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Volunteers needed for Home Front Legacy

By | HADAS | No Comments

Home Front Legacy 1914-18 is a UK-wide archaeological recording project coinciding with the centenary of the First World War (World War One), coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology with funding from Historic England. The project enables everyone to investigate their local area and record the forgotten remains of the First World War Home Front. Using the tools we provide, local people can help to document and preserve our stories, and vulnerable remains for future generations. Your research can help the project gain a better understanding of the impact the Great War had on the buildings, landscapes and people back home on the Home Front. They need you to research and record your local Home Front sites, buildings and events. You don’t need any prior experience to get involved, and everything you will need is provided free via the Home Front Legacy website.

So far,  volunteer contributors have recorded over 3,000 sites throughout the UK; including everything from requisitioned factories producing boots and uniforms for the military, farms that employed members of the Women’s Land Army, and buildings damaged by bombs dropped during the Zeppelin and Gotha bomber raids. There’s so much out there that remains to be re-discovered. Who knows what you might find! Simply register at www.homefrontlegacy.org.uk to find out more, access the Member Toolkit and online browser based recording app. You can also follow them on Twitter @HomeFrontLegacy and give our Facebook page a like at Facebook.com/HomeFrontLegacy.

Protecting, Conserving and Understanding Barnet’s Archaeology

By | HADAS, News | No Comments

Barnet has two key planning documents that deal with the Boroughs archaeology. It has the Local Plan Core Strategy and the more detailed Development Management Policies. Both these documents were approved by Council in 2012 following an examination in public, to which HADAS contributed. What do these documents say and how can we use them to further the interests of Archaeology in Barnet?

The core strategy has warm words to say about Heritage in Barnet noting that the borough has a broad range of ‘heritage assets’ including Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, Locally Listed Buildings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, a Historic Battlefield site and Local Areas of Archaeological Significance. These assets “can be used to ensure continued sustainability of an area and promote a sense of place.”

The Core Strategy notes that Barnet has a “rich archaeological and architectural heritage which includes the only Historic Battlefield (Battle of Barnet – 1471) in London.” In addition, there are “nearly forty sites of archaeological importance containing prehistoric, Roman and medieval remains.” In terms of buildings of historic and architectural importance in Barnet there are over 2,200 Listed Buildings and 1,600 buildings on the Local List. (The Local List is under review – see the article by Vicky) There are “two Scheduled Ancient Monuments at Brockley Hill in Edgware and Manor House in Finchley, three registered Historic Parks and Gardens at St Marylebone Cemetery, Avenue House Garden and Golders Green Crematorium.”

The Core Strategy notes that Barnet’s archaeological heritage is a “valuable education and community resource. As Barnet changes it is important that development proposals in areas of archaeological significance help broaden our knowledge of the past as a result of properly conducted on-site investigations.” It all sounds promising. The detailed policies are contained in a separate document known as the Development Management policies and DMO6 – Barnet’s Heritage and Conservation is the one to watch. (Copy of this policy at end of this piece.) The preamble to the policy comments that archaeology is “vulnerable to modern development and land use. Archaeological remains above and below ground level, and ancient monuments, are important surviving evidence of the borough’s past, and once removed they are lost forever.”

Barnet with assistance from English Heritage (via the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service – GLAAS), the Museum of London and the Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS), has identified five prehistoric, four Roman and thirty medieval sites containing archaeological remains of more than local importance. These have been grouped into nineteen ‘Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance’. (See map below)

Development proposals in these areas will need to provide detail in consultation with GLAAS of how they will investigate, catalogue and where possible preserve the remains in situ or in a museum as part of any application. It may also be appropriate for HADAS to be consulted.

Barnet accept that “discovery is an important basis of archaeology.” They continue that “when researching the development potential of a site, developers should, in all cases, assess whether the site is known or is likely to contain archaeological remains. Where there is good reason to believe that there are remains of archaeological importance on a site, we will consider directing applicants to supply further details of proposed developments, including the results of an archaeological desk-based assessment and field evaluation.”

Barnet further remark, “where important archaeological remains are found the council will seek to resist development which adversely affects the process of preserving the remains on site. Where this is not possible mitigation which may include excavation, analysis of remains and public dissemination of results will be expected by an archaeological organisation with approval from the GLAAS and the council before development commences. If permitted, the loss through development of any archaeological remains will need to be recorded in line with para 141 in the NPPF. (National Planning Policy Framework) Planning conditions or a legal agreement will be used to secure this.

Overall the Framework for considering Archaeology in Barnet appears strong. The practical application of the policy by the planning department does not always appear to fully reflect the fine words. Sterling work by HADAS members tries to keep the archaeology banner flying high.

Over the years many developers in Barnet have submitted desk top appraisals on sites prior to development and some field reports have been completed. Using these, along with site visits, historical research etc. I’m proposing that we establish a HADAS Research Group to start in the autumn, on Sunday mornings at Stephens House, with the intention of reviewing all 19 of the Boroughs “Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance”. Partly this will be so that we can proactively identify sites where we know in advance that we will want detailed archaeological work to be undertaken but also to prepare ourselves for the update of Barnet’s planning policies which will begin in the next 18 months or so and to which we can put detailed evidence of existing areas and possibly also identify new ones for inclusion.

Interested in getting involved in this research? Email me at the following address: roger.chapman99@btinternet.com

PS There are plenty of acronyms and jargon used in the planning process and as a practicing planner of over 40 years I may have fallen into the trap of using too much of it above. If you join the Research group I’ll let you into the secret of why planners use so much jargon. In the meantime you should get to know one more term because Historic England have determined that all Boroughs across London should now call their defined Areas not as “Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance” but as “Archaeological Priority Areas.”

Policy DM06: Barnet’s heritage and conservation
a. All heritage assets will be protected in line with their significance. All development will have regard to the local historic context.
b. Development proposals must preserve or enhance the character and appearance of 16 Conservation Areas in Barnet.
c. Proposals involving or affecting Barnet’s heritage assets set out in Table 7.2 should demonstrate the following:
• the significance of the heritage asset
• the impact of the proposal on the significance of the heritage asset
• the impact of the proposal on the setting of the heritage asset
• how the significance and/or setting of a heritage asset can be better revealed
• the opportunities to mitigate or adapt to climate change
• how the benefits outweigh any harm caused to the heritage asset.
d. There will be a presumption in favour of retaining all 1,600 Locally Listed Buildings in Barnet and any buildings which makes a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the 16 Conservation Areas.
e. Archaeological remains will be protected in particular in the 19 identified Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance and elsewhere in Barnet. Any development that may affect archaeological remains will need to demonstrate the likely impact upon the remains and the proposed mitigation to reduce that impact.

Something for the Winter

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Here is the new poster for our finds course which will start again in October 2017. We have still a small number of places available.

This course is a wonderful way to improve your ability to recognise and identify types of pottery, clay pipes, glass and other types of finds. The objectives of this course are to identify, quantify and record the finds from Lant Street (LNT99) and well as to bring the whole assemblage up to the current standards required by the London Archive and Research Centre (LAARC). We processed nearly half the assemblage during last year’s course and were very impressed with the range and quality of the finds. It will be interesting to establish the likely date of the deposits and their relationship with the four early 19th century houses known to be on the site. Finds in Focus
Hendon & District Archaeological Society Finds Group
Course tutor: Jacqui Pearce BA FSA MCIfA

A 22-week course in post-excavation analysis to be held at Avenue House Stephens’ House and Gardens, East End Road, Finchley on Wednesday evenings, 6.30–8.30, starting on 4 October 2017 This year we will continue recording the diverse and extensive collection of finds from the 1999 Birkbeck College training excavations at Lant Street in Southwark (LNT99). This rich artefact assemblage is focused chiefly on the post-medieval period, with large collections of pottery, clay pipes, glass and other items. Regular presentations and professional tuition will be provided throughout the course. This is an ideal opportunity to gain––or increase––your experience of working with and handling a wide variety of archaeological finds, as we make a complete record of the excavated material ready for deposition in the LAARC. We will also be aiming to look at the finds in the context of the site and its development over time, and will have access to the full site archive throughout the course.

All are welcome, whether or not you have experience of working with archaeological finds!
Course fee: £295 for 22 sessions. To book, contact Don Cooper (olddormouse@hotmail.com; tel. 020 8440 4350) or Jacqui Pearce (pearcejacqui@gmail.com; tel. 020 8203 4506). Please make cheques payable to HADAS and send to Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS.

Bowling Green House Survey

By | HADAS, Past Newsletters, Past Stories | No Comments

Field Research Bill Bass reports: “Following our survey at Copped Hall near Waltham Abbey, Dennis Hill of the Enfield Archaeology Society asked HADAS if we could conduct a similar survey at a site in their area. This site is Bowling Green House in the grounds of Myddelton House just north of Forty Hall in the Bulls Cross area of Enfield.”

Myddelton House is named after Sir Hugh Myddleton, who constructed The New River in 1610-1614 to carry drinking water from natural springs at Amwell in Hertfordshire into central London along a 38 mile man-made channel. A section of this river once ran through the gardens but has now been filled in. Myddelton House replaced a Tudor building called Bowling Green House, the remains of which lie under the gardens, it was a 12 room, red brick, gabled structure that was demolished in 1812 when the present house was finished. This part of the garden is now a lawn and flowerbeds, in the 1980s when a water pipe was being laid, the gardener came across some brick foundations thought to be in the area of the Tudor House.

Following a site visit (mentioned in the last Newsletter), we decided to conduct a resistivity survey over the weekends of the 13/14 and 20/21 October. The first weekend was completely washed-out weather wise so the survey was completed in one day (21st), which was also timed as a public open day so visitors could see what we were up to. Members of the West Essex Archaeological Group who had invited us to Copped Hall joined us. The survey went well in sunny conditions (at last!) we also set-up a bookstall where Andy Simpson tried to sell his wares (he wasn’t having much luck) and explaining what we were doing.

A 15 x 40m grid was laid out over the flat lawn known as Tom Tiddlers Ground with survey points at 1m intervals. Christian Allen compiled the results, (figure 1) shows a dot-density plot of the data. The plot strongly indicates a long linear structure across the northern half of the area. This appears to be part of a much larger structure. The contour plot (figure 2) shows that the structure has clearly defined edges, which implies that this is possibly a wall, its foundation, or similar construction. Given the strength of these results, the feature found is possibly a wall, or similar, belonging to a much larger structure. This implies that these may be part of the remains of the Tudor manor house that was previously situated in the grounds of the current Myddelton House. (See the results on page 2).

After the earlier site visit to Myddelton House the team were shown around a current excavation being carried out by the Enfield Archaeological Society elsewhere. The site to the south of the town near the A10 was in a small back garden but was turning up big results in the form of Roman finds pottery etc as well as post holes and gullies. The area is thought to be a possible farm perhaps near-to or adjacent to a Roman posting-station positioned on Ermine Street now followed by the line of the A10.

Note: From January 2002 Newsletter (Number 370).