LATEST FROM WEST HEATH
By Daphne Lorimer June brought the roses out in Golders Hill park, the band out onto the bandstand on Sundays and seventeen students out to submit themselves to the rigours of the second HADAS training dig. Only one day’s rain marred the 12 days’ training and then, thanks to the kindness of two members who lent their homes, processing was done and was much enjoyed.
A comprehensive training scheme had been planned, both for the trenches and the processing hut. Students practised various excavation techniques, including the meticulous trowelling which is necessary at West Heath; the plotting in of every find, using 3 co-ordinates, in trench-books and on charts; the recognition and handling of burnt material and possible post-holes; and sieving. They learnt to draw a section and to wash, mark and record each find, with precise measurements, in the site finds book. They heard a talk on environmental aspects of West Heath; visited the site of last year’s bog-dig; and watched a demonstration of how to use a flotation unit.
Desmond Collins, our conscientious Director, who was on the site every day and most of the day, ensured that no student left without a. really sound grounding in Mesolithic typology. In addition to general lectures on the subject, he took any particularly interesting pieces found the previous day around the trenches each morning and explained their niceties to every individual student.
BBC Schools Radio taped a programme on the site, which included interviews with the students; and Tony Legge, Extramural Tutor in Archaeology to London University, paid a ceremonial visit .The training dig finished with a flourish and a most successful party at which the Director presented training certificates.
The period was marked by the discovery of the first axe-sharpening flake on the site – first evidence that axes were in use here – and of three small geometric microliths from the new trenches. These are highly significant and thought-provoking finds – as was the discovery, in the humus, of one piece of possible Neolithic pottery. Possible postholes are now appearing in the lower layers of trenches started in 1977 and their relationship to the area of the hearth has now to be studied.
The hearth has been duly excavated and all the spoil passed through a soil flotation unit, kindly loaned by the University Extra-mural Department (details of these proceedings will be given by the operators in a subsequent Newsletter). Thermoluminescence and magnetometric samples are in the process of evaluation; 30 grammes of charcoal have been extracted, cleaned and are ready for despatch to Cambridge for c14 dating.
TAIL PIECE: the sights of West Heath are pretty varied, both inside our digging compound and among the human and animal life which eddies outside. Some can even be a bit raw, as when we had to watch, helpless while a tiny duckling was battered to death by a whooper swan; or when we found a favourite visitor to the site – a very small rabbit -~ crushed between the stored “flats” of our hut.
Last week came a sight to end all sights. A woman proudly wheeled a toddler’s push-chair along Sandy Road. On the seat, his tail swirled regally about his feet, his push-button nose in the air and-looking for all the world like a minute but lordly lion, sat a Pekinese!
CALLING ALL DIGGERS
An earnest plea goes forth, once more, for the services of all diggers, as we wish to uncover the maximum possible area of this important and rewarding part of the West Heath site before the end of the season. Digging will take place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from now until the end of September except for July 7-17 (when HADAS is in Orkney) and for those Saturdays when there is a Society outing.
LAST WORDS ON ORKNEY
HADAS sets forth for Orkney on the evening of July 7, and Dorothy Newbury has already ensured that everyone possesses the fullest possible information about the trip.
Just a final word of warning, however: London Transport are about to operate reduced service on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line, owing to the need to remove blue asbestos from the tunnel between Hampstead and Golders Green. Please remember this if you are relying on getting to Euston by Underground, and allow extra time for the slow service. Dorothy suggests that, if you would prefer to go by a minicab, you should ring her and find out if there is anyone else coming from near you who might like to share.
AIDS TO RESEARCH
A further instalment from JOANNA CORDEN, the Borough Archivist, on sources of information for local Historians.
III Local History Library, Egerton Gardens: Pt. 4, Archives (cont)
The second category of deposited archives (we dealt with the first category last month) are mainly private deposits and a few records which the Library has bought. Most of them are family and estate records, usually of small estates over a limited period. This is because (particularly in Hendon, where the demesne land was sold off by the Herberts in 1756) there was no one great landowner for any part of the present borough. There were instead a large number of small landowners, and the deposited records reflect this.
For two areas there are no deposited records: Barnet and Totteridge. Both fell within the Herts boundaries until 1965, so researchers are advised to consult the Hertfordshire County Record Office, County Hall, Hertford.
Estate Records in this area invariably consist of deeds. They vary greatly in the importance of the estate; the period covered and the number of documents deposited. The Grove, in the Burroughs, Hendon, is represented by 32 large complex deeds covering 1717-1898; Frith Manor and Partingdale Farm by a large number of deeds from 1796-1901; Tenterden Hall (Hendon Place) by a similar collection for 1726-1892; Hendon House, Brent Street, by 8 deeds for 1749-1785; and Goldbeaters Mead by only one deed of 1434. The Goodyers Estate, Hendon, is traced by a mixture of records in the Kemp family estate book for 1696-1834; and Old Fold Manor, Hadley, and Finchley Manor, East End Road, by Thomas Allens account book, 1774-79. On the whole the areas for which we have deeds are patchy: Hendon has most, then Friern Barnet (north of Woodhouse Road), Finchley and Edgware.
SCHOOL RECORDS. Some schools have deposited records. The deeds of Christs College, Finchley, 1849-1895, are here, together with material (among the papers of John Boggon) relating to speech days, etc from 1928-35. There are also the Governors Minute Books, 1902-11. The earliest school records relate to Hendon Charity Schools – details of founding and of bequests, also Minutes and Accounts 1708-1913. Finchley County School Governors Minutes, 1909-19, are here, but the only log books deposited are those of Long Lane School, Finchley, 1884-1938; together with the admissions register 1898-1921. Otherwise log books are found at the schools themselves. More information on education can be found in School Board Minutes (Finchley 1881-1903, Hendon 1898-1903) and in subsequent Education Committee Minutes.
FIRE SERVICE. There are some interesting papers concerning the early Hendon Volunteer Fire Brigade; the Fire Engine Subscription Book for 1860-66 and 1873, a letter (1868) concerning the purchase of a field glass, and two later plans for the Fire Station in 1916 and for alterations in 1940. There are even some papers concerning a poll on whether Edgware required a fire engine in 1923.
SOCIETIES’_RECORDS. Various societies have deposited records. The now defunct Golders Green Parliament, modelled on the House of Commons, was dedicated to increasing political awareness from 1946-50. The Hendon Debating Society, addressed by William Morris in 1889, also had an educational aim, and kept meticulous records of its meetings and accounts, 1879-1919. The Hendon Young Mens Friendly Society (1893-1897), the Middlesex Freehold Land Association (1853), the Mill Hill Thirty Club (1913-1954) and the Woodside Club (1886-1952) all testify to a lively local social life; as do the minutes of the various sports clubs such as the Finchley Sports Federation, 1935-53, Hendon Cricket Club, 1852-92, Hendon Football Club, 1896-7, and various plans for playing fields and swimming pools, 1921-35.
DEMOGRAPHIC RECORDS. Records relating to population are most important. Census records for all areas of the present borough exist on microfilm for 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871; Hendon is fortunate also in having the original enumerators records for 1801, 1811 and 1821. Electoral Registers begin in 1901 for Hendon, but only 1965 for other areas of the borough. Rate books are also helpful: these were discussed in Newsletter 88. Copies of Land Tax Assessments exist for the areas formerly in Hertfordshire, although with gaps: Chipping Barnet 1753-l845, East Barnet 1753-1825 and Totteridge l715-l830. Transcripts of the Finchley Land Tax for 1781-2 were made by local antiquarian C 0 Banks, as well as the Hearth Tax for 1672 and 1675 for Finchley and Friern Barnet, and 1675 for Little Stanmore (which is outside the borough). There are two miscellaneous items under this heading: one is a publication by the Hendon Union Rural District on the causes of, and ages at, death during the year 1900; the other is the Return of the Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex and Hertfordshire.
PARISH REGISTERS. This is not an officially recognised Church of England diocecan repository, and cannot therefore accept parish registers; copies, however, of such registers are kept where possible. A micro-film is held of the registers of St. Mary’s Church, Hendon: baptisms 1653-1812, marriages 1654-1781, burials 1653-1838. Other transcripts are printed. The Phillimore Parish register series, edited by Thomas Gurney, contains transcripts of Finchley marriages 1560-1837, South Mimms 1558-1837 and Monden Hadley 1619-1837. Appendix III in A History of Totteridge, by S G Barratt, contains transcripts of baptisms 1570-1812, marriages 1570-1718, 1724-53, burials 1570-1719, 1723-1812; and The Herts Genealogist and Antiquary, vol. II, includes transcripts of the Chipping Barnet registers -baptisms, marriages and burials -for 1569, 1581, 1592, 1598, 1599, 1629, 1687, 1688, 1689.
Churches other than those of the Anglican communion can deposit their records, including registers, here; the Church End, Finchley, Congregational Church have in fact deposited their earlier records (1906-72), as have the North Finchley Congregational Church (1865-1968).
DIARIES AND PERSONAL PAPERS. The Library has occasionally bought items of local interest. One of these was the collection of several diaries, memoirs and sketch books of the Salvin family. Anthony Salvin (1799-1881) was a distinguished architect who specialised in restoration work and an authority on medieval military architecture. He is of local interest in that he designed several local buildings, one of them Holy Trinity Church, East Finchley; and he came to live in the area in 1833, at Elmhurst in East Finchley, where the family stayed until the 1860s. Most of the diaries and memoirs, and perhaps some of the sketches, are the work of Anthony’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann, who gives what is perhaps a unique view of Finchley and its inhabitants during the thirty years the family spent there.
These are by no means the only diaries and personal papers – both the Baker family of Finchley and the Penn family of Hendon have also deposited their family records – but the Salvin diaries are the most extensive.
ANOTHER DIG COMING UP
In April we outlined (in Newsletter 86) digging plans for this summer, and mentioned that in August we proposed to open some trial trenches behind the Town Hall at Hendon, on the perimeter of the car park which lies between the Town Hall and the public gardens of The Grove. It is now hoped to start this dig in the late Bank Holiday weekend – that is, August 26-28. This is just to give advance warning of the dates, so that you can put them in your diary if you are interested. Further information will follow in the August Newsletter.
Two field-work projects are also about to start – the recording of the churchyards of Hendon St. Marys and St. James, Friern Barnet.
Indeed, work will have already begun at Hendon by the time you read this. Recording will be done on Sunday afternoons, starting at 2.30, and members who would like to help are asked to get in touch first with Jeremy Clynes.
At St. James the Great, Ann Trewick plans to start recording inscriptions towards the end of July, and would be glad of helpers. After an initial meeting, she hopes that researchers will work in their own time, whenever they have a spare hour or two. If you are interested, please ring Ann and tell her.
Showing the Flag for HADAS
Summer is exhibition time, particularly for small, one-day displays. We have a crop of them in the next few months.
We began with a stall at Hendon St. Mary’s Junior School fete in Prothero Gardens on June 24, where we showed some of the finds from Paddy Musgrove’s Rectory Close dig at Finchley, as well as a photographic exhibit about the interesting people buried in Hendon St. Mary’s churchyard – Philip Rundell, the wealthy 19th c. jeweller; Henry Joynes, who helped to build Blenheim for the first Duke of Marlborough; Abraham Raimbach, the Victorian engraver, Nathaniel Hone, the 19th c. painter, and many others. (In case new members wonder at our already having an exhibit on this churchyard, when we have just announced the start of recording there, the answer is that we have been intermittently at work at Hendon St. Mary’s since November, 1970, and have just re-started.
Other events in which HADAS will be taking part this summer are Woodhouse School fete (July 1); Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute Week (a bookstall, and a display on July 5); and an exhibit at the dedication of the new parish room at St. James, Friern Barnet, on July 30.
At most of these events (except St. James’s, where Ann Trewick will be in charge) our displays will be put up by HADAS’s most recently formed sub-committee, Press and Publicity. We are very grateful to its members (June Porges is chairman, while Dave King, Vincent Foster and Audrey and John Hooson help her) for all the work they are putting in – not only on mounting and manning displays, but also sending reports to the local press, arranging poster display etc.
Incidentally, the committee has sent this note about FRIERN BARNET SUMMER SHOW, Fri. and Sat. Aug. 18/19:
HADAS will have a stall in the exhibition tent at this local show, which has been held for many years in Friary Park. We plan to mount an exhibit of our recent work and also to sell books and our own Occasional Papers; If you would like to help on the stall for an hour or so, please ring Audrey Hooson. The stall will be open from 2-8 pm both days, and no previous experience or deep archaeological knowledge is needed.”
WINDFALL FOR WEST HEATH
At the very moment this page “went to press” there came news of a windfall for West Heath, in the form of a small grant.
The Mrs. Smith Trust has sent us £100 towards – in their own delightful phraseology -“general funds for excavation endeavours.”
Daphne Lorimer had applied to the Trustees, at the suggestion of one of our members, for a grant for the specific purpose of publishing the West Heath report. Publication nowadays, as everyone knows, is an expensive business, and it is a great help to know that we have an unexpected £l00 in the kitty towards it.
HADAS is deeply grateful to the Mrs. Smith Trust; and also to Daphne Lorimer who, in addition to the mass of other work she puts in for West Heath, also finds time to make highly successful endeavours to raise funds for it.
A report by Isobel McPherson.
After an interesting mini-mystery tour of NW London we headed off into Hertfordshire through the uncertain sunshine of June 24. Everything, not least the weather, exceeded expectation: the quickly changing light gave some dramatic views from the motte at Berkhamsted; and our friends of the Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society surprised us with the range and quality of their finds, especially the pottery and toilet articles of Roman date.
Mid-afternoon brought us to Picotts End where Mr. A C Lindley opened our eyes to the rich detail of the Medieval wall paintings. What did we expect to see, those of us on our first visit? Nothing so rich in colour nor so vigorous in design: that was clear from the first response as we entered the tiny building. Without Mr. Lindley’s careful, patient commentary, pointing out detail and symbolism tucked away in leaf and branch forms, we should have missed much of the significance.
After tea at Marlowes Pavilion (where we were joined, much to the pleasure of HADAS members of long standing, by Mrs. Ida Worby, one of our original founder members, who has now retired to live in Bedfordshire) we just had time for a quick look at St. Mary’s Church with its lovely Norman west door, nave and rib-vaulted chancel. Ted Sammes deserves our thanks for a splendid tour; and special praise for his imperturbable way with timetable alterations and background noises
ALL ABOUT BUNNS
Some notes on a name with Mill Hill connections.
On James Crow’s 1754 Plan of the Mannor and Parish of Hendon a long, winding lane is shown running north westerly though on different stretches it goes sometimes due north, sometimes due west from Page Street through to Upper Hale. It is clearly marked as Bunn’s Lane and in its vicinity are fields with names like Bunn’s Mead and Bunn’s Hill.
In the same year as Crow surveyed Hendon for Lord Powis, then lord of the manor, John Rocque produced his topographical maps of the county of Middlesex. He, too, shows Page Street. It has a settlement of 10 houses large enough to be individually marked. They lie around the junction of Page Street with an unnamed north westerly winding lane which connects at its western end with Upper Hale. About half way along the lane Rocque marks a building which he calls “Bone Farm.” At the same point Crow marks a small unnamed group of buildings.
Over 150 years later a Kelly’s Directory map still shows Bunns Lane taking a meandering course, starting from Page Street at the point where until quite recently Copthall stood. Indeed. Copthall must have been one of Rocque’s group of houses, for it was built in 1637 for Randall Nicoll, a member of the Hendon family which had held that piece of land since at least the 14th c. (The Story of Hendon, Norman Brett James, p.42 and 57). Today Copthall Gardens recall the Nicoll home and aptly mark just what they say they do – the garden area to the west of where the old house stood.
Before it connects with Hale Lane, however, Bunn’s Lane, even in the early 1900s, had to negotiate the GNR line from Mill Hill East to Edgware and the Midland line coming out from Cricklewood. Bunn’s Farm is still marked on the Kelly map, just where the Lane goes under the Midland line.
The 1962 OS 25 in. map illustrates even more clearly how little place is left now in urban England for meandering lanes. Bunn’s Lane leaves Page Street almost oppos1te Copthall County School; first it goes under Watford Way; then, after meeting Flower Lane (another old Hendon road) it goes over one railway line, under another and then over the first one again, before its chequered path finally ends when it connects with Hale Lane, just short of a fourth railway bridge.
Where do all these Bunns – the lane, the farm, the fields – originate? The Place-names of Middlesex (pub. CUP 1942) gives a clue. On p.60 various local piace-names – Bunn’s, Childs, Driver’s, Gibbs, Goldbeater’s, Goodhews, Holder’s, Langton, Page, Ravensfield and Renter’s – are lumped .together as being associated with early families living; in the area. A Simon Bunde is cited as living in Hendon in 1434 (the PNoM reference is Surveys of the Manor of Hendon, Trans.LMAS, NS, 6,7).
Although Simon may have given his name to the land which later became Bunn’s Farm – estimated in 1667 as being about 78 acres -the documents concerning the land which still exist in LBB Archives and other record offices do not mention the Bunn family, though they refer to the property as Bunns. There are in fact deeds from 1515 (“land and tenements called Bungsfield”) and on to 1602, 1614, 1632, 1639 and 1667. They mention tenants called Addams, Marsh, Crane and Raymond, but not a Bunn of Bunn’s Farm.
Recently information about Bunn’s farm came to light from an unexpected quarter. Deirdre Le Faye, one of our colleagues in the Camden History Society, kindly sent some extracts taken from a book called Ramblin’ Jack – the Journal of Captain John Cremer, 1700-1774 (edited by his descendent, R. Reynell Bellamy, and pub. Jonathan Cape, 1936).
These memoirs were written when Capt. Jack was 68; in fact they concern only his youth. He was born in 1700 and his Journal effectively ends in 172l.
Jack was fostered by an aunt in Plymouth from the age of 2-8, when he was returned smartly to his widowed mother as unmanageable. His step-uncle, Lieut. Franklin (Mrs Cremer’s mother had married twice and produced a second family) then took him in hand. Franklin sent the boy to sea, where he was to spend the rest of his life, mainly in the merchant service. Many of his early adventures are concerned with avoiding the Royal Navy press gang.
Franklin had three sisters, Jack’s step-aunts, with whom the boy spent his leaves. There was Mrs. Brooking, “a terbelent woman in temper,” who lived first in Hendon and later in Hoxton, and had a husband who was a merchant captain -“she played the devill at home, and’ a deverting afabill woman abroad: ‘ beloved out of doors, but a devill in.” Then there was Mrs. Stanton, of Limehouse, whose husband was “an Eminent Brewer, one Stanton & Rainer in partnership: they being grand people, I made no thought of them, nor they of me, its being in a low Station of Life, till I afterward rose in the world.”
The third aunt was Mrs. Bunn. She was married to a wealthy farmer in Hendon, “a cuntry village near Hamsted, 7 or 8 miles from London. We don’t immediately learn where in Hendon Mrs. Bunn lived, but we do learn that “she was always for the pertender and my Unkle for King George.” It was at Hendon that Jack laid low, “obliged to tarry in the cuntry some time, the Pres being very hot.”
His Uncle was undoubtedly Jack’s favourite, for he notes “I brought home my Unkle a Chest of Florance wines, some flasks of floranoc Oyle, a Barrell of Anchovis, Some pelonie pudings and other presents of small things, which was received as great Exknolegements to my Unkle, but I brought nothing to my Aunts.”
One of Jack’s captains, Captain Saunders -“my poor Cap” who dyed at Smirna” – left Jack goods which “I really believe was worth Tenn Pounds.” These included instruments and charts, a great Ape and “a Spannill dog called Lisbon.”
The day after Jack had cleared his legacy in Doctors Commons he set off for Hendon. “I put up all my pressents given me by Capn Saunders, and went early in the morning with my Ape, and bought a good Chaine and girdell, and carried him on my Shoulders. Till I got the Length of Pcnkeridge (Pancras) Church, Clear of all Mobs, and then made the Ape walk before me to Hamsted and my dog.
But at Hamsted I could hardly get him along, the people crouding about him Soe, and giving him Somthing to eat. And Some gave him to drink, that he was as drunk as an Ape; and Soe I had much troubell to get him to Bun’s farme, wheair my Unkle Lived at Hendon, a mile beyond the parrish church. But eyerey day my farmer Unkle had farmors and theair Children to See the ‘Morockoe Gentelman,’ Wifes not Excepted, and Sarvants. Soe he was plentifully fed.” Jack stayed three days at Hendon, and then moved on. The ape was left behind, “lodged in the country at my Unkle’s for some years.” After the nine days’ wonder of eating and drinking were over, how did the poor animal fare, and did he remain a wonder to l8th c. Hendon?
Jack is writing like this of his uncle’s house as “Bun’s farme at Hendon,” and placing it “a mile beyond the parrish church” only some 10 years after a manorial record in the local archives, a memorandum of surrender dated Feb. 26, 1707 (MS 2307/19 LBB Local History Collection), records the surrender by John and Hannah Raymond to their son Samuel and his promised wife Anna Skynner of “all that messuage or tenement called Buns situate in the said Mannor.”
Were there, then, two “Bunn’s farms” – the manorial one in Bunn’s Lane, which the Raymond family-held in 1707 and apparently intended to go on holding? And another, farmed by Farmer Bunn, which took his name, just as Church End Farm, until its demolition 10 or so years ago, was often known as “Hinge’s” after the family which owned it? Or did something happen shortly after 1707 which enabled Farmer Bunn to take over Bunn’s Farm? Perhaps further research will tell.
Arthur G. Clarke, in his Story of Goldbeaters and Watling (pub~1931) mentions some of the later history of Bunn’s as he knew it. In 1867, he says, Mr. James Marshall, “the successful Oxford Street draper,” bought the Bunn’s Farm Estate from 5 spinster daughters of Mr. Robert Randall, a Fleet Street wine merchant.
In the 1920s there were two brick cottages in Bunn’s Lane, next door to Messrs. Parvin and Co’s workshop, which were all that remained of the farm buildings. They had their back doors to Bunn’s Lane and their front doors facing the railway. This was because at the time the railway was being planned in the last century, Bunn’s Lane ran to what is now Mill Hill Broadway (then Lawrence Street) by way of the present Station Rd. (Rocque’s map bears out Mr. Clarke, as it shows Lawrence Street coming down to form a T-junction with Bunn’s Lane just before the latter runs into Upper Hale). Bunn’s Lane was diverted to its present route to make way for the two railways – but the cottages still faced the old roadline.
When the LCC bought Goldbeaters in 1924 (to form what is now the Watling Estate) it also bought the two old cottages of Bunn’s Farm and tried unsuccessfully to sell them. Finally in May 1931, just before Mr. Clarke’s booklet was published, “the roofs were stripped.”
NOTE: another instalment about the Bunn family will appear in a later News1etter. Meantime, if any member has information about this interesting Hendon family, it will be gratefully received by Brigid Grafton Green.
About to be founded, at an inaugural meeting which will take place on Mon. July 17 at 8 pm at St. Andrew’s Parish Centre, Enfield Town, the North London branch of the Family History Society. HADAS members will be very welcome – and this branch intends to serve the London Borough of Barnet, as well as Enfield.