Volume 5 : 1990 – 1994


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ISSUE NO.270 SEPTEMBER 1993 Edited by Andy Simpson

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 (details and application form enclosed.)

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 (203 0950).

Tuesday 2 November: “FUN AND GAMES IN THE ROMAN BATHS” – mark Hassall, FA Institute of Archaeology.

Saturday 6 November: VISIT TO ST PAUL’ CATHEDRAL with Mary O’Connell.

Tuesday 7 December: CHRISTMAS DINNER at University College, Gower Street.

Tuesday 11 January, 1994: Afternoon midweek visit to the Newspaper Library, Colindale NW9. This was advertised in the “British Library Newsletter” (via Ann Kahn). Visits have to be arranged in advance, so please phone Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) if you might be interested.

by Roy Walker

In the July 1991 Newsletter the HADAS Committee posed the questions “What does archaeology mean to you … what is it that especially draws you to archaeology?” Two years later at the Church Farm House excava­tion I have been reminded of those questions when memories of my introduction to archaeology were aroused. Nearly thirty years ago when still at school, I attended a lecture on natural history organised by the South London Field Studies Group. It turned out that the Group’s activities encompassed more than natural history – archaeology and even caving were included – but the countryside was the underlying theme.

CFM93 is a rural excavation. There’s a pond in the south west corner, a farmhouse to the south, a country church to the east, two public

houses around the corner, and the rolling fields of Hertfordshire to the north. And there are the frogs. Many frogs. Instinct dictates that when tadpoles gain their adult form they vacate their birthplace and seek pastures new, but at Church Farm most got no further than our trenches which necessitated a daily frog-renewal programme as a first priority. It is an uncomfortable feeling putting an arm down a posthole and coming up with a handful of 5mm frogs rather than a sherd of Hertfordshire greyware. And there are also the newts – not as plentiful as frogs but enough to warrant their removal from outside the door to the cellar, our excavation office.

And there’s Henry, the Museum curator’s four-years-old ginger tom. A sleek hunter who stalks the hedgerows and long grasses around his home, often returning with a dead mouse hanging limply from his mouth.

He was once seen carefully walking home with a dead rat. It’s not surprising that we have only seen one squirrel during the two months we have been on site. An injured dormouse, perhaps an escapee, found one morning sheltering outside the cellar in a state of shock, had to be removed to a safer place by a considerate excavator.

There are also the wild flowers, growing again within the fenced–off excavation area, safe from the weekly grass-cutting. My newly-acquired field study hobby had rather quickly concentrated on the narrow field of archaeology so botany faded into the background. May I suggest that members who are familiar with field and meadow plants pay a visit to the excavation and help finish this article by providing a flora list as my knowledge of this subject is very limited. Did someone mention archaeobotany?

(Visitors should also keep an eye open for Caesar, an extremely people-friendly moggy who has taken to “helping” down some of the trenches ­he just loves a nice post hole to stick his head down: Ed.)


Following the discovery and excavation of the important Celtic burial at Folly Lane (see Newsletter 263 and “Current Archaeology” 132), the team from St Albans Museum Unit have continued to dig this summer with recent uncovering of buildings from the sub-Roman “Dark Age” period.

These wooden structures were excavated a short distance outside the north gate of Verulamium close to the St Albans/Colchester Road. The once-busy road is still very much in evidence and has traces of cart tracks running through it.

Remains of substantial corner posts mark out buildings which are approximately dated to the 5th century. Their purpose has not yet been established, but some of them seem to have fenced yards next to them and a number of small bread ovens and broken querns for grinding corn have been discovered.

In the adjacent area rubbish pits are being sieved, soil samples have been taken in the hope of extracting pollen and other environmental data.

There are many difficulties in interpreting and dating the sub-Roman 5th century period. Verulamium is thought to be one of the longer surviving Roman settlements, and any information or archaeological evidence for continuing occupation or possible Saxon settlement would be useful.

Ros Niblett (Keeper of Field Archaeology): “The presence of these buildings is interesting because their position outside of the Roman city walls would indicate that there was a period of relative peace and security in the city enough to make people feel safe to live or work outside it.”

The main excavation is now finished, but the St Albans Archaeological Society will take over the site before developers start work.

(Article based on a report from the “St Albans Review.”)


Also in the news recently were two important Roman sites in Eastern England. The tribal capital of the Iceni, Venta Icenorum, close to the modern village of Caistor St Edmund, is one of only three major towns in Roman Britain not to have been built over, the others being Wroxeter and Silchester – Venta Icenorum being reduced by the “new town” of Norwich two miles away, and the site reverting to farmland.

This summer a new £90,000 visitor centre will open and guided walks are planned by the current owners of the site, the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, who were bequeathed the site by its last owner in 1984. Traces of the city defences – ditch, bank and wall – are still visible, one bastion still standing 10 feet high, with stretches of the north wall still standing 20 feet high. Early air photos taken in 1928 showed the street pattern surviving and caused quite a sensation at the time.

Also in the news this summer are the remains of a small Roman town in Norfolk not far from Venta Icenorum. Excavations at Scole on the site of the A140 Scole/Dickleburgh bypass have revealed traces of a settlement thought to be Villa Faustini, a staging-post between Colchester and Venta Icenorum. The excavation has uncovered the industrial outskirts of the settlement, with traces of a tannery, iron-smelting, lead-moulding and a smithy.

Waterlogged peat on the site has preserved two half-finished wooden bowls, thought to be unique in Britain. Traces of a Roman canal have also been found, cut beside the River Waveney which crosses the site.


(Not my title – blame the “Daily Mail” – Ed.) Excavations at Eynsham, near Oxford have, in an area of only 25 square yards, revealed the remains of up to 20 mammoths – 13 tusks, 8 teeth and 60 bones, within this quarry site. The bones are some 200,000 years old and prove for the first time that woolly mammoths lived in warm as well as ice age climates. Environmental evidence suggests that the climate then was slightly warmer than that in Britain today. It is thought that the animals were caught in a flood and drowned in mud, preserving their remains remarkably well. Other remains found include horses and bison. It is thought many more remain to be discovered on the site.

Whilst on the subject of fossils, the soft, sea-eroded cliffs near Lyme Regis have recently yielded the bones of a 12-foot long ichthyosaur, unusual in being a long-jawed type, with small teeth for catching small fish or filtering plankton. The skeleton is virtually intact, apart from the tail. The finder of this Jurassic creature of 195 million years ago runs a local museum – Dinosaurland.


The latest number (Vol 39) of the Transactions of LAMAS carries a tribute to his life’s work by Jenny Hall and Jean Macdonald. Inevitably such a tribute on five pages can only touch on his many activities, and it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that he was our President from 1965 till his death on December 25th 1988, aged 83.

He led a very active life, and one can only wonder for how many other local societies he was a mentor and president. An appreciation of him appeared in our Newsletter No.215, February 1989, under the title “Peter Grimes – the First Rescue Archaeologist.” This originally appeared in “The Times” and was by our Chairman, Andrew Selkirk.


To complement the present excavations in the rear garden of Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon, Ted Sammes, Victor Jones and Gerrard Rootes have arranged an exhibition upstairs in the small room of the Museum.

It covers finds in the range Roman to Post-Medieval from:-

1961-66 Church End Farm, Hendon, now partly under the rear of

the University;

1966 Sunny Gardens, Hendon – Roman cremation urn.

1972 Burroughs Gardens, nearly opposite the “White Bear” pub

1973-74 Church Terrace, where the Meritage Centre now stands.

This exhibition is timed to coincide with National Archaeology Day on August 29. None of these finds have been seen since our 25th year commemorative exhibition in 1986. This emphasise yet again the need for an exhibition area in which a changing display of finds in possession of HADAS and others can be displayed.

Please make an effort and visit both the excavation and the Museum.

Please note the Museum is now closed on Fridays, but open Monday to Saturday 10 – 1 pm and 2 – 5 pm. On Sundays it is open from 2 – 5.30 pm. Admission is free.


As the evenings begin to draw in once more, members may be tempted by some of the evening courses available locally.

The Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute are running “An Insider’s View of Egyptian Culture” led by Okasha Eldaly, BA. This runs for 11 meetings on Tuesdays from 28th September, fee £31.00, or £10.00 retired/unwaged/ low-waged. The course looks at 8,000 years of Egyptian civilisation and continuity and integrity of the culture – administration, social structure, art and religion.

HADAS member Jack Goldenfeld, who is also a stalwart of Barnet Museum, reminds us that he is running his course “Glimpses of the Past – An Introduction to Archaeology” at two centres this year: West Herts College, Watford and Elm Park College, Stanmore. The course is for three terms and aims to develop an awareness of the past and how it shaped the

present, looking at selected archaeological sites on all five continents. The West Herts course starts 20th September, full fee £48.20 per term; the Elm Park course starts 30th September, full fee £35.00 per term; Details from Jack on 0923 285225 or West Herts 0923 255533, or Elm Park 081-954 9481.


Members may also be interested in the exhibition “Knyghthode and Batayle – Medieval Warfare through the Ages” at the British Library until. September 26th, weekdays 10-5, Sundays 2.30-6, at Great Russell Street. Medieval manuscript illustrations are used to show the practice of warfare and other aspects.


This month we greet another four new members: Tom Real, David and Sian Plant who all joined HADAS after digging with our team at Church Farm House Museum, also Aileen Cotton (who joined us on the Ely trip.)

Resignations have been received from Joanna Wade, who sends her best wishes for the Society, and from Mr and Mrs Jeyes and Dr S Natelson who all have other priority commitments and interests.

Church Farmhouse excavation

At the time of writing 16th August 1993 we can say that excavation has taken the story of farming at Church Farm back beyond the documentary history of the farmhouse (and indeed the church) to something like AD1100. In two places, our exploratory trenches have exposed horizons yielding medieval pottery of that sort of date.

One of these is an area of massive wood burning in a depression in the natural sandy subsoil. We don’t know the area of it – it extends either side of our 2 metre wide trench; it could simply be a bonfire lit in a hollow scooped out of the ground, perhaps for porfiring or perhaps the burnt remains of a wooden structure. It give a general impression of the firing of quite substantial timbers.

The other is an area of greenish-yellowing soil, lying immediately above the natural sand, which we interpret as a farmyard surface impregnated with animal droppings. We have so far exposed an area of about four square metres and hope that more of it will appear as we get deeper into other parts of the trench. So far, the artefacts found on the surface of this layer have been exclusively no later than medieval.

We are nearing the end of our time allowed on site this year and will obviously have to backfill before we explore further. However we may hope that we will be allowed to return in the future and we shall be able, I think, to report to the Borough that whilst the work so far shows there is certainly some archaeology here to be further explored. It appears to lie sufficiently deep not to be disturbed by continuing as a garden. However if in refurbishing the garden there is to be any substantial earth moving (ie building wheelchair access, or regarding the slope) there should be prior archaeological assessment of the area involved.

Brian Wrigley.

As we reach the end of our season at Church Farm, levelling and section drawing are receiving particular attention. On site processing of finds is also making good progress. Finds of quite large sherds of Herts Greyware and pottery of a similar date continue to be made, all mixed in with a remarkable quantity of broken tile. There still seems to be a remarkable scarcity of 16th – 17th century material compared to the quantities of medieval and Victorian/modern material recovered – and still not a coin of any date! The acid nature of the sandy subsoil also means that very little bone survives from the medieval levels. – Ed.

Crofton Roman Villa description omitted


The following archaeology courses are advertised in “Floodlight”. For further details either write or ‘phone course enquiry office numbers below – (not all at course venues).

Type of course Location

General Kens & Chelsea (eve) Morley Birkbeck

Anglo-Saxon Morley (eve)

British City Lit Morley

British Norman/Viking City Univ (eve)

Early London Morley (day)

Egypt Kens & Chelsea (eve) Kingsway (Haverstock Hill) (eve)

City Lit Birkbeck (Russell Sq)

City Univ, Northampton Square (eve) Goldsmiths’ (eve)

Greek Kens & Chelsea (eve) Birkbeck City Univ (eve)

Arch & history: Ancient Near East Kingsway, Regents Pk (day)

Industrial City Lit (day) Morley (eve) City Univ (eve)

Roman City Univ (eve)

Western Asia Morley (eve)

Univ of London Extra-Mural Diploma City Lit Morley Birkbeck

Univ of London Cert/Diploma Field Archaeology Birkbeck

Kensington & Chelsea College, Fox Branch, Edge Street W8 7PN 081-964 1311 or 071-351 7127

Kingsway College, Regents Pk Centre, Longford St, NW1 3HB 071-306 5700

Kingsway College, Haverstock Hill, NW1 071-306 5700

City Lit, Stukeley Street, Drury Lane, WC2B 5LJ 071-242 9872

Morley College, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7HT 071-928 8501

Univ of London, Birkbeck College, 26 Russell Square, WC1B 5DQ 071-631 6633

City University, Northampton Square, EC1V OHB 071-477 8000 ext 3268/3179/3253

Goldsmiths’ College, Lewisham Way, SE14 6NW 081 692 7171 ext 8000


By | Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments



Tuesday Feb 2nd ANCIENT NEAR EAST CYLINDER SEALS lecture by Dr Dominique Collon, (British Museum) These small cylinders, were used in the Near East between about 3300 and 300BC for sealing goods and clay writing tablets. They provide a unique source of information about contemporary life and culture. Their engraved designs, when rolled out on clay, leave reliefs illustrating their kings and gods, their palaces and temples, the worshippers with their musical instruments and the activities of daily life. They are of course an invaluable archaeological tool for dating and economic study.

Dr Collon has travelled extensively in the Near East and has taken part in excavations in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. She is a leading authority on these seals. This should be a fascinating evening.


Don’t forget to keep this day free for seeing this hands-on exhibition at the Church Hall, St Mary’s, Hendon, open from 12 noon to 4.00 pm to HADAS members (bring your membership cards). The walk starts at 2.00 pm. (Strong shoes and warm clothing advisable) Admission to both is £1. Light refreshments will be available in the Church Hall, and both the Chequers and the Greyhound will be serving hot meals between 12 and 2. This is an excellent opportunity to view and handle the Roman pottery and several HADAS members will be in attendance to welcome you. Both the burial urn and the Moxom Collection will be on view, including the spacer (see “In search of spacers” HADAS Newsletter No,121 May 81 p7) and the square sided flagon (see “A flagon rejected” HADAS Newsletter No.137 July 82 p6).

Tuesday March 2nd EXCAVATING IN NORTHERN IRAQ: from the Greeks to the Mongols lecture by Dr John Curtis (postponed from November)

Tuesday April 6th EXCAVATIONS AT FULHAM PALACE lecture by Keith Whitehouse



Tuesday Feb 2, 6.00pm at the Museum of London,
Lecture in memory of Dr Hugh Chapman

“A BETTER MOUSETRAP: TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD” by Mark Hassall. Chairman: President of Society of Antiquaries, Barry Cunliffe. Followed by reception in the Roman & Medieval Galleries between 7.00 and 8.30 pm. Apply for tickets for lecture & reception (Food & wine) £9.50 to:-

Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, London W1V OHS


A public lecture course on Wednesdays at the Institute of Archaeology




St John Simpson



Fee £12 (Concessions £6) Applications to Leslie Hannigan, Archaeology courses, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, 26 Russell Sq, London WC1B 5DQ



at the Museum of London lecture theatre, 11.00 am – 5.30 pm Morning Session – Recent Archaeological Research in the London Area. Afternoon Session – London’s archaeology into the ’90’s: the London Assessment Document work is currently in hand on a document which sets out to assess, by period, the state of archaeological knowledge in the capital. Speakers will include those engaged in editing the document.

Ted writes: please let HADAS have a good attendance:

Tickets (£3 for LAMAS members, £4 for non-members) from Jon Cotton, Early Dept, Museum of London, London Wall. Send P.O. or crossed cheque payable to London & Middlesex Archaeological Society, and s.a.e.(Tel 071 3699 Ext 222)

Lectures: at Museum of London lecture theatre

Wednesday Feb 24th A.G.M. 6.15pm followed by the lecture 6.30pm THE OTHER TOWERS OF LONDON Derek Renn

Wednesday March 10th A WARRIOR BURIAL FROM FOLLY LANE, ST ALBANS by Rosalind Niblett

ROYAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W.1.

Saturday February 27th SUBMERGED SETTLEMENTS AND SHIPWRECKS 10.00 am – 5.15pm

The present state and future prospects of archaeology under water Tickets (£9 for RAI members £12 for non-members) from Miss W.E.Phillips, RAI c/o Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly WIV OHS (and s.a.e.)


HUGH CHAPMAN memorial lecture series:-

Series of four Wednesday lectures at the Museum of London at 1.10 pm

Feb 3rd Jon Cotton: Countdown to conquest: the Iron Age in southern Britain
Feb 10th Professor John Wilkes: AD 43: Britain invaded

Feb 17th Peter Marsden: The origins of London

Feb 24th Harvey Sheldon: The growth of greater Roman London

In tribute to Hugh Chapman, who tragically died last year, formerly Deputy Director and Keeper of the Prehistoric and Roman Department of the Museum of London.

COUNCIL FOR KENTISH ARCHAEOLOGY – COMMEMORATION OF THE INVASION OF BRITAIN BY CLAUDIUS At RICHBOROUGH CASTLE Guided tour of the Roman fort, reputed Invasion landing place May 29th 11.00 am – 12,30 pm

At the GUIDHALL, SANDWICH 2,00 pm – 5.30 pm Illustrated talks with displays

Mark Hassell : Claudius & Britain – D-Day 43

Professor John. Wilkes: Britains in the Roman Empire AD 42 – 84: Resistance, Rebellion & Acquiescence

Brian Philip

Excavations at Brockley Hill


The 1992 Christmas Lecture at Verulamium Museum was by Rosalind Niblett (Keeper of Field Archaeology) and Philip Carter (Conservation Officer), entitled ‘The Chieftain’s Burial the story so far’.

Remains of the burial excavated in February 1992 have been subjected to conservation, analysis and re-interpretation over recent months; this has been slaw and painstaking work as the body of the chieftain and all his possessions were burnt on a pyre, leaving a charred mass corrosion in acid soil has also compounded the problem. These lumps have been picked apart using scalpels, X-ray equipment, and an air-abrasive unit – a kind of sophisticated sand-blasting technique. Chemicals are not used for fear of destroying objects and evidence.

Finds such as a chain-mail tunic, first recovered as a corroded ball, was delicately hand cleaned showing it had been folded or dropped into a box or a container; cleaning revealed other metals, such as silver. In all, over 1 lb of silver residue has been collected including the remains of cups and handles from a casket. It appears that the dead king lay in state on an iron-framed bed or couch decorated with ivory and silver; a similar example Is in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Besides being rich in finds, the burial complex is also helping to shed light on rituals involved in a Celtic state funeral. First, within a five-acre ditched enclosure, an eight metre (26 ft) square pit was dug and a small wooden building/hut was constructed within it. This but was kept clean (no silt on the floor) and may have stood for a considerable time. Around the hut was a walkway and a 10 ft timber wall of cavity construction; infill of the cavity included gravel and clay.

The chieftain seems to have been placed on the bed in the wooden but and probably lay there in state for several weeks, with his possessions and funerary offerings placed around him in the building. Most of his possessions were then ritually smashed inside the building and the corpse and contents burnt nearby on a great funeral pyre. Human and animal sacrifices were probably also made.

Subsequently the charred bones and remains were placed in a separate pit adjacent to the main one, and the funeral building was demolished by pelting it with heavy boulders, Lastly, both pits were covered with a great square funerary mound. At around 90 AD a Roman temple was erected over the funeral pyre site. (the foundation of this building, being close to the surface, suffered damage from modern allotment digging), and a two metre high palisade was placed around the whole complex (140 metres square).

Pottery, including much samlan ware of which a high proportion was new, has established a date of between 45 and 50 AD for the burial, slightly later than at first thought. It was earlier suggested to be the grave of King Cunobelin, but as he died in c.41 AD, attention is now turning to his sons or a previously unknown client king (a supporter of the Romans). Of Cunobelin’s sons, Togodumnus died in battle against the Roman invasion near the Thames, Caractacus fled to Wales where he continued resistance. Adminius was pro-Roman and was expelled by Cunobelin in the late 30s AD. He went to the emperor Caligula, pledged loyalty to Rome and may well have asked for military help to put him on his father’s throne. When Claudius defeated the British it is suggested that Adminius was then placed on the Catuvelaunian throne, that his palace was near St Albans and that it is his tomb they have now discovered.

Text Box: This conclusion is by no means certain and much more work needs to be done in processing the finds; there will be a phase II of excavation in a nearby area in the summer (1993).

This article was based on notes from the lecture and on an informative report in the INDEPENDENT newspaper

1.4.93. See also HADAS Newsletter No 253.

ALL HANDS TO THE PUMP Dr B E Finch writes:-

Since the turn of the century a pump house with an early pump has stood in a small area next to the “refectory” at Golders Green Cross Roads. This pump raised water from the Brent reservoir and then uphill to Highgate. The line of the pipe is always marked by Metropolitan railings and these can be seen across gardens from the Vale, across Finchley Road up to Highgate. There was always access to the pipe and many areas of ground are still wild where the pipe runs below.

Now I see the pumping area has been sold to developers (Kennett & Co) and this includes the pump house and the pump (apparently the Thames Water Company did not know the pump was still on site).

The pump should be saved and I have written to Mr Eadie of Thames Water Headquarters at Reading and proposed the pump be saved or exhibited to the public and the whole be kept or bought back from the developer.


Bill Bass, in ‘Excavation News’ in the November Newsletter mentioned the possibility of a HADAS excavation in the garden of Church Farm Museum, Hendon; discussions are now proceeding with the Borough Libraries Arts and Museums department of firm plans for an excavation during summer 1993, with the main work during June and July.

As Bill mentioned, this is very close to the site of the HADAS excavation in 1973-4 at Church Terrace (pace Ted Sammes!) where C3 AD Roman pottery was found, as well as medieval and Saxon ditches and pottery; other Roman material is recorded at 111 Sunny Gardens Road (cremation), Church Walk (coin of Hadrian) and in the area behind Middlesex University (formerly Polytechnic), where Dr Hicks found Roman pottery, brick, tile and bones in 1889. Medieval material, C12-14 pottery was also found in the HADAS dig at Burroughs Gardens. All in all, this suggests that this area along The Burroughs of high ground formed by a sandy glacial capping on the London clay, has been one of ancient occupation.

This opportunity provided by the Borough arising out of the proposed replanting and laying-out of the garden, clearly should not be missed. The suggestions being considered include a display in the Museum whilst the dig is going on – a splendid and unusual chance to dig in the grounds of a museum which will be ready to display the results forthwith! That is, so long as we can have exhibits ready in time – which will need the back-up of all interested members to help in getting the finds washed, sorted, identified if possible and put on display whilst we are still digging. If you could help, do please get in touch with me: Brian Wrigley


‘PINNER CHALK MINES’ by Ken Kirkman. A complete story of 700 years of chalk mining in Middlesex.

£3.75 post free from 30 St Michaels Crescent, Pinner, Middx


Those of us who visited Flag Pen with HADAS in June 1988 will be particularly delighted that Dr Frances Pryor was named Britain’s Archaeologist of the Year for 1992, for his work on the fen. He won the Nationwide Silver Trowel Award, top prize in the 1992 British Archaeology awards, considered the most prestigious in national archaeology at the Royal Geographical

Society. See HADAS Newsletter 208 July 1988, for Ann Lawson’s report.


parish registers to enable reliable estimates of the population of England, and London itself, have been made for the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The registers of the towns and villages of the London suburbs have not been studied in the same way before the first census in 1801. It is now proposed to carry this out in a group project. Anyone interested should contact Pat Clarke, 31 Lynton Road, Harrow, HA2 9NJ, Tel:081 864 2517, but immediately, because application should be made before January 31st. However she assures me the date will be extended for HADAS members. No special skills required.

‘TOYS FOR YOUR DELIGHT: an exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum (ends 21st February)

The Museum has been fortunate enough to be able to borrow material from a remarkable private collection, based in Hertfordshire, for this exhibition. The collection is vast and various-what is on show at Church Farm represents probably only a hundredth of it – so the main problem in mounting the show arose from what to leave out, not from what to put in.

The exhibition is, in part, aimed at schools, as the topic of toys features in both the History and the Design Technology elements of the National Curriculum. So here can be seen toys made of almost every conceivable type of material – plastic, tin-plate, wood, cloth, glass, lead, resin, fur, paper – dating from the late C19 tothe present day, and from many different countries. Thus cheap puppets made from old cornflake packets and thread from modern Thailand are shewn along with an elaborate china and celluloid doll from early C20 Germany; a 1930s Hornby clockwork railway engine along with a plastic battery-operated robot imported recently from Japan. There is a certain emphasis on home-made (or, in some cases, home-adapted toys) ­a train, for example, made in Britain at the end of WWII from an old cocoa tin and cotton reels. This leads on to a discussion of the safety of toys: many of the examples displayed could not now be sold legally in this country – early Britain’s lead soldiers have swords like needles, Taiwannese tin-plate cars have razor-sharp edges. (Other toys halm become unacceptable for different reasons: golliwogs for their racist overtones, a tiny cigarette-smoking sailor for health reasons, even a little plastic pig, designed to move when a live fly was inserted into it, for its thoughtless cruelty.) So the exhibition makes connections between social history and the history of design, and seems, judging by the response of school parties, to do this quite successfully.

Of course, the exhibition was intended not just as an academic exercise. We hoped to engage a very much wider audience, by presenting truly ‘toys’ – the quotation is from A Child’s Garden of Verses – ‘for (everyone’s) delight’. We have had 2500 enthusiastic visitors and so it appears to have worked; and, in a curious sense, the exhibition has perhaps worked best for adults. Toys are static objects: children bring them to life by handling them, by using them to objectify their imaginative worlds. These toys are, for the most part, behind glass-tantalizing, rather than satisfying, small children. For adults merely seeing them brings back a distant childhood, and satisfies a nostalgic craving. Nostalgia is not an unambiguous experience, however toys – like Citizen Kane’s boyhood sled ‘Rosebud’ – are like shards of our lost innocence, and, as archaeologists know, shards are not only evidence – they are also sharp: they can hurt. Gerrard Roots
OPEN Mon-Thurs 10am – 5.00pm. Sat 10.00am-1.00pm, 2.00pm -5.30pm. Sun 2pm – 5.30 pm ADMISSION FREE

HADAS 1993 PROGRAMME is not yet finalised but here are the summer outing dates for your diary: May 22nd Bosworth – June 19th Arundel Area – July 17th Stonea/Ely

August 14th or 21st Pinner/Headstone Manor – September 18th St Paula – October 9th Minimart. Efforts are being made to organise a 5 day trip to the Isle of Man (Sep 1-5th) or a weekend in Chester/Llandudno. The usual programme card will follow as soon as possible.

I am pleased to say my plea for volunteers to help with outings was successful – May (Sheila
Woodward & Tessa Smith) June(Micky Cohen & Micky Watkins) July(Vicki O’Connor & Roy Walker)

September (Mary O’Connell) Many thanks, Dorothy 203 0950


The Compton Bassett Area Research Project, based in the Avebury area, is undertaking a detailed study of a block of landscape encompassing 24 square kilometres of downland and clayland. This long-term multi-disciplinary study covers all aspects of human activity from the Mesolithic to post-medieval. There are four types of five-day training courses available:

General excavation – methods and techniques; The archaeological analysis of churches;

An introduction to environmental archaeology; Understanding the landscape – method and practice.

The first course is available between 5 July and 6 September but the three remaining specialist courses are only held once in August so speedy booking is recommended. The syllabus and application form are available from The Secretary, Compton Bassett Area Research_ Project, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY. A large stamped addressed envelope should be sent with your request.

Also available from the Institute of Archaeology at Gordon Square is the International Academic Projects Summer Schools brochure. Apply to James Black, Co-ordinator, Summer Schools for the brochure which contains such diverse courses as gilding restoration, care and conservation of clocks and watches, getting to grips with personal computers and the making of replicas of museum objects. The archaeological options cover ancient Nubia, excavation techniques (at Bignor Roman Villa), the drawing of finds, experimental archaeology (at Michelham Priory), geophysical prospecting, mammal remains, the surveying of archaeological sites (also based around Bignor) and much more. Telephone requests for this brochure can be made on 071-387 9651.

The University of Bristol Department for Continuing Education (0272 303629) advertise residential courses on Ancient Woodlands, Medieval churches, monasteries and cathedrals of the West Country, parish churches and monastic houses of Wiltshire and the Cotswolds together with study tours of Santorini, Pompeii and Herculaneum and the South West USA. Several day schools are to be held at Wimborne (which makes a change from the Museum of London). Themes cover archaeological illustration, African archaeology and the search for human origins, farmers of Iron Age Wessex, fieldwork in archaeology and Bradbury Rings and Dorset Hiliforts. The brochure contains many other courses including dayschools at Cirencester and Bristol and a wide range of evening classes, too far away for us to attend but it is interesting to note what is on offer outside London.


Two recent planning applications are for sites of potential interest and may require site watching when development starts.

The first is in Hendon and covers redevelopment at the Hendon Football Club ground, Claremont Road, NW2. This site is on or close to the medieval Clitterhouse Farm and manor house.

The second site is 271-279 Ballards Lane, N12 (near Moss Hall) and is in or near a medieval hamlet.

English Heritage have also written to Barnet Planning Department about these sites.


The inn and the toll house have recently been redecorated externally and in connection with this refurbishment Bass Taverns Ltd have applied for planning permission to erect internally illuminated signs similar to and the same size as the existing unlit signs on the outside of both buildings. These are not only listed buildings but are also in a conservation area and we have made our views clear to Barnet Planning Department that we oppose the illuminated signs particularly on the toll house. English Heritage, who we contacted on this application, have also written to Barnet backing this line.


As luck has had it, our field as we like to think of it, although in fact it belongs to neighbours and is rented out to other neighbours who use it to grow maize, has quite a history. First let us try to explain the holes. In the last fifteen years three have appeared, two of them without any help from man and the third as a result of test explosions, part of an effort to find underground oil reserves. The two purely natural holes appeared as a result of earth collapse, presumably into a subterranean water course. Each was about two metres in diameter and twenty deep, circular with vertical sides through earth and lower down through more stony ground.

The other objects of interest are very numerous worked flints, about which more later, and shiny black fragments seemingly of volcanic origin. In the light of these facts and with the help of a little imagination the history of our field divides into three periods. The first when the volcanos were active must have been spectacular with lumps of molten rock showering down. Happily that must have been far too long ago for any humans or animals to have been present. Then much later, the second stage was when rain water had dissolved away the rocks to form underground cave systems, which still exist and lead to the holes in the earth’s surface. As this developed the conditions for human habitation became more and more appropriate. The second stage led on to the third when man first appeared. He must have been there in rather large numbers as is shown by the vast number of flints turned up regularly by the annual plough.

The site has been reported to the local speliologists and archaeologists active in the area. No result has followed, so the cave system remains unexplored and the flints lie ready for collection and identification. A month ago the author of this note was lucky enough to find a scraper which was expertly dated as mousterian or expressed more simply as having been made between thirty or forty thousand years ago, a span of time easier to grasp for the non-expert such as the present writer. With a history such as this stretching from the last ice-age right up to modern times, how satisfactory it is that little is done to treasures that lie in the field. The search for oll led nowhere; the hole thus caused which blocked traffic on the road at the edge of the field has been filled in, and little or no interest has been shown by amateurs or professionals, except for one of the local gendarmes who has collected flints. Farmers fill in the other holes to prevent their tractors from disappearing, All remains very peaceful but also useful to badgers. A year ago three were seen moving towards one of the entrances of the cave system.

An interesting aspect of the whole situation is the evidence for the existence of caves under the field and the absence of any entry big enough for human exploration. If indeed the caves were used by the Mousterians, their remains, artistic or otherwise, are undisturbed.



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ISSUE NO. 262 – JANUARY 1993 Edited by D.L. Barrie



Tuesday 2nd February: Ancient Near East Cylinder Seals by Dr. Dominique Collon (British Museum). Cylinder seals were made in the Near East from c. 3300 – 300 BC and are a major source of information for the historian and for dating tools for the archaeologist.

Saturday 6th February: Exhibition of Brockley Hill Pottery and a Guided Walk around St. Mary’s Church, Hendon. The Exhibition at the Church Hall, St. Mary’s, Hendon will open between 12 o’clock and 4 pm. It will give you a marvellous chance to view a large selection of Roman material. Several HADAS members will be there to welcome you. The walk, guided by Ted Sammes himself, will start at 2 o’clock. You will need warm clothing and stout shoes. Admission to the Exhibition and walk will be £1. Please bring your HADAS membership card along. A donation to the Church funds is always welcome. The Museum will also be open, and we are hoping that the Moxom Collection, small but important, will be available for viewing. Treat yourself to a pub lunch – both the “Chequers” and the “Greyhound” will be serving hot food between 12 and 2.

Tuesday 2nd March: Excavating in Northern Iraq: From the Greeks to the Mongols by Dr. John Curtis (postponed from November).

Tuesday 6th April:
Excavations at Fulham Palace by Keith Whitehouse


It is a well-known fact that good wine, good food and good company are not the best precursors to a detached assessment of the merits of an archaeological location, so it was a good thing that we saw certain features of Fulham Palace before we sat down to eat dinner.

The museum, based in Bishop Howley’s dining room, is well planned, and with the exhibits labelled, it gave us the history of the site from Neolithic times c. 3,000 B.C. as was evidenced by flints as scrapers, arrowheads, and also some pottery. Artefacts of the pre-Roman and Roman periods excavated in 1972-73 included a piece of an axe, fragments of bracelets, a hairpin with a flower-petal head, and a ring. There were also coins, a pig- and an ox-bone. Pottery fragments included a mortarium and parts of a hypocaust, and and also some fragments of Samian ware. Early medieval evidence from a corner of the moat excavated in 1975-6 and post-medieval evidence excavated in 1972-73, were fragments of metalwork including a key-lock, a knife-blade, a one-inch-long tweezers, and some tokens. In a separate case were some moulded stones and a mummified rat which was found in the roof. In 1986 a third excavation produced evidence of an earlier Tudor building believed to be the state apartments.These excavations were carried out by the Fulham Archaeological Rescue Group. In the museum there was also a magnificent cope and mitre encrusted with gold thread and embroidered in red, green and yellow. This belonged to Bishop Winnington-Ingram (1901-39) and is on loan from Saint Paul’s Cathedral. A second room in the museum in the Porteous Library showed in placards and pictures the Bishops who had lived in Fulham Palace from Saxon times until 1973, when Bishop Stortford retired.

The chapel, designed by Butterfield for Bishop Tait, was consecrated in 1867. Butterfield’s interior – “a full orchestra of coloured bricks, marbles and encaustic tiles”- was largely destroyed by Bishop and (1945-55). Before this, the bricks were arranged in bold ­horizontal stripes along the lower part of the walls in elaborate patterns. The hardier souls among us then repaired to walk in the adjacent Tudor court, floodlit, and with Butterfields fountain, playing water in the middle. The early-sixteenth-century entrance porch has two oriel windows, one above the other. The upper one was reconstructed in 1928-9, when the clock, sited here for over one hundred years, was moved to its present position in the eighteenth century bell turret. The court was built to contain domestic offices and staff accommodation, which in the nineteenth century contained a bakehouse, dairy, bread-room, stillroom, brewhouse and laundry. Opposite the entrance porch, the gateway with medieval gates led to the garden. Unfortunately we could not see the garden as it was dark, but Bishop Compton (appointed in 1675) had responsibility for the Anglican Church abroad – a vast diocese, which included parts of North America, Vest Africa, the West Indies,and India, and this provided him with a network of contacts enabling him to produce rareties for his garden. In the late 1760s the grounds were landscaped for Bishop Terrick in the fashionable style created by “Capability” Brown. Succeeding Bishops added to the garden to make it an important feature. A return daytime visit is obviously necessary to appreciate this.

The entrance to the Palace from the north-west crossed the course of a natural stream and from this evolved a single water-filled ditch or moat. A high tide in 1774 flooded the Palace “to the top of the dresser in the Bishop’s kitchen”, and forced Bishop Terrick to build an embankment against the moat. Originally this bounded an area of thirty-six acres, and was one mile in length – the most extensive in England. The decision in the early 1920s to do away with the moat by allowing builders to use this as a tip was widely deplored and seems still to be regretted.

Then we had dinner – turkey, then chocolate mousse cake, and lots of wine. As always, Dorothy had provided us with a fascinating evening, filled with conviviality, and as always it is a place to visit again. Thank you, Dorothy. AUDREE PRICE-DAVIES

We are grateful to miss Miranda Poliakoff, the Curator of the Museum, for her guided tour, and I acknowledge her help in providing additional information for the compiling of this report.


A sculpted stone on display in the Verulamium Museum has been identi­fied as part of the pyramidal roof of a 2nd-3rd century Roman tomb. The stone, decorated with sculpted bay laurel leaves, was previously thought to be medieval. However, Sir Anthony Beeson of the Roman Research Trust, an expert on Roman architecture, believes it to be part of a tomb based on the design of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos (now in modern-day Turkey), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For years archaeologists have bemusedly tried to recreate the ‘mausoleum on paper from Pliny’s slightly ambiguous description. The original pyramid above its Halikarnassos colonnade tapered in 24 stages to its peak; but the St. Albans version is said to have had only about 10 tiers, and probably stood outside the north-west gate of the Roman city.


The way into Petra is through the siq – a fissure in the rock, which is about 6 feet wide at its narrowest and about 20 feet wide at its widest. Tt is about 2 miles long. The terrain is sandy and rocky and the dust generated by the horses’ hooves is incredible. You can either walk or go in on horseback. I chose the horse and I was glad ­in spite of being saddle-sore: Petra is a vast place and walking in and out just adds to the exhaustion, although there are monuments along the side of the sic which are seen most easily on foot – unless the horse, like mine, goes very slowly.The first monument, on leaving the sig where it broadens into the valley of the wadi Mousa, is the Treasury. It glows pink in the light of the sun and is probably a temple to the patron and deity of Petra. Petra is a nekropolis, a city of dead people, with their tombs sculpted into the sandstone rock. The sculptures and columns are not masonry blocks but rock – freestanding except for the base, and they have lasted for this reason. The tombs are those of wealthy Nabateans, the race of people who inhabited Petra from about 315 B.C. The quality of workmanship is high and the tombs face each other across the valleys. Originally the Nabateans were Bedouins who traded across Arabia. They carried spices, rugs, gold, silver, myrrh and frankincense from the east to the cities of Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean.

With the conquest by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., overcoming thereby Judah, Edam and Moab and with the fall of Jerusalem in that year, all Jews of any consequence were led into captivity in Babylon. The land of Judah lay empty and the Edomites infiltrated – making a new kingdom of Idumea. But the old kingdoms of Edam and Moab ceased to exist after the fall of Jerusalem. The Neo-Babylonian Empire depended on trade and they attempted to secure the trade routes in North West Arabia. The local nomadic tribes therefore felt it was time to move on. They had made a good living by plundering the caravans that passed, but with the tightening of Babylonian security, this was becoming difficult. These nomads were the Nabateans, and they turned to the depopulated old kingdom of the Edomites, and integrated with those who were left of the Edomites. The Nabateans had lived as nomads and shepherds, but now they settled and with their genius for trade and administration they guaranteed the safe passage of the caravans and policed the trade routes. They built not only tombs, but elaborate trinicliums, where funeral meals were eaten – rooms carved into the rock for a depth of twenty feet and some sixty feet high. They built their sacrificial and holy places on mountain tops. The monastery is a vast and dominating temple with ancillary buildings carved into the rock alongside. On the opposite side of the main valley is the sacrificial high place where the mountain top has been levelled. The sacrificial site in this flat-topped rock space is reached by six steps, and from this elevated area channels cut in the rock lead across the sacrificial place to the area sixty feet below where the people waited to watch the blood run down as a sign that the sacrifice had been made. The ritual washing area was also reached by steps. Presumably the priests washed before and after the sacrifice.

The Nabateans had two principal gods – Dusares and Al Uzza. Dusares was symbolised by a block of stone, since the early Semitic peoples were against human representations. The block of stone was frequently squared in the proportion of 4 x 2 x 1, but was also ovoid – and could be carried. It had a triple function: it was a representation of the deity, also the abode of the deity, and it was also the throne of the deity. In the concept of ritual, it was probably the origin of the altar. In the ritual washing area, there is a socket for a god-block. It was probably the equivalent of the ark of the tabernacle or the cross. Dusares was the patrician god, 441 Uzza was the goddess of the people. Under the influence of hellenistic culture, Dusares began to assume human form and was equated by the Greeks with their god Dionysos.The conservation of water had high priority, and the water engineering was their most impressive achievement, which not even the Romans could better. The total of people in Petra would have been about 30,000, and water was brought from outside the siq through earthenware piping. The sockets in the rock above the architectural features of the tombs show where the piping was laid. The collecting, distributing, and conserving of water showed their ingenuity and skill.

The expansion of the Roman Empire brought about the downfall of the Nabatean state. In 106 A.D. the Emperor Trajan ordered the annexation of Petra into the Province of Arabia. The Romans created a colonnade street, markets and temples, and in the 3rd century Petra was still a prosperous city, but the trade routes were changed to serve the greater good of the Roman Empire. The merchants departed and so did the Roman Legions. The only unifying force was Christianity, which had been adopted as the state religion. Disaster in the form of an earthquake shook the city in 363 A.D. and thereafter the population thinned out. By the middle of the 6th century Petra was silent and deserted. Although the Crusaders plundered the stor to built their forts and castles, there was no settlement.

In 1812 John Burckhardt, the son of a Swiss colonel, claimed that he wished to sacrifice a goat to the Prophet Aaron whose tomb he knew to be in the vicinity, and gained access to the City of Petra. The Muslims viewed strangers with distrust, and would have killed him had he not learned to speak Aramaic and dressed as a Muslim. Knowledge of his discovery spread and others came. The first scientific exploration of Petra was made in 1896 and published in 1907. It is a place to see – exotic and fascinating. The difficulty of access and the exhilaration in reaching the high places with their breathtaking views give Petra a sense of excitement and discovery that the first explorers must have had.


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Tuesday 1st December Christmas Dinner at Fulham Palace. All places now booked with a short waiting list. But do ring (203 0950) if you would like to come – there may be last minute cancellations

January no meeting

Tuesday 2nd February Ancient Near East Cylinder seals by Dr Dominique Colton (British Museum). Cylinder seals were made in the Near East from c.3300 – 300BC and are a major source of information for the historian and dating tools for the archaeologist

Saturday 6 February (afternoon) Plans are being made for an EXHIBITION OF BROCKLEY HILL POTTERY at St Marys Church Hall, Hendon and a guided walk round St Mary’s Church and churchyard. More details later.

Tuesday 2 March EXCAVATING IN NORTHERN IRAQ: From the Greeks to the

Mongols by Dr John Curtis (postponed from November)

Tuesday 6 April EXCAVATIONS AT FULHAM PALACE by Keith Waterhouse.


November 3rd attracted a good attendance to hear Clare Halpin, Assistant Director of the Herts Archaeological Trust talk of the work they had carried out on this relief road. This was a mammoth task archaeologically covering a road length of 19 kilometres. The line was mostly on high ground, south and above the line of the present A41. The construction of such a road involved the unit employing its own earth-moving equipment to obtain maximum flexibility. These monsters had been operated by Tom McDonald who was present and answered some of the questions.

Clare said that in the past it had been reckoned that an average of one site per 11/2 kilometres would be found and this was confirmed on this 19 kilometre dig! She gave helpful details on proceedure to enlighten us on techniques.

As well as the line of the road, it had been necessary to do strip sampling on the site where the top soil was to be piled (400,000 cubic metres!) Regrettably Clare did not produce any slides showing maps of the sites – but I will just report three features,

Above Kings Langley a site dating from the Neolithic to Bronze Age had been followed up, taking in eight new sites in all. The Neolithic at Rucklers Lane showed parallel ditches of a causewayed camp, enclosure or cursus – maybe this had ceremonial functions.

On a Bronze Age/Iron Age site four and six post hole structures had been detected and excavated together with small scoops in the soil interpreted as working areas. Grims Ditch, that archaeological enigma, had also been sectioned, but again with scant dating evidence.

Where the line of the road came down to the level of the Bulbourne Valley near Hemel Hempstead station, a peat deposit – rare for the south of England – was encountered.

An interesting talk which with the help of slides showing maps of the sites and some artefacts as well could have been more informative


Mrs Frances (Mary) Gravatt is a member of long standing. She is now in her 80s and as she can no longer participate in our activities, she is resigning with some regret. In earlier years she was a very active member, assisting Brigid Grafton Green with the production of Blue Plaques of Barnet. She sends her regards to all who remember her. She has donated a copy of her booklet on The Dissenting Meeting House in Brent Street 1821 to Baptist Chapel, Finchley Lane 1886, which will be in our library for anyone who wished to read it.

Mrs Banham has sent a letter telling us that she went on holiday for a month, had an accident to her right hand and was away for three months. We miss her on our outings – and the huge tin of sweets she brings to pass round the coach!

Frieda Wilkinson is now coping quite well at home, although she is by no means mobile and has to use a wheelchair. She has the phone beside her and would always be glad to have a call from friends in the Society.

Jack Goldenfeld has been working for English Heritage, the Museum of London and Bucks County Museum Archaeology Unit. He has taken two post-Diploma courses, Archaeological Draftsmanship and Wetlands Archaeology. Jack has been elected as an affiliate of the Institute of Field Archaeology and is teaching (for details see Conferences and Courses)

Ann Saunders author of Art and Architecture of London reviewed last month, was mistakenly described as Honorary Fellow of University College, London. She is a full Fellow. Apologies, Ann.

George Ingram Following the sad news of the sudden death of George, several members attended his funeral at Golders Green Crematorium. Sheila Woodward shared the address with the vicar – they were happy words. Just what George would have liked. All will be sad a his passing. The collection made at the last lecture raised t35 for the Glaucoma Association, with which he was closely associated.


We are unlikely to forget George (Uncle George to some of us), for a very long time. He died suddenly, after a few days in Edgware General Hospital, on October 29th in his 92nd year.

I first remember George on the Church Terrace, Hendon dig in 1973. At that time he was dividing his activities between music, local history of Wimbish in Essex and the past of Hendon. He was deeply interested in anything, however slightly out of the ordinary and in later years persuaded his family and HADAS members to stop whilst his camera came out to record whatever had caught his eye. With this in mind he quickly took to the task of recording the inscriptions on the gravestones in St Marys churchyard, Hendon. Indeed, he once lamented to me that he came into this “archaeology/local history racket” too late in his life. On the abortive dig behind the Town Hall, Hendon we gave him the honour of ‘cutting the first sod’

George started the first HADAS book-box under Brigid Grafton Green’s inspiration and worked for some years collecting details of Non-Conformist and other religious places of worship in the Borough. On all outings he would always turn up with a pocket full of Murray Mints. Yes, he will be missed. Ted Sammes

George Ingram’s death was sudden and unexpected. At 93, he had had a good innings and I think there is always a sense of relief, once the shock is over, that a good friend has passed with little pain and discomfort.

I had so much fun with George. Some HADAS members take life rather seriously and are positively po-faced when it comes to a dig. Who can forget George’s assertion that West Heath (in spite of all the evidence) was merely a site that had top soil containing flints dumped on it sometime in the past. Or my own small dig in Cedars Close where George insisted that I had got it all wrong and was only slightly embarrased when I mentioned his remarkable theory in my report. When I questioned him about why he always expressed a minority view, he said it was all to do with his work which was concerned with auditing accounts. He was paid to spot mistakes and he couldn’t get out of the habit!

But I shall always remember George selling books at the ]inimart – a bottom–less pocket full of Murray Mints and a smile for everyone. His incredible eye for detail and the carefulness of his records, with filing systems to match, are other aspects of his character which will be treasured in memory. So will his famous photographs, terrible compositions but captions that would be difficult to better.

There were sveral HADAS members at Golders Green Crematorium to say their last farewells to George. It was a moving and delightfully simple ceremony with good music. A fitting finale to a very nice man. Percy Reboul

George’s daughter, Ruth Dean, has written to all HADAS members would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of myself and my family, to thank you all for the generous donation collected for the Glaucoma Association in memory of my father.

I know he will he sadly missed by friends and aquaintances alike, but most of all by myself and my family. As Dorothy said, be always kept cheerful and tried tq help anybody in difficulty. He had a long and varied life, as 1 am beginning to find out, more and more, whilst going through his numerous papers.

I know be enjoyed his time with HADAS (all twenty years), which included many outings and coach trips and when he was younger he loved to participate in digs.

So thankyou HADAS for being friendly to my Dad and keeping him occupied, as I am sure you helped him to have a longer life.”


As was reported by Bill Bass in Newsletter No 254 of May 1992, NADAS assisted with some fieldwork for the Museum of London Arch­aeological Service’s archaeological assessment of Edgwarebury Park north section before tree planting for the Community Forest Programme. MOLAS’s report was made in March 1992, recommending that ground preparation should be by individual holes instead of ripping as originally proposed, and that there should be an archaeological Watching Brief on the work.

We heard no more for some time, and of course thought that English Heritage, MOLAS, the Forestry Commission and London Borough of Barnet were discussing arrangements, of which we thought we should hear in good time if our help was needed. In the event,
it was only at the beginning of October that we heard from LBB Parks Contracts Manager, James Rea, that it had been agreed that holes should be dug, with archaeological observation. On 1 October (Thursday) Mr Rea telephoned to tell me that auguring the holes would begin the next Monday, and could HADAS provide the archaeological watch.

This left little time for arrangements, but fortunately Myfanwy Stewart, Bill Bass and myself were able between us to cover the work, lasting the week of 5 to 9 October, on which we now report.


The work was not actual planting, but machine augering of holes to break up the soil; they were 30cm diameter, 30-40cm deep, set at app 2 metre intervals in rows app 2 metres apart. Planting areas are shown hatched on the attached plan, and we estimate there were about 1800 holes. The holes had to be backfilled after each day’s work, and indeed a large part of the loose spoil from the auger was left in each hole so that any finds in it could only be regarded as stray surface finds. We therefore concentrated on the side
and bottom of each hole to look for any reliable indicators in undisturbed soil or sub-soil.


We were able to establish that over the whole area, the holes reached the solid natural underlying yellowish clay, showing a layer of organic soil above it varying in depth from app 10cm to 30cm; the thicker soil was mainly in the lower-lying ground, with a thinner (no doubt eroded) layer in the higher ground which is the southern part of the planting area. We noted that some holes were drier, with light brownish powdery spoil compared

with other darker, stickier spoil in surrounding holes. As more holes were dug, however, we were able to see the linear NW-SE pattern of these drier holes and to relate it to the pattern of NW-SE field drains noted in our survey in February.

In the areas marked C and D on the plan the spoil was generally drier (on higher ground) but there were two holes which showed up noticeably black and moist against the surrounding lighter drier holes: these were in the areas marked on the plan as X and Y (we had no opportunity to measure them in). They could conceivably indicate pits or a ditch, or they may be the traces of former trees. There was no artefactual evidence to help.

We noticed a number of frost-fractured flint lumps, which appeared to concentrate in the higher area (B on plan); from one or two instances of flint lumps firmly bedded within the natural clay, we concluded there is a band of naturally-occurring flint in this area.


The findings are the same as for most of the Three Valleys water pipeline excavation a little to the north in this same area, which was observed in 1990 – no evidence of any manmade disturbance of natural London clay below the shallow turf soil. The large number and closeness of the holes over a considerable area indicates this as pretty reliable negative evidence well worth the effort of gathering.


2 struck flint flakes, 1 of Mesolithic type

1 medieval body sherd

Sundry post-medieval, Victorian, and modern pottery sherds

Some fragments of post-medieval, Victorian, and modern drainpipe.


It is understood that actual planting will be in later November this year; if there is opportunity for further observation, we recommend special attention be paid to the areas of the ‘black holes’, at X and Y.


We would like to thank Mr James Rea of the London Borough of Barnet for ensuring that we had this opportunity, and Mr Richard Lomax and his team from Fountain Forestry for their help and

co-operation on site.

I add my personal thanks to Myfanwy Stewart and Bill Bass for standing in at such short notice.


Archaeology in Britain ’93 7th annual conference of the Institute of Field Archaeologists will be held at University of Bradford 6-8 April 1993. Open to everyone (i.e. not restricted to members of I.F,A.)

Basic Archaeology Three-term adult education course at Ricknansworth School for West Herts College, taught by HADAS member, Jack Goldenfeld. New course Supply and Demand in Antiquity – the archaeology of trade and exchange starts week beginning 11 Jan. at Elm Park College, Stanmore, Phone Jack for details on 0923 285225.

Sumner Academy Week-long courses hosted by nine universities, June September 1993. Subjects offered include: Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman Army 3-10 July at Durham; Roman Scotland 10-17 July at Stirling; Chester: Walled City Through the Ages 17-24 July at Chester; Life in Ancient Egypt 17-24 July at Canterbury; Roman France 24-31 July at Canterbury; Iforwich; a Historic City 7-14 August at Norwich; Celtic. Wessex and its Hillforts 14-21 August at Southampton. Prices: £260 ­£320. For brochure phone 0227 470402 (24 hour service).


Barnet & District Local History Society HADAS member John Heathfield will be giving a talk “`umble ‘adley” at 2.30pm on Monday 7 December at Barnet Museum, Wood Street. Admission by ticket only – available from the Museum (081-440 8066).

The Historical Association – Hampstead and N V London Branch invite all HADAS members to an illustrated lecture by T.G.H. James (formerly of B.M.) Howard Carter Before Tutankhamen on 21 January at 8pm in Lower Skeel Hall, King’s College, Kidderpore Ave., NV3 (former Westfield College), Phone Joyce Wheatley on 081-455 2820 for further information.


Ted Sammes comments on “Excavation News” (page 5 in last month’s Newsletter) –

“I must try to put Church End Hendon into its correct connotation: The word “church” comes into use five times at least at Hendon – 1. The Church; 2. Church House; 3. Church End Farm (HADAS’ first dig 1962-66); 4. Church Farm or Farmhouse (now Church Farmhouse Museum); 5. Church Terrace (now The Heritage, site of HADAS dig 1973-74).

Bill Bass can be excused for getting confused – even Nicholas Pevsner in his Buildings of England has muddled Church End Farm (now under part of Middlesex University) with Church Farmhouse, the Museum. There were no Roman finds at Church End Farm in 1960s; they came 10 years later with Saxon material at Church Terrace, opposite Church House and next to the “Clerk’s Cottage”. Sorry Bill! You’re not the only one who’s confused!”

HOT NEWS FROM HENDON from Andy Simpson

I was woken from my desk-bound slumbers at the RAF Museum recently (only kidding, Mr. Director, Sir!) by a visit from one of the Museum of London team who had just arrived for a two-week stay on part of the old RAF Hendon East Camp- that part of the site facing Grahame Park Way, between

the Officer’s Mess and RAF Museum’s large white “Battle of Britain” Hall. This will be the site of the new Colindale Police Station, whose construction necessitated a trial excavation by the Museum of London. Five trenches were cut by JCB to a depth of approx. 50cm, coming down onto natural London Clay. At the time of writing, on the day of a site visit by myself and Brian Wrigley, no archaeological features had been found othet than a large number of modern field drains and a handful of 17th century pottery and clay pipes.

The museum team had studied 18th century maps of the area and noted a couple of potentially interesting field boundaries. It was also thought that an early boundary ditch might be in the area.

This excavation is one of a number undertaken in the area recently by the Museum of London, including Edgwarebury and a pipeline across Hampstead Heath. The former yielded modern plough marks, the latter a Roman coin but nothing else of note.

The current pattern for the Museum seems to be a large number of small evaluation digs, rather than larger-scale excavations. The change in the type of work being prompted, at least in part, by the new planning regulations in PPG 16.

The location of a modern, private hospital in a quiet backroad of Hendon is something of a surprise. The Garden Hospital at the junction of Rowsley Avenue with Sunny Gardens Road had a bad reputation with local residents when it opened 30 years or so ago. Since that time, however, it has become internationally famous for its pioneering approach to natural childbirth and offers a full range od surgical, medical, X-ray, physiotherapy and pharmacy and other facilities for both out-patients and in-patients. The expansion of the hospital reflects its increasing success and good reputation.

HADAS’ interest concerns an area being excavated to accommodate a new extension. The original site was occupied by a nursing home and semi­detached Victorian villas, some of which were demolished to make way for the original hospital building and some of which were re-faced and extensively altered within to accommodate part of the hospital. The new development called for the demolition of these remaining Victorian houses and their replacement by a new building.

The area of excavation was 18m x llm 3.5m deep with further depth in parts to accommodate passenger lift shafts. This was carried out by a large JCB on week commencing 12 October 1992. No evidence of any kind was found during the excavation of the pit but the sheer volume of the spoil thrown up by the machine made detailed examination almost impossible. Nothing of archaeological significance appeared in the baulks and perhaps the only surprise was the sudden transition from top soil (50cm) to heavy, natural clay.

It will be remembered that HADAS interest in this location stems entirely from the Roman cinerary urn found near to the site which contained the ashes and calcified bones of a youth. No other evidence of Roman occupation has ever been found. Am I the first to postulate that the original find may have been a hoax?

A photographic record was taken of the roof timbers of the Victorian houses with a further series of the new excavation, showing among other

things, the concrete underpinning of the foundations of the adjacent building. We were particularly indebted to Mr Clive Grantham of Alfed McAlpine, Mrs Gill Tripp of the Garden Hospital, building surveyer Derek Maynard Maynard and Robert Whytehead of English Heritage for their interest and co-operation.

Forty four people were present at Church House on 21 October for the launch of this new initiative. Martyn Kempson, Controller of Libraries Arts and Museums gave a welcoming introduction and was followed by two speakers with experience of the work of “Friends” elsewhere.

Mike Tagg from the RAF Museum said that although the museum had a staff of 790 there were still useful things that Friends could do to help. He also mentioned some areas where offers of help might not be welcome! Barry Green, Chairman of Friends of Whitehall, Cheam, Surrey told us what had been achieved from scratch for the 16th century Tudor house. They manage to raise £1000 a year – enough for the museum to survive for 12 months if other sources of funding failed. Council help was vital to their success. Whitehall Friends had achieved charity status and members receive four newsletter a year.

Possibly the most cheering aspect of the evening was that the meeting had been called and coupled with an assurance that admission charges to Church Farmhouse Museum would not be made.

Ten people volunteered to form a Steering Committee to prepare a Constitution for The Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum as well as recommendations for subscription rates and proposals for activities and areas of support for the museum.

It is hoped to hold the Inaugural meeting of The Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum early in the New Year and details will appear in this Newsletter. If you would like more details please phone 081-368 1255 ext.3153 to speak to me – wearing my Libraries Development hat. Editor.


A new fully illustrated 90- page book about the History of Totteridge has just been produced. It is available from the author, Dr Diana Griffith, 27 Southway, N.20 price £8.50 plus £1.30 post and packing.

A splendid selection of 183 pictures from the Libraries’ Local Studies collection are reproduced in Finchley and Friern Barnet published by Phillimore, price £11.95. The authors, Pamela Taylor (Archivist) and Stewart Gillies (Local History Librarian) are well known to many HADAS members. Copies available from your local library.

THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX TRUST was founded in 1990 to make people aware that the geographical County of Middlesex still exists. Its aims include the preservation of historic buildings and all other aspects of the County’s history & heritage. Details from Secretary, 36 Warden Ave., Rayners Lane, Harrow, MIDDLESEX, HA2 9LW (Subs. £5 minimum


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The Chairman of HADAS, Andrew Selkirk, with be “at home” to members of the Society at 9 Nassington Road, London NW3 2TX on Friday, 13th Nov., from 7.30 pm. onwards.

We look forward to meeting members of the Society, especially new members, who wish to find out what the Society does.

In particular, the Society is looking for a new Honorary Treasurer, as our present Treasurer, Victor Jones, recently celebrated his 80th birthday and feels that he now wishes to retire and to devote more time to other aspects of the Society’s activities.

The Treasurership is not something which requires technical knowledge – assistance would be provided with drawing up the accounts. A computer is available if you wish to use it for the Society’s records. Indeed, training could be given to anyone who wishes to learn more about computers. The accounts can be kept without a computer, however.

We are also looking for a Membership Secretary to deal with membership records.

We hope that all the newer members of the Society will come along and also any older members who wish to help in any aspect of our work; a number of the officers of the Society will be present to explain how the Society works.


Tuesday, 3rd November :
“Archaeological Investigations in advance of the A41 Bypass at Kings Langley and Berkhampstead”

Lecture by Clare Halpin, Assistant Director, Herts Archaeological Trust

Over a period of one and a half years, eight new sites were identified and excavated in advance of the road construction. The sites date principally from the Neolithic and Roman periods, and represent new and exciting discoveries. This should be a good lecture on local excavations, so lets have a full house again.

Tuesday, 1st December :
Christmas Dinner at Fulham Palace, with a visit to the Museum and Chapel

We have filled the coach already, but there is seating capacity for more people at the dinner. We can thus take extras, if members can make their own way, and even more, if any of these members who are driving independently can offer lifts. Going by public transport could be difficult – it is a 10-15 minute walk from the underground station. Tickets with pick-up times will be issued in due course.

January : No lecture

Tuesday, 2nd February : “Ancient Near-Eastern Cylinder Seals” Lecture by Dr Dominique Collon


HADAS member Ann Saunders is a historian, lecturer and editor. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and an Honorary Fellow of University College, London. She has been Hon. Editor for the London Topographical Society since 1975. Phaidon Press have just re-issued, for the third time, her illustrated guide to London, The Art and Architecture of London. The book is a comprehensive, authoritative and highly readable guide to London’s heritage. On first publication, the book won the London Tourist Board Specialist Guidebook of the Year Award. The books many revelations of little-known treasures in unexpected places continue to prove a constant source of surprise and pleasure. The book has a dashing new cover, and priced at 12.95, might come in handy for a Christmas present.


Two sites of great interest are the subject of recent planning applications: 68 Ballards Lane, N3, and the Cricklewood Trading Estate, NW2.

The site at 68 Ballards Lane was originally occupied by the New Bohemia, an Edwardian entertainment centre, and later by the Kiwi Polish Company before Vaccuum Interrupters, who vacated it last year.

The interest here is that one of the buildings is part of the original complex and still retains the stage and proscenium arch from its days as a music hall. It is said that tins of Kiwi polish can still be found under the floorboards.

We have asked the RCHME to consider making a photographic survey of this building. A planning application for flats and maisonettes on this site has been turned down.

The buildings remaining at Cricklewood Trading Estate are part of the purpose-built Handley Page aircraft factory of 1914, where aeroplanes and latterly, parts were built until after 1945. It has been used for many purposes since, most recently as a carpet warehouse.

There is another site of interest nearby, on the other side of Claremont Road. Here, in 1929, the Express Dairy opened the first purpose-built, rail-fed, milk bottling plant in London. ‘Raw’ milk was delivered by rail to a siding on the rail-side of the plant, and passed through the processing and bottling stages, before being sent out by road through a special exit on the other side. The factory is to be closed soon.

Sad as it may be if these building disappear, there is no real justification for keeping them.


October 6th: lecture by HARVEY SHELDON Report by Margaret Taylor

There was a full house for the opening lecture of the winter season; members were attracted to the exhibitions of publications by HADAS, interim reports of the Highgate Woods excavations from our library, and photos and sherds from the Barnet High Street excavation.

Harvey was welcomed as an old friend of the Society. He began by telling us about the site of the pottery, which is densely covered by forest of large oak and hornbeam on a clay ridge five miles northwest of the city of London, and equidistant between Watling Street and Ermine Street. It was first noted by Tony Brown in 1962 when field-walking, seeking flints, but he noted Samian ware and other Roman pottery sherds brought to the surface by tree roots and animals.

Ten kilns were uncovered and ditches and dumps where clay for pots had been removed and waster pots dumped. The earliest phase pots were in Belgic style, 43 AD, and probably fired in an open fire. As technology improved, the kilns were developed to produce fine black burnished ware. This ware is widely distributed from Dorset to Scotland, so possibly the potters were a roving group who came to Highgate woods seasonally when the weather was fine and the wood for fuel was dry. No evidence of settlements has been found. Little is known of how the pots were transported to London, perhaps by packhorse, or by water to Brent on the rivers, the Lee or the Fleet, to the Thames.

A wide area was uncovered, 350′ x 300′, and very little topsoil had to be removed due to natural erosion. The trenches were sited between the trees, a very attractive, sheltered excavation. The earliest working area was enclosed by a circular ditch. The ditches were probably for storing of water to mix with the clay. The domes of the kilns had all gone, but up to 12 inches of the lower walls had survived. The kiln had a floor raised on a central pedestal, with supporting fire beams radiating out to the circular wall. A flue led from the stoke-hole and the later kilns had tiled flues.

One kiln has been lifted and restored, and is now in Bruce Castle Museum, together with the pottery. Other finds included bones of cattle, sheep, horse, a fragment of human skull, a late 1st century brooch, toilet set, mortarium similar to Brockley Hill, Samian ware which may have been used for copying, and one coin, all dating from the late 1st century to the 2nd century AD.

Experiments carried out by pottery teachers and students copying the shapes of bowls and beakers used the local clay and kick-wheel turntable. The kiln was recreated and a temperature of up to 900 was achieved. The pots were dried outside and in huts overnight. Decoration was applied, slip or poppy seed dots, using a comb. The first efforts produced red ware, but by using a new system of plugging the air holes when firing, a remarkably good resemblance to black burnished ware was achieved.

It was a great pleasure to listen to Harvey’s lecture, as several of the members present had assisted him. We await the full publication of this excavation, which Harvey is now writing.

The thanks of the audience were given by our President, Dr.Ralph Merryfield.


Leaves are falling, birds flying south for the winter- it must be Minimart time again, the annual ritual to boost HADAS funds. I report at the crack of dawn (8.00 am) to an empty looking St. Mary’s Church Hall, and start to help John Enderby put together coat rails, also shifting chairs and moving tables. People start arriving with boxes of jumble and minimart goodies which have been stored in nooks, crannies and garages all over Hendon. Most have been already been sorted and priced; these are then distributed to designated areas- bric a brac, ladies’ wear, books etc. Things are beginning to take shape.

Downstairs, the HADAS cafe is being assembled- jams, chutney, cakes, fruit, quiches. But a problem arises: Tessa (catering) cannot unlock the cup and saucer cupboard. Eventually Percy Reboul expertly picks the lock (what does he do in his spare time?). Meanwhile, Dorothy is directing all with military precision. Whilst carrying a box of shoes upstairs, I’m sure I saw HADAS chairman Andrew Selkirk trying on a brightly coloured dress…

It’s 11.30; everything is ready; tables are staffed. The customers are let in; they have to negotiate doorman Victor Jones and the potted plants. Soon the place is packed out, just like a Harrods sale.

I find time to visit an exhibition at Church Farm Museum and admire the view. Back at the Hall, it’s time for a ploughman’s lunch and coffee, courtesy of Tessa and her crew. After resisting temptation all day, I give in and buy a cake (very nice it was, too). 2.30 rolls round, and Dorothy blows the whistle. Quickly, unsold goods are packed into boxes and suitcases, which are in turn persuaded into assorted cars and vans. Hall furnishings are returned to their proper places, and with a final tidy up, the hall is locked, signalling the end to another year’s Minimart. (See separate slip for the final takings).


Since the summer excavation, activities have been sparse. One of the two most likely sites is the Victoria Maternity Hospital, Chipping Barnet. This building is the subject of a dispute; an article in the Barnet Borough Times said: English Heritage and Barnet Council have expressed concern over the state of the site, which is due to be developed into offices. The Council fear the Grade II listed building is being left to run into a state of disrepair. A spokesman for English Heritage confirmed that the building had been put on its list of properties at risk.

The developers argue that they are being held up by ‘planning conditions’ and are still awaiting full permission to begin demolition at the site.

The other site lies at the rear of Church Farm Museum, Hendon. This garden area is to be landscaped and access for the disabled provided. Nearby is Church End Terrace, one of the original HADAS excavations in the 1960s, where finds included Roman material

Brian Wrigley has recently spent a week looking at over 2,000 holes drilled for tree-planting at Edgwarebury Park(see Newsletter 254). A report is forthcoming, after his release from the psychiatrist

Currently running is an exhibition about John Dwight, ‘The Master Potter of Fulham’ (1672-1703). The exhibition contains material excavated from the site of Fulham Pottery, courtesy of the Museum of London and is supplemented by loans from other museums and private sources. Included amongst the 200 items on view are examples of redware, stoneware, and experimental porcelain. The exhibition is being held at 66c Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BY, until 18th December, 10.00 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday.

DAY VISIT TO SOUTHWARK (26th September) Jackie Brookes

The day started well enough. It was bright – a full coach with half of us having a reunion from our weekend trip to Dorset. Even our ‘Mystery Man’ driver was with us again. Mary O’connell was taking us on a tour of Southwark.

Our first stop was the Globe Theatre, to see the new construction, and then onto the exhibition and to watch a video telling us the story of the Globe. Unfortunately, even though Mary had sent numerous letters with confirming phone calls, our arrival came as a complete surprise to the Friends of the Globe, who were working there. Not even the coffee machine was working! However, HADAS soon had everything in working order. The exhibition was quite fascinating and perhaps at a later date, we could return to watch a performance at the delightful small theatre within the building.

Our next call was at the Clink Museum. This was the original prison which gave its name to all the others. Even thought by then the weather had turned to beautiful sunshine, it was very dark and gloomy down in what had been the communal cells. However, it wasn’t all horror and we even learned the origin of ‘to fiddle’. The whole area had once belonged to the Bishop of Winchester, and it had been the red light district of its day, complete with its many brothels and taverns.

Coming out, we passed the ruins of Winchester Palace with its rose window and then passed the tiny inlet with the three-masted wooden schooner which, sad to say, is rotting from the inside out.

Onto the oldest surviving operating theatre, which was in the roof of the chapel for St Thomas’ Hospital. Built in 1820 (before anaesthetics!) the explanation of the happenings there was not for the squeamish.

Time for lunch. Then onto the Cuming Museum to see Southwarks ‘Immortal Remains’. It showed the history of the Borough from the Romans up to the present day. The collection is well worth a visit, and even includes the famous Cuming bear.

Onto our last stop – the Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum. An unknown gem, where Mr Bramah himself showed us around. Every shape and size of teapot was there to be seen. And the cream teas were delicious!

It was then, happy and tired, that we returned to the coach, only to find that it had been broken into, and cameras, coats etc. were missing. It was a very sad ending to such a full and interesting day. Our warm thanks to Mary and her friends who were so full of information and who had made the day for us, up until then.

PS. Our best wishes to Muriel Large for a speedy recovery after breaking her arm at the George Inn.


Ancient burial mound,

Dramatic ruins,

Battle site,

Steeped in history,

Internationally significant

Time has passed it by

Historic town

Roman heritage

Linked with Elizabeth I

Glassy lump in a field

Stones in a field

Field without grassy lumps or stones

Built over a Saxon cesspit

Featured in a Hollywood movie

Miles from the nearest motorway

No McDonald’s in the High Street

Takeaway pizzas in walking distance

She spent one night in a house five miles away


Before the modern age and the rationalisation of the medical profession, Londoners could receive care from a bewildering array of health workers. Some were registered and trained, but many were ‘unqualified’. This day conference, held on Sunday, 22 November, beginning at 10.00 am, will provide information on the physician, apothecary, chemist, druggist, barber-surgeon, herbalist, neighbourhood nurse/midwife, and quack.

Venue: School of Pharmacy Lecture Theatre, 29 Brunswick Square, WC1 Cost: 15.00

Contact: Citysights of London phone: 071 955 4791

or 24-hour ansaphone: 081 806 4325


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N.B. PLEASE ALTER the numbers on the AUGUST NEWSLETTER to No. 257 and on the SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER to No. 258.



The opening lecture for the coming winter is by our old HADAS friend, HARVEY SHELDON. Harvey was Archaeology Officer for the Museum of London for many years, and in 1983 became Head of the Department of Greater London Archaeology until it ceased to exist last year. Harvey will talk about the excavation itself, the pottery finds and associated experimental work. He is at present writing it up for publication.


11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church Hall, top of GREYHOUND HILL, HENDON, N.W.4

Please come along and buy, and bring your friends. If you are connected with any club or group, please send for an advertising slip to display or put one in your car – telephone 203 – 0950. We need the public to help us raise funds to meet the huge cost of our accommodation at Avenue House. Come for coffee or lunch – even if you don’t buy anything! And at the same time visit Church Farm House Museum (opposite) to see their excellent display of its history. The Museum is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

PLEASE CONTACT SHEILA WOODWARD (FOOD STALL) on 952 – 3897 or TESSA SMITH (CATERING) on 958 – 9159, with your offers of food, and DOROTHY NEWBURY on 203 – 0950, if you can help on the day. Full details in September Newsletter leaflet.




TUESDAY 1st or 8th DECEMBER : CHRISTMAS DINNER – see leaflet and application form enclosed.




REMINDER!!! MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE APRIL 1992!! As OVER 40 MEMBERS have still not renewed their membership, I am enclosing REMINDERS of subs. due.

If you have paid by the time you receive this, I apologise in advance.

P.S. Would anyone like to take over my ‘ex-job` I resigned last May


First weekend trip with HADAS: Wait excitedly at Hendon for coach. Note individual amounts of luggage range from toothbrush in top pocket to sets of matching cases, each of which can barely be lifted. (Interestedly note table later, in boot of coach. No kitchen sink, though).

First stop Avebury. Lifetime’s ambition fulfilled. Neglect free coffee (not easy for Scot) to complete sun-wise perambulation of stones. (Worriedly eye people in dark glasses and strange clothes going widdershins). Stone circle huge: Village in middle: (Shop crammed with Celtic crafts, even.)

Arrive Sherborne Study Centre modern building, comfortable single rooms. City reminiscent of Bath – mellow stone, tree-clad heights. Tour of Abbey given lovingly by Rector. Magnificent roof.

Trepidation. Hear dinner to be served in barn. Barn? Relic of farm previously on study centre site? Black rafters covered in owl droppings? Stamped earthen floor? Reality golden parquet, smiling staff, delicious meal, excellent wine.

Comfortable night’s sleep. Odd locks on rooms. Member of party locks self out.

Morning – self-service breakfast. Much joyous self-serving. To quote Tony Hancock, “all you can see is their arms coming round the sides.” Ten-slice nuclear-powered toaster. Staff still smiling.

Coach hurtles towards Dorchester. Cerne Giant hill figure. Eyes bulge. How has splendid, potent Celt survived uncensored all this time? Dubious souvenirs: horse brasses, keyholder. (Hang keys there?)

Arrive Maiden Castle. Distant hill massive, lowering, impressive. Mr. Putnam’s tour under Wuthering Heights conditions. Quotes theory Castle meant to lower, impress, etc. Earlier hill fort enlarged; “new” fort POWER STATEMENT. Large, difficult to defend. (Thinks: maiden Castle = Iron Age Chieftain’s Porsche?)

Weather worsens rapidly. Party strung out like ants on ploughed ridge. Flapping waterproofs donned with difficulty in gale. Umbrellas mortally wounded. Woman goes native, sheds shoes. (Bare feet better grip on wet grass. Please check with charging Highland warriors.) Other luckless lady hurts ankle, nobly succoured by aptly-named Rick.

In all, Castle colossal, magnificent, unique, unforgettable. (Uh oh, not visited in proper state of cool scientific detachment.)

All reel damply down to coach. (Soaked people from Swannery will swim up.) Down to lush vale, Abbotsbury Tithe Barn. Splendid stone-buttressed building spared by Henry VIII/locals because useful.

Inside, cool, dim, cathedral-like. Barn guide ghoulishly elaborates on Edgar Allen Poe veterinary instruments. Flee up ladder to gallery of dairy equipment. Clamber down to find guide demonically demonstrating mantrap, using stave. Massive clang. Very high OUCH factor. (Leg could be broken.) Limping least damage. Hirpling ex-poachers noticed by evil squire, constables, etc.

Downpour. Runner sent to summon coach and driver. Cry goes up: driver discovered in back of barn. (This Mystery Man, not like usual drivers, makes knowledgeable, throwaway remarks. Redundant doctor, pilot? Archaeologist extraneous to big museum’s needs?)

Damply to Dorchester Museum. (Dorothy’s visit timed just right.) Cast-iron galleries, Relics of T. Hardy. Half party and guide suddenly zoom out of sight. Hurtle ahead to Roman Villa. Dorothy knows all, sees all, unites flocks. Roman Villa sad tale of early excavations abandoned to moulder.

Admire Roman amphitheatre, built on top of earlier earthworks. (Voice of Colonial cit. in Roman days: “New theatre’s failed. Always knew it would not do well. Now, if you’d ever seen a real show in Rome … “)

Home to Sherborne Study Centre. Dry out. Dinner just as good as last night. No-one locks self out. Someone locks self in, instead. Dramatic ladder rescue.

Sunday. HADAS party mills about, waiting for coach. Man appears with dowsing rods. Demonstration over subterranean drain. Two thirds of those who try can do. (‘Mystery Man coach driver def. best.)

To Somerset Levels, Peat Moors Visitors’ Centre, Westhay. Coffee and good lunch in shifts at Willow Tearooms. Test local cider. Eyes swivel independently. Sing in rain.

Admire little dark Soay sheep. Sheep consume lush “Good King Henry” from kind hands of Dr. Margaret Cox. Tale of how peat consumption must be curtailed. Once little men with spades and black boats on bogs. Now monster machines scrape it all up. Special Dr. Bulleid Centenary Display (the very hut!) Mock-up sections of varying styles of ancient wooden trackways to stumble over. Smoky Iron Pge but contains chatty pseudo Celts in checked trews. (Almost as comfy as Hebridean “black house”… till you come home wounded or want to have a baby.)

Grey skies and spattered windows. Glastonbury. Party scatter to visit abbey, Tribunal, King -Arthur’s Tomb, teashops. Choose agri­cultural museum. Sadness of lost skills. (Ancestors did this.)

Coach obliged to halt at Stonehenge on return route (calls of nature.) Stones loom in greyness. Moon to self about how once approached across trackless, psychologically impressive plains. Now place littered with road, underpass, fences, loos, skips, drink stalls, tourists. (“All men kill the thing they love.”)

Home to dark, wet, shiny Hendon. Experience of a lifetime! wonderful memories of West Country in sun and shade! How can we persuade Dorothy to mastermind yet one more?


FRANK MEYER and CRAIGIE BESWICK (now married) both past Members who always came to Lectures and Outings, are fit and well. Another Member, HELEN ADAM, met. them by chance in an hotel in Bournemouth. Theirs was a HADAS romance and MR MEYER is now nearly 90. They, with other Members, attended Mrs ROXAN’S Roman classes.

EDGAR LOEWY another Member of the Roman classes, and a regular attender at Lectures and Outings, died earlier this year. He and LILY LOEWY had given up Membership when he became ill.

ROBERT MICHEL and PAULA ALLEN – another HADAS romance – were married in Hendon on 12th September ROBERT was on the HADAS Committee for a time, and both attend our

Lectures and Outings. ROBERT caught the archaeology ‘bug’ years ago, left his job and went to Southampton University to get his degree in Archaeology. We wish them both a happy future, and look forward to their continued interest in the Society.

DR ANN SAUNDERS, our Member who has given us two fascinating lectures in the past, has given two talks on the radio recently, one on St. Paul’s and the other on the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire.


” Motorists on the Al may be forgiven for rubbing their windscreens in disbelief when they spot ‘Established 1498′ on removal vans… Aberdeen Shore Porters’ Society, first mentioned in the Aberdeen Council Minutes of 20th June,1498.”


Following a recent planning application by BROOK DALE LEISURE SITE for a ‘dry ski slope’ at Rowley Lane, Arkley, ENGLISH HERITAGE may recommend an archaeological assessment evaluation. This site, covers a large area which has not apparently been developed previous; it i also on the line of a suggested Roman road, the Viatores 167. No evidence of this was found when site-watching either the Three Rivers Pipeline (Newsletter No. 241) or previous HADAS investigations (LAMAS TRANSACTIONS 22, part 3). This area is further north, and may yield more positive evidence should an evaluation take place.

Other more temperate sites which have been the subject of recent planning applications in the Northern area, are listed below and may be of archaeological interest. Members living in the vicinity are asked to keep an eye on them and report anything of possible interest to BILL BASS on 081 – 449 – 0165. Thanks.

13 – 15 Moxon Street, High Barnet – 2 storey block of flats

38 Galley Lane, Arkley – single storey front extension

Cherry Tree Cottage, Barnet Road,Arkley – side extension

105 – 109 Station Road, New Barnet – block of flats

The Paddocks, Frith Lane, London, NW 7 – ten detached houses

45 Woodside Avenue, Finchley, N 12 – block of flats



Computing for Archaeologists : image processing £73.35 (Residential) £51.70 (Non-residential)

Science and Archaeology : artefact studies £23.50 (with lunch)., £18.00 (without lunch)

Archaeology of London : recent discoveries £92.00 .(Residential) £56.50 (Non-residential)

Ancient Philosophers and Archaeology in Asia Minor £23.50 (with lunch) £18.00 (without lunch)

Brittany : recent archaeological research £92.00 (Residential) £56.50 (Non-residential)

Aerial photographs (practical archaeology weekend) £71.70 (Residential) £48.90 (Non-residential)

The Archaeology Course Secretary, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square,

Oxford, OX1 2JA. 2s soon as possible.

DAY CONFERENCE ON “LONDON – THE FIRST 2,000 YEARS” on SUNDAY, 25th OCTOBER Speakers from English Heritage,etc. Organised by “CITYSIGHTS” at LECTURE THEATRE

SCHOOL OF PHARMACY, BRUNSWICK SQUARE, WC 1 – £15. APPLICATIONS : 071 – 955 – 4791 from 12.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

(24 hour Ansaphone : 081 – 806 – 4325)


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NEWSLETTER No. 258 Edited by Ann Kahn SEPTEMBER 1992


All of September – “London: the underground city”. The Building Centre,26 Store St., London WCI. (Tunnels, rivers, sewers and habitat] free.

Saturday 26 September
Day trip round Southwark. Details and application form enclosed.

Tuesday 6 Ocotober
The opening lecture far the coming winter is by our old HADAS friend, Harvey Sheldon, entitled “The Roman pottery manufacturing site in Highgate Woods”. Harvey was the Museum of London’s Archaeology Officer for many years and in 1983 became Head of the Department of Greater London Archaeology until it ceased to exist last year.

Saturday 10 October – MINIMART -MINIMART – MINIMART – With the huge expense of Avenue House, the only place we have to work on finds, keep our library and store our possessions, fund-raising is even more important. Please advertise the MINIMART as much as possible, and bring as many friends as you can. (See separate leaflet for details).

Tuesday 3 November – Our lecturer, Dr. John Curtis, has regretfully had to postpone his lecture till 1993. The British Museum has changed the dates of a tour he is scheduled to lead in Iran. A replacement lecturer has been found at short notice, and it should be a very interesting evening – on a current excavation near to home. Its title is “Archaeological investigations in advance of the A41 bypass at Berkhamsted/Boxmoor.” By Clare Halpin, Assistant Director, Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust.

Tuesday 1 or 8 December Christmas Dinner. To be confirmed and finalised.

January No Lecture

Tuesday 2 February
– “Ancient Near Eastern Cylinder Seals”. By Dr. Dominique Callon

Has anyone heard of a Davies Estate, building or area in or near New Barnet? It will fill a gap on the archaeology map HADAS are working on. Thanks.


MUSEUM OF LONDON. More bad news for some of the staff, as there is talk of shedding up to 20 jobs soon.


The August Newsletter carried Brian Wrigley’s report on the April site-watching at the Old Ford Manor where foundations had been dug for a greenkeepers’ building. HADAS returned in August to observe the results of the demolition of the tractor shed situated within the moated area (see p.5 of the August Newsletter for plan). The Museum of London evaluation of December 1991 expressed concern that as nothing was known of the occupation features of this part of the site and as trial pits had revealed archaeological deposits of between .30m to .50m below the surface, it was important that ground reduction should not go below 130.80m O.D. in preparation for the construction of a car parking area where the shed had been.

The shed, a wooden construction with a low brick wall base on a concrete foundation had been demolished prior to our arrival leaving the concrete floor which had not been penetrated. The footings of the brick wall had been left in the ground and all debris removed. The top surface of the area to the south of the shed had been mechanically scraped and some vegetation and trees had been stripped from the west of the site near to the north/south arm of the moat. These works did not contravene the ground reduction recommendation. A visual survey of the cleared area did not locate any evidence of structures, foundations or ditches which might have required further inspection or excavation prior to the commencement of the building works, although a few sherds of pottery were found out of any recognizable context.


No not exactly, but it felt like it on some of the hot weeekends during June/July at 19-29 High Street, Barnet, the latest HADAS dig which was completed on 30/7/1992, with various trenches and pits being back-filled to make the area safe. Features included a trench approx lm x 2m by lm deep, butting a substantial wall (see Newsletter 256) packed with loose earth and many flint nodules. Suggestions so far have been a soak-away or an outside urinal! Any other ideas would be gratefully received.

An unusually shaped pit possibly another soak-away produced much roof-tile, bone, fragments of wine glass and a fairly wide range of pottery fabrics. Some of the sherds are currently being re-fitted. Part vessels include a porringer (one handled bowl) in Borderware of c1590, a meat dripping tray of reduced redware – late 16thc. Other fabrics recovered were Cistercian ware 1500-1600 and a decorated handle sherd of Late Medieval Herts Glazed ware 1350-1400.

Some of the (to us) sizeable sherds of Herts Grey ware 1150-1300 from elsewhere on site can also be re-fitted. Finds processing continues at Avenue House, it is hoped to display material at forthcoming HADAS lectures.


The excellence of HADAS outings has never been dependent upon fine weather (remember Hadrian’s Wall in 1975?) (cf below] so a wet day for our July excursion did not quench our enthusiasm, at times we even considered the rain an advantage!

First to Cassington for coffee, with the weather briefly dry. There was time to visit the Norman Church, of considerable interest but badly lacking a guide book or leaflet. The medieval oak pews are in good condition, glowing with the patina of years. The wall paintings are tantalizingly fragmentary. There is some fine old stained glass including attractive Flemish roundels.

At Witney it was raining heavily so we appreciated the canopy over the excavated ruins of the 12thc bishop’s manor. The bishop was Henry of Blois, brother of King Stephen, who became Bishop of Winchester in 1129. Wealthy and extravagant, this was but one of the great fortified palaces he built or rebuilt. (We saw another, Wolvesey Castle, when we visited Winchester). It featured the finest ashlar masonry and such luxuries as a chimney, a ventilation shaft and “the most spectacular latrine in Norman England”. It needs to be to justify that canopy, erected at a cost of £300,000 – estimated life of 25 years!

After lunch in the coach we ventured on a (dampish) conducted walk round Witney, a delightful little town still famous for its blankets. Its large central Green gives a feeling of spaciousness, and the surrounding buildings of various periods are handsome and well preserved. They include Tudor cottages and a house which harboured Oxford students during the Great Plague of 1665. At the south end is the Parish Church with its soaring Early English spire; on the side of the latter, if you know where to look, you can see a tiny stone monkey, commemorating one which escaped from a travelling fair, and took refuge on the steeple. North of the Green is the old Buttercross supported by 13 stout pillars and the graceful 17thc Town Hall, its open arcade designed to shelter local merchants selling grain. A small modern shopping precinct blends remarkably well with the older buildings.

Across the River Windrush a short but delightful walk through the water-meadows leads to Cogges and the Manor Farm Museum. Here the wet weather favoured us – the museum was uncrowded. “Museum” is almost a misnomer. It is a small working farm reflecting life at the turn of the century. The cows are milked by hand, the milk “set” in the medieval dairy, the cream skimmed, the butter hand-churned. In the yard the hens scuttle from under one’s feet or roost peacefully in the barn rafters. In the Victorian pigsty, Edwina, a handsome Tamworth, has gorgeous ginger eyelashes! Inside the manor house (13th to 17thc) the parlour was peaceful, the kitchens bustling. “Cook” in a mob cap and capacious apron mixed a Victoria sandwich and baked it on the range. A maid was spinning wool. Through the windows we could see the walled garden, rain-sodden, but bright with geraniums, marigolds and cornflowers.

Because of the rain we left Cogges early and had a bonus visit to South Leigh Church with its superb medieval murals. The paintings of the Last Judgment, and The Weighing of the Soul, are particularly lively, with vicious-looking demons thoroughly relishing their work. The medieval sinner was left in no doubt about his fate.

We enjoyed our day; the rain could not spoil it. Thank you, Dorothy!

Hopes for a nice summer survey of “Aeges Weir”, a possible Saxon/Medieval mill site near Edgwarebury Park are receding into a slightly colder winter survey, due to need for animal grazing.


Security checks were strictly enforced when a group of HADAS members reported to the Guardroom before assembling near the fibreglass replicas of a Hurricane and a Spitfire. We were lucky to have the opportunity of a guided tour of this wartime Fighter Command Headquarters, and what a surprise was in store for us.

Instead of gloomy corridors and grim offices, the Priory has recently been beautifully restored inside to a high standard of craftsmanship and comfort. It was from Bentley Priory, surrounded by barrage balloons, and from a secret underground bunker that King George VI, Churchill and Eisenhower monitored the D Day landings. In the Dowding Room are Air Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding’s chair, table and binoculars, together with combat reports, written up from pilots’ accounts of wartime action.

The first, 12thc, Priory is thought to have stood further down the hill from the present building, possibly in the area of Clamp Hill. In 1546 Henry VIII gave the lands and the Priory to Robert Needham, one of his noblemen, and so the Priory’s religious days ended. The history starts in 1766 when James Dubberly built the basis. In 1788 the Earl of Abercorn, John Hamilton, commissioned Sir John Soane to extend the house “in a more lavish and sumptuous manner”. In 1846 Dowager Queen Adelaide leased the Priory, and finding the stairs too difficult, used a downstairs suite, which has small and delicately painted flower panels on the moulded ceiling and a gold framed monogrammed mirror. In 1863 the estate was bought by Sir John Kelk, who built the Albert Memorial. He built the Grand Staircase, and added the Clock Tower, the most eye-catching part of the Priory’s roof-line; and a cedar garden, trees of which are still in evidence on parts of Stanmore Hill today. He also added a deer park, which is now part of Bentley Priory Open Space. A pathway, open to the public, runs from Boot Pond, Uxbridge Road, past the deer park and south side of Bentley Priory. Since 1863 the Priory has been a hotel (1882-1905) and a girls school until 1924. In 1924 it was sold, part to the Air Ministry, part to Middlesex County Council and part for building plots. In its heyday many famous people have visited, including William Pitt, Wellington, Wordsworth, Lady Emma Hamilton, Sarah Siddons and Sir Walter Scott.

The entrance Portico was designed by Sir John Soane to give shelter to guests awaiting their carriages. It has the original vaulted ceiling, Doric columns and arched windows with modern glass portraying airmen and aircraft. Last year the ceiling was repainted revealing the original design recently found under the old paintwork.

Paintings of aircraft and of Royalty hang on all the walls. One of particular interest shows an RAF plotting room with WAAFs plotting the movement of. aircraft. One member of the HADAS group was a WRAF plotter working at Bentley Priory during the war. She pointed out the actual window of her office. There is also the magnificently intricate Nottingham lace panel, 15ft long by 65 inches wide depicting various scenes and insignia connected with “this glorious epic in our history.” Some 30 panels were made, after which the Jacquard which controlled the pattern was destroyed. But a few of them have been traced to date.

In 1975 dry rot had spread disastrously and a campaign began to save the Priory, championed by the Queen Mother. In 1979 while renovations were in progress a huge fire broke out and devastated most of the main staircase, the Dowding Room and the original clock. It has cost £3m to restore the buildings.

Now, the Grand Staircase really is the showpiece of the Priory. The Portland Stone has been cleaned and restored. It rises majestically past stained glass windows, its gilded metal panels having survived the fire.

As we know, Bentley Priory is guarded vigilantly, not because of its costly interior, but because it is the centre of Strike Command and responsible for British airspace.

So, our thanks to Bill Firth for organizing this outing, which had something of interest for everyone, and for getting us out safely! We are also most grateful to our excellent and knowledgeable guide F/L Hebbes and to the President of the Mess Committee, Wing Commander G. S. F. Booker, who gave permission for this splendid visit. A History of Bentley Priory can be obtained from the Priory, price £2.00, all proceeds to the RAF Benevolent Fund.


Older member may recall the fascinating, if rather wet, visit in 1975 – this (edited] report from “The Independent” (6/8/1992) may well whet the appetite for a repeat. A team led by Robin Birley of the Vindolanda Trust believes that they have found Hadrian’s headquarters – a beautifully decorated yet massive timber palace. The building is without parallel on Hadrian’s Wall. Each side is up to 50m (164ft) long and made of oak, it is the grandest wooden building ever found in the frontier zone. It also had a 10cm (4in) thick concrete floor – unique for the early second century Border area. The palace had four sides, standing around a large cobbled courtyard.

The 50 or more rooms appear to have been adorned with sumptious wall paintings, hundreds of fragments of which are being recovered. The wall paintings in reds, greens, yellows and browns, include floral patterns, an as yet undeciphered inscription in 15cm (6in) high letters and portray at least three people, all bearded. Hadrian, a fanatic philhelline, was the first to introduce beards into Roman society, beards being a predominantly Greek fashion.

Eighty wax writing tables have also been discovered inside three of the sixteen rooms which have so far been excavated; some of the tablets are 25cm (10in) square – four times the normal size.

Other finds include a 10cm (tin) pointed iron rod, possibly a map pointer, topped by a beautiful bronze leopard; woven part-reed, part-hark floor mats, pottery, wooden mugs, pieces of barrells and buckets, bobbins, shovels; and a huge wooden lock, hand carved to receive the tumblers of a giant key.

The construction of the building has been dated to between 120-130AD; Hadrian is believed to have arrived in exactly 122AD. Vindolanda – whose excavated remains are open to the public – was the midway point along the frontier, and would have been ideal as a headquarters for the construction of the Wall. It is also idyllically situated in a valley with two streams.

Discussions and negotiations are fairly well advanced with a view to conducting a dig or evaluation at the former Victoria Maternity Hospital, Wood Street, High Barnet, which is being partly demolished for development; other parts are listed Georgian buildings.


The library at Avenue House has a small but interesting selection of books on the theme of West Country archaeology, ideal for those members who were unable to participate in the HADAS Dorset weekend. Although billed as a “Dorset” weekend, Glastonbury and the Somerset Levels were visited and the Archaeology of Somerset (D.P.Dobson 1931), King Arthur’s Avalon (G.Ashe 1973) and The Bowl of Glaeston (R.Nichols 1962) provide good background to Glastonbury. The last named “book” is a typed monograph published for the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and adds to the mystique of the site. Similarly The Mysteries of Avebury: the Avebury-Stonehenge Axis of the Powers by the same author, enhances the aura surrounding these two monuments. The 1939 HMSO guide to Stonehenge and Avebury by R.J.C.Atkinson is more down to earth but interesting if compared with later editions by the same author to see how interpretations have changed in the last thirty years. Windmill Hill and Avebury (I.F.Smith 1965) is a detailed report and appraisal of Alexander Keller’s excavations from 1925 to 1939, an excellent starting point for the armchair archaeologist as is Arthur Bulleid’s The Lake Villages of Somerset, first published in 1924. The HADAS version is the sixth edition (1968) revised by the author who was joint director of the original excavations started in 1910. The library has reprints of Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s first and second interim reports on The Excavations of Maiden Castle, Dorset taken from The Antiquaries Journal 1933 and 1936. We may not have all the recent publications but our books are themselves of historic value!

Of general interest are Dorset Coast and Country by Car (P. and H. Titchmarch 1977), a guide suitable for those planning their own excursions and Wessex, a Regional Archaeology (P.J.Fowier 1967) aimed perhaps at the younger reader. For the specialist, The Lost Roads of Wessex (C.Cochrane 1972) may encourage some research with a map. Our most recent book is The Archaeology of Rural Dorset – Past, Present and Future – monograph of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 1982, which was kindly donated by Alec Goldsmith. This covers all periods from prehistory to post-medieval as well as the problems of agricultural damage and natural decay. Views expressed on the amateur archaeologist are competently stated and reassuring.

Please telephone 081 361 1350 if you wish to borrow any of the above or require further information about the library and the services it can provide.

Talking of Avenue House – builders have been busy restoring the wing destroyed by fire three years ago.


English Heritage has received a letter from the Ministry of Defence about the buildings of Hendon Aerodrome and has kindly sent us a copy. The Ministry admits the problem in selling the site is the planning conditions requiring the removal of the hangar to the RAF Museum and, since there has been no commercial interest in the site, is reviewing its marketing strategy.

In the meantime, as a result of ‘the apparent increase in theft and vandalism’ the Ministry of Defence Police have taken over the caretaking of the site from the commercial firm which was responsible. The buildings are being secured as far as practicable and some missing fixtures and fittings have been recovered.

As a personal view I wonder if some compromise on the hangar should be looked into. I believe it will be very difficult to find a buyer, even when boom conditions return, if the removal of the hangar to the RAF Museum site has to be financed. In due course all the buildings will rot away and nothing will remain. This is of course what the Ministry wants.

The hangar itself has no particular merit, it is the offices which are the historic part. If a sympathetic removal of the offices to a suitable setting in the RAF Museum could be achieved, all the other buildings could be left in situ. I believe retention of these would not prove a major difficulty to the sale of the site. I would like to have members’ views.


Spurn Point guards the entrance to the River Humber, an estuary which drains water from the Pennines via the Rivers Trent, Ouse and Derwent. For generations Spurn Point was inaccessible, and cut off in times of great storms.

Roads in the area were either impassible or nonexistent and consequently all materials had to be brought down the Humber by water. Nevertheless the area was vulnerable to attack particularly during the two World Wars, and work on permanent coastal defences began in 1912. Bull Fort still stands in the entrance to the deep water channel.

For some reason a railway was built from Spurn Point northwards towards Kilnsea, but not connected to the main line. The Spurn Head railway remained isolated serving only the military, a few locals and the lifeboat station. (This station at Spurn is the only one in the country manned by a paid permanent crew). Although trains ran hourly during the day, the official service was augmented by the famous “sail bogies” – wind driven flat trucks, of which two are known to have been used. Sadly the last sail bogies ran at the end of World War II and the line was demolished in 1951. However parts of the track are occasionally exposed following storms or unusual tidal conditions. The appearance of the track is supposed to herald national disaster. It “appeared* recently in 1973, 1979 and 1982, years of General Elections and of the Falklands War.[Edited extract from Littleton Scene (Civil Service Sailing Association) July/August 1992. – Ed.1

P.S. It has been decided that the coastal defences are too costly to repair and to let nature take its course. The Times 22/8/1992 – Ed.



No one can resist reading the history of their old school. Those who went to St. James’ or All Saints C. of E. School, Oakleigh Road, Whetstone, now have that pleasure to hand. John Heathfield and Percy Reboul, both Old Boys of the school in question, (and HADAS members] have combined their considerable talents to tell the story of The Origins, history and development” of their old primary schools.

Percy Reboul is a keen photographer and assiduous recorder on tape of other people’s memories, while John Heathfield is an ex-headmaster and schools inspector (of other schools), and now holds the scarcely less distinguished positions of chairman of Barnet Local History Society, curator of Barnet Museum (and HADAS committee member]. So who could tell the history of a school with more sympathy, understanding and authority?

The book, a 27 page large-size paperback, is called “Teach us this Day”, and disentangles, with the help of diagram and chart, the somewhat complicated metamorphosis of six different infant and primary schools on three different sites, leading finally to the establishment in 1969 of All Saints’ Junior Mixed and Infants’ School in Oakleigh Road.

It can’t, obviously, include names of pupils but it gives names of many class teachers and all headteachers, from the original 1809 Almshouse Charity School down to (or should we say up to?) Philip Elgar, present head of All Saints School, with his photograph. There are 14 other photographs, the earliest of a boys’ class in St. James’ School in about 1878. There is even a 1992 school dinner menu for four weeks, to make your mouth water (or stomach heave).

Not the least engaging part of the book are the memories of five old pupils (all girls) and one teacher, all of whom remain anonymous; from modesty one surmises, rather than possible retribution. The earliest was born in 1906 and went to school in 1911. They recall all aspects of school life, the sometimes fearful as well as the warmly nostalgic.

The book costs £3.50 and is available at Barnet Museum during its five open sessions a week, where Mr Heathfield may sometimes be on hand to enhance the value of a copy by signing it. It is also available from Percy Reboul; Whetstone Books in Oakleigh Road, or direct from the School itself.

Course Successes – Please let us know if there are any more.

Bill Bass – 1st year Field Archaeology Course with Paul Craddock at City Lit.

Roy Walker ditto

Micky Cohen – 4th Year Diploma at the Institute of Archaeology

Celia Gould – One-time Newsletter editor. Following a year studying Latin,

Celia has got the study bug and given up work to start a full time three year degree course in “Ancient World Studies” at London University.

Paul Wernick – One-time photographer for us. Not very archaeological but we’d like to congratulate him on gaining an MSc in “Computer Science”. He is a year into his PhD in “Software Engineering”.


We are sad to announce, somewhat belatedly, that the husband of Mair Livingstone, also a member of HADAS, died suddenly last October. Our deepest sympathy goes to her and all her family and friends. She has asked that all future correspondence etc should be addressed to her:

Mair Livingstone, 21 Park Avenue, NW11 7SL (081 455 7600)


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

NEWSLETTER NO. 257 Edited by Anne Lawson AUGUST 1992


Friday 21 August to Weekend in Dorset. No cancellations so far, but there still could be if anyone wants to go on the waiting list. (Tel. 081-203 0950).

Saturday 26 September – Mary O’Connell’s walk has developed into a full day outing with coach – there is so much to see in Southwark. Our visits will cover the Bear Gardens Museum including the photographic exhibition of the Rose Theatre excavations and the site of the new Globe. We will walk along the river to the old St Thomas’s Operating Theatre and Herb Garret, visit the Cuming Museum which will have an exhibition entitled “Immortal Remains’ – Southwark’s Mediaeval Past. Our day will end with a call at the Bramah tea and Coffee Museum. Details and application form will be enclosed with the September Newsletter.

Tuesday 6 October
– “The Roman Pottery Manufacturing Site in Highgate Woods” by Harvey Sheldon. First in new season of HADAS lectures.

Saturday 10 October – MINIMART at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon.

Tuesday 3 November – “Excavations in Northern Iraq – from the Greeks to the Mongols” by Dr John Curtis. HADAS lecture.

SUBSCRIPTION REMINDER: There are still a number of subscriptions which haven’t been paid. Please would anyone who has not sent in their subs please do so as soon as possible. Subs. listed below.

Full membership £6.00, additional family members £2.00

Retired £4.00, each additional family member £2.00

Junior Members £4.00

Group Membership £8.00


On Saturday 20 June 40 plus members of the Society travelled to Loughborough to the Bell Foundry of John Taylor & Co. Ltd. After meeting with our guide for the visit, Mr Jennings, we proceeded into the moulding and casting shop, an early Victorian building of vast size dominated by a huge 10-ton crane, where 14th century methods meet the technology of the 20th century. Mr. Jennings pointed out that if a moulder or caster from the thirteen hundreds came into the shop today he would recognise most of the processes being used, the modern electric furnace replacing the earlier oil and coke reverberating furnaces being the main modern addition to a very old craft. We started with the mould forming process: a core of fire bricks and coke is covered with a mix of sand, fine chopped hay and horse manure, (the horse being the most efficient method of chopping the hay and mixing with manure!) The core shape was formed with a rotary scraper shaped to the inside of the bell. These scrapers are both inside and outside formers, and are the patterns for all bells from small hand to large church bells. The outer mould was made in a perforated bell shaped iron case, lined with the same sand/manure mix. This also was shaped with the same rotary former to the outer shape.

The moulds are baked at 1500C until dry, then all surface cracks are filled with the same mixture and rebaked. When removed the surfaces of both moulds are coated with graphite and the inscription and trademark are hammered into the surface – this entails working backwards around a curved surface. When all is ready the two halves are fitted together and clamped.

When sufficient moulds of a volume to make a furnace run practicable are ready, they are all buried mouth down in the sand floor of the shop (this is 15 feet deep), with gas vents running to the surface from each bell mouth. The sand supports the mould during casting. The furnace is loaded to give a metal mix of 77% copper, 23% tin. When poured in to the crucible, it is stirred with a willow branch to help remove oxygen and to act as a flux. The mould is filled with metal and allowed to cool for 3-5 hours depending on size.

We then moved to the tuning shop, again a Victorian building with a floor of oak blocks, end grain up, to protect the bell rims and absorb vibration. The bell is held mouth up in a vertical boring lathe. This machine was made to order, some parts were new with gears from a weaving machine, and a worm gear from a scrapped merchant ship. Metal is removed from inside the bell to tune it. The bell is rung by hand and they use tuning forks and modern electronic acoustic equipment to tune the bell, removing metal as required until perfect.

At this stage we had to curtail our very informative visit as time had defeated us, but we feel sure had we stayed all day Mr Jennings could have continued to explain the full procedure to us, a subject he is obviously enthusiastic about.

A further point of interest – in the parish Church in Loughborough are three bust relief plaques. These are of three generations of Taylors, cast in bell metal. The church bells were the first to be case by Taylors as an itinerant bell founder; they then remained and established the factory.


and then on to:


The appearance of the Rectory seems to have varied considerably since its first mention in the 12th century. (HADAS members who peered and puzzled over two sketches of earlier rectories and, tried to match up remaining wondows and archways will vouch for this.) For a while the medieval “bones” were covered up by a 17th century gabled facade – later there was a fire, then the rebuilt Rectory facade assumed a dullish 19th century aspect.

In the sixties the local authorities hoped to have the whole site cleared and used for an old people’s home. Cliffhanging and controver­sial dramas ensued. After partial demolition, Loughborough Archaeological Society carried out a valuable survey on what was left. What remains now is the ruin of the medieval great hall (two high, roofless walls) joining on to the reroofed buttery and solar. The Rectory has keen and knowledg­eable local devotees who shepherded HADAS members round a museum of very mixed donations. (It was mortifying to note that many of the items were still well within living memory, or even still being used in the kitchens of less status-conscious members!)

A 19th century tombstone gave the history of a local dropsical lady and showed a table of how often fluid had been drawn off, how much, the total amount, and the name of the doctor who had prolonged her life. (An early medical commercial!)


The Lodge was begun in 1593 by Sir Thomas Tresham, an Elizabethan Catholic, often imprisoned, and fined over £7000 for non-attendance of church. (Our guide showed us his portrait, suitably sombre in an elegant suit of foreign-looking armour.)

This is a unique curiosity of a building, three-sided and with every detail symbolic of the Holy Trinity: trefoil-shaped windows (which also pun on the Tresham coat of arms), triple gables, three floors, and suitable Latin mottoes on each facade. We clambered around the spartan interior wondering vaguely if the building had ever been used for anything.


The Eleanor Cross at Geddington was one of the memorial crosses erected in 1294 by Edward I to mark the resting places of the body of his Queen, Eleanor, on its way to London. The monument’s survival is quite remarkable – it seems so slender and delicate. There is an ancient well at its base which dates back to Roman times. HADAS members (in two shifts) enjoyed a delicious cream tea. Some of us visited the Church of St Mary Magdalene, where our guide pointed out a door in the North aisle which is still known as “the King’s Door”.

There was a Royal Palace in Geddington from the 11th to the 14th centuries.

This was another of Dorothy Newbury’s entertaining and educational days – luckily she has a hotline to the weathermen as well.



The excavation team continues to make good progress on the High Street Barnet excavation, now entering its final stages.

The “undated ditch” mentioned in the previous report turned out to be a modern pipe trench – only one of the many modern disturbances on the site. Further excavation of the substantial wall foundation, also men­tioned previously, suggests that this formed part of the former “Red Lion” (now “Dandy Lion”) pub when it extended across the present site of Fitzjohn Avenue. This particular wall may belong to a cellar.

Residual sherds of Herts grey and other medieval pottery continue to be found in later contexts, but as yet there is no sign of medieval or earlier structures, perhaps due to the heavy disturbance of the site by nineteenth century and later building activity.

A large post-medieval pot yielded quantities of possibly 17th-19th century pottery – the most notable concentration of finds on the site.

Turn-out from the Society has been good – we have been pleased to welcome a couple of new volunteers, in addition to reclaiming one or two regulars from previous digs in the area. The next stage, of course, will be the cleaning and study of the finds at Avenue House, and the preparation of the final report.



On our arrival we found the contractors’ excavation for the building as shown in Fig 1. No sign remained of the archaeological evaluation trench, but we took measurements from the Tractor Shed to establish the position of the contractors’ trenches, using the plan in the evaluation report as a base.

John Heathfield (Curator of Barnet Museum) told us the area had been a tennis court built about 1925, going out of use some years ago; a thin (5-10cm) layer of brown above black representing this tennis court could be seen in virtually all the baulks of the contractors’ trenches, ending or fading out towards the north and east sides.

We had no bench mark from which to record any levels, and it was not possible to establish the ground level at the time of the evaluation – there appeared to have been backfilling and re-excavation. The contractors’ excavation did not go more than about 25cm below this tennis court layer.

Two photographs were taken at B on Fig 1, and at A-A’ where a section was drawn also (Fig 2). This position was chosen so as to give a section further north than the evaluation trench, and to take advantage of the contractors’ excavation. Only a few post-medieval sherds were found in clearing this section.

Under BDLHS supervision, a metal detector was run over the whole site, with no significant result. Two pieces of Victorian pottery were found.


For anyone who has not had any theoretical or practical tuition on archaeology I can recommend the non-excavational training course which is run by Keele University near Wotton-on-Edge, Gloucestershire.

I have recently spent two weeks at Wortley, the first week was a non-­excavational course followed by a week of practical digging.

During the first week I was shown the technicalities of archaeology which included environmental archaeology, resistivity, surveying, animal bone analysis, soil analysis, how to deal with finds, how to keep records, and planning which included sectional drawing.

The second week was more exhausting; for anyone who has not done .digging, I suggest that you dig for a half day only and spend the after­noon washing and cleaning finds.

There are excellent bed and breakfast establishments located in the area especially at Nibley House, North Nibley, which is the local stately home. The Villa Site Director also lives there. Camping is also available at Nibley House – this is what I opted for, being a tent enthusiast.

There are excellent hostelries in the area for the evening meal, and of course the “apres dig” is excellent.



I recently paid a visit to the London Canal Museum at 12 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RT, just off York Way by Kings Cross Station. It was officially opened earlier this year by Princess Anne, but unfortunately did not receive much publicity.

It is housed in the former ice warehouse of Carlo Gatti, a Swiss-Italian immigrant who built a hugely successful business importing ice from Norway, and who died a millionaire in 1878. His first shipload in 1857 consisted of 400 tons at 17 shillings a ton. Although the ice business declined with the advance of refrigeration after W.W.I, several Gatti enterprises, including cafes, ice-cream parlours, restaurants and music halls, lasted until W.W.II.

The Canal museum, on two floors, has some interesting exhibits, including a fascinating video with archive film of London street scenes and life on the Regents Park Canal in 1924. The principal point of interest is however the two massive underground caverns, or ice wells, half-full of debris and as yet only partially excavated.

The Museum (tel: 071-713 0836) is open 10.00 – 16.30 hours Tuesday to Sunday until the end of September; car parking can be difficult on week­days. As its director/curator, Nigel Sadler, is a professional archae­ologist, we can be sure the building is in good hands.



This exhibition marks the “re-launch” of Church Farmhouse Museum, and looks at the building as a dwelling, as a farm and as a museum, and emphasises its importance in the development of Hendon. As well as material from the museum’s own collections from the Barnet Archives, farming and dairy equipment lent by the museum of English Rural Life at Reading is on show.

During the exhibition there will be various weekend events – with demonstrations of weaving, spinning and corn-dolly making already planned.

If you can’t come beforehand, why not combine seeing the exhibition with your visit to the HADPS Minimart in October?

(Please note our new opening hours: Mon-Thursday 10-S. Friday CLOSED; Saturday 10-1, 2-5.30; Sunday 2-5.30.)


In Newsletter 254 the Editor’s note to “Library News” referred to the Borough of Barnet’s request for a plot of the archaeology in the Borough and our work starting on this. Readers may like to know some more about this and how we are getting on – even though it may be a little boring:

The story of the current work really starts in 1990 with the discussions on Barnet’s new Unitary Development Plan, when we and the museum of London pressed for an archaeological map to be included in the UDP; however, the Borough(pressed as it no doubt was in obtaining consensus on a myriad of topics other than archaeology) preferred to leave the question of an archaeological map to be dealt with on the first review of the UDP, to take place about a year after its adoption. We accepted this – for after all, the Borough accepted virtually the entirety of our suggestions to amend the wording of the UDP. Now is the time when preparations for this first review are being made.

Meanwhile, as we all know, the official organisation of London archae­ology has much changed – the Museum of London’s Department of London Archaeology has disappeared, and English Heritage have appeared on the London scene as the official archaeological advisers to London Boroughs. But at least all parties (the Borough Planners, HADAS, Museum of London and English Heritage) were agreed on the importance of a map and on the 27 February 1992 we were asked to help in its preparation. Unable, in the first instance, to establish whether any draft map already existed with any of the official bodies, and not hearing of any moves by others to start on one, HADAS got moving; (perhaps we had the advantage of not being troubled by budgets and funding, since we do it for fun anyway). The written catalogues available to us were:‑

DGLA Gazetteer of Barnet 1984 (revised about 1988), incorporating: HADAS Stone Artefact Gazetteer by Daphne Lorimer 1979 HADAS Roman Gazetteer by Helen Gordon 1979

Sites and monuments Record compiled by DGLA on computer (of which we have a printout now about 2 years old, of over 200 pages); this should include all the information from the earlier Gazetteers, which however should be checked.

We started on the DGLA Gazetteer, and indeed had spent quite some time on the laborious job of transposing the information on to a 1:10,000 map (abstracted from our copy of the UDP) before the Borough notified us, in response to our earlier enquiries, that they had a set of maps with this information plotted, which they could supply us with – which they did, very quickly, by special delivery. However, we found that their plot was based on the unrevised 1984 edition of the Gazetteer, so the numbering varied slightly from ours and all had to be checked through. Helen Gordon had meanwhile been hard at work checking our Roman road information, enabling us to check this against the Borough maps too. Bill Firth

rallied round also, at short notice, to prepare a gazetteer of Industrial Archaeology to be included in our draft. And then … we heard from the Museum of London that they had a draft map of findspots started some time ago, of which they could supply a copy. I went to the Museum and collec­ted this; it of course should show the same information, but using a different numbering of sites from any of our other sources, so that every marked spot has to be checked to see that we have it marked, and that our lists coincide….

(Are you still there, dear reader? I did warn it might get a little boring!)

It was at this stage that George Dennis of the Museum made a most help­ful suggestion to the Borough; that we should first concentrate, for UDP purposes, on marking areas of Archaeological Priority, i.e., generally known settlement nuclei such as medieval villages; this could be done quite quickly, leaving a detailed map of find spots to follow later, as essentially an informative tool for planners and developers. We immedi­ately went to work on this, using the oldest maps available in the Local History Library as our main research tool, and were able by 25 May to provide the Borough with a complete map with priority areas marked in draft; the Borough kindly and promptly made copies of our draft, supply­ing them to us, the museum and English Heritage so that consultation between us all can take place to finally approve the areas.

Meanwhile, we are still proceeding with the slog of preparing the second map, of sites and find spots, and collating our various sources, although this is at the moment somewhat interrupted by outdoor work while the fine weather lasts. But there is no doubt the hard work is well worthwhile for the benefit of archaeology in Barnet, which is entering a new phase of official integration into the planning process, with co-operation on all sides.


On Friday July 24th, Mary O’Connell was honoured to be admitted to the Freedom of the City of London. The ceremony took place in the Chamberlain’s Suite at the Guildhall. It was a formal but friendly occasion. The walls of the small ceremonial room displayed richly illuminated certificates of Freedom of Nelson, Pitt and Wellington. However, any British subject can be admitted to the Freedom. There are three ways of admittance: by patri­mony, being the child of a Freeman; by servitude, apprenticeship to a Freeman; and. by redemption, being presented through a Livery Company. Mary was recommended by members of both the Basketmakers and the Skinners Livery Companies.

Standing in front of the clerk, who was robed for the occasion, Mary read the solemn declaration clearly, luckily no longer in Latin, vowing that she would “know no gatherings, nor conspiracies but would “warn the mayor thereof.” A privileged party of family and friends witnessed the short ceremony. Then we “gathered” but not “conspired” together at the Chapter House of St Paul’s Cathedral, which was opened especially for Mary, by the Friends of St Paul’s. On this occasion portraits of past Deans smiled down on the very happy gathering which toasted the newest and much admired Freeman of the City of London – Mary O’Connell. We all wondered – does this make Mary a Free Woman?



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OUTING TO WITNEY – to see the recently excavated 12th century Bishop’s Manor which will shortly be open to the public. We had originally planned to also visit North Leigh Roman Villa but hadn’t realised that this was included in a recent outing organised by Sheila Woodward. We will instead spend the afternoon at Cogges Manor. Details and application form enclosed.


contact Bill Firth, 49 Woodstock Avenue, NW11 Full details in May Newsletter.

WEEKEND IN DORSET, staying in Sherborne and visiting Avebury, Dorchester, Maiden Castle, Cerne Abbas, Abbotsbury, Somerset Levels Centre and Glastonbury. The trip is fully booked but we are happy to put any interested member on the waiting list. There can always be last minute cancellations.

Will booked-in members please send balance to Dorothy Newbury if they have not already done so – Thanks.

A WALK IN SOUTHWARK with Mary O’Connell

THE ROMAN POTTERY MANUFACTURING SITE IN HIGHGATE WOODS” by Harvey Sheldon First in new season of HADAS lectures.

MINIMART – at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon

“EXCAVATIONS IN NORTHERN IRAQ – from the Greeks to the Mongols” by Dr John Curtis HADAS lecture.


MARY O’CONNELL, our member who lectures to us occasionally, and will in September be again taking us on one of her fascinating walks, has received the honour of being made a Freeman of the City of London. Mary, a City Guide, has no plans to exercise a privilege accorded to City Freeman – that of driving her sheep through the City! Congratulations, Mary!TAMARA BAKER, a long-standing member who came regularly to lectures and outings, has been laid low with a leg operation. We are pleased to hear she is recovering well.

DOROTHY THOMAS, joined the Society in 1973. She moved to Dunoon in 1984 and has continued membership with us till now. We would like to thank her for her 20 years of interest in the Society.

FRIEDA WILKINSON. Helen Gordon reports that Frieda is home again after another spell in hospital, and is improving. Frieda would be happy to hear from, and see, HADAS friends.


This is an exhibition not to be missed by anybody interested in Roman history and the story of Pompeii in particular, I would heartily commend it to HADAS members. It has not been very widely advertised – it was mentioned in the “Ancient” magazine, it would be open until 21st June. I had not been able to find any more about it, until making an infrequent journey on the Underground and seeing posters displayed. Anybody not normally travelling by Tube could miss it altogether.

I had been keen to see the exhibition, having visited Pompeii (and also warmed my hands on the steam vents around the rim of Vesuvius!) Much of the city was unexcavated at that time – 1982 – and many acres still are. It was possible to see the great mounds of ash still covering parts of the city.

The exhibition is extremely well organised, and the 200 objects on display have never before been exhibited in the UK. All are finds from very recent excavations.

Due to the circumstances of the eruption most of the artifacts are complete and largely undamaged, and hence are more impressive than the shards to be seen in the Roman galleries of most museums. One of the first items to be seen is the body of a young woman, encased in transparent epoxy resin, personifying the tragedy of the disaster.

Amongst the domestic items is a magnificent food warmer, the workmanship of which would be difficult to equal today. In a small edition it resembles the old wood-fired stoves sometimes seen in early country churches. The wealth of the patrician Romans is exemplified by the fine statues and splendid frescoes which adorned their villas. These frescoes and the scenes shown on the many urns and bowls provide a fascinating picture of the Roman way of life. To highlight this further a number of examples are shown of graffiti – a lot more imaginative than that of today! Also, tablets of the love letters and poems sent by the young bloods to their girl friends.

Technology has been widely used to enhance understanding of life in Pompeii and the effects of the eruption. IBM was largely responsible for the audio-visual displays in each of the galleries. It is possible to see graphic simulation of the phases of the eruption, to walk through the streets of Pompeii and, by finger touch on the screen, visit houses and see many of the artistic displays. The rooms upstairs show the detailed history of the excavations of Pompeii from the earliest times. It was a very enjoyable and interesting afternoon!

Fortunately for us, Fred advises that the closing date has been extended to 2nd August, and the location is ACCADEMIA ITALIANA, 24 Rutland Gate, off Knightsbridge.


The British Museum recently acquired a 7th C BC Assyrian limestone relief carving of a wounded lion in its death throes. Originally excavated at Nineveh in the mid-1800’s by W K Loftus and artist William Boutcher, the 31x17cm carving had “disappeared” and was only known by photograph. It has now been donated by an anonymous descendant of Boutcher. The Keeper of the Dept of Western Asiatic Antiquities at the BM, Dr John Curtis described it as one of the museum’s most important acquisitions that he can remember. You will have the chance to quiz Dr Curtis further on his new pet when he gives the HADAS November lecture!


As part of their master plan to excavate the whole of medieval High Barnet, on Saturday 6th of June the HADAS excavation team began work on a new site in Barnet High Street. The site, on the corner of Fitzjohn Avenue and High Street, opposite the “Dandy Lion” pub, was until recently occupied by small single-storey shops, and had been cleared by the site owners, Bishops, along with the adjacent Guyscliffe House. Readers may remember that in 1990 the team excavated the area to the south of the then-standing Guyscliffe House and revealed medieval pebble yard surfaces and deposits; the present site was identified as being of interest at the time and we are pleased to be able to investigate the area further through the kind assistance of Mr Bishop.

Using a borrowed JCB, the concrete shop floors and shallow brick wall foundations at the NW corner of the site were quickly removed and a 9×1 metre trial trench cut on a North-South axis also. The area under excavation was limited by the presence of adjacent rubble-filled former cellars. The area was then cleaned by shovel/trowel. Several features became apparent within the trench, including a possible post-medieval pot, an undated ditch, and a substantial flint/brick/tile wall foundation, sealed by demolition rubble, at the northern end of the trench, below the concrete shop floor.

The site is heavily disturbed in places, but trowelling of the less disturbed edge quickly revealed several very sizable sherds of thumbnail decorated (rim and body) Hertfordshire grey ware, C1200 AD, probably from the same vessel. It is hoped to investigate the site further over the coming weeks. As always, new volunteers will be welcome to join the band of regulars. Cheers, Andy.


We hear that Margaret Beesley, London University extra-mural lecturer in Archaeology, is getting up a party to go to South Africa in January 1993. This will be a ten-day visit to fossil hominid sites. It is being organised in conjunction with David Price-Williams who lectured to HADAS some time ago. There will be opportunities to examine fossil skulls in museum collections, and casts of recently discovered hominid fossils, as well as visits to a private game reserve and rock art sites. Accommodation will be in “Holiday lnn”-style hotels, and travel by minibus. The cost of £1,490 includes air fares to and from Johannesburg, accommodation, taxes, tips, the services of tour leaders etc. The only extras will be personal purchases and drinks.

HADAS members and friends are invited to obtain further details from Margaret Beesley at 65, Langham Road, Teddington, TW11 9HF, tel: 081 977 3524.


Last May I went with Muriel Large, Diana Watson, Marjorie Errington and Eunice Wilson – all members of HADAS – on a most interesting week’s visit to the Isle of Man with the Historical Fellowship. We stayed with forty other friends at an hotel in Douglas. The tour was organised by Mr and Mrs John Shakespeare of Pennine Travel, with David Freke, an archaeologist.

The first day we went to the Manx Museum and had a lecture with slides on the history of the Island, then to Kirk Michael to see the Celtic Crosses. We visited many Iron Age and Norse houses during the week. At Castle Rushen the interior is being re-created as it was when built, with tapestries on the walls, roaring fires, and tables laid for banquets. We visited Tynwald Hill, the Manx Parliament where they proclaim new laws each year on July 5th. We travelled on the Steam Railway and Manx Electric Railway to see the Laxey Wheel, and were lucky to have a clear day to see all the beautiful scenery on the Island. We were taken to Cregneash Village, a Village Folk Museum where we saw the remains of a Norse Long House. We rode on a horse-drawn tram prior to visiting the top of Snaefell on another nice clear day. In all, it was a most enjoyable week with so much to see on a small island – I would recommend a holiday there!

Unfortunately, Mrs Frieda Wilkinson was unable to join us – her friends of the Historical Fellowship send their best wishes for her speedy recovery to good health.

Dorothy says: how about a HADAS week there in 1993?


Hot sunshine burning through clear blue skies followed forty of us from HADAS on our first outing of 1992, on Saturday 16 May. Our first stop was Sutton House. An hour or so investigating the successive stages of the house’s development enabled us to see for ourselves what an unusual acquisition this property is for the National Trust. Since restoration work was still in full swing we carefully picked our way around what had become a building site, incorporating elements of the original fine Tudor merchant’s brick house (called “the bryk place”), and later alterations of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was good to see panelling styles of three different centuries being skillfully renovated. On site it was easy to appreciate what a loss the theft of the Tudor panels had constituted and to rejoice in their return to grace, in keeping with original fireplaces. The present phase of restoration is scheduled to finish by September of this year. Both the full external renovation and imaginative community use projected for the house should make it a place for return visits.

Our journey continued through the bustle and heat of East London, passing through the trappings of more modern signs of successive settlers on the flat river lands, until we climbed out into the fresh fields surrounding Waltham and it’s abbey. Dr Ken Bascombe was our scholarly guide to the Visitor Centre, finely excavated Abbey Forge and outlying monastic precincts. In the cool of the Abbey itself we were treated to personal reminiscences of the recent excavations – would they could have been revealed before our eyes! In addition to the splendours of 12th century Romanesque columns, successive phases of architecture were discernable. Of particular interest is the medieval Domesday wall painting in the 14th century Lady Chapel.

Provision of cream teas taken in the delightful timber-framed row of buildings adjoining the Market Square complemented the afternoon tour. Abbey bells rang a peal across the sun-drenched precincts, a knell of contentment on yet another most worthwhile outing, so ably arranged by Dorothy – to whom, our thanks!


HADAS provides a wide range of activities in which many people find interest and pleasure, evidenced by the continuing large membership over the years. Winter lectures are usually well- attended, visits and outings often have waiting lists, other occasions are often over-booked. We have a vigorous excavation section and study group working most weekends at our Avenue House room. The library has been reconstructed, catalogued and is available to members. Finds are being classified and sorted, and exhibitions of our work are frequently made. A report on a major discovery by the Society has just been published, and a series of booklets on the locality are in print. By no means least, our monthly Newsletter informs, keeps members in touch and records the results of our investigations. All these things require organising, and the Society urgently needs new helpers to keep the good work going.

1 Programme Secretary, Dorothy Newbury would like assistance with planning and leading some of the visits and outings. This would include helping choose and reconnoitering new places to visit, selecting eating places and leading visits if so inclined. “Reasonable expenses paid”. Dorothy’s telephone number is: 081-203 0950 or 081 203 4508.

2 Phyllis Fletcher, our Membership Secretary for the past ten years resigned at the last AGM and is now well into her retirement. She has many other interests and feels that she has ‘done her bit’ for HADAS. The job is now much simpler than when Phyllis took it on, as most of the Society’s records are held on our computer. The job involves liaising with the Treasurer and Programme Secretary, maintaining the membership list, chasing unpaid subscriptions, etc. It is an important job being in contact with new members and helping them and others to fully enjoy the Society.

3. We also need a volunteer to organise the distribution and sale of our publications. As most members will recall, we have published a number of booklets of local interest as well as the site report about our major discovery of the Mesolithic hunters’ site at West Heath. A lot of the Society’s reputation, and indeed reserves, are invested in these and it could be a pleasant and interesting task, involving a little correspondence and occasional visits to local societies and shops.

Finally, a new Treasurer is needed. The writer has done the job for ten years and would now like the opportunity to do other work. The office of Hon Treasurer has been vacant since the AGM. Again, this is a much simpler job than it used to be as all the records are held on computer, thanks to the help of one of our members, Terry Dawson. The recording and book-keeping activity requires noting the few transactions each month which can be by cheque book and bank paying-in records. The computer is programmed to balance the books and can be done with Terry Dawson’s help once every month or so. It is an interesting task, and keeps one in touch with all Society activities, and can now be done in a hour or so a week if done regularly.

If you would like any further information, PLEASE, do not hesitate to contact any Committee Member. We look forward to some positive response!



These were set out in a letter of 17 October 1991 from New Age Homes, following discussion on 16 October 1991 at the Museum of London with a plan showing suggested trenches. This provided for access by HADAS from 25 November 1991 but, owing we understand to delay in legal documentation, we were in fact unable to get on site until 19 December. There was not site hut so we were obliged to bring and take away all tools daily which limited our capabilities. We were able to do some inspection and marking out on 19 December, following machine stripping, and to excavate and record on 21/22 December, 4/5 and 11/12 January, with some additional machining kindly done by the Site Foreman on 6 January. We think we have adequately investigated the few features revealed.


Grid Ref TQ 2245 8915 – a field sloping evenly down E to W from the glacial-gravel-capped ridge of the Burroughs towards the Silk Stream valley; obviously graded and turfed as a games pitch. Hendon was a Saxon and medieval settlement on the ridge (E Sammes excavations in the early 1970’s found a Saxon ditch near the Church) and there have been some Roman finds in the area. From Crow’s 1754 map, present Watford Way beside the site appears to follow the course of ancient Colindeep Lane up to The Burroughs crossroad; this map shows a cluster of buildings round the crossroad, but not extending as far as this site.


The initial turf stripping (done on half the site by the time we arrived on site at the agreed time on 19 December) went down about 30cm to remove virtually all tha turf and turf undersoil which, from inspection of soil, included some Victorian and post-medieval artefacts. However, any features missed through this could only have been very shallow, and likely to have been disturbed by smoothing of the gradient when the field was made into a games pitch. The surface exposed was mainly grey humic sandy pebbly gravel, which we took to be natural, possibly disturbed in grading for turfing. On this surface were a number of stray finds of pot and clay pipes (we noted an unusually high proportion of complete bowls with some stem attached) dating back to the 1600’s. This formed an interesting group of brown clay-fabric pipes of the period 1640-1700, in good condition, with 7 bowls and over 60 stem fragments of similar date. There were also several pottery sherds of similar date, including Tudor Green ware, Staffordshire Slip ware, and Tinglazed sherds. Noted across the west end of the field, nearest the retaining wall of the A41 sliproad, was a darker area of brick rubble/humic.

FEATURES NOTED: (See plan, Fig 1)

1 There appeared to be a concentration of sherds and clay pipes in an area 3x2m (Trench 1) was trowelled down to sterile natural clay, no feature revealed, so the artefacts appeared to be a chance scatter. Topsoil (101) here yielded one medieval greyware body-sherd; layer 103 yielded possible Tudor Green, Cistercian ware, Midlands yellow ware (all possibly 1600- 1700).

2 Two or three postholes approximately in the centre of the field, with broken pieces of wood, apparently quite modern – ?, postholes for tennis nets of courts running N/S across the slope. These had disappeared under caterpillar tracks by Saturday 21 st when we next came on site (the machine had been transferring spoil to the boundaries).

3 Six or more field drains running parallel NE/SW diagonally across the field, quite recent in appearance (red cylindrical tile, trench filled with small pebbles).

4 Two ashpits, one in the SE corner (feature F1), one approximately in the middle of the N edge of site (feature F2). Later sectioning of these confirmed both are modern. Both contained bottle glass, white glazed earthenware, with the bulk of the fill consisting of large lumps of clinker.


Contractors machine-dug trenches approximately 1m wide in each of the three marked-out house plans A, B, C (Fig 1), N/S in Houses A and B, E/W in House C; whilst this was not precisely in accord with our discussion on 16 October, it seemed adequate, particularly as in fact no features appeared down to

(House A) natural pebble/sand/clay at 50cm approximately below original turf surface (House B) natural solid clay below pebble/sand/clay layer at 70cm approximately (House C) natural clay/gravel at 50cm approximately, except at W end which was within the darker disturbed area near the slip road referred to earlier.


A darker disturbed area at the west end of House C was hand-investigated by spade and trowel (Trench 3), showing some features including a black silty layer. On 6 Jan 92 the Site Foreman kindly extended to the west by machine the 1m-wide trench, revealing the sections of what appear to be two ditches running N/S (features labelled F3 and F4). Section drawings appended (Fig 2). Clearly there are two ditches, the later, western, one cut through the W side of the first, the respective fills appearing to be different episodes, and silty layer 305 accumulating whilst the feature was open. In feature F4, layer 305 was overlaid by a clearly visible buried turf line. There was no dating evidence in the lowest part of the ditches; the only finds in silt 305 were 1 nail and some brick fragments.

All three sections clearly showed that humic layer 305 was overlain by ashy layer 302, with a thin (c 1cm) ferrous layer at the interface of the two layers – its exact nature being unclear. Layer 302 contained a large quantity of stoneware, earthenware and bottle glass in addition to building rubble, suggesting a post-Victorian date for deposition.


The stratigraphy of the ditches is quite complex; it appears that humic layer 305 may be the earliest definable deposit, overlain by relatively modern (ie Victorian or later) dump/fill ashy deposit 302, which itself was even more recently cut by the clay dump layers 303/304, the whole overlain by modern turf topsoil.


It does not appear that the building work proposed will disturb any archaeological feature proposed will disturb any archaeological features of importance. The ditch F3 we can give no date to, but it may be of interest for the record. F4 was clearly later, cutting through the modern fill of F3. A further report will be prepared if needed.


We are grateful to the Developers and Contractors for their co-operation and help. ADDENDUM: SITE VISIT 27 JANUARY 1992

Two members observed a building trench machine-dug north-south along the apparent line of ditch F3. A black silty layer, obviously the silt of the ditch, was at the bottom (c 90cm deep) of the trench extending about 5 metres southwards from our excavation, where it appeared to curve westwards and disappear into the baulk. Trowelling the surface of the silt layer yielded no artefacts, so the ditch remains undated.

DR HUGH CHAPMAN, President of LAMAS and General Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries, though not a member of HADAS, was known to many of us. In January 1973, when he was Assistant Curator at the City of London Guildhall Museum, he gave us a lecture on excavations at Aidgate. Then, in November 1980 when he was Keeper in the Department of Prehistoric and Roman Antiquities at the Museum of London, he gave us another lecture on “Roman London – an archaeological and antiquarian history”. Sadly, we have to report that he died in June following a tragic fall in the street, from which he never regained consciousness. He was only 46.


I am pleased to be able to announce that, following representations, English Heritage have added the listed buildings at Hendon to the Buildings at Risk List. Further, EH is writing to the Ministry of Defence, expressing their concern about the condition of the buildings. It is difficult to believe that the MoD will take much action – but at least the matter has been brought forward again.

(This item relates to Bill’s article in the April ’92 newsletter.)


Perhaps only more frivolous members would care to mix their archaeology with thrillers. Tony Hillerman writes of crime in New Mexico and Arizona, pursued by the Navajo State Police. “A Thief of Time” (Sphere Books 1990, also in public libraries) tells of archaeological raids on ancient graves and ancient pottery sites in a mysterious background of canyons, pictographs, and the wide desert skies and distant mountains. One reader, unaccustomed to Navajo and Anasazi history and magic, said that the first third of the book required close concentration and the rest became ‘unputdownable’. By any criteria, Hillerman can write!


The Barnet Times reported on 11.6.92 that Barnet College Educational Trust, formed recently, intends to refurbish this building which began life as the Queen Elizabeth Boys’ Grammar School. It is intended to provide a function, meeting and conference centre. They have the inevitable problem with cash to go ahead with the works this summer, but to help raise funds for this project a history of the hall by Dennis Marshall is being re-written by designer and lecturer John Marsh. The HADAS library copy of the Marshall book was lost in the fire, so we look forward to adding the new version to our shelves.

Many thanks to the members who contributed articles to this edition. Please keep them rolling in as we are currently low on articles in hand. Ed.


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NEWSLETTER 255: JUNE 1992 Edited by Jean Snelling


Saturday June 20th:
Outing to Loughborough, Rushton and Geddington

(Details and application form enclosed with this Newsletter)

Saturday July 11th: Outing to Witney – to see the recently excavated 12th C Bishop’s Manor which opens to the public in June. Also North Leigh Roman Villa on the outskirts of Witney.

Saturday July 25th: Visit to Bentley Priory. Contact Bill Firth, 49 Woodstock Avenue, NW11.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday August 21/22/23: Weekend in Dorset. We are awaiting confirmation of bookings from a couple of members who are abroad at present, so there may be vacancies still. In any case we have NO waiting list if anyone would like to be added to it. Accommodation is at Sherborne School Study Centre. We plan to visit Avebury Village and Stone Circle on the way out, spend a day visiting Cerne Abbas, Dorchester, Maiden Castle and Abbotsbury. On Sunday we shall see the Visitor Centre and reconstructed prehistoric Somerset Levels Trackways and Lake Village at Meare. This year is the centenary of their discovery by Dr Bulleid in 1892. Many of his and John Coles’ finds will he on show. Our final stop will be at romantic Glastonbury to see the Abbey ruins, the Glastonbury Thorn, and the Tribunal museum which houses the Lake Village canoe.

(Ring 081-203 0950 if you want to go on the waiting list.)

Saturday September 26th: a walk in Southwark with Mary O’Connell.

Saturday October 10th:

Lectures start Tuesday October 6th with “The Roman Pottery Manufacturing Site in Highgate Woods” – Harvey Sheldon.

Tuesday November 3rd:
“Excavating in Northern Iraq – From the Greeks to the mongols” – Dr John Curtis


An amiable though hardly over-crowded meeting was chaired by the President, Dr Ralph Merrifield.

The following elections were made: Chairman, Andrew Selkirk; Vice-Chairman Brian Wrigley; Honorary Secretary, Liz Holliday.

Committee: Bill Bass, Micky Cohen, John Heathfield, Victor Jones, Margaret Maher, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Pickering, Edward Sammes, Andy Simpson, Myfanwy Stewart, Micky Watkins. Two vacancies remain.

Retirements from the Committee: Christine Arnott, Alan Lawson, Jean Snelling.

Vice-Presidents confirmed in office: Miss D.P. Hill, Mr. Brian Jarman, Mrs. Daphne Lorimer, Mr. Edward Sammes, Mr. Andrew Saunders. Councillor Mrs. Mary Phillips was elected as Vice-President.

Great regret was expressed at the departure of John Enderby, the former Vice-Chairman, whose understanding of HADAS and of the area and leadership of Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute contributed so much for many years.

At the meeting we missed Dorothy Newbury, unwell and breaking attendance for the first time ever.

Where are our new Membership Secretary and Hon. Treasurer? Could one be you? They are needed greatly. Let modesty not inhibit; if you are stirred, please explore possibilities with one of our officers. You will have friends for life, as have our retiring two, Phyllis Fletcher and Victor Jones.

We were warned of and agreed to a rise in subscriptions from 18 April 1993. Consider how little we pay in comparison with other societies generally. And how many supply a monthly Newsletter, lectures, outings and excavations? The Minimart does wonders but we need a reasonable income.

Selling our products could be helped by members are you in touch with other people or societies who would be interested in our Mesolithic West Heath Report, now accepted as a serious scholarly work? Would your local bookshops sell our book “A Place in Time”? It could help borough residents to more awareness of Barnet as a whole entity and less of an odd collection of parishes.

Visit our Garden Room at the back of Avenue House, East End Road, N3 (not N2). See our HADAS Nibelung activity, on Sunday mornings. The room, having an excess of corners, houses library, finds, archives, the computer and looks out on the lovely garden. We hope we can continue to pay a reasonable rent.

Our meeting ended with slides of digs – the Old Forge, Golders Green Road, with its fragments of medieval road; the medieval house of 1264 High Road, Whetstone, sadly disintegrating as its history continues to intrigue. And lots of glorious local mud.

See you at the next AGM.

CATCHING UP WITH LAMAS (London & middlesex Archaeological Society)

Our slightly ambiguous relationship requires an update from time to time. HADAS is an Affiliated Local Society, which opens LAMAS Conferences, visits etc. to our members. In addition, a number of us are also Ordinary (Individual) members of LAMAS with direct access to its activities.

Cash List. Ordinary members should subscribe £10.00 as from 1st

October 1991 through to 30th September 1992. Joint members, £11; Students (full-time education) £3 (Newsletter only). Affiliated Schools £6.50. Subscriptions to Mrs. Anne Curtis, 34 Alexandra Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 7JZ.

Full members are entitled to receive LAMAS publications. Volumes 39 and 40 are expected soon, and a Special Paper Series on Aspects of Saxon and Norman London will be available. The May 1992 Newsletter (75) is out now

We can expect to hear more of SCOLA, the new Standing Conference on London Archaeology; this is being formed by the Surrey Archaeological Society, the Council for British Archaeology, the Society of Antiquaries, and the Joint Working Party on London Archaeology. MOLAS and English Heritage are giving support, also LAMAS.

This move is stimulated by the replacement by MOLAS (Museum of London Archaeological Service) of the Museum’s former Departments of Greater London Archaeology and of Urban Archaeology. SCOLA would aim to provide a forum for debate and resolutions on archaeology in London; to advance study and practice in London and its hinterland; to commission a report to assess the value of existing research agendas and point the way to a

more comprehensive research framework, acknowledging archaeology as a cultural and educational resource; the report to set a standard against which future work can be measured. Thus SCOLA would monitor the quality of archaeological work in the London area. It is envisaged that member­ship would be open to invited representatives of organisations concerned with archaeological and historical research and fieldwork including

planning in the London region.

Affiliated societies of LAMAS are encouraged to get their trowels out again. We can claim that ours are never retired.

The May Newsletter of LAMAS includes an article on Great Stanmore Old Church c. 1040, and the Lord Aberdeen burial (see also HADAS Newsletter February 1992).

Two LAMAS visits may tempt HADAS members. Saturday, September 12th to Minster Abbey, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, arrive 12 noon. Independent travel, Victoria to Sheerness, change at Sittingbourne, then cab to Minster, about £14, or by car. Those intending to go should telephone Malcolm Harden, 0895 638060 before September 1st.

Saturday October 24th – Visit to Bromley-by-Bow House Mill (restoration in progress), West Ham Parish Church and the Passmore Edwards Museum. Meet at Bromley-by-Bow Station at 11.00 am. No charge, donations welcome. If you intend to go, please telephone Pat Wilkinson on 081-472-4785 before 14th October.

Recent local publications: Palace on the Hill – a history of Alexandra Palace and Park by Ken Gay. £3.00 (p & p 60p). Published by Hornsey Historical Society 1992. From HHS, The Old Schoolhouse, 136 Tottenham Lane, London N8 7EL.

The Building of Bradford Park by T & A Harper-Smith. £3.00 (p & p inc.) from 48 Perryn Road, London W3 7NA, 44pp illustrated.

The Story of Ealing Common by T & A Harper-Smith, £2.50 (p & p incl) obtainable from above, 3Opp illustrated.

Both books are part of the”Acton, Past and Present”Series.


We have recently returned from a week in Syria, the wealth of whose ancient remains is staggering. I will mention them chronologically. Earliest we saw was Ebla, where a great archive of the later 3rd millenium was found in 1974, and the mud brick buildings are quite well preserved. The second millenium produced Ugarit, with a rather confusing mass of wall-foundations. Then a neo-Hittite site called in Dara, with a gorgeous and beautifully preserved black lion, lying where it had been quarried, and enigmatic giant footprints in the floor of a temple. The Phoenician settlement of Amrit with a shrine in the centre of a sacred pool. Then the Seleucid city of Apamea, of enormous extent to judge by its walls.

Yes, I am coming to it. We had a day in Palmyra, deservedly renowned, and not just because of its celebrated Queen Zenobia. The existence of such an oasis in the desert is remarkable, but the extent of the remains and the quality and quantity of the distinctive sculpture, much more so. One of the tower tombs, and one of the hypogea, are well restored and displayed, with all those expensively dressed Palmyrenes looking impassively at us from their funerary banquets. How well, how very well, one can do out of trade, until an over-ambitious queen tries to take the Roman Empire on. The temple of Bel is halfway between decent, human-scale Greek temples and the elephantiasis of the Egyptians.

The Roman period also has a most impressive, but far from straight, stretch of road, Philippopolis, the birthplace of the Emperor Philip the Arab,(244-249) and, perhaps more amazing than Palmyra because less anticipated, Bosra with the best Roman theatre in the world, besides a massive reservoir, a ruined cathedral, gates, colonnades etc. The people of present-day Basra live all round, just as in nineteenth century Oriental prints. Then from the Christian period, several functioning, but rather musty, churches of the fifth century, and the very fine and extensive ruins of the Basilica of St Simeon, who stood on top of a pillar, whose base is still there, for thirty years until his death in 459.

Then the Ummayad mosque of Damascus, the most wholly admirable castle in the world, as T.E. Lawrence called it, of Crac des Chevaliers, the citadel of Aleppo, and its historic houses. Aleppo was an unexpected delight, a much more attractive city than Damascus. The collections in the museums of Damascus, Aleppo and Soweida are as impressive as you would imagine, though a guided tour is not the best way of seeing any museum, and there are also many fine collections of mosaics. The Syrian antiqui­ties department is to be congratulated on its maintenance and management of a heritage which is of enormous richness. It scarcely seemed to be doing it for the tourists, of whom there were very few about.



An original publication made at the Hague, Holland, in 1697 is abstrac­ted here from the “Monthly Mercury”, to illustrate the pleasure of noting such references.

“There has been a remarkable discovery lately made at CARHAIX in BRETAGNE. Carhaix is a small city in the Diocese of QUIMPER, seated upon the top of a little hill, and watered with the little RIVER YER, which gliding at the foot of the hill, by the suburb ROUG le BIZAN, waters a great number of meadows, that render the country very fertile pasturage, and fruitful in cattel (cattle?).

This city, though at present of a mean extent, was anciently one of the biggest and most considerable in Bretagne. It was plundered, and almost reduced to ashes by the English, in the year 1578, though the Counts of Bretagne made it the usual place of their residence. There are still to be seen ruins of an old castle; and the Ways that lead to the city still retain the names of the ancient streets. The Convent of the Austin Friars, which is very large, and very ancient, is a convincing proof that the place was formerly very considerable.

Near this City it was, that M. Estienne, a Burgess of the same place, and a person of very great understanding, having employed certain labourers to work in a garden which he had made near adjoining to the city, which is one of the most neat and curios pieces of workmanship in all those quarters, found a well, the entrance into which was closed up. But after he had caused it to be opened, and digged about two fathoms deep, the labourers met with a very fine Vault, well painted, and about eight foot wide, of a round figure, and between six and seven foot high. Upon which, digging on, they discovered a subterraneal passage which was arched, and about six foot broad, which seemed to lead a man very far, with an easie descent, that was hardly perceptible presently notice was given of this to

M. de la Raudiere Kaguideau, the Seneschal or Chief Magistrate of the city, who repairing to the place, with the most considerable of the inhabitants, sent for several wax candles, with which being lighted, he ordered several men to go into the said passage; but they had not gone above thirty or forty foot, before they observed a kind of descent, and that it was very cold. In short, all the lights went out; which obliged them to make use of lanthorns, wherein they put several lighted candles, by means of which they went on about fifty paces, still descending; and it was observed, that then the cold increased. The candles also went out in the lanthorns, and

they that were in the passage, found that they should all perish, if they went any farther, for they found themselves ready to swoon, so that they were forced to make bast back again. Which is the reason that it cannot yet be known whither this subterraneal passage leads, no body daring to venture any more. But this is proof, that formely the city was very large. However ’tis said, that new attempts will be made, in order to the making

of farther discoveries.”


Following Mr. Hyatt’s line of thought, let me draw this extraordinary Survey to the attention of those who have never poked about in it. A book for poking, not for wholesale assault. John Stow, Elizabethan historian, reflected that during his long life London had changed beyond recognition. How would people like us know what had been there if he and others did not tell us? He drew on his notes and those he had gathered carefully from others in 1598, to record all that he could.

See Stow hurrying after Roman cremation burials in Spitalfields, and after Roman finds in St. Paul’s Cathedral. His well-thumbed book is still a great source for the London excavations of today and yesterday.

As a bonus he gives us Walter Fitzstephen’s recollections of his London boyhood under Henry II. The old monk, companion of Becket, looked back on Sunday walks, classroom cockfights in school holidays, and the great takeaway restaurant on the bank of the Thames.


“The city of Bijanagar is such that the eye has not seen, nor ear heard of any place resembling it upon the whole earth.”

“What I saw….seemed to me as large as Rome, and verybeautiful to the sight … ”

So wrote visitors to Hampi in Karnataka, South West India, in the 15th and 16th centuries. Also known as Vijayanagar, the city was founded around 1336 as the capital of one of the largest and richest Hindu empires in history. Surrounded by seven lines of massive fortifications, Hampi and its satellites covered an area of 12 square miles and sheltered a population of half a million. It was reported to have a standing army of at least 90,000 men (rising to over 1,000,000 in times of war), 20,000 cavalry and 900 elephants. Its wealth derived from its monopoly of the spice and cotton trades, its bazaar was world-famous for its splendour. But all this came to a sudden end when, in 1565, the army was defeated by the Deccan Sultans and the city was ransacked and destroyed. Its popula­tion fled, and six months after the battle an Italian visitor found nothing but wild animals roaming its deserted streets.

Excavations were started in 1976 and around 500 monuments have so far been identified, most dating from the city’s golden age, the reign of Krishna Deva Raya (1509-29). Scattered widely over a partly barren, partly lushly-cultivated landscape, the atmospheric ruins are dominated by huge granite rocks. They require at least a day to visit, preferably two.

Although the civic buildings are largely in ruins, numerous temples survive, some dating as far back as the 9th century. The tallest is the Virupaksha temple (16th C) with its impressive, richly carved 9-storey “gopuram”. The temple complex is still in daily use, and is the focus of an annual Temple Car festival.

The Vijaya Vittala temple is one of only three in India designated as a World Heritage site. Its outstanding feature is its exterior pavilion known as the Hall of Musical Pillars. These slender columns produce three or four different musical notes when struck with the fingers, but it seems that their musical properties are due to the crystal structure of the stone, rather than to any skill on the part of the masons. In front of the temple stands a stone cart similar to the wooden carts still used in religious processions. Its wheels, also of stone, were designed to turn and so give the illusion of movement.

The Vijayanaga emperors fought bitter battles against their Muslim neighbours who had established supremacy in the Deccan; but by the mid-15th century Muslims were accepted at court and had taken service in the army. A mosque was built and Islamic architectural styles began to blend with those of the Hindus. This is evident in a number of buildings at Hampi, notably the Lotus Mahal, a small palace in the Queen’s Quarters, the layout and the lower storey of which are Hindu, the upper storey Islamic.

The imposing Elephant Stables also incorporate Islamic elements. This long rectangular building housed 10 elephants, each in its own vast compartment entered by a high arched doorway and topped by a dome.

Clearly also Islamic in style is the Queen’s Bath, an enclosed bathing pool fed by a channel surrounding the building which supplied constant running water. Balconies on each side of the interior overlook the pool. Regrettably this graceful building is being inexpertly restored with crudely applied concrete …

Built on the banks of a wide river, Hampi had no shortage of water and was famed for the sophistication of its waterworks. Aqueducts intersect the Royal Enclosure or Durbar area, supplying its extensive network of channels, wells and pools. The most fascinating of these is a stepped pool: like an inverted ziggurat, it descends in four steps to a depth of 20 feet, each stage decorated in turn with rows of small, upright stepped pyramids. Its precise geometric design and near-perfect state of preserva­tion (it was excavated only recently) make it hard to believe that it was constructed over 400 years ago.

Inside the Royal Enclosure is one of Hampi’s most impressive monuments, a massive granite and greenstone podium rising to a height of 75 feet. It is believed to have been topped by a wooden pavilion in which the ruler would have sat to receive homage and review parades involving thousands of people and animals. These parades are reflected in the carvings which cover every stone of its walls – horses, elephants, camels, soldiers, hunters, merchants, dancing girls forming a never-ending procession. It must have been a truly awe-inspiring sight – small wonder that a Portuguese visitor to Hampi in 1500 described the city as “a second paradise”.