Newsletter 185: July 1986
Sat July 26 Trip to Sutton Hoo and Orford by Sheila Woodward
Excavation is in progress again at this outstanding site of the Suffolk ship burial near Woodbridge. We were heavily overbooked for our visit last year and a rerun has been organised for those who missed it. If you would like to come again – hopefully in sunshine this year -slight variation has been planned for the afternoon to visit Orford on the Suffolk coast. Orford is famous for its 800-year-old castle keep. As this is a rerun it will probably not be easy to fill the coach, so friends of members will be welcome on this trip.
Sat August 16 Trip to Mary Rose and Portchester
This is additional to our published programme to take the large overflow from May 10. The coach is almost full – just a few seats left and no waiting list – so any latecomers please ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) and you might just get in.
Thur Sep 11 Evening visit to Old Bailey
Thur-Sun Sep 18-21 Exeter Weekend with Ann and Alan Lawson
The coach is now full but no waiting list. If anyone is still keen to go please ring 458 3827 or 203 0950 and we will notify you in the event of a cancellation.
Throughout August ‘Historic Hampstead 1000’ 986-1986 Exhibition at Burgh House, Hampstead
Sat Oct 4 Winchester ‘Domesday 900’ Exhibition
Sat .Oct 11 Minimart, St. Mary’s Church House
Sit Oct 18-Dec 7 HADAS Exhibition ‘One Man’s Archaeology’ Church Farmhouse Museum
AN APPEAL FROM OUR MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
There are still over 100 members who have still not paid their subs and I append below the different amounts due as at 1 April 1986
Full members £5.00
First member £5.00 plus £1 for other members
OAPS First member £3.00 plus £1 for other members
Schools, Corporations etc. £6.00
Please let me have your cheques as soon as possible. We don’t like to badger you, but we do need your money now.
Phyllis Fletcher, Membership Secretary
27 Decoy Avenue London NW11 OES
BROCKLEY HILL POTTERY EVENING
Thursday, July 10, 8.00-9.30 pm at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Meet in the Community Room.This is an opportunity for anyone interested to look at the finds from previous field walks in the Brockley Hill area and familiarise themselves with what to look out for on future walks. We will also put on show some examples of typical Brockley Hill pottery excavated at the kiln sites, to be examined at first hand. . A special welcome to all new members!
BRITISH SCHOOL OF ATHENS 1886-1986
A Centenary Conference on ‘Ancient Mining and Metallurgy’
at University College of North Wales; Bangor, April 1986
This was a stimulating and happy occasion. Between 60 and 70 people attended – Classicists, Archeologists, Engineers and Metallurgists. We really did confer, not only in the two sessions given over to communications and discussions, but as much as possible in our free time.
The first session was chaired by Mr. J.A. MacGillivray, Assistant Director; BSA, the subject being ‘Recent work carried out at the Athenian Silver Mines of Laurion’. This was a survey of the surface remains of the ancient mines (mining is still carried on nearby) in particular the water cisterns and ore washeries. Possible methods of operation were suggested and the Metallurgists present were invited to criticise, which indeed they did, much to both parties’ satisfaction.
At breakfast next morning I told Mr. MacGillivray that HADAS had recently heard Professor Tomlinson talking on his work at Perachora and asked whether the large circular tank found there could possibly have been connected with mining. He was quite sure: ‘No!’ The Perachora tank was much larger and had no central pillar to support a cover. I raised the point of evaporation as covers had been found necessary to prevent this at Laurion. He thought that as the Perachora tank was used only briefly at festival times this would not be a problem, but it seemed to me a very elaborate construction to hold water just for a few days each year. As a point of interest he also mentioned that the BSA’s latest work is at the Palaikastro site in Crete, excavating a hitherto unknown Minoan palace, second only to Knossos in size.
We passed on to other Greek sites, as well as Rio Tinto in Spain, Zawar in India and then to some of the ancient Welsh mines. Duncan James gave a fascinating account of how he had ‘pot-holed’ into the copper mine on the Great Orme at Llandudno to prove that the earliest workings were not in fact Roman but prehistoric. The Victorians had confused all the evidence with their back-filling of the ancient galleries,
Peter Crew from Plas Tan y Bwlch; who guided HADAS on our Snowdonia explorations in 1979, talked on ‘Prehistoric Iron Smelting and Smithing at Bryn y Castell Hill Fort, Gwynedd’ Dr. Peter Northover from Oxford and Dr. Paul Craddock who is well known to us all as member, lecturer and guide, joined with other experts from the British Museum Research Laboratory to talk of the development of copper alloys from Chalcolithic to Byzantine times. This led to a later session. on the conflict between weapon and armour, sword and helmet, an improvement in one ‘having, ‘of necessity, to lead to new technology for the other.
On Saturday we visited the vast moon-landscape of the Parys Mountain on Anglesey. Here Copper was certainly mined in antiquity, but all traces are now lost. The mine was reopened in 1767 and by 1780 it was the largest in the world, producing 4000 tons of copper a year. Nelson’s ships were sheathed in it and so was the French Navy. Tom Williams ‘the Copper King’ knew what he was about! Following recent drilling, there are now plans to open new workings down to 1500 feet-(750 feet below sea level) mainly for zinc and lead this time. These plans, of course, depend on favourable economic conditions.
MORE NEWS OF THE GRAHAME-WHITE HANGAR, HENDON AERODROME
During the past month or so we have written, to a number of aviation magazines and societies with a generally favourable response (except from the Royal Aeronautical Society). It has been pleasing and interesting to discover that a lot of people have been making their own contribution to the call for preservation. ‘A co-ordinated campaign might achieve more but the volume and spontaneity of complaint is in itself Impressive. At least at the time of writing in mid-June the hangar is still standing.
At the AGM I mentioned that an expert on aircraft factories was coming to visit the Hendon/Stag Lane area with me and asked anyone interested in joining us to let me know. In the event the visit took place at very short notice in mid-June when my friend was unexpectedly despatched to London on college business, mixed business with pleasure. Apologies to anyone who would have liked to join us. BILL FIRTH
Hampstead is celebrating its millennium this year. Anyone who lives in the south of the Borough of Barnet and who reads that pearl among local papers, the Ham and High is probably well aware of the fact: but HADAS members outside the Ham and High’s orbit may not have cottoned on yet.
There have already been all kinds of junketings in connection with the millennium, and more are to come but one, which might specially interest HADAS member’s, is nearing its close. You might like to try and nip in to see it before it ends. It is an exhibition at Burgh House, New End Square, NW3, until July 6 on the Medieval Manor of Hampstead.
Starting point and highlight of the exhibition, which has been devised and arranged by QC David Sullivan and his daughter Tess, is – as one might expect – the one document which provides evidence for the date of the millennium, and shows that Hampsteadians of 1986 are right to celebrate this year. It is the record of a charter (not the charter itself, which is long since lost) but a document made later (probably before 1016), saying .that there had been a grant by Ethelred II (‘the Unready’) of 5 tracts of land in Hampstead in 986 to Westminster Abbey. The record gives the boundaries of the land in Anglo-Saxon. The excellent booklet (price £1.00) which accompanies the exhibition adds that ‘the Manor map, made more than 750 years later, in 1762, which defines the boundaries of the manor very clearly, agrees closely with the geography indicated by the Anglo-Saxon boundaries.’
It’s interesting how often Hendon crops up in the booklet; and how in medieval times Hendon seems to have been regarded as the big brother of Hampstead (in family rather than Orwellian terms). It is suggested that Hampstead may have begun life as a staging post on the trackway over the hill to Hendon, ‘a larger and probably earlier vill in the Middlesex weald to the north.’ Both places belonged to the Abbey of Westminster; both appear in Domesday, and the situation of the two is interestingly contrasted in displays on the free and unfree tenants of the manor.
A section of the exhibition deals with the monks’ farm accounts which survive at Hampstead from 1270-98 and from 1375-1412. It would be an interesting exercise to compare these with the farm accounts of the Abbey’s manor at Hendon, which exist from 1316-1416 (see Eleanor Lloyd’s paper in Trans LMAS, vol 21, pt 3, 1967, 157-163).
For one escape the Hendon manor must have been grateful: when the. Black Death reached Westminster in spring 1349 the Abbot of Westminster, Simon de Bircheston, and many of monks, fled to ‘safety’ in Hampstead not Hendon. The Abbey did not have a manor-house at Hampstead; but it had ‘a substantial Hall and dormitory with a farm grange attached,’ probably at the corner of Frognal and the present Frognal Lane.
The booklet describes what followed when the Abbot arrived in 1349. ‘It is likely that the village was then still free from the plague. But his arrival was disastrous. His group brought the plague with them, and on May 15 1349 the Abbot died here, together with 26 of his monks. Their bodies were buried in Hampstead; but the Abbot’s body was later taken and reburied in the East Cloister of the Abbey. The village, too, must have suffered disastrously …’
The exhibition will be open from July 2-6 inclusive, 12 noon – 5 pm. BRIGID GRAFTON GREEN
A MESSAGE FOR THE CLERKENWELL WALKERS and those who missed the walk as well. Come and join in the Clerkenwell Festival from July 11th to 20th
Friday 11th Opening Ceremony at lunchtime on Clerkenwell Green. Morris dancing ‘all round the pubs’ in the evening.
Sunday 13th. Grand Dickensian Street Fair and Charity Market (Period costumes specially welcome.) A coach and horses will ferry visitors from Ludgate Circus to the Fair.
Sunday 20th Grand Finale. Italian procession from St. Peter’s Church, Clerkenwell Road.
The Sessions House, Marx Memorial Library, St. James’s Church and. St. John’s Priory Gate will all be open to the public with displays and exhibitions. Programmes can be obtained from the Sessions House and further information from Jim Lagden or Hilary Coleman on 226 1234.
FAVERSHAM AND ROCHESTER
The trip to Faversham and Rochester on June 14th started in superb sunshine at the recently restored Chart Gunpowder Mill. This water-powered incorporating (blending) mill is the only building left of the many gunpowder works spaced out (for safety) for 11/2 miles along Faversham’s West Brook through the town and down to the coastal marches. Possibly the earliest gunpowder works in the country, they were nationalised about 1760, only to be re-privatised some 60 years later when the Napoleonic Wars ended and demand dropped.
Faversham’s delightful medieval architecture and quays survive because its trade volume stayed relatively constant, handling gunpowder, local bricks for London and elsewhere, and (for unclear reasons!) Romney Marsh wool: Especially noteworthy: the King’s Warehouse – 15th Century, housing the King’s weights – the ‘raison Dieu and the parish church, St. Mary of Charity, with a Roman foundation, Georgian nave, Medieval wall-paintings and misericords, and arches of almost every type known.
Paul Craddock guided us to a site along Watling Street outside the town to show us the ground plan and lower walls of a rectangular 4th Century AD Roman building subsequently identified both to East and West to form a church that fell into disuse before the Reformation. Paul likened it to St. Martin’s, Canterbury, and some churches near Cologne, all now believed to have started as Roman mausolea, to have become Christian shrines in Roman times, and probably to have a continuous Christian history right through the Dark Ages.
In Rochester we visited the Dickens Centre and Rochester Castle (1120’s), dominating the Cathedral precinct and described by Paul as the most perfect example of a Norman castle tower on either side of the Channel. Only one wall had been rebuilt in the 14th Century, after an unsuccessful siege by King John.
The best was left until last an idyllic tea provided by Paul’s wife, Brenda, in the garden stretching behind their house to the edge of the steep hill looking out over the Medway. Facing into the afternoon sun we ate and drank surrounded by flowers and espaliered fruit trees along the walls, with the smell of herbs from between the flagstones.
Lament, all HADAS members who couldn’t go. The rest of us gratefully thank all the organizers – and the unknown person who arranged the perfect weather after six months of winter. MARY RAWITZER
SPRING MEETING OF LOCAL SOCIETIES AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
This meeting takes place about twice a year and on this occasion was attended by representatives from 21 Local Societies within the old Greater London area, together with six members of the Department of Greater London Archaeology.
Harvey Sheldon representing L.A.M.A.S as well as D.G.L. showed slides of the excavation at Winchester palace and also reported that excavation had been carried out beneath the undercroft of Westminster Abbey, an 11th Century building at Kingston-on-Thames another under-croft at the Horsefair, which was not scheduled, may be moved from its present position and re-sited nearer the Thames. It was explained that to schedule a building and prevent development after planning permission had been given could be a very expensive matter. This undercroft had been located in Victorian times but subsequently lost.
The West London Unit had been digging behind the Garden Centre in Uxbridge and found further evidence of Mediaeval Uxbridge and of earlier times. The excavation of the Roman Bath House and Villa at Beddington was yielding bones of Roman and prehistoric origin. The gravel site in Holloway Lane had produced part of a Late Bronze Age metal-working area. Concern was expressed that with the abolition of the G.L.C. local authorities might not give such firm support in dealing with gravel extraction projects as had recently been the case.
Enfield Society reported a Roman settlement in the Lincoln Road area alongside the route of Ermine Street. A burnt clay structure, possibly a corn drier, had been found and, in a rubbish pit, six pots which were almost complete The Putney Society is currently setting up a new Museum and Val Bot has left the Grange Museum to take up the challenging post of Curator. The next Local Societies Meeting will take place on Monday September 22nd and each Society is invited to send up to three representatives. TED SAMMES
The Committee met on Friday, June 6th. New members were welcomed and various matters discussed.
Plans for the 25th Year Exhibition this autumn are well under way. Ted Sammes is presenting One Man’s Archaeology, a personal record of his twenty five years in the Society and the widening range of his interest in Archaeology. The Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet, Councillor and Mrs. Dennis Dippel, have kindly agreed to be present on October 18th and, after a brief opening ceremony at 11.30 am, followed by a brief official reception, the exhibition will open to the public in the afternoon. It will run for two months.
Victor Jones reported the possibility of a trial excavation at Whetstone, on the site where a shop was recently burned down. It was decided to proceed with this.
Brian Wrigley agreed to maintain contact with the R.A.F. Association, who, as a non-official body, may be best able to mount a publicity campaign in defence of the GrahameWhite Hangar at the RAF Museum. It was stressed that this was still in danger, in spite of press reports suggesting otherwise.
Jill. Braithwaite, Co-ordinator of the Roman Group reported on the Pipeline Project. She and Tessa Smith had examined previous field-walking finds and would make enquiries about ploughing dates with a view to obtaining permission for further walks liaison with D.O.G.L.A. would be important and Jill Braithwaite agreed to represent us on the D.O.G.L.A. Liaison Committee. It was hoped that the recognition meeting (see page 2) would be well attended, especially by new members.
Jim Beard reported progress on the Watling Street site (Burnt Oak Station Carpark). The Committee thought that further documentary projects should include research into possible new sites and individual work on matters of local historical interest. Reports of this kind would be of value for the Newsletter.
Margaret Maher had been asked by a representative for some information on the West Heath Site for inclusion in the revised publication. She would confer with Daphne Lorimer about this.
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday July 16th.
COUNCIL OF BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGY POLL RESULT
Were you present when we voted on the issue of the World Archeological Congress? We were asked, you may remember, whether C.B.A. should withdraw support from the Congress, now weakened in its claim to be a World Forum by the absence of many visitors who objected strongly to the inclusion of archaeologists from South Africa. The national result is now available:
83 Societies voted in favour of withdrawal
46 Societies voted against
7 Societies abstained
So the HADAS Voting was reflected in the national returns.
The following sites have been the subject of recent Planning Applications. If permission is granted, it is possible they might be of some archaeological interest.
36 Friern Park, N12
Barrymore, Bow Lane N12
Former L.T.E. Sports Ground Deansbrook Rd. Edgware
Former Trafalgar House site,The Hyde, NW9
2 Stanway Gardens, Edgware
2 The Lincolns, Marsh Lane NW7
West Hendon Hospital Site, Goldbeaters Grove NW9
land adjacent to 2 Wellhouse Lane, Barnet
Meadowbank Cottage, The Hollies, Barnet Road, Arkley
Hollybush House, Hadley Green
Land at Arkley Hall and Arkley Rise, Barnet
12 Barnet Gate Lane Arkley
“Stocks” Hadley Green West
47 Old Fold View, Barnet
The Barn, Totteridge Green, N20
ANGLO-SAXON CEMETERIES: A REAPPRAISAL
This weekend conference is being held in the New Merseyside Maritime Museum 7-9 November 1986. Accommodation will be available at special rates in city centre Liverpool hotels. Delegates will have unique access to Merseyside museums.
The conference will start on Friday evening with a key lecture to set the scene for the weekend. Saturday morning will cover techniques such as palaeopathology, settlement modelling and establishing a research design. The afternoon session looks at artifact study and analysis. On Sunday the practical problems of older material will be considered with special attention to the Faussett collection.
This Conference is being held as part of the 1986 centenary of the death of Joseph Mayer, Liverpool’s antiquarian and philanthropist. Mayer saved for the nation material excavated in Kent and meticulously recorded by the Rev. Bryan Faussett in the late 18th Century.
Details of programme, cost and accommodation are available from The Director of Continuing Education Studies, University of Liverpool. PO Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX (Telephone 051-709 6022 ext. 2797).
FOR YOUR BOOK LIST
Guide to the Silchester Excavations 1982-84
Michael Fulford University of Reading
This is the second guide to the present series of excavations at Silchester. The first one covered the Amphitheatre and Forum for the years 1979-81.
The black layers originally encountered by Joyce, the Victorian excavator in the Basilica, have been identified as the remains of a metal-working industry, carried out in the third and fourth centuries A.D. in what was once the town’s most imposing building.
Pre-Roman occupation has been found from the first century B.C. continuing until 55-60 A.D. at which time a substantial ditch and timber rampart was constructed. The subsequent Roman street grid runs at 450 to the ditch.
This dig is directed by Mike Fulford who has spoken to HADAS about the Amphitheatre excavation. This year’s excavation runs from June 30-August 2. Public viewing Sundays and weekends, 10 am to 5 pm. (See British Archaeological News, April 1986, pg 23).
An up-to-date guide to Silchester (Calleva) is needed, let’s hope it will soon materialise.
This is the title of a new guide to Stonehenge written by Julian Richards and published by the Trust for Wessex Archaeology, price £1.50. It is designed to interest the visitor not merely in the monument itself but in its immediate surroundings. Many of the illustrations are in colour and set the scene.
Stonehenge is dealt with in its many phases and it suggests an abandonment about 2500 B.C. shifting to other ritual sites, Conebury, Durrington Wall and Woodhenge are described. Bronze Age farming in the area is described ending at about 1000 B.C. At the end of the booklet is a map which will help the informed visitor walk the newly arranged paths in the National Trust Estate. Information boards have been placed at key points. Let’s hope the “vandals” can’t walk that far.
This new booklet is based on work carried out by the Trust for Wessex Archaeology between 1980 and 1984.