Volume 1 : 1969 – 1974


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Newsletter 004 June 1970


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New Committee

At the start of a new season, members may like to have a note of the; Officers and Committee for 1970/71, who were elected at the A.G.M. on May 5th

Chairman : Mr. B. A. Jarman, Hon.Sec: Mrs. Grafton Green, Vice-Chairman & Archivist: Mr. E. Sammes, Hon Treas: Mrs. G. M. Isaaman, Committee: Miss J. Digby, Mr. J. de F. Enderby, Miss E. Dowling, Mr. G. E. J. Evans, Miss J. Dowling, Mr. R. Hansen, Mrs. Worby, Mr. A. Kirkwood, Mr. J. Clynes, Mr. E. E. Wookey, Mr. G. Cole

In order to spread the Committee’s work as much as possible, four sub-committees have now been appointed: Finance (Chairman Mrs. Isaaman) Research (Chairman Mr Sammes) Programme (Chairman Mr. Jarman) Publicity (Chairman Mr. Wookey)


We were very sorry that we had to cancel the outing for May 30th, owing to the fact that Blenheim Palace was not open to the public that day. Next outing: Ragley Hall, near Startford on July 4th.

Excavation and Fieldwork

Westhorpe: Surveys had been carried out on this site in Tenterden Grove (TQ235896) in August and November, 1969. At Easter, seven 10 foot square trenches were opened on the basis of the survey results (site supervisor: R. Hansen). Numerous sherds of pottery (including Bellarmine) were found, also roofing tiles, nails and clay pipes, two of which bear the initials R.B. All the finds were resting on a gravel surface, in which was discovered a post hole and small areas of burnt material. One supposition is that the gravel formed a foundation of a yard adjoining a farm building. Part of a trackway was also found, with similar pottery on its surface. On preliminary investigation, the finds suggest a possible 17/18th century date, but they are being studied. A final report will be made later.

Finchley Manor: The L-shaped remains of a moat in the grounds of the Convent of Marie Auxiliatrice, East End Road, (TQ254899) was surveyed by a small team of members under the supervision of Jennifer Digby, with the help of Mr. B. R. Martin, ARICS. It is hoped to do a resistivity survey on the site later this summer. Members will be kept informed so that those who wish may take part.

Tools: In the past, we have borrowed excavation tools from the Borough of Barnet, who have always been most helpful and generous in this respect. We should, however, like to get some capital equipment of our own, which would be particularly useful if an emergency dig arose. A number of tools we want can be bought with Green Shield Stamps. If you have any of these stamps to spare, would you please remember the Society?

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A reminder from the Hon Treasurer (address already given) that these are due. She will be pleased to receive them at your earliest convenience.

A course for the Autumn

The Society has been asked to co-operate next September in a course on archaeology to be run for the first time at the Central Library, Hendon, by the Workers Educational Association. The course, taken by a university tutor, will consist of 12 2-hour lectures, one a week between September and Christmas. The cost will be Å“1 per head. This course will offer those living in or near Hendon a chance of taking part in a really interesting class right on their own doorstep, and we hope many of you will decide to join. Anyone interested should fill in the form overleaf and post it, as soon as possible, to Mrs. Green.

Exhibit on Industrial Archaeology

Recent newsletters have mentioned the small exhibit which HDAS has been asked to provide at the AGM of the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society on July 4th next, at 2.30 p.m. at the Institute of Archaeology in Gordon Square.

Now here are the final details. The exhibit will show a background map of the Borough of Barnet, plotted will the milestones of the Borough and with a representative selection of Barnet’s industrial monuments. We shall not include all of them – there are too many – but will concentrate on those on the recording of which members of the Society have worked this year.

Around the map photographs and plans of three of these monuments will be displayed in detail. The three chosen are: the Dollis Valley Viaduct (research: William Morris), Arkley Windmill (Edward Sammes) and Railway Housing in Cricklewood (Rolf Hansen).

The exhibit is being designed by Edward Sammes, who has also taken the photographs; the captions will be the work of Philippa Bernard.

Members of HDAS are warmly invited to attend the AGM; and anyone who would care to help either with the arrangement of the exhibit or in stewarding it on July 4th would be very welcome. Such offers of help should go to Edward Sammes (phone 304-4391 – after 7 p.m.).

Notes and News

Exhibition: have a nautical day and visit an exhibition on The Camera and Sailing Ships at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. At the same time, you can visit the Cutty Sark.

Essex and the sea: This year’s exhibition at Ingatestone Hall is of documents, pictures and ship models – open until 3rd October, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. daily (except Sundays and Mondays, but including Bank Holidays). A 28-page booklet will be on sale, price 2s.6d. It is also obtainable from County Hall, Chelmsford, but add 6d for posting.

Roman Samian Ware: The Hertfordshire Archaeological Society has republished an informative booklet on this (it first appeared as a chapter in The Archaeology of Roman Britain, by Collingwood & Richmond, 1969). Written by a great Samian expert, B. R. Hartley, MA, FSA, it costs 5s3d.

Archive Notes

  • Westhorpe excavation was referred to in issue 1.
  • The Hertfordshire Archaeological Society Google returns referring to them.
  • B.R.Hartley, author of chapter in The Archaeology of Roman Britain, is currently (October 2004) listed as Reader Emeritus in the School of Classics, University of Leeds

Book Reference

The Archaeology of Roman Britain (

Newsletter 046 December 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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Don’t forget too that last-minute contributions to the Tombola are welcomed by Dorothy Newbury.

January Lecture

The next HADAS lecture, on 7 January 1975 will be by Mrs. M. U. and Mr. W. T. Jones, who will discuss the dig which has been going on for the last nine years at Mucking, Essex. It is one of the largest excavations in Britain, and because of the sequence of occupation, one of the most important.

The Mucking sites were discovered as a result of cropmarks observed in 50 acres of barley grown on Thames terrace gravel. Professor St. Joseph, Director of Aerial Photography at Cambridge, recorded the cropmarks in the dry summer of 1959. Almost as soon as he had published a photograph showing an especially dense complex of sites their destruction by gravel quarrying had begun.

Since September 1965 excavation has been almost continuous. It is now organised by the Mucking Excavation Committee (within the Committee for Thurrock Archaeology), with support from many institutions, local firms and individuals.

The cropmarks provide a palimpsest of such features as ditches and pits — underground traces which survive from ancient landscapes. When plough soil and sub soil has been stripped of, these should show up as soil marks in the gravel. Work so far indicates that they have a range of 3,000 years, from Neolithic to early Saxon. Flints extend occupation back to the Mesolithic, while a medieval windmill and later field ditches are the only recent features.

Mrs. Jones will describe the site and settlement material, Mr Jones the cemetery material.

Looking Ahead

In case you haven’t got the list of future lectures by you, here again of the details for your new diary:

Tuesday Feb. 4 – The Lunt Roman Fort, Warwicks – Excavation and reconstruction – Brian Hobley

Tuesday March 4 – Medieval Jewellery and Pottery – John Cherry

Tuesday April 1 – Are We Fair to Neanderthal Man? – Desmond Collins

Tuesday May 6 – Annual General Meeting
All meetings take place at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4 and start at 8.00p.m. with coffee and biscuits.

HADAS Building Survey

The Society survey of buildings which might be included in the revised Statutory List of Buildings of Architectural and Historic Interest has now been completed.

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As described in newsletters 41 and 42, this survey began as a result of an invitation from the Borough Planning Officer to put forward recommendations which he, in turn, could place before the officers now conducting, for the Department of the Environment, a revision of the Statutory List for our Borough. Some 25 members volunteered to help with the survey. The Borough was sub-divided into eighteen areas; during the last three months each volunteer has studied the buildings in his or her area.

When these studies were completed, the Research Committee took over. It went into fairly continuous session, sifting all the information provided by the volunteers and working out the final recommendations, which were sent on 13 November to the Borough Planning Office.

Our recommendations were put forward in 4 parts. Part I consisted of buildings never before Listed, which HADAS now recommended for Listing. It contained some 43 buildings or groups, and included the suggestion that one Conservation Area – Moss Hall Crescent, North Finchley — should be extended; and that all buildings in the original Hampstead Garden Suburb, planned by Sir Raymond Unwin and Sir Edwin Lutyens and built between 1907-14, be Listed.

Buildings which had once been on the old Supplementary List, now extinct, provided Part II of our recommendations. Here 57 buildings were recommended for statutory Listing.

Part III contained the details of street furniture, as distinct from buildings. HADAS hopes this category will be given particular consideration because it contributes so much to the history of the area. Hitherto street furniture has not been Listed in this Borough, but there is a precedent — a Victorian post-box has been Listed recently in neighbouring Camden. We suggested Listing a number of milestones, 6 cattle troughs, 2 drinking fountains, some boundary stones and some historic post-boxes. We are glad to report that in his acknowledgement of the receipt of our recommendations, the Borough Planning Officer says that “the review of the Statutory List will include consideration of those items referred to in Part III of your survey which I noted includes considerable historical detail”.

The final part of the HADAS recommendations was a miscellaneous section which we called “buildings to which HADAS wishes to draw the Borough’s attention”. We did not definitely recommend the buildings in this section for Listing. It contained some buildings of historical significance but a little architectural merit — for instance, the Central Public Health Laboratory in Colindale. This was the first Government Lymph Establishment, opened in June 1907, from which all vaccine used for public vaccinations in England and Wales was distributed. The building still retains the original calf houses, now used for other purposes.

Part IV also contained details of buildings which are examples of notable architects’ work and therefore have a place in the history of architecture — for instance, a house in Barnet Lane designed by Edwin Lutyens, in his “country house” style, for Victorian author Silas Hocking; and examples of particular building periods. In this part, too, we are asked that the Department of the Environment’s attention be particularly drawn to Barnet High Street, where remains of Medieval, seventeenth and eighteenth century buildings may still lie concealed behind modern facades.

HADAS is much indebted to the members who took part in the survey. Many did detailed documentary research and provided, in addition to the recommendations which have gone forward, a mass of other material, including photographs, of interesting buildings all over the Borough. All this information will be incorporated in the Society’s Buildings Index, making it a larger and more effective source of reference.

Mycenae Rich in Gold

Raymond Lowe reports on the November 5th lecture.

Having been asked to forego the pleasures of Guy Fawkes, which always smacks of a pre-Christian Nordi religious ritual, we were well rewarded by Mrs. Wallace-Zeuner. Seldom have so many members (a record 104) been so entertained and informed in such a delightful manner.

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We were first shown two replicas of the famous Vapheio gold cups with their scenes of bulls and athletes. They were passed round the room while we were skilfully led to through the legend and history of the city and the Trojan War, a story which, if it were contemporary, would find its place in the News of the World.

The various folk movements which affected the Minoan and Mycenean empires were briefly touched on and the history of the digs which began with Heinrich Schliemann, one of the fathers of archaeology, and now continues with the work of Lord William Taylour. All this was given in a very lively manner. The slides, all taken on by Mrs. Wallace-Zeuner (haven’t we all suffered from site descriptions by lecturers who have never seen the sites in question?) were better than she admitted. They showed the site, grave circle A, the Lion Gate, the cyclopean walls, the stele and the grave goods. They were accompanied by a commentary which covered architecture, weaponry, strategy, pottery, fashion and the astonishing gold work of the Greek Bronze Age.

It ended with a well-deserved round of applause for a remarkable lady. Maps and examples of four types of Mycenean pottery were available afterwards for inspection — “don’t put them the your ditty bag” she warned us. We didn’t.

College Farm, Finchley

Newsletter 45 described the threat hanging over College Farm; here are some details of its history.

There has been a farm on this site (app. TQ 247 895) since medieval times. Originally it was a sheep farm, known in the 18th/early nineteenth century as Sheephouse Farm.

In 1868 Sheephouse was bought by G. T. Barham, who had founded the Express Dairy Company four years previously. The old buildings were demolished in 1882 and the new buildings were opened in 1883. The plans suggest that the new buildings occupy precisely the same site as the old. The architect of the new farm was Frederick Chancellor, whose main interest was ecclesiastical building; he was diocesan surveyor to St. Albans for many years. The tender accepted for the building of college farm was for £4942.

From the outset College Farm (presumably so named because the nearest large building in 1883 would have been Christ’s College, Finchley) was something of a public relations exercise. It was not intended to produce milk in quantity; but in its use of the latest equipment and the most hygienic methods it was to be a model of what a dairy serving a growing urban population ought to be.

When Barham first bought it, the farm consisted of 120 acres. He kept 110 acres in permanent pasture or meadow and 10 acres in arable. The pasture, dressed liberally with horse and cow manure, gave two crops a year. A feature of the farm was its large oak-fenced stack yard, to the east of the main 5-gable red-brick complex. The yard enclosed 6 large ricks, each containing 40 to 50 tons of hay.

From the 1890s, the number of cows in a milk usually averaged 40 the year round. 30-40 acres were used as pasture for these animals, the other 70-80 acres being mown.

Precise records and accounting were one of the rules. In 1890 the Farm produced 28,184 gallons of milk, from a herd composed half of Guernseys and half of Shorthorns and Kerrys. As cows went dry they were retired to another Express farm and replaced by newly calved cows. The average yield per cow was about 587 gallons. The money value of each cow’s milk at 4d a quart was approximately £37 for 10 months in milk.

The farm had its own laboratory, on one side of the entrance hall. The office was on the other side. In the upper part of the building were dormitories for the men. The main part of the building consisted of the byre and a large milking parlour, the walls of which were Minton-tiled.

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The name of each cow appeared on its stall along with the cards and rosettes it had won at shows.

Later the east end of the building was adapted for use by the ponies which drew the milk floats. Another Express Dairy Farm at nearby Fryth was also used for Welsh ponies. Pony-drawn floats were finally taken out of service in 1957. The last pony, aged 20, died in 1972. The year before he had appeared, by special invitation, at the Horse of the Year Show, accompanied by the last of the Dairy’s team of ten farriers, then aged 95.

The farm had extensive outbuildings in which forage was chaffed, roots (mainly mangels, from the 10 acres of arable) were pulped and food mixed. The chaff-cutter, root-pulper and cake-crusher were driven by a steam engine. Mangel tops and cabbage supplied green food until after Christmas.

Across the cobbled yard to the south of the main building was a model dairy. Originally this had a thatched roof and a wide overhanging eaves for coolness. Today it still remains but it is now tiled. It too was Minton-tiled inside and originally had slate benches and white porcelain milk-pans. From the first, however, it was little used as a dairy. In fact it quickly became a focal point for Victorian family outings, and was famous for the watercress teas served in it. The watercress was also local, from the beds in the Mutton Brook just south of the farm. Public events were publicly celebrated at the farm — for instance, Edward VII’s Coronation was marked by a “crumpet and country dance party”.

College Farm was a place where both the general public and the trade could go to see milk production at its best. Up to the Second World War it had a European reputation among the dairy managers. It was celebrated for its sales of pedigree Guernseys; it became, in the 1920s, London’s first TT dairy, setting the standard for all the Express Dairy Company’s suppliers. The preparation of the farm for certification necessitated some physical changes, and it was closed for a short time and reopened in 1921 in its new status by Dame Margaret Lloyd George. Until 1963 the dairy housed the first milk-bottling plant used in the London area (and possibly the first in Britain). The change to mechanical bottling was made, as an experiment, in the mid-1920s and was an unqualified success. The plant remained in use till 1963, when it was demolished as uneconomic. Less successful — but still in the van of progress — was the installation in 1929 of the first “Sealcone” machine outside the U.S. (i.e. the use of waxed cartons for milk).

The farm survived, but on a reduced scale, after the second war. In 1946 a pure Ayrshire herd was installed. Each member of the herd was named – Hannah, May, etc — and every calf born since took his mother’s name and a number; for instance “Hannah” in 1972 was Hannah 45.

By then the lessons of up-to-date and hygienic dairying which College Farm had pioneered had been well learnt, but the farm continued to serve a useful educational function for the public and for school parties in particular. A Museum of Dairying had been built up by Mr Walter Nell, a nephew of George Barham. This, with its collection of early equipment and its exhibits showing the distribution and marketing of milk — there was a complete dairy shop of the turn-of-the-century — was a great attraction. Up to Spring 1974 some 10 cows remained in residence; and as late as 1973 you couldn’t book at short notice to visit the dairy because it was already booked months ahead by parties.

Where now for College Farm? The departure of the cows last spring and the more recent dismantling of the museum and its local treasures have broken one of the last remaining links with Finchley’s rural past. What will replace, in the dairy buildings and the fields around them, those contentedly chewing beasts which brought life back into perspective for many a tired commuter returning home from a day in the rat-race? We wish we knew the answer — but at the moment the whole subject seems to be shrouded in silence.

Newsletter 045 November 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 1 : 1969 - 1974 | No Comments


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Christmas Party

The HADAS Christmas party has now become an annual event — and, if members reactions in previous years are anything to go by, a highly popular one. It provides an excellent chance for “old” members to meet and natter; and for new members to break the ice and get into the swing of the Society. So roll up at 166 Station Road, NW4, at 7.30p.m. on Friday 6 December to meet old friends and make new ones.

Entertainment will include competitions, a raffle for a home-made Christmas cake and a tombola — where every ticket wins a prize.

Tickets, which include refreshments, will be £0.75 adults and £0.50 Under-14s — on sale at the door. The food will be home-made; and an excellent HADAS punch, concocted on site to our special recipe, is always one of the attractions.

Offers of help with the party are always welcome — particularly contributions or gifts for the Tombola (to Dorothy Newbury) or bring them to the November lecture); or offers to help with catering (to Joan Bird).

Members with transport problems should let Christine Arnott know; she will do her best to arrange lifts. she would do her best to arrange lifts.

Brockley Hill Pottery Weekend

Another HADAS date for you to note is the weekend November 23/24, when a further work-in on the finds from the Brockley Hill Roman Pottery digs of 1939-56 will take place, thanks to Mr John Enderby, at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11, from 10.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. on both days.

Members who have taken part in previous weekends will know that this provides a rare opportunity to handle Roman Pottery and really get the feel of it. All volunteers will be welcome, especially those with some knowledge of the subject or skill in drawing.

HADAS writes a new chapter

The first weekend in October 1974, saw HADAS make a bit of its own history — when 43 members took off on the Society’s first-ever weekend outing. This event is described below by Anne Thompson.

The headquarters of the Hendon and District Archaeological Society moved quite suddenly to Attingham Park Adult Education College in Shropshire during the weekend of October 4-6, when the Society took over part of what had once been the eighteenth century home of the Earls of Berwick. This fine Mansion, built by George Steuart in 1785, with its restful country park setting and elegant interiors (including “second-hand” drawing room furniture which belonged to Napoleon’s Sister Pauline Borghese) was an ideal base for expeditions into the surrounding countryside.

The programme was planned to suit all interests. Many of us specially enjoyed Wroxeter, first a Roman legionary fortress and then developed as the tribal capital of the Cornovii. There we had the benefit of a very lucid guided tour and later slides and a talk from Mr Toms, Warden of Attingham and also, by a happy chance, Secretary of the Shropshire Archaeological Society. He is also one of the leading diggers, under Dr Graham Webster, of Wroxeter – Roman Viroconium.

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The site is outstanding in two ways. It has been unoccupied since Saxon times, and it is the only site of a Roman City bought by the Department of the Environment to ensure uninterrupted excavation. In themselves the baths, gymnasium and market square already excavated are impressive, especially in conjunction with the wealth of finds which can be seen at Rowley’s House Museum in Shrewsbury (literally piles of Samian bowls found exactly as they were stacked in the market shops before sudden destruction by fire c 170 AD).

Perhaps even more interesting is the evidence now coming to light of numerous timber buildings on the ruins of the baths and market, with at least 10 different occupation layers. Future excavations at Wroxeter may help to solve many problems which still exist about the growth of and life in Romano-British towns.

The streets of Shrewsbury and Much Wenlock, with its priory, gave us a glimpse of medieval Shropshire; while the historians cast longing glances at the hill-forts of Wenlock Edge — which, however, must await exploration another time.

Sunday was industrial archaeology day, centering on Ironbridge Gorge. Here we saw the famous Iron Bridge, first of its kind in the world, and visited the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. In this steep sided valley Abraham Darby first used coke to smelt iron ore, and thereby changed the face of the industrial world. Coalbrookdale itself retains intact its atmosphere of an iron-making village community, and its Quaker iron-makers are buried in a small cemetery high above on the valley side. We climbed into Darby’s own furnace; and in the nearby Museum saw recorded the development of the district and fine examples of cast iron in its heyday.

A museum of a different kind was the 42-acre woodland site of Blists Hill, where industrial monuments are preserved in natural settings. Here we marvelled at the work put in by enthusiastic local volunteers who act as guides at the Museum and are reconstructing much of the machinery. One big task is re-making the famous Hay Inclined Plane, a railroad system for raising canal boats 207 feet up and down between canal and river without having to use 27 locks.

For the technically minded their were blast furnaces, mining machinery and beam engines, as well as a pottery and the printing shop. Natural bitumen had been accidentally discovered in 1787 in the course of tunnelling. We were able to explore part of the resulting “Tar Tunnel”, a source of bitumen for medicine and industry, and could picture the poor workers “like the imps described by Dante as gathering with a hook the souls of the damned in a sea of pitch” as one contemporary Italian said. The tar is now a trickle – luckily for us.

All thanks for this full and interesting weekend to Jeremy Clynes, whose idea it was, and to Dorothy Newbury, Eric Grant and Colin and Ann Evans, who helped Jeremy organise it. May it be the first of many weekend ventures for HADAS.

Local Press Cuttings

Our indefatigable Librarian, George Ingram, has come up with an idea on which he hopes members may help. The local newspapers — such as the Hampstead and Highgate Express, the Hendon Times, the Finchley Press, and the Barnet Press — often carry interesting material on aspects of local history. Mr Ingram would like to be able to keep, in the HADAS book box, cuttings of such items.

He would also like to maintain a press cuttings book of local press reports of the Society’s activities.

Would any members who normally take one of the above papers be prepared to read them each week from this point of view, and to let Mr Ingram have cuttings of any item which may be of interest? Cuttings could be photocopied and returned if necessary. If you think you could help, please give Mr Ingram a ring and tell him which paper you are prepared to “watch”.

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The sort of cuttings (in addition to actual mentions of HADAS) which would be useful to include: articles on the history of old buildings or their threatened redevelopment; material on people connected with the district e.g. Bulwer Lytton in Totteridge, Warwick the Kingmaker in Hadley, Richard Cromwell in East Finchley, etc; reproductions of old prints, postcards and photos; information which throws light on the history of street names; or details of the closing of old established businesses.

In order to make his HADAS press book as full as possible, cuttings about the Society back to its foundation in 1961 will be most gratefully received. These, too, will be photocopied and the original returned to the lender if required.

New season of lectures

The opening meeting of the Society’s 1974-5 lecture season was held on 1 October at Central Library. On this occasion our Society was, for the first time, host to the Camden History Society, which hopes to start an archaeological section of its own soon and thought that HADAS might be able to offer a few tips. So we staged an evening during which three of our members spoke on different aspect of archaeology in the Borough of Barnet; and we were happy to welcome a number of Camden visitors in the audience, which totalled about 75.

Percy Reboul set the ball rolling with a talk about the techniques, problems and joys of churchyard recording, based on the experience which he and other recorders have had during their long-term survey of the tombstones in Hendon St. Mary’s Churchyard.

He spoke of methods of card-indexing each tombstone; of the difficulty of avoiding duplication of work because old tombstones are not in neat rows; of the kind of tools needed — spades, forks, secateurs, sickles and a metal probe; and of the light which different inscriptions throw on the history of the area and the lives of the people commemorated.

Paddy Musgrove followed with a discussion of hedgerow dating and its place in “reading” the landscape — a subject on which he has made himself the Society’s expert. He outlined the theory of Dr. Max Hooper of the Nature Conservancy, based on an examination of 227 dateable hedges, from which Dr Hooper has evolved this equation:

Age of hedge = the average number of species of trees and shrubs in each 30 yard length x 110 + 30

Therefore a hedge averaging five species in three 30 yard lengths would give: 110 x 5 + 30 = 580 years.

Finally, Ted Sammes described the Society’s longest dig, at Church Terrace, Hendon, which finished last July. It had, as was hoped, provided some evidence of actual artefacts to back up the documentary indications of Hendon’s Saxon past.

Like the other speakers, Mr Sammes showed many interesting slides; and an exhibition of finds, photos and reproductions of early maps was on show at the back of the hall. The slides of finds were particularly interesting; they included eighteenth century imitation porcelain, pottery and wine bottles; coins and tokens; clay tobacco pipes going back to 1620; tin-glazed wares, a 16th century cooking pot, pins of varying dates, a 15th/16th century lobed cup from Surrey, other medieval sherds and chaff-tempered ware dated AD 700-1050.

One specially interesting find was a bronze double-headed spiral pin of a type which some experts place in the sixth century, while others think it is 8th/9th century. Whichever is right, this pin falls within that Dark Age period whose existence in Hendon HADAS has been particularly anxious to establish.

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Local History Conference

The London and Middlesex Archaeology Society, to which HADAS is affiliated, runs two special conferences a year. One in March, is on London archaeology; the other, each November, is on local history.

This year’s Local History Conference will be held on Saturday November 16th, at the Livery Hall of Guildhall, EC2. Doors open at 1.30 to allow time to see the exhibits mounted by local societies. Proceedings begin at 2.30.

The main talk will be by Margaret Gelling, on “New Approaches to the Study of Place Names”. It is likely to be of special interest to archaeologists because of recent attempts to correlate place-name study with the increasing body of actual evidence being found by Dark Age archaeologists. One result of this correlation has been to throw serious doubt on the theory that names ending in -ings (e.g. Hastings) or -ingham (e,g. Buckingham) belong to the early years of Saxon infiltration.

Admission to the Conference is by ticket from the Hon. Sec., Local History Committee — £0.40 including tea.

College Farm, Finchley

It was with much regret that we heard last week that the Museum of Dairying at College Farm has been broken up and the objects were removed. The Museum has been a pleasure to generations of schoolchildren and local residents. Many of the objects were of local interest and linked with the history of Finchley over the last century. HADAS had written in September 1973 both to Mr Walter Nell of the Express Dairy Co (who built up the collection in the Museum) and to Barnet Council about the possibility of retaining the Museum locally.

A question mark now hangs over the future of the farm buildings themselves. The Finchley Society, like HADAS, wishes to preserve them if possible; and at their suggestion HADAS recently submitted to the Historic Buildings Division of the GLC a note on the history of College Farm, with the suggestion that the buildings be Listed as of historic interest. In the next Newsletter to we hope to publish extracts from this historical note.

Fire Insurance Plates

By Ted Sammes.

Today, in case of fire, we take for granted the availability of the Fire Brigade; but this has not always been so. The Great Fire of London was followed, in 1667, by a Royal Proclamation for the rebuilding of London which decreed that there should be no more building in wood. The Fire had brought great losses to the citizens; it stimulated active arrangements against future losses by fire. By the turn-of-the-century, 3 fire offices were in business in London. These increased in number during the eighteenth century, but their stability was affected by the South Sea Bubble in 1720. They tended to be small in size and local in operation, due to lack of communication between towns.

As few streets were named or houses numbered, it was necessary for an individual Fire Insurance Society to be able to locate and quickly check that the property on fire was actually insured by them before using its fire-fighting team. It was obviously in the interests of the insurance company to extinguish the fire, and therefore each had its own symbol or wall mark. These plates were fixed to the front of the building in a prominent position, and early ones were numbered. If the insurance lapsed, the plate was removed.

The keeping of so many individual brigades was uneconomic. In 1826 the Sun Fire Office, the Royal Exchange Assurance, the London Assurance and the Phoenix Fire Office agreed to combine their brigades when necessary. The London Fire Engine Establishment was founded in 1833; in 1866 this was passed to the Metropolitan Board of Works and later at to the LCC and the GLC.

Fire marks can be found on old buildings and many are decorative. One of the earliest is the Hand in Hand (1692). During the main period of use (1680-1880) over 150 companies issued plates in copper, zinc, lead, and in sheet iron. They were usually embossed and when painted must have stood out from the walls very clearly.

I am compiling a list of these marks in the Borough of Barnet and have located the following Hendon:

Royal Insurance at 36 Bell Lane, 5-6 Burroughs Gardens, 67 The Burroughs.

Sun Insurance at 2-4 Shirehall Lane.

If you know any others, please record their location and send details, preferably in writing, to Ted Sammes.

Newsletter 044 October 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 1 : 1969 - 1974 | No Comments


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November Lecture

Although the November lecture will coincide with Guy Fawkes night, we urge members to forego the delights of fireworks in favour of the pleasure of hearing Portia Wallace-Zeuner talk to us about Mycenae.

Mrs. Wallace-Zeuner is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. She did research in dendrochronology at the Institute of Archaeology and published her findings in the Institute Bulletin. She has been a tutor in the Extra-mural Departments of London and Oxford universities for fifteen years.

Her present day field-work centres of archaeological sites in the Mediterranean doing Museum research and photography for current courses. She has studied sites in France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia, including the islands of Crete, Delos, Sicily and Sardinia.

5 November will be a HADAS meeting you can’t afford to miss. Come to the Central Library, at 8.00 for coffee, followed by the lecture.

The other dates in this winter’s programme will be:

Friday Dec. 6 – Christmas Party, 166 Station Road, NW4. Starts 7.30 p.m.

Tuesday Jan. 7 – Mucking, Essex, Crop-mark Sites – M. U. and W. T. Jones

Tuesday Feb. 4 – The Lunt Roman Fort, Warwicks – Excavation and reconstruction – Brian Hobley

Tuesday March 4 – Medieval Jewellery and Pottery – John Cherry

Tuesday April 1 – Are We Fair to Neanderthal Man? – Desmond Collins
Digging and Pottery Processing

Digging has begun on the latest HADAS site — Fuller Street, Church Road, Hendon, NW4. The site, which is behind a large advertisement hoarding on the right of Church Road going west from Brent Street, has been partially gridded. Work has started on a trial trench 1 metre wide, running North-South across the middle of the site.

Unfortunately the trench crosses a concrete yard, so a certain amount of concrete-bashing has had to be done before diggers could get down to the gentler and more expert techniques of trowelling. However, sufficient space has now been cleared to allow between six and ten members to work on the site. Digging takes place every Sunday (weather permitting) from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

At the same time processing of finds from the Church Terrace dig it goes on, also every Sunday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30, in the temporary workshop which the Borough has lent us behind the PDSA building on the corner of Church Road and Church End.

This means there is work for everyone, either digging or helping with pottery, wet or fine, every Sunday; many hands are needed and will be made very welcome. Please come as often as you can. If you don’t find anyone at the workshop, walk down to the dig — or vice versa.

No digging or processing on Sunday October the 6th, due to the HADAS weekend visit to Shropshire. No work, either, on Saturdays at present. This situation may change if the trial trench at Fuller Street produces any interesting finds.

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Digging Needs

Have members any of the following which they would be prepared to add to the Society’s equipment:

Metal meat skewers (for stringing out trenches);

Seed trays, tomato boxes or other shallow, stout boxes (for use as finds trays);

The strong, cube-shaped cardboard boxes in which Xerox copying paper comes (for storing pottery);

Old nail varnish bottles (with brush attached) — ideal for vanishing pottery markings.

Any of these will be gratefully received by our Hon. Secretary, who will arrange collection if necessary.

And a bigger need

Has any member a small piece of land, with access from a road, on which they will be prepared to house a caravan from time to time? We have the chance to buy a second-hand caravan to use as site headquarters, but it will not always be in use on site. We hesitate to buy until we can be sure that when we are not digging, we have a place where the caravan can rest.

Again, any suggestions to our Hon. Secretary.

Roman Cirencester

A note from A. V. Turner.

Following the HADAS visit to Cirencester in August, 1973, I wrote to Corinium Museum to inquire why, and at what period, so many English towns — such as Winchester, Gloucester, etc., had had the suffix “cester” or “chester” added to their names.

Members may be interested to see the explanation given me by David Viner, Curator of Corinium Museum. He says:

“Corinium is the Latinised form of the native British name Caer-Coryn, which means “town on the highest part” (the Churn, the river on which Cirencester a stands, is the highest source of the Thames). It was a regional tribal capital, hence Corinium Dobunnorum – “Corinium of the Dobunni”. The British “Caer” becomes Saxon “caestre”, hence Coryn-caestre, then Cyrenceastre and Cirencester.”

From this it appears there the word merely means “town” or “city” and was added by the Saxons to the previous names of places established during the Roman occupation.

Footnote: Ekwall’s DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH PLACE NAMES carries this entry on the old English word “ceastre”: an early loan-word from Latin castra, which means “a city or walled town, originally one that had been a Roman Station”. This is the actual meaning of many place names; but in other cases the meaning must have been “prehistoric fort” generally. The Northumbrian names in -chester, for instance, cannot all denote old Roman stations. The usual form in place-names is -chester; but –caster is regular in some districts. Owing to Norman influence, -chester often becomes –cester or even -ceter, as in Exeter.”

Outing to Warwickshire

Report by Joanna Wade.

The last of the season’s outings — if you don’t count the special weekend in Shropshire this month — took place on 14 September and was a great success. We arrived at Wormleighton in beautifully sunny weather which remained the whole day, and walked into the gatehouse of the manor, built by the Spencers in 1519 but now mostly destroyed. In 1506 the Spencers had bought, for £2,000, the large pastoral estate, which included the site of a village that had been de-populated in 1499. They themselves built another small village on the other side of the Church from the deserted one. There are still houses on the second site today.

Eric Grant, without whose help I would never have been able to understand the tantalisingly un-excavated bumps, guided us round of the site. Standing in the main street as we approached were some friendly bullocks, which followed us to the manor moat and, I am afraid, distracted many of us from the proper appreciation of the fishpond and stew ponds. The older and newer villages were both fascinating to the visit, and I was sorry to leave so soon. Lunch was on Burton Dassett Hill, with views of Warwickshire and Oxfordshire on all sides.

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Afterwards we drove over Edge Hill, site of the Civil War battle of 1642, to Compton Wynyates — a beautifully mellow and friendly house (built in 1480, altered in 1520 and deprived of its moat after the Civil War) with twisted chimneys, a peaceful inner courtyard and topiary-ed hedges in the garden. Inside we saw the room where Sir William Compton’s friend Henry VIII slept, and a room in the roof with three exits, used to hide a priest and containing a makeshift altar carved roughly with crosses.

After tea in Shipston we returned to London, having thanked Eric Grant, who had compered this trip, and the organisers of the other outings in this very successful season and not least Mrs. Newbury, who co-ordinated all the efforts.

A 1974 find

Is anyone short of a man’s raincoat, light navy in colour, with a pair of leather gloves in the pocket? Found on the coach after our July outing to Danebury and still unclaimed. Ring Dorothy Newbury if it is yours.

Church Farm House Museum

The exhibition at present showing at the Museum (it closes on October 13th) on Blue Underglaze Printed Earthenware is well worth a visit by anyone interested either in pottery or in the history and artefacts of the more recent past.

The heyday of “Staffordshire Blue”, as it’s commonly called, was c 1795-1845. The exhibition shows a cross-section of the wares produced between these years, starting with the chinoiserie influence, followed by the vogue for topographical scenes and then finally the use of patterns of every kind.

When Staffordshire Blue was first produced (probably by John Turner of Lane End in the Potteries) cobalt was the only chemical base sufficiently stable to give reliable colour results when fired at high temperatures — and cobalt produces blue pottery. Later, about 1835, as knowledge of chemical process is improved, other colours — red, purple, green and brown — also became common.

The exhibition displays blue ware vessels of many forms and uses; there is a case devoted to colours other than blue; and a fascinating case illustrates the whole process of transfer printing.

One of the finest pieces is a small multi-coloured plate, in greens, mauves and yellows, by Spode (the first potter really to popularised Staffordshire Blue, and the most consistent producer of wares of high quality). It is dated 1815 and shows as its central scene a group of “bottle” kilns for firing pottery. It illustrates how this ware, as well as being pleasing in itself, throws a light on social conditions, topography and even industrial processes.

The exhibition catalogue contains a valuable list of ten books or articles which are “recommended reading” on Staffordshire Blue.

The Museum looks like providing a continuous feast for members this autumn. Staffordshire Blue will be followed by Old Middlesex Maps (October 19th-November 24th); and then Old Houses of the Borough (November 20th-January 5th).

HADAS book box

With winter meetings about to start, members are reminded that HADAS now has its own book box, in the capable hands of George Ingram. There are well over 100 volumes, which is too many to bring to each lecture. Mr Ingram will, however, provide a selection each month; and will be happy to supply any member with information about the books available. Consult him at meetings or ring him.

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Recent Bookbox accessions include

Notes on Nonsuch, a lost Tudor Palace (from Mary Macalaster)

Camden History Review No. 1 (from Brigid Grafton Green)

The London Archaeologist (quarterly) winter 1968 to spring 1974 (all Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 1-6) (from Mrs. Worby)

Rescue News, Nos. 2-5 (also from Mrs. Worby)

HADAS Farm Survey

By Rosalind Batchelor.

The Industrial Archaeology Group is at present concentrating on a survey of farm buildings in the Borough of Barnet. The main aim of the project is to identify, visit and record farms which are still active, although buildings known once to have been farms but now serving some other purpose have also been included.

Research suggests that there are at least 20 working farms in Barnet today. In addition there are many riding stables, plant nurseries and golf clubs which occupy old farm buildings. Most of these are to be found, not surprisingly, in the “green belt” of the Borough, near High Barnet, Totteridge and Mill Hill. Tithe Award Maps of 1843 indicate that farms were spread fairly evenly throughout the Borough; many which were in built-up areas have now disappeared without trace.

It is hoped to visit each farm and record systematically with sketch plans and photographs the layout of the farm and design of its buildings, together with any information about its activities, past and present.

So far progress has been rather slow, especially as nearly all the members of the group also working on the Historic Buildings Survey. However, it is hoped that visits to farms can begin in earnest in the autumn. Anyone interested in helping will be most welcome. The only requirements are a pencil and camera, a knowledge of shutting gates and a lack of fear of cows, horses and mud!

Contact Rosalind Batchelor or Alec Jeakins.

Paid Your Subscription Yet?

The Hon. Treasurer would be happy to receive any outstanding subscriptions for the current year, which began 1 April 1974. Rates:

Full membership – £1.00

Under 18 – 65p

Senior Citizen – 75p
Subscriptions should be sent to Jeremy Clynes.

New members

The ramifications of HADAS have taken an international turn recently. Last week a South African, Mrs. Lucy Waldbaum, who last autumn spent a morning on the Church Terrace dig and at Church Farm House Museum, wrote from Johannesburg to say she and ten members of her local archaeological society were coming here in October and that Hendon and the Museum were a “must” on their programme. The Borough Librarian has kindly agreed to open the Museum specially one Sunday morning for their visit.

The same week a letter arrived from St. Lucia, West Indies, from an 81 year old gentleman, born in Hendon, who wants to join HADAS. He had seen the catalogue of Archaeology in the Borough exhibition. “I am familiar with the terrain you are excavating”, he wrote, “and lived for some years near the parish church. Since living in the West Indies, I have developed an interest in archaeology and history and helped to establish a local society, of which I’m now President. Of course our field here is very different from yours, as we deal mainly with Amerindian remains.”

Naturally we’re delighted to have a member from so far afield. Meantime, since we last welcome new members in the May newsletter, 32 new colleagues have enrolled. We would like to wish them real enjoyment in the various activities of our Society. They come from all parts of the Borough and outside it: Edgware, East Barnet, Hendon, Finchley, Cricklewood, Friern Barnet, Colindale, Golders Green, Garden Suburb, North Finchley, Totteridge, Mill Hill, Highgate and Chiswick.

Newsletter 043 September 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 1 : 1969 - 1974 | No Comments


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Programme for next winter

The Programme Committee has recently been hard at work arranging a varied series of lectures for 1974-5. All meetings (except the Christmas party) will be at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4, on the first Tuesday of the month, starting at 8.00p.m. Coffee first, followed by the lecture.

The first meeting is on Tuesday 1 October, when HADAS will play host to the Camden History Society. A number of Camden History members hope to attend, so if you find an “unknown” sitting beside you, do making him — or her — welcome.

Camden have asked us to demonstrate what a local archaeological society like HADAS does, so we shall provide a cross-section of our outdoor activities. If you are a new HADAS member, this meeting will fill in the scene for you, too; while for members of longer standing, trying to keep in touch with the many-sided activities of our Society today, this is also your chance!

Ted Sammes will talk about the Church End excavation, Paddy Musgrove will discuss intricacies of hedgerow dating and Percy Reboul will describe the fascinations of churchyard surveys. All with slides.

And, for your diary, this is the rest of the 1974-5 programme:

Tuesday Nov. 5 – Mycenae – Capital City of the ancient Greeks – Portia Wakllace Zeuner, F.R.A.I.

Friday Dec. 6 – Christmas Party, 166 Station Road, NW4. Starts 7.30 p.m.

Tuesday Jan. 7 – Mucking, Essex, Crop-mark Sites – M. U. and W. T. Jones

Tuesday Feb. 4 – The Lunt Roman Fort, Warwicks – Excavation and reconstruction – Brian Hobley

Tuesday March 4 – Medieval Jewellery and Pottery – John Cherry

Tuesday April 1 – Are We Fair to Neanderthal Man? – Desmond Collins
Final Summer Outing

This will be on Saturday 14 September, with visits to Wormleighton deserted medieval village, Compton Wyngates and the Rollright Stones.

Very few places are left, so apply quickly. Will members who have booked verbally please complete the enclosed booking form and send immediately, with remittance, to Dorothy Newbury.

Operation Tombola

At this year’s Christmas party we hope to raise funds for the Society by running a Tombola. Dorothy Newbury, the tombola past-master, will be in charge.

Will members prepared to help please start now collecting small eye-catching objects? Every tombola ticket draws something, so we need a lot of prizes. Mrs. Newbury will welcome tombola gifts at the October and November meetings.

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Study of “An Hedgesyde”

A note by Paddy Musgrove.

The Battle of Barnet was fought on Easter Day, 1471: “upon Gladmore Heath , halfe a mile from Barnet”. We are told this by John Weever, in 1631. Other writers, including Sir John Paston, have confirmed the exact distance. And Sir John was in a position to know. He had taken part in the battle and was writing to his mother only four days later. We may therefore assume that the Medieval Manor House of Old Fold — the moated site of which is now the eighteenth green of Old Fold Manor Golf Club — was in the middle of that bloody and fluid battle.

Edward Walford (Greater London, 1882) tells us that some of Warwick the Kingmaker’s men are said to have sheltered in the building on the previous night. Whether this is true or not, we know, from the official Yorkist account (the Historie of the Arrivall of Edward IV), written within six weeks of the Battle, that when Edward had reached Barnet on the evening of April 13th he found “under an hedgesyde were redy assembled a great people, in array, of th’Erle of Warwike”.

Local tradition has it that this hedge still exists on the golf course and that it follows the line of a public right-of-way running NW to the present St. Albans Road from the footpath guide post at TQ 2412 9771.

In order to establish if this particular hedgerow could possibly have been in existence 500 years ago, Mrs. Isabelle Cruickshank and I recently carried out a survey, based on the methods evolved by Dr Max Hooper and described in the March, 1974, Newsletter.

Going NW from the guide-post, we found that the first 110 yards of the hedge was sparse and seems to have been recently planted or re-planted, as it consisted almost entirely of young oaks. From point 2405 9778 on, three consecutive 30 yard stretches were examined.

A section contained 5 different species. Common Hawthorn, Midland Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Pedunculate Oak were present in all three. In addition, the first section contained Field Maple, while the second and third both contained Ash. There were also many Hawthorn hybrids in all three sections. The presence of Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) in this area could in itself suggest antiquity.

At one point, where the hedge widened out into a spinney, 4 additional species were found, namely Sycamore, Crack Willow, Wild Plum and Silver Birch. This area may have been separately planted as a copse and therefore was ignored for statistical purposes. Only species directly on the hedge-line were considered and consequently our dating is likely to be conservative. Our conclusions were:

1. On the basis of Dr. Hooper’s equation, the median date of hedge-planting is the late fourteenth century.

2. The hedge is likely to have been well-established at the time of the Battle of Barnet.

3. It is possible that local tradition just come to be correct.

Semi-Detached Suburbia

Report by Celia Gould.

On August 17th a small but dedicated HADAS band, led by Alec Jeakins, met to trace the growth of Edgware over the last of century. Despite the arrival of a single-track GNR line from Finsbury Park in 1867 (long since disused) and trams from Cricklewood in 1904, major development in Edgware can really be dated to the opening of the extension of the Northern Line tube from Golders Green, exactly 50 years ago — in August, 1924. Between 1921-31 the population rose from 1576 to 17500.

If one man could truly lay claim to having been the “architect” of the present-day Edgware, it is George Cross, an ambitious young estate agent who sensed that the area was ripe for development as early as 1910. Expansion quickened dramatically with the arrival of the tube. In 1926 Cross, in conjunction with the architect A. J. Butcher, developed 85 acres of the Canons Park Estate, where houses, expensive for their day, ranged from £1500 to £3500. In the eighteenth century this estate had belonged to the Duke of Chandos. The pillars of his ducal gateway still survive, and on the site of his huge mansion, built in 1712 at a cost of £250,000 and demolished some 40 years later, now stands the North London Collegiate School.

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Next we visited the baroque church of St. Lawrence, where we saw the Duke’s pew, the Chandos Mausoleum, and the organ played by Handel when he was the Duke’s “chapel-master” at Canons.

We looked too at Cross’s “Premier Parade” of shops, dating from 1924; and at the Edgware Manor Estate, also developed by Cross in the 1920s. Finally, on the corner of Hale Lane and Broadfield Avenue, we saw a “modern” house, dated 1934 and originally refused planning permission because it was “too violent a contrast with the adjacent property”!

All thanks to Alec Jeakins for arranging this outing and opening our eyes to the finer points of suburbia.

RECOMMENDED READING: Suffolk Punch by George Cross: Semi-Detached London by Alec Jackson.

Book-list for the Medieval Period

Drawn up by Edward Sammes.

This list is a follow-up to that on Roman Pottery in Newsletter 42. The Medieval and post-Medieval periods were somewhat neglected until after the last war – the first A.G.M. of the Society for Medieval Archaeology, for instance, was only held in December 1957. Much material is also reported in the publications of the County and local Societies. The list below covers many aspects of the period; regrettably there are few low-priced books o the subject.


MEDIEVAL POTTERY OF THE OXFORD REGION, David A. Hinton, Ashmolean Museum, 1973, 21p. Small booklet illustrating 19 typical, fine pieces from 11th-15th century. Short paragraph describes each illustration.

MEDIEVAL ENGLISH POTTERY, Bernard Rackham, 2nd edit, revised J. G. Hurst, Faber, 1972, £6.50. Deals with the full pottery range of the period, well backed up with 96 full-page photos and 8 colour plates. Regrettably there are no drawings of pots nor is the humble cooking pot in much evidence.

MEDIEVAL TILES, Elizabeth S. Eames, British Museum, 1968. Price when published, 9s 6d. Comprehensive booklet on the decorated tile and on the use of shaped tiles to produce a mosaic.

(1) ANGLO-SAXON PENNIES and (2) VIKING COINS OF THE DANELAW. Both by Michael Dolley, British Museum, 1964/5, 25p each.

MEDIEVAL CATALOGUE, H.M.S.O. 1967, £3.15, by post £3.42. Gives details and illustrations of objects of everyday life in the Middle Ages from combs to cooking pots. Re-issue of an original printed in 1940.

MAP OF BRITAIN IN THE DARK AGES, pub. by the Ordnance Survey, 1966, 87 1/2p. Has an introductory text, an index of Dark Age sites and a map showing their location.

DESERTED MEDIEVAL VILLAGES, studies editted by M. Beresford and J. G. Hurst, Lutterworth Press, 1971, £8.00. Comprehensive survey with good diagrams, photos and an extensive bibliography.

Of Local Interest

MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY, Vol 5, 1961, The Kitchen Area of Northolt Manor, Middx. J. G. Hurst. Comprehensive report of 89 pages with good drawings of everyday wares of the period. This is our nearest well-documented site.

MEDIEVAL LONDON, Timothy Baker, Cassell, 1970, £2,75. General background to Medieval London and its surviving remains.

CHAUCER’S LONDON, Brian Spencer, London Museum, 1972. 30p. Originally produced for the exhibition of Medieval London, this is a good guide and introduction to the present Medieval Gallery.

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POTTERS AND KILNS IN MEDIEVAL HERTFORDSHIRE, Derek F. Benn, pub. by Herts Local History Council, 1964, price then 4s. A list of Herts kilns then known, with drawings; includes the 13th century Arkley kiln.

Mrs. M. Herbert

Members will be saddened to learn of the death of Mrs. M. Herbert, one of the founder members of HADAS. She had been unable for to join in the Society’s more active pursuits but she maintained her interest in Hendon history, enjoyed lectures and always came to exhibitions at Church Farm House Museum.

Her son, sorting her papers, found a HADAS Newsletter in which the Hon. Treasurer had appealed for trading stamps; alongside were some six books and two boxes of stamps. Dr Herbert kindly sent them to us, saying he felt sure his Mother had been collecting for HADAS. We hope to use the stamps to provide tools or a measuring tape for excavations, in which Mrs. Herbert took a lively interest.

Local Courses

Come September we usually give brief details of some of the many courses starting locally this autumn.

DIPLOMA IN ARCHAEOLOGY. First and second year courses at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. No local third or fourth year courses.

CERTIFICATE IN FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY. No local first or second year courses, but there is third year course at Barnet College.


TUTORIAL CLASSES in Greek and Roman Archaeology in Barnet, Friern Barnet, Golders Green and Hendon. The Hendon course continues the class HADAS helped to start four years ago. New members can be accepted.

TUTORIAL CLASSES on the Victorians and the History of London in East Barnet, Edgware, Friern Barnet; at H.G.S. Institute — two HADAS members will be lecturing – Stella Colwell on Genealogy and Palaeograophy and Philippa Bernard on Elizabethan England.

Further details of all classes from the Hon. Secretary.

Perhaps it’s appropriate to record here that we know of 7 HADAS members who hold the Diploma In Archaeology — there may be others. At least 14 members have done part of the Diploma. The Certificate has not been existence long enough for HADAS to notch up any holders: but at least one member is about to start his final year. Two HADAS members hold the Diploma in Local History.

Processing Finds

Finally, news of a short, non-local course: this is a “teaching exercise” organised by Harvey Sheldon on Monday evenings for five or six weeks starting in September, on the processing of finds from the initial stages onwards. The material used, mainly Roman, will come from digs in Southwark and at Old Ford.

The course will take place in the Southwark Archaeological Excavation Committee’s Warehouse beside the London Bridge. For precise date and time of starting, please ring now. Mr Sheldon asks us to say that HADAS members will be particularly welcome.

Another Cordial Invitation

This comes to HADAS members from the Railway and Canal Historical Society — to a lecture on Benjamin Outram, civil engineer. To be held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, at 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 5 October. Admission free, but by ticket, obtainable from Mr A. Roose.

Newsletter 042 August 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 1 : 1969 - 1974 | No Comments

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Thanking all diggers

As this Newsletter goes to press, the Society’s dig at Church Terrace comes to an end. It is the longest dig that HADAS has ever undertaken. Our first dig, in the 1960s (at Church End Farm, on the west side of Church End) went on for several seasons, but each season consisted only of a brief spell of summer work.

At Church Terrace we began on 26 May 1973, and continued every weekend and on many Wednesdays until the end of July 1974. In all, some 85 members worked on the site at one time or another — many, of course, only occasionally, but the figure of 85 is worth noting. It shows that more than 1/3 of are membership is prepared to participate to some extent in excavation.

Director Ted Sammes sends the Newsletter these comments on the dig:

“Now that the Church Terrace excavations have finished, it is appropriate for me to thank all the many helpers who have given their time, labour and thought at weekends and on Wednesdays in all weathers during the past year.

The spectrum of material recovered is very wide, ranging from a small scatter of Roman sherds through late Saxon up to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Of all the material found, the Saxon grass-tempered ware is possibly the most exciting, as is also the double-spiral-headed bronze pin. Some 18 examples of this are at present known in the country. Their distribution stretches from the Wash in a south-westerly direction. Dating of these pins is at present in dispute, but they could belong to the earlier periods of our site.”

Statistical footnote

Anyone who saw the Church Terrace site will remember the whale-backed spoil-heap, ribboned with planks to take the barrows, which grew steadily in the centre of the site until two months ago.

The Council — who kindly agreed that the contractors should back-fill the spoil heap for us — estimated this to be 18 cubic metres in size. However, when the contractors came to move it they found it was in fact over 200 cubic yards — a surprising statistic when you recall that every inch of that heap was built up by HADAS enthusiasts wielding only trowel, shovel, bucket and barrow.

Pottery Processing

Just as night follows day, so processing of finds follows a successful dig.

Thanks to the kind co-operation of the Borough Architect and the Borough Estates Department, we have secured part of the old United Dairies premises at Church End, Hendon, for use as a processing workshop. This is the area immediately behind the present PDSA shop on the corner of Church Road and Church Terrace.

Here pottery sorting, washing and marking will continue. It is hoped to start the workshop in the weekend of August 10-11. Members prepared to help can obtain further details nearer the time from Paddy Musgrove.

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Future Digging

As mentioned in Newsletter No. 40, HADAS applied for other sites in the Church End Hendon development. The Borough has now kindly confirmed that next site will be in the area bounded on one side by Church Road and on two others by a Fuller Street and Sunny Gardens Road. The huts have already been moved to the new site.

It is hoped to grid the area in the weekend of August 31st/September 1st, and then to take out a preliminary trial trench across the site. Further work will depend on what evidence this trial trench produces.

Members who wish to help on the new site — which will be called Fuller Street — are asked to get in touch nearer the time with the Hon. Secretary, who will have more precise details.

Visit to Danebury and Rockbourne

A report by Eric Grant on the July 13th outing.

With the rain running down our necks and our feet dissolving into the Danebury turf, the question I wanted to ask our excellent site-guide was how the Iron Age inhabitants of Danebury survived the British climate in their timber and thatch huts whose traces are being found within the hill-fort. Perhaps they were better prepared than we imagine, for evidence from the excavations (which started in 1969) points to a civilised people living in ordered streets of dwellings and possessing the engineering ability to plan and construct the massive defences that still dominate the site.

The inner earthwork stands 3.5 metres high and encloses an area of 5.25 hectares (13 acres); its main feature of interest is the massive main gateway, guarded by an elaborate series of hornworks. The outer main gate shows a similar defence pattern. Thousands of beach pebbles were found by the excavators, representing the ammunition used by defending slingsmen.

The main period of construction of the fort was the second and first century BC, suggesting defence against other Iron Age peoples. A first century AD rebuilding of the main gate may well have been a hasty preparation against the Romans. Excavation within the Fort has shown a dense and complex pattern of streets, dwellings and pits, neatly picked out on the solid chalk sub-surface. Small finds included pottery, weaving equipment, iron currency bars and a Celtic gold stater.

The unrelenting rain drove us into Salisbury for lunch, and some of the more energetic members managed to “do” the town in less than an hour. Rockbourne Roman Villa was next stop, and to remind us of the Mediterranean culture we were examining, the sun shone forth with welcome brightness. Our west country guide led us in unhurried fashion through the temporal and spatial development of this large villa, accidentally discovered in 1943 and excavated since then by the late A. T. Morley Hewitt.

The villa was occupied from the 1st to the 5th centuries AD and consisted of several wings arranged round a courtyard. 73 rooms have so far been discovered (not all are exposed to view). Several had heating systems and a few had somewhat uninspiring mosaic floors. A vast collection of finds is displayed in the adjoining Museum, along with a notice advertising “Roman Coins for sale”.

After an excellent tea at Fordingbridge, a short debate resolved that we were too late to visit Oakley Down Barrow cemetery, but we were compensated with an unscheduled visit to Breamore Saxon Church, Where Ted Sammes’ careful guidance made us oblivious of the heavy rain.

On our return journey through the incipient industrial archaeology of the unfinished M3 we thanked Ann and Colin Evans for the thorough but unobtrusive organisation of the programme, while Dorothy Newbury, tireless as always, was again able to improve the Society’s funds by means of an impromptu raffle.

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A date for your diary in SEMI DETACHED EDGWARE

Alec Jeakins will lead a walk around this area on Saturday 17 August. Meet in the forecourt of Edgware Underground Station at 2.30p.m.

The itinerary will be based on a walk organised by the Victorian Society last April. It will consist of a tour of various types of suburban development – Canons Park, Edgware Manor Estate and the shops, offices, etc., that make up this 50-year-old suburb.

The walk will take about two hours. Tea is available in a cafe in the station forecourt. It will greatly help Alec to know roughly how many people to expect — so if you intend to join the walk, please ring him beforehand.

Building Survey

The HADAS buildings survey mentioned in Newsletter No. 41 is now under way in. 23 members are working on it. The Borough has been divided into eighteen areas, with one or two members responsible for studying each area and recommending to the main Committee possible buildings which should be listed.

It is hoped to complete the survey during the next three months. Then HADAS will forward suggestions for extra buildings for Listing to the Borough, to coincide with the Department of the Environment’s periodic up-dating of the Buildings List for Barnet.

One of the members who responded to our invitation to suggest buildings for listing writes: “There is a house which I have viewed with an anxious eye for several years now. It is either eighteenth or nineteenth century, shabby but interesting. It stands slightly back from the High Road a little way past Totteridge Lane, on the left going towards Barnet. There are trees in front screening it from the road. It is double-fronted with a portico, and is one of the very few houses left along that road of historical interest. Of course it may already be Listed. I hope so.”

The building is, in fact, Listed — it is The Limes, 1339 High Road, described in the List as “2-storey brown brick with red dressings, mid-eighteenth century. Porch with a pair of Greek Doric columns, fluted. The low fanlight with pointed in Gothic motif. Tile roof”.

If any member knows about the historical associations of The Limes, the Hon. Secretary would be very grateful for information. The present condition of the building has been a matter for worry for some time, and the Finchley Society has been keeping a special eye on it. We understand from them that there is to be an Enquiry into plans for its future early in September, and any details about past links with local families or notables would therefore be valuable.

And by the way — although 23 HADAS members are already working on the building survey, there is still room for more volunteers — and for more information about specific buildings which you think should be investigated. Suggestions or offers of help please to our Hon. Secretary.

A book-list for Roman Pottery

The weekend “work-ins” which HADAS has organised during the last few years on the finds from the early digs at Brockley Hill suggest that members interested in Roman Pottery might well find it useful to have a brief bibliography on the subject.

The following list is far from exhaustive, but it may serve as a starting point for those who want to go more deeply into this particular aspect of archaeology.

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THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ROMAN BRITAIN, R. G. Collingwood and Ian Richmond, revised edition, 1969, Methuen, £5.00.

This contains a rather general account of Roman Coarse Pottery and a chapter by B. R. Hartley on Samian Ware or Terra Sigillata”. This reassessment of Samian is particularly important, so much so that the chapter has also been published as a separate pamphlet by the Herts Archaeological Society (price £0.30).


ROMANO-BRITISH COARSE POTTERY — a student’s guide, CBA Research Report 6

These two booklets on unfortunately out of print. They can sometimes be found in libraries or picked up second-hand. Report 6 contains particularly useful glossaries of general terms used in pottery description, specific terms for types of fabric, names of classes of vessels and manufacturing techniques, and a list of stratified groups from British sites which are reliable for dating purposes. When in print No. 5 costs £0.15, No. 6 £0.28.


The most recent symposium of current knowledge on coarse pottery, and a “must” for any serious student. Of particular value Mrs. K. Hartley’s paper on the distribution of mortaria, D. P. S. Peacock’s and R. A. H. Farrar’s papers on black-burnished wares, Christopher Young on the Oxford Potteries and Vivien Swan’s reassessment of New Forest wares. From the Council for British Archaeology, 8, St. Andrew’s Place, NW1.

TYPES OF ROMAN COARSE POTTERY VESSELS IN NORTH BRITAIN by J. P. Gwilliam, originally published in Arch. Aeliana XXXV (1957), and reissued as a booklet in 1968 at 7/6d, obtainable from Oriel Press, 27, Risley Place, Newcastle upon Tyne.

ARRRETINE AND SAMIAN POTTERY by Catherine Johns, British Museum booklet, pub. 1971, price 40p.

Of Local Interest

The only known Roman kiln-site in the Borough of Barnet is at Brockley Hill. Material on this site has been published in:

TRANS. LONDON & MIDDX. ARCH. SOCIETY, 1938 (trial dig), 1948, 1949 (brief reference), 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1972. All except the last part out of print, although rare copies do become available. Information about copies of the Transactions and off-prints are attainable from Messrs. Phillimore, Shopwyke Hall, Chichester. 1938-56 concern the early digs and the Moxom Collection; 1972 deals with the 1970 excavations.

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, VOL. 129 (1972), a Kiln of the Potter Doinus (1971 excavation) by S. A. Castle. Off-prints from this Journal, when available, obtainable from Miss W. E. Franklin, MBE.

LONDON ARCHAEOLOGIST, Vol. 2 Nos. 2 and 4, Trial Excavations (1972) in field 410, Brockley Hill, by S. A. Castle. Back copies obtainable from Sally Petchey, at 15p.

Also of local interest are reports on the Highgate Wood kiln-site digs. These are published in London Archaeologist, Spring 1969, Summer 1970 (vol. 1 No. 7), Winter 1971 (Vol. 1 No. 13).

Local History Archives, London Borough of Barnet

The Local History Collection, which took temporary refuge at Burnt Oak Library during the rebuilding of Central library, has now returned to occupy the first floor of the Hendon Catholic Social Centre, Egerton Gardens, NW4. All the Hendon local history material is there; but for the time being Finchley material remains at Finchley Central Library. A little Barnet material is at Chipping Barnet Library, but the main of material for Barnet stays at Herts County Record Office, County Hall, Hertford.

Members who wish to consult archives at Egerton Gardens are asked first to ring the Reference Library for an appointment.

Newsletter 041 July 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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The buildings of Barnet

Next year will be European Architectural Heritage year. Perhaps you haven’t met that title before — but it is likely to become familiar between now and the end of 1975: all sorts of conservation and preservation schemes are being undertaken in connection with it.

A new HADAS project which starts this month — a survey of the buildings of the Borough of Barnet — was not, oddly enough, originally intended as our contribution to our Architectural Heritage Year, but it may well serve as such. What sparked off the HADAS survey was the information that the Borough’s statutory list of buildings of architectural and historic interest was about to have its periodic overhaul. We felt that was a proper moment to put forward recommendations for new inclusions in the List.

What precisely is the statutory List?

There are two kinds of protection for architectural and historic past, Scheduling and Listing. In this month’s issue of “Current Archaeology” one of our own Vice-Presidents, Andrew Saunders, (Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings at the Department of the Environment), explains the difference between them:

“Monuments of all periods and types, provided they are not churches in ecclesiastical use or buildings which are inhabited, and whose preservation is of national importance, are SCHEDULED under the Ancient Monuments Acts. Buildings of architectural and historic interest, whether inhabited or not, are LISTED and graded according to their importance. The distinction between scheduling and listing lies in the fact that decisions in respect of scheduled monuments are the direct responsibility of the Secretary of State; in the case of listed buildings where responsibility lies with the local authority.”

In fact, as with most things, it seems to boil down to a matter of money. The Secretary of State for the Environment pays compensation to the owner of a scheduled monument; the local authority pays compensation for a listed building.

Scheduled monuments in the borough of Barnet are rare: HADAS knows of only one, a field at Brockley Hill known to be the site of a number of Roman Pottery kilns.

At the end of 1973 the List of buildings for L.B.B. (originally drawn up in 1948, but often added to and subtract from since) contained twelve churches (no grading); one building in Grade I, and 171 buildings or groups in Grade II, of which 84 are in Hampstead Garden Suburb, as is the Grade I building, Sir Edwin Lutyen’s Institute.

There used to be, until a few years ago, a Supplement to the List, containing buildings of Grade III. Then Grade III was abolished. Some of its buildings have since been up-graded to II — like the late eighteenth century house called Whalebones in Wood Street, Barnet and Rosebank, once a Quaker Meeting House, on the Ridgeway at Mill Hill. The remaining former Grade III billings — 62 of them — now have no protection, and should clearly form one starting point for the HADAS survey.

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It may well be that other buildings which have never been on any list should now be considered. Members have already suggested, for instance, the Stonegrove Almshouses, the North Middlesex Golf clubhouse in Friern Barnet Lane, College Farm Finchley and Vine Cottage, Cricklewood Lane. If you have any pet building which you would like to see listed, please let us know. Mr Saunders points out that where nineteenth century buildings are concerned there must be some selection, and even more so with 20th century buildings; but he adds “virtually every building of the eighteenth century or earlier will be listed in one grade or another”.

It is hoped a team of about 30 members will undertake the survey, each of whom will look at the buildings in a specific bit of the Borough, preferably near his (or her) own home.

To start things off, a meeting will be held on 9 July (by kind invitation of Mrs. Freda Wilkinson). At this the project will be generally discussed; street maps of the various areas will be available, together with details of Listed buildings and of buildings which used to be on the Supplementary List. If you would like to attend, please let us Secretary know — you will be very welcome. Volunteers are needed for all parts of the borough; and particularly for Friern Barnet, East and New Barnet, Wood Street, Rowley and Arkley and Brockley Hill.

July, outing — a trip into Prehistory

For next outing on Saturday July 13th Colin and Ann Evans have arranged a trip to one of the most significant digs of recent years — Danebury Iron Age hill-fort, where excavation is under the direction of Professor Barry Cunliffe. Also on the programme is a visit to Rockbourne Roman Villa near Fordingbridge.

An application form is enclosed — please return it as soon as possible to Dorothy Newbury. Prompt confirmation of verbal bookings, with remittance, will be appreciated.

Industrial Archaeology

Two dates for the diaries of those members who are interested in this subject.

On Friday 19 July, there will be a meeting of the HADAS Industrial Archaeology Group at 8.00 p.m. at 166 Station Road, NW4. Members already working with the group or those who have not yet taken the plunge but would like to do so will be equally welcome. It will be much appreciated if those members who are going to attend would let Alec Jeakins know beforehand.

Until 22 September next there is an exhibition of Early Railway Prints from the collection of M. G. Powell at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Weekdays 10.00-6.00p.m., Sundays 2.30-6 p.m.

And so to Bath

A report of the HADAS June outing by Nell Penny.

I should have read more about Roman Britain and the decline of the empire before writing this report of the Society’s trip to Bath on June 15. It seems incredible that knowledge of a large Roman settlement should have disappeared almost until 1871. In the fifth century the Avon flooded in spectacular fashion, depositing fifteen feet of alluvium on the abandoned Roman bath houses. Saxon and Medieval inhabitants built unwittingly above an elaboration of conduits, baths and hypocausts, which had been constructed to use the hot water of a spring gushing at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the middle ages, Bath had some reputation as a mineral spa, but its real flowering was in the 18th century. Beau Nash organised a social framework for the visitors; Ralph Allen ran a postal service and developed the quarrying of Bath stone; and the great architects Woods, father and son, designed streets like the Royal Crescent which made Bath a social centre second only to London.

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Ted Sammes conducted a “walkabout” for us from the coach park. Our pleasure in this civilised way of seeing the city was increased by his tactful use of his wide knowledge. We were left to see what we wished of the “all of a piece” Perpendicular architecture of the Abbey. I enjoyed the propriety of the 18th century wall inscriptions, such as the tribute to Alicia, Countess of Errol “in whom was combined every virtue that could adorn human nature” and a rare tribute to a “matchless mother-in-law”.

Then the official guide led us round the excavated parts of the Roman baths and we saw the Museum of Roman finds. There was time to admire the Pump Room and – if we were brave enough – to taste the waters, before we walked on to the Assembly Rooms.

These Rooms raise the question of what part restoration should play in exploring the past. The rooms were left a shell by bomb damage in 1942. Today they are as brand new and as they were in 1771, but only the delicate crystal chandeliers are original. The clothes in the Museum of Costume are, however, original — and excellent examples of aristocratic dress since 1674. Each generation preserves only what it considers to be the best, but it would be interesting to see what the ordinary people wore — complete with smell and dirt.

After tea in immaculate eighteenth century surroundings we returned to the coach through Bath’s incomparable squares and streets. The lovely light of a summer afternoon helped us to appreciate the perfection of this piece of eighteenth century town planning. Classical archaeologists may feel frustrated about the Roman treasures buried under the later work, but the final impression must be that Bath belongs to the Woods and to Jane Austen’s heroines.

As the coach ate the homeward miles Dorothy Newbury organised a raffle. Even the 48 losers felt that our pleasure in the outing had been made possible by her tireless organisation and by Ted Sammes’ faultless and unobtrusive advance planning.

Forthcoming Exhibitions – Volunteers needed

At Finchley Carnival and Friern Barnet Summer Show this year HADAS will mount small exhibits to encourage interest in the Society. The theme will be the use of artefacts in archaeological dating.

Volunteers – who need not be archaeological experts — are needed to man the stalls. If you can spare an afternoon or an evening, please ring Paddy Musgrove. The days are July 11-12-13 for Finchley, August 16-17 for Friern Barnet.

Wanted – an old photograph

Has any HADAS member a photograph — or better still, a post card — showing Colindale Avenue in the days when it led up to the entrance gates of Hendon Airfield?

Clive Smith, who produced the photographic booklets on Golders Green, Mill Hill and Hendon which were mentioned in last Newsletter, is now working on a similar booklet about the aerodrome, but is having difficulty in finding a good early view of Colindale Avenue. Any reader who can help is asked to ring Mr Smith.

Bring round the milk

By Percy Reboul.

Daphne Lorimer’s article on dairy farming in Barnet was a timely reminder to me that archaeology is essentially about people. It also reminded me of what my father had told me of the time when, as a nine year old, he was a milk round boy with the A1 Dairies in Whetstone.

I thought his impressions of those times might interest other members; add a little to our knowledge of working people in Whetstone; and be a useful exercise in the dying art of precis!

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“We lived at 5 Clark’s Cottages, High Road, Whetstone, near the Black Bull pub. I started as a milk-delivery boy with the A1 Dairies in 1919. The job had to be done before school on weekdays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays.

The dairy was owned by Mr de Rivas, and Teddy Parr ran the milk delivery side. John Green, who lived at Birley Road, was Rounds Manager; he was famous for the wonderful sheen on his brown boots — polished every day by his wife with Ronuk floor polish! The Dairy employed 4 hand and 3 horse-drawn floats, one of which was handled by my roundsman, Maurice Salter. The floats were made and liveried by Chandler’s of Lynton Road, East Barnet. Their colour scheme was red picked out in black and gold with gold lettering. An office and shop on the site was run by the Manageress, Miss Dench.

The farm stock comprised 8 horses, bought from a well-known local breeder, Tom Walls, and 30 cows, all of which were hand-milked twice a day. The cows were all grade A, that is, tuberculin tested — a rare thing then, as people were only just beginning to realise the importance of “clean” milk.

A TYPICAL DAY. I got up at 5.30 every day and was in the dairy 5.45 a.m. Maurice Salter arrived at 5.15 a.m. to bridle the horse and bring it to the loading bay. Our first job was to fill the quart, pint and half pint bottles from the churns, using a special ladle. Wax-card stoppers, with a punched disc in the middle, sealed each bottle. Bottles were then in their infancy and most milk was supplied to the customer in cans, which ranged from half pint to 2 quarts. The cans were stacked in a large box under the driver’s seat. We also filled 2d, 4d and 6d cartons of cream, allocated each day by Miss Dench. These went on the float with eggs, butter (by Salter and Stokes), cheap cooking margarine and Neville’s bread. At Christmas we also sold turkeys and chickens.

There were two deliveries every day, the first staring at 6.00 a.m. We served about 100 households around County Boundary, Station Road and New Barnet Station. Most customers had a “door book” which was filled in daily. Milk was then 3d a pint.

The first round finished at 8.15 a.m.; while the horse was being fed, we had our breakfast. By 9.30, the float was reloaded for the second delivery. This time, however, only churns were taken round and the milk measured into the customer’s own jugs. The bottles and cans from the first round were collected; second delivery finished about 2.30-3.00 p.m.

The worst part of the day now began – washing up. Boiling water was run from the boiler into large galvanised baths, ordinary washing soda added, and every bottle and can thoroughly hand-washed using a special bottle brush. A rinse in cold water and upside-down-to-dry completed the operation. Churns were washed with a special long handled brush, inverted and steam-sterilised from spouts leading off the boiler. Once a week all the brass on the churns was polished.

My pay was 4/6d a week, plus one pint of milk a day; the family couldn’t have made ends meet without it. During the holidays when I worked both rounds, the money increased to 6/- a week. Mr Salter and I had one week’s holiday a year; he must have worked a 72 hour week.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS. In Winter, the floats were equipped with oil-filled lamps or candle lamps. Anticipating icy roads, the horses were fitted with special shoes by the Whetstone blacksmith, Mr. Baldwin. These shoes had two threaded holes into which “roughs” could go to stop slipping. When a new horse was employed, George Hart, the horse-keeper, accompanied us on the round till the horse was properly trained.

I well remember the disaster in 1922/3. In summer children from better-off homes used to visit the farm to watch the milking; afterwards they escorted the cows to their pasture at Brook Farm. This meant crossing the steam railway which ran through Totteridge to High Barnet. Two gates gave access to the line and a special signal showed when it was clear. Unfortunately a child opened the gates without checking the signal and 6 cows were killed by the train”

Newsletter 040 June 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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Page 1

The 13th Annual General Meeting

This took place on 7th May at Central Library. Vice-President Daisy Hill presided with charm and friendliness and 72 members attended.

This was the largest attendance at an AGM since the society was founded. Its size underlines an important point from Mr Brian Jarman’s annual report — that HADAS membership rose to 234 in 1973-4, an increase of 60 on the previous year and a record for the Society.

The retiring treasurer, Mr Richard Deacon, also had a healthy situation to report. The Society’s credit balance is up by more than £120 on that of 1972-3 — a comforting thought at the moment when costs are leap-frogging and HADAS commitments increasing. Mr Deacon particularly thanked his fund-raising committee, which had organised a highly successful Christmas party followed by an even more financially successful Minimart.

The highlights of the year, as Mr Sammes mentioned in his Research Committee Report, were the Church Terrace excavation and the Archaeology in the Borough Exhibition; both he and Mr Jarman mentioned also the continuing work done by members on many other projects which form the solid background of the Society’s research and endeavour.

After business was over, members enjoyed coffee (thanks to good the staff-work by Elizabeth Holiday and Dorothy Newbury and co-operation from the Library) and three short talks, with excellent slides, given by Daphne Lorimer (on Skara Brae), Ted Sammes (on his recent visit to Turkey) and Eric Wookey (on some splendid Doric temples in Sicily and Greece).

The Officers and Committee elected for 1974-5 are:

Chairman – Mr. Brian Jarman

Vice-Chairman – Mr. Edward Sammes

Hon. Secretary – Mrs. Brigid Grafton Green

Hon. Treasurer – Mr. Jeremy Clynes

Committee: Mrs. Christine Arnott Mrs. Dorothy Newbury

Mr. Michael Bird Mrs. Nell Penny

Mr. G. M. T. Corlet Miss Ann Trewick

Mr. John Enderby Miss Joanna Wade

Mr. Eric Grant Mrs. Freda Wilkinson

Miss Elizabeth Holliday Mr. E. E. Wookey

Mrs. Daphne Lorimer
June Outing

On Saturday, June 15th, Ted Sammes will be taking our members to Bath for the second summer outing.

A full day is planned, with visits to the Abbey, the Pump Room, the Roman Baths, the Museum of Costume and the Assembly Rooms, where we will have tea.

If you would like to come, please use the enclosed application form as soon as possible. (Anyone who has already booked verbally is asked to confirm their booking, with remittance.)

The May outing was heavily overbooked, and our Programme Secretary, Dorothy Newbury, had to open a reserve list. She therefore reminds members that only the first 51 members to apply for Bath can be accommodated. Any member who wishes to bring a husband/wife/friend who is not a member may do so; but any non-members, unaccompanied by a member, will be able to book only after all members have been fitted in.

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And, looking ahead, don’t forget these dates for the future:

Saturday 13th July – Danebury hill-fort and Rockbourne Roman villa

Saturday 14th Sept – Compton Wyngates and Wormleighton Deserted Medieval village.

Unusual Pillar Boxes

Notes from Paul Carter.

In the January 1973 newsletter (No. 23) William Morris commented on an unusual pillar box in Golders Green Road, NW11, near the junction with the Ridings. Although the early type your “Anonymous” which he described is uncommon, there is a later type, with a lower posting slot, introduced between 1883-87, which is seen more often.

Recently I have noted examples of it in Sunningfields Road, NW4, by the Nursery Walk junction; in Station Road, Finchley, N3, and in Elmfield Road, N2, opposite the Red Lion pub.

Another interesting — and rare — pillar box is the Edward VIII box in Elliott Road, NW4, near the junction with Hendon Way.

The Industrial Archaeology Group of HADAS (Alec Jeakins) would like to hear from members of examples of unusual pillar boxes and also of other types of historic street furniture, e.g. street lamps, seats with interesting iron work, such as the arms of the various Boroughs which now form Barnet, and so on.

Has HADAS found Hendon Man?

As members who study the local press will know, the final stages of the Church Terrace dig had been enlivened — though perhaps that is hardly the right word in the circumstances — by the discovery of an ancient human burial, the first ever found by HADAS.

It is on the extreme north west of the site, beside the clerk’s cottage and is a formal burial, probably male, but with no trace of a coffin. Judging by the grey and black grit-tempered pottery found in the level from which the grave was dug, burial may have taken place in the 13th or 14th centuries.

The bones are in a highly fragile condition, and the grave is cut into heavy yellow clay. Removing the dark fill of the grave, and clearing around the sides of the skeleton, has been a delicate job. The soil has been loosened with a small knife, and then brushed gently away using water and a 1 1/2 inch paint brush.

There were other problems. When the grave was first found, it tended to fill quickly with water. This meant bailing out every time before digging started, and sponges were in constant use while digging went on. Fortunately an inquiry to the Metropolitan Water Board led to the discovery of a faulty valve on a nearby water main, and the flood ceased.

Not least of the difficulties was that the skull went into the baulk and almost under the road. As a result the two members working on the skeleton have had to lie on their stomachs on planks strategically placed above the grave. The whole ticklish operation provided passers-by in the roadway with an unexpected angle on archaeologists at work.

As the Newsletter goes to press a second burial has begun to be uncovered some 4 yards from the first. At the moment only the long bones of the legs and the bones of the feet are visible. A dark outline in the clay between the two known burials suggests that a third may be awaiting discovery.

Why these burials should lie outside the churchyard of Hendon St. Mary’s is still a mystery. In medieval times the Church consisted of the present Lady Chapel, and the churchyard is likely to have been smaller in area than it is today, so there is no doubt that these graves were outside consecrated ground.

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As announced in the last Newsletter, the Church Terrace dig ends officially on 31st May, although through the kind co-operation of the Borough Architect’s Department it may be possible to finish one or two outstanding jobs after that date.

Several years ago the Society obtained agreement in principle from the Borough to the investigation of other sites in the Church End development area. We have now applied for ratification of that permission and have asked to dig at two other sites. One fronts on Church Road, between Sunny Gardens Road and Fuller Street (the buildings here have already been demolished); the other is on the corner of Church End and Church Road, opposite the almshouses. On both sites it is intended first to take out a trial trench. Whether we continue with the sites or abandon them will depend on the evidence the trial trenches produce.

So at this moment we can’t make any formal announcement about what digging will be played take place after May 31st; but members are asked to ring Dorothy Newbury or Brigid Grafton Green who will both be able to provide information.

Subscription Reminder

The Treasurer reminds all members who have not paid their subscriptions for the current year that these fell due on 1 April 1974.

A remittance slip is enclosed with this Newsletter, with which you can also order copies of the Society’s Occasional Paper No. 2, The Blue Plaques of Barnet.

Our Treasurer would be happy too to receive any trading stamps (green or pink) which members may care to donate. These are most useful for buying equipment for the dig.

May outing to Lewes

Reported by George Ingram.

Highspot of the HADAS visit to Lewes on May 18th was a conducted tour of the ruins of the priory of St. Pancras. In this great monastery, founded in 1077 by William de Warenne, was the first Cluinaic house in Britain. It was one of Cluny’s “elder daughters”, with subsequently six daughter houses of its own. William de Warenne, a companion of the Conqueror, married Gundrada, said to have been William I’s daughter (although this is disputed by some authorities).

In its heyday the monastery must have formed a vast complex — its ruins are still extensive. Gundrada was buried before the high altar of the Priory Church, said to have been even larger than Chichester Cathedral; unfortunately, when The Lewis to Brighton railway was cut in 1845, the line went through the whole East End of the church, destroying, among other things, Gundrada’s resting place.

Our guide to the Priory ruins had briefed us in advance on what we were to see. He had given us a short talk on the Priory, with slides, in the morning, as well as showing us over the Town Hall and Barbican Hall Museum, which houses many of the Sussex Archaeological Society’s finds. There we were favoured with a preview of the new Roman room, not yet open to the public.

After visiting the Priory in the afternoon the party split into two groups. One walked over the Downs to see the excavation of a Bronze Age barrow; the other took in Lewes Castle and the Ann of Cleves Museum.

After tea at the 15th century Bull House — where Tom Paine (1739-1808) the English-born radical writer and politician once lived — we started for home. On the coach a warm vote of thanks was given to Rosalind Elliston and Pip Saunders for organising the successful outing; and one of our younger members, Marion Newbury, ran a raffle to help with the expenses of the trip. “Ran” is the operative word, as she distributed to prizes in a series of sprints up and down the gangway of the coach!

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Local History in North London

The last six months have produced a spate of booklets on different aspects of North London history. Camden, Brent, Barnet and Enfield have all leapt into print.

The Enfield Archaeological Society has produced 32 pages, with 2 plates and a map, on “Prehistoric and Roman Enfield”, at £0.50. The Camden History Society has published “More Streets of Hampstead” (price £1), a well produced companion to its earlier “The Streets of Hampstead” (1972, at £0.75). These booklets, covering the history of street names, famous buildings and equally famous owners are beautifully produced, with many photographs maps and plans.

In Brent the Wembley History Society offer a booklet of photographs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley (price £0.75) and also a special edition of their roneod Journal describing the different stands and palaces which composed the exhibition.

Our own Libraries Department has reprinted George Wilmot’s “The Railway in Finchley” (first published 1962) with a new final chapter bringing the story up to the minute (price £1). This has early railway plans and photos and is packed with facts and figures.

We must give a special accolade, however, to the latest booklet by HADAS member Clive Smith — “Golders Green As It Was”. This is the third of Mr Smith’s booklets, the first two having dealt with Hendon and Mill Hill. Like the others, it is a words-and-pictures (but mostly pictures) account from the turn of the century to the mid 1920s.

Every page has its fascination, but perhaps the most dramatic are pages 8 and 9. They start by showing Golders Green crossroads in 1904 — a muddy country road (Finchley Road) crossed by a country lane (North End Road) in the middle of flat fields. A cottage with a single chimney stands roughly where Golders Green Station yard now is. On the skyline can be seen the faint outline of a building with a square tower — the Crematorium, built two years before.

On the next page is the same scene only 20 years later — houses stretching almost as far as the eye can see, the railway line and station, a bus yard, a War Memorial, banks, cars, bustle. The speed and ruthlessness of urban development, once transport becomes available, is encapsulated in these two pictures.

Mr Smith’s book costs £0.65, but as before he kindly offers it to HADAS members at £0.50. Order from librarian, George Ingram, sending £0.50 plus 6p postage.

Church Farm House Museum Exhibition

(Open till 23 June)

“Old Local Photographs” are the subject of this, too. The exhibition covers the period 1865-1920, and no one interested in local history should miss it.

Many photographs are of buildings now vanished without trace; others show people and events. In this category are 8 unidentified groups. The Library would be delighted if any HADAS member can offer a clue as to the occasion or the identity of the individuals in the photos. Any suggestions, please, to our Hon. Secretary.


In the article on Laurel Farm in the last Newsletter, the central sentence in the third paragraph should read “This type of churn was still in production in 1930” — not 1830, has printed.

Newsletter 039 May 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 1 : 1969 - 1974 | No Comments


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Members may like to know that the chair at the Annual General Meeting on 7th May will be taken by our Vice-President, Miss Daisy Hill. A full evening’s programme will begin at 8.15p.m. at the Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4.

With this Newsletter will be sent full details of our first SUMMER OUTING — to Lewes, Sussex, on 18th May. This will include a visit to current of excavations at the Bronze Age site. Mr Lewis, of Lewes Archaeological Society has kindly offered to conduct has on a tour of the town, and for the rest of our stay. Members can be sure of many varied activities being available, the choice being yours as to whether you choose the active or more sedentary options! Please apply as soon as possible to Dorothy Newbury, using the tare-off slip supplied.

From 6 April – 12 May there will be an exhibition of Historical Musical Instruments at the Church Farm House Museum. Opening times from 10.00a.m.-12.30p.m. (Except Tuesdays — 10.00 a.m.-1.00p.m. and Sundays 2.30 p.m. to 6.00p.m.).

The Hon. Secretary can supply further particulars to anyone interested in the 9th Archaeological Excavation Training School that will be held by the University of Keele (Department of Adult Education), from 3rd-17th August.

Church Terrace Dig

The Borough of Barnet has responded to the Society’s request for an extension of time on the Church End site by allowing excavations to continue until 31st May. By then we shall have worked on the site for a full year. The Development contractors are moving in before the end of April, but the Borough Architects Department has kindly arranged for their huts to occupy the East side of the area only, so that HADAS can dig undisturbed on the West Side. This seems an appropriate moment to record publicly the Society’s appreciation of the helpful co-operation which has been received from the Borough Department throughout the Church End dig, and to thank the Town Clerk, the Borough Estates Department, for the consideration with which they have met our requests for additional time. DIGGING still takes place on Saturdays and Sundays (10.00a.m.-5.30p.m.) And Wednesdays (10.30a.m.-5.00p.m.). Volunteers will be very welcome during these last few weeks of the dig — please come if and when you can.

New Members

One by-product of Archaeology in the Borough Exhibition has been a sharp increase in membership. We reckon that of those who have joined us in the last seven or eight weeks, over 20 probably did so as a result of seeing the exhibition. This, therefore, seems a good moment to offer a warm welcome to all new members who have joined the Society since last November and to say how much we hope that they will enjoy their membership. They include: Joanna Aldred, Finchley; Mrs. J. Ansell, Hampstead; Nicolo Arca di Pano, Cricklewood; Peter Barrow, Grahame Park; Rosalind Batchelor, N. Finchley; Ingebor Berger, Golders Green; Jane Butler, Barnet; Peter Cornell, Grahame Park; Miriam Daus, Cockfosters; Miss Delano Smith, Finchley; David Fairman, Grahame Park; Alec Gouldsmith, Hadley; Gareth Griffith, Mill Hill; P. Gwillym, Grahame Park; Margaret Harman, Muswell Hill; Robert Hopcraft, Muswell Hill; Lesley Jacobs, Hendon; Richard Jansen, Hendon; Sheila Kellaway, Hendon; Mr. And Mrs. Lampert, Golders Green; Martin Lewy, Colindale; B. J. MacArthy, Finchley; Helen McNeil, Hendon; Mark Mazower, Golders Green; Stanley Morgan, Totteridge; Alex Munden, Edgware; Miss J. B. Nash, Barnet; Miss A. H. Ningo, Garden Suburb; Pip Sanders, Highgate; C. J. Schuler, Hendon; Ruby Scott, Mill Hill; Mrs. P. Selby, Highgate; Miss K. M. Slack, Garden Suburb; Ruth Smith, Highgate; G. F. Thompson, Colindale; Jill Thompson, Hendon; P. Tracey-White, Finchley; Joanna Wade, Hampstead; Jeffrey Wagland, Hendon; Jutta Wingrove, Muswell Hill; Clare Wilding, Garden Suburb.

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Conference of London Archaeologists

Contributed by Ann Trewick.

The 11th Annual Conference of London Archaeologists was held at the Guildhall on 30th March. Opening the conference, Harvey Sheldon made a plea for new members on behalf of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. The introduction of Brian Hobley, now appointed as Chief Urban Archaeologist to the Guildhall Museum, followed. Mr Hobley is well known in the Midlands, particularly for his work on the Lunt. He explained the new organisation which he leads within the Museum, and told of the setting up of the City of London Archaeological Trust, whereby private donations can be made to help Archaeology within the City.

Next Tim Tatton-Brown spoke of excavations at the Customs House site. Later Nick Farrant and gave a talk on the Milk Street excavations. Perhaps the most relevant lecture for HADAS members was that given by Stephen Castle on recent excavations at Brockley Hill. He has discovered several new kilns, bringing the total number to 14. He has been excavating on the East side of the A5, in the old café area. Especially interesting was the finding of two kilns of the potter Doinus, who was working between 70 and 110 A.D. His mortaria have been found all over Britain, including Scotland. Other named potters were Doccas, Lallans, Sollus and Bruccius. Samian ware was found, many wasters, and a coin dated to the 3rd year of Vespasian, 71 AD.

After a very good tea, John Wymer spoke of a survey of all mesolithic sites in Britain. In England and Wales there are 1,500 sites. Several references were given for various collections and information about the Mesolithic in the London area.

The last speaker was Brian Davison from the D.O.E. He is responsible for varied excavations and reported on those at two Royal palaces, Hampton Court and the Palace of Westminster. At Hampton Court they were looking for the remains of the Great Hall of Wolsey’s Palace. The present Great Hall was constructed by Henry VIII. At Westminster, excavations revealed the Great Conduit in the Palace yard. The one depicted in various manuscripts and found was mid-15th century. In 1444 there is a record of its rebuilding. In the excavation large masses of Purbeck marble were found with carvings of a late twelfth century design. This has proved to be an earlier version of the Great Conduit, and it is hoped to have it copied and reconstructed on the site in palace yard.

At the conference HADAS had a small exhibition about the Church End dig. It was put together by Ted Sammes and manned by Alec Jeakins. Our thanks should go to them.

Fulham Pottery Visit

Contributed by Eric Grant.

15 members of the Society visited the Fulham Pottery on Sunday 7th April when an open weekend was held there. This was the last opportunity to see the pottery as the buildings, mainly 19th century, are soon to be demolished to allow redevelopment of the site for new showrooms and warehousing for the Fulham Pottery Company.

The pottery was founded in 1672 by John Dwight, the first person in England to make salt-glazed stoneware commercially. Examples of mugs, bottles, and other containers from this early period, as well as later ones, were on display, most of them dug up on the site during the excavations conducted by the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society since 1971. One of the most significant discoveries was that certain globular mugs, hitherto assumed to be of German manufacture, were, in fact, made at a Fulham. Many of the wares on display were decorated with tavern signs, names and figures, as well as the better-known Bellarmine bottles.

Mr. Gale Canvin, the Director of the Rescue Excavations, showed us round the surviving buildings, including a bottle kiln, built in the 1840s, which is not to be demolished since it is a Grade II listed building. We were richly rewarded by the excellent displays and slide show, and our thanks are due to Dorothy Newbury for organising the trip.

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Laurel Farm

Contributed by Daphne Lorimer.

Mr. and Mrs. Morley, of Laurel Farm, Totteridge, are both descended from generations of farmers in and around the Borough of Barnet, and have had the forethought to preserve and treasure some of the farm implements and equipment which modern methods of farming have rendered obsolete. The farmhouse and farm buildings are, themselves, of considerable antiquity. It was during a routine visit to acquire photographs of these before their possible destruction, that HADAS learned of the existence of these interesting relics and were kindly allowed to borrow them for the Church Farm House Exhibition.

A small hand milk-float (or milk pram to use its more correct title) was found in the barn and had once been the probity of Mr and Mrs. Davis of Elm Farm, Galley Lane, Barnet (Mrs. Morley’s aunt and uncle). This pram was used on the milk round and was of a type which was still being manufactured in the 1930s. Originally made to hold a milk churn, these later models were made, advertisements tell us, “with a sliding tray, three tiers complete with crates”. They were also “painted and written in any style and delivered” for the princely sum of £25! As far as can be ascertained, there was no manufacturer’s name on the pram, but it could have been made by J. Wheeler and Son of Southend, or possibly Keleher and Chaplin, Dairy Vehicle Builders, of Walthamstow who advertised their Service Pram as having “16 spoke Warner wheels, Collinges axle, Parkgate Steel Springs, forged Ironworks throughout”.

Beside the milk pram, in the Laurel Farm barn, stood a large milk churn manufactured by the Dairy Outfit Company at their factory in Boxmore, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. This type of churn was still in production in 1830. The bottom half was made of tin plate and was fitted with a tap. The top was made of copper, as was the lid, and the churn was engraved with the name “Elms Farm”. (NOTE – date corrected to 1930 – see newsletter 40, June 1974)

The most fascinating gadget found was a pair of cow’s nail clippers, made to the order and design of Mr Morley’s grandfather, Mr Charles Morley. His first farm was in Palmers Green but from 1897 to 1933 he farmed Gallant’s Farm, Russell Lane, Whetstone. It had been the custom until the mid-19th century, for milk to be produced from cows kept in sheds attached to the dairy. Mr Morley collected cows from dairies in the East End of London when they ran dry and brought them down to his farm to be brought into milk. Since the cows were kept without exercise in the byres of London, their hooves grew out and up and inhibited their walking. Mr Morley had a pair of nail-clippers made from two blacksmith’s rasps (normally used to file the horses’ hooves before shoeing). The clippers were made by a local blacksmith in The Avenue, New Southgate.

It interesting to note that there was a considerable amount of competition between dairies supplying “warm” milk and those supplying “country” milk, and it is thought that milk was first brought up from Wiltshire by rail to London by Edwin Freeth, the grandfather of the late Harold Freeth, Chairman of the erstwhile A1 and Dollis Dairies. “Country” milk became increasingly popular following the Great Cattle Plague in the 1860s, but it was the advent of that capillary refrigeration, invented by George and William Lawrence, which hastened the end of the London cow!

Mr. Charles Morley was very proud of his magnificent Shire horses and photographs of these handsome animals with Mr. Morley outside Gallant’s Farm are extant today. Their brass hames and headstall with blinkers are shown. The hames are defined as “two curved pieces of wood or metal placed over, fastened to, or forming the collar of a draught horse”. The draught horse wears a heavily padded collar which is passed over his head and rests firmly on his shoulders. The hames fit tightly round the collar and are fastened at the top and bottom by hame straps. The function of the hames is to bear the traces or straps which pass along the horse’s sides and the shafts, and are attached to the whiffletrees.

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Among other implements was that for testing the heat at the centre of a hay rick. This consists of three metal rods, one of which has a ring handle and one a barb at one end. The three pieces, when not in use, are kept in a leather case, but in order to function, have to be fitted together and plunged into the heart of the hay rick. The heat at the pointed tip, indicates, to the knowledgeable, the likelihood of rick fires. The hook was used to pull out a wadge of hay from the centre to examine for evidence of mould formation.

Mrs. Morley also produced a very handsome silver spirit teapot, won at the Barnet Fat Stock Show, possibly by Mr Charles Morley. This show was run concurrently with the Barnet Fair, and its cessation could be said to indicate the passing of country life and the intrusion of London into a rural area.


Contributed by Daphne Lorimer.

On Tuesday 2nd April, Dr. Gareth Davies gave HADAS a fascinating summary of the present state of knowledge of the tribal and Roman Settlements in the St Albans area of Hertfordshire.

Dr. Davies described the dyke systems which probably enclosed Wheathampstead, the oppidum which he considered became the capital of the local tribe, the Catuvellauni, after Caesar’s invasion.

Dr. Davies reviewed the excavation of the Prae Wood site which, despite destruction by development, showed the beginnings of urbanisation in Britain in in each pre-Roman Times. From the evidence of coinage, he considered the derivation of Verulamium to be pre-Roman and considered the presence of a silver torque round the neck of a bronze statue of Mercury found by Dr. Steed, as evidence of an attempt to Celticize a Roman god. Dr. Davies also reviewed the development and decline of Verulamium from the first military encampment on the Watling Street crossing of the River Ver, through its destruction by fire and rebuilding on successive occasions, to its gradual decline and abandonment about 500 AD.

Members greatly appreciated Dr. Davies’ excellent slides and his lucid account of which space only permits this short note.

February Lecture

It is probably true that most people, when thinking of the Romans, visualise legions pacing Hadrian’s wall and staring into the mists of Scotland. However Malcolm Colledge presented a much wider picture as he described the Roman Conquest and annexation of the Eastern Mediterranean in his lecture “Roman and the East”.

Dr. Colledge briefly outlined the events that led up to Sulla’s conquest of Greece and the subsequent expansion of the power of Rome into Syria and Asia Minor by Pompey between 66-62 BC. After Caesar’s assassination, the Eastern Empire was ruled up by Anthony from Egypt. Following his death, an efficient, centralised government was established by Augustus, and during the next century the empire enjoyed a golden age of peace and prosperity. Trajan added Dacia and Mesopotamia to the empire, although Hadrian later abandoned Mesopotamia and eastern expansion ceased.

To emphasise the effect colonisation had upon the different areas subdued by Rome, Dr. Colledge illustrated his lecture with slides showing the Roman influence on civil and religious buildings and the uniform town planning adopted throughout the empire. His examples of Roman Art and sculpture showed how, in its turn, it was influenced by the styles and craftsmanship from the conquered areas.

Dr. Colledge’s lecture was a thoroughly enjoyed by his audience all of whom, as Raymond Lowe mentioned in his vote of thanks, were particularly impressed by the excellent slides.

Newsletter 038 April 1974 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 1 : 1969 - 1974 | No Comments


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Our last lecture of the Winter Season will be given up 2nd April 1974 at the Central Library, The Burroughs, at 8.00 for 8.15p.m. Dr Gareth Davies, who is the Curator of the Verulamium Museum will speak on “Verulamium”. He was concerned in last summer’s excavations in the area, and has been asked to give any fresh information that has come to light, particularly of any pre-Roman settlement.

The Programme Committee would like you to put the following dates in your diaries — with brief details — for the summer’s outings:

Saturdays –

18th May – Lewes, Sussex

15th June – Bath, Somerset

13th July – Danebury, Petersfield, Hants

14th September – Compton Wyngates, Worm Leighton, Warwick

Full details of the first trip, on 18th May, will be sent with the May Newsletter. All those who can are urged to support these outings, as only a full coach will enable costs to be kept to a minimum; the Committee are working hard to ensure that the price of tickets will not be appreciably higher than last year.

Annual General Meeting

The Society’s 13th Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th May at 8.15p.m. at the Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4. A formal notice summoning the meeting is enclosed with this Newsletter, as are the minutes of the 1973 meeting.

Once the official business is over, we shall be offered several items of interest: four members will illustrate with slides short talks on Skara Brae (Orkney), Italy, Turkey and Sicily. Coffee will be served during evening. Don’t be put off by the formality of the notice; we in HADAS aim to keep our AGMs both businesslike and thoroughly enjoyable!

Other Societies’ Events

The Hon. Secretary will supply further details of the following on application from interested members: —

The Wembley History Society are holding an Anniversary Dinner at Esso Motor Hotel, Empire Way, Wembley at 7.30p.m. on Tuesday 23rd April 1974 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the British Empire Exhibition on 23rd April 1924. Tickets are £4 a head. There will be an exhibition of B.E.E. souvenirs and entertainment from a West Indian steel band and Maori dancers. The Society is publishing to booklets, one of the story of the Exhibition and one of pictures, at £1 the two, post free or separately £0.25 and £0.80 respectively.

The Moated Sites Research Group will be holding a conference at Leicester University on Saturday 4th May 1974 at a cost of £1.40 including refreshments. Miss Ann Dornier has offered to arrange an excursion to local moats on Sunday 5th May for those able to stay on in Leicester. Application is required from those wanting to take part in either or both of these activities.

The Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society (Archaeological Section) announce the publication of Occasional Papers Nos. 1 and 2.

1. The Fulham Pottery, a preliminary account … £0.50

2. A report on some of Archaeological Work in the Borough of Hammersmith … £0.25 (both post free).

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Church Terrace Dig

Under the existing arrangement with the London Borough of Barnet the Society’s activities on the Church Terrace site are to cease on 31st March 1974. So much interesting material is now being uncovered, however, that we have applied for an extension of that time limit, and if the Borough does not intend to begin re-development immediately, we have sought permission to continue excavation until such time as it becomes imminent.

This quotation from our Chairman’s letter to the Borough sums up the importance of the Church Terrace dig: —

“Today we can say with confidence that on the Church End site there is definite physical evidence for the existence of Saxon Hendon. This evidence consists of a complex ditch system, now clearly visible on the site. The dark fill of these Saxon ditches, which are cut into the yellow-coloured clay which forms the undisturbed natural subsoil of the site, contains grass-tempered pottery, dated by the experts at the Department of the Environment to 700-1050 AD. This is the first physical evidence for Saxon Hendon ever to be found, and it reinforces and confirms the few documentary references that exist.”

Unless we hear that our request for an extension cannot be granted, members may expect digging to go on at Church Terrace after 31st March. All who can lend a hand will be warmly welcomed. Digging times are: Saturdays and Sundays: 10.00-5.30 and Wednesdays: 10.30-4.30.

Chance Finds

The close proximity of the dig to the Society’s exhibition at Church Farm House Museum is proving fruitful in more ways than one. For instance, people who come to see the exhibition often stayed to watch the dig and sometimes end by coming digging themselves.

The exhibition is producing good results in another direction. We have received much information from visitors about chance finds of archaeological material in the Borough. Half-a-dozen people have written or telephoned to say that they have found clay tobacco pipes. Finds of pottery have been reported — ranging from half a Victorian candlestick, of curious design, to the base of a Samian cup of the 1st/2nd century AD. Two or three people have tipped us off about proposed developments, suggesting that the sites would be worth watching. We even had some gruesome reports of two finds of human bones, made during roadworks on the A1.

This interest in chance finds is sparked off by one particular exhibit, which occupies the bay window recess in the Westernmost room at the Museum. It shows many chance finds which have come the Society’s way during the last few years, from all periods and all parts of Barnet.

The exhibit outlines the part which chance finds can play in local archaeology. Roughly speaking, such finds can be divided into three types which are of varying archaeological value:

1. – finds of which the precise find-spot, or provenance is known. This is the most hopeful kind of chance find; it is the most likely to lead to further finds, or at best to the discovery of a new site.

2. – finds which are known to have been made in the Borough, but no one can pinpoint the exact place. These finds are often brought in by a friend or relation of the original finder, usually with some such comment as “we’ve had this for ages — my Dad found it long ago, somewhere by Copthall Fields (or Apex Corner or Hadley Highstone)”. The more vague the description of where the object was found, the less likely it is to lead to some discovery of archaeological importance.

3. – finds which have their own intrinsic interest (such as coins) but very little archaeological value, because nothing is known or remembered about where they came from. They cannot add to local knowledge, and they may even have been brought back from a holiday abroad.

All of which underlines the old archaeological maxim: it isn’t what you find that matters — is where and how you find it.


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Report on March Lecture

Contributed by Elizabeth Holliday.

Forty six members of the Society were present at the March meeting when Mr N. H. MacMichael spoke about “The Documents and Manuscripts in the Westminster Abbey Library”.

Mr MacMichael divided his talk into three parts. The first, of particular interest to members, was about documents relating to Hendon in the Abbey archives. Among these are a collection of Anglo-Saxon charters, rewritten in the twelfth century, including the Charter of St. Dunstan, which records the grant of Hendon to Westminster Abbey. The collection of title deeds recording land and rents in the area is not very great, although the original documents are supplemented by copies taken in the reign of Edward II as part of the “Westminster Domesday” records. There are 28 account rolls dating from 1319-1376 and a register of estates leased about 1486. Other financial documents and lists of tenants are included in the Abbey collection and there is a complete index to material including entries under names and places. The Abbey archives also contain maps of estates in the Hendon area dating from the eighteenth century.

In the second part of his talk, the lecturer outlined the history of the Abbey library which was originally part of the monastic dormitory, and has a beautiful hammer-beam roof, probably dating from the fifteenth century.

Mr MacMichael described and illustrated a selection of the unique items in the Abbey collection. Among these treasures are a charter of William the Conqueror which still has fragments of his seal attached to it; a beautiful embroidered seal bag of Edward I, dating from about 1290, depicting three golden lions, and a lease dated 1399 granted to Geoffrey Chaucer for a house near the main chapel.

The Abbey has a large collection of illuminated manuscripts including a two-volumed mass book (or missal) which took about two years to produce and cost £35. The artist is unknown but the scribe’s name was John Preston. The missal was lent recently for an exhibition and was insured for £300,000.

Mr MacMichael concluded his talk with a series of slides illustrating a bestiary, which contains information about a variety of animals and mythical creatures including instructions for catching tiger cubs with the aid of small mirrors!

Mr MacMichael invited members to visit the Abbey Library, by appointment, and to study the documents relating to Hendon.

Book Box

Recent accessions to the HADAS book box include:

ROMAN BRITAIN, I. A. Richmond (Reprint 1970 Penguin Books Limited) – from Christine Arnott

THE STORY OF TUTANKHAMUN, Otto Neubert (Reprint 1972 Dragon Books)

STUART LONDON, Malpas Pearce (Pub MacDonald London Weekend Television 1969) – from Dorothy Newbury

A COUNTRY CAMERA 1844-1914, Gordon Winter (Penguin Books 1973) – from Paul Carter

Many thanks to the three members who added these books to the box. Any other editions will be very welcome, if in good condition and dealing with archaeology and related subjects.

The full book list is now available upon request from the Hon. Librarian, George Ingram. If you have already asked for it there is no need to apply again. George will be sending you your copy in a few days time.

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Book Review

Contributed by Philippa Bernard

Discovering Regional Archaeology — South East England — by Edward Sammes

It is with a considerable sense of pride that we draw readers’ attention to this new publication by prominent member of the Society. One of the useful little “Discovering ” books published by Shire Publications, this is the ninth in the series which investigates and explains archaeological sites all over England. The area covered by Mr Sammes book includes Greater London as well as Hampshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Much useful information is condensed into an easy-to-read yet scholarly little work, accompanied by clear maps and plans, grid references and full details of access.

In his preface the author notes that “approaching a site on foot is still the best way to appreciate the site in its environmental surroundings, and, with a little imagination, the past also”. Imagination Mr Sammes certainly has — he tells briefly but vividly the story of Fishbourne near Chichester, giving a clear impression of what the great villa was like in the time of its Roman occupation. He is precise in his descriptions and many of the excellent photographs are his own. Other well-known and sites are mentioned Danebury Hill Fort, St. Catherine’s Hill, Canterbury, Richborough and Bignor — some less well-known may prove of equal interest.

Members of the Society will, perhaps, be particularly interested in sites in and around London. Pride of place in goes to Sulloniacae, the Brockley Hill Roman Pottery in the Borough of Barnet. Excavations in the City, Highgate and Hampstead are worth noting, and an excellent Time Chart showing the dating of the different archaeological periods puts the whole account into perspective. This excellent little booklet is obtainable from most bookshops, price £0.40. It should certainly give our Programme Committee some good ideas for the summer.

Stop Press

Contributed by Jeremy Clynes

The Minimart on 9 March at the Henry Burden Hall was very successfully, and we have just heard from the Treasurer, Richard Deacon, that the net amount raised was £115!

Items for sale included stamps, home-made cakes and jams, books, plants, bric-a-brac and a “nearly new” boutique (this was literally true as a large number of items came from a shop turning out unsold stock from a previous year.). There were two raffles — one for a selection of prizes, and the other for two packets of toilet rolls!

It was especially encouraging to see so many members who dropped in for a chat over coffee and biscuits.

As so often with HADAS the success of this venture was due to the active co-operation and support from many members. In thanking most warmly all those who helped on the actual date of the Minimart, we particularly mention Joan Bird who provided tea, coffee and biscuits, and the main organisers of the event, Dorothy Newbury, Daphne Lorimer and Christine Arnott.

This newsletter has been edited by Christine Arnott.