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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

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

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.

—————————————————————— 

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.

 
 
 
—————————————————————————————————————————
 

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.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

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

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

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

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

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.

Newsletter-179-January-1986

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Newsletter-179-January-1986

Newsletter No. 179 January 1986

 

HADAS PROGRAMME

Tuesday 7 Jan “Archaeology of Hedges and Woodland” by Dr. Oliver Rackham

Rackham is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and a botanist by profession. As well as study in England, his work has taken him to Greece and America.

Several members have already heard him talk on this subject – a subject that has interested the Society for many years , particularly in relation to the hedge running across Lyttelton Playing Fields (which is probably a Saxon perimeter hedge) and that at Hadley Golf Course, behind which some of the troops, in the Battle of Barnet were deployed in 1471.

Tuesday 4 Feb.,; Neolithic Arran by Dr. Eric Grant

Tuesday 4 Mar. Alexander the Great & Art in the Greek East by Dr. I .Malcolm College

Tuesday 1 Apl. Recent Excavations at Perachora, near Corinth by Prof .R, A. Tomlinson

Lectures are, held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs,NW4. Coffee from 8pm. Lecture 8.30

 

CHRISTMAS PARTY on DECEMBER 3                                               report by Alan Lawson

 

The usual Christmas, party which took place at the Meritage Club was perhaps less.formal than of past years – nothing exotic by way of belly dancing took place. In a very relaxed atmosphere of nostalgic photo viewing, archeaograms, treasure hunts and identification quizzes some 49 members of HADAS had a most enjoyable evening with an excellent buffet, superb cheeses, good humour and friendliness. It almost goes without saying, thanks were given to the many hard working and devoted workers who made the evening the success .that it was.

 

PROPOSED WEEKEND STAYING IN EXETER UNIVERSITY

 DATES: September 18 – 21      (3 nights stay)

Dartmoor, Exmoor, Exeter. Anyone who is interested please contact Alan Lawson, 68 Oakwood Road, N, W.11 Telephone: 458 3827. Details later if response allows.

 

NEW MEMBERS

It’s some months since the Newsletter greeted the newcomers who steadily become HADAS members month by month. New Year seems a good time to welcome all those who have joined us since mid-1985:

Lawrence Barham of Lewisham, Derek Batten, Stanmore, Penelope Boon*, Barnet, Mr. Otto and Miss Thea* Caslaysky, Finchley, Eve Dent*, East Finchley,  Roy English, Clapham,

M. French, North Fincley, J. Gregory, N. 11: P. Herreman, SW4: Dr. Hunt, Stanmore:

Graham. Hutchings Colindale: Rosalie Ivens, Golders Green: Sinead McCartan, WC1. John

Morfey, Hampstead: Paula Newton, North Finchley: Basil Olympios, Finchley: R.O’Shea, W5: Joanna Rabiger*, Golders Green; Kim Russell, Highgate:  Akano Sato, NW1. Simeon Shoul, Hampstead: David Trinchero, NW6 Paul Wiggins, Ruislip.

The Newsletter wishes them all a happy membership of HADAS and “good digging” in

1986.   (* indicates a member under 18).

 

SITES TO WATCH

Some development applications which have been made to Barnet Council in the last few weeks are for sites which HADAS has already noted as of possible archaeological interest. These sites have re-appeared on the planning application lists (which have recently taken to including the date of the original application, which is helpful) because in the interim, the plans had been re-described, amended or added to. We include these sites in our list for this month as a reminder.

If any/all these applications are approved by LBB, HADAS members living near any of the sites may see signs of development activity – surveyors at work, bulldozers moving in, trenches being cut. Should you observe anything of this nature, please let John Enderby know immediately on 203 2630. Sites are only worth watching from an archaeological point of view, in the early stages when the ground surface is being disturbed, so immed­iate notification is VITAL.

Here are the sites on recent application lists which appear to have some possible archaeological potential: –

167 Friern Barnet Lane, N20             4 detached houses -(outline)   –

Rear of 206High Street, Barnet          2-storey, building to form 6 bedroom hotel

Former Methodist Church site,

Goodwyn Avenue NW7                     18 flats in. 2 blocks

land bounded by Dollis Road;

Christs college playing fields              Primary school & access.(amended outline) & properties in Dollis Park, N3

land adj. East Finchley station,           Offices carparking, residential development,

fronting High Rd & rear of East         new station fo,recourt, ‘access roads.

End Road, N2                                     (Amended outline, additions)

site adjoining 131Marsh Lane, NW7  detached house with basement .(amended plan)

site of former Blue Anchor public      retail warehouse (outline)..

house, High Road, N20

Bells public house, East End Rd        single storey side/rear extensions for bar/ restaurant, facilities

29 Ashley Lane,1\TW4                       pair of semi-detached houses

 

LOCAL HISTORY AT LAMAS

The 20th LAMA’S Local History Conference on November 30 was, as ever, a lively and

Interesting occasion.

The conference is always worth attending on two counts – first, for the Lectures which form the main dish on the menu; secondly and perhaps equally important – for the displays put on by local societies from every part of the. London area and the opportunity these provide for society members to mingle and catch up with news of’ each other’s research.

Originally the theme suggested for the conference had been Farms and Farming in Middlesex. In the event, lectures dealt mainly with the Anglo-Saxon and early medieval

countryside. Dr. John Blair took Chertsey Abbey from early Saxon times to the 10th century as his focal point, Dr. Peter Bigmore handled landscape evidence from open field systems and ridge and furrow, and documentary evidence from estate maps and manor court rolls while John Mills’ subject was “Archaeological Discoveries in the Greater London. Area c. 400-c.1100”.

HADAS, had its usual display and bookstall arranged and manned by Joyce Slatter, Victor Jones and Brigid Grafton Green to whom the Society is most grateful. The display contained material from the HADAS Farm.Survey. ‘Bookstall sales went particularly well this year.

 

BOG BURIALS .

We’re delighted to hear that the University Extra-mural Department; has had second

thoughts about its Thursday evening public lectures in archaeology. Back in the autumn there were no plans to run them this winter. Now we learn that, a series of ten public lectures on “Bog Bodies and Ancient Man Preserved’ will start at the Institute of Archaeology on Thursday, January 16, from 7-8.30pm. Here is the full programme, which sounds most interesting:-

Jan 16 The Preservation of Ancient Human Bodies                           Don Brothwell

Jan 23 Archaeology of British &’European Bog Bodies                    R. Turner

Jan 30 Lindow Man an Ancient Body from a Cheshire Bog             Ian Stead

Feb 6 The Manchester Museum Investigations                                  Dr. R. David

Feb 13 Diet & Food Remains in Ancient Man.                                  Gordon Hillman

Feb 20 Forensic Aspects of Ancient Bodies                                      Dr. I. E West

Feb 27 Histopathology & Health in Early Man                                  Dr. E. Tapp

Mar 6 Bogs & Burials; Aspects of Parasitism in Early Man               Dr. A. Jones

Mar 13 Investigation on New World Mummies                                 Don Brothwell

Mar 20- The Determination of Age & Sex in Early Man                   Dr. T. Mollison

A ticket for the series costs: £15, but you can pay £2 at the door to go to an individual lecture. Cheques for the series should be sent to Miss Edna Clancy, Extra Mural Department, 26 Russell Square, WC1B-5D0′.

The Institute of Archaeology announces a programme of some thirteen. 5-day courses for next July and August. The subjects are: protection of archaeological sites, identification of Plant remains, drawing of finds, field techniques, archaeological evidence for disease, civilisations of ancient America, surveying, Roman London, identification of Roman coins; geoarchaeology, stone tool technology, underwater Archaeology and the identification of animal bones.

In addition there will be a number of 5-day courses on conservation, ranging from conserving photographs to making high quality replicas of museum objects.

Anyone who would like information about either the archeological or the conservation courses should write to James Black, Summer Schools  coordinator, at the Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, WC1H OPY

 

ENCORE FOR ONIONS

After all Ted Sammes contributions to last month’s Newsletter wasn’t as we thought

it might be – the last word on onions The tear-jerking saga continues…..

 

This month’s instalment comes from Anne Lowe, mother of one of our junior members Christopher Lowe. She sends us the following quotation from “Food in England”, that lovely book by Dorothy Hartley; who died last November in her-’93rd year:

“Scallions – now a name given to bolted onions, but a perennial plant that grows clusters, and can be used for all plain cooking purposes; they stay in the, ground all the year round. Holsters are the Welsh version of these, rather smaller, and with very marked spring growth these make the best tansy that I’ve ever had, made by a farmhand

Take holsters in spring, chop them finely, and fry in bacon fat. When they are soft,

drain off any fat and pour on enough beaten egg to cover, add pepper and salt and chase

them round till blended – and; then ‘leave ’em’be till set, ‘not let ‘em boil, mind, or the egg will be a-whey, just set it nicely.’ .Then turn on to a hot plate, and it is excellent”

The drawings on the opposite page include Welsh Holtzers (this time spelt with a ‘z’) with the comment ‘good for rough winter cutting’. Miss Hartley was an accomplished artist, as well as a writer – so much so that her obituary in The Times last November ended with the line ” she loved drawing her heaven must surely include a friendly life-class.”


 

ABOUT HADAS PEOPLE

A distinctly Chinese air hung over some of the conversations at the HADAS Christmas party. One member – schoolmaster AUBREY HODES – was just back from his stint teaching English at Hua Qiao University, Quanzhou (from where you may remember, he wrote some interesting reports for the Newsletter). ALEC JEAKINS, on the other hand, is about to go to Far Eastwards early next year, as the production manager for a film on science which will be shown in China and Hong: Kong. With one coming and one going, it’s not surprising that a lot of talk about China was whizzing around Hendon, NW4.

Next year’s visit will be a return performance for Alec, his mother BETTY JEAKINS says.. He’s recently made one film for the BBC out there, which caused him to understand just what royalty feels like – wherever he went his public went too – following, whispering and staring:.

Dorothy Newbury tells us of another HADAS member who has recently been in China ­COLIN EVANS. We don’t often see him nowadays because he is based in France; but not long ago his firm sent him to the `Far East on a combined business and pleasure trip.

And talking of HADAS members far afield, the new address the Society has for long­time member VINCENT FOSTER, who was a keen digger and member of the main Committee in the 1970s, is Quebec, Canada – a far cry from his former home at Finchley.

VALENTINE SHELDON, an enthusiastic HADAS supporter for the last six years, has another hobby besides archaeology. In her own quiet way she is a highly successful fund­raiser for her pet charities. This year she set herself the target of raising £100 for the proposed North London Hospice, and achieved it by November. Her method? It’s all done with a needle. Miss Sheldon is a demon seamstress: she sews for love, but asks her clients to contribute whatever they think her work is worth to the charity of her choice.

 

SALUTE TO THE WELSH HARP

The current exhibition at Church Farm House Museum on the Welsh Harp, is well worth a visit from anyone interested in the history of our area; or, for that matter, in its natural history. There are some good exhibits on Victorian naturalists, bird watching and angling, including the display of a magnificent, mean-looking stuffed pike, weighing 201bs 12oz, caught in the Harp over a century ago..

Angling tournaments, Ice-skating championships (“Where can you find 350 acres of ice? Why, at Warners Welsh Harp’), drowning fatalities – the Harp was famous or notorious for all of them in the last century.

Built in 1837 by the Regents Canal Company to provide extra Water for the capital’’s canals, and extended in 1851 , the Welsh Harp, named for the famous pub which stood at its eastern end beside the Edgware Road, was much more than a mere water-supply it, was a recreation ground and a focus for Victorian family enjoyment.

Another aspect of the Welsh Harp cropped up recently too. At the LAMAS conference of Local Historians on November 30 the Wembley History Society were selling their booklet The Welsh Harp Reservoir 1835-1985.

This covers the reasons – mainly chronic water shortages – for the decision to build the reservoir, its detailed construction, how the water was, and is now, controlled and a history of the Welsh Harp pub and the family who owned it, particularly William Perkins Warner. He was a veteran of the Crimean War, who owned and ran the Welsh Harp from- 1858 to 1889. 

He made it a sporting and social centre “one of the most cosy and comfortable places to be found in London”. There was a museum- containing both Military and natural history objects – a billiard room, a ballroom and in the grounds, a bowling green, a skittles saloon and a shooting enclosure. Kingsbury race course (described angrily by a local resident as ‘a carnival of vice’ and suppressed in 1879) was nearby and the pub was the headquarters of one of the best known angling societies in Victorian England the Old Welsh Harp Angling Society. A day-ticket for taking Jack or Perch cost 2s6d (12p); a day-ticket for bottom fishing is (5p). Adjoining the tavern was a large concert hall where many well-known music hall artists performed, including Albert Chevalier, who used to sing his coster ballads.

The booklet ends with a section on the ballads which helped to make the Welsh Harp famous. The words of five of them are given. Here is one –

A SONG FOR. THE WELSH HARP,

(sung to the tune of ‘The Cork Leg’)

Dedicated to W P Warner, written by Tom

Erica of ‘.The; Sportsman’

Published in the Hendon & Finchley Times of July 10,1880

A song I’ll sing you of a place

Where you’ll always meet a smiling face 

Where every comfort can be found, 

Whether inside or in the ground.

The waiters there are all so neat,

To be waited on it is a treat:

And where they give you the best meat,

And with cheery welcome always greet.

The prices, too, are quite as low
.As anywhere that you can go.
The host himself is always there
With jolly face and talent rare.

His popularity he does share

With Mrs Warner, who’s ‘all there’ . 

She always greets us with a smile 

After we’ve trudged the weary mile.

While something nice she gets us then
We find out John, that best of men
From cellar he brings out the best
To place before his welcome guest.

And when we’ve dined, why out we go
 And on the lake we take a row:

Then back we come to thank our host 

And find him there at his old post.

We’ve had our fun, so off we rush
In Woodruff’s Hendon Omnibus
To London City where we live.
Before we go our hand we give

To the best of landlords true,

By all respected, and one of few

Who never gets done and never does you

At the old Welsh Harp at Hendon.


 

The exhibition at Church Farm House Museum continues until February 9th. The Wembley History Society booklet – a good buy – costs 55p (plus 20p post and packing) from Stuart Johnson, Hon. Secretary, Wembley History Society, 117 Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 8JX.

HALLELUJAH

The Council for British Archaeology’s Nonconformist Working Party has recently published a 60-page, well-illustrated booklet called “Hallelujah” .on how to record chapels and meeting houses. This fills a gap in their how to record publications we have already had from them a booklet on how to record graveyards, an illustrated glossary on recording a church and a guide to recording old houses.

The booklet is aimed, according to its introduction, particularly at individuals and local societies, and the part they can play in what is described as ‘a much neglected part of our national heritage’. We know of at least two HADAS members who in the past have shown particular interest in recording local nonconformist buildings, but we haven’ t heard much from them recently – perhaps this new publication will inspire them to fresh efforts.

Further details about it are, available from the CBA, 112 Kennington Road, SEll 6RE.

News also from CBA of two forthcoming conferences in which they are involved.

In collaboration with the Society for Landscape Studies they are organising a weekend conference on Religious Sites in the Landscape at the Institute of Child Health, Guilford Street, WC1 on Feb. 21-23, 1986. Speakers will include Professor Martin Biddle, Dr TC Oarvill, Dr. CS Briggs, Leslie Grinsell and others. Subjects will range from the prehistoric to the middle ages, from menhirs and druids to 11th century Christian church builders.

Fee for the weekend is £20, which includes tea and coffee but not lunch. Apply to Lyn Greenwood at the CBA.

On March 21-23 next, CBA and the Museum of London are jointly holding their 4th conference, on the theme ‘the rebirth of towns in the west, A.D700-1050” This will be an important conference, and it is hoped that there will be papers by speakers from all over Europe. As the Newsletter goes to press, CBA promise that further inform­ation will be available by the end of 1985 – so give them a ring on 582 0494 if you want further details of this.

The final lecture of the winter Wednesday Lecture season arranged by the Libraries Department will be on Wednesday 26 February at Hendon Library. MICHAEL ESSEX-LOPRESTI will be speaking about The Regents Canal, A narrow boat enthusiast, he keeps his own vessel on the canal and also conducts walks along the canal-side on summer Sundays. His lecture will feature architecture as well as wild-life and will be illustrated by slides and archive film of horse-drawn narrow boats. The lecture begins at 8.15pm and will last about 1e hours.

newsletter-160-June-1984

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newsletter-160-June-1984

 

Newsletter 160: June, 1984

 

CALLING ALL DIGGERS:

The digging season fast approaches! Excavation at WEST HEATH begins on Sat June 16 and continues till Tues July 31. The site will be open daily from 9am-6pm. Volunteer diggers, finds processors, etc 

will be welcome, including beginners. If you wish to help and have not yet notified Margaret Maher(907 0333) or Sheila Woodward (952-3897) please do so as soon as possible, indicating the days on which you are likely to attend. You will need a Mason’s pointing trowel with a 3” to 4” blade (not 5″, which is too large); blade & tang should be drop-forged, not rivetted or soldered. Also bring a kneeling pad & a tea/coffee mug. Please wear soft shoes, preferably with smooth soles. All intending diggers are invited to a pre-dig evening at 13 Greystone Gns, Kenton, on Thur June 14 at 3 pm. Background about the site (illustrated by slides) will be given and it will be a chance to meet fellow diggers and handle flint. A call to Margaret Maher if you are coming would be appreciated. 

 

REPORT ON THE STATE OF HADAS

The 23rd HADAS AGM took place at Hendon Library on May 15. The Chair was taken by Vice-President. Brigid Grafton Green; and some 50 members were present. That is rather fewer than usual – a pity, because our after-business speakers provided enjoyable and varied fare. It was great to have our most senior member, Eric Wookey, in the audience. All power to him, and thanks to his helpful chauffeur, Tessa Smith, for making what must have been quite a considerable effort to join us.

Councillor Jarman confined his Chairman’s report this year to record­ing his own and the Society’s gratitude for work done by various officers and members during 1983-4. The Hon Treasurer-presented his accounts which thanks to an excellent Minimart result – showed a small surplus for the year, much to his relief and somewhat, we gathered, to his surprise!

He paid tribute to Membership Secretary Phyllis Fletcher who has been able to take much work off his shoulders. Membership at March 31 this year was 390; the 1983 comparable figure was 407.

The Hon Secretary, Brian Wrigley, presented a report on the work of our four groups – Prehistoric, Ronan, Industrial and Documentary – and on other research activities.

The Meeting confirmed our Vice-Presidents, whose number remains as last year:

The Bishop of Edmonton; Mrs Rosa Freedman, MBE; Mrs Grafton Green; Miss D P Hill; Sir Maurice Laing; Andrew Saunders, MA, FSA, Edward Sammes; E E Wookey.

The officers for the coming year, who were declared elected, are:

Chairman:        Councillor Brian Jarman

Vice-Chairman:           Brigid Grafton Green

Hon Secretary:            Brian .Wrigley

Hon Treasurer: Victor Jones

Committee members declared elected for 1984-5 are:

Christine Arnott,

John Enderby,

 Phyllis Fletcher

Peter Griffiths

Daphne Lorimer

Isobel McPherson

Dorothy Newbury

Nell Penny

 June Porges

 Michael Purton

Ted Sammes

Tessa Smith

 Sheila Woodward

 

 

Under Any Other Business Mrs Mary Court, after commenting with pleasure on the excellent lectures she had heard in the past winter, suggested that HADAS should consider putting all lectures on tape, to make them available for members who could not be present, A lively discussion followed this interesting idea; it was agreed that the Commit­tee be asked to consider it from all angles so that, if feasible it could be put into operation.

After the business meeting five members entertained us, each intro­ducing a selection of a dozen or so slides on a topic which particularly interested him. The topics proved equally interesting to everyone else.

MIKE PURTON spoke on his visit to, Swaziland last year to take

part in one of David Price Williams’ digs

 

RAYMOND LOWE showed slides of the HADAS long week-end in the

Brecon Beacons in 1981

 

TED SAMMES described a Prehistoric Society week among the cyclopean

stone structures of Majorca and Minorca

 

PERCY REBOUL brought us back to Whetstone with a bump – to see just

how hard life was for many in the ‘good old days’ of the turn of the century

 

Finally, JOHN ENDERBY re-enacted the zany afternoon when Spike Milligan unveiled Grimaldi for us; part of the tape which Christopher Newbury recorded during the unveiling was played over.

 

RESEARCH and GROUP ACTIVITIES

These were collated into an annual report by Brian Wrigley, and the AGM decided it should be published in the Newsletter. This is the first part; the second follows next month:

 

In 1983-4 PREHISTORIC GROUP activities continued to focus on the West. Heath Mesolithic Site. They included final preparation of material for the report on the 1976-81 excavations; and preliminary arrangements for the 1984 dig.

The stream-walking project with its eventual aim of investigating all the rivers of the Borough, was pursued during the winter months, when the lower reaches of the Dollis Brook were ‘walked.’

 

SHEILA WOODWARD

The ROMAN GROUP continued last summer with study, at regular meetings at Bigwood House, of Roman pottery from the early Brockley Hill digs, culminating with a pottery weekend at the Teahouse in November. Work included drawing, indexing and mending.

Recently the Group explored areas between Brockley Hill and St Albans, searching for sites of three known Roman kilns. This provided valuable background information. For example, a kiln of the potter CASTVS at Loom Lane, Radlett, is now known to lie within a deep wooded bank in a private garden. When the owner of the garden was laying a lawn he unearthed several sherds, including the name-stamp CASTVS, now in Verulanium Museum.

A memorable outing to North Essex was put on by a part-time member of the Group, Isobel McPherson, who discovered a treasure-house of Roman material excavated by a farmer at Guestingthorpe. Boxes and boxes of small finds – coins, keys, window glass – were set outside the farmhouse for members to handle freely, while the entrance hall of the farm made a unique museum. Another memorable outing was to Littlecote Manor, to see the spectacular Orpheus mosaic and current excavations. Colchester

Museum was the venue for a special outing. Members were able to handle exhibits and to see the magnificent reserve collection which is not normally on show. It includes, for instance, the moulds in which Colchester ‘samian’ was produced.

An exhibition of Brockley Hill pottery was arranged by two group members at Church Farm House Museum in a downstairs room hitherto not used for this type of display. It was on show for six months. There were two cases; one with items from the Roman kitchen, such as mortaria, cheese presses, amphorae; the other with a miniature kiln, pots and potters’ stamps. The Moxom Collection – which belongs to LBB is now on permanent show in the same room, in a new and elegant showcase, where it can be seen to great advantage; and the cremation urn from Sunny Gardens Road, which HADAS arranged some years ago to have put on permanent loan to the Museum, is also there. HADAS feels it can take some credit for this extension of show space at Church Farm House, because we have

pressed for it for a long time; but we would also like to take this chance of thanking David Ruddom, the Borough Librarian, for approving the idea, with enthusiasm; and Gerard Roots, the Curator, for his great cooperation in arranging to display the Brockley Hill material.

 

TESSA SMITH

(To be continued in July with reports from the Industrial Archaeology & Documentary Groups and the Excavation Working Party)

Both Prehistoric and Roman Groups will be happy to have more members. To join – or just to find out further details – ring Sheila Woodward (952 3897) for Prehistoric or Tessa Smith (958 5159) for Roman.

 

STEPHENS OF ‘BLUE-BLACK’ INK FAME                     by PADDY MUSGROVE

In 1884 Henry C (‘Inky’) Stephens built himself a private laboratory in Avenue House, East End Road, in Church End Finchley. To mark the centenary, the Finchley Society is organising an exhibition there from Sat June 30 to Sun July 8, open daily 10.30 am-8 pm.

The Stephens business and family archives only recently came to light and are now lodged in the Wiltshire Public Record Office which is lending many unique documents for display.

During the past year the laboratory – once in a sorry state – has been substantially restored and will be furnished with laboratory equipment of the period. Other exhibits will include Stephens’s original notebooks and records of experiments, family portraits and other paintings, early promotional material (who remembers the famous ‘blot’ logo and the large ­outdoor thermometer?), farm records from his 5000-acre Cholderton estate, and the results of recent research into the affairs of the famous firm, including unexpected evidence that the famous ‘blue-black writing fluid’ was actually manufactured in Ballards Lane, Finchley.

A plaque commemorating Stephens’s bequest of Avenue House, its gardens and rare trees to the people of Finchley is being unveiled by the Mayor of Barnet, Cllr. L Sussman, on June 1; on June 30, the opening of the exhibition will be marked by a garden party in the grounds.

Quite a few HADAS people – for this event wearing their Finchley Society hats – have been involved in preparations for the exhibition and it is hoped that many HADAS members will visit it.

Note; Paddy Musgrove (346 0128) says that if anyone wishes to organise a small group, maximum about a dozen, he will be pleased to meet them and perhaps escort them around other parts of Avenue House not normally on show.

Barnet Libraries Department has recently published a booklet on the grounds of Avenue House, which are as remarkable as the house itself. They cover 16 acres and were laid out, more or less as we see them today, in the 1880s by Inky Stephens. They have been open to the public since 1928.

The booklet deals particularly with the trees, of which it says ‘there are over a hundred different species of woody plants.’ The main booklet is in the form of a gazetteer of over 80 trees, many of them illustrated by line drawings. As well as a brief description, the place of origin, date of introduction to Britain and ultimate height in this climate are given for each entry. At the back of the booklet a map of the Avenue House grounds suggests a good tree viewing route and pinpoints the trees on it. There is also a useful glossary of tree terms. Price 50p, obtainable from libraries in the Borough..

HADAS member GERARD ROOTS, Curator of Church Farm House Museum, sends this note on his latest exhibition

“….THINK THAT WE BUILD FOR EVER: Buildings in the Borough of Barnet

In 1984 the Royal Institute of British Architects celebrates its 150th anniversary. As a contribution to the year’s celebrations, Church  Farm house Museum, Hendon, is holding an exhibition which traces the development of building in the area now bounded by Barnet Borough.

Based largely on material held by the Borough Archives, the exhibition aims to illustrate the diversity of building types and styles which have been used in this part of Middlesex, and will show both terraced cottage and great house – many, of course, now regrettably demolished, thus giving an ironic twist to the exhibition’s title, taken from Ruskin.

Barnet is, obviously, a large area, but the exhibition endeavours to include examples from all its-component parts, from 1660s farmhouse in Hendon to 1930s cinema in Edgware.

In addition to our own Archive material, a travelling exhibition


from the Grange Museum, Neasden, on the eccentric early 20c architect, Ernest Trowbridge, will be on display.

The exhibition dates are May 26-July 29. Please telephone 01 203 0130 for further details. I look forward to seeing HADAS members at the exhibition.

 

In last month’s Newsletter we mentioned a son-et-lumiere presentation of Lutyens architecture and Elgars music being planned for May by the North-west Branch of the RIBA in the London area, to be given at St Judes Church, Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The organisers unfortunately ran into difficulties, and have had to postpone the event. They now hope to hold it in September. If we get further details, we will let you have them in a later Newsletter.

 

SUBS, PLEASE!

Please let our Membership Secretary have your subscriptions soon for the year 1984/5. They became due two months ago, and over half are still outstanding. The rates are as follows:

Full member    £5.00

Over-60s;        £3.00

Family membership:.

First member   £5.00
(or, for over-60 first member, £3)

Subsequent members  £1.00 each

Junior members (under 18)     3.00

Schools/Corporate members   £6.00

Send your subscription to

Miss P J Fletcher,

27 Decoy Avenue,

London NW11 OES

 

FOR YOUR  DIARY

Sat June 16. A miller with a museum, an Anglo-Saxon village (re-made), a stately home: this intriguing collection of irreconcilables is offered by Ted Sammes for his June visit to Suffolk. First stop will be at the private museum of the late Sam Marston at Icklington. It is proudly owned by the Marston family, local flour millers, and houses a wide range of artefacts from Palaeolithic to Industrial Archaeology. Richard Darrah, who lectured to us in January, will join us there and afterwards take our party on to West Stow, where we will have a conducted tour of the reconstructed Saxon village. Then on to Ickworth, recently in the news, as wedding bells are in the offing for Earl Jermyn, the owner of this stately home near Bury St Edmunds. Here you can visit the house, or explore the park, canal and church, or just have tea in the restaurant.

If you wish to go on this outing, please complete the enclosed form and return it to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible..

Sat July 14. Regrettably, this outing is cancelled, as the proposed leader will be abroad. Please cross it out on your programme card.

Sat Aug. 18. Trip to Repton, Derbyshire.

Sept 15/16.’ The long weekend to Cornwall has been postponed, as Peter Griffiths, the organiser, has heavy commitments overseas this summer,

However, June Porges has suggested a mini-weekend in the ancient city of Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) on the above dates. The Lincoln Archaeological Trust is staging a ‘Lincoln Comes of Age’ exhibition there this

summer (see Rescue News, Spring ’84, and Popular Archaeology, April ’84).Will any members who might be interested in this week-end please phone Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) soon, so that we can assess the sort of

transport required, in order to work out costings? Please also indicate if Friday afternoon to Sunday night would be most desirable, or an early start on Saturday morning, returning Sunday night. If this, trip

can be organised, details and application form will be in the July Newsletter.

 

Tues Oct 2. Just another reminder to correct the misprint in the pro­grmme card which gives Oct 22 for our first lecture, on Orkney.

 

Sat Oct 6 (repeat, 6!) Another change our Minimart has been brought forward one week – to Sat Oct 6. Please alter your programme card NOW. Christine Arnott’s daughter is getting married on the day originally planned (Which was Oct 13) and we couldn’t have a minimart without Christine! We have some storage space this year, so if there is anything you wish to dispose of in the next 3 or 4 months and that you can’t hang onto, please ring 203 0950 or 455 2751 (not large items, please).

 

Two forthcoming events at which HADAS will be represented are:

June 2-Sept 2, Burgh House, Hampstead: exhibition on Hampstead Heath, including its archaeology, natural history, general history, funfairs, etc. Being mounted by the Local History Library of Camden, which has borrowed from HADAS for inclusion in the display photographs of the West Heath dig (1976-81).

July 2-7, Institute Week, Hampstead Garden Suburb. We shall, as usual, be mounting a general display in the Institute Hall on the evening of Wed July 4 (7.30-9.30 pm); and at kind invitation of John Enderby, we shall have a bookstall at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11, on the evenings of July 2, 3 and 4. Offers of help in manning the bookstall will be warmly welcomed (ring Victor Jones 458 6180).

 

SITES TO WATCH

Tho following applications have been made recently for planning permission. They might, if permission is granted, be of some archaeological interest:

Convent of St Mary, Hale Lane,        Amended plan, large development of

Edgware                                              houses, flats. Original application

was in earlier Newsletter: this is just a reminder

Elizabeth Allen School,                      almshouses (outline)

Wood St, Barnet

Land rear of 36,38 Kings Rd & r/o    3 bungalows
17 Grimsdyke Cres Barnet

 

Land r/o 28, 30 Kings Rd, Barnet      bungalow

67 Hadley Highstone                          block of flats

51 High St, Barnet                              2-storey rear extension, storage

building at rear

Grounds of Norwegian Barn,             30m high radio mast
Edgwarebury Lane, Elstree

 

Would members who notice building activity on any of these sites, please alert Brian Wrigley (959 5982)-?

The planning application lists, which HADAS gets every week, also give details of plans to alter or extend buildings in the Borough which are on the Statutory List. These, of course, are often of considerable historical interest. Three such applications made recently are:

Trinders Lodge, Rowley Green Rd, Arkley. Application for a side extension, a new chimney and an extension to a former stable. This building is described on the Statutory List as a 2-storey yellow brick house of probable Regency date, slate-roofed.

An application for Cloud Cottage, to the rear of another Listed building, No 9 Elstree High St, seeks permission to re-tile the roof. Cloud Cottage and 9 Elstree High Street are, in fact, one building, which was divided into two in 1982. The description in the Statutory List is particularly interesting. The frontage is 18c, on an earlier partly medieval house. The main range is a 2-bay medieval open hall house, dated c.1500, with smoke-blackened roof timbers, inserted floor fire­places and a chimney of c.1600. There is a 17c wing at the rear, at right angles, and that is Cloud Cottage.

20/20A Wood St, Barnet (Wood St is a whole nest of Listed buildings): an application to build a rear extension and rebuild a fire-damaged wall. This 2-storey, red brick house is described as of early to mid-18c date. It was restored after severe bomb damage.

 

READERS WRITE ..

Dear Editor,

I was glad to see from the brief note in the May Newsletter about the Prehistoric Society Conference that someone, at least, was able to hear something of what the speakers said. My own reaction can best be summarised by quoting from a letter I wrote to the President afterwards:

“When one is trying to follow a fairly intricate and polysylla­bically technical argument, to be put in a stuffy, warm, sleep-inducing atmosphere, put in the dark so that note-taking is impossible, shown illegible slides projected through smudged glass while the lecturer reads, through a badly adjusted amplifying system, what is really a written paper at top speed to keep to a pressed time limit, does not aid concentration.”

The President, in reply, accepted that the slide projection was not good, but he put the difficulty mainly down to a ‘distressing tendency for some speakers to read texts at high speed with lowered heads and poor diction.’ He says he will give the problem some thought so I hope we can feel the question has at least been brought to attention.

Yours sincerely, BRIAN WRIGLEY

 

The Newsletter welcomes correspondence – either arising from earlier Newsletters, like the above, or opening up a new subject of your own. Please don’t hang back if you feel like bursting into print: The Editor’s address is on the Newsletter head, and press-day is usually the 20th of each month.

Why not tell us what you think – that is, the 350 or so of you who were not at the AGM – of Mary Court’s idea of taping HADAS lectures?

Your views would be of interest to other members- and probably useful to the Committee into the bargain.

 

HENDON AERODROME

The proposed visit to the historic buildings at RAF, Hendon, has been arranged for the afternoon of Sat. July 28. Those who have already expressed a desire to come will be sent details in due course. If there are others, please let me know (455 7164) as there may be a limitation on places. BUT there will always be a place open for a photographer who will come and take SLIDES for HADAS.

BILL FIRTH

 

THE JORVIK EXPERIENCE          Here DIANA MANSELL reports on the May outing to York

Between May 1976 and September 1981 a large hole dug at Coppergate in the centre of York attracted world-wide attention – it was ‘The Viking Dig’ excavated by the York Archaeological Trust. The Trust was set up in 1972 in response to the potential threat to the increasing redevelopment schemes for the ancient city centre, destroying much buried evidence of York’s earlier history, spanning 2000 years of a series of continental invaders – Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. .

The media had whetted our appetites and so, some 50 intrepid HADAS members travelled to York and back to see what has been described as ‘The most exciting tourism project yet seen in this country and ‘a permanent cultural asset to its region, and indeed the world. Our grateful thanks to Dorothy Newbury for engineering our visit, just one month after the doors opened.

Our four hours or so of travelling gave us plenty of time to admire the English countryside at its best – the patchwork of greens and browns spangled with citrus-colored rape, to provide our polyunsaturates, all dazzling under a sun that grew warmer as we sped north. Cutting ‘pit-stops’ to a minimum, we arrived almost on our deadline of 12.45 for our ‘en bloc’. Queue crashing entry into the centre. Entry is at ground level in the new Coppergate shopping centre (Coppergate, derived from the street of coopers or cup makers, the suffix ‘-gate’ being Scandinavian). Steps lead down to the Viking level where Jorvik had lain undisturbed for ten centuries.

One enters a pre-exhibition orientation area, with electronic sounds and flashing lights supposed to represent the marauding invaders. beaching their ships and raping the inhabitants; as we creep along a darkened passage other strange sounds are emitted; entering the chamber of horrors comes to mind: Out of the gloom a little 4-seater ‘Time Car’ is man­handled into position, we are battened down with a metal bar to grip – was it really going to be like the Big Dipper? No! Electrically guided along a metal strip on a 15-minute journey at 10m per minute (mathematic­ians, what was our MPH)?

We set off backwards; for the first 2½-minutes passing ghostly figures through the ages, all very authentic, by the creator of Dr Who characters; and accompanied by the homely voice of Magnus Magnusson. We emerge amidst the bustle of 10c Jorvik’s Coppergate; after reversing up a blind alley, scattering chickens, geese and wild looking cats, we find ourselves moving forwards through the traders’ wattle and daub thatched stalls, selling poultry, fish, bread and all manner of craft goods. No detail is spared, from the grunting pig-in-a-poke, the dog cocking its leg, the housewife sweeping the sherds out the door (for us, some 1000 years hence, to retrieve on a field walk) to the Norse-yelling children. Complete even with smells – you feel you want to go round again, and take in the other half.

 

On leaving the Viking York ‘replica,’ you enter a different phase – a mock-up of archaeologists at work, showing their painstaking methods from site to lab. Here, we disembark, and enter the exhibits ‘proper’ hall, where there is ample room to browse amongst the fascinating objects unearthed from under our feet.

At 2.30 some of us joined Mr John Robson and his wife at All Saints Pavement for a tour of some of York’s interesting sights.  He would dearly have loved to show us the entire city; as it was, he didn’t do badly in two hours, gathering speed as we went, losing members as we made tight U-turns, disappearing up alley ways or under arches -poor Dorothy had to abandon counting and re-counting her dwindling flock, perhaps we should all wear cow-bells in future.

As we traversed the Roman and Medieval delights of the city one thing that hit me time and again was the people themselves, sprawled on the grass in the beautiful grounds of St Mary’s Abbey, once the most important Benedictine monastery in the north of England. They were surely direct descendants of the effigies in the Jorvik museum – or had the effigies been modelled on the people in the street?

Our city trot even cut out imbibing the traditional cuppa before departing at 5 pm, hot and exhausted, only to find ourselves, after travelling due west for an hour, in the centre of Leeds: Eventually we got onto the Ml. As we headed south on its disorientating ribbon, we at least  had the advantage from our lofty seats of being able to see over the hedges, even if we didn’t know where we were. In the Nottingham area the soft evening sunlight ideally portrayed numerous, tantalizing glimpses of perfectly preserved examples of medieval ridge and furrow and the hollow ways and humps of lost villages. Last stop Golders Green at 9.40 pm – weary, but enlightened.

 

COMMITTEE CORNER

The 1983-4 Committee had its final meeting on April 27 and discussed such matters as:

Abolition of the GLC. This has been a continuing saga for the last few months. The Committee is deeply worried about what will happen, if the GLC goes, to various useful GLC functions which affect history and archaeology in the London area.    Both HADAS as a society and several
individual committee members have written to various interested bodies, including the DoE and our local MPs.

Most helpful response so far has been elicited by Nell Penny, who wrote to Hendon South MP Peter Thomas. He sent her a copy of a letter that he had had from the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the DoE, Neil Macfarland, which says, apropos two of our particular worries, that the government fully appreciates the need to keep together the existing records of the Greater London Record Office (i.e. not to disperse them throughout individual boroughs); the Minister for the Environment is in sympathy with the need to keep the Historic Buildings Division of GLC together and we are looking to see whether, there is any way in which a centre of expertise on historic buildings can be retained in our proposed structure.”

You could argue that these comments don’t go very far; and that they still sound pretty hazy. They are, however, a definite advance on the total lack of interest which has hitherto appeared to inform government thinking on such vital subjects as records and historic buildings.

 

 

An ancient footpath.

HADAS has been informed by keen metal detector user John Bowman that he has been operating his detector along either side of the footpath which runs from Burtonhole Farm to Totteridge. Although not a HADAS member Mr Bowman has been careful during the past 8 or so years to let us know from time to time about his activities. His discovery of a number of coins – the earliest a Henry III silver penny – suggests that this is an ancient footpath. His finds also include coins of Tudor, Stuart and Georgian periods. One find is positively prehistoric – a fossilised sea-urchin,

 

HADAS representation. .Ann Kahn has kindly agreed to represent HADAS on the Finchley Conservation Area Advisory Committee for the next year; and Brigid Grafton Green will do the same on the Hampstead Garden Suburb CAAC. June Porges will speak for us on the Avenue House Advisory Committee – most appropriately, as she is our Hon. Librarian and our books are kept at Avenue House. John Enderby has kindly offered to represent us on the group of members of ex-Barnet Borough Arts Council (now disbanded) who are investigating the future of the arts in the Borough.

Junior Members. The Committee learnt with regret that it must say goodbye to KATE BALEEN, who has excellently represented Junior interests since March 1983. Kate made a definite contribution to discussions and kept in touch with – and arranged some activities for – under-18 members, we shall miss her, but this, alas, is a natural hazard for all Junior Committee members: inevitably exams and. distant prospects of university loom, and HADAS duties must give way. Kate’s departure means that we now have no Junior representative on the Committee. Any under-18 member who feels a yen to fill that gap is warmly invited to give our Hon. Secretary, Brian Wrigley, a ring (959 5982).

 

WEATHERPROOF YOURSELF – AT COLLEGE FARM, FINCHLEY

With the digging season starting and the weather its usual unpredictable self, members may like to be reminded of the excellent shop run by our good friend Chris Ower at College Farm. Basically it’s a shop for riding gear: but it so happens that riders need the same kind of all-weather protection that diggers: do.

Are you looking for a new windcheater, a quilted and waxed coat or a really strong pair of Wellies? You could do much worse than take a look at what College Farm offers in these lines. Our Hon Treasurer says the thing that strikes him – he’s been searching for a quilted jacket – is the really good, robust quality of what’s on offer, as compared, with an ordinary shop. Prices are reasonable too and talking of price,
Mr Ower offers a 10% discount to HADAS members.

The shop is open (it’s in the big barn on the right as you go up from the Finchley Road entrance, before you get to the main farm buildings; or round to the left, just past our own room, if you approach via Fitzalan Road) 10-6 from Mon-Sat; 9-1 on Sundays. A call on 349 0690 will provide information as to whether your particular need is in stock,

Owing to lack of space we have not been able to include this month Frances Radford’s account of the HADAS walk through Hampstead on May 9. It’s  a pleasure deferred, however – we shall publish it in the next Newsletter.

 

Newsletter-159-May-1984

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 3 : 1980 - 1984 | No Comments

Newsletter-159-May-1984

 

 

Newsletter 159 May 1984

 

BLUE PLAQUES – AND BLUE HANDS

by

PERCY REBOUL

On Sunday April 1 at 3.30 pm, in weather cold enough to freeze the bells off a Court Jester, over 100 HADAS members, friends and guests, young and old alike, attended the unveiling of a Blue Plaque to the great clown Joseph Grimaldi.

The plaque is fixed to a north-facing wall of Finchley Memorial. Hospital, Granville Road, N12, and it was an inspired thought to get another great clown, Spike Milligan, to do the unveiling honours on All Fools Day; In the event; the curtain was drawn by three clowns simul­taneously, Spike himself, plus Mr Woo and Barney – the two latter in traditional clowns’ costume.

It was a truly hilarious afternoon, described by Spike Milligan himself as ‘the craziest opening ceremony of my life.’ Wit, repartee and fun abounded throughout the ceremony to the delight of the audience. Grimaldi himself would surely have enjoyed and approved of the occasion. Incidentally, his great-great-grandson, Daniel Grimaldi, who is the spitting image of a portrait of great-great-grandad by J Cawse in the National Portrait Gallery, was also present. So was Father Michael Shrews­bury, of Holy Trinity Church, Dalston, and of annual ‘Clowns Service’ fame.

Our Chairman, Brian Jarman, introduced the guests, thanked the organ­isers and actually managed to keep going amid a chorus of good-natured repartee and off-stage noises by the clowns present (e.g. SM to BJ ‘My abiding memory of this event will be the rheumatism I’ve developed stand­ing round in this cold.’

Spike Milligan himself was in top form, with nothing and no one spared, in a witty and entertaining speech. In a memorable phrase he described clowns as ‘people who see the harsher side of life … the working class on stage.’ A bouquet of flowers was presented to Mrs Sheila Milligan (with the best bow and curtsey seen for a long time) by Rachel Davis, our Hon. Treasurer’s grand-daughter.

The formalities were recorded by what must surely be one of the largest contingent of the media ever to’ cover a HADAS event. The full complement of local papers were present, as were BBC TV and Radio London. Pre-publicity was excellent too.

The last part of the event was a HADAS home-made tea (as ever, up to the highest standards) with a special celebration cake baked by Barbara Pincherli who, as well as being a queen-bee cake-decorator in her spare time, works in the hospital physiotherapy department. The centre of the 12 in. diameter cake carried a representation in coloured icing of a contemporary painting of Grimaldi by a Sadlers Wells musician; while perched round the rim of the cake, their heads poking above it, were six highly coloured icing clowns. The cake was ceremonially cut by Spike and

Sheila, Mr Woo and Barney, with only two thumbs and three fingers lost between them.

Here are the credit titles for the big cast responsible for this top-class theatrical event:

Catering by: nine members of the HADAS Catering Corps

Planning by: Isobel McPherson, Victor Jones, Brigid Grafton Green Guests (looked after) by: Dorothy Newbury

Recording/sound by: Christopher Newbury

Curtains (for plaque) & installation thereof: Joan Brian Wrigley Photographs (special assignment for HADAS) by: Eric Ward

As a final thought, it occurs to me that we should perhaps be think­ing about another Blue Plaque to put next to Grimaldi’s to commemorate yet another HADAS achievement, recording ‘a lot of hard work by a lot of people.’

A superb event and congratulations to all concerned.

POSTSCRIPT (DELAYED ALAS!) TO GRIMALDI

There’s one story of a missed opportunity in connection with the Grimaldi celebration.

 

The arrangements for the unveiling had to be made pretty quickly ­within about 2i weeks. We knew that Prince Rainier, the Prince of Monaco, was the head of the Grimaldi family, and we decided to write and tell him what we were doing and ask if he would care to send a message to be read at this ceremony to one of the greatest Grimaldis.

Nothing had been heard from Monte Carlo by the day of the ceremony, so we decided regretfully that the Prince was not interested.

But we were wrong. Two days after the unveiling we had a letter, dated March 29, from the Prince’s Private Secretary, which said:

“I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter to His Serene Highness The Prince of Monaco, dated March 17, which reached this office this very morning.

Since the plaque in the honour of Joseph Grimaldi will be unveiled at your April 1 ceremony, the message you requested from His Serene Highness will arrive too late for the event, and there would be no purpose in sending it today.

This unfortunate delay is indeed regrettable.

With all best wishes for the full success of this event,

Sincerely,”

We feel very frustrated that some gremlin, either in the British or the Monagasque postal service, managed to put a spanner in the works. Anyway, we are planning to send Prince Rainier, with HADAS’s compliments, a photograph of the new plaque for his family records.

 

ABOUT HADAS PEOPLE

 

The Prehistoric Society Spring Conference on March 24/25 was – as indeed it usually is – full of HADAS members. One of them reported counting at least 15.

The Conference was on Prehistoric Settlement and Society, with speak­ers from the States, Israel, Canada and France, as well as Britain. The ‘new archaeology’ was much in evidence, so the programme was spattered with phrases like alternative models,’ ‘spatial analyses’ & ‘research strategies.’

four members are known to be joining its Spanish trip next October . CLODAGH PRITCHARD, ENID HILL, SHEILA WOODWARD and CHRISTINE ARNOTT; and a couple more disappointed hopefuls didn’t apply quickly enough and found, the trip was full up.

 

At the end of March SHEILA WOODWARD retired from her civil service job, in what sounds like a blaze of family and office parties. She’s hoping to have more time now for private pursuits, like HADAS: the co-directorship, with MARGARET MAHER, of the West Heath dig this summer will be one of them.

A birthday offering which greatly pleased her was a card bearing a series of thumbnail sketches by one of her cousins. It depicts her future activities. It includes Sheila in wellies marching down the middle of a Barnet river bearing, like the boy in ‘Excelsior,’ a banner with a strange device – as well as Sheila wielding a nifty trowel and engaging in other archaeological activities. The strange device? Why, H A D A S, of course!

 

Also retiring this year at the end of August, is one of HADAS’s founder members, JOHN ENDERBY, who has been Principal of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute for 30 years.

We are delighted to report that he is not immediately leaving Hendon, and we hope that he, too, will have time for more archaeology. Indeed, he has already announced publicly that he hopes he may now have time to attend archaeological lectures at his own Institute!

 

 Finally, news from another member of long standing: school teacher ANN TREWICK. She has recently acquired a weekend flat not far from Sutton Hoo, and that fact inspired her to apply to take part in this summer’s Sutton Hoo excavations, already billed in various archaeological journals and on ‘Chronicle’ (which will be reporting them extensively for the next five years) as ‘the dig of the decade.’

Ann tells us with great pleasure that she has been accepted and hopes to put in as much time as possible between mid-May and September. Digging hours – just in case anybody thinks this will be a rest-cure – are 7.30 am to 4.30 pm, ‘with occasional night shifts!

Members who want to follow events at Sutton Hoo can do so through a series of ‘6 monthly Bulletins being published by the Sutton Hoo Research Committee, which will give regular reports of how things are going on this famous site. If you want to go on the mailing list, send £2 to the Research Director, Martin Carver, Sutton Hoo Project Centre, Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit, PO Box 363, Birmingham B15 2TT.

UNDERWATER EXCAVATION    A report on the HADAS April lecture by STEPHEN CONRAD

 

What a splendid lecture to end our winter season! There had been some speculation whether this would be a popular subject, but the 110 or so mem­bers present were captivated by the revelations of architect archaeologist Alexander Flinder, who was personally involved in all the discoveries he described.

The first area, he dealt with was the harbour of Caesarea in Israel. Caesarea, in King Herod’s time 2000 years ago, was a busy, thriving town of more than 20,000 people, a seat of learning and, according to the writer Josephus, possessed of a magnificent harbour, greater in size than that of  Piraeus. However, for centuries, through Crusader times to the present day, the harbour has been small and quaint, and of nothing approaching the magnitude that Josephus boasted.

In the sixties Edward Link (of Link trainer fame) took some aerial pictures which began to explain the discrepancy. They showed a massive harbour beneath the waters, reaching out into the sea. The dark outline of the stone walls was clearly visible 30 ft below the modern surface. Detailed underwater inspection showed the walls to be made from stones sometimes as large as 10 x 10 x 30ft: superb masonry.

This poses a lot of questions, what happened to this magnificent harbour? Did an earthquake (Caesarea is in an earthquake zone) shake it to pieces? Did the water level rise? (The answer to that is no – the level is now more or less as it was 2000 years ago). Did the land sink? There is, after all, a geological fault in the nearby seabed.

The experts have now decided that the answer is a commercial one. Caesarea harbour came to a ‘help yourself’ ending. There was enough stone ‘in Caesarea to build at least three other cities, and when the town ceased to be important the stone was carted off elsewhere in the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy. The town of Acre, it is known, was built with stone from this area.

Caesarea provided another problem. Three hundred metres south of the town, on the water’s edge, there was a large rectangular pool about 4 ft deep known locally as Cleopatra’s pool, which had been presumed to be for bathing. On closer examination, however, and after observation of the sluices and cuts in tree rock surrounding the pool, it seemed more probable that this was in fact, a fish tank. No self-respecting Roman of status, said Mr Flinder, would have been without one.

The water washed in from the sea, over a low wall and filtered out at the side through cuts in the rock and over sluice boards, being sucked down into a bore hole which is still working today. It might have been Herod’s own fish pool, but no palace for Herod has yet been found. A similar pool and mosaic surround has been found in Cyprus, where it is called ‘the pool of the queen.’

The next site under examination was in the Red Sea at Sham el Sheik. Clear brilliant water made diving excellent. On the sea bed a wreck, probably Turkish, its wooden hull having burst open over the centuries like an overblown flower, was now lying flat on the sea bed. The cargo ‘was small Turkish pots made of porous clay, with a filter at the neck and a lid to go on top. A water jar, possibly? More to Mr Flinder’s taste is the suggestion that this is a type of refrigeration jar. A sweetmeat – say Turkish delight ­could have been put into the top of the jar with the lid on. The water evaporating through the porous clay would have had a cooling effect.

Final subject of the evening was the coral island of Jezirat Faraun, situated in the Red Sea about 10 miles south of Elat and lying just off the shore of the Sinai desert. This is a picturesque island, noted on British naval charts as having a safe anchorage between island and coast. Remains of a fort made an ideal subject for further investigation.

A survey of the origins of the island and of the straits was made. The fort was easily identified as a Saracen fort of the Crusader period. The foundations of a more ancient wall circled the whole island, keeping out the sea as well as enemies. A small gap in this outside wall together with an aerial photograph, showed that there had once been an internal harbour for the island, the break in the wall being its entrance.

A detailed survey of the waters of the straits was made, and produced Byzantine urns covered with coral. On the mainland, immediately opposite the harbour entrance, a landing stage was discovered, indicating the method by which communications were maintained across the straits.

A few miles south a subsonic instrumental survey – using the same equip­ment that found the Mary Rose – showed up an anomaly some 30 ft below the seabed, which in turn was 80′ ft below the surface. There is every indication that this represents a wrecks but the possibility of reaching what may be a Solomonic relic at such depth and in so difficult a position will mean that it will probably remain a mystery for many years to come.

Michael Purton, in his vote of thanks, expressed all ours wishes that he hoped Mr Flinder would return again and tell us more

 

It was interesting a few days after Alexander Flinder’s talk, to see a letter from him in The Times, in his capacity as Chairman of the Nautical Archaeology Society, on the Dept. of Transport’s proposal to introduce new legislation on wrecks and the material from them.

This proposed new legislation cannot, in Mr Flinder’s views be made to work unless the advisory committee which administers historic wrecks on behalf of the Government – the Runciman Committee – is placed under the aegis of the new Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, and thereby has some access to that Commission’s funds for archaeology.

The Government has so far refused to consider this; and is leaving the Runciman committee to operate with voluntary members and only enough funds to pay for a part-time secretary.

‘Is it not a cruel irony,’ Mr Flinder ends his letter, ‘that in 1984, which the Government has designated “Heritage Year,” it might very well, by its own actions kill the discipline that sprouted the Mary Rose?’

 

FLYING A KITE FOR AUTUMN

For many years we have been lucky enough in the Borough of Barnet to have been able to study locally for the two part-time Qualifications which appeal most to amateur archaeologists – the Diploma in Archaeology and the Certificate in Field Archaeology, both awarded by the University of London. HGS Institute has always encouraged Diploma courses and. Barnet College has run Certificate .classes,

Last year, however, Barnet College brought its Certificate classes (from which many ‘HADAS members have emerged triumphant) to an end. This year we hear that there are likely to be no Certificate classes available anywhere in North London.

The HGS Institute, however, is prepared to try to fill the gap – pro­vided enough students want it filled. It will organise a Certificate class if a minimum of 15 people can be found who want to take it. This could be a day-time, not an evening, class if that would be more popular.

Perhaps some details about the Certificate would be helpful. It is considered to be a practical, dirt archaeology qualification while the Diploma tends to be more academic: though generalisations like that are always too slick. The Certificate normally takes 3 years, the Diploma 4. Certificate classes are divided chronologically, and are concerned only with British archaeology: Year 1 Prehistory, Year. 2 Roman, Year 3 post-Roman up to 1056. On the practical side, Year 1 deals with the planning of excavations, Year 2 studies digging methods and techniques; Year 3 concentrates on analysis of data and publication.

John Enderby, Principal of the HGS Institute, has asked the Newsletter to find out how many HADAS members might be interested, if he were to initiate a two-term Year I. Certificate course next September. He is trying to test the water, as it were – and not asking you to commit yourself finally at this stage.     Should you be interested, will you either ring Brigid Grafton Green (455-9040) and let her know; or talk to Mr Enderby at the AGM on May 15, when he will be happy to provide anyone interested with literature. Don’t forget to mention whether day-time or evening course would suit you best.

 

THERMOLUMINESCENCE DATING

The European Science Foundation, an international organisation with HQ ­at Strasbourg, has begun publishing a series of handbooks for archaeologists, starting with an excellent 50-pager on Thermoluminescence Dating.

After an outline of the history and present position of TL dating, followed by an exposition of the principles of the method, the booklet goes on to detail the techniques for various types of material ceramic, burnt stone, burnt flint and chart, calcite and Aeolian sediment (including loess).

There is a useful section on Samples and Sampling, taking each type of material in turn. Since HADAS has been able (see Newsletter 147, Nay 1933) to submit flint samples from West Heath for investigation under the programme of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford, this quote from the section on flint sampling may be of interest:

“Flint may have been burnt in antiquity to 400°C or more which is sufficient to reset the TL clock; with TL dating it is the age of the burning event that is determined. The ideal number of samples for each level is 6 to 12 well-burnt flints. The outer 2 mm of sample must be removed in the TL laboratory to leave a disc measuring at least 1cm by 3cm. This is the very minimum size, and it is no good submitting shapes which will not yield such a disc even when the sample form is irregular. Bigger pieces are better. For burial depth and uniformity of the surrounding soil the requirements are as for ceramics.

Avoid prolonged exposure to light; indeed, try to avoid any exposure at all. Particularly avoid sunlight or fluorescent light. Put the sample an opaque bag. As with all other sample materials, avoid excessive heating and exposure to ultra-violet, infra-red, X-rays, beta-rays or gamma rays.

About kg of soil, typical of that in which the samples were buried, is required. For packing, moisture conditions, etc follow the recommendations for ceramics.”

*Note: the requirements and recommendations for ceramics are:

“Only samples that have been buried to a depth of 30 cm or more for at least two-thirds of the burial time are acceptable. Ideally the sample should be at least 30 cm from any boundary (e.g. edge of pit, change of soil-type, wall, floor, rock surface …

.”the soil should be tightly double-bagged … also a sample of each  type of material occurring in large proportions within 30cm of the  7 sample is required. In the case of a scatter of small stones in the soil these should be included in the soil sample in representative proportion. Information about burial conditions should include a section sketch and photographs of the context showing roughly the points from which the samples were taken and the deposits for at least 30cm around.”

Under a heading ‘Possibilities and Limitations’ results of TL dating’ from a number of different sites are analysed: a medieval kiln’ in Lubeck, Germany (average TL date AD 1244); Viking Age layers from Ribe, Denmark (AD 700); average. TL dates from 7 Romano-British sites of known. age (the deviation from 6 out of 7 was less than 5% between known age and TL date); a Bronze Age site at Skamlebak Denmark; an Early Bronze Ago settlement at Demirchihuyuk Turkey; pottery from a Japanese Jomon culture site (TL, age of pottery 13,970 +/-1850 years, making it the oldest pottery in the world); Viking Age houses at Lejre, Denmark (AD1040); and flint samples froth the paIaeoIithic cave- at Combo Grenal, .Perigord (TL  age from 44,000- 113,000 year).-

There it a list of ‘TL dating laboratories in Europe, and it is interesting that most countries have only one (with 4 in France and 3 in Germany) but the UK has 9.      A section on literature, followed by one suggesting selected reading is also helpful. Free copies ‘of the booklet are obtainable from the CBA, 112 Kennington Rd, SE11 6RE (enclose an A5 size sae, stamped 20½p.)

 

SITES TO WATCH

The following sites, which might be of some archaeological interest have been mentioned in recent planning applications:


Land at Glengall RD, opposite Crammer Rd,

Edgware          _

Land bounded by Springwood Cres, Burrell: Cl

2‹:Knightswood Cl, NW7

142-E Gt North Way NW4

Former W. Hendon multi-storey carpark betw.

W.Hendon, Broadway/Marsh Drive,NW7

Land fronting The Causeway, betw. East End

Rd/4 The Causeway, N2

Land adj. “Parklands”, Hendon Wood Lane NW7


primary school, care­taker/,s cottage

61 houses, 165 flats, access roads

3-storey flats

houses, estate reads (oUtline)

flats, houses

12 houses, access roads.


Members who notice building activity on any of these sites are asked to alert Brian Wrigley (959.5982; 21 Woodcroft Ave NW7).

 

HADAS DIARY

Sat May 5. Meet Burgh House, 2 pm. Hampstead Walk with Christopher Wade (see April.-Newsletter): Please ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) if you are thinking of coming, as Mr Wade would like some idea of numbers.

Sun May12. Day trip to York. With all the press and TV publicity the timing for our visit, is now crucial. WILL ALL MEMBERS BOOKED please be punctual. Departure Quadrant, NW4 8.25 am; Refectory, Golders Green 8.30. In fact, be a little earlier if you possibly can – we are booked at the Jorvik Centre at 1 pm. The coach is full, but there is no waiting list, so if you still want to join ring Dorothy Newbury up to the last minute in case there are cancellations.

Tues. May 12. AGM, 8 for 8.30 pm, at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, NW4. Several members have offered to show slides on subjects ranging from Wales to Swaziland. We will include as many as time permits.

Sat June 16. Outing to Icklingham/West Stow, Suffolk, with Ted Sammes. Application form will be in June Newsletter.

 

PAID YOUR SUB YET? If not, please do: it became due on April 1. Details of the new rates are in the April Newsletter. Payment should be made to our Membership Secretary, Phyllis Fletcher, 27 Decoy Ave TA91 NW11 OES:(455 2558).

NEWS.FROM THE GROUPS.

The Prehistoric Group is in a ‘Waiting for Godo situation – only it is ‘waiting for West Heath. Dig reopens on June 16 for 6 weeks. Further information from either Margaret Maher (907777) or Sheila Woodward (952 3897). The Group’s river walks have ceased for the summer; it is hoped to start again in the autumn:


The Roman Group will warmly welcome all members who wish to take part in a pottery processing weekend at The Teahouse, Northway, NW11 on May 19/ 20 between 10-4 pm. If you like to just Come to view and handle the pottery: but should you want to be more involved, there will be plenty of work to do, including study of Brockley Hill jars, flagons and amphorae, Samian ware and mortaria, and drawing and indexing. Tea and biscuits-will be available, or bring a picnic lunch if you want to come for the day,

 

ROUND AND ABOUT

.           Guildford Museum and the Surrey Archaeological. Society are running a joint medieval pottery workshop at Dorking Christian Centre on Sat. June 2 from10am – 4pm.’ In the morning 5 Surrey kilns will be discussed: Farnborough Hill, Kingston, Cheam, Vicars Haw, Limpsfield and Earlswood Reigate. The afternoon will be given over to pottery identification. Ticket £l.50, from Julia Arthur, -Guildford Museum, Quarry St, Guildford. GU1 3SX.

Northwest London Family History Society intends to begin recording inscriptions in Holy Trinity churchyard, East Finchley, on May 19. Any HADAS member who cares to help will be most welcome, 10 am-6 pm.

One day conference on Aspects of Romano–British Villas takes place on Sat. May 26, 9.15 am-6 pm, at the University Centre, Barrack Road, North­ampton, to celebrate the Upper Nene Archaeological society’s 21st birthday. Speakers will include Graham Webster, Keith Braniganl David Neal, Tom Blagg, Alan McWhirr. Tickets £6- (plus £2.50 if you would like a buffet lunch) from Diana Friendship Taylor, 86 Main Road, Hackleton, -Northampton NN7 2AD.

A London Wall Walk, masterminded by the Museum of London, opens on May 21. Information panels of blue and cream tiles have been erected along the City defences at 21 points between the Museum and the Tower. They show explanations of the surviving remains and reconstructions to show what the wall was originally like. The walk is 1¾ miles, takes one-two hours.

The Museum of London is helping the Royal Institute of British Architects to celebrate its 150th anniversary by offering a series of lectures on :-.London buildings from the 1830s on Weds/Fri at-1.10 in the Museum theatre. Full programme obtainable from the Museum.

 

LUTYENS AND ELGAR

The RIBA is, in fact, planning a London wide Festival of Architecture this summer.  In our area events are being organised by the Northwest London branch,-which covers 8 boroughs. A travelling roadshow will be at Brent Cross shopping centre from May 24/26.

In what is perhaps the Borough’s most architecturally famous Conserva­tion Area Hampstead Garden Suburb – the Northwest RIBA, with the co-opera­tion of the Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill, is to mount a son-et-lumiere presentation on the evening of May 24. This will jointly, commemorate one of the Suburb foremost architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens  (who designed St. Judes) and Sir Edward Elgar, the 50th anniversary of whose death occurs this year. Elgar’s music, played on the great Willis organ of St Judes (which came originally from Samuel Barnett’s church of St Judes, Whitechapel), together• with a spoken commentary on Lutyens’ architecture, should make it a memorable evening,

Newsletter-158-April-1984

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 3 : 1980 - 1984 | No Comments

Newsletter-158-April-1984

 

 

Newsletter 158         April 1984 SALUTE TO CLOWNS:

Doing anything on All Fools Day? If not, and this Newsletter reaches you in time (we’re posting it a day or two early specially) why not celebrate April 1st this year by coming along to an unusual ceremony which is to take place at 3 o’clock that afternoon,

It is the unveiling of a Blue Plaque to Joseph Grimaldi, the great clown and ‘comic actor, by a great ‘clown’ of our own day, Spike Milligan. The plaque is on the wall of Finchley Memorial hospital, which overlooks Granville Road, N12, and is the building nearest to the spot on which stood the cottage leased by Grimaldi for 21 years.

As regular Newsletter readers will know HADAS – backed by three other local societies, the Mill Hill Historical, the Barnet & District

Local History and the Finchley Society – was instrumental some years ago in persuading the Borough of Barnet to start erecting more commemorative plaques to notables who have lived in the Borough in the past. Grimaldi is one in this series and the Borough Librarian has invited us to arrange this particular ceremony. Our Chairman, Councillor Brian Jarman, will preside and we shall have, in addition to great Goon, Spike, a number of other guests with particular Grimaldi connections.

These will include Father Michael Shrewsbury, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Dalston, ‘the Clowns’ Church,’ where the annual clowns’ service, in memory of Grimaldi, is held each February, and where a clown’s face is embroidered on the vicar’s hassock; Daniel Grimaldi, great, great-grandson of the Great Grimaldi; and three local clowns, Jojo, Bobo and Barey, who have agreed to come along, with obvious pleasure, in full clowns rig.

We should perhaps mention that April 1st will also be Mothering Sunday, so we hope that any children who have a connection with HADAS will seize this unique chance to bring their Mums to see the clowns, as a special treat! Even if you can’t come yourself, will you do something for us? Please keep your fingers crossed for a fine day on April 1st.

 

THE FUNNIEST MAN IN ENGLAND

To put you in the picture, here’s some biographical detail about Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), known in his day as ‘the funniest man in England.’ His songs, which were broadsheet sell-outs, were still being sung a century after he first sang them; his make-up – white face, red triangles on the cheeks, sometimes a red nose – is still the basis of conventional clown’s wear 200 years later. You sometimes see one of his pet hair-dos on punks today – that Mohican roll from nape to nose-bridge over the top of an otherwise shaven pate. His name – Joey – is nowadays a synonym for a clown, and slapstick in the theatre is ‘Joey-joey business.

Grimaldi was born on December 18, 1778, son of an immigrant Italian actor who came in late middle age to work in London. There he fell for a Drury Lane chorus girl 40 years his junior; Joseph was the illegit­imate offspring of the union. His father’s temper was chancy and he is said to have beaten his son frequently and to have made him work like a navvy. Joey made his first appearance on the stage on Easter Monday, 1781, when he was three years old, as a dancer and tumbler.

Although the apprenticeship was tough, he emerged from it as the

greatest clown that England has known. At 11 he was earning £1 a week
at Drury Lane; in 1802, when an agricultural labourer earned £8 a year, Grimaldi was making £4 a week at Drury Lane and £6 a week at Sadlers Wells. By 1806 his career had soared to heights at which it would remain until his premature retirement in 1823. At Christmas, 1806, he performed Mother Goose (to be repeated many times)and ‘thereafter he was in a class of his own.’ indeed Charles Dickens, writing more than 30 years later, said: ‘There are no standards to compare him with, or models to judge him by; all his excellences were his own and there are none resembling them among the pantomime actors of the present day.’

He danced beautifully; his body seemed to be boneless and he was

the only man in England who could fill the old Covent Garden – a vast
theatre – for 92 performances on the trot. When he started in the theatre he worked at Drury Lane and Sadlers Wells – then a building standing in a quiet rural landscape; after a disagreement with the Drury Lane management in 1806 he worked for the Wells and Covent Garden.

Turn-up For Harlequin,

 Although his memorable Mother Goose was, as it happened, a Christmas show, pantomime wasn’t then at all what it is today. It was staged at any season of the year, not only Christmas;  it was for all ages and all classes; and its second half, by tradition, was always a Harlequinade. That was the story of Columbine and Harlequin’s elopement, pursued by Pantaloon, who was supported by his servant: Clown. Harlequin was the main character. Grimaldi changed all that, and pantomime was never quite the same again.

Under his genius Clown blossomed into the principal part: he became the character who brought the house down. Grimaldi had a way with sausages, babies and policemen … that his audiences found irresistible. His nose alone was capable of conveying disdain, fear, anger and joy. It wasn’t so much what he did: it was the way he did it. He had the gift of turning life into a joke, but his brand of wit and humour was difficult to analyse.

Richard Findlater, in his book published for the 200th anniversary of Grimaldi’s birth, tries to pin his magic down: The Times, Findlater says, once described Grimaldi as ‘Hogarth in action’ – for there on the stage he held up a satirical mirror to the excesses of the day. One 180 frailty that was unmercifully lampooned was what Arthur Bryant has called ‘the national vice of stuffing.’ Grimaldi guzzled inimitably, parodying Georgian greed in all its crudity.

Another speciality was his portrayal of stealing – another national pastime. Clown, with smirk and wink, showed off light-fingeredness at a time when petty pilfering could be punishable by death. ‘The greater the danger, the better the joke,’ observes Findlater. Grimaldi. was an incomparable mimic and he had a bag of what he called ‘tricks of con­struction’ – in which he manufactured, while dancing, the figure of a man – with whom, later, he would do ridiculous battle – out of, say,vegetables from Covent Garden market, with cabbage body, pumpkin and leek head, carrot fingers and turnip feet.

1806 must have been a high-watermark for Grimaldi: not only for his Mother Goose triumph and his move to Covent Garden, but also because it was then that he first leased his country retreat in Finchley. He had married, in 1798, Maria Hughes, the daughter of a theatre manager, but she lived for only a year and Joe was nearly inconsolable. His second wife, Mary Bristow, whom he married 3 years later, was an actress, and they had one son, a weakly boy. That was the reason for the move to Finchley: it was thought the country air might be good for him.

The main source of information about Grimaldi – apart from prints, broadsheets and journals of the time – is his own Memoirs (published 1838), ramblingly written in the last year of his life. They were

doubly edited, first by Egerton Wilks and then by Charles Dickens, who is said to have sub-edited them severely and added flourishes of his own. Dickens never met Grimaldi, but as a boy of 9 or 10 he saw the great clown perform towards the end of his career. Of Grimaldi’s soujourn in Finchley Dickens wrote: ‘he had a cottage at Finchley, to which he used to drive down in his gig after the performances. If there were no rehearsals he remained there until the following afternoon: if there were, he returned to town immediately after breakfast.’

The Pightle at Fallow Corner

The 1866 edition of the Memoirs notes that the cottage was ‘on the edge of the common between the seventh and eighth milestone, on the left handside of the road from town. Frank Marcham, in a paper in LAMAS tranasactions, 1938, adds that Grimaldi lived at Fallow Corner, Finchley, from 1806-1827, in a house ‘on the land in Granville Road, next the home for children,’ and explains that his landlord was William Drummond, who had bought the house in 1801, as ‘all that messuage cottage or tenement erected and built with the pightle of land at the backside of the said house containing one rood … at Fallow Corner.’

Grimaldi called the house’ at Finchley Tippity Cottage, after his best-loved song ‘Tippitywitchet, in which he made great play with a snuff-box and a sneeze. The Prince Regent is said ‘to have burst his stays with laughing.’

Life at Finchley was not without incident: he was held up by high­waymen on Highgate Hill on his way home from the theatre; his 17-year old manservant was arrested at ‘Tippity Cottage for sheep-stealing (the spoils, skins, flesh and bones, were concealed in a hayloft above Grimaldi’s Chaise-house’) and later tried at the Old Bailey, found guilty and sentenced to death, with a recommendation to mercy on account of his youth (there is a full report of the trial in Frank Marsham’s LAMAS Trans paper).

One continuing struggle for the Grimaldis was to make ends meet, because their spending was imprudent, their investments unlucky and Mrs Grimaldi extravagant. Although Joey earned good money, it dripped through his and his wife’s fingers. At one point they had to sub-let. Tippity Cottage until their fortunes improved.

Regency theatres were not, as theatres are now, open the year round. Sometimes they opened for only a few months of the year. It was often necessary ‘to sign on with two theatres to keep in employment. Sometimes the seasons of the two overlapped. This seems to have happened quite often with Grimaldi; and when it did and he had two performances at different theatres in the same evening he had to run, at full speed, from one to the other. His fastest time, he reckoned, from Sadlers Wells to Drury Lane was 8 minutes.

With that kind of exertion, plus a hard childhood and the sheer physical battering taken by a slapstick comic, it is not surprising that in his forties Grimaldi began to suffer from a crippling disease. He struggled against it, but by the time he was 45 his legs were so seized up and twisted that he could no longer work; for his final appearance he was carried onto the stage in a chair.

Tears often lie close to the heart of a clown, and Grimaldi was no exception. His temperament inclined to melancholy. One sad story told of him is of his anonymous visit, when he was feeling ill and depressed, to a doctor to whom he confided his woes. The doctor’s advice was ‘Go and see Grimaldi: he’s as good as a tonic. You’ll feel better at once.’ The classic case of- ‘Physician, heal thyself?’

After his retirement, life could only decline. He died, in poverty

 and alone (his wife and son predeceased him) on May 31 in the year Victoria came to the throne. He was buried at the Georgian church of St James, Pentonville, recently demolished. His tombstone has been lovingly preserved in the small churchyard, which remains. Perhaps ­Thomas Hood’s lines, written on Joe’s retirement, are as good an epitaph as any:

 

“Oh who like thee could ever drink

Or eat – swill, swallow, bolt and choke?

Nod, weep and hiccup – sneeze and wink?

Thy very yawn was quite a joke.”

 

 

Bibliography:

Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi, edit. Charles Dickens, reprinted 1963, MacGibbon & Kee

 

Joe Grimaldi: His Life & Theatre, Richard Findlater, 1978, C.U.P. 

 

Incidents in the Life of Joseph Grimaldi, Giles and Patricia Neville, 1980, Jonathan Cape

 

Joseph Grimaldi & Finchley, Frank Marcham, in Trans. LAMAS, vol VIII

part 1 (1938), 48-56

 

PROGRAMME NEWS

Tues. Apr 3. Alexander Flinder will speak to us about Underwater Archaeology in the Holy Land. Mr Flinder chairs the Nautical Archaeology Society and is a member of the Government Advisory Committee on Historic Wrecks. His talk will cover a 20-year involvement in under­water exploration in the seas of the Bible lands in which he has led and participated in many archaeological projects. Some of the discov­eries are of particular biblical significance, while others illuminate the later historical period of the Holyland. 8 pm for 8.30 at the Library, the Burroughs, NW4.

Sat. May 5 2 pm. Hampstead Walk with Christopher Wade, Curator at Burgh House and vice-Chairman of Camden History Society. The walk will start and finish at Burgh House, where members can have tea in the Buttery if they wish. Lunches are also available beforehand, but it is advisable to ring 431 2516 first. Mr Wade has asked no fee, but would be grateful for donations towards the Burgh House Trust. A collecting box will be available. He would like a rough idea of numbers so that he can organise the walk – please ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) if you intend to come.

An exhibition about the du Maurier family will be on in the Hampstead  museum, on the first floor of Burgh House, and can also be visited.

 

Sun. May 13th day-trip to Jorvik Viking Centre. THE TRIP IS ON,
as we have had a good response. Anyone else who wants to join, but hasn’t .yet applied, please let Dorothy Newbury known – in case there are cancellations.

 Tues. May 15 Annual General meeting, 8 for 8.30 pm, the Library, the Burroughs, NW4. Dorothy Newbury would like to hear from any member who has a few slides to                         show (12 maximum) or who would give a 10-minute talk on any interesting subject. This is a chance for us all to share your activities over the last few years. If there’s a             rush of volun­teers, it will be first come, first served.

Sat. June 16. Outing to Icklingham/West Stow, Suffolk, with Ted Sammes.

For the first time this year HADAS will have a display and bookstall at the Conservation Fayre organised by the Edgware branch of the National Trust. This will be on Sat. Apr 14, from 10 am-3 pm, at Harwood Hall, Mill Hill. Any members who would care to help with this are asked to ring Tessa Smith on 958 9159.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

… become due on April 1 – so with this Newsletter I am enclosing reminders which tell you the new rates. I shall be happy to receive your remittance, and hope that you will send it as soon as possible – reminders which have to be sent later in the year cost postage and time.

PHYLLIS FLETCHER, Membership Secretary 2? Decoy Avenue, NW1I OES. 455 2558

 

ARCHAEOLOGY IN WILTSHIRE A report from SHEILA WOODWARD on the

HADAS March lecture

Readers of Current Archaeology are familiar with John Musty’s lively and informative Science Diary which records, in language intelligible to the layman, recent research and. achievements in archaeological science. A similar lively style characterised this lecture, in which Mr Musty reviewed with pleasure and enthusiasm his many years of experience as an excavator in Wiltshire.

The young John Musty’s interest in archaeology was sparked off in the 1930s by a visit to a Roman settlement near Marlborough; and was subsequently developed and deepened under the guidance of Dr J F S Stone when they worked as fellow civil servants in the Ministry of Defence research station at Porton Down. Wiltshire was an ideal county in which to practice archaeology, providing an amplitude of sites which ranged from Neolithic chambered tombs and Bronze Age barrows to Saxon cemeteries and deserted medieval villages. During the 1950s some of the most important sites in the area were being re-excavated: the great Bronze Age barrow Cemetery on Snail Down, Stonehenge itself, and the West Kennet long barrow. Mr Musty participated in them all. He recalled that the lunch-break at Stonehenge was always known as ‘ditching’ because the repast was invariably eaten in the bottom of the henge’s ditch!

In the 1960s he began to organise and direct his own excavations and again they covered a wide spectrum. He investigated the Roman road which connected Old Sarum with the lead mines in the Mendips; the Old Sarum tunnel which was probably its sally-port; a fascinating group of Saxon graves at Winterbourne Gunner and Winterbourne Earls; the medieval pottery kilns at Laverstock; and the deserted medieval village at Gomeldon with its changing settlement pattern over a period of three centuries. Some unusual hazards were encountered, such as excavating in the magazine area of a Wessex fireworks factory and investigating a Neolithic causewayed camp situated in the middle of an artillery range. Mr Musty took them all in his stride:

When he retired last, year Mr Musty had been head of the DoE Ancient Monuments Laboratory for over 15 years; but it was as an amateur that he entered archaeology and undertook so many excavations. Perhaps that gave his lecture special appeal,

 

HADAS PEOPLE TN THE NEWS

ANN SAUNDERS – a HADAS member of long standing, who many will remember for her delightful lectures to the society on Marylebone – has a book in the offing. It will come out this May, and is called The Art and Architecture. of London. – so keep an eye out for it on the bookstalls

and in the library.. It is published by Phaidon and the Duke of Edinburgh has done the foreword.

Many members will rejoice to hear that COLIN EVANS – still a member, though he is now rarely in this country, being based in France – married again last January. His wife is Josyan ‘Testa. HADAS has much pleasure in sending Mr. and Mrs. Evans its warmest congratulations and best wishes for the future.

 

A COMMISION TO WATCH

We shouldn’t let April 1st pass without noting that on this day there comes into being a new Government organisation which could have a profound effect, perhaps good, perhaps bad, on archaeology in Britain. This is the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Commission for England, established under the National heritage Act,

Its Chairman is Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, its Deputy Chairman HRH the Duke of Gloucester; the Chief Executive is Peter Rumble, who was Director of the old Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings board; and it can have up to 17 Commissioners. Those so far appointed include Sir Arthur Drew, Mrs. Jennifer Jenkins, Professor .Rosemary Cramp, Professor Colin Renfrew, the Earl of Shelburne and Mr. Donald Insall,

The full range of Commissioners between them are expected to have knowledge and experience of tourism, commerce and finance, as well as more obvious subjects such as archaeology architecture, the history of architecture and the preservation or conservation of monuments and buildings.

Professor Renfrew, writing in Antiquity (no. 220, July 1983) expressed the hope that the Commission would not be too preoccupied with the historic buildings in its care to be ‘insufficiently aware of its wider responsibilities It has only 400 guardianship monuments and buildings, but there are 12,500 scheduled monuments, 275,000 listed buildings and an estimated half million further archaeological sites without official protection of any kind. Will the new Commission concern itself sufficiently about these, which in reality constitute the greater part of our national heritage?’ he asks.

It is comforting to know that since he wrote those words Professor Renfrew hasbecome a member of the Commission and will therefore have a ringside seat from which to put his views. Every archaeologist, pro­fessional and amateur, will be watching the new Commission with a deeply involved interest.

A CONFERENCE COMES OF AGE                                       Report by JENNY GRIFFITHS

Fewer HADAS members than usual this year attended the 21st annual conference of London archaeologists, held at the Museum of London on March 17.

The morning session was, as usual, taken up by short reports on current excavations; at Merton Priory, St Clair Street, Aldgate, Uxbridge, Kingston Bridge and Winchester Palace, Southwark. The small Roman burial site at St Clair Street provided an intriguing example of a ritual deposit – a pit containing pottery and a collection of animal bones, including a complete heron, several voles, mice and other small mammals and 32 frogs.

The afternoon session concentrated on Roman London and Londoners. Mark Hassell introduced us to several soldiers, citizens and civil servants through inscriptions, while Ralph Merrifield considered the religious significance of skulls, dog burials and hunter gods and goddesses.

Harvey Sheldon, in the final talk on ‘early and late Roman London: archaeological evidence for the contrast?’ urged a cautious approach to easy generalisations based on insufficient data. He produced a con­siderable body of evidence for the decline in both population and prosperity of later Roman London. His statistical analysis revealed amongst other things that 80% of all pottery types found in London are 1st and 2nd c, only 20% dating from the 3rd and 4th c; four out of five datable Roman contexts are lst/2nd c. However, he emphasised that later Roman levels are more likely to have been destroyed by sub­sequent occupation activity. Indeed, the presence of dark earth which sometimes seems all pervading on city sites, may itself have caused the loss of later levels.’ Harvey considers that ‘dark earth’ is the result of earthworm activity, disrupting the natural stratigraphy instead of overlying it like a blanket.

Harvey ended his talk with hopes of maintained, if not increased, resources for archaeology in the immediate future to clarify present problems. His audience clearly agreed.

 

Despite HADAS being thin on the ground at the Conference, we mounted a display and bookstall as usual. We thank most warmly the three members who so faithfully manned the stand: SHEILA WOODWARD and PETE and JENNY GRIFFITHS.

 

CORRECTION.

Tod Semmes asks us to print a correction to the report of his Church Terrace lecture which appeared in the last Newsletter.

In the penultimate paragraph on p3 it is suggested that a whole pot from a kiln at Arkley was found in one of the Church Terrace ditches. Ted says that although he showed a slide of a whole pot from the Arkley kiln, this was merely for comparative purposes. No whole pot was found at Church Terrace – he wishes one had been but Church Terrace produced sherds similar to the one from Arkley.

 

SITES TO WATCH: Applications made recently for planning permission include developments on the following sites:

27 Brockley Avenue, Stanmore                                    2 storey extension

 

Land adjoining Pymlicoe House, Hadley Green

1140-1148 High Rd, between Three Horseshoes & 304 Friern Barnet Lane

Oakhill College, East Barnet, rear of 1-33 (odd) Cedar Rise,’N14

amended plans for detached house/access road

3-storey office block (amended plans)

16 houses, estate road

 

Should approval be given, it is possible these sites might have some archaeological interest. Members who notice building activity of any hind en them are therefore asked to let Brian Wrigley know (959 5982).

Borough of Barnet planning lists give details of developments in other boroughs which immediately adjoin our own. The Roman Group, in particular, will be interested in one such which is under discussion in Harrow. This is for the erection of a store building and the formation of an access road thereto in the grounds of the Royal National Ortho­paedic Hospital at Brockley Hill.

 

THE MONEY WORRIES OF LOCAL HISTORY

The British Association for Local History held its second AGM on March 10, 1984, at the Westminster Cathedral Conference Centre. Biggest worry for the fledgling society is money, and the greater part of the discussion centred on that.

BALH’s financial situation is precarious. As reported last year (Newsletter 143, June, 1983) there have been DoE grants of £25,000 and £20,000 for its first two years, and there will be £15,000 to get it on its feet. After that it has to stand alone.

Its present premises in Central London are too expensive, so BALH is in negotiation for an office in Matlock, though some doubts were expressed of the wisdom of its distancing itself from a central position and of the inaccessibility of Matlock. There appeared, however, to be no alternative that was viable. The decision to leave London is expected to be taken in the next few weeks.

The meeting agreed that the Association’s financial year should change from Apr 1-March 31 to Jan 1-Dec 31, as from next year. This means that this year’s subscription of £4 will be for 9 months only.

Individual subscriptions are to remain at £4 next year; but corporate members (and that means HADAS) may expect a subscription rise. What that rise will be has not yet been decided: the Council was asked to investigate the institution of a sliding scale for corporate members (such as CBA operates) thus avoiding the injustice of a well-heeled county council paying the same fee as a small local society.

 

STRIPPED HISTORY

An intriguing find has just been made at College Farm (built by George Barham in Finchley in 1883). This is in the old dairy, a curious­ly shaped building whose roof rises in twin peaks, each peak crowned with a sort of hip-roofed doll’s house: these were originally devices for introducing additional ventilation and light. The dairy stands alone opposite the    buildings of the farm, with a cobbled access road running between.

Some weeks ago Sue Russell began giving the dairy a facelift. It had long been looking the worse for wear. Sue, who has helped at the farm for some time, particularly with the sheep and lambs, has become increasingly involved and interested both in the farm’s future and its history. She decided it was time the dairy was brought back to life.

As the interior has been slowly stripped of layers of paint and old paper, something very different has begun to emerge – the original cobalt blue and white tiles with which this show dairy was once decorated,

The colour scheme was no doubt chosen for cleanliness and coolness. A dairying manual of 1893, which we were lucky enough to find, provides a description of what the interior was like then:

‘There is a perfect little dairy across the road from the buildings, a dairy with a thatched roof and overhanging eaves. Probably a thatched roof is about as good as any­thing can be for a dairy: it keeps out the heat of the sun and helps to regulate the temperature inside the room. The dairy at College Farm is tastefully finished with Minton’s tiles, slate benches, and porcelain milk-pans that are white; and smooth, and clean, and very attractive to look upon, as well as to use.’

It is those ‘tasteful Minton’s tiles’ which are now beginning to see the light of day again. There were several different kinds. One attractive series consists of 6′ sq. tiles showing ten different and rather idyllic rural scenes.  Each course of tiles has three plain white ones separating two of the rural scenes, and this goes on repeating.

There are women with wide-brimmed hats reaping in the fields; a girl with tame rabbits; a milkmaid carrying pails and stepping daintily from stone to stone across a stream; a girl whose feet must have begun to hurt, as she has pushed off her shoes and is sitting barefoot beside a sheep and lamb; two children (the boy barefoot) have with them an indeterminate animal which might be a dog, or again a lamb. Another river scene shows a man with rolled up trousers standing in the water with something like a fish in his hand – has he been tickling trout? There is a shepherd under a tree; and a girl and woman carrying corn in their aprons.

Another part of the wall carries more stylised tiles, each divided into 9 or 12 compartments, with a flower-head or leaf centred in each compartment; and then there are friezes of narrower blue and white tiles running continuously near the top and bottom of the walls, featuring pomegranates ripely bursting. The only colour, apart from blue, is a fine line of narrow terracotta-coloured tiles near the bottom frieze.

When I saw the dairy Sue Russell had nearly worked her way around half the wall: when the whole thing has been done it will provide a fine show of late 19c decorative tiles, in situ. She is hoping to follow up their history in a forthcoming visit to the Potteries.

The dairy manual hints, as far back as 1893, at the dairy’s dicey future. Speaking of the porcelain equipment for ‘raising’ cream, it says that the big open pans ‘are not much wanted nowadays, for almost all the milk is sold (as milk); and indeed, even if it were not, cream

is obtained to greater advantage by separator. College Farm dairy had been built just as techniques for making butter and cream were changing and – quoting the manual again – ‘the dairy exists at Finchley as a part of the original plan of the premises yet it is now but little more than an ornament’

We also know that as early as 1902 the dairy was being used not for dairying but for cream teas. Sue Russell hopes the time is not too far distant when cream teas will be served there again.

NEWS FROM THE GROUPS

From the Prehistoric Group comes a reminder about West HeathL 1984: HADAS’s Mesolithic dig On Hampstead Heath will re-open on June 16 for a 6-week period. Diggers, finds-processors and PR persons required, please telephone Margaret Maher (907 0333) or Sheila Woodward. (952 3897) if you are interested. It would be helpful if volunteers could let us know their availability i.e., which days of the week they are likely to attend and between which dates. We are not asking for a firm commit­ment, but merely for general information, which will assist our planning.

Beginners are welcome. If you wish to dig, you will need your own trowel (a mason’s pointing trowel with a 3″ or 4″ blade, the blade and tang drop-forged and not rivetted or soldered) and your own kneeling-pad. All other equipment will be provided.

The Roman Group:

One Sunday in March the Group set out to identify the sites of three Roman kilns on the west side of Watling Street, at Elstree, Radlett and Bricket Wood. These have all been excavated, and the finds deposited at the Museums of London or Verulamium. Reports, however, on two of them are minimal; and it was upon these reports that our search was initially based.

The Elstree tile-kiln was-excavated in 1947 when large quantities of tegulae, imbrices and some coarse tesserae were found. A brief report locates the dig as ‘in an Elstree garden (Ivy Bush Inn) Opposite the Church. We searched the area directly opposite the Church, where new housing is now being built, and found one broken clay-pipe stem, much mud and little else’. Further north along the road an inn called the ‘Holly Bush” was noted. Could this be the ‘Ivy Bush’ of the report?

Our inability to locate the kiln site precisely, due to lack of a fuller report and to present rapid demolition of the area, highlights the need for accurate and detailed excavation reports.

The Radlett kilns in Loom Lane, discovered in 1898, contained mortaria, amphorae and. Jars. We located these kilns in accordance with the OS map and found the exact location of one by luck and kindly local help. We were introduced to the owner of the garden where the site of a kiln of the potter CASTVS is located on a steep earth bank. The owner told us that when re-laying his lawn he found sherds of pottery, some stamped CASTVS. The finds have been deposited at Verulamium Museum.

Our last visit was to Little Munden, Brickett Wood, where plough­ing had revealed a kiln in 1974. Products included collared and ring-necked flagons, honeypots and mortaria stamped by the patter OASTRIVS with LVGVD counterstamps. This potter is thought to be one of the earliest master potters from Gaul, and this kiln is estimated to have been in operation between AD 55-75. The setting was rural, on the edge of farmland, beside the river Colne and very stoney. This site is thought to be the most likely one for Lugudunum, the mysterious kiln area where a group of early potters settled, stamping their wares LVGVD and variations. One sharp-eyed member found a rim sherd, possibly of a shallow bowl. A full report of this excavation has been written by Chris Saunders and Adrian Havercroft, entitled ‘A Kiln of the Potter 0ASTRIVS1 and published in Hertfordshire Archaeology, vol 5, 109.

Time did not permit the full investigation we would all have liked, and follow-up work and further kiln walks are to be planned for the future.

Roman enthusiasts will find much to interest them at the annual Hertfordshire Archaeological Conference to be held on Sat. April l4 at Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, starting at 10 am. The morning session is on ‘Current Archaeology in Hertfordshire.’ The afternoon, on ‘Art and Archaeology’ will include such well-known speakers as Martin Henig (an expert on Roman gemstones) and Catherine Johns (author of the British Museum handbook on Samian pottery). Admission is £2, payable at the doors

DOCUMENTARY GROUP. In last month’s Newsletter we mentioned that Gavin Morgan, a new member, was undertaking research into our end of the Welsh droving trade. We also referred to an article by Tom Elias on the subject which we had hoped to publish last month. However, there wasn’t space in March, so here it is in April instead:

THE WELSH DROVERS AND BARNET FAIR

by Tom Elias of the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre

AS Jeremy Clynes noted in the November Newsletter (No 153), the Welsh drovers must have played an extremely important part In the economic and social life of Barnet as well as other market venues surrounding the Metropolis. As yet, however, little research has been conducted into the development of ‘Barnet fair from this point of view.’ Surely this is potentially a tremendously rewarding field of investigation, especially if coupled with some background knowledge as to the identity of those hard-bitten characters who practiced the ‘art and mysterye of droving’ an the dangers they occasionally faced.

An adventure it surely was. Let’s imagine a drover from north-west.Wales about 200 years ago. He would have to be over 30 years of age and be a man of means – usually the owner of his own farm or possibly be a tavern keeper. This was a necessary precondition before he could obtain a drover’s licence because the Welsh drovers, differently from their English or Scottish counterparts, took animals from various farmers ‘on credit’ and paid for them when they got back. So in case a drover ‘did a bunk’ with the money, there would at least be something for the creditors to get their hands on

Having got the drove together the cattle would be shod with pairs of half-moon shaped iron clips to protect their feet on the long and arduous journey. They would cover about 15 miles a day and take about 2-3 weeks to reach their destination. Whenever possible the drover and his hired hands (or ‘drivers’) would avoid the toll roads – no sensible fellow wished to subsidise gate keepers! Each night they would stop at an inn with convenient pasturage where the drover himself would sleep in a bed (hence frequent references in some drovers’ accounts to ‘chambermaid – 6d?!) while the poor drivers slept outside with the cattle.

Their destination was a ring of market venues surrounding London -would Billericay, Brentwood, Harlow, Epping, Barnet, Pinner; Uxbridge, Reigate, Maidstone, Canterbury. Here, having sold the animals, the drivers would be paid off – a shilling a day for the journey and three shillings bonus at the end. These fellows would then plaster the town red.

Then of course would come the journey home, and with gold in their pockets it could often be more hazardous than the outward leg. Indeed one of the secondary industries arising from the trade was highway robbery.

To avoid that drovers would travel home in armed bands; but a more sensible answer eventually was for them to initiate their own banking system. Probably the best known of these early drovers’ banks were the Black Ox Bank of Llanymddyfri, the Black Cock of Caerfyrddin and the Black Sheep of Aberystwyth. Even today’s Lloyd’s Black Horse logo may be traced back to the same Welsh droving pedigree. Incidentally, the notes of the Black Sheep Bank had 1 black sheep representing £l, 2 sheep for £2, a black lamb for 10s and a black ram for £5 – many of the drovers and their customers were illiterate, but they knew something about sheep:

Before the walking of animals to market came to an end with the coming of the railways, Barnet fair was perhaps the most important sale centre in the Home Counties for the Welsh drovers. Not only was it a large fair but it entered also for goods other than livestock, giving the drovers an opportunity to collect pin money for their wives by selling Welsh lace, and other household goods. An amusing if slightly exaggerated account of the fair appeared in the Farmer’s Magazine of 1865:

“Imagine some hundreds of bullocks like an immense forest of horns, propelled hurriedly towards you amid the hideous and uproarious shouting of semi-barbarous drovers who value a restive bullock far beyond the life of a human being, driving their mad and noisy herds over every person they meet if not fortunate enough to get out of their way; closely followed by a drove of unbroken wild Welsh ponies, fresh from their native hills all loose and unrestrained as the oxen that precede them; kicking, rearing and biting …”

Another account comes from The Daily News,. September 1850:

“… the Welsh Horse Fair (Barnet); and a wilder or more noisy scene it is difficult to conceive. Always full, it was fuller than usual this year, and a brisk trade was driven by.the Welsh horse drovers. ..These horses of all sizes, are from one to four years old and are not led but driven, after the fashion of cattle. Few are more than imperfectly broken in. Among them many useful horses, both for harness and saddle, are to be met with, and occasionally a very clever hackney. The way in which the Welsh jockeys throw themselves on the drove, single out a particular colt., drag him out and mount him for exhibition to a customer, is most amusing, the whole being accompanied by shouts and cracking of whips

“Beyond the Welsh horse fair and nearer to Barnett isthe Welsh cattle fair. Here are all kinds of Welsh cattle generally black, and though small (they) are kindly well-shaped animals, which prove profitable where there’s rough land attached to a farm on which they can run through the winter, and maintain, nay, improve their condition on a moderate quantity of food. They are much bought by the farmers of Hertfordshire, Essex, Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Middlesex.”

(Note: these English farmers would fatten the Welsh cattle for subsequent sale at Smithfield for slaughter).

Newsletter-157-March-1984

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 3 : 1980 - 1984 | No Comments

Newsletter-157-March-1984

NEWSLETTER  NO, 157:     March, 1984. 

PROGRAMME  NEWS.

On Tuesday March 6th  John Musty, ISO, MA, C.Chem, FRICS, FSA, recently retired as Head of the Ancient  Monument Laboratory, will tell us about ‘Twenty-five Years of Excavation in Wiltshire: an Archaeological Autobiography.’ His talk will cover how he first got ‘hooked’ on Archaeology and then go on to describe some of the digs, from 1955-on, that he did for the Salisbury Museum Research Committee. They include, among other things, medieval pottery kilns, a tile kiln, a Saxon cemetery and a deserted medieval village. Many members will no doubt also know of Mr. Musty’s work wearing anther hat – as the regular contributor of the Science Diary in Current Archaeology.

Mr. Musty has warned us that he may have to leave about 9:50 – so please note that this lecture will start very promptly.

Tuesday, April 3rd Underwater Archaeology in the. Holy Land                                Alexander Flinder.

Saturday May 5th. Hampstead Walk. 2.p.m.                                               led by Christopher Wade.

Sunday May 13th. Possible trip to the new Jorvik Viking Centre at York (see enclosed

slip and also note the February Newsletter, p11

Tuesday May 15th. Annual General Meeting.

Lecture and the AGM take place at Central Library, The Burroughs, N.W.4. Coffee 8.p.m., lecture 8:30.p.m.

A few Members have reported not receiving a programme card with their January Newsletter. If you happen to have been similarly unlucky, please give Phyllis Fletcher a ring (455 2558) and she will send you a card.

NEWS FROM THE GROUPS.

ROMAN GROUP.

On Sunday March llth a kiln-walk has been arranged to explore some of the sites of Roman kilns between Brockley Hill and St. Albans. We will meet at 10.a.m, at the top of Brockley Hill and use cars between sites.

Anyone interested please contact Tessa Smith (958 9159) for further details. 

Ted Sammes sends us this information about a one-day, workshop, which he highly recommends, on finds from the current Silchester excavations. It will be on Saturday, March, 24th at the School of Education, London Road, Reading University from 9:30 a.m., to 5:45.p.m. Fees £3.60, or £1.80 for Pensioners. Enrolment through the School for Extramural and Continuing Education, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 2AA (cheques payable to University of Reading). Coins, wall-plaster, animal bones, ironwork, pollen, seed and plant remains, glass and pottery will all be discussed.

 Prehistoric Group

Stream Walking

As announced in the last Newsletter, the stream walkers have now turned their attention to the Dollis Brook and the first three walks took place during December and January. The weather was kind, the going was easy, and the wildlife, both plant and animal, was varied and interesting. Archaeological friends were rather less in evidence!

We are walking upstream and we began at the junction of Brent Street and the North Circular Road, near the site of the former Brent Bridge Hotel. At this point the Dollis Brook has already become, strictly speaking, the Upper Brent River, having changed its name a little further up at its confluence with the Mutton Brook. Walking Northwards beyond that confluence, our way has lain mainly through the linear parks which are such a feature of the Dollis Brook Valley. Some parts of the brook are now heavily constrained by concrete banks but for the most part it meanders in a natural earth channel. There is, however, ample evidence that the course of the brook has been considerably re-channelled during recent years. We have followed it Northward under the Great North Way and up through Windsor Open Space and we greatly admired the magnificent soaring arcade of the railway viaduct which spans the brook at Dollis Road. It was completed in 1867 and is a handsome monument of the industrial age. Beyond it the brook becomes even more convoluted with oxbow lakes in the process of formation. Here it forms the eastern boundary of Finchley Golf Course and affords a picturesque view of Nether Court, the 19th Century Mansion now used as a Club House.

The usual pebbly beaches in the meanders of the stream were carefully examined and were noted for future watching. A few pieces of flint and bone were collected for more detailed inspection. The bed of the stream yielded one intriguing artefact: a wooden comb, vertical (i.e. teeth along one of the shorter edges), and measuring 8 inches by 2½ inches. There were originally 8 teeth, each about 3½ inches long; one of the end teeth is now missing. The comb handle is decorated with an incised face: eyes, nose and mouth, fairly crudely carved. Any ideas about (1) its use, if any and (2) its possible date? A modern African comb, perhaps?

The next walk is due to take place on Sunday March 4th, Sheila Woodward (952 3897) would be glad to hear from potential recruits and to give them further details. Wellington boots recommended.

DOCUMENTARY CROUP.

Volunteers have come forward recently for two documentary projects mentioned in earlier Newsletters.

A new Member, GAVIN MORGAN, who is reading History at University, has offered to do further research on the Barnet end of the 18/19e cattle and horse droving trade (there is an article in this Newsletter by Tom Elias, of the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre, who is working at the Welsh end). We shall hope in due course to publish Gavin’s discoveries.

The second volunteer is CHRISTINE ARNOTT, who is going to start making a new index of Listed Buildings in the Borough. This will be a long job, and more helpers would be welcome – please ring Brigid Grafton. Green if you, too, would like to take part in it (455-9040).

Meantime the Group’s long-term projects continue. NELL PENNY is revelling( and we really mean revelling) in the Poor Law records – you can see some further results of her work elsewhere in this Newsletter.

This year is, in fact, the 150th Anniversary of the New Poor Law Act of 1834 which, with the Parliamentary Report which preceded it, has been described as ‘one of the classic documents of western social History.’ Of all 19c legislation, the New Poor Law probably had the greatest effect on the lives of ordinary people. The only place we have

been able to discover where the Anniversary is being celebrated – and assessed – is, unfortunately, a long way off – in Middlesborough, where Leeds University is organising a day-school in April. Perhaps this would be a good subject for the LAMAS Local History Conference next Autumn:

THE FEBRUARY LECTURE.

EXCAVATION AT CHURCH TERRACE, HENDON 1973-4, LED BY TED SAMMES. Report by Enid Hill.

Who could be a better choice than Ted Sammes, one of our Vice-Presidents, to give the first Constantinides Memorial Lecture and what better subject could be found than the HADAS dig at Church Terrace which he masterminded for two seasons? For

Mr. Constantinides was convinced of the Saxon origin of Hendon and Ted Semmes proved it. He went even further back and found earlier traces of activity in the area with the discovery of 14 flints (possibly worked) and some Roman pottery. For those of us who took part in the dig the lecture was a nostalgic occasion, looking at Ted’s admirable slides and his exhibition of some of the finds.

The site is at the top of Greyhound Hill at a height of 287 feet above 0.D, on a capping of pebble gravels and looking towards a line of hills – Crow’s map of 1754 shows the Church of St. Mary and three other buildings, but by 1970 Church Terrace had a row of shops ending with the Clerk’s Cottage near the Church and a row of terrraced houses running back at right angles towards the Church School. It was this site that Barnet Council decided to demolish and rebuild and HADAS was fortunate enough to be allowed to dig before rebuilding began. Ted Sammes decided to concentrate on the area nearest to the Church since this was likely to be an area of early development. Indeed the Church with its fine 12th Century font stands on the site of an earlier Church which might have been Saxon. A Priest is mentioned in the Domesday entry for Hendon and a charter of A.D.959 (though possibly a forgery) mentions Hendon as being in the possession of Westminster Abbey.

A four metre grid was laid across the site prior to the start of the dig and during the two seasons some 58 HADAS Members took part. Apart from the 14 flints found, a cache of Roman pottery and broken tegulae was found late in the dig on the West side near the road. This was dated late 3rd or early 4th Century and included, apart from colour coated and grey sherds and imitation Samian ware, fragments from the mouth of a multiple vase and, most important, a flagon neck with a stylised face. These last two are often associated with a religious site which if it existed must lie under the road or near the Church.

For tracing the development of the site the discovery of a Saxon ditch running East to West adjacent to the Church wall and containing chaff/grass tempered sherds of pottery dated to the 6th-9th Centuries is of great importance. And one of the best finds of the dig was a double headed in turned spiral pin of the same period found in the centre trench under a wall of possible Tudor origin.

Later mediaeval ditches of the 13th and 14th Centuries were found running across the site, containing grey pottery probably of Hertfordshire origin, including a whole pot made at a kiln at Arkley. From the footings of an outhouse came two pieces of Purbeck Marble, part of a 13th Century grave slab, presumably from the grave of an important man. This brings us to the three or four graves found on the site (outside the present Churchyard) and dated after the 14th Century as one cuts into the ditch system. The most southerly of the graves dug had the carpal bones of a hand placed separately in a small pit. Was this a malefactor who did not survive the punishment of the loss of a hand? Ted’s slides showed many finds from the site through various centuries showing its continuous history – coins dating from Edward II to Charles II, clay pipes dating from 1620 to 19th Century, various pits full of bottles some from the 17th and others from the 18th Centuries, and a third rubbish pit in use from 1750 ­1800 (a mine of goods).

Finds came from several countries – pieces of quern stones from Germany, a Nuremberg Jetton of the 16th Century, a Galley halfpenny from Venice dated about 1450, a Delft floor tile( which might have been made in England), some yellow bricks scattered over the site which Ted feels are Dutch early 17th Century and the tops of two’ bottles, one of which carries the seal of Pouham Spa in Belgium. We all look forward now to reading Ted’s full account of the dig when it is finished, but for the moment we have enjoyed a summary of what is to come, and admire the vast amount of research done by Ted in connection with the finds.

COMMITTEE CORNER.

The Committee met on February 3rd, after a rather longer interval than usual as Christmas had intervened. Among the matters raised were

 The Borough Planning Department has had a heavy demand – from schools, branch. libraries and other organisations – for the ‘Archaeology in Barnet’ leaflet which HADAS helped to produce. They are therefore planning to reprint it.

The Committee discussed ways of encouraging more under-18 Membership. It was pointed out that the years between 14-18 are some of the busiest anyone has to cope with, what with mock O and A-levels, real O and A-levels, University entrance etc. Active junior Membership is therefore most likely to occur under 14, before the exam bandwagon starts rolling, although once youngsters acquire a pre-14 taste for Archaeology they will probably stick with HADAS, though less actively, during the exam years. Any Member who has ideas for encouraging junior Membership or who would be prepared to help in that department is asked to get in touch with our Membership Secretary, Phyllis Fletcher.  She will be delighted to hear from them. One way of building a stronger junior representation. in. the Society may be by encouraging schools to take out corporate Membership and it was cheering therefore to learn that another School – The Mount – has just joined us.

The Committee learnt that the Blue Plaque which has until now recorded our Borough’s first appearance on the stage of history – that’s the plaque marking the site of the Roman pottery manufactury of Sulloniacae at Brockley Hill, Edgware – has been vandalised. This is he second time in 8 years. that it has happened. The original plaque installed by. Hendon urban District Council in the late 1950’s, was vandalised in 1976. At that time the Borough Planning Department was very speedy  about providing and installing a replacement We have written to the Borough Planning Officer to ask if he could kindly do the same again.

**STOP PRESS *Plaque found being re-erected. There was news of another Blue Plaque – the one which commemorated “The Abbots Bower”, the country seat of the Abbots of Westminster, who held Hendon from time immemorial until Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. That plaque hung between two posts on a grass verge at the junction of Cedars Close and Parson Street, Hendon. It, too, was vandalised some little time ago. (It is possibly significant that both vandalised plaques are of the ‘swinging’ type, not the sort clamped to a wall). It was reported that the Borough Librarian has now had the Abbot Bower plaque. re-cut and is arranging for its re-erection. –

The February Newsletter mentioned that a display on HADAS’s work had been prepared for a reception for Conservation Area Advisory Committees in January. The Committee was informed that the same display along with those of other local Societies, has been set up at Central Library in The Burroughs for a few weeks.

The Committee decided to follow a suggestion from the Council for British Archaeology and write to the four MP’s whose constituencies are in the Borough of Barnet    Sydney Chapman, John Gorst, Margaret. Thatcher and Peter Thomas.  The letter will point out some implications for Archaeology and local History of the demolition of the Greater London Council, and will mention particularly the need to safeguard the futures of the Historic Buildings Division, the GLC Record Office, the GLC Members Library .and the newly formed, GLC- funded Greater London Archaeological Service.

ALEC GOULDSMITH  WRITES!

Further to Camilla Raah’s note on ‘Early Metallurgy’ in the February Newsletter ­I ran into Paul Craddock yesterday outside the British Museum and he told me that he has just returned from 2 months excavation work in Zawar.

They have been able to confirm the findings of the preliminary survey. A whole bank of undisturbed zinc retorts had been uncovered. There was enough residual material in the retorts for detailed analysis. This he hoped would give a clear picture of how this early distillation process was carried out. He is now certain that zinc distillation was in use at Zawar several centuries before it was known in Western Europe. He hopes to get a report on this excavation published later this year, possibly in Scientific American.

SITES FOR WATCHING.

The Following sites, which might be of some archaeological interest, have been the subject of planning applications in the last month or so:

Land adjoining 11 Ranelagh Close, Edgware                           Chalet bungalow.

Manaton House, High. Street, Edgware                                   Change of use which may result

in some trenching near the  line of Watling Street.

53, Ashley Lane, N.W.4.                                                           3 detached houses.

We are sorry to report that ELIZABETH SANDERSON, who has been in charge of the Society’s site-watching operations for the last 18 months, has asked to be relieved of that responsibility, as she is taking up a new job which will occupy all her time. Until fresh arrangements are made, will Members who notice signs of building activity on the above sites (or on any of the others listed in earlier Newsletters) please notify our Hon. Secretary, Brian Wrigley (959 5982).

The Newsletter would like to take this chance of thanking Elizabeth very much

for all the hard work she has put in on HADAS’s account and wishing her very well in her new work. We hope she will still manage to find an occasional moment for HADAS:

CHARITY CHILDREN – A LONG TIME AGO. by Nell Penny.

In the early eighteenth century average life expectancy was less than thirty years, so it’s not surprising that Hendon overseers of the poor had to provide for a fair number of orphans and children whose fathers – the wage-earners- had died or were ill.

Sometimes a child was not a continuous burden on the rates. In 1711 the overseers recorded their payments about Sarah Cleving’s child.

“Sarah Cleving 2 weeks 3/‑

Gave her relief when .in labour several times 15/‑

Paid for fetching and carrying the Midwife 3/9

Two Midwives 10/-

Paid John Martin for wood for her. 8/- blanketts 2/-

Coffin and shroud for her child 2/3

Goody Turner for carrying the Corpse to Church and making an affidavit.”

But infant mortality in Hendon parish does not seem to have reached the horrific

numbers of those in the parish of St. Martins in the Fields or any London parish.

In 1715 a committee of the House of Commons reported that — “parish Infants and

Exposed Bastards are inhumanly suffered to die by the Barbarity of Nurses, especially Parish Nurses who are a sort of people void of Commiseration or Religion hired by the officers to take off a Burden from the Parish at the cheapest and easiest Rates they can*. When disaster hit a local family as it did the Chalkhills in 1708 the parish had to step in. It burried Chalkhill and his wife and paid to have their children kept, clothed and apprenticed. Here are some of the items dealing with the children. “Thomas Newman kept Ed Chalkhill for 6 weeks 6/-: William Chalkhill (a relative?) took Stephen and Martha apprentices for premiums totaling £17. Thomas Gillman took Ed Chalkhill apprentice for £3. 5. 0; Widow Lane kept Stephen 4 weeks for 8/- and Anne for 39 weeks for £3.18 O. All these children plus John needed clothes. £3.12. 3, was spent during the year buying shirts, britches, shifts, 4 petticoats, a suit for £1. 6. 0, stockings, shoes and a hat for 2/6.

I. don’t think there was a workhouse in Hendon before 1735 and we have no evidence that children were housed there after 1735. It was more likely that they were boarded out with ‘Dames’. In 1709 “Richinson’s girl” was kept by Widow Lane for 2/- a week and was provided with 2 shifts, 2 aprons, stockings and shoes and 4 caps. A widow nursed James Barber’s four children for a whole year at 8/- week. In 1715 the youngest Chalkhill orphan John was still being kept by Widow Lane at 2/- a week.

If children were apprenticed to a master in another parish they ceased to be chargeable to the parish and if they served their time would acquire a settlement elsewhere.

So the premiums and the expenses of indentures were looked upon as economical by the parish. Between 1703 and 1743 at least ‘forty children were apprenticed. Five actual indentures survive. In 1719 William Bunyan was apprenticed to Henry Pritchard of St. Martin’s in the Fields until he should be 24 to learn “the art and craft and mystery of a joyner”. For a premium of £5 Sarah Sutton aged 13 was apprenticed to a Manty (Mantua?) maker of St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate until she was 21 or married. A blacksmith in Stepney had £4 to take a 10 year old lad. Mary Winterbury whose parents were “both lately dead” went to Frances Framblay of St. -Giles in the Fields for 6 years. Framblay was a gold and silver button maker. Probably most of the girl apprentices went as domestic servants.

Two very tantalizing entries in the accounts also appear in the vestry minutes. These entries suggest that the officers thought that parish children should have some education. In 1708 “all the School Dames shall bring in their bills of schooling and Teaching of Charity Children with the numbers of their scholars”. In 1709 the accounts were more explicit:- “School Dames shall have 3d. a week for teaching everyone of the Charity Children in the Testament and Bible and 2d a week for teaching them in their horn books and Primers provided. Such children must go to be taught at School 4 dayes in the week at least”. Moreover ” all school dames shall bring or send their children to Church every Lord’s Day forenoon and afternoon and every Fryday in the forenoon”.

If the dames neglected these last instructions they were to lose 1/- a week off their next pay. But nowhere is their “next pay” named as such. We have to presume it is lost in some of the monthly pensions to many widows. Just as frustrating are two other casual entries: a schoolmaster was to continue to teach the Charity Children until he is dismissed:” and “the writings belonging to the Charity Schoolhouse are in the possession of John Nicoll Senior and will be produced at the request of the vestry”.

Would that the overseers had realised that enlightening future research students was just as important as convincing the vestrymen and a magistrate that they had been honest stewards of parish money!

* The English Poor in the Eighteenth Century: Dorothy Marshall. PUBLICATIONS.

Mr. C. S. Smeeton, a native of Finchley has produced the first volume of his book “The Metropolitan Tramways” (£12.00 from LRTA publications, 13A, The Precinct, .Broxbourne, Herts. EN 10. 7 HY). This includes details of the huge car works on the corner of Annesley Avenue, Colindale, where the first British-built trolleybus ran in 1909. Its intended route between Golders Green and the Edgware Road at Hendon would have taken it along Brampton Grove. Objections prevailed and the scheme was dropped.

 

EXHIBITIONS.

 

Rosalind Berwald’s delightful collection of 19th & 20th Century childrens’ books is on view at Church Farm, Hendon until March 25th. Admission free Open 10.a.m. – 1.p.m. and 2.p.m. – 5:30.p.m. except for Tuesday p.m. and Sunday a.m.

·  Gunnersbury Park Museum is mounting an exhibition of early local Archaeology from April. 6th to June 3rd. “Antiquary to Archaeologist, Recording West London’s Past” records the growth of true Archaeology from the antiquarian (basically treasure-seeking) interest of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. Stukeley’s “Roman” camp on Hounslow Heath. Pitt Rivers’ work on the Acton gravel terraces and the dedicated work of local enthusiasts such as John Allen Brown of Ealing, all receive their due..

For further details contact Phil Philo 992-1612.

HADLEY WOOD DIG 1983. By  Brian Wrigley.

The site is described in the report of the survey in Newsletter 148, June 1983. Our minimum objective in the dig, which took place at weekends during July‑September, was to cut a section through the bank and external ditch of this large ring earthwork in a part where it was clearly defined, to establish its form, which could be used for reference in any future investigation, e.g., of a possible entrance where there might be more expectation of datable finds. If we found anything else of interest, so much the better. The location is shown in the diagrams attached.

A section 0.5m wide on a bearing 1740 Grid, was dug across the bank and ditch; a wider area had been cleared of the top humus layer (which accounts for the absence of the main humus layer in the section drawing of the west side). We immediately came across stiff clay, very difficult to dig either wet (sticky) or dry (like concrete). Trowelling and sieving were impossible, and we concentrated on careful recording of the section exposed by mattock and shovel.

We made no significant finds which could help in dating.

We were surprised at the shallowness of the remaining traces of the earthwork; it was almost more obvious on the surface than in the strata below (see section drawings) and the height from ditch bottom to bank crest is substantially less than the 5 feet given by Derek Renn reporting his 1953 section. Our site is one of the most steeply sloping areas; it therefore may have been more eroded, or the ditch may originally not have had to be cut so deep as elsewhere. A substantial amount of erosion was noted all over the woods; in many places can be seen trees, from their size not more than decades old, whose roots are exposed for some 15 – 30 cm above the present ground surface.



Section Drawings.

 

 

 

Ditch.

 

 

The two ‘bowls’ of darker grey soil (F) on the east side only, it was concluded, were due to root activity of trees now gone, and can be ignored. What is then left as the possible remaining signs of the ditch in layers C and D; which appear on both sides. D must surely be a fall into, or silting up of; the ditch; C, which is darker grey and appears to be more organic material than the neighbouring layers, may be similarly a fall into the ditch, or it may be, a soil formed by plant activity on the slope of the ditch when it was open, and later buried.

Layer B, below the humus has been labeled simply “disturbed clay” it was not found possible, as had been hoped; to distinguish between disturbance to the clay caused by human activity, and that caused merely by plant activity. One thing can be said for certain, that the outline of the ditch cannot have gone lower than the surface which we found of the undisturbed clay “Bedrock” (G) which is a quite shallow depthbelow the present surface. It seems most likely the original outline of the ditch must have been the lower edge of Layer C.

BANK

Although the position of the bank is obvious on the surface, there is little evidence below for its building up. Directly below what now appears as the crest of the bank, was found a layer (E) of distrurbed clay different in texture, but not colour from the overlying layer B;It was harder, drier and more crumbly and without present root activity. This may be either (1) a remnant of the original soil buried by the building of the bank or (ii) the lowest layer of the bank and in either case put below the level of further root activity by the raising of the surface above it.

A curious feature was the thin spread of clay overlying, on the south slope of the bank, a tapering wedge of the humus; this was interpreted as a fall of clay caused by the fall in the past of a tree, its roots leaving the humus-filled hole seen just south of the crest of the bank; this appears on both baulks. On this interpretation, of the fall of a single tree, this feature should be peculiar to a particular spot we happened to choose for our section; if on any future investigation, it should appear to be present along the length of the bank some other interpretation would have to be sought which might be that it represents some wooden structure atop the bank which has collapsed after the .rotting of its supports. It is clearly a feature to be  looked for in any future investigation – which, to seek this this feature near the surface only, need not be a full excavation of a section. 

Further investigation.

A few soil samples were taken which have been passed to Richard Hubbard who has very kindly agreed to arrange for his NE London poly students to examine them.

Time, weather and availability did not permit .the cutting of a further section in a more level part, for which permission had been given by the Management Committee of the Common; it may be hoped we will be able to do this some time in the future.

 General interpretation.

Since Derek Renn’s 1953 report, this earthwork has been generally regarded, on grounds of morphology and location, as on Iron hillfort; we found no evidence to confirm or deny this. On the other hand, the suggestion (put forward by Paddy Musgrove) that its appearance is consistent with a post-medieval woodland boundary cannot be cast aside; there is historical evidence of a re-stocking with deer at the same time as re­planting of trees, which would give ample cause for such a barrier.

*   *

We are particularly indebted to Bernard Johnson for his interest and advice on his several attendances on the site; also to Dr. John Kent, Richard Hubbard and to Geoffrey Gillam and Brian Warren (Enfield Arch. Soc.) for their help.