By | Past Newsletters, Volume 7 : 2000 - 2004 | No Comments


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.)


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


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.


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.

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.

Dorothy Newbury

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!


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!”


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


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 7 : 2000 - 2004 | No Comments


No 356                                                 NOVEMBER 2000                                   EDITOR DAWN ORR



“Does anyone know what this is ?”

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!
“Thank goodness it’s not raining :”

“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 followup 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.


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.
Talk ancient Hedgerows of Willesden (Leslie Williams)

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)
Jubilee Hall, Junction of Chase Side/Parsonage Lane. Visitors ti, Wembley History Society Friday 17th November at 7.30 p.m.

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.

Talk :

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


Saturday 25th November

Saturday 9th December

“Riche was th’array” – Dress in Chaucer’s London

Speakers include our President, Mrs. Anne Saunders

Registration 10.00 am, Close 5.00pm. Entry £15.00 (Conc. £10) incl Tea/Coffee

Exploring the identity of people living in early Roman

London. Speakers include Mark Hassell (UCL Institute of

Archaeology) and other Historians & Archaeologists.

Registration 10.30am, Close 4.30 pm. Entry £16.00 (Conc. £10).


SOAS Russell Square WC1; Near Eastern Collections, Collectors & Archives in Landon

Monday 6th November         The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Antiquities- Stephen

Quirke, UCL.


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.


Commemorative Plaques

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.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 7 : 2000 - 2004 | No Comments



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.
Would anyone interested please get in touch with Andrew Coulson (020 8442 1345) or Brian Wrigley (020 8959 5982).

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 14: MicroMart — our annual fundraiser and social get-together.
Details, for old and new members, are on a separate sheet enclosed with this Newsletter.

Saturday October TBA: The seminar De-mystifying Resistivity with Bill McCann will definitely go ahead.
Date and details will be given in the October Newsletter.

Andrew Selkirk and Vikki O’Connor report:
Out of the ashes… pots of success

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”.
With the help of our guests we set out to College Farm, in Fitzalan Road, Finchley, where we were able to build our bonfire — we thought we ought to start with the simplest form of pottery firing, just a bonfire made of logs, not a kiln.

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!
When the embers were removed, there on the bot­tom of the pit were the pots — almost all of them complete. Only a very few had “blown”, and all of them had roasted to a very satisfactory hardness.

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.
Our thanks to the St Albans Society for joining us in this, to all the HADAS members who put in so much hard work and to everyone who donated wood. It was impossible to gauge in advance how much fuel we needed with a few twigs to spare.

Buildings at risk

English Heritage has issued the 10th edition of its register of buildings at risk in Greater London. It includes 17 in Barnet, 14 listed Grade II and three in conservation areas.

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

Brian Warren contributes part of an answer to the Pipe Puzzle posed in the August Newsletter: When I read the words “Smith” and “Gifford” it took me back to July 1977 when I was given a small piece of pipe stem with on one side the words “IFFORD ST” and on the other “SMOKE SMIT”. I wrote to Adrian Oswald, who suggested the pipemaker was Richard Smith, Upper Gifford Street (BAR 14, 1975, p146). I have now consulted Kelly’s Directory for 1876 (Guildhall 9 6917/122) and discovered that Richard Smith, tobacco pipemaker, was at 24 Upper Gifford Street. Therefore what does the number 49 mean? Richard Smith made pipes from 1868-99. Graham Javes also responded to the call for information: According to a book by Brian Bloise of the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Society, there were two R. S. Smiths, one at Upper Gifford Street, Caledonian Road, 1858-1899, the other at Gifford Street in 1898. Richard Smith is assumed to have been the father. So far, there are no clues about the “boxing” figures.

Make a date for Bangor

During our Orkney visit in July, Jackie Brookes, David Bromley and Dorothy Newbury discussed the weekend away for 2001. Bangor University in North Wales was suggested. For the last two or three years Dorothy has said “this must be my last weekend away for HADAS” — she has been organising them for the past 20 years. So she was delighted that Jackie and David were happy to take over (David’s son is a student at Bangor). They are planning already for four days, Thursday to Sunday September 6-9, Put these dates in your diary now.

Members news                                           from Dorothy Newbury

Mary O’Connell is recovering in Taunton from a hip replacement operation and hopes to be back in London soon. In the next Newsletter she will give details of the possibility for members to visit Boosey and Hawkes individually if they wish (this follows the cancellation of the planned visit there on September 13).

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.

Browsers’ corner

Birkbeck College — view the subjects, order a prospectus, check events:

You never know what you’ll come across next on the net. The University of St Andrews Archaeological Diving Unit site 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

Brockley Hill House: demolition and construction works have now started and are being monitored by Oxford Archaeological Unit. The Sites and Monuments area should not be affected. (Information from Robert Whytehead of English Heritage)

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

After recounting Freda’s early years — she was born in Lincoln in January 1910, cared for her craftsman father after her mother died while Freda was in her teens, then in her mid-30s moved to London and worked for a consultancy, then ran a ‘little school for small children” — The indexer article continues:

“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

Twelve of us trekked down a lovely track to the South Foreland Lighthouse. The current lighthouse was built in 1843 to protect shipping from the Goodwin Sands just off the shore. From here on December 24 1898 Guglielmo Marconi made the world’s first ship-to-shore radio trans­missions and, subsequently, the first international radio transmission to Wimereux in France 28 miles away.

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

London Canal Museum
Thursday September 7, 7.30pm
Talk: The Royal Military Canal, by Hugh Compton.
12-13 New Wharf Road, King’s Cross (£2.5 0, £1.25 concessions). Amateur Geological Society

Tuesday September 12, 8pm
Talk: Insects in Amber, by Andrew Ross.
The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, Finchley. Kenwood Estate

Wednesday September 13, 2pm
Lecture & walk: Humphry Repton at Kenwood, by Stephen Daniels. Starting outside the entrance to Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane (£3.50, £1.50 concessions). Booking: 020 7973 3693.

Barnet & District Local History Society
Wednesday September 13, 8pm
Lecture: Forty Hall 1629-2000, by Geoff Gilham.
Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet.

RAF Museum
Thursday September 14, 7.30pm
Talk: Amy Johnson, by Peter Elliott. Grahame Park Way, Colindale. Enfield Archaeological Society

Friday September 15, 8pm
Talk: Excavating Past Londoners — Archaeology on Cemetery Sites, by Hedley Swain. Jubilee Hall, Chaseside/Parsonage Lane, Enfield. Willesden Local History Society

Wednesday September 20, 8pm
Talk: Bygone Kingsbury, by Geoff Hewlett.
Willesden Suite, Willesden Library, 95 High Street, Willesden Green. Kenwood Estate

Sunday September 24, 11am
Guided walk of the Estate, by an estate ranger. Starting outside the Visitor Information Centre (near restaurant).
Finchley Society

Thursday September 28, 8pm
Talk: The Story of Hampstead Heath, by R.W.G. Smith.
Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley.


Kenwood House until September 24

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
October 28, at the Edward Lewis Lecture Theatre, Windeyer Institute, 46 Cleveland Street, London {near Goodge Street Station; map with ticket). Subject: Cult and Ritual in London and the South East. Speakers include Mike Webber, Angela Wardle and Chris Thomas.
Tickets, to include a light lunch, are £12.50 (£10 for CBA and SCOLA members) from Shiela Broomfield, 8 Woodview Crescent, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9HD (01732 838698). Please include a stamped addressed envelope and make cheques pay­able to SCOLA.

Thanks to Eric Morgan and Peter Pickering for providing this information


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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
Our man in Hertfordshire, John Saunders, has news of the Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society’s current project and invites HADAS members to visit the Gadebridge excavation, west of Hemel Hempstead, which runs from 24 July to 18 August.

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.




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.



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.



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.


John Heathfield has also provided an interesting piece of information to add to our file on the site that we surveyed recently. The old Barnet Militia had a rifle range at Arkley in 1859 which John pinpoints to the actual field we surveyed. Amongst other things, they practised digging trenches. Although John suggested that the anomalies which HADAS discovered could possibly be the result of middle-aged Victorian gentleman playing soldiers, Chris Allen’s computer analysis of our data shows a spread out effect which appears to equate with the varying depths of gravel laying on the clay. We only surveyed a portion of the upper end of the field, but if we do return we will be watching out for overshoots.



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.



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

Broughton Castle        

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.



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.



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.



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.


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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.




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.



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



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!

Brian Wrigley/Andy Simpson


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 7 : 2000 - 2004 | No Comments





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.


Members’ News

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 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.
Cheques payable to CBA Mid Anglia Region.


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.



By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

No. 567 JUNE 2018 Edited by Melvyn Dresner


The AGM is on Tuesday 12th June at 7.30pm and the relevant reports and papers have been circulated with the MAY Newsletter. Please take the time to read them and come to your Society’s AGM meeting, it is important. If you are unable to attend, please send your apologies to the Secretary before the meeting.

The current Committee is rather depleted in numbers and the Society cannot exist without the volunteers who deal with all the administrative work, accounts, organising field and digging activities, outings and responding to numerous enquiries. In earlier days there were a number of members, not necessarily Committee members, who were happy to research and arrange a day outing, but unfortunately these members are no longer able to do this, or have moved away or passed away. Your current officers have been in their positions for nearly ten years or in the case of Don and Jim 15 and 14 years respectively. The long outing this year will be the 10th one organised by Jim and Jo. It has also become more difficult to find members willing to do write ups for lectures, which is really a once a year contribution. The current people, Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary took over these positions when they were relatively young, in their 60s, and retired from full time employment, but we are all much older now and do not have quite the same stamina.

Your Society needs more volunteers to help spread the load as well as thinking about all the roles needed to run the Society. Without that the Society will die.

There will be followed by Jacqui Pearce giving a talk about the Lant Street excavation (undertaken by Birkbeck students in 1999) which the Finds Group have been studying again this year.

Upcoming Dig Bill Bass

HADAS are planning an excavation in Avenue House Gardens from Saturday 23rd June to Sunday 1st July. The site is the Water Tower, Laundry and Greenhouse complex adjacent to East End Road. We have dug here a couple of times previously and this will be a continuation of the project to define the limits of the complex and the nature of it. All HADAS members are welcome, further details in due course. Contact: Bill Bass


9th and 10th June from 10.30am – 4.30pm, Free Entry: HADAS will be at the Barnet Medieval Festival (Barnet Museum) a living history camp; battle demos; medieval traders; archery and gunnery displays; Battle of Barnet reenactment; food stalls; children’s area; beer tent or two, Barnet Elizabethans Rugby Football Club, Byng Rd, Barnet.

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September 2018: Trip to East Anglia is full. There is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October 2018: Unrolling Egyptian Mummies in Victorian London by Gabriel Moshenska, Senior Lecturer in Public Archaeology, UCL

Tuesday 13th November 2018: The Rose – Shakespeare’s Secret Playhouse – a film made by Suzanne Marie Taylor, Anthony Lewis and Siegffried Loew-Walker. The documentary film will be introduced by one of the filmmakers Anthony Lewis. The film’s highlight is HADAS member Suzanne Marie Taylor’s interview with one of the world’s greatest and most respected actors-Ian McKellen, who speaks about his own personal experience during the 1989 Save the Rose Campaign when the Rose was partially excavated by the Museum of London. The film was premiered at Canada House, 2nd February 2017.

Lectures start at 7.45 for 8.00pm in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. Buses 13, 143, 326 & 460 pass close by, and it is five to ten minutes’ walk from Finchley Central Station (Northern Line). Tea/coffee and biscuits follow the talk.

Historic Environment Record Melvyn Dresner

Stuart Cakebread has one of the most important jobs in London’s archaeology as manager of Greater London Historic Environment Record, part of the Greater London Advisory Service, Historic England. He provided an overview of his career and development of the Historic Environment Record (HER) and his famously inebriated relative. He has held this job for 11 years. Before that he worked for 18 years for the National Trust in the south-west and south-east England. Cakebread explained how the HER (and its predecessors) had been an important part of planning and archaeology since the 1960s. These records are the responsibility of each county, except in London, where it is funded directly by central government. The earliest card index was developed in Oxfordshire in the 1940s. The original Sites and Monuments Records were a drawing together of County, Museum and other archives into one place. The advent of PPG16 in 1990 and preserving archaeology by recording accelerated the creation of such records. By the 1980s and 1990s, the card index began to be replaced by computer records. Terminology used varied from one county to another county for similar objects. The need for standardisation was based on three concepts: monument, event and source in the 2000s – “The Historic Environment: a force for our future” and “Power of Place: the future of the historic environment” set the scene for this change. The HER brought together the whole historic environment of landscape and built heritage into one record. In the 1970s, there was no London-wide record; it was under the control of such bodies as Greater London Council (GLC) and Museum of London. The GLC Historic Buildings Department had a particularly good record of buildings. By 1990s there were 65,000 records. The HER today covers all of London apart from the City of London and Southwark. He explained what they are working on now includes classifying information on a four-tier system across London: large major; major; minor and very minor inside and outside Archaeological Priority Areas. They are also working on the role of volunteers, recording people and event-based records such as the First World War or the Great Beer Flood of 1814. He told the story of his distant relative Jane Cakebread, renowned drunk, who was arrested more than 200 times under the Inebriates Act. Finally, he spoke of the new generation of software being developed by the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monument Fund’s Arches Project which provides open source web-based software to open heritage information to all – being piloted in Lincoln; launch May 2018 and can be applied more widely.

The Archaeology of First World War Roger Chapman

Mark Smith, who is a military museum curator and specialist in military medals, gave a lecture on the archaeology of the First World War, allowed members to handle material from both the First World War and Second World War including a piece of a Spitfire shot down over Woolwich, south-east London. He is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and a regular expert on the BBC’s Antiques’ Roadshow. He presented stories from the First World War in an engaging and effective manner and from his extensive collection of battlefield artefacts circulated many objects round the audience, which members were thrilled to handle. He started with a gruesome story of bullet wounds. During the Boer War bullet wounds from the German made Mauser rifle frequently passed straight through British soldiers. Medics treated the entry and exit wounds with disinfectant, dressed them and the soldier went away to recover. The same Mauser rifles and bullets were being used on the Western Front in 1914 and Medics treated them in the same way and yet four days later the soldiers started to die. The cause of death was soon identified. In the heat and dry of the South African sun the bullets carried no infection. In the damp, the mud and manure, the fields of northern France farmland, the bullet took dirt and infection deep inside the soldiers’ bodies leading to their death. The solution was to use a rifle rod, a three-foot-long metal cleaning rod, dipped in disinfectant by the medic and passed through the soldiers wound from entry to exit to clear out any of the muck. Mark illustrated this point with a rifle rod he had found on a trip to France and to make clear to his audience that before making the cup of tea at the end of the lecture they should, after handling the objects from the battlefield, be sure to wash their hands. Mark explained that he first visited the battlefields in 1986. He didn’t realise that metal detecting was banned at the time. He went with his girlfriend and while she went off to have a wee in the woods he started to metal detect – finding scraps of metal on every sweep of the detector. His girlfriend came back with two steel helmets. There was so much material of destruction used in such a concentrated area over four years that there is still a massive amount to be found lying in the fields. Indeed, the French Army have estimated that it will take them 600 years to clear the battlefields of the material used. Much of that material is dangerous. Even today six people a year, on average, are killed fiddling around with live ammunition. Mark took the audience through the early months of the war explaining the Schlieffen Plan, which sent German troops around the French fortress line by violating the neutrality of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg to drive into northern France. The British Expeditionary Force marched to Mons – the join between the Belgium and French Armies and near here John Parr (of North Finchley and the Middlesex Regiment) became the first British soldier to die. He is buried in the St Symphorien Military Cemetery some six paces away from George Ellison the last British Soldier to die in the war. The closeness of the first and last burials is symbolic of the concentration of this war in such a small area. Throughout numerous stories of a similar nature that Mark used to illustrate this enthralling lecture he circulated more objects from the battlefield including the following: bayonets; High Explosive Shells (not live, fortunately); three pronged spikes used to maim horses and men; and cap badges from many British regiments. Mark took us through the battles of the Marne, the Somme, Thiepval, Verdun and many more ending with the final German surge in early 1918 and their retreat and final surrender on the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th Month 1918. To finish Mark led us back to Britain but this time to the Second World War and the Spitfire that crashed outside Woolwich Barracks in 1940. At 5.51pm on Saturday 31st August 1940, thirteen Spitfires of No.603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron took off from their base at Hornchurch, on a defence patrol. Over London they engaged Messerschmitt Bf 109E’s of Jagdgeschwader 3 and in the ensuing dogfight Spitfire, Serial No.X4273 was either in collision with, or shot down by Lieutenant Walter Binder, of 1 Staffel Jagdgeschwader 3. The pilot, Flying Officer Robin McGregor Waterston, was possibly already dead when his Spitfire crashed at Repository Road, near the Royal Artillery Barracks, on Woolwich Common, at 6.30pm. Through extensive research Mark had pieced together the story and following its broadcast on TV he received, a year or so later from Canada, a letter from the relatives of the guard on duty that day at Woolwich Barracks which also contained a piece from the Spitfire with, written on it, a short explanation from the Guard about how he came by it. Mark circulated the piece of the Spitfire.

Freedom Pass Outing Harriet Sogbodjor & Terry Dawson

To encourage members to engage with London’s history and archaeology Harriet Sogbodjor and Terry Dawson gives their account of this May’s Freedom Pass outing to the London’s newest museum, London Mithraeum. The morning was spent at the historic Guildhall, which has been the centre of civic government for over 1,000 years. First we visited the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre, which was discovered in 1988 beneath the Guildhall Yard. Unlike most amphitheatres it was built within the city walls. It had seating for 6,000 to 10,000 people and was built in the 2nd century to replace an earlier wooden theatre. The Guildhall Art Gallery houses an interesting collection of late 18th and 19th century paintings. The Guildhall itself contains many 19th century monuments – as the policy of the Common Council of the City of London was to erect monuments to honour national figures of outstanding achievement. After lunch we walked to the London Mithraeum in the Bloomberg ‘Space.’ At ground level there is a large wall display of finds from the site, including the earliest example of a writing tablet found in London, which was referred to in Dr Roger Tomlin’s recent HADAS lecture. By clicking on a picture of one of the finds, on a digital interactive tablet lent for the visit, one could learn more about the object and a swipe lead to further information about that type of object. On the mezzanine floor there were displays providing more information about the Mithraeum, the God Mithras and Mithraism. This included a map showing sites around the Roman Empire where pictures or statues of Mithras slaying the sacred ox had been found. These included sites in Italy, Syria and Germany, as well as in York and London. Finally we entered the Temple of Mithras, 7 metres below modern pavements. We saw a recreation of the Temple as it was on the last day of excavation in 1954. Through haze, light and sound the experience of attending a ceremony in the Temple was evoked before the lights came on for us to explore the ruined Temple. We learned that women did not actually attend the Temple when it was in use. We would like to thank Deidre and Audrey for organising a great day out. Sadly only 5 other HADAS members were there to experience it.
Photos: Head of Mithras (left), first written record of London (left) and sole of a Roman shoe (right)

Italian style in the British Neolithic Samantha Brummage

I was born in Hillingdon, I grew up in Ruislip, and I now live in Uxbridge, Middlesex. My Father is from the northern Italian mountains, and my Mother from the west London suburbs via the East End. My choice of PhD research could have been Roman archaeology, the Italian Renaissance or even the Etruscans or Terramare of the Po Valley, but I decided to keep it matrilineal and closer to home with the slightly less exotic Mesolithic-Neolithic of the Colne Valley, West London and Western Home Counties (depending on your perspective!). My project is using Historic Environment Records as a gazetteer of published and unpublished excavations, and chance finds for the area, which falls roughly within what would have been the Colne Valley landscape between 8,500 and 2,200 BC. The range of material available in these archives is crucial for understanding early prehistoric life in Britain because it looks at patterns on a landscape scale; it involves studies of isolated finds, artefact scatters and pit clusters as much as house or monument plans or geographically bounded features. People travelled widely at this time and occupied a variety of places in diverse ways, and this is something that site-specific archaeology would have trouble picking up. A recent visit to the wonderful Spelthorne museum in Staines highlighted to me just how widely some people were moving, and the sorts of long-distance connections that were being established even then.


Jadeite axe-head found by Mr Frank Wood on Staines Moor 1981

The moor itself has been common land since 1065 and has never been ploughed due to its low-lying position in the valley and resultant flooding. This axe could only have ever been picked up as a chance find. Apart from the specifics of this location, Neolithic axes don’t tend to be found very often in stratified deposits, and jade axes have most often been recovered from water. It has lost the vibrant green colour of some of the other axes found elsewhere in Britain but, according to research carried out by the French-led Projet Jade, it will have come from one of only two sources in the high Alpine region of Italy; the Mont Viso south-west of Turin, or the Mont Beigua near to Genoa. These axes were unlikely to have been made for practical purposes such as felling trees, but their exact purpose is open to interpretation. Similar axes from these sources have turned up all over Britain, from Scotland to Canterbury to Dorset, and in several locations within the central and greater London area. This brings my northern Italian and north-west London ancestors into contact even earlier than I had supposed! See the National Museums Scotland for more details on Projet Jade:

Guernsey pre-historic and historic sites and happenings Sandra Claggett

Guernsey, nestling in the Channel Islands 30 miles west of Normandy so close to France and yet a part of Britain has a lot to offer and is full of history. Although it is only 12 miles long there is a lot is to see as well as beautiful bays, sunsets and food but I will concentrate on a few examples of the pre-history and history which is crammed into Guernsey.

The Prehistoric period
Starting from around 4,500 BC there are long mounds such as Les Fouaillages in L’Ancresse Common in the north of the island. The first phase dates back to this time and it is stated as one of the largest and earliest monuments in Europe. There were over 35,000 finds excavated from 1976, which are now in Guernsey museum in Candie Gardens, St Peter Port. Another early site is Le Dehus – a prehistoric passage grave about 10 meters in length dating from 3500 BC. It is amazing to go inside this monument and specially to see on one of the capstones which has a humanoid face with beard, arms, hands and what looks like a strung bow carved into the roof as in Photo 1, below. There are also standing stones such as Castel Menhir dating from the late Neolithic 2,500BC and La Gran’mère du Chimquiere from the same period. Both are shaped into the female form; the latter has two phases as it is thought the Romans later modified the face to be framed by curls. Today she is still revered by locals who put garlands around her neck for good luck before weddings and sometimes place coins on her head.

The Romans
There were Roman settlements and a Romano Celtic or Gallo-Roman ship that sank because of a fire onboard around AD 280 that has been partly preserved. Coins found on board are used to date the sinking. The fire burned the deck, which then collapsed into the hold containing over half a tonne of pine tar. This would burn with a black smoke and be visible for miles and when the ship sunk the tar set into a solid lump trapping over 1,000 objects. A reconstruction is shown in Photo 2.
Photo 1: Le Dehus – a prehistoric passage grave; and Photo 2: Romano Celtic or Gallo-Roman ship

Castle Cornet
This guards the main bay of St Peter Port and dates from 800 years ago although the site had earlier Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery remains. A plan of Castle Cornet is shown in Photo 3, below. It has had a long and interesting history and I will mention a few instances here. King John lost the Duchy of Normandy in 1204 but kept the strategically important Channel Islands and since then there has been a fear of invasion by the French. Our history of war with France includes The Hundred Years’ War and during this in 1338 the French managed to hold the castle while it was sieged for seven years. The French also invaded in 1372 and the Guernsey militia fought against them. A later gruesome story is of religious intolerance. The protestant martyrs Catherine Cauches and her two daughters Perotine Massey and Guillemine Guilbert burnt at the stake. Perotine’s husband, a protestant minister, had been banished in 1554 when Roman Catholic Mary I came to the throne. The women were accused of non-attendance at church and being found guilty they were burnt in 1556. While on the pyre Perotine gave birth to a boy child, which was saved but then ordered to be put back into the flames. During the English Civil War, the royalists captured the lieutenant governor colonel Russell and the three parliamentary commissioners for Guernsey, Jurats Peter de Beauvoir, Peter Carey and James de Havilland. The three commissioners were told that there was urgent news for them on board a ship called the George ship. Once on-board they were sent as prisoners to Castle Coronet where after being imprisoned for 43 days they cut a hole through the floor of their room and made three ropes from old musket match. They escaped despite being fired at by muskets and just before the governor of the castle had received a writ to execute them! There were six forts built on Guernsey, most from the eighteenth century. An example of the continual use and adaptation of these sites to current needs is Fort Grey. This was built on the ruins of an earlier castle in 1803 as part of the coastal defence against possible French attack. It had 12-14 guns protected by a 10-foot-thick wall. The Guernsey militia used the fort during World War I and during the German occupation in World War II as an anti-aircraft battery.

The First World War
The oldest air force squadron was formed in 1914 in Guernsey as No.1 Royal Navy air service and was renumbered 201-squadron on the formation of the air force in 1918. Although men and women joined the war effort from the beginning the island wanted to send its own regiment so the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Regiment was formed in 1916. The regiment fought in the battle of Cambrai in 1917, a reconstruction is shown in Photo 4. During and after the war the cost of living on Guernsey rose steeply with many families managing on the pay sent by their soldier husbands or on an army widowers’ pension. A lot of men had been badly wounded during the war and were discharged back to the island, unfit for work.


Castle Cornet and Photo 4: reconstruction battle of Cambrai in 1917

The Second World War
This war had a different effect on the island as it was invaded and occupied for five years by the Germans. It was a difficult time with many families being separated. There is a very good occupation museum and the occupation is the time period to a new film out called the ‘Guernsey literary and potato peel pie Society’. Curfew was 9pm if the islanders were not inside they could be shot. People were very hardy and survived food deprivation, having meals of fried onion and substitute food including tea made from bramble leaves, coffee from acorns, sugar from beef syrup and flour from potatoes. There was a ban on swimming and fishing in case they used this opportunity to help the resistance somehow. Occasionally the rules were relaxed so that locals could include the fish in their diet. As well as suffering from the loss of freedom and food deprivation some were working behind the scenes with the resistance even if not actually fighting. One of my favourite passive resistance stories is of a flour machine imported from France, which had a deliberate fault in the electrical starter, which meant that it regularly failed melting the fuses. The Germans asked Mr Lambert a French electrical engineer to repair it promising 100kg of flour. He deliberately sabotaged it to ensure that the starter failed every two or three months so that the Germans would continue to call him in on a regular basis to fix it and he got paid in flour. People have lived on Guernsey for 12,000 years and nowadays Guernsey is a peaceful and popular tourist destination. It is well worth a visit, with lots of interest for archaeologists and historians as well as those seeking a relaxing break.

Brown Stout: the rise and fall of the “City of London Brewery” Melvyn Dresner

As part of a Community Lecture programme sponsored by Thames Tideway and organised by Thames Discovery Programme I gave a talk on the City of London Brewery. This is a summary of that talk.

As a member of Foreshore Research and Observation Group (FROG), I visit the foreshore at Cannon Street on a monthly basis observing erosion, deposition and exposure of archaeology on the foreshore. The most dramatic erosion is to the east of Cannon Street railway bridge. This is the site of the City of London Brewery, known as the Hour Glass Brewery, and during the early 19th century one of the greatest breweries in the world in terms of scale of production. On the foreshore today, we can see exposed wooden piles, coarse Victorian concrete and pipe work from the late 19th century brewery. We can also see evidence of much earlier water-supply in the form of elm water pipe below the level of the current wall. This material is exposed by erosion in the last 10 or so years and over the last 2-3 years is being fairly rapidly being eroded away, much of the early 20th century barge beds in this area has been washed away around 1.5 metres depth of material has disappeared. This erosion continues to expand in area under Cannon Street railway-bridge.
Photos: features on the foreshore

We know from documentary evidence that by the early 15th century there was brewing activity on site. Self-organisation of the brewers probably dates to the late 12th century to the Guild of Our Lady and St. Thomas Becket. The brewers were granted right to regulate their trade in 1406. This documentary evidence is supported by the archaeology of sites along the waterfront showing stone hearths/furnaces used for heating water for dyeing or brewing, see further reading below. Later in the 16th century, the site was associated with Henry Campion, who became Queen Elizabeth’s brewer. The area adjacent to the site was called the Steel Yard, which was the German trading community in London, also founded in the early 15th century. Today, Hanseatic Walk sits above the brewery site. We still find German stoneware on the foreshore today and that tells of trade across the southern North Sea and Novgorod in the eastern Baltic. By the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were 16 breweries around Thames Street that were destroyed in the fire, as well as the Brewers’ Hall. Brewing was re-established on site after the Great Fire and by the early 18th century, we see the development of London porter, and the development of stronger, Brown Stout, and for export, Russian Imperial Stout. The Calvert family came to dominate brewing from the 18th century through to the 19th century. London reached the zenith of porter production by 1823 with 1.8 million barrels with the Calvert family as the leaders; peak porter to coin a phrase. The Calvert family acquired the Hour Glass Brewery in 1759 making them London’s foremost brewers in 1760. They consolidated production in 1821 at the Hour Glass Brewery. By the 1850s they were eclipsed by other London brewers, such as Barclay Perkins directly opposite on the Southwark bank. In 1860, the City of London Brewery was formed to take over the Calvert’s Hour Glass brewery. By 1866, Cannon Street Station opened next to the brewery. During the 1860s the brewery invested in new technology such as refrigeration. The brewery was rebuilt in the 1880s. The existing river wall is all that remains of the last brewery. It is possible to see the base of the two towers at each end of the building facade, as well as lintels from the doors and windows. We can see pads where cranes would have been fitted; pipe-works; and the corbels that protected the structure from barges. By 1922, the Hour Glass brewery stopped brewing beer ending at 500 years of continuous brewing on the site. The last two decades of the building’s history was as a warehouse. And briefly during the 1930s, as Decca’s Thames Street recording studio from here: Django Reinhardt, Stefan Grappelli, George Formby, Peter Pears (his debut later leading to his collaboration with Benjamin Brittan) and BBC Symphony orchestra all recorded at the former brewery. German bombs hit the building in 1940 and 1941, with the building finally being demolished in 1942.

Further reading
L Fowler and A Mackinder, Medieval Haywharf to 20th-century brewery: excavations at Watermark Place, City of London, (MOLA Archaeology Studies Series 30), 2014
Lyn Pearson, The Brewing Industry, Brewery History Society for English Heritage, Feb. 2010
John Schofield, Lyn Blackmore and Jacqui Pearce, with Tony Dyson, London’s Waterfront 1100–1666: excavations in Thames Street, London, 1974–84, Archaeopress Archaeology, 2018

Birkbeck Archaeological Society: Training Day Bill Bass
Stephens House and Gardens in Finchley, East End Road, London N3 3QE
Birkbeck Archaeological Society (BAS) and current Birkbeck students at Avenue House

On the 24th March HADAS conducted a ‘Training Day’ on behalf of BAS, the idea being that not all students attending Birkbeck courses get a lot of ‘hands on’ experience of fieldwork such as, planning in ‘Archaeological Priority Areas’, finds processing, resistivity surveying and so on. As HADAS has a certain amount of experience in these matters it was thought a good idea to arrange a day where students could partake in and gain an insight into a variety of similar activities and learn about the activity of the society. Melvyn Dresner worked with BAS committee members to discover what students might want to learn and pulled together a Handbook for the day. The day started in the Dining Room of Avenue House with a PowerPoint presentation and talks by Roger Chapman and Robin Densem on various methods and practice in the local council planning process, the meaning and use of ‘Archaeological Priority Areas’, tracking sites through the likes of ‘Historical Environmental Records’, co-operation with the Greater London Archaeological and Advisory Service (Historic England) and the differences between professional units and volunteer archaeology. Vicki Baldwin and Peter Nicholson later used the same space to explain the HADAS archaeological archive, our reports, books, maps and the publishing of sites. The HADAS Basement Room supervised by Andy Simpson and Janet Mortimer was used to explain finds processing techniques e.g. handling, washing, marking, recording and packaging of finds, there was also a display of a couple of past HADAS digs. The Garden found itself being the base for practicing ‘resistivity surveying’, the laying out of base and grid lines, the methods of ‘levelling’ with the use of a ‘dumpy level’, finding benchmarks, mapping and so forth overseen by Don Cooper, Tim Curtis and myself.

Bill explaining the principals of site survey

Don and Tim explaining Earth resistivity survey (left), and Janet explaining finds processing (right)

Bill overseeing the use of the dumpy level (left), Vicky explaining on site recording (middle) and Tim overseeing geophysical survey (right)
The outcome of the days work was not only a learning experience for Birkbeck students, it was also a great learning experience for HADAS members, and provided archaeological results that we can add to the record for the site. The results of earth resistance survey undertaken by Birkbeck students with Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS) – using a 10 by 10 metres grid is shown below (left) and photo (right) shows extent of grid:

Initial feedback appears to indicate that it was a worthwhile exercise for the 15 or so students who could apply some ‘hands on’ knowledge to their classes or further afield with several joining the ranks of HADAS membership. The event was free to participants being seen to be an experimental basis for possible further such ‘training days’. A couple of weeks later heavy rain “recreated” the ornamental pond (10th April 2018).

The Art of Hedge Laying and Ancient Hedgerows Melvyn Dresner

Hedges and hedge-laying has a long history. Hedge-laying probably goes to the 18th and 19th century (Pollard, Hooper and Moore 1974) – although the craft may have much earlier origins. Hedges are laid to create a stock proof barrier, regenerate an overgrown and dying hedge, as habitat for small field and hedgerow animals as well as birds, wind protection, prevent soil erosion, or to thin an overgrown hedge to gain more space in the field. At Barnet Environment Centre, we had the pleasure of looking after 7.5 acres for educational and environmental purposes and have many types of hedges. Earlier this year (February), we had a training session hedge-layer with Stephen Gibson – a Hertfordshire based hedge-layer. He learnt the art of hedge laying from Middy Page, who he describes as “… a well known local character, of the like that only comes along once in a life time.”
Middy was from Romany Gypsies from Welham Green area of Hertfordshire. Gibson describes on his website some of Middy’s work along the Great North Road, towards Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire, laid, during World War Two, by Middy, his father and the Land Army Girls, to help increase the food yield.

Hedge-laying at Barnet Environment Centre, February 2018

Hedge-laying is part of hedgerow management. Hooper’s Hypothesis is that species diversity will increase over time, as bird-ferried or windblown seeds take root in the shelter of the hedgerow. Regular trimming will help new species establish, by controlling existing species. The formula may also work for other reasons e.g. because of remnants of mixed woodland, or due to hedges before about 1700 tending to be plants of mixed species. The formula can assist in dating hedges back to the Anglo-Saxon period, with reasonable degree of confidence. There is archaeological evidence for hedgerows in Britain in the Roman period at Bar Hill Roman Fort in Dumbartonshire, and Farmoor in Oxfordshire. Modern types of billhooks were in existence before the end of the Iron Age. Evidence for hedges during the Bronze and Neolithic ages can be found. The Enclosure movement got underway in the 16th century, changing forever the open landscape of most of the country. Enclosures continued to the mid 19th century: c.200,000 miles of hawthorn hedge was planted in the Parliamentary Enclosures during the 18th and 19th centuries (Mabey 1996).

Friends of Barnet Environment Centre,
Stephen Gibson’s website
The Conservation Volunteers
Richard Mabey 1996, Flora Britannica, Sinclair-Stevenson
E Pollard, M D Hooper, and N W Moore 1974, Hedges, Collins New Naturalist
South of England Hedge Laying Society

Plane Wall: an Installation by David T. Waller and John R. Waller
21st April to 29th September 2018, In the basement of Stephens House, you can visit a special exhibition that explores ideas of nostalgia and memory a type of archaeology of childhood, you can enjoy it as an exploration of the world of model aircraft. Entry is free entry and they are collecting for a charity called Combat Stress. Open 10am – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays only, except 29th July, 5th August and bank holiday weekend, Stephens House and Gardens, East End Road, Finchley, London N3 3QE.

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan
Sunday 24th June, 12 noon-6pm, East Finchley Community Festival has been held in Cherry Tree Wood for nearly 40 years, lots of stalls, entertainment, food and a bar.

Saturday 30th June, 100 years of Roe Green Village, Village Green, Roe Lane NW9 (opp. Entrance to Roe End), Centenary Village Day, 12 noon – 11.00pm, stall, live music, arts and craft.

Tuesday 3rd July, 5.30pm, LAMAS walking tour of the Inner and Middle Temple, led by Marion Blair, Cost £10 members, £12.50 non-members, book via

Thursday 5th July, The Jewel in the Post-War Crown: a Retrospective for the 70th Anniversary of the NHS: Kevin Brown, Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road London, WC1X 8PA UK Visitors £1

Friday 6th July, Enfield Archaeological Society, 8pm Geoffrey Gillam Memorial Lecture: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s London: from New Troy to Lud’s Town, John Clark, Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane Enfield (close to Chase Side). (EAS digging at Elysng Palace (Forty Hall) from 11th July contact fieldwork director, Dr. Martin Dearne and

Thursday 12 July, 7.30pm Street Fight 1455: 1st Battle of St Albans, Harvey Watson, Pennefather Hall, St Albans Rd, EN5 4LA

Sunday 15th July 12:00 – 17:00, Centenary Garden Fête – Inky’s Place 100 years, 2018 sees the 100th anniversary of Henry Inky Stephens bequest of the House & Gardens.

Thanks to our contributors: Bill Bass, Roger Chapman, Harriet Sogbodjor, Terry Dawson, Eric Morgan, Sandra Claggett, Suzanne Marie Taylor and Samantha Brummage
Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman: Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel. 020 8440 4350
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel. 020 8449 7076
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel. 020 8449 7076
Membership sec: Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, NW7 4JL
Web site:
Discussion group:

Newsetter-566-May 2018

By | Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

No. 566 MAY 2018 Edited by Sue Willetts

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.

Tuesday 8th May 2018: ‘The archaeology of World war One” by Mark Smith.
Mark Smith is a military museum curator and specialist in military medals. He started collecting British medals in 1969 and owns an extensive private collection that he has amassed over the years; he started dealing in Militaria in 1983 in Islington, London – a hobby which has become a life-long passion. He is a well-known expert on the Victoria Cross, but flying clothing and RAF log books are also his specialist areas. He is a member of The Western Front Association, The Orders and Medals Research Society and a member of The Guild of Battlefield Guides. Mark’s notable appearances on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow include valuing a large collection of World War One German memorabilia at Walthamstow town hall and a toy panda mascot that flew on the famous “Dambusters Raid” in 1943 when the Roadshow visited RAF Coningsby. Mark’s talk looks at field finds over the last 30 years in France, Belgium and the UK.

Tuesday 12th June 2018: 7.30 pm Annual General Meeting. (Papers enclosed / attached) This is a good opportunity to meet Committee members. There will be a follow up talk by Jacqui Pearce about the Lant Street excavation which the Finds Group have been studying again this year.

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September 2018: Trip to East Anglia. Now full, but there is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October 2018:’Unrolling Egyptian Mummies in Victorian London’ by Gabriel Moshenka.

Tuesday 13th November 2018: The Rose – Shakespeare’s Secret Playhouse. Documentary film introduced by Anthony Lewis.

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8pm, with coffee/tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members: £2. Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10-minute walk away.


10.30 Meet in the entrance of the Guildhall Gallery (nearest station Moorgate), there is seating near the cloakroom. Visit the small exhibition on the City’s copy of the Magna Carta and the Roman Amphitheatre. Possibilities for afterwards: City Painting Collection, Guildhall and nearby Churches.
12.15 Lunch at the Prêt à Manger in Coleman Street. Walk to the London Bloomberg Mithraeum, 12 Walbrook, EC4N 8AA for our booked tour at 1.30.
All City sites are liable for closure at short notice so we may need to adapt. Members who wish to join us just for the Mithraeum should use Exit 8 from Bank Station. Our booking is in the name of Audrey Hooson. Any additional members welcome – e-mail or phone 020 8367 0922

Exhibition at Museum of London, Docklands 25th May – 28th October

Roman Dead: This exhibition looks at where and how Roman Londoners buried their dead, funerary rituals and beliefs and burial practices. NB Displays, include human remains. Events page gives details of related family events starting 25th May.

New Book: London’s waterfront 1100-1666. Published by Archaeopress and written by John Schofield, Lyn Blackmore and Jacqui Pearce with Tony Dyson. This is an account of the Medieval and Tudor waterfronts and their buildings excavated on four sites in Thames Street in 1974-84 including Billingsgate. The text can be downloaded free from the Open Access area of the Archaeopress website: or purchased as a hardback for £90.00 (Information from LAMAS Newsletter, issue 153, May 2018)

Roman London’s First Voices – The New Bloomberg writing-tablets Lecture by Dr Roger Tomlin, HADAS 13 March 2018. Paul Wernick, augmented and emended by Dr. Tomlin
Many of us might have walked past the Temple of Mithras in its old location on Queen Victoria Street; a few of us might already have visited it after its return to its original location under the new Bloomberg headquarters building in London. The site was first excavated in the 1950s as the late unlamented Bucklersbury House was being built; the Mithraeum was moved to Queen Victoria Street. With the demolition and rebuilding came an opportunity for MOLA archaeologists to re-excavate the site, and the Mithraeum has now been restored to its original position and is open to visit; it’s free, although you may have to book. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Bloomberg site was only revealed during the re-excavation – fragments of 400 writing tablets dumped by the Romans in the Walbrook, 80 of which are still readable and provide a series of insights into aspects of Roman London. The tablets, which seem to have been discarded as trash near the mouth of the then-open Walbrook as it flowed into the Thames, were the subject of a lecture by Roger Tomlin, retired Lecturer in Late Roman History at Oxford, editor of ‘Roman Inscriptions of Britain’ and widely published on inscriptions, writings and graffiti of the Roman period, who was invited by MOLA to examine and interpret the retrieved tablets.
Dr Tomlin first introduced us to wax tablets and how they were used in the Roman Empire. A wooden frame of a fairly standard size and form – a flat piece of wood 140mm x 100mm was covered with wax darkened with lamp black to form a writing surface which was inscribed with an iron or steel stylus. This writing scratched through the black wax to reveal letters inscribed in the lighter wood; the writing was light-on-dark. The wooden sheet had a raised edge provided with holes to allow two of them to be hinged with string or wire into a single item. The hinge-holes were also used to tie two or more tablets together, depending on format; a mid-19th C letter records that a block of “about ten” tablets tied in this way was found in Trawsfynydd, North Wales, but the originals are lost except for the first ‘page’.

The wood most typically used for these tablets is silver fir, which splits easily into thin layers perfect for this use. This wood originated in Gaul, showing that it was imported into Britain. It was also used for barrel-making, and the use for tablets may have been an early example of reusing materials no longer required for one purpose into another, particularly as some of the texts were written by coopers and brewers.

The damp silt into which the Bloomberg tablets were thrown has preserved organic material much better than is typically the case, not just the wooden tablets but a wicker basket found almost intact. However, the wax has in almost all cases been lost over time, and we must rely on the tendency of scribes to incise strongly into the wax, resulting in scratches identifiable as letters and words indenting the wooden support. Dr Tomlin noted that a Carthaginian commander would send secret messages by scratching them on to the wood of a tablet and then cover this text with wax to produce what would look to the unsuspicious observer like merely an unused table with no secret significance.

Tablets were erased and reused by using a broad spatula warmed to help the wax melt and flatten into a ‘new’ writing surface, so whilst the writing in the wax may have been clear the scratches into the wood from repeated use overwrite each other and often result in a mess which makes tablets unreadable by current technology. However, Dr Tomlin was sometimes able to recover both texts when a word or two, or even a line, had been re-written and he has been able to reconstruct some or all of the text of 80 tablets.
In addition to the tablets, about 200 styli were found – implements about the size of a pencil, with one end sharpened on a stone to a point for writing on a wax tablet and the other shaped like a narrow spatula or fishtail to allow errors to be smoothed out and corrected. This is another aspect which makes interpreting the marks in the wood difficult, although it also reveals scribes correcting themselves as they wrote, and humanises their work. This stylus could also be a personal weapon, although Julius Caesar was unsuccessful in his attempt to defend himself with one – his only weapon – when the conspirators surrounded him on the Ides of March.

Tablets of the form found in the Bloomberg excavations have been found in Egypt, Italy, Romania and Switzerland, often with more of the wax surviving than the Bloomberg examples. The wide use of this technology is shown in the wall-painting of Terentius Neo the baker of Pompeii, who is shown holding a papyrus roll while his wife sits holding a pair of wax tablets. A stone relief from Rome depicts a butcher cutting meat and a woman using a wax tablet and stylus, perhaps keeping the business records.

As the wax coating is now lost, interpretation of the tablets has to be based on reading scratches in the wood. To assist in this, they were photographed using raking light from four angles. Combining the resulting images in Photoshop allowed Dr Tomlin to examine on a computer virtual 3D views of the tablets. This was augmented by his more traditional use of a flexible artificial light source, and drawing the tablets on the basis of their outline in the photos; Dr Tomlin included examples of his very clear sketches in his presentation. He also noted that as he reproduced with a pencil the movements of the scribe’s stylus he could “feel the fingers” of the latter’s original writing movements. The process of reading the tablets was described by Dr Tomlin as Sudoku-like puzzle-solving, from scratches to letters to words to phrases and finally to a meaningful text.

The letter forms used by the scribes are much less formal than the chiselled inscriptions to which we are more accustomed. Their writing was constrained by the stabbing and scratching actions needed to write on a fairly hard tablet. The resulting script is identical to that found in Egyptian and Pompeiian tablets. Some pairs of letters can be difficult to distinguish, such as b/d and e/u, which makes interpretation more challenging, but the use of standard forms of address, salutation and legal formulae as well as typical names have allowed a considerable amount of interpolation. Informal spelling, dropping of the final letter from a word in one specific case,1 and other ‘vulgar’ uses of written language in unpolished rather than literary use are also observable, which again brings us closer to daily life than formal writing. Some tablets were seemingly dictated to literate slaves; one scribe records that he is writing “by order of my master” the receipt of two payments towards a farm – whether as rent or part payment for purchase is not known.

This is the ‘m’ in the ‘-um’ accusative ending, which we also know was hardly sounded in ordinary speech. So what did the tablet speak of? The Bloomberg tablets were used for legal documents relating to loans and transactions, as well as for less formal letters. They can be dated from information such as the consular names from a few years before the burning of London by Boudicca to some years after that destruction. Some of these document were legal or commercial, recording trading and transactions of businessmen, craftsmen and import/export merchants. The earliest financial document found, dated to six days before the Ides of January (8 January) 57 CE, records a debt of 105 denarii “from the value of goods delivered and sold” (followed by “or the person whom the matter will concern”, a legal form of words found elsewhere in the Empire). This amounts to 6 months’ pay for a Roman soldier, a considerable sum.
The ‘first financial document’ – a note of indebtedness, see below.

Bloomberg Tablet 44: Drawn by R.S.O. Tomlin. Copyright: R.S.O. Tomlin and MOLA.

A tablet of 50-60 CE records the value of about five deliveries of beer received by Crispus, including one of over 100 gallons. Records such as this show that London was economically active and that a business community was already active at that time, as merchants traded into the new province. A slightly later tablet records a transfer of foodstuffs from Verulamium to London on 21 October 62 CE, a date only 18 months after Boudicca burned both cities, reflecting the resilience in rebuilding both to a state at which commerce had restarted. Interestingly, despite the Roman and Pompeiian representations, no women are mentioned in any of the commercial records.

Legal tablets, such as one describing a preliminary judgement in a legal case, dated to 22 October 76, also reflect the growing importance of London as a trading centre, and the moving of institutions such as law courts from the capital (Colchester) to the main trading centre. Legal contracts and records of transactions on wax tablets, being written in a form which could be easily erased and rewritten, needed to be protected. To achieve this, three tablets were hinged together, the first two being bound together by a cord which ran down a wide flat groove where the witnesses placed their seals. The sealed-up text was written on the two inner faces, and a duplicate text written on the third tablet, before all three tablets were tied up with strings to which the seals of the witnesses to the agreement were applied. This meant that a text was available for consultation, but the master-text was sealed up, to allow it to be compared with the visible text in the event of claims that the latter had been altered. The names of the witnesses would then be scratched into the border of the set. This practice has enabled Dr Tomlin to conclude that at least a significant minority of Roman soldiers could at minimum write their name and unit; a tablet records this information from three witnesses written in three distinctly different hands.

Wax tablets were also used for less formal communications. Letters would have been written on the two wax faces of a pair of hinged tablets which, like a legal document, was then closed to protect (or hide) the writing of the message; the address of the recipient was then scratched on to the wooden outside of the pair. In one example, the recipient was warned that people were going round the forum boasting that he had lent them money. Dr Tomlin suggested that was perhaps an admonition to the recipient to be more careful in selecting to whom to lend money, and observed that this item of economic history, perhaps an early example of financial imprudence, was received with amusement by Bloomberg staff when he presented his findings to them! Another tablet, documenting both commercial and more personal concerns, is a complaining report that whilst the writer was away from home somebody else came and took away his transport animals, a loss which could not be replaced in less than three months.

A historically significant tablet records the name of Classicus as commander of the VIth cohort of Nervii after the Boudicca rebellion. Not only does this provide additional evidence of the presence of auxiliary troops from this tribe in Britain, also recorded in an inscription at a fort at Brough-by-Bainbridge, Yorkshire. The same cohort is also attested by inscriptions of different dates at Greatchesters and Rough Castle. Only one officer of the equestrian order with this name (Julius Classicus) is recorded, a man descended from Gallic kings who in 69 CE was in the Rhineland where, after the death of Nero, he threw off his Roman allegiance and almost-successfully rebelled against Roman rule. This revolt is recorded by Tacitus, who noted that Classicus wore the cloak of a Roman general when he received the surrender of legionaries.

To summarise, the Bloomberg tablets interpreted by Dr Tomlin reveal a history of business transactions, legal disputes, military aspects and personal letters at a turbulent time in British history, a history far more human than buildings or commemorative epigraphy can provide. They also unite the activities of people, citizens and slaves throughout the Roman Empire. Our thanks to Dr Tomlin, both for his lecture and for his corrections and improvements to this report.

Dorothy Newbury – memories Alec Jeakins

It’s over 20 years since my family and I lived in London. I last saw Dorothy when I came up to London for her lunch party in September 2007 but prior to that she was a significant person in my life.
As a freelancer I had gaps between jobs and Dorothy would help me out by booking me to make deliveries for the Hillary Press and also to drive her on her recces for HADAS outings – Dorothy’s outings always went like clockwork thanks to her advanced planning – that way I visited both Royal Holloway College and Holloway Prison! On some of these trips we were accompanied by my young son, Adrian who would be in his car seat singing the folk songs my wife often sang. Dorothy was always amazed how he segued from one tune to another. She would say “I thought he was singing X but now he’s singing Y. How does he do it?” (He did later become a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral.)
I recall only going on one of the long weekend trips that she organised and that was to Hadrian’s Wall. On the first night we were told to bring down our thermos flasks so that they would be ready next morning. There was Dorothy with everybody’s names on typed labels and a roll of sellotape to stick them on. Talk about covering every detail.
I always think of her as a busy person. If I called round to Sunnyfield Road in an evening, there she was in the kitchen – doing accounts, cooking, planning trips, working on preparations for the famous Minimart (storage for which took over the entire front room); she had no time for sitting in front of the television unlike Jack who always seemed glued to it.

Andrew Selkirk’s tribute filled in gaps for me and recalled detail I’d forgotten, as he wrote she had ‘a busy and productive life’ – what more could you wish for?

Dorothy Newbury memories Frances Radford

Dorothy was the vital force behind the Minimart to raise funds for HADAS. Dorothy was shown in the photograph in last month’s newsletter assembling the ‘troops’ stallholders (myself one of them) ready for her to blow her whistle to start the action. We all shot into position behind our respective stalls waiting for the customers and in they came, in droves, dashing from one stall to another as they could – a lively scene! When a lull came, Dorothy made sure we took it in turns to refresh ourselves downstairs with lunch or snacks and very good they were. A chance, too, to buy jams and fresh vegetables and plants. I also picked up cards, notebooks and offcuts from the Newbury’s printing press, in fact I have some still – so useful.
We owe much to Dorothy Newbury; she gave such energy to the Society and was an inspiration to others.

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan, Suzanne Taylor and Sue Willetts

Correction: Alteration to event posted in last month’s newsletter: Friday 18th May. 7.30 pm. Wembley History Society English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalkhill Road, Wembley, HA9 9EW (top of Blackbird Hill, adjacent to church) Lecture by Lomas on autographs cancelled due to illness and replaced by Middlesex: a forgotten county by Colin Oakes Visitors £3. Refreshments
Correction to Mill Hill History Society tour of Marlborough House on Tuesday 22nd May. Booking date should be Tuesday 8th May not 5th May. The address should be 38 Marion Road, Mill Hill NW7 4AN

Thursday 10th May 8.00 pm. Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution. 11, Southgate, Highgate, N6 6BS. Air battles of 1940. Talk by Jim Lloyd Davies (ex RAF) The RAF Centenary Lecture.

Saturday 12th May. Church End Library, Finchley 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Free talk by Hugh Petrie, Barnet’s Heritage Officer. A North London Railway, inc. Finchley sections of the Northern Line. For more details and to book a place contact the speaker at or Tel: 020 8359 3961

Saturday 12th May 9.45 am-5.25 pm. Shipbuilding on the Thames. Docklands History Group Symposium. Weston Theatre, Mus. of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. £30-35. For more details

Thursday 17th May. 6.30 pm Wine reception. London archaeologist. UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Sq., WC1H OPY. Slippery when wet. Annual lecture & AGM 7.00 pm given by Jessica Bryan (MOLA) on continuing work on the 7 year Thames Tideway tunnel project. RSVP for reception email Secretary at or write to her at 44 Tantallon Road, London, SW12 8DG Friday 18th May. Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London, N1 7ED. Drinks at 6:30pm for a 7.00 pm start. Free Tideway Community Lecture for The Thames Discovery Programme. More information here Monday 28th May – Sunday 3rd June. Enfield Archaeological Society. Whitsun Dig at Elsyng Palace (Forty Hall) Enfield, EN2 9HA. If you are interested in getting involved contact Field Work Director: Dr Martin Dearne at Also

Thursday 31st May. London History Day – Heritage England event. More than 70 of London’s museums, galleries and cultural spaces will open their doors to reveal special behind the scenes tours, rarely seen exhibits and one off events, celebrating the capital’s unique identity. 2018 is the year of courage, with many special events for London History Day touching on the pioneering spirit, heroism, initiative and kindness layered in our history. Venues include: Barnet Museum (activities related to 1471 Battle of Barnet), British Library, Jewish Museum, London Canal Museum and St. Pancras Int. Station.

Thursday 7th June, 8.00 pm. Pinner Local Hist. Soc. Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner, HA5 1AB Becoming Metroland: How the railways shaped Pinner. Talk by Oliver Green (L.T.Mus) £3.00

Friday 8th June. 8.00 pm. Doors open 7.30. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, Junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane Enfield, EN2 OHJ. Southwark, London, Britannia and Rome’s north-west frontier: some threads to connect? Presidential address by Harvey Sheldon (Also HADAS President) Visitors £1.50 Refreshments

Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th June. Barnet Museum. Barnet Elizabethans R.F.C. Byng Rd, Barnet. Barnet Medieval Festival with a living history camp, battle demonstrations, medieval traders and activities. Local organisations and food stalls. Time to be confirmed.

Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th June. 10.00 am – 5.00 pm Open Garden Squares Weekend. Visit gardens not normally open to the public Organised by London Parks & Gardens Trust. Includes Myddleton House Gardens, Bulls Cross, Enfield, EN2 9GH. Ticket holders get free audio tour. (HADAS did resistivity survey here) Advance tickets £15.00 which includes all gardens for both days.

Monday 11th June. Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet. The High Street: a stroll down memory lane.3.00 pm Talk by John Lynch. Visitors £2.00

Wednesday 13th June. 8.00 pm. Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Rd and Weston Park. The Deer Park of the Bishops of London in Highgate. Talk by Malcolm Stokes. Non members £2.00. Refreshments from 7.40 pm. Latecomers not admitted after 8.00 pm.

Thursday 14th June. 7.30 pm. Barnet Museum. Pennefeather Hall, Christchurch, St. Alban’s Road, Barnet EN5 4LA. Battle of Barnet: right to bear arms, early handguns. Talk by Helen Adams. £5.00 on the door. (Members £3.00) Refreshments

Thursday 14th June 8.00 pm. Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution. 11, Southgate, Highgate, N6 6BS. Scientific advances in archaeology. Talk by Keith Sugden.

Friday 15th June. 7.30 pm Wembley History Society. English Martyr’s Hall, Chalkhill Rd, Wembley, HA8 9EW. Conservation areas at 50 years. Talk by Lester Hillman. Visitors £3.00

Wednesday 20th June. 7.30 pm. Islington Archaeology and History Society, Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. Fantasy Islington. Talk by Lester Hillman on imaginings through the 18th –19th centuries. Visitors £1.00 AGM at 7.00 pm

Saturday 23rd June. 7.00 pm Barnet Museum & Local History Society. Coach outing to Wallingford and Dorchester-on-Thames Abbey. Wallingford is one of England’s oldest market towns, a Saxon Burh and important Thames crossing with a medieval bridge. There are 3 medieval churches, a museum and castle remains. Boat trips are available and there is a steam train, Coach leaves Wallingford at approx. 3.00 pm to visit Dorchester Abbey which has c.14th century wall paintings, medieval font, Jesse medieval stained glass windows and carvings and shrine to St. Birinuis. There is a church museum / tour, tea, driver’s tip incl. in cost of £31.00 Depart from Barnet Everyman Cinema at 8.30 am. Return from Dorchester Abbey c.5.30 pm. Contact Dennis Bird 020 8449 0705. Send cheque to him, payable to Barnet Museum and Local History Society, 87 Hadley High-Stone, Barnet, EN5 4QQ with name, address, phone number and he will ring to confirm.

Tuesday 26th June. 1.50 pm. Mill Hill Historical Society. Guided tour of the Grade 1 listed building, House Mill, Bromley-by-Bow, built in 1776. This is the world’s largest surviving tidal mill. A riverside gem of the early industrial revolution. £5.00 (members £3.00) Meet 1.50 for 2.00 pm at House Mill, Three Mills Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, E3 3DU. Book by 19th June. Send cheque payable to Mill Hill Historical Society & SAE to Julia Haynes, 38 Marion Road, London, NW7 4AN. Contact Julia on 020 8906 0563 or or book online at – (send cheque) For email reply inc your email address, phone no, and no of places reqd.

Wednesday 27th June. 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL. In the footsteps of the famous in Barnet. Talk by Paul Baker. Visitors £2. Refreshments. Thursday 28th June. 8.00 pm. Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Rd, N3 3QE. Annual General Meeting. Non members £2.00 Refreshments

Friday 29th June. 11.00 am Bentley Priory Museum. Mansion House Drive, Stanmore, HA7 3HT.
Secret War: RAF Tempsford and the S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) Talk by Debbie Land £3.00

With grateful thanks to this month’s contributors: Deidre Barrie, Alec Jeakins, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams, Frances Radford, Suzanne Taylor, Paul Wernick
Next Editor: –
Melvyn Dresner

Copy to him by May 18th, please.
Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, Herts EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350) email:
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076) email:
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076) email:
Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London NW7 4JL (020-8959 6419) e-mail:
Discussion Group: http:/


By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

No. 565 APRIL 2018 Edited by Peter Pickering

Precedence this month must be given to this most typical picture of DOROTHY NEWBURY who died on 13th February. Much more about her inside.

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.

Tuesday 10th April 2018: The Greater London Historical Environment Record’, by Stuart Cakebread. The Greater London Historical Environment Record was formerly known as the Sites and Monuments Record and is part of Historic England’s Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service. Stuart has been its manager for over eleven years. The Record is the basis for all archaeological research in London. It is used constantly by professional and amateur archaeologists, by academic and other researchers and by consultants working for local authorities and developers. It has to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Stuart will tell us all about it.

Tuesday 8th May 2018: ‘The archaeology of World war One” by Mark Smith.

Tuesday 12th June 2018: Annual General Meeting.

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September 2018: Trip to East Anglia. This is full, but there is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October 2018:’Unrolling Egyptian Mummies in Victorian London’ by Gabriel

Tuesday 13th November 2018: To be confirmed.

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8pm,
with coffee/tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members: £2. Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10-minute walk away.


Are you interested in a visit to the London Mithraeum? If so, please put Thursday 10th May 2018 in your diary. Entry is free but must be booked; and getting there is free to those with freedom or other passes. We could possibly meet in the morning for another nearby attraction, and visit the Mithraeum in the afternoon, which apparently takes about 45 minutes. Email if you would like to go. If enough people are interested, more definite details will appear in the May HADAS Newsletter. Here is the website:

Dorothy Newbury

As was reported in the March newsletter, Dorothy Newbury died on February 13th, the day before her 98th birthday. Many HADAS members attended her funeral at Golders Green Crematorium on 7th March and afterwards reminisced at the Five Bells in East End Road. Here is what our former
Chairman, Andrew Selkirk, had to say: –
Dorothy Newbury was born on the 15th February 1920 and christened Dorothy Adelaide Law. She
was born in Bishops Stortford where her father, who was always known as Bonar Law, was the company secretary of the Bishop Stortford and Hertfordshire Gas Company. He was very keen on bowls and she remembered him all dressed up going to the bowling club. Dorothy was the youngest of three. She had a sister who was 12 years older and a brother who was born in 1916: she suspected that she may have been a ‘mistake’. Her two 2 elder siblings were both quite brainy and passed the scholarship exam, but she was always a bit of a rebel and didn’t like school, so she didn’t even take the scholarship exam and left school at 14.

She joined a wholesale grocer in Bishops Stortford, Alfred Button and Sons, who supplied groceries to Holland and Barrett and who were later taken over by Budgens, the supermarket group. She learnt shorthand and typing, and she learnt to operate the Burroughs adding machine, an early form of computer where you entered the amount on the keyboard, inserted a ledger card and pulled a handle.

From this sprang her knowledge of accountancy and her canniness with figures which stood her in
such good stead in her later business life and running the affairs of HADAS. She stayed there four years until she was sacked. She was still a bit of a rebel and when one day her boss spat into the waste paper basket she said, ‘You dirty pig’ and was sacked for her insolence.

She then went to work in a hatchery where eggs were placed under light to see if they were fertile: the ones that were went onto the hatchery and those that weren’t were sold to the local canteen. Her best friend also worked in the canteen and she soon joined her. The war by this time had broken out and the canteen became a soldier’s canteen and it was here that she met Jack.

Jack was six months older than she, was having been born in October 1919. He was born in
Bloomsbury and brought up in Golders Green where his father was a compositor on the Evening News and his sister worked on the News Chronicle. His father had begun life as a stand-up comedian and at one time worked with a partner called Charlie Chaplin. His partner suggested they should go off to America to seek their fortune, but Jack’s mother insisted that he stay at home and complete his apprenticeship. So, Charlie Chaplin went off to Hollywood and fame, and Jack’s father went off to printing and the News Chronicle. He was also very keen on sport, and at one time played football for Chelsea — admittedly during the First World War.

It was perhaps inevitable that Jack himself became a printer, so he served a 7-year apprenticeship for which his father paid £100 and emerged as a full-fledged compositor. When the war broke out, he was called up into the Royal Signals where he became a teleprinter operator.

He was notorious for being the scruffiest soldier in the army — Dorothy said that she never saw him in full uniform and he always seemed to be wearing sandals, which were not exactly proper dress for a soldier. What he did have however was a car, a red Morris 10 and he drove over from the camp at Much Hadham to the canteen at Bishop’s Stortford. Dorothy fancied him from the start. She was at the time engaged to an airman, but the airman was soon thrown over and she became engaged to Jack instead.

Even though Jack never progressed beyond the rank of Private in the army, he was nevertheless
considered a good catch: he was lively, he was good company, he was very good at his job — and he
had a red Morris! (The car belonged to his father, but since his father never learnt to drive, Jack ‘borrowed’ the car.) Eventually however Jack was to be posted abroad and so in a great hurry they decided to get married in order, they said, to claim the marriage allowance. Neither dared tell their parents, and so they were married in secret in a registry office and their parents were not told till four years later at the end of the war. They had a very brief honeymoon, travelling up to London to see Blythe Spirit at the Savoy, Jack for once looking semi respectable in a green tweed suit. They then drove down to St Ives.

Jack had fitted up his car with two petrol tanks, the usual one being used for normal petrol — very hard to get — but at the back there was a special hidden tank which was filled with army pink petrol. The trip down to St Ives was made on army pink petrol. (Shortly before this, the pink petrol had caused some problems. One of the officers took umbrage to the fact that Jack had a car, and he only had a bike, so he instigated a search and found the tank and the army petrol. Jack was put under close arrest and marched through the streets of Bishops Stortford. Dorothy witnessed the whole procedure and didn’t bat an eyelid, but Jack was fined 3 days’ pay. However, some weeks later the officer asked if he could borrow the car to take his girlfriend back to London. Jack duly obliged, and thereafter continued to use Army petrol without fear or favour.)

After the honeymoon they parted. Jack was sent out to Singapore, but on the journey out, Singapore fell to the Japanese, so Jack went on to Ceylon where he spent the rest of the war. On the way, however, he stopped off in Durban where he was billeted on a family in the suburb of Hillary. The family treated him like royalty, which is why, when they came to set up their press, they called it the Hillary Press.

Back in England, Dorothy went to work on a farm. She had always wanted to work on a farm, but
her parents thought that farm work was demeaning, and the only proper work was office work. But
now freed from parental constraints, she was able to achieve her ambition and she worked on a farm in Harlow looking after pigs, boiling up pig swill on a solid fuel boiler. She always maintained that pigs are clean animals and are greatly maligned in popular parlance.

After that she moved to the Post Office. She took a course at Brentwood School and became a
telephone engineer. She also learnt to drive a little green Post Office van. She was given a week to learn to drive, which she duly did, and she spent the rest of the war maintaining telephones in Hertfordshire and Essex. On one occasion she went to fix up a phone for a colonel, but she arrived when the colonel was changing, and he opened the door stark naked. ‘I’ve come to fix the phone’ said Dorothy, nonplussed at seeing such a splendid figure of military masculinity. ‘In there’ said the colonel, waving to the study, impressed by the fine display of female fortitude. Dorothy duly installed his phone. She also fixed many phones in the American camps. At one she was accosted by a jet black American soldier wearing skin tight trousers. ‘Would you like some chocolate?’ he asked. Yes please, said Dorothy, but when he extracted the chocolate from his trousers, it had become moulded to the shape of his legs. Dorothy ate it notwithstanding.

Then in 1945 the war came to an end, and Jack returned from Ceylon and was put onto training
teleprinter operators. ‘You are the scruffiest soldier I have ever seen’ said the officer, ‘but as you are a trainer, I suppose I will have to make you a lance corporal’. But his new rank only lasted a very short time, as he was demobbed soon after. Reunited once again, they finally confessed to their parents that they were, in fact, married, and went to live with Jack’s parents in Golders Green. His mother saw to it that Dorothy slept separately in the room downstairs. It was not altogether a happy arrangement as his mother’s bridge partners in Golders Green did not altogether approve of the secret marriage — and Dorothy was still considered to be something of a wild young thing.

But they determined to set up their own printing works and they opened a factory of one room behind a barber’s shop in Cricklewood Broadway; they called it the Broadway Press. Downstairs they had a hand-fed Platen which Dorothy learned to operate, while Jack had a room in the loft approached by a ladder where he did all the composing. The business expanded, and they were able to buy a house in Dallas Road, Hendon. Then they moved the business to West Hendon Broadway where they acquired a second printing machine and they acquired their first employee — Harry Hill — an elderly compositor to whom Jack had originally been apprenticed. At first Jack had a partner, but the partner spent more time in the pub than at the press, so Jack and Dorothy bought him out for £125. ‘You’ll last three months — if you’re lucky’ was his parting comment. That was nearly 70 years ago.

Then came their big breakthrough: they secured the printing business of F W Kahn, a firm in St
Martins-le-Grand. The business was a good one, supplying programmes to cinemas. In those days,
cinemas supplied a programme to every customer describing the film, and this became a steady regular weekly run supplying programmes to cinemas all over north London.

In 1949 they moved into a small factory/stable in West Hendon belonging to the Gas Light and Coal
Company. Later they later bought it for £8000, but soon after the Council compulsorily purchased the site for £14,000 and knocked it down. The site is just being redeveloped- 70 years later. They looked around for new premises, and Dorothy spotted that the Hendon Times in Church Road, Hendon was moving out of its printing works, and that the premises were for sale. Dorothy bargained the price down to £45,000, which meant that they had to find £31,000. The bank refused a loan even though they had never had an overdraft and always paid their bills on time, but luckily the Eagle Star Insurance Co stepped in with a loan that took them 13 years to pay back. At the latest valuation, the site is now worth £2.75m.

It proved a wonderful move, with turnover up 100% in three months. They added machines and
equipment, always paying for the last before buying the next, with Dorothy keeping a firm hand on
the finances. They never had a salesman, but Dorothy flirted with all the customers — except when
they were late in their payments, when she turned into a dragon. The firm expanded rapidly until
eventually they employed some 24 people. It proved to be a highly successful partnership with Jack doing the printing and Dorothy looking after the financial side.

At first, they lived in a flat in Llanvanor Road, but soon they purchased their first house in Dallas Road. Then around 1963 Dorothy looked around for a house close to the factory, as Dallas Road was due to be compulsorily purchased for the ‘new’ Ml motorway embankment, and bought their lovely house in Sunningfields Road, a short walk away from the factory, but overlooking the Sunny Hill Park.

And then there was the family. In 1957 Christopher was born and attended Hendon Prep, then
University College School, then followed his father (a little reluctantly, he says) into the printing trade, studying at the London College of Printing, and since then maintaining all the equipment at the Hillary Press factory, and recently the business. He has one son and spends much of his time involved with the Air Training Corps and joint ownership and maintenance of an old electric train: 1198 “Linda the Lymington Flier”.

In 1960 Marion was born. She was educated at South Hampstead High School and trained as a
physiotherapist, married a doctor, who is now a GP in Bishops Waltham and has become the proud
mother of three children, so Dorothy has four grandchildren in all.

This was a time when Dorothy bloomed and excelled as a director of Hillary Press, managing the
finances and collecting the cash. Woe betide any customer who was late paying without a good
excuse! She also found time to keep fit and Jack called her ‘Max Wall’ in her leotard and tights. She had a great love of cooking and collected all 72 issues of the Cordon Bleu cookery magazine. And she did her best to convert a ‘meat and two veg man’ to the joys of foreign cooking.

Then with the children growing up Dorothy entered into the third great part of her life when she joined HADAS, the Hendon and District Archaeological Society. HADAS was founded in 1961 to investigate the Saxon origins of Hendon, but it expanded steadily under the dynamic leadership of three remarkable women — Brigid Grafton Green, Daphne Lorimer, and then Dorothy.
Dorothy was associated with two activities in particular: the first was the Newsletter, which she, being a printer, soon took over the running and printing. The Newsletter came out monthly and continues to come out monthly, but with a different editor every month. And Dorothy undertook the crucial task of keeping all the editors in order.

And then there was the Minimart: the bring and buy sale held every year in the Autumn which was
vital for the financial side of the society, bringing in regularly £l,500 a year which made all the difference between profit and loss. Dorothy organised everything. She spent the year collecting materials until eventually both the garage and the front room of the house were taken over, and the family breathed a sigh of relief when the Minimart was over, and they could reclaim the space in the house. Then there was also the lunch supplied by members, with Dorothy contributing glorious quiches and unfeasibly huge meringues.

Dorothy at the Minimart

Dorothy also became the programme secretary, arranging the programmes and outings, notably the
three-day long weekend where every year HADAS visited a distant part of the country, going even as far as Orkney and the Isle of Man. There were Christmas outings too, and the fabulous Roman Banquet which she and others organised following a Roman cookery course. This was followed up by a Turkish banquet with belly dancers.

I only came in towards the end when the previous Chairman, Councillor Jarman retired and I was
parachuted in to become the Chairman. And Dorothy was absolutely wonderful, she looked after me,
and kept me in order, and told me what I ought to do. I don’t know how I would have managed without Dorothy.

Eventually her life was crowned by the well-deserved award of an MBE for all her services to HADAS and to the community. She went up to the Palace escorted by a member of the Royal Household staff because of her poor sight. She remained slightly worried that the whole thing was a hoax, until she actually received her medal. At her retirement party she delighted us by saying how much she had enjoyed her 30 years at the Society and that she hoped she had not been too rude to too many people.

She continued to do the books for the business until failing eyesight and the increasing effects of dementia took hold. Jack ‘stepped up to the plate’, looking after her until his accident in 2011 when the amazing team of carers assumed his role, caring for both with Christopher and Marion keeping an eye on it all.

Good humour and a positive attitude made much of what was to follow bearable, and for a short
time, love seemed to blossom again as Dorothy forgot all the arguments and battles of the previous 72 years and she and Jack could be found dancing around the kitchen.

When Jack died in 2014, Dorothy’s main carer Francesca assumed his role, fulfilling that task, ably assisted by Elvan and Grace beautifully until the end. Dorothy had a busy and productive life, a life filled with people who loved her, respected her, and enjoyed her wicked sense of humour (and her cooking).

Who can ask for more?
There is indeed not much more to say, except to emphasise the active role Dorothy took in HADAS’s
digs, especially the epic ones of the Mesolithic site on West Heath, and of the two in Hendon – Church End Farm, and Church Terrace. It was in the course of the Church Terrace dig that human remains were found (and subsequently vandalised); the picture on the next page shows Dorothy looking quizzically at a piece of bone.

Now for some personal memories. Your editor will never forget being being reminded on several
occasions by Dorothy, with a twinkle in her eye, of the time when his wife and he drove to Hatfield for a mediaeval banquet because they thought they had missed the coach only to discover that they had got the date wrong.

Audrey Hooson remembers a Saturday evening telephone call during the West Heath dig:-
Dorothy – Audrey do you and John pass any shops on the way to the dig? We are nearly out of biscuits.
Audrey – No but I will bring some from my cupboard.
Dorothy – Plain biscuits, nothing special or they will eat too many and we can’t afford it.
Sheila Woodward remembers when, on an outing, the HADAS party pulled up at Stonehenge for a
comfort stop. Dorothy insisted that that was the purpose and instructed members not to look at the stones.
If readers have any other reminiscences, the next editor would be happy to hear from you.

Dorothy at the Church Terrace, Hendon Dig 1972/73, discussing how to deal with the human

Membership Renewal – Stephen Brunning (Membership Secretary)

The HADAS membership year runs from 1st April, so all memberships subscriptions are now due for
renewal, apart from those new members who have joined since January this year. Members who pay by standing order/Direct Debit need take no action. The rates remain unchanged.

Anyone who thinks they should have had a Membership Renewal Form or Standing Order Form but
hasn’t received one, anyone who wants to make their membership under Gift Aid and hasn’t already
done so, or anyone who has any question at all about their membership, please contact me (contact
details on back page).

Historic Victorian Milepost in Cricklewood Restored
(This article comes from a press notice by the Cricklewood Railway Terraces Residents Community
Association headed “A Heartening Victory for Local Residents” Does anyone know of other historic
milestones that could do with tender loving care?)

For years, sharp-eyed travellers on the A5 Cricklewood Broadway road might have noticed, as they
come over the rise by Beacon Bingo and the Travelodge, a humble monument set back on the grass
verge of the highway. You’d have had to look closely though – in its deteriorated state, rusting and overhung by a line of London plane trees, this Grade II listed structure didn’t exactly stand out.

The Milestone before restoration

It’s a roadside milepost – a surviving relic from the time of horse-drawn carriages. The A5 here is ancient, once part of a Roman road previously known as Watling Street. Approaching from the south, the milepost reads “Watford 10”. From the north, it reads “London 4”, indicating the distance in miles from the Victorian-era edge of London at Tyburn (modern day Marble Arch).
According to Mike Horne, who runs the historical research site Metadyne and on it keeps an inventory of London mile markers, this cast iron milepost is one of only two between London and Watford that exist in their original positions.

A few local residents from the Cricklewood Railway Terraces, a set of old workers’ cottages which
occupy the land behind the milepost, approached Barnet Council in June 2017 in an effort to have the monument restored.

For a time, it seemed a bit of a lost cause. Jurisdiction was debated as to who at Barnet council was ultimately responsible for the milepost’s upkeep.

Cartographer and local researcher David Wenk was brought in to help draft a letter to Barnet council, which aimed to clearly set out the council’s responsibility for the milepost’s maintenance. This letter was cosigned by Marlene Wardle, chair of the Cricklewood Railway Terraces Residents’ Community Association, and Railway Terraces resident Ramsay Wood.
In the end, Brian Francis, an engineer at Barnet council, agreed to take on the project. A team from the Highways department set out in January of this year to restore the milepost. Adhering to guidance published by The Milestone Society (an organisation dedicated to the preservation and cataloguing of historic mile markers throughout England) Francis’s team undertook a sensitive renovation. They cleared vegetation away, repaired the rusting portions of the milepost, and gave it a handsome new coat of paint.

The results speak for themselves. The milepost, now beautifully restored to its original, sharp black and white colour scheme, has regained its rightful prominence as an important historic marker on the A5 Cricklewood Broadway.

The milepost as seen from the footpath alongside the A5, January 2018.

Protecting the Roman Empire: understanding fortlets and frontiers –
lecture by Matthew Symonds: Sue Willetts

Studies of the Roman army throughout the Empire have understandably been concentrated on the more extensive remains of forts and their associated settlements which has overshadowed the role of smaller military installations such as fortlets and towers. Matthew’s lecture concentrated on fortlets and he explained his ideas on their function but also something of the life of soldiers on duty within them.

Fortlets were small military installations with a masonry or turf and timber fortification (depending on location) which surrounded a yard containing a basic barrack block together with a shrine and lavatory.

They housed a limited number of infantry and cavalry – as small a number as thought necessary would be sent out from the main fort on a rotating duty for several months, possibly for up to a year at a time. These outposts were built according to the local security situation (which may have changed over time of course) and placed to give oversight of strategic positions, such as valleys and rivers. Fortlets were needed to curtail potential raiders / pirates on the frontiers but also within provinces too. In Britain there are examples of fortlets from Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall usually built at a fixed distance between the forts and not always in the best strategic position! A fortlet in Devon, Martinhoe was however particularly well positioned.

In peacetime, fortlet life was probably dull, repetitive and to alleviate boredom the soldiers would most likely indulge in drinking, gambling (and using prostitutes) but there could be a risk of a raid and it might have been difficult to secure backup from a distant fort. It has been suggested that duties included collecting taxes but the evidence does not bear this out – it appears that the men could not have been trusted!

The survival of ostraca (inscriptions on broken pottery) from the site of al-Muwayh (ancient
Krokodilo), one of the stations along the Koptos to Myos Hormos in Egypt’s Eastern Desert is an
important source of first hand evidence of daily life, somewhat similar to the material from the
Vindolanda tablets The documents, both official and private letters (most of them in Greek) include postal registers which show the frequent contact between soldiers in different stations – so not such a lonely life as we might have expected. Interesting details include the password of the day, the transport of fresh fish, mention of bribery, the theft of camels (possibly as many as 50) from a stone quarry, with a party sent to investigate which retreated as well as a lengthy account of an attack on another station.

Matthew’s research has shown that the presence or absence of fortlets in the landscape is something of a barometer for the local security situation: abandonment indicating improved security whereas subsequent constructions imply deteriorating security. This was a very interesting talk which was wide ranging, entertaining and well-illustrated. For more details see his new book: Protecting the Roman Empire: Fortlets, Frontiers, and the Quest for Post-Conquest Security published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan

Wednesday 18th April. 7.30pm. Islington Archaeology and History Society. Islington Town
Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD Rubbish or Ritual – Mediaeval treasure in the River Thames. Talk by
John Clark, who will ask whether items were thrown into the Thames as part of a ceremony. £1
Friday 20th April. 7pm. City of London Archaeological Society. St Olave’s Church Hall, Mark
Lane EC3R 7BB The Rediscovery of Roman London from John Snow to William Stukeley. Talk
by John Clark about the later sixteenth century historians acquiring new knowledge of London’s
origins. Visitors £3. Refreshments after.

Tuesday 24th April. 10.30 am. Enfield Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction Chase
Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. The Enfield Brewery. Talk by Rahul Mulchandani. An independent
Brewery established in Edmonton in 2016; its challenges and successes and why the beer is called
‘Enfield’. £1 Includes free tasting!

Wednesday 25th April. 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North
Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL. Ancient Woodland. Talk
by John Fleetwood (Woodland Trust). Visitors £2. Refreshments.

Thursday 26th April. 8pm. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House East End Road N3
9QE Save our footpaths Campaign – Don’t lose your way Talk by Roger Chapman on the work
currently under way by the Ramblers Association and local societies to ensure that the historic
paths in Finchley are on the definitive map by 2026. Non-members £2.

Wednesday 9th May. 7.45pm. Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall, corner Ferme
Park Road/Weston Park N8 9PX. Mediaeval Pilgrims’ BadgesTalk by Keith Fawkes. Visitors £2.
Refreshments, sales and information from 7.30pm.

Friday 11th May. 7.45pm. Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage
Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. Roman Sarcophagus from Harper Road Southwark
Talk by Irene Gross (PCA). Visitors £1. Refreshments, sales and information from 7.30pm.
Saturdays 12th and 19th May. 10.30 am and 2.30pm Heath and Hampstead Society. Guided walks
of Hampstead’s Historic Plaques. Led by Julia Male. Taking in the plaques including Ramsay
MacDonald, General de Gaulle, John Constable, George Romney, Marie Stopes, Daphne du Maurier
and John Galsworthy. The morning walks cover the area to the west of Heath Street and the afternoon walks the east and south of Heath Street. The meeting point for all walks is at the entrance to Hampstead Underground station. Each walk will take about two hours, the morning walks ending close to the station and the afternoon walks at Burgh House. The cost of each walk is £10 per person. To reserve a place email and send a cheque for made payable to The Heath and Hampstead Society to Frank Harding, 11 Pilgrims Lane, London NW3 1SJ. Include name, address, telephone number and email and note which walks to book.

Monday 14th May. 3pm. Barnet Museum and Local History Society. Church House, Wood
Street, Barnet (opposite museum). Mind the Gap. Talk by Terence Atkins. Visitors £2.

Wednesday 16th May 7.30pm. Willesden Local History Society. The Grange, Neasden
Roundabout, NW10. The History of the Grange, Neasden. Talk by Vijay Amin. Note venue.

Wednesday 16th May. 8pm. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage
Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ Copped Hall – the Restoration of a Georgian
Mansion. Talk by Vic Knope Talk by Mike Brown. £1 (HADAS did some resistivity and
surveying work here.)

Thursday 17th May. 7.30pm. Barnet Museum and Local History Society. Pennefather Hall,
Christ Church, St Alban’s Road Barnet EN5 4LA Battle of Barnet – More Bangs for your Groats –
Mediaeval Gunpowder and Weapons. talk by Dan Spencer £5 (members 33) on the door.
Refreshments Included

Friday 18th May. 7pm. City of London Archaeological Society. St Olave’s Church Hall, Mark
Lane EC3R 7BB Septimus Severus, first hammer of the Scots. Talk by Dr Simon Elliott on the
story of the largest ever military campaign in Britain. Visitors £3. Refreshments after.

Friday 18th May. 7.30 pm. Wembley History Society English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalkhill Road,
Wembley, HA9 9EW (top of Blackbird Hill, adjacent to church) Collecting Autographs at the
Willesden Hippodrome. Talk by Terry Lomas. Visitors £3. Refreshments

Tuesday 22nd May. 11am. Mill Hill Historical Society. Tour of Marlborough House, guided
through some of the fine rooms and given a history of the building which after being lived in by
dukes and royalty is now home to the Commonwealth Secretariat. Meet 10.50 am for 11 am at the
entrance gate of Marlborough House, Pall Mall, SW1A 1DD. Book by Tuesday 5th May, as
names have to be submitted in advance. Cost £7 (members £5). Send cheque (payable to Mill Hill
Historical Society) and stamped addressed envelope to Julia Haynes, 30 Marion Road, Mill Hill,
London NW7 4AN; contact her on 020 8906 0563, email, or book online
at, (but still need to send cheque}. Members of National Trust,
English Heritage or Historic Houses Association should bring their membership cards. For
lectronic replies provide email address, otherwise give name and telephone number and number
of places requested.

Wednesday 23rd May. 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North
Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL. The Regent’s Canal.
Talk by Roger Squires (London Canal Museum). Visitors £2. Refreshments.

With grateful thanks to this month’s contributors: Andrew Selkirk, Deidre Barrie, Steve
Brunning, Don Cooper, Audrey Hooson, Eric Morgan, Sue Willetts and Sheila Woodward
Next Editor: –
Sue Willetts

Copy to her by April 16th, please.
Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, Herts EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076)
Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London NW7
4JL (020-8959 6419) e-mail:
Discussion Group: http:/


By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

Number 564 MARCH 2018 Edited by Deirdre Barrie


I regret to announce that Dorothy Newbury died at about mid-day on February 13th one day before
her 98th birthday. Funeral Wednesday, the 7th of March 2018 at 2pm at Golders Green Crematorium
see for directions, parking etc.
R.I.P. Dorothy. Please send memories / photos of Dorothy to the next editor who will compile a
special tribute in the next issue. Best wishes, Don Cooper.

Tuesday 13 March at 8pm; Dr Roger Tomlin Roman London’s First Voices; Roman
writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London. ‘Roman London’s First Voices’ are the City’s first
documents, writing-tablets found on the site of the new European headquarters of Bloombergs when
it was excavated by Museum of London Archaeology. The site is famous as that of the Roman
temple of Mithras, which was demolished in 1954, but has now been rebuilt by Bloombergs. It is on
the west bank of the Walbrook, which the Romans crossed as they expanded from Cornhill towards
Ludgate Hill. The deep river-silts have preserved a wealth of organic material, notably stylus tablets
which have lost their waxed coating but can still be read from residual scratches in the wood. These
Bloomberg tablets are scraps of business correspondence and memoranda from the first half-century
of Roman London, including a promissory note dated 8 January 57, the earliest financial document
from the City of London.

Roger Tomlin, retired Lecturer in Late-Roman History at Oxford, has for many years been editor of
‘Roman Inscriptions of Britain’, in which capacity he has published new discoveries – not only
stone inscriptions, but graffiti of all kinds and writing-tablets like these from Bloomberg. He has
published them as Roman London’s First Voices: Writing tablets from the Bloomberg excavations,
2010–14 (2016), but has also just published Britannia Romana: Roman Inscriptions and Roman
Britain (2017). He has never been to Hendon, but he was attracted by the Society’s invitation
because his father was born there, a century ago. NB p.9. LAMAS conference – afternoon session

Tuesday 10 April 2018 at 8pm: Stuart Cakebread The Greater London Historical
Environment Record.

Tuesday 8 May 2018 at 8pm: Mark Smith The archaeology of World War One

Tuesday 12 June 2018 at 8pm; ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September – HADAS Trip to East Anglia. The trip is
now full, but there is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October at 8pm: Gabriel Moshenka Unrolling Egyptian mummies in
Victorian London (Gabe is well known to HADAS through his help with various
fieldwork projects)

Tuesday 13 November 2018: TO BE CONFIRMED

Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8 pm, with coffee/tea afterwards. Non-members admission: £2; Buses 13, 125, 143, 326, 382 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10 minute walk away.
Subscriptions for the year 2018/19 are now due If you pay by cheque, please find a renewal form with this newsletter. Members who joined after 1st January 2018 need take no action as your payment is good until 31st March 2019.

January Lecture – “ The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex” by Professor Christopher Scull Write-up by Jim Nelhams

Prittlewell is on the north side of Southend-on-Sea. When widening a road in 2003, an archaeological survey was carried out by MoLAS (now MoLA) on a barrow. This discovered a wooden chamber containing many archaeological finds and a high-status burial.

The chamber measured four metres square with a depth of about one and a half metres. It was lined with oak, with a wooden floor covered by rush matting and with metal hooks around the wall. The oak roof had partly collapsed and some flooding had occurred.

The exact date has not been determined, but is late 6th or early 7th century. A number of other high-status Saxon burials from this period are known, the most prominent being at Sutton Hoo, which is of a very high status person. Prittlewell is slightly lower in status but thought to be of a young, as-yet-unidentified prince.
Two unique gold foil crosses, which would have covered the eyes, indicated that this was a Christian burial, possibly the earliest found in Britain. The date is almost certainly before St Augustine arrived in Canterbury.

It is planned to exhibit a reproduction of the chamber, possibly in a bespoke museum, in Southend. The full analysis by MOLA is scheduled for publication later in 2018.

Reconstruction of the burial chamber showing many of the items found, many in situ, which include the coffin made of ash boards, which had been covered in textiles, the burial clothing with some metal fittings, a sword and shield, two spears and an arrow, a spoon, an iron folding stool with a leather seat, and assorted crockery and drinking vessels.

Preparation for a training day to be provided by HADAS to members of the Birkbeck Archaeological Society – Robin Densem
Through the good offices of Melvyn Dresner, Bill Bass has helped prepared a programme for a practical archaeology training day to be provided by HADAS on 24th March 2018 for members of the Birkbeck Archaeological Society (BAS).Some members of HADAS assembled at Stephens House on 11th February 2018 to prepare for the training day.

The photograph shows the HADAS team making preparation “in the field”, at Stephens House gardens.

It is envisaged that HADAS will include material on at least some of the following:
 The work and role of HADAS
 How one can get involved in archaeology
 The archaeology of Barnet and Hendon
 Archaeological fieldwork techniques including practical sessions on surveying on site and carrying out a resistivity survey
 Post-excavation work including finds, reports and archiving.

The programme is subject to finalisation and will to some extent be weather dependent!

Are the boundaries right? Number 1 East Finchley Roger Chapman

When Barnet Council determines whether archaeology is likely to be a consideration in determining a planning application in the Borough, one of the key maps the planners use is the proposals map of the Local Plan which has marked on it ‘Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance’. You can find this map at:
Barnet, with assistance from English Heritage (via the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service – GLAAS), the Museum of London and the Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS), has identified five prehistoric, four Roman and thirty medieval sites containing archaeological remains of more than local importance. These have been grouped into nineteen ‘Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance’.

The Local plan will be reviewed in the next few years. Development pressures will increase markedly, with a forecast 20% population increase by 2041.
HADAS needs to know if the areas identified are the correct ones, and also to build up evidence to support a case where we think boundaries should be changed. Over coming months we will look at all of the areas of special archaeological significance in the borough, and this month we start with East Finchley.
East Finchley

This Area of Special Archaeological Significance (ASAS) (now known as Archaeological Priority Areas APAs) consists of two sections:
a) East End (western area):
A medieval hamlet is located here, which is believed to have developed in the 14th century. The East End Road was an ancient road connecting the hamlet with the hamlet at Church End.
b) Park Gate (eastern area):
East End and Park Gate, mentioned respectively in 1365 and 1375 AD, together formed a scattered hamlet where the East End Road met the Great North road. The traditional village centre was located at Market Place, which held a hog market in the 18th century.

Fig: 2 The designated ASAS for East Finchley

Source: accessed 29.10.2017.

Looking at historic mapping such as John Roques 1754 map (see below), it looks like the ‘Park Gate (eastern area boundary) needs to be redrawn, as it does not cover the historic Market Place core. Historic Mapping.

A topographical Map of the County of Middlesex by John Roque 1754

Would you agree? Do you know East Finchley? Have you got any more information we could
use to develop the evidence base for the importance and boundaries of this ASAS?

If you do agree, please let me know by sending me an email:

Frodsham Trip – Last day Jim Nelhams

After lots of time on our feet in Chester and Liverpool, time to head homewards and rest our legs with Dave Ketley at the wheel of our Galleon. Quite a long way to London, so three stops on route – a mill with two working water wheels, an unusual church and a battlefield.

Driver Dave Ketley, with HADAS mascot Ted, and his friends
Archie and PC Edward Bruin Walker.

Thanks to everybody on the trip for your support, humour and patience. Judging by the number signed up for 2018, it cannot have been too bad.
Thanks also to all those who have taken the time to provide interesting and comprehensive notes and photos covering the places visited – Jon and Vicki Baldwin, Deirdre Barrie, Jean Bayne, Claudette Carlton, Don Cooper, Audrey Hooson, Sylvia Javes, Kevin McSharry, Dudley Miles, Brenda Pershouse, Peter Pickering, David and Emma Robinson, Andy Simpson, Liz Tucker, Micky Watkins, Stewart Wild and Simon Williams

Cheddleton Flint Mill by Don Cooper

I was particularly looking forward to visiting the Cheddleton Flint Mill, because of its association with the North Staffordshire potteries. Although crushed flint seems to have been added to early medieval pots to help them to survive in the kilns, calcified crushed flint came into its own in the 1700s or thereabouts. Calcination is the process of heating, in this case flint, to a temperature of 1100° degrees plus, to break down its crystalline structure to make it easier to crush and grind. The crushed flint was not only added to the clay to improve its strength and quality, but because its purity meant it was very white it was used as a slip for coating red earthenware vessels.

The two working waterwheels at Cheddleton
The process at Cheddleton started with the delivery of nodules of flint. The flint mostly came from the South-East of England often from the beaches under the white cliffs of Dover. The nodules were then taken by ship to the ports served by the Trent and Mersey Canal and its offshoot the Caldon Canal which passes the Cheddleton Flint Mill.

Narrowboat on the Caldon Canal with HADAS onlookers

The flint was unloaded and placed in the kiln (there were three kilns at Cheddleton) and heated until it was calcified.

The remains of the kilns at Cheddleton © Vicki Baldwin
The flint nodules were then placed in a grinding pan filled with water to keep the dust down. The base of the grinding pan was paved with chert stones and the waterwheel drove around arms (called “Runners”) attached to a spindle to effect the grinding action.

The grinding pan

After the flint has been ground to a slurry, the water is drawn off and the resultant “paste” is shipped to the potteries by narrowboat for use in the body of ceramic vessels, and also as a slip to produce the characteristic white ware of the time.

The above is a simplified account of the process carried out at Cheddleton Mill during roughly a century from 1720. However, the Cheddleton Mill has a much longer history. In 1253 there is a water mill recorded there; and in 1580 there are two mills under one roof, one for grinding corn and one for fulling (washing woollen cloth). The mill operated under various guises up until 1963. It came under the Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust in 1967. Much of the information in this article is taken from their February 2002 publication.
During our visit the grinding pan was working, albeit driven by an electric motor, and our very knowledgeable guide told us the history of the mill. What an excellent visit!
Bibliography: “The Story of pottery Materials” published by The Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust (February 2002).

St Giles Church Cheadle (Staffordshire) Peter Pickering

To those of us who think of churches as basically grey stone buildings, enlivened by some stained-glass windows and perhaps a statue or two or a faded wall painting, St Giles Cheadle was an unexpected – and maybe even unwelcome – revelation. It is covered in colourful decoration. We gasped as we trooped into the church as the last but one stop on our return to London.
There was another party being taken round by a talkative guide; some tacked on for a bit, while others left the church in short order to slake their thirst. But most stayed to marvel at the opulence of a building dating not all that long after Catholic emancipation, the wealth of its patron the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the single-minded and very knowledgeable evocation of the mediaeval church by its architect, Augustus Welby Pugin (who among so much else in his short life designed the fixtures and fittings of the Houses of Parliament).

How different the architecture of this church, all intended to evoke mystery and adoration, from that of the Catholic cathedral we had seen the previous day with its central altar; Pugin would have abominated that, and if he had known that Catholic services were to be in English, …..

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park Deirdre Barrie

The site of the Battle of Bosworth has come a long way since the far-off days when an understandably irritable farmer used to ask devotees of Richard III please to get off his fields. At a first glance the multi-award-winning Centre looks like an isolated group of farm buildings.

However, it contains a compact exhibition with interactive exhibits, dramatically lighted costumed figures, an array of weapons, and a film about the battle, as well as a café, conference room, shop and car parking. Gone are the days of typed tickets in dusty glass cases. There is something here to interest everyone, from young children to serious historians.
The family trees and relative claims of Richard III and Henry VII are analysed. Short films of actors playing various 15th C characters tell of their experience of the battle and how they fared afterwards. There is a dramatic, short film about the battle itself. We had no time for the circular Battlefield Trail, which leads to attractive and historic villages in the area.
Apparently Henry VII later raised an alabaster tomb over Richard’s grave – it is suggested that by leaving the king’s body at Leicester, Henry was avoiding a cult.
The battlefield site itself was lost and rediscovered “after several years of careful study and fieldwork” as not being on Ambion Hill as was long thought, but 2.5 km to the west. The exhibition ends with an account of the peaceful 118 years of Tudor rule after the Battle.

OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS compiled by Eric Morgan
Saturday 10th March 2018, Museum of London. Morning session: Recent Work, and Afternoon session: The Bloomberg Site Tickets on sale now. £15.00 before 1st March, then £17.50 Programme
Wednesday 14th March, 7.45 pm, Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, Ferme Park Road/ Weston Park N8, 9PX, Archaeology and Technology in London’s Lea Valley – Did One Influence the Other? Talk by Dr Jim Lewis. Visitors £2.
Monday 19th March, 8 pm, Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/ Chase Side, Enfield EN2 OAJ, Enfield’s Railway History Part 3: Trains and the Piccadilly Line. Talk by Dave Cockle.
Wednesday 4th April, 8pm. Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society, Wealdstone Baptist Church Hall, High Street, Wealdstone. Cassiobury Park. Talk by Paul Rabbitts. Visitors £3.
Thursday 5th April, 7.30 pm Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 ILT, Tunnels Under Holborn. Talk by Antony Clayton. From some of the earliest tube tunnels and the “ghost” station of British Museum, to WWII tunnels and modern bunkers, including Kingsway Telephone Exchange and some of the so-called “secret” tunnels in the area, will be explored. Visitors £1.
Monday 9th April, 3 pm. Barnet Museum and Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite Museum) Who Put the “Bath” in Bath Place? Talk by Andrew Beach, Visitors £3.
Friday 13th April, 7.45 pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 OAJ. Excavations and Fieldwork of E.A.S. 2017. Talk by Dr Martin Dearne (Enfield Archaeological Society), preceded by AGM. Visitors £1. Refreshments/sales/info, 7.30 pm.
Saturday 14th April, 1.30 pm, Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Pennefather Hall, Christchurch, St Albans Rd., Barnet EN5 4LA. Battle of Barnet: Painting the Roses at War. Talk by Graham Turner. Tickets in advance from Barnet Museum, 31 Wood St, Barnet, EN5 4BE. Tel. 020 8440 8066, or e-mail ; or on the door, £5 (members £3) refresh-ments included.
ALSO Saturday 14th April, Barnet 1471 Battlefields Society Medieval Banquet, Church House,
2 Wood St. Barnet. Four-course meal, opportunity to re-enact and dress up in medieval costume (prize for best-dressed). To book, e-mail Liz at Tickets £49.50 each.
Wednesday 18th April, 6 pm, Gresham College at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. The Birth of Modern Theatreland – Covent Garden and the two Theatres Royal. Talk by Simon Thurley, looking at the significance and impact of these great institutions on the development of London since since Charles II. Free.
With big thanks to this month’s contributors: Vicki Baldwin, Bill Bass, Roger Chapman; Don Cooper, Robin Densem, Eric Morgan; Jim Nelhams; Peter Pickering.

Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman: Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams 61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Membership Sec: Stephen Brunning, 1, Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London NW7 4JL (020 8959 6419) e-mail:
Join the HADAS email discussion group via the website at: