NEWSLETTER 139 SEPTEMBER 1982
The final outing of summer 1982 is a 21st anniversary trip to Greensted and Waltham Holy Cross, on Saturday September 25, to be led by Ted Sammes.
This is a greatly enhanced version of the first outing that HADAS undertook. The date was September 16 1961 so we will be repeating it almost to the day. It cost participants the princely sum of ten shillings (50p) each. On that occasion all was very impromptu, this year we will have the benefit of local guides to help us extract the maximum from the day.
Come and be nostalgic with the few of us who remain from that very first outing. You will be rewarded by a day spent partly amongst the Saxons and Normans.
Winter programme: The lecture season starts in October at our usual location, the Central Library next to Hendon Town Hall, NW4. We start soon after 8pm with coffee and biscuits (10p) and time for a chat before the lecture starts at about 8.30. For new members, buses 183 and 143 pass the door. The library is 10 minutes’ walk from Hendon Central Station and only a few minutes from the 113 (Edgware), 240 and 125 bus routes. There are two free car parks opposite. Members may bring a guest to one lecture, but guests who wish to attend further lectures should be invited to join the society.
Tuesday October 5: Coalhole Covers and Victorian Domestic Life, by Lily Goddard.
Coalhole covers – cast-iron artefacts of the Victorian era – are a special feature of many streets and squares in our cities and in country and seaside towns. Set in the pavement mainly in front of 19th century terraced houses, they were in general domestic use from the 1850s to the end of World War One and many serve their original purpose to this day. The covers, called coal plates, were cast in iron and were embellished with a great variety of harmonious geometric patterns. Lily Goddard’s talk, broadly based on her book “Coalhole Rubbings” (Midas Books), is illustrated by more than 100 slides. Many varied coalhole rubbings will be shown, their locations pointed out and where possible information given on the ironmongers and foundries whose names are cast on the covers. There will also be a step-by-step description of how to take a rubbing, action pictures of present day heavy iron casting, a brief look at domestic life in Victorian times advice on mounting and presenting a collection of rubbings and slides of creative applications based on coalhole motifs and translated into other art and craft media.
Lily Goddard is anxious to locate a local coalhole cover to talk about, so if any member knows of one Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) would be grateful to hear of it.
Tuesday November 2: Anglo-Saxon England by Professor Loyn, Professor of History at Westfield College.
December: Christmas gathering – more news later.
VISIT TO NORTHUMBERLAND
The 29-seater coach for this four-day trip is filled, but there is no waiting list, so if anyone else thinks they may like to go please ring June Porges(346 5078) or Pete Griffiths (61 23156) in case there are any late cancellations.
To Dave King and Gill Braithwaite, who have both passed their final exams in the University of London internal diploma with first class honours. Also to Brian Wrigley , who has obtained his external diploma, and to other members with academic :successes have not yet reached HADAS editorial ears.
Barnet Museum is still wrestling with the aftermath of its rebuilding problems. Official opening of the reconstructed museum has been twice postponed and curator Bill Taylor tells us that it is now proposed to reopen formally in March of next year. Meantime, there’s one bit of good news for HADAS researchers. Most of the map collection is back in the museum, and Mr Taylor is now in a position to allow HADAS members to work in the map room by appointment. Several people working on documentary projects who have been waiting to consult maps held in the museum will undoubtedly rejoice at this news. Mr Taylor tells us also that two HADAS members, Audrey and John Hooson, are helping him regularly on Saturdays getting the museum straight.
ON THE TILES…
There are only a few days to go if you want to see the current exhibition at Church Farm House Museum, Hendon. It closes on September 5. The exhibition is a colourful display of Victorian tiles, with a good deal of information in the brochure and captions on methods and techniques of manufacture – inlay, dust pressing, transfer printing, block printing, moulding.
The exhibition which follows will concentrate mainly on the arts and crafts work at present being done in Hampstead Garden Suburb. The Suburb has a thriving craft movement which Dame Henrietta Barnett, its founder, would have applauded vigorously; members of the craft group hold a lively and exciting pre-Christmas market every November. A selection of their work will be displayed from September 11 to November 7 at the museum, against a background of panels showing episodes of Suburb history.
HADAS will take part this month in the usual autumn exhibition staged by the General Arts section of the Barnet Borough Arts Council. All organisations affiliated to the arts council have a chance to display their work at this annual show, and Nell Penny is organising a small exhibit for us. This year the exhibition will be at the Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4, from September 13 to 24.
Last month HADAS had an order for one of its publications from the North York Public Library, Ontario, Canada. This was for Victorian Jubilees, which we published in honour of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. The copy, we are told, “is to form part of a special collection on the Royal Family”.
Is this fame? Or notoriety? Or just a particularly keen and meticulous researcher at the Ontario library?
RETURN TO CAMULODUNUM
Enid Hill reports on the August outing, to Colchester, which was led by Liz Holliday.
A return trip to any site is always a gamble, but any doubts felt about the return to Camulodunum were quickly dispelled as we arrived on a sunny Saturday morning with the local market in full swing along the High Street. Liz Holliday had very sensibly allowed time for us to wander round the town before we met at the Castle to be taken round the Roman vaults, the Norman walls and the museum housed in the Castle.
Camulodunum was already an important place before the Romans took it in AD 43 and made it their headquarters. A colony of retired Roman soldiers was established and a temple to the Emperor Claudius built. Later the Normans utilised the podium or stone base of this temple for their castle, part of which still stands, built out of Roman tiles or bricks, and a strange substance – septaria – lumps of compacted clay found on the coast near Harwich. The castle was immense – four storeys high – but is now much reduced and holds a fine collection of Paleolithic and Neolithic tools, Bronze Age hoards, and a Roman collection of excellence, including even a sample of wattle and daub burnt in the fire of AD 60 in the Boudiccan revolt. Equally unpleasant were the reminders that the Castle had been used as a prison from 1251 to 1835.
After a picnic lunch in the grounds of the Castle, we spent two hectic hours on a conducted tour of the early districts of Colchester, looking at the Roman town wall, St Botolph’s Priory ruins, admiring a Roman drain in the wall, looking at timber framed houses and 18th century houses where the old wooden frame had been hidden by a new facade, admiring the Saxon tower of Trinity Church and the memorial to a Dr Gilberd who died in 1603 but wrote about magnetism and electricity. We crossed the High Street (the old Roman Road) and. wandered down streets leading to the River Colne. Here was the Dutch quarter named after Flemish and Dutch weavers of the 15th. and 16th century who settled there. Here was a reference to John Ball, the priest in the. Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 who had a tenement here, and another house where two sisters, Jane and Ann Taylor, lived in the 19th century. They wrote Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Houses of 15th, 18th and 19th century date exist side by side and the town council has done great service by restoring some 48 old houses, action which won a civic award.
Finally we visited the immense Roman Balkerne Gate, once the main entrance to the town. Nearby, the remains of the Roman legionary fort of AD 43-49 have been found, though the Romans later built houses on the site. Here too is the vast Victorian water tower of 1882 and the recent Mercury Theatre where we had tea with 2,000 years” of history around us before leaving for London.
POTTERING AROUND BROCKLEY HILL
Tessa Smith describes a walk by members of HADAS Roman Group in the grounds of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital on top of Brockley Hill.
Our aim was to explore the site of the seven Roman kilns found in this part of Brockley Hill, one of the main mortaria producing areas of Roman Britain in the Flavian-Trajanic period.
Armed with maps and archaeological reports on excavations, we first located the approximate position of kiln 9, the kiln of the potter Doinus, immediately south of Brockley Hill House. This kiln dates from the period AD 70-110 and the finds are at the Museum of London.
We then moved on to the tennis court area, which has been so fruitful for archaeology. It was here in 1953-4 that Phillip Suggett found a large oval clay pit, rich in waster material of the potters Melus, Matugenus, Driccius and others. In addition to local wares he found many imported objects, such as Samian pottery (which included fragments of two Lezoux “unworn” Form 27 cups), millefiore glass, yellow-glazed St Remy ware, bronze brooches and pins, micaceous and black imported pottery and an intaglio from a ring. Mr Suggett suggested these might have been the stock of some sort of roadside shop. Most of the finds from these digs are on permanent loan to the London Borough of Barnet and are in storage (when not on display) at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute.
The tennis courts were rebuilt in 1971, when Stephen Castle excavated the North West bank. He found many hundredweights of 1st and 2nd century coarse pottery sherds, which are now stored in the Museum of London. It is thought likely that this general area is where the Moxom Collection was found in the early 1900s.
Going a little further north, still keeping near Watling Street, We explored the mound bank, thought to have been built as a boundary at the end of the 18th century. This bank overlies, to a depth of about two feet, four Roman kilns found by Shimon Applebaum in 1950 and Suggett in 1951. Reed-rimmed bowls formed the staple product of the three kilns found by Mr Suggett, and stamped mortaria by Bruccius and Castus helped to date them. Bruccius is thought to have worked between AD 85-120, Castus between AD 95-140. One of the kilns was built directly over a previous kiln.
We were very much aware of the nearness of Watling Street, the modern A5, only a few paces away to the east, and it was in a lawn outside the main entrance to the hospital; right beside the road, that hundredweight of amphorae sherds were excavated in 1975, as a result of the need to lay an electricity cable. Two of the seven known kilns in this area were also found when workmen were digging.
This highlights the importance of watching for any activity of this sort on this sensitive site. The west side of the A5 lies, of course, within the province of the Harrow and Stanmore Historical Society. The boundary between the boroughs of Harrow and Barnet goes up the middle of the road and our “patch” is on the east side – where kiln activity has also been observed, starting with a trial dig in 1937 and going on to a full excavation in 1948 by Margaret Richardson (the finds from these digs are also on permanent loan to LBB).
Any archaeologist worth his/her salt should therefore keep a keen eye out for “works” on either the east or west of the A5, so that these can be reported to the society immediately concerned and if they are important enough – to the Museum of London, which is lways keenly interested in Brockley Hill.
I would like to thank the authorities of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital for giving their permission for us to walk their grounds. There are springs on the west side of the hill and some members of the group explored the steep slope north west towards the new road which is being built within the hospital grounds. Surface water, draining away towards the Aldenham Reservoir, made some areas wet and boggy. Examples of pottery were noted in the ground, and this walk will provide for further discussion when the Roman Group meets next – which will be on:
Wednesday September 15, at 8pm, at 56 Northway, NW11.
Please let Mrs Enid Hill
Audrey Hooson reviews MEDIEVAL JEWELLERY by David Hinton (Shire Archaeology, E1.95)
This is subtitled “from the 11th to the 15th century” and provides a very interesting and concise introduction to the jewelry of that period. Among the subjects covered are the sources of information, the dating of jewels, the sources and properties of the metals and gemstones used, types of medieval jewels (belt and costume fittings are included in this chapter) and jewellery in history.
Most of the plates have been provided by museums but the standard of reproduction varies. I found the drawings prepared specially for the book more useful but for those readers unable to visit museums the black and white photographs probably give a better idea of the pieces.
The list of books for further reading includes several which are available from the Barnet Library Service. David Hinton, who lectures in archaeology at the University of Southampton, also suggests museums to visit. Fortunately for us, the best collections are in London at the British Museum, the V & A and. the Museum of London.
An evening spent reading this book followed by visits to one or all of these museums to see not just the jewellery but also the medieval paintings and illustrated manuscripts showing it being worn, would provide a good start to the study of these beautiful artifacts and their importance as a source of social history.
(Copies are available, please add 20p for postage, from Jeremy Clynes, 66 Hampstead Way, NW11 7XX).
A TASTE OF ROME
A new Newsletters ago we promised to publish an occasional recipe from our 21st birthday historical buffet. The first we printed was a 15th century dish. This one, for Sala Catabia, is 1st century AD.
It is the dish which Julius Baker – who wrote the Newsletter report on our 21st birthday party – liked best. It is also the dish which, with a flourish, opens the only Roman cookery book to come down (via medieval monastic libraries) to modern, times – written by Apicius, Roman gourmet of the time of Tiberius.
Ingredients, to be moulded in a small basin with a top rim 6 inches in diameter: diced, cooked chicken meat (about a quarter of a small chicken); ¼ pint of well-flavoured chicken stock; 2 oz chicken livers, cooked gently in a little oil; ¼ of a stall brown loaf (at least f our days old); ¼ cucumber, peeled and diced; 2 oz grated cheddar or similar hard cheese; 1 oz pine kernels; 1 tbsp capers. For sauce: about 2 tbsps each honey, wine vinegar, water; a liberal grinding of black pepper, 1 tsp chopped pennyroyal, garum to taste. Garnish: chopped mint.
Method: cut the loaf into ¼ in thick slices and remove the crusts. Dip each slice into the chicken stock and squeeze out gently, trying to retain the shape of the slice, so that it is easy to line the basin completely with a ‘Min layer of bread.
Fill this lined basin with alternate layers of chicken meat, livers, cucumber and cheese; sprinkle pine kernels and capers here and there. There should be about six layers in the basin, which should bring the filling to the top of the bread lining.
Mix the ingredients for the sauce and pour into the basin. The contents should be nicely damp but not sloppy, and the most difficult part is to gauge exactly the right amount of sauce. Put a final soaked slice of bread across the top, then put a small saucer and a light weight on top of it, and refrigerate overnight.
Just before the meal, turn out carefully and serve cold, sprinkled with chopped mint.
(Note: if you have no pennyroyal for the sauce, use mint instead; only cooks who frequently make Roman dishes are likely to have garum, so we suggest using ordinary salt, to taste, instead. Other herbs, eg thyme, parsley, marjoram, can be substituted for mint both in the sauce and for garnish)
The Romans served this as part of their “starter” course, the “Gustatio”.
The society will be very sad to learn of the death, in the middle of August, of Muriel Jones, a keen member of HADAS for the last seven years. She died at her home in North Finchley of a heart attack.
Miss Jones was a real HADAS fan. She was an enthusiast for outings and lectures, attending all that she possibly could; although an accident last winter in which she was knocked down by a car unfortunately curtailed these activities.
She also liked to lend a helping hand whenever possible in the society’s research projects. The last work she took part in was the recording of the tombstones in St James the Great churchyard, Friern Barnet.
She was a small, gentle, and enthusiastic and ever7cheerful lady, and all those of us.who knew her will miss her very much.
The Newsletter welcomes with pleasure the following new members, who have joined HADAS within the last few months:
*Frederick Baker, Barnet: Mrs Carter, Garden Suburb; Mrs Chalmers, NW1; Caroline Ellis, Imperial College; Mrs Gibb John, Garden Suburb; Mrs Mildred Gordon and Mr David Gordon, NW2; Josephine Horncy, West Hampstead; Marie-Louise Irvine, Garden Suburb; Stephen Jack, NW10; John and Ulla Jeyes, Edgware; Mrs Caroline and *Jeremy Killen, Garden Suburb; Freda Kroll, Garden Suburb; *Robert Myers, Stanmore; David Plant, Finchley; W.J. Smith, Crouch End.
(* denotes a member under 21)
Happy HADAS days, all of you.
Local WEA courses of likely interest to members include:
Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Thursdays, from September 23, 27 Rotherwick Road, NW11, 8pm); Arts and Architecture. of Ancient Greece (Mondays, from 27 September, Hendon Library, 8pm); Ancient Beliefs and Rituals in the Middle East (Tuesdays, from September 29, Hendon Library,. 7.30 pm); Archaeology and Religion (by Tony Rook, Wednesdays, from October
13; Owens AEC, Chandos Avenue, N20, 10am) Fees vary, from £18 to £24 for 24 lectures, with reductions for OAPs. Local libraries have full WEA programmes.
There are a number of weekend courses at Oxford, beginning with Recent Work on the Medieval Castle, October 9-10. Write to Archaeology Course Secretary, Oxford University Department for External Studies, Rewley House, 3-7 Wellington Square, Oxford, for details.
STOP PRESS..: STOP PRESS… STOP PRESS…
Saturday October 23 – another diary entry – Ploughman’s lunch, members’ get-together and MINIMART at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon, NW4. Good saleable items wanted by Christine Arnott (455 2751) or Dorothy Newbury (203 0950). Further details in October Newsletter.