Saturday June 3 Remember! Barnet’s Triangular Market – see May Newsletter. Less youthful or vigorous members are welcome to join the party for the exploation of the Tudor Hall at Barnet College, Wood Street at 11.0, followed by a selective look at St John’s Church.
Saturday June 24 Outing to Great Burstead and Malden – Details and booking form with this Newsletter.
Saturday July 8 Beddingham Roman Villa Excavation, Sussex and Mickleham Priory. Elizabeth Sanderson form enclosed.
Saturday August 12 Crickley Hill Excavation, Glos. and Painswick.
Saturday Sept O Highbury, Canonbury; O’connell.
Annual General Meeting May 9 by Dorothy Newbury
A goodly number – about 50 – attended the AGM and we were delighted to see Daphne Lorimer in the Chair. As is the custom with HADAS the business was rushed through in record time and we went quickly into the reports and slides of the year’s activities.
The President of HADAS
The distinguished archaeologist Ralph Merrifield was elected by the AGM as our President for the next five years. He describes himself as a “museum archaeologist” and has indeed worked as such at Brighton Museum, the old Guildhall Museum and the Museum of London where he became deputy director. His writings and books on the archaeology of Roman London have not only recorded discoveries but also have pointed the direction for new archaeological developments in London. A new book The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic presents the results of interest and experience over many years; a possible application in Barnet has led us to recent contact with him. We learn from him that he was born in Temple Fortune and spent his first two years there; we look forward to welcoming him and showing him a little more of our Borough.
Officers of the Society 1989-90
Vice-Chairman: John Enderby
Hon Secretary: Brian Wrigley
Hon. Treasurer: Victor Jones
OUTING TO STAMFORD AND BURGHLEY HOUSE by Mary Valentine
As a fairly new member of HADAS and an ‘archaeological novice’ I enjoyed an extremely interesting and educational day when our full coach set off for Stamford, Lincolnshire, on May 13th. Shortly after coffee at the Archer Inn,Tempsford, we arrived in Stamford; the town sign invited us to linger a while amid its ancient charms and that is exactly what we did. It is a stone town with fine Elizabethan and Georgian houses and medieval churches. Stamford was mentioned in Doomsday Book and became a conservation area in 1967. In C18 it was an important coaching stop on the Great North Road. Only three arches survive from the C15 castle. We arrived in St George’s Square and divided into two groups, one being greeted by Dr Till who lives in the oldest house in the Square, the other being led round Stamford’s most interesting streets by Mrs Joan Kudlinski. The two groups later swapped over. Dr Till invited us inside his splendid house. The building was completed in 1674 and has four floors; although it has undergone changes by previous occupants it remains a fine example of a C17 town house and has also a beautiful flowering walled garden. Dr Till has lived in the house for 50 years. On our guided tour we visited Browne’s Hospital. Now a museum it was originally an almshouse for 10 poor men and 2 women, built in 1475 by a wool merchant William Browne. The visitor sees examples of residents’ issued clothing and belongings. We had time to explore independently the churches, squares, Brewery Museum and the green meadows lying beside the river Welland that runs through the town. Burghley House, one mile southeast of Stamford, is set in beautiful grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. The house was constructed is three stages during 1555-1587 and was the home of William Cecil, first Lord Burghley and Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth 1. It is a magnificent stately home, open to the public; Cecil’s descendants still live there. The tour covered 18 state rooms, beginning through the servants’ entrance and kitchen, which shows 260 copper utensils and a collection of turtle skulls with turtle shaped tureen.The Burghley collection has 900 pictures, many on display. Several rooms have walls and ceilings completely covered in frescoes; these provoked mixed reactions from HADAS members. I found them rather intimidating but fascinating all the same. As explained by the guide, the frescoes really come to life with their brilliant 3D effect when viewed by candlelight. As well as paintings walls were also hung with tapestries. Perhaps the most magnificent is the ‘Heaven Room’, containing a wonderful fresco by Antonio Verrio, claimed to be his ‘greatest masterpiece’; containing also a large collection of Chinese snuff boxes, the earliest from 1646. Burghley has accommodated many famous guests including Elizabeth 1 and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Beautiful furniture and ornamits have been collected from travels around the world. After a cream tea in the orangery we had a little time to walk in the grounds and view the palatial exterior of the house. On a sunny calm evening this was definitely a sight to behold. Our thanks to all our Guides and to Mary O’Connell and Dorothy Newbury for their marvellous organisation.
GRADE 2 LISTED BUILDING AT 1264 HIGH ROAD, WHETSTONE N. 20
This is a timber framed building, listed as mid c16th, with a yard or garden. The building is still partly occupied and is awaiting redevelopment. The architect to the developers is Mr Lavrant of F C Frizell Partners; he drew HADAS’ attention to the site. HADAS agreed to undertake an excavation in the grounds and is interested in archaeological aspects of the building. Brian Wrigley, Percy Reboul and Victor Jones were involved in the discussions. The following progress report is based on Victor Jones’ report to the architect. The outside work commenced on March 29 & 29. This required heavy clearance work with up to 1 metre of dumped building rubble and soil to be moved from most of the working areas. This task and an examination of the house occupied the first week. Up to ten members, male and female, young and old participated at times in this very heavy work. In the second week two trenches were dug, the first (1) near the back of the house and parallel with the concrete path round the house. The second (2) was approximately half way towards the rear fence at the back of the grounds. In trench (1) as soon as digging commenced fragments of china and clay pipes began to be found. After approximately 20 cms of soil was removed a 25 cm square brick pillar appeared in one corner of the trench. About 3 cm below this a soft and even white layer appeared, about 2cm thick and 1.5M by 1M. This small area may be all that remains of a floor. A section of what appeared to be a land drainage pipe system was revealed. When explored this was found to join three further pipes at the end of the trench. Below this clay appeared. This was tested at 0.4M by sampling rod and appeared to be even clay. Trench (2) was dug by another group and apart from a very few pottery and clay pipe fragments and some broken brick and tile it produced very little material of interest. The top was a mix of black soil and some gravel with brick and tile fragments and was about 0.4M deep. The next layer was an uneven soil and gravel mix and a similar depth. The lowest level we dug was a very coarse gravel and the 20cm sampled was free of artefacts. The trenches involved smaller groups working at different times both during the week and at weekends, probably 10-12 members, until the end of April. On May 2 we began a new trench (3) parallel to trench (1) and 2M further from the building. This was to find if the brickwork extended in this direction. It in fact joined a further buried wall section running parallel with the rear wall of the building for the distance dug to date. During the course of these excavations a number of items possibly useful for dating have been collected for later analysis. A military map dated 1780 has been found in the Borough records which shows a building extending from the rear of the present timber structure to approximately the extent of the buried wall base dug. The building has interesting features. It was noted that the finishing of the original timbers and the type of jointing is of an unusual kind. We approached a longstanding member Philip Yenning, Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, who introduced two knowledgeable colleagues. Their opinion was that the type of joints and other aspects of the construction suggested a rather earlier dating for the building. The Museum of London was asked if it would be possible to date the larger timbers and a dendrochronologist is investigating the possibility. The building appears to have had two separate open hearths, one at each end, and it is considered that there may have been central living acommodation. Reference has been found of taxation of a twin-hearth house in c.17. Our member John Heathfield has already undertaken investigation in the Guildhall Library of documents of the Society of St John dated to c.15. These relate to the general area and give some indication of settlement at that time. Our member Dr Pamela Taylor, Archivist of the Local History Library of the Borough of Barnet,has agreed to investigate the Guildhall Library papers in greater detail. Further work is proceeding and it appears there is an interesting prospect for the summer.
WORKING WOMEN IN HENDON IN 1851 by Nell Penny
I have been looking at the census returns for 1851 for the parish of Hendon, and from them trying to discover what work was open to women nearly a century and a half ago. In 95% of the households a man’s name came first as ‘head’ of the family; occasionally a widow was the head and even more rarely an unmarried woman. Over half the women achieved no other status than that of ‘wife’ – and still did in 1981! This ignored a woman’s unpaid work as housekeeper, cook, nurse, washerwoman and general dog’s body for her family. The women who did paid jobs were generally the wives, widows or daughters of poorly paid labourers in agriculture or general labouring. The women earned money as washerwomen, laundresses, charwomen or general servants. I am guessing that the washerwomen did the ‘rough work’ while the laundresses were prepared to starch and iron. But there is nothing which indicates whether the washing was brought home or whether it was done at the employer’s home. Rarely was a woman employed in a trade or a craft. Two widows in Mill Hill kept grocer’s shops; another was a baker with her son helping her. A widow in Church Lane (Road) was a “dealer in sweetmeats” and another in Brent Street was a linen draper. The wife of a tailor in Mill Hill was a stay maker; another wife in Ashley Lane made straw bonnets. Two wives in Brent Street were lace makers. A dozen women in the parish were dressmakers; their husbands or fathers rated higher than labourers. A handful of women were nurses – one of them defined her job more exactly as monthly nurse meaning that she worked in homes with a new baby. Two widows were publicans; one kept the White Swan in Golders Green and the other the Crown Inn in Cricklewood. This lady housedtwo grown sons (an artist and a solicitor’s clerk), an unmarried daughter,two maids, a waiter, a pot-boy and three lodgers. The only professional women were the school mistresses; though the label did not guarantee a well educated woman in the middle of the nineteenth century. There were two in Mill Hill and one lived in Child’s Hill Lane (Cricklewood Lane). I am grateful to Brigid Grafton Green for pointing out that Vine Cottage in Cricklewood Lane (demolished in 1981 despite the efforts of HADAS to have it “listed”) housed a Dame School in 1861. MissWardley, reminiscing in HADAS Newsletter in March 1979, said her mother attended that school. The two daughters of a retired solicitor living in Church Lane (Road) were daily governesses. There were three very moderately sized girls’ boarding schools in the parish – two of them in the “Burrows”. Jane Geeves, a spinster aged 38, had thirteen pupils. She employed two housemaids and a governess. At Burrows House another spinster educated twelve girls with the assistance of her widowed mother, two housemaids and a cook. In Mill Hill another woman kept a boarding school; she employed a female clerk, two housemaids, a gardener, a laundry maid and a nurse to care for twelve girls. In 1851 Hendon was still half rural and there were more than a dozen farms in the parish. But no women worked on the land; no farmer’s wife had any employment. Surely the wife and two servants at Church Farm (now the Borough Museum) helped in the fields at hay and corn harvests. Because women’s work on the land was likely to be casual – weeding, stone picking, turning the hay – it escaped census description. Domestic service provided jobs for far more women than any other type of work. It ranged from a charwoman or washerwoman to a lady’s maid “living in” with half a dozen other servants.The world of “Upstairs, Downstairs” is printed on our popular imagination by television series and visits to stately homes. In the twentieth century domestic service ceased to be an attractive job, but in 1851 country girls thought themselves lucky and comparatively well paid at “the big house”. Wages ranged from £5 to £12 a year and keep was worth about £12 a year. A cook was likely to be a few years older than the housemaids who in their turn were older than the thirteen year old kitchen maids or under nurses. Lady Raffles, the widow of the founder of Singapore, lived at High Wood House, Mill Hill with her son “a clergyman without benefice” and his family. She employed a retired nurse of 77 years, a nurse, an undernurse, a lady’s maid, a cook and two housemaids, plus a butler and a footman. All these servants were unmarried. Her coachmen had a separate household, either over the stables or in a cottage near Highwood House. Nearby was Highwood Ash, the home of the Reverend Bartholomew Nicholls and his family. He was the incumbent of St Paul’s Church. His large family of ten children, of school age or in the nursery, was cared for by a nurse, an under nurse, a superannuated nurse, a housemaid, a cook and a kitchen maid. Mr John Barnes, “retired from the East India Service”, lived in Milespit Hill. He employed a housekeeper, two housemaids,a cook and four living in menservants- coachman, groom, footman and gardener. Even an “army captain on half pay” could afford a cook and two housemaids. In the south part of the parish there were similar large house¬holds. The owner or tenant of Hendon Hall was not in residence; their gardener and his family were caretaking. Amelia Casey a 33 year old housemaid was looking after Hendon Place and had the dairy maid and under gardener for company. At the Vicarage the notorious Reverend Theodore Williams had only a housemaid and a cook to serve himself, his wife, four unmarried daughters and two sons. A general warehouseman in Downage Wood House employed a governess, a housemaid, a cook, a nurse and an under nurse and a groom. A young widow in Brent Street being “a woman of property” could afford two nursemaids, a housemaid, a cook and a laundry maid. The “upholsterer and house decorator to Her Majesty” (Victoria) lived in Golders Green served by five servants – a nurse, a cook, two housemaids and a footman.
AFTERNOON VISIT TO HARROW SCHOOL by Ted Sammes
The 1989 season of outings started on April 22 with a well patronised event attracting about 64 people. We had two guides, Mrs Jean Leaf and Mr Jim Golland. I opted for the lady, who guided us firmly and with descriptions full of details. There was a monastic school in Harrow in pre-Reformation days which was closed at the Reformation. In 1572 a local landowner John Lyon obtained a charter from Elizabeth 1st to found a Free Grammar School. This he saw as a school for local children, all outside the parish being “foreigners”. Building began in CI7. From such beginnings has the present Harrow School arisen. We began in the School Yard which has a view to the south of racquets, squash and fives courts. Immediately below us was a small green known as the Milling Ground where once boys used to fight without interruption from the masters. We looked at the exterior of the old school, refaced and extended in 1820. The Old Speech Room was converted in 1976 into a museum and art gallery for the School’s collections; our attention was drawn especially to the silver arrows, prizes for prowessat archery. The Fourth Form Room is the highlight of the visit; it has probably changed little since the days of James 1st. The wooden walls are carved with the names of students during the period 1660 to mid C19. The room is no longer used as a form-room. One of our party was asked to sit in the position of Master and very impressive it all looked! The pupils sat on long benches without backs for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Only Latin and Greek were taught. In the new semicircular Speech Room we found in progress a rehearsal of a Shakespeare play. We inspected the Old Harrovian Room containing chairs carved with names of distinguished past pupils. We admired the Alex Fich Memorial Room with panelling of about 1580, removed from Brook House, Hackney. We sat in the chapel, built in 1855. No one could mistake this for anything but Ornate Victorian. Possibly the right religious centre then but today with Anglican,Catholic, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu and other religious persuasions not quite appropriate. Finally we retired for tea to the Churchill Dining Hall erected in 1977; from the terrace there was a fine view over Wembley towards London. It is worth noting in this year which celebrates 150 years of photography that Fox Talbot and Cecil Beaton were Old Boys of the School.
FIRE at Avenue House
Most members will have heard the sad news of Avenue House, Finchley, where the east wing was destroyed by fire on May 14-15. The Stephen’s Laboratory reconstructed by Paddy Musgrove before his death last year is quite lost. At the time of going to press we await discovering soon how much our library and some records may have suffered from fire or water. Forensic investigation and and the state of the building have delayed entry. Along with other local groups including the Finchley Society, we hope to learn in time whether we can hope for future hospitality in Avenue House. To those who do not know it, we say that the lovely little park is not harmed and we urge you to get to know it. STOP PRESS -Brian Wrigley reports, no safe access yet but a brief glimpse suggests damage to books.
THE CREWS OF THE CUTTY SARK
Bill Bailey, who appears on the HADAS list as S F Bailey, has written a book, named above, based on the Crew Lists held by the National Maritime Museum. There is an 18 page introduction and then brief particulars of 681 men who signed on for service on the Cutty Sark from 1870 to 1895. Publishers are The Cutty Sark Society, 2 Greenwich Church Street, London SE10 9EQ: price £5.
TED SAMMES REMINDS US
Fifty Years of Verulamium Museum
This well known museum opened its doors to the public on May 18 1939. It was designed also to be a memorial to Tessa Wheeler. In June there will be a memorial lecture given by Professor Barrie Cunliffe at the Maltings Art Centre, St Albans. Tickets £1.50. Since the museum opened nearly four million visitors have marvelled at the mosaics, pottery and jewellery. There is a full season of events. Details from Verulamium Museum. Send SAE.
Memorial to Professor Warmington
The Mill Hill Historical Society has recently unveiled a display panel in Scratch Wood to Professor Warmington. Besides being a classicist he was deeply interested in bird life, some examples of which are depicted on the panel. It is surely unusual for a man to be commemorated for his hobby rather than his professional career.