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Volume 6 : 1995 – 1999

Newsletter-317-August-1997

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Newsletter-317-August-1997

No. 317                                                             AUGUST 1997                                 Edited by Peter Pickering

DIARY

Saturday 16 August Visiting Hertfordshire with Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor.

Moats, mills, lock-ups – and we trust, no hiccups. Visiting Reed, Anstey, Buntingford, Cottered, Cromer & Pirford. Booking form within. (Extra pick-up point).

September 4th to 7th Weekend in York

Friday 26th September Thomas Coram Foundation, WC1, and a morning walk with Mary O’Connell. (Please add this to your programme card)

NEWS OF MEMBERS

Alec Goldsmith is leaving our Society with regret. His initiation into HADAS was a very, very wet weekend on Hadrian’s Wall in 1974. But that did not deter him, and since then he rarely missed an outing or lecture. Some ill-health (and age) overtook him a year or so ago and he has decided to move to Dorchester to be nearer his sister. We miss him, and wish him well in his new home.

HADAS FIELDWORK – Back on the Heath

Our work on the Anglo-Saxon ditch on Hampstead Heath continues. We have completed the `—contour survey within the Kenwood area and are now using our new resistivity meter on an area where the ditch has disappeared, in order to trace its previous course.

Our main task then will be to produce an interim report on the above work supplemented by descriptions of the state of the ditch, photographs/drawings, locations of its boundary stones, and details of trees and vegetation alongside and within it. This latter task will require expert experience as the excavation team cannot tell a bramble from a blackthorn or a beech from a birch. Our contact at the Suburb weekend will be helpful, but are there any experts amongst our membership?

Our presence on the heath has provoked curiosity (and concern!) but much interest (and relief!) is shown when our purpose is explained. It would be helpful if more members could attend Sunday mornings to help on the publicity side if not on the survey side.

If you are interested please contact Brian Wrigley (959 5982) or Roy Walker (361 1350) for details of the days we are active.

—FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF (1)

An Archaeology of the Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms by C Arnold, has recently been fully revised – paperback £17.99, hardback £50.00.

 

Site Watching (1)                                                                                         by Tessa Smith

If you are walking in any of these areas please take a lively archaeological interest and report any “goings on”

Planning applications have been received regarding:-

Copthall Stadium to be demolished and a multi-sports stadium erected. Pottery and evidence of a possible Roman road have been found nearby by HADAS. English Heritage say that it warrants further consideration.

Brockley Hill Farm – west of Watling Street Extensions to the farm are planned to become a crematorium. Although it is out of our borough, we are still concerned as it is in the areas of the Roman potteries.

The Corner House – Stone Grove – Edgware. The Museum of London are watching this site, where extensions to the public house are being built, alongside Watling Street

Land between Belmont Riding Stables and St. Vincents – The Ridgeway NW7. Robert Whytehead of English Heritage considers that this application warrants further consideration as a mediaeval hamlet stood on the ridgeway – also, prehistoric finds have been made at Mill Hill School.

SITE WATCHING (2)                                                                                                              Bill Bass

HADAS will be observing the ground clearance and foundation trenches of a site at the ex ‘Wheels’ Parking Lot, Potters Lane, Barnet (junction of Potters Lane and the Great North Road). This is due to take place during the middle of August; would any volunteers contact me on 0181­449 0165.

Development of a site on land at the northern end of Barnet Gate Lane has been given a waiver of archaeological assessment/evaluation by English Heritage as it is unlikely to affect any archaeology in this area (none is known).

The vast Aldenham Works, latterly used to overhaul Routemaster buses has been demolished to make way for a business park. It was originally built to service the proposed tube extension from Edgware to Bushey Heath. When this was abandoned it was adapted for aircraft production especially Halifax bombers during the war, the overhead traverser cranes being particularly useful in their assembly. Used as a bus depot from 1955 it was closed in 1986.

BROUGHT TO BOOK IN THE SUBURB Roy Walker/Andy Simpson

Those who watched BBC1’s Omnibus on 7th July would have noticed the scenes filmed at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Weekend. We were there too – selling HADAS books. Our stall, initially, was not under cover but the rain held off until later in the day after we had moved into a nearby tented vacancy. Membership forms were distributed to those who showed interest in the Society’s activities, and a useful contact was made with the secretary of a Hampstead Heath ecology group who can advise us on the horticultural aspects of our ongoing Saxon ditch survey. Our books sales for the one day we were there totalled £60.60, and our presence resulted in a meeting with a local bookshop proprietor who subsequently purchased a selection of publications for resale in his Temple Fortune shop. In all, a worthwhile day, even though we just missed appearing on BBC1 – possibly a blessing! Many thanks go to Arthur Till for transporting our display to and from the Suburb and to Andy Simpson and Vikki O’Connor for manning the stall

FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF (2)

The latest volume of Hertfordshire Archaeology is now published. Copies are available from the Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust, The Seed Warehouse, Maidenhead Yard, The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PX. Cost 215.00, plus p&p £1.80.


PREHISTORIC SOCIETY STUDY TOUR IN THE NETHERLANDS June 1997 Brian Wrigley

This was a most interesting week, if at times a little strenuous – we never stopped at one hotel more than two nights! Our round trip started from Maastricht in the south-east, via Leiden (or should I spell it Leyden?) near the coast clockwise northwards to Assen then south to Nijmegen, and Leendert P Louwe Koolimans, our guide, was assiduous in explaining the varying geology of the areas we passed through. This gave a very good picture of the millennia-long contest between dry land and water partly from natural forces and partly from human activities; this has left many areas of past occupation in wet environments so that organic remains are preserved.

A good example of this is the terp, a man made mound for dwelling and cultivation (equals Dutch dorp, village – and English thorpe?). There are many of these in Friesland and Gronigen in the north. Terpen seem to have originated (6th or 5th centuries BC) by the building up of land in areas periodically inundated, and quite often animal dung was used in quantity which has made a useful preservative for archaeology! Examples go from Middle and Late Iron Age to the middle and late Middle Ages, and can show the distribution of dwellings/farms, and the laying out in plots of agricultural land. much impressive archaeological evidence of ancient land use patterns we were also told about at Weert and Someren in the south, where since 1990 large areas of the landscape (formerly mediaeval arable lands) have been surveyed by test excavations, yielding evidence of Early Iron Age urnfield ‘cemeteries’ and, in the area around, traces of dispersed Iron Age farmsteads – 13 at Weert, some 20 at Someren; and besides prehistory, both sites have traces of continuing occupation through Roman times on to the Middle Ages.

Indeed, we got an overall impression of the lack of any dividing line between ‘prehistoric’ and `Roman’ in the attitude of Dutch archaeologists, who have the evidence of the continuity of the way the native population carried on in the same way during Roman times. Some of us prehistoric enthusiasts were a little put out by the amount of Roman stuff we were shown in the areas of the Roman frontier (Limes was a word much used), but we began to realise the advantage of this non-divisive attitude in finding out the story of local communities. And we certainly got an impression of the local-community interest in archaeology, reflected in work being done by archaeological groups in partnership with local authorities – and at Oss, in the south, we were invited to the start of a dig where the local Mayor operated the mechanical digger

..„) open up the first trench at a site of numerous Bronze Age barrows! We were also welcomed by the mayor at Stein, where a boat Museum contains, in situ, a neolithic gallery grave which was the centre of a settlement of the early Neolithic (Bandkeramik), of which the ground-plans of many houses have been found.

Stone monuments are limited in Holland – there is not much rock about. However, in areas in the north, glacial erratics have been used to construct hunebedden, which are gallery-graves, 2 rows of upright stones with capstones across the top; they date from 3400 to 3000 BC and are related to the Neolithic TRB (Trichterband) culture of Schleswig-Holstein and southern Scandinavia. They have yielded quite a lot of grave goods and offerings (pottery, flint etc.) and burnt bone remains. We saw quite a number of these in our travels.

Another point of community interest was the extent of amateur work we were told about. A particular site we visited was the flint mine at Rijckholt, in south Limburg. Here there is what the Dutch call ‘a hill’ (they realised we should think this an exaggeration!) which has chalk below it with seams of flint – very reminiscent of Grimes’ Graves. Research has gone on here since last “century, and vertical shafts were discovered in the 1960s; however these could only be explored with the help of a group of amateur archaeologists who happened to have mining expertise, and this group tunnelled horizontally into the side of the slope, with the result that now there is a neat


Text Box: On 1st January the Greater London Record Office was renamed London Metropolitan Archives. Owned by the Corporation of London, the Archives now offer a greatly expanded range andconcreted passage, with apertures at the side giving a view along the ancient galleries and of the shafts that have been found. The mining experts were most impressed with the extremely safe and efficient mining techniques of their prehistoric predecessors.

Time and space prevent me from giving details of the many more sites we visited than the above few, but I hope this is enough to demonstrate the interest of this trip.

SOME SITES IN NORTH YORKSHIRE Peter Pickering

On a recent week in North Yorkshire with the Royal Archaeological Institute we visited Philip Rahtz’s excavation at St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale. The church is especially famous for a sundial (now hidden from the sun in a porch) with an Anglo-Saxon inscription recording its rebuilding by Orm son of Gomal between 1055 and 1065. Research on the church and area, including topographical and geophysical survey, documentary study, structural analysis and excavation, has been in progress since 1994, on behalf of the Helmsley Archaeological Society and the University of York, with some support from North Yorkshire County Council. Important finds include a piece of lead sheet with an Anglo-Saxon inscription of 8th-early 10th century date, and a tiny (6mm by 3mm) bead or fragment of glass with spiral yellow and white trails – “a very classy piece” according to Professor Rahtz, paralleled only from San Vincenzo in Italy; whether it was imported, or made locally it emphasised the importance of St Gregory’s Minster, very remote though it seems now. On our visit there was a 3m by 3m trench open at the foot of the tower; an empty stone sarcophagus had just been extracted from it, and besides bones (including three skulls which had been found facing east) there was a robber trench, probably of the church which Orm rebuilt, and perhaps traces of glass-making.

Also during the week – which was led by Brian Dix, who talked to HADAS recently about garden archaeology – we saw the Roman camps at Cawthorn, in the middle of a forest; when these camps were partially excavated in the 1920s, they were thought to form practice works – it is certainly odd to find adjacent a coffin-shaped camp enclosing some 2 hectares, a square one immediately to the west overlying its defences, and another to its east – the last one subsequently provided with an annex on its eastern side. But re-appraisal suggests that they were used by a permanent garrison up to about 120 AD. From the other end of the Roman occupation of Britain came the Signal Station on the edge of the cliff within the precincts of Scarborough Castle. Little survives of that, but English Heritage are thinking of constructing a replica nearby.

ARCHIVES

The British Library has recently published a report of the Newsplan project in the London and South eastern Library Region. Member Ann Kahn has drawn attention to a review of this in a recent number of Refer, the journal of the Library Association, which says “No-one should doubt the importance of Newsplan. Although many libraries have acted to preserve their local newspapers, Newsplan offers a co-operative solution, with cost-sharing opportunities, to some of the problems which local newspapers bring to libraries. It works through a two-stage programme in each region. The first stage is an audit of regional resources and preservation requirements and priorities, carried out with substantial financial support from the British Library. In the second stage, which the London and South Eastern Library Region project has now reached, the region’s libraries co-operate, with continuing support from the British Library, to achieve more preservation of local newspapers at less cost.

This volume provides, for the first time, a view of London and south-east England’s local newspapers as a regional resource and in a national context.  This is an indispensable tool for all local historians and researchers into aspects of local studies and a splendid role model for how reference books should be compiled.”


quality of service. There are some 31 miles of archives, books, maps, prints and photographs including a rich and varied collection of official and deposited London and Middlesex archives. The Archives are open to everyone five days a week (nearest stations Farringdon and Angel). There is access for people with limited mobility and parking bays are available for orange badge holders next to the building.

BROCKLEY HILL

The latest Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society includes an evaluation of the Roman Road at Brockley Hill. Members may recollect our own field walking and small excavation in that area in 1987. The Museum of London Archaeology Service dug fourteen archaeological evaluation trenches in February 1995 and had a watching brief subsequently. In six of the evaluation trenches adjacent to the modern road a Roman road with a ditch on the west side was found directly below the topsoil. Limited investigation showed that the road had been constructed on a bank of clay and gravel layers, and had undergone periodic maintenance as indicated by a number of successive road gravels and re-cutting of the ditch when it had silted up. Dating evidence confirmed the road was in use into the fourth century, Early Roman pottery was of the type produced at Brockley Hill and the Roman ceramic building material was of fabric types produced in kilns found alongside Roman Watling Street. The most significant find was a Roman folding knife.

BOXGROVE MAN

Members who went to Boxgrove in July 1995 or heard Simon Parfitt’s lecture last year may be interested to read “Fairweather Eden: Life in Britain Half a Million Years Ago as Revealed by the Excavations at Boxgrove” by Michael Pitts and Mark Roberts (Century, £17.99). A recent review of this in the New Scientist by Paul Bahn includes the following paragraph “Boxgrove’s other major contribution to our knowledge of early humans derives from its evidence for butchery and hunting. Cuts on animal bones were first noticed here in 1986. Gradually archaeologists discovered them on the remains of many more large animals, indicating the systematic and skilful removal of muscle from creatures such as a horse and a rhino. Moreover, any marks of carnivore teeth on the bones occur on top of the cut marks, proving that the humans were there first. Finally, a horse’s shoulder blade displays part of a circular perforation which pathologist Bernard Knight found to be consistent with a blow from a thrown spear these early humans were hunters of large, fit, mature animals. They also carried out the butchery of the carcasses in an unhurried, efficient and cooperative manner.”

MINOAN WALL PAINTINGS

Professor Doumas of the University of Athens gave a lecture recently in the Institute of Archaeology on the wall-paintings of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Thera or Santorini. These wall-paintings, in mineral colours, and lacking green, were preserved by a volcanic eruption in the middle of the second millennium BC. They come from private houses – presumably from the wealthiest part of the ancient city – and have a great variety of themes – a frieze of a naval expedition, showing its various ports of call; youths holding fish; women gathering saffron; two youths boxing; a woman in obvious pain from a cut to her toe; flowers of various sorts, aquatic birds, dragonflies, and decorative patterns. The style owed something to Egypt and the near east, but Professor Doumas emphasised the European nature of the art. He interpreted several of the scenes with figures as of initiation into adulthood, since heads seemed to be shaven. It was with sadness that the audience learnt at the end of the lecture that there was no point in rushing straight to Heathrow for a plane to Santorini, since the paintings are not yet on display.

Enfield Archaeological Society’s chairman, Geoffrey Gillam, was apparently ‘trampled in, the rush’ of volunteers offering to assist with their society’s activities. Geoffrey – what’s the secret?!!


JUBILEES

It is 100 years since Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and twenty years since HADAS published “Victorian Jubilees”, edited by Ted Sammes, in the year of our present Queen’s Silver , Jubilee. It is evocative to read of the celebrations – church services, dinners, teas, sports, processions (in some places these put off for a couple of days and then spoiled by rain); and of the projects – two parks, a cottage hospital, and the refurbishment of the Campe almshouses in Friern Barnet Lane. Members who do not have a copy of this booklet can get one at the genuine bargain price of £1 including postage and packing (50p at meetings) from Roy Walker (2a Dene Road, N11 1 ES).

EXHIBITIONS

The Islington Museum Gallery, 268 Upper Street, N1, has an Exhibition: Your Museum: Present schemes and future dreams’ from 6 – 31 August. The gallery is run by the Islington Museum Trust, an independent charity whose aim is to establish a permanent museum located in the Town Hall, Upper Street, which would house and display their collections. The Trust has three support schemes: the Business Friends; Patrons; Friends of the Museum, and they are currently working on a lottery bid. This exhibition offers the chance to view part of their collection, learn their future plans and visit the proposed site. Opening hours are: Wed – Fri 11am – 5pm; Saturday 11am – 5pm; Sunday 2pm – 4pm, Admission free. —

The Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, has an exhibition this month entitled “Made in Heaven”; some 400 wedding photographs selected from a unique private collection. The Museum is closed on Fridays and Sunday mornings.

A DAY-SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER

A day-school “Treasures from the Grave: Latest spectacular Discoveries at Colchester and St Albans” is to be held at The Lecture Room, Colchester Castle, Colchester on Saturday 27th September from 11.00 am to 4.45pm. Fee £16 (£12 concessionary) Speakers are Philip Crummy, Director of Excavations, Colchester Archaeological Trust, and Rosalind Nisbett of St Albans Planning and Heritage Department, St Albans District Council. For more details and tickets send to: The Centre for Continuing Education, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, C04 3SQ). (tel 01206 872519). Cheques payable to ‘University of Essex’.

A CONFERENCE IN DECEMBER

SCOLA (the Standing Conference on London Archaeology) has decided that it would be timely to revisit and expand “The Future of London’s Past”, that seminal document published almost twenty-five years ago. A conference, with Martin Biddle and Peter Addyman among the speakers, is therefore being arranged for Saturday 6th December in the Museum of London. It will cost £7.50 (£6 for members of SCOLA) to include tea and coffee.

This month’s editor is the Assistant Secretary of SCOLA, and if you will send him (P E Pickering, 3 Westbury Road London N12 7NY) a cheque payable to SCOLA he will send you tickets.

(A stamped addressed envelope would be helpful)

Newsletter-313-April-1997

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments

Newsletter-313-April-1997

No. 313 Edited by Liz Sagues                                                   APRIL 1997

Diary

Tuesday April 8: Lecture: Claude Grahame-White and Hendon Aerodrome, by Bill Firth. Bill is a HADAS member and for many years has fought hard to have some of the Aerodrome’s original                                                                   buildings retained. Flying began at Hendon in 1910, when Claude         Grahame-White purchased the field and established a flying school. Grahame-White, Engand’s first certificated pilot, is one of the unsung pioneers of aviation, and among his innovations were navigation methods which proved, for the time, entirely practical — he advised following railway lines and dropping low to read the station names! Between the wars, he even persuaded the railway companies to paint the stations’ names on their roofs! In 1911 the first official Air Mail was flown from Hendon to Windsor. Come to the lecture and learn more…

Tuesday May 13: Morning tour of the Garrick Club, with Mary O’Connell. 

Tuesday May 13: Annual General Meeting. Attractions beyond the boring business are planned:

 

Bill Firth’s lecture and the AGM are in the Drawing Room (ground floor) at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3, starting at 8pm for 8.30pm. Members can also take the opportunity to visit the HADAS library. 

Saturday June 7: Outing to Chedworth Roman Villa and Cirencester.

September 4 – 7: Weekend in York. We are fully booked for this, with a short waiting list. Members are welcome to add their names to this list if they wish.


News of members

Among the welcome rush of membership renewals was a note from Louise de Launay, widow of Jules, who left Edgware in 1977 and in recent months moved to just outside Canterbury from whence she sends her best wishes to HADAS. We reciprocate with just a tinge of envy as she describes her sur­roundings in glowing terms — the magnolia and fruit trees, nearby river and birdlife…

Helen Gordon is now back home from hospital and recovering after a third fall. She has broken a shoulder, one hip and then the other — there can’t be too many more bones left to break. Seriously, though, we wish her all the very best ‘and hope she will be mobile soon.

Ted Sammes is getting stronger and is taking part in a few local archaeological meetings and events when friends can give him a lift.

Victor Jones is also progressing and can now do his own shopping with the aid of an ingenious three-wheeled support which he can steer and brake. Believe it or not, he has started driving again.

Miss Sheldon (Shelley) moved away several years ago but will be remembered by many members for her happy disposition on nearly all our outings and lectures. She is a great age now but still writes interesting letters to Renata Feldman, sometimes with suggestions for HADAS outings.

Julius Baker, probably our most senior member —in his 90th year — should be in the Guinness Book of Records. He is an energetic participant at lectures and on outings, and is at present on a three-month trip to Africa. He was born in South Africa, and now after many years exile in England he has re­turned to his native continent to see many places he has never visited.

Flying to Johannesburg, he is going on to the Okavango delta and anticipates paddling a boat down the streams. Then it’s on to Chobe, Angola and Botswana. Etopsha, north of Namibia, is a wet area swarming with birds and wild animals. In the desert sands of Namibia and Angola he will see the tallest sand dunes in the world and large canyons second only to the American Grand Canyon. Basutoland and Swaziland are also on his itinerary, then he will go down to the Cape coast where the largest diamond deposits are mined.

We admire his enthusiasm and look forward to his safe return in time for our own archaeological excursions in the summer.


Following in the footsteps of the late Brigid Grafton Green, whose contributions to HADAS and to pre­serving and promoting the history of Hampstead Garden Suburb will be ever remembered, another HADAS member, Ann Saunders, has become chair- man of the Suburb Archive Trust. Harry Cobb, CBE, has taken on the duties of archivist.

The Trust was founded in 1979 to collect and preserve documents and other items relating to the history of the Suburb. Since then it has built up an extensive and valuable collection of material and objects, much of which has been transferred to the Greater London Record Office for professional con­servation, protection and cataloguing. The Trust will retain ownership of, and control over, the material, which will be available either in original form or copy for display on special occasions on the Suburb and elsewhere.

The Archive Trust remains committed to its original task, and invites Suburb residents and oth­ers to contribute, or make available for copying, relevant material. The Trust has a limited budget and gratefully receives gifts of books, etc, connected with the Suburb’s history and architecture.

Enquiries, addressed to The Institute, Central Square, NW11, will receive careful attention.

The great outdoors

There may just still be time to catch the spring exhi­bition at Church Farmhouse Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon. “Hidden places and secret spaces in Barnet” is the theme of Our Suburban Countryside, which runs until April 6. Information has been drawn from the surprisingly large number of local organisations with interests in the countryside to provide details of walks, trails, nature reserves, bird-watching and other more esoteric activities such as bat-counting.

Coming next at the museum is The Splendour of Heraldry, a display put together by the North East Middlesex Heraldry Society. If you thought her­aldry concerned only those whose names are in Debrett’s, this exhibition — which takes in pub signs and company logos as well as more formal armorial bearings — should be a revelation. For more details, ring the museum on 0181-203 0130.

Back in order

Numerate members will have spotted that this News­letter and its predecessor do not carry successive numbers. We’ve skipped over No. 312. The reason is — as those same members no doubt also noticed —that two issues appeared last summer with the same number, and we’re now putting the sequence right.

To those members who added a little extra to their fee this year, thank you (on behalf of all).

Our total membership for 96/ 97 passed the 300 mark, and we welcome those who have joined since Christmas — Robert and Eveleen Wright, Pauline Plant and Susan Whitford.

We would very much like to hear from mem­bers pursuing research of any type for, possibly, a new item or short article in the Newsletter, or purely for information should other members be involved in a similar project.

By the way, Andy Simpson’s publication of the cartoon of an irate female, together with a warning about getting your renewals in, appears to have worked! So I’ve hung up the ceremonial sword for another 12 months. On the other hand, if we don’t see a good attendance at lectures, it can always come vs” down again.

Vikki (don’t call me Salome) O’Connor

Newsletter hiccups

Even the impeccably efficient Dorothy Newbury is a victim of printing and other gremlins occasionally. So she offers her apologies to the member whose Newsletter had two blank pages, and another whose envelope failed to contain the promised 1997 pro­gramme card. Anyone suffering similar problems should ring Dorothy (0181-203 0950) and matters will be promptly put right.

A commemorative role …

Wanted: a member with time on his or her hands to update the HADAS publication Blue Plaques in Barnet. A list of the additions has already been made, with details. Some need a black and white picture to accompany the text. If necessary, there is a member who could help with the photography. If you’re interested and don’t have a copy of Blue Plaques, one can be supplied for your guidance. Any­one willing to volunteer should phone Dorothy Newbury on 0181-203 0950.

Janet Faraday

Janet Faraday, a very long-standing member and a regular at lectures, outings and Christmas dinners, died on March 11 at the Royal Free Hospital. Al­though she had been receiving medical treatment for a year or so she entered hospital only a few days before her death. We shall all miss her happy, friendly, helpful disposition. She was a descendant of pioneer electrical engineer Michael Faraday (pictured on the £20 note) and arranged a HADAS visit to the Royal Institution last year in commemo­ration of her illustrious relative.

Sacred sites, ancient on modern

Andy Simpson reports on the February lecture, A History of Hertfordshire


An audience of some 30 members enjoyed a typically entertaining Tony Rook presentation and took the opportunity to browse through some of Tony’s ex­cellent publications. Indeed, these notes are based in part on one of his Nutshell Notebook series — a splendid 50p-worth if ever there was one, covering the salient points of the lecture and illustrated with maps.

Tony, of course, excavated the Roman bath­house now displayed under the Al at Welwyn visited in the past by HADAS — and after describing himself as “archaeology’s foremost fornacator” (a bath-house slave) launched into his lecture, with his motto “entertain, amuse, inform” to the fore. This he certainly did.

For much of its history Hertfordshire was a place that grew things for use elsewhere or provided services for people travelling through. Tony pointed out how radial routes to London cut the county north-south. Moving east-west across it was much harder. County Council meetings used to be held in London as it was the easiest place for everyone to get to!

Until very recently Hertfordshire was entirely agricultural. Earliest occupation had been on the chalk uplands, with the heavy, forested clay low­lands mainly in the south of the county cleared and ploughed only in the Iron Age. London breweries were once supplied by malt grown in the “cham­pagne country” of southern Hertfordshire.

The county’s early occupiers are represented by Britain’s easternmost long barrow, at Royston Therfield Heath, this religious monument of pre-

historic times now surviving on a “sacred site” of the modern age —a golf course. The county also has many ring-ditched barrows, frequently ploughed out. The Iron Age Belgae had a fortified place — a 120-acre plateau fort — at Wheathampstead, where Caesar may have fought Cassivellaunus in 54BC, with a boundary ditch to the north of their territory 100 feet across and 30 feet deep even today. After 43BC the Belgae spread their settlement to the gravel plateaux, represented by Tony’s effort with his Nikon, “2,000 years at f22”, to photograph the Iron

Age Welwyn Garden City (aka Butser). There are 15 Iron Age farms known in Welwyn — as always, Tony remarked, distribution maps plot active ar­chaeologists!

Then came the Romans: “with poor steering gear on their chariots, hence the straight roads”. Most villas were on the light, chalky soils around Verulamium, with parts of the county not cultivated until the Dark Ages. A slide of a reconstructed settlement from that period illustrated the “bio­degradable Saxons” with their timber and thatch leaving little evidence. The 1086 Domesday survey, however, provides a snapshot of late Saxon Hert­fordshire, with an explosion of settlement in the north east of the county, quite empty in Roman times.

The Normans imposed control with castles such as Berkhamsted, while south of St Albans many stretches of forest took over previously cultivated ground. After the Black Death, wages and rent replaced feudal dues. Later, the first-ever toll road was built in Hertfordshire, with Rodwell having the first turnpike stretch. Most roads remained as radial routes. The Reading road was known as the “gout track” as sufferers headed for the healing waters of Bath.

The first canal, the New River, took drinking water—not boats—from Amwell Spring to London in the 17th century. The Grand Union (later Grand Junction) Canal and, from 1838, the London to Bir­mingham Railway, brought the industrial revolu­tion to the west of the county first. The mills and maltings have all now gone or have been converted into desirable commuter homes. The 19th century saw women attain financial independence as straw hat-makers, earning more than their agricultural labourer menfolk. Later Ebenezer Howard sug­gested bringing housing and industry together in Garden Cities such as Letchworth and Welwyn to avoid commuting. Post-war, the Government in­troduced new towns such as Stevenage.

All in all this was a fascinating and enjoyable lecture — Tony certainly did “entertain, amuse, inform”.

Whither archaeology in the 21st century?

Sheila Woodward, HADAS representative on the CBA, reports on a crucial discussion


At the Winter General Meeting of the Council for British Archaeology, held in York on February 2.7, there was a wide-ranging discussion on British ar­chaeology’s future and what the CBA should be doing to publicise its needs. It is difficult to summa­rise such a lengthy and comprehensive debate (a full report will be published by the CBA in due course) but the matters discussed were grouped under five main headings.

National policy and sustainability

There was considerable criticism of lack of co­ordination and consequent variation of standards of facilities, expertise and funding between different areas. Growing archiving problems must also be tackled.

Quality of work being done

Archaeology still lacks adequate status. The growing commercialisation (competitive tendering) can result in excavation by teams with good techni­cal skills but a lack of local knowledge. The increas­ing range of technologies is complicating training. There was also criticism of the lack of monitoring of excavations, and of the whimsicality of Lottery funding!

Attenuation of local government archive services Local government reorganisation has often proved disastrous for archaeology, and the importance of “educating” local councillors was stressed. The future of archaeology in universities

There was some difference of opinion about the content of university archaeology courses as many students do not intend to become practical excavators.

Public participation and communication

These were recognised as increasingly impor­tant and could be valuable assets in improving the status of archaeology.

There was some criticism of the general tone of the debate as being too pessimistic and failing to appreciate the enormous improvements achieved in recent years. The final resolution accepted that criticism.

The wording of the resolution, passed in great haste as time had run out, was amended so often that I cannot transcribe it accurately! However, the gist of it was that, while recognising the large ad­vances made in archaeology in the last 30 years and welcoming the prospects offered by new sources of funding, the Council must press for increased visibility of the subject, draw public attention to threats, refocus the understanding of the needs for studying the subject, and seek to re-establish a common sense of purpose within the discipline.

A window on Victorian attitudes to philanthropy


HADAS member Douglas Morgan has moved south in his study of great stained glass windows. Follow­ing his monograph Windows on Crathie (the Deeside church where Queen Victoria was a frequent wor­shipper), reviewed in the March 1995 Newsletter, comes Great West Window, a study — with fine coloured illustrations — of the Victorian west win­dow in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge.

Douglas Morgan explains that the west window had been included in the original Tudor plan for stained glass throughout the chapel, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. But for some reason — and debate still rages over quite what that reason was — work stopped short, and plain glass was inserted instead.

Even when the offer of a 19th century benefac­tor Francis Edmund Stacey, a former Fellow of the college, to complete what had been intended was accepted, realisation of his generosity was no simple or easy matter. There was the question of the initial design, on “a triumphant hymn of praise”, by the respected firm of Clayton and Bell. The Provost and Fellows of King’s found it too modern, incorporating events which post-dated the Bible.

Even the replacement design, on Stacey’s origi­nal favoured theme of the Last Judgement, had its problems— nudity among the condemned souls was disapproved of, and was the Archangel not over­armed? Finally, after revisions, it was approved, but the disputes and delays carried on, particularly as a result of Clayton and Bell’s request to display the window, before installing it in Cambridge, at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.

The detailed story of all this makes intriguing reading, and opens its own window on the complica­tions of Victorian philanthropy — not a million miles away from those which surround today’s Lottery benefactions.

Great West Window is offered to HADAS members at the special price of £2, plus 75p post and packing. Cheques to Arabesque Publications, 12 Wildwood Grove, NW3 71111 (0181-455 3513).Happy birthday, Hampstead’s saviours


April 7 1897 was an important day for local history in North London. It saw the formation of the Hampstead Heath Protection Society (now the Heath and Old Hampstead Society) and marked the begin­ning of a magnificent, continuing effort to protect, preserve and enhance a very special part of North London.

Since that day the society has extended its pro­tective role beyond the boundaries of the Heath —now four times its original area, largely thanks to the society — to cover Hampstead Town (“Village” is a description applied by newcomers!) and has dedi­cated enormous effort to save the area from sacrifice to the god car, to fight ugly and unneeded develop­ment, to support useful shops, to restore appropriate street furniture and generally to keep Hampstead and the Heath the way everyone loves them.

A programme of events is under way to celebrate the birthday, with highlights including exhibitions at Burgh House (now on) and Kenwood (opening in June), lectures and concerts. And in September the restoration of the Chalybeate Well in Well Walk— one of the famous wells of Hampstead, which brought the Town its initial repute — will be marked by a ceremony in honour of Christopher Wade, Hampstead’s best-known local historian, founder with his late wife Diana of Hampstead Museum, and for many years a HADAS member.

The centenary is being marked, too, by pub­lication of a book, A Constant Vigil, which features selections from 100 years of the society’s annual reports, a fascinating insight into the issues which have made the headlines in Hampstead. Proceeds from sales of the book will help the society continue its work. Copies cost £9.95 from Burgh House or local bookshops.



There was industrial activity on Hampstead Heath after mesolithic man’s tool-making —brick-making in the 19th century. In this article, reproduced from the Heath and Old Hampstead Society’s Newsletter, geologist Eric Robinson explains where and why.

A source of bricks for building the terraces

It. may be difficult to believe that between 1866 and the end of the century there was an extensive brickfield on the west side of the Heath, stretching from the Viaduct down the valley of the Hampstead Ponds. It was an enterprise generated by Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson to allow John Culverhouse, a local builder, to make the bricks needed for the extended terraces of the Village.

Geologically, the ground of the brickfield was underlain by London Clay overlain by silts and clays of the Claygate Beds. Together they make an excel­lent blend of materials for brick-making. When fresh and unweathered, London Clay is rich in iron pyrites (sulphide) which changes to sulphate on exposure to air. Sulphate takes the form of crystals of gypsum—liable to cause bricks to burst when they are fired in a kiln.

On the Heath, the clay was dug by hand, and cut from terraces notching the hillslopes below the Viaduct. It was then left to be washed by rain to flush out the gypsum. Then it could be blended with the fine silts of the Claygate Beds together with the brickearth (wind-blown silt from the top surface of the Heath).

Many of the bricks were fired in very simple kilns. if the wind was in the east, the reek of sulphur smoke must have hung heavily over Hampstead.

The product was a yellowish stock brick. The outer bricks of the kiln often fused together to form dis­torted blocks with glazed surfaces which we often see in garden walls in Hampstead.A well-known photograph of 1880 makes it clear that clay was cut over both sides of the valley (really the headwaters of the River Fleet) at the height of the workings. It would be difficult to identify the area in the present landscape. The benches and terraces have been levelled; the football field occupies the uppermost level. Elsewhere, the thick and tangled vegetation of the valley above the Mixed Bathing Pond and again towards the Vale of Health may indicate deep disturbance of the ground. Like the sand-pits of Sandy Heath and the Spaniards Road, the disappearance of the brickfield is evidence of the speed with which nature colonises open space and broken ground. Ecologically, this is an area of the Heath given over to invasive species.


Neighbourly happenings

· Next lecture in the Barnet and District Local History Society programme is Sir John Soane and His Collection, by Helen Dorey. The amazing “cabinet of curiosities” put together by Sir John, architect of the Bank of England and other notable buildings, is preserved for the nation by the Act of Parliament he instigated, and can be seen at his home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields — one of the most fascinating small museums in London. The lecture is in the Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Staplyton Road, Barnet, at 7.45 for 8pm.

· Enfield Archaeological Society holds its AGM on April 18, with reports of fieldwork and research following the business. The meeting is at Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane, Enfield, 8pm. Visitors are asked to contribute 50p.

· Industrial Archaeology, described by John Boyes, will be the subject of the Finchley Society’s April meeting, on the 24th. The location is the same as for HADAS meetings — the Drawing Room at Avenue House — and the start time is 7.45pm.

Calling all juniors

Junior members are invited by the British Museum to attend its Archaeological Open Day on April 23. The subject is Archaeology in the Near East, and the day which is free — is intended for sixth formers and interested year 11 students. It offers an intro­duction to the archaeology of Mesopotamia and Western Asia in general. There will be lectures, workshops and gallery visits, plus presentations by universities offering degree courses in Near Eastern archaeology. For tickets, apply to the British Museum Education Service, London WC1B 3LA (0171-323 8511/8854).

What the papers say…

“Archaeologists have located the site of the ‘forgot­ten battle of 1066.” The battle for London, almost three months after William’s victory at Hastings, is thought to have been fought just within the walls of the Roman city, at the junction of Cheapside and the Folkmoot, a meeting place long buried under the northern edge of St Paul’s Cathedral. (Sunday Times)

“The fossilised skeleton of an carnivorous amphib­ian dating from the Triassic Period has been hailed by palaeontologists as one of the most significant finds in Australia this century.” The fossil, of a fearsome creature more than 6ft long and equipped with enormous teeth, has been dated at 220 million years old, about 10 million years older than the earli­est dinosaur. (Daily Telegraph)

“The Mildenhall treasure, a magnificent hoard of Roman silver plate supposedly dug up 50 years ago in East Anglia, may have been illegally imported by American troops immediately afterthe second world war.” Dr Paul Ashbee, formerly a lecturer in arch­aeology at the University of East Anglia, suggests it may have been looted by American troops in Europe, flown to the Mildenhall airbase, passed to a local antiquities dealer and declared to the authorities only under pressure, the dealer claiming to have dug it up locally. Dr Ashbee claims British Museum curators knew of the treasure’s doubtful provenance, but were unable to question it to for fear of instigating a diplo­matic row and risking their jobs. (Sunday Times)

“Two-thousand-year old graves containing daggers and long swords may be proof that the legendary women warriors, the Amazons, existed on the Russian steppes.” The archaeologists’ find fits with the location and date of Herodotus’s identification of the Amazons. (The Independent)


Notice of AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the society will be held at 8.30pm on Tuesday May 13, 1997 at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3. Coffee will be available from 8pm.

Nominations for officers and members of the committee must be submitted to me on the nomination form below, to reach me no later than May 6, 1997. The consent of your nominee(s) must be obtained in writing before submitting their name(s).

Resolutions submitted by members for consideration at the AGM must be received by me not later than April 22, 1997.


The ‘traitor’ who found sanctuary in Mill Hill


HADAS is grateful to the Mill Hill Historical Society for permission to publish this article, which appeared in one of its recent newsletters, It concerns one of the area’s earliest links with America — though not the very first, which was through the friendship of botanist Peter Collinson with Benjamin Franklin and another botanist, John Bartram, like Franklin a resident of Philadelphia.

When the War of Independence broke out in 1775 three brothers who held large landed estates in York County, Pennsylvania, sided with the loyalists, sup­porting the British. When a year later independence was achieved they found themselves held to be traitors. All had their property confiscated. William Rankin, a colonel, was arrested and imprisoned in York jail, from which he escaped and fled to Eng­land, as did his other brother.

A few weeks before the Declaration of Inde­pendence in 1776 the third brother, James Rankin, aged 45, had been elected to the Pennsylvania As­sembly. Now he was accused of misrepresenting and insulting the Whig Committee of York County. Though he is said to have confessed, asked forgive­ness, and promised to behave as a good citizen, he too was deprived of his property and fled to New York. There he served as chairman of the Board of Refugees which dealt with the large numbers then emigrating from America to Canada and to this country.

When James Rankin himself crossed to England we do not know, but in 1787 he came to live in Mill Hill. Perhaps he had met his neighbour Michael Collinson, Peter’s son, who is said to have strongly condemned the “unnatural ingratitude of America”. Despite his losses he must still have been a man of means, for he purchased the substan­tial residence of Littleberries on the Ridgeway with the neighbouring house of Jeannettes, with a total estate of 22 acres. He would seem to have let Littleberries soon afterwards to Thomas Kerr, while he lived with his wife Ann in Jeannettes.

For the year 1793 Rankin took the office of an Overseer of the Poor for Hendon and it is interesting to note that in that year £3 18s Vzd was spent on repairing the windows, roof, floors and plaster of the almshouses at the top of Milespit Hill.

While James Rankin was in Mill Hill a small part of his estate in America was restored to a son and daughter, and it is said that the British Government compensated the brothers for their losses. James Rankin died in 1803, aged 72, but his widow continued to live in Jeannettes for another 27 years, dying there at the age of 83 in 1830. They were both buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Hendon.

• Mill Hill Historical Society member Wendy Davis has produced a poster illustrating the door­ways of all the listed buildings in Mill Hill. Copies are available from her at 41 Victoria Road, NW7 4BA (0181-959 7126) for £3.90 plus postage.

Newsletter-290-May-1995

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments

Newsletter-290-May-1995

No. 290 MAY 1995                     EDITED BY ANN KAHN
DIARY
REMEMBER: meetings venue for 1995 – Stephenson Room (1st floor)
Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley N3, starting at 8pm for 8.30pm.
Tuesday May 2 – 8pm  for 8.30pm, HADAS Annual General Meeting
After the meeting Vice President Ted Sammes, FSA will give a talk with slides on “Windmills”. (Members with photographs of HADAS outings or digs over the past year could bring them for others to see before the meeting).
Tuesday May 15. Evening Tour and Supper at the House of Commons with John Marshall, M.P.
Tickets enclosed with this Newsletter. Please bring the ticket with you entrance by ticket only.
Saturday June 17. Outing – Malmesbury, Yatesbury and Avebury
with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins
Saturday July 15. Outing – Colchester with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward Saturday August 19. Outing – Silchester with Bill Bass and Vicki O’Connor
OUTING TO MALMESBURY, YATESBURY AND AVEBURY Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins
We are looking forward to our first outing of the year which will be on Saturday 17th June. Our annual programme entitles it as “Malmesbury and Compton Bassett” but we learnt from the excellent lecture in March that the Institute of Archaeology dig is now at YATESBURY (a mile or so from Compton Bassett).
On 17th June we will visit Yatesbury first, where one of the archaeological teams will explain the forthcoming excavation of the village site. He will then accompany us to Avebury where he will give us a guided tour explaining new interpretations. In the afternoon we visit Malmesbury to see the ancient Abbey and town. The countryside is lovely and we are sure you will enjoy this outing. (Application forms will be with the June Newsletter).
THE HOME FRONT IN BARNET IN WORLD WAR II: an exhibition at Church Farm Museum
(3 May – 3 September 1995) Gerrard Roots
The Church Farm’s exhibition – with sections on the Home Guard, the emergency services, rationing, ‘make do and mend’, schools, industry, entertainment etc., and with a reconstructed kitchen and Anderson shelter – will show how people in our area coped with day-to-day effect of ‘the war to save democracy’.
17th CENTURY SLIPPPERS FOUND IN CUPBOARD
A pair of satin, chisel-toed backless gentlemen’s slippers, known as mules, fetched nearly £14, 375. 00 at auction recently. They were highly fashionable in the 17thc but only en extremely wealthy person could have afforded them,
(Daily Mail 17.2.1995. Extract).
From its title “Excavation at Folly Lane, St Albans”, combined with the information that this was a pre-development evaluation of an allotment site to see whether or not any of the well-known local Roman and Late Iron Age remains extended to it, the lecture by Simon West could have been boringly negative. But in fact,of course, it was fascinating, as the dig itself must have been to those engaged on it. What was revealed was a most important and informative native British mortuary site dating from 30-50 AD of a local dignitary (warrior, chief, king?).
Simon’s down-to-earth, factual account took us through a survey of the area, an account of the techniques used, including ground-probing radar and a kite-flown aerial camera (which did not seem to arouse much enthusiasm amongst camera-owning members!), and the progress of interpretation as digging went on. After an Iron Age ditch with some burials, the large rectangular feature began to reveal itself and not surprisingly was first thought to be a Roman fort. Then, however, there were discovered a rectangular palisade ditch within the large enclosure, and within that a cremation burial beside a pit in which were (fortunately surviving) signs and remains of ground beams of a wooden mortuary building. This appeared to have been deliberately destroyed, and there were some postholes around which possibly were revetting for a mound over the demolished structure.
Most of the grave goods had been subject to burning, and it seems that, after a ‘lying in state’ in the wooden building, the body had been taken to a funeral pyre, with goods, and then interred with them. These included a quantity of silver which had been reduced by burning to ‘droplet’ form, and other metal artefacts including horse harness and a chainmail coat. The pottery (?remains of funeral feast) mostly dated to 30-50 AD.
It seems that after the cremation and interment, the mortuary building was destroyed, and possibly a mound built over but the site continued to be respected as later burials in the area indicate, and, as Simon put it, “the Romans came, recognised this site as important, and then we get a temple”, the evidence for which was found.
From the available evidence, a reconstruction was made of the probable form of the wooden mortuary building, and comparisons with other sites in the UK and Europe have shown very similar reconstructions independently made. The uniqueness of this site, however, is in its being the largest enclosure round a mortuary building known in Britain.
The evidence of human activity on site runs from Late Neolithic and Bronze Age flints to a Home Guard gun-pit of 1940 – so it would have been worth the investigation even without the mortuary discovery; but its great importance is without doubt the light it throws on pre-Roman native (Celtic? Belgic?) culture of a period in Britain which often seems to suffer from being a kind of no-man’s-land between the archaeological sub-disciplines of Iron Age prehistory on the one hand and Roman history on the other. It gives us a picture so different from that of Caesar and other historians, of the Ancient British Europhobes of their day, bodies painted with true-blue woad, shaking their spears in defiance of interference with British sovereignty by some European political union
LAMAS Conference Bill Bass
This was the 32nd Annual Conference of London Archaeologists, held at the Museum of London 18/3/95. There were nine speakers on recent archaeology in London.
Those members who attended the HADAS lecture on Compton Basset would have seen a preview of the exhibition boards which farmed our stand at the conference. Themes this year consisted of research, site watching, forthcoming digs, also publicising of the societies lecture, outing and newsletter programme.
First lecture was by Mark Birley of MoLAS who spoke about a site at Cranfield Lane, Hillingdon. Here the plan of a mid Neolithic structure was recovered, this rare find measured 8 x 6.5m with associated pits (3), worn flint artifacts and pottery dating from 4000-3200. A reinforced post line may
have formed a second structure. Nearby evidence existed of a Bronze-age settlement with four circular huts, cooking pit, grain storage buildings and Deverel-Rimbury pottery. The settlements were surrounded by a pattern of field systems, later, differences such as the use of wells rather than sumps and much more use of pottery signalled changes, the field systems began to break down. In the 3rd and 4thC there was Romano-British occupation of a stock enclosure.
Phil Andrews (Wessex Archaeology) dealt with two areas: Prospect Park, Middlx, and Hurst Park, Surrey. The former, north of Heathrow had Neolithic slots, hollows, post-holes and Grooved ware pottery, perhaps associated with a possible long-barrow ditch. The Bronze-age reached here too, as seen by cremations and buildings. Later there are remains of Saxon grubenhauser and halls, one maybe with an apsed end.
Mark Roberts (Oxford Unit) carried out an evaluation at Harefield Road, Uxbridge finding middle Bronze-age ditches and post-holes. This lead to a full excavation
which revealed many more post-holes, so many in fact it was impossible to discern any pattern to them. Together with Iron-age and Roman period material there may have been a boundary bordering the settlement for perhaps a thousand years.
Over at Stratford the Jubilee Line Extension Project has been keeping archaeologists busy. David Wilkinson spoke on Stratford Market Depot, West Ham, this was an excavation on land previously occupied by extensive railway sidings and a fruit & veg market.
Digging has defined an Iron-age and Roman settlement which covers at least one hectare (21/2 acres) on the east bank of Channelsea River. Pits, ditches, gullies and burials were found, a nearby building was dated to approx mid Iron-age by pottery found in the pits. An unusual feature turned out
to be the skeleton of a horse, an adult in good condition. It appeared to have been laid neatly into a pit which was too small, its head and neck were ‘folded’ across its body.
A human burial also Iron-age was found, or rather the legs, the rest of its torso disappearing into the baulk. It was decided to not lift this burial and to leave it for any future work.
Roman occupation directly over the Iron-age settlement was uncovered in a 10 x 8m trench, showing perhaps continuation through the conquest period. Here they revealed a second horse burial, a dog, also an infant burial. This settlement seemed open; apparently with no enclosures. Late Roman plough soil had damaged layers of earlier (Roman) occupation, pottery dated from the 1st to 4thC, the 3rd century being poorly represented. Again a dense concentration of pits, post-hole structures and a system of ditches were recorded; relationship of the ditch system to the settlement is not clear.
Our lecturer asked the question: why bury a whole horse and dog ?. Are these animals associated with a deity for ritual or religious purposes, their deliberate deposition appears to indicate such a direction.The Iron-age occupation maybe connected with the Aylesford-Swarling tradition, burial practice for the Iron-age in general is not clearly known, therefore this site could be important.
Ken MacGowan (Newham Museum Service) discussed excavations at Stratford Langthorn Abbey, this site is almost adjacent to the above location and was dug for the same reason.
The Abbey is thought to have been built by Monks of the Savigniacs – a reformed version of the Benedictine Order, it then came under Cistercian influence. Excavations partly uncovered walls of the Abbey’s eastern end together with its northern transept.
Fountains Abbey (North Yorks) was used as an example to show the layout of the eastern end; how chapels and a crosswing had been added over the years.
The plan revealed at Stratford appeared very similar, with five bays and a lady chapel. Post-holes under the nave indic -ated a possible wooden predecessor. Approx 325 burials were in coffins others included shroud, stone, and lead types. Ash burials may have been a sign of piety. An extension had been added to the northern transept, a ditch to the north of this dissected the graveyard possibly being a division of lay brothers and monks. Another area may have contained parishion -ers as there were adult and child burials, also an outlying chapel to the north could have Cistercian origins.
Peter Rowsome of MOLAS introduced us to the work so far undertaken at No.1 Poultry, City of London. A pre-excavation evaluation accessed by four construction shafts had revealed 1st century timber buildings with clay buildings above and with masonry ones above them – all Roman. Roman, Anglo-Saxon and the medieval periods are preserved in up to 4 metres of occupation sequences. In one shaft, the via decumana running from the Basilica across the Walbrook was located associated with a wooden drain dated to 244-288 AD. 1st century AD metalwork included a huge oil lamp (one of only 6 known) complete with suspension chains.
The main excavation will commence in July beneath the ground floor slab of the new building but already two significant structures have been located in the first phase at this important site. The foundations of St. Benet Sherehog, dating from the mid-llth century and destroyed in the Great Fire, survived to over 2 metres in height and show the original church to have been a single-cell structure with re-used ragstone and Roman tile with Saxon long-and-short work. This was enlarged in the late 15th century. Following the Great Fire the site was used as a burial ground (until the mid-19th century). The second structure, located at the junction of Bucklesbury and Cheapside, was the ‘Great Conduit’. This was a castellated/vaulted cistern built 1236-1280, still surviving intact beneath the street. Originally it had been gravity fed from the Tyburn some 3 km away. On special occasions this early source of fresh water was said to have run with wine. It had fallen into disuse by the 17th century but it has now been preserved beneath Cheapside for future inspection.
ROMAN REMAINS NORTH OF THE BORDER
Aerial surveys and excavations by Colin Martin of the Scottish History Department of St. Andrews University have revealed rich and some unexpected Roman military remains: permanent structures such as great walls, roads and forts as well as traces of temporary camps and of deliberate scorched earth desolation. Two different Roman strategies could be discerned. The first was associated with Agricola, whose policy from the outset was to grip the terrain in a complex network of roads and forts. Within this web, Rome could make effective use of her most deadly weapon – literacy – to control the land. The Roman army, with its formidable skills in engineering and other civil crafts, could support itself within its operational areas. So towards the the end of the first century AD, the Romans husbanded local resources rather than destroying them. Only at Mons Gropius was it necessary to deploy the iron fist in the purple glove.
A second strategy was deployed a century later. In 207 AD the emperor Septimius Severus, with his son Caracalla, conducted a series of massive scorched earth invasions, curtailed only by his death in York. Vast armies, up to 50,000 strong, campaigned through what became Perth and the kingdom of Fife, the most fertile areas of eastern Scotland. Their strategy can only have been ethnic cleansing, systematic destruction of agriculture and genocide by famine. (The Times 3 April 1995. Extract)
OLDEST RAILWAY FOUND IN NORTH WALES
Wooden rails, dating probably from the mid-18th century, have been found at Bersham, near Wrexham. The railway, known as a wagonway because it provided a guided path for wooden wagons bringing coal and iron ore to the blast furnace at Bersham, survives for 135ft. in the form of carbonised timber tracks and sleepers. The most striking feature is a set of primitive points, the mechanism has not survived. (Source: Current Archaeology 141:332-335.
(The Times, 17 April 1996 Extract)
THE HADLEY HERMITS: The hunt continues Pamela Taylor
It is always a pleasure to chase up Jenny Cobban’s references, not least because they lead to such enjoyable places.
In the March Newsletter she reported on a pre-1141 deed from Geoffrey de Mandeville notifying his exchange of tithes which his foundation at Hurley Priory had been receiving from Edmonton, Enfield and South Mimms for 100s in rents. The income was returned to the churches concerned for the support of their priests, and any surplus was to go towards providing food and clothing for the brothers at Hadley living according to rule.
She is absolutely right that the significance of this document for Hadley’s history had never been properly appreciated, but that its existence was known. Her source, the Rev F.T. Wethered, published an English version in his St Mary’s Hurley in the Middle Ages in 1898, a book based on a group of documents at Westminster Abbey (of which Hurley became a cell), whose apparently narrow focus may have prevented a wide circulation. Another version of the deed had, however, long been known. Dugdale in his great Monasticon copied a version from a Walden Abbey cartulary, now BL Harleian MS 3697, in the 17thc, and he in turn was copied by the author of the chapter on Hadley in the Victoria County History of Middlesex (VCH) vol.5 published 1976. Dugdale’s version differed in several respects from Wethered’s, including the omission of South Mimms from the affected churches.
I therefore pursued the originals in the British Library and Westminster Abbey, with interesting results. The Westminster Abbey deed (WAM 2182, Wethered’s no. 8) is an original deed, which therefore makes it more reliable than any cartulary copy. The Walden Cartulary version in the BL turns out in any case to be quite a poor version: it not only omits South Mimms but also makes several grammatical errors. There is one mistake which Dugdale had automatically corrected but which, until I had also been to Westminster, had me and Jenny a little concerned: the brothers at Hadley were described as coming rather than living – venientibus for viventibus. Dugdale and Wethered were both considerably better copyists than the Waldlen monk.
A complete Latin copy of WAM 2182 as well as a transcript of the relevant part of the BL cartulary, are now at the Local Studies and Archives. For those who are interested, the key passage in WAM 2182 reads ‘et de reliquo fratibus de Adlega canonice viventibus victum inveniendum et vestitium’.
The actual truth behind the words remains obscure. One does not have to be very cynical to doubt if the three churches would ever have found a surplus to transfer to Hadley. Geoffrey de Mandeville too may have been disingenuous since the churches were in any case soon reappropriated, this time to his more recent foundation at Walden. Hadley thereafter belonged to Walden, and although it may have remained a cell, the brothers were presumably assimilated. The interest of this document, however, is to show that there were brothers living by a rule at Hadley before it passed to Walden. Geoffrey’s foundation charter to Walden, found in the same cartulary and also in Dugdale, VCH Essex, and our file at Local History and Archives, includes the grant of the hermitage (heremitagium) at Hadley but does not mention its occupants. There is one other tantalising reference in another BL manuscript, Cotton Vespasian E vi, f 26, which contains copies from Walden’s Foundation Book and states that Geoffrey gave to Walden ‘the place of Hadley built by Otuel’ (correctly transcribed in Cass, Monken Hadley, p.37: ‘locum etiam de Hadleia ab Otuela construct’ cum suss pertinentiis contulit.’) Do we have here the name of the original hermit?
As Jenny remarked, a tighter chronology would be helpful. The two chronicles which place Walden’s foundation in 1136 also refer to Geoffrey as Earl of Essex, which was only the case from 1140 until his death in 1144. WAM 2182 has only been dated pre 1141.
The hunt is far from over.
HADRIAN’S WALL OF WORLD WAR II
The Department of National Heritage has launched a “Defence of Britain” project, which aims to map and catalogue the surviving structures of the thousands of concrete pillboxes, defensive ditches, airfields and gun emplacements built during WWII. Many have already gone or are disappearing. Amateur archaeologists, including the Fortress Study Group, have been enlisted to survey sites in the field; while English Heritage is supporting a complementary programme of documentary research on 20th century defences.
John Heins, field co-ordinator of the survey, says the Hadrian’s Wall of the 20th century is the line across the South West from Seaton on the Devon coast to Bridgewater in Somerset, where about 280 pillboxes survive, with machinegun emplacements every few hundred yards. One of the big questions is how and why Britain’s defensive strategy changed towards the end of 1940, from static lines of pillboxes to a more fluid strategy in which invaders would be delayed by coastal defences and then engaged by a mobile field army. (Contact: Jim Earle, Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridge CB2 4QR)
(The Times, 17 April 1995. Extract)
JOHN KEATS BICENTENARY CELEBRATIONS – The following may be of interest —
8  April – 25 June. “Keats in Hampstead” exhibition. Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT
Wednesday 14 June. 3pm “Tea and Comfortable Advice”. A taste of food of the period and a talk by an Historic Food Consultant.
Heath Branch Library, Keats Grove, NW3
Please bring cup, saucer, plate and spoon (of the period if possible) Contact: Mrs. Liz Smith, BA (Hons), 7 Crescent Gardens, Eastcote, Ruislip, HA4 8SZ
Friday 23 June. 7.30pm. Lecture. “John Keats’ London”. Dr. Ann Saunders Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT
Thursday 20 July. 7.30pm. Talk. “The Hampstead of John Keats”. Christina Gee to the Camden Historical Society.
Heath Branch Library, Keats Grove, NW3
23,24 and 25 November, 8pm. Saturday matinee. Dramatic Performance.
“John Keats lived here” by Diana Raymond. Hampstead Parish Church. Contact: Mrs. P. Gardner: 0171 794 9912
LONDON’S FIRST ST.PAUL’S?
David Sankey of the Museum of London has discovered traces of a massive church, 4thc AD, on Tower Hill. The building appears to have been 100m- long and 50m-wide, almost identical in design though slightly larger than the St. Thecla in Milan, the largest church in the then capital of the Roman Empire. Its most likely founder was Magnus Maximus, the fanatically ambitious head of the Roman army in Britain, and a deeply religious zealot.
The giant edifice was probably built in the late 370s or early 380s, of secondhand masonry (reused from other nearby earlier structures) and decorated in part with a wafer-thin veneer of black marble. Some architectural details were also pointed up in white marble, the walls were painted with coloured designs and the floor was made of broken tile embedded in a sort of cement.
The date of the building, the probable political motive for its construction and a series of little-known ancient texts all suggest it may have been dedicated to St. Paul, like London’s later cathedrals. In the second half of the 4thc, St.Paul temporarily superceded St. Peter in religious importance. This is expressed in mosaics and other art works throughout the empire where Paul replaces Peter at the right hand of Christ. Nothing could be calculated to enhance London’s status more than to claim it was a Pauline Apolistic centre like Antioch, Ephesus or Athens. (Independent 3 April 1995. Extract).
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE PAST – A MYSTERY Tessa Smith
The front cover of The London Archaeologist, Autumn 1994, shows a photo of two men examining the Roman handless flagon which had Just been excavated on the east side of Brockley Hill, the Hilltop Café site in 1952. We have other original photos of this dig which set the wider scene, to include diggers in braces; onlookers, young helpers, a wonderful old floppy tent, a pushchair and the Roman finds, mortaria and wide mouthed flagons stacked up in cardboard boxes.
But it was the two main figures which sparked my interest – who were they? One, tall, slim, pipe-smoking, standing close to two small
children; and a second figure, shorter and bearded, and to my eyes resembling our own Paddy Musgrove. I asked around but nobody could identify either figure. I searched through relevant documents
and found, in Gillian Braithwaite’s report on Excavating and Fleldwalking at Brockley
Hill a reference to Paddy himself.
“Ancient gravel metalling was seen by Paddy Musgrove under the road in a pipe trench in 1953”. So Paddy was certainly at Brockley Hill during
the dig when Phillip Suggett was the site director. If it were to be Paddy Musgrove it would be an apt tribute to his interest in archaeology that he made it to the front cover of The London Archaeologist!
Can anyone shed any further light on this figure? Is it fact or fiction? When I was trying to get information I contacted a long time HADAS member, Max Hoather, who actually worked with Suggett at Brockley Hill in 1952, and he very kindly donated newspaper cuttings and snaps, which identify the tall pipe-smoking figure as Phillip Suggett. He was tragically killed in a car accident some years later, leaving two young children (those in the photo?)
An interesting spin-off from my quest was to find in the excavation reports of the dig, a diagram drawn and signed by M. Biddle. So that sent me re-examining the photos to see if a teen-age Martin Biddle is in evidence. I think there is! However I have not yet been able to confirm this with him. He worked at Brockley Hill true, but is he in our photographs?
So, not only are there ghosts of Roman potters at Brockley Hill; Matugenus, Castus, Doinus, but also, Phillip Suggett, Martin Biddle, Paddy Musgrove.
Or am I dreaming again?
THE LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST MAGAZINE A. G. M. will be held on Tuesday 16th May 7. OOpm
in the Lecture Theatre, Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, WCI. After the business meeting Chris Green will lecture on John Dwight and the Fulham Pottery.

Newsletter-309-January-1997

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Issue No 309 January 1997 Edited by Liz Holliday

A happy and peaceful New Year to all members, their families and friends

DIARY

Tuesday January 14

Archaeology under the river alluvium of south east England

by Dr Martin Bates

Tuesday 11 February

A History of Hertfordshire by Tony Rook

Meetings are held

8pm for 8.30pm Drawing Room at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N.3

Visitors are always welcome

CHRISTMAS DINNER

Hearsay evidence suggests a good time was had by all – it must have been quite a session as the
full account is still being written! Full report next month!

MEMBERS NEWS

We are sorry to hear that Gill Baker is back in hospital. Good wishes go to her from us all.

GARDEN ARCHAEOLOGY

Report of November’s lecture by Muriel Large “A garden is a lovesome thing, Got wot” – a cliche which does little justice to the skill and dedication archaeologists devote to their search for early gardens hidden under neglected present ones. In his talk, Brian Dix, Head of Archaeology for Northamptonshire, provided an absorbing account of how layers of grass and topsoil in the gardens of stately homes can be peeled away to reveal how past ages gardened. The classic example was, of course, Hampton Court. Here, William III’s garden plans had originally reworked the area thoroughly, to produce a slope down to the Thames. This allowed the king to see the river from his first-floor apartments and loyal subjects on the towpath could be suitably impressed by views of the palace. The work not finished until after the king’s death, occupied a team of gardeners much larger than the group who re-created it. Among the odd discoveries was the fact that the garden was double-dug in the recommended fashion near to the palace, but further away the less deep the digging and by the towpath only the top four or five inches of topsoil had been cultivated. There was also the problem of the paths; originally of sand, they had to he swept by a hoard of gardeners as soon as the courtiers and Royal family went indoors, to obliterate footmarks and restore the garden’s pristine condition. Hardly on option these days, with 750,000 visitors each year! Sand was used in the restoration for the sake of its colour but it was blended with clay for ease of maintenance.

A magnetometer and sensing equipment was used to identify the original layout, underneath the overgrown yew trees, which had been in-filled with shrubs and flowers by the Victorians. Mercifully, the garden was fully documented as originally laid out, although there was the perennial restoration problem – to which period should the reconstruction relate?

With the changes in levels, flights of steps had to be introduced where traces of the original steps were found and 33,000 box seedlings were planted to outline the overall pattern. The crowning glory was the reconstruction of Queen Mary’s Bower, an impressive 120 foot tunnel arbour or pergola, decorated this time with the arms of Queen Elizabeth II. It may be that in the future, as the planting grows, the fine woodwork will disappear under the greenery. At present, the arbour is a remarkable piece of work itself.

An unusual role for archaeologists, to construct rather than uncover and dissect, but they were entrusted to lay out the pattern and oversee the planting.Mr. Dix also described similar, although less extensive, work carried out at a chateau in Burgundy and a Jacobean house in Northamptonshire. Those of us digging our suburban gardens, unearthing broken bricks and pieces of tile, may sometimes feel that we are engaged in archaeology rather than horticulture! However, we can at least draw comfort from the examples that have resulted in new life for long-vanished gardens.

The winter edition of CADW’s journal “Heritage in Wales” includes a report of the recent discovery of a secret garden at Haverfordwest Priory. A copy of the journal will be deposited in the HADAS library.

MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT CHINA: new discoveries from the early dynasties

This exciting exhibition is at the British Museum until 5 January. It is the first great loan exhibition of antiquities from China to be seen in London for twenty years, bringing together recent startling archaeological discoveries which radically change perceptions of China’s early history. Spanning the period 4500BC to AD 200, the exhibition explores ancient Chinese beliefs about life and death. The exhibits, which come from several distinct regions of China, show that images of men and spirits inspired some of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Chinese art. Figures with large projecting eyes, cranes with towering antlers, spirits with feathered wings and suits of jade are strange and beautiful creations, many of them quite literally, mysteries.

CBA Conference: ROMAN LONDON: RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESULTS FROM THE CITY Report by Peter Pickering

Several HADAS members attended this conference on 16 November. Several others were unable to get in – it was a sell-out_

The speakers, almost all from MoLAS, varied, but were usually both good and interesting. Many new ideas – new at least to me – were put forward and I think members may be interested to learn about some of them.

Nick Bateman quoted Vitruvius, the Latin writer on architecture, who divided public buildings into three categories: those for defence (walls); those for religion (temples) and those for convenience (baths, forums, amphitheatre and the like). The absence of state temples in Roman London has often been remarked, bit an early and perhaps short-lived one has been found west of the Huggin Hill bath complex, with an unexplained building between them. The Basilica building was, despite the reputation of Roman builders, a shoddy piece of work, which had required a lot of repair during its life.

Jane Sidell reported on the environmental evidence from the East London Roman Cemetery. Work on the biological material buried with people in graves has had remarkable results_ Many graves (especially cremation rather than inhumation burials) contained food, but one had two separate deposits – one with half a piglet and a goose, and one with the other half of the piglet and a dressed chicken. Graves in different parts of the cemetery contained different types of pulses. There were pits that contained animals but no human bodies – one with a horse, a dog and a red deer, close together in a circle, and another with lots of frogs and a heron. Perhaps there had been this pit with water in it; frogs had colonised it and then a heron saw the opportunity of a meal, swooped in and was unable to spread its wings so as to fly out; but if so, why then was there nothing else in the pit? Was there some strange ritual? Jane Sidell also illustrated two imports into Roman London – one of stone pine cones (perhaps for making pesto sauce from the kernels) and the other of cannabis (for rope or medicinal purposes).

David Sankey attempted to convince us that he had identified a late Roman cathedral, from a ground-plan very like that of the early St. Theela’s cathedral in Milan. Those unconvinced could believe it was a large warehouse, but even that, he argued, was evidence that London was much more important in the very late period than common opinion would have it.

Bruce Watson talked about the notorious Dark Earth. Pollen analysis has shown that this is not the remains of Late Roman gardens, and that there were not trees about. His theory was that it was evidence simply of waste land.

Finally, Professor Martin Millen from Durham talked about the status of Roman London and warned us against reading the present into Roman administrative structures. A study of the so-called provincial capitals from the western part of the Roman Empire demonstrated their great differences. He even thought that the statement of the geographer Ptolemy, that London was a town of the Cantii and therefore subordinate to Canterbury, might be legally right (it gets some support from an inscribed tablet recording an inquiry into the ownership of a wood); he thought London was something of a “gold-rush” town, settled by Roman citizens who were traders from Gaul. Although the procurator of the province would he resident in London, and it was the hub of the road network, it was, he argued, not really the governor’s capital. The governor would often be out and about with the troops, and the centre of Britain for the purpose of the state religion perhaps always remained in Colchester.

CHURCH FARMHOUSE MUSEUM

The current exhibition features Construction Toys, dating from the middle of the 19th century to the present day. You will find early wooden building blocks, kits in all types of materials made by such firms as Sarnia, Lotts Bricks, Minibrix and Bayko. There is a wonderful crane made from Meccano specially for this exhibition. Lego UK generously lent two huge drums of bricks so that pupils from Sunnyhill JMI could make models for the exhibition. The whole school took part in a Lego day, and the results are on show.

Creating its own tradition, once again the dining room at Church Farmhouse is decorated as it would have been for a Victorian Christmas, with baubles, bangles, holly and ivy. The room looks as if the family have just got up from the dining table. Decorations stay up until Twelfth Night.

The Museum will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and also on 1 January. Construction Toys will be on show until 2 February.

NEWS FROM OUR NEIGHBOURS

Barnet & District Local History Society meet in the Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet. At 2.45pm on Monday 6 January June and Jack Alcock will present History of the River Thames.

Enfield Archaeological Society welcome visitors to their meetings in the Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane. Tea is served at 7.30; meetings start at 8pm. On Friday 17 January Ian Jones will be talking about Africa Proconsularis: Carthage and Rome in Tunisia.

The Wembley History Society will he learning about Science in 1824 and Today from Leslie Williams at 7.30pm on Friday 17 January at their meeting in the Church Hall, adjoining St.Andrew’s Church, Church Lane, Kingsbury.

The Finchley Society

meets on Thursdays at 7.45pm in the Drawing Room at Avenue House, East End Road, N3. On
Thursday 30 January Joanna Corden will be revealing Finchley from the archives

Pinner Local History Society will be holding a local history day on Middlesex Manors – then and now on Saturday 22 February from 10.00am – 4.30pm at the Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip. Tickets cost £4. Contact Mrs Beryl Newton on 0181-866 3372.

This spring, Enfield Preservation Society will publish Fighting for the Future: the story of the society 1936-1996. There book includes 229 photographs and prints, many never published before. The book will cost £13.50 (plus £3 p&p) if you place an order with payment by 28 February. Contact Mrs Irene Smith, 107 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, Middx., EN2 OAB

EARLY BARNET AND ITS BOUNDARIES by Pamela Taylor

The early medieval history of Barnet – the manor and parish, not the London Borough – has always been very obscure, and until recently we had no information before the mid-twelfth century. The earliest part of the fabric of St Mary East Barnet has been dated c.1140, and this chimes well with the earliest known written reference, which comes in a papal bull from Adrian IV to St Albans Abbey granted in February 1156/7. (It says 1156 but is probably operating on the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar). Bulls are known by their opening word(s), so this one, which begins with a phrase about the incomprehensible and ineffable divine majesty, is known as incomprehensible. It’s not as had as that: in fact it’s a detailed confirmation of the abbey’s privileges, (Adrian was a local St Albans boy made extremely good) and, unlike the abbey’s earlier bulls, includes a list of its churches, among them Barnet. This was at East rather than Chipping Barnet because the latter only developed after the building of the new main road to the north in the late eleventh or twelfth century, and especially after the abbots of S Albans obtained a charter to hold a market there in 1199. St Albans garnered charters of privileges from kings as well as popes, and the earliest known royal charter which mentions Barnet, again in a comprehensive list of the abbey’s properties, was granted by Henry II; it is undated (the English chancery didn’t yet regularly follow the excellent papal example), but has been assigned from its witness list to 1176. The local entry is particularly interesting because it reads “Barnet cum boscis de Scthawe, et Borham, et Huzeheog”. The woods of Southaw and Osidge were always later included within Barnet, but by the time we have regular records Borehamwood was part of the abbey’s manor of Aldenham Barnet’s boundaries with other St Albans manors were therefore still not immutable in the later 12th century, but from other references it has long been known that the separation from Friern Barnet (and with it the boundary between Herfordshire and Middlesex) was by then firmly in place. The bishop of London reclaimed what became known as Friern from a tenant in 1187 prior to granting it to the Hospitallers in 1199 (it was from them, via the French for Brothers, that it got its name).

None of the Barnets is named in Domesday Book, and until recently the only supposedly pre-12th century reference was a comment in the 14th century version of the St Albans house chronicle, the Gesta Abbatum, that William the Conqueror had punished its abbot’s rebellion by removin’ “all the abbey’s lands between Barnet and London stone (which is still to be found within the City, in Cannon Street). There were always considerable reservations about the source, but in the absence of other information it was accorded a degree of plausibility – and it would neatly have explained the separation of Friern. Now, however, the discovery in Brussels by a Cambridge don, Simon Keynes, of a 17th century copy of an otherwise lost 12th century St Albans cartulary, means that the story is exposed as a total myth, and that our knowledge is extended backwards to 1005.

All the deeds in the cartulary were in fact known from 13th century and later Latin copies, but the 12th century exemplar also contained some Old English versions and, more importantly, detailed boundary decriptions_ From these we now know not only that King Athelred’s grant to the abbey in 1005 of Waetlingcaster equates to Kingsbury in St Albans, but that the unnamed area of attached woodland which was part of the same grant equates to Barnet. The boundary description for Barnet is not totally identifiable, but it seems to follow the normal pattern of a circuit clockwise round from 12. The central part of the northern, and all of the eastern, side are unrecognisable, but from the point where the circuit reaches hyttes stigele, or Betstile, the rest is reasonably plain sailing. Betstile, the older name for New Southgate, is at the southern corner of the boundary between East and Friern Barnet. Better still, the next stretch north-westwards is described as “along the bishop’s boundary”, and it’s hard to imagine that this could be anyone other than the bishop of London. The boundary was copied twice, with minor variations (and it’s worth remembering that the
17th century copyist was floundering too); what follows is an amalgamated version, with the symbols my processor can’t cope with modernised to th, and some added semi-colons.

This synt thes wealdes gemaere into thære ealden byrig. Ærest of hæwenes hlæwe; andlang enefeldinga gemære; on scirburnan, of scirburnan; to aetheleof hæcce. Of tham hæcce; to æscbyrthes heale, of tham heale; andlang eadulfingtuninga gemære; to r (or s)eodes gate, of tham geate, on byttes stigele, of byttes stigele; andlang thaes biscopes gemære; on wakeling mor, of tham more; on aggangeat, of tham geate; on thane steort; æt bræneten, andlang bræneoten; a be tham geondran stæthe; on thæne sihter, of tham sihtre; æt tatehrycges ænde; andlang heanduninga gemære; on grendeles gat, of grendeles gate; andlang scenleainga gemære; on ruge beorc lege, of beorc lege; on hæthlege, of hæthlege; a be wyrtruman.

The structure of this isn’t at all difficult, and from Betstile round to Hadley you can plot it on the map. You either walk on…of (onitaff or up tolaway from), or be, (by), each marker, or you walk andlang, (along) a longer stretch. Taking the individual names in turn: a hlæwe is a mound or barrow, and it’s very tempting to identify this one with the possibly Iron Age earthworks in Hadley Wood; along the Enfield boundary is readily comprehensible, although the boundary itself may later have shifted a little; the shire stream is presumably Pymmes Brook, whether you go along or across it is unclear, though perhaps more probably along, not least because “shire” implies it was used as a boundary – but no one has been able to make any sense of this bit on a map; Athelof s hatch (gate) and Ashbirt’s hale (corner) are lost, but conspicuous turning points along a boundary were usually marked, and the latter could therefore be the sharp north-eastern corner; along the Edulfington boundary is explained by another major discovery from the cartulary, that Edulfington is what was later known as Edmonton; r/seodes gate cannot, according to the experts, transmute to Southgate; Betstile and the bishop’s boundary were dealt with above; wakeling mor must have been swampy, and therefore presumably in a dip; Agate is more or less at the junction of Northumberland Road and the A1000; steort means a spit of land; to and along the Brent; cross to the further hank (geondran stæthe); along the ditch; at Totteridge’s end; along the Hendon boundary; Grendels Gate is the older name for Barnet Gate, along the Shenley boundary; ruge beorc lege (rough birch clearing) is Rowley; on/off Hadley gives us a new early reference to the place-name, but the fact that it’s not given as “along the Hadley boundary”, and the general difficulty of plotting the northern and eastern side of the circuit, suggests something less than an established settlement; by the crop clearing.

So there, for the moment, we have it. In 1005 King Æthelred granted the abbey land which had previously been his – Kingsbury and its attached wood at Barnet, and by then the bishop of London was already holding Friern. It’s a lot better than our previous knowledge, but of course raises endless new questions. For anyone who wants to take it further, references and more detailed information are available at the Local Studies and Archives

Newsletter-344-December-1999

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HADAS DIARY


Tuesday 7 December
Christmas Dinner at The Cock Tavern following a visit to Dr. Johnson’s house.

This event is now fully booked and there is a waiting list. If you find you cannot come, let Dorothy Newbury know as soon as possible (203 0950) so that she can re-allocate your ticket.

THURSDAY 13 January Prehistoric Egypt by HADAS member Okasha El Daly

Please note not on our usual Tuesday evening. For the rest of the year lectures will be on Tuesdays as usual. Further details of Okasha’s lecture will appear in the January Newsletter.


BROCKLEY HILL STUDY DAY
by Peter Pickering

Some 32 people assembled in the grandly named but rather shabby Training Centre by Avenue House on 30th October for a fascinating and instructive study day. Besides old stalwart members we had dis­tinguished visitors from other organisations, including Fiona Seeley of the Museum of London Specialist Services, and, most gratifying of all, seven people attracted by the publicity Tim Wilkins ‘had got into the local press and libraries, and who joined HADAS on the spot.

Before an excellent lunch (quite misleadingly called ‘sandwiches’ in the original announcement) Joan Schneider and Barry Home, Chair and Secretary respectively of the Manshead Archaeological Society, described their excavations in Dunstable. Dunstable is on the junction of Watling Street and the Ickneild Way and may – or may not – be the place called Duricobrivis in the Roman Antonine Itinerary. Their Society has, over the years, made many discoveries but has as yet found no actual Roman buildings. Particularly fascinating were the skeleton of a Barbary Ape (a pet, perhaps, or the property of a travel­ling entertainer), a burial containing a pot with an inscription inter­preted as ‘Reg_ illus a branch-bearer of Verulamium’ (branch-bearers were devotees of the Asiatic goddess Cybele) and several wells, neces­sary because Dunstable lacks surface water, one of which was 92 feet deep. And, of course, hundredweights of pottery: Barry Home kept us enthralled with his account of the research being carried out on this. He breaks bits off sherds with a fearsome pair of pincers (he assured us that the pottery felt nothing, and was a source of information rather than of intrinsic value), and identifies its fabric from the appearance of the fresh break under the microscope. Then he (or rather his comput­er) compares the distribution of fabrics in one assemblage of pottery with that in others – for instance those from Verulamium – to establish similarities and dissimilarities; this is not as simple as might appear, since pots vary in size, as do the broken bits archaeologists find, so work has to be done in eves, not pieces of pottery. An eve is not what you might think but an Estimated Vessel Equivalent.

Then after lunch Stephen Castle gave us the history of excavations at Brockley Hill from the first, just before the last war, until HADAS’s recent efforts.

Until the site was scheduled as an ancient monument in the late 1970s, the tale was one of opportunities snatched, or missed, in the face of imminent development. (As Mr Castle experienced excavating between 1969 and 1975. For instance, he was opening trenches to the west of the road in a field which was being used by Joe Bygraves, a well-known boxing-champion-turned-farmer, as a dumping site). Kilns have been found, and quantities of pottery, but there has never been a systematic programme of research into what was one of the principal manufacturing centres for pottery in the early centuries of Roman Britain, Mr Castle also showed us pictures of the elegant mansion, belonging to a Mr Napier, which had stood from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century just to the north of the area where we walked the fields in 1998. He suggests that a building which stood on the site later occupied by the now-demolished hilltop café was a sum­merhouse associated with the mansion. This would explain the con­centration of post-medieval brick close to this area, and we will bear this in mind when we process the building material from the field- walking.

It was indeed with pictures of that fieldwalking that Vikki O’Connor brought a most interesting day to its end. But that is not the end of the project by any means. Stephen Castle has suggested that inter­ested members could undertake further research on the area, and with this in mind we plan to meet him at Stanmore in the new year – details will be circulated in the newsletter.

Thanks to Tessa Smith and Brian Wrigley for helping to organise the 30th, arid to Sue Whitford, Arthur Till and other willing hands for their help on. the day. Tessa has reminded us that Brigid Grafton Greene, who was HADAS Secretary at the time, was instrumental in getting the area on Bury Farm scheduled – an Act was passed in 1979 which was implemented in 1980.

PROGRAMME NOTES from Dorothy Newbury

New arrangements for lectures

As announced in the October Newsletter, slight changes to timings are being tried, with the lecture starting at 8.00pm, followed by questions with coffee served at the end of the meeting, There was an excellent attendance at the November lecture, probably the largest audience since we moved to Avenue House, and the speaker was very well received. However, I have received varied opinions about the change. Several members arrived after the start of the lecture and some during the talk; some had coffee before the lecture and others during it; some were pleased to get away early while others missed the social time before the meeting. It remains to be seen if the changes settle down. Do note that lectures start at 8.00pm.


Bookings at Avenue House

A policy of “first come, first served” is now used for bookings and our meetings for next year have been fixed for the second Tuesday of each month as usual. However, some meetings will be held in the Drawing Room (which some members find cold, badly lit and impersonal) and others will be in the Stephens Room (considered to be more comfort­able but with difficult access). To ensure that our meetings are held regularly on Tuesday evening we must book several years in advance but – which room?


Programme for 2000

All speakers are now booked and a complete programme will be issued with the January or February Newsletter. We are planning to hold a Ted Sammes Evening in April, with several speakers who knew him well Ted was a founder-member of HADAS and a knowledgeable, dedicated member until just before his death in November last year. If any cur­rent members have particular reminiscences of him on excavations,outings or Prehistoric Society activities, please let me know

“LONDON PARISH MAP” reviewed by Roy Walker

Ann Saunders, HADAS President, is Honorary Editor to the London Topographical Society whose publications have formed the basis of historical research since its foundation in 1880 and have served to awaken an interest in London’s past. This year saw the issue of Publication No 155, “London Parish Map – A Map of the Ecclesiastical Divisions within the County of London, 1903.”

A map of Church of England parish boundaries, perhaps, is not an exciting prospect but consider the changes that have occurred since 1903. The Diocese of Southwark did not exist – the Diocese of Rochester prevailed over those parts not covered by the Diocese of London. Today’s Southwark Cathedral was St Saviour’s Church within the See of Rochester. Certain “detached” parishes were administered by the mother church of a Parish geographically distant due to low population not necessitating a separate church – parts some‑times being on the opposite bank of the Thames. Such a map is therefore invaluable to the family historian trying to reconcile records, parishes, forebears and the modern day Church divisions. And how many times have we looked at parish boundary markers with just initials and dates and tried to identify the parish?

For students of politics and the administrative history of London this map provides a background for, as the guide accompanying the map points out, when the Metropolitan Boroughs were formed in 1900 they were based on groups of parishes which up until then had been responsible for such functions as lighting, paving and street cleansing. They were the predecessors of the present day London Boroughs.

Copies of the map are available from: Roger Cline, Flat 13, 13 Tavistock Place. London WCIH

 

NEWS OF MEMBERS

Olive Banham, a founder-member, has written recently and although she cannot attend meetings or outings any longer, she still takes a great interest in the Society and enjoys the Newsletter. We thank her for her generous donation to Mini-Mart funds.

John Enderby another founder-member, features in a new book pub­lished by Countryside Books. “Dorset Privies” by Ian Fox is being sold by the National Trust and includes two photos – one of John’s wooden privy which has an engraved headstone dated 1857 for the floor and one of a large night soil bucket which John unearthed from his garden. He attributes his flourishing vegetable garden to the contents of the bucket!

Alec Gouldsmith, once a regular attender at all HADAS functions, now lives in a retirement home in Dorchester. Marion Newbury visited him recently and found him fit and well and very pleased to see her.

Freda Wilkinson has recently moved to Magnolia Court, 181 Granville Road, NW2 2LH (0181 731 9881).


OCTOBER OUTING

Friends’ House, Bloomsbury and the Magic Circle Report by Stewart Wild

On a beautiful autumn morning, some two dozen HADAS members joined Mary O’Connell for a fascinating walk round Bloomsbury. We started at Friends House, opposite Euston Station, purpose built in 1924-25 as the headquarters for the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

The building comprises a large meeting house, a small meeting house and a library, with other areas leased out as office accommodation. It serves as the focal point for some 25,000 Quakers in Britain and Ireland and about ten times that number worldwide. In the library we were welcomed by Michael Hutchinson, the Assistant Recording Clerk, who spoke about the origins of Quakerism in 1652, and the beliefs of its founder, George Fox.

There were many Christian sects in the 17th century and Quakerism is the only one to have survived.(The appelation derives from a term of abuse aimed at George Fox by a judge at the Derby Assizes in 1651). Quaker testimony consists of Truth, Integrity and Simplicity; there is no organisational hierarchy, no appointed leadership and no formal structure in their meetings and worship. Decisions are reached by con­sensus, not by voting.

The Quakers are very good at keeping records and the library is a ver­itable treasure trove of historical documents, local history and accounts of Quaker meetings. The Librarian, Peter Daniels, was kind enough to show us 17th century pamphlets and records of early Quaker meetings in our own area of Hendon and Mill Hill. The earliest dates from 1692 and by 1733 there are details of monthly meetings at Gutter’s Hedge, later Guttershedge Lane (later Hall Lane) and now Page Street, NW4. We learned about William Penn and the Quaker connec­tions of Penn in Buckinghamshire and Pennsylvania,USA. In modern times, Quakers have been instrumental in many successful business­es, among them Cadbury’s, Fry’s, Rowntree, Huntley & Palmer and Barclays and Lloyds banks.

Back in the sunshine, Mary spoke more about the early days of Euston station and its redevelopment in 1961-62 which led to the demolition of the famous Doric arch, erected in 1838. The station dates from 1837 when two platforms were constructed for the London and Birmingham Railway which offered six trains a day to Harrow and Watford, In September 1838 services to Birmingham began, with a journey time of 5 hours.

Our next visit was to the headquarters of the Magic Circle in nearby Stephenson Way. The building was transformed in 1997-98 into a pri­vate club for the 1,500 members of the most famous magical society in the world, founded in 1905.

We were welcomed by Henry Lewis, a member of the prestigious Inner Magic Circle and curator of the Society’s unique (and entertaining) museum. He showed us the state-of-the-art theatre and a trick or two. Fascinating exhibits throughout the building include pictures, posters, equipment and memorabilia of magic legends like Harry Houdini and Chung Ling Soo. who died in an accident at the Wood Green Empire and was found not to be a Chinaman at all but an American named Robinson.

Outside the Institute of Archaeology in Gordon Square, our guide recalled the Bloomsbury set, that famous group of writers and artists who included Lytton Strachey, T.S.Eliot, Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolfe and Clive Bell, and whose unconventional lifestyle led to them being dubbed “couples living in squares and loving in triangles”.

Our next stop, in Tavistock Square, was at BMA House, a Grade II listed building designed in 1911 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for the Theosophical Society. After World War I the uncompleted building was sold to the British Medical Association and was opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1925. The central courtyard is home to two war memorials: Lutyens designed gates commemorate the 574 BMA mem­bers who fell in WWI and a bronze fountain and surrounding statues honour medical personnel who died in WWII.

En route to our last visit we admired Woburn Walk, a short street designed by Thomas Cuba in 1822 as a shopping mall. As we passed the delightful little bow-fronted shops and restaurants, our attention was drawn to the blue plaque commemorating the home of William Butler Yeats.

Around the corner, in Duke’s Road, we reached The Place, a centre for dance companies. The Place Theatre is the busiest contemporary dance venue in Europe, programming 32 weeks a year of British and international dance. A fine example of secondary re-use: the building started life in 1889 as the headquarters of the Art Union and Artists Rifles, a regiment which served with distinction in World War I.

Until 1967 the building continued to serve as a drill hall and rifle range – the old officers’ mess is now a dance studio while the shooting gallery has been converted into a theatre. Further redevelopment and refurbishing is now under way, aided by q £5million grant of lottery funds. The centre’s fundraising manager, Helen Lewis, showed us round and explained the range of activities that take place in the International Centre for Contemporary Dance. Finally, we enjoyed a light lunch in the centre’s canteen which is conveniently also open to the public.

Our thanks to Mary O’Connell for organising and leading a most informative tour of a fascinating part of our capital city.

RECONSTRUCTING ROMAN LONDON

Peter Pickering reports on a Museum of London Study Day

I saw no other HADAS members among the crowd at this study day on 13 November, the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show, which made walking from St. Paul’s Underground station more entertaining than usual.

The day was a lead-in to the new Roman London display which the Museum plans for next year. I should like to share with other members some of the many new insights I gained from the day.

Professor Millett of Southampton explained the oddity of London among the cities of the Roman Empire as stemming from its origin as a trading centre, to which people flocked as what we now call “economic migrants”. It was not a pre-Roman centre (and indeed for some time its legal status may have been seen as a settlement subordinate to Canterbury), nor was it military in origin.

Julian Hill of MoLAS told us what had already learnt from the large scale excavations at No. 1. Poultry, where the diversity of building types at the very beginning of the Roman occupation destroyed preconceptions of a slow development from small timber-framed dwellings to larger stone ones.

Damian Goodburn set about reconstructing the timber buildings of Roman London, pointing out that even in damp Britain many buildings were of mud brick, that most Roman buildings were prefabricated and that the Romans used only straight timbers, not the curved elements found in medieval buildings. He observed how much easier it was to have privacy and separate areas for separate functions in rectangular Roman houses than in the round houses of pre-history. He showed us the scorch-marks that are evidence for light fittings in Roman buildings. Apparently there were some lamps at knee height, for light when you were sitting down, and some at head height.

Professor Ling of Manchester showed slides of mosaics and wall plaster and illustrated the way in which the Romans set off bright walls with more subdued floors and vice versa. There were some inconsistencies as wall plaster needs renewing while mosaics are virtually indestructible.

Joanne Berry then took us away from London to a house in Pompeii to show how difficult it is to know what the various rooms in a Roman house were actually used for. Just like us, different Romans organised their space and their activities differently and changed them constantly, for example using their garden and their beautifully decorated rooms to store wine amphorae when they went into the wine business.

Then we were told about furniture and soft furnishings. Scenes from funery monuments provide much evidence here as well as archaeological finds. The Romans liked basket-weave chairs and patterned textiles. I must say that I found several of the reconstructions just too tidy and taste­ful in a modern way. It will be interesting to see if the galleries give the same impression when they open next year.

Finally we were taken through the evidence for animals and plants in Roman bond. A. You will be please to know there were no rats and not many mice. You may be less pleased to learn that dead horses, which were not used for human food, were dragged outside the city and left by the side of the road for the dogs and ravens. Finally, their skeletons were mangled by men digging graves to bury dead people.


COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUES

This new HADAS publication, a revised and enlarged edition of “Blue Plaques” published by HADAS in 1973, is now nearimg completion and Joanne Cordon and I have reached the point where assistance from members would be much appreciated, We should be grateful if members could check that the plaques are still in position, notify us if any are missing and (perish the thought!) let us know if there are any lurking in odd corners of the borough that we have missed. If any member could run round their local area to check, please contact me for a list of address­es.

There are 10 plaques in the Barnet area; 7 in Finchley: 14 in Hampstead Garden Suburb; 9 in Hendon and 10 in Edgware/Mill Hill. This includes all plaques, blue, green, white, bronze and black; round and square – not just blue ones.

There are a number of queries to be resolved before copy is complete. Sue Whitford has been beavering away while at home recovering from surgery and has managed to solve some problems. However, details about Kenneth Legge have so far alluded us. Son of Mary Legge,

a former Mayor of Finchley, he was a fighter pilot killed in the Battle of Britain. A plaque to his memory has been placed in Windsor Road Open Space. We do not know his date of birth or death (1940?), where he lived or any details of his service record. Can anyone help with this?

The National Portrait Gallery has agreed that we may repro­duce portraits of our subjects if they have them in their collec­tion but there will be some for whom we have to search other sources. Help here would be appreciated.

We anticipate that Commemorative Plaques should be ready to go to the printers in February to be published in the spring.

Please telephone me if you can help. Liz Holliday


“BARNET – THE TWENTIETH CENTURY”

This new book by the dynamic two – John Heathfield and Percy Reboul was published by Sutton Publishing a few months ago. Price £14.99, it offers a wealth of local photographs complete with informative cap­tions. Some illustrations are from the Local Collection or Barnet Museum but most have been specially taken by Percy for the book.

Grouped in ten sections, each of which is prefaced by a concise intro­duction, the book provides a wonderful record of changes in the Borough. The last section contains ten evocative photographs, one for each decade, illustrating a memorable event or change.

The book will be the focus of a special exhibition Barnet: a century of change which opens at Church Farmhouse Museum on 4 December and runs until 13 February. (Note: the Museum will be closed 25, 26, 27 December and 1,2 and 3 January)

Rush to the Museum and buy your copy – well worth the price!

MAGNIFICENT MINIMART

Report by Dorothy Newbury My apologies for not letting everyone know our final figure in the last Newsletter. Andy Simpson and Bill Bass counted the takings after the MiniMart and we found them to be the best “on the day” total ever – £910 in three hours!

Attendance was higher, due I think to two newspaper adverts and Micky Watkins placing posters all over the local area. We received donations from Myfanwy, Andrew Pares and Olive Banham who could not be with us on the day. I did not sell so much before the sale his year and the adverts and hall hire had gone up in price. Nevertheless, we made a clear profit of £1,125. This would not have been possible without all the help I had sorting and pric­ing in the weeks before the day and of course all the goodies which members contributed.

My thanks to all.

SEAHENGE at Flag Fen Fifty-five uprights from a timber circle discovered at Holme-Next the-Sea in Norfolk have been taken to Flag Fen. After cleaning clay and sea water from the 4000-year old timbers, they are now displayed in clear water tanks. The upturned oak tree which was in the centre of this circle is also on show. The tim­ber circle will be kept at Flag Fen for the coming year to allow preservation work and research to be carried out.

Flag Fen is three (signposted) miles from Peterborough city centre and is open 7 days a week, except from 24 December until 3 January. Details from 01733 313414.

FINDERS KEEPERS A hoard of 9,377 Roman silver denari was unearthe d in August by a first-time user of a metal detector. Trying out the equip­ment in a barley field at Slapwick near Glastonbury, two cousins found the coins just ten inches below the surface. The hoard had been buried about AD230 on land which is thought to have been the site of a villa inhabited by a British family who had adopted the Roman way of life.

The Somerset coroner has ruled that the cousins should receive the coins’ full market value from Somerset County Museum or keep the hoard if the museum can’t raise the money.

 

MAKE WEIGH

FOR THE DIGGING TEAM

by Vikki O’Connor Processing the fruits of our field- walking last year was just a tad hampered by our two sets of ancient kitchen scales. The measurements coaxed from these temperamental instru­ments by the three or four teams hunched together round the tables in the Garden Room were the subject of some amusement the smaller the objects to be weighed, Anything under 50g was liable to an error of +or – 50g (!) according to our scales. (To be fair, they had probably contributed to many a perfect Victoria sponge. However, Mary, Doug, Jeffrey, Peter. Eric and many others, acquired an ability to profess the weight of objects as light as 5g – we hope that one day they will find a use for this skill.

Now for the good news!

Although HADAS member Louise de Launay moved away from London several years ago, she has maintained an interest in the Society and, as a gesture of support and encouragement, sent a donation to the Committee to help with our activities. The Digging Team got in first! We bought a Salter All- Purpose Weighing Scale – accurate to 5g – with Louise’s donation and will be raising our coffee cups to Louise when we weigh our first pot sherd. Thank you.


EVENTS

Most local societies will be hold­ing festive events in December rather than lectures. LAMAS, however, have a lecture on Thursday 9th December: the George Eades Memorial Lecture by Chris Ellmers, Director-desig­nate of the Museum of Docklands, Shipbuilding on the Thames. Venue: Museum of London, Interpretation Unit, 150 London Wall EC2, 6.30pm fol­lowing the LAMAS AGM at 6.15pm. If you were fascinated by Mike Webber’s account of the Thames Foreshore Project, this talk should be well worth the journey – if you can fit it in between the mountains of mince pies and seasonal get-togethers?

Looking ahead to February, will you be ready to spend £30 (£15 concessions) on yourself for a study day on your favourite topic? Birkbeck College have two one-off events to offer:

Saturday 12th February 10am to 5pm MEDICINE, HEALTH & DISEASE IN ANCIENT EGYPT at the Faculty of Continuing Education, 26 Russell Square, WC1. The day is led by Joyce Filer, presently Special Assistant for Human & Animal Remains in the Dept of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum.

Saturday 26th February 10am to 5pm THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE RIVER THAMES: Highway to the Past. Eight sessions cov­ering several aspects of this sub­ject, presented by Bob Cowie, Dave Lakin and Jane Sidell.

Enquiries about enrolment on either of these days should be made to Anna Colloms, Faculty of Continuing Education, Birkbeck College, 26 Russell Square, WC1B 5DQ Tel: 0171 631 6627 or fax 0171 631 6686

OTHER SOCIETIES’ DECEMBER EVENTS

Sunday 5 from 1l am-5pm Christmas Fair at College Farm, Finchley Thursday 9 at 7.30pm Camden History Society at Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 Reminiscences of a Patent Agent by Roger Cline,

Thursday 9 at 8.15pm Hampstead Scientific Society in the Crypt Room, St John’s Church, Church Row, NW3 Mars Revisited by Jerry Workman Tuesday 14 at 8pm Amateur Geological Society in The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, N3 The World of the Mammoth by Dr Adrian Lister
All these societies welcome visitors and appreciate £I donation

newsletter-343-November-1999

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A NEW MEMBER’S IMPRESSION OF HER FIRST MINIMART by Elinor Furman

The whistle blows and the race is on not to the finish line; to bargains in the latest fashions, in used bric-a-brac, books, jewellery, toys, even clothes. Is this the East End? No –

It’s THE ANNUAL HADAS MINIMART The last time so many professional people put on ‘pinnies’, Delia Smith won her first baking contest. Why is it that other people’s cast-offs look so much better the longer we stare at them? Did I succumb? Of course; I’m delighted with my purchases – can’t wait until next year…

It seemed that more people had heard about our goodies and bargains than in previous years. There was a very good attendance.

The ground floor was devoted to food: bread, cakes, and scones – all went quickly. On the opposite table were the meringues, being bus­ily filled with cream; we had sold out by about 2 p.m. Chutney, jellies, jam, marmalade disappeared into shopping bags equally quickly; all this home-made and very good indeed. Last but not least the lunches were doing a brisk trade at the end of the room.

The lunch makers and stall holders were kept busy and, of course, happy, watching the money coming in! I’m afraid Dorothy has not finished doing her sums yet, but she will let us all know in due course.

VOTE of THANKS from MINIMART’S CHEF de CUISINE – TESSA, who writes : .. Thanks to all of you who brought quiches and other lovely goodies. The food selection this year was wonderful, and such good value, I’m sure you all agree. Special thanks to my excellent team of kitchen helpers. Many hands made light work, and it was fun and friendly.

HADAS DIARY

Tuesday, 9th November John Creighton :”Britain in’ the Shadow of Rome’ Changing lifestyles and perceptions between Caesar’s and Claudius’s invasions of Britain.

John Creighton’s first experience of excavation was when he was only 13, on the Mesolithic site at West Heath, the Society’s longest runn­ing excavation. Since then, he went on to conduct fieldwork in Britain, Germany and Spain. He now lectures at the University of Reading in Iron Age and Roman archaeology. About his lecture topic he writes: ‘The way history is often taught, it seems as if Caesar only briefly visited these shores in 55 and 54 BC, and almost a century later Claudius launched a proper invasion of these islands. However, this version is not the only way that the story can be told, and by using archaeological evidence I’d like to paint a rather different picture of the century between Caesar and Claudius.’

OCTOBER LECTURE JOAN EDWARDS

Dr Eric Robinson – The Archaeology of Local Building Materials

We welcomed Dr Eris Robinson to give his previously postponed talk on the use of local building materials. He explained the difficulties of finding suitable materials in North London and Middlesex, as these areas are really in the wider Thames valley, which is composed mainly of ‘London Clay’, with some sand and gravel layers. The Middlesex ‘Alps’, Highgate and Harrow-on-the Hill are not really composed of rock, but ‘Bagshot sands’.

The main local building materials were (1) ‘dagger stones’ ‑rocks found in clay; (2) flint from a lower chalk layer;(3) ‘Reigate Stone’; (4)’Kentish flagstone’ ; (5) ‘Puddingstone’ from Hertfordshire; (6) ‘Ironstone’.

As samples, he described the local churches built with these materials between 1050 – 1250, when stone was first used for building churches. After this, stones were transported over much greater distances, and the need for building purely with stone locally available ceased to be so pressing. William the Conquer­or had made it clear that his cathedrals could only, be built with stone from Caen itself, so thereafter the idea of transporting stone long distances gradually spread. It is not known how the stone from Kent was brought to London, but water transport probab­ly played a part.

Dr Robinson showed slides of churches such as Harrow-on-the-Hill, Monken Hadley, Canons, Hendon, Wexham Park. He showed how the walls were put together with a mixture of the local stones, using combinations of shapes and colours, e.g. flints (bath the white surface and broken to give the black surface) and red-brown iron­stone. Sometimes there is a deliberate pattern such as checker­board, and sometimes the stones are fitted together simply accord­ing to their shapes. Occasional appearances of the Hertfordshire ‘Puddingstone’ in the northern areas, and broken red Roman tiles added variety. Flint walls had to be built slowly to allow each layer to ‘dry off’ before the rest. Quoin stones made from strong­er stones from the West Country were added in later times to stab­ilise the walls.

‘Ironstone’ was a term popularised by Pevsner for a certain mater­ial used in these buildings, but rarely after 1250. This ‘stone’ is made up of sand or gravel, bonded together by iron salts washed in by water seeping or flowing through the sand or gravel. It is now referred to as ‘ferricretel, not to be confused with ‘Ferri­crete’, a modern commercial material.

Another ‘stone’ used in the Branch Hill church in Highgate was ‘failed brick’. This was brick from the vast brick-making area in the west side of Hampstead Heath, which was discarded either as mis-shapen or incorrectly fired.

The local building materials described by Dr Robinson went on being used for farm buildings after their use for building churches ceased.

We can meet Dr Robinson again at a morning lecture and walk round Kenwood Estate on Wednesday,10th Nov. Charge : £2. Details from Visitor Information Centre, Mansion Cottage, Kenwood.Tel . 0171-973-3893

STOP PRESS !! CHRISTMAS DINNER on TUESDAY, 7th DECEMBER IS NOW FULLY BOOKED!! There is a WAITING LIST with Dorothy.

HADAS WEEKEND – SEPTEMBER 3rd to 5th

DAY ONE to PORTSMOUTH RUTH WHITEHILL

September 3rd dawned fine, and after everybody had been picked up we were on our way to Winchester. A quick cup of coffee at the Moat House Hotel revived us and we were met by our efficient guide, GRAHAM SCOBIE. He told us that at one time, there were BO many churches in Winchester that it was reputed you could not walk be­tween them without rubbing your shoulders against the walls. He handed out guide sheets explaining the area and told us about life in the monastery, pointing out where King Alfred, his wife and son were thought to have been buried.

We walked down to the site of the Abbey, which was being excavated by volunteers for the fifth year. It was easy to see where the High Altar had been and to see how far the Abbey extended eastward

Our next stop was the well-preserved PORTCHESTER CASTLE, which has defended Portsmouth Harbour for nearly 2,000 years. Some of us walked round the walls which were built by the Romans, and are the most complete in Europe. Some of us climbed up to the battlements from which we had a good view of the Solent.

After eating our picnic lunch here in the sunshine, we followed a circuitous route to FORT CUMBERLAND. We were met by English Heritage staff, who have taken over the whole fort. From there we went to the Langstone Campus, a high-rise block of twelve floors with eight single rooms on each floor – very modern – not quite HADAS style! However, an excellent dinner was served and we went tired to bed.

DAY TWO ISLE of WIGHT SHEILA WOODWARD

Most islands possess a magical quality: a feeling of separateness that makes them special. The Isle of Wight is no exception and it casts its spell as soon as one approaches it across the narrow water of the Solent (calm as a millpond on the day of our visit). It demands to be explored.

Scenically the Island is delightful with its rolling downs, sandy bays and rugged cliffs. Its attraction has long been appreciated. Dinosaurs roamed there 120 million years ago; their bones are still being found. Stone-Age man left his hand-axes, Bronze Age man his burial mounds and Iron Age man his farming sites. The Romans built villas, the Saxons established burhs and the Normans fortified castles. Medieval monasteries thrived and land and sea trade enabled villages and towns to expand. Charles I was imprisoned on the Island. Queen Victoria built a holiday home there, so setting a trend which has continued to the present day.

In a single day’s visit we could only sample this wealth of delights. Our excellent local guide and archaeologist Kevin Trott ensured that we missed nothing of interest on our drives across the Island out we concentrated our attention on three main sites. The first was the magnificent Roman Villa at Brading, a spacious courtyard house which had its heyday in the 4th century AD. Its occupants lived in sophisticated comfort in rooms bright with painted plaster walls and fine mosaic floors, with under floor heating and even misty green glass in some of the windows. Alas, only fragments of tae wall plaster survive, giving tantalising glimpses of delicately painted floral and woodland scenes. The floors have fared better despite the depredation of wind, flood, agriculture and wild animals. The mosaics are the chief glory of this villa and many of the tesserae are in their original bedding material. Some feature standard Roman myths: Orpheus with his lyre and animals, Perseus and Andromeda with Medusa, Ceres and Triptolemus clutching the plough he is credited with inventing. There are sea-nymphs and tritons and personifications of the four seasons. But there are some less usual depictions such as the famous cock headed man (is he an amphitheatre hunter or a mythical creature?) and the seated male figure with globe, bowl and sundial who is variously identified as astrologer, astronomer or philosopher. The mystery of interpretation only adds to the pleasure of these extraordinary mosaics.

The villa was discovered and first excavated in 1880 by Captain Thorp, a retired army officer, and Mr Munns the local farmer who was “making holes” for an overnight sheep-pen. The site guide book has a wonderful illustration of that excavation, sheep and all The rather rough digging techniques of the period meant the loss of valuable evidence and it is astonishing that so

much remains. The finds from the site include domestic farming and seafaring equipment, building material and structural fitments, all well displayed.

A scrapbook kept by Captain Thorp including drawings made during excavation

is of special interest. A disastrous flood as recently as 1994 highlights the need for the conservation and protective measures now being taken by the local Oglander Roman Trust and English Heritage.

Our second visit was to Carisbrooke Castle, one of the Island’s best-known buildings. Its site is a natural stronghold and was possibly fortified by the Romans and certainly by the Saxons. When the Normans came they built the castle which, though added to and altered over the years, is still recognisably Norman. With its huge motte and keep, its great curtain walls and its massive 14th century gatehouse, it remains formidable though it has not been used militarily since the 18th century. From 1647 it served as a prison for Charles I who, after 3 failed attempts at rescue/escape, was moved to London in November 1648 and executed 2 months later. Two of his children were later prisoners in the castle and one (Princess Elizabeth) died there. Subsequently the castle gently decayed until a mid-19th century restoration after which Princess Beatrice, youngest child of Queen Victoria, became Governor of the castle and made it her summer home. In parenthesis: I slept in the castle in 1948 when for a short time it housed a Youth Hostel. my most vivid memory is of suffering from a nightmare, waking the whole dormitory with my screams and then failing to convince everyone that I had not seen the ghost of the little Princess Elizabeth!

The castle today offers manifold attractions and after eating our picnic lunches in the sunshine HADAS members scattered to do their own thing. The walls could be walked, the motte climbed (71 steps) and the keep explored, the domestic building* and the chapel could be visited, and the Great Hall which now houses the castle museum. The well-house is always popular with its tread-wheel worked by one of a team of donkeys. I am told that at our visit Jennifer “did her stuff” so sparing the English Heritage attendants the ignominy of having to tread the wheel themselves – a not unknown occurrence!

The third site we visited was the Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery at the highest point of Brook Down – “steep climb, NOT for the faint-hearted” said Dorothy’s programme note. I can confirm that it was well worth the effort. The cemetery is known as Five Barrows but there are in fact eight: a linear group of six bowl barrows with a bell barrow (usually associated with male burials) at one end and a disc barrow (usually associated with female burials) at the other. The latter is the only known disc barrow on the Island. The barrows were “excavated” by treasure hunters in the 15th century and further investigated by a local vicar last century. Only broken pottery was found except in the disc barrow which contained a small piece of bronze. There were no secondary (Saxon) burials in the mounds. Seen from below the barrows stand up clearly on the skyline. Looking down from the barrows the view is spectacular with Tennyson Down and Freshwater Bay to the northwest and Brightstone and the coast beyond it stretching to Blackgang Chine to the southeast.

The glorious weather continued for our return drive via Brook (dramatic stories of lifeboat rescues), Brightstone (famed for its dinosaur fossils), Chale and St Caterine’s (old and new lighthouse sites), Ventnor and the Undercliff with its almost tropical climate; thanks to the Gulf Stream) and its traces of a prehistoric shellfish economy. We rounded off our satisfyingly full day with a delicious dinner at the Fishbourne Inn, a modern successor to an ancient fishermen’s hostelry, and then sailed peacefully back to Portsmouth as the stars came out,

DAY THREE BACK to PORTSMOUTH ROSEMARY BENTLEY

When a bomb fell on PORTSMOUTH CITY MUSEUM in 1943, the only ex­hibit which could be salvaged was a set of police truncheons. So for many years thereafter visitors only saw the area as a naval base. The new City Museum, housed in an astonishing Edwardian chateau, formerly a barracks, concentrates on `reconstructions’ – Stone Age to a 1950’s living room, with little of real interest on show. Jenny Stevens, recently appointed curator, has discov­ered a huge collection of artefacts, many uncatalogued, and she intends to produce a ‘hands-on’ exhibition.

Locally born, she began her talk with an historical resume. Port­smouth and Southsea stand on Portsea Island, formerly marshy ground, below a chalk ridge, Portsdown Hill. A Saxon settlement grew into a town, given a charter by Richard I; the dockyard and defence lines were established by Henry VIII. The Solent and Spit-head provide deep, sheltered waters, and the harbour entrance is

so narrow that U.S. aircraft carriers are unable to enter. Still an island, Portsea is now the most densely populated area in Brit­ain, yet a corner of Langstone Harbour (between Portsea and Hayling Island) is a Site of Special Scientific Interest

Sea salt was collected in this area which, much later, became a hiding place for ‘Mulberry’ harbours. One broke its back and still stands there like a colossal shark. fin.

The City Museum’s remit extends 15 miles north, east and west, but there is no local amateur group. Site-watching is contracted out by developers and little has been retrieved. Jenny would like to appoint an officer to watch the whole area. Finally, she invited us to handle some of the pieces she has discovered in the Museum storehouse, e.g. a Bronze Age incense burner, found on Portsdown Hill when the Palmerston Forts were built; a near perfect black flint axe-head; briquetage from the salt pans; and a 32 lbs. cannon ball.

Then, on to the Dockyard, where we all went nimbly up and down the companionways on the /Victory!. When a ship was cleared for action the furniture was sometimes towed astern. French and English capt­ains had an agreement not to fire on those boats !

The Mary Rose is now standing vertical in a shower of chemicals which may last twenty years. The Hall is to be extended by a third walkway so that the outside of the hulk can be seen. The Mary Rose Museum is beautifully displayed and explained but I am sure that many of the small personal finds have been removed. I missed the hurly-burly excitement of 1984. Some went to the Royal Naval Museum, some took a trip round the harbour. I visited the newest exhibit, HMS ‘Warrior’ – built 1860, the world’s first iron-hulled battleship, Imagine a cross between HMS ‘Victory’ and SS’Great Britain’, with mess tables, hammocks, telescopic funnels and washing machines for the stokers’ clothes !!

IODINE AND AN AGE-OLD MYSTERY STEWART J. WILD

Précis of a recent report in Geographical magazine

A geographer in the US has concluded that iodine deficiency may have caused many of the distinctive features exhibited by Neanderthals, as well as helping to explain what became of these early hominids. According to Dr Jerome Dobson, of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, a single genetic difference -one that prevented Neanderthals from processing iodine – may be all that stands between them and us.

Iodine deficiency in modern humans causes goitre, a disfiguring enlargement of the thyroid gland, or cretinism, a worse condition of deformity and mental retardation that can also be caused by the malfunction or absence of the thyroid gland.

The World Health Organisation estimates that about 30 per cent of the world’s population is at risk from iodine deficiency disorders, especially those far from the sea who are unable to take advantage of principal sources of dietary iodine like saltwater fish, shellfish and seaweed.

Neanderthals lived mostly in inland Europe, which is notoriously iodine deficient today, and probably was when the Neanderthals flourished between 230,000 and 30,000 years ago. Dobson claims that excavated Neanderthal bones are very similar to those of modern humans suffering from IDD.

He says that distinctive Neanderthal traits – body size, heavy brows, large muscles, poor dental development and bone disease -are identical to those of modern humans suffering from cretinism. The most striking physical feature of cretins and Neanderthals

is bone thickness; in cretins, arm and leg bones stop growing in length but continue to grow concentrically. Skulls are also similar. In modern humans, Dobson explains, hormones in the thyroid gland enable the body to absorb iodine from food sources. Maybe, he hypothesises, Neanderthal thyroid glands were not well equipped to process iodine, whereas those of Cro-Magnon man, who appeared 40,000 years ago, were.

Non-cretinous populations may have become dominant in Europe from 40,000 to 30,000 years ago because some innovation, most likely trade with coastal settlements, introduced iodine to iodine-deficient regions.

ALFRED THE GREAT: LONDON’S FORGOTTEN KING

Museum of London until 9th January 2000

Educationalists plan to omit information from the future history curriculum on what they think of as the boring old Saxon kings. This small but fascinating exhibition is your chance to see how wrong they are. The publicity leaflet tells us that this is “a major exhibition painting a vivid picture of the only English king to earn the title ‘Great’.

Among the exhibits are finds from the city of Lundenwic in the Strand area, and the recent excavations at Covent Garden; timbers and coins from Alfred’s “trading shore” near present-day Queenhithe; manuscripts; jewellery (including the famous Alfred Jewel); and a selection of Anglo-Saxon weapons (including the “seax”, a short sword (or long knife?)) .

Compared to the awe-inspiring bearded statue of Alfred which stands in Winchester, a contemporary silver penny shows a clean-shaven man with a simple diadem or fillet on his short-cropped hair (*ugh we are told there is no evidence for Alfred’s actual appearance). There is also an amusing photograph of a statue of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert portrayed wearing Saxon costume.

During my visit, a “Saxon” in costume was chipping away at a copy of a tomb slab and demonstrating
his stonemason’s skills to a small, fascinated audience. Entry charge to Museum: adults £5, concessions
£3. All tickets valid for a year. (Web site: www.museumoflondon.org.uk) Deirdre Barrie

Events at the Museum of London which tie in with this Exhibition: “Keeping Alfred Great,- a 30 minute discussion (Rose Johnson and Jill Barnard, Museum of London) on conservation work for the exhibition. Thursday 7 October at 2.30 pm.

Study Day on the latest thinking on Alfred the Great on Saturday 16th October at 10 am.,

Fee: £16, £10 concessions. Tel.Bookings Officer, Museum of London 020 7814 5777

BOOK NEWS

Searching for a Local History booklet ? Don’t know whom to contact

when on a piece of research? Need information on a specific local- ity ? JUST PUBLISHED – ‘Greater London History and Heritage liana-

book’ by Peter Marcan Publications. PO.Box 3158,London.S13 1RA. Tel: 02 7b57 0668. The Millennium Guide to Historical Heritage and Environmental Networks and Publications.

Percy Reboul and John Heattfield have written another book in their series of publications on a ‘Hundred Years of History in Barnet’ in photographs depicting the Borough in the last hundred years.

FURTHER COMMENTS ON THE LEY FIELD PHILIP BAILEY

I would like to respond to the criticisms of my article aired in the last Newsletter. May I start by saying that just because ‘no‑

one has ever been able to reconstruct a detailed medieval field lay­out from documentary records’ doesn’t mean that nobody ever will

In answer to the comment that animals were rarely let into the open fields,I quote: ‘The Oxford Companion to Local & Family History’. Ed. David Hey (1996).

Leys: ‘Individual arable strips were often converted to grass,on

a temporary basis, in order to provide sufficient feed for livestock. These leys could last for varying periods, from two to seven or eight Years; if longer still, they seemed permanent.’

My argument about the Ley Field being in an area which later became known as Barnet Common was really that it was incorporated into Bar­net Common (which was formed from Southaw Wood) and not that it form­ed the basis of Barnet Common. I admit this is not clear from the article. The 19th century maps of Barnet Common needed very little ‘development’, and this is why I didn’t detail it.

In closing, I must say that I was encouraged in my research after the article appeared by Mr Derek Renn, whom I thank, and by Vicky O’Connor who said in a letter to me that ‘ideally our Newsletters would serve to encourage members to undertake projects’ and that

‘no matter how many times we ask for contributions, we are more likely to get a response by example (such as your article)’.

I have to say that from what I have seen, I don’t think Pamela Tay­lor or Jennie Lee Cobban need much prompting, but perhaps I have en­couraged people who are by nature slightly less forward to submit articles to the Newsletter !.

I quote from the manor records :

1280 John le Breton and Katelina his wife rendered LID into the hands of the Lord a certain plot of land in ‘La Leye’ for the use of

1263 ‘A precept is issued to the men of Barnet, both to those of the Leye and to the others …. And the aforesaid men of the Leye rose up with one voice saying that they themselves ought not nor ever had been accustomed to elect a reeve …And they named three or four of the said town who each successively had been reeve in the …

1276 John Henry surrendered all the land which he had in the field which is called ‘Le Layefeld’ together with a grove which is called ‘Cornhegch’ saving for himself two strips of ploughland which he retains to have a road for himself and …

1280 All the tenants in ‘a Leye’ say that they have not had a prop- er summons and therefore refused to come to the court meeting, and it is testified by the sergeant and by the Ville that they had a summons.

SECRETARY’S CORNER – from Committee Meeting of 1st October,1999 Following items were included in the many matters discussed:

Society’s accommodation at Avenue House and storage facilities at College Farm are inadequate. Preliminary consideration is now being given to possibility of alternative premises.

Agreed that Minutes of preceding AGM, Chairman’s Report, Treasurer’s Report and Accounts be sent in future to all members in advance of the AGM.

National Archaeology Weekend considered very successful; congratul­ations to Vikki O’Connor and the other organisers.

It is intended to apply for a Millennium Award for the proposed publication of a book on commemorative plaques in the Borough.

Proposal has been made for HADAS to do some resistivity in Charterhouse Square, where aerial photos have shown a possible medieval foundation.

MEMBERS’ NEWS

Peter Pickering – now PhD., University College, London. Photo in last month’s Newsletter does NOT show him in academic rig; His thesis was entitled ‘Verbal Repetition in Greek Tragedy’, examin­ing ‘when, why and how often the ancient poets used the same words.. and when repetitions might be the fault of copyists ..'(from the Finchley Society Newsletter). Congratulations to old friend Peter.

John Enderby (HADAS founder Member and one of our Vice-Chairmen) together with some local amateur historians in his village of Fontmell Magna, Dorset, has started a national project to record all stream and bridge names,before they are lost forever from local memory. This fascinating enterprise is featured in an article in ‘The Guardian’ of 6th October. Fontmell Magna(once part of the es­tate of Shaftesbury Abbey) dates from the 10th century, and was on a HADAS itinerary,guided by John and Barbara, earlier this year.

Rt. Rev. William Westwood, Bishop of Edmonton (1975 – 1984) and of Peterborough (1984 – 1995) died in September, aged 73. HADAS member Eric Morgan recalls that ‘Bill’ (as he was affectionately known) was a HADAS Vice-President when he was at Edmonton and was widely known in religious broadcasting for his great humour and understanding,

particularly on Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’.

P.S. from Rosemary Bentley re HADAS WEEKEND . . .. Rosemary is willing to lend her copy of the guide book to :US ‘Warrior’ to any interested member — highly commended.

ALSO she thanks Dorothy for arranging perfect weather for the trip and hopes she might be persuaded to organise a millennium ‘weekend away’. “After that she adds ( seriously)

“Who ??? ???”

BARNET COUNCIL MUSEUMS SERVICE – THE FUTURE?

ANDY SIMPSON

Following on from the recent Avenue House meeting, also reported in the newsletter, Barnet Councils’ Recreation, Leisure and Arts Scrutiny Commission held another consultative meeting on the 23rd September at the Town Hall, Hendon, to invite views on the council’s museums service from selected users. This is part of a ‘Best Value Review’ of the council’s libraries, museums and information services, and the purpose of the meeting, chaired by Kitty Lyons, chair of the scrutiny commission, was to discuss both the service as it currently exists and how local residents might wish to see it develop and improve in the future. Your scribe attended as HADAS representative, along with 17 others from the public including representatives from Barnet College, The Barnet Society, Barnet Museum, Finchley Community Forum, Middlesex University, Mill Hill Historical Society anc the RAF Museum, plus a number of Barnet Council officials.

A list of suggested topics for discussion was circulated by the council before the meeting, concentrating on the council-operated Church Farmhouse Museum on Greyhound Hill, Hendon rather than the volunteer-run, but council-supported, Barnet Museum at High Barnet, and Stephens Museum at Finchley’s Avenue House, starting with why do we need a museum in Barnet, and who uses it, and suggested themes for future exhibitions, this museum having a regular programme of temporary displays. Also on the list was the question of how to raise attendances at this registered museum and the effectiveness of existing publicity.

The meeting opened with an explanation of the ‘Best Value Process’ review – a government requirement to review over 4-5 years council operations – looking at what services are provided, for whom, and why, and what improvements might be made, in this case to the Museums service.

A general discussion of possible improvements included the request that the local history collection in the archives at Egerton Gardens, Hendon should be more accessible to the public and a request for more brown signs to indicate the museum’s location, which the council agreed to look into. Further publicity issues included suggestions for a box advertisement in the local free press detailing new exhibitions, opening hours and bus routes, the latter causing particular comment. Barnet College and other local students could for example, offer volunteer help in designing publicity material through project work, and more advertising in libraries, bus stops, tube stations and parks was recommended. The question of lunchtime, Sunday morning or weekday evening opening was raised, possibly using volunteer roster, but when tried previously this had not been a success in terms of visitor numbers. Additional museum staff could theoretically be funded by the presently under subscribed Heritage Lottery Access Fund from the summer of 1999. Better transport links, for, or even between, the museums were also discussed, with the need for better information on access by public transport being stressed. Also, the council seemed quite taken with the suggestion of summer vintage/open-top bus tours between the two museums and would pass this on to their marketing division -this could perhaps include Avenue House and a picnic in Sunny Hill Park or lunch at the Greyhound, all perhaps linked with the nationally organised ‘Open House’ days and even perhaps tours of St. Mary’s Church Hendon and St John’s Church Chipping Barnet.

It was announced that Church Farmhouse Museum will shortly be floodlit at night thanks to a donation from the Friends of Church Farmhouse Museum, who found that the rooms at CFM were very small and restricted when holding functions. The problem of shortage of storage space – a familiar problem to HADAS also – was discussed. Schools play a big part in the life of the museum,

especially during the mornings, being attracted by the permanent displays of period furnished rooms rather than the temporary displays and exhibitions, hence the recent suggestion that one of the

upstairs galleries should be remodelled as a Victorian bedroom, although the feeling was that the whole of the first floor should be retained for temporary exhibitions rather than permanent displays, and not for art exhibitions which in future will hopefully be catered for by the proposed new Borough Arts Centre at Tally Ho, North Finchley and the Bothy in the Avenue House grounds. The ability to display touring exhibitions was again restricted by the size and design of the rooms.

It was commented that the two larger museums complement each other, with Barnet Museum having a wide selection of items in static displays and CFM concentrating mainly on temporary exhibitions and then discussion moved to a possible name change, e.g. should it become Hendon Museum but not Barnet Museum so as not to impinge on the identity and ethos of the existing Barnet Museum, whilst still covering the entire Borough. The majority view at the meeting was that CFM should become `Church Farmhouse Museum at Hendon’ to make it clear it was for the whole Borough and not just the local Hendon Museum.

These points will now be pursued as part of the Council’s ‘Best Value Review.’

newsletter-342-october-1999

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BROCKLEY HILL STUDY DAY – Pottery, Potters, Kilns

STEPHEN CASTLE has agreed to speak to HADAS about his excavations at Brockley Hill kiln sites in the 1970s and about his subsequent published conclusions regarding the Roman pottery, as part of our Brockley Hill study day on Saturday 30th OCTOBER. He last visited us in the 1980s and this is an opportunity for newer members to learn more about this scheduled site in the north of our Borough. BARRY HORNE of the Manshead Archaeological Society will be explaining his theory about why the types of Roman pottery which his society have excavated in the Dunstable area do not include wares from the Brockley Hill kilns. YOU will have the opportunity to look at several types of pottery from the Suggett collection which is usually in store, as well as some of the finds from our fieldwalking at Brockley Hill last year, and to examine them microscopically.

If you have any thoughts about the precise location of Sulloniacis then please come along and share them – we need your input. We also hope to see contacts from other organisations, including MOLSS finds specialist Fiona Seeley who has already spent a couple of days looking at our finds.

THE DAY: Saturday 30th October 1999 THE TIME: 11.30am through to 4pm

THE PLACE: The Training Centre behind Hertford Lodge (beside Avenue House), East End Road, Finchley Central. THE COST: £3 towards coffees sandwiches & hire of hall – cheques payable to HADAS.
Contact: Vikki O’Connor, 2a Dene Road, London N11 1ES.

HADAS DIARY

Monday 4th October WALK with Mary O’Connell around the Euston area, visiting the Quakers’ (Society of Friends’) House, the new headquarters of the Magic Circle, and the refurbished “The Place” Theatre. A few places left – phone Dorothy Newbury (0181-203 0950).

Saturday 9th October MINIMART: LOTS OF BARGAINS! – our annual fundraiser.

St Mary’s Church Hall, Greyhound Hill, Hendon NW4. 11.30am-2.30 pm. Please phone Dorothy Newbury (0181-203 0950) if you have items for sale or can help on the day.

Lectures are held at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley. The Committee has decided to try a new arrangement for the lectures. In future the lecture itself will start at 8 pm, lasting about an hour, followed as usual by questions, with coffee being served at the end of the evening.

Tuesday 12th October Our winter lecture programme begins with Dr Eric Robinson: “The Archaeology of Local Building Materials”

Unfortunately Caspar Johnson is not able to speak to us on Mexico in October, but he still hopes to make it at a later date. In the meantime we are delighted that Eric Robinson, who was not able to speak as expected in April, will now be with us on October 126. All is not lost on the Southern American front as Dr Colin McEwan, the Head of the Ethnography Department of the British Museum, has agreed to lecture in March on an aspect of Peruvian archaeology.

Tuesday 7th December CHRISTMAS DINNER. First a visit to Dr Johnson’s House in Gough Square, followed by dinner at nearby “Ye Olde Cock Tavern” in Fleet Street. Coach, timing details and application form with this Newsletter. Please reply AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

HADAS OUTING TO WEST STOW, FRAMLINGHAM CASTLE AND WOODBRIDGE, SUFFOLK

The outward journey took us past several military airfields – Northolt, Mildenhall and Lakenheath. We also passed through Newmarket (complete with racehorses … not surprisingly!) and Icklingham, an attractive village with many of the buildings constructed from flint.

Our first stop was at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. This consisted of a visitor centre and, a short walk away, the reconstructed village. The buildings had been reconstructed for two reasons: firstly they were arranged to demonstrate the Anglo-Saxon social structure (i.e. a hall with six or seven houses all occupied by elements of the same extended family). Secondly, as little evidence of surface structures survives, they were constructed of different styles. This experimental work has revealed one particularly surprising conclusion, i.e. that the conventional view that part of an Anglo-Saxon house was built below ground level is wrong. It is now felt that the pit (usually associated with these houses) was boarded over and did not form part of the living accommodation. Attempts to identify the function of the pit quickly discounted storage (as it was too damp). One novel (and potentially hazardous) idea was that it was to store hay, which duly decomposed, therefore generating heat – underfloor central heating!

During the summer the huts are sometimes occupied by volunteers giving demonstrations on aspects of Anglo-Saxon life. We were fortunate enough to see a demonstration of a wood-turning lathe and to be entertained by a Saxon musician, whose Black Country accent certainly made Andy feel at home! (Appropriately enough, scholars have identified elements of Saxon speech in Black Country dialects -Andy). The visitor centre (recently opened) housed a comprehensive exhibition which went beyond simply displaying artefacts. The emphasis was on the interpretation of the site’s archaeological evidence. We then stopped for lunch at Framlingham. Framlingham Castle, with its impressive earthworks, was built by Hugh Bigod in the twelfth century as a motte-and-bailey and then rebuilt in 1190 by Roger Bigod, Hugh’s grandson. It is the remains of this second castle that can be seen today. The surviving flint curtain wall rises to an impressive 44 feet and is 8 feet thick. There are 12 rectangular towers, which rise a further 20 feet, and a gateway. The wall walk provided the basis for a fascinating and detailed audio tour, much favoured by English Heritage these days. This pointed out interesting architectural details, such as the Tudor six-sided brick extensions to the original Norman chimneys, and outlined aspects of the castle’s history. The walls gave extensive views of the surrounding countryside, and the opportunity to appreciate the extent of the defensive features. The castle was built on a mound with extensive wide and deep ditching, with high counter-scarp banking. Little survives of the internal buildings, although parts of the great hall had been incorporated into a 17th century poorhouse.

Our final stop was at Woodbridge Tide Mill, situated on the River Debden close to Sutton Hoo. This was a weather-boarded building arranged on three floors. It housed an exhibition on the history of the mill and tide-mills in general. By the time we had looked around the mill, the weather had improved considerably and we were able to look around the boatyard (Bass’s Quay, with one house named ‘Little Bass’!) before returning to the coach. This was a very pleasant way to end an informative and successful trip.

This account of the trip comes from your `Yatton Correspondent’. (Yatton is a village situated between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, on the North Somerset levels). As an old college friend of Andy Simpson, I have been associated with HADAS for a number of years (joining us on two trips, Brockley Hill, Church Farm digging and various real ale research trips – Andy).

Finally, as an ‘outsider’, I can honestly say that my impression of HADAS is that of a well organised and enthusiastic body fulfilling a useful social function and achieving practical results. (Thanks, Greg, your cheque’s in the post.)

GREG HUNT

THE LEY FIELD REVISITED by Pamela Taylor

Without the time currently to go back to the Barnet court rolls, I can’t respond in any detail to Philip Bailey’s piece on the Ley field (September Newsletter), but it’s likely that he’s doing the historical equivalent of fabricating a cloud-capped palace from three postholes. No-one has ever been able to reconstruct a detailed medieval field layout from documentary records – and in the almost total absence of medieval mapping, many have tried. His internal boundaries must belargely invented, and I also have considerable doubts about the external ones.

The development of field systems was not as he states it. As all HADAS members who have learned A Place in Time by heart will remember (memories could be refreshed around pages 63-7) local people did not ‘own plots of the shared land by agreement with the lord of the manor’. Although landholding peasants had long-established customary rights, including inheritance, they had no freehold: the land was and remained the lord’s. Even in this limited context the point is more than a legal quibble, since it helped the high degree of regulation essential to open-field agriculture, which was fundamentally for arable production. In particular, without internal fences, grazing had to be tightly controlled, and animals were normally only allowed into the open fields for limited periods after the harvest, to graze on the stubble.

Open fields and arable were not the only forms of agriculture, and in areas of heavy clay soil such as Barnet, never even predominant. The clay supported trees well but was heavy to clear and plough, and in any case not particularly fertile. Woods were valuable in themselves, combining the provision of essential fuel and building materials with perfectly adequate grazing for pigs, horses and deer. They were rather less useful for sheep and cattle, which needed an abundance of grass or, in winter, hay, and in areas such as Barnet with plentiful woodland but scant water-meadows, pasture was created by clearances. These normally went straight from woodland to small enclosed fields and were never

part of the open-field system. Peasants who were given permission to assail (clear), particularly in the tenth to twelfth centuries and in new settlements, often achieved a slightly greater degree of freedom, but only relatively slightly (`Market’) Barnet was founded c.1100 to capitalise on the new road from London to the north, and its various early designations include both Barnetley and West Barnet. But although it became a town in economic terms, it never achieved autonomy, and its inhabitants remained unfree tenants of St Albans Abbey.

Areas of poor soil and little open-field husbandry are also areas of polyfocal settlement. There were probably two main earlier centres within Barnet, both of which may have suffered from Chipping Barnet’s runaway success. One was East Barnet, hich had the parish church. The other was at Barnet Gate, known throughout the medieval period as Grendelsgate, where the manor courts were sometimes held. This is an interesting name – Grendel was a monster in the Old English epic of Beowulf – and the spot was on Wood Street at the manorial and county boundary. It was also, beyond any doubt, in Southaw – the name continued in use for the remaining adjacent wood.

Throughout the middle ages and beyond, Barnet never ran short of woodland. This was normally divided between the lord of the manor’s enclosed or emparked areas – Osidge was one such – and more general woodland where peasants had some rights (though again heavily regulated) of commoning their animals and of gathering fuel and timber. It was these woodland areas, in Barnet, Finchley and elsewhere, which were gradually transformed into the later Commons. Open fields were also known as common fields, because they were not divided into separate individual parcels and were to that extent, as with the open woodland, enjoyed in common, but the two were not interchangeable categories, and should not be confused.

The Victoria County History volumes for Barnet

and Totteridge are too early to go into agricultural detail, but the more recent volumes which cover Hendon and Finchley are far more generous, and available in all the borough’s reference libraries.

The whole borough is geologically and agriculturally similar, and anyone wishing to diversify beyond A Place in Time should find them interesting, and authoritative. Pamela Taylor

Jennie Lee Cobban also writes

Re article: THESE WERE BARNET’S FIRST ALLOTMENTS (September Newsletter)

Philip Bailey states with great authority in the above article that the Leye or Lay Field occupied the area between Wood Street and Dollis Brook, and Barnet Hill and Bells Hill in High Barnet.

Is this an established fact of which I was totally unaware, or is the article intending to present new evidence to suggest that this might have been the case? If so, I cannot see how the evidence presented in the article warrants such a confident statement. How, for example, have nineteenth century maps of Barnet been ‘developed’ to show the location of this particular field? And what does Barnet Common, which developed out of woodland (as did all commons), have to do with it?

I feel I have lost the plot here, somewhere! ”

MARKET TRADERS BROUGHT TO BOOK … Vikki O’Connor

Barnet Local History Society recently celebrated the 800th anniversary of the granting of Barnet Market’s charter by dressing for the occasion. At a garden party held in the grounds behind Barnet Museum, Master of Ceremonies Richard Selby read the conditions of the charter of 1199 to ‘King John’, ‘Queen Isabella’, whilst the character of the Bishop of St Albans was played by present day rector of St John’s at High Barnet, the Rev. Esdaile. As a medieval gesture, homing pigeons were released, but the two chickens in rustic-looking pens were not! To set the scene several realistic stalls had been hired from a theatrical supplier and be-costumed BLHS members assumed the roles of stallholders. The sundry characters included a blood-spattered medieval tooth puller who bore an uncanny resemblance to HADAS

Committee member Peter Pickering… Jennie Cobban pounced on Andy Simpson and Bill Bass who sportingly agreed to dress up from the contents of her costume case – Andy in bright yellow looking like a ‘Team Barnet’ member, and Bill in a flowing black velvet cape resembled a character from Star Wars. Jean Bayne somehow escaped Jennie’s efforts and assisted with our stall, which profited £25 from HADAS book sales.

Barnet Local History Society was also celebrating the occasion with the publication of 800 Years of Barnet Market by Jennie Lee Cobban and Doreen Willcocks. A copy was presented to William Harding Young, whose family owned the market from 1902 to 1999. When he sold the market in May this year it was on condition that the site remain a stall market for the next fifteen years, but the whole story is told in the book -copies available at Barnet Museum, Wood Street, Barnet. (We have purchased a copy for the HADAS library).

Deputy Mayor Jeremy Davies and the Mayoress expressed an interest in the HADAS stall – Mrs Davies recalled attending an archaeology class at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute in the 1960’s taught by Professor Zeuner – there may be a few HADAS members who recall likewise?

Cricklewood Station by Bill Firth

Recent planning applications include two small items for the old ticket office at Cricklewood Station. One is for a 2.4 m. high palisade fence with gates round the site; the other is to change the use of one room to a base for a taxi/vehicle hire service and erection of a refreshment kiosk.

Neither of these items in themselves is very interesting but they indicate the reuse of an old building, which has been empty and rather derelict for some time, and thus its preservation for the present at least.

The old ticket office at Cricklewood Station is believed to be original. I think it is the only remaining Midland Railway building in the borough, but I have not made a detailed check recently. The station was opened as Child’s Hill and Cricklewood on 2 May 1870 and renamed Cricklewood on 1 May 1903.

Glassy, Ghastly and, I say! Vikki O’Connor

The main autumn exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum is on Carnival Glass but running with it is a small exhibition on Hauntings, Horrors and Oddities in Barnet borough – from the ghost of Nan Clark’s Lane to the Hendon nudist riots. Curious? You have from 26th September to 14th November when all will be revealed!

The Carnival Glass should cause some to mutter ‘Oh, I remember that’, or, We chucked that out years ago’, and some of you may go home to rummage the recesses? Our newsletter editors await your findings with bated breath….

The HADAS digging team deposited Basil the sheep excavated at Church Farmhouse Museum grounds this year with CFM curator Gerrard Roots, as an example of the Oddities (the sheep, not Gerrard!). Being slightly osteologically-challenged, it took half a dozen HADAS members to fit a 55cm skeleton into a 45cm box and at one point it seemed that Basil had six legs. That would have been an excellent reason for burying him/her complete and unbutchered.

SPELLCHECKER STRIKES AGAIN

Computer spellcheckers do not always recognise proper names or a specialized vocabulary, and suggest the nearest word they have in their innards. When Liz Sagues ran the spellchecker over the September Newsletter, the computer obligingly suggested the following surrealistic replacements:

Minimart – minaret, numerate; Johnson – jingoism; HADAS – Hades; Claudius – cloddish.
Hendon – undone; Vikki vodka (!); hillforts.- halfwits, flowerets; neolithic – inelastic,
nihilistic, unethical; dolmen – demon; smithing – smashing; Barnet – baronet, Bronte; Edgware

drawer, dweller; brasses – brushes, bruises; woolmark – womanlike; Boadicea – bodice, bookcase; Newbury – neighbour, nobler; AD66 – ado; Blackfriars – backfires, backstairs; cuppa

coypu, cupola; arcading – racketing, archdeacon; Greyfriars – graveyards, glorifiers; Saxons-stations, sexiness; burgage – bragged, burgled; Spitalfields – hospitalised, Spitfires; on-going -nagging; Fishbourne – fisherman; backfilling – backfiring, backsliding; pikeman – pigment, pediment; portaloos – portcullis; LAARC – lark; SCOLA – scowl, scaly; ribcage – robotic; website – weepiest, wobbliest, riposte.

BROWSERS CORNER

I Details of LOCAL HISTORY COURSES in London for the 99/2000 academic year at this WEA site: office@Jon.wea.org.uk

2 FREE INTERNATIONAL BOOKSEARCH

“no obligation to purchase”: www.argonet.eo.uk/users/male.kbs

3 INSTITUTE OF HERALDIC GENEALOGICAL STUDIES based in Canterbury, have information on training, library, bookshop – visit their site: www.ings.ac.uk

OTHER SOCIETIES’ NEWS/EVENTS

London & Middlesex Archaeological Society’s 34th LOCAL HISTORY CONFERENCE will be on Saturday 20th November at the Museum of London Lecture Theatre between 10am and 5pm -the theme is The Effect of Tudor and Stuart Royalty on the Greater London Area.

Simon Thurley, the high-profile Director of the Museum of London will be talking about Royal Palaces in London; Michael Berlin (who sometimes lectures for Birkbeck in Barnet) will discuss the clash between royalty and the City; Geoffrey Toms, archaeologist and historian is to talk on the royal estates of Greater London, Andrew Cameron of Hounslow Local History Society will speak about the Hounslow area; and Rosemary Weinstein, writer/researcher will discuss the Royal Parks. Tickets, price £4, from LAMAS, 36 Church Road, West Drayton, Middx UB7 7PX, tel 01895 442610. These local history conferences are well-attended and highly informative so, do book early!

POST-MEDIEVAL LONDON

Another date for your diary at the Museum of London – Saturday 27th November, with sessions on the port, life & death, homes, households, halls and palaces. Organised by CBA Mid-Anglia and CBA South-East in conjunction with SCOLA, this event looks like another feast of information.

Booking de ‘tails from Derek Hills, CBA Mid-Anglia, 34 Kingfisher Close, Wheathampstead, Herts, AL4 8JJ.

COLAS on TV

The City of London Archaeological Society were filmed surveying the Thames foreshore recently, as part of the BBC series called The River. This will be screened before the end of the year, possibly in October. Keep an eye open for HADAS committee member Andy Simpson splashing about in the mud.

Barnet Local History Society meet on Wed 13th October, 8pm, The Story of London through its Pubs told by Sandra Lea: Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, High Barnet

Hornsey Historical Society Wednesday 13th October, 8pm Ice Houses and Ice Cream with Ruth Hazseldine. Venue: Union Church Community Centre, corner of Ferme Pk Rd/Weston Park, London N8

Enfield Archaeological Society 15th October Jon Cotton on Lundenwic: excavations on the site of Saxon London. 8pm at Jubilee Hall, corner Chase Side/Parsonage Lane, Enfield (visitors: donation).

Pinner Local History Society 7th October Popping into Uncle’s, Victorian & Edwardian pawnbroking with Peter Street at Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane car park (visitors: El donation)

Berkhamsted & District Archaeological Society Only a half-hour’s drive ‘up the road’ – their next meeting 8pm, October 28th is about Quarrying in Roman Egypt, by Dr Donald Bailey of the British Museum at Berkhamsted Collegiate School, Newcroft Wing, Mill Street, Berkhamsted. Donation of £1 requested.

The Friends of Dacorum Museum and the Dacorum Heritage Trust have organised a Canal Exhibition which is well worth a visit, especially if you have an interest in industrial archaeology. The exhibition will be at Hemel Hempstead Pavilion from 18-23 October and Jubilee Hall, Tring from 25-30 October so, if you are in the area…

St Albans – FREE CITY WALKS – Sundays in October, meeting at The Clock Tower, St Albans -no booking required but PLEASE CHECK WITH THE TOURIST INFO CENTRE BEFORE­HAND (office hours) Tel: 01727 864511

3rd 11.15am Market Place 3pm Historic St.Albans 10th 11.15 Historic St Albans, 3pm St Michael’s 17th 11.15 Coaching Inns, 3pm Market Place

24th 11.15 Coaching Inns, 3pm Historic St Albans 31st 11.15 Market Place, 3pm St Stephens 8pm Halloween Ghost Walk

Kenwood Estate: Wed 20th Oct lecture & walk Autumn leaves, fruits & nuts and Sunday 31st October guides walk of the estate, both with Estate Rangers. Bookings: 0171 973 3893

SCOLA lecture (as mentioned by Peter Pickering in the August Newsletter) Saturday, October 23rd 2.30 pm. Lecture by Professor Graham-Campbell, the Chairman of the Standing Conference on London Archaeology (SCOLA) on LONDON AND THE VIKINGS in the Lecture Theatre of the Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square; his lecture will be preceded by a brief report on SCOLA’ s activities.

newsletter-341-september-1999

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Lottery cash for the London archive

Dr Simon Thurley’s efforts to raise money for the London Archaeological Archive & Research Centre have been fruitful to the tune of £1.1m, reports Vikki O’Connor.

As this Newsletter went to press, Hedley Swain of the Museum of London announced this funding, at a reception at the project’s Eagle Wharf Road premises. It gives the go-ahead for plans to increase storage capacity and create and equip visitor study facilities.

The archive holds finds from a century of London excavations. A large board displays the names of 3,000­ to 4,000 sites and with LAARC’s future assured these mate­rials now have a secure long-term home.

A contributory factor in the Heritage Lottery Fund’s approval was the donations made by other bodies, groups, societies and individuals, and Hedley Swain thanked them for their support, mentioning HADAS along with COLAS, English Heritage, SCOLA, Richmond AS, Surrey AS, LAMAS, London Archaeologist, etc, etc.

The Museum continued its successful policy of bring­ing its news to public attention by inviting a team from BBC Newsroom South East to the reception and putting on show the first-ever wooden coffin found in Roman London, one of two from Atlantic House, Holborn. The imprint of ribcage and spine were clearly visible.

To maintain the current impetus LAARC will actively encourage participation from schools, universities, local societies and individuals, with information flowing two ways. HADAS already has several contacts at the Ar­chive and the future success of the Society will be en­hanced by developing these links.

Fishbourne: the invasion debate continues

As the fifth and final season of the current excavation campaign at Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester —visited by HADAS last year— nears its end, dig directors John Manley and David Rudkin have revealed their latest thoughts on the somewhat puzzling complex of build­ings lying just to the east of the palace, reports Liz Sagues.

They agree that the 35-metre long masonry building was most likely a principia (a prestige military headquar­ters building), built around AD50-60, before the palace was erected, and remaining in use for almost two centu­ries. But there is rather less accord on what is represented by the lines of post holes just beyond the north wall, a focus of this year’s work. John Manley’s vote is for a timber lean-to, probably used for storage.

But whatever its exact purpose, all the construction in this area confirms that the palace itself was designed to be inward-looking, with its users enjoying views over the courtyard and garden rather than to the outside world.

A new trench has failed to locate the continued north­ern extension of the masonry building’s western wall, but has revealed a possible military aqueduct.

The 1999 work won’t settle the argument over whether the main Roman invasion force did land at Fishbourne, but the whole issue will be discussed at a Sussex Archaeo­logical Society conference on October 23 (just a few places left — ring 01273 405737 for details). And read all about the dig, most entertainingly, on the Sussex Archaeologi­cal Society website, www.sussexpast.co.uk.

HADAS Diary

Fri-Sun September 3rd to 5thVisit
to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight

Monday October 4: Walk around the Euston area with Mary O’Connell.

Details and application form enclosed with this Newsletter.

Saturday October 9: The Minimart, the Society’s annual fundraiser. Look out your contributions, and volunteer to help on the day.

Tuesday October 12
Our winter lecture season begins with the Archaeology of Mexico, by Caspar Johnson.

Tuesday November 9
Britain in the Shadow of Rome: John Creighton, former HADAS member and digger on the Heath, describes the changing lifestyles and perceptions between Caesar’s and Claudius’s invasions of Britain.

These lectures, and those that follow during the winter, are in the Drawing Room on the ground floor of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3, at 8PM

Return to Non-Conformity

HADAS is trying to bring to publication the material which George Ingram began to collect for the Society 20 years ago on the Non-Conformist Churches in the Borough of Barnet. George had to give up in 1983 when his sight failed.

As a first stage we are concentrating on Congrega­tional and Presbyterian churches, most of which are now United Reformed churches, and some Baptist churches which are now linked with United Reformed congregations. Later we hope to go on, at least, to the remaining Baptist churches and the Methodist ones.

Some churches on which we are short of information are: The Hyde, Colindale, and Brent Street Congrega­tional in Hendon; Edgware Congregational; North Finchley Baptist; and any which have now closed. Any reminiscences, booklets, letters and photographs would be warmly welcomed by John Whitehorn, 14 Wessex Court, West End Lane, Barnet ENS 2RA

Welcome to HADAS

We had a flurry of newcomers in the early summer, some of whom attended the training dig. We hope to meet the others before too long — at the lectures? Hello to Edward Mansell, Amanda Gill, Nicholas Upton, Anne Margaret­Soer, Rona Jungeblut, Karen Levy, Peter Mattei, Rachel Marer, Susan Loveday, Maurice Spector, Katherine Treadell, Kirsten & Michael Dunne, Alexei Gouldson, Sarah Stewart, Kathryn Jackman, Teresa Smith, Michael Cannard, Brian Davies and Dr Eleanor Scott.

Members much missed

HADAS was represented by several members among the large congregations at Golders Green Crematorium for the funerals of Christine Arnott (on July 16) and John Watkins (on August 7), reports Dawn 011′.

Christine was a stalwart supporter of all HADAS activities from its earliest days — digging, committee work, exhibitions and visits, not forgetting her skills in generating income from challenging collections of bric-a-brac at the Minimart! Even failing health in recent years did not diminish her loyalty and enthusiasm.

John, who died suddenly at the beginning of his sailing holiday, followed his distinguished wartime na­val career with an equally distinguished academic one at the LSE in the Department of Philosophy, continuing vigorously after retirement. He developed HADAS inter­ests with Micky, backing up her committee activities, particularly in arranging outings with Micky Cohen —the coincidence of names did not escape his sense of humour when he was at the helm on their reconnaissance journeys. Indeed his genial presence and genuine interest were much appreciated when the trips were underway.

Our sympathy is extended to Christine’s family and to Micky and hers, along with gratitude for the contribu­tions made to HADAS by Christine and John.

Spitalfields revelations

The scale of the Spitalfields excavation continues to amaze. Bill Bass has been working at the site, and reports the following facts and figures. From a projected 4,500 buri­als, dating from around 1200 to 1500, so far some 3,700 have been excavated, and of those some 1,250 have been processed. They span the age spectrum and include unborn children. A variety of diseases have been noted, and there are some early examples of trepanation. Four men were buried with chalices, so were canons or priests.

The burials apart, a row of shops and dwellings, including cellars, also survives, dated c.1600-1700. Among the finds is a great deal of medieval pottery, and also moulded and carved stone possibly from the priory.

Excavation of this massive site will continue until the end of September, with processing on site probably for another month. After that, the on-going work “will keep someone employed for quite some time”!

Though the site is not open to spectators, there is a display centre. On Saturday September 11, the Museum of London is holding a Spitalfields seminar, with talks, a walk and a guided site visit. It runs from 1.30- 4.30pm, fee £7.50 (no concessions) and must be pre-booked — ring 0171-814 5777 to see if places are still available.

A date for your diary

HADAS Chairman Andrew Selkirk also chairs the Coun­cil for Independent Archaeology whose 1999 annual con­gress will be at Sheffield University on September 10-12. CIA events are inspirational, showing what can be achieved by the non-professional bodies, ie local socie­ties. The theme, Demystifying Archaeology, includes a session on building your own resistivity meter (and hope­fully how to use it!). Further details from Mike Rumbold, 3 West Street, Weedon Bec, Northampton NN7 4QU. Tel: 01327 340855. Bargain price of £65 (residential).

… and a whole lot more

As enrolment dates loom and prospectuses circulate, have you considered the courses available for the new academic year?

Details of Birkbeck courses are available from: Birkbeck College, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ. tel: 0171-631 6633, fax: 017-631 6688, e-mail: info@bbk.ac.uk. URL: http:/ /www.hbk.ac.uk. Courses at various cen­tres, a number handy for North London, include the 3-year Certificate in Archaeology, Prehistoric Archaeology, Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology, Egyptology, Field Archaeology and Industrial -Archaeology, 4th year to convert to Diploma, short courses and study days.

Barnet College’s part-time prospectus advertises: Dis­covering London (visits & lectures), History of London Cert, Making of Modern London, Field Archaeology Cert (year 1- Prehistory of S. Britain), and Industrial Archae­ology. Contact Barnet College, Wood Street, Barnet ENS 4AZ, tel 020-8440 6321, website: http:/ /www.barnetacuk.

Some thing went wrong… For those numerically-alert members who have noticed that the number on this Newsletter has moved on too fast from the last one, here’s the explanation. The March and April Newsletters carried the same number, so we’ve skipped one digit to bring things back into the correct sequence.

Of cairns, circles and copper mines

Audree Price-Davies set out to trace early activity in Snowdonia

The Prehistoric Society’s study tour (July 12-17) pre­sented examples of burial cairns, settlement sites, cairn circles, hillforts, iron working and copper mining. It was very well led by Peter Crew of the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre, Frances Lynch of the University of Wales at Bangor and Edric Roberts of the Great Orrae Mines. The conference was housed at Plas Tan Y Bwlch, a country house near Blaenau Ffestiniog which is the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre.

The study of prehistoric archaeology is dependent on an appreciation of the landscape and climate as it must have been. Exposed sites on high ground were probably chosen because there was a more protected environment with trees and shrubs. Over time these have been removed for building and fuel. Denuded of trees, the upland soils have become more acid and peat bogs began to form. The climate was probably warmer and sites which are now inhospitable would probably have been sought after. This was perhaps the case at Cars Y Gedol in Harlech.

At Cors Y Gedol a neolithic burial chamber of the 4th or 3rd millennium BC was seen. The tomb is badly damaged but is surrounded by a well-preserved ancient landscape of settlement sites and fields dating from the late prehistoric, Roman, medieval and later periods.

The chambered long cairn at Gwern Einion had been incorporated into the walls dividing the two yards of a dwelling house, presumably to house sheep or cattle. The site had been pillaged to build stone walls and only the rectangular chamber was intact with its capstone.

The burial chamber at Duffryn Ardudwy was well preserved and is an example of a portal dolmen, and forms a common type of tomb in this region. They stood at the centre of the farmed land, a focus for the commu­nity like a modern parish church. The cairn contains two chambers, the western one an H-shaped portal with high closing slab, a rectangular chamber and sloping capstone. The other chamber is larger but has no en­trance stones. The bones found in the eastern chamber came from a later Bronze Age cremation burial.

The settlement site with an enclosed homestead at Moel Goedog was set into the hillside and at Erw Wen there was a circular enclosure with a central but circle. At moo. Goedog there is evidence of secondary occupation in the medieval period indicating the desira­bility of the site. Ceremonial sites were probably placed where there was a particular view, as at Moel Goedog. Two stone circles, not visible from each other, look out over the estuary. There was an intensity of silence and stillness at this site.

An alignment of standing stones at Waun Oer — eight of them, but with only five visible — is a rare occurrence in Wales, although there are some on Dart­moor and in Ireland. Cairn circles with surrounding stone rings are placed in strategic places which it is now difficult to explain fully.

The cairn circle at Bryn Cader Faner is a small cairn, 8 metres across and less than a metre high, but around the edge is a ring of tall thin slabs set at an angle, projecting from the mass of the cairn, like the rays of the sun. The monument may be classified as a cairn circle, but was probably a burial site rather than a ceremonial one. A hole in the centre indicates the position of a cist or grave, the contents of which are unknown.

Other sites visited were the prehistoric and medi­eval settlement at Cyfannedd and the settlement and standing stones at Bryn Seward, and the burial and ceremonial sites of the 2nd and 1st millennium BC at Y Gryn and Maes Y Caerau. The neolithic burial chamber of the 3rd millennium BC at Capel Gannon, Betws Y Coed, showed evidence that prehistoric populations moved, as it is typical of the Severn-Cotswold group, a type unusual for North Wales.

The 1st millennium hillfort at Pen-y-Gaer had a defensive area of small stones, a chevaux de (rise, on two sides. The views over the surrounding country from the well-defended site were remarkable.

Evidence of iron working was found at the later prehistoric hillfort of Bryn y Castell, Ffestiniog, dated 300BC-250AD. This was a small defended hilltop fort where iron working, both smelting and smithing, seems to have been the main activity. They used bog ore from nearby peat bogs and cut trees for charcoal to fuel the furnaces. At Crawcwellt, an isolated hilltop area, there was also evidence of iron working on a large scale. Again bog iron ore was used and trees cut for charcoal. Both sites were difficult of access, and this suggests that iron working was a highly regarded but secret occupa­tion which turned ore into swords and other items.

The bronze age copper mining site at Great Orme was a warren of narrow galleries where copper was mined by lighting fires to weaken the rock and using hammer stones to break it. The ore was smelted, using tin from Cornwall and the Continent, to produce bronze.

To return to the 20th century, our base, a country house on a wooded hillside with views over the valley, was an ideal site for the study tour, providing comfort­able accommodation and a pleasant social atmosphere. But the weather could have been much kinder.

Illustration: a portal dolmen, reproduced from The Handbook of British Archaeology by Lesley and Roy Adkins (Papermac, 1988).

HADAS went to Gloucester.

Sheila Woodward and Tessa Smith came up with some­thing for everyone on this outing, with a mixture of indus­trial archaeology, Roman, medieval and historical, pep­pered with off-beat moments. It was a recipe for another really interesting day out — with no sign of Dr Foster’s showers.

The 17th century Sherbourne Arms served as our wa­tering hole at the picturesque village of Northleach in Gloucestershire. Built of Cotswold stone, the inn had been enlarged to take in the adjacent blacksmith’s barn and many related artefacts including the original forge were on display. Our coach waited for us in the market place but the market, whose charter was granted by the Abbey of Gloucester in 1220, has now ceased trading.

We had time to look round the church of St Peter and St Paul with its earliest feature, the impressive 100ft tower, built before 1400. Equally impressive was the collection of brasses dating between 1400 and 1584. The memorial brass of John Taylour (1509) is in excellent condition and depicts a sheep, woolpack with woolmark and a crook, the chief trade of the town at that time being wool and weaving. The guide book suggests one should go round the outside of the church clockwise as legend has it that if you go anti­clockwise (widdershins) the Devil might get you…

Docks, lock and Jock

We arrived at Gloucester dockyard to the sound of wheeling gulls, and were given into the charge of two town guides, Nigel Spry and Philip Morris. We split into two groups and avoided each other for the rest of the day! The Gloucester & Sharpness canal leads into the docks, and we crossed over Llantony Bridge, a Dutch-style lifting bridge, just before it lifted for a tripper boat named Queen Boadicea II (originally from London). Gloucester used to rely heavily on water transport for its trade in grain, stone and timber.

We heard how the dangers of the tidal bore on the Severn at Newnham, with 10ft waves travelling at 15mph, had necessitated a safer passage to Gloucester and con­struction of the canal by Mylne and Telford began in 1794. However, the project ran out of money halfway to the Stroud canal, and from 1798 to 1817 it silted up. After the Napoleonic wars soldiers needed work so money was provided to employ them to extend the canal to join the Stroud Water canal—the route to London. Our guide told us that the canal was 16 miles longs, 16 ft wide, 16 ft deep and had 16 bridges — making his job easier? The total cost was £430,000, a 70% under-calculation — shades of the Jubilee Line!

Silting is still a problem and two dredgers operate. Doubtless an embarrassment for someone, when the canal level dropped in 1990 dredger DSND4 tipped over and it took two years to restore it to working order. It’s not easy to relate to these statistics, but 3.5 million gallons of water per hour are pumped in from the Severn, raising the height of the canal one inch per hour. This of course brings in silt, which is dredged up and the slurry is taken up-river and dumped. And once again, water (containing this silt) is pumped back into the canal etc etc etc. As our guide des­cribed the process I couldn’t help but daydream ways of ending the cycle but maybe this way it is ecologically stable?

A corn mill was operating until three years ago, and we noted that the “windows” of a corn warehouse were in fact ventilation openings. These Gloucester warehouses fol­lowed the design of those at St Katharine’s Dock, London.

Clean, smart and unspoilt, the Victorian dock area at­tracts film crews and our guide reeled off a list of produc­tions from the Onedin Line and Martin Chuzzlewit on TV to a film titled Buffalo Bill’s Girls (anyone heard of that one?). Boat builder Tommy Nielson has taken over the repair yards — we passed a boat which had just been re-masted — and sail training takes place. The warehouses have been restored in a continuing development programme and the 1826 Victoria warehouse is now a civic centre complete with mayor’s suite.

The Atlas sailed between the East Indies and London from 1812 to 1822, then was broken up and her bell became the dockyard time bell. In 1939 it was removed because bells sounded for invasion so it was moved to Sharpwater for use as a fog warning. The Civic Trust and Rotary Club (murmur of approval from Dorothy Newbury’s husband Jack at the mention of Rotary Club) bought the bell in 1986 and returned it to the dockyard where it hangs on Victoria warehouse.

Merchants Quay is now a shopping mall, Albert Ware­house is now the Robert Opie Collection of Advertising and Packaging (pure nostalgia), and the Llantony Warehouse is now the National Waterways Museum. However, the heat and need for liquid, even water, led most of our party to cafés rather than museums in the lunch break. And Jock? A fully kitted, or rather kilted, Scot playing Ode to Joy and other popular classics on his bagpipes next to the swing bridge. But why?

We left the docks just as a small boat left the main basin to pass through a lock into-the Severn. The -water level dropped almost as quickly as emptying a bath, but the pumps would have soon put it back. Passing the old Custom House, now a museum for the Soldiers of Glouces­ter, we heard how the Gloucester Regiment are permitted-to wear two cap badges because of the 28th Regiment who once, surrounded by the French, turned half their force round and won the battle.

Close by lay the site of the AD66 Roman fortress. A Norman motte and bailey castle later sat on the site, to be replaced by a stone castle. Gloucester sided with the Parlia­mentarians and was besieged in 1648. By way of retaliation when he came to power, Charles II ordered the town walls to be levelled, so the only Roman part remaining is the south gate and section of wall which survived below ground. The site has been purchased for the Blackfriars development and, when we visited, a couple of trenches were being excavated in the southern area which will add to informa­tion gained from previous excavations. The site has also been used as a graveyard, with thousands buried there. Soon, a six-storey car park will squat where proud build­ings once stood, and metal crates on wheels will transport plastic shopping bags where ancestors were laid to rest.

Heat reflected from the pavements as we toiled down La dybellg at e Street to the cool stone buildings at Blackfriars Priory where our guides had obtained permission for us to visit. Pink stone from the Forest of Dean contrasted pleas­antly with yellow sandstone. The Black Friars of St D ominic came to Gloucester in 1239 and built their priory around a courtyard, church to the north, chapter house with dormi­tory above to the east, the west range including the refectory and the south range comprised a ground floor store (or school room?). Above this room was the library and the friars’ individual study cells — carrels.

We were told the friars were self-taught. That in itself posed questions: had they not brought expertise with them; had the experts died out; who corrected them; did they discuss, argue, fight? The cell partitions were still discern­ible and it was easy to picture someone poring over a book, a shaft of sunlight faded by swirling dust. Silence except for the occasional cough, or was that a HADAS member gasp­ing for a cuppa?

The Priory was obtained by Sir Thomas Bell in 1538 and his wife organised the site for cloth manufacture, employing 300. Sir Thomas adapted the church for his residence,Bell’s Place, but he left some of the Early English arcading which still survives, as do the original 13th century roofs.
Moving a few roads on, we stopped to look at the site of Greyfriars. Merely a shell, it had been damaged in the

siege of 1643. Nearby, we noticed an Aviation Garden with representations of the Gloucester planes, paid for by the Civic Trust.

As we reached the pedestrian precinct at the town centre, was I the only one to look with envy at the free motorised buggies zipping round? From the street some­thing archaeological was visible, and we descended to investigate. It was part of a Roman bastion with sally ports, preserved beneath the modern shopping development.

We learned a little more local history as we moved on. Gloucester and Cirencester fell to the Saxons according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, then in 977 the town was re-fortified when the Danes were thrown out. Ethelfreda had new streets laid out — the burgage plots are still reflected in modern building widths. Some timber-framed buildings have been re-fronted,_one having belonged to John Pritchard…

The Tailor of Gloucester

Nearing the Cathedral, we stopped in an alley at the Beatrix Potter Gift Shop. This wasn’t the tailor of Glouces­ter’s premises but a tourist trap where one had to pay to see the displays. John Pritchard was the actual tailor who had inspired Potter’s story of the clothes made by fairies, and his old shop was in the High Street.

As we approached the Cathedral we heard the clamour of many chisels hitting stone. Over 40 stone masons were working under a large awning on new seating to be erected in the garden of a church near Greyfriars. They each had a block of stone and worked to the design laid out for inspec­tion on the grass next to the Cathedral. They had just that weekend to complete the work, and a percussion band beat out rhythms to keep the masons on the go. One could gain some idea of what building a cathedral would have en­tailed, the air of industry and noise, dust and people going about their trade. Also at work was a woman from one of the town museums, heating and working iron, using equip­ment borrowed from the museum.

And we still had time left for a look round the Cathedral. An Anglo-Saxon monastery on the site was replaced by St Peter’s Abbey in 1089 (on William’s instruction). This was dissolved by Henry VIII and in 1541 the church became a cathedral. We took tea in the welcome cool of the refectory, and re-emerged as a service was ending. Walking round the cloisters, I passed the school-age choristers, some of whom were still singing (the acoustics were brilliant) as they clattered into the Chapter House to disrobe. On the north walkway was the lavatorium, the monks’ washing area with its long, stone basin, and on the opposite side there were (twice in one day!) the monks’ study carrels.

We had arrived to the sound of gulls and, as we left, I noticed outside a newsagent’s a yellow poster with the Gloucester Citizen’s lead story “Drive to rid city of gulls”. I’d rather see gulls than pigeons in Finchley… Comments on a seaside postcard please!

It’s not the Knot: re-enacting the Civil War

Part-time pikeman Bob Michel explains…

The faces may change, but the questions remain the same. They range from the hopeless “You’re Morris Dancers aren’t you? through to “English Civil War —that’s William the Conqueror isn’t it?” to the more perceptive “Aren’t you the Sealed Knot?”. Believe me, there are times in a re-enactor’s life when you wish your replica musket was really loaded!

As in archaeology, public relations is all part of the fun. Luckily for us volun­teer, part-time, pretend soldiers it’s just a small part. Much more of our time is devoted to reproducing as faithfully as possible 17th century military manoeu­vres, living in general and drinking in particular.

Re-enacting with the English Civil War Society (not as snappy as the Sealed Knot, is it?) attracts me in four separate but related ways. Firstly, there’s the his­torical angle to it all. We re-create civil war battles and soldiers’ camps as accu­rately as we can, given the passage of time and budgetary constraints. Uni­forms have to be made of natural materi­als and styles have to be authentic—Doc Marten boots and Russell & Bromley sling-backs are definitely out! Food must be cooked without the aid of Camping Gaz and “killing” and “maiming” on the battlefield must be wrought in good old 17th century ways.

Next, the battles tend to bring out the actor in me. Although the punters are now too far away to ask daft questions — and it’s too noisy anyway — you’re still aware an audience is present. What’s more it has paid to be there and expects to be entertained. As a pikeman my contribution to the proceedings is being a member of a disciplined and highly-skilled team wielding 17-foot pikes. That’s the theory anyway. However, every now and then I seize the chance to break out of the chorus line (as it were) and delight the crowd with my personal brand of 17th century combat.

Thirdly, there’s the blood and guts aspect. Being a pikeman involves preventing the cavalry from getting amongst our musketeers and pretending to kebab op­posing pikemen. But sometimes we get to form a “push of pike”, the real joy. Picture a rugby maul where two sets of forwards pack together to try to send their opponents flying. Simply add a pike per man and there you are! The odd flesh wound does occur; that’s not surprising when 30 men suddenly fall on top of you. But fear not gentle reader, the body armour and helmet take most of the punishment (perhaps American Football would have been a better anal­ogy than rugby). Anyway, we usually take more casualties in the beer tent than on the field.

Which takes me nicely on to my final point — the social side. All this physical activity and answering “no” to the public makes men and women thirsty. Yes, we are an equal opportuni­ties organisation. We believe both sexes have the right to get injured! Alcohol though can help to deaden the pain. A huge marquee becomes our Windmill, otherwise known as the “We never closed” beer tent. Although prone to be a little damp under foot after a few days — as are the portaloos — this is easily the most popular social venue on site. Spirits are high after a hard day’s battling, so in the wee small hours it’s not the place for shrinking violets. Luckily each regiment usually boasts a welcoming camp fire to which the active, but less adventurous, can retire in good order to enjoy fine fellowship and some awful singing.

Changing times at Avenue House

The HADAS library and finds store/processing room has been based at Avenue House for many years, and the future of the site is again under discussion. Andy Simpson reports.

Held in the familiar surroundings ofthe Drawing Room, day-to-day running of the house and grounds. A park the Avenue House Estate Consultative Conference on keeper will also be employed. Such changes would June 30 was a well attended and at times lively meeting. require a separate account to be run for the house —The basic message to come through was that the council, built in 1859 and newly Grade II listed by English as corporate trustee, was aware that there was room for Heritage, along with Hertford Lodge and The Bothy. change, ie by reducing bureaucracy. It was pointed out by Barnet Council Chief Execu‑

The council is not, in the medium term, prepared to tive Max Caller that Hertford Lodge is council-owned relinquish control, but will be advertising nationally and not part of the estate. It might have a future as a fora dedicated Avenue House estate manager, appointed voluntary sector resource centre, rather than as the by the management committee and based on site for Continued on facing page

These were Barnet’s first ‘allotments’ by Phillip Bailey

“open field”, and was a communal field where local people could own plots of the shared land by agreement with the Lord of the Manor (in Barnet’s case the Abbot of St Albans). The strips in the field developed from the way the field was ploughed, ie by oxen. So that the oxen would not need to be turned too often the fields were made long, and they were narrow because that was all that could be ploughed in a day.

The long fields (strips) were usually known as “lands” or by the earlier form “londs”, eg Bakonslonde 1280 (Bacon’s land), Towneslonde 1280 (Town’s land). Sometimes the strips were grassed over fOr livestock to graze on, and were then known as “Ieys”.

This may mean that the name Barnetleys, 1248, had an ambiguous meaning, ie “Barnet-clearing” and/or “Barnet-grass strips”. Some of the Ley Field may have been grassed over at this time for use as pasture. This fits in well with the fact that this part of High Barnet later became known as Barnet Common, which seems to have been used mainly as pasture, retaining its communal status right into the early 19th century.

The only field identified by name here is Newlands,

1817, which was obviously the last “ancient” field to be cut from Southaw Wood, hence its triangular shape. The name dates to the 13th century (Newland 1291, Newlond 1292, Le Newelond 1334). Mays Lane was known as Mayeslane in 1427, but Maieshulle (Mays Hill) occurs in 1271 and the “May” family lived in Barnet as early as 1229. There is even a Maisland in 1288 which was likely to have been found in the Ley Field.

The Ley Field is mentioned in Barnet Manor Rolls as follows: “La Leye” 1246, 1258, 1260, 1263; “La Layefeld” 1276. The map was developed from the 19th century large-scale maps of Barnet Common.

originally proposed register office— a report is awaited following a “citizens’ jury” decision.

After introductions by Councillor Alan Williams, Leader of Barnet Council, conference chair Kathy Mc­Guirk and Max Caller, those attending were involved in some general discussion. This included suggestions for a creche and coffee machine and the danger of any increased hire charges driving people away.

Delegates were then divided (after some opposition from the floor) into three workshop groups, each “ena­bled” by a council employee but using a delegate from the floor to report back at the end. These workshop groups covered marketing and fundraising, facilities for community groups, and management of house and grounds.

Those attending all received packs detailing Av­enue House facilities, booked hours per room (which show a slight overall increase, with 2,240 bookings in 1997-98), room plans (which omitted the HADAS Garden Room!) and statement of accounts and details of the history and present use of the site, which under the will of Henry Charles “Inky” Stephens was be­queathed to the people of Finchley in 1918 and opened to the public 10 years later.

The independent Avenue House Action Group claimed that the site has been mismanaged, with the building and grounds under-used, and issued copies of its own manifesto.

This called for transfer of Hertford Lodge and its outbuildings to the proposed new management of the Avenue House Estate, to be used for the same purposes, and operation of the Avenue House Chari­table Trust by independent trustees drawn from members of the public — rather than Barnet Council being the sole corporate trustee, as at present

All in a popular weekend’s work…

Vikki O’Connor reports on the HADAS activity at Church Farmhouse Museum on National Archaeology Days, July 24-25.

The preparations began the previous Wednesday when we collected the equipment from College Farm and sur­veyed in and laid out our base line and temporary bench marks. We brought in the heavy brigade to de-turf two trenches on the Friday.

Thanks to the efforts of HADAS publicity officer Tim Wilkins, our leaflets in the libraries and a few mentions in the local press have brought in several new members, some of whom joined us on the dig. Our aim was to provide an opportunity for new diggers to “have a go” as well as get “hands on” experience of surveying and using the resistivity meter.

Ian Haigh, Stephen Aleck and Brian Wrigley organ­ised the demonstrations with gusto, despite the blistering heat. The troops took turns in the trenches with helpers firing rounds of orange juice at them when they flagged. Ian Haigh set up his computer in the cool basement of the Museum to demonstrate on both days his presentation of data from the 1996 dig. •

By Saturday lunchtime Trench 8 had yielded an ani­mal skeleton just in time for Anne, the Barnet Press photographer, to snap HADAS digger Nikki Paintin ex­posing the skull. Brian McCarthy, fresh from his volun­teer stint at the Spitalfields dig, directed the removal of the deceased quadruped which, according to the Press, was a dog, but in the Hendon Times admitted to being a sheep. Brian Wrigley and Richard Askew have since examined the bones and confirm it is a sheep.. ‘

HAD AS President Dr Ann Saunders spent Saturday afternoon dispensing refreshments and information to visitors—we recorded a total of 38 over the weekend and these included several HADAS members who came along for a quick site tour. We had put together a small display in Church Farmhouse Museum, showing finds from the several HADAS digs in that area over the past 30-plus years. Our thanks to the curator, Gerrard Roots, for making this, and the dig, possible. Thanks also go to LB Barnet information officer Dave Bicknell for attending and for his support.

Sunday morning saw an enthusiastic early start, but when Hendon MP Andrew Dismore arrived on site, the diggers had gone to the Greyhound next door to look at the clay pipe collection, or was it the beer? Fortunately, our Chairman Andrew Selkirk and his wife Wendy were on hand to welcome him. Andrew Dismore has expressed an interest in local archaeology and we hope to see him at future HADAS events.

By the end of Sunday afternoon, Trench 7 (nearest the Museum) had revealed the Victorian land drain which we had identified in 1996. The Trench 8 team had also exposed the land drain running parallel with the church­yard at the east side of the trench, but on the west side they had come down to a fill similar to the medieval ditch fill. Andy Simpson did a “eureka” when he found a Roman brick, the only Roman find that weekend.

On the Monday, a small band arrived on site, ostensi­bly to do the backfilling, but the morning was spent completing the trench plans and doing some fine-tuning on the trowelling. We confirmed that we had exposed the medieval ditch in Trench 7, but the Victorian drain had cut in and run along the same line. In Trench 8 the fill was indeed that of the medieval ditch. We have extended our knowledge of this feature inasmuch as we no longer believe it could turn east to run behind the churchyard. Also, the resistivity runs between Trench 7 and the Mu­seum indicate a feature which could be interpreted as the continuation of this ditch.

Pottery from the trenches ranged from medieval to late 20th century. The finds have now been cleaned and will during September be classified for our final report. Forty-five people participated in the five days’ work.

I’ve got plans for next year… how about some experi­mental archaeology? Anyone with polite suggestions please contact Brian Wrigley or Vikki O’Connor.

The official full report should be published in the first of the HADAS annual journals next year.

Wet Wet Wet

Not a pop group, but news from Hampstead Heath. Whose idea was it to go there in the summer? From a soggy Saxon ditch survey team over and out till drier times arrive.

newsletter-340-august-1999

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THE ROSE THEATRE

When the site of the Rose Theatre was rediscovered in 1989 by Museum of London archaeologists, the remains became the focus of intense international media attention as actors and scholars united in a campaign to ‘Save the Rose’. The Rose had been built in 1587 and was the first theatre on London’s Bankside. It was at the height of its commercial success in the 1590s with a repertory including plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe and Thomas Kyd. Its success attracted others to build larger theatres nearby: the Swan in 1595 and the Globe in 1599. Eclipsed by its rivals, the Rose had closed by 1606.

The immense cultural and archaeological importance of the site was obvious and, eventually, the developers redesigned the proposed building to protect the remains and include a special basement display space. A charity, the Rose Theatre Trust, set up in the year of discovery and chaired by the indefatigable Harvey Sheldon, has been working to secure the future and public display of these important fragments.

The remains were covered up again in 1989 for their own safety during construction. They must be kept wet; and the unstable soil matrix in which the archaeology rests means that extensive — and expensive — conservation work has to form part of any attempt to get the excavation completed and a permanent display created for the public. In the meantime English Heritage inspect the site regularly to ensure that the remains are kept in a stable environment to prevent deterioration; indications are that all is well underneath. .

The new display at 56 Park Street, Southwark, on the corner of Park Street and Rose Alley, was opened by Chris Smith MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on 13th April. He said:

“The opening of the site and the launch of a permanent exhibition marks the next important stage in the

progress towards an eventual full excavation of the site. . . . This is, after all, the site of one of the

greatest Elizabethan theatres.”

The exhibition is open from 10 am to 5 pm 363 days a year (£3 adults, £2.50 concessions, £2 children; special rates for pre-booked parties). A sound and light presentation, with the commentary narrated by Sir Ian McKeltan, one of the Rose’s most loyal supporters, is seen from a viewing platform on the unexcavated area to the east of the pool of water which protects the remains of the theatre; it uses an exciting combination of old and new technologies. A video telling the story of the Rose is projected over the pool, while electro-luminescents submerged in the water are selectively lit to show where the remains lie concealed .

The exhibition is, as the Rose’s admirable website (http://www.rdg.ac.uk/rose) says, intended to reawaken public interest in the theatre, and help generate funds for its re-excavation, preservation and permanent display. The Rose Theatre Trust has plans to add further walkways that would act as viewing platforms for the re-excavation, when that takes place and they hope that will be in a couple of years time.

HADAS DIARY

SATURDAY 14th AUGUST OUTING: WEST STOWE SAXON VILLAGE, FRAMUNGHAM

CASTLE, and WOODBRIDGE.

Bill Bass. Details and application form enclosed

FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY PORTSMOUTH and ISLE OF WIGHT

3rd, 4th and 5th SEPTEMBER There are places still available. Contact Dorothy Newbury if you would like to join.

MONDAY 4th OCTOBER WALK with Mary O’Connell (NOTE CHANGE OF DATE) starting at

Euston and visiting the Quakers’ Friends House, the new headquarters of the Magic Circle, and the refurbished THE PLACE THEATRE.

SATURDAY 9th OCTOBER MINIMART: our annual fundraiser.

TUESDAY 12th OCTOBER Our winter lecture programme begins with the Archaeology of Mexico.

Members will regret to learn of the death of Christine Arnott on 12th July, at the age of 83. Christine was one of our longest-standing members. She joined in the 1960s, soon after our Society was formed, and was a keen participant in all our activities. She served on the Committee for many years, edited the Newsletter, and helped regularly with the Mini mart.

MATHELDA MARKS-KENNEDY SCHOOL MILL HILL. Stephen Aleck

This private school was going to build an extension, allowing us to do some work in the grounds of what is one of Mill Hill’s oldest buildings. Unfortunately the project has been shelved for the time being owing to a shortage of funds – we will be informed when it starts up again.

BATTLE OF BARNET- 1999 Bill Bass

The sound of cannon, thundering cavalry – bloody conflict once again raged over the wide-ranging plains north of Barnet town …. otherwise known as Barnet Rugby Club. The battle, originally fought in 1471, was re-enacted in May in aid of the Barnet War Memorials Initiative.

Arrival at the ‘battlefield’, which is in fact only a stone’s throw from the original just to the east, found a complete mediaeval encampment in full swing. The opposing armies and their followers were readying for battle in their respective tents, fully catered for with a ‘mediaeval market’ where you could buy such things as leather, fabrics, jewellery, trinkets, BoB coins, weapons – longbows, arrows, axes – food, spices and flowers. You could even buy replica mediaeval pottery from a table-laden tent.

Artist plied their trade with storytellers giving a verbal account of the terrible day. Also a band playing ‘drone’ music the repertoire of which comprises dance music from the rural communities of Europe with marches, battle calls and laments. The main instruments used are bagpipes, mediaeval English, French and German, hurdy-gurdy and a range of early percussion (it says here).

Battle commenced at 3pm with the opposing archers and their longbows raining deadly arrows at each other – rubber-tipped on this occasion but highly effective in their day. Loud cannon fire (the BoB was supposedly the first to use cannon but this is disputed) was followed by the engagement of infantry led by their knights, then the cavalry consisting of about seven horses – looking impressive all the same.

The result of course was a historical foregone conclusion, a momentous victory for the Yorkist King Edward IV over his Lancastrian opponents in just one of the battles that collectively became known as the Wars of the Roses.

MANSHEAD REVISITING by Vikki O’Connor

Following a HADAS Brockley Hill group visit to their HQ in Dunstable, Barry Horne and Joan Schneider from Manshead Archaeological Society paid HADAS a visit on 3rd July to examine the collection of finds from the late P G Suggett’s excavations in 1953/4. This pottery was excavated at a Roman kiln site at Brockley Hill a few years before HADAS was formed, and is currently in the safe keeping of the Manshead Society. Barry and Joan were met by a small group of HADAS members led by Tessa Smith who was able to pinpoint the various items of interest. After handling a representative selection of mortaria, bowls, pots and tazza, Barry suggested we have another meeting when he could bring along his binocular microscope and get down to some serious comparison.

With this in mind we have arranged for the Manshead team to take part in a whole day session on Brockley Hill potteries. Stephen Castle, who excavated there in the 1970s, has also agreed to give a talk as part of this event. We are negotiating for a Saturday in October and will publish full details as soon as they are finalised.

TRAINING EXCAVATION IN SOUTHWARK Peter Pickering

The 1999 Birkbeck College Training Excavation, held in conjunction with the London Borough of Southwark and the Museum of London Archaeology Service is taking place in Lant Street, SE I . Lant Street was immortalised in Dickens’ Pickwick papers, and the author himself was lodged in the street as a youth when his father was in the Marshalsea prison. On my visit to the site early in July, at the beginning of the third week of the dig, the students were working on the remains of the Georgian terrace where Dickens had resided, and were beginning to explore the underlying soils. Lant Street lay on the southern edge of the urban core of Southwark, where agricultural features of all periods, including Roman, may be expected. The dig is supported financially by the London Borough of Southwark, the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Excavations Committee, and by the Surrey Archaeological Society.

SPITALFIELDS Jeffrey Lesser

MoLAS The Museum of London Archaeology Service, to those who dislike acronyms) needs volunteers on its current Spitalfields dig. You can earn your HADAS subscription in a day and a half and simultaneously practise your archaeological skills.

You will be welcome even if only part-time or sporadically and work is likely to continue until September. The usual site procedures are carried out, but there is a great deal of skeletal material, mostly mediaeval or post-mediaeval. This needs to have the mud washed off and the bones displayed for the osteoarchaeologists to examine. There are so many, that the disarticulated remains are being left at present to concentrate on the relatively complete skeletons. This is more interesting, as it is possible to form some ides of an individual’s sex and age, particularly in the case of children. Of course, there is always the possibility of detecting evidence of disease or deformity. There are some striking instances of osteomyelitis and I have seen an intriguing depression of the skull without fracture. One very spiky lumbar vertebra went into the reference collection; unfortunately this was an isolated find.

MOLAS entice you with £5 per day expenses, if you fill in a form. It is best to ring Brian Connell the Osteoarchaeologist or the site manager Chris Thomas (0171-247 9435). Finding the entrance to the site is nearly as difficult as uncovering a known Roman villa and then you have to get past Cerberus. Despite the apron and gloves provided, wear very old clothes.

THE TUDORS OF TOOLEY STREET Bill Bass

Over four days of the last May Bank Holiday weekend, members of HADAS and other local societies were invited by Hedley Swain of the Museum of London to participate in one of their digs.

For three months MOLAS had been excavating a two-acre site off Tooley Street between the mediaeval Falstaff and Battlebridge estates near London Bridge station. Initial evaluation trenches seemed to be unpromising but the full excavations have revealed Roman remains and remarkable mediaeval and Tudor finds as well as post-mediaeval evidence. To the west of the site was a Roman revetment to an inlet in what were then the sandy eyots of Southwark, the ground level of which had survived surprisingly well amongst the subsequent development; pottery including Saurian was recovered from here. Dendrochronology from one of the preserved posts should give a close date.

The star of the show must be the full range of Tudor finds and a possible 13th century rowing galley. A series of Tudor fishponds were found, one of which was expensively built with chalk foundations, chalk-brick lining and wattle fencing. The ponds are thought to have contained pike – because the name of the ground when it was sold by Thomas Copley to Charles Pratt in 1559 was the Pyke Garden. Fish bones have been found which are being identified. There are signs of a freshwater supply for the ponds from the nearby River Neckinger, now underground. The cache of Tudor finds includes a knight’s long-spiked spur, fragments of decorated armour, swords, sheaths, saddle bags, bowling balls, pottery. cutlery and 400 leather shoes, all thrown into the fishponds when they became disused in the mid 16th century.

Timber was expensive at the time so all material, including ships, were broken up on the foreshore and recycled – thus the remains of a 13th century galley found itself lining a fishpond. The timbers measured about 18 feet and the vessel they came from is thought to have been between 40 and 100 feet long. Wooden plugs would have been placed in the oar slots when the vessel rigged its sails in the open sea, Tar used for caulking is clearly visible between the timbers and there are traces of white lead paint. Rowing galleys were important naval vessels in the 13th and 14th centuries, being used for convoy duty, for stopping and searching vessels and for enforcing customs regulations. This is the first such vessel of this date to have been found in Britain.

Towards.the end of Ow dig there was not enough time to excavate the remaining fishponds in situ so their fill was scooped out by a mechanical digger and spread on the surface. Volunteers were then asked by Dave Saxby, the site director, to trawl through the fill looking for finds; members found tokens, a lead seal, a small dice, a pewter tankard, leather, pottery, buckles, knives. a harpoon head and other small finds. Others helped to excavate a silted timber sewer which turned up some decorated beaker glass and pottery, etc.

This was a good opportunity for volunteers (albeit briefly) to work on a large, interesting and important site.

DISCOVERIES IN LONDON by Peter Pickering

As the two pieces above show, the number of exciting finds made this year in London is amazing. It is much to the credit of the Museum of London that they receive the publicity their importance warrants, and that they are very rapidly put on display so that people can see them. Visiting the museum on 6th July 1 saw part of the mediaeval ship Bill Bass describes, a number of the Tudor finds he mentions, and one which he does not —the earliest banana found in Britain; which looks just like what it is— a very old and very black banana skin.

Although these particular wonders may have been taken off display by the time you read this newsletter, who knows what will follow them. It is easy to keep up to date with such discoveries. If you call the PR office of the Museum on 0171 600 3699 they will send you their leaflet ‘Archaeology Matters’ regularly. Their website (www.museumoflondon.org.uk) is a mine of information. Best of all, just go along.

JUNE OUTING — PART 1 VISIT TO FENSHURST PLACE by Beverley Perkins

A pleasant drive through rural Kent brought us to the peaceful village of Penshurst with its ancient manor house. A low building of mellow sandstone, it has few visible traces of its late 14th century fortifications and retains its homely mediaeval and Tudor character in spite of extensive later remodelling.

The present owners, the De L’Isle family, descend from a long line of Sidneys who have occupied the house continuously since the estate was granted to Sir William Sidney by Edward VI in 1552. Linked in marriage to royalty as well as to Spencers and Shelleys, the family has a fascinating and distinguished history. The most famous member was Sir Philip Sidney, Renaissance man, poet and courtier, who died in battle at the age of only 31. His brother. Robert. became Earl of Leicester. assuming the title which had belonged to his uncle, Robert Dudley, the favourite of Elizabeth I.

The core of the house, the Baron’s hail, was completed in 1341. Its striking 60′ high timbered roof soars over the hall and is constructed — unusually — of chestnut, which is stronger and lighter than oak. The massive arched braces end in ten life-sized human figures, said to be satirical portraits of contemporary estate workers.

Tall windows, restored to their original elegant arched style, flood the hail with light. In the centre of the tiled floor is a unique octagonal hearth marked out in coloured bricks. At one end of the hall is the dais where the lord and lady and their guests would have dined, while the rest of the household lived in the body of the hall, taking their meals at the massive 20′ trestle tables which are unique survivors from the 15th century. Illustrious guests included Henry VIII (who subsequently had his host, the Duke of Buckingham, beheaded) and Elizabeth 1. The panelled minstrels’ gallery at the opposite end of the hall is a Tudor addition.

The adjoining building, known as the Buckingham building, was constructed as a hall around 1430 but was divided into state rooms in Tudor times. The furnishings of the tapestry-hung Queen Elizabeth Room include an elegant silk-upholstered daybed and rock crystal chandeliers said to have belonged to William of Orange. The harpsichord was acquired from Queen Christina of Sweden by Sir William Perry, who inherited the house in the mid-18th century and proceeded to modernise it in Italian style, mostly to its detriment. He did however acquire an impressive collection of Italian furniture. Tragically (though perhaps not for the house!), he ended his days prematurely in a lunatic asylum.

The Trafalgar Room is hung with 16th century Flemish tapestries. Among the paintings is one of the London house built in the 1630s by the second Earl of Leicester on the site where The Empire, Leicester Square, now stands. It proved a huge drain on the family’s resources and was subsequently demolished. The original miniature Leicester Square can still be found in front of the church in the nearby village of Penshurst.

The Long Gallery still has its original (restored) panelling and re-created moulded ceiling in typical Tudor style. Lit by windows on both sides and lined with portraits of the family and royalty, it formed an attractive indoor promenade. The gallery widens out into a square room, part of an earlier fortification tower.

Text Box: 7Stairs lead down to a panelled bedroom, then to the Nether Gallery containing a display of armoury including Robert Dudley’s state sword and the ceremonial helmet which was carried in procession at Sir Philip Sidney’s state funeral; the helmet bears the Sidneys’ family crest, the porcupine. Sir Philip Sidney is one of only three commoners to be accorded the honour of a state funeral, the others being Lord Nelson and Sir Winston Churchill.

The gardens, laid out in Tudor times and arranged as a series of “rooms”, are the glory of Penshurst. They range from formal gardens with pools and fountains to herbaceous walks, lavender-edged rose beds, fruit and nut orchards, and a garden laid out as the Union flag in shades of red, white and blue. The garden rooms are separated by tall yew hedges so that each surprises and delights with its scent and variety.

This short report can only convey a very brief impression of Penshurst Place and its endlessly fascinating history, but thank you, Micky and Micky, for organising such an interesting and pleasurable visit (and perfect weather for the garden!).

JUNE OUTING PART 2

LULLINGSTONE ROMAN VILLA AND EYNSFORD CASTLE by Andy Simpson

After a pleasant lunch at Penshurst we returned to the coach for another scenic run through Kentish lanes to the English Heritage managed Lullingstone Roman Villa, a long-time `must see’ for your scribe. As we approached the site the modern cover building was immediately obvious — a little weather-stained but nestling below the hillside above the river Darent quite well. Soil slip from this hillside is responsible for this villa’s good state of preservation, the complete ground plan and many structural features surviving. The villa had stood at the centre of a large agricultural estate, being first built in timber and daub on flint footings about 100AD, then remodelled in flint and tile masonry with the well preserved bath suite added later in the second century. For much of the third century, a period of economic stagnation, the villa was in a state of some neglect, though underfloor heated rooms were added in the late third century adding to the classic ‘winged corridor’ plan. Revived fortunes in the mid-fourth century saw the addition of a large apsed dining room around 360AD, along with intricate mosaics and wall paintings, some linked with Christian activity located in a small chapel which in mediaeval times continued close by with the use of material from the villa in the now vanished Lullingstone church following the villa’s destruction by fire c420AD.

Excavation through the 1950s revealed a fascinating site with adjacent large, raised floor granary, circular shrine and substantial square mausoleum, whose central pit rather touchingly contained the coffins of a young man and woman buried together in the fourth century along with supplies for the afterlife; the mausoleum was incorporated into the Saxon Lullingstone Church. We toured the site aided by the informative recorded commentary on the personal stereo issued to each visitor. Particular attention is paid to the well known chapel with its six painted plaster portraits of Christians, possibly even members of the villa owning family, at prayer, along with the Christian Chi-Rho monogram on the opposite wall. These reconstructed paintings can nowadays be seen in the British Museum. One of the few in-situ fragments of Roman painted plaster I have seen, surviving in a cellar niche, shows three water nymphs in a remarkable state of preservation. The dining room features the well known mosaic showing scenes of Bellerophon riding the winged horse Pegasus to slay the Chimaera and Jupiter in the guise of a bull abducting Europa, captioned by a couplet referring to Virgil ‘s Aeneid.

After a short coach ride we then reached Eynsford, where a magnificent spread prepared by Eynsford Women’s institute awaited us in the village hall, overlooked from both ends by the stern visage of the former drum playing lady of the Manor who had been their first president. An interesting feature here was the photographic montage showing all the men of the village who had served in the Great War. After tea we braved light drizzle to view another English Heritage property, the adjacent moated remains of the. small, flint-walled Eynsford castle, a sort of pocket Berkhamsted. Dating to c. 1088, this is one of the earliest Norman stonework defences in the country, on a site in use from late Saxon limes. Abandoned after a disastrous sacking in 1312, there was brief eighteenth century use as kennels for hunting dogs and at Christmas 1872 a large section of the north curtain wall wall collapsed into the moat where it lies still. The rest of the castle is quite ruinous but traces of four garderobes survive along with the once tile-roofed inner hall — there was no keep. Parts of the halls’s arched undereroft survive_ Interestingly, the curtain wall never had any battlements. Parts of the site were archaeologically investigated in the 1950s/60s.

RESCUE’s Early day motion Peter Pickering

RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust of which many members will be aware, is very concerned that local Government archaeology services are under direct threat in several parts of the country owing to budgetary pressures within County Councils. An example not far from here has been the recent deep cuts in the archaeology service in Buckinghamshire. RESCUE inspired Robert Maclennan, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on cultural matters, to table an Early Day Motion on 2nd March in the following terms:‑

`”That this House notes with regret the forthcoming cuts to local government heritage services. caused by

the local government finance settlement; recognises that such services communicate the value of

archaeology and historic buildings in our economic, cultural, and educational life; and that they an

fundamental to ensuring that finite cultural inheritance can be enjoyed by present and future generations”.

`Early Day Motion’ is a colloquial term for a notice of Motion given by a MP for which no date has been fixed for debate, and generally there is no prospect of these Motions ever being debated. They are, however, widely used by MPs who want to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from their fellow members. Early Day Motions draw matters to Ministers’ attention, and often attract wider publicity; commentators regard them as a gauge of opinion.

This particular motion had been signed by 50 MPs by 15th July; among the signatories it is good to see Sir Sydney Chapman, the MP for Chipping Barnet. HADAS members in his constituency may like to write to him expressing their appreciation. Those in other constituencies might urge their MP to do join Sir Sydney in signing the motion. The recent threats to our archive service in Barnet, and to the museums in Enfield and Brent, demonstrate that we are not immune to similar problems.

Further details on this and many other matters can be found on the RESCUE website (www.rescue­archaeology.freeserve.co.uk)

THE DACORUM AND ITS HERITAGE John M D Saunders, Vice-Chairman, Friends of The

Dacorum Museum Society

At the western tip of Hertfordshire the group of towns and villages comprising the borough of Dacorum takes its name from the ancient hundred and Anglo-Saxon name for the area. It is an area rich in historical significance and has an interesting story to tell. Archaeological evidence is abundant and Neolithic, Mesolithic, Bronze age and Roman remains have been found on various sites throughout the area.

The river valleys and track ways have determined the position of its towns and villages, the principal towns being Berkhamsted (complete with its motte and bailey castle), Hemel Hempstead, and Tring. Their prosperity was based on agriculture. Later, the coming of the canals and railways brought other and newer industries, ie paper-making, engineering, pharmaceuticals and electronics.

People have lived and worked in The Dacorum over several thousand years, and this heritage has now been recognised as worth keeping. All too often the heritage has been ignored or destroyed and much that has been preserved has left the area and been displayed elsewhere as, unfortunately, there is no museum dedicated to The Dacorum.

The need to rectify this situation came to a head in 1980 due to pressure from local archaeological and history societies who came together to form The Dacorum Heritage Trust.

The Dacorum borough council and the town councils of Tring and Berkhamsted have given able support, and the trust became a registered charity in 1993. A disused fire station in Berkhamsted, after conversion, became the museum store. It contains a large collection of material: some 20,000 items in all, ranging from flint tools, Roman vessels and decorated wall plaster from the local Roman villa site, to 17th century trade tokens, photographs, pictures and maps — an endless variety of material spanning the centuries.

To raise public interest it was decided in October 1988 to form a society called The Friends of Dacorum Museum_ The objects of the society are:

To work towards the establishment of a permanent museum or museums for the benefit of the public generally and especially for the inhabitants of the district of Dacorum in the county of Hertfordshi re.

To organise periodic exhibitions relating to local history in the said district for educational and cultural purposes.

To raise finances to enable the Dacorum Heritage Trust to purchase material relating to the area.

The society has arranged a programme of events. They have visited the new Verulamium museum and arranged historic walks in the area. Several parties have toured the museum store under the guidance of the curator Mr Matt Wheeler.

Future plans include a Dacorum canal exhibition, which will focus on the history of the canal system in the area.

The Friends of the Museum Society is growing in strength and now has 175 members.

TILE WE MEET AGAIN Vikki O’Connor

Ian Betts, a building materials specialist from the Museum of London Specialist Services (MOLSS) is, fortunately for HADAS, resident in the Borough of Barnet. This made it convenient for him to give up his free time on Saturday July 10th to come and talk brick with sixteen Brockley Hill enthusiasts. Ian gave us some background information on Roman brick/tile production and pointed out that there are no obvious differences in the fabric of tiles produced at the sites between St Albans and London, except for the Radlett kiln where the products contain black specks. He believes that Brockley Hill had a tile production kiln, and one Brockley Hill potter’s stamp has been found on both pot and tile — it has been demonstrated that it is the same stamp used on both.

It appears that recognition of the brick/tile that we have collected is more instinctive than with the pottery. Ian’s examination of tens of thousands of examples over the years, coupled with his knowledge of fabric and fabrication methods, enable him to make almost instantaneous identification. However, the members of our group, who were ‘thrown in the deep end’ and given a bag of the Brockley Hill ‘fieldwalking’ brick to identify in front of everyone else, were also able to make correct identification. Even MOLSS sometimes use outside services to analyse building material. Harwell, for example undertake neutron analysis where a core is drilled out of the sample, powdered, sent into a nuclear reactor to be bombarded with neutrons, and the data collected indicates the chemical components – all for a modest fee of £25 per sample. (If a scientifically-minded member (2ould give a truer description of this process, our next Newsletter Editor is Liz Sagues….)

Touching on a few points in brick history Ian started with the Roman building industry which appeared to be centralised using a skilled work force. He believes the use of water transport tends to be under­rated and that where there was no navigable water route then localised brick production occurred. In the late 2nd/early 3rd century AD tile found all over southern England is apparently from one production site, but he couldn’t confirm whether this was German or British. There is apparently no evidence for Saxon brick production and Roman material was re-used. Pre-Conquest tiles were very simple, as produced at Winchester_ The question was asked and, yes, site matters as an indicator of function, Tiled roofs were initially used for public buildings, and King Stephen (1135-54) decreed that only tiled roofs should be built. The York city wall material switched from stone to brick in 1490 and, a Yorkshire man himself, Ian admitted that the rivalry between mediaeval tile makers and the stone masons sorneti mes became physical as testified by Guild records. We hoped the Northern Line didn’t delay Ian too much as he sped off to meet his wife (a little later than intended as we had him pinned down to answer questions at the Catcher in the Rye). Our thanks for an interesting session.

Ian has suggested that HADAS may like to consider using the services of MOLSS in classifying the contents of our 35 boxes of brick. An advantage would he the speed of the operation – he thought three or four days would suffice, and we would have the opportunity Of getting a couple of HADAS members to observe/participate so we would be gaining in-house expertise. We would also gain our own reference collection. A further advantage would be that, by using :MOLSS on this occasion, their recording methods would set our standard for recording building material at a professional level so that, should we be permitted to complete the fieldwalking grid during 2000, we would have the capability to do up to 99% of the processing internally. Our excavation coordinator, Brian Wrigley, will be examining the pros and cons of this proposal over the next few days and we should shortly be able to reveal how we will be completing the task.

THE PREHISTORIC SOCIETY STUDY TOUR TO SCANIA by John Hooson

In June members of the Prehistoric Society (including five members from HADAS) visited many important sites in a tour organised and guided by Professor John Coles and his Swedish colleagues Professor Lars Larsson and Dr Deborah Olausson of Lund University.

The whole tour was greatly enhanced by their creating a very relaxed atmosphere. Descriptions of the sites were given with enthusiasm, emphasising the cultures of the prehistoric societies and bringing them to life. The Romans never reached. Sweden and, therefore, Swedish prehistory is regarded as extending up to the Viking age.

We visited the large late Mesolithic cemetery site of SKATEHOLM where the diverse burial practices have led to much discussion concerning the late Mesolithic as a period of complex social structures. At the Lund museum, which we visited on our day of arrival, we had seen one of the Skateholm burials displayed as it had been found.

AGEROD, a late Mesolithic lake settlement site was also visited. Part of the lake still exists but excavations of several bog sites on the shore of the past lake have revealed both occupation areas and refuse layers. Walking along the old shore line, many worked flakes lay on the surface of the presently cultivated field and John Coles recovered a magnificent core displaying where a succession of blades had been removed.

At GILLHOG, we were able to enter the low narrow entrance to the passage grave. It is assumed to have been erected in the earlier middle Neolithic but most of the finds in the chamber dated to the later part of the middle Neolithic and late Neolithic and apparently it had also been used by members of the battle-axe culture. The earth mantle covering the tomb had contained two late Neolithic cists and in an area of six metres outside the entrance large quantities of potsherds from the Funnel Beaker culture were found. At SKEGRIE we saw one of the best preserved dolmens_ It had rectangular chambers in a rectangular stone setting.

The bronze age in Scania offers much. 3,000 large mounds and cairns still exist in spite of the destruction of large numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries due to agricultural reorganisation. As we travelled around the beautiful Skania landscape we could see mounds everywhere: near the road, on nearby ridges and in the distance.

KIVIK, the largest round burial mound in Scandinavia and believed to be of bronze age date, was discovered in 1748 and contained a long c.ist of eight slabs carved on the inside surface. Unfortunately it was heavily quarried in the 19th century and the cist robbed out. In 1933, based on drawings of 1756, it was reconstructed using six of the recovered slabs and two reconstructions. A vault constructed over the cist allows visitors to study the slabs.

John Coles, who has made a long-term study of Swedish and Norwegian bronze age rock carvings, took us to a number of sites where his explanations were of invaluable help in identifying the intricate groupings of boats, animals, humans, battleaxes and other representations.At JARRESTAD, the largest rock carving site in southern Sweden, we saw the “Dancer”, who dominates, together with footsoles (naked feet) in pairs and singly and many boats and horses with riders. At FRANNARP the carvings are of wheels and carts with schematic horses. It was on this occasion that we resented the brilliant sun which we had had all week as it cast shadows from the surrounding trees on to the carvings making them difficult to view. Fortunately a cloud intervened a couple of times to provide an excellent opportunity to see the carvings clearly.

Among the iron age sites visited was ALE STENAR the largest ship-setting in Sweden with a commanding view over the Baltic Sea. There are various hypotheses for its use including the grave or cenotaph. Also visited was the cemetery at VATTERYD with around 375 standing stones and 20 ship carvings.

We saw a number of Viking runic and picture stones which are frequently associated with early churches. The church at STORA KOPINGE was probably built in the late 11th century and, like many of these early churches, preceded by an earlier wooden church. These churches are often richly decorated and SANKT OLOF’s church has many wall paintings and coloured carved furnishings.

On the first full day we had visited the ongoing excavations at UPPAKRA, it was discovered in 1934 and settlement has now been dated from 20013C to 950AD: It had been an important market-place, production site and a residential place of government until replaced by Lund, founded five kilometres away. Shortly after leaving the site, Lars Larsson received a call on his mobile informing him that an important brooch had just been found there. On the last day, at the Lund museum, we were able to see this square-headed gilt-bronze brooch which they were dating to 450AD. No cleaning had been necessary apart from brushing off the dirt.

It was a truly magnificent find and brought tea fine conclusion a truly magnificent study tour.

ARCHAEOLOGY DATA SERVICE Peter Pickering

The Higher Education Funding Council is sponsoring a project to encourage the reuse of digital archives, the Archaeology Data Service. An on-site version of the Greater London Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) maintained by English Heritage is now available for use as part of the Service’s on-line catalogue, ArcHSearch. Members may like to visit its website (ads.ands.ac.ukfeatalogue).

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

September 8th to January 9th. “Alfred the Great”, an exhibition at the Museum of London. This exhibition should interest members going on the Portsmouth weekend, as our first stop at Winchester is to view an on-going excavation at Hyde Abbey. Records dating from the Dissolution indicate that Alfred, his wife Ealhswith and son Edward the Elder were buried at Hyde Abbey. This year’s excavation hopes to locate the site of these royal burials.

October 23rd. This year’s Chairman of SCOLA (the Standing Conference on London Archaeology), Professor Graham-Campbell, will give a lecture on LONDON AND THE VIKINGS in the Lecture Theatre of the Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square; the lecture will be preceded by a brief report on SCOLA’s activities. The afternoon will begin at 2.30.

November 27th. The CBA Mid-Anglia and South-Eastern groups, and SCOLA, are jointly sponsoring a conference in the Museum of London on post-mediaeval London. The cost is likely to be £25, including the conference papers. Watch for publicity and application forms in due course.

newsletter-339-july-1999

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BRITAIN’S OLDEST ROOF

Advances in dendrochronology reveal that the oak roof in St. Mary’s Church at Kempley, Gloucestershire, could be dated 1120 to 1150, to be the oldest in Britain and one of the oldest in Europe. According to Francis Kelly of English Heritage it was the earliest and most complete roof structure on any building to be dated using scientific methods. (Guardian 25 May 1999)

ROMAN SHIPS FROM PISA

British and Italian classical scholars have found eight almost perfectly preserved ancient Roman ships buried in the mud of what was once the harbour of Pisa. Stefano Bruni, the Tuscan archaeologist was in charge of the dig; Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, director of the British School in Rome, said the ships were in pristine condition. About a fifth of the boats had been uncovered so far, there could well be more. The ships range in length from 24ft to 90ft and seem to date from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. (Times 21. 4. 1999)

HEROD, PATRON OF WINE SNOBS

A new exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem concentrates on the often copious drinking habits of the people in biblical times and on the paraphernalia they used. Apparently the wine bibbers of Greece, Lebanon and Israel looked down on the beer drinkers of Egypt and Iraq as their equivalent to modern day “lager louts”. This was especially true of King Herod, a frequent party giver, who imported wine from Italy as supposedly superior to the local supply and who had his own “wine butler”. (Times 28.5. 1999)

DIARY

Saturday July 10 (11.15am till lunchtime) Brockley Hill Finds Processing

Scout Hut (beside/behind Hertford Lodge, next to Avenue House)

Ian Betts, Museum of London finds specialist, has agreed to instruct us on the finer points of identifying brick and tile. Some 35 boxes need sorting. Anyone interested please contact Vicki O’Connor (0181 361 1350)

Saturday July 17 – Outing to Gloucestershire with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward. Details and application form enclosed

Saturday/Sunday July 24/25 – National Archaeology Days [details overleaf]

Saturday August 14 – Outing to West Stowe and Framlingham, Suffolk with Bill Bass

Friday, Saturday, Sunday September 3,4,5 – Weekend in Portsmouth and Isle of Wight. Places still available. (Ring Dorothy Newbury 0181 203 0950)

Monday October 4 – Walk with Mary O’Connell

Saturday October 9 – Minimart

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY DAYS – Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th JULY

To celebrate National Archaeology Days, HADAS will be returning to Church Farmhouse Museum grounds for a Training Weekend. Two new trenches will be opened to extend our knowledge of the ditch feature that we excavated in 1993 and 1996, which runs parallel to the churchyard. Members with digging experience will be asked to pair with first-timers, under the direction of their trench supervisor. ‘Trainees’ will be instructed in excavating and recording methods, and a finds processing team will be at work on site during the weekend, with visitors offered the chance to participate.

A selection of finds from HADAS excavations in the Church End locality will be displayed in Church Farmhouse Museum and a resume of the Church Farmhouse digs to date will be available on site. Demonstrations of surveying and resistivity testing will be given on both days so, if you always wanted to try it yourself, please come along. We are hoping to generate some outside interest – the event will be publicised in Barnet libraries and, hopefully, in the local press. The success of the weekend depends on our members committing to one or two days so that we can complete the excavation to time, with new excavators gaining experience, and Barnet borough residents have the opportunity to see what we do.

TIMETABLE:

Friday 23rd – surveying in the grid and laying out

grid, de-turfing trench one.

Saturday 24th

9am Diggers report to get equipment set up

9.3Oam Open to visitors/external participants

1 0.30am Surveying demonstration

11.00am Finds processing table open to visitors

11.30am Resistivity demonstration
I pm – 2pm Lunch

2.3Opm Surveying demonstration 3.3Opm Resistivity demonstration 5pm Close

Sunday 25th –

9.30am Diggers report to get equipment set up

10am Open to visitors/external participants

1pm – 2pm Lunch

2.30pm Surveying demonstration 3.30pm Resistivity demonstration

The editor of ‘Current Archaeology’, aka HADAS Chairman Andrew Selkirk, will be visiting site on Sunday afternoon.

5pm Close.

Monday 26th

9am Complete recording, backfill trenches.

WE NEED • our experienced diggers • pot washers, ‘old hands’ from previous Hendon digs,
anyone who knows a probe from a ranging rod, someone to make the tea??? (We’ll be lucky)

a couple of stewards – the press gang – armed with charm, facts and application forms

site photographer • visitors – come along in the afternoons to encourage the troops

fitness freaks required to back fill trenches on the Monday morning!

SIGN UP NOW!
CALL OUR FIELDWORK CO-ORDINATOR BRIAN WRIGLEY ,

A VISIT TO HIGHGATE CEMETERY by Stewart J. Wild

Highgate West Cemetery is a gem. It isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it ought to be. Seventeen acres of North London hillside, laid out on a private estate 160 years ago, are now the permanent home of thousands of the great and good of the Victorian era, plus a few later arrivals from more recent times. Some of the splendid funerary monuments, saved from decay and in many cases restored, are Grade 1 listed, undergrowth has been stopped from becoming overgrowth, trees and creepers have been trimmed and wild flowers have been planted to encourage the butterflies and the Victorian atmosphere.

On a lovely Spring evening at the end of April some two dozen HADAS members gathered in Swains Lane for a guided tour. We were lucky that one of our guides was Mrs Jean Pateman MBE, Chairman of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery, an organisation founded in 1975 to rescue and care for the cemetery when the owning company gave up. Mrs Pateman and her colleagues, nearly all volunteers, have done a magnificent job over almost 25 years to raise funds, maintain the cemetery and keep it going as an important part of our heritage and a living memorial to the dead.

Mrs Pateman was ably assisted by her Vice-Chairman Mrs Yuille who shared the guiding duties. We entered through the gates of the two brick chapels – whose architecture has been described as Undertakers’ Gothic – and, after an introductory talk, climbed the hillside. It’s amazing how different each grave and its accompanying monument, heavy with symbolism, can be; we saw stone wreaths, truncated columns, heavenly angels, upturned torches, carved effigies, and representations of things the deceased enjoyed in life, like a cricket bat, a musical instrument or an adored pet.

One monument, complete with whip and horn, commemorated James Selby (1843-88), a noted coachman who covered the 108 miles from London to Brighton and back again in a record-breaking seven hours and fifty minutes, then died of exposure. Other notable tombs included those of Charles Spencer (1837-90), an early hot-air balloonist; Gabriele Rossetti (1783-1854), poet, scholar and London University professor; Thomas Sayers (1826-65), a noted bare-knuckle prizefighter whose dog, frozen in stone, still guards his master’s grave; and famous scientist Michael Faraday (1791-1867), the genius who discovered electro-magnetism.

We proceeded along Egyptian Avenue, between splendid mausolea whose heavy doors protected the mortal remains of some of Queen Victoria’s most eminent subjects. We saw the Columbarium, not for pigeons, but a part of the Circle of Lebanon with niches to hold cinerary urns. The conservation of the Lebanon Circle, which gets its name from the 350-year-old cedar tree which towers above it, cost a fortune, was partly funded by English Heritage, and recently won a Europa Nostra award.

Close to the rear of St. Michael’s church, at one of the highest points in London, we peeped into the colossal mausoleum of financier Julius Beer (1836­1880), once owner of The Observer, and of his half-mad family. The German-born magnate had his memorial designed to resemble the tomb of King Mausolus in Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Descending the hill, we saw the more recent graves of actor Patrick Wymark (1926-70) and of polymath Jacob Bronowski (1908-74). There was just time to cross the road to the East Cemetery to view the memorials to novelist George Eliot (1819-80) and to Highgate’s best known resident, Karl Marx (1818-83). He’d surely be happy to know how well his last resting place and its surroundings are cared for today. So ended an enjoyable and educative visit: once again our thanks to Dorothy Newbury for the organisation.

INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY – CHIMNEYS

A group, organised by Vikki O’Connor, is taking a new look at the industrial archaeology, particularly that of the 19th century, in the Borough. The aim is to produce a publication to celebrate the HADAS ruby anniversary (and correctly), the millenium in 2001.

One way of identifying a factory is by a chimney and we would urge all members to look out for factory chimneys and to let Vicki (0181 361 1350) or Bill Firth (0181 455 7164) know about them. Do not be alarmed, we will not ask you to do more than report the chimney and its location. the group will do the research. Please do not hold back because you think a chimney has already been reported. We would rather have multiple reports than none.

You will also be doing the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society a favour by contributing to their London wide chimney survey. Bill Firth

SECRETARY’S CORNER

The last meeting of the Committee took place on 8 June. Matters of over­riding importance will doubtless be referred to elsewhere in this Newsletter but the following general items may be of interest:‑

The increased publicity about the Society and its activities has generated more enquiries and applications for membership. Tim Wilkins has been responsible for the publicity and for placing posters in libraries, press contacts and other means. A revised leaflet about the Society is in an advanced state of preparation. Steps have been taken to improve the presentation and layout of the Newsletters.

Barnet has convened a meeting to consider the future management of Avenue House at which the Society will be represented. Our lease for the Garden Room comes up for renewal at the end of the year.

The following appointments were confirmed:

Membership Secretary and Research: Vicki O’Connor; Field Work: Brian Wrigley; Site Watching: Myfanwy Stewart; Publications: Andrew Selkirk; Publicity: Tim Wilkins; Newsletter and Programme: Dorothy Newbury with June Porges; Librarian and Archivist: Roy Walker Call posts except the last include ‘Co-ordinator’ in their titles – Edl. Denis Ross

MILLENIUM ACTIVITIES

Barnet Council is planning to mark the event. It would like to hear of any activities planned by the voluntary sector. (Contact: BVSC, 1st Floor, Hertford Lodge, East End Road, N3 3QE) (The Archer May 1999)

USEFUL WEB SITES

Historical Manuscripts Commission – http://www.hme.gov.uk

Human mummification – Egypt to Peru

The Bloomsbury Summer School of University College, London, ran a study day on May 15th on Human. Mummification – from Egypt to Peru.

The first presenter was Ms. Roxie Walker, a Director of the Bioanthropology Foundation, the Sponsor of the new Galleries of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology in the British Museum. She used a selection of case studies to emphasise the goal of funerary archaeology as showing how the peoples at the time lived their lives, and what can be determined about their health and medical practices.

Ms. Walker was followed by Dr. Sonia Guillen, Director of the Centro Mallaqui, Peru, who gave an astonishing presentation of mummification practices from several ancient Peruvian peoples.

The Chinchorra, who lived 10,000 – 4,000 years ago in the coastal plains near Peru’s border with Chile, practised mummification by natural means, using the dry desert and its naturally occurring salts. However they also removed the skin from the body, removed all the soft tissues and flesh, strengthened the skeleton with wooden rods, refilled the body with clay and fabric, and replaced the skin. These ‘remade mummified bodies they then placed up-standing on a frame to take their place in society.

The Chiribaya, lived 1000 years ago in the desert and also used natural mummification from the dryness and desert salts. They wrapped the bodies in mummy bags made from exquisitely decorated fabrics which were then buried with foods and everyday artefacts. Much evidence is being lost as the remains are robbed by looters, and sadly, as Peru is a poor country trying to develop its industrial wealth, they are also at risk from industrial and infrastructure development.

The Chachapaya, also from 1000 years ago, lived in the Andes, near the border with Equador. Many tomb sites were recently found around a magnificent lake. One tomb alone had 219 mummies in, but only 3 intact as the result of looters. Another 19 tomb sites were found in the same district, but when the news reached Lima, despite the remote and inaccessible location, tourists started arriving wanting to their pictures taken next to the mummies. This again highlights the problems of needing to blend the demands of archaeology and wealth creation, in this case tourism, especially in under-developed areas. As the local village headman said “there’s no money in archaeology for us, but there’s lots in tourism” Also the news brought more looters – one tomb site when they got to it had been completely cleared by looters who had flown in by helicopter. The Chachapaya mummies were mummified naturally, but when the region was conquered by the Inca, they took over the same tomb sites and also used them for storing mummies – this time mummified by extremely effective methods, such that the Spanish described them as being completely life-like. There are Spanish engravings of the mummies being carried through the villages on ceremonial occasions.

After the lunch break, during which there was a special opening of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Dr. Joann Fletcher, Lecturer in Egyptology at the Centre for Extra-Mural studies at the University of London, continued, fresh from her successful TV programme on mummies in the Canary Islands. She examined in more detail the decoration of both the Chiribaya and Egyptian mummies, especially the information they give about how hair was used and decorated in these cultures. She also looked at body tattoos – the Chiribaya liked having frogs tattoed on their thumbs and she got very excited about head lice – one of the Chiribaya was found so full of lice that the resultant infection and blood loss could well have been the cause of death. This has also been found in a pre-dynastic Egyptian mummy.

Finally Dr. John Taylor reviewed the concept and content of the new Roxie Walker galleries in the British Museum, which were then opened for a private viewing after the formal lectures were completed. Tim Wilkins

OLDEST CHARITY IN THE UK?

The Finchley charities of Wilmot Close in East Finchley was established in 1488 and may be one of the oldest in the country. (The Archer May 1999)

BARNET LOCAL ARCHIVISTS

Members will be interested to learn that the following posts have been advertised recently in the professional press – ‘Local Studies and Heritage Officer’ and ‘Archivist’ both for 18 hours pw. (Library Association Record Vacancies Supplement March 1999

LOCAL NEWSPAPERS SAVED

The Local Newspapers in Peril project has netted the largest preservation grant ever made in the UK from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The most fragile newspapers dating between 1800 – 1950 will be microfilmed, readers will be placed in libraries throughout the UK and there will be information on the Internet on library holdings. (Library Association Record May 1999)

SUMMER DIGS

SIGNOR ROMAN VILLA, near Arundel, West Sussex (July and August)

Archaeology and field courses. Five day, two-day and one-day training courses suitable for beginners and for the more experienced (contact: Mrs, Maltby, University College, London, Field Archaeology Unit, 1 West St., Ditchling, Hassocks, West Sussex. BNE 8TS (Tel: 01273 845497 Fax: 273 8441873

e-mail: fau@ucl.ac.uk) (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/fau)

CYPRUS, Pyrgos tis Reginas, The Queen’s Tower, Akamas peninsula, West Cyprus

The University of Wales will begin excavation at this archaeological site this summer. There will be some thirty students working on the site under the direction of the site director. John Howells, Head of the Department of Archaeology, and of the site manager, Dr. Paul Croft, a professional archaeologist resident in Cyprus. The site is almost certainly a medieval monastic community, but there are possibilities of much earlier finds being made in the area. “Paying guests” to work alongside the students would be welcomed; Heritage Participation Ltd (Archaeological and Heritage Tourism), in cooperation with the Cypriot Tourist Office and their “Agra Tourism!’ initiative have organised transport and accommodation at the Amarakos Inn at Kato Akourdia, a family run hotel with a pool and “wonderful home cooking”. Other accommodation is available, also visits or staying in other parts of the island. Work would start early in the morning with the afternoons free for relaxation or further explorations. There is one week minimum stay. (Further details from Heritage Participation Ltd„ The Old Post House, Leashaw, Holloway, nr. Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5AT (Tel 01629 534072, Fax 01629 5344332, E-mail: hpldigs @ hotmail. cam)

IT’S NOT ALL DISNEY (A short stay in Northern Florida)

I have just returned from a trip to the United States, during which I visited a dig in the oldest city in America, St Augustine, on the north-eastern seaboard of Florida. A team of local archaeological society volunteers were working under the direction of the City Archaeologist, excavating an urban site prior to development – a not-unfamiliar scenario! They worked in much the way that we do, of course, trenching, platting, recording by drawing and black-and-white photography plus colour transparencies. All spoil is sieved (‘screened’ as they term it there) immediately after the trowel work, in fact the screens are positioned right next to the trenches so that trowelled finds can be immediately related to micro-finds which may have escaped the eye of the excavator. The terrain is all sand, unlike our soil in which we can usually detect changes in soil-type, colour and texture. Nevertheless, they have taught themselves to recognise such differences which can quickly disappear in the heat (it was 91°F), as the moisture evaporates. They mark the outline of stratigraphic colour differences with lines of nails, linked to each other with a brightly-coloured cord to form a continuous line thus recording the soil ‘event’ .

The finds were mostly 16th and 17th century European pottery from the days of the earliest settlers – (St Augustine was founded by the Spanish in 1585) – so there was Spanish majolica ware, English blue-on-white ware, and some Dutch and Rhine ware sherds.

They were especially proud of their most spectacular find – the flint-lock mechanism of a (British) ‘Brown Bess’ musket.

Whilst in Florida, I crossed over the state to the Gulf of Mexico coast on the west, to visit the Crystal River State Archaeological site in Citrus County. This six-mound complex covers about 14 acres and is considered to be one of the longest, continually occupied sites in Florida, dating from about 200BC to AD1400. Various culture groupings have been identified there with successive occupations becoming increasingly concerned with ceremonialism, involving cremation burials, the manufacture of grave goods, tomb construction and chiefdom societies. There are are large, rectangular, pyramidal and flat-tapped temple mounds constructed primarily of oyster shell and earth. The largest of these is Temple Mound A which is 30 feet in height with a base 182 feet long and 100 feet wide with a ramp 80 feet long and 21 feet wide. In shape and size this form of structure has similarities to the monumental stone temples and palaces of the Mesoamerican cultures like the Olmec and the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula, with the painted and stamped pottery of both areas showing a resemblance to each other. Also, there are two limestone stelae, or carved ceremonial stones, standing in situ at Crystal River which, according to one authority, form the back-sights for a giant calendar created by the orientation of the mounds with the function of marking solstices, equinoxes and north-south alignments-of the stars – in other words. a primitive solar observatory. Shades of Stonehenge! Altogether, a most interesting and thought-provoking short trip which I would thoroughly recommend to any society members who are looking for somewhere a little different to visit.

JACK GOLDENFELD

SUMMER READING

BERMONDSEY AND ROTHERHITHE PERCEIVED: a descriptive account of two riverside localities, with historical notes and engravings, contemporary photographs and drawings. Compiled and written by Peter Marcan. Peter Marcan Publications, PO Box 3158, London, SE1 4RA (0171 357 0368) price £9.95 plus £1.50 p&p

GREENWICH MARSH; the 300 years before the Dome; the industrial and natural background. By local historian/industrial archaeologist Mary Mills. With details of ships, big guns, barges, steam engines, tide mill, and ‘the biggest gasholder in the world’. Copies available from: M. Wright, 24 Humber Road, London, SE3 7LT (0181 858 9482) price £9.95 including p&p.

VISIONS OF SOUTHWARK: a collection of nineteenth and twentieth century pictures and photographs by Lesley McDonald, with historical notes and descriptive imaginative writing. Peter Marcan Publications, PO Box 3158, London, SE1 4RA (0171 357 0368) price £9.95 plus £1.20 p&p

EVENTS ELSEWHERE

JEWISH MUSEUM, 80 East End Road, London, N3 2SY (0181 349 1143)

— Till 7 November 1999 – Exhibition. Behind the scenes at the Museum

— Sunday 25 July and 22 August 10.15am – Walking tour of the Jewish East End

KENWOOD. A programme of informal guided walks has been advertised by the Kenwood Visitor Information Centre. The walks will start outside the Mansion Cottage and must be booked in advance by phone (0171 973 3893) cost £2 includes hot drink in the Restaurant.

— Wednesday 14 July 10am – lecture and walk: Heath invertebrates, butterflies and other bugs. Ray Softly of the London Natural History Museum

— Sunday 25 July llam – guided walk of the estate by an Estate Ranger

— Wednesday 18 August 7.30pm – evening lecture and guided walk of the estate by an Estate Ranger