Past Newsletters

Newsletter 602 – May 2021

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments

No. 602 – MAY 2021 – Edited by Dudley Miles


HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until further notice lectures and the AGM will be held online via ZOOM, all starting at 8 pm.  Apologies to those who are unable to see online lectures.

Tuesday 11th May 2021
Lee Prosser from Historic Royal Palaces
Against all the odds: a surviving medieval building in Barnet High Street.
A talk about timber-framed buildings, with reference to the Barnet Shop.

Tuesday 8th June 2021

Tuesday 12th October
Vicki Baldwin
Looe: a Story of Sea, Sand and Sardines

Tuesday 9th November
Sam Wilson
Battlefield Archaeology: Barnet 1471

HADAS gets up Steam by Jim Nelhams

Before the coming of the railways, and the realisation that they could profitably carry passengers rather than the freight for which they were built, movement around the country was slow. Steam power changed all that, though steam engines died out on British Rail in the 1960s. Most HADAS members remember steam trains with some nostalgia, so our trips have tried to fill the gap.

Luckily, there are a number of “heritage” railways around the country operated by eager volunteers, including our own Andy Simpson. There are also several narrow-gauge railways which have appeared in our travels.

Our trip to Hereford in 2009 gave us quite a problem – finding somewhere interesting between the Roman town of Caerwent and our return points in London, and our choice of the Didcot Railway Centre was met with scepticism by some members. However, this proved more interesting than some had expected and included a ride on a seven-foot gauge third class “carriage” – actually a flat bed truck with benches, behind a replica engine as designed by Brunel. This triggered memories of the smell of the steam trains on long-ago holidays at the seaside.
Frances Radford was seen sponsoring the newly built engine, 60163 “Tornado”, and Audrey Hooson was noted inspecting an old mail coach such as had provided a job for her father. In the end, all seemed happy.

Norfolk in 2010 saw a trip on the Mid Norfolk Railway from Dereham to Wymondham Abbey, with the added treat at Wymondham of watching the locomotive which had hauled us change from one end of the carriages to the other so it could also lead on its return journey. On this trip, we also visited the Forncett Steam Museum to see some static steam engines, very close to the tank museum we explored in 2018.


2011 took us to the Isle of Wight, where we booked a ride on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway from Smallbrook Junction to Havenstreet. Getting to Havenstreet from Sandown meant a trip on the Island Line, which runs trains between Shanklin and Ryde Pier. The train pictured right is quite unusual, a public railway running along a pier, and using red carriages originally used on the Northern Line from 1938. These trains are due to be replaced in May 2021 by larger refurbished London Underground carriages from the District Line, the first of which reached the island on 26th November 2020.

Our trip to Canterbury included a visit to Dungeness, which is the southern terminus of the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway. We took a ride to New Romney. This 15-inch gauge railway using scaled down locomotives runs along the Kent coast for nearly 14 miles, providing a scheduled public service. For some children, it is their only way to get to school.

Once we arrived at New Romney, there was an opportunity to visit the large model railway layout at the station, and to admire several other RHDR locos. No more railways were scheduled into our trips until the visit to the East Anglia Transport Museum in 2018, where a miniature railway provided short rides. During this trip, we visited Bressingham Gardens – with standard and narrow-gauge railways. Only one of the narrow-gauge railways was operating, but it did give us a 20-minute ride out into the countryside.

Our visit to Swansea in 2019 included the National Waterfront Museum. Built on what was once a busy dockside, it is criss-crossed by railway tracks still in situ, some running through the Museum. One of their proudest exhibits is a replica of a Richard Trevithick engine designed in 1804, which sits on one of the tracks. This was not in steam when we called, but it does work.

We have also sampled several other forms of transport, but that’s for another article.

Weymouth Tour by Jim Nelhams

Micky Watkins sends the following message about the trip that she was hoping to organise.

“Unfortunately only six people have shown interest in this proposed Group Tour and this is not sufficient to constitute a group. So I have had to cancel the proposed tour. Perhaps some people would still like to go to Weymouth. Terry Dawson is booked to go on 6th September and if other people want to join him, Shearings still has vacancies in four double rooms. I am sure you could visit Dorchester and Poole by bus. I will not go myself as they have no single rooms and charge an additional £150 for a single person in a double room!”


100 Year Old Member by Don Cooper

Jean Neal will be celebrating her 100th birthday on 29th April. She joined HADAS in 1975 and is a current member. She and Tim were strong supporters of HADAS. She worked at Bletchley Park and went on the Society’s visit there in the 1990s and wrote a piece for the Newsletter. In 2019 she was awarded the Legion D’Honneur by the French Government for her work at Bletchley and the UK Government have now decided that she should be awarded the Defence Medal.

On behalf of the HADAS committee and members we wish her a very happy birthday.

History of Water Supply and Sewerage Management in Finchley (1) by Dudley Miles

Water supply
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the population of Finchley was rapidly expanding, and the water supply was inadequate and often contaminated, but in 1866 the vestry, always anxious to save money, declared that it was not necessary to do anything about it. However, in the same year The East Barnet Gas and Water Company was established by Act of Parliament. The Barnet Press for 11 September 1869 reported that the company was about to lay water mains in Whetstone, and landlords were urged to have their properties connected on the ground that the resulting reduction in fevers would result in a more regular payment of rents. By another Act of Parliament in 1872 the company became part of the Barnet District Gas and Water Company. Over the next thirty years, there were many complaints, such as one in 1881 that the water “was insufficient in quantity and too hard for domestic use”. Supply was inadequate to meet the rapid expansion of the population. Another problem was that the extraction of water north of Barnet lowered the water table so much that local wells dried up, and at one stage the company had to buy water from the New River Company. In 1880, Henry ‘Inky’ Stephens installed his own water tower, which still survives, to supply Avenue House. Some houses were still being supplied by wells contaminated with sewage in the 1880s. In 1901 the district council complained that the water rate was too high, and the company justified it by saying that expensive deep boring had been necessary. (2)

The company changed its name to Barnet District Water Company in 1950 following the nationalisation of the gas industry. In 1960 it became part of the Lee Valley Water Company, and this in turn became part of Three Valleys Water plc in 1994. This company and its predecessors had been owned by the French multinational company Veolia since 1987, and it changed its name to Veolia Water Central Limited in 2009. Veolia sold the company in 2012, and it changed its name to Affinity Water Limited, which as of 2021 is owned by a consortium including the German Allianz Group. (3)

Unlike water supply, in Finchley sewerage was the responsibility of local government until the late twentieth century. Sewerage was a major problem in the mid-nineteenth century, and in 1867 complaints to the Home Secretary led to an enquiry. The inspector warned that Finchley was in poor sanitary condition with polluted streams and pools, and many houses were being built without sewers. A cholera outbreak led to the construction of sewers and tanks, but these were full within a year. The Public Health Act 1872 established sanitary authorities, and in 1874 several alternative sewerage schemes for the whole of Finchley Parish were submitted in a report to the Rural Sanitary Authority of Barnet Union, but the Finchley Vestry rejected all of them on the ground that there were conflicting scientific opinions on the best method of disposing of sewage, and it was best to see the results of experiments in other areas before proceeding. In 1878, the vestry appointed a Local Board (formally Finchley Local Board and Urban Sanitary Authority) to exercise local government powers in Finchley, and the Medical Officer of Health

(1) I thank Jim Chandler, Professor Emeritus of Local Governance at Sheffield Hallam University, Stephanie Ostrich, Southwark Council Borough Archaeologist, Hugh Petrie, Barnet Council Heritage Development Officer, and Thames Water staff, for helpful assistance and information.
(2) The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex, volume VI, 1980, p. 79; G. P. R. Lawrence, Village into Borough, 2nd ed. , Finchley Public Libraries Committee, 1964, pp. 21-23; Hansard, local and personal acts, HC Deb 10 August 1866 vol 184 c2166; Barnet District Gas and Water Act 1872; Stephens House and Gardens, The Water System
(3) Victoria History, p. 79; Affinity Water, Our history


of the new body reported in 1879 that little had changed since 1867. There were sewage farms in Strawberry Vale and Summers Lane, but it is uncertain what area they covered. (4)

Over the next few years, the Thames and Lea Conservancy Boards complained several times about the pollution of streams and watercourses in Finchley, and a number of sewerage schemes were proposed. In 1882 the Board recommended a parliamentary Private Bill for the sewerage and improvement of Finchley, but this was rejected by the ratepayers by 880 votes to 383. In an 1890 report, Francis Smythe, who became Surveyor and Inspector of Nuisances to the Board in the late 1880s, condemned the rejection as “penny wise and pound foolish”, as a private Act would have saved great expense in the long run. A sewerage scheme proposed by the then Surveyor, G. W. Brumell, in 1883 encountered so much opposition that it was rejected in favour of his alternative, and in Smythe’s view, inferior one. This was approved by the Local Government Board in 1884, together with a £60,000 loan to pay for it. The first contractor appointed went bankrupt, causing delay and extra expense, and work finally commenced on 30 March 1885. The Finchley Local Board had to apply for further loans totalling more than £24,000 to cover additional costs. According to Smythe, these were necessary mainly to cover costs not allowed for in the original estimate, such as easements and compensation to landowners for crossing their land. These expenses were high because most property owners demanded exorbitant sums for access to their land, and it was cheaper to pay up than to dispute them. (5) Even after its completion there were still many complaints, and sewerage featured in a long running dispute between Frederick Goodyear of North Finchley and Henry Stephens. In 1897 bacteriological treatment of sewage was introduced. (6)

In 1895 the Local Board was replaced by Finchley District Council (officially Finchley Urban District Council), which became the Municipal Borough of Finchley in 1933. It retained management of sewerage until responsibility was transferred to Middlesex County Council in 1938. Sewerage passed to the Greater London Council when the county council was abolished in 1965. The Water Act of 1973 removed sewerage from local authority control, and the Thames Water Authority took over; it became Thames Water plc on privatisation in 1989. (7)

Stink pipes
Stink pipes were a fascinating feature of nineteenth and early twentieth century sewerage management. Formally called sewer ventilation pipes or ventilating shafts, they prevented the build up of flammable and noxious gases in sewers. Many have been removed over the past hundred years, but a considerable number still survive. A few are designated as Grade II Listed Buildings, although none in the London Borough of Barnet. Stink pipes in Barnet are maintained by Thames Water. The surviving pipes in Finchley are made of iron and many have peeling paint, but a few look well maintained. Some have lost their top part and a number only survive as stubs, but intact ones continue to serve their original purpose. The modern method of getting rid of sewer gases is through pipes which run from toilet waste conduits and up the sides of houses.
I have surveyed the area of the former Finchley District Council for stink pipes and I believe that I have found almost all of the surviving ones.

Stink pipe manufactured by H. J. Rogers at the corner of Finchley High Road and Christchurch Avenue

(4) Victoria History, pp. 78-80; Village into Borough, pp. 21-22; The Sanitary Record, 3 January 1879, p. 16; History of Finchley Sewerage Schemes by Francis Smythe, Finchley Local Board Surveyor, report for the chairman and members of the Investigation Committee, 6 August 1890, pp. 1-2, 5, 9, ACC23520/2/1800, Barnet Council Local Studies and Archives
(5) History of Finchley Sewerage Schemes, pp. 1-21; The Sanitary Record, 15 December 1884, p. 268
(6) Victoria History, pp. 78-80
(7) Victoria History, p. 78-79; The Surveyor and Municipal and County Engineer, volume 88, 5 October 1957, p. 1037, describing the Middlesex County Council (Sewerage) Act 1938; Greater London Council, London Metropolitan Archives; Thames Water plc – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information


They date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the great majority are inscribed with the name of the manufacturer.

Henry John Rogers supplied most stink pipes until his death in 1910. In the 1911 Ordnance Survey maps for mid and north Finchley, all his pipes are in roads which are shown on the maps, whereas most pipes made by other manufacturers are in roads which are not shown.8 His pipes all have his logo, shown in the photograph on the next page.

Rogers was born at Watford in 1846. He trained as an engineer in Crewe at the London and North Western Railway and then worked in the South African mining industry. In 1885, after his return to England, he became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In the same year he bought an engineering works in Watford which specialised in paper making, and he later took out several patents for improvements in the straining of paper pulp. His work was diverse, including carrying out major electrical machinery contracts, and shortly before he died he built a gas compression plant. (9)

The second most common stink pipes are inscribed ‘J. Gibb & Co Ltd’. They are almost identical to the Rogers design, apart from using an angular style of zigzag decoration, whereas the zigzags on the Rogers pipes are shallower. Gibb’s stink pipes are usually inscribed with the name of the council and the company also made pipes for Friern Barnet Urban District Council. They must have been manufactured after November 1904, when James Gibb & Co Limited was incorporated. Stink pipes made by other manufacturers have a simpler design, perhaps suggesting that they were made later.

The sewerage scheme of the late 1880s included ventilating shafts (stink pipes), and a list of excess expenses includes £109 6s for one in Whetstone. Smythe commented in his 1890 report: “The erection of ventilating shafts though a matter of time will eventually prove a boon to the District”. (10) Installation probably ceased around the time of the First World War as all the surviving stink pipes were made by businesses which started trading before 1910.

Street ironware
Henry Rogers supplied storm drains and manhole covers in Victoria Park, which opened in 1902. There are also a few of his storm drains, manhole covers and fire hydrants in Finchley streets. James Gibb seems to have been the main early supplier of storm drains. Most are inscribed J. Gibb and Co Ltd, but ones with ‘James Gibb & Co’ are also common, and these must date to between the late 1880s and Gibb’s incorporation in 1904. (11) He also supplied a few fire hydrants and manhole covers on pavements, but like the stink pipes they are all inscribed with the name of the limited company, dating them to after 1904. The only Gibb manhole covers I have seen in a road are in a quiet cul de sac, perhaps because those in busier roads could not stand up to a century of traffic. Gibb’s name is found on street ironwork outside Finchley, and a storm drain made by James Gibb & Co for Southgate Local Board is dated 1893. (12)

Some circular manhole covers in Finchley were made by A. C. Woodrow & Co. of 34 High Holborn. Most are inscribed FUDC for ‘Finchley Urban District Council’; a few have ‘Borough of Finchley’, so must date to after 1933, when Finchley became a municipal borough. These manhole covers are either inscribed ‘SEWERAGE’ or ‘SURFACE WATER’.13 Alexander Charles Woodrow born was in 1894 and his business is first recorded in 1923. (14) The most common manhole covers, which are triangular with rounded corners, are inscribed ‘Broad & Co. Ltd’ and ‘Borough of Finchley’. (15) There are also storm drains manufactured by Woodrow and Broad.

(8) Mid Finchley 1911 and North Finchley 1911, Old Ordnance Survey Maps, The Godfrey Edition
(9) Henry John Rogers, Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History
(10) History of Finchley Sewerage Schemes, pp. 12, 19, 28
(11) Companies House ; James Gibb & Co, Grace’s Guide. James Gibb and Co started trading in 1876 and the business incorporated as James Gibb and Co Limited on 30 November 1904, company number 82716. James Gibb died in 1930. The company ceased trading in 1984 and was dissolved on 18 April 1988.
(12) A storm drain in Brownlow Road, N11, is inscribed ‘James Gibb & Co’, ‘Southgate Local Board’ and ‘1893’.
(13) Most manhole covers inscribed ‘FUDC’ and ‘SEWERAGE’ or ‘SURFACE WATER’ have no manufacturer’s name, but they are of a similar design as the Woodrow ones and probably also made by them.
(14) Alexander Charles Woodrow, Grace’s Guide and A. C. Woodrow and Co, Grace’s Guide
(15) Broad and Co was established 1882, incorporated in 1896 and was taken over by Travis Perkins in 1975. See Broad & Co, Grace’s Guide and Travis Perkins, Grace’s Guide.


Stink pipes in Finchley District

Inscribed ‘H. J. Rogers, Engineer, Watford’
• Church Path, near Woodside Park Road
• Durham Road near Leicester Road
• East End Road near Stanley Road
• Elmfield Road
• Fairlawn Avenue
• Corner of Finchley High Road and Christchurch
• Corner of Finchley High Road and Hertford Road
• Finchley High Road near Oak Lane
• Corner of Friern Park and Grove Road
• Hall Street
• Hendon Avenue near Hendon Lane
• Corner of Hendon Lane and Crooked Usage
• Corner of Hendon Lane and Cyprus Road
• Holden Road near Laurel View
• Lansdowne Road (1)
• Lansdowne Road (2)
• Lichfield Grove
• Lincoln Road
• Long Lane near Cromwell Road
• Long Lane near Font Hills
• Long Lane near St Paul’s Way
• Lovers Walk west of the railway line, no inscription but has the Rogers logo and decoration
• Lovers Walk west of Ballards Lane, no inscription but has the Rogers logo and decoration
• Nether Street near The Grove
• Regents Park Road near North Crescent
• Squires Lane near Queens Avenue
• Torrington Park near Friary Road
• Corner of Woodhouse Road and Penstanton Avenue
• Woodside Grange Road near Grangeway

Inscription and logo of H. J. Rogers

Inscribed ‘J. Gibb & Co Ltd, London’ and ‘Finchley District Council’
• Windermere Avenue near East End Road
• Friern Watch Avenue near Finchley High Road
• Hervey Close
• Ridgeview Road near Woodside Lane (no council
• Manor View
• Holmwood Gardens
• Penstanton Avenue, behind fence but has Gibb style

Inscribed ‘Wm E Farrer Ltd, Birmingham’ (William E Farrer Ltd incorporated 1909 (16)
• Nether Street near Coleridge Road
• Nether Street near Birkbeck Street

(16) Companies House. See also William Edward Farrer, Grace’s Guide.


Ham Baker & Co Limited (incorporated 1901 (17))
• Long Lane near Dukes Avenue, inscribed ‘Ham Baker’
• Westbury Grove, inscribed ‘Ham Baker & Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster’
Inscribed ‘Broad & Co Ltd, No. 1, London’
• Chalgrove Gardens

Stink pipe in Westbury Grove manufactured by Ham Baker & Co Ltd

Inscribed ‘Adams Hydraulics Ltd, York’ (incorporated 1903 (18))
• Gordon Road near Elm Park Road

• The Ridgeway near St Paul’s Way, no inscription
• The Ridgeway near Willow Way, no inscription
• St Paul’s Way, no inscription
• Wentworth Avenue, no inscription
• Courthouse Gardens, illegible inscription
• Briarfield Avenue, illegible inscription

Some stink pipes in other Districts

Friern Barnet Urban District
Inscribed ‘J. Gibb & Co Ltd, London’ and ‘Friern Barnet Urban District Council’

• Friern Park (no council inscription)
• Ashurst Road
• Horsham Avenue
• Bramber Road
• Chandos Avenue (photographed by Bill Bass)

Barnet Urban District
• Shelford Road, inscribed ‘Broad & Co Ltd, London’
• Quinta Drive, no inscription
• Cherry Hill, no inscription
• Dale Close, inscribed ‘A C Woodrow & Co, London’
• Raydean Road, inscribed ‘JNS’
• Fairfield Way, no inscription (name plate missing?)
• County Gate, no inscription
• By Dollis Brook north of Horseshoe Lane, no inscription

Hendon Urban District
• Corner of Finchley Road and Helenslea Avenue, no inscription
• Finchley Road near Hayes Crescent, inscribed ‘Ham Baker & Co
Limited, Engineers, Westminster’
• Finchley Road near Helenslea Avenue, inscribed ‘Ham Baker &
Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster’
• Fryent Grove, no inscription (photographed by Andy Simpson)
• Brookfield Avenue/Wise Lane, no inscription
East Barnet Urban District
• Shaftesbury Avenue, inscribed ‘Adams Hydraulics Ltd, York’
(photographed by Don Cooper)
See here for photographs of stink pipes.

(17) Companies House. See also Ham, Baker and Co, Grace’s Guide
(18) Companies House. See also Adams-Hydraulics, Grace’s Guide


This map covers Finchley District, apart from two small areas which are off the map. It shows the district boundary and the location of stink pipes.


Missing stink pipe by Stewart Wild

There is one Finchley stink pipe missing, both literally and figuratively. There used to be one at the end of my road, in Regents Park Road (outside Zizzi restaurant) opposite Cyprus Road. About nine or ten years ago a vehicle mounted the kerb and collided with it. Being made of cast iron, the pipe fractured about four feet above the ground, and the top part of the pipe was left lying on the pavement for several days.

Council workmen came and removed the broken pipe, and taped up the remaining stump. A few days later they returned to remove the stump and the only remaining evidence now of the pipe’s former existence is a pavement slab that is different from the rest.

I am surprised that Stewart does not mention noticing a stink from the stump! Ed.

Thames Tideway archaeology by Melvyn Dresner

Jack Russell, Lead Archaeologist for the Tideway project, gave HADAS members on the 9th March 2021 an insight into archaeology uncovered in advance of the Thames Tideway – the super sewer being built under the Thames. He said the super sewer was designed to stop the frequent pollution of the river Thames, and he explained that the system has not been fundamentally altered since Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s system from the 1860s, even though the population was 2 million people when it was built, and the 2019 population was 8.8 million, with projection of 16 million by 2160.

The super sewer under construction is 25 kilometres long, 7.2 metres wide, 31 to 66 metres deep with a peak capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres. Archaeology has been investigated throughout its length at various locations including drive sites (for launching the 7.8 m diameter tunnel boring machines, e.g. Kirtling Street and Chambers Wharf) and intercept sites (Barn Elms). He explained that as well as creating a new sewer the project would create new public places next to the Thames, would move 3.3 million tonnes of material by water along the river, and support local jobs and apprentices, including for ex-offenders. The tunnel is being bored through London Clay, Thanet Sands and Chalk, as well as alluvium.


Kirtling Street
Kirtling Street is one of the three main drive sites. It is located next to Battersea Power Station and is the largest site on the project, the tunnel shaft diameter is the same as St Paul’s Cathedral. This is the mid-point on the tunnel. An acoustic shed was built over the site to protect the local community from construction noise. Finds in the alluvium include part of a human skull and fish traps. The fish traps were made from re-used building timbers dating to the 10th century AD.

The geo-archaeological profile provides information on how the environment and flora change over several thousand years, which will be very useful to understand how the local environment changes over time such as tree species. Above these layers was found a dry dock, built out of a barge. This included a well made out of barrel. The barrel came from Finland and was used to transport pitch.

Intrusive 1960s concrete piles in Kirtling Street Dry Dock


Chambers Wharf
Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey in south east London is home to the ‘booted man’, a medieval skeleton found during archaeological excavation works. Chambers Wharf is one of the three drive sites for tunnel boring. In the medieval period this would have been a marsh. A key feature on site is the Bermondsey Wall (13th century).

Bermondsey Wall in section

As this is foreshore archaeology, older features are more inland and new features are closer to the river channel. These include 17th century quays and 18th century revetments made from ship timbers, as well as elaborate carved structural timbers. Human remains were found, of a booted man. He had a broken nose and foot, and had cord marks in his teeth. His boots were Italian and filled with moss, part of their water-proofing. As a pair of 15th century thigh high boots they are unique find in being a pair! For more, see The mystery of the medieval man in the mud | Museum of London.


Barn Elms
The final site presented was in west London, next to the Beverley Brook at Barns Elms. This was where the Tideway intercepts with West Putney combined sewer outflow. Here the archaeologists discovered an Iron Age village with five roundhouses dating to 500 to 200 BC. Evidence was found for coin minting and there are images of Apollo and a rutting bull. Lipid analysis is under way and wood is being analysed and conserved at the Mary Rose Trust. Around 75% of the archaeology is preserved wood. This site has much still to tell us about the Iron Age, and work continues.

Wars of the Roses stamp issue by Jim Nelhams

The Royal Mail are releasing a special issue of stamps on 4th May, the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury. Images were released to the internet as we went to press.

Other Battles in the set:
Edgecote Moor (sic)
First Battle of St Albans

With many thanks to this month’s contributors:
Don Cooper, Melvyn Dresner, Dudley Miles, Jim Nelhams, Stewart Wild


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman                   Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS
                                    (020 8440 4350) e-mail:

Hon. Secretary           Jo Nelhams   61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS  
                                    (020 8449 7076) e-mail:

Hon. Treasurer          Roger Chapman 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
                                     (07855 304488)   e-mail:

Membership Sec.       Stephen Brunning, Flat 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
                                    East Barnet EN4 8FH1 (020 8440 8421) 

Web site:          


Newsletter 601 – April 2021

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments

No. 601 APRIL 2021 Edited by Sue Willetts

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Tuesday 13th April 2021 **
Signe Hoffos
Lost City Churches.Signe is active in COLAS, and is a trustee of Friends of the City Churches

Tuesday 11th May 2021 **
Lee Prosser
from Historic Royal Palaces
Against all the odds: a surviving medieval building in Barnet High Street.
A talk about timber-framed buildings, with reference to the Barnet Shop.

Tuesday 8th June 2021**

Tuesday 12th October**
Vicki Baldwin
Looe: a Story of Sea, Sand and Sardines

Tuesday 9th November**
Sam Wilson
Battlefield Archaeology: Barnet 1471

** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these lectures and the AGM at least will be held online via ZOOM.  Apologies to those who are unable to see the lectures while this is happening.

Membership renewals Stephen Brunning

The membership year runs from 1st April, so all memberships are now due for renewal, apart from those who joined since January 2021. A couple of members have bought to my attention that the account number on the renewal form differs to the one used for standing order payments and on previous bank transfers. I would like to reassure everyone that both accounts are still in use. The number quoted on the renewal form is the same as is used to pay in cheques via HSBC. Payment can be made to either account.

There is no need to change the details with your bank.


A Tribute to Joan Wrigley Andrew Selkirk

I was very sorry to hear that Joan Wrigley had died on 6 January following a stroke. Joan was one of these background heroes on whom archaeological societies depend. She was the wife of Brian Wrigley, who was the secretary of HADAS for most of the time that I was Chairman, and we held our committee meetings in the Wrigley’s home, sitting round the table in their front room.

Brian was the perfect secretary, keeping me in order, but Joan was always in the background, keeping Brian in order. She welcomed us when we arrived and at precisely the right moment, about two thirds of the way through the meeting, she would appear with tea and coffee, and biscuits and cakes to revive us all. And if I say that in retrospect, I rather enjoyed the committee meetings, it was in no small way due to the hospitality and warm welcome that Joan provided. Thank you, Joan!

Additional note from Don Cooper

As already stated, Brian was an important member of HADAS and held almost every committee role in the Society. When he died we sprinkled his ashes at Avenue House and the family donated a bench for the garden there. Joan’s request was that we sprinkle her ashes there as soon as it is possible to do so. Joan was a lovely lady and will be much missed.

Current Archaeology Conference Live 2021 Sue Willetts

Last month’s newsletter included a note about the dates of this annual conference, usually held in Senate House, University of London, but which took place online a week later than originally planned on 5th to the 7th March – and it was free to attend remotely. The format allowed the talks to be listened to in any order over the weekend and in the week following.

The announcements of the 2021 awards voted for by subscribers to the magazine and usually made at the Friday evening drinks event were announced by Julian Richards from Shaftesbury Abbey Museum.

Archaeology book: Kindred: Neanderthal life, love, death, and art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes
Research project: A unique glimpse into the Iron Age: excavating Clachtoll Broch
Rescue project: Problems of the Picts: searching for a lost people in northern Scotland
Archaeologist: Professor Paula J. Reimer. Paula is Director of the 14Chrono Centre for Climate,
the Environment, and Chronology in the School of Natural and Built                                     Environment at Queen’s University Belfast

The Newport Ship sails on Jim Nelhams

Our January lecture came from USA. Not so far away in February, our speaker was Bob Evans, Chair of The Friends of the Newport Ship, zooming in from Newport. Our long trip to Wales in 2019 stopped at The Ship where we saw many of the parts and enjoyed a talk about it. (See newsletter 584 of November 2019.) Since then, conservation work continues as does research into the ship and its background.

The River Usk at Newport has the second highest difference between high and low tide in the world. This provided a challenge to shipping but also meant that at high tide, ships could be sailed into a dock and onto a specially constructed wooden cradle for easy repairs. This happened to The Ship, but the cradle shifted and the ship toppled onto its side. While the upper parts were salvaged for recycling, the lower sections were abandoned and preserved in the silt.


When a new theatre was being constructed in Newport in 2002, work to dig out an orchestra pit found the timbers largely intact though some concrete piles had already been punched through. A coffer dam was built to enable the removal of the timbers and other finds.

Most of the footprint of the ship fell withing the orchestra pit area and the coffer dam, and the timbers were in remarkably good shape. After removal, they have been scanned in 3 dimensions and one-tenth scale plastic replicas produced using a computer 3-D printer. A scale model was available for us to inspect during our visit.

The Ship within the coffer dam
The plastic scale model

Bob explained that although a lot is known about 16th century boats, little is known about those from the 15th century. No written records about the boat have been found though there are lots of unexplored archives.

Clearly it was used to transport wine from the Iberian Peninsular. Some 100 wine casks were discovered on board and there was space for another 100. It was built for use in the Atlantic and analysis of the timbers point to the Basque area of northern Spain. Items belonging to the crew were of Iberian origin, as was some pottery.

The hull is clinker built (overlapping horizontal planks) with only one skin of planks fixed largely with iron nails of which some 27,000 would have been needed. They were carefully made. There were also some 8,000 tree nails. The keel was some 120 feet long making it among the largest of the time. Construction would have resembled Columbus’ vessels, though his were smaller. The planks were oak, and specially cultivated, and the keel was beech. The engineering is precise and could meet 20th century standards.
It is not known where on board the crew would have lived, though they did carry lots of food and live animals.

So why Newport? There were customs officials in Bristol, so landing cargoes in South Wales could avoid duty.

Other boats have been found in the area, including a stone-age boat and a Roman vessel. Although some funds have been received from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the organisation is largely run by volunteers. The Friends of the Ship have an annual subscription of £10 (even lower than Hadas) and new members are always welcome. See for more information.


Hymn to Hardham – follow up Mary Rawitzer

I was delighted to see Stewart Wild’s “Hymn to Hardham” in the March 2021 HADAS Newsletter. I too found it by chance. In the late 1980’s when I regularly drove to visit friends in Bognor and just happened to turn off the main A29 for a rest. To enter this small country church and be faced by those enormous antique figures painted on the high wall at the end of the nave was amazing and breathtaking.

Hurst Castle Damaged Jim Nelhams

Those members who came on our 2011 trip to the Isle of Wight will remember our boat trip from Yarmouth to visit Hurst Castle near Milford-on-Sea on the mainland, which is managed by Historic England.

Hurst Castle was originally built by Henry VIII between 1541 and 1544, one of a number of fortifications guarding approaches to the Solent. Large East and West Wing batteries were added from 1860. The castle was also used for searchlights and guns in World War One and World War Two.

H.E. carried out extensive work on the West Wing in 2019 to stabilise foundations and reinforce its sea defences at a cost around £750,000. Similar work on the East Wing was scheduled to start early in March this year, but a storm on 23rd February caused damage and on Friday 26th, a section of the wall collapsed. The castle was closed to the public at the time. A clip of the damage can be seen on the ITV news report.

The East Finchley Hurricane – an update Andy Simpson

Back in the summer of 2010 when I was still working as a curator at the Royal Force Museum Hendon, I was passed a letter from former Finchley Resident Mr George Cull, then resident in York.

He had rescued a section of starboard rear fuselage fabric, measuring 77 inches by 40 inches, from the classic but derelict Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 fighter, serial number P3835/2649M, once displayed outside the former wartime Air Training Corps (ATC) HQ opposite East Finchley underground station.

We corresponded, and the resulting details were published in my article in the September 2010 issue of the HADAS newsletter, which can be viewed online on the HADAS website; Volume 9: 2010 – 2014 Archives – HADAS.

In early March 2021 I was alerted via facebook that this same fragile piece of fabric, with part of the roundel and maintenance serial number, was now located in San Clemente, California, U.S.A, and was up for sale on the online ebay sales site. The asking price was US $7,250.00 (Approximately £5,246).

The fabric section as it is today, image inverted to show the roundel.


The lot included copies of the original museum correspondence, my HADAS newsletter article, and the photograph reproduced below taken at East Finchley by Mr. Cull on 27 January 1946. The surviving fabric panel is from the opposite side.

The aircraft was presumably scrapped not long afterwards as having no further use – at this point the Air Historical Branch of the RAF already had a couple of similar early Mk 1 Hurricanes stored for preservation since 1944-45, both of them Battle of Britain veterans – one of them, P2617, is currently at the RAF Museum London (Hendon), and the other, L1592, is at the Science Museum South Kensington.

The Finchley Hurricane in 1946

Commemorating the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet Susan Skedd

Wednesday 14th April 2021 sees the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet which resulted in a resounding victory for Edward IV against the Lancastrian army led by Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. This proved a decisive encounter in the Wars of the Roses and placed Edward in a commanding position in the power struggle between the rival Houses of York and Lancaster. His subsequent defeat of Margaret of Anjou’s army at Tewkesbury ensured his return to the throne of England and his rival claimants, Margaret’s son Edward and husband Henry VI were quickly dispatched.

Although the dramatic events of 1471 are not as well as well-known as the Battle of Bosworth twelve years later, they are being remembered in a variety of initiatives. The Royal Mail will be issuing a ‘Wars of the Roses’ series of stamps on 4th May, the anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury. Barnet Council has


commissioned a careful conservation of the Hadley Highstone, the memorial to the Battle of Barnet which was erected in 1740 by local landowner Sir Jeremy Sambrook. The inscription can be clearly read once more and a small, socially distanced wreath-laying ceremony will be held on 14th April to commemorate the fallen.

Barnet Museum’s brilliant array of heraldic banners will be flying from the lampposts of Barnet High Street in time for the anniversary and will remain in place during the summer. Barnet Medieval Festival returns to Byng Road playing fields on the weekend of 11th and 12th September, subject to government guidelines. A crowdfunding campaign for the festival has been launched and can be supported at

Hadley Highstone,
the memorial to the Battle of Barnet.
Photo by
Susan Skedd

The exact location of the battlefield in Barnet remains a hotly debated subject. The recent publication of Barnet Battlefield Project 2015-2018 by Glenn Foard and his team at Huddersfield University is extremely welcome and provides a fascinating summary and analysis of the evidence uncovered so far. To read the report, go to


St Mary’s Churchyard, Hendon

“Graves vandalised in churchyard” this was the headline in the Barnet Borough Times of 25th February 2021 by James Cowen.

“HEADSTONES and memorials in a churchyard were left lying and broken by vandals. Shocking photos show the damage caused to several graves at St Mary and Christ Church in Church End, Hendon, with some headstones ripped from the ground. The Metropolitan Police says it received a report of criminal damage at the cemetery on Friday February 19th. It was reported that a number of headstones had been damaged, the force said. Officers had attended the scene and carried out enquiries, but no suspects were identified.”
One resident called Sam, who did not want to reveal his surname, said he was walking through the cemetery on Tuesday when he noticed the damage. He said among the headstones destroyed were those of children and Falklands War veterans. “There were a number of headstones just turned upside down” Sam said. “I was very upset that somebody could do that. It is very sad that this has happened.”

Officers, from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team will continue regular patrols in the area following the incident.

Hendon Ward Councillor, Nizza Fluss, posted images on Twitter, which show multiple broken gravestones, with crosses that have been broken up in two examples. She urged anyone with any information to contact the Rev’d Dr Julie Gittoes, the Vicar of St Mary and Christ Church, Hendon, as well as the police, giving the reference number: 2403023/21 13/2/2021. Since the incident, members of the church’s community have placed flowers on the broken gravestones, to show their respect and care towards those affected by the incident.

This was a particularly bad attack on the churchyard. There have been no reports of damage in other local cemeteries, so it seems that someone(s) has a particular grudge against St. Mary’s.
Readers will recall that HADAS did a survey of the Cemetery in 1976 and we still get enquiries for information from our database.

Also from the Barnet Borough Times of 11th March – report by Simon Allin:

Dismore criticises Barnet Council over Hendon consultation

“London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore wrote to the council with a range of concerns over the consultation on the supplementary planning document (SPD) that will guide the Hendon Hub scheme. The proposed development is designed to provide 792 student homes and improved facilities in an area around the Middlesex University campus in The Burroughs, Hendon.

Mr Dismore, a former MP for Hendon, said residents should be given more chance to have their say on the SPD consultation, which closed last month. The Labour politician said: “I have been a strong supporter of Middlesex University for many years, but I think Barnet Council have handled the consultation very badly. They must give residents the chance to have their say in good time and undertake real engagement.”
Mr Dismore’s letter called for the consultation period to be extended to 12 weeks.


Museum exhibitions

Dates dependent on Government guidelines and will no doubt include online linked events.

British Museum

Forthcoming – Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint. Marking the 850th anniversary of his brutal murder, this special exhibition presents Becket’s tumultuous journey from a merchant’s son to an archbishop, and from a revered saint in death to a ‘traitor’ in the eyes of Henry VIII more than 350 years later.

Museum of London

Current – Votes for women
Experience the landmark Votes for Women display, originally open from February 2018-March 2019, for free online as a virtual exhibition. Explore the remarkable history of the Suffragettes and the legacy of the Deeds Not Words campaign, through videos, key collection items and much more.

With many thanks to this month’s contributors:
Don Cooper, Jim Nelhams, Mary Rawitzer, Andrew Selkirk, Andy Simpson,
Susan Skedd, Micky Watkins


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman                   Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS
                                    (020 8440 4350) e-mail:

Hon. Secretary           Jo Nelhams   61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS  
                                    (020 8449 7076) e-mail:

Hon. Treasurer          Roger Chapman 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
                                     (07855 304488)   e-mail:

Membership Sec.       Stephen Brunning, Flat 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
                                    East Barnet EN4 8FH1 (020 8440 8421) 

Web site:          


Newsletter 600 – March 2021

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments

No. 600 March 2021 Edited by Deirdre Barrie

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Tuesday 9th March 2021**
Sarah Linney & Jack Russell
Thames Tideway Tunnel – Archaeological Presentation

Tuesday 13th April 2021**
Signe Hoffos
Lost City Churches

Tuesday 11th May 2021** Lee Prosser from Historical Royal Palaces
Against all the Odds: a surviving medieval building in Barnet High Street
A talk about timber-framed buildings, with reference to the Barnet shop.

Tuesday 8th June 2021**
Tuesday 12th October**

Vicky Baldwin
Looe: a Story of Sea, Sand and Sardines

Tuesday 9th November**
Sam Wilson
Battlefield Archaeology: Barnet

** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these lectures at least will be held online via ZOOM.


Membership Renewal – by Stephen Brunning, Membership Secretary

The HADAS membership year runs from 1st April, so all memberships are now due for renewal, apart from those new members who have joined since January this year. I have enclosed a renewal form for those people who pay by cheque, and would ask that you return the form to me along with your remittance for the appropriate amount. Members who pay by standing order need take no action. The rates remain unchanged.

Anyone who thinks they should have had a membership renewal form or Standing Order form but hasn’t received one, anyone who wants to make their membership under Gift Aid and hasn’t already done so, or anyone who has any question at all about their membership, please contact me. (contact details on back page).
Many thanks.


Coach Tour Micky Watkins

As you know we have to wait till next year to go on another lovely HADAS tour.
Meanwhile I think it would be fun to go somewhere together. We could us an ordinary touring company and book individually but find ourselves together with HADAS friends.
I suggest Shearings, which I believe Don has used and found satisfactory.
I have selected two tours, which I think we would enjoy:-

Delightful Weymouth and Dorset £449 + £69 for single rooms.
6 September 2021 5 nights.

Capital Edinburgh and Castle £299 + £129 for single rooms
13 September 2021 5 nights.

Deposit £1. At present there is some room on both these tours.
The pick-up- points are in Barnet High St, Enfield and Golders Green (with perhaps a £20 charge) and other places.

You can get details on or get a brochure from 07109 249855.

I hope that one of these will appeal to you. If you think you will come, please would you let me. know your preferred tour so we can pick the favourite.
Email or phone 0208 455 8813

You have to do your own booking with Shearing. We must act as quickly as possible as Shearings has already sold out its Whitby and Scilly Isles tours.

I take no responsibility for anything that may happen, I just think it would be fun to tour with HADAS friends.


The Council for British Archaeology was founded soon after the war and represents us all, societies, professional organisations and individuals. HADAS has long been a member, as have several of our own members. For many years the CBA has organised a Festival of Archaeology in the summer with a programme of events. This year the Festival has to be different. Neil Redfern, who last year replaced the long-serving Mike Heyworth as Director, has written this article to tell us about it. Peter Pickering

Exploring local places CBA Festival of Archaeology 2021 – 17 July – 1 August

We were really pleased to announce the launch of the 2021 Festival of Archaeology at our AGM on 4th February. This year we have chosen the theme Exploring local places. We want it to be all about helping people discover the archaeology and heritage that is all around them. We want people to get out and explore their local places, to discover stories, sites, buildings, places, people and events that make our local communities so special. Yes, we are mindful that we may still be under some form of lockdown restrictions and social distancing, so the Festival will be a hybrid event with lots of self-guided and on-line activities, alongside our traditional on-the-ground events.


Help us celebrate local sites, stories and the people who lived and shaped our local places. Archaeology is a great tool to help do this through asking great questions about the places we live in: How have they changed and how do we use them today? Who lived and worked there in the past, and do we use them in the same way today? What can you see today that would have been in the landscape 10, 100 or even a 1,000 years ago?

You can get started by exploring where you live.

• Try our Local Explorer Bingo Challenge and see how many things you can find. This is a great activity to do on your daily walk.

• Take a wander down your local high street and think about how it has changed over time. This could make a great research project (don’t forget social distancing).

• Discover Dig School and learn how you can use archaeology to find out about the people who lived on your doorstep. Dig School is a series of online workshops and activities ending with the opportunity to dig a test pit in your own back garden!

• Try out or make a self-guided walk and share with others.

• Got a question about an object, site, feature or simply curious about something unusual? Have it ready to get answers from archaeologists around the world on Ask An Archaeologist Day.

• Photo competition – take part in our photo completion on the theme of Local Heroes – we want images that capture the very essence of the places you live in and what makes them special to you. It could be a building, a place, a tree or garden, an archaeological site or feature, it could be people and friends and the places you meet – in a photograph, what defines the place where you live, work, like to visit or go to school?

• Share your archaeological experience as part of A Day In Archaeology.

• Watch out for our growing list of events and activities, and sign up for our regular updates via the Festival website.

Run your own event or activity

We are keen for our CBA Groups to host and run events and activities. This is key to growing our membership at national and local level, and in demonstrating to new members and participants just what we have to offer. The Festival is a great way to celebrate our love for all things archaeology and heritage. We were really pleased with last year’s response in terms of the number of participants and reach (digital speak) of the activities and events.

So please do have think about how you might like to celebrate your own favourite local place, and put on your own event for your community. Events will be listed on the Festival website from April. Find out more here. Event organisers can find out more information on this year’s theme in the organisers’ area of the website


If you can’t wait until April, we still have a range of fantastic events and activities from the 2020 Festival that you can view at any time. Search the event listings at, or you can watch our highlights video of The CBA in 2020 – YouTube

Neil Redfern, Executive Director, CBA

Surprises from the Soil Jim Nelhams

This was the title of our January Zoom lecture, subtitled “Archaeological discoveries at 17th Century Jamestown, Virginia.” The pandemic has shown us new and imaginative ways to use new technology. This lecture was a first for HADAS, since it was delivered by Dr Bly Straube from and in Virginia, our first transcontinental lecture.

Although there were some earlier North American settlements, they did not survive. Jamestown, first populated in 1607, became the first permanent English settlement in North America. The first group of settlers sponsored by the Virginia Company consisted of 104 men and one boy, with further ships arriving in the following years. Some were members of the gentry and brought high class articles and servants with them.

Their main objective was to find a way by water to the west and locate “riches” there without upsetting the native Indians.

The town is on what is now an island in the James River, connected to the mainland by a man-made causeway, though with rising water levels and subsidence, it is thought that the whole island may be underwater in 50 years. The expedition explored the river as far as some waterfalls, but could go no further by water. Natives occupied both banks with supplies of fresh water.

A triangular fort was built with bastions on each corner, and a later extension on one side. Excavations began in the fort area in 1994. To date, over 2 million artefacts have been found, some tiny. These include

some Bellarmine jugs and Surrey/Hampshire borderware, a Roman oil lamp, arms and armour (for protection against the natives, but also Spanish raiders) and some high-class clothing and implements.

Some of the best finds, mainly complete, were found in a well, preserved by anaerobic mud. These included a halberd and a pistol.

There was also a collection of clay pipes made by Robert Cotton in Jamestown from Virginia red clay, some embossed using a bookbinder’s stamp, and personalised. The settlers learned from the natives how to cultivate tobacco, and it is from this that Virginia became known.

Good records of the settlement were kept so that a lot of the names are known, including George Percy, brother of Henry Percy, Duke of Northumberland, and Thomas West, 3rd Baron de la Warr, who arrived after the siege of 1609/10 with a bodyguard of 50 men. Probably best known from history lessons is a daughter of the local Indian chief named Pocahontas who married one of the settlers named John Rolfe.

Such was the smoothness of the presentation that it was easy to forget the distance between Bly and Finchley. Our thanks to David Willoughby for masterminding the technology.


Ken Carter, 1934-2021 Eric Morgan

Ken sadly died in January, aged 86, unfortunately a victim of Covid. He had been a HADAS member since 1997, attended lectures, came to Avenue House Quiz Nights, and went on at least one HADAS Long Weekend.

Ken lived most of his life in and around Hampstead or West Hampstead, including Maresfield Gardens (famous for Sigmund and Anna Freud’s homes). His late wife, Wendy, ran a pet shop named “Animal Crackers” on Flask Walk, NW3. He then moved to Golders Green to live in one of the interestingly-named “Gothic Cottages”, which is where I first knew him. After that, when things became too difficult for him, he moved to sheltered accommodation in East Finchley, before spending his last years in Porthleven, Cornwall, with his son.

After graduating from Oxford University, Ken opted to help children with learning difficulties from Burgess Hill, Hampstead. This led to teaching in various schools, including Pardes House Jewish School in Finchley, as well as private tuition in English, History and Economics. I remember him teaching at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute when it was still in the Garden Suburb. He later pursued a course to become a counsellor (therapist). Ken was into drama, classical music, art and literature, and was a member of the National Theatre, Barbican and Wigmore Hall. He wrote for “The Archer” (East Finchley’s local paper) on music. He performed in many shows at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Theatre, and at the East Finchley Arts Festival, on which he also reported for “The Archer”.

He was in various groups of the University of the Third Age, including History, Drama, Archaeology, Music and Art History. It was at the North West London Branch Group on Philosophy which was held at the Michael Sobel Centre in Golders Green Road, conveniently right opposite where he was living at the time, that I first met him. This was before I knew he was a member of HADAS like myself. He then went on to join the North London Branch of the U3A, where he ran a group on Shakespeare. (He had performed in some of his plays) as a Play Reading and Discussion Group.

He will be buried next to his wife, Wendy, in Highgate Cemetery. I found him a very approachable and knowledgeable man, who will surely be missed.

Volunteers to write-up lectures Don Cooper

This is a plea for volunteers to write up our lectures for the HADAS newsletters. In this time of lockdown where Zoom is the only way we can listen to lectures, there are some members who do not have the facility to listen to Zoom. Post lockdown (which always seems to be on the horizon but not yet close!) there are also members who for one reason or another cannot attend Avenue House. All these members rely on the monthly newsletter for their summaries of the lectures. It would be great if we had a list of volunteers who would write up one lecture a year. If you can help, please pass your name to Jo Nelhams, so we know whom we can contact, Thank you.

2021 National Census Jim Nelhams

The 2021 census is at the time of writing scheduled for Sunday 21st March, though in Scotland this has been deferred until next year.

In England and Wales, and separately for Scotland, a census has been held every ten years starting in 1801, except for 1941. The records of the England and Wales 1931 census were destroyed by fire in 1942.

Before 1841, people’s names were not centrally recorded, though information might exist on paper in local records offices. 1841 contained minimal information, with more questions added in each subsequent census. Three new questions will be added this year.


For confidentiality, legal rules require that personal data is not published until 100 years after the census, with the 1921 records due to be released early in 2022. Partly filling the gap since 1911 is a register compiled in 1939 to produce identity cards for everybody at the start of WW2, and unlike the census, showing exact dates of birth. This register was kept updated for a number of years and used in 1948 to set up records for the new National Health Service, so it may show changes of name on marriage. Consistent with the 100-year rule, records are redacted from the online version if it is thought that the people concerned might be still alive.
Over recent years, images of the published census and registry records have been scanned and indexed so that the details are searchable online, proving a great help to family history researchers.

So how easy is it to find the records you want? Early censuses were compiled by enumerators visiting each address. These were people who could read and write, unlike most of the population. Having collected the information, it was collated onto sheets which were sent to a central location, ultimately reaching the National Archives. The records were all hand-written, and the ink may have faded. The enumerators wrote down names as they heard them. (I have found over 20 different spellings of my own surname.) Errors could occur during transcription, and there was further scope for error when the records were indexed for online searching.

In the 1911 census, it being deemed that most people could now read and write, the sheets were completed by the head of each house, though they sometimes used nicknames for their family members. You may be able to see your ancestor’s signature.

Can all this help archaeology? It certainly provides historical data to help background research.

Looking at Avenue House in 1881, we see Henry C. Stephens with his wife and three children with a butler, housekeeper and four housemaids. No doubt there were also gardeners living elsewhere.

When looking at the dig in Burroughs Gardens, Hendon, I looked at the census sheets. They told how many houses existed and who lived there at each census, and the occupations gave information about the use of the houses. If you are building the history of an area, houses will only show in the census after they were built.

The questions for this year are shown at Forms will be mailed to each household to be completed by the householder, either on paper to be posted back, or to be answered online. The response must be completed on Sunday 21st March.or as soon as possible after that date.

Welsh Harp water level lowered Andy Simpson

During January and February 2021 the Canal and River Trust temporarily lowered the water level of the whole Welsh Harp Reservoir to permit inspection of the dam at the Wembley end of the reservoir. To quote their website:

‘Third party consultants will be carrying out inspection works at the Brent Reservoir (Welsh Harp) from Monday 25 January until Friday 5 February 2021. (with refilling actually scheduled for 22 February). The inspection works will take place to the main dam head wall, side dam, valve house and upstream draw off culvert. To enable the inspections works to be carried out, the water in the reservoir has been lowered by approximately 1m’. The attached photos were all taken by the author of this note on Thursday 11 February 2021, and clearly show the original pre-reservoir course of the Silkstream north of Cool Oak Lane Bridge, as well as the area south of the bridge looking over towards Wembley where the River Brent


also enters the reservoir area. It was an excellent opportunity to get some idea of the original ‘lie of the land’ before the reservoir was first constructed in 1834-35.

It has also provided a splendid opportunity for local volunteers to remove hundreds of bags of accumulated litter and rubbish deposited by uncaring visitors to the site. It may be several years before the water is lowered to this level again.

(Note – looking at a map, the boundary between Barnet and Brent is at the north east corner of the Welsh Harp, but the east-west part of the boundary is clearly not a straight line. In fact, it follows the original path of the River Brent. With the water lower, the boundary line can be seen.)

The Great Stink, London 1858 Stewart Wild

It’s difficult to imagine living conditions in London only 170 years ago, when overcrowded cities were unhealthy places to live, disease was rife and the stench of horse manure and human waste was pervasive.


Deaths from sickness were at a level not seen since the Black Death. In London, with a population of three million, the problem was becoming a crisis. Thousands of homes still had stinking cesspits beneath them and in the poorest areas this vile effluent oozed up through the floorboards.

In 1847 the newly formed Metropolitan Commission of Sewers took action, banning all cesspits and stating that all privy refuse should be discharged in the sewers. This added to the waste from the water closets which had recently become popular among the city’s richer residents.

However, the sewers were little more than storm drains, and so the new law simply meant that all human waste flowed straight into London’s rivers and then into the Thames. As a result, a cholera epidemic (1848–49) killed over fourteen thousand Londoners and the smell over London got worse. Only essential commercial traffic continued to ply the river.
Toshers. In the 1850s and 1860s poor Londoners found a new source of income. Those hardy souls prepared to enter the sewer outfalls during low tide scoured the mud for old metal, coins, clothes and rags and anything else that could be sold later.

These sewer-hunters, or ‘toshers’, as they were known, always travelled in groups of three or four for safety, armed with a long rake which guarded against vermin, but which could also be used for pulling themselves out when they got stuck in the mud or sludge.

The venerable social reformer Henry Mayhew, in his London Labour and the London Poor (fourth volume, 1861) estimated that this unconventional trade was worth overall around £20,000 a year, a tidy sum to say the least.

Disraeli’s eloquence
Then in 1858 a long very hot summer made the stench unbearable. Tons of chalk, lime and carbolic acid were tipped into the Thames but nothing could mask ‘The Great Stink’. Sheets were hung on the riverside windows of the House of Commons and soaked in chloride of lime solution (bleach), to no avail. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli described the river as “a Stygian Pool reeking with ineffable and unbearable horror.” MPs were forced to act.
Within eighteen days a bill was passed and the railway engineer Joseph Bazalgette (1819–91) was tasked with the vast job of building London’s sewers, apparently on the recommendation of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, incidentally also of Huguenot descent.

Bazalgette’s genius
Bazalgette and his team began work in 1859 and in the following nine years, and at a cost of £4.2 million (£500 million in today’s money) they built four pumping stations, 82 miles of intercepting sewers parallel to the Thames and 1,100 miles of street sewers with outfalls at Barking and Crossness; much of this network is still in use today.

The Observer described Bazalgette’s work as “the most extensive and wonderful feat of modern times”. The system was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in 1865, although the whole project was not actually completed for another ten years.

The entire network was somewhat over-engineered, with sewer diameters far greater than was needed at the time, but Bazalgette’s foresight together with the quality of the brickwork and sound Victorian engineering have meant that the system generally still works well today.
Bazalgette lived at 17 Hamilton Terrace, St John’s Wood; he is commemorated by a blue plaque that was placed on the house in the 1970s. Towards the end of his life he moved south of the river, to a house in Arthur Road, Wimbledon, where he died, possibly from overwork, in 1891.


He is buried in nearby St Mary’s Church in Wimbledon Village where there is a mausoleum to his memory. There is a second memorial on the Victoria Embankment, a major part of his subterranean achievements.

More Boundary Markers David Willoughby

Following on from Dudley Miles’s excellent article on boundary markers in February’s newsletter, here is a report from your northern correspondent. I am aware of four boundary markers of Barnet Urban District Council dated 1897 and made of caste iron located in Hadley and High Barnet. Considering their age and that they are made of iron, they are all remarkably good condition with only the merest hint of rust. Two are located close together on Old Fold Manor golf course and predate the course itself by some thirteen years. The second, which is hidden in undergrowth, is located on Hadley Green a little further south and close to the golf course boundary. The final marker is located at the bottom of Barnet Hill, close to the junction with Mays Lane.

1) & 2) Barnet Urban District Council cast iron boundary markers on Old Fold Manor golf course. 3) Identical marker at the bottom of Barnet Hill.

These four markers are dated three years after the formation of Barnet Urban District Council in 1894. The council area was extended subsequently over the years, and was abolished in 1965 when the area was combined with others to form the London Borough of Barnet. Very close to the boundary marker at Barnet Hill is a very different cast iron marker. This is extremely worn and indistinct. However, if enhanced using photographic software it clearly shows a coat of arms of two rampant animals bearing a shield. The coat of arms is not dissimilar to the royal coat of arms of the lion and the unicorn, and above each animal’s head there does appear to be a fleur-de-lis-like motif and a crown above the shield itself. There is a pattern above the coat of arms but no text is discernible.

Surprise Discovery in West Sussex Stewart Wild

Last summer, with a friend who lived nearby, I decided to explore what’s left of the Wey and Arun Navigation south of Pulborough in West Sussex. In particular, I wanted to see if I could find the Hardham Tunnel, which carries the canal under the A29 and the main railway line to Arundel and the South Coast.


The 375-yard tunnel was completed in 1790 to connect with the Coldwatham Cut that linked meandering parts of the River Arun as part of the plan to provide a safe inland route for goods and supplies between London and the naval base at Portsmouth. This project was finally complete in 1823, long after the Napoleonic wars that made it necessary, and abandoned around thirty years later following the growth of the railways. What made my quest topical was that last year the tunnel was granted Grade II listed status following a campaign by Paul Messis, a local self-proclaimed “history buff”.

No tunnel vision
I glimpsed the north portal just off the A29 on the edge of a Council roadworks depot; the south portal remained in the distance across muddy fields and hidden by undergrowth. However, the surprise came when we turned off the main road along a lane which led to the hamlet of Hardham, and which had once been the main route to London before the A29 took all the traffic away on a sort of bypass.

A small sign by the side of the lane showed an arrow and the words ’12th-Century Frescoes’. Who could resist finding what this was all about? Fifty yards further on the little church of St Botolph came into view. We parked the car and approached the south door. Would it be open? Yes!

Figure 1 St Botolph Church, Hadham, West Sussex

We were alone inside the church and gasped in astonishment: every bit of wall was covered in an array of frescoes featuring Apostles, St George and scenes from the Bible!


Hardham is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Heridehem. St Botolph’s church is well worth a visit apart from the frescoes and is Grade I listed.

It is a Saxon church dating from c.1050 AD, before the Conquest. Roman bricks and tiles can be seen in the outside walls (the site of a Roman camp/way station on Stane Street is less than half a mile away). The church was modified with more windows in the sixteenth century and in the nineteenth century a porch and a small bellcote were added; one bell is dated 1636.

St Botolph was born in East Anglia and lived in the seventh century (c.620–680 AD). He travelled to France and became a Benedictine monk. He returned to East Anglia and founded a monastery at Iken in Suffolk, near present-day Aldeburgh. He lived a simple life, caring for the poor, the sick and the hungry, and seems to have been revered as after his death dozens


of churches were dedicated to him; there are at least three in Sussex and four in London.

Incidentally, Boston in Lincolnshire is a contraction of ‘Saint Botolph’s town’.

St Botolph’s unique frescoes
The wall paintings are in two sections, with an upper and a lower frieze, so to speak. The upper tier is in a much better state of preservation than the lower.

Some of the best and clearest figures are on the west wall of the chancel, featuring Adam and Eve receiving the forbidden fruit from the serpent, depicted as a wyvern. The north wall shows scenes from the life of St George. All the paintings can be illuminated by pressing a light switch.

The colours of pale brown/ochre/pink were no doubt much brighter many years ago. The paintings date from around 1100 AD and are amongst the earliest in the country. At some stage they were covered in plaster and were discovered/revealed in the 1860s. They have deteriorated since, despite conservation work by experts that was carried out in the 1980s and 1990s.

English Heritage are currently investigating the best means of stabilising the humidity in the church to prevent further deterioration. A booklet with a full description of the paintings is available in the church.

When life gets back to normal, a visit to the church can easily be combined with Bignor Roman Villa about five miles southwest, and Amberley Industrial Museum, about six miles to the south. Chichester and Fishbourne Roman Palace are also within striking distance.

CHAS (The Combined Hertfordshire Archaeological Societies) lectures

The CHAS lecture programme

Lectures as part of the CHAS series need to be booked via Eventbrite. They are free, but there is a limit to the number of tickets available. New talks will be added as-and-when the details become available.


CHAS was formed in October 2020 to provide a platform for some of the archaeological groups in the county to be able to run some form of event during the covid-19 pandemic. The five societies involved are: The Welwyn Archaeological Society, The East Herts Archaeological Society, The North Herts Archaeological Society, The Norton Community Archaeology Group and the The South-West Herts Archaeological and Historical Society. Attendance at these meetings is free, but if you are not a member of one of the contributing groups, please consider joining. The usual worries about membership have been magnified by the pandemic.

Current Archaeology Live is online this year from 26-28 February with pre-recorded lectures. Logon via the website on the days. Leading archaeological experts from across the UK will share their latest thinking on all aspects of the past. Talks will then be uploaded to the Current Archaeology YouTube channel on the weekend of 26-28 February. They will be available all weekend and can be watched in any order.

Film news
For subscribers to Netflix, the film The Dig based on the novel of the same name by John Preston about the excavations in 1939 at Sutton Hoo is now available. For the rest of us, we will have to wait until cinemas re-open or other streaming services make it available.


With many thanks to this month’s contributors: Stephen Brunning; Don Cooper; Eric Morgan; Jim Nelhams; Peter Pickering; Neil Redfern; Andy Simpson; Stewart Wild; Susan Willetts; David Willoughby.


Hendon & District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
(07855 304488) e-mail:
Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
East Barnet EN4 8FH (0208 440 8421) e-mail:

Website at:



Newsletter 599 – February 2021

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments
No. 599 February 2021 Edited by Andy Simpson
HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

This year’s Dorothy Newbury Memorial Lecture will be on Tuesday 9th February at our normal time, 7:45 for 8:00 pm by Zoom. Our speaker will be Bob Evans, Chair of the Friends of the Newport Ship, and will cover The Construction of the Ship based on their ongoing research. HADAS visited the project during our South Wales trip in 2019 – see November 2019 newsletter.

Tuesday 9th March 2021**
Sarah Linney & Jack Russell

Thames Tideway Tunnel – Archaeological Presentation

Tuesday 13th April 2021**
Signe Hoffos

Lost City Churches

Tuesday 11th May 2021** Lee Prosser
Lee Prosser from Historical Royal Palaces will be speaking about Timber Framed Buildings with reference to the Barnet shop – Actual title to be advised.

Tuesday 8th June 2021

Tuesday 12th October 2021

Tuesday 9th November 2021

** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these lectures at least will be held online via ZOOM.

AGM notes Jim Nelhams

Ably managed by our President, Harvey Sheldon, our delayed AGM took place using Zoom on Tuesday 12th January with some 33 members logging in. Full minutes will be circulated later.
The officers and committee members were re-elected all being willing to continue.

Unfortunately, there were no new nominations though there are vacancies on the committee.

It was noted that if HADAS is to survive, more people need to help with the organisation. Please think about this before our next AGM on Tuesday 8th June 2021.


Stink Pipes – the Story Continues!

The article on Stink Pipes in Finchley by Dudley Miles in the last issue of this newsletter was unfortunately actually an early draft which had some errors of detail. In particular, the statement that the pipes are maintained by local authorities, whereas they are actually maintained by your local water company, which varies from area to area. The list of pipes is also incomplete.

Dudley would like to appeal for photos of stink pipes in other parts of Barnet Borough for an expanded version, which will correct the wrong details, to appear in a future issue. Walking the streets searching for stink pipes would be good exercise in this time of lockdown. Please send photos to, with a photo of any inscription and the location of the pipe.

Peter Collins kindly reports a Ham Baker & Co Pipe in Islington, outside our Borough but an indication of the broad area that they supplied from their HQ in Westminster.
To get the Barnet ball rolling, your esteemed editor offers an example in a favourite lockdown stamping ground of his.

West Hendon Stink Pipe Andy Simpson


As mentioned earlier, I have noticed at least one stink pipe on my lockdown walks. It is situated at the very end of Fryent Grove, at the entrance to Silver Jubilee Park. This is right on the boundary of the former Hendon Urban District and Kingsbury areas, sitting on the line of the boundary hedge discussed in my ‘On The Fringe – West Hendon Playing Fields’ article in the July 2020 issue of this newsletter.

Despite the elaborate base, there are no obvious makers marks and it has clearly not been painted for decades. To the left of this photo taken 30 December 2020 is the site of the former Hendon Isolation Hospital. Between the pipe and telegraph pole are contrasting items of street furniture – two vintage cast iron bollards and four modern steel girder sections used to differentiate the park boundary.

It seems the former RCHME/National Monuments Record (now the Historic England Archive) refers to them as Sewer Ventilation or Ventilating Pipes or Columns; Search results: Sewer Ventilation Pipes | The National Archives

I keep wandering over the ‘county line’ into Kingsbury! Lots of lovely open space – Silver Jubilee Park as just glimpsed above, Roe Green, Fryent Country Park – all ideal lockdown walking venues for my ‘permitted exercise’. Architectural delights of course include Kingsbury Old Church and its ‘modern’ Neighbour, and on the hill above Roe Green and by the crossroads, the wonderful 1920s-30s Trobridge houses and flats, some now in need of a lot of TLC. See Brent Council’s From Cottages to Castles: A walk around Trobridge’s Kingsbury [PDF].

And as the first of two street furniture companion pieces to the stink pipes in this issue…DUDLEY MILES goes looking for boundary markers!
Boundary markers

Barnet has many historic parish and local authority boundary markers, and they are designated as Heritage Assets by Barnet Council. Details and photographs are on the Local List;

Two of the best preserved are in Torrington Park in North Finchley, near Friary Road. They are made of cast iron and inscribed ‘Finchley Parish 1864’ and ‘FBP [Friern Barnet Parish] 1871’. They are adjacent to a stink pipe made by H. J. Rogers, which is only two feet inside the Finchley boundary.

Parish boundary markers in Torrington Park


There are almost identical boundary markers on the corner of Woodhouse Road and Hilton Avenue, except that they are painted white and not in such good condition, while the Friern Barnet one is dated 1910. The Finchley plaque is designated by Historic England as a Grade II Listed Building (sic), but the Friern Barnet one is not considered worthy of the honour.

One other boundary marker in the borough is a Grade II Listed Building, being a stone one
adjacent to the fence of Ravenscroft Gardens in Chipping Barnet, opposite 1 Ravenscroft Park.

Chipping Barnet boundary stone

It has inscriptions on both sides which are now almost illegible, but Historic England has helpfully recorded them. One side reads: “This stone stands on the pre-historic landmark Grimsdyke, which forms part of the boundary of the Parish of Chipping Barnet”.

The boundary ditch is no longer thought to be part of the Grimsdyke. The other side reads: “This stone was originally a boundary stone of the Whetstone and Highgate Turnpike Trust which built Barnet Hill about 1823”. The Trust rebuilt Barnet Hill to reduce the gradient for horse carriages. Historic England states that the boundary marker is 19th century Portland Stone.

1937 boundary

In the mid-1930s, there were changes to the local authority boundaries, and these were marked in 1937 with plaques jointly erected by Finchley and Friern Barnet, such as one shown here, which is at the junction of Woodhouse Road and Summers Lane.

54a Barnet High Street – a timber framed building, the dating game… Bill Bass

54a High Street
Following on from the HADAS report in October’s 2020 Newsletter we have received an Interim Statement on the Dendrochronological Analysis of the Oak Timbers from the Scientific Dating Team of Historic England (Martin Bridge and Cathy Tyers November 2020). Members may have seen from social media or the report shown on BBC London News of the probable felling date of the timbers of between AD 1330 – 1362. We can add a few more details from the statement as summarised from the document.

Samples were taken from 14 of the various timber elements in 54a High Street, with two samples being taken from one of the posts in order to maximise the ring sequence length from this timber. A process of ‘cross matching’, overlapping and sequencing produced a result of six timber series that were combined into a site master chronology of 79 years which was dated to the period AD 1249-1327. Some of the dated timber locations included post trusses, wallplates and a truss crown post. Various other samples were rejected having too few rings for reliable dating purposes.

The six dated series from 54a High Street represent a range of timber elements within the building, and appears to form a coherent group, most likely felled at the same time. The mean heartwood-sapwood boundary date of AD 1321 gives a likely felling date range for the group of AD 1330-62.


58 High Street
Samples were also taken from seven timbers in the carriageway on the south side of the Mitre Public House, 58 High Street. The samples had relatively short ring sequences and could not be reliably dated.

The statement gives details of the various tree-ring samples not reproduced here. Further work may be carried out to further refine the dating and at other locations.

Many thanks to Dr Jane Sidell (Historic England), Martin Bridge (UCL/ODL) and Cathy Tiers (Historic England).

The yard at the back of The Mitre c1900 taken from approximately where the HADAS 1989 trench was placed, the steeply pitched roof, top left is the rear of 54a High Street. (Barnet Museum collection.)

Nearby excavations
As mentioned in October’s report HADAS dug a 12m x 2m trench in the backyard of 58 High Street (Mitre Inn) in 1989-1990 (BM89), it was an interesting dig where we had to use a ‘jack-hammer’ to open-up the tarmac and hard-core for the trench, which then partially collapsed when flooded by particularly heavy rain! There were a number of post-medieval structural footings, possible floors and dump layers. The dump layers contained a varied amount of ceramics including residual tile and pottery of Roman and medieval date. There was a fair amount of medieval pottery including some ‘South Herts Greyware’ dating to the 12th – 14th centuries. These dates appear to start overlapping with the dating of 54a High Street. As HADAS member Jennie Lee Cobban quotes “Chipping Barnet shop reveals medieval surprise – BBC News – It amuses me that when we were digging behind the Mitre next door and getting all excited about tiny sherds of medieval pottery a standing medieval building was looking down on us…”


The HADAS trench behind The Mitre, looking north, the dig was directed by Brian Wrigley and Victor Jones. Brian, inspecting the work, stands behind the author. (Arthur Till/ Bill Bass collection).

Subsequent excavations in the area include those by Wessex Archaeology in 2003 and AOC Archaeology Group in 2005 (VWA 05). The AOC dig was more of an open-area excavation some 30m x 30m stretching behind 58 High St and The Mitre etc east towards Victors Way. The medieval sequence found medieval pottery in ditches, a post-hole was also associated with them, the features were dated to 1170-1350. The ditches were interpreted as boundary or enclosure ditches, marking the ownership of land or serving as an internal division within a larger plot.

Acknowledgement: Medieval and Post-Medieval activity at Victors Way, Barnet (Cat Edwards AOC) TLamas, Vol58, 2007.

Looking towards the rear of 54a, Architectural Consultant Sherry Bates stands by the window that overlooks The Mitre yard.
Break Shear House Evaluation

An evaluation took place at this larger site at 164 High Street, Barnet in October 2020 by Archaeology South-East (ASE). The site which is being redeveloped was interesting for its potential for post-medieval archaeology in the area, a gasworks and subsequent photo etching works had lain nearby, and for the possibility of medieval occupation along the High Street.


The evidence for medieval material here had looked unpromising due a previous geotechnical survey indicating a fair depth of disturbed ground and also other evaluations around this part of the High Street north of Barnet Church had been lacking in medieval archaeology.

ASE dug 6 trenches ranging from 10x2m to 15x2m finding a series of disturbed and dumped layers that included post-medieval pits in trenches 3, 4 and 5. In trench 5 (nearest to the High Street behind the shops) they also found part of a medieval ditch aligned north-south (1.10m wide) and a post-hole, these contained sherds of ‘South Herts Greyware’ rims, bases and body sherds typical of the local area as seen in ‘The Mitre’ dig above. The excavation shows there is medieval evidence for this part of the High Street and the continuing need to monitor planning applications here.

Acknowledgement: ASE, An Archaeological Evaluation 164 High Street, Barnet (Nov 2020).

The site of 164 High Street (looking east) being demolished showing the original plaque ‘1893 John Swain and Son Photo-Engraving Works’ this was later covered with a ‘BRAKE SHEAR HOUSE’ sign. (Bill Bass).
D-day + 50 Jim Nelhams

15th February 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Decimal Currency in the UK and Ireland.

In 1847 a proposal was put forward for decimalisation of the pound, with the introduction of coins worth a tenth and a hundredth of a pound. As a consequence, a tenth of a pound coin, the florin or two shillings, was introduced to test public opinion, the first issued in 1849.
When I was at school, everybody learnt their 12 times table. Very useful it was too, since it related to our everyday currency with 12 pence to every shilling. Then came 15th February 1971, D-Day when we changed to Decimal Currency with 100 pence (p) to each pound to replace 240 (d, from the Roman denarius). The pound was also divided into 20 shillings (s) each of 12d. But that was not the end of changes to our coins and notes. In fact, every coin and all except one bank note has changed since 1971.


For a start, the 1/2 penny, penny, three-penny bit, sixpence and half crown were removed in 1971 having no equivalent new value. New low value bronze coins were introduced from D-day – 1/2p, 1p and 2p. The smallest of these ceased to be used in 1990, and 1p and 2p coins since 1992 have been made of copper plated steel.

The shilling and florin (2 shillings) continued as 5 and ten new pence. New coins of the same size and showing the new value had already been introduced in 1968. These coins remained in use until 1990 when they were replaced by smaller ones. A new coin worth 50p in the new currency or 10 shillings in the old was introduced in 1969 to replace the paper 10-shilling note. This new coin had 7 curved sides.

In 1982, a smaller 7-sided coin, the 20p, was introduced, followed in 1983 by a new, single metal one pound coin, enabling the paper £1 note to be discontinued in 1984. In 1997, a new circular, bi-metal coin worth £2 was introduced and the 50p was reduced in size.
The next change in 2012 was not so obvious – the composition of the 5p and 10p coins was changed to include some iron content. The most recent coinage change was the replacement of £1 coins by a twelve-sided bi-metalic coin in 2017, primarily because so many forged coins were in circulation.

From an archaeological view, coins are often found on digs, and give some dating evidence. However, recent 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins contain steel and they rust, so may not survive in the ground for too long in an identifiable form.

In any case, with the great increase in on-line shopping and credit/debit cards, how much longer will we need coins?

Bank Notes
In September of 2016, the Bank of England introduced a polymer £5 note, to be followed a year later by a £10 note. The £20 note came on the scene in 2020, and in February 2020, the Bank of England announced that the last paper note, worth £50, which was only introduced in 2011, would be replaced by smaller polymer version during 2021, on a date to be announced. The back of this new note will show the picture of Alan Turing. It must be said that the Bank of England £5 was not the first polymer note in the UK. That honour goes to the Northern Bank in Northern Ireland with a special issue in 2000 commemorating the space shuttle. Regular notes were introduced in Scotland in 2015 by the Royal Bank of Scotland and by Clydesdale Bank.

Language is always evolving, but some expressions take more time. Did spending a penny change to having a p? What do we make of half a pound of two-penny rice? In for a penny, in for a pound? I’m sure you can think of others.

At this time, we still use old measures for weight and distance and temperature, though the decimal versions are taught in schools and co-exist. And a litre of beer needs a lot more strength to lift.

Ultimately, decimalisation will only be complete when everything is decimal, including time. So here’s to the ten hour day and the ten day week.

Orkney and its extraordinary archaeology Melvyn Dresner

With the collapse in distance afforded by Zoom and Covid 19, on the 28th October 2020, I was able to attend Orkney Archaeology Society Annual General Meeting and talk by Caroline Wickham-Jones on the extraordinary archaeology, from the comfort of Barnet. As a regular volunteer at the Ness of Brodgar dig, which was cancelled in 2020, this was opportunity to catch up with Orkney archaeology. This year also saw the publication in November, of the Ness of Brodgar – As It Stands, edited by Nick Card, Mark Edmonds and Anne Mitchell. This brings together work on site since March 2003 at the world heritage site.


HADAS has a long association with Orkney archaeology, HADAS stalwart the late Daphne Lorimer was a leading light in Orkney archaeology, members have enjoyed long weekends visiting her there, and today the Daphne Lorimer Bursary, supports Masters students who otherwise could not raise the funds to study archaeology at University of the Highland and Islands in Kirkwall.

OAS was founded to educate the people of Orkney and beyond about the archaeology, heritage and people of Orkney from prehistory to the present.

This includes Newsletters, OAS Archaeology Review and regular talks such as on Norse Orkney, St Magnus Graffiti Project and the Ness of Brodgar and the use of scientific techniques. Like everywhere, the work of society has been impacted by Covid, moving online and cancellation of the digging season: however, the society’s work goes.

After the AGM, Caroline Wickham-Jones gave her personal view of the extraordinary archaeology. Her experience goes back to student days on the 1970 Skara Brae dig. She places Orkney on a node of axis that shows how connected Orcadians would have been.

There is an abundance of archaeology sites within Orkney, including highly visible sites monuments and less obvious mounds around the Bay of Skaill. She notes a high degree of preservation, and often unusual details such as the Orkney Hood (c.AD 250-600), Neolithic figurines from Westray, containers with ochre and string from Skara Brae (c.3,200 BC) do give a few examples, such items can be seen in the museums in Orkney.

Big name archaeology and world archaeology, the likes of Gordon Childe and Colin Renfrew, means Orkney is known to many archaeologists as it is reference in many of the key texts of prehistory. Orkney is not only part of the history of archaeology, this is ongoing. The earliest explorers probably arrived 12,000 years ago after the last Ice Age, when Orkney was probably two larger islands rather than the collection of islands of today. Still lots to learn about changing societies in the Neolithic, the role of sites such as Ness of Brodgar, relationship with the wider world and detail of burial.

As well as Mesolithic and Neolithic, there is much to explore in the Bronze and Iron age. For the Pictish period such as the smithy site on Rousay, we begin to be able to match archaeology to the written record. For the Viking age, her focus turns to landscape, and Viking age such St Magnus Cathedral. She refers to the medieval and historic, and opportunities to examine political structures.

The archaeology of recent times includes wartime archaeology including the Ness Battery and Italian Chapel, and the sunken German fleet in Scapa Flow, and the Royal Oak.
Looking to the future, she reflected on the continuing importance of excavation, applied geoscience, combining approaches geoscience and oral science, building community through communication and social media, and the need for publication. She felt the gaps were in our record in the earliest communities, submerged and wartime material.

Orkney Archaeology Society:
YouTube link to lecture:
Orcadian Bookshop:


More Street Furniture…INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY UNDERFOOT by David Willoughby

When I was a child growing up in Pimlico in the early 1960s, I can clearly recall the flat-bed lorries laden with sacks of coal that pulled up outside the elegant
Cubitt stucco terraces. These sacks were emptied by burly men, wearing leather jerkins, through circular holes in the pavement into the coal cellars below. My memories of this were recently reawakened during a lecture on the history of Pimlico at Barnet Museum during which a slide of a circular cast iron coal hole cover (coal plate) was displayed on which was written, ‘A Smellie Ironmonger, Rochester Row, Pimlico’. I was a little disappointed to discover some time later that ‘Smellie’ is in fact pronounced ‘Smiley’.

Nevertheless, I was sufficiently impressed by this example of ironworker’s art decide to photograph as many coal plates as I could find before they succumbed to corrosion, wear or ‘street improvements’. Coal plates are almost as old as the industrial revolution itself with at least one very early square, stone example to be found in Bath. These early stone examples were soon replaced by cast iron (but again square) plates.

As the use of coal to heat buildings spread, round plates became more common. These plates were less prone to damage and loss through the hole into the coal cellar below. The castings were made from wooden moulds, often by local ironmongers and the intricacy and fineness of some of the designs are often very impressive. These patterned surfaces served a functional purpose in that they helped prevent pedestrians from slipping on what would otherwise have been a smooth cast iron surface.

Although there appears almost to have been a manufacturer on every corner, substantial quantities of plates were also produced by large ironworks such as Hayward Brothers of Borough and St Pancras Ironworks (which were founded by the inventor Henry Bessemer). It is likely that at least some local ironmongers would have subcontracted the production of their own coal plates to these large ironworks.


Coal holes gradually fell into disuse as gas became an increasingly common mode of heating and the death knell came with the Clean Air Act of 1968 which restricted the types of solid fuels that could be used.

Coal plates vary from 12” to 24” in diameter and although thousands have been destroyed over the years there are surviving concentrations to be found in Bath, Belgravia, Bloomsbury, Brighton, Chelsea, Hampstead, Islington, Kensington, Marylebone and Pimlico.

Although there is a filled-in coal hole outside the Red Lion, in Barnet High Street, I for a long time doubted that there were extant coal plates remaining in Barnet. However over the last few months I have chanced upon surviving examples in the High Barnet area. In Wood Street there are three examples of St Pancras Ironworks plates outside the doors of private houses (one of these plates is very corroded);

In Hadley Parade at the northern end if Barnet High Street there are two examples of plates made by Hodge and Ashton of Crouch End, with a plate of G. Beach & Co of Camden Town nearby; in Alston Road there is an example of a plate by Marriott Brothers of High Barnet, with an example of a plate by Clark, Hunt and Co. of Shoreditch adjacent; a Marriott Brothers’ plate is also to be found nearby in Marriott Road. By far the greatest number of plates are in Salisbury and Carnarvon Roads where there are several examples of patterned plates not bearing any legend, also ‘improved safety plates’, an example each of a plate by Edwin Fenton of Mile End Road and Alfred Syer of Pentonville Road and three more Examples of Marriott Brothers’ plates.


It is possible to roughly date some of these plates as the companies that supplied them were not in business for very long. Ashton and Hodge were declared bankrupt in July 1891, Edwin Fenton in March 1890 and Charles Henry and Henry James Marriott (trading as Marriott Brothers Builders and Contractors) in November 1882.

At the time of bankruptcy, the Marriott Brothers were trading from the High Barnet Works in Union Street and were resident at Greenhead Villa, Carnarvon Road, having previously resided in Tottenham. It is interesting to think that the one example of their plate in Carnarvon Road might be located outside their former residence. Also is it a coincidence that another example of their plate is to be found in Marriott Road? Perhaps the brothers built the houses in this road and it bears their name as a result? If anyone is aware of any coal plates in Barnet other than those mentioned, I would be glad to hear of their location.

With many thanks to this month’s contributors: Bill Bass; Melvyn Dresner; Dudley Miles; Jim Nelhams; David Willoughby.


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
(07855 304488) e-mail:
Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
East Barnet EN4 8FH (0208 440 8421) e-mail:

Website at:


Newsletter 598 – January 2021

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments
No. 598 January 2021 Edited by Peter Pickering


Wishing all our readers a Happy New Year for 2021.

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

You will all be aware by now that, for the duration, our lectures are being held by Zoom, so that instead of coming to lovely historic Avenue House you have to click on various links on your boring computer in whatever boring room you keep it. What, I hear some of you ask, if I haven’t got a computer, or it has succumbed to a virus of its own? Well, you have to wait until you receive your HADAS newsletter through the post, and hope that by the spring we shall be able to have proper meetings again. But in the meantime (and isn’t it a mean time?) do keep in touch with your society – addresses at the end of this newsletter.

On Tuesday 12th January we shall have our Annual General Meeting followed by a talk by Dr Bly Straube, Senior Curator at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia, USA, entitled “Surprises from the Soil: Archaeological Discoveries at 17th century Jamestown, Virginia”. All details were in the December newsletter. The meeting will be on Zoom from 7.15 for a 7.30 start, and we shall be sending out an invitation email with an instruction how to join on the day.

Virtually no other societies are holding physical meetings during this pandemic, and so our newsletters no longer include Eric Morgan’s much-loved list. But we are not the only organisation to have a programme of talks online. It is well worth exploring what is on offer, and the terms on which non-members can have access – you usually have to book in advance, and sometimes to pay; some are recorded and can be seen at any time on YouTube. For instance, I know that the Society of Antiquaries have a varied programme of lectures on Zoom or YouTube free, and the Victorian Society have a lot on ‘Crowdcast’ at £5 each – I recently watched Stephen Brindle on Queen Victoria and the railways., and ‘Liverpool, Mercantile City’ should interest those of you who were on our Frodsham trip in 2017.
LAMAS lectures are online via Zoom and cost £2.50 for non-members, look out, among others, for Roger Chapman’s talk on Clitterhouse Farm on 9th March 2021.

The Hertfordshire Association for Local History ( ) also have interesting talks on subjects from our neighbouring county.

In this year, the 550th anniversary of the battle of Barnet, the Barnet Museum and Local History Society will have several relevant Zoom lectures coming up contact for details.


HADAS November lecture by ZOOM Don Cooper

The November lecture, which was actually a talk and tour, was given by Dr Jane Sidell, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic England and an Honorary Lecturer at UCL. The title of her lecture was “London’s Roman and Medieval Wall”.

Jane opened her talk and tour with a map and description of the wall.

The map shows the outline of the inland Roman wall (the riverside wall was left for another day). The wall as 3.5kms long, built in AD190 -225. It was built of Kentish ragstone with Roman brick string courses. It is 7-9ft wide at ground level tapering up by steps as it rises, the height is uncertain ?16ft with a parapet and walkway at the top. It had an external V-shaped ditch 10-16ft wide and 4-6ft deep. There were at least 25 bastions from the later Roman period and the 13th century. The wall has been altered and heightened over the years.

Jane then took us on a virtual photographic tour of most of the remaining sections, pointing where they can be found and the alterations that have been made to them.

This photo, which I took in 2001, clearly shows the Roman brick string courses and above them the cruder Medieval addition. This part of the wall is outside Tower Bridge Station.


This intriguing part of the Roman and Medieval Wall is in St Alphage’s garden on the appropriately named London Wall road. Looking at the photo the grey coloured part is Medieval and includes many repairs and alterations. The Roman part of the wall is now


buried below ground, while the crenelated red brick on the top is believed to date from 1471 during Edward IV’s reign.

It was a fascinating “tour” and it is amazing how much has survived over the 1600 years since the departure of the Romans.

Stink pipes in Finchley Dudley Miles

In 2009 I lived for a short time in Catford, and I was very intrigued by a giant pole in Springbank Road which is twice the height of the lamp posts. I could not imagine what purpose it could have. I finally learnt the answer when I listened to a very interesting LAMAS Zoom lecture in September by Stephanie Ostrich about the Earl’s Sluice, a small south London river which is now a sewer. She said that the river could be followed along Albany Road by a row of three stink pipes (formally called sewer ventilation pipes), which convey noxious and flammable gases from the Earl’s Main Sewer, which runs parallel to the former water course, up to a safe level above the street. I realised that the Catford pole must be a stink pipe, and my interest was further roused when I made my own discovery of one in Church Path in North Finchley, which I have walked along countless times without noticing it.

Stink pipes were one of a number of solutions proposed in the middle of the nineteenth century to the problem of the buildup of gases in sewers. The leading sanitary expert William Corfield, in his The Treatment and Utilization of Sewage of 1870, described the use of stink pipes in Liverpool. He recommended combining them with Archimedean screw pumps to draw the gas up and charcoal filters to clean the gas, but it seems unlikely that these refinements were installed in Finchley. He warned against setting light to the flammable gas, citing a case where it was piped to the furnace of a soap works in Southwark – the gas exploded and destroyed the furnace.

Figure 1: Stink pipe at the corner of Finchley High Road and Christchurch Avenue
Figure 2 Inscription on stink pipe in Church Path


Some buildings, such as the Savoy Hotel, were so tall that it was not possible to erect a stink pipe which would carry the gas above the roof, and Joseph Webb proposed getting rid of the gas by burning it in sewer lamps, which would also provide street lighting. However, the flame often went out, filling the street with the smell of rotten eggs. In 1895 he found a solution by combining the sewer gas with town gas, and the only surviving sewer lamp is in Carting Lane at the side of the Savoy.

Stink pipes were later abandoned in favour of venting the gases through the roofs of houses. Most pipes have been removed over the past hundred years, but a considerable number still survive. Local authorities are responsible for their maintenance and some still serve their original purpose.

I have surveyed the area of the former Finchley District Council for stink pipes. (Finchley Local Board was replaced by Finchley District in 1895, which in turn became the Municipal Borough of Finchley in 1933 and was absorbed in the London Borough of Barnet in 1965.) I believe that I have found almost all of the surviving stink pipes. They are made of cast iron and most have peeling paint, but a few look well maintained. Many have lost their top part and some only survive as stubs. They all seem to date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when sewerage was the responsibility of local authorities.

Almost all stink pipes in Finchley are inscribed with the name of the manufacturer, and two are inscribed ‘Finchley District Council’. The pipes in Finchley were mainly made by Henry John Rogers, who seems to have had a monopoly until his death in 1910. In the 1911 Ordnance Survey maps for mid and north Finchley all his pipes are in roads which are shown on the maps, whereas pipes made by other manufacturers are in roads which are not shown, apart from two stink pipes manufactured by William E. Farrer Ltd in Nether Street, a road which dates to the medieval period. However, this company was only incorporated in 1909, the year before Rogers died. Born at Watford in 1846, he was trained at Crewe at the London and North Western Railway and then worked in the South African mining industry. Following his return to England, he bought an engineering works in Watford in 1885. His work was diverse, including gas compression and electrical machinery, and he was an inventor whose patents included several for the improvement of straining paper pulp.
After Rogers died, Finchley District Council used a variety of manufacturers until it ceased installing stink pipes, probably soon after the First World War as all its pipes were manufactured by companies which started trading before 1910. J. Gibb & Co Ltd manufactured stink pipes for Finchley and Friern Barnet councils; it was active from the 1900s to the 1930s and its name is often found on drain covers.

Location of stink pipes
Finchley District
Inscribed ‘H. J. Rogers, Engineer, Watford’

• Church Path, near Woodside Park Road
• Durham Road
• East End Road near Stanley Road
• Elmfield Road
• Fairlawn Avenue
• Corner of Finchley High Road and Christchurch Avenue
• Finchley High Road near Oak Lane
• Friern Park
• Hall Street


• Hendon Avenue
• Corner of Hendon Lane and Crooked Usage
• Corner of Hendon Lane and Cyprus Road
• Holden Road near Laurel View
• Lansdowne Road (1)
• Lansdowne Road (2)
• Lichfield Grove
• Lincoln Road
• Long Lane near Cromwell Road
• Long Lane near Font Hills
• Long Lane near St Paul’s Way
• Nether Street near The Grove
• Regents Park Road near North Crescent
• Squires Lane near Queens Avenue
• Torrington Park
• Woodside Grange Road

Inscribed ‘J. Gibb & Co Ltd, London’ (active between the 1900s and the 1930s)
• Windermere Avenue
• Friern Watch Avenue, also inscribed ‘Finchley District Council’
• Hervey Close
• Ridgeview Road

Inscribed ‘Wm E Farrer Ltd, Birmingham’ (William E Farrer Ltd incorporated 1909)
• Nether Street near Coleridge Road
• Nether Street near Birkbeck Street

Ham Baker & Co Limited (incorporated 1901)
• Long Lane near Dukes Avenue, inscribed ‘Ham Baker’
• Westbury Grove, inscribed ‘Ham Baker & Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster’

Inscribed ‘Broad & Co Ltd, No. 1, London’ (incorporated 1896)
• Chalgrove Gardens

Inscribed ‘Adams Hydraulics Ltd, York’ (incorporated 1903)
• Gordon Road near Elm Park Road

• Manor View, inscribed ‘Finchley District Council’
• The Ridgeway, no inscription
• St Paul’s Way, no inscription
• Wentworth Avenue, no inscription
• Courthouse Gardens, illegible inscription

The street map on the next page covers Finchley District, apart from two small areas which are off the map. It shows the district boundary and the location of the stink pipes.


The map is from Master Atlas of Greater London, 12th edition, © 2009 Geographers A-Z Map Co. Ltd.


Friern Barnet Urban District
Inscribed ‘J. Gibb & Co Ltd, London’

• Friern Park
• Ashurst Road, also inscribed ‘Friern Barnet Urban District Council’
• Horsham Avenue, also inscribed ‘Friern Barnet Urban District Council’

• Hilton Avenue, behind fence and lower part not visible

Barnet Urban District
• Shelford Road, inscribed ‘Broad & Co Ltd, London’
• Quinta Drive, no inscription

Hendon Urban District
• Corner of Finchley Road and Helenslea Avenue, plate with inscription missing?
• Finchley Road near Hayes Crescent, inscribed ‘Ham Baker & Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster’
• Finchley Road near Helenslea Avenue, inscribed ‘Ham Baker & Co Limited, Engineers, Westminster’

East Barnet Urban District
• Shaftesbury Avenue, inscribed ‘Adams Hydraulics Ltd, York’

There are photographs of the pipes at
Can anyone decipher the inscription on the Courthouse Gardens stink pipe at,_North_Finchley,_Courthouse_Gardens,_illegible_inscription.jpg
Sources: Websites including Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History and Companies House; The Godfrey Edition Old Ordnance Survey maps; The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex, volume VI, 1980; W. H. Corfield, A Digest of Facts Relating to the Treatment and Utilization of Sewage, 1870; Thames Water staff.

With many thanks to this month’s contributors: Don Cooper & Dudley Miles


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
(07855 304488) e-mail:
Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
East Barnet EN4 8FH (0208 440 8421) e-mail:

Website at:


Newsletter 597 – December 2020

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments

No. 597 DECEMBER 2020 Edited by Don Cooper


Wishing you all a happy and cheerful Christmas.

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Please note that until further notice all lectures will be held online via Zoom due to coronavirus. We will be sending out an invitation email with instructions about how to join on the day of each talk. Keep an eye open for them!

Belated AGM

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) for HADAS is normally held in June two months after the Society’s year end on 31st March of any given year. However, the June AGM for 2020 had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

The society is required to submit its report and audited accounts to the Charity Commissioners by the end of January 2021, hence a proforma AGM will be held on 12th January 2021 to approve the report and accounts.


The agenda for the revised AGM is follows:

Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Notice of the delayed 59th Annual General Meeting of the Society, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, from Tuesday 9th June 2020 to Tuesday 12th January 2021, which will be conducted as an event using Zoom at 7.15 for 7.30pm.


Chairman’s welcome and opening comments.

1) Apologies for absence.

2) Approve the minutes of 11th June 2019.

3) Approve the Committee’s reports and audited accounts.

4) Approve the appointment of Stewart Wild as Independent Examiner of the Society’s accounts


The lockdown has restricted our activities this year. As we look forward, it would benefit the Society to have more and perhaps newer members on the committee to help build our future. We are currently below full strength as permitted by our constitution and rules.

Anybody considering becoming a member of the Committee can complete a nomination form below and send it to the Secretary by post or email to arrive by 5th January.

Jo Nelhams (Secretary)


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Nomination Form



for the office of_________________________as a member of the Committee*.


I_____________________________________________consent to nomination.


*Delete as appropriate.

The details should be returned to the Hon. Secretary, Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet Herts EN5 5HS by post or email to be received not later than 7 days before the Annual General Meeting.


Following the AGM there will be a talk by Dr Bly Straube – Senior Curator at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia, USA. Entitled “Surprises from the Soil: Archaeological Discoveries at 17th-Century Jamestown, Virginia.” Most of the primary source materials for 17th-century Virginia in the way of maps, manuscripts, and other documents have been identified through the centuries and have been used by historians to interpret life in England’s first successful transatlantic settlement that began at Jamestown in 1607. Archaeology, especially excavations over the past quarter century, has been providing new and compelling information that has prompted fresh ideas about the past. This presentation will focus on the archaeological discoveries at Jamestown since 1994 and the true “surprises from the soil.”

HADAS October Lecture BY ZOOM Jim Nelhams

Since the lockdown began in March, we have not been able to stage lectures at Avenue House. The lecture on Tuesday 13th October by Les Capon came as a first – being delivered by Zoom. Apologies to those members who do not have the technology to watch, but it is surely preferable to reach as many of our members as we can. Also, the lecture was recorded and is


available on the HADAS YouTube channel which is available to HADAS members only. The lecture URL should not be passed to any non-members but is available to those members that were unable to view the original lecture.

As a singer, I’ve taken part in many concerts and on occasions have suspected that the critics were not actually there, so I must confess that I was not at the first showing, and this write-up is only possible because of the recording.

The subject of the evening was “Excavations at Eastcote House Gardens: 2012 – 2017” and the lecturer was Les Capon of AOC Archaeology Group.

The excavations were possible with lottery funding to allow digging for a month each year for 5 years. There was no work in 2013. Volunteers came from Friends of Eastcote Gardens and other local groups and schools. Over the years, more than 300 volunteers took part with up to 40 at any one time.

The first records of a house were in 1494 in a will, but pottery indicates a start date between 1200 and 1350. Most of the residents since 1494 are known. The will mentions two closes, Hopkytts (later Hopkyttes) and Droker.

Around 1600, Hopkytts had been flattened and a new larger Eastcote House built on the site. Eastcote House was declared derelict in the 1960s and demolished with the demolition rubble bulldozed into the cellars. A medieval stable block remains, which was converted in the 1960s to become a snooker hall, with the upper floor being removed nicely showing the timber frame of the building.

Of Eastcote House, some pictures remain, and a helpful floor plan had been drawn during a survey in 1936 by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.
The cellar spaces proved to be rich in remains of the building structure including a large number of nails. Some finds from Hopkytts were found dumped in a ditch. Most of the finds will be housed in a new museum in Hillingdon.

In the later digs, a further building was found within the park area. Was this Droker? It gave the appearance of being a smithy.

The park staff have laid out the footprint of Eastcote House using brick and stone so that people can see the location. More historical information can be found at There are also some pictures of the digs in Photos section.

The “attendance” at this meeting was similar to our face-to-face lectures, and some members who might not normally be able to reach Avenue House were able to join in.

An Interesting Tree – Update Sylvia Javes

Last year when we visited South Wales for our HADAS trip, I was intrigued by a wonderful tree at Margam Park near Port Talbot. I researched it and wrote about it for the HADAS newsletter –published in the December edition. This was a Cut-leaf or Fern-Leaf Beech situated in the ruined Chapter House of Margam Abbey. The tree is enormous and takes up most of the space of the Chapter House.

Fast forward to summer this year, when the Woodland Trust were inviting members of the public to vote for the ‘Tree of the Year’ for England, Wales, and Scotland. I noted that the Margam Abbey tree was nominated for Wales, so I voted for it. I am delighted to say that it won.


Llinos Humphreys from the Woodland Trust Wales said:

‘An historic fern-leaved beech enveloping the remains of one of the first Cistercian abbeys in Wales has been crowned Wales Tree of the Year 2020.

The Chapter House Tree beat off competition from five other finalists in an online vote run by Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales.

Located within Margam Park, Port Talbot its canopy has provided shelter to visitors for many years – from Victorian tea parties to a favourite summer picnic spot for present day visitors.
David Elward, who nominated the tree, said:

“I’ve been visiting Margam Park since I was a schoolboy, and this famous beech tree has been a reliable constant. Standing under its sweeping canopy, adjacent to the 12th Century Cistercian monastery and ruins, feels like you’re in a secret and magically historic space – nature’s version of a ‘cwtch’*. It’s one of my favourite places to photograph.”

It seems David isn’t alone, with the tree providing an atmospheric backdrop featuring in TV and film productions from Dr Who and Songs of Praise with Sir Bryn Terfel to the recent Netflix blockbuster series Sex Education.

The winning tree will receive a £1000 Care Award thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This can be spent on work to improve its health, signage or a public celebration.’

* cwtch- a cuddle or hug


Finchley Way Open Space Bill Bass

The Friends of Finchley Way Open Space (FoFWOS) have been in touch with us on proposals to landscape an area where ‘Brent Lodge’ once stood near Nether St and Finchley Way, West Finchley. The space is owned by Barnet Council and FoFWOS help to maintain it.
In the past HADAS have done fieldwork there digging several trenches in the 1970s in an effort to discover evidence for a building which predated the lodge. This earlier structure was built c1612 and demolished c1807. Early 17th century pottery was found to indicate this structure lay nearby.

Brent Lodge itself was built in 1810 by a local benefactor, being pulled down in 1962. The site also contains a ‘wooded’ area which once formed a kitchen garden and orchard that later became allotments.

So FoFWOS have borrowed the HADAS files to copy and digitise them.
There is an idea for HADAS to return for further fieldwork next year in lieu of the landscaping. The proposal leaflet and more of the interesting history of this site is available here (

The site today looking east, the houses of ‘The Drive’ are visible with Nether St beyond them. This shows the Brent Lodge ‘house-platform’ with the wooded area to the left. Note the fairly sharp change in levels – should be interesting to survey.


But is it Art? David Willoughby

Scholars of the Aegean Bronze Age often discuss whether Bronze Age people had the concept of art in the same sense that we do. The Collins dictionary concisely defines the term ‘art’ as ‘consisting of paintings, sculpture, and other pictures or objects which are created for people to look at and admire or think deeply about’. We know that Aegean bronze age peoples produced objects and paintings that we today admire and think deeply about such as the grave goods from the shaft graves at Mycenae or the frescos found in Minoan and Theran ‘palaces’ and buildings but we have no way of knowing that these peoples regarded them in the same light. It is entirely possible that Bronze Age ‘art’ was produced solely for ritualistic or religious purposes or to merely reflect the status of an individual or group of people.

(A gold inlaid sword blade from Mycenae grave circle A depicting a cat hunting birds. 16thC BCE)

The Bronze Age texts that we can read (Mycenaean Linear B, Hittite cuneiform tablets for example) are for the most part to do with administration or religious rituals and do not touch on abstract concepts like “art”.

(The throne room at Knossos, decorated with frescos with griffin motif. Minoan 15thC BCE)


Excavations in Greece at Pylos by the University of Cincinnatti commencing 2015 have uncovered the ‘Grave of the Griffin Warrior’ (so called because of the griffin iconography on some the grave goods). This early Mycenaean grave of a 5ft stocky warrior dating from the 15thC BCE is unusual for the area in being a shaft grave rather than a beehive shaped Tholos tomb and for this reason it has remained untouched by tomb robbers.
This grave is remarkable not only because of the richness and quantity of grave goods but also because of the how they demonstrate the influence that Minoan culture and beliefs had on Mycenaeans at this time. Many of the objects although beautiful, clearly depict religious motifs but there is one seal stone that is exquisite and depicts three warriors in combat.
Although a practical object which perhaps this warrior used to mark his ownership or approval by impressing into clay tablets or seals attached to jars, it is surely something that would have chimed with his position in society, something perhaps he used to hold up and admire and ponder over ……. so is it art?

(The Pylos Combat Agate, found in the Griffin Warrior’s grave, is an extraordinarily fine seal stone measuring only 1.4inches wide. It depicts the final moments of a battle among warriors.)

With many thanks to this month’s contributors: David Willoughby, Sylvia Javes,
Jim Nelhams, Jo Nelhams, Bill Bass



Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)

Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)

Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP (07855 304488)

Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
East Barnet EN4 8FH (0208 440 8421)

Website at:


Newsletter 596 – November 2020

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments

  No. 596      NOVEMBER 2020              Edited by Sue Willetts


HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Please note that until further notice all lectures will be held online via Zoom due to coronavirus. We will be sending out an invitation email with instructions about how to join on the day of each talk. Keep an eye open for them!

Tuesday 10th November 2020, 8pm: London’s Roman and Medieval Wall. Lecture by Dr Jane Sidell.

December – As yet, no decision has been made concerning a Christmas gathering.

Tuesday 12th January 2021 Surprises from the Soil: Archaeological Discoveries at 17th-Century Jamestown, Virginia. Talk by Dr Bly Straube – Senior Curator at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia USA.

HADAS using “new” technology

The pandemic has seen a great increase in the use of technology, not just in business. Prime among these is the use of Zoom (or equivalent) for online meetings. Families split by lockdown are able to see each other and talk, but there are so many other uses. Zoom can be run on laptops, desktops, Ipads or even phones.

The use of Zoom means that we are not restricted by geography in choosing our lecturers. Our January lecture will be coming from the other side of the Atlantic. Suggestions for other lecturers outside our normal area would be welcomed by Steve Brunning (

The Lecture by Les Capon on 13th October was entitled Medieval Houses to Community Archaeology: Excavations at Eastcote House Gardens, 2012-17. This was our first lecture using the Zoom facility (thanks to David Willoughby for organising this) and there were 29 households “tuning in” to hear about the excavations at Eastcote House Gardens. An important aspect of the project was the successful involvement of local volunteers.


Afterwards, there was time for a few questions and for those who were not able to listen live, the lecture is available via the HADAS website for members only on the HADAS YouTube channel using this link: Note that lectures can only be recorded with the express permission of the lecturer.

A write-up of the lecture will appear in the December newsletter.

Before the start, there was an opportunity for some online socialising which was very welcome.

On 22nd September, David Willoughby organised a trial run with Zoom for members in the form of a quiz. There were rounds on history, London, archaeology and general knowledge. An enjoyable event and a good test of the technology and seeing others of course including those who have moved away from London.

Are you missing out? We can only send you the information needed to connect to our Zoom events if we have your email address. If you are receiving your newsletter by email, then we already have it. If your newsletter comes by post, we may still have your email address, but maybe not. If you are in doubt, please send your email address to, preferably by email so that we can be certain to record the correct punctuation. Adding your email address to our system means that any circulars we issue should reach you promptly.

Malcolm Stokes, 1933-2020 Eric Morgan

Malcolm Stokes sadly died in July after a long stay in hospital. He was a long-standing member of HADAS. He had a lifelong interest in history and archaeology. In fact he met his future wife, Isobel on an archaeological dig in Canterbury in 1965.

He was a long-time committee member of the Hornsey Historical Society and had an interest in the Bishop of London’s connection with Highgate and wrote on the Bishop’s Deer Park and Hunting Lodge. He had given HADAS a lecture on this in recent years.

He had an abiding interest in boundaries and wrote A walk along the ancient boundaries of Kenwood in 1995 of which HADAS had many copies for sale. He also led a walk for HADAS around Kenwood pointing out all the boundary stones to us, some years ago. Malcolm died in the Whittington Hospital on 19th July 2020 and will be very much missed.

HADAS Basement Room HQ Bill Bass

We have been meeting on Sunday mornings again at Avenue House. Unfortunately we’ve had to limit them a bit due to the Covid situation. We have been mostly re-organising the archive files, photos/slides and HADAS business papers and accommodating older material once held by Chris Newbury including files from Bridget Grafton-Green, Ted Sammes and other stalwarts of the society.

We have also tidied-up the tool room to make it more accessible and are continuing re-order the book collection. There are a number of finds that need cataloguing and storage.

The team have attended two events at Clitterhouse Farm, Cricklewood with our display of HADAS excavations held there since 2015 up to our last dig in 2019.


They continue with building their new cafe area (under where HADAS dug in 2019) which should be finished soon – two photographs show this area.
Photos by Melvyn Dresner
Air Raid Shelters and Medieval Farms Roger Chapman

Every now and again HADAS receives a request to look at a feature, a structure or building to see what we think. The recent mediaeval building in Barnet High Street which Bill Bass wrote about in the October newsletter is one example.

In August 2020 HADAS received an email from a resident in Mill Hill about a structure in her garden and whether we would like to examine it. The resident said that:

“The house had a deep crater in the front garden when we moved in (15 years ago) and a lot of debris (glass, roof tiles etc) in the back-garden soil. There was a structure covered over with wooden planks in the back garden which we were curious about, it appears to be sealed/covered. We have been told that it’s a WWII bunker and that probably a bomb fell near the house during the war, accounting for the crater and debris.”

This tempted me as, along with a friend who also has a keen interest in Military History, I have been working on an idea to set up a Facebook page called ‘Barnet at War’ to identify


military objects, structures, memorials etc. that still exist in Barnet and make sure that they are recorded before, as so often happens, they are lost to development.

Before going I did some research and found that this garden could be have greater interest than just a Second World War air raid shelter. Using the 1912 historic OS map from the National library of Scotland and laying it over a modern satellite image it looks like the garden could contain structures from Dole Street Farm. This farm appears on Whishaw’s 1812 map of Hendon and features on the 1754 John Roque map. The surrounding roads of Wise Lane and Dole Street can be traced back to this time and may well be mediaeval in origin.

The World War two bomb map of Hendon shows a bomb strike near the property adding some credence to the resident’s story about the crater.

My friend and I arrived early so we decided to visit Mill Hill Cemetery, just over the road. Here we found The Netherlands Field of Honour, established in 1965. The plot contains the graves of more than 250 servicemen of the Netherlands, many of them having been brought to the cemetery from other United Kingdom burials grounds. Most of the graves are those of Merchant seamen. We didn’t know about this Field of Honour so that gives us another ‘Barnet at War’ story.

The resident, who is extremely keen on local history gave us a warm welcome and showed us around her back garden and it most certainly does look like there is a shelter of some kind from the Second World War but as yet we have been unable to find reference to it in the Barnet archive or on aerial photos.


The rest of the garden is flat and the terrain suggests that there could be structures underneath towards the rear of the garden.

With the resident’s consent and COVID willing, we hope that HADAS will be able to undertake a quick test pit dig next year to ascertain firstly: what the concrete structure shown in the photograph above is and secondly to see if there is any evidence of farm buildings in the garden.

In the meantime, if you know of any military structures/memorials lurking away in hidden corners of the Borough do drop me an email and let me know.

History beneath us – Parch marks at Cherry Tree Wood, East Finchley Roger Chapman


The dry weather in August 2020 began to reveal a lot of activity at Cherry Tree Wood in East Finchley. A range of parch marks started to appear and began to tell the story about what lies beneath the surface of this small Barnet park and remnant ancient woodland.

Parch marks are mostly caused by buried structures such as walls, pipes and drains or paved areas. The structure inhibits the grass roots in the overlying topsoil and the result is an area of weak growth that can show as a white or brown mark reflecting the shape of the structure underneath.

The photographs above show two parallel lines which I think are underground water pipes – the exposed metal sign part way across the field which reads “pipe” is a good giveaway.

A few years ago, another sign was exposed reading MWB or Metropolitan Water Board. Between 1906-08 the Metropolitan Water Board built two covered reservoirs at Fortis Green. They were supplied from the Staines reservoirs (fed from the River Thames) some 17miles away and conveyed in a 42-inch diameter pipe which crosses Cherry Tree Wood as you can see in the photos. I believe there was a second pipe constructed in the 1920’s, as indicated by the parallel parch marks, but I am still researching to confirm this.

In addition to these marks a regular diagonal pattern of parch marks also appeared, coinciding with large cracks in the earth, some as wide as 9 inches, which are on the line of field drains laid to drain the central grassed area of the park when it was in use as a football pitch. Cherry Tree Wood also has an interesting northern boundary being part of the Bishop of London’s hunting park boundary dating from at least the fourteenth century.

My introduction to re-enactment Bob Michel

Historical re-enacting – what’s the point? On August bank holiday back in 1991 my wife-to-be and I arrived at Boscobel House near Worcester to see Sir Marmaduke Rawdon’s Regiment of Foote show us. Rawdon’s, for short, is part of the King’s Army of the English Civil War Society. In spite of the following account of my afternoon I must have been convinced, as I remain an active member to this day. Why? Read on…………………


It had all started so promisingly. Boscobel House was easy to find, the sun was shining and the regiment’s Quartermaster seemed pleasant enough. Carried away by this, I allowed our tentative first visit to watch Rawdon’s do what they do best to become something altogether different.

My comfortable holiday-making clothes were soon exchanged for last-in-the-kitbag pikeman’s togs. Not being a stock size I was used to clothes fitting where they touched, but this was something else. The metal helmet would have been even more uncomfortable had it not been a couple of sizes too big. However in the calm of the campsite this mismatch with my head didn’t seem terribly important…………

The Quartermaster asked if I’d played rugby. On receiving an affirmative, he explained that being a pikeman was similar to being in a maul; that is, trying to gain ground at the opposition’s expense. Only here instead of carrying a ball you lugged a 16 foot pike (or spear-like thing) around. I can’t now recall what I thought about that at the time, but I did receive a crash-course in how to manoeuvre said pike. I was now a fit-for-purpose pikeman!

Well almost. My basic training was completed under the tutelage of the Officer i/c the pike division in the re-enactors’ beer tent. What could possibly go wrong?

Well the only thing I can clearly remember about my ‘finishing school’ is that on exiting the beer tent, I unwisely took a short-cut to the toilet area where the chemi-karzis were all lined up. Sadly my hurdling technique left something to be desired and I left a few threads of posterior-area breeches on a barbed wire fence. My first war wound and I hadn’t even left the campsite.

And so to battle. It’s all a bit of a blur now – as then – but I can remember the spiky stubble in the field; the smoke and the shouting; not being able to pick our flag out from all the others being frantically waved around in the identity parade; and an all-encompassing feeling of not knowing what the b****y hell I was doing, or why. In all my battles since it’s never got more authentic than that.

To coin another phrase, it was all over before I was ready. At the final whistle I was very hot, very thirsty and very tired. Moreover I didn’t really know what had happened, let alone who’d won, as my helmet had slipped over my eyes at regular intervals. Back at the campsite I was looking forward to collapsing, which I did, spurning the lunatic-sounding invitation to participate in some energy sapping “RAWDON’S GAMES!”. This proved to be a wise decision as said games involved a lot of running around.

What on earth had I done? But it was already too late to escape from the mad house. As they say the rest, like the real battle of Worcester, is history.


Roman Finds Group Sue Willetts

I was able to attend part of a zoom conference on New Research on Finds from Roman Scotland and the North, on 16-17th October.

There were over 270 people attending this free event. The last session on Saturday morning was on Vindolanda and included talks on gaming boards, spindle whorls and leather remains including what seems to be a toy mouse.

I was very impressed and have joined the group which is £12.00 a year.


With many thanks to this month’s contributors:
Bill Bass, Roger Chapman, Eric Morgan, Bob Michel, Sue Willetts



Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman           Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS  (020 8440 4350)


Hon. Secretary  Jo Nelhams  61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS   (020 8449 7076)


Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP   (07855 304488)


Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,

                         East Barnet EN4 8FH  (0208 440 8421)      


Website at:



Newsletter 595 – October 2020

By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments

No. 595 OCTOBER 2020 Edited by Robin Densem


HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Tuesday 13th October 2020, 8pm: From Medieval Houses to Community Archaeology: Excavations at Eastcote House Gardens, 2012-17. Lecture by Les Capon.

Tuesday 10th November 2020, 8pm: London’s Roman and Medieval Wall. Lecture by Dr Jane Sidell.

As yet, no decision has been made concerning a Christmas gathering.

Please note that until further notice all lectures will be held online via Zoom due to coronavirus. We will be sending out an invitation email with instructions about how to join on the day of each talk. Keep an eye open for them!

54a Barnet High Street – a timber framed building Bill Bass

A site visit was made to 54a Barnet High St (currently named ‘Chudy’s) in August by interested parties including HADAS, Barnet Museum and others. We were guided by Architectural consultant, Sherry Bates and by the owner who is asking for planning permission and listed building consent to covert the 1st floor to a dwelling with the ground floor kept for commercial premises.

‘Chudy’s’ stands immediately to the right of the lamp post

A very full Heritage Statement has been produced on this Grade II listed structure. 54a is part of a group of listed buildings here which includes The Mitre Inn complex, these buildings were at one point 3 separate inns but eventually grouped together as The Mitre in 1633 with evidence of interconnecting doors and other features. HADAS dug at the rear of The Mitre in 1990 finding medieval and later pottery, these finds have recently been reviewed as part of the HADAS evening class system.


The modern wall coverings had been stripped away which had revealed much more of the timber-framing than had been expected, it has been found to be largely intact. The timbers (mostly oak) were laser-scanned to produce accurate drawings. Dating of the structure is open to debate at the moment but it’s thought to be quite a lot earlier than the 17th century. There are possible moves afoot to get a tighter date through stylistic and dendrochronological (tree-ring dating) methods especially as many of the timbers are accessible at present.

The idea is to keep as much of the original timbers as possible and sympathetically restore other infilling fabric and so forth. There are also several later additions – roller shutter door, steel beams, staircase etc which will also be kept because to remove them would cause to much disruption and destabilisation.


Aspects of Roman Richborough Robin Densem

The most obvious remains are of the late third century walls of the Saxon Shore fort which still stand in places to a height of 8m. Saxon Shore forts were heavily defended later Roman military installations located exclusively in south east England. They were all constructed during the third century AD, probably between c.AD 225 and AD 285. They were built to provide protection against the sea-borne Saxon raiders who began to threaten the coast towards the end of the second century AD, and all Saxon Shore forts are situated on or very close to river estuaries or on the coast, between the Wash and the Isle of Wight. Saxon Shore forts are also found on the coasts of France and Belgium. The most distinctive feature of Saxon Shore forts is their defences which comprised massive stone walls, normally backed by an inner earth mound, and wholly or partially surrounded by one or two ditches (


The site at Richborough now lies about 2.5km inland from the coast, but in Roman times in was on the western bank of a natural navigable channel. Some plans of the ancient topography, including fig 3 here, show the site as lying on an eyot in the channel.

The navigable width of the Wantsum Channel in Roman times is unknown but it is shown as being wide in 1736.


The Richborough site includes an area of c.40ha containing a variety of archaeological components dating from the Iron Age, Roman and medieval periods.

The Roman site is multi-phased and includes evidence for a mid 1st century AD Roman military style double ditch with an opening/gatewey that is thought to be connected to the Roman invasion of Britain under the emperor Claudius in AD 43. The ditches extend for a length of 700m but their northern and southern ends have been destroyed by erosion and their original, longer, length is unknown. It seems unlikely that the enclosed area could have been large enough for all the Roman invasion army in AD 43, and a defence to defend the natural harbour and a beach/landing place in the Wantsum Channel seems more likely, though still involved with the early stages of the Roman invasion. As the Historic England 2012 guidebook Richborough and Reculver by Tony Wilmott mentions, there have been more than one landing place for the 40,000 strong invasion force in AD 43.


The large masonry rectangle is the base of a 25m high monumental arch, shown to have 10m deep foundations. Much knowledge of the Roman site comes from archaeological excavations carried out the Society of Antiquaries of London between 1922 and 1938 and published in four research reports of the Society by Bushe-Fox, along with a fifth by Barry Cunliffe. All five volumes are available online from Archaeology Data Service (

The invasion camp was used for a period of less than ten years before being levelled to make way for the construction of a military and naval supply base. This helped store and distribute the supplies needed by the Roman forces during their rapid conquest of southern Britain. Part excavation during the 19th and early 20th centuries revealed that the base extended westwards beyond the ditches of the earlier invasion camp and was constructed on a grid pattern. The base survives in buried form and includes traces of timber buildings alongside metalled roads. ( accessed 17th May 2020).


Recent archaeological work by English Heritage and then by Historic England has shown that the civilian settlement that developed around the early Roman 1st century invasion period base extended over some 20ha and included a grid of roads, shops, warehouses and a mansio, or rest house for travellers on the Roman imperial courier service.

It is hoped that archaeological investigations will be carried out to learn more about the amphitheatre.

There is so much Roman archaeology to see at Richborough that it is a bit of a feast, but rather confusing, as laid out for display within walls of the late third century Saxon Shore fort are the lengths of the mid 1st century invasion period Roman military ditches, a 1st century shop, the base of the quadrifons, early 3rd century defensive ditches dug to defend the monumental arch when it became a look-out station within the earth fort, and then the earth fort ditches were backfilled in the later third century, the arch was demolished and the walls of the Saxon Shore fort were built. A fourth century Christian font is displayed,


reflecting the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman empire from the early fourth century AD.
It is thought that there were some ten Saxon Shore forts in Britain, all built in the later third century AD. The term ‘Saxon Shore’ is known from only one contemporary source, the Notitia Dignitatum.

The forts on the Saxon Shore, popularly associated with defence against Saxon raids, lie on the coast from the Wash to Portsmouth Harbour. One of the forts, on the coast at Walton in Suffolk, has been washed away by the sea The other nine forts each have at least some remains standing ( ) and most of these can be visited but best to check access, times, and admission prices before travelling. Lympne is on private land.

Harvey Sheldon’s 1995 article London and the Saxon shore was published in volume 46 of the Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (pages 59-68)


( ) . He wrote (p. 66) The forts are situated on or close to the coast, often at the confluence of major rivers coming from the interior and could have functioned as guarded warehouses where supplies arriving from the interior could be stored before being transported, perhaps in convoy, across the Channel and the North Sea to the Continent.

A good clue to this, Harvey mentioned to me recently, is the remark of the emperor Julian of convoys from Britain supplying his Roman troops campaigning across the Rhine in the later 4th century AD.


All in all Richborough is a wonderful site to visit. Years ago I used to lead adult education classes on weekend trips to Roman Kent from London. We used to stop off at Lullingstone Roman Villa, then go on to a ruined Roman mausoleum in a field at Stone-by-Faversham, then on to the Saxon Shore fort at Reculver where a pub was also visited. Richborough in the afternoon and then we stayed overnight in Canterbury. Sunday started at the Roman lighthouse in Dover Castle, then the wonderful Roman Painted House also in Dover, and if time we visited Dover Museum which then featured model figures of the invasion army with Claudius astride an elephant! The final stop was the wonderfully beautiful site of the Roman Saxon shore fort at Lympne. I have a handful of successive editions of guide books to Richborough and Reculver, representing visits over perhaps 20 years. The current (2012) Historic England version by Tony Wilmott titled Richborough and Reculver is an absolute cracker, it is marvelous! I don’t think there is public access to the amphitheatre at Richborough at present but it can be glimpsed, I think, from a footpath.



Richborough Roman fort is in the care of English Heritage and there is an admission charge to visit the site if it is open, so best to check. People may need to book their visit.
Acknowledgements:: I am grateful for help from Joe Abrams , Duncan Butt, English Heritage, Historic England, Jim Nelhams, Sandy Paul, Harvey Sheldon, and Tony Wilmott. All errors are mine.

A Footnote to HADAS taking to the Waters (Newsletter 594) Robert Michel

Further to Jim Nelhams’ piece ‘HADAS taking the Waters’ (Newsletter 594), Andy Simpson and other rail enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that the Berney Arms windmill near Great Yarmouth is not only accessible by boat. Norwich to Yarmouth trains via Reedham will stop at the mighty Berney Arms Halt if you give the Conductor sufficient warning. The mill is only a short walk across the marshes from the halt’s modest platform, but take Wellington boots if it’s been raining. This all pre-supposes the rail company hasn’t discontinued this service – in the best journalistic tradition I haven’t checked before taking to the keyboard!


With many thanks to this month’s contributors: Bill Bass and Robert Michel

Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)


Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)


Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP (07855 304488)


Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
East Barnet EN4 8FH (0208 440 8421)


Join the HADAS email discussion group via the website at:


Newsletter 594 – September 2020

By | HADAS, News, Past Newsletters, Volume 11 : 2020 - 2024 | No Comments
Number  594 September 2020 Edited by Stephen Brunning

Tuesday 13th October 2020: From Medieval Houses to Community Archaeology: Excavations at Eastcote House Gardens, 2012-17. Lecture by Les Capon.

Tuesday 10th November 2020: To the confirmed.

As yet, no decision has been made concerning a Christmas gathering.

Please note that until further notice all lectures will be held online via Zoom due to coronavirus.  We will be sending out an invitation email with instructions about how to join on the day of each talk.  Keep an eye open for them! 


Membership Renewals – a reminder. Stephen Brunning.

Many thanks to those who have already paid their subscription. If you intend to renew this year and have not yet done so, I would be grateful to receive payment by 15th October 2020 at the following rates: £15 (Full), £5 (each additional member at the same address), and £6 (student). My address is on the last page of this newsletter.

It is not necessary to return the renewal form enclosed with the March newsletter. A piece of paper with your name, postal address, telephone number and email address (if applicable) will suffice. I will then be able check the details we hold are still correct. If you have not already done so, it would also be helpful if you could indicate your willingness to
receive the newsletter by email. This helps to keep our costs to a minimum. Thank you.



Annette Bruce

It is with great sadness that we learn that Annette Bruce died on 1st August at Charing Cross Hospital following a stroke.

Annette joined Hadas in 2016 and regularly attended our lectures. She also joined and thoroughly enjoyed our 2019 trip to South Wales.

Annette had a remarkable zest for life and learning. She loved being able to attend exhibitions and concerts and visited the Troy exhibition at the British Museum shortly before lockdown. She challenged herself with Japanese and Welsh classes and performing in piano concerts with fellow students, and she enjoyed travelling the world on historic and cultural lecture tours.

Outings in the newsletter                                                                 Jim Nelhams

Jo and I have a big gap in our diary for September where normally we would have a 5-day long trip with HADAS members. We have always aimed to visit unusual places and places that you would not visit on your own. While we did visit a number of likely places before the lockdown, our list was not complete so more work was needed, and some we had already checked have not yet re-opened or have problems with larger groups and social distancing.

The first trip we organised with help from Don Cooper before he became unwell, was in 2009 to Hereford. In earlier times, each trip was written up by a small number of members, usually just four. We asked for volunteers on each trip to cover just one location and serialised the articles in our newsletters over the winter months. This year, we will not be so fortunate and will leave gaps.

Counting back, the 11 outings from Hereford onwards have provided 223 articles from 44 different authors. It has given people the chance to note something that has interested them, and the variety of styles has added to the interest. Our thanks to them all.


Church end farm 1961-66 – additional details on surviving ceramic building material, pottery and clay pipe                                Andy Simpson 

I was interested to read the note on Dr Brian Robertson in the August newsletter and the involvement of himself and his late brother Ian in the Church End Farm excavations in the 1960s. This has prompted me to forward this review of additional Church End Farm material located in the HADAS archives over the past five years or so, since the original publication of ‘The Last Hendon Farm’                                                       

Following publication of the original Church End Farm book, ‘The Last Hendon Farm – The Archaeology and History of Church End Farm’ by the HADAS Finds Group and edited by Jacqui Pearce, when clearing out the former ‘garage store’ an additional four boxes of previously unrecorded ceramic building material (CBM) were found amongst the stored HADAS artefacts. These are additional to the two boxes that were initially available for study when the book was originally researched. These four boxes contained in total two fragments of possible chimney pot, one small piece of Roman tile, one substantial piece of post-medieval pottery, three complete lengths of field drain, two pantiles, two small pieces of grey roofing


slate, a short single length of one-inch diameter wooden wattle, three peg tiles, three curved roofing tiles, two nibbed tiles, and nine ‘house’ bricks and seven paving bricks, the latter with an average width of four inches.

In February/March 2016 the opportunity was taken to sort and fully record them and attempt to match them with relevant sections of the above published account. Not all could be matched with the published account, but those that could be identified with some confidence are listed below.

They represent both Site 1 (The Farmhouse, dug in 1961, 1962, 1964 and 1966) and Site 2 (The Paddock, south–west of site 1 and dug in 1964 and 1966; it happily still survives as an area of open ground used by Middlesex University), often with quite detailed card tag labels attached.

One additional pottery item was identified; a large English brown salt-glazed Stoneware pot or jar lid, slightly chipped on one side, with a diameter of 7.5 inches/180 mm, weighing 1263g, with three finger holes in top to aid grip. Dated 1700 – 1900, It is marked CEF64, box code AA.

Two further clay pipes have also been found in material left by the late Ted Sammes.

One is a plain, reconstructed bowl of type AO25, dated 1700-1770, with bottered rim. It has no maker’s mark but does retain 148mm of surviving stem and has splashes of yellow glaze on the right-hand side bowl and stem. It is marked ‘CEF N’.  The HADAS publication ‘The Last Hendon Farm’ records in the coins and tokens section on page 71 that context N was dated 1680-1700 – so just about matches – and also contained a Charles 1 farthing.

And over 50 years on, we are STILL finding items from the Church End Farmexcavations recorded some years ago in the HADAS publication ‘The Last Hendon Farm’

From further material recorded in 2019, Sammes Clay Pipes List CFM 30 is another one of these – an unmarked bowl of type AO25, 1700 – 1770,finely burnished with a cut top and  marked with trench/context details CEF64 K2 30, suggesting it is from the main farmhouse site, on the west side of the west wall area.

The Last Hendon Farm, p.71, gives a date of 1640-1660 for the context, so perhaps this is a residual item.

A major find when studying the additional CBM was a small corner fragment of Roman hypocaust combed Box-Flue tile, weight 65 grammes and with sides 0.5 inches/13mm thick, complete with surface combing. It was with the marked box code CE, and goes with the very limited Roman pottery finds from the site – single sherds of the ubiquitous in Hendon Alice Holt/Farnham Ware, plus sand-coloured coarseware and Gaulish amphora (Op cit p.42)

There are numerous items from Site 1

From the first 18 inches depth of rubble Trench C in the area of a brick drain and step, there is for some reason a single piece of grey slate retained, labelled with the dates 24/6-1/7.

From Trench H, which lay across the foundations of the demolished south wall of the farmhouse, we have a single brick, 5 x 2 x 1.25 inches, labelled 15 July 1962, 30 inches down (23 inches below burnt layer); 35 inches north from top of well.


Brick and tile drains have been a feature of many sites excavated by HADAS, from Church End Farm to Burroughs Gardens to Clitterhouse Farm. The CEF book illustrates a fine example – Fig. 23, on page 32, from Site 1 Trench 18. Deeply laid, it ran north-south and was constructed of two courses of brick on a tile base; another similar drain underlay the south extension wall. Parts of one of these, possibly the former were retained and were reconstructed in 2016, helped by careful numbering of the bricks by the original excavators. There are two peg tiles, each measuring 10.25 x 5.75 x 0.5 inches, with heavily mortared inner face and upper surface mortared at each end where the bricks were laid on top of the bricks, there are three identical 9 x 4 inch bricks and weighing some 2kg.

In 1964, trench 1 was excavated along the line of the former west wall of the farmhouse. From it, we have a single brick, 6 x 1.75 x 2.5 inches, marked 28 July, mortared on four sides.

Another 1964 find is a 14.5 x 7.5 x 0.75 inch nibbed/flanged tile labelled ‘from small boiler house of the old greenhouse 30/8/64’, with interlocking flange and notably sooted interior and weathered external/upper face.

Two bricks of similar size bundled together are labelled ‘from Herringbone (floor) over Trench 12’. A third, smaller brick measuring 4.5 x 4 x 2.75 inches from Trench 12, layer 5 is dated 29 /8/64, and is marked with the box code KS.

There is at least one fragment of chimney pot, heavily sooted on its curved inner face, diameter 15 inches/360 mm, with a raised pecked ridge and leaves decoration.

From site 2 – The Paddock – we have two lengths of typical coarse red fabric field drain of probable nineteenth century date, excavated in 1966, from squares 6B and 6C. This tallies with the account on page 7 of the CEF book mentioning drains seemingly from the same system found in these two trenches. Both recovered lengths are 12 inches long with a two-inch bore; one has a moulding seam and flattened side, the other, strangely, bears evidence of sooting on one side.

A third length of field drain is also 12 inches long with a two-inch bore, with the box code CEF64 AO.


From Peter Pickering

The Government has just published a White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ which proposes a complete reform of the planning regime. Very briefly, it would divide the whole of England into ‘Growth’ ‘Renewal’ and ‘Protected’ areas; in Growth areas there would be automatic outline planning permission for the principle of development; in Renewal areas there would be a general presumption in favour of development; and in Protected areas (including Green Belt and conservation areas) there would be the same requirements for planning permission as at present.

These proposals have only just appeared and are out for consultation until the end of October; they are controversial and there is a lot of significant detail in them. The main concern for archaeologists is whether they will weaken the power to impose conditions requiring archaeological investigation in advance of development. For Archaeological Priority Areas are not of themselves protected areas (though in towns and cities they may often be protected as conservation areas). 

I expect this matter, and the related implications for the Barnet Local Plan (on which we are awaiting the Council’s next move) to take up much of my time in the autumn.


HADAS Hand-axes                                                                   Bill Bass

Through the good offices of Chris Newbury and his late mum Dorothy, we have received several boxes of assorted finds, files and maps etc from members past and present. Amongst these is a wonderful collection of 10 hand-axes. While there’s not really a HADAS connection (?), they were given to us at some point in the past. The newspapers they are wrapped in date to 1990 and the plastic bag they are in relates to ‘SHUTLERS’ in Temple Fortune Lane (Home and Garden goods). A tag tied to the bag says “Flint axes given me by David St George. Exact provenance unknown, but found in the area of Diss.”

The hand-axes appear to include a mixture of ovate, triangular and pointed shapes, all unmarked. Diss in Norfolk is nearby to Hoxne which is a well-known ‘type site’ for this sort of material, The Great Interglacial – the Hoxnian is named after it, if so this may make the hand-axes possibly 400,000 years old. A site currently being excavated is at Barnham, Suffolk about 18 miles west of Diss, by a team from the British Museum which is part of the Pathways to Ancient Britain project (see ‘British Archaeology Jan/Feb 2020’). This site has similar material as well as wealth of environmental evidence.

Could any of the earlier HADAS members shed any more light on this collection?



Old tram track rediscovered in Colindale                               Andy Simpson

Sometimes roadworks have rediscovered tram track underneath the road surface, exactly as it was when the tramways were abandoned and the concrete had just been put on top. But in some locations the track was removed and cut up into smaller sections to then be used to strengthen the road surface. One such location was Edgware Road in Colindale, where recent utility work by Affinity Water replacing large water mains has rediscovered these small sections of track once more.

The view north towards Burnt Oak showing the regularly spaced lengths of reused tram track.


Trams last ran along the Edgware Road through Colindale and Burnt Oak to Edgware/Canons Park in 1936 when they were abandoned in favour of trolleybuses (which were themselves replaced by motorbuses in January 1962)  but the tracks remained in place until during the Second World War when their removal was approved by Middlesex County Council who originally owned the tracks in the area, to be undertaken by Hendon Council sometime after November 1941 and presumably at that point cut into smaller sections and used to strengthen the road surface rather than simply going towards the wartime scrap drive which saw the removal of hundreds of miles of abandoned tram tracks throughout the country at this time.

Back in the early 2000s the same arrangement was seen by your scribe a mile or so south of this location during similar works near the junction with Kingsbury Road. The current works started around the Burnt Oak area and are gradually proceeding southwards towards this point it seems from conversations with the contractors, who had been warned of the presence of the tracks and were finding them very hard to remove where occasionally necessary. By early August 2020 work had reached the junction with Colindeep Lane.

I have also been examining the trenches for any sign of the original Roman road surface of Watling St. Near the junction of Colindeep Lane (see picture below) in particular there are two bands of gravel and small cobbles within the London clay visible in the trench sides but I am not sure they are thick enough for a road surface – certainly not comparable to the thick and regularly repaired road surfaces seen in urban excavations at any rate.


Elsewhere in the Borough, as previously recorded by Bill Bass, much of the double tram track and cobbled road surface remains in place up Barnet Hill, last used in 1938.


HADAS taking the Waters                                                                 Jim Nelhams

Water and our waterways were an essential building block for the Industrial Revolution so we have visited a number of canals and canal-side places. And a boat trip supplies a chance to relax and rest your feet, as well as seeing the area from a different angle. We have also been to a number of water mills and waterwheels.

Many of the places we have taken in demonstrate the ingenuity of our predecessors, and many of these places have been restored and are now run by volunteers. Long may they continue.

Starting from our Hereford excursion, we visited the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester Docks followed by a 45-minute trip on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.

2010 saw us based in Norwich and we included a boat trip from Great Yarmouth to the Berney Arms Windmill and pub, located in The Broads, and only accessible by boat. To make this journey, traffic on the road bridge carrying the A47 had to be stopped so that we could pass through.

One lesson we learned here was that some summer services stop when children return to school after their holidays. However, when we ask for a trip for 30+ people, the service magically re-appears JUST FOR US.

In 2011, we were based on the Isle of Wight, so our out and back journeys included the ferry between East Cowes and Southampton. Again we were able to arrange a boat, this time from Yarmouth, so that we could visit Hurst Castle, one of Henry VIII’s forts on the mainland protecting the entry to the Solent.

Ironbridge was our base in 2012, and what better way to see the bridge but a specially arranged boat trip on the River Severn going under the bridge. And our outing to the Blists Hill Victorian Town through which runs the Shropshire Canal provided the chance to walk along the towpath to The Hay Inclined Plane, effectively a funicular railway for specially adapted narrowboats, so that they could descend from the top of the hill to the River Severn below. And on our return trip to London, we stopped at the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne on the banks of the Grand Union Canal. Some of the party had a short boat trip up to and just into the start of the Blisworth Tunnel.

2012 took us to Buxton and during our visit to Cromford Mill, we had a brief chance to visit the end of the Cromford Canal, which is being gradually restored to Derby. Our next stop


was rather wet, but by the time we reached Foxton Locks on the Leicester section of the Grand Union, the sun was out and we were able to visit the small museum, help a couple of boats through the staircase of locks, and investigate another inclined plane. There are 10 locks in two groups of 5. Passing is only possible between locks 5 and 6, otherwise you travel directly from one lock into the next.

Unlike the Hay Plane at Ironbridge, this worked by moving a caisson full of water. Full size canal boats would drive into the caisson and then be moved up or down the slope, thus bypassing the staircase of locks and saving the boat up to 3 hours on their journey. Sadly no longer working though restoration is planned.

Our trip to Canterbury in 2014 did not have any planned water excursions, though Andrew and Liz Tucker managed a trip on the River Stour, and we did visit lifeboat stations at Dungeness and Whitstable, and we saw the Dover bronze age boat. Lyndhurst in the New Forest was our base in 2015. Our first stop on the way was the Crofton pumping station on the Kennett and Avon Canal, and we had arranged for this to be in steam and operation while we were there. This Edwardian pumping station was built to pump water to the highest point of the canal, and while most of the time this task is performed by electric pumps when the station is in steam, it performs the task for which it was built, and the electric pumps are turned off. When on one occasion the electric pumps both failed, the volunteers were called in since without the supply of water the canal cannot function.

Later in the trip, we visited Bucklers Hard and had a boat trip on the Beaulieu River. Our final stop on our way home was to Whitchurch Silk Mill on the River Test, giving us the chance to see the waterwheel in operation.

2016 saw us further along the Kennet and Avon, based at Bradford on Avon. Our journey down included a stop at Devizes, with a small Canal Museum among the options to visit. Then via the brewery on the canal bank, to stop briefly to view the Caen Hill Flight of locks. There are a total of 29 locks raising the canal 237 feet in 2 miles, but the flight contains 16 close locks in a straight line, with only passing places between them.


Bradford also boasts a splendid Tithe Barn right next to the canal.

The highlight of this trip was a visit to the pumping station at Claverton. Then under restoration by volunteers, and now operational, it uses a waterwheel on the River Avon to pump water from the river to the canal – completely green energy. The pumping station is not accessible by coach, so we chartered a narrowboat in Bath to make the hour and a quarter trip each way to Claverton, with a cream tea on the return leg.

Frodsham was our base in 2017, in a hotel with a splendid view across the Mersey, and the Manchester Ship Canal to Liverpool. A stop on route at Redditch to visit a needle mill, powered by another waterwheel.  From Frodsham, we went to Norton Priory on the banks of the Bridgewater Canal, the first to be built in Britain, so that coal could be taken to Manchester. We continued to the Lion Salt Works near Northwich, on the banks of the Trent and Mersey Canal. Salt from here was exported round the World, initially by barge which would have used the Anderton Boat Lift, our next visit. This double lift raised/lowered boats between the canal and the River Weaver, giving a faster way to the Mersey. We rode the lift downwards with a full commentary.


Our trip home included a stop at the Cheddleton Flint Mill on the side of the Caldon Canal. Here, nodules of flint arrived by boat to be ground by the two still working waterwheels for inclusion in the clay for potteries in nearby Stoke.

Our planned boat trip in 2018 while we were at Brome had to be cancelled because of high winds, but we did manage to visit the tidal mill at Woodbridge and see it working. At high tide, the river fills a small reservoir. This is emptied at low tide to drive the mill to grind flour..

Last year, we were based at Aberavon on the shores of Swansea Bay, and started our day in Swansea with a trip on the River Tawe. The Welsh name for Swansea in Abertawe which means the mouth of the River Tawe. And our first trip on our final day was to a different type of water – the waterfalls at Aberdulais in the Neath Valley. Aberdulais, the mouth of the River Dulais where it joins the Neath River, has had a number of industrial uses, but today the waterwheel driven by the falls is, at 27ft diameter, the largest wheel in Europe generating electricity.

Quite a selection of places. Most are written up in more detail in our newsletters which can be searched on our website If anybody would like further information on any of them and may want to visit, please contact Jim Nelhams (020 8449 7076).



With many thanks to this month’s contributors:Bill Bass, Jim Nelhams, Andy Simpson and Peter Pickering.


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman           Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS  (020 8440 4350)


Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams   61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS      (020 8449 7076)


Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP  (07855 304488)


Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning 22 Goodwin Ct, 52 Church Hill Rd,

                        East Barnet EN4 8FH  (020 8440 8421)    



Newsletter 593 – August 2020

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No. 593               AUGUST 2020           Edited by Jim Nelhams

Reminder: Our Annual General Meeting could not take place in June due, of course, to the coronavirus situation and we still do not know when it will be possible to arrange another date. Meanwhile, the committee remains in place. There will also be no Tuesday lectures until further notice. However, the monthly Newsletters should continue as usual.

Your Newsletter needs YOU

This is your newsletter – it is for you and about you, your interests and your Society. In the last twelve years, many members have volunteered to write-up parts of our Autumn trips, giving interesting and varied material for newsletters over the winter months. This year, it will not happen, nor do we have any lecture write-ups, so we have gaps to fill.

You can help put this right by sending in your articles about places or things of interest.

The editor of the next newsletter is always shown at the end of the last page. You can send things to them, or to Jim Nelhams ( If you need a little help, you can talk to Jim on 020 8449 7076.


The Next Finds in Focus Course                                   Don Cooper

Hendon & District Archaeological Society Finds Group Course Tutor: Jacqui Pearce BA FSA MCIfA

A 22-week course in post-excavation analysis to be held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE on Wednesday evenings, 6.30–8.30, starting on 7th October 2020


All are welcome – it doesn’t matter whether or not you have experience of working with archaeological finds!

Course fee: £295 for 22 sessions. To book, contact Don Cooper; tel. 020 8440 4350) or Jacqui Pearce (; tel. 020 8203 4506). Please


make cheques payable to HADAS and send to Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS.


As the lockdown is loosened, places are gradually re-opening though with appropriate precautions. At this time, you may be unwilling to travel on public transport, but there are some places you can reach by car, and you can start planning future trips.

All the following museums/galleries appear to be open but check because the situation may change.

Foundling Museum

London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton will reopen for visitors to explore for its first ever summer season! This trove of transport treasures will now be open for 10-days of summer family fun from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 and Wednesday 26 to Sunday 30 August 2020. (The main museum in Covent Garden remains closed.)

Museum of London

Museum of Docklands

National Army Museum,

National Gallery

Natural History Museum (closed Bank Holiday 31st August)

Royal Academy

Science Museum from 19th August.

Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Victoria and Albert (selected galleries open from 6th August)

Most of these will have one way systems and may need to be pre-booked and will not have any catering facilities available – so you may need to take your own food.

English Heritage – South East sites

Open now

Battle Abbey and Battlefield
Carisbrooke Castle
Dover Castle
Eltham Palace
Home of Charles Darwin
Marble Hill House
Pevensey Castle


Richborough Roman Fort
St Augustine’s Abbey
Walmer Castle and Gardens

Opening 1st August

Apsley House
Deal Castle
Jewel Tower
Lullingstone Roman Villa
Medieval Merchant’s House
Portchester Castle
Ranger’s House – The Wernher Collection
Wellington Arch

National Trust

Most gardens are now open, and houses are being added to the open list.

Epping Ongar Railway

Getting Back on Track – Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Monday in August

Take a scenic ride through the Essex countryside and into the ancient Epping Forest on board our diesel multiple unit, which offers panoramic views. See how much wildlife you can spot, and if it’s sunny you might be able to get a great view over London as you pass over what was formerly the highest point on the London Underground network!  (Bookings needed)

For more information see

Museum of London Move

From their website – “The Museum of London is on the move. We want to tell the extraordinary story of London and Londoners in a new museum in West Smithfield, which is itself a deeply fascinating and historic area.

We want to engage Londoners and visitors with their city and its history, giving them the means to participate as citizens in all sorts of new ways. We want to display many more objects in a more meaningful way.”

The new museum site, which will be nestled in London’s potentially transformational Culture Mile development, has been conceived as a way to attract new audiences and connect a greater number of visitors with the institution’s London Collection.

Planning approval comes four years into the project, with work to this point having been led by Museum of London’s design team, architects Stanton Williams and Asif Khan, and conservation architect Julian Harrap. The local community, museum visitors and London residents have been consulted at every stage as the plans were formulated.


Excavations at Clitterhouse Farm, Cricklewood by HADAS in 2019 (Part 9)                                                          Bill Bass and Melvyn Dresner

This is a collection of photos from the excavation mostly by Melvyn, please see Newsletter June 2020 (591) for the full report, the dig took place August 2019.

HADAS hard at work in what were very hot conditions, some form of community filming is also in progress. We are looking north. The car park is beyond the blue hoarding. This shows most of the excavation area.
Again looking north, the dig is to the right between the building with the chimney and the building beyond which is ‘Farm Cottage’. This we speculate is an entrance to the older medieval farm complex.


The dig is in the middle with ‘Farm Cottage’ left, the area is being redeveloped into a permanent cafe and studio spaces (in the right hand building) for the Clitterhouse Farm Project.

Here we are looking west, the structure to the right is the ‘New Farmhouse’ which faces on to Claremont Road, now a private residence.


The remains of the hard standing feature 003, after being lifted, the cobbles and flagstones were saved for reuse by the farm project.
This photo taken from the car-park looks west into the first area we dug in 2015, now a flourishing community garden by the Clitterhouse Farm Project.


Looks like a stage-setting – ‘Poor Yorick
I knew him well’….
Both the above photos show the C&H Hackwood impressed foot rim of Transfer Printed Ware, mid 19th century. Context 014 (Photos BB).


Left: Delft wall tile from context 017, c 18th century (Photo BB).   
Right: Selection of pottery including stoneware and Transfer Printed Ware. (Photo BB).
Looking west, the hoarding fronts the excavation area, to the left the building will be used for new studio spaces, in front the late lamented dig van (Photo MD).
Dr Brian Robertson                                                                             Jim Nelhams

Always nice to hear information about past members.

Earlier this month, our Secretary received an email from Dr Brian Robertson OStJ, TD, MICPEM. Dr Robertson explained that he had stumbled across our website while looking for something else related to Hendon.  A past HADAS member, he had noticed that the 1964 excavation at Church End Farm, Hendon was not included in the list of past excavations. (Omission now rectified).

The various digs at the Church End Farm site are documented in “The Last Hendon Farm” published by HADAS. Copies of this are available through Don Cooper (contact information on back page of newsletter) and a copy has been sent to Dr Robertson. The first, in 1961, was directed by Ian Robertson, brother of Brian, Their father was an Army officer.


Ian held a number of posts, ending as Director of the National Army Museum in Chelsea. He also served as an infantry officer in the Territorial Army, serving in the 7th Middlesex Regiment, and later the 4/5th Essex Regiment. He died in 2003. He also had an interest in postal history and served on the Post Office Heritage Board.

Brian also shared interests in both archaeology and postal history. He directed the digs in Hendon in 1964 and 1966, though archaeology was not be to his career. He has kindly sent us copies of publications covering some of his archaeological work, including one on what he describes as his major personal piece of work, “The Investigation and Excavation of Roman Road No. 167 in Copthall Fields”. These will be added to our library at Avenue House.

In 1970, he moved to Medical School, subsequently joining the Army and serving abroad in British Army on the Rhine. He was Squadron Commander of the Ambulance Train Squadron, Royal Army Medical Corps(V) between 1985 and 1994, responsible for ten such trains.

He is documented as recently lecturing to the Forces Postal History Society on the subject of Ambulance and Hospital Trains, going back as early as the Crimean War in 1855. Sounds like an interesting topic.

Down the Tubes at Christ’s Hospital.                                            Jim Nelhams

“Down the Tubes” has different meanings for different people, but for pupils and alumni of Christ’s Hospital, it particularly refers to a series of underground tunnels linking all of the 16 main boarding houses and most of the other major buildings which make up the school.

Christ’s Hospital was founded in 1552 and granted a Royal Charter by Edward VI in the following year with St Thomas’ Hospital and Bridewell Hospital and was on the north side of Cheapside in the City of London, initially occupying the disestablished Greyfriars Monastery.

When St Thomas’ moved in Victorian times to new buildings in Lambeth, opposite the Houses of Parliament, the architects took into account the “pavilion principle” espoused by Florence Nightingale in her “Notes on Nursing”. This meant that the hospital was built in 6 blocks 125 feet (38m) apart and joined by low level tunnels. This was intended to improve overall ventilation and to separate and segregate patients with infectious disease.

In 1902, the school moved to a new location two miles south of Horsham in North Sussex, with new appropriately designed buildings.  To each side of the main school buildings runs an avenue some half mile long, on the north side of which stand the eight main boarding blocks, each containing two boarding houses. These are appropriately spaced following the example of St Thomas’ and are all joined by underground tunnels. The tunnels also lead to nearly all of the main school buildings from that era. When I was there, these could be used to reach the Dining Hall, Chapel or Classrooms in inclement weather. During WW2, they also served as air raid shelters.


The Dining hall (No. 18 on map – top centre)

When asbestos was discovered in the tunnels, most of them were closed off while it was removed and they are still officially inaccessible to pupils.

Christ’s Hospital map showing tunnel system.


The tunnels still serve as the main service ducts throughout the school, carrying water gas and electricity cables and more recently, internet connections. This saves a large sum of money since repairs can be made without the need for any digging from the surface. At one time, the water supply came from the school’s own underground reservoir on a nearby hill. Connecting tunnels also led to the school infirmary, and a longer one to the boiler house which provided hot water and heating to all the buildings, with a short extension to nearly reach the school’s railway station.

Last year, we discovered that Stewart Wild’s father-in-law had been head boy (“Senior Grecian”) at the school and I was able to obtain some information about him from the school’s museum and archive. When a chance occurred, Jo and I took Stewart to visit the school. Knowing that Stewart was a member of Subterranea Britannica (Sub Brit), an organisation dedicated to things underground, we told him about the tunnels and watched his eyes light up. We also gave him a contact at the school.

While tours are not normally available, the reputation of Sub Brit enabled them to arrange a special group tour which took place earlier this year in the February half-term break. Our group of 6, plus two members of the school’s museum staff who had never been down the tunnels, was conducted through parts the system by Building Maintenance Manager Neil Manning for two and a half hours, during which time, we travelled about one mile underground, but had seen less than half of the network. The trip was written up with many pictures in Sub Brit’s, April edition of their magazine occupying nearly 6 pages with a picture on the front cover.

It was very revealing to see what services are needed to run a large boarding school of some 850 pupils.

Weekly News Sheets     

The weekly news sheets have been discontinued. These were intended to pass on tips for use during the lockdown. For reasons of cost, they were not posted to people for whom we had no email address on file.

The news sheets included a number of Lockdown Jimericks including some of the following:



With many thanks to this month’s contributors:

Don Cooper, Bill Bass, Melvyn Dresner


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman                   Don Cooper        59, Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS

(020 8440 4350)           e-mail:


Hon. Secretary           Jo Nelhams          61, Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS

(020 8449 7076)           e-mail:


Hon. Treasurer          Roger Chapman   50, Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP

  (07855 304488)           e-mail:


Membership Sec.       Stephen Brunning   Flat 22, Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,

East Barnet  EN4 8FH

(020 8440 8421)            e-mail:


HADAS Web site –