BOMBSHELL FOR LOCAL HISTORIANS OF MIDDLESEX
A shocking piece of information – shocking, that is, to anyone interested in studying any aspect of the history of the Greater London area – reached us just as this Newsletter went to press. The GLC has sold Queen Anne’s Gate Buildings (home of the old Middlesex Record Office and, since the demise of Middlesex, known as GLC Record Office, Middlesex Section) and it closes forever on June 29, 1979. The records it contains are to be removed to an “out repository” (which, we understand means a warehouse in Whitechapel).
Strangely enough this information did not reach HADAS from the GLC, – which appears to have made no effort to inform local societies whose members might be expected to have an interest in GLC records. HADAS heard what was afoot from the neighbouring borough of Brent just a week before the Middlesex Section was to close. Other local societies in our Borough were equally in the dark until we told them about it. Even more surprising, the Borough Librarian of Barnet did not know of the proposals until we brought them to his notice – and this despite the fact that many records closely concerning the history of the Borough are involved – Sessions and Poor Law records, Diocesan and Land Tax records; and some manorial records for Finchley, Hendon and Friern Barnet, to name only a few.
The GLC proposes in future to have a single Search Room for both inner London and the outer boroughs of old Middlesex. This will be Room B2l at County Hall. The room, however, has to be enlarged and updated for its new purpose, and it is therefore proposed to close completely on Aug. 31 for four months, re-opening on Jan. 2, 1980. Then, GLC warns researchers, “a large proportion of the records will be stored in an out repository and will have to be ordered at least three working-days in advance of a visit. It will be essential to make appointments.
This announcement seems totally insensitive, both in its short and long-term arrangements, to the needs of the very people that the GLC archives are meant to serve and encourage – students and research workers into the history of Greater London.
In the notice of the short term temporary closure of all search facilities there is no mention whatsoever of any arrangement to enable researchers to obtain access to essential documents during the period Aug. 31-Jan. 2. One can only assume that the authorities have given no thought at all to those who may be engaged on research projects (which may be an important part of their livelihood) for which papers held by the GLC are vital.
In the long term, the 3-day rule will put off any but the most dedicated researcher. Even a determined worker will be discouraged if he has only a small amount of time at his disposal; and we suspect that many inexperienced researchers just won’t start. The prospect of beginning a long piece of research which will lead on from one document to another can hardly be faced. Often one does not know, until one has studied one document, what will be needed next. A hiatus of three days, while the second is ordered – and then perhaps a third and fourth – is enough to daunt the most serious student.
It seems to us a complete dereliction of duty to encourage the deposition of documents – as the GLC does – and then to create a situation in which those documents will for months be unavailable and then for the rest of their existence be so stored that research into them is frustrated and discouraged.
If GLC cannot perform properly the duties “it has taken upon itself” as custodian of the records of the London area, there is an alternative. Let it hand over to the individual London Boroughs all those papers which concern them specifically, and retain only such documents as are relative to the area as a whole. Many HADAS members have had first hand experience of the care and attention given to their enquiries by the local history custodians of the boroughs of Camden, Barnet and Harrow – and no doubt other London boroughs are similarly helpful and accessible. They would provide far better facilities for students than those now proposed by GLC.
If GLC cannot, however, bring itself to relinquish its grasp on what it has acquired, then we must try to make it see that the present proposals are just not good enough, and that space must be found to house the documents somewhere in that vast building on the south bank, where they will be available in hours rather than days. Every HADAS member who cares about this matter is asked to write to his or her GLC Councillor, addressing the letter to him at County Hall, SE1, urging him to see that the records of London are made properly available to the people of London. The four Councillors for the London Borough of Barnet are:
Peter Black, Hendon South
Brian Cassidy, Hendon North
Roland Freeman, Finchley
Dr. Mark Patterson, Chipping Barnet
THE JULY OUTING
…will be on Sat. July 14, under the direction of Dr. Eric Grant, to the Lunt and Coventry. If you have ever wanted to walk along the ramparts of a Roman fort, come to the Lunt, a bold experiment in reconstruction. If you went on the previous trip we made, there is now even more to see at the Lunt. We will also be visiting Whitefriars in Coventry, a Carmelite monastery with a fine surviving cloister and chapel. Spon Street is also on the itinerary, the site of the relocation and reconstruction of several magnificent timber framed buildings.
An application form for the outing is enclosed with this Newsletter. Please complete and return it to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible.
Digging at West Heath continues all through this month on Wednesdays, Saturdays (except July 14) and Sundays from 10 am-5 pm.
The late and wet start to the summer means that there is much to be done, and all volunteers are therefore doubly welcome. Please come along whenever you can.
FURTHER FACTS ABOUT HENDON’S FIRST CENSUS
Last month we published an article on Hendon’s first census. Two HADAS members have now come forward to answer some of the questions raised in it.
Philip Venning has gone a long way to unravelling the mystery of “Mr. Coore’s Ivy House,” which was uninhabited on Census night, March 10, 1801. We had wondered if “Ivy House” might have been No. 13 The Burroughs, but Mr. Venning thinks it was further south, on the boundary of Hendon and Hampstead parishes, not all that far from the site of the West Heath dig. He writes:
“The Mr. Coore of Ivy House is, I feel sure, John Coore Esq, a city businessman who occupied the house that used to stand at the entrance to Golders Hill Park (not to be confused with an earlier house known as Golders Hill House, associated with Mark Akenside, the poet, on the site of the Manor House Hospital). He lived there from the end of the 18th c. until his death in 1804. He also owned neighbouring Ivy House which, partly or wholly rebuilt, is now part of Middlesex Polytechnic.
By 1811 Ivy House was in the occupation of John Hopton Forbes, Gent. of Ely Place. The name Ivy House was certainly in use then; a newspaper cutting of that date describes how Mr. Rogers, a surgeon, was tied up and robbed by two footpads halfway between Ivy House and the 5-mile stone (in North End Road).”
Mr. Venning has an engraving of “Golders Hill, Middlesex, The Seat of John Coore Esq” which he kindly says he would allow us to reproduce in the Newsletter. It may be that a little later we shall have space to take up his offer, and we will then be able to show you what Mr. Coore’s house looked like.
Our second piece of information comes from Geoffrey Bilson, who joined HADAS only a year or so ago. It is about Rufus King, the American Minister who was living in Mill Hill on Census night. Mr. Bilson writes:
“The standard biography of King by Robert Ernst (University of North Carolina, 1968) says that when King, a New York politician, was appointed American Minister to the UK in 1796 he lived at Great Cumberland Place, which was his residence and office while he served until 1802. He rented an estate at Mill Hill from Samuel Davies, which he used as a holiday home and country retreat. On his return to us in 1803 he lived quietly, but he became a US Senator before returning for another short term as Minister to UK in 1826.”
The Newsletter is most grateful to both Mr. Venning and Mr. Bilson for their interesting contributions.
C0RRECTION. In the article on Hendon’s First Census, when discussing Rufus King, reference was wrongly made to the American War. This should, of course, have been to the War of Independence.
MEDIEVAL FISH PONDS
One of the small, specialised groups of British archaeology is the Moated Sites Research Group which, as its name implies, concentrates on the recording and study of medieval moated manors, farms and other buildings. It produces an excellent annual report on the year’s work – the Current report, No. 6, has 50 pages packed with information plus 20 pages of plans, maps and sections.
The group has now decided to extend its work slightly by systematically collecting material about medieval fishponds. The first stop will be to note documented surviving fishponds and pond complexes.
If any HADAS members have done research in this line of country, or if they know of surviving fishponds – there is, for instance, said to be one associated with the moat which still remains by the 18th green of Old Fold Manor Golf Club, at Hadley – and particularly, of documentary references which prove a surviving pond to have been a medieval fishpond, would they please let our Hon. Secretary have chapter and verse?
ARS COQUINARIA ROMANA- 1979 STYLE
One of the liveliest university extra-mural departments is Southampton, which has pioneered a kind of practical archaeology weekend special to itself. Several HADAS members have taken part in these imaginative 2-day courses – flint-knapping in a Hampshire quarry, for instance; a weekend making and firing Roman lamps; and a Roman cookery course held in the Domestic Science department of a Winchester school.
The cookery course (there have been two, in 1978 and 1979) was made as authentic as possible. Recipes were taken from the only Roman cook book to have come down to us, preserved through the Dark Ages in monastic libraries. These were the recipes of M. Gavius Apicius, a rich gourmet of the time of Tiberius in the 1st c. AD, who founded a school of cookery in Rome. Seneca says that one day Apicius counted his fortune and found that, having spent over a hundred million sesterces, mainly on food, he had only ten million sesterces left. He felt that he faced the prospect of starvation, and so poisoned himself. The tutor of the Southampton course estimated ten million sesterces at about £250,000 in modern money.
The only ingredients used on the course were those known to the Romans. The most notable absentees (particularly when you think of Italian cookery today) were tomatoes (discovered, with the Americas, by Columbus in l492, and first grown in the British Isles in 1554 by Patrick Bellow of Castletown, Co. Louth, Ireland}; citrus fruits (the sweet orange came from China, and is said to have been brought west and planted in Portugal by Vasco de Gama; the bitter orange and the lemon are natives of India and the Crusaders are credited with their introduction into Europe, though it is possible the Romans knew of the bitter orange, without using it); and sugar, for which honey was the main substitute (sugar, in the form of syrup from sugar cane, was known to the Romans, but used rarely and then only medicinally. It came from Asia Minor, and was probably first refined in Persia).
Unusual ingredients included liquamen, or garum, vaguely like anchovy essence and used in place of salt, an expensive commodity which was rarely included per se during cooking – even in bread making. The tutor of the course, Maureen Locke, had made enough liquamen for this weekend by boiling fish ends of various kinds in strong brine on a raised hearth in her own garden for five hours. Something of the same effect – though probably not as authentically Roman in flavour – can be obtained by mixing 2 parts of anchovy essence with one part Worcester sauce and using it sparingly.
There were also several wine preparations such as caroenum and defrutum (wine reduced in volume by various degrees for use in cookery); passum, sweet wine similarly reduced; mulsum, grape must mixed with honey; and oenogarum, which is wine and liquamen mixed. A wide range of herbs was used – lovage, origan, coriander, bay, mint, savory, sorrel, mustard, fennel, dill; and spices such as cumin and mace. One invariable rule of the Roman cook was apparently “pepper with everything” – savoury or sweet. One now-forgotten Roman flavouring, silphium, was absent, because it has become so difficult to obtain. It is used today only pharmaceutically; its other names are asafoetida, or “devils dung.”
A highlight of the weekend was a Roman banquet, at which the guests wore full Roman dress. For this, imitation Samian tableware had been made by the University pottery department ~ for each guest a cup (similar to form Dr. 27) and a dish (like Dr. 15/17, but without a foot). A spoon and fingers were the only cutlery; between courses a basin of water and a towel came round, and plates were cleaned with a piece of bread.
The room had been decorated with copies of Roman wall paintings, the tables were strewn with herbs and the pottery department had provided copies of lst c. lamps, two of which glowed before a small altar to the lares and penates, to whom a libation was poured before the meal began. It was served by “slaves” -a part played by members of the school VIth form – who also provided the entertainment, described as being “of a chaste nature, such as the younger Pliny would have approved of.” It consisted of vivid readings (in Latin) from the classics, full of expression and lively gesture.
Experiment with an Outdoor Hearth
One morning session was given over to cooking three dishes – a patina of small fish, apricots stewed with mint and pepper and marrows cooked with cumin, rue, liquamen, vinegar and the inevitable pepper -on a raised hearth built in the school grounds on the model of the hearth found in the house of the Vettii in Pompeii.
The hearth was of brick. Its dimensions wore 45 ins. long, 27 ins. deep and 36 ins. high, using 130-140 bricks. There was a one-brick high ledge along the back and each side, invaluable for putting wooden stirring spoons during cooking. The structure was mortared at strategic points, but appeared to be mainly dry-built. It stood on a foundation of paving stones wide enough at the front to allow the cooks to work dry-shod in wet weather. A flimsy, easily movable roof of corrugated iron was supported on wooden posts, and two sides were enclosed with corrugated iron while two remained open.
On top of the raised hearth two mounds of barbecue charcoal were ignited, and a grid was placed over each. On one stood a 10 ins. tall grey ware cooking pot with a decorated shoulder, based on a design from the Alice Holt potteries, with the apricots in it; on the other, a shallow dish about 10 ins. in diameter and 1 1/2 ins. deep, of a type known from the oxford region, contained the small fish. The shallow pot cooked twice as fast as the deep one – the dish was ready in about 20 minutes; but the deep one retained its heat for a long time after being removed from the fire. If placed at the side, on brickwork already slightly warm by heat conduction from cooling, it might have simmered effectively for some time.
This was the first time such a reconstruction of actual Roman cooking methods had been triad, and some valuable lessons were learnt.
How to create a Draught.
The most important, perhaps, was that there must have been some more effective way of “blowing up” the charcoal than the method we used, which was to fan it continuously with a thin piece of pliable board. This was hot, tiring work, and the fanners got in the way of the cooks. Bellows would have solved the problem, but no remains of bellows for domestic use have been identified, nor are there any known depictions of domestic bellows. In the Wealden iron industry, however, clay nozzles or tuyeres are known from smelting sites, And it has been suggested that they protected the wooden nozzles of industrial bellows, so the principle was probably understood (see Britannia, vol. II 1971 p.210. I am indebted for this reference to HADAS member Raymond Lowe, who also suggests the employment in the kitchen of “a boy with a blow-pipe” instead of fanning).
Fanning produced a mass of floating ash, and it seems clear that pots would have had lids for cooling, which would also have speeded the process up by keeping the heat in. Fanning also made the tall Alice Holt pot quiver ominously, and it immediately became apparent why the gridiron found in a hoard at Silchester contained a hole in the middle. It would have fitted the base of such a pot and kept it steady.
Our raised hearth was solid, but the hearth of the Vettii and other known hearths contain an arched recess at the base of the centre front. This recess is usually shown in illustrations filled with wood. Maureen Locke suggests, however, from experience that it was much more likely to have been used as a place to kick the exhausted but still hot charcoal as you re-fuelled, in order not to have it underfoot. B.G.G.
HADAS EXPLORES THE THAMES VALLEY
An account, by MARY BARNETT , of last month’s outing.
The June outing, arranged with care by Ted Sammes, was pleasantly relaxed and varied. With only a short journey ahead, the coach party, 50-strong, was able to make a later start than for most HADAS expeditions. We enjoyed without hurry the visits planned and the beauty of the wide Thames valley around Maidenhead, with its buttercup meadows cut by tributaries.
We picked Ted Sammes up near his home in Taplow shortly after the coach swung off the M4 motorway into more rural country. He explained that we were on the main Bath road, built in the 18th c. to link the capital by stage coach to Bristol and to the Bath of Beau Nash. The mail then went by horse-drawn vehicle along this road, and got there more quickly than it does today – when it can take 12 days for letters to got from Maidenhead to Slough.
In the 19th c. the road began to be superseded by the railway and bridges carrying the Great Western spanned the Bath road. They were often placed askew so that the line could follow a straight course regardless of the effect on the convenience of road users. At Maidenhead we saw Brunel’s celebrated red brick railway bridge, which has two wide arches, the spans being very shallow in relation to their width. For some years the wooden trellising used in the construction of the bridge was left in place as a safety precaution, but it was swept away when the river was in flood and the bridge continues to carry the railway quite safely.
Saxon Burial Mound
Our first visit of the day was to a Saxon burial mound at Taplow, one of the three main barrows of the late Saxon 7th c. and one of the richest in Britain after Sutton Hoo. Excavated by James Rutland in 1883, it turned out to be the grave of a chieftain called Taeppa, from whose name Taplow is derived. Digging in those days was not whst it is now. A trench was driven straight through the mound and the tools used were pick and shovel. This did no good to the gold embroidered cloth in which the chieftain was wrapped, nor to the finds, which included a Coptic drinking bowl, jewelled swords, drinking horns and some fine glasswork, probably brought from the continent.
Rutland deposited all his finds and papers with the British Museum, where some of them are displayed in the new Medieval section. He made sure of his own place in archaeological history by bringing a large granite boulder from the north of England, on which are cut his name and dates (1827-1907) as well as those of his two wives, Helen and Mary.
The stone lies under a yew tree near the mound, which is in the grounds of Taplow Court, a mock Tudor mansion built by the Grenville family, who actually demolished the local church when they found it was too near the house. The few gravestones that survive appear to date to the early 1700s.
In Maidenhead our driver cleverly found a place to park near the elegant bridge over the Thames built by Sir Robert Taylor in 1772, and still carrying the burden of modern traffic. Until 1903 it was a toll bridge; then the people of Maidenhead protested in quite modern style, with “rioting,” and got rid of the toll. Skindles Hotel beside the bridge reminded us that we were in the territory of the carefree monied roadhouse set of the 1920s and ’30s.
Our objective in Maidenhead was the Reitlinger Bequest Museum, a wonderful exampla of the activities of the travelled private collector. The late Henry Reitlineer, trained as a mining engineer, began his collection with prints and went on to amass pottery and porcelain, sculpture and painting. Housed in a delightful late Victorian house with riverside grounds, the museum was opened specially for us by Marjorie Cocke, Mr. Reitlinger’s adopted daughter. Normally it is open only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first Sunday of the month.
We were able to enjoy our picnic lunch at Boulters Lock because the sun made one of its rare appearances this summer. Then we drove to Cookham – once larger and more significant than Maidenhead; but now a small, sleepy town – to visit the tiny Stanley Spencer Gallery. Spencer lived in Cookham and the gallery has an interesting collection of his paintings arid drawings, including a large, unfinished typically Spencer-style picture of a Thames-side scene.
Last port of call was the Courage Brewery Shire Horse Centre, where we were introduced to the gentle, ton-weight animals by Daphne Gaynor, a guide with a knowledge of their various personalities and a nice turn of phrase. They had names like Captain, Barley, Sir Jim and Prince. Captain was a “juvenile delinquent” able to undo the bolt on his stall and refusing to work in the team drawing the drays. Prince was another “escapologist.”
Shire horses, with handsome Roman noses and feathered fetlocks, are now coming back to popularity. Costing upwards of £1000, they are cheap at the price, working well and willingly for the whole of their 20 odd years, doing the jobs tractors cannot and burning no oil. They also produce a valuable end product!
After tea at the centre we started home through Maidenhead Thicket, an area like Finchley Common where highwaymen lurked and priests once got danger money for parochial duties. It had been a lovely day.
WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS
The following have joined the ranks of HADAS in the last few months, and we welcome them warmly, hoping that they will enjoy their membership and will join with pleasure in our activities:
Corinne Angel, Edgware; Miss J E Bagot, Garden Suburb; Patricia Batt, Barnet; Josephine Bolus, N. Finchley; Cilla Bridgman, Bushey Heath; Reva Brown, Hendon; Laurian Dnvies, Mill Hill; Mrs. Finch Jakubowska, N22; Linda Gentry, Totteridge; Geraldine Healy, Kilburn; Miss D M Holburn, Stanmore; Deborah Jones, Garden Suburb; Wendy Jones, Hendon; Alex Munden, Edgware; Mrs. Myers and Alec, Golders Green; Penny Neill, NW6; Janet O’Riley, Finchley; Susan Payne, Northolt; J Pollen, Garden Suburb; Mr & Mse Roots, Hendon; Jacqueline Stearn, NW5; Frank Walters, New Barnet, Roger White, Hampstead.
STONE ARTEFACTS IN THE LONDON BOROUGH OF BARNET
A Gazetteer, researched and compiled by DAPHNE LORIMER.
The London Borough of Barnet is not usually associated with the presence of prehistoric man, but over the years there has been a gradual accumulation of evidence that stone-tool makers did, in fact, exist within this area. Since borough boundaries are modern and artificial barriers this survey does include finds from sites just outside the Borough of Barnet – specially if the artefacts form part of a group or category.
RAW MATERIAL. The principal raw material is flint which is found as a glacial erratic in the boulder clay covering large parts of the area (see the geological survey in the June Newsletter) and probably has its point of origin in the chalk of the Chilterns. Nodules of a fair size and reasonable quality are found on fields and in gardens today, and it is presumed that in antiquity they wore to be found in greater abundance in the many streams which form the tributaries of the Brent and Lee. Hunting Groups following the courses of these rivers could well have penetrated the district and distribution of finds would appear to support this contention (though it may, of course, reflect archaeological imbalance).
Two anomalies among the finds are both considered to be imports into the area in antiquity: a polished adze of hornblend schist from Lands End, found in a Roman context at Brockley Hill; and a jadeite axe found in Hendon and considered to be imported into Britain from an Alpine source.
PERIOD. Only one Lower Palaeolithic (Clactonian) flake has been found but several possible Upper Palaeolithic and many Mesolithic pieces are known (including one major Mesolithic site). A few tools of Neolithic and Bronze Age occur, but areas of marshy ground and the spread of dense woodland from the Atlantic period on may have formed a natural barrier to occupation.
POST-ROMAN USE OF FLINT. A number of flint flakes bearing obvious signs of conchoidal fracture have been found in areas adjacent to the parish churches of Hendon, Barnet, Monken Hadley and Friern Barnet, and near Pagitt’s Almshouses in Hadley, all of flint construction. These have not been included in this catalogue although the study of flint as a building material in this area is a subject of considerable fascination.
GAZETTEER OF STONE ARTEFACTS
In the following catalogue, published finds are listed by site and type and the appropriate references given. Where no written record exists, however, a full description will be included of those finds still available. Numbers on the right correspond with find numbers on the map at the end.
BARNET – ARKLEY
30 Galley Lane. TQ 2315 9625 – No. 1
Three flakes of Mesolithic type found in the garden of 30 Galley Lane by Mrs M Stewart.
(a) Flake of pale grey translucent flint 24 mm long, 8 mm’ wide, max. thickness 1 mm. Marked undulations on ventral surface. Small piece of cortex on proximal end.
(b) Flake of dark grey flint 18 mm long, max. width 12 mm~, max. thickness 5 mm.. Some degree of wear at edges, possibly due to abrasion in the ground.
(c) Flake of dark grey flint with cortex at distal end. Length 15 mm. max. width 7 mm, max. thickness 2 mm. Some macro-wear on edges – possible spoil abrasion.
Present location: Mrs. M Stewart, 30 Galley Lane, Barnet, Herts.
Fold Farm, Galley Lane, Herts. TQ 233975 – No.2
Two largo struck flakes were found by Trevor Johnston by a stream in a field adjacent to Fold Farm, Galley Lane. Heavy yellow clay soil with flints. Flakes prehistoric, possibly Palaeolithic.
(a) Large secondary flake of dark flint with yellow patination. Length 60 mm, ‘I max. width 70 ram, max. thickness 24 mm.Distal end retouched. ?scraper.
(b) Large secondary flake of dark and light grey flint, about one third of dorsal surface covered with cortex. Some secondary working along both sides. Length 80 mm, max. width 64 mm, max. thickness 27mm.
Present location: Mrs. M Stewart, 30 Galley Lane, Barnet, Herts.
BARNET/FRIERN BARNET BORDER.
Precise site unknown. – No. 3.
A chipped and partially polished axe of pale buff flint was found in Barnet Museum, labelled as coming from the Barnet/Friern Barnet boundary. No further information available. Axe marked with grey striations. Length 70 mm, max. width 32 mm, max. thickness 16 mm. The base may be broken. Thought to be Late Neolithic or Bronze Age.
Present location: Barnet Museum, Wood Street, Barnet.
BARNET – HADLEY WOOD
Hadley Wood TQ 255973 – No. 4
Four large struck flakes found by Ralph Walker by the bank of a stream in Hadley Wood. These flakes have been identified as possibly epi-palaeolithic (Verulamium Museum 6.4.72, whose detailed report is quoted below) but the absence of known tool types and the relative proximity of the find to Monken Hadley Church and Pagitt’s Almshouses suggests caution.
(a) Grey-black glassy flint flake with a good cone of percussion, scars and ripples.
(b) Tapering long black glassy flint 12 cm long, 6.5 cm wide, 5 cm thick. Found on surface on the path about 45 m. from the stream.
(c) Small grey glassy flint with prominent cone of percussion.
(d) Small grey-black glassy flint with prominent cone of percussion and scars and ripples.
References: Barnet Press 16.6.72 Present location: HADAS
Hadley Wood TQ 26259710 – No. 5
Flint implements wore reported to have been found by Horace B Taylor and Mr Gillard “in the fosse to the south-west of the Prehistoric camp in Hadley Wood, near the footpath loading to the bridge.” Taylor classifies them as belonging to “the Chelles period which indicates River Drift Man.”
References: Horace B Taylor “A Prehistoric Camp in Hadley Wood,” Trans LAMAS, New Series, Vol 4.
Present location: unknown.
NOTE. The Barnet Press reported the find of a “spearhead” in flint in Hadley Wood” (23.4.71) by Mr. Andrew Rasp of Heidelberg, together with a number of reputed Mesolithic flint implements from Greenhill Park, New Barnet. Mr. Rasp has the finds in Germany and it has not been possible to verify them.
Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School playing fields TQ 253966 – No.6
One flint flakeand two cores from which flakes have been struck found by Ralph Walker on a stream bed at the bottom of the playing fields. The stream is too small to appear on any but the OS 25 in. plan.
(a) A small grey-black glassy flint with roughly parallel sides and shaped to a point. Some secondary working.
(b) A yellow-brown core from which a large flake has been struck. Striking platform present. Length approx. 10.5 cm, width 11 cm.
(c) A grey-black glassy flint core from which flakes have been struck. Prominent cone of percussion.
A11 flint identified at Verulamium Museum as epi-palaeolithic ; measurements,etc. provided by Verulamium Museum.
Present location: HADAS
South of B5378 road. TQ 18299592 – No. 7
Desmond Collins reported the find of a flint implement in Borehamwood, Herts, immediately south of the B5378 by the junction of the road with that running south-west to Elstree.
References: Mus. of Lond. K35; OS No. TQ 19 NE4
Present location: unknown
9 Ross1yn Avenue. TQ 272 951 – No. 8
A flake of dark grey flint was found at the bottom of his garden at 9 Rosslyn Avenue by Mr. Edwards. The house stands to the west of Pymmes Brook.
The flake is 58 mm long, 24 mm wide, 9 mm thick with cortex at the base. Stress marks appear on the upper surface and on the lower surface near base. The flake appears blunted down one edge and signs of wear appear on the other. Dating obscure – possibly, Bronze Age.
Present location: Mr Edwards, 9 Rosalyn Avenue, East Barnet.
The Bishop’s Avenue. TQ 266875 – No. 9
A possible Neolithic fabricator found by Felix Levy in the garden of Kenmore, The Bishop’s Avenue.
Worked flint blade of grey-black flint 58 mm long, 22 mm wide and 6.5 mm thick – has a marked cone of percussion and secondary working along one side. Traces of abrasion at the end may indicate use as a fabricator. May also have been used as a knife.
Present location: Mr. Levy, Kenmore, The Bishop’s Avenue, N2.
Brockley Hill (possible site of Sulloniacae) TQ 175930 – No. 10
(Finds occurred in both the Boroughs of Barnet and Harrow)
(a) Flint tools, flakes and cores found in Roman levels. Originally considered Late Iron Age, but later reports place it in early Bronze Age context.
Suggett, P G. “Excavations at Brockley Hill Aug. 8, Sept. 1951”, Trans. LAMAS, vol. XI Pt II, 1953.
Suggett, P G. “Excavations at Brockley Hill Aug. 1953 & 1954,” Trans. LAMAS, vol. XIX, Pt I, 1956
(b) Excavations north of Brockley Hill House in 1970 produced further flints considered by Dr Andree Rosenfeld to be Mesolithic.
References: Castle, Stephen. “Excavations at Brockley Hill, Middx. Sulloniacae 1970”, Trans. LAMAS, vol. 23 Pt 2, 1972.
(c) A Mesolithic flint scraper was reported to have been found at Brockley Hill by G F Cole ( TQ 1810 9499).
References: Mus. of Lond. ref: B3; OS No. TQ 19 SE4.
(d) A stone adze of polished hornblend schist found by Stephen Castle in excavations on the vacant Hilltop Cafe site in 1972. Possibly introduced as a curio in Roman times.
References: Castle, Stephen. “Excavations at Brockley Hill, Middx, March-May 1972,;1 Trans. LAMAS, vol. 25, 1974.
Present location: Mus. of London
Clay Lane – Bury Farm. TQ 19509375 – No. 11
One core und three flakes (Mesolithic) found in a field on Bury Farm immediately north of Clay Lane.
(a) Two platform conical core of pale grey cherty flint with yellow inclusions. Length 42.7 mm, max. width 24.5 mm, max. thickness 15 mm. Two flakes struck from apical platform, remainder from base.
(b) Large secondary flake. Length 88 mm, width 56 mm, thickness 19 mm. Dark grey flint with pale grey mottle. Cortex covers half posterior surface. Several small flakes have been struck from dorsal surface at bulbar end. Marked bulb of percussion and stress rings.
(c) Small flint flake of pale grey cherty flint. Marked bulb of percussion and remains of platform seen. Length 26 mm, max. width 12.5 mm, max. thickness 3.7 mm.
(d) Flint flake 25 mm long, 14 mm wide, 4.5 mm thick. Grey mottlcd flint. Marked bulb of percussion. Three flake scars on dorsal surface.
Present location: HADAS.
Edgwarebury Lane. Precise site unknown – No. 12
The British Museum record receiving a fragment of a flaked axe of dark brown flint from E G Robinson of 63 Edgwarebury Lane who found it in the Edgware district. It has been broken in antiquity and sharpened around the fracture. It is not a tranchet axe but considered to be Neolithic or Bronze Age.
References: BM accession No: 1951/7/5.4/10/6.1; OS no. TQ 19 SE29; Mus. Lond. B1Midd6.
Present Location: British Museum
Thirleby Road. TQ 20599080 – No. 13
A piece of mottled grey-black glassy flint was found during the excavations in the front garden of 33 Thirleby Rd in a Roman context. It is heavily abraded on the right edge.
References: Hendon & District Archaeological Soc: “Roman Pottery from Thirleby Rd, Burnt Oak, Edgware.” Trans LAMAS, vol 29 1978.
Present location: HADAS.
FINCHLEY “Boulder Clay” -precise site unknown. – No. 14
Primary flake (Clactonian) of ‘Bullhead’ flint found by Lewis Abbott and acquired for Reading Museum by John Wymer.
References; Wymer, John. “Lower Palaeolithic Archaeology in Britain, (pub. John Baker), p.283
Present location; Reading Museum 135; 60/2.
NORTH FINCHLEY AREA. TQ 260920 – No. 15
Derek Roe reports a retouched flint implement to have been found in this area.
References: Roe, Derek. “A Gazetteer of the British Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Sites.” CBA Research Report 8, 1968.
Present location; said to be in Luton Museum but could not be traced.
Finchley, Church End. TQ 2490 9056 – No. 16
Four flakes of Mesolithic type found by G Musgrove in excavations at Finchley Rectory in 1978 in a disturbed layer.
References; Musgrove, G. Report in preparation. Location; G Musgrove
Buckingham Avenue, Whetstone, N20. TQ 2673 9480 – No. 17
C L Clayton, 102 Grosvenor Rd, N1O, found a plano-convex flint chise1 or adze 5 1/2 in. long, 2 in. wide (thought to be a Bronze Age knife) in the garden of 69 Buckingham Avenue, Whetstone. (Measurements in imperial as originally recorded).
References: OS No. TQ 29 SEMidd6; Lond. Mus. ‘No. Dl2. Lacaille A D, Antiquaries Journal, vol 26, 1946, pp 184-5.
Present location; unknown, but thought to have been given to a museum.
Eastside NWll. TQ 24908815 – No. 18
Possible core piece of pale grey flint, heavily rolled. Some cortex present. Flake scars on dorsal surface. Length 36.5 mm, width 26 mm, thickness 14 mm. Found in garden of 28 Eastside NWll. Present location; HADAS
Golders Hill Park. TQ 255,865 – No. 31
Numerous Mesolithic blades, flakes and core trims have been found in Golders Hill Park, NWll.
Present location; HADAS
HAMPSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB
Confluence of Mutton and Dollis Brooks. TQ 251 893 – No. 19
Raymond Lowe found two flint flakes in a gravel layer on the south bank of the Mutton Brook near its confluence with the Dollis Brook at the time of the enclosure of the stream.
(a) A small flake of dark brown mottled flint with cortex on one side giving a blunted back. Length 41 mm, width 5 mm, thickness 3 mm.
(b) Grey flint flake 62 mm long, 37 mm wide and 11 mm thick at mid-point. A small amount of cortex is left on the back and abrasion on the rounded end indicates possible use as a fabricator.
Present location: Raymond Lowe, 61,Erskine Hill, NW11.
Hampstead Garden Suburb. Precise site unknown. – No. 28
A flint scraper chisel was found by Dr Henry Hicks in this area and to be lodged in Church Farm House Museum in 1932.
References: Thames Basin Archaeological Observers’ Group Index. Mus. Lond. No. Klll Hendon Parish
Present location: unknown.
West Heath, Hampstead. TQ 25758575, – No. 23
Three Mesolithic flakes were reported to have been found to the south-east of the Leg of Mutton pond by the Thames Basin Observers’ Group.
References: Thames Basin Observers’ Group Reports, New Series, vol 15 p8.
Present location: unknown.
West Heath, Hampstead. TQ 255 866 – No. 25
D Smith found a core piece of fine brown flint on the south side of the Leg of Mutton Pond. Length 30 mm, width 29 mm, thickness 11 mm. Abraded on lower edge. Blades may have been removed at right angles to original platform of this large flake. Identified at British Museum as possibly Neolithic.
Present location: D Smith 38 Prospect Rd, NW2.
West Heath, Hampstead. TQ 2566 8676 – No. 24
A seasonally occupied Mesolithic hunting camp on the North side of the Leg of Mutton Pond has produced over 28000 struck flakes to date, and a full early Mesolithic tool industry including cores, scrapers, a core axe and axe sharpening flakes. Some late Mesolithic geometric microliths have also boon found.
References: Lorimer, D H. “A Mesolithic Site on West Heath, Hampstead – A Preliminary Report,” London Archaeologist vol 2, No. 16, Autumn 1976, pp 407-9.
Present location: HADAS.
East Heath (Kenwood Boundary). TQ268868 – No. 26
Miss P M Dobbins, 5 Honeybourne Rd, NW5, found this site which has produced many Mesolithic blades and flakes.
Present location: Miss Dobbins and HADAS.
East Heath (near Viaduct) TQ 270 866 = No. 27
This potentially rich Mesolithic site lies on the Heath near the viaduct and above the ponds, and was discovered by J Nicholl, 3 North Rd, Highgate N6. It has produced a large number of blades, flakes and cores.
Present location: HADAS.
King’s Close, NW4.
Jadeite axe found by Master Steven Jacob in back garden of 19 in garden soil. Neolithic import from Alpine source.
References: Hendon & District Archaeological Society, Hendon “Trans. LAMAS vol. 28, 1977.
Jones, V, Bishop A C, Woolley A R., Third Supplement of the Catalogue of Jade Axes from sites in the British Isles, Proc. Prehist. Soc. vol XLIII, p. 290.
Present location: Town Clerk’s Office, Borough of Barnet.
Flower Lane, NW7. , Precise site unknown – No. 30
A large grey flint, crudely chipped, was found in the Church Farm House Museum, recordcd as coming from Flower Lane.
Present location: Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, NW4.
Lawrence Street Allotments, NW7. Precise site unknown – No.. 21
A barbed flint arrowhead was listed as “item 12” in the catalogue of an exhibition held at the Central Library, Hendon, in 1932. The property of Norman Brett James, it was said to have been found on allotments in 1917. (According to A C Clark, former Editor of Trans. LAMAS, these are probably the Lawrence Street allotments). Listed in Barnet Library Accession list, 1973.
Present location: unknown.
De Bohun Avenue, Nl4, TQ 282952 – No. 22
W S Smith, Sunnyside, De. Bohun Avenue, Chase Avenue, Old Southgate, N14, found a small axe of mottled fawn coloured flint in his garden.
References: British Museum Accession List No. 1927-7-5.1
Present location: British Museum
NOTE: :this piece is similar to the axe found oh the Barnet/Friern Barnet border, No. 3 on the map.
Holden Road, Nl2 TQ 255 927 – No. 29
David Tessler found a grey rolled flint with some yellow mottle on the ventral surfaoe in ground to the east of the Dollis Brook in Holden Road. The flint is 95 mm long, 55 mm wide, 7.8 mm thick. It has a pronounced cone of percussion with scar. Distal end battered on ventral surface. Probably attempted blade from prepared core.
Present location: David Tessler, 75 Southover, Woodside Park, N12.
IN CONCLUSION – …thanks are due to the many people who have reported finds and sites and have generously loaned pieces for drawing and description.
Thanks are due too, to Desmond Collins for his expert help and advice; to the Keeper and staff of the Department of Prehistory at the British Museum for their co-operation and information; to Harry Todd at Church Farm House Museum and to W S Taylor at Barnet Museum for searching in every corner and cupboard for stone artefacts; and to all those who have answered my queries and provided new crumbs of information and fresh avenues of approach.
To see map of these various sites – select the following link: –