Category

Volume 5 : 1990 – 1994

Newsletter-278-May-1994

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

Newsletter-278-May-1994

No. 278 MAY 1994                              EDITED BY ANN KAHN

DIARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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


Bill Bass LAMAS:31st Annual Conference of London Archaeologists

Museum of London.

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

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

Our own Brian Wrigley (Vice Chairman) talked on –

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

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

and work following fires damage at the royal palaces.

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


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

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

‘FIELD WORK’ AT LAXTON.

Report on a survey by the Not Universitybased Trent and Peak

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

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

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

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


Chairman’s Corner, May 1994

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

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

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

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

Andxew Selkirk, 071 435 7517


 

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



SITE WATCHING – WESTERN AREAS – APPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING PERMISSION

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

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

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

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

Other development applications which look interesting:-

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

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

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

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

THE HOKNE HOARD.

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

MORE ANTIQUITIES OF NORTHERN CYPRUS BY STEWART WILD

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NEWSPAPER LIBRARY OPEN DAYS                      Dorothy Newbury

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

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

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

NEW PUBLICATIONS – from the Routledge 1994 archaeology catalogue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMER EXCAVATIONS                                          As advertised in the March 1994 CBA Briefing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

(Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 1993).

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

INDUSTRIAL CORNER

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

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

TILES AND TILING

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

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

Newsletter-277-April-1994

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

Newsletter-277-April-1994

 

No: 277                                                APRIL 1994                                    EDITED BY VIKKI O’CONNOR

DIARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit: Coutts Bank – Mary O’Connell

Numbers are limited. Details and application form enclosed.

Outing: Dorchester (Oxfordshire) and Abingdon

– with Micky Cohen & Micky Watkins

Outing: Richborough & Bishops’ Palace, Maidstone

– with Tessa Smith & Sheila Woodward

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

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

Confirmation in May newsletter,

ISLE OF MAN – Annual HADAS Extended Weekend Away

Details and application form enclosed.

Please advise Dorothy at earliest opportunity it you are interested.


The new lecture season commences Tuesday 4th October.


INDUSTRIAL CORNER          BiII Firth

De DION BOUTON FACTORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SUBJECT OF FLINTS…

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

LOOKING BACK AT OLD HADAS NEWSLETTERS…Dorothy Newbury

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

CRUSADER CASTLES AND OTHER ANTIQUITIES IN NORTHERN CYPRUS Stewart J Wild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

CERTIFICATE & DIPLOMA CHANGES

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

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

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

TRAINING COURSE IN FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY

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

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

PREHISTORIC TRACKWAY

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


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

LECTURE REPORT: Wood Hall Project

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

The Site

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

And while we are on the subject

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

 

ANSWER…

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

Membership News                                                                                                        Vikki O’Connor

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

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

Newsletter-268-July-1993

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

Newsletter-268-July-1993

ISSUE NO 268                       Edited by Peter Pickering                                         JULY 1993

DIARY

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

SATURDAY 14 AUGUST               PINNER AND HEADSTONE MANOR

SUNDAY 29 AUGUST                    HADAS OPEN DAY. National Archaeology Day.

FRIDAY TO SUNDAY

3-5 SEPTEMBER                               CHESTER AND LLANDUDNO weekend

SATURDAY 18 SEPTEMBER         MUSEUM OF LONDON – private viewing of

Brockley Hill pottery plus talk and walk with Francis Grew.

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

First in new series of HADAS lectures.

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

Members with items to donate please contact Dorothy Newbury,

TUESDAY 2 NOVEMBER

SATURDAY 6 NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 7 DECEMBER

“FUN AND GAMES IN THE ROMAN BATHS”

Mark Hassell, FSA, Institute of Archaeology

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

CHRISTMAS DINNER at University College, Gower Street

 

OUR NEW TREASURER

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

 


NEWS OF MEMBERS

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

CHURCH FARMHOUSE DIG                                                                      Brian Wrigley

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

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

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

SITES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST                                                            Bill Firth

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

Spaniards Field, Wildwood Rise, NW11

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

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

2/4 Alexandra Grove, N12.

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

110 West Heath Road, NWII

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Roman Invasion and conquest of Britain


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

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

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

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

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

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

PANNONIA, AQUINCUM AND ITS ORGAN Peter Pickering

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

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

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

SITE REPORTS Roy Walker

Reports on archaeological evaluations undertaken within the Borough by

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

Birmingham University Field archaeology Unit are kept in the Avenue House

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

evidence but the reports usually provide an archaeological, historical and

geological background to the site under investigation making them of value

to the local historian or archaeologist.

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

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

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

have evaluations or assessments for the following sites:‑

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

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

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

Old Fold Manor, Barnet (MoLAS, December 1991)

Hill House, Elstree (BUFAU, December 1991)

Edgwarebury Park Community Forest (MoLAS, March 1992)

Christchurch Lane, Barnet (MoLAS, June 1992)

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

Warrens Shawe Lane, Edgware (MoLAS, August 1992)

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

Grahame Park Way, Hendon (MoLAS, January 1993)

Hendon Way Depot, Hendon (MoLAS, March 1993)

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

BRITISH GAS (NORTH THAMES) PIPELINE Myfanwy Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletter-267-June-1993

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

Newsletter-267-June-1993

ISSUE NO 267                                  Edited by Vikki O’Connor            JUNE 1993


OUTING TO BIGNOR & CHICHESTER

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

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

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

Full details in July Newsletter.

PINNER AND HEADSTONE MANOR Walk organised by Dorothy Newbury.

HADAS OPEN DAY

National Archaeology Day Further details next month.

CHESTER & LLANDUDNO weekend Organised by Dorothy Newbury.

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

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

MINIMART – at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon

Members with items to donate please confact Dorothy Newbury.

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

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

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


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

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


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – musings from the top table                                          Liz Holliday

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

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

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

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

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

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

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

LIBRARY                                                                                                                                   Roy Walker

What’s in a name?

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

Lambrick                     Archaeology and agriculture

Bass                             Archaeology under water

Field                            English field names

Brothwell                    Digging up bones

Flint                             Glacial geology

Court                           Dartmoor

Hewett                        English historic carpentry

Forrester                      Timber framed buildings

Eh, Again

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

CHURCH FARMHOUSE EXCAVATION – HADAS SEMINAR, SATURDAY 15 MAY

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

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

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

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

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


DIGGING NEWS Bill Bass

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

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

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

INDEPENDENT ARCHAEOLOGISTS’ CONFERENCE    by Brian Wrigley

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

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

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

Barnet’s archaeological maps

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

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

PPG 16

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

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

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

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

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

The Congress of Independent Archaeologists

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

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

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

 

GLOSSARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOOK REVIEW                                                     by Andy Simpson

All stations to Edgware

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

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

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

THE UPPER NENE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY – URGENT APPEAL

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

NEWS FROM BILL FIRTH

The Spaniards Inn

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

Industrial Heritage Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE ONE METAL OBJECT                                                       by Roy Walker

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

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

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

HEROD’S PALACE, CAESAREA

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

‘ON TARGET’

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

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

BRITISH MUSEUM

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

WHAT HITLER LEFT….                                                            A.M.L.

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

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

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

HOLD THE BACK PAGE…

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

Newsletter-266-May-1993

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

Newsletter-266-May-1993

NEWSLETTER No. 266        Edited by Ann Kahn  MAY 1993

DIARY

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Friday. Saturday.

 

Sunday September 3-5 CHESTER AND LLANDUDNO WEEKEND.

 

Saturday October 16 MINIMART

 

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

 

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

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

 

OTHER EVENTS

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

LAMAS CONFERENCE

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

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

Publication is hoped for in mid 1994. Bill Bass

 

Excavations at Fulham Palace.

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

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

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

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

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

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


David Bromley

 

 


Liz Sagues

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

April 16, 1993

A plastics puzzle for future archaeologists to solve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

LIBRARY NEWS

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

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

Roy Walker

 

MEMBERSHIP

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

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

Vikki O’Connor – Membership Secretary

 

Eh?

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

Ray Walker


HADAS

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

CHURCH HOUSE, GREYHOUND HILL, HENDON, NW4

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

There will be contributions from:-

Dr. Pamela Taylor on the history of the area

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

Gerard Roots on the post-medieval history of Church Farm

Brian Wrigley on the organisation of the excavation

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

 

FRIENDS OF CHURCH FARMHOUSE MUSEUM

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

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


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

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

 

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY DAY

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

PRESS REPORTS (edited)

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

MEMBERS NEWS

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

SITE WATCHING – THE NORTHERN AREA

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

 

Newsletter-265-April-1993

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

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-285-December-1994

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

Issue No 285 DECEMBER 1994 Edited by Reva Brown

DIARY
Tuesday, 6 December: Christmas dinner at “The Old Bank of England” – a Grade 1 listed building -opened as a hostelry in August this year. This date is full, BUT, as anticipated, we have a large overflow for the New Year dinner.
Tuesday, 3 January: New Year dinner. We have booked this second date, but have a few places
left. Late applications would be welcome. Price £23.00, includes coach out and return, a tour of the Temple Church opposite before the meal, dinner including a glass of wine (further drinks available at the bar) and a free raffle. If you would like to join us, please send a cheque for £23.00 (or £22.00 without transport) to Dorothy Newbury, 55 Sunningfields Road, Hendon NW4 0181 203 0950.
Our 1995 lecture and outing programme is well under way. Full details will follow later.
The LECTURE VENUE is changing for 1995, starting in February.

REPORT OF THE CITY WALK ON 29 OCTOBER Richard Nichols
It is remarkable what Londoners born and bred do not know about their own city, which is one of the joys of discovering more about it under the expert guidance of Mary O’Connell. Those members who attended this walk certainly found out some interesting items. Firstly, the pub at the corner of Cowcross Street and Turnmill Street, which has the pawnbroker’s sign of the three brass balls outside, as well as its pub sign. This is a reminder of an occasion when the Prince Regent ran out of cash when gambling nearby, and knocked up the publican to lend him five pounds, leaving his gold watch as surety. An equerry redeemed it the next morning.
The next stop was Clerkenwell Green with the former Sessions House on one side and the house where Lenin lodged on the other. This is now a museum to display his writings and other memorabilia. We looked in at the Clerken Well, which is still bubbling up ‘fresh’ water as it has for hundreds of years.
The highlight of the afternoon’s visit was the House of Correction. We entered the precincts through a doorway labelled ‘Girls’ Cookery’, or some such title, but the secret was soon revealed by the turnkey dressed in period costume of the mid-19th century. He first led us across what was later the boys’ playground to show us a 20 foot wall, which surrounded the former prison exercise yard. The former boys’ toilet had the most unusual memorial to be found in any convenience – a plaque
commemorating the attempt by Michael Barrett, a Fenian, to blow a hole through the wall and allow some of his fellow Fenians in gaol to escape. He rolled a large barrel filled with explosives up against the wall, but then realised that he hadn’t a match. He saw a young lad having a quiet smoke nearby, so asked him for a light. He then lit the fuse and retired to a safe distance. The explosion blew a hole in the wall, demolished a row of houses and injured the young lad. He lived until 1937, earning his living by selling matches, but Barrett was caught, tried and sentenced at the Old Bailey, and was the last person publicly hanged at Newgate.
This set the scene for our exploration of the former House of Correction, with its many passageways, cells, baths etc., all hidden since 1876, when it was flattened, and the Hugh Myddelton School built above it. The cells and passageways were used as air raid shelters during 1939-1945, but as the
warder informed us, there was only a two-foot layer of soil above those thinking they were safe from harm.
The original House of Correction was built in 1616, and underwent many changes during its existence. Once can read some of the records of those detained there, and their manner of incarceration. At one time, several were in one cell, but in Victorian times, they were in single cells and wearing hoods to prevent them knowing who their fellow prisoners were, or speaking to them.
It was a remarkable experience and well worth another visit.

NOVEMBER LECTURE: THE HOXNE HOARD Sheila Woodward
“Bootyful! Eric finds £10m Booty” screamed the Sun headline on what was allegedly the first occasion it had featured archaeology on its front page. Of course, the newly-found hoard had not then been valued and when it was, it achieved a mere eighth of the Sun’s estimate. But it deserved that sensational headline. What a find!
Using rather more measured tones than the Sun, Catherine Johns of the British Museum nevertheless conveyed the excitement created by the discovery and examination of this hoard. As a late-Roman treasure-hoard from East Anglia, it is not unique, but its apparent completeness and the opportunity for careful excavation enhance its importance. The sheer volume of some items is staggering: 15,000 (yes, thousand) coins, 29 pieces of jewellery, and 78 silver spoons, nearly doubling the total number of late-Roman silver spoons known from Britain.
It was on 16 November, 1992 that Eric Lawes, searching with his metal detector for a farmer friend’s lost hammer in a field at Hoxne, Suffolk, came upon the hoard. Most finders of gold and silver “go mad” and dig frantically on and on, destroying archaeological evidence wholesale. Mr Lawes kept his cool. He gathered up the first handful of coins, covered the site, and went home to lunch to think about it. He notified the farmer, and together they notified the landowners, the Suffolk County Council. The Council has its own archaeological tern, and the following day, the hoard was completely excavated. Speed was essential because of press coverage, so many items were lifted en bloc, detailed excavation and recording being completed by the British Museum.
This detailed work, made possible by Mr Lawes’ honesty and good sense, has produced fascinating information about the packing of the valuables. A large wooden box, 60 by 40 by 30 cms with iron fittings, contained smaller boxes, decorated with bone inlay and tiny silver padlocks, very modern in appearance. This was no panic-packing; items were wrapped in cloth, with hay used as packing between vessels. Perhaps a wealthy family, moving to another residence for a spell, stowed its valuables underground during its absence.
Most of the items in the hoard are beautiful as well as valuable, as Ms Johns’ excellent slides illustrated. The silver bust of a Roman Empress is a pepperpot with an ingenious rotating disc on the base to allow the pot to be filled and the pepper sprinkled. There are three more pepperpots in the hoard of similar construction. a 15 cms long prancing silver tigress with inlaid niello stripes is a handle from a large vase. Two tiny silver vases have raised leafy designs. The splendid array of spoons and ladles includes matching sets. The ladles with their deep round bowls and gracefully-wrought handles decorated with engraved scrolls are particularly satisfying. Some of the spoons are delightfully adorned with gilded dolphins and other sea creatures. A set of ten spoons engraved with the name Aurelius Ursicinus will enable research to be undertaken into the ownership of the hoard. The use of the Chi-Rho monogram and the monogram cross indicate Christian worship.
Personal belongings include silver toilet utensils and some very covetable jewellery. Of the 19 gold bracelets, the matching pair worked in reposse with hunting scenes were my favourite, but others of grooved and corrugated sheet-gold or fine pierced-work in geometric or foliate patterns are most attractive. One pierced-work bracelet incorporates in its design the message “Utere Felix Domina Juliane” (use this happily, Lady Juliana). The necklaces of fine chain have animal-head or monogram-cross terminals, but their pendants were not buried with them. The longest and most elaborate chain would have been worn as a body-harness, a fashion illustrated by clay statuettes of the period. It is a very rare find. The 3 finger-rings in the hoard had their glass or gem-stones removed before burial.
The coins (565 gold, 14,191 silver and 24 bronze) include two siliquae of the usurper Constantine Ill which can be dated to 407-8 AD, so the hoard was buried after that date. Much work remains to be done on the coins. and indeed, on other items in the hoard. Such work cannot be rushed nor can it be undertaken while the material remains on display. (It can currently be seen at Ipswich Museum.) We may have to resign ourselves to losing sight of it for a period. When it reappears, fully cleaned and restored, and properly displayed, our appreciation will be the keener, thanks to Ms Johns’ lively, informative and thoroughly enjoyable lecture.

BOOK REVIEWS
THE DIARIES OF ROBERT HOOKE: The Leonardo of London 1635-1703 by Richard Nichols, published by The Book Guild Ltd, Lewes, £15.00
Richard Nichols’ celebration of the life of Robert Hooke is the result of years of study of the man’s diaries and painstaking background research. The result is a long-overdue recognition of a fascinating man. Without the publication of these diaries, Hooke might only be known for his classic illustration of the structure of a snowflake which was used on a postage stamp, and his picture of a flea used by London Transport in a campaign against fare-dodgers! His unique contributions to scientific development are all around us today; the universal joint, kitchen scales and the iris diaphragm in cameras – to name but a few.
A friend and colleague of Pepys and Wren, over the years Hooke embarked on an astonishing diversity of ingenious experiments, ranging from brick-making to blood transfusion; from meteorology to medicine. These simple experiments led directly to many of the scientific advances of this period. Not only did Hooke directly inspire many of Isaac Newton’s scientific breakthroughs, but he also devised the means by which Christopher Wren could build the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. Richard Nichols’ book, with its striking reproductions of Hooke’s own illustrations and carefully selected diary extracts is a vivid evocation of domestic, social and scientific life in 17th century England.
Signed copies of the book are available direct from the author: 29 Maxwelton Avenue, Mill Hill, London NW7 3NB

The Westminster Corridor: The Anglo-Saxon story of Westminster Abbey and its lands in Middlesex by David Sullivan, published by Historical Publications, £17.00 Malcolm Stokes
As a visitor to Burgh House over the years, I have been aware that there have been among the permanent exhibits, items from the HADAS West Heath dig and a display about mediaeval Hampstead by David Sullivan. He has now published his findings, not only for Hampstead, but the whole corridor, in a well-presented book of 191 pages with 18 plates and 16 maps in colour, drawn by the author, and these alone provide a new and rich resource for those interested in the history of the area before the Norman Conquest and after. Indeed, the author pledges another volume cover another 350 years to the end of the 14th century. As the corridor includes Hampstead, Hendon, the West End, Westminster, Holborn, Soho, Covent Garden, the Strand, Pimlico, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Paddington, the author presents himself with a challenging task.
It is the maps which first attract the reader, and these are based on the earliest known sources whether charter or parish boundaries, estate maps or the Victoria County History of Middlesex. These have limitations and the author makes clear to the reader where there are deficiencies in records or unreliable claims from earlier local historians. The author states that he aims to present a straightforward story in the main text and at the same time provides ‘detailed supporting footnotes, with appropriate explanations of issues, points of evidence and details of the sources relied on’ He succeeds in this twofold aim. While many do not like footnotes, I find them most valuable as they not only indicate the strength, or weakness, of specific points, but allow one to follow up references when wanting to pursue one’s own interest in a particular period or place. The first chapter deals with the settlement of Germanic tribes in Middlesex. This is a difficult subject and may lead to some critical examination. However, the author invites a dialogue and provides the opportunity to think and question in an area where few to tread. For example, earlier eminent local historians, such as Madge in 1939, have suggested that the church estates formed a continuous belt around London as deliberate policy by the king. These theories were offered to be questioned then, and are re-examined. It is in the questioning and thought that we are able to increase our awareness and knowledge of this challenging period. Similarly, the often repeated references in our local histories to the forest of Middlesex, so often taken for granted, are here questioned and re-examined.
In a chapter entitled Earth, Wood and Water, the author looks at the geology of the area, the evidence (where it exists) for woodland, and the streams. He traces the courses of the Holeboume or Fleet, the Tyburn and Westbourne and how they were exploited. The administration of the County of Middlesex is considered with an examination of the shire and hundred courts. Then the foundation of the Abbey with its charters, and the question of their being described as forgeries is re-examined.
The use of the Abbey’s Middlesex estates as a source of income as well as their boundaries are described before focussing on Hendon, of which Hampstead then formed a part. The questioning continues with the possible Saxon settlement of Bleccanham, which with Codahhlaw, appears to be ‘lost’ in Hendon.
The authors central interest in Hampstead leads to a re-examination of its charters which have been well publicised over the years in Park’s Topography of Hampstead in 1814 and Barratt’s Annals of Hampstead (1912). The charter boundaries of Hampstead have provided generations of Hampstead historians food for thought and rightly so. David Sullivan is pressing HADAS and English Heritage to investigate the ditch along the boundary of Kenwood and across the Heath and to attempt to date it to these early documents, as the ditch is referred to not only in the Anglo-Saxon charter of AD 986, granting Hampstead to Westminster Abbey, but again on 6 February, 1227, when the estate, now occupied by Kenwood and beyond, was granted to Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate. Then it was described as ‘wood and heath enclosed on all sides with a ditch in the parish of St Pancras of “Kentisseton”, next the park of the Lord Bishop of London’. Traces of the ditch bounding the park may be seen outside the toilets at the stable block marked by parish boundary stones; two placed in the ditch which has since filled so that only their tops may be seen by English Heritage dog dirt bins. The author develops the story after the Conquest with the early mediaeval history of Hampstead, its demesne farm and land use, and then extends the area to include the whole corridor. The appendices, bibliography and index provide a good working tool for anyone wishing to research the area before the 14th century, and if that is your interest, this is an essential read.

TEMPLES OF SOUTHERN INDIA Peter Pickering
We have just returned from a trip to South-eastern India, led by Richard Blurton of the British
Museum, to see the amazing temples there. The architecture of Hindu temples is very strange to •••
Western eyes. The towers (gopuras) over the entrances to the temple complexes are much the
tallest constructions, those to inner enclosures being smaller than the outer ones; the vimana over the central shrine is lower still, though golden in the richest temples. Walls and pillars are covered with sculpture, sometimes painted with colours that seem garish when new, though they quickly fade in the sun and the monsoon rains. The iconography was very unfamiliar to start with (even though we had read some of the books suggested to us, and had visited the Hindu exhibition in the British Museum earlier in the year), but we came to recognise some of the main deities and the various manifestations of Shiva and of Vishnu, whether on buildings or on the beautiful bronzes in the museums of Madras and Tanjore.
The monuments in the area we visited start with the Pallava period in the 7th century AD, and reach their apogee in the 10th and 11th centuries under the Cholas, whose empire extended as far as Indonesia. Later came the Vijayanagaras, under whom the decoration really exploded, and the Nayaks. Temples are, however, still being built, and are very much in use – one vast pilgrimage centre we visited gets 40.00 a day – and even those which are preserved as ancient monuments often have a few Brahmins to tend the central shrine. Not all temples are grand. There are many naive village shrines, and simple stones striped rd and white mark sacred spots.
We did not see much secular architecture – South India had few maharajas. Most interesting was the palace at Tanjore which housed the library of a ruler at the beginning of the last century, who was very pro-Western and a patron of learning. There, in Dickensian circumstances, were Sanskrit pandits working on palm-leaf manuscripts; it was gratifying to see that they had a microfilm machine to help with their editions. Madras itself has many good buildings of the British period, including various churches like St Martin’s-in-the-Fields. Since you as, it was very hot; we enjoyed the food and did not get ill; and you Cannot catch the plague from reading something written by a person who has been to India.
PASSMORE EDWARDS MUSEUM AND HARLOW MUSEUM Bill Bass
For those members who were thinking of visiting the Passmore Edwards Museum and Harlow Museum in the near future, think again. Passmore Edwards closed (ironically) on National Archaeology Day (10th September). The Victorian building (leaky roof and all) and its collections now have a very uncertain future. Some of the archaeological displays will go to the Museum of London, the rest of it, together with their natural and local history collection, may be bought up by other boroughs. The museum’s archaeological section will now have to become a fully independent, self-financing unit, now known as the Newham Museum Service. It is hoped that they can carry on important work, including various excavations of Bronze/Iron Age brushwood trackways at Beckton, Rainham and Barking (see Newsletter 277), Neolithic sites and the St Mary’s Abbey site (founded 1135) at Stratford Langthorne, which has recently produced many burials, thought to be of monks.
It’s a great shame that a body of important research material (pottery etc) is to be split up, also that Passmore Edwards used to be one of the few units to involve volunteers – this had died the death as well.

Mystery Vault
Members of HADAS and Barnet Museum inspected a ‘vault’ at Monken Hadley Church. It had probably been rebuilt in the Victorian era as part of a heating system. Although this room was known, three were four graveslabs which had gone unobserved because they were reused for the vault ceiling, another was seen near to the bottom of a wall and may have been the original floor level. These were all duly recorded by members of the museum, some having evidence for brass attachments.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS IN THE NORTHERN AREA Bill Bass
English Heritage have indicated the following sites may be of possible archaeological interest: Hillcrest, Totteridge Village, N20 – near to medieval area
Church Farm, Church Hill Road, East Barnet – near medieval church
162 High Street, Barnet – near to medieval town
Other sites which may be of interest include 10-12 Tapster Street, Barnet and St Martha’s School, Camlet Way, Hadley.
The owner of Pymlico House on Hadley Green, Barnet has asked us to investigate a small mound in his back garden. The main building dates from c1740 and incorporates remains of an earlier structure. A resistance survey will be the first priority, then, depending on the results, perhaps a small excavation.

MORE MEMBER NEWS Vikki O’Connor
As part of the recent Barnet Libraries Week, Mary O’Connell gave a slide-talk at Osidge Library on London Oddities, conducting an armchair tour of the familiar sights – Marble Arch, Trafalgar Square, Lambeth, Westminster, the Tower of London, and (of course!) Clerkenwell. Mary’s ‘oddities’ included the man who used to walk Oxford Street denouncing protein, a Pearly Queen whose mother posed for an inn sign at the Lambeth Walk public house, and Dennis, the wandering cat who belongs to the Dean of St Paul’s. On a local note, Henry Croft, who first had the idea for Pearly Kings and Queens costumes, has a memorial at East Finchley. As for the rest of the talk, it was packed with facts which would make a superb London Quiz – any offers?

LECTURES – CHANGE OF VENUE
For a long time now, the Committee has been considering the high cost of hiring the Hendon Library lecture room. The charge has risen again, with a possible further increase in April. It is a splendid venue, but regrettably the cost forces us to try an alternative. We have booked the Stephens Room at Avenue House, Finchley for our February, March and April lectures, and we will see if it is a viable change.
The hire cost for one lecture at Hendon library is over £50.00 – the hire cost for three lectures at Avenue House will be £57.00. This figure includes a 40% concession reduction, available because of the nature of our society. For some reason, this concession is not applicable to Hendon library hire, though both venues are administered by Barnet Council.
We already rent the small garden room at Avenue House for our library and archives, which absorbs the whole of our fundraising effort at the minimart, plus a further few hundred pounds from subscriptions. The total garden room rent and service charge at present is approximately £1,600 per year. If any member knows of a suitable empty room/rooms or church, shop, industrial, school, social or domestic premises at a lower rent, will they please let us know?

THE SECOND WORLD WAR: SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS IN 1995 IN BARNET AND HENDON Liz Holliday
To mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War next year, Church Farmhouse Museum and Bamet Museum plan to hold special exhibitions to show how local people lived during the war years. The exhibitions will not be “celebrating” the War in any way – the aim is to show the impact it had on everyday life in the home and garden, at work and school, on travel and entertainment. Both museums will be showing material from their own collections, but if you have anything tucked away – photographs, ration books, cutlery, crockery, posters, booklets, packets, tins, etc – and would be prepared to lend them for display, please contact John Heathfield at Barnet Museum (0181 440 8066) or Gerrard Roots at Church Farmhouse Museum (0180 203 0130).

12th LOCAL HISTORY CONFERENCE, 1995
The theme is Families: People – great and small. The venue is the Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip. The date is 25 February, 1995. And the tickets cost £4.00. Send a s.a.e to Geoff Saul, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 2EN (I don’t have more details of the address – he’ll be in the phone book, no doubt (ed) and make the cheques payable to “Rickmansworth Historical Society”.
HAMTUNSCIR Andree Price-Davies
Further to the deritavation of hamtun, “A Natural History of Britain” by M.J. Fleure and M. Davies states that ‘Groups of Anglo-Saxon families often gave their chief’s name to their cluster of farmsteads, its fields and pastureland.” The authors also state that “Ingham and later -ington – “the homestead of the people of” are common names of Anglo-Saxon settlements. Ham went out of use in later centuries. … The commonest Anglo-Saxon suffix came to be -ton. It is possible that – and -ham were used by kinship groups who immigrated together and that -ton was used to describe the neighbourhood unit of less closely related families as settlement expanded and the population increased.” In view of this explanation, that -ham is the family or related group and that -ton is the groups of such families, could the modern derivation of hamtun be “hometown”?

Comments

Newsletter-284-November-1994

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

HADAS DIARY

Tuesday 1st November

Lecture: “The Hoxne Hoard and others: late treasures from Britain” by Dr Catherine Johns (curator in the Department of Prehistoric and Romano-British antiquities at the British Museum) who will indicate the relationship of the Hoxne finds with earlier Roman discoveries. This will be an excellent conclusion to our 1994 lecture season. Lecture at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, 8.00 pm for 8.15 pm.

Tuesday 6th December

Christmas Dinner at “The Old Bank of England”. This is a recently opened Fuller’s hostelry in Fleet Street which was previously the site of two earlier pubs, and one of the earliest buildings in Fleet Street. Before our meal we will visit the Temple Church opposite. The original church was built in 1185 by the Order of the Knights Templers on their return from the Crusades, and is said to have been modelled on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Details and application form enclosed.

HIDDEN FEATURE UNCOVERED AT BARNET CHURCH

In September, this year, HADAS was asked to observe building works at St John the Baptist, Chipping Barnet (TQ 24559645). The church was first referred to in 1361 (given WI- for works at the chapel) , it was rebuilt 1420, in 1875 the structure was enlarged. “At a cost of £14,000 the architect, Butterfield, did the job so thoroughly that little remains of the original church”. In this year’s works, a doorway was to be inserted through the east wall of the 15th century (north) aisle
leading into a more recent brick built privy-cum-storage area. Initial appearances of the wall were of

dressed flint outside with plaster rendering inside. When this internal plaster was removed, a dressed sandstone architectural feature was revealed. This stonework was recessed to a depth of 23cm, a skim (5mm) of plaster covering the rear of the recess, the whole having been later infilled with brick, chalk and stone rubble. Surrounding areas of the wall were also of a flint/brick mortared rubble with slight variations as indicated on the drawing. The intact bricks had shallow frogs and were late Victorian/modern in date although a brick of the Arkley type, early 19th century, was noticed in the spoil. A stone lintel seen behind the sill of the present (?Victorian) window may further indicate the presence of a similar early feature. Unfortunately, due to previous rebuilds and repairs it is difficult to give an exact date to the stonework. If it is contemporary with the surrounding brick rubble then it is likely to be post-medieval. However, if it is associated with the more consistent flint/chalk mortared wall it may be a survival from the 1 5th century. Site watching was carried out by Bill Bass, Arthur Till and Roy Walker. Thanks are given to Adrian Bream, builder; Jenny Renfrey & Robin Marsden, churchwardens; and to Barnet Museum.

MINIMART

The sun shone on this year’s extravaganza, attracting over 130 paying public, plus HADAS members. This despite a large looking German shepherd dog which had been left at the front door for safe-keeping! Dorothy reports on another successful day:

I was hopelessly behind in minimart preparations this year and had the feeling we were not going to do so well financially – but in those last two weeks several members rallied round, frantically sorting and pricing the sudden avalanche of contributions of all kinds which threatened to fill every room in my house. Members assisted Alex Jeakins to erect rails and tables beforehand and they and many others lugged the boxes into the hall. A total of 54 members helped in so many ways on the day (too many to name) and I think the rest of the Society owes them a big thank you for raising the magnificent sum of f 1,164 clear profit. We took f790 on the day, the rest was an accumulation of income from our monthly sales and wants slips, bead stringing, prior minimart sales, car boot sales and donations.

And of course, all this would not have been possible without the jam-making and baking by members and their attendance at the sale itself.

Some members ask what happens to the stuff we have over. Well, in the past John Enderby and others have ventured into the realms of car boot sales and now Gill Baker, Gwen and Tessa are carrying that on. Another member gathers surplus warm clothing for dispatch to Poland and gives us a donation in return. Other surplus goes to Father de Mello in Hackney who runs a charity shop for the needy. So rest assured, nothing is wasted.

Further donations have been gratefully received from Myfanwy Stewart, Shirley Korn and Mrs Banham who were unable to attend the minimart.

Dorothy Newbury also deserves the thanks of the Society for generously organising this event and motivating the helpers.

MEMBERS’ NEWS

· Andy Simpson made a brief appearance on the local BBC 6.30 pm news programme on 29th September. He had attended the penultimate day of operation on the Central Line branch between Epping and Ongar and was asked by the film crew for his comments on the closure.

· Brian McCarthy was lucky enough to dig with Martin Biddle at St Albans Abbey during the summer.

· And another examination success: Malcolm Stokes has passed his first year, prehistory, for the certificate of Field Archaeology.

· Richard Nichols, NADAS member and Secretary of the Mill Hill Historical Society, has written an interesting new book entitled “The Diaries of Robert Hooke, the Leonardo of London, 1635 – 1703. A short review is on page 4.

· Miss M. E. Johns, has kindly donated a much-appreciated set of Journals of the Society for Medieval Archaeology covering the years 1961-1992, fully indexed from 1957-1991. These volumes will be a very useful means of research for Society members and complement our sets of other journals such as the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, London Archaeologist and the LAMAS Transactions.


CHURCH FARM HOUSE MUSEUM, POST EXCAVATION

As mentioned in the post-interim report it was suggested that a contour plan of the whole of the garden area would help in establishing movement and landscaping of the extent of the surviving old (medieval) land surface. It has been no surprise then to find that a few members of the HADAS excavation team have been carrying out a contour survey in the Museum’s garden. This is being done by laying out a grid, taking readings with a dumpy level at 1m intervals, these readings (hundreds of them) are reduced onto a plan. Now the fun and games begin – some poor soul has to work out by mathematical calculation, each level to produce a given contour. This heroic devotion to duty has already enabled us to see some subtle changes in the landscape not noticeable by eye.

We are also using this exercise as training for when we have to tackle the Anglo-Saxon boundary ditch on Hampstead Heath. Unfortunately, as we are restricted to using just one level , it has not been possible to call for volunteers – four being a suitable team size.

In a process known as arm-twisting we are now trying to get this business computerised by a member who knows about these things, so that we can spend more time in the pub, sorry, the field.

SPECIAL DISCOUNTS AT THE HADAS BOOKSHOP

The Society has a well-stocked (too well-stocked!) bookshop containing several titles of relevance to the archaeology and history of the area which are sure to be of interest to new members especially as they also provide a background to work undertaken by HADAS. Not-so-new members may wish to replace their old dog-eared copies or treat a friend or neighbour to a “localised” Christmas present such as “A Place in Time” or “The West Heath Report”!

A Place in Time

£4.50

The Blue Plaques of Barnet

£ 0.50

Chroniclers of the Battle of Barnet

£0.50

Those Were the Days

£ 1.00

Victorian Jubilees

£0.50

Pinning Down the Past

£ 1.50

GO Years of Local History

£1.50

While stocks last, a set of the above seven titles can be purchased
at the discounted price of £8.00, a saving of £2.00.

West Heath Report

£ 7.00

Barnet in Old Photographs

£7.99

Georgian Hadley

£ 5.00

SHIRE ARCHAEOLOGY: The following are earlier editions, which might have been revised, but nonetheless are suitable for reference purposes and ideal as an introduction to archaeology for the younger reader. Later Stone Implements (f 1.50); Flint Implements of the Old Stone Age (L1.50); Romano-British Mosaics (f1.95); Barrows in England and Wales (f1.95); Bronze Age Metalwork (f1.95); Archaeology of Gardens (f1.95); Animal Remains in Archaeology (L1.95); Wood in Archaeology (L1.95); Roman Military Tombstones (f1.95); Egyptian Mummies (f2.50).

These books will be on sale at our monthly meetings or can be purchased by arrangement with Victor Jones (087-458 6780), Alan Lawson (087-458 3827) or Roy Walker (081-367 7350).

if you are friendly with your local bookshop owner or manager, it will be very helpful to the Society if you could suggest that our books are stocked in the local history section. Please contact one of the above who will be pleased to let you have some samples, if needed, and provide details of the terms of sale.

“THE WESTMINSTER CORRIDOR” by DAVID SULLIVAN

David’s book has now been published and will be reviewed fully in the next Newsletter. Published at £17.00 by Historical Publications, this 190 page volume with 16 pages of hand-drawn colour maps examines the development of what was to become Westminster Abbey and looks closely at the charters and boundaries of the Abbey’s estates. Of interest to HADAS will be references to the Anglo-Saxon boundary ditch on Hampstead Heath which we will be surveying and which was brought to our attention by David through his researches for the book. Hendon and Hampstead have their own chapters in this Anglo Saxon history. A second volume taking the story on to AD 1400 is currently being researched.

“THE DIARIES OF ROBERT HOOKE, THE LEONARDO OF LONDON 1635 – 1703” by RICHARD NICHOLS Without the publication of these diaries Hooke might only be known for his classic illustration of the structure of a snowflake which was used on a postage stamp, and his picture of a flea used by London Transport in a campaign against fare-dodgers! However, his unique contributions to scientific development are all around us today: the universal joint, kitchen scales and the iris diaphragm in cameras – to name but a few. A friend and colleague of Pepys and Wren, over the years Hooke embarked on an astonishing diversity of ingenious experiments, ranging from brick making to blood transfusion; from meteorology to medicine. These simple experiments led directly to many of the scientific advances of this period. Not only did Hooke directly inspire many of Isaac Newton’s scientific breakthroughs, but he also devised the means by which Christopher Wren could build the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Richard Nichol’s book with its striking reproductions of Hooke’s own illustrations and carefully selected diary extracts is a vivid evocation of domestic, social and scientific life in 17th century England.

Signed copies of this 184 page hardback are obtainable from the author at 29 Maxwelton Avenue, Mill Hill, London, NW7 3NB, price £15.00.

THE PROPOSED REGISTER OF HISTORIC BATTLEFIELDS

As members may have seen in the media, English Heritage have drawn up a provisional register of 56 battle sites to improve awareness and conservation. This may have been prompted when a dual carriageway was driven through, near to the Northamptonshire site at Naseby (1 645) in 1989.

The role of the register is for information purposes only, setting out maps which identify the most visually sensitive areas and making clear the extent of current public access, also to highlight features for understanding the battle. Text includes the location and description of sites, sources and interpretation of the battle, guidelines for conservation.

HADAS has received a consultation draft of the Battle of Barnet entry to the register, this gives a useful summary of the various accounts of the conflict ranging from contemporary chronicles (1471), to Frederick Charles Cass, Rector of Monken Hadley (LAMAS Transactions 1882), and more recently P W Hammond – The Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury (1990).

The present and past topography is discussed with a suggestion that public access could be improved with the provision of a ‘trail’ and interpretive boards at suitable viewpoints eg the public footpath on Old Ford Golf Course. Barnet battlefield is still open to interpretation, the exact location is not clearly known, the number of dead and where they were buried is open to question. So it is important that the site is kept well intact, protected by Green Belt (hopefully).

“The Chroniclers of the Battle of Barnet” is available from the HADAS bookshop, price f 0.50p. see above.

THE SEARCH FOR ST ALBAN

Martin Biddle has renewed his effort to find the original shrine of St Albans (see Current Archaeology 130 and Newsletter 274). After excavating beneath the Shrine of St Albans and a site 50m south of the present cathedral nave in previous years to no avail, he has this year been digging close to the south wall of the nave. Several impressive fragments of the conventual building attached to the abbey church have been uncovered. These include the north-east angle of a `cellarium’ discovered a decade ago and now known to cover some 4,000 sq. ft. with a vaulted roof found collapsed on the floor and decorated tiles from an upper floor scattered over the remains. Part of the pillared hall for receiving guests has also been found.

Unfortunately, no sign of either Saxon or earlier buildings has appeared, nor have the densely clustered burials that might indicate a desire to be buried close to the martyr’s tomb.

“There is no evidence that either a Roman or Saxon church stood here, nor is one likely to have been located under the present nave of the abbey.” He said. “When Paul of Caen, the first post-Conquest abbot, rebuilt the church between 1077 and 1088, he seems to have done so on a green-field site”. (Abridged from a report in The Times)

ST ALBANS MUSEUM SERVICE Bill Bass

As part of the 1994 National Archaeology Day, the field archaeology section had an open day at their premises in lnkerman Road, St Albans. Upstairs they had displays and exhibitions of current work with staff on hand to show people around. Featured sites included the Celtic Warrior Tomb at Folly Lane and a Roman cremation cemetery from Harpenden. Visitors were allowed to inspect and handle various finds such as pottery, bone, etc. Downstairs there was a tour of the storage area where finds and so forth are kept on a rotatary cabinet/shelfing system. And then back to the main department where children were reassembling vessels (broken flower pots) and doing unspeakable things in the environmental section.

SEPTEMBER OUTING – HAMPSHIRE HIGHLIGHTS
Sheila Woodward

Hampshire teems with places of interest and associated “famous names”. This outing concentrated on just a few – but what a splendid few! The first, our coffee stop, was Selborne, known to all nature lovers as the home of Gilbert White, 18th century author of “The Natural History of Selborne”. In 1801 it had a population of 762; by 1901 it was 7,915. Despite such growth it still has considerable charm and the National Trust cares for its adjacent countryside. Our stop was brief but we caught a glimpse of “The Wakes”, the house in which White lived for almost 70 years. It is now a museum.

En route to Alton we passed Chawton where Jane Austen lived and wrote, and Alresford immortalised by Miss Mitford’s “Our Village” and now the terminus of the Watercress Line steam railway. Alton itself is a sturdy little town with a history of occupation stretching back into prehistory. It still seems to be thriving and has not yet been completely ruined by its modern development. It is fortunate in having two excellent museums. The Allen Gallery where we began our tour is housed in 15th and 18th century buildings with an enchanting little garden where delicate sculptures of flora and fauna mingle with trees and flowers. Inside is a fine collection of pottery, paintings and silver, including ceramics ranging from a fragile porcelain teapot-cover from China to stout white salt glazeware from Germany and a good display of English tin-glazed tiles. A temporary and very entertaining exhibition featured the vagaries of beachwear during the last 100 years.

Our guide, Nicholas Riall, gave us a brief introduction to Alton: prehistoric settlements in the surrounding countryside, its heyday as a Roman town (it was probably Vindomis mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary), its re-emergence as the late Saxon market centre of Neatham (= cattlemarket), and the growth of prosperous medieval Alton, many buildings of which survive. This “Story of Alton” is admirably displayed in the Curtis Museum. Never a large town, Alton was always important as a centre of communication as its mansio and coaching inns indicate, and as a market town for Roman pottery (the Alice Holt kilns were nearby) and later for locally produced paper and beer. All this and more is covered by the Museum exhibition. the loveliest exhibit is the magnificent Saxon Alton buckle, comparable to the British Museum’s Taplow buckle. The Gallery of Childhood is delightful but there is a poignant reminder of Alton’s most famous child, 8 years old Sweet Fanny Adams, hideously murdered in 1867. With no time to do justice to the fine church of St Lawrence (Saxon font and unique Norman carvings) we sped onwards to Old Winchester Hill where Dr Peter Reynolds was waiting to give us one of his lively talks and lead us on a very wet walk round this impressive promontory fort. Views of the Isle of Wight were invisible, though the enveloping mist produced a suitably sinister prehistoric atmosphere. But Dr Reynolds will have no truck with theories of tribal warfare. Peaceful farming and harmonious relationships typify his Iron Age! The newly-sited Butser Ancient farm in Bascombe Copse continues Dr Reynolds experiments in Iron Age agriculture and animal husbandry, familiar from the old site. Old breeds of animals and fowl are kept; early types of cereals and legumes are grown, as is woad. Various types of Iron Age structures have been built and there are areas for corn grinding, pottery-making, metalworking, spinning and weaving. It is all as fascinating as ever.

Our last stop was in Petersfield where we all enjoyed tea and scones at “Fanny Anny’s” and where the more-resilient fitted in a tour of St Peter’s Church with its great Norman chancel arch. A truly splendid day, thanks to the organisation of Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor. And congratulations and special thanks for the magnificent programme – guide – a great help in compiling this report!

TRANSLATION OF HAMPSHIRE: In the Hampshire outing programme, Vikki mentioned that according to John Barton’s “Visitors’ Guide to Hampshire”, the county was first referred to by name in 757 as “Hamtunscir” (shire of Hamtun). She asked if any member could offer any further translation.

Audree Price-Davies writes that in Anglo-Saxon “Hamtun” could mean a Chief’s town or area. Audree also wrote to the Archives assistant (R.G. Watts) at Hampshire County Council who replied: “According to ‘The Place Names of Hampshire’ by Richard Coates (Batsford, 1989), the Old English term ‘ham’ is a habitative term meaning ‘an inhabited place’, whilst ‘tun’ originally denoted ‘fence’ or ‘enclosure’, but developed to the meaning ‘enclosure round a house’. It is, however, difficult to distinguish ‘ham’ from Ihamm’ which was a topographical term denoting ‘an enclosed plot’. According to Coates, ‘Fareham’ derived from `Fearnham’ or `Fernham’, in Old English ‘bracken estate’. ‘Alton’ derived from ‘Auueltona’ or ‘Awelton’, in Old English ‘Spring Farm’.”

We seem to be left with an “enclosed inhabited place” either one or more dwellings.

It was good to see a turnout of over 50 members for the first of HADAS’s lecture evenings; Daphne Lorimer (Vice President) gladly chaired the proceedings.

As well as giving the vote of thanks, Peter Pickering also sends this report.

The 1994/5 lecture season began on October 4th with a personal view of excavating in Egypt by Dr Patricia Spencer, the Secretary of the Egypt Exploration Society. She is currently excavating a site in the Delta called Tel El Balamun, having previously been working at El Ashmuneim in Middle Egypt. At El Balamun the excavation, on behalf of the British Museum, is concentrating on a temple complex of the 25th and 30th dynasties, searching successfully for foundation deposits amid fluctuations of the water table. Finds made include a small plaque inscribed in incompetent hieroglyphs; the techniques of the ancients were not always perfect!

Dr Spencer’s lecture was entitled ‘Excavating in Egypt”, not Excavations in Egypt”. She ranged widely on her theme. She showed truly delightful slides of 19th century excavations with hordes of native labourers being supervised by the archaeologist standing on a little mound, like Napoleon on a field of battle; another slide of the same period showed an archaeologist making his home in an unexcavated tomb near the one he was excavating. Slides showing modern excavations and the home of today’s archaeologist were more striking in their resemblance to the past than in the differences, though the ratio of labourers to professionals is now lower, and there are more women among both groups actively working rather than reclining gracefully.

Relations between archaeologists and the locals now seem much closer than they were, and wedding parties provide a diversion from scraping, brushing and photographing for all. Not that Egyptology started in the 19th century; we were reminded of the interest that some later ancient Egyptians took in their early past, and of the tales they told Greek and Roman visitors, who were as struck by the grandeur of the pyramids as we are today.

Dr Spencer took a balanced view of the present state of the monuments in Egypt, accepting that modernisation, particularly of agriculture, which is so necessary for improving the lot of those who now live in Egypt, will damage monuments, and that recording is essential as the water table rises.

THE MANSHEAD ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, DUNSTABLE
Vikki O’Connor

On the overcast afternoon of Saturday 30th September, four HADAS members and Andrew and Wendy Selkirk took advantage of an invitation, circulated by Andrew, from the Manshead Archaeological Society of Dunstable to attend the opening of the Les Matthews Archaeology Centre. We were welcomed by Committee Member Joan Schneider, then joined a small party of their members in a walk on Dunstable Downs, led by Renny Hudspith. He explained that the Manshead group were formed in 1951 by local people in response to threats to sites from chalk quarrying and new housing estates, taking their name from the Manshead Hundred. Renny and Ron Fowler (their President) then pointed out the quarry, Roman villa and Matte & Bailey at Totternhoe and many other features on the misty horizon, which disappeared and reappeared as the rain clouds drifted across the Downs (thankfully passing us by).

We walked to Five Knolls, a group of seven bell & bowl barrows. It took a few minutes to work out ‘Five Knolls’, seven barrows, but nine in total! Numbers 2, 3 & 4 are bell barrows, joined by a ditch to form a `triple barrow’. There have been unrecorded excavations of numbers 3 and 4, but numbers 3 has been dug on two further occasions in 1850 and 1922 – empty grave cists and secondary cremations are recorded. R E M (Sir Mortimer) Wheeler was one of the site directors on the 1926-9 excavation of barrow number 5 by the University College Society. This revealed a late neolithic primary burial – now displayed at Luton museum; secondary cremations; and 98 other burials – thought to be gallows ‘victims’. Barrows 6 & 7 are possible pond barrows. Two further barrows numbers 8 and 9 lay within 200m of Five Knolls, on the present golf course, and were partially excavated in 1887 shortly before their destruction. Each comprised an empty central grave and 6/7 satellite graves. Beaker pottery was found in number 8.

On our way back, the Visitor Centre on the Downs with historical and natural history displays (and tea stall) was especially opened for us. We had to hurry back to Dunstable for the official opening of the Matthews Centre – named after the group’s late founder, Les Matthews. Andrew Selkirk, (a Manshead Vice-President), made a speech to the Mayor, officials, Society members and visitors who had gathered in the street, all warily eying the heavens – but the rain still held off. Andrew cut the tape and all trooped inside for refreshments and a tour of the Centre. Manshead have purchased their own premises – a two storey house which they used to rent from the council – largely thanks to a bequest from the late Les Matthews. The upstairs rooms are used for finds processing, storage, meetings, and the inevitable

administration work. Downstairs is used for larger meetings and exhibitions. The society has undertaken an impressive range of projects, including systematically fieldwalking the area around Dunstable. They regularly publish their work in the Manshead Journal, and meet two or three times a week. If we find ourselves with a lull in HADAS activities, we have an open invitation to contact Manshead and join them fieldwalking. We enjoyed the archaeology, but the welcome we received from this society made it an afternoon to remember!

A note of interest:
Whilst admiring the photographic display, we met John Hyde-Trutch who repairs

and restores timber frame buildings, and who works at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, whose buildings range from an Edwardian Public Convenience to an iron Age House. Athough their season runs from March to October, there is a Victorian Christmas Celebration on 3-4th December 7 0.30am – 3pm, with Father Christmas in the Toll House, carols, hand bells, nativity play, mulled wine, roast chestnuts etc. Their full address is: Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, HP8 4AD. Information telehone line: 0494 872163.

OLDEST ENGLISH WHEEL, BRITAIN’S OLDEST PLOUGH AND A NEW METHOD OF PRESERVATION

Dr Francis Pryor and his team at Bronze Age Flag Fen, Cambridgeshire, have unearthed the earliest prehistoric wheel ever found in England. The wheel, made of alder, is 800mm in diameter, 65mm thick and held together with two oak rivets. It is 3,300 years old, predating the Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire, spoked-wheel by some 400 years.

From the Neolithic henge monument at Pict’s Knowe, near Dumfries. comes another wooden object – a perfectly preserved ard. This simple plough, provisionally dated to between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, is the first wooden artifact to have been found in the ditch of a henge anywhere in Britain. Preservation of organic deposits was ensured by the waterlogged deposits which yielded perfectly preserved leaves, turves, seeds and fragments of wood. Chips cut from large timbers indicated wood-working had taken place on site and examples of wickerwork hurdles with associated postholes showed that areas of the monument had been screened perhaps to preserve the secrecy of the rituals that took place there. The ard, which has yet to be

radiocarbon dated, is believed to be earlier than other British or north European examples. Lack of wear shows that it was never used and it may have been taken to the henge specifically for deposition. Finally, as a timely aid to the above discoveries comes news of a wood-drying process from the University of St Andrews which is claimed to be an advance on the usual method which involves impregnating wooden objects with polyethyleneglycol (PEG). The new process, “supercritical drying”, requires the replacement of the water in the wood with methanol. The artifact is then placed in a chamber with carbon dioxide in the form of dry ice which when warmed becomes a supercritical fluid and dissolves out the methanol. The wood is not subjected to drying stresses under this treatment nor are associated metal components adversely affected as they would be by the use of PEG.

AUSTRALOPITHICUS RAMIDENS1S – THE MISSING LINK?
Roy Walker

The discovery of the fossilised bones of one of Man’s ancestors was widely reported in the press in September usually with the cliche “missing link” somewhere in the headlines. This expression is so dated and imprecise that it detracts from the facts. For instance, the Evening Standard on 21st September has the headline “Ape to man: 4m-year-old missing link is discovered”. The article starts “What may be the `missing link’ between man and the apes has been discovered…” But when you read on it says “the scientists themselves stop just short of claiming the discovery of the missing link probably because the scientific world is already saying that this is just one creature in the long process of evolution.” So why do journalists insist on calling it the “missing link”? Let’s give the newspaper the benefit of the doubt, after all “scientists stop just short of claiming the discovery of the missing link”. However, the same item further on quotes one scientist as saying “this is not the missing link because there is no such thing….really, if you are going to make claims about the missing link, you need a whole population, not just an individual or two”. It appears the only link missing is that between the headline and the reported story.

FURTHER DIARY DATES

Museum of London, Friday lunchtime lectures, 1.10 pm – 1.50 pm

Reports on new findings from current excavations in London. 11th November: The Rose and Globe theatres

1 8th November: London’s prehistoric environment 25th November: East London Roman cemeteries

2nd December: The Jubilee Line extension – recent investigations

9th December: Archaeology at Albion Place, Clerkenwell 16th December: Recent finds research from MoLAS

Exhibition of Glass and Ceramics from the site of Henry Great Palace of Nonsuch.

At Jonathan Horne, 66c Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4BY

10.00 am – 5.30 pm, admission free. Exhibition ends on 20th December.

Essex Archaeological Symposium

To be held at Southend-on-Sea Central Library, Saturday 5th November, 10.00 am – 4.30 pm. Talks on the latest excavations and archaeological research in Essex. Tickets at f4.50 and further details from Pamela Greenwood, Newham Museum Service, Archaeology and Local History Centre, 31 Stock Street, Plaistow, London, E13 08X, telephone 081-472 4785.

Exhibitions at the British Museum

Until 21st January, 1995 (room 69A): Money under the Microscope: the application to numismatics.

This joint exhibition between the Department of Coins & Medals and Scientific Research shows how the earliest coins were made, the ingenious methods used by forgers ancient and modern, and how coins can tell us about early metal production.

Until 30th November (room 338): 16th century Chinese Porcelain, a small display of superb pieces.

LAMAS Local History Conference

“London’s Poor 1700 to 1900” Museum of London lecture theatre, Saturday 19th November at 10.00 am. See last Newsletter for details.

SCOLA Seminar

“The Prehistory of London” Saturday/Sunday 28-29th January, 1995 at the Museum of London. Further details available from Patricia Wilkinson, 081-472 4785

Training with the Compton Bassett Area Research Project

The summer courses run under the auspices of the Research Project have been publicised in previous newsletters. Andrew Reynolds, the Field Survey Director, has now sent details of the following two-day practical courses in archaeology being carried out in Wiltshire this winter. The team now has use of a disused dairy so there will be some haven from the elements.

10-11 December, 1994: An introduction to landscape archaeology.

14-15 January, 1995: Elementary archaeological surveying.

11-12 February,1995: Recording an archaeological site.

11-12 March, 1995: Archaeological illustration.

Further details from Archaeological Resources, Compton Bassett Area Research Project, The Old Dairy, Street Farm, Compton Bassett, Wiltshire, SN7 I 8SW (telephone 07249 760433).

Newsletter-283-October-1994

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

Issue No. 283 OCTOBER 1994 EDITED by Micky COHEN

DIARY

Tuesday, 4th October Lecture : “Excavating in Egypt” by Dr Patricia Spencer.

Dr Spencer has been secretary of the Egypt Exploration Society since 1983. She has excavated with the British Museum at El – Ashmunein and Tel El – Balamun. In fact she has been excavating in Egypt for two months this year, so we can look forward to some first-hand knowledge of the subject.

Saturday, 8th October
MINIM ART : Please phone if you can help unload Please phone if you can bake I Please phone if you can help man a stall ! Above all – PLEASE COME ! Telephone : 203 – 0950

Saturday, 29th October
CITY WALK with Mary O’Connell. Details and application form enclosed.

Tuesday, 1st November
Lecture : ” The Hoxne Hoard and others : Late Treasures from Britain ” by Dr Catherine Johns.

Saturday, 19th November LAMAS CONFERENCE at MUSEUM of LONDON – 29th

Local History Conference on the theme “London Poor – 1700 to 1900”. Lectures from 10 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. will include “Care of the Infant Poor in 18 C London”; “Victorian Poor Law”; “The Labouring Poor”; and “The London Rookeries in the 19 C”.

Tickets at 1.3.50 each can be obtained from Local History Conference, C/- 31 Lynton Road, Harrow. HA2 9NJ. Please enclose s.a.e. for reply and make cheques out to London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. Early application is advised; there is no guarantee that tickets will be available on the day.

Friday, and December Lecture at 1.10 p.m. “Development of Thorney Island and the Roman Settlement beneath Southwark” by Mike Hutchinson,at the Museum of London. Mr Hutchinson is the Archaeology Projects Manager at the Museum, concerned with London’s ‘New’ Archaeology, for example excavation at station sites prior to construction of the Jubilee Line Extension.

Tuesday, 6th December CHRISTMAS DINNER Venue to be announced a.s.a.p.

Regrettably, we have been unable to make arrangements yet for this event – everywhere is so expensive. We are currently trying the Canonbury Academy or Brentford Steam Museum.

N.B. HADAS LECTURES are held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, Hendon. NW4, at 8 p.m. for 8.30 p.m. start.

A THOUGHT…. How about Ireland for next year’s week away ? ? ?

Our appeal for a member to take on the job of lecture organiser from Dorothy Newbury has been resolved.June forges has very kindly offered to take over from January 1995.

MEMBERS’ NEWS EXAMINATION SUCCESSES –

Bill Bass has passed his third year (Post Roman) for the Certificate in Field Archeology,

Roy Walker has also passed the third year for the Field Archaeology Certificate.

Jean Bayne has passed her second year (Roman) for the Field Archaeological Certificate.

Daphne Lorimer (one of our Vice-Presidents) We are delighted to hear that Daphne is coming down from her home in Orkney in October and will be at the Minimart to help Sheila on the cake stall. So get baking everyone, so that there is plenty for them to sell Daphne is looking forward to seeing as many old friends as possible.

Andrew and Joan Pares are both unwell just now and they are sorry to have missed all our functions this year. They hope to be fit and well in 1995.

Daisy Hill, also a Vice-President and founder member, and one of our early Newsletter Editors, writes from Chesterfield, where she now lives, to say how much she looks forward to our Newsletter every month.

Both Mr Pares and. Mrs Hill have kindly sent donations for the Minimart, as neither can attend.

Derek. Batten Our news travels far and wide. Derek, who talked to us once about his excavating in America, sent one of our Newsletters to a friend in the Dept. of Anthropology at California State University. He spotted the name of Bill. Bass, who, with Vikki, organised our Butser trip. He wanted to know if it was the same Bill Bass who was his ‘mentor and teacher from Tennessee’. Unfortunately not or is our Bill hiding something
from us?

AND ANOTHER LONDON LECTURE

Ann Saunders will be giving one of a series of lectures at the Linnean Society, Burlington House, to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Committee for Surveying the Memorials of Greater London. Her talk, at 6.30 p.m. on Monday, 17th October, will be entitled “London in Prints and Drawings : the Work of Antiquarians and Artists”. Tickets at Z5 each from the Survey of London, Newland House, 37 Berners Street, London. W1P 4BP; enclose s.a.e. Cheques payable to Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.

NEWS from ENGLISH HERITAGE from STEWART J. WILD

Many members know of my interest in research activities connected with public houses, but they may not be aware that I am as interested in the pub itself as in the beer it sells.

A new booklet has recently been published by English Heritage, entitled “PUBS -Understanding Listing”, and it is available free of charge from English Herit­age, 23 Savile Row, London W1X lAB. Telephone: 071 – 973 – 3000.

Local pubs are often part of social history, and very few remain in their original state. As the booklet explains, anyone can ask English Heritage to consider a building for official listing for architectural or historic importance, and that could be a mews pub or an Edwardian ‘gin palace’ as well as a castle or a mansion.

The booklet is well written and deals with the development of licensed premises from the early days of alehouses and taverns. I feel sure that even members who don’t share my research interests will find it interesting.

HADAS- Five days in the Isle of Man
August 9th-13th 1994

Day 1, by Tessa Smith

Another first for HADAS, all due to Dorothy Newbury’s flair and organisational skills.

A group of 28 of us flew off to the Isle of man, landing safely at Ronaldsway Airport, adjacent to, or maybe even on top of a rectangular Neolithic homestead site, which was discovered whilst lengthening the airport runway during the last war.

We met our guide, Les Quilliam. Affable, knowledgeable and handsome, with eyes as blue as the Manx blue tartan etc etc etc. Our driver, Ken, whisked us away to the excellent award-winning Manx Museum in Douglas, where we were very impressed with the well presented and wide range of displays: The archaeological gallery— the runes, the ogham. The Celtic, the Viking– What./ No Roman? The fishing, farming, mining. The costumes— military & peasant. The horse drawn tram. The exhibition of wartime internee craftsmanship “Living behind the wire”. Best of all, for me, was a Viking burial of the ‘pagan lady’ found at Peel castle in a Christian burial, but with grave goods– a cooking spit, scissors, a sewing kit and a wonderful set of polished beads.

Like Manx magic- we were transported to Braaid stone circle- a tranquil setting of sheep on a hillside with a trickle of water. Here we were introduced to the name Gerhard Bersu, a talented German internee during the last war who was able to carry out meticulous excavations on the island. This stone circle had previously been identified as a Megalithic site and the stones then erected into a vertical position to fit the theory. Gerhard Bersu noticed the alignment of the stones which suggested to him that of a Viking boat-shaped long-house. This was later confirmed. Makes you think!

One minute we were speeding over the fairy bridge saying hello to the fairies for good luck “cre’n aght to shill”, the next we were clicking our cameras at Braddon Church, capturing (for the AGM?) Celtic slab stones and Norse wheel crosses, Manx chain patterns and the Cholera stone.

At last we arrived at pretty Port Erin and a friendly welcome to our hotel- a place where time has stood still (circa 1950!). The seafront harbour has slipped slowly below the sea to become a hazard to shipping. By evening, the fairy (whoops! you must’nt say that ‘F’ word in the Isle of Man) lights of the bay shine out like the magic of the pagan lady’s beads.

Finally we negotiated the mysterious and intricate warren that was the staircase system in the hotel, and did battle with the plumbing. And so we slept in anticipation of tomorrow.

This was only day one.

Day 2. by Audree Price-Davies

Small islands reveal their history through their archaeological sites and their progression in time can be traced. Large countries have a more complicated and diffuse history. The Isle of Man shows this continuity.

The Meyall Circle has chambers arranged in a circle and each pair of compartments is approached from outside by a passage, built with two orthostats on each side. Sherds of Neolithic pottery were found here. The plan on which it is constructed came from the Mediterranean, along the western trade routes which existed during Neolithic and Bronze Age times. Such a structure exists in the shaft graves at Mycenae.

At Chapel Hill, worked flints indicate Mesolithic and Neolithic occupation, cremation burials and crouched inhumations appearing to be of Bronze Age date. A small cist with the capstone missing is seen at the surface. Postholes indicate Iron Age occupation and the entrance is marked by two pairs of massive postholes at the NE corner of the enclosure. At the eastern end, a pagan Viking boat burial was uncovered beneath a low cairn of stones. The richly adorned body of a Viking was found in the boat, together with that of a woman. She had been sacrificed along with his horse and other livestock- ox, sheep, pig, cat & dog. The grave goods included bridle mounts, four enamel discs, three buckles and strap ends, some of silver gilt. These show the wide trade contacts of the. Vikings since they indicate links with workshops in Scandinavia, Ireland and England, and also Central and Southern Europe. At the western end of this Chapel Hill enclosure are the foundation walls of a 10th or 11th century keeill. This small Celtic chapel dedicated to St. Michael is probably on the site of an earlier pre-viking keeill.

In beautiful sunshine we ate our lunch at the Sound, looking towards the bird sanctuary island of the Calf of Man, with the seagulls approaching and alighting near us for peices of bread and the sound of sea and birds in complete harmony.

Castle Rushen, in Castletown existed in Norse times and was extended in the period after the Vikings, when England and Scotland fought for control of the Isle of Man. The English finally won and installed Sir John Stanley as Governor. During the Stanley regime the castle with its garrison was the main centre of the island’s administration, and James, 7th Earl of Derby lived in it for several years, constructing Derby House within it’s walls in 1644. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the keep was used as a prison. At the present time, the castle is used for holding the fortnightly courts and new governors are installed there. Essentially the castle is a showplace- as the various rooms are explained by wall charts and sometimes furnished to illustrate the different periods. The prison with torture cells, a mediaeval banqueting room, with a page holding a peacock, a Restoration banqueting room, with be-wigged gentlemen in gilt embroidered frock coats and the audience room of the seventh Earl of Derby, a room richly hung with silk and velvet, makes this castle a living experience.

On St. Michaels Isle, near Castletown, also known as Fort Isle, a fort was built by Henry V111 in 1540 as part of the defences around Britain. It was repaired in 1645 by the Earl of Derby and this date is carved above the door. A small stone house has been built inside the fort. There are a large quantity of cannons from various parts of the Isle of Man, and the sea swirls wildly around the little islet. Nearer to the mainland is a keeill of the 11th century surrounded by an earthwork, which probably indicates earlier settlement. On the headlands facing each other are two Norse promontory forts, one is called Hango broogh. A broogh is the brink or brow of a hill in Manx Gaelic, and this was a place of execution.

Cregneash is a village folk museum of a crofting community, with houses which have exhibitionsof spinning and weaving. Harry Kelly’s house is kept as it was and the present ‘inhabitant’ in Manx dress of the 19th century invited us to taste the soda bread which she had just made on a griddle over the open hearth peat fire. There is a working farm here, a smithy and a wood turners shed. We needed more time here and were loath to leave the area.

We had reached the present day in our time journey, as we drove back to the hotel at Port

Erin.

Day 3, by Enid Hill

We drove north from Port Erin along a high moorland road with spectacular views over the island and sea until we decended via hairpin bends to Tynwald Hill. This has been used as an assembly place since the time of the of the mediaeval Norse Kingdom of Man and the Isles, and from this has come the present government of the island. The Tynwald or Parliament consists of 24 Keys (or members) now elected by universal suffrage for 5 years, a Legislative Council or upper house, and government officials, selected by the 24 Keys. It meets in Douglas, but used to meet in various places, and on July 5th, it meets on Tynwald Hill with much pomp. The members proceed from the local church to the four-tiered hill where the Governor, various officials and the Keys sit whilst new laws are read out in Manx and English according to ancient custom before they can become law. This has been happening for over a thousand years and the Tynwald has the longest continuous history of any legislature.

The other major visit of the day was to St. Patrick’s Isle off the town of Peel where there are remains of St. Germain’s Cathedral and Peel Castle. The Island was the birthplace of Christianity about 450 A.D., but a recent archaeological dig has found mesolithic flints, a pre-historic settlement of about 250 B.C., Viking burials of the 8th century, and fortification from the 11th-19th century. Many of the finds are in the Manx museum in Douglas, including a reconstruction of the ‘Lady of Peel’s’ grave and the Sitric Silkbeard hoard of coins minted about 1030 A.D.

Exhausted after these two visits we spent the rest of the day looking at Odin’s Raven, a reconstructed Viking Longship, which was sailed from Norway to the Isle of Man to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Tynwald, and moving on to a church— Kirk Michael, where a large collection of carved stone cross-slabs of the Norse period (10th-11th Century) found in the Parish is now preserved in the church. Covered in interlacing decoration with animals, people, dragons and some with Runic inscriptions on the sides, they are a magnificent collection.

Day 4, by Marjorie Searle

Friday, starting with Manx kippers for breakfast, was a perfect ending to a memorable week. One did not have to be a passionate archaeologist to respond imaginatively to the evidence of human life from neolithic cairn, Norse and Celtic crosses and the 19th century industrial achievement to the ice cream sucking tourists of today. In a few hours, our bumpy coach covered the miles and the centuries:

passing along the sea-front at Douglas, we saw the evidence of late Victorian and early Edwardian prosperity in the hotels and boarding houses, while outside Lonan Old Church, now used only once a week in summer, we stood by one of the oldest celtic crosses, leaning tipsily under the trees.

Then on to Laxey, the site of the great Victorian engineering achievment, the huge water mill built in 1854 to pump water from the lead mines below, it’s red painted wheel now a landmark and tourist attraction. The short walk into the entrance passage to the mine was disappointing, but did give us an inkling of the price paid by the miners for our past industrial prosperity. Those of us who climbed the many steps to the top platform and looked down on the heads of our lunching companions below found the effort worthwhile. Also at Laxey, we were fascinated by the skill and concentration of the weaver in the shop attached to the woollen mill founded by John Ruskin, and several of our party bought handwoven garments there.

How lucky we were that the glorious weather enabled us to take the electric train, another Victorian achievement, to the 2,036′ summit of slaty Snaefell. Very windy, and several of us were bowled over attempting the short climb from outside the hotel to the summit, where even the hardiest did not want to linger. Down again, this time to see the so called King Orry’s grave, the neolithic long cairn site which was probably split in two by the modern road.

The last major visit was to Kirk Maughold, its great churchyard overlooking the sea and its history passing through the centuries – Norse, Celtic and early Christian times, containing the sites of no less than four tiny early Christian Churches. Generations have been buried here, and what was the sad story of the 19th century family whose memorial records eight children who died in childhood? Gloomy thoughts on mortality were banished by the excellent supper we had, within sight of the sea, at the Sartfield Farm Cafe, followed by the drive in the warm evening light back “home”. A memorable day.

Day 5, by Dr. Paul O’Flynn

Saturday morning started with breakfast and the loading of the trusty old bus that had carried us all over the Isle of Man. Dorothy barked instructions at the stragglers (some with hangovers) who did not move along in a well ordered fashion. The coach departed with our luggage, and we set off on foot to the Port Erin Steam Railway Museum.

At the museum I was particularly pleased to see a royal coach with a magnificent chair inside reserved for the Surgeon!! You dont get that on B.R., in fact you don’t get trains at present (note for posterity- strike action by signal workers).

As we took our places on the steam train in our reserved carriages one member realised she had left part of her in Port Erin- namely her teeth. Not quite the same as leaving your “heart in San Francisco”! The train pulled out precicely on time at 10.15 (another novel railway experience) and we started our majestic journey to Castletown. Upon our arrival, we were again met by our guide Leslie Quilliam who pointed out some of the high spots of the town and alluded to some possible skeletons in his own ancestral cupboard relating to the extra-marital activities of one Captain Quilliam, who had served under Admiral Nelson.

Time was left over for optional tours of the Nautical museum or to watch the preparations in the port for the tin bath racing. Seeing all the baths gathering for competition explained why there were so few in the hotel.

Lunches were taken at various locations around Castletown where we could reflect upon what we had seen in the past few days: The stone circles, the neolithic chambered cairn, the great water pump, Tynwald, the impressive mediaeval castle and Chapel Hill. The Manx museum had given us a wonderful preview of what was to come archaeologically. However, nothing had prepared us for the nocturnal “goings on”:-

Young prowlers were spotted in the hotel, apparently looking for young women, it must have been dark! (sorry ladies). It was later discovered that the hotel bar had been broken into and money was missing.

Next morning HADAS members gathered to discuss the nights events. Two ladies in our group on the top floor regaled us with tales of knocks on their doors by polite young men at 3.00am!! Another member, kept awake by what she had presumed to be an all night rave, passed the top of the stairwell on her circuitous way to the nearest watercloset. On looking down, she observed the front door of the hotel open and a group of youngsters milling about in the hallway. Added to this was the mystery of the toilet seat. Dorothy and Enid shared their own private ‘out office’ on the ground floor. During their nocturnal calls of nature, both found the lavatory seat lifted on each visit- could this be a clue? (I think this was a time and motion study). Alas, the combined talents of would be Marples & Poirots were unable to secure a satisfactory conclusion. Only one member of the hotel staff slept on the premises, and he heard nothing. The mystery deepened, and the task of solving it now lies with the Isle of Man police.

Hadas members also distinguished themselves in other extra-curricular activities. I believe that we were the first HADAS team to enter a pub quiz ‘nite’. If we had only known Indonesia had such a large population, and if only our answer about germs had been accepted, then victory could have been ours. Other activities included bar football and pool. There was not much success in either.

Then homeward by Manx Air and coach. There had been many things to wonder about and be thankful for on this HADAS expedition; our driver Ken, our guide Leslie, both Manxmen born and bred, but most of all our leader Dorothy Newbury. Without Dorothy the entire project could not and would not have been conceived. Thank you Dorothy.

P:S: The author wishes to express his deep regret at any offence or embarrassment caused by this article. All persons are ficticious and bear no resemblance to anyone- unless you know differently…

further reading:

Our guide Leslie Quilliam has phoned to say that the excellent book ‘Manx Crosses’ by Kermode is now in print again- hardback £54, paperback £42. Prices during October £36 & £28 respectively.

Obtainable from the Manx Museum, Douglas.