Season’s greetings to all o members and their families
and all good wishes for a happy New Year
Tuesday 9 January An evening with Derek Batten sharing the Time Team’s Visit to his Castle in Towcester prior to the programme’s showing on TV.
Tuesday 13 February Lecture Aspects of Roman Tunisia by Kader Chelei
Tuesday 13 March Lecture Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills (an outing to this site is being planned for August)
All lectures start promptly at 8,00pm at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley. N.3 and are followed by questions and coffee. Meetings close at 10.00pm
One Man and His Castle by Derek Batten
In life it’s amazing how one thing leads to another. Had I not mis-spent my youth in the Gaumont and Odeon cinemas (not to mention the New Bohemia and the Rex) I would never have developed an interest in the American Wild West, never taken part in the archaeological work done
at Little Big Horn in 1985 and subsequently, and never have seen myself as a very amateur archaeologist. Thus it was in 1997, with a substantial windfall jangling in my pocket, I saw an estate agent’s board advertising “Castle and Moat For Sale”, within two miles of my Northamptonshire home – and I never knew it was there! I had to submit a sealed bid and wondered whether I’d fixed on the right number. The rest, as they say, is history…
The Mount (my castle) covers some 1.72 acres, is sort of triangular in shape and has a very deep (25 feet in places), well-preserved and quite dramatic moat, There is quite a bit of tree cover, particularly around the edges, and it occupies a dominant position on a ridge overlooking the valley of the River Tuve in south Northamptonshire. It was certain- ly used in Norman times as a ringwork. a sort of squashed motte with all the buildings inside the perimeter moat.
How nice, I thought, to do the odd day’s digging on my own castle to while away my declining years. Alas, I had reckoned without English Heritage, as I has bought a Scheduled Ancient Monument and I’m not allowed to go up there and break wind without their consent.I also realised the need for a proper earthwork survey, geophysical investigations and and professional control. All very expensive.
In conjunction with Northamptonshire Heritage a management plan was produced. This is a detailed document which sets out the history and plans for the future, including a report from the local Tree Officer recommending that certain trees be removed because they were a danger to the archaeology, or to persons or property. I sent a copy of the management plan to the village but, of course, no-one really bothered to read it. Then I applied to have twenty of the one hundred and thirty trees removed and the balloon went up! Nasty letters, petitions, protests, a bit in the local newspaper and general bad feeling. This was not helped by the fact that two neighbouring gardens were encroaching on my land. More bad feeling, verbal and physical confrontation and worst of all, horrendous lawyers’ bills.
I suppose it was Bridget’s idea and persistence that made me approach Time Team. Nothing much happened but I had another go as a member of the Time Team Club at the same time as they were in touch with the County Archaeologists about a possible location. Two lovely researchers came to look at the site in February, Bridget plied them with home-made soup, bread and cheese. I opened my best bottle of Cab. Sauv. and it all happened from then.
April, then October and finally the end of July were suggested as likely dates and I was rewarded with three of the most exciting days of my life. Everyone involved with the project, Tony Robinson, Mick Aston et at could not have been nicer. There are a number of human stories that space does not permit me to recall but I have promised Dorothy to speak at the HADAS meeting in January and to show the professional video that we took of the whole exercise. Incredibly, and because of Time Team’s influence, I made peace with the village and settled my boundary dispute in front. of the cameras. Quite how much will appear in the Time Team fifty-minute programme remains to be seen. At this moment I do not have a date for transmission but I promise that HADAS members will know as soon as I do.
(Readers of the SAGA Magazine will have read about Derek and his castle in the September issue.)
KING ALFRED’S GRAVE
In King Alfred’s day, monastic life was not flourishing, a fact of which he was very aware, having received little formal education himself as a boy, although he had made two journeys to Rome by the age of ten.
After the society’s lecture in October about Archaeology in Winchester, and the search for King Alfred’s grave on the site of Hyde Abbey, I referred to the book “The Life and Times of Alfred the Great” by the late Douglas Woodruff, who gained first class honours in history at New College, Oxford. As we heard in the lecture, Alfred did found New Minster, Hyde Abbey in Winchester and intended it to be a place of learning where learned monks from abroad were to be encouraged to reside, there being a shortage of scholars in Wessex. To quote from Douglas Woodruff:
At the time of Alfred’s death ” the New Minster was not ready and he was buried in the old, and when, a year or two later, the New Minster, soon to be Hyde Abbey, was ready, his body was transferred there, apparently with the full acquiesence of the canons of the Old Minster, because, they said, he troubled them by appearing at night and walking in their cloisters on a way which much alarmed them. At the Reformation, when Hyde Abbey like all other religious houses was suppressed and then despoiled, the tombs of the Saxon kings were not spared. Some of the bones were later gathered into wooded caskets and placed above the chancel in Winchester Cathedral, but all mixed up. There they remain.” I hope this may be of interest to members of HADAS.
Margaret E. Phillips
SPECIAL OFFER TO MEMBERS
Some years ago Bernard H. Oak, a local resident, published a book entitled “A History of Mill Hill in its Environment”, which was sold through local bookshops and libraries at £17.50. Bernard is now able to offer copies to members of HADAS at a special price of £3.00. If you would like a copy please ring Brian Wrigley on 020 8959 5982 and he will arrange for all orders to be delivered to one address for collection.
58 Gervase Road, Edgware, Middx, HAS OEP for front, rear and side extension;
81 Gervase Road, Edgware, HA8 OEW for rear extension.
Gervase Road joins Thirleby Road where sherds of Roman pottery have been found and this area is close to Hanshaw Drive where HADAS is involved in an excavation.
WANTED: A PROFESSIONAL INDEXER
Is there a professional indexer in the Society? We need one to continue the index of Newsletters started by Bridget Grafton Green in 1961, which reached 1976, This provides an invaluable reference tool to past events and activities of the Society. Can anyone help complete the job? Please contact Dorothy Newbury an 020 8203 0950.
NEWS OF MEMBERS
A sad note to end the year, with the news of the deaths of three longstanding members, each of whom contributed much to the Society in their own way:
Olive Banhain, a founder-members, died on 11 October, her 94th birthday.
In her last letter to me she said she was going to reverse her age from 93 to 39, Olive and her husband, Jim, were very active in the Society. HADAS started with fifteen members and was very soon producing a newsletter, for which Jim addressed the envelopes and then delivered them by hand. Olive outlived Jim by many years and she came on all outings including out first week-end away to Ironbridge and Wroxeter in 1974. On day trips many members will remember the large tin of sweeties she always brought to pass round the coach. On our first trip to Orkney in 1978 she came round with a bottle of sherry which she shared round the dormitory. We felt like naughty schoolgirls having a midnight feast! Olive often reminded me of the fun we had in Orkney all those years ago.
She never forgot HADAS and only a couple of months ago she sent a donation for the Minimart, which she has done every year since she left Hendon to live near relatives in her home village in Norfolk.
Olive was a school-teacher by profession and started her career in the same village to which she returned. June Porges and I attended her funeral at Hendon Crematorium on behalf of HADAS.
Janet Heathfield died on 16 September. She had been a HADAS member for over thirty years and in spite of being disabled, joined enthusiastically in whatever HADAS activities were available to her. An abiding memory is of her at the exploratory dig near the well at East Barnet Church. Because she was partly paralysed she could only ‘dig’ by lying prone on her left side and scraping with her good arm. Each of her ‘finds’ was greeted with a whoop of delight.
Janet’s most recent activity was to try to get the 17th century village clock in East Barnet restored.
Arthur Till, a Committee Member and digging team stalwart, died suddenly in October at the age of seventy-four.
Arthur and his wife, Vera, joined HADAS in July, 1988, two year’s after his early retirement from British Telecom. He brought to the Society his immense practical skills and a marvellous sense of humour coupled with a willingness to join in and to offer assistance and guidance as necessary. He participated in most of our excavations and would often arrive with items of site equipment prepared at home from odds and ends – the auger, safety tops for pegs and the red and white pegs themselves made from reinforcing rods “liberated” from the site of an earlier dig! The bookcases and shelves at Avenue House garden room were Arthur’s handiwork. His specialities were clay pipes and building materials and he had recently benefited from the training in ceramic building materials identification given to HADAS by the Museum of London. There is no doubt that his humourous sayings. usually attributed to his Grannie, will long be repeated by members of the digging team! Several HADAS members attended his funeral at New Southgate where condolences were passed to Vera and her family.
Vikki O’Conner and Roy Walker
COMMORATIVE PLAQUES by Liz Holiday
Many thanks to the dozen or so members who flew to their reference books and cudgelled their brains to help with answers to my outstanding queries.
I can confirm that a love and knowledge of cricket is alive and well among our gentlemen members, at least five of whom have filled me in on the life and triumphs of Ranjitsinhji – The Black Prince of Cricket.
Three plaques I had not included in the list have been brought to my attention, including a new one erected by The Finchley Society in March this year.
Percy Reboul has very kindly offered to check the Local Collection for suitable illustrations, so it looks as if the final draft is not too far off. I did manage to get the text of the book I have been working on this summer to the printer in time – just- and it is due to be published on 9 December. Entitled “Chipperfield Within Living Memory”, it is based on recorded interviews with 64 long-standing residents of the village and (hopefully) gives a picture of life in a small Hertfordshire village during the 20th century. As a community project it must rate a gold star as well over 100 people have been involved in it!
BOUNDARY STONE REPLACED
An inscribed stone dated 1896 which marked the boundary between the parish of St. John’s, Hampstead and St. Pancras disappeared during roadworks in May has now been found and replaced.
PROGRESS 2000BC By Arthur Till
” Dad, I’m cold . . .”
“So am I, Little Ug.”
“Well, can I put some more wood on the fire, Dad?”
“Sorry, Little Ug, but I’ve promised all that wood we collected yesterday to old Smog for a couple of spears and a few arrows.”
“What happened to our last spears, Dad?”
“They went rusty, son.”
‘What’s ‘rusty’ Dad?”
“It’s what happens now that we’re in the Iron Age. If you don’t keep your iron things in the dry, the next time you go to use them they’re just a heap of red rust.”
“That never happened to the old ones we used, did it Dad?” “Well, they were bronze, son, and that didn’t go rusty.”
“Why are we using the iron ones then, Dad?”
“Well, Little Ug, it’s what’s called Progress. These iron things are supposed to be sharper and harder than the bronze ones were, and Old Smog says that there’s not much call for the old bronze ones any more. It was just the same when we changed over from flint to bronze –
your mother and I didn’t have a decent shave for years when that came about!’
“Didn’t people complain about it, Dad?”
“They did try to, Little Ug, especially Old Chipper and his tribe. They used to supply all the people around here with their flint axes and things. But they were reckoned to be backward so they were all sent to a place called Knapsbury, so people didn’t complain much after that and bronze gradually took over. Anyway, Old Smog seems to be doing alright for himself – he’s taking over another new but and for some reason he’s calling it ‘Santa Fe’.”
“I’m still cold, Dad.”
“OK, son, bung a little bit on the fire, just to keep the wolves away!” “Thanks Dad.”
“What now, Little Ug?”
“Where does all the smoke go to?”
“Ask your mother, son, she knows everything!”
NEW SOCIETY MUSHROOMS
Welcome to a new local history society in the Borough. John Donovan, who lived in Friern Barnet for thirty years, fulfiled a long-held ambition when he organised the inaugural meeting of The Friern Barnet & District Local History Society at Friern Barnet Town Hall in September. Forty members of the public attended and heard Andrew Mussell talk about the Borough’s Archives and Local Studies collection. With the support of local resident Dr. Oliver Natelson, another keen local history enthusiast, the society has mushroomed and now boasts 95 members. The next meeting will be held at 8.00pm on Wednesday 10 January in Friern Barnet Town Hall when our own John Heathfield will he speaking.
If you would like to join the society or find out more about their aims and objectives contact John Donovan, 19 Cringle Court, Thornton Road. Little Heath, Herts, EN6 IJR or telephone him on 01707 642886
DECEMBER EVENTS Wed. 6 Dec. at 2pm Highgate Wood
Children’s Events, Christmas Tree Sale, Cream Teas, Band, Shop. Guided winter walk from the Information Hut.(For map & details see page 3 of July Newsletter)
Wed. 6 Dec. at 5pm British Archaeological Association at Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W.1 Channel Island Churches a talk by Warwick Rodwell.
Thur. 7 Dec. at 7.30pm London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, N.1 Enchanted Waters of the Basingstoke Canal a talk by Arthur Dungate. Admission £2.50 (£1.25 concessions)
Sat. 9 Dec. 10.15am-3.30pm Amateur Geological Society at St. Mary’s Hall, Hendon Lane, Finchley, N.3 Annual Bazaar (Rocks, minerals, fossils, crystals, gemstones. jewellery) Admission 50p.
Wed. 13 Dec. at 6.30pm LAMAS at The Museum of London. London on Ice: the Thames Frost Fairs a talk by Jeremy Smith.
Wed. 13 Dec. at 8.15pm Mill Hill Historical Society at Harwood Hall, Union Church, Mill Hill Broadway. Art History a talk by Ian Littler.
Thur. 14 Dec. at 7.30pm Camden History Society at Burgh House, New End Road, NW3. The Monuments of St. Paul’s Cathedral a talk by HADAS President Dr. Ann Saunders
Fri. 15 Dec. at 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society. The Archaeology of the Jubilee Line Extension a talk by James Drummond-Murray (£1 visitors
No 356 NOVEMBER 2000 EDITOR DAWN ORR
HADAS’ OWN – THE EVER SUCCESSFUL MINIMART …….. SATURDAY, 14th OCTOBER
The annual cry of the MINI MARKETEER rises above the busy hum of chatter and hurried movement. In and out the front door we go, unloading the various elasticated vehicles – we thought there wouldn’t be any, but here they are, and the stalwarts are on parade. Absolute treasures every one!
“Hullo – haven’t seen you for ages :”
“You need a man (?!) – here – let me help you :”
“When’s the coffee coming round ?”
“Have you had a meringue yet? Best ever this year!”
“Asparagus quiche, please…”
Boxes, bins, bundles – open, unpack, lay out – ah, “there’s the rub…”
An object (not “of art”) emerges from careful layers of wrapping and the cry we heard comes up s “Does anyone … ?” followed shortly by “Is it priced ?” and inevitably “it” lands on the Bric-a-brac tables- a foursome in a row this year and a welcome relief from the log jam.
If I could find my way into the 21st century, I could put this onto a disk (sic!) and just ‘tweak it’ a bit each year, for indeed the formula tried and true works every time – even when effort has been made to cut it down or make it ‘MICRO’.
So – the funds are still rolling in as we go to press – total to date £950
Don’t let’s destroy THE DOME – just put Dorothy in charge of it!
Tuesday, November 14th HADAS LECTURE ‘Medieval London Bridges – Lost & Found’ by Bruce Watson
Tuesday, November 28thCHRISTMAS VISIT to GEFFRYE MUSEUM – ‘English Domestic Interiors through the Ages’ followed-by DINNER at PRIDEAUX HOUSE, HACKNEY. (Details and app. form encl.)
Tuesday, January 9th
HADAS LECTURE An evening with our member DEREK BATTEN sharing the TIME TEAM’S visit to his ‘CASTLE’ at Towcester, prior to its showing on TV.
Tuesday, February 13th HADAS LECTURE ‘Aspects of Roman Tunisia’ by KADER CHELBI
Note. LECTURES ALL START at 8pm prompt at AVENUE HOUSE, 17 EAST END RD. FINCHLEY N3 3QE followed by question time and coffee. We close promptly at 10 p.m.
The October Lecture – Tuesday 10th October, by Graham Scobie, who is publicity and- communications officer of Winchester City Museum.
Tessa Smith reports:
Several of us who visited Winchester as part of the Isle of Wight weekend last year met the lecturer, who showed us the excavation at Hyde Abbey. We saw how far the Abbey had extended and where the high altar was thought to have been. His lecture was a follow–up to that
Archaeologists search for body of Alfred the Great in Winchester car park.
The media had, of course, got it wrong again, under the auspices of
Winchester City Museum, Graham Scobie and his team have been on a dig – not for the body of Alfred, and not in the car park, but in a site claimed to be that of Alfred’s grave at Hyde Abbey, in the parish of St. Bartholomew, north of Winchester Cathedral.
The Normans established the Cathedral on the site of King Alfred’s Saxon church, where he was originally buried. At the Dissolution of the monasteries, his body was moved and re-buried near the high altar at the New Abbey at Hyde. Lead tablets had been found on 3 tombs, thought to be those of the King, Ealhswith his wife, and his son, Edward. Today the Gate house or the Abbey remains, as does the parish church of St. Bartholomew.
Five years ago, Graham began a community project to excavate at the Hyde Abbey’s outer court, to try to gain understanding of the origins of the Abbey. The brief was to excavate only to post-medieval levels in an attempt to confirm that it was the site of Alfred’s grave. The community project was not, however, the first dig in this area. In the 18th century the site was bought by the local authority to be converted into a goal during construction of a garden for the governor, large stones were discovered which revealed a stone coffin encased in lead, with a body partly corrupt. Subsequently, more coffins were found and the lead sold for 5 guineas! An 18th century plan of this area identified the sites of the three graves.
In 1866, trenches were excavated on the site, once more looking for evidence of Alfred chalk-lined coffins were uncovered but no human remains. This was the time of Burke and Hare and local animosity towards the excavation caused it to be hurriedly terminated.
In 1906, a local landowner excavated large pits by the high altar,
using prisoners as a labour force. He claimed that this was the area where the 3 coffins had originally been dug up.
Graham’s excavations have uncovered, the foundations of an apsidal east end of a church building, which had re-used earlier stone. The stone shape of a woman laid on her side, with some original paint still visible, is astonishing evidence. The team has also uncovered the 3 pits previously excavated in 1903, in front of the possible site of the high altar. A bone identified as a human hip bone has been dated to 1780. The on-going community dig is intended to give local people ‘hands-on’ archaeological experience, 1,200 people last year, with a maximum of 45 at one time. The local archaeological society was also invited to take part. There are many questions unanswered … Graham foresees 5 more years digging on the site.
RIFLEMAN ALFRED CROOK 1899 – 1917
A soldier of the Great War with no known grave. By Myfanwy Stewart
This obituary is based on original letters and documents cherished by his mother until her death, bequeathed to her daughter and then inherited by the writer.
Sarah and George Crook were married at the parish church, New Southgate in 1889. She had signed the register but George had only been able to mark it with a cross, as had one of the witnesses. They were a poor family and between 1891 and 1895 two sons and a daughter had died in infancy. Their son Alfred was born in April, 1899 but his father died young and Sarah married Richard Sindle in 1906. He survived the Salonika campaign and kept his ticket from Salonika to Friern Barnet as a souvenir. They both lived into their eighties.
In 1913, Alfred was working as a delivery boy and a character reference for a new job, written in March 1914, describes him as “civil and obliging”. However, by July 1914, aged only 15, he had enlisted in the army and was in the 6th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. His army Certificate of education shows he was competent in arithmetic (“compound rules and reduction of money, avoirdupois weight and linear measurement, addition and subtraction of vulgar fractions, a simple messing account”), that he was proficient in writing regimental orders from dictation and that he could write a letter.
From the beginning the new recruits were suffering from various ailments and March 1915 Alfred was in an isolation hospital at Winchester for four days with a fever but was soon dispatched to France. In August a severe attack of group B typhoid was diagnosed and the matron of the isolation hospital in Etaples wrote to his mother that he was “very weak and ill” but that he sent his love. The padre, writing on the same day and hoping to reassure Alfred’s mother describes him as “very ill…but wonderfully bright at intervals… and a firm favourite and quite happy and content”. He recovered by the end of September but 28 days of Fever left him with an enlarged spleen and in October he was sent home on the SS hospital ship “Dieppe”, as shown by his kit bag label.
Alfred convalesced at Woodford and by November was back in barracks at Croydon. He was able to go to a friend’s wedding at Christmas but was inevitably sent back to France.
On the 8th July 1916 he qualified as a signaler second class and later in the month (date uncertain) was at the Belgium front. A parcel had been sent by his mother containing clothes. Army shortages are shown by the fact that he thanks her for the jersey but asks her to send another parcel so that can change my underclothes”. In October he was on active service. Only cards were allowed to be sent and his mother received one written on the 4th October. Splattered with mud and almost illegible, it reads “I am going in to the firing line tomorrow night. Will write as soon as possible… am in the best of health. Cheerio, all will meet some day Alf xxx.”
Alfred survived and in April 1917 was back in barracks in Sheerness, Kent. In a letter to his step father he writes “I am just about fed up with France, twice is enough for me”. He reveals that “Mother stopped me from going out again I am glad that she did”. He was optimistic that he would remain in England believing that the news from France was good, that the war could not last much longer and that “I think we have got them beat there”. I-le had served 3 years in the army and described himself as “an old squaddy”. Ominously all leave had been stopped except for special leave.
He had formed a close friendship with a fellow soldier, Will. He always referred to him as “my chum” – and in September 1917 he made the fateful decision to volunteer for another tour of overseas duty to be with him in the same platoon. Alfred was soon back in the trenches but came out on the 301 September only to receive bad news. By a terrible irony, almost immediately after returning to France, Will had been injured in the knee and was subsequently repatriated back to Britain. On October 1st Alfred told his mother “I wish my chum was with me” and that “when you have a chum with you, a good one like Will, it cheers you up”. Sarah Crook had heard that her son
had planned to bring Will home to meet her, she had worried about the state of their home. He wrote back to reassure her, saying that “my chum is the same as myself so you need not think anything about our home being humble”. In spite of being at the front, mail and parcels were still getting through to the men. In that first week of October, 10 letters were awaiting him from family and friends and this would keep him “busy”.
By October 10th he could not hide the fact from his mother that conditions were bad and that he was depressed. They were having “very rotten weather ..rain every day”. Trench warfare was taking its toll on the young soldier and he writes to his poor mother “I don’t think I shall last till Christmas if this weather continues…My feet are still bad from the last lot I got last winter. If I get them wet I can hardly put them down to the ground”. His premonition about Christmas proved to be only too true.
On the 22 October Alfred was still in the trenches but in better spirits as he had received a parcel from his mother. Another parcel got through in November, “packed well with nothing broke or damaged”. On the 11th he had “just come out of the trenches” again, he thanked her for the socks and gloves but said they were -expecting to go in the trenches again”.
Field cards were issued to the men in the trenches with printed sentences which the men could delete, as appropriate. Alfred sent one on the l7th November, 1917 to his mother. It acknowledged her letter and said he was well. This was the last time he wrote because he was killed on December 1st 1917.
On December 11th Sarah wrote a letter to her son which was subsequently returned to her with his effects. She does not know -how to bear” herself because she has not heard from him since the field card. “Something seems to tell me there is (something wrong ) as I have not heard … I pray night and day that you will have the strength to keep up…. It will be a poor Christmas for me for I shall be thinking of you. …God bless you and keep you safe”.
On the l3th December, Sarah could not wait any longer and she wrote to the brigade officer at Winchester. He replied on the back of her letter telling her that no casualty had been reported but on the 20th she was informed that Alfred had been wounded but that his whereabouts were unknown.
By February 1918 the Red Cross were making enquiries both for Sarah and his “young lady”, Flo, but without success until 10th July when they sent Sarah an eye witness account of her son’s last hours. Her horror can be imagined as she read the following report given to the Red Cross by a fellow rifleman.
“On December the Battalion was behind the front line in reserve between Gouzeaucourt and Villiers Pluich. The Germans were attacking. The Battalion went up to reinforce the front line, and your son was left in charge of the tents. The men were driven back, and passed the place where your son had been left, and Rfn. Penny saw him wounded. He passed by a few yards from him and shouted to him, asking what was the matter, and Pte. Crook answered that he was wounded.
Unfortunately it was impossible for Rfn. Penny to wait and see more of him, as the Germans were close behind.
There was heavy firing going on at the time and I am afraid it is only too certain that your son must have lost his life in this way, for if he had survived and had been taken prisoner you would have had news of him long before this.”
It was not until the 11th September 1918 that the official notice of missing presumed dead was sent. Sarah received £9.16s.8d back pay and his war medals. His effects included a purse, some photographs, cloth badges, cards, a full packet of Players Navy Cut cigarettes, her letter, written on the 11th December 1917 and part of the New Testament. She kept them all and they are now in the writer’s possession together with his letters, written on very thin paper in indelible pencil. He was 18 years old when he was killed and was mourned by his mother all her life until her death in 1952 at the age of 82.
Wednesday 13th September – Visit to St. Lawrence Whitchurch Laurence Bentley.
Tessa Smith reports on HADAS at Little Stanmore.
When the grand old Duke of Chandos made his fortune as the Paymaster- General to Marlborough’s army, he spent some of it building “a most magnificent palace” (said Daniel Defoe) at Canons, and reconstructing the ancient local church of St. Lawrence, which he also endowed with some magnificent plate. The palace was later broken up to pay Chandos’s son’s debts, but the church remains, as his memorial, and it was there, blessed with a perfect summer’s day, that we met on 13th September. Our brilliant guide was Sheila Woodward, and we could not have had a better.
We began in the churchyard. God’s acre at St. Lawrence is a large one, two acres in fact, and the sense of rural seclusion is complete. We circumnavigated the church – clockwise of course -visiting the grave of an incumbent whose duties were frequently interrupted by residence in the
debtors’ prison, and that alleged to belong to the ‘harmonious black- Smith’ immortalised by Handel.
The reconstructed church represents, according to your principles, a degree of insensitivity to the past, or a creative self-confidence, unimaginable in our time. There were no style censors to prevent him, when the Duke commissioned the architect, John James, to destroy much of the ancient church in 1715 to rebuild, and the result is remarkable and unique for an English parish church.
All that remains of the original is the tower, economically composed of flint, puddingstone, Reigate stone, re-used Roman tile and brick, into which has been driven a slightly pompous door, for the Duke’s private entrance, with a circular window above. This assortment of materials was, until recent times, covered by a decent coat of plaster – ‘Whitchurch’ means white church. The tower is topped by anachronistic battlements of Tudor origin; clearly architectural nostalgia is not a new thing.
The rebuilt remainder of the church is of tidy brick, with large windows set in Roman arches, heavy plain stone dressings, a parapet and a slate roof, presenting in all a severe frontage to the public view from Whitchurch Lane, which leaves you totally unprepared for the “coup de theatre” which you are privileged to view when you enter.
The scene is worthy of an 18th century opera, set, say, in Prague. The Duke was evidently influenced by his experience of the German baroque on the Grand Tour. From elegant plain box pews (enhanced for our visit by flowers left over from a wedding), you face an altar surmounted by a superb oak pediment, adorned with cherubs, supported by Corinthian pillars and pilasters in oak and flanked by life-size paintings. Behind this are more paintings and the organ used by Handel as the Duke’s Composer
in Residence at Canons, and behind that a trompe l’oeil sky on the ceiling suggesting an infinite distance. When you have recovered your breath you see that the effect is truly theatrical, a proscenium arch in effect, backed by receding ‘flats’.
In front of the altar, the ceiling is tinted with a luminous ‘Adoration of Jehovah’ matched at the opposite end of the nave with a good copy of Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’ by Bellini.
Baroque designers seemed to accept no limits, here, for example, they
could, not use stone, they shamelessly imitated it with plaster; or paint to extend their vision. This artificiality enhances the sense of theatre, especially as the paintings are used as a trompe l!oeil to enhance the perspective as well as the richness of the scene. So here, the plaster ceiling is painted to give the effect of elegant mouldings and the almost mono- chrome ‘grisailles’ are used to decorate the north wall of the nave, with the effect of biblical statuary.
When the wall was threatened with collapse in recent times, the church was closed for years while the plaster paintings were removed in sections, intact, and replaced after the wall had been repaired. This was a miracleof modern technology and a very expensive one. Several sections would have been as tall as a man and almost as wide as his outstretched arms. The Duke of Chandos would I am sure, given the choice, have repainted.
At the rear of the nave at first floor level, opposite the altar but superior to it and the rest of the congregation, is the Duke’s private pew. This is like a Royal Box, and had a private fireplace, at that time the only heating in the church, stoked from behind the wall by servants in an adjacent pew. Bodyguards – Chelsea pensioners – occupied the pew on the other side.
Leaving the nave on the north side, by the altar there is an ante-chamber to the Mausoleum, then the Mausoleum itself, designed by James Gibbs, in which the principal monument, apparently designed by Grinling Gibbons, shows the Duke in Romantoga and 18th century wig, flanked by two of his three successive wives, kneeling humbly beside him. This was carved in the Duke’s lifetime and he considered himself overcharged for it. The inscriptions on the monuments are typical 18th century advertisements of the virtues of their occupants, and like many advertisements are not entirely convincing.
After this it was a relief to enter the Lady Chapel. Located in the base of the tower in 1966, in a simple traditional manner, it recreated the sense of long historical continuity of St. Lawrence Whitchurch.
Final impressions are paradoxical. Here is a church in a setting of rural calm beside a busy road in a London suburb. Outside it appears rather severe to the passer-by, but inside it is voluptuously ornate, enhancing
a sense of private privilege, as a rich man’s chapel, designed to impress with the glory of the Duke of Chandos as well as of God. Yet the Duke is now best remembered for employing Georg Frederic Handel.
Other Societies’ Events, Compiled by Eric Morgan
Mill Hill Historical Society Wednesday 8th November at 8.15 p.m. Talk : Charles II (Prof. John Miller)
Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, Mill Hill.
Hornsey Historical Society : Wednesday 8th November at 8 p.m. Talk : Post Cards (Hugh Garnsworthy)
Union Church Community Centre, cnr. Ferme Park Road/ Weston Park N 8. Finchley Antiques Appreciation Group : Wednesday 8th November at 7.50 p.m. Talk Furniture & The Grand Tour – Avenue House, East End Road, N 3.
‘Wesden Local History society Wednesday 15th November at 8 p.m.
Willesden Suite, Willesden Library Centre, 95 High Road,NW 10. Hampstead Scientific Society : Thursday. 16th November at 8.15 p.m. Talk : Historical Stringed Keyboard Instruments (Dr. Lance Whitehead)
Crypt Room, St. John’s Church, Church Row, N W 3.
Enfield Archaeological Society : Friday 17th November at 6 p.m.
Talk: Excavating the Crypt of Christ Church, Spitalfields (Jez Reeves)
Talk : Parish Boundaries (Malcolm Stokes)
Church Hall, rear of St. Andrew’s Church, Church Lane, Kingsbury. Friends of Barnet Libraries ; Monday 20th November at 8.15 p.m. Talk : The Secret Power of a Sacred Treasure
Church End Library, Hendon Lane, Finchley, N 3.
The Jewish Museum, Finchley Sunday 26th November at 3.30 P.m.
Whitehall & the Jews 1933 — 1948 (Dr Louise London)
The Jewish museum, 80 East End Road, Finchley, N 3.
The Finchley Society Thursday 30th November at 8 p.m.
Talk : The Life of Samuel Pepys – his London (Andrew Davies) The Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N
North London Transport Society: Saturday 18th November, 11 am-4 pm Enfield Transport Enthusiasts AUTUMN BAZAAR at St. PauIs Centre, Enfield Town, Corner of Church Street and Old Park Avenue.
London & Middlesex Archaeological Society: Saturday 18th November, 10am-4pm – 35th LOCAL HISTORY CONFERENCE: Crossing The Thames at the Museum of London, London Wall. Admission £4.00. Details and application forms from: 36 Church Road, West Drayton, Middx UB77 7PX
Museum of London Study Days. For Bookings telephone 020 7814 5777
SOAS Russell Square WC1; Near Eastern Collections, Collectors & Archives in Landon
Monday 6th November The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Antiquities- Stephen
Monday 20th November The Petrie Palestine Collection- Rachel Sparks, UCL.
‘The London Assessment Document’ Peter Pickering
It was a decade ago that PPG16, the Planning Policy Guidance Note “Archaeology and Planning” came into force and brought archaeology into the planning process, so that archaeological work was funded by developers as a condition of their getting planning permission. In the same year English Heritage and the Museum of London Archaeology Service decided to produce an assessment of the current state of knowledge of the archaeology of Greater London. This was long known as the “London Assessment Document”; it has now, at last, appeared, under the title The Archaeology of Greater London – An assessment of archaeological evidence for human presence in the area now covered by Greater London.”
It has seventeen accredited authors, not to speak of editors and the like. The result is an impressive synthesis, with descriptive chapters covering each period from the Lower Palaeolithic to the post-medieval, all but the last with its own gazetteer of sites and finds (necessarily selective, especially for the extensive Roman and medieval remains from the City and Southwark) and no fewer than fourteen separate maps, locating the sites and finds listed in the gazetteers. (The symbols on these maps are, I fear, rather small for my aging eyes, and people like me should furnish themselves with a magnifying glass.) There are, throughout, full references to original publications (the bibliography spans 27 pages) which does not make for easy reading, but then that is not the purpose of the book – it is rather, as it says, intended to serve as a research framework and as a wider archaeological management framework, and to meet local, regional and national enquiries. It is a definitive but not a permanent book – as the foreword points out, the more quickly it begins to seem in need of revision the more successful it will have been in achieving its aims. The text is broken up with a number of sober illustrations, some showing diggers in their traditional postures, and one or two where artists have been allowed to produce their impressions.
Naturally, I had a special look at the items relating to the London Borough of Barnet. A word of caution here; since West Heath is in Camden and Brockley Hill partially in Harrow a first glance suggests something has been omitted; in fact, the heroic days of HADAS on West Heath have earned a full paragraph, longer than that on the Temple of Mithras.
This publication will be followed by another one setting out an Agenda for future archaeological research in Greater London.
As many members of HADAS will know, one of the society’s major current projects is to produce an updated version of our booklet on the commemorative plaques to be found in the Borough of Barnet. Liz Holliday, our former secretary, has completed the text and it is now undergoing final checking. There are a number of queries and Liz would appreciate some help from members All these queries can be solved by visiting a reference library and the Local Studies Collection. At present Liz is in the final stages of editing another book due to be published in December which must be ready for the printer for November.
The queries are:
1. The date when the plaque to Peter Collinson was erected.
2. The date of publication of Fanny Trollope’s novel The Widow Barnaby – 1838 or 1839.
3. William Callley’s date of birth, 1788 or 1789. Date when the plaque was erected.
4. Who was Ranjitsinhji (a friend of the cricketer C.B.Fry)
Harry Beck’s date of birth.
5. When did Amy Johnson obtain her pilot’s licence – 1928 or 1929?
6. Who was responsible (i.e. what organisation) for erecting the black plaque to Emil Savundra?
7. What date(s) was the series Handcock’s Half Hour broadcast?
8. What does “copt” in Copthall mean?
9. When did the Victoria Cottage Hospital open – 1887 or 1888? When was the plaque erected?
10. There is a plaque to Kenneth Legge in Windsor Open Space (N.3), Who was it erected by and when?
Below is a complete list of the known plaques. Does any member know of any others lurking anywhere in the borough?
Birt ACRES, Ove ARUP, Harry BECK, William BLAKE, William CATTLEY, Eric COATES, Peter COLLINSON, Robert DONAT, Joseph GRIMALDI, C.B.FRY, Tony HANCOCK ,Myra HESS, Holbrook JACKSON, Gilbert JESSOP, Amy JOHNSON, Kenneth LEGGE, John LINNELL, Thomas LIPTON, David LIVINGSTONE, Nicholas MEDTNER, Eric MORCOMBE, James MURRAY, John NORDEN, Robert PAUL, Anna PAVLOVA, Frank PICK, Stamford RAFFLES, Harry RELPH, Emil SAVUNDRA, Fanny TROLLOPE, Raymond UNW1N, Harry VARDON, Benjamin WAUGH, Evelyn WAUGH, William WI LB E RFO RC E
Abbot’s Bower NW4, Cattle Pound NW4, Church House NW4, Copt Hall NW7 Court Leet & Court Baron NW4, Parish Cage NW4, Phoenix Theatre N2, Rosebank NW7.St. Mary’s School N3, St. Paul’s Church NW7, Sulloniacae (Edgware), Tollgate NW2.Tudor Hall (Barnet), Turnpike (Edgware), Victoria Cottage Hospital (Barnet), Wylde’s Farm NW11
We also need a picture researcher to help finalise the illustrations. For the People, section Joanna Cordoii has already identified those portraits that are available through the National Portrait Ga1le6 but there are still a number for which we need to find illustrations – either of people or the houses where they lived or the plaques themselves. For the Places section we need illustrations of the houses or their sites. Would someone be prepared to visit the Local Studies Collection to undertake a search?
All answers to the questions above and offers of assistance to Liz Holliday please.
Wednesday September 13: Visit to St Lawrence Church Edgware with Sheila Woodward. The HADAS Programme combined this with a visit to Boosey & Hawkes. Unfortunately, this was cancelled, and should not have been listed in the August Newsletter.
Details and application form enclosed with this Newsletter.
Early September: Fieldwork at Hanshawe Drive, Burnt Oak. We now have permission from the Borough of Barnet to investigate, including some excavation, at this site (see May Newsletter) and we hope to be able to start in early September.
Tuesday October 10: The new lecture season opens with Archaeology in Winchester by Graham Scobie — a follow-up to our Portsmouth and King Alfred weekend in 1999.
Lectures start at 8pm in the Drawing Room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3, and are followed by question time and coffee. We close promptly at 10pm.
Saturday October TBA: The seminar De-mystifying Resistivity with Bill McCann will definitely go ahead.
Andrew Selkirk and Vikki O’Connor report:
On the weekend of July 30-31, HADAS joined forces with the St Albans Archaeological Society for an experimental archaeology weekend: we set out to fire some replica – pots of Bronze Age type, most of them made by HADAS members.
As an introduction to the project we were given a talk in early June by Janet Miles of the St Albans group; they also gave us a bucket of clay from the Cutts Wood (Bronze Age) site which we used to make some vessels. HADAS collected clay from the Highgate Wood area (with permission) and from Brockley Hill — from the riding school adjacent to the scheduled Roman kiln site (thanks to proprietors Debbie and Chris). We also got clay samples from Arkley when we surveyed and dug test trenches recently, and another from Hadley Wood.
HADAS members went through the whole process of creating a suspension of clay in water, letting it settle, draining the clay until it was usable, then tempering with crushed oyster shell and crushed burnt flint (the flint came from Cutts Wood— thoughtfully pre-burnt by our Bronze Age ancestors!).
We made the pots on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Avenue House, over a period of two months. Although we attempted to recreate Bronze Age types many of the forms could only be described as “rustic”.
As many members know, College Farm was established early in the 20th century by Express Dairy, as a model farm to show how milk was produced. It is now owned by a trust and the resident farmers, Chris and Jane Owers, kindly allowed us to set up our fire there.
We kept a close watch on the temperature of the fire. Two thermocouples were used to record the temperature, but unfortunately there was only one thermometer, so a protective cage of concrete slabs had to be erected, making it possible to approach the great heat to change the leads of the thermocouples. In this way we could keep readings going throughout the night.
The temperatures turned out to be a great surprise. The desired temperature of around 400 degrees was quickly reached, but it then fell back to around 200, and remained there as long as the fire was stoked. However, once the fire was banked down for the night, and no more fuel was put on, the temperature began to rise steadily, and reached 350 degrees by time the fire was eventually pulled apart at 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, when the pots were revealed.
Did we succeed? YES!
After the pots had been admired, they had to be allowed to cool down a little, and then it was possible to start removing them from the embers. Bill Bass began the task gingerly with a rake (see picture left). When the cooling had gone a little further some intrepid members of the St Albans society started removing the pots with smaller utensils to take them over to a corrugated iron sheet where they could cool more rapidly.
The pots (pictured below) were rather black when they came straight from the firing, but it will be interesting to see how they look after they are properly cooled and washed.
They were grouped according to clay source, and their positions recorded:- The St Albans group are analysing the results of the firing and the effects of temperature in the various areas of the kiln floor.
Coincidence or not, the Brockley Hill and Highgate Wood pots fired with no breakages whereas the other types were far less successful.
Buildings at risk
The listed buildings are: The Grahame White factory and offices and the G-W Hangar at Hendon Aerodrome, in very bad condition. Hertford Lodge, The Bothy and The Water Tower, East End Road, Finchley. Hertford Lodge is in poor condition, the other two buildings are described as very bad. These are new entries on the list. Friern Hospital, fair condition. Christ’s College, Finchley, fair condition, The Martin Smith Mausoleum at Golders Green Crematorium, poor condition. No.8 Shirehall Lane, Hendon, poor condition. Eller?’ Mode, Totteridge Common, poor condition. The Manor House, Totteridge Common, poor condition, new entry. – The Cartwright Memorial in St Mary’s Churchyard, Finchley, poor condition. The Physic Well, Barnet, poor condition. The Lodge to Finchley RC High School, N12, fair condition.
The three conservation area buildings are: St Mary’s Churchyard, Hendon, poor condition. The Garden Building, Waterlow Court, Heath Close, NW11, poor condition. St Mary’s Churchyard, Finchley, poor condition.
Thirteen of these buildings were on previous lists and nothing seems to have been done about them. Those at Hendon Aerodrome are entries of long standing.
In the pipeline
Make a date for Bangor
Members news from Dorothy Newbury
Following the entry in the August Newsletter (page 3), the Time Team visited Derek Batten’s “ring work” with great success. It is hoped a Channel 4 TV programme about the excavation will be shown in January or February. Derek will be sending in a preliminary report for the Newsletter.
You never know what you’ll come across next on the net. The University of St Andrews Archaeological Diving Unit site http://www.st-and.ac.uk/institutes/sims/Ada/6news.htm has news of their recent work in Orkney, operating out the harbour at Stromness, working with Ian Oxley of Heriot-Watt University who is researching the German High Seas Fleet scuttled in Scapa Flow in 1919. Historic Scotland is considering designating these wrecks as scheduled monuments, which would not prevent divers visiting but would make any disturbance/removal illegal. The Scapa Flow survey uses the latest equipment, begged, borrowed and bought, and includes side scan, magnetometer and seabed characterisation, also sonar imaging which has to be seen to be believed — it is so good. A visit to this site is recommended if you like technical stuff.
The sites to watch
Canons Corner-Spur Road, Edgware: National Grid proposes to build a head house for the shaft of its tunnel linking Elstree and St John’s Wood. Parking area is also in the planning application. Robert Whytehead has advised that an archaeological mitigation strategy should be prepared for the entire area of ground disturbance. 36 Fortescue Road, Burnt Oak (joins Thirleby Road where Roman pottery has been found): single storey rear extension.
English Heritage has recommended the following sites for archaeological investigation:
72 High Street, Barnet — may affect medieval remains in the area.
3 Salisbury Road, Barnet — may affect possible medieval and earlier remains near the High Street.
32A Totteridge Common, Totteridge N20 — may affect medieval remains of Totteridge village.
On course for winter
· Many HADAS members have benefited from the courses on archaeology and history run by Birkbeck College. For anyone who might be wavering this autumn, why not attend the open evening on Tuesday September 5, 4pm – 8pm, Malet Street, London WC1.
· Harvey Sheldon has arranged another season of Thursday evening public lectures at the Institute of Archaeology, 20 Gordon Square. This year’s topic is Human Evolution with various speakers. To book for this short course, V10X17, which starts on October 5 and costs £60 (£30 concessions) you need an enrolment form from the prospectus. (There used to be the option to pay at the door for individual lectures. Watch the next Newsletter to see if this still applies.)
HADAS member Jack Goldenfeld is again running his course Introduction to Archaeology 1 at two centres West Herts College. The course is designed to describe and explain the science of archaeology, to cultivate an awareness of the past and the recognition of its effects on the world of today. As well as dealing with archaeological theory, it will study site examples of all periods and from many locations world-wide. The only entry qualification required is an enquiring mind!
The courses are at: Dacorum Campus, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, starting Monday September 25, and Cassio Campus, Langley Road, Watford, from Wednesday September 27, 7.15pm – 9.15pm at both. Details from Jack on 01923 285225 or from the Adult Education Offices at each campus: Dacorum 01442 221542, Cassio 01923 812052.
Many in HADAS mourned the death last November of Freda Wilkinson, long a valued and active member. By profession, she was a highly-respected indexer, and here we publish extracts from an obituary written by Cherry Lavell, originally published in The Indexer, Vol. 22 No. 1, April 2000. It is followed by further tributes from members.
We are honoured to have had her among us
“Freda had never wanted to be a homebody but in 1958, aged 48, she married James Wilkinson, settling into a large house in Hendon. James was much older but they shared many enthusiasms, including archaeology, natural sciences, Fabianism and filling the house with books. It was probably when James became ill that Freda discovered her undoubted talent for indexing, which would enable her to work at home in the intervals of looking after James (who died in the late 1960s).
She joined the Society of Indexers (SI) in January 1968 and her first index was to a popular work on fish and chips — what a good start! Another book was on Venice and its gondoliers, but she gravitated naturally towards archaeology, becoming one of its very best indexers. Her orderly mind also found a talent for accounts, and on becoming SI Treasurer in 1974 she set about transforming a rather homely system into proper double-entry bookkeeping, continuing until 1980.
She was deeply engaged in fostering SI’s relationship with our affiliated societies; another valuable, even vital task she performed for SI was to introduce John Gordon to us in the mid-1970s: in her new neighbour she recognised an outstanding administrator who could, and most certainly did, revitalise our then sagging Society. She became a valued assessor and examiner at both levels of the Society’s qualifications; she also sat on the Editorial Board of the Indexer.
Besides all this she was attending conferences (both archaeological and our own), Touring Italy (she especially admired the Etruscan civilisation’s equality between men and women), amassing books on a wide variety of subjects, enjoying Shakespeare, and quietly
collecting an A-level in English — aged 64. Her keen
interest in art took her to painting courses and art exhibitions, her love of gardens and architecture led her to visit National Trust properties around the country.
She became an SI Vice President in 1983, relinquishing the position in 1991 but still keeping the liveliest interest in the Society. There is no doubt that if she had been born a couple of decades later and with better opportunities she could have made her mark as an academic —but then she might not have joined our Society! She cared passionately for the Society’s advancement and certainly made a strong contribution to it, for which she was made an Honorary Life Member. We are honoured to have had her among us.”
Margaret Maher writes: Freda and I met on our knees, literally, at the Mesolithic site at West Heath in 1976 and quickly found we shared a passion for flint artefacts and prehistory. On the surface a quiet, unassuming person, she had hidden depths, so getting to know her was a process of continual discovery. She had a marvellously dry sense of humour and a nice sense of the ridiculous.
At an age when most people are slowing down she pursued a wide range of interests. Apart from digging, attending conferences, lectures and classes, she travelled to archaeological sites with HADAS and with the Prehistoric Society. Cataracts briefly curtailed her activities, but as soon as the first was removed she resumed her indexing work, two of the later volumes being Derek Roe’s The Late Glacial in NW Europe (CBA 1991) and Nick Barton’s Hengistbury Head, Dorset (OUP 1992).
I enjoyed Freda’s company and in the last 10 years I particularly admired and respected her courage in the face of crippling illness. It was a friendship from which I felt I gained much.
Daphne Lorimer writes: Although the love of Freda’s archaeological life was flint it was through her skills as an indexer that I first met her. She had just rejoined HADAS when I first became a member, and was constructing a card index of artefact find spots in the Borough of Barnet, complete with map references. There was great excitement when I reported a struck flake from almost the same spot as a Roman coin (alas, it never turned out to be a multi-period occupation!).
It was, however, at the West Heath Mesolithic site that I really got to know Freda. She was there come rain, come shine, and for her, she said, West Heath was not so much a dig “but a way of life”. Her digging technique was exemplary and her knowledge of flint invaluable.
In the winter months, she was one of the happy band of six who went, once a week, to the Quaternary Room at the BM to help Clive Bonsall catalogue the Epping Forest Mesolithic material. It was a great privilege as well as great fun and after two years we felt we had a pretty good knowledge of the English Mesolithic tool types.
Freda’s last gift to West Heath was to provide the report with an index, one of the few BAR Reports, if not the only one, to be so completed.
Freda was a good friend, a knowledgeable archaeologist and one of the characters who stamped their imprint on HADAS in its early days.
Dorothy Newbury adds: Freda was a very knowledgeable and active member, and a regular digger at Ted Sammes’ excavation at Church End, Hendon, before West Heath. One of her most valuable contributions to the society was the production of an excellent index covering every HADAS activity in its early years.
HADAS has a great day out in Dover
Messing about in boats
After an early and gloomy start we made our way to Aylesford Priory, for coffee. Our route had been carefully planned to cross the QE2 Bridge — a very impressive and elegant structure, (which I felt looked very similar to the second Severn crossing, between England and Wales). Well worth the diversion.
Aylesford Priory was founded by the Carmelite friars in 1240. It was dispossessed by Henry VIII and reestablished as a pilgrimage centre in 1949, the buildings now a mixture of modern and medieval. In addition to being a place of retreat, and providing hospitality to weary travellers (i.e. us!), there is a pottery and shop.
The next stop was Dover Museum, in particular to see the “Dover Boat”. We were met by Keith Parfitt, the project field director, who gave us an introductory talk. After a short video we looked at the boat itself, the centrepiece of the museum’s Bronze Age display.
Built of wooden planks sewn together with twisted yew and sealed with moss and wax, the boat is believed to be 3,000 years old and is considered the earliest known example of a sea-going vessel. About three- quarters of its length survives (fortunately including the front). It was not possible to recover the rest because of its depth below street level. The recovered remains were soaked in a wax solution and freeze dried.
The other displays in the museum used figures and artefacts to show various stages in the history of the town. This included a series of models showing the development of Dover as a port. While most people were still marvelling at the earliest example of a cross channel ferry, Andy Simpson had the extra excitement of finding, among the exhibits, the brake handle of a Black Country train! Greg Hunt
Seeing the light
We were first shown the Generator Room which is below ground level. Here the fuel, originally oil from sperm whales, was stored. The next floor was the Weights Room and contained the mechanism for operating the lamp. The weights are winched up through the central pillar. This was followed by the Watch Room where the keeper on duty would have spent most of his time. In this room Marconi sent out his signals.
Next was the Lamp Room. Lamp on, cage rotating gives flashing effect — 3 white flashes in 20 seconds. Lenses give the 3 flashes, black panels give a pause. One complete rotation takes 40 seconds. Last but not least was the balcony. From here we had a marvellous view of the coastline and local points of interest such as a windmill used for electric power and a white house in the bay where Noel Coward and Ian Fleming had lived.
The English weather was not at its best, regretfully, and we were certainly blown about, but it was a most exhilarating experience. Judy Kazarnovsky
Waiting for Henry VIII
A tour of Dover Castle at any time is an experience, but when the fortress is “en medieval fete” as it was when we arrived, the atmosphere was of history come to life. Colourful booths were selling their wares, one with chickens on a spit, tents had pennons streaming, archery was in progress and among the many townspeople was a Mistress Quickley on the arm of a halberdier. Yes, there were soldiers too, some in clanking armour, all being serenaded by a villager playing what appeared to be a medieval form of bagpipe..
This all the way to Constable Gate, the entrance to battlement walk, from which up a steep incline is Palace Gate, the entrance to the Inner Bailey. Here are the precincts of the strongest royal castle in the country, built by Henry IL
It was an inspiration on the part of English Heritage to foster one’s imagination of the age by indicating the impending arrival of the great King Henry VIII to his royal residence. Large wrappings presumably holding his tapestries and trappings of wealth lay on the floors, while in his bedchamber the sumptuous royal four- poster clad in red and gold was being made ready. Rich, carvings adorned his tiny chapel dedicated to Thomas Becket — the only part of the keep remaining unaltered.
On a day such as this, one tends to have a historically romantic impression of Dover Castle, but the visitor is constantly reminded that this massive fortification was a stronghold serving its country from 1170 to 1945.
In 1216, Hubert de Burgh constructed tunnels for defence, modified in the Napoleonic Wars in 1797 and subsequently of immense value to the three services during the two World Wars. Totally secure additional_ underground barracks were constructed 50 feet below the cliff top, complete with a hospital now made to appear very realistic with bloodied bandages in bowls and surgical instruments everywhere (including a saw!). There were, too, meals on plates ready for the garrison at the end of their tour of duty. Not to be forgotten is the castle’s finest hour in May 1940 when Operation Dynamo – the evacuation of 338,000 soldiers from Dunkirk – was directed from the underground barracks.
This cliff-top site has been occupied since the Iron Age, and within the castle walls there still stand the remains of a Roman lighthouse and a restored Anglo- Saxon church. The pharos was built by the Romans in the second half of the first century to guide ships across the Channel to the newly-developed port of Dover, and although little remains it is still a remarkable structure.
So much in so comparatively small an area. An inspired excursion indeed. Rita Simpson
Other societies’ events
Tuesday September 12, 8pm
Wednesday September 13, 2pm
Barnet & District Local History Society
Friday September 15, 8pm
Wednesday September 20, 8pm
Sunday September 24, 11am
Thursday September 28, 8pm
Eat, Drink and Be Merry: The British at Table 1600-2000
Heritage Open Days* September 16 and 17
London Open House* September 23 and 24
(*Usually inaccessible or fee-charging properties open free)
British Association, Archaeology & Anthropology Section Annual Festival September 6-12 at Imperial College, South Kensington
Wednesday September 6: Lecture and field trip: The Politics of Death and Burial in London — Commoners and Kings. 10am illustrated lecture by Gustav Milne, 11.30 depart on foot and by Underground for Westminster Abbey (ends 1pm).
Monday September 11: Lecture and field trip: A Catastrophic History of London. 10am illustrated lecture by Gustav Milne, 2.15pm depart on foot and by Underground to the City for visits to selected sites and the Museum of London.
For both, the lectures (venue: Pippard Lecture Theatre, Sherfield Building) are open to all, the tour numbers are limited to 15. Tickets, £10 inclusive, on the day.Throughout the festival: afternoon walks with Dr Eric Robinson, who lectured to HADAS last year.
CBA south-east and SCOLA joint conference
Thanks to Eric Morgan and Peter Pickering for providing this information
August 19 Outing: visiting Iffley and its 12th century church, then to Wallingford, a Saxon
fortified town, finishing at an Iron Age hill fort at Cholesbury. Your Time Lord is Bill Bass. Booking form within.
September 13 A stroll around St Lawrence Church, Edgware and Boosey & Hawkes, Hendon, with Sheila Woodward and Mary O’Connell.
October 10 New lecture season opens with Archaeology in Winchester by Graham Scobie, a
follow-up to our King Alfred outing in 1999.
October 14 Micro Mart – our annual fun fundraiser — be there!
Also in October, we are arranging a Saturday afternoon seminar De-mystifying Resistivity to be led by former MoLAS archaeologist Dr Bill McCann, a leading authority on geophysical surveying. Information about date, venue and time will be announced in the Autumn.
GADEBRIDGE ROMAN VILLA A MILLENNIUM EXCAVATION
Gadebridge Villa site was fully excavated by Dr David Neal, FSA,- between 1963 to 1968 and at the time it was one of the most completely excavated villas in the country. Dr Neal has taken advantage of the millennium impetus to organise a four week project in an adjacent area, with the Berkhamsted Society participating. Also playing no small part in the work is Matthew Wheeler of the Decorum Heritage Trust. Matt visited HADAS in April to talk about Ted Sammes Senior.
Two other excavations carried out by Dr David Neal at Box Lane, Hemel Hempstead and Gorhambury, St Albans, have shown evidence of Iron Age structures and it is intended to investigate whether the Gadebridge Villa site is older than was at first thought, using new techniques not available when the first excavations were carried out. The original excavation will not be touched but the main buildings will be discernible having been defined by lines drawn in sand on the site. John Saunders had the delight of ascending in a 60 foot high crane to photograph the site and reports that the sand has been very effective. There is public access, with display boards describing aims and current state of the work. Further details and location map for those who wish to visit the site are on page 2.
It is believed that this villa may have originated around AD75 and was abandoned or destroyed around the middle of the 4th century. Originally it was possibly a farmstead but, being close to Verulamium, it was considerably extended after the Roman invasion of AD43. Up to AD138-161 the building was basically of timber construction but a stone building with corridors and wings was erected by the early 3rd century with additional wings built to create a courtyard and the bath house was enlarged. Between around AD300 and 325 a large bathing poor was added as well as a considerable number of heated pools, suggesting that the villa’s main purpose had become that of a bathing establishment.
THE SITE, ENTRANCE IN GALLEY HILL, IS OPEN TO VISITORS DAILY BETWEEN 10.00 AM – 4.00 PM
MEMBERSHIP A REMINDER
For those of you who have not yet renewed, we would remind you that subscriptions for the year 2000/2001 were due on 1 April and we are now one third the way through our accounting year.
Next year, 2001, is HADAS’s 40th birthday and it is good to see our membership numbers currently are holding steady at over 300.
SUMMER IN THE SUBURBS
This year’s Hampstead Garden Suburb Festival had to contest with a double whammy of diabolical downpours and Wimbledon finals, both seemingly keeping the punters home and dry, as a damp HADAS crew sheltered under the trees with a slightly soggy display. The crew – Roy Walker, Eric Morgan, Andrew Coulson, Peter Nicholson and Vikki O’Connor have either shrunk or gone curly! On a bright note, however, we sold £30 worth of publications and it was nice that many visitors to our stall were already HADAS members although several membership forms were taken away.
We also had a small presence at the East Barnet Festival (corner of a table run by HADAS member Janet Heathfield for the Friends of the East Barnet Clock). The weather was much kinder that day, and Eric Morgan ‘clocked up’ a fiver’s worth of book sales for HADAS and Janet gained a mention in the local Advertiser with a prize for sweet peas.
One of Barnet’s local newspapers, The Press, has run a feature “The Barnet Story” and in the April 27 edition concentrated on the Romans, Brockley Hill in particular. Wishing to provide the best overview for this important pottery centre, they contacted HADAS and Tessa Smith was able to discuss the history of the site and show some of the pots from the Suggett collection to their journalist Daniel Martin.
The resulting article not only included a lovely colour photograph of Tessa with two complete Roman vessels but also provided excellent publicity for the Society, raising our profile within the Borough.
KENWOOD ESTATE – Lectures and guided walks 2000
Wednesday 9th August, 7.30, lecture and walk on Bats at Kenwood led by David Wells, English Heritage, meeting outside the Restaurant.
Sunday 27th August, 11 am, guided walk of the estate by an Estate Ranger.
Further information and booking from Visitor Information Centre on 020 7973 3893.
SECRETARY’S CORNERA meeting of the Committee was held on 16 June 2000.
The following were among matters arising:
1 Jackie Brookes, Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan and Peter Nicholson were
welcomed as new members of the Committee.
2 In order to allow for the previous dispatch to members
of all relevant information, in future the AGM will be held in June instead of May.
3 The search is still going on for suitable alternative storage premises such as a garage.
4 It was agreed to purchase and renovate a salvaged theodolite and also to consider building a low cost resistivity kit.
5 The Society could become archaeologically involved at a site in Hanshawe Drive, Burnt Oak, and further involved in the Silk Stream Flood Alleviation Scheme.
6 Among events in the pipeline (over and above the normal programme of lectures and outings) are a study day on resistivity in October, kiln building as part of National Archaeology Weekend and a joint meeting with the Manor House Society in June next year.
SITE WATCHING AT HADLEY
In July 2000, a new house was built in the garden of Century House, Camlet Way, Hadley some 30 metres west of the present house. The site was watched by John Heathfield, who reports as follows:
The site is important because of its proximity to the site of the Battle of Barnet. It was originally part of Enfield Chase and is shown on the 1777 map as “Mr Smith’s new intake”. The present site boundary follows almost exactly that shown on the map.
The contractors excavated a hole some 20 metres by 20 metres and 4 metres deep. The baulk showed some 25/30cm of leafy topsoil. All the clay spoil was dumped at the rear (north) end of the site, which was densely covered with 25/40 year old trees with very few mature trees.
Several lorry loads of brick rubble were brought in to the front (south) of the site to provide hard standing for machines. No finds of any kind were made. Where top soil had been put aside for later use it was carefully examined with no result.
BARNET GATE MEADOW
TIME TEAM AT THE MOUNT
HADAS member, Derek Batten, has written from Paulerspury, near Towcester, with some exciting news. For the background see the February 1999 Newsletter.
You have been kind enough to publish from time to time in the HADAS Newsletter reports of my archaeological involvement on various Indian Wars Battlefields in America. Two years or so ago you also reported that I had purchased– an extensive Norman Ringwork, a Scheduled Ancient monument known as The Mount close to my home here in Northamptonshire. Members may be interested to know that Time Team will be carrying out one of their three- day investigations at The Mount on 27m, 219 and 29m July. Hopefully this will become a TV programme early in the New Year.
The main fascination to me of ownership of The Mount is that so much of its history is unknown. Time Team will, I hope, unravel some if not all of its mysteries and it will be fascinating to see just how they work. I will let you have a report for publication in the Newsletter in due course if you feel this will be of interest.
Derek’s original article about the purchase of The Mount told us that he “intended to release the latent archaeological and historical potential of this historic Ringwork” but we never realised it would be carried out in such a manner. We, of course, eagerly await his further report and the Time Team broadcast.
A VISIT TO HALLSTATT MALCOLM STOKES
It is unlikely that a tourist visiting Neanderthal or Swanscombe would find much evidence of early man, but Hallstatt in Austria is more rewarding. It could well be called “Salt Lake City” as “Hall” and “Salz” (in “Salzburg”) mean salt and the settlement is perched precariously on the edge of a 125m deep lake on the steep slope of the 3,000m high Dachstein.
The neighbouring salt mines have been exploited from the Neolithic period (c.3000 BC) and the salt was distributed from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. From about 800 BC the miners started to use bronze and iron to make tools to aid salt extraction. A mine can be visited on the Salzberg, “Salt Mountain”, 1030m high and accessible by cable car. A tour and film focus on the remains of a 3,000 year old miner preserved in the salt, discovered in 1735 but then buried in unconsecrated ground.
Hallstatt became famous in 1846 when the salt mine manager excavated 1,000 graves over eighteen years. Half were cremations with rich grave goods. The excavation of a further 1,000 graves led to the naming of the early Iron Age as “Hallstatt” (1000 – 500 BC). Some of the finds can be seen in the local history museum though many have been distributed to Vienna and elsewhere.
The museum displays a wealth of bronze and iron weapons, tools and ornaments as well as Backpack of hide and leather, probably belonging to a salt miner pottery and jewellery.
Amongst organic finds are a shoe, cap, wooden bowl, pieces of fabric, a torch of pine sticks and a large backpack made of leather. A Palaeolithic hand axe illustrates the earliest human activity, but the first evidence of mining comes with the Neolithic tools of 2500 BC.
The Romans arrived in the mid-1st century AD and built a settlement on the shores of the lake. There are records of continuous mining since the end of the 13th century when salt was a valuable commodity providing Salzburg with its wealth and power. From the 18th century salt has been valued as a health cure in spas. Although the salt mines are still exploited today, the wealth of the area comes from the ever- growing tourist industry to this very picturesque spot.
The Catholic parish church, the higher of the two in the photo above, has a graveyard and charnel house — the Beinhaus. Each skull shown has the former occupier’s name written on it; you may be able to make out “Maria Steiner” or “Matthias Steiner” in the picture, whole families being grouped together. 700 of the 1,200 skulls stored here since 1,600 have been decorated with crosses, flowery patterns using ivy, rose and oak motifs, together with additional information such as date of death, age and profession. What makes these skeletons unusual is that the fine bones at the back of the eye sockets have survived.
Malcolm looked up the town sites on the Internet before booking his holiday and recommends this to other would-be European travellers, as you may find the local tourist office offering additional attractions not advertised by the standard holiday companies.
BARNET CULTURAL STRATEGY CONFERENCE Eric Morgan
On Friday 23rd June I attended on behalf of HADAS this all-day conference organised by Barnet Council at the Middlesex University’s Hendon campus in the Burroughs.
The morning started with a talk about the Cultural Strategy Partnership for London, which contains ten proposals for the new Mayor and London Assembly on behalf of London’s cultural communities. Archaeology is mentioned in two of these proposals. One is where culture has an important role to play at the local level. This includes researching and promoting interests in local history and archaeology. Cultural organisations such as local museums could not exist without the committed, unpaid work of their supporters. The other is to promote debate on
environmental, heritage and archaeological issues, and
recognition of their value to,
London’s economy as well as its culture and communities, and to work with museums and other conservation bodies to ensure that new ways are promoted to allow conservation, contemporary use and access to co-exist. After a short break, we split into several small workshops and seminar groups. I attended the one on Heritage and tourism, which included representatives from local museums, libraries and other historical societies. It emerged from the group that Barnet has more listed buildings than any other London borough and seventeen heritage sites, but all need promotion and transport should be improved to some sites.
At the end of the day, it was revealed what emerged from the other groups. Another one was on cultural diversity, from which it transpired that there was lack of community space and funding, but libraries came off well.
In the introduction to the draft of the Cultural Strategy for Barnet, already produced, mention is made of museums, artefacts, archives, libraries, built heritage and archaeology, etc., and there is a section which lists all of the areas of the borough with a brief history of each. One of its policy objectives in its Regeneration issue is to recognise the importance of Barnet’s heritage and history, also one objective in its Community Development issue is to develop libraries, etc. as ‘community resources’.
HIGH STREET LONDINIUM — An exhibition at the Museum of London, 21 July – 28 January, 2001 has a full-scale reconstruction of three Roman timber-frame buildings found on site – a baker’s and hot food shop, a carpenter’s workshop and a shop containing a range of produce from around the Empire. Visitors will be able to stroll along the street, into the houses and handle the replica furniture, textiles and tableware.
OUTING TO OXFORD AND BROUGHTON CASTLE Barry Reilly
A cool and overcast morning in June saw us heading to Oxford by way of Broughton Castle on our first outing of the new millennium. Despite some navigational problems – large coach, small lanes – we arrived at our first destination in good time. The Castle is set in a delightful estate populated largely by sheep, several of which shyly greeted us by the car park.
Broughton Castle, a moated manor house built in 1300, was owned by William of Wykeham before passing in 1451 to the second Lord Saye & Sele (family name Fiennes) whose descendants have lived there ever since. The building was much enlarged in Tudor times when splendid plaster ceilings, oak panelling and fireplaces were introduced. Building activity gave way in the 17th century to political activity. William Fiennes, lord at the time of the Civil War, was a Parliamentarian and after the nearby Battle of Edgehill in 1642, the Castle was captured and occupied by the Royalists. In the 19th century neglect by a spendthrift heir ironically saved Broughton from too much Victorian ‘improvement’.
Our tour started in the Great Hall where the original bare stone walls are combined with 16th century windows and a pendant ceiling dating from the 1760s. It contains arms and armour from the Civil War. The Dining Room is in what was the original 14th century undercroft and contains a fine example of 16th century double linenfold panelling.
Amongst other rooms, Queen Anne’s chamber is memorable for its magnificent Tudor fireplace and the ‘squint’ in one corner looking through to the private chapel. The Oak Room in the Tudor west wing is particularly impressive with its wood panelling and the unusual feature of a finely carved interior porch. At the top of west wing is the secluded Council Chamber where opposition to Charles I had been organised. This gave us access to the roof and a fine view of the knot garden below and the moat, well stocked with fish to judge by the anglers along its banks.
Incidentally, those members who weren’t on this trip may nonetheless be familiar with Broughton Castle since it provided settings for the film Shakespeare In Love starring a member of the Fiennes family.
After lunch we set off for Oxford where our primary destination was the Ashmolean Museum with its diverse collections of British, European, Egyptian and Near Eastern antiquities and Western and Eastern Art. They range in time from the earliest man-made implements to 20th century works of art. The treasures are many, particularly the Egyptian antiquities, the Greek vases and the Chinese stoneware and porcelain. The collection of Bronze Age stamp seals from Babylon and Nimrud are outstanding. With so much to see we could only sample our favourite interests.
Being short of time meant that only a few of us found our way to the Pitt Rivers Museum but we were well rewarded. Cramped and dimly lit, the old-fashioned display cases are stuffed with exhibits and barely legible captions; this is the way museums used to be and it’s wonderful. Strange and beautiful objects from around the world crowd the cases: masks, mummies, textiles, toys, shrunken heads, a totem pole three floors high and even a witch in a bottle! All in all an inspiring conclusion to another fine outing from the two Mickys. Our thanks to you both.
ROMAN POTTERY FINDS AT DOLLIS HILL Eric Morgan reporting for HADAS
For three weeks in June MoLAS carried out a dig in a field in Brook Road, opposite the former Post Office and Telecom research station, and just outside our Borough. It is on high ground not too far from the line of Watling Street and is thought to have been a Roman agricultural settlement with a possible quarry pit.
MoLAS opened up three slit trenches. They found plenty of Roman domestic pottery dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD when the farm was possibly occupied, so is later than Brockley Hill. It is mainly coarse pottery with some other ware. It was reported that, as the dig continued, more artefacts were revealed, including mortaria for mixing pesto, traces of burnt barley and colour- coated pot fragments. The pottery consisted mainly of orange-red Oxford ware and grey Alice Holt (Farnham) ware. They also found plenty of tile including roof, floor and flue tiles, indicating that they had some form of heating.
The site is owned by Thames Water, who plan to build a reservoir there. It was also reported that it’s a “hugely significant” find because up till now there has been no real evidence that the Romans were living in these parts. The report continued “But it was not until ancient building materials were found that MoLAS realised that a busy Roman farm once stood on the site.” They discovered enough material to suggest the presence of some buildings. There is also evidence of a large farmhouse with a tiled roof. It looks as though the farm had been divided into separate fields used to grow mainly wheat, and pastures for cows and sheep. It is impossible to say for sure, but the farm could have been used to produce provisions for Londinium, taking a day to reach there, and there were enough roads to carry the cargo.
SUSSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY AUTUMN CONFERENCE
Gender, Material Culture, and Us
Women’s lives in the past are commonly perceived as “long skirts, childbirth and cauldrons”. This conference will explore the reality behind the caricature, from peasants, princesses and priestesses to the pioneers of archaeology in Sussex and further afield.
One of the speakers is Theya Mollison on the subject of the people of CATAL HUYUL at home. Ticket prices, venue and full details from Ian Booth, Barbican House, 169 High Street, Lewes, BN7 1YE, tel: 01273 405737.
THERE’S GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS
The HADAS August 1998 Newsletter carried a report from Peter Pickering of his visit to the Roman gold mines at Dolaucothi in Carmarthenshire. The Summer 2000 edition of The National Trust Magazine now reports that these workings might be up to 3,000 years old which makes them pre- Roman. According to The National Trust, who own the gold mines, this discovery may mean that the site is as significant in archaeological terms as Stonehenge and Avebury.
YOUR STARTER FOR TEN… A PIPE PUZZLE
It was a hot sticky day in June and we had just been to the Mitre in Barnet High Street where HADAS excavated in 1990, to view the spoil heap left by recent excavations by a professional unit and it appeared, surprisingly, that one of the HADAS trenches may have been re-excavated On returning to Whetstone to continue the debate, this little clay pipe bowl sat brightly in the flower beds of a nameless hostelry, asking to be rescued. Arthur Till is investigating but could any other members shed some light on the maker and date of this clay pipe fragment? The stamped lettering is: SMITH 49 GIFFORD and the characters appear to be boxing.
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Day Schools
March 2000 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the excavations at Knossos in Crete supervised by Sir Arthur Evans. A weekend course is to be held in Oxford, 13-15 October, to coincide with the Centennial Exhibition in the Ashmolean Museum and will cover all aspects of this famous site.
Also at Oxford is a 1-day school on Twentieth-century Military Archaeology on Saturday 21st October. This aims to explain how professionals and amateurs are collaborating to analyse how these military sites functioned, what remains today, with examples of specific projects.
Details for both these courses are available from OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA, tel: 01865 270380.
22 July(Sat) Outing to Dover with Tessa Smith & Sheila Woodward
29-30 July Hadas Archaeological Weekend
Experimental Archaeology at College Farm (Details Enclosed)
19 August(Sat) Outing to Wallingford with Bill Bass Details in later Newsletter
[10-14 July Orkney Weekend-arrangements finalised but contact Dorothy if you would like to put your name on the waiting list ]
The Millennium has started propitiously with news of important international finds ranging from lost cities under the sea offshore from Alexandria
to underwater treasures off Cyprus,and a decapitated skeleton near Stonehenge.There is enough here to keep several teams of archaeologists at work for years if not decades, establishing the facts and speculating about their implications for long held theories while developing new ones.
In many cases the national archaeological services cannot cope; if progress is to be made experts and funds from richer countries need to be slotted in. There are sensitive issues here about who controls the nature and extent of
excavation,where and by whom finds will be processed,who will have a right to display them eventually; is policing adequate against an underground
that spirits away precious objects and seems to be ever more powerful; among many more.
That is what makes archaeology such an interesting study/hobby-something new is always on the horizon: treasured theories are overturned ,dating
altered,sequences rearranged,while new technology borrowed from other disciplines provides more ways of analysing the past.If TV programmes are an indicator of growing interest in our subject, we can take pleasure in the increased airtime that is devoted to different aspects of archaeology. These range from the quick and dirty 48 hour dig in a corner of one of our towns or villages, to reconstructing the major artefacts of early times in
order to establish the technologies available and how they were used, and to tracing the broad development of civilisations over the world, and their possible influence on each other.
Archaeology has something for everybody.[Ed]
THE REVIEWER’S TALE ROY WALKEROne of our best-sellers in the HADAS bookshop is Percy Reboul’s “Those were the days”, a collection of memories of life in Barnet between the two World Wars taped by Percy in the late 1970s. It is an excellent example of how oral history can be presented. We are very fortunate because Percy has compiled a further selection of stories from Barnet’s past, “Barnet voices” – this time published in the Tempus Oral History Series, 1999, price £9.99. The recordings are from the 1970s and 1980s and encompass a wide range of social backgrounds, occupations and ages. The London Borough of Barnet is, of course, the common factor and as each tale is fully illustrated with photographs of the period this book cannot fail to appeal to the diverse interests of our membership.
There are the childhood memories of Dorothy Egerton who moved to Sunningfields Crescent in 1902 at the age of seven and attended Ravenscourt School. Sheep grazed opposite her house where Sunnyhill Park is today. The Tram Driver’s Tale concludes on a collision between a number 62 tram and a steam traction engine near Wembley Church with the latter left as a wreck, while in The Railwayman’s Tale the railwayman himself suffered terribly the consequences of his collision with a train. The Farmer’s Tale interested me as it provided background to the photograph of Harry Broadbelt I first saw in John Heathfield’s “Around Whetstone and North Finchley in old photographs” – he ran Floyd Dairy where Whetstone Police Station stands today. We hear from the voice of the rabbit in BBC Radio’s Winnie the Pooh, from a “Law Officer” based at Bowes Road School responsible for apprehending truants and from a Mill Hill GP who qualified in 1915 warning of the dangers of relying upon computers to make a diagnosis!
For those born within the Borough the stories are guaranteed to awaken earlier, personal memories of Barnet; for those who moved into the area later in life, as I did, then this book provides real people with which to flesh out the bones of Barnet’s past so far gained from other local historians.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL– by VIKKI O’CONNOR
MARTHA WALSH’s small book of memories strings together a series of anecdotes about the family members and their circumstances during her father’s lifetime, 1796-1864. She describes her father as full of fun, with an interest in poetry, politics and science. His enquiring and innovative approach to medicine, especially during a cholera epidemic in 1832-33 earned him an excellent reputation. However, when he decided to commercially manufacture the writing ink he had invented, his professional ‘friends’ apparently told him that he would ‘lose caste’ if he went into business!Looking at the family through Martha’s eyes, one can understand her father’s deterioration after the death of his first wife and their little girl, or smile at the fortunes of Justine, the French housekeeper. The warmth of Martha’s description of her mother and their life in Finchley are so fresh that I kept having to remind myself that she was talking about 1852, not 1952, even when she writes of haymaking and blackberrying. First published in 1913, the book has been re-printed with the permission of Martha’s grand-daughter. If you decide to dip into this little treasure (don’t just read it once) it will cost you £3.00 plus 31p postage from: Norman Burgess at 28 Vines Avenue, Finchley, N3 2QD, or visit the Stephens Collection – Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 2 – 4.30pm, at Avenue Hse.
AND SHORT IS BEAUTIFUL TOO…..Highgate Literary and Scientific Society’s recent Highgate 2000 – A Journey Through Time exhibition depicted Highgate life through themes: schools; roads; churches, shops; pubs; personalities and, of course, the cemetery. The exhibition proved to be a great success, the recipe for which appears to be a brilliant team effort with individuals taking responsibility for a section and, being given a free hand, coming up with their personal interpretation of their chosen subject. The pity is that, after all this effort, there were only thirteen days available to the Society to view the results at
their premises in South Grove. The society was established in 1840 when they took this building, formerly a school.
There were several good browsing-hours-worth of material in the displays. Tales of John Betjeman’s schooldays caught my attention, as did the old Highgate custom “Swearing on the horns”. Margot Sheaf, one of the contributors to the exhibition, wrote “Each Highgate inn had a set of horns mounted on staves – a ram for one inn – a stag for another. At least three out of five passengers entering an inn from their coach had to Swear on the Horns. This ancient custom has been preserved through the centuries and is still taking place at several Highgate inns where it is often used as a means to support local charities.”
The exhibition brochure, sponsored by Hamptons, summarised the history of Highgate but, despite requests by many visitors, there are presently no plans to re-run the exhibition or produce a publication. However, some of the display boards will be on loan to other groups over the coming months, says Malcolm Stokes, one of the exhibition organisers.
The impressively ultra-modem and expensive display case generously on loan from the Museum of London was maybe a tad `over the top’, but their collection of Highgate Wood Roman pottery doesn’t usually leave the confines of London Wall. Some flints from the same site were displayed; these finds were almost incidental to the Roman kiln excavations, and were not associated with a known Mesolithic camp-site. Is this HADAS’s cue for ‘another West Heath’? Can Alec Jeakins be persuaded to return to London to tramp Highgate Woods for the evidence?
The City of London Corporation owns and manages Highgate Wood, no easy task with the high numbers of dog-walkers, commuters, joggers, and whole families, trampling everywhere every day. The resulting erosion is being countered by blocked off areas and the planting of young trees and woodland plants. Surprisingly, there are over fifty species of tress and shrubs. In the middle of the Wood is a Visitor Information Centre – well worth seeing. ‘Cindy’, one of the Wood’s rangers who lives on site, has helped to create a museum-in-miniature, aimed at all ages, where there are free leaflets on the history of the wood, and on the nature trails. Amongst the caterpillars, fungi and bird displays you will find a space dedicated to archaeology, with pieces of Roman pottery from the 1970’s excavations wonderfully and trustingly available for everyone to touch. Students from Birkbeck College surveyed the ancient earthworks which might have formed part of a tribal boundary. These are marked in red on a map at the far end of the Visitor Centre; if you do spot this it could be interesting trying to project the line into the urban jungle surrounding the Wood.
If you decide to wander along there, bus routes 134, 43 and 263 all run past Highgate Wood, with the 102, 234 and 143 passing the East Finchley/Cherry Tree Wood end. There is of course the Northern line – Highgate (long haul up to road level for the less fit) and East Finchley. Amenities include toilets, children’s playground and a bright little café. Enjoy…
OK, call me a nerd but, having often wondered about the destination of the centre tracks at Finchley Central on my way to work, a few years ago I ambled through Cherry Tree Wood and actually coming across the tail end of these tracks my heart beat a little faster (no, a lot, actually). Nowadays, of course, I justify this by calling it ‘Industrial Archaeology’. (You can see the East Finchley sidings from Highgate Wood – and the old Railway Bridge at Bridge Gate – number 6 on the map – get your anoraks out now!)
FURTHER INFORMATION: The Highgate Wood Manager 020 8444 6129.
RESTORATION of EAST BARNET VILLAGE CLOCK (c.1680)
We have made progress, I am happy to report. A Committee, the Friends of the East Barnet Clock Tower has been formed to get the clock restarted and put back in its proper place – the clock tower on the roof above the newsagents in Clockhouse Parade.The clockface has been re-gilded,and the movement is being overhauled. We are negotiating with the owners to have the clock tower strengthened before re-installing the clock. If all goes well, we hope to have everything ticking by New Year’s Eve 2000 – the
true Millennium! Wish us luck. Janet Heathfield
BARNET GATE MEADOW INVESTIGATION
We have now done a couple of weekends exploring, by digging and augering, the ground in places where our resistivity testing showed anomalies of possible interest.We opened up four small trenches and found in each, below the topsoil, a layer of pebble gravel above a clay subsoil, with no indication it was anything other than natural formation. As might be expected, all the trenches yielded the usual assortment of post-medieval earthenware, stoneware and clay pipe fragments from manuring of the fields. The site was arable until recent years. In two further areas we confined ourselves to augering which gave similar results.
Whilst we shall make a more detailed examination to compare our resistivity readings with the ground exploration, it does appear fairly obvious that the resistivity variations result from natural variations in the in the depth of the clay layer below the topsoil surface, giving a deeper water-holding pebble gravel layer in some places (lower resistivity), and a shallower one in others (higher resistivity).
Our Member Christian Allen has kindly produced a computer diagram of the resistivity results which should give a professional air to our eventual report!
Saturday 24 June OUTING TO NORTH OXFORDSHIRE with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins. Details and application form enclosed with this Newsletter.
10 – – 14 July ORKNEY WEEK.
Details are now finalised. We are fully booked with a short waiting list but your name still can be added should you be interested. Please contact Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible.
Saturday 22 July OUTING TO DOVER with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodwood. Details and application form with July Newsletter.
29-30 July HADAS ANNUAL ARCHAEOLOGY WEEKEND Experimental archaeology at College Farm! Further details are on page 4.
Saturday 19 August OUTING TO WALLINGFORD with Bill Bass. Details and application form will be in a later Newsletter.
The Ted Sammes evening
Our April meeting was dedicated to memories of HADAS founder member, the late Ted Sammes, who has left the Society a generous bequest. Long-standing member Sheila Woodward chaired the evening and spoke of her personal memories which she has reproduced for the Newsletter.
I joined HADAS in 1974 and must first have met Ted at outings and lectures during 1975. I soon came to appreciate his special qualities. For a start, there was the sheer breadth and depth of his archaeological knowledge. He seemed equally at home discussing a prehistoric chambered tomb or a Roman villa, Saxon pottery and pins or medieval floor tiles. He could speak authoritatively about different types of building bricks, about coinage and trading tokens, about delftware, about wig-curlers. The list seems endless. Ted’s experience in the baking trade was grist to his archaeological mill, as were his wartime experiences in the forces and his many subsequent travels in this country and abroad. His father had been a professional photographer and Ted developed a similar skill.
Being a perfectionist himself, and by nature cautious, Ted was always inclined to play devil’s advocate. Someone once said to me that every organisation needs a Ted Sammes! Any attempt to rush precipitously into a new project would be restrained by Ted’s “Have you checked on…?” “Are you sure that…?” or “Have you considered whether…?” This inclination to check over- enthusiasm and urge caution could give an impression of crotchitiness and ill-humour. In fact, Ted was immensely kind-hearted and always ready to share his archaeological knowledge and expertise. I often had cause to be grateful for his help and encouragement.
As a founder member of HADAS, Ted acknowledged his debt to the Society which fostered and helped him to develop his love of and interest in archaeology. That Society, in its turn, now acknowledges its debt to Ted Sammes and remembers him with great respect and affection
Matt Wheeler, the Curator of the Decorum Heritage Trust in Berkhamsted, provided a delightful insight into the Sammes family background.
I first came across Ted Sammes in 1997 when he phoned me up and told me that his father, Edward Sammes was a photographer and cabinet maker who had once lived in the village of Bovingdon and then later Boxmoor which are both near Hemel Hempstead. He wanted to know whether the Decorum Heritage Trust would like to provide a permanent home for his father’s collection of postcards, photographs and tools etc. Ted knew of the Trust because he had previously loaned some of the postcards to our current Chairman, Roger Hands and his wife Joan for use in their “Book of Boxmoor”. Ted Sammes evening (continued)
I expressed great interest and visited Ted at his home in Taplow. I learned a great deal about his father’s life and at the same time collected the extensive collection of postcards, photographs and other ephemera. At a later date I hired a van and went with Ted and one of our volunteers to his father’s old flat in Hendon in order to collect a large tool chest and his father’s workbench. Unfortunately, we picked the hottest day that summer to do the move. Things were not helped by the fact that Ted was already quite frail at the time and so we had to literally hoist him in and out of the transit. So there we were in the 90° heat struggling with this large, cumbersome tool chest and workbench on the second floor of a block of flats in North London which had no lift!
Now housed at the Trust’s Museum Store in Berkhamsted, the tool chest in particular is an absolute gem containing tools that have been lovingly cared for as well as examples of Edward’s carving. There’s even a little motto on the inside of the lid which was placed there by his mother. It reads:
Sloth like rust consumes
Faster then labour wins
While the used key is always bright
God helps them that helps themselves.
Lost time is never found again.
Edward Sammes was born in Chipping Ongar in Essex in 1883, the son of John (“Jack”) and Alice Sammes. The family moved to the village Bovingdon in 1887 in order to run the Wheatsheaf beerhouse (still there today). As with many Victorian couples, Jack and Alice produced quite a few children two daughters Emma and Alice and five sons including John who helped his father run the beerhouse and Edward.
In the collection we have a pewter mug which was apparently used at The Wheatsheaf. It serves no practical purpose now because it has a big hole in it which was caused by an incendiary bomb that hit the family’s house in Hendon during the Second World War.
We also have an account book which shows the pub’s
weekly takings for the period 1887-1892 – ie the time
when Jack Sammes was there. The takings tend to be the highest during the months of August and September and this was probably because those were the harvest months when agricultural labourers had a few more pennies in their pocket. The highest weekly takings shown in the book were during the week of 30 August 1891 when they took £10 l0s 5 1/2d. The book also shows the accounts for Jack’s side-line business of painting and decorating.
There are many items in the collection which relate to the family’s time in Bovingdon. including an invitation card for the village celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and a photograph of Edward and other pupils of Bovingdon School in 1890.
When Edward reached the age of 16 (in 1899) he became apprenticed to Robert Smith of Hemel Hempstead at a cost of £20 for training as a cabinet maker. He obtained his indentures five years later. In 1903, Edward’s father died suddenly at the age of 58 and the family moved to Oxford Villa in St John’s Road, Boxmoor. Edward continued working for Mr Smith until 1906 but soon afterwards set up on his own with a workshop on the corner of Kingsland Road and Wharf Road. He set up a business as a cabinet maker, furniture restorer and commercial photographer.
For his photography, he had no special premises nor studio but used the box room over the front door for day work and the scullery for developing and printing after the family had gone to bed. Most of the postcards in the collection date from the period 1905-1914 so you could say that the golden period of photography as far as Edward was concerned was in fact the Edwardian period. This was true throughout the whole country – the period 1900 to 1914 was the golden period for postcards as they were the most widely used form of communication before telephones became the norm. Edward’s postcards were of the standard size, the size used by most photographers since 1899 and each one would have been individually printed hence their rarity.
Edward used a “Junior Sanderson” quarter plate camera manufactured by Houghton’s throughout his career. He was commissioned by people to take pictures of their loved ones. Many of these portraits were never intended to be posted and so they don’t have post marks on them. His camera captured every period of a person’s life from birth to death. Edward also photographed people’s houses, pets, cars, businesses, local clinics and hospital parades.
When the First World War began in 1914, Edward moved to Hendon as he worked as a supervisor at the Aircraft Manufacturing Company at Colindale in the section producing wooden components of aircraft. During this period his main contact with Boxmoor was his visits whilst courting Dorothy Ella Sharp (known as Ella) who was originally from Berkhamsted but later lived in the Dell on Roughdown Common. They were married in 1917 at St John’s Church. They then lived for a couple years in Hendon and in 1920 their only child, Ted was born. They moved back to Boxmoor shortly afterwards together with their baby son.
Edward was also very interested and involved in local politics and in particular with the Hemel Hempstead Labour Party. During the period of 1905 to 1931 he was at various times the Honorary Secretary, the Chairman and Vice-President of the Hemel Hempstead Labour Party. He was also an agent during the elections of 1922, 1924, 1929 and 1931. He even helped to establish the Hemel Hempstead Co-operative Society in 1906 and served on its management and educational committees.
When the family came back to Boxmoor they moved to 129 Horsecroft Road which they rented from James Loosley, a retired butcher of St John’s Road at a cost of just under £4 a month. In theory, this looked to be an ideal move because the house also had a workshop at the back. However, things quickly turned sour as life for the Sammes family was becoming a hard struggle to make ends meet. After the First World War, postcards had lost their popular appeal. People began to use the telephone and postcards became more expensive for the photographer to produce – the cost of paper increased and there was an increase in the postage rate from halfpenny to a penny. In such a climate, the Sammes family soon fell behind with the rent and by September 1927 things had got so desperate that the family arranged for Walter Greey the auctioneer of Hemel Hempstead to hold an auction and sell off all their possessions. We are lucky enough to have a copy of the poster in the collection. Basically, they were planning to sell everything they owned – pillows, beds, Windsor chairs, books, tools, the work bench, chest of drawers. Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, a kindly friend loaned the family enough to pay off their debts and the sale was ‘cancelled.
In 1928, Mr Loosely took proceedings against Edward Sammes at the County Court in St Albans for owing him £31 in rent and not vacating the premises. Edward was taken to court again in February of that year and by March, he removed some of his possessions out of the premises and the family moved temporarily to an address near Boxmoor Station. It was during this move that all his negatives were lost. Not long after in December the family moved to Hendon.
It was in Hendon that Edward and his wife spent the rest of their life. His interest in politics continued as he was a founder member of the Hendon South Labour Party and acted as an agent for its first candidate. He still remained active in the local co-operative movement and was also one time editor of the “Hendon Citizen”. He died in April 1969 at the age of 85. During his relatively short period of commercial photography he achieved a legacy of over 200 photographs of this area. We are very lucky that Ted Sammes kept his father’s collection intact as it provides quite literally, a “snapshot” of what life was like in Edwardian Dacorum. The Dacorum Heritage Trust, in particular, is fortunate that Ted donated this wonderful collection with us before he died and for that reason the names of Edward and Ted Sammes will continue to be remembered with great fondness by people in Dacorum.
Joan Hands, wife of the Chair of the Dacorum Museum Trust, attended the evening and presented a copy of the “Book of Boxmoor” to HADAS on behalf of her husband Roger as Ted had contributed a chapter to the book.
Gerrard Roots, Curator of Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon has now prepared some 120 exhibitions at the Museum, the first being HADAS’s, Pinning Down the Past. This was planned by Brigid Grafton Green and Ted Sammes. He and Ted did not always see eye to eye and there were some “lively” exchanges of views. One Man’s Archaeology was another of Ted’s successful displays. In the 1980s Ted wanted to do an exhibition on the history of the Labour Party, a cause close to his heart, but they didn’t do it much to Gerrard’s regret. Ted always arrived at the Museum with lots of bags but would never reveal what was in them. Discussing his excursions over the years to Spain, Malta and Turkey, Ted revealed “1 think that without HADAS I would not have visited these places”. Gerrard recalled how Ted, having battled with one committee or another and arriving at an impasse, saying “What can one man do?” Well, according to Gerrard, he did an astonishing amount!
Brian Boulter of Maidenhead spoke of Ted as a friend and colleague; they met when Brian joined Weston Research in Dagenham in 1954. Ted began work as a lab boy with H W Neville’s at Acton, and his father went with him to the interview. When they said how much money he would receive, with a review at the end of a year, his father said he wanted it in writing. Soon after, when the firm would have liked to pay him more, they couldn’t because the pay rate was in writing! His job was testing flour and he worked at Walthamstow and King’s Cross, possibly attending Acton Tech. At the outbreak of war Ted joined the Army and volunteered for a hush-hush project as a radar mechanic because of his scientific experience, albeit food technology – but where he was posted there was no radar! Re-trained in radio, he went to Naples when Vesuvius erupted.
After the war, Ted’s firm was bought out and they moved first to Dagenham, then to new labs in Chessington a couple of years later, then finally to Taplow where, after years of commuting, Ted came to live. His job latterly involved visiting watermills and windmills, an interest which spilled into his private life. giving an inspiring talk on mills to HADAS following the AGM in May 1995.
Brian got to know Ted gradually and, learning of his interest in local history, introduced him to the Maidenhead Archaeological Society. He also became involved in the Maidenhead Civic Society who set up a Museum which Ted had lobbied for which despite a lease on premises for only six months was very successful.
Pam Taylor, ex Borough Archivist and HADAS member, knew Ted from the 1980s when he visited the Borough Archive. She explained that he had a great sense of where things fitted in. He also had a “chip on his shoulder’ and put on an irascible front. HADAS wanted at that time to produce an archaeological history up to 1500. Everyone queued up to do the prehistoric and Roman, not the medieval, so Ted and Pam set to work on the medieval section but experienced a conflict between archaeology and history. The resulting publication is of course, the HADAS standard A Place in Time. However, Ted and Pam emerged from this collaboration as friends. He didn’t bear grudges – although he was bitter towards organisations and how they just didn’t work. In Ted’s last month’s Pam only saw him a couple of times, and recalled visiting his home to collect some items and records for the Archive. She was impressed by the organisation of his attic – the place where the majority of us throw things into heaps. There was a library of items carefully sorted and, although he was not fit enough to ascend the steps, he was carefully explaining the correct angle of drop for the boxes coming out of the loft. We could understand how Pam’s one regret was not having had time for more visits.
HADAS Chairman, Andrew Selkirk, first knew of Ted because of the Prehistoric Society book Discovering South East England. Ted directed excavations at Church End in 1973/74 and the exhibition Pinning Down the Past. Andrew went down to Maidenhead, and wrote a four-page account of the excavation because Ted published the objects rather than the excavation itself.
In 1994 Ted was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; a worthy body formed in 1717 Acceptance of a nomination is decided by the black ball system, the nearest thing these days to a public hanging. If you get six white balls you are okay, but when Ralph Merrifield put Ted’s name up there were no black balls whatsoever.
At the end of the evening there was time to look at the displays put together by Sheila Woodward, Dorothy Newbury and Tessa Smith, to raise a glass and chat a while. But when Ted’s portrait, which had overlooked the evening’s affairs, slipped onto its face – we understood he had had enough and it was time to go home. Dorothy Newbury has asked for the Society’s thanks to go to all who helped prepare beforehand and on the night.
Congratulations to Danny and Helen Lampert who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last month. They joined HADAS in its very early years and have been active members ever since.
Following hard on their heels are Arthur and Vera Till who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Those who have excavated with Arthur will not be surprised to learn his wedding day was on 1 April!
Mary O’Connell will be entering hospital in Bristol, near her daughter, for a hip replacement in June. We send our best wishes and look forward in due course to a resumption of one of the most popular events of the HADAS calendar, Mary’s annual London walk and visit.
At the time of writing, Dorothy Newbury is resting after a minor operation on her legs and no doubt will be on the fully-active list long before her doctor would wish.
Our lecture season starts again in November and at last our booking problems with Barnet Council have been resolved, writes Dorothy Newbury (Programme Secretary). The Drawing Room on the ground floor of Avenue House has been booked for the second Tuesday of each lecture month until 2003. Special thanks must be given to June Porges for organising our speakers, often providing refreshments for the long distance ones, and to Vikki O’Connor for relieving June from the job of “coffee lady”. We should also thank “the boys” for arranging the projector, screen, tables and the bookstall. The change to lecture start time of 8.00pm with coffee afterwards is working well but please remember we must vacate the room by 10.00pm promptly with all cups returned to the back table.
HADAS Annual Archaeology Weekend 29 – 30 July (revised date)
This weekend is dedicated to experimental pot-firing at College Farm, Fitzalan Road, Finchley. Volunteers are needed to advise and/or participate in this high-profile event especially those with experience in any aspects of clay- working, pot-making, decorating and kiln-firing. There will be other events on the weekend which will need supervising so please contact Bill Bass on 020 8449 5666 if you have some time to spare between now and the end of July or on the weekend itself.
The Bricks of Brockley Hill by Brian McCarthy
As reported in the February Newsletter, Peter Nicholson and I have been attending the Museum of London Specialist Services Laboratories at Eagle Wharf Road to learn how to identify the ceramic building material (CBM) that was collected from the Brockley Hill fieldwalk in the summer of 1998. The grant from English Heritage is to cover the cost of our instruction, the supervision of our earlier work and the eventual write-up of the results for publication.
To date we have spent five full days together at Eagle Wharf Road which we thought was all that had been paid for. However, it seems that because we came together each time, MoLAS, by some peculiar arithmetic, has worked out that we are entitled to another one and a half days. So far we have worked through virtually all the boxes of samples that Bill Bass transported to MoLAS for us and now we are ready to deal with the remainder.
Our instructor is Dr Ian Betts (who lives in the Borough of Barnet) and is the head of the CBM section. Under his watchful eye, we have been going through each bag for each 2 metre square, one piece at a time. We first look at the sample through the binocular microscope and identify the fabric type by comparison with those in the MoLAS type library, Every clay has a different chemical content and, after firing, has an individual physical appearance which can be seen in the microscope. In the main, most of our Roman samples consist of four different types – all similar – and it is assumed that they all originate from different clay pits in and around the Brockley Hill kilns. We now have a set of our own type samples so that work done locally will be assessed to agreed national types.
After identification by type, the samples are weighed, measured and special features noted and all recorded on a separate form for each 2m square. The final decision is whether to retain or throw away and the usual course is the latter, unless there is something different or unusual about it. So far we have seen Roman tegulae, imbrex and brick and, in addition, a considerable quantity of post-medieval peg tile, pantile and brick. These too are fabric typed, weighed, assessed, recorded and retained or thrown.
Much work remains to be done and we hope to do it at Avenue House or elsewhere, involving as many people as possible. However, we have found that recognition of type samples is a slow and laborious process so it is going to take quite a lot of time. If you are interesting in acquiring a new skill, we hope to organise some weekday or weekend sessions in the near future.
Finally, Ian Betts, who we cannot thank enough, has suggested that he comes to us for our next session to help sort out any problems and keep us on the right road. That will leave the last half day to be devoted to drawing it all together at the end.
We have found it to be a fascinating and illuminating experience with friendly and helpful people. Hopefully, we will be able to pass on our knowledge in an equally amiable way.
The “C” Team: Peter Nicholson has already set up his “B” team comprising himself and two others, and is working one or two afternoons a week at Avenue House. In turn, these two are just about ready to work on their own. However, we need to get a “C” team going as soon as possible. Peter and Brian will spend a few sessions instructing two new people to get this going. This could be arranged for a weekday or Saturday. Please contact Vikki O’Connor (020 8361 1350) if you are interested. We are keen to get the processing finished before this winter.
HADAS project at Barnet Gate, Arkley
Following our recent resistivity survey at the Meadow at Barnet Gate off Hendon Wood Lane, permission was obtained from the Countryside Officer of Barnet Council to undertake trial-trenching in the areas where anomalies were noted. Work will have commenced over the Bank Holiday weekend but we fully anticipate continuing with weekday and weekend working for a short time. If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact members of the team.
A return to Sunninges Grove Philip Bailey
The story of Sunninges continues, but first there is a correction to the item received from Brian Warren in the May Newsletter, page 3. The second line should have included the word “not” as follows.- “He (Philip Bailey) suggests that “Sunningas Grove” was not within “Enfield Chase”, but if . .” Philip is aware of this omission and his follow-up below allows for it,
As Brian Warren quite rightly pointed out in his article in the last Newsletter (349) Sunninges Grove did lay within the Manor of Barnet in the 16th and 17th centuries according to the boundary descriptions of the Enfield Chase. I was aware of this but felt that since I was looking at the history of the grove in the 13th century and earlier, I did not feel that this had much bearing on its position in relation to the boundary at that time, particularly since as Brian pointed out, it was so close to the boundary in the 17th century that it actually formed part of it.
My assumption that the grove was outside Barnet was admittedly a bit misleading but was based on the somewhat confusing 13th century references to the grove. In my article I was simply pointing out the existence of the grove, and have little understanding of medieval land transactions or for that matter Latin, in which some of the original references appear, so don’t claim fully to understand the situation in the 13th century. I assumed that by “acquired’ it was meant “purchased” but since the grove was twice acquired by the Abbey in the 13th century I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t. I therefore had assumed that when the reference in Cass says that the grove was acquired by the Abbey from the widow of Henry Frowick that this was the point at which the grove was included within the Manor of Barnet.
Since Sunninges Grove seems (at least to me) to have had a confusing early history I list below all the references to it that I am aware of. There does however seem little doubt that both Henry de Frowick of Old Fold and also the Priory Hospital of St John Jerusalem (in Clerkenwell) both held the grove at different times. If it seems strange that Henry Frowick held the grove when his land was some distance away north of Barnet, it must be equally strange that it was also held by the Priory of St John who locally held Friern Barnet to the west of Barnet when Sunninges Grove was on Barnet’s eastern boundary.
On the point of Moneland, I suspect that Brian is right in thinking that it was next to Old Fold. There are several references in the manor rolls to land within Barnet Manor laying next to Old Fold, although they are more specifically positioned there, and I list those also below.
References to Sunninges, Moneland and Old Fold
c 1260-90 Item, adquisivit de Ysabella, relicta Henrici de Frowik, quandamlquendam gravam in Est Barnet quae
voatur “Sunninges grave”. (Also, acquired from Isabella, widow of Henry de Frowick a certain grove in East Barnet, that is called “Sunninges Grove.”) Gesta Abbatum EB by Cass pg 13, SM by Cass, pg 71.
1280 Richard Doget conceded and quit-claimed to the Lord Abbot 2d of annual rent which Henry de Frowick was
wont to pay him for a certain ditch of that grove which the Abbot has of the great hospital. (Cat Hill in East Barnet was formerly known as Doggetts Hill) Manor Rolls, translated version in Barnet Museum.
1260-90 Item, perquisivit de Fratre Joseph de Chauncy, Priore Hospitalis Jerusalem in Anglia, unam gravam quae
fuit Henrici Frowik in Barnet. (Also, acquired from Brother Joseph de Chauncy, Prior of the Jerusalem Hospital in England, a grove that was Henry of Frowick’s in Barnet. Gesta Abbatum SM by Cass, pg 71.
1272 “Moneland” 2 acres and a house next to the land of Henry de Frowick. Barnet Rolls, translated version. Regarding Old Fold, from Barnet Rolls:
1262 …1 acre of land next to the Old Fold
1272 …Robert Smalhak renders an acre of land next to the “Old Fold”
1291 …Rosa Geoffreys surrendered an acre of land which lies next to “le elde folde”
1291 …Richard le Rede surrendered a messuage [house] lying up to Oulde Folde. (Richard le Rede appears in the Rolls in 1290.)
1292 …an acre of land under Olde Foulde
1347 Et una acre terra jacet sub le Elde Folde, inter terram quondam Agretis le Rok et terram quondam Ricardi Spryngold, et quam acram idem Ricardis quondam tenuit ad voluntatem domini per virgarn. (And one acre of land lying under “Le Elde Folde” between land formerly Agretis le Rok and land formerly Richard Springold …etc.
Also perhaps relevant to Old Fold:
1317 John de la Penne Barnet Subsidy Rolls, Cass, pg 15.
1344 William atte Penne (de La Barnet.) Forged deeds of lands at Barnet and a messuage at South Mimms. This led to a trial by assize at St Albans. Gesta Abbatum SM by Cass, pg 18,19.
Avenue House Consultative Conference, 10th April 2000 by Andy Simpson
This was a follow-on conference to that held last year and previously reported in Newsletter No. 342, September, 1999, which considered the future of the 10.2 acre Avenue House Estate, Finchley, both House and grounds (excluding Hertford Lodge) where HADAS rents the garden room as an office and library/archives store. The writer of this report again attended as HADAS representative. It was reassuring to see that Council bureaucracy maintains its traditional
standards – my formal invitation arrived the morning
after the conference.
The same user groups as last time were represented, including Friends of Avenue House and the Finchley Society. Research undertaken by the existing 9-member Avenue House Steering Group on the estates’ future management was set out in a proposals document, duly discussed at the meeting, which was chaired by Councillor Susette Palmer, Chair of the Steering Group, which was set up by the Council to develop the arrangements and report back.. The new Estate Manager, Anne Denison, appointed in January, was
present – a positive step, as promised by the Council at
the last meeting. She is presently working on a business plan for the estate, which it is hoped will be running independently through devolved management by June 2000 as a self-supporting limited company run by a management committee at arm’s length from Council control.
It is intended that the new body will have a constitution and officers, through whom it will act. This management body will include one Council member from each of the main political parties, ‘casual user’ and ‘leaseholder’ representatives, Barnet Voluntary Services Council, the Finchley Society, Friends of Avenue House Estate and Friends of Parks groups, and up to three co-opted specialist advisors such as Kew Gardens. The association would elect its own chairperson and have the power to appoint subcommittees to cover staffing, budget etc. Meetings would be in public, with the Council as Corporate Trustee informed of all decisions. A Council officer may act as Treasurer to carry out the managing group’s instructions if finance was available and they corresponded with the agreed operating plan. Council grants could be applied for and a twice-yearly public forum will be held to review and comment on the Annual Report, and once for consultation on the Operating Plan and Budget, prior to their submission to the Council. The committee must comply with all charity rules and would set all facility hire charges; the Council will be entitled to use rooms, on payment of a fair charge. After two years operation the position will be reviewed. As it will remain as Corporate Trustee, the Council will require to see and approve the annual operating plan, budget and accounts and Annual Report to the Charity Commission and reserves the right to intervene in the event of financial mismanagement or similar problems which could endanger the future of the estate. As stressed before, the estate needs to work within the bounds of the Stephens Trust and there is no endowment to meet initial running costs such as staff salaries. There may be a public appeal to raise back up funding. The issue of safeguarding staff pensions is under investigation as an admitted body under the Borough of Barnet Pension Fund. The Council expects any new managing body and the estate to operate without Council subsidy.
This was purely a consultative conference – the
elections to the management body of representatives of interested groups had yet to occur at the time of writing. The Council hoped to leave this largely to the groups concerned by suggesting they meet up and select their candidates. There was some discussion as to who should qualify; I had to remind the meeting that HADAS were both a resident group and one of some 40 casual user’ groups and organisations through their hire of rooms for lectures and other meetings, though not enough to qualify for the proposed ‘casual user’ qualification level of 10 meetings per year. I again had to point out that as leaseholding residents we were present in the Garden Room most Weekends even if not hiring a function room 10 times a year. The ‘qualifying level’ will hopefully be set lower in the end.
It was suggested that expert groups such as English Heritage (who did not take up the previous offer of a seat on the Steering Group), The National Trust or Kew Gardens might be co-opted to the committee for specialist advice. The Council had held talks with the Hertfordshire Building Development Trust as possible managers of the estate but this possibility was not proceeded with, but contact would be maintained in an advisory capacity.
A questionnaire on the Steering Group’s proposals was circulated; HADAS have completed and submitted theirs, generally agreeing with the proposals but insistent that the status and rights of established local user groups such as ourselves who provide services to the Borough and local residents must be protected, and not be lost to the interests of commercial organisations. Further developments are awaited.
Governing London: lessons from 1000 years by Ann Saunders
On 11 April, about seventy historians and other interested individuals gathered at the Museum of London to hear a series of lectures on the governance of the capital. The speakers were:
Dr Derek Keene (Centre for Metropolitan History) Roots and Branches of Power 1000-1300
Dr Caroline Barron (Royal Holloway) Shaping Civic Government 1300-1550
Dr Ian Archer (Keble College, Oxford) The City and the Challenge of Metropolitan Growth 1550-1650 Dr Vanessa Harding (Birkbeck College, Landon) Parishes and Powers in the Metropolis 1650-1750
Dr Roland Quinault (North London University) From National to World Metropolis: Governing London 1750-1850 Dr John Davis (Queen’s College, Oxford) New Challenges and New Authorities 1850-1920
Professor Ken Young (Queen Mary and Westfield College, London) Ideals and Reality 1920-1986
Dr Tony Travers (London School of Economics and Political Science) Abolition and Reconstruction 1986-2000
The standard of scholarship and lecturing was high; happily, all the texts are to be published in a future issue of The
London Journal. The discussion was spirited if – as one might expect – inconclusive. None of the mayoral candidates
was present, as far as your reporter could tell. Never mind. A good time was had by all, and before you read this, we shall have a mayor. Wonder what will happen next?
City of London Archaeological Society at the Tower of London
The COLAS National Archaeology Weekend (22-23 July from 9.00am till 4.30pm.at the Tower of London) will have many hands-on exhibits as well as foreshore collecting. COLAS would welcome assistance from HADAS members with finds identification skills who can help at this event. Please contact Vice Chair, Carol Bentley.
Other Societies Events Compiled by Eric Morgan
Amateur Geological Society Tuesday 13 June at 8.00pm.
Talk: The Pleasures & Pitfalls of Writing Geology for the General Public (Susanna Van Rose) The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, Finchley, N3. (£1.00 donation)
Barnet & District Local History Society Wednesday 14 June at 8.00pm.
Talk: Bandstands – Parks and Seaside (with music) (Paul Taylor)
Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet.
Willesden Local History Society Wednesday 21 June at 8.00pm.
Annual General Meeting.
Willesden Gallery, Willesden Green Library, High Road, NW10. (£1.00 donation)
Hampstead Scientific Society Thursday 22 June at 8.15pm.
Annual General Meeting followed by Scientific Entertainment.
St John’s Church, Church Row, Hampstead, NW3 (Wine & Cheese £2.00)
Finchley Society Thursday 29 June at 8.00pm.
Members’ Evening including Barnet at War by Percy Reboul. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3.
CBA Mid Anglia Summer Conference
Saturday 10 June, 10.00am – 4.30pm at the Plinston Hall, Broadway, Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Morning Session: The Treasure Act, 1996
Afternoon Session: The Voluntary Recording of Portable Antiquities
Tickets £10.00 available from Mr D Hills, 34 Kingfisher Close, Wheathampstead, Herts, AL4 8JJ.
Exhibitions & Festivals
Manor Park Museum until 8 July.
Made at New Canton: the story of Bow Porcelain 1750-1776.
Romford Road, London, E12.
This exhibition commemorates the 250th anniversary of the factory which was situated on the banks of the River Lea near the Bow Flyover and Stratford High Street. The exhibition will be open from 10 00am to 5.00pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and from 1.00pm to 8.00pm on Thursdays.
Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution 3-15 June (See May Newsletter for times)
Highgate 2000: A Journey through Time.
Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, 11 South Grove, London, N6.
Included in the exhibition are several Roman pots from the Highgate Wood kilns and flints from the same site on loan from the Museum of London. HADAS members might wish to compare these with the Brockley Hill and West Heath finds respectively.
Church Farmhouse Museum 3-18 June.
Twin Towns Exhibition with ceramics, art and photographs from Barnet’s twin towns in Israel, Germany and Cyprus.
East Finchley Community Festival Sunday 18 June.
At Cherry Tree Woods, opposite East Finchley Underground Station.
East Barnet Community Festival Saturday & Sunday 1-2 July.
At Oak Hill Park, N20. HADAS will have a display and book stall at this event.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association
The Hampstead Garden Suburb Festival 2000 will run during the month of July, with a special day planned for Saturday 8 July on and around Central Square. HADAS members from all over the Borough are welcome to help with the HADAS stand (contact Vikki O’Connor on 020 8361 1350) or just come along to browse.
Tuesday 9 March – An Urban Roman Site in Colchester – lecture by Ben Holloway (field archaeologist and site supervisor for Colchester Archaeological Trust) about last year’s excavations in Colchester where finds included a 2nd C Roman town house. Ben Holloway has also worked on the Isle of Man and the west coast of Scotland.
Tuesday 13 April – Hendon – Field and Factory – lecture by Hugh Petrie
Tuesday 11 May – Roman Roads – lecture by Harvey Sheldon
Tuesday 8 June – AGM
July – HADAS long weekend in Cumbria.
Lectures start at 8 pm in the drawing room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road. Finchley. N3. Buses including the 82, 143, 260 and 326 pass close by along Bollards Lane, a five to ten minute walk from Finchely Central Tube Station.
THE PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES SCHEME PETER NICHOLSON
Our first lecture of 2004 was given by Nicole Weller, who spoke about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which arises from the 1996 Treasure Act. Before the 1996 Act, the only formal framework relating to archaeological finds was the ancient common law of treasure trove, which was concerned only with objects made of precious metal and determining whether they should become Crown property. The foundation of the 1996 Act was the recognition that archaeological finds have a value other than that of any bullion they may contain, in the information they can provide, and that this informatkion is worth collecting. The Act extended the definition of “treasure” to include items of high significance which were not previously covered, for instance two or more metal prehistoric objects, of any composition, found together now count as treasure, and, as before, there is a legal requirement to report the finding of treasure to the Coroner to have its ownership determined. Evem under the extended definition, most interesting archaeological finds will not count as treasure, and to deal with these the Portable Antiquities Scheme was set up. This is a completely voluntary scheme set up to promote the recording of archaeological objects found by non-professionals of all sorts, especially metal detectorists, who in the past have had little contact with the archaeological community. It operates through a network of Finds Liaison Officers gradually built up since 1997, which now covers all the counties of England and Wales. Our lecturer, Nicole Weller, is the recently-appointed Finds Liaison Officer (and also Community Archaeologist) for London, stationed at the Museum of London. Nicole is happy to look at archaeological finds of all kinds, as she demonstrated by casting a professionl eye over the multifarious small finds brought to the meeting by members of the Society, which added to the interest of the evening. Finds submitted to her under the PAS will be identified, with the help of other staff at the Museum of London where necessary, and a written report provided. All items prior to 1650 are recorded on a database (with safeguards against unscrupulous interest) and will in due course be added to the Sites and Monuments Record. Some items prior to 1714 will also be recorded, and no-one should be deterred from submitting finds because of doubts about their eligibility for recording – all are welcome. After examination, items will be returned to their finders, unless the objects are shown to be treasure, in which case fair compensation will be paid. Although the scheme has only recently started to operate in our area, since it began in 1997 more than 150,000 finds have been recorded, so it can fairly be described as an established success. The good news: there is a nationwide scheme gathering large amounts of information which would formerly have been lost, and locally we have an approachable and enthusiastic Finds Liaison Officer. And the (possibly) bad news? Funding for the scheme is only guaranteed for three more years. Let us hope by then its value will be as apparent to those who control the purse-strings as it is to us.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS by Audree Price-Davies
Mrs Ann Saunders, a past President of HADAS, is a new entry in Who Who 2004. She was awarded the MBE in 2002 for her work as voluntary editor of journals for the Costume Society and the London Topographical Society. Mrs Saunders said “Clothing is very important, because we say a lot in the way we dress, in the way we present ourselves to the world. Textile production has been a staple industry for a very long time. The London Topographical Society has been going since 1880, and every year we publish one thing – it might be a book or a map.” Mrs Saunders teaches the History of London at City University, and is currently writing a history of the Merchant Taylors.
OTHER SOCIETIES’ LECTURES AND EVENTS by Eric Morgan
Saturday 28 February-Sunday 23 May: Church Farmhouse Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon, NW4. Local Treasures. Some of the historical documents and objects held by the Museum and Council’s local studies and archives. Meetings
Wednesday 3 March, 5 pm: British Archaeological Association, Society of Antiquaries. Burlington House, Piccadilly. W1 The Colonia Family and the Flamboyant Gothic Style in Burgos 1440-1540. Talk by Dr Steven Brindle.
Thursday 4 March, 7.30 pm: London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, London N1. Bournevilles – Chocolate to Cadburys. Talk by Richard Hill. Concessions: £1.25.
Saturday 6 March, 11 am – 2 pm: LAARC – Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, N1. Glass – Open Day. Find out about the fascinating glass collection, and take a tour of the new stores … plus how to spot fakes.
Sunday 7 March 2.30 pm: Heath and Hampstead Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3. History of archaeology of the Heath. Walk led by Michael Hammerson (Highgate archaeologist and HADAS member). Donation: £1.
Monday 8 March 3pm: – Barnet and District Local History Society, Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet. The End of the Line – Story of the Railway service to the GNL Cemetry. Talk by Martin Dawes.
Wednesday 10 March 7 pm: RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, NW9. A chance to see rare and exclusive footage from the archives of RAF Museum.
Wednesday 10 March, 8.15 pm: Mill Hill Historical Society Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, NW7. Claude Grahame White and Hendon Aircraft Factory. Talk by Edward Sargent.
Friday 12th March, 8 pm: Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane / junction .of Chase Side, Enfield. Rock Art of Prehistoric Britain. Talk by Fay Stevens. Visitors £1.
Wednesday 17 March, 6.30 pm: London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. Interpretation Unit, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2. Brunel, the GWR and the Making of Paddington Station (1836-55). Dr Steven Brindle (English Heritage).
Wednesday 17 March, 8 pm: Willesden Local History Society, Willesden Suite, Library Centre, 95 High Road, NW 10. Where Was the Well-on-the-Hill? (Recognition of Saxon geographical features). Talk by Zäe Ayle.
Friday 19th March: City of London Archaeological Society. St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. The Archaeology of Armageddon – The Great War. Talk by Andy Robertshaw,
Saturday 20th March 11 am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm: LAARC, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, NI. Ceramics: Open Day. Explore the ceramics collection – how it’s stored, conserved, researched and documented; and attend a Roman pottery demonstration.
Saturday 20 March, 10.30am – 12.30pm:. Highgate Wood Information Hut. A demonstration of a charcoal kiln.
Wednesday 24th March, 8 pm:. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, St John’s Church Hall Friern Barnet Lane, N12. A Million Years at STC (the History of Standard Telephones & Cables). A talk by Stan Springate.
Thursay 25 March, 8 pm: The Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 Recycling Progress in Barnet – Not A Moment Too Soon. A talk by Fred Woodworth (London Borough of Barnet).
Saturday 27 March, 11 am – 5 pm: LAMAS CONFERENCE, Museum of London Lecture Theatre. HADAS will have a stand there (Please see February Newsletter).
Saturday 27 March, 11 am – 1 pm: LAARC. Mortimer Wheeler House, Eagle Wharf Road, N 1. A Local History for Greater London – Conference by LAMAS. Local History Committee. 2 representatives from HADAS are invited to discuss how LAMAS could be of assistance to HADAS and research potential of Societies combined to provide “joined up” local history for London. Dr Cathy Ross (MoL) will talk on Museum’s projected 20th C Gallery, Wartime Evacuation, parish records. Further tour of ceramics and glass store, coffee and biscouts wioll be served. Apply ASAP to Anne Hignell, Sec., 24 Orchard Close, Ruislip, Middx. HA4 7LS.
Sunday 28 March 10.30 am: Enfield Preservation Society, Jubilee Hall, Junction Parsonage Lane/Chase Side, Enfield. Beneath the City’s Streets – London’s Unseen History. Talk by Mr P. Lawrence.
Thursday 1st April, 8 pm: Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane car park, Pinner. The “Golden Age” of Thames Finds – the social and antiquarian background to finds recovered from the Thames. Talk by Jonathan Cotton.
Sunday 28 March 2004 – 1100 am: – a walk along the ancient boundaries in Kenwood, led by Malcolm Stokes for English Heritage. To book, phone Kenwood House : 020 8348 1286. £3.50 (concessions £2.50). Meet at the main entrance to the house itself.
ADVANCE NOTICE: Sunday 9 May, 1-5 pm Church End Festival, Avenue House grounds, East End Road, Finchley. HADAS will have a stand here.
Tues 10 February 2004′ Churchyards of Greater London: Decay and Resurrection’ . Dr. Roger Bowdler
Hendon and Finchley churchyards are among Middlesex’s finest. This slide lecture will look at them against the background of an ongoing survey of the graveyards of Greater London. Roger Bowdler works for English Heritage and is responsible for listing in London and the South East, but his academic speciality is in the understudied realm of funerary monuments.
Lectures start at 8pm in the Drawing Room (ground floor; of .4 venue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3, and are followed by question time and tea coffee.. finishing 10pm prompt. Buses including the 82, 143/260/326 pass close by, a 5-10 minute walk from .Avenue House or 15-20-minute walk from finchley Central Tube Station.
Saturday 6 March 2004 TR systems resistivity meter ‘Master Class’ — 10am — 5pm, Millbrook Village Hall. Beds, cost £35.00 for the day including lunch and coffee. Details from Kevin Fadden, tel. 01525 402273, . Full details in February issue.
Our July long weekend to Cumbria is almost full; 40 members have already booked; if you want to go, BOOK NOW! (Details in leaflet issued with previous newsletter)
TRANSPORT CORNER Andy Simpson
Got some room for a nice print or two on the wall? The Sheffield based Fotheringay Folio continues to add superb quality full-colour prints and greetings cards of paintings by Richard Berridge of vintage London transport to their collection. Latest releases of local interest include a print of a wintry Finchley Tram Depot in 1938, with a Feltham double-deck tram in the foreground and depot building, overhead tower wagon and replacement trolleybuses in the background, approx size 15.5 x 11 inches, cost £15.00. Another print ‘Hampstead Heath 1952′ shows trolley bus 485 standing in the snow at South End Green on the 639 service to Moorgate; image size and price as before. (The surviving former tram shelter at this location is shortly to be restored, reports the Camden New Journal) Greetings cards (inside blank for your own message, supplied cellophane wrapped with envelope) include the Hampstead Heath trolleybus scene, size 179 x 129mm, price £1.50 each, and another of a trolleybus passing beneath the bridge at Archway Road in the winter snow of 1961. Size 145 x 145 mm, cost £1.25 each. They are available from the London County Council Tramways Trust (of which your editor is a trustee), with proceeds going towards restoration of surviving London Tramcars at the tram museum at Crich, Derbyshire. Send your orders to LCCTT (Promotions) Ltd.. 2 Sanctuary Close. Kessingland, Suffolk NR33 7SX; please add 10% postage and packing, minimum 50p. to orders for cards under £25 (you can order both prints for £25 the pair, post free, sent in toughened tubes). Cheques payable to `LCCTT (Promotions) Ltd’
FIRE ENGINE CORNER by Andy Simpson
In October 2003 I made my annual return visit to stay with old college friend Greg Hunt. whom many of you have met when he makes his annual visit to coincide with a HADAS outing. He kindly took me along on the Saturday to the Science Museum Air Transport Collection and Storage Facility at Wroughton Airfield, Wilts, just off the A4361 near Swindon, for one of their occasional open days; many of the museum’s large objects are held here. The Iron Age hill fort of Barbury Castle overlooks the Museum site from the north. Close by are the prehistoric sites at Avebury, the Ridgeway track along the Marlborough downs, and Hackpen Hill. See; (www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/wroughton) Two of the hangars were open, full of airliners including a De Havilland Comet 4B, 1936 built Douglas DC-3 and Lockheed Constellation, aero engines including one from a Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter, vintage buses including a splendid Swindon Corporation 1943 Guy Arab double decker complete with wartime austerity bodywork and wooden slatted seats, the Science Museum collection of invalid carriages, and a splendid collection of vintage fire engines, including an ex London County Council Dennis Big 4 pump/escape ladder engine in use 1936 – 1956, a former Southgate horse-drawn Merryweather built fire engine, and a remarkable — and well-preserved – specimen from the one-time Finchley District Council. Supplied to Finchley by Merryweather and Sons Ltd in 1904,and with the registration number H1553, this was the first self- propelled petrol motor fire engine used by a public fire brigade. In excellent condition and mechanically complete, though now minus its original escape ladder, it is painted fire-engine red with straw coloured lining out, and proudly bears on its side the crest of Finchley District Council Fire Brigade. It was relegated to spare engine in 1913, but not finally withdrawn until 1928! (Peter Pickering tells me it featured on a Royal Mail postage stamp some years ago) Also on show is a 1944 Austin K4 with 60 ft Merryweather turntable ladder. This was one of the special machines built to equip the small ‘flying columns’ of fire engines formed to deal with the German VI flying bombs and V2 rockets attacking London during 1944-45.
INTERESTED IN VIKINGS? Peter Nicholson
Oxford University Department of Continuing Education (OUDCE) is holding a Weekend School ‘The Viking Contribution to Britain’ from the 16th to 18th of April. Besides England, both Scotland and the Irish Sea region will be covered. and also topics such as Viking Art and artefacts and the Vikings’ contacts with the Church.OUDCE runs a wide-ranging programme of weekend and day schools on archaeological (and other) topics. Examples of those scheduled for this year include Egypt above the Nile Cataract. The Neolithic in the British Isles, and Tribes of Ancient Italy. Anyone who wants to be on their mailing list can contact them at: Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA or (Tel) 01865 270368 or e-mail) ppdayweekox.ac.uk.
NEW SERIES OF TIME TEAM
That time-honoured feature of winter Sunday evenings is back-the new series of Time Team. Channel 4, around 5.30pm (times may vary) Syndale (1 February); Green Island (8 February); Oakamoor (15 February); Goldcliff/Severn Estuary (22 February); Cranborne Chase (29 February); Wittenham (7 March); Nassington (14 March); Ipswich (21 March) Roxborough (28 March)
Also on the theme of continuing education, following on from our talk on the archaeology of Birmingham’s Bull Ring during our September 2003 HADAS long weekend, those wishing to spend Valentine’s Day (Saturday 14th February) in Birmingham can for £20.00 including tea/coffee attend the University of Birmingham, Centre for Lifelong Learning with CBA (West Midlands) annual round-up of West Midlands Archaeology ‘NEWS FROM THE PAST — 2003’, 10am — 5pm, at the Education Building, University of Birmingham. Details on the University web site — www.ell.bham.ac.uk/2003dayschools.htm#Archaeologv or phone 0121 414 8065. Provisional papers include The Shotton Project: A Midlands Palaeolithic Network: The Birmingham and Warwickshire Burnt Mound Survey; Iron Age and Romano British Farmsteads in Central Worcestershire; Medieval Parks in Herefordshire; The Crescent Lockworks, Willenhall, and The Stone Street Square Glasshouse, Dudley.
GOTHIC AT THE V&A by Bill Bass
The exhibition GOTHIC – Art for England at the V&A included a couple of items of local interest. One exhibit was a gold ring said to have removed from the body of Earl of Warwick after his death in the Battle of Barnet. The oval bezel of this massive ring is engraved with a hear chained to a staff This was the badge of the Warwick’s in the 15th century. There is no written record of the finding of the ring on his body before the 18th century. The ring is on loan from Liverpool Museum. Another exhibit was a large pair of doors from St Albans Abbey. They were made for the two portals of the now-demolished Early English west end, constructed between 1195 and 1214. The doors themselves are of mid 15th century date with an impressive tracery pattern,they are of laminated construction held together by wrought-iron nails which also act as decoration. The exhibition finished Jan 18th 2004.
Membership Renewal: Standing Orders Mary Rawitzer (Membership Secretary)
HADAS membership charges for next year (from 1st April 2004) have increased to £12 for individuals and £4 each for further family members at the same address. Members who pay by standing, order will need to fill in a new form for their hank or building society. If you normally pay by standing order you will find a form enclosed with this Newsletter. There is also a Gift Aid form for people who have not yet completed one, but might like to help HADAS’s income in this way. Members who normally pay by cheque don’t need to do anything YET: they will get their renewal forms with the April Newsletter. Any mistakes, questions or uncertainties? Please let me know – see contact details on the back page.
Christmas 2003 sadly brought the passing of several well-known I IADAS members and associates.
BILL FIRTH, HADAS and GLIAS stalwart, whose company we had so recently enjoyed at the HADAS Christmas dinner, died suddenly at home. Dorothy Newbury adds; It is with great sadness that l have to report the sudden death of Bill Firth. He died on December 18th aged 78 and his funeral was held at Golders Green on December 29th. Bill joined HADAS in 1969 and had been a valuable member ever since. Industrial archaeology was his main interest. He was Secretary of the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society (GLIAS) for 11 years. HADAS members will have read his name in our newsletter over the years. He recently encouraged members to observe old and new letterboxes in our area-and to keep an eye on old milestones, many of which have disappeared. Years ago he fought hard to save the Graham White aircraft hangar at Hendon (now moved, reconstructed and incorporated into the Royal Air Force Museum), which was. then near collapse. (He had served as a Navigator in the wartime RAF). Sheila and I sat next to him at the Christmas dinner on December 9th and he was his usual lively self and knew all the answers to our Hendon Quiz. HADAS Christmas dinner was one of our social events he never missed, and HADAS will miss Bill too.
VERA TILL, widow of HADAS digger and all-round handyman Arthur, also passed away on Saturday 271h December after a short spell in hospital; her well-attended funeral service was held at New Southgate on Wednesday 7th January, including several HADAS members. Vikki 0- Connor adds; Mrs Vera Till joined HADAS in the late 1980s in joint membership with her husband, Arthur. Like many ‘partners’, Vera’s interests had not until then included archaeology, but it was impossible to ignore the growing stack of books, magazines, collection of unstratified artefacts, and HADAS digging equipment which came home for repair to the Till workshop (usually the spare bedroom, rather than the shed!). Fortunately for Vera, there were the good times too — the outings and the HADAS minimart which she continued to support after Arthur’s death in October, 2000. Although the archaeology books made their way to the HADAS library, Vera did not forget the people she met at HADAS and we were saddened to learn of her recent death. Some of these friends attended her funeral at New Southgate; the chapel was full to capacity — a tribute to a loving wife and mother. Our condolences to children, Barbara, Liz and Alan.
Dorothy adds also BARBARA HOWE joined HADAS in 1980 and died in Eden Hall Hospice. Hampstead, shortly before Christmas. She joined HADAS shortly after her sister Dr Joyce Roberts joined in 1976 to investigate and date seeds and pollen on the bog site at West Leath, Hampstead during our Mesolithic excavation there 1976-1978. Barbara was a regular on our summer outings until a few years ago. She had no near relatives and Micky O’Flynn regularly visited her at home, in the Royal Free hospital and finally at the hospice.
STAN MORGAN and MRS MORGAN, who many of our old members will remember. joined HADAS in 1973. They were active members and after moving away in the late 1980s continued membership up until now. Mary Rawitzer then heard from a relative or friend to say Stan had died, and that he had always enjoyed receiving and reading our newsletter until he died.
OTHER SOCIETIES’ LECTURES & EVENTS Eric Morgan’s Monthly Round-Up
Wednesday 4th February 5pm British Archaeological Association Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House. Piccadilly WI; Gothic Remodelling Itself; Restoration and Intention at The North Porch of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol Talk by Jon Cannon.
Thursday 5th February 7.30pm London Canal Museum 12-13, New Wharf Road, King’s Cross N1 The Navvies Year: Talk by Martin Ludgate £1.25 concessions.
Saturday 7th February 10.30 —4 LARC — Mortimer Wheeler House, 46, Eagle Wharf Road, NI; Piecing Together The Past: Conservation Open Day Meet the experts who care for the objects and discover the many techniques they use to preserve archaeological finds for storage, study and display, and Ceramics and Glass Project. LAARC is opening up its internationally important collection dating from 4,000 BC to the present day.
Monday 9th February 3pm Barnet & District Local History Society Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall. Stapylton Road. Barnet. The History of the English Public House Talk by Graham Javes (HADAS Member)
Wednesday 11th February 8.15pm Mill Hill Historical Society Harwood Hall. Union Church, The Broadway, NW7 Our Marble Tribute; Napoleonic War Funerary Memorials in St Paul’s Talk by Dr Ann Saunders (Former HADAS President)
Wednesday 11th February 8pm Hornsey Historical Society Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Road/Weston Park, N8 From Electric Palace to Multiplex Cinemas, a History. Talk by Allen Eyles. Visitors £1.00.
Friday 13th February, 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2, Parsonage Lane/Junction Chase Side, Enfield Ethiopia: Africa’s Empire From the Cradle of Humanity to A Democracy Talk by Ian Jones. Visitors £1.00
Wednesday 18th February 6.15pm London & Middlesex Archaeological Society, Interpretation Unit. Museum of London, 150. London Wall, EC2 The Third Radio-Carbon Revolution. Talk by Clive Orton (President) Preceded by AGM.
Wednesday 18th February 8pm Stanmore and Harrow Historical Society Wealdstone Baptist Church. High Road. Wealdstone Leslie Green’s Underground Stations Talk by Geoff Donald.
Wednesday 18th February (Popular date!) 8pm Willesden Local History society Willesden Suite, Library Centre. 95, I ligh Road, NW10 Mother Emily Ayckboum-Some Willesden Schools A Talk by Margaret Pratt (Featuring Schools in the Victorian Era)
Thursday 19th February 8pm Enfield Preservation Society Jubilee Hall. Junction of Parsonage Lane/Chase Side. Enfield E A Bowles-his garden at Myddleton Talk by Christine Murphy (I IADAS have done some resistivity survey work there)
Friday 20 February 7pm City of London Archaeological Society St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3 The Arte & Crafte To Knowe Well To Die — Archaeology of Medieval Burials Barney Sloane (English Heritage) following CoLAS ACM.
Friday 20 February 7.30pm Wembley History Society St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 Amy Johnson — talk by Terry Lomas £1.00.
Wednesday 25 February 8pm Friern Barnet & District Local History society St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, N20. Theatrical London Diane Burstein.
Thursday 26th February 2.30 for 3pm Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum 011ie Natelson (HADAS Member)
Saturday 28th February I lam —4pm North London Transport Society St Paul’s Centre, Junction Church St/Old park Ave. Enfield (5 minutes walk from Enfield Chase railway Station) Spring Transport Enthusiast’s Bazaar — your chance to stock up on road and rail memorabilia including tickets. timetables, postcards, models, books, magazines, badges and luggage labels..11.50 admission. Light refreshments available.
And, advance notice — Saturday 27 March 11-5 41S` Annual Conference of London Archaeologists — the LAMAS CONFERENCE Museum of London Lecture Theatre. llam — 5.25pm Morning session — recent work, including Roman sites in Enfield. Shadwell, and Southwark. Afternoon — Victorian London and its Archaeology. Afternoon coffee available. Stands and displays, hopefully including HADAS, in attendance. Tickets £5.00 non-members from Jon Cotton, Early Department, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2 5HN. Early booking advised. See you there!
Tuesday 13 January 2004, Portable Antiquities A lecture by Nicole Weller, the new Portable Antiquities Liaison Officer and Community Archaeologist at The Museum of London. Nicole will be talking about her work, the treasure act and related matters. She will also discuss any small finds that members would like to bring along.
Tuesday 10 February 2004, London Burial Grounds, A Lecture by Dr. Roger Bowdler
Saturday 6 March 2004, Resistivity ‘Master Class’ — more details on the back page.
Lectures start at 8.00pm in the Drawing Room at Avenue House, East End road, Finchley Tea or coffee are available after the talk, meetings close promptly at 10.00pm
HADAS Training Dig by Don Cooper
A HADAS training dig took place at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, London N3 3QE (TQ 2512, 9023) over the weekend of 20th/21st September in beautiful autumnal weather. The dig took place in what is purported to have been a Victorian Rose garden at the rear of the house. We opened a small trench of 5m x 1 m. About 6 cms of the surface had already been removed by the Avenue House gardener in preparation for winter planting. A group of five “trainees” supervised by four members of the HADAS digging team (Andrew Coulson, Bill Bass, Andy Simpson and Don Cooper) took part in the dig. Most of the techniques of excavation and use of tools were demonstrated with particular emphasis on safety. What did we find? Apart from 81 pottery sherds mostly from modern flower pot and rusty nails , there was an interesting ammonite fossil, two clay pipe stems with the initials CR (The CR initials are most likely those of Charles Russell or his wife Caroline who were making pipes in Bethnal Green between 1856 and 1884) and IL (more difficult to identify because there are lots of IL initials of pipemakers but given the probable date based on the shape and fabric of the sherd it is likely to be Julius Lewis & Co. manufacturing in Finsbury Park in 1876) respectively. Perhaps “Inky” Stephens, a noted pipe smoker, used them!! There were also some lumps containing burnt glass — traces perhaps from the fire that took place in 1989! Amongst the pottery sherds were one small fragment of green-glazed Border ware (BORDG) 1550-1700, a rim fragment of Post- Medieval Black-Glazed ware (PMBL) 1580-1700, and three pieces of Transfer-printed ware (TPW) post-1830. Of 40 sherds of glass, three were of brown glass and three of green the remainder were white glass sherds of glass vessels and window panes. The only animal remains we found, was a tooth from a sheep. Surprisingly, perhaps beneath the topsoil we reached good old London clay at a depth of approximately 18cm. Other than the top centimetre or two the clay showed little sign of having been penetrated by any human activity. The reason this was surprising was because one would have expected a Victorian Rose gardener to have dug down the traditional “spade and a half’ say 35 — 40cms. Can we draw any conclusions? The objective of the dig was to provide an opportunity for members to try their hand at excavation and to learn some of the techniques involved. It achieved this objective. From an archaeological point of view no conclusions can be drawn, however further digs in the grounds of Avenue House may well add to our knowledge of the area and ought to be considered as a future HADAS activity.
HADAS News by Bill Bass
This year’s Christmas Dinner was held locally at the Pavilion on the Park Restaurant, part of Barnet College. The food was excellent, and the editor’s ignorance was enlightened when he found out what `Veloute of Roast Squash’ was (soup). Members also enjoyed a cryptic London quiz and a raffle. Thanks to Dorothy for her usual organisation and enthusiasm.
Phillip Bailey who did a watching brief of the site in East Barnet which turned up Roman, Medieval and other finds (reported in Jan 2003 NL) has now produced a professional looking report on his work — ‘An Archaeological Investigation At 4a Church Hill Road, East Barnet, Herts’. This will be deposited in the HADAS library.
Further to comments on Brian Wrigley who died in October, I would like to say how much he will be missed by the `digging/surveying team’ at Avenue House. He led the team for over 15 years and had been involved in fieldwork all his HADAS life. He was particularly fond of producing plans, maps and such like where his eye for detail was exceptional. Brian’s favourite period was the Prehistoric but he brought enthusiasm to all fieldwork he attended. The Garden Room and pub will not be the same without him.
Currently there is an ongoing project to digitally scan all of our Newsletters onto disk. This will enable us amongst other things to: • securely preserve them for the future
• make them more accessible for use, reference and searching
• possibly make them available on the Internet
So far about 213 of 394 have been done, but we could do with some help. Could you spare some time to support this project? At present the work is being done via the societies laptop and scanner at Avenue House generally on Wednesdays and Sundays, you could help here, but it could equally be done at home. You would need a computer and flatbed scanner, if you know how to use these then the work is straight forward, and any instruction would be given. If you think you could help, please contact Bill Bass (020 8449 5666) or bill email@example.com
The End of the Line
This is the title of a new book of local interest by Martin C. Dawes. The book tells the story of a railway funeral service that ran from Kings Cross to the Great Northern London Cemetery (GNLC) at Colney Hatch (now the New Southgate Cemetery). Although primarily about the railway, the book begins with a chapter on the problems and social history of the inner London Metropolitan cemeteries in the mid 19th century. By this time the cemeteries were filled to capacity with the associated risks of hygiene and disease, on top of this a series of cholera epidemics swept through the capital exacerbating the problems. In 1850 and 1852 Government Acts led to plans for cemeteries to established in certain outer London Boroughs. One of these was Brookwood near Woking, a massive cemetery of some 2000 acres created in 1854 and the first to be railway connected. This was via a private station adjacent to Waterloo, the railway connection finished with heavy bombing of the terminus during the war. The Great Northern London Cemetery was created by the 1860s, the railway connection began at a Funeral station separate and just north of Kings Cross, it was an impressive two-storey building with a mortuary, chapel of rest, waiting rooms and offices etc. Trains ran via the Great Northern Railway to a station and siding within the GNLC. Unfortunately and in contrast to Brookwood the funeral railway service did not prove popular and was discontinued within two years. The reasons for the failure were complex and are discussed in the book. Other chapters deal with the subsequent history of the cemetery, locomotives and rolling stock used. There are extensive notes, references and a useful appendix. The book has numerous photos and line drawings.
SILCHESTER — The November Lecture by Tessa Smith
We were delighted to welcome Professor Mike Fulford as our November lecturer, especially after our summer outing to the Silchester excavation. Even though a pointer could not be found anywhere, he gallantly climbed a chair to indicate on the screen the location of Insulae 1 X. This is an area of 3,000 square metres north-west of the forum, that is gradually being exposed and evaluated. Starting in 1997 with a training field school and research excavation, his team and students have now reached early Roman and late Iron Age levels. It seems that in the mid third century, timber and stone buildings and workshops all aligned with the Roman grid system. However, the area of particular discovery at the moment is of a hall type house, long and barn- like, built on stone foundations, dated 150-250 AD and built askew and at odds with the regular Roman grid pattern of building around it. Unquestionable evidence shows good concentrations of metal working areas, bronze, gold and copper. Sadly no crucibles have been found and to date there is no evidence of what they were making. Below this barn-house are now emerging two houses built on late 1st century foundations, one square timber framed with 3 rooms, tessellated pavements and decorated wall plaster. Amazingly, 2 complete Alice Holt type jars of Claudian dating have been found quite unbroken. The second house had flint cobbles, and is rectangular. The tesserae floors are comparable with others of the earliest mosaic floors in Britain, the reds and greys coming from Kimmeridge. Burnt deposits dated 40-60 AD have been found. Questions raised for future interpretation were, how much buildings at Callela were actually Roman and how much was a perpetuation of the Iron Age? What is the significance of the burnt area? If there is an earlier Iron Age town why did some buildings continue to be built on this orientation? Could it be that the tribal chief was reclaiming territory of the Atrebates? The excavations are funded for another 6 years only during the summer, it seems that there is a lot of work ahead. Our thanks to Professor Fulford for enlightening us as to the latest thinking on Silchester.
If you would like volunteer for the Field School in 2004, the dates are Monday 5th July — Sunday 15th August. Applications forUK residents will be open from early January 2004. You can apply online at www.silchester.rdg.ac.uk Or by writing to: Silchester Applications The Department of Archaeology University of Reading Whiteknights PO Box 227 Reading Berkshire RG6 6AB Phone 0118 931 6762
The people that supplied the latest HADAS resistivity meter (TR Systems) are holding a ‘Master Class’ on Saturday 6th March. “This will be a day dedicated to helping users gain the maximum advantage from their machine and software”, Bob Randall who designed the equipment and software will lead the sessions. The main emphasis will be looking at problems experienced with users results, then discussing on how they could be improved and interpreted. Some HADAS members will be attending the event. The sessions and demonstrations will be from 10.00am — 5.00pm and held at Millbrook Village Hall in Bedfordshire not far from J13 on the M1. The cost for the day will be £35.00 including lunch and coffee. Contact: Kevan Fadden, 7 Lea Road, Ampthill, Bedford MK45 2PR. Tel 01525 402273. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan
Wed 7th Jan, 8pm. Stanmore and Harrow Historical Soc. Wealdstone Baptist Church, High Road, Wealdstone. Elstree and Borehamwood History (with particular ref to Elstree Studios) Alan Lawrence.
Thurs 8th Jan, 10.30am, Mill Hill Library, Hartley Avenue. NW7. An Introduction to Antiques Talk. (coffee/tea/biscuits 50p).
Thurs 8th Jan, 7.30pm, London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings X, Nl. Ice Wells & Ice Works (London’s Commercial Ice Trade) Malcolm Tucker, concessions £1.25.
Thurs 8th Jan, 8pm Pinner Local History Soc., Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner. Dick Whittington’s London (The true life story of Dick Whittington) Muriel Jones, donation £1.
Mon 12th Jan, 3pm, Barnet & District Local History Soc., Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapyton Rd, Barnet. After the stage coach had left – David Ruddom.
Weds 14 Jan, 6.30pm, LAMAS, Interpretation Unit. Museum of London. 150 London Wall EC2. Archaeology of St Pancras burial ground (Account of recent investigations undertaken as part of the construction of the new London terminus (hr the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) Phil Emery & Kevin Wooldridge (Pre-construct Archaeology).
Weds 11th Jan, 8.15pm, Mill Hill Historical Soc., Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway NW7. London Industrial Heritage — Dr. Denis Smith
Thurs 15th Jan, 7.30pm. Camden History Soc., Burgh House, New End Sq, NW3. A day in the life of a Merchant Taylor — Dr. Ann Saunders (previous HADAS President).
Fri 16th Jan, 7pm, City of London Archaeology Soc St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3. The earliest Human occupation of Britain — Nick Ashton (British Museum).
Weds 21st Jan, 8pm, Willesden Local History Soc., Willesden Suite, Library Centre, 95 High Rd, NW10. Brent Archive & The Grange Museum — Alex Sydney & Tina Morton.
Weds 28th Jan, 8pm. Friern Barnet & District Local History Soc., St John’s Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, (next to Whetstone Police Stn). The two remarkable Stephens (Inky Stephens) — Norman Burgess. (Please note change of venue and day).