almshouses, we walked through the large graveyard of Stepney parish church, St Dunstans, the site of multiple burials during the great Plague in London. The largely 15c church is medieval in feeling and full of light (the glass was destroyed during the war). There is some modern glass – above the altar a controversial figure of Christ in a red cloak. The greatest treasure is a 10c Saxon cross set in beneath the window – a carving which was found weathered outside.

“Stepping Stones,” an urban farm, provided a delightful venue for tea and cake. We managed to fit into tables and chairs designed for 8-year-olds! After tea we passed Stepney Green and some beautiful Georgian buildings on our way to the Whitechapel Road. There the Trinity Almshouses, designed by Wren, surround a quiet courtyard garden – a gem hidden from the bustle behind a wall. Finally although we did not visit, Muriel told us about the house in a narrow street nearby where Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Litvinov met to found the Comintern, watched over by Scotland Yard and the Tsar’s police.

Muriel pointed out so many historical associations in the area during her informative talk there is no space to list them all. Among the notables Captain Cook lived in the Whitechapel Road, Dr Barnardo left London Hospital to work with destitute children in the district and William Booth founded the Salvation Army – a statue commemorates him. A most enjoyable afternoon.

 

THE ANNALS OF THE POOR: Part 1  by NELL PENNY

Famous men have their monuments and their biographers: the poor “perish as if they had never been.” But by studying parish settlement examinations and removal orders it is possible to draw thumb-nail sketches of some of the humble folk of the l8c.

What was a settlement? The Settlement Act of 1662 limited parish help to those persons born in the parish or those who had owned or rented substantial property in it. “Foreigners” could be removed from a parish even if they had not sought poor relief. A removal could not be made unless the person had been ‘examined’ before two magistrates and then made the subject of a removal order. In Hendon folk were examined in the vestry room at the Greyhound Inn, and in Finchley at the Queen’s Head next the church. The conditions of settlement were later widened to include (a) anyone who had been a contracted ‘servant’ for at least a year; (b) or who had served as a parish officer, and (c) or had served an apprenticeship in the parish; and in 1795 Parliament ordered that folk could not be removed from a parish or even examined until they asked for relief.

Presumably part of the purpose of the 1662 Act was to restrict the movements of potential revolutionaries; the upheavals of the Civil War were a recent memory. Whatever the purpose the results seem to have been frustration and misery all round. Parishes spent time and money on investigating settlements, in removing the old, the sick and orphaned children and in fighting legal battles with other parishes trying to enforce removal orders on them.

Men too old to work were sent away to villages they had not seen since they were children. A widow with a young family was dumped fifty miles away because her husband had been a farm worker there before he married. In 1709 Hendon overseers of the poor spent 5s (25p) sending “Oul Richeson into Essex” to “find out about his settlement:” later they removed him for 10s7d (53p) “for horse hire for him and ourself and to bring his horse back.” In 1787 it cost Hendon ratepayers £2.12s.6d (£2.63p) to move a sick Irishman to Parkgate, then a small port on the river Dee in Cheshire, for repatriation to his native land; and they even paid £22.15s.3d (£22.76p) to transport four orphan children to the parish in Shropshire where their father had been born.

One Finchley record proves how far parish officers would go to dispute a settlement. Finchley officers had removed a pauper family to Horsley in Gloucestershire. At Quarter Sessions Horsley disputed the removal because they denied that the pauper had been legally married to the mother of his children and argued therefore that Horsley was not responsible for her and the children. Finchley sent the constable to Farnham in Surrey – presumably because that was where the marriage was said to have taken place – to inspect the parish registers.

There is, alas, no record of the outcome of the case. It is one of the frustrations of this kind of research that the documents don’t always finish the story off, and you are left in eternal suspense about what happened. But I would be long sorry to be without records like this, even though they have shortcomings. Examinations and removals may have been – indeed, they often undoubtedly were – tragic for the poor and bothersome for parish officials, but they are often pure gold for local historians trying to put flesh on the dry bones of names in local records. For four parishes of our Borough in the l8c – Hendon, Finchley, Edgware and Friern Barnet – the Local History Collection holds records of a number of settlements from which much can be gleaned.

How else would we know why two Eastbourne girls, Ann Lever and Abigail Earl, were marooned in Finchley with their newly-born babes in 1780? Ann had been a contracted servant, a dairymaid, at £3.10s.0d (£3.50p) a year. She had been “delivered of a child on Finchley Common;” the child’s father was John Reddle, a private soldier in the 2nd Queen’s Regiment of Foot. Abigail also had followed John Morris of the same regiment and had also been abandoned with her baby when the troops marched away.

In 1762 James Wilson turned up in Hendon. He had been born “in Flanders.” His father lived in Wearmouth, Sunderland, and worked “on the keels,” but Wilson didn’t know where his father had been born. He himself had been “a stroler” all his life. The connection between Jordan Bland and Friern Barnet parish is not clear. Jordan was examined in 1803: born in 1771, in Weddington, Essex, he had joined the Navy when he was 14 years old. He had served in HMS Invincible – 74 guns – for two years and then in the Fleet transports Polly and Isabella. In 1801 he began work at the New Rope Ground in Limehouse “till he was taken ill the other day.”

In 1781 Sarah Burton was removed from Witham in Essex to Finchley,

The removal was by stages: the first move was to Stratford le Bow “being the first town in the next precinct.” Sarah did not know where her husband, John Burton, was – “for he goes about the country mending chairs.” She had married John in Morpeth in Northumberland in 1779 and had a baby daughter. John’s uncle, a Finchley chimney sweep, said that John’s father had been a brick-layer in the parish, but the son had never served an apprenticeship nor been a contracted labourer.

Wholesale examinations before 1795 sometimes netted respectable parishioners. One can almost hear the indignation of Alexander Nelson, a gardener, when he was examined in 1763. He had been born in Musselburgh “in the Kingdom of Scotland.” He had been hired by Mr de Ponthieu of Mill Hill in 1753 as a living-in servant at £15 a year. In 1758, when he married Margaret Johnson, he had warned his employer “to get someone else” because as a married man “his wages would not do.” Mr de Ponthieu solved the problem by hiring Margaret as his cook at £10 a year.

Also surprisingly Isaac Messeder – whose name will be familiar to many HADAS researchers — was examined in 1767. Isaac said he was a 53-year-old carpenter and surveyor. Proofs of the latter occupation are the meticulous notes and plans of the Manor of Hendon which he had made in 1754. His field book survives in the archives of Barnet Library Services, where it is usually referred to in conjunction with James Crow’s huge plan (it is 106″ x 64”) of “the Mannor and Parish of Hendon,” made in the same year – the work of Messeder and Crow both being part of the survey of the Hendon estate of Henry Arthur, Earl of Powys, the then lord of the manor.

Isaac said he had been born in Aldenham but had been brought up by his uncle in Green Street, Ridge. Although he had never been apprenticed to his carpenter uncle nor been a contracted servant to him, he had lived there till he was twenty years old. When he lived in Hampstead in 1765 he had paid 14s (70p) a year poor rate on the house he had rented. All his five children, aged between 28 years and 20 years had been born in Hendon.

I called this article “The Annals of the Poor” but you will already have realised that the rest of that quotation does not apply. Settlement records are far from “short and simple.” I hope to talk about them in two instalments – this present one, to whet your appetite; and another next month, as a second helping.

 

ALL ABOUT PEOPLE

The Minimart certainly gathers HADAS members together from all points of the compass. It was a pleasure this year to welcome two former Committee members from far away. From the west came VINCENT FOSTER, who joined the Society back in 1974 when he was working for his banking exams from his home in Finchley. Now – long a fully-fledged banker – he is a paterfamilias (we saw a photo of his delightful daughter), living in Quebec and still valuing his HADAS connections. He was back for a brief holiday with his parents in Finchley.

From the north came DAPHNE LORIMER, also in London on a flying visit, to shop and to stock up with the latest computer know-how – she and Ian have installed one and are now ‘into’ computers in a big way. But she had time not only to visit the Minimart but to do some sterling work on the Food stall, which she used once to organise.

Also at the Minimart – though from Chipping Barnet, not far-distant parts – was another long-time member whom we see all too rarely nowadays – BRIAN WIBBERLEY, with two of his youngsters. He brought with him, as always, some of Rosemary’s delicious cooking for the Food stall. It included various honey confections as well as bottled honey. We noticed that the jars carried a printed label, “WIBBERLEY HONEY,” so we suspect that among their many other activities the family has set up a bee-keeping enclave, which raises the pleasant picture of bees buzzing round the Wibberley garden in the middle of bustling Barnet.

The September Newsletter mentioned that ALAN HILL, a longtime HADAS member, had become Hon. PRO to the Prehistoric Society. Now there’s more news about his activities. A few weeks ago his autobiography, In Pursuit of Publishing, was published. It tells the story of his work at Heinemann’s, building up that firm’s Educational Books department – an occupation which took Alan (and often his wife Enid, also a HADAS member) many times round the world and into some unexpected (for a sedate publisher) situations.

Usually we report with pride when a HADAS member has ceased to be “Mr” and become “Dr” – because it means that he has survived the gruelling process of producing a thesis on some esoteric subject and has earned a PhD. Today we report the reverse process – someone who is now proudly a Mr instead of a doctor. PAUL O’FLYNN has passed the arduous examinations for a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons and can now – as all surgeons do – proudly claim the title of Mr O’Flynn FRCS. Our warmest congratulations to Paul and to his wife Michaela, who has helped him through his years of study.

Congratulations too to the Newbury family this month – not so much to Dorothy, who we so often congratulate, but to her son CHRISTOPHER who has recently become a proud father. Christopher has been a strong HADAS supporter since he was 14: he solves many of our more abstruse technical difficulties and on his expertise depends the safe arrival of your Newsletter every month: he is in charge of all its production problems. The latest Newbury, Alexander James, was born on Sept 11 in Hendon to Christopher and his wife Laura, weighing into life at 71/2 lbs. His proud grandma described him as “a perfect babe” and I was reminded that September 11 was a Sunday and that “the child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blithe and good and gay.”

The saga of the canny sheep of Islay is a long running one in these pages. These preternaturally clever animals (a total reversal of the “silly sheep” of normal practice) first appeared in the Newsletter several years ago, when HADAS member MAIR LIVINGSTONE reported on their ability to negotiate a tricky stone stairway and so enter a Scots churchyard where no sheep was meant to enter, Dr Livingstone reports that they have now, however, had their come-uppance. She told Argyll county council about their goings-on, and how the finely carved recumbent stones in the 10c churchyard were being disfigured by small sharp hooves. This summer she was delighted to see that a device of fine wires now prevents ovine trespass while still permitting human entry. It is thought that the sheep have probably retired to lick their wounds (entirely metaphorical) and plan the next phase of their campaign.

Trains are much in the HADAS news. First Christine Arnott popped off to China on one and now PHYLLIS FLETCHER returns from Canada with her train story. It concerns a momentous 2-day journey from Seattle to Phoenix, Arizona, via Los Angeles by American Amtrak train. “Each compartment of an Amtrak train carried about 50 people,” she writes, “with an attendant who looked after our every need and kept the place as clean as a new pin – even using a carpet sweeper each day. There was a ‘trash bag’ for rubbish and you could get iced water from a little machine. Snack bars and a restaurant served excellent meals – British Rail please note both the food and the cleanliness! There was an observation area where you could sit watching the beautiful scenery through Washington State, then climbing through 21 tunnels in Oregon State, then California with huge areas of fresh fruit, vines, herbs and vegetables, and at last the Pacific Ocean. What a thrill to be beside the Pacific, especially as the train wound a long way round, passing such names as Burbank, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. At Los Angeles I waited three hours, then boarded the Phoenix train. It was now dark so did not see much of the scenery. When I arrived at Phoenix at 7 am it was 100 degrees. What with the fine scenery and so many interesting people to meet on board I enjoyed the train journey much more than flying. Incidentally, we passed Mount Helen, which is said to be responsible for the bad summers we have had recently after it erupted a few years ago – so on your behalf I glared at it,”

 

VISIT TO NORTHOLT AERODROME IN APRIL 1989

The terminal buildings and apron on the south side of Northolt Aerodrome were built at the end of WW2 for use by RAF Transport Command, whose operations gradually gave way to the civil aircraft of the European Division of BOAC (as it then was). They remained in use as a terminal for BEA and other European operators until 1954 when the last BEA internal flights remaining at Northolt were transferred to Heathrow.

The buildings have continued to be London’s Military Air Terminal and include a Royal Waiting Room used when members of the Royal Family fly by the Royal Flight from London.

It is no longer economic to keep these buildings, which are standard RAF huts, in good repair and they are to be demolished in 1990 and replaced. Clearly this is a historic aviation site and a visit has been arranged for a Friday afternoon in April 1989, The actual date will not be known until nearer the time when the RAF know what movements are planned in April 1989. Photography will be allowed.

Anyone wishing to join this visit should apply, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope for return of visit instructions, to

Bill Firth 4-9 Woodstock Avenue London NW11 9RG

Applicants should give names of participants and car registration numbers. Numbers are strictly limited and will be dealt with on a “first come first served” basis. The actual date and joining instructions will not be available until quite near to the date of the visit.

 

MORE ABOUT ARCHAEOLOGY AND LANGUAGE

In the August Newsletter we carried a piece by Brian Wrigley on his reactions to Colin Renfrew’s important book, Archaeology and Language. In it Brian enquired why the Near Eastern homeland from which domesticated plant and animal species spread across Europe had to be “proto-Indo-European-speaking” rather than “proto-Semitic-speaking.” He did not feel that Professor Renfrew had made the point clear.

Dorothy Newbury has been sending Professor Renfrew copies of HADAS Newsletters containing comments by various members – and the August issue went off to Cambridge as usual. Professor Renfrew – who must have few spare moments in his day – has most courteously acknowledged all these comments, and his reply to Brian’s points will interest many members:

Thank you for your letter and for the new copy of your Newsletter.

Brian Wrigley’s comment seems to me a very relevant one. I too feel, that the need to review the whole subject emerges much more clearly from the present situation than my own specific proposed solution.

In response to his specific point, the matter can be explained if we imagine that before the development of farming a proto-Indo-European language was spoken in Anatolia with other very different (and perhaps Semitic) languages in Mesopotamia and surrounding areas.

There was great scope for expansion of the farming economy into the temperate lands of Europe, hence the Indo-European expansion. But further south the “fertile crescent” was geographically more circumscribed (mainly due to the arid environment).

In geographical terms there was simply not the same opportunity for the expansion of a farming economy.

I hope that gives at least the outline of an answer to his very reasonable point.

 

SITE WATCHING

The following sites, the subject of recent planning applications, could be of possible archaeological interest. Members living in the vicinity are asked to keep an eye on them and report anything unusual to John Enderby on 203 2630.

Northern Area

52/54 High Street, Chipping Barnet   extension to Listed building

96 Gallants Farm Road, East Barnet   erection of detached bungalow

51/53 Wood Street, Chipping Barnet   alterations/extension to Listed building in Conservation Area

30/34 Prospect Road, New Barnet   erection 28 new housing units

29 Union Street, Chipping Barnet   demolition of Listed building in Conservation Area

Central Area

2 Waverley Grove & 128/130 Hendon Lane, N3   erection 22 flats with parking

Western Area

Fiesta Cottage, Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware   side extension

West Acres, Tenterden Grove, NW4   4 detached houses

Land adj. 6 Neeld Cres, NW4   detached house

 

CRISIS COUNT-DOWN

There was nearly a crisis with last month’s Newsletter – we were within a whisker of there being no October number at all.

The members who saved the Newsletter’s bacon – together with its record of never missing a month – were Anne Lawson and Dawn Orr, the latter tapping away on her typewriter all night in order to produce a copy for reproduction. We seize this chance of thanking them both publicly for their noble effort.

That brings us to another point. We desperately need offers from members who, in an emergency, would be prepared to type the Newsletter. This is a long-standing need – we first voiced it about 12 years ago – but it is not so daunting today as it once was. Today we don’t need typists experienced in cutting stencils, because the Newsletter is no longer stencilled. Anyone who would be prepared to do a quick, reasonably accurate occasional job of straight copy-typing would be greatly welcomed. If you feel you could help, please ring Liz Holliday on 204 4616 (evenings/weekends) and put your name down on the list. Emergencies, by the way, don’t often crop up – you probably wouldn’t be asked to help more than once a year.

 

CELTIC COIN AT BROCKLEY HILL – UPDATE Jennie Cobban

Following the report in last month’s Newsletter of the find of a Belgic coin at Brockley Hill, I can now confirm that the coin dates from the reign of Cunobelinus (c10-40AD). The British Museum has identified the reverse design as that of a sphinx (Type = Mack 237) and the coin is made of base silver (not bronze as first thought) under a brown surface patina.

The coin could have circulated until the Boudiccan revolt of AD61. Until this time, British Celtic coinage was allowed to circulate freely along with Roman coins, so the find of a Celtic coin at Brockley Hill need not imply pre-Roman settlement of the site, although this remains a possibility.

Another very worn coin found at Brockley Hill at the same time and in the same location (TQ175939) as the above has been identified by the British Museum as an as of the Emperor Domitian, AD81-96. Both coins have now been duly recorded by Helen Gordon, and the Museum of London has been notified of the finds.

 

HOW WELL DO YOU SLEEP?

is the pertinent question asked by Phyllis Fletcher, our Membership Secretary; and she goes on

Have you a guilty conscience? Or do you sleep easy o’nights?

I ask because more than 50 members have not yet paid their subscriptions, which were due last April 1.

If you are among the forgetful 50, you’ll find a separate reminder with this Newsletter. Please deal with it at once. I’d hate you to find your Newsletter cut off in its prime – and that’s what may happen if I don’t hear from you soon. What a threat to chill your blood!

 

THE OCTOBER LECTURE

This is an apology which the Post Office, not the Newsletter, should be making. The report on the October lecture (Peter Huggins on Waltham Abbey excavations) should have appeared in this Newsletter: but sadly it has missed the deadline, although posted (carrying above maximum first class postage) in time to meet it. On the Post Office’s behalf, apologies.

 

FROM BARNET TO DOCKLANDS JOHN ENDERBY adds another chapter to the tale of a 19c sack-lift

In the October Newsletter I reported the rescue, from certain destruction, of massive metal winding gear from the site behind 62 High Street, Chipping Barnet; and I added that this had been offered to the Docklands Museum.

They were happy to accept it, and now I can report that the transfer of the equipment has gone unusually smoothly. David Dewing, Senior Assistant Keeper of the Museum, and a team of helpers have collected all the machinery for restoration and future installation as an exhibit.

If all goes well the Museum will open sometime in 1992 (not 1990 as previously reported). It will provide visitors with a wealth of information on the story of the development of the Port of London from its Roman origins to the present day. The Museum would be glad to know of any further items of industrial archaeological interest that may come to light within the Greater London area.

Jennie Cobban, who appealed for help with a possible excavation at the rear of 62 High Street has asked me to say that, unhappily, protracted negotiations have broken down and that the development has now advanced to the stage when trial trenching would serve no useful purpose. However, she will be reporting on her research into this site and on discoveries recently made at 58 High Street – a known late medieval building of some importance – in the December Newsletter.

 

A HADAS LEGACY TO ORKNEY DAPHE LORIMER discovers an unexpected result of our visit 10 years ago to Orkney

Those members of HADAS who went on the great Orkney trek may be interested to learn that their trip left its mark on the archaeology of the islands.

When HADAS visited the Round Church and Earl’s Bu in Orphir, the farmer, Mr Stevenson, on whose land those monuments lay, opened up the entrance to an underground passage for HADAS’s inspection. Via the then secretary of the Orkney Heritage Society, Sue Flint, this fact came to the ears of Chris Morris, who was excavating the approach road to the Brough of Birsay (he acted as our guide to the Brough). Chris and his fiancée (now wife), Colleen, who was doing her PhD on Viking coastal settlement, examined the entrance to the passage; and Colleen has been back every summer (grants permitting) to dig it ever since.

The tunnel was sealed beneath Norse midden deposits which subsequently yielded a rich harvest of seeds, as well as animal and fish bones. The tunnel proceeded in a north-west direction into a large chamber, probably a souterrain. Since all the soil from the midden was put through a soil flotation unit, it was only this year that the roof could be completely taken off the passage and its excavation completed!. An exit was discovered to the chamber which continued westwards and other walls were found – right at the end of the dig.

Bone artefacts (one with runes on it) and steatite which were found were probably Norse, but the dating of the chamber is not certain. Colleen considers that the whole mound (which is considerable) on which the present day farm buildings stand, is man-made – an Orkney Tell, in fact J

This year the dig was run as a training dig for first-year students from Durham University, but local volunteers came for training as well. Chris is Senior Reader in Archaeology at Durham; and Colleen, who did extra¬mural lecturing in Durham, has now taken up a 2-year post at University

College, London: she speaks warmly of the merits of the Amateur Archaeologist.

 

PATTERNS FROM THE PAST

This exhibition at Verulamium Museum is a welcome and unusual chance to see some 35 Romano-British mosaics in miniature.

They are presented in watercolour, and are executed in great detail. They are the work, over many years, of David Neal of the Central Excavation Unit of English Heritage. In their preparation much detailed study of each piece must have been undertaken. This is a great chance to compare mosaics from the north of England with those of the south and west. At the same time the rest of the museum is open to view and one can compare the detailed painted drawings with the mosaics in the museum.

The mosaics exhibit remains open until the end of December. Opening hours Mon-Sat 10 am-5.30pm (4pm from November); Suns from 2 pm. Entrance fee payable.        TED SAMMES

 

A Dawn’s Eye View of THE HADAS MINIMART or should that be An Orr’s Eye View? Anyway, this piece is by DAWN ORR

That happy HADAS habit, the annual Minimart, took off to a flying start with a fine day and excellent stock. The Newbury elastic-sided garage disgorged its treasures into elastic-sided cars, which moved in stately caravan along Sunningfields Road, led by John Enderby – at least I knew I was in the right road when I saw him.

At the hall, a noble company of carters and heavers had responded to Dorothy’s plea for “more men”, and all those wonderfully organised boxes and bags were speedily distributed and unpacked. Inevitably, a few bits and bobs arrive on the day …

“What on earth is this?” “What price …?” “Try 50p!” “Good heavens! What would anyone use that for?” …. and so on we pressed, more and more welcome friends arriving to help, until …

“Would you like a cup of coffee?” (just at the right moment!)

If we made a Video someday, the soundtrack would run something like this:

“Has this saucepan got a lid?” “Will this do for a kitty?” “Has anyone seen the other bit of the Bible?” “Who wants a pinny with a pocket?” “Try those briefcases with the shoes” (Leather goods? Yuppie wear?) “Has this lid got a saucepan?”

“May I take your lunch order?” (More kind thoughts)

And then at last the whistle blows, the merry hubbub of preparation ceases: “Stand by your stalls!”

And so the customers troop in – some at first diffident, others seasoned bargain-hunters diving straight at their goals. The decibels rise and it’s lip-reading time – have I just nodded prematurely to a query on half-price? Panic … relief … satisfaction … £2 in the kitty and an unhinged sandwich toaster has been lumbered off. More tempting wares find room, but nobody succumbs to the five demijohns which remain firmly dominant for the duration … Isn’t anyone recently retired enough to want to make wine?

Soon it’s collection call and HADAS’s own securicor service escorts Dorothy on her rounds. “Mind out for any pick-pockets!” she advises. “One of ‘them’ will distract you while his mate nicks the lot!” “Can’t tell me anything about ‘them’ Ma’am! I was a copper, y’know.”

The pinny pockets grow heavy and the kitties are overflowing as the stalls begin to clear. The SOLD piles, held “just for a minute, dear!” shrink – they form an awkward corner, but what can you do when the customers have paid?

Suddenly a 2-foot high patron gives forth an enormous yell, which no amount of soothing from his pretty mother will assuage. Over the din I discover that he is an enthusiastic member of the Play Group and had rushed up the stairs, thinking that he was coming for an extra session … imagine his dismay at the unaccustomed invasion of surging adults and all their noise! He wailed all the way downstairs again, but finally quietened down in the lunch room.

At last it’s time for lunch for the workers – value and pleasure in generous measure. Query: if 200 meringues were laid end-to-end – how long would they last? Answer: Not long! And Brigid’s carefully packed boxes didn’t last long either – nobody mentioned diets! They simply melted in many mouths amongst the cheerful gossip, and after a wonderful boost it was back to the fray, picking up a scarcely worn skirt and as-new black shiny shoes on the way. (Wore them for the rest of the afternoon – instant fit!) Gasped at a beautiful statuesque Vogue-like lady gliding off in a long 50p skirt, and another with an armful of allsorts – she comes every year to buy for her relatives at home in the West Indies.

Whistle tells us “Half-price Now!” – real bidding for bargains. An anxious member comes seeking a mysterious plastic bag full of wrought iron, which he has decided he wants back again. Best persuasions had failed to sell it, so he was lucky, though 50p lighter. Another member bought the box of spotlights – maybe we shall see these items again in some HADAS guise – even if it’s the next Minimart?

Which reminds me – this “one day of the year” is certainly unique, both in fun and purpose – but now that we have the “Sales and Wanted” slip in the Newsletter, the fund-raising effort and the thrill of the purchase and the sale can continue all year round. In no time at all that very grand total of £1200 will be on the upward move …

Do I hear a tinkling call from Downing Street? A special AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE? Yes, ma’am … we’d be delighted!

 

News from the Borough Archives & Local Studies Department

MEDIEVAL EDGWARE: THE HOSPITALLERS ESTATE OF EDGWARE BOYS

The medieval, and later, history of Edgware is particularly complicated because the township was split between different manors and parishes. The primary evidence can therefore be hard to unravel, and this is reflected in the standard authorities, up to and including the Victoria County History of Middlesex.

The department has recently acquired photocopies of the pages from the Hospitallers’ cartulary in the British Library (MS Cotton Nero E VI vol 1 ff.80-83v) relating to their estates in Edgware. The cartulary was compiled: in the mid-15c but the ten items which it includes date back at least another hundred years. Although it is cited in the standard authorities, the full extent of the information which it provides has not been realised.

The first five items trace the descent of a house and acre of land from the time when the Hospitallers granted it away to Hugo de la Hegge in the late 13c or early 14c until it returned to them in the will of Sayer de Stevenage, chaplain of Edgware, in 1375. The deeds make it absolutely clear that although Sayer was chaplain of St Margaret’s, Edgware, the house was on the Little Stanmore side of the Edgware Road, in the parish of St. Lawrence. The VCH (vol iv, pl64) seems to suggest that it was the vicarage house next to St Margaret’s.

The will of Sayer is as follows:

In the name of God amen, on Thursday in the feast of St Matthew the apostle (21 September)1374 I Sayer de Stevenach chaplain make my testament in this form. First I bequeath my soul to God the omnipotent and to all the saints and my body to be buried in the parish church of Edgware. Item I leave to the light of the blessed Margaret there half a mark. Item to the fabric of the church of Whitchurch 3s4d. Item to the church of Hendon 2s. Item to the church of Elstree 2s. Item I give and bequeath my house with garden, dovehouse and meadow to the prior and convent of St John at Clerkenwell. Item I bequeath my black book or breviary with a sufficient portion of my other goods to a suitable priest to celebrate (masses) for my soul for a full year. Item I bequeath to Emmot the wife of Nicholas atte Wode the two best cows with the best pitcher and small pitcher and the best salt-pan (patella). Item I bequeath to the said Emmot 10s of gold or silver. Item I bequeath to Sayer Ounde six silver spoons. Item I leave the other spoons to the said Emmot. Item to Sayer Presgate 2s. Item I bequeath to each of my sons (filiorum) 6d. The residue of my unbequeathed goods I bequeath to Walter Baker and Nicholas atte Wode whom I appoint my executors that they may arrange and dispose for my soul as seems to them most expedient.

The will, which was proved in January 1375, seems to have led to an immediate dispute, and in July the Official of the Archdeacon of Middlesex summoned the two custodians (churchwardens) of Edgware and Sayer’s executors to attend a hearing. Unfortunately we are not told the grounds of the dispute or the verdict.

In 1395 the prior again granted out Sayer’s messuage, but this time instead of alienating it on a permanent basis he only granted it out to farm for 20 years, to the then farmer of the whole manor of Edgware Boys, “Two years later the whole manor, including the chapel of Edgware, was let out on a new farm for 10 years. The farmer had to find and maintain a suitable chaplain for St Margaret’s, and keep both the manor buildings and the chancel of the church in good repair.

It was presumably because of the impending farm that the manor was surveyed, and the resulting Extent is the next item, unfortunately rather too long to be reproduced here. It lists 12 fields of arable, totalling 235 acres, 4 meadows totalling 7 acres, and 14 acres of Boysgrove. Three tenants were holding houses with gardens, one tenant a cottage and another a toft, garden and croft. The manor also had all the tithes. Annual outgoings were a rent of 7s7d on 100 acres of land originally purchased from Roger Stronge; 33s4d to the chaplain of Edgware together with a suitable house and garden, and altarage; 6d at Easter for consecrated bread; 3s4d for bread, milk and cheese at Boys on rogation days (presumably for sustenance to those beating the manor bounds); and another 3s4d in bread, wine and wax for celebrating masses.

The cartulary does not tell us when or how the Hospitallers acquired their manor of Edgware Boys. No earlier reference to it as a manor has been found than in the farm of 1395 recorded above. The VCH (vol iv p157) states cautiously that it may have originated from a known grant of land made in 1231/8. An Extent of the main manor of Edgware which was made in 1277 records 7s7d rent due from the Hospitallers of the Wood (Public Record Office SC 11 296, published in LAMAS Transactions NS vol vii, 1933). The 1397 Extent of Boys (a corruption of bois or wood) makes it plain that this was the 100 acres added by purchase and not, as the editors of the 1277 Extent wrongly assumed, the full manor. This is not, however, proof either way since a completely separate manor would not have been mentioned.

The cartulary also fails to provide a firm early date for St Margaret’s. Again, though, it gives the earliest that we have, in the implication that Sayer de Stevenage was already its chaplain in 1362. It is interesting that the uncertain status of St Margaret’s, whether a chapel (of Kingsbury), or a full-scale parish church, which was long-continuing, is reflected here.

The photocopies have been given the reference number MS 13259, and a detailed list which includes translations of both the will and the Extent is also available at the department.

 

And a news flash from the Borough Archives: a map for Finchley and Holders Hill is now available in the Alan Godfrey edition (price £1.20 from libraries). As well as the whole of the sheet for 1895 it includes, on the back, the eastern half of the next edition, surveyed in 1912.

 

ANOTHER TREASURE IN THE BOROUGH ARCHIVES

Leafing through the current issue of The Local Historian (it’s for May, 1988, because the magazine has had an editorial upheaval and is running late) we came on three beautifully reproduced plates. The captions read:

Hendon Vicarage

Mr & Mrs Sneath, Mr Sneath’s brother and Miss Barber outside 24 Sunny Gardens, Hendon, Good Friday 5 April 1901

Edgware c1890

The pictures illustrated the first article in a new series which Local Historian is running on Local Photographers and Their Work. The photographer featured is James Barber; he was Ludlow-born, but did most of his work in Hendon from the 1880s to the 1920s. The originals (as was mentioned briefly in the June Newsletter) are in LBB Archives, housed in 7 albums or among a group of loose prints. Negatives have recently been made of the whole collection.

Pleasant that this new series should kick off with an LBB subject.

 

DGLA CHANGES IN OUR AREA

David Whipp and Peter Mills have left the Department of Greater London Archaeology in order to set up as independent consultants to developers. Roy and Leslie Adkins made a similar move last year to Somerset, it looks as if independent consultancy could become a growth area for professional archaeologists – but one doubts whether that process will be in the best interests of archaeology as a means of obtaining maximum information about the past.

Meantime their move has necessitated a change in the North London Section of DGLA. Laura Schaef has replaced David Whipp and she will be assisted by Robert Whytehead and Mike Hutchinson.

TED SAMMES

 

ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH

Whisky and archaeology don’t usually go together – unless it’s a wee dram at the end of a hard day’s digging. But it’s thanks to Glenfiddich whisky, which operates the “Living Scotland” awards, that the excavators of what has been described as “one of the most extensively excavated Roman forts in Britain” have been able to provide visitors to the site with a beautifully produced full colour guide. The fort is Elginhaugh, near Dalkeith, a first century fort on the crossing of the River Esk by Dere Street. The fort was built and occupied during Agricola’s campaigns in Scotland (77-84 AD) and not for much longer than that.

Discovered by air-photos during the 1979 dry spell, the excavators, from Glasgow university, have been able to wring a lot of information from the site, not only for the Roman occupation but also for Bronze Age, Neolithic and Mesolithic phases (nothing much in the Iron Age). The booklet they published with their whisky award can be obtained from Dr Henson, Dept. of Archaeology, University, Glasgow G12 8QQ, for £1 plus 30p postage.

It is interesting that the first three articles in the October History Today are on archaeological subjects. Ten years ago I don’t believe that would have happened. Historians are becoming much more archaeology conscious.

The first article discusses English Heritage’s excavation of formal gardens at Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire. Brian Dix, in charge of the dig, is pleased with the “sophisticated 17c flower pots” which have been found. They boast “an intricate drainage system consisting of a hole at the bottom with more holes punched into the side of the vessel just above the junction with the base.” Shades of the days when I started in archaeology – most of my finds were greeted with “oh, that’s only flower pot – you needn’t keep that.”

The second story seems even stranger, because it concerns a material which we would not expect to have much measurable impact on the archaeological record – blood. The article describes excavations on the site of an Augustinian monastic hospital at Soutra, 17 miles south of Edinburgh, in occupation from 12c-l6c. There the remains of an estimated 300000 pints of blood (among other infirmary waste) have been found. The dig aims to recover the “physical residues of medical practice and evaluate them against documentation.” The blood has survived because of poor drainage, which resulted in the soil being saturated. Exotic plant material – including pollen of cloves imported from Zanzibar and the Spice Islands – also survives, thought to be evidence of herbal remedies.

There is documentary evidence that blood-letting was practised among Augustinians between seven to 12 times a year. The process finished, according to medieval manuals, when the patient was on the point of unconsciousness – estimated at 3 to 4 pints in a normal healthy adult. Blood-letting, it was thought “strengthens the memory, dries up the brain, sharpens the hearing, curbs fears … produces a musical voice … and gives a long life.”

The third article deals with a subject mentioned by Ted Sammes in his “Miscellany” in the September Newsletter. History Today’s representative, like Ted, had been to one of the Ancient Monuments Laboratory Open Days and had been hooked by the huge range of articles that the Laboratory handles. He instanced some of them: from a single pollen grain found in the intestines of a Lindow Moss bog-body and now under microscopic examination; to “an awful corroded chunk of glob … a Saxon horse’s bit with part of the horse’s mouth still attached.”

Volumes published this year in the Shire Archaeology series include Life in the Ice Age by Anthony J Stuart and Brochs of Scotland by J N G Ritchie. Both are worth adding to your bookshelf. Stuart summarises present thought on climate, dating and vocabulary in periods where received opinion is constantly changing – the Middle and Upper Pleistocene. Ritchie’s volume includes a chapter on Orkney and Caithness and some fine photographs of Gurness and Bu Brochs on Orkney. Each costs £2.50 – from booksellers or direct from Shire.

If you watched Thames Television’s Living Memories programmes in September you may like to know there is a free booklet to go with them – write to PO Box 1322 London NW1 3H2. It is fact-packed – how to start on oral history, what equipment you need, what it costs, how to plan a session, how to interview. There is a booklist, addresses of groups operating in in London and facts about the London History Workshop sound and video Archive.

Newsletter-185-July-1986

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Newsletter-185-July-1986

Newsletter 185: July 1986
PROGRAMME
NEWS

Sat July 26 Trip to Sutton Hoo and Orford                                        by Sheila Woodward

Excavation is in progress again at this outstanding site of the Suffolk ship burial near Woodbridge. We were heavily overbooked for our visit last year and a rerun has been organised for those who missed it. If you would like to come again – hopefully in sunshine this year -slight variation has been planned for the afternoon to visit Orford on the Suffolk coast. Orford is famous for its 800-year-old castle keep. As this is a rerun it will probably not be easy to fill the coach, so friends of members will be welcome on this trip.

Sat August 16 Trip to Mary Rose and Portchester

This is additional to our published programme to take the large overflow from May 10. The coach is almost full – just a few seats left and no waiting list – so any latecomers please ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) and you might just get in.

Thur Sep 11 Evening visit to Old Bailey

Thur-Sun Sep 18-21 Exeter Weekend                                        with Ann and Alan Lawson

The coach is now full but no waiting list. If anyone is still keen to go please ring 458 3827 or 203 0950 and we will notify you in the event of a cancellation.

Throughout August ‘Historic Hampstead 1000’   986-1986 Exhibition at Burgh House, Hampstead

Sat Oct 4 Winchester ‘Domesday 900’ Exhibition
Sat .Oct 11 Minimart, St. Mary’s Church House

Sit Oct 18-Dec 7 HADAS Exhibition ‘One Man’s Archaeology’ Church Farmhouse Museum

 

AN APPEAL FROM  OUR MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY

There are still over 100 members who have still not paid their subs and I append below the different amounts due as at 1 April 1986

Full members                                                                      £5.00
Family members

First member                                                                      £5.00 plus £1 for other members

OAPS                                                                                         £3.00

OAPS First member                                                           £3.00 plus £1 for other members

Juniors                                                                                     £3.00

Schools, Corporations etc.                                                   £6.00

Please let me have your cheques as soon as possible. We don’t like to badger you, but we do need your money now.

Phyllis Fletcher, Membership Secretary
27 Decoy Avenue London NW11 OES

BROCKLEY HILL POTTERY EVENING

Thursday, July 10, 8.00-9.30 pm at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Meet in the Community Room.This is an opportunity for anyone interested to look at the finds from previous field walks in the Brockley Hill area and familiarise themselves with what to look out for on future walks. We will also put on show some examples of typical Brockley Hill pottery excavated at the kiln sites, to be examined at first hand. . A special welcome to all new members!

BRITISH SCHOOL OF ATHENS 1886-1986

A Centenary Conference on ‘Ancient Mining and Metallurgy’
at University College
of North Wales; Bangor, April 1986

This was a stimulating and happy occasion. Between 60 and 70 people attended – Classicists, Archeologists, Engineers and Metallurgists. We really did confer, not only in the two sessions given over to communica­tions and discussions, but as much as possible in our free time.

The first session was chaired by Mr. J.A. MacGillivray, Assistant Director; BSA, the subject being ‘Recent work carried out at the Athenian Silver Mines of Laurion’. This was a survey of the surface remains of the ancient mines (mining is still carried on nearby) in particular the water cisterns and ore washeries. Possible methods of operation were suggested and the Metallurgists present were invited to criticise, which indeed they did, much to both parties’ satisfaction.

At breakfast next morning I told Mr. MacGillivray that HADAS had recently heard Professor Tomlinson talking on his work at Perachora and asked whether the large circular tank found there could possibly have been connected with mining. He was quite sure: ‘No!’ The Perachora tank was much larger and had no central pillar to support a cover. I raised the point of evaporation as covers had been found necessary to prevent this at Laurion. He thought that as the Perachora tank was used only briefly at festival times this would not be a problem, but it seemed to me a very elaborate construction to hold water just for a few days each year. As a point of interest he also mentioned that the BSA’s latest work is at the Palaikastro site in Crete, excavating a hitherto unknown Minoan palace, second only to Knossos in size.

We passed on to other Greek sites, as well as Rio Tinto in Spain, Zawar in India and then to some of the ancient Welsh mines. Duncan James gave a fascinating account of how he had ‘pot-holed’ into the copper mine on the Great Orme at Llandudno to prove that the earliest workings were not in fact Roman but prehistoric. The Victorians had confused all the evidence with their back-filling of the ancient galleries,

Peter Crew from Plas Tan y Bwlch; who guided HADAS on our Snowdonia explorations in 1979, talked on ‘Prehistoric Iron Smelting and Smithing at Bryn y Castell Hill Fort, Gwynedd’  Dr. Peter Northover from Oxford and Dr. Paul Craddock who is well known to us all as member, lecturer and guide, joined with other experts from the British Museum Research Laboratory to talk of the development of copper alloys from Chalcolithic to Byzantine times. This led to a later session. on the conflict between weapon and armour, sword and helmet, an improvement in one ‘having, ‘of necessity, to lead to new technology for the other.

On Saturday we visited the vast moon-landscape of the Parys Mountain on Anglesey. Here Copper was certainly mined in antiquity, but all traces are now lost. The mine was reopened in 1767 and by 1780 it was the largest in the world, producing 4000 tons of copper a year. Nelson’s ships were sheathed in it and so was the French Navy. Tom Williams ‘the Copper King’ knew what he was about! Following recent drilling, there are now plans to open new workings down to 1500 feet-(750 feet below sea level) mainly for zinc and lead this time. These plans, of course, depend on favourable economic conditions. 

 ALEC GOULDSMITH

MORE NEWS OF THE GRAHAME-WHITE HANGAR, HENDON AERODROME

During the past month or so we have written, to a number of aviation magazines and societies with a generally favourable response (except from the Royal Aeronautical Society). It has been pleasing and interesting to discover that a lot of people have been making their own contribution to the call for preservation. ‘A co-ordinated campaign might achieve more but the volume and spontaneity of complaint is in itself Impressive. At least at the time of writing in mid-June the hangar is still standing.

At the AGM I mentioned that an expert on aircraft factories was coming to visit the Hendon/Stag Lane area with me and asked anyone interested in joining us to let me know. In the event the visit took place at very short notice in mid-June when my friend was unexpectedly despatched to London on college business, mixed business with pleasure. Apologies to anyone who would have liked to join us.                                                                                             BILL FIRTH

HAMPSTEAD’S MILLENIUM

Hampstead is celebrating its millennium this year. Anyone who lives in the south of the Borough of Barnet and who reads that pearl among local papers, the Ham and High is probably well aware of the fact: but HADAS members outside the Ham and High’s orbit may not have cottoned on yet.

There have already been all kinds of junketings in connection with the millennium, and more  are to come but one, which might specially interest HADAS member’s, is nearing its close. You might like to try and nip in to see it before it ends. It is an exhibition at Burgh House, New End Square, NW3, until July 6 on the Medieval Manor of Hampstead.

Starting point and highlight of the exhibition, which has been devised and arranged by QC David Sullivan and his daughter Tess, is – as one might expect – the one document which provides evidence for the date of the millennium, and shows that Hampsteadians of 1986 are right to celebrate this year. It is the record of a charter (not the charter itself, which is long since lost) but a document made later (probably before 1016), saying .that there had been a grant by Ethelred II (‘the Unready’) of 5 tracts of land in Hampstead in 986 to Westminster Abbey. The record gives the boundaries of the land in Anglo-Saxon. The excellent booklet (price £1.00) which accompanies the exhibition adds that ‘the Manor map, made more than 750 years later, in 1762, which defines the boundaries of the manor very clearly, agrees closely with the geography indicated by the Anglo-Saxon boundaries.’

It’s interesting how often Hendon crops up in the booklet; and how in medieval times Hendon seems to have been regarded as the big brother of Hampstead (in family rather than Orwellian terms). It is suggested that Hampstead may have begun life as a staging post on the trackway over the hill to Hendon, ‘a larger and probably earlier vill in the Middlesex weald to the north.’ Both places belonged to the Abbey of Westminster; both appear in Domesday, and the situation of the two is interestingly contrasted in displays on the free and unfree tenants of the manor.

A section of the exhibition deals with the monks’ farm accounts which survive at Hampstead from 1270-98 and from 1375-1412. It would be an interesting exercise to compare these with the farm accounts of the Abbey’s manor at Hendon, which exist from 1316-1416 (see Eleanor Lloyd’s paper in Trans LMAS, vol 21, pt 3, 1967, 157-163).

For one escape the Hendon manor must have been grateful: when the. Black Death reached Westminster in spring 1349 the Abbot of Westminster, Simon de Bircheston, and many of monks, fled to ‘safety’ in Hampstead ­not Hendon. The Abbey did not have a manor-house at Hampstead; but it had ‘a substantial Hall and dormitory with a farm grange attached,’ probably at the corner of Frognal and the present Frognal Lane.

The booklet describes what followed when the Abbot arrived in 1349. ‘It is likely that the village was then still free from the plague. But his arrival was disastrous. His group brought the plague with them, and on May 15 1349 the Abbot died here, together with 26 of his monks. Their bodies were buried in Hampstead; but the Abbot’s body was later taken and reburied in the East Cloister of the Abbey. The village, too, must have suffered disastrously …’

The exhibition will be open from July 2-6 inclusive, 12 noon – 5 pm. BRIGID GRAFTON GREEN

A MESSAGE FOR THE CLERKENWELL WALKERS and those who missed the walk as well. Come and join in the Clerkenwell Festival from July 11th to 20th

Friday 11th Opening Ceremony at lunchtime on Clerkenwell Green. Morris dancing ‘all round the pubs’ in the evening.

Sunday 13th. Grand Dickensian Street Fair and Charity Market (Period costumes specially welcome.) A coach and horses will ferry visitors from Ludgate Circus to the Fair.

Sunday 20th Grand Finale. Italian procession from St. Peter’s Church, Clerkenwell Road.

The Sessions House, Marx Memorial Library, St. James’s Church and. St. John’s Priory Gate will all be open to the public with displays and exhibitions. Programmes can be obtained from the Sessions House and further information from Jim Lagden or Hilary Coleman on 226 1234. 

 MARY O’CONNELL

FAVERSHAM AND  ROCHESTER

The trip to Faversham and Rochester on June 14th started in superb sunshine at the recently restored Chart Gunpowder Mill. This water-powered incorporating (blending) mill is the only building left of the many gunpowder works spaced out (for safety) for 11/2 miles along Faversham’s West Brook through the town and down to the coastal marches. Possibly the earliest gunpowder works in the country, they were nationalised about 1760, only to be re-privatised some 60 years later when the Napoleonic Wars ended and demand dropped.

Faversham’s delightful medieval architecture and quays survive because its trade volume stayed relatively constant, handling gunpowder, local bricks for London and elsewhere, and (for unclear reasons!) Romney Marsh wool: Especially noteworthy: the King’s Warehouse – 15th Century, housing the King’s weights – the ‘raison Dieu and the parish church, St. Mary of Charity, with a Roman foundation, Georgian nave, Medieval wall-paintings and misericords, and arches of almost every type known.

Paul Craddock guided us to a site along Watling Street outside the town to show us the ground plan and lower walls of a rectangular 4th Century AD Roman building subsequently identified both to East and West to form a church that fell into disuse before the Reformation. Paul likened it to St. Martin’s, Canterbury, and some churches near Cologne, all now believed to have started as Roman mausolea, to have become Christian shrines in Roman times, and probably to have a continuous Christian history right through the Dark Ages.

In Rochester we visited the Dickens Centre and Rochester Castle (1120’s), dominating the Cathedral precinct and described by Paul as the most perfect example of a Norman castle tower on either side of the Channel. Only one wall had been rebuilt in the 14th Century, after an unsuccessful siege by King John.

The best was left until last an idyllic tea provided by Paul’s wife, Brenda, in the garden stretching behind their house to the edge of the steep hill looking out over the Medway. Facing into the afternoon sun we ate and drank surrounded by flowers and espaliered fruit trees along the walls, with the smell of herbs from between the flagstones.

Lament, all HADAS members who couldn’t go. The rest of us grate­fully thank all the organizers – and the unknown person who arranged the perfect weather after six months of winter. MARY RAWITZER

SPRING MEETING OF LOCAL SOCIETIES AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON

This meeting takes place about twice a year and on this occasion was attended by representatives from 21 Local Societies within the old Greater London area, together with six members of the Department of Greater London Archaeology.

Harvey Sheldon representing L.A.M.A.S as well as D.G.L. showed slides of the excavation at Winchester palace and also reported that excavation had been carried out beneath the undercroft of Westminster Abbey, an 11th Century building at Kingston-on-Thames another under-croft at the Horsefair, which was not scheduled, may be moved from its present position and re-sited nearer the Thames. It was explained that to schedule a building and prevent development after planning permission had been given could be a very expensive matter. This undercroft had been located in Victorian times but subsequently lost.

The West London Unit had been digging behind the Garden Centre in Uxbridge and found further evidence of Mediaeval Uxbridge and of earlier times. The excavation of the Roman Bath House and Villa at Beddington was yielding bones of Roman and prehistoric origin. The gravel site in Holloway Lane had produced part of a Late Bronze Age metal-working area. Concern was expressed that with the abolition of the G.L.C. local authorities might not give such firm support in dealing with gravel extraction projects as had recently been the case.

Enfield Society reported a Roman settlement in the Lincoln Road area alongside the route of Ermine Street. A burnt clay structure, possibly a corn drier, had been found and, in a rubbish pit, six pots which were almost complete The Putney Society is currently setting up a new Museum and Val Bot has left the Grange Museum to take up the challenging post of Curator. The next Local Societies Meeting will take place on Monday September 22nd and each Society is invited to send up to three representatives.                                                              TED SAMMES

COMMITTEE CORNER

The Committee met on Friday, June 6th. New members were welcomed and various matters discussed.

Plans for the 25th Year Exhibition this autumn are well under way. Ted Sammes is presenting One  Man’s Archaeology, a personal record of his twenty five years in the Society and the widening range of his interest in Archaeology. The Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet, Councillor and Mrs. Dennis Dippel, have kindly agreed to be present on October 18th and, after a brief opening ceremony at 11.30 am, followed by a brief official reception, the exhibition will open to the public in the afternoon. It will run for two months.

Victor Jones reported the possibility of a trial excavation at Whetstone, on the site where a shop was recently burned down. It was decided to proceed with this.

Brian Wrigley agreed to maintain contact with the R.A.F. Association, who, as a non-official body, may be best able to mount a publicity campaign in defence of the GrahameWhite Hangar at the  RAF Museum. It was stressed that this was still in danger, in spite of press reports suggesting otherwise.

Jill. Braithwaite, Co-ordinator of the Roman Group reported on the Pipeline Project. She and Tessa Smith had examined previous field-walking finds and would make enquiries about ploughing dates with a view to obtain­ing permission for further walks liaison with D.O.G.L.A. would be important and Jill Braithwaite agreed to represent us on the D.O.G.L.A. Liaison Committee. It was hoped that the recognition meeting (see page 2) would be well attended, especially by new members.

Jim Beard reported progress on the Watling Street  site (Burnt Oak  Station Carpark). The Committee thought that further documentary projects should include research into possible new sites and individual work on matters of local historical interest. Reports of this kind would be of value for the Newsletter.

Margaret Maher had been asked by a representative for some information on the West Heath Site for inclusion in the revised publication. She would confer with Daphne Lorimer about this.

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday July 16th.

COUNCIL OF BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGY POLL RESULT

Were you present when we voted on the issue of the World Archeological Congress? We were asked, you may remember, whether C.B.A. should withdraw support from the Congress, now weakened in its claim to be a World Forum by the absence of many visitors who objected strongly to the inclusion of archaeologists from South Africa. The national result is now available:

83 Societies voted in favour of withdrawal

46 Societies voted against

7 Societies abstained

So the HADAS Voting was reflected in the national returns.

SITE WATCHING

The following sites have been the subject of recent Planning Applications. If permission is granted, it is possible they might be of some archaeologi­cal interest.

36 Friern Park, N12 

Barrymore, Bow Lane N12
Former L.T.E. Sports Ground Deansbrook Rd. Edgware 


Former Trafalgar House site,The Hyde, NW9 

2 Stanway Gardens, Edgware 

2 The Lincolns, Marsh Lane NW7 

West Hendon Hospital Site, Goldbeaters Grove NW9

land adjacent to 2 Wellhouse Lane, Barnet

Meadowbank Cottage, The Hollies, Barnet Road, Arkley

Hollybush House, Hadley Green

Land at Arkley Hall and Arkley Rise, Barnet

12 Barnet Gate Lane Arkley

“Stocks” Hadley Green West 

47 Old Fold View, Barnet 

The Barn, Totteridge Green, N20 

ANGLO-SAXON CEMETERIES: A REAPPRAISAL

This weekend conference is being held in the New Merseyside Maritime Museum 7-9 November 1986. Accommodation will be available at special rates in city centre Liverpool hotels. Delegates will have unique access to Merseyside museums.

The conference will start on Friday evening with a key lecture to set the scene for the weekend. Saturday morning will cover techniques such as palaeopathology, settlement modelling and establishing a research design. The afternoon session looks at artifact study and analysis. On Sunday the practical problems of older material will be considered with special attention to the Faussett collection.

This Conference is being held as part of the 1986 centenary of the death of Joseph Mayer, Liverpool’s antiquarian and philanthropist. Mayer saved for the nation material excavated in Kent and meticulously recorded by the Rev. Bryan Faussett in the late 18th Century.

Details of programme, cost and accommodation are available from The Director of Continuing Education Studies, University of Liverpool. PO Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX (Telephone 051-709 6022 ext. 2797).

FOR YOUR BOOK LIST

Guide to the Silchester Excavations 1982-84
Michael Fulford University of Reading

This is the second guide to the present series of excavations at Silchester. The first one covered the Amphitheatre and Forum for the years 1979-81.

The black layers originally encountered by Joyce, the Victorian excavator in the Basilica, have been identified as the remains of a metal-working industry, carried out in the third and fourth centuries A.D. in what was once the town’s most imposing building.

Pre-Roman occupation has been found from the first century B.C. continuing until 55-60 A.D. at which time a substantial ditch and timber rampart was constructed. The subsequent Roman street grid runs at 450 to the ditch.

This dig is directed by Mike Fulford who has spoken to HADAS about the Amphitheatre excavation. This year’s excavation runs from June 30-August 2. Public viewing Sundays and weekends, 10 am to 5 pm. (See British Archaeological News, April 1986, pg 23).

An up-to-date guide to Silchester (Calleva) is needed, let’s hope it will soon materialise.

Beyond Stonehenge

This is the title of a new guide to Stonehenge written by Julian Richards and published by the Trust for Wessex Archaeology, price £1.50. It is designed to interest the visitor not merely in the monument itself but in its immediate surroundings. Many of the illustrations are in colour and set the scene.

Stonehenge is dealt with in its many phases and it suggests an aban­donment about 2500 B.C. shifting to other ritual sites, Conebury, Durrington Wall and Woodhenge are described. Bronze Age farming in the area is described ending at about 1000 B.C. At the end of the booklet is a map which will help the informed visitor walk the newly arranged paths in the National Trust Estate. Information boards have been placed at key points. Let’s hope the “vandals” can’t walk that far.

This new booklet is based on work carried out by the Trust for Wessex Archaeology between 1980 and 1984.