Volume 4 : 1985 – 1989


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NEWSLETTER 211 : October, 1988 Edited by Anne Lawson




We meet at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, at 8.00 p.m. Coffee and biscuits are available before the lecture, which starts at 8.20 – 8.30 p.m. We appeal to members with cars to offer lifts to non-car members in their area, if only for the return journey. The hazards of our streets and public transport at night preclude many of our members attending these days.

Lecture and slides on recent excavations at Waltham Abbey by Peter Huggins.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 8th Stepney Walk with Muriel Large. Due to post disruption, applications have been late in arriving. If you would like to join the walk, please ring Dorothy Newbury on 203 – 0950. Numbers are limited.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 15th FUND -RAISING MINIMART AND LUNCH 11.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. at St Mary’s Church House, top of Greyhound Hill, Hendon, N.W.4. Please see the enclosed leaflet, giving details of goods required and help needed, and names of stallholders. This is our one fund-raising event of the year which is open to the public, and which over the years has become a social event as well. TO ALL MEMBERS – please help in some way.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 6th Didn’t anybody spot our “deliberate” mistake in the September Newsletter? November 6th isn’t a Tuesday !!! Our Christmas trip to St George’s Theatre, N.7, is definitely on, and the date is TUESDAY DECEMBER 6th. Details and application form enclosed. If you would like to join our Christmas Party, please complete the enclosed form and return it with your cheque as soon as possible.


Mrs Elizabeth Barrie We sadly report the death of Mrs Barrie on September 7th. This lively little lady with her broad Scots accent had been a member for several years and was with us as recently as July on our trip to Docklands. She was always accompanied by her daughter, Deirdre, who has also been a member for many years. Deirdre is one of our Newsletter Editors. We share her sorrow with her.

Mary McGhee has retired and gone to live in Taunton. Mary is the member who makes those gorgeous crackers for our Christmas Party raffle every year.

Bryan Hackett, who joined HADAS at 13 and led our Junior Group for several years until he went up to Oxford to read history, tells us he has now got his degree. At the moment he’s marking time earning a bit in a solicitor’s office – but soon hopes he’ll be off to do a year’s VSO work abroad. After that he hopes to go into the Church, doing his theological training first in Cambridge.

Micky O’Flynn

The last long HADAS outing of this season proved to be very popular, as a full coach set off for an action-packed day.


After morning coffee at The Two Brewers in the village of Thornborough, we met our guide, Sheila Lewis, at the nearby Thornborough Barrows. These are two large circular Roman burial mounds, 21/2 miles east of Buckingham.

The earliest settlements known in the area are Iron Age, and these are a large hill fort, Norbury Camp, covering 12-13 acres and a small fortified farmstead of 2-3 acres. The discovery of a socketed Iron Age axe dated as 50 B.C. defined the settlement as 1st Century B.C. There are only 21 of these axes known in Europe, 11 in Britain, and this is the largest and finest example. We had the great privilege of actually being able to handle the axe, as Mrs Lewis is the custodian until it becomes one of the exhibits in the new museum soon to open in Buckingham.

The settlement continued in use through the Roman period and it is now known to be a large Roman complex at the junction of a dozen major roads to Roman towns and villages.

The best extant group of Roman burial mounds in the country are the Bartlow Hills in Essex, originally 9, but only the 4 largest remain. The Thornborough Barrows are said to be the second best with the suggestion of a third Burial mound close by, and as rich in grave-goods as the Bartlow Hills. The Thornborough Barrows were first excavated in 1839, by the Duke of Buckingham who sank shafts down the centres. He found that one had already been robbed, so back-filled it, but the other burial was largely intact. He discovered an adult male inhumation, said to be lying on a timber couch and accompanied by rich grave-goods of imported Samian ware, amphorae, bronze ware, flagons, glassware and gold-leaf decorated weapons. It has been suggested that this could be the burial of a local Iron Age Romanized chieftain, who could have lived at the farmstead. From 1960 onwards, more finds of coins, pottery and brooches over a wide area showed this to be a major Roman settlement, and that the burial mounds were a focal point of a large Romano-British flat grave cemetery dating back to late 1st and 2nd Century A.D. A statuette of Isis found locally emphasizes the religious importance of the site, as do the remains of a small temple(dating back to late 3rd or 4th Century A.D.) nearby, with a horse’s head burial outside.

It interesting to note the shift in the village site in Saxon and Medieval times and again the shift to its modern position.


Mrs Lewis continued on with us to Buckingham and gave us a guided tour of this ancient market town.

The town was originally built in a narrow loop of the River Ouse, and the parish church of St. Peter and Paul now stands on Castle Hill, the position of the oldest recorded settlement.

Edmund the Elder, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, mentions in 915 the boroughs on either side of the river, so the church site must be one of these Anglo- Saxon fortifications, although no remains have been found. It was then the site of a Norman motte and bailey castle, built at the end of the 11th Century, but flattened when derelict by the Tudors, who used it as a bowling green I When the spire of the original late Saxon church collapsed in 1776 it was not rebuilt in the churchyard position, but on the hill site, by Sir Gilbert Scott.

Twenty years ago many of the historic town buildings were in a very poor condition, but the coming of the University of Buckingham has had an influence on the regeneration of the town. This is the only private university in the country, and much money has been invested by the university to rescue and renovate some of these buildings for academic use. Even with the presence of the university, Buckingham is a peaceful town, with many interesting features to visit, and the Buckingham Heritage Trust hopes to open a new museum soon, housed partly in the original building of the St. John’s Royal Latin School and partly in the Old Gaol.


About three miles south of Buckingham, we visited the lovely church of All Saints. It is mainly l4th Century, though the west tower was built somewhat earlier than the rest, and it was thoroughly restored in the 19th Century by Sir Gilbert Scott. The walls are impressively battlemented and the l6th Century stained glass panels show stories from the Miracles of St. Nicholas.


Winslow Hall is not open to the public, so we were very fortunate in being shown around the private home of Lord and Lady Tomkins. This is an important house in that the plans and overseeing of the building are attributed to Wren, and it survives as a domestic building outside of London, largely without alteration. It was built in 1698, as a main house, with two pavilions, one for the kitchens and the other for the brew-house and laundry.

Across the middle of the main house is the chimney wall holding the 12 chimneys, and around the outside walls there are 72 windows. There are no corridors in the house as the rooms are built around the central chimney wall and open into each other at the ends.

William Lowndes, who had the house built, organised the first centralisation of national accounts and budgets, so is said to be the founder of the Civil Service, and his practical character is seen in the restrained decoration, wood panelling, and plain ceilings. The exceptions to this are the walls. painted by Daniel Marot in 1715 in the guest bedroom. These are unique in England and in excellent condition and the gilding gives an unusual “3-D” effect when lit. Since the house was not lived in for much of its history it has undergone few alterations. It was requisitioned by the R.A.F. during the war and although it received no significant damage was due for demolition in 19^7- Thankfully the Wren Society obtained a preservation order on the Hall to stop this, and in 1950 Edward Tomkins bought the house. Very few changes have been made since, except to move the kitchens into the main house and to convert the corner rooms into bathrooms. In connection with the house one must also mention the fine collection of Chinese pieces originally owned by Lady Tomkins’ grandfather, not forgetting the delicious tea arranged for us by Lady Tomkins.


Our last stop was at this impressive Norman church, which is one of only three, out of the 6,000 or so built by the Normans, which have survived without later additions to their original plan. St Michael’s was built in about 1150 A.D. with nave, central space with massive tower above, and chancel but no aisles. There is much decorative carving of zigzags and dragons, and the tub-shaped font is the Norman original.

Our thanks must go both to the knowledgeable guides and to Dorothy Newbury, whose well-researched and organised planning yet again made for an informative and enjoyable day.

SEVERAL OF OUR MEMBERS asked for references to the excavations at Thornborough. Sheilagh Lewis writes suggesting the following:

1954 J. Liversedge “The Thornborough Barrow” (Records of Bucks. 16, 29 – 32)

1965 C. Green “A Romano-Celtic Temple at Bomton Grounds, Buckingham” (Records of Bucks. 17, 356 ff)

1975 A. Johnson “Excavations at Bomton Grounds, Thornborough, 1972-3” (Records of Bucks. 20, 3 – 56)

1983 M. Green “Isis at Thornborough” (Records of Bucks. 25, 139 – 141)


Charterhouse is a name that all of us are familiar with, perhaps on account of the distinguished school, or possibly because of the school’s origins in London, in a former monastery hidden away behind Charterhouse Square in Clerkenwell. But how did it start ? What is it now ? Thanks to Mary O’Connell, another group of HADAS members recently had their curiosity satisfied.

The Charterhouse is normally only open to visitors on Wednesday afternoons between April and July. We were doubly fortunate: the weather was perfect and we were shown round by the Master, Mr Eric Harrison, a charming and thoroughly knowledgeable guide.

First we went for a short stroll near the Museum of London, past the Roman Wall in Noble Street and the Lutheran church of St. Anne, and returned to Charterhouse Square via Little Britain and the church of St Bartholomew the Great, dating from 1123.

Charterhouse Square was a plague pit in 1350, part of a parcel of land given to the city by one of Edward Ill’s knights. In 1370 a Carthusian monastery was founded on the site. In 1535 the monks refused to recognise Henry VIII as head of the church and the community was dissolved. What was left became a Tudor mansion and in 1611 was sold to Thomas Sutton who founded a hospital/ school for 80 old men and 40 boys.

The school moved to Godalming in 1872 and the land it occupied was sold to St. Bart’s Medical School. The elderly gentlemen still remain, nowadays no more than 30.

Our fascinating tour included two courtyards, the Great Hall, the cloister, library chapel and tower. The buildings suffered severe damage during the air raids in 19^1 but have been superbly restored. Ironically, good came of this in that two important finds were made as a result of the repairs: the unearthing in 1947 of the founder’s grave (1372) and the discovery in 1958 of the doorway to one of the original 24 monks’ cells.

Thank you, Mary, for allowing us a glimpse of a little-known part of London.

Jenny Cobban

The potentially interesting find of a Celtic coin at Brockley Hill (TQ 175939) was made by HADAS member Nick Cobban on 4th September, while field walking with the aid of his metal detector.

The tiny bronze coin, which was lying on the freshly ploughed field, is in good condition and bears the legend “CUNO” and portrait on one side, and “TASCIO” and design on the other. (A type which seems not to be listed in Seaby’s “Coins of England”.)

It would thus appear to date from the early years of the reign of CUNOBELINUS (Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline”) son of TASCIOUVANUS.

CUNOBELINUS, King of the CATOVELLAUNI, reigned for over forty years and is said to have been the greatest of the Belgic rulers. He died in A.D. 43-41, just before the Roman invasion under Claudius in A.D. 43.

After verification, the coin will be recorded by HADAS and the Museum of London.

THE OLD GRANARY AND WELL (Rear of 62 High Street, Chipping Barnet) John Enderby

On behalf of HADAS, Jenny Cobban and I have interested ourselves in the above, prior to the re-development of the site by the owners, Oxford and Cambridge Estates, for office purposes. There were several substantial nineteenth century buildings, used as small industrial workshops, on the site, which is approached through a narrow lane from the High Street. The lane is paved in part with cobble stones that are likely to be preserved as it is to become a pedestrian access only, with a new road being constructed from Moxon Street. One of the buildings in question had been a granary used in conjunction with the ancient brewery for the inn now known as The Mitre. Apart from evidence of a medieval building uncovered in 1936, which might have formed part of the brewery, the only remains of the brewery that can now be seen is a large bricked well, some seven feet across. The depth of the silt and deposit at the bottom is of course not known; our plumb line showed 21ft and the water level is still high. This no doubt supplied the large quantity of water required in the brewing process. Unhappily, the well is now being filled with rubble as a result of the site clearance and will disappear when the foundations of the office block are laid.

Despite the granary not having been used since the turn of the century, a strong and distinct smell of malt was evident when I visited it, immediately prior to demolition. The grain was raised to the thick boarded floor of the two storey building by means of a very substantial sack lift, operated by massive metal winding gear, which is thought to have dated from circa 1840. Thanks to the willing co-operation of the developers and the interest of the London Borough of Barnet Planning Department, the hoist and winding gear were removed undamaged by the demolition contractors, only to suffer some attention from vandals before it could be transported from the site to the LBB Squires Lane Depot for storage until such time as it could be offered to a suitable heritage museum. Fortunately, the three foot diameter winding wheel was taken down at an earlier stage and now rests in perfect condition in the garage of a Barnet HADAS member!

Everything recovered has been offered to the Department of Working History of the Museum of London for display in the Docklands Museum which is due to open in 1990. Strangely enough, the latter is also likely to house an exhibit illustrating the activities of my own family, who were pioneers of the British whaling industry and gave their name to Enderby Land in the Antarctic Basin, as well as a town in Leicestershire and another in British Columbia!

Brian Wrigley

Readers of the last Newsletter may have got the impression from Bill Bailey’s article that they had heard the last of the ice-house in St Joseph’s Convent grounds; but take heart ! It is not over yet ! Whilst the bottom of this curious structure, like the end of a rainbow, still eludes us, your stout-hearted Committee refuse to give up, and gritting their teeth, actually voted to spend a small sum on proper shuttering to make our now rather precipitous excavation secure. This will enable us, in a few weeks’ time, we hope, to offer an Open Day for interested members, and perhaps some invited visitors, to inspect it and hear what information we can supply. By that time, who knows, we may have actually got to the bottom of it, with the assistance of the new shuttering giving a little more room to work in our deep dark hole!


The Committee met on 9th November after a two month summer break, and so had a very full Agenda. Amongst the items discussed was a request from Barnet Museum for HADAS to formulate a policy for the depositing of archaeological finds and records from the Chipping Barnet area, and it was agreed that Barnet Museum is the natural place for these, and that in the future items from that area will be sent on loan to the Museum.

There was news of the Ice House dig and the Committee agreed that £30 should be used for additional shuttering so that the work can be safely continued to reach the bottom. This is potentially hazardous work as well as being heavy and difficult to remove the fill that has accumulated over the years. The Committee considered that some money should later be paid for help with backfilling, to save our stalwart diggers from complete exhaustion.

Victor Jones has offered to put up an exhibition about the Ice House at the LAMAS Local History Conference on 26th November, and Nell Penny has agreed to summarise the results of her documentary investigations for this exhibit.

Robert Michel submitted his proposed work programme at St John the Baptist, High Barnet, where he hopes to identify and date the earliest parts of the North Wall.

News from the Prehistoric Sub-Committee included yet another promise that the West Heath report is to be published by LAMAS, and a suggestion that if this does not happen soon BAR should be approached to publish it. It was agreed to lend about two dozen worked flints from the West Heath to the London Museum, to be hafted and used in their new Prehistoric Gallery. In the quest for more flints, and thus more prehistoric sites, Myfanwy Stewart was leading a field walk at Brockley Hill, near the site of last year’s Roman walking and digging.


62 High Street, Chipping Barnet (see pages 5/6)

Following a month of abortive negotiations with the developers of the above site, it now seems probable that a machine trench will be opened for us to investigate for ONE WEEKEND ONLY I

No firm date has yet been given by Peter Dunbar acting for the developers, Oxford and Cambridge Estates Ltd., but he considers it will be within the next few weeks.

If you would like to offer assistance, further information concerning timetable of excavations and site-watching and the site itself, please contact Jenny Cobban on 440-3254.

AND CALLING ! Sons, daughters, grandchildren, even YOUNG HUSBANDS…

and anyone with a strong right arm to help set up the MINI – MART at 9 a.m. + and to help dismantle what is left at 2.30 p.m. +




01-959-5982 21 Woodcroft Avenue, Mill Hill, NW7 2AH

1st October 1988

Dear Member,

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVER that there will be a Special General Meeting of the Society on Tuesday, November 1st 1988, at 8.00 pm, at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, NW4 before the advertised lecture on “Excavations at the Mint”.

The matters to be dealt with at the Meeting will be:

1. Amendment of the Constitution and Rules of the Society pursuant to Rule 9

The proposal put forward and recommended by your Committee is:

That in Rule ‘ (relating to the audit of accounts J for the words “Member «f a recognised accountancy body” there be substituted “suitably qualified person”.

2. Annual Accounts for 1987-88

To receive the audited accounts for the year 1987-88 in accordance with the resolution passed at the Annual General Meeting on the 10th May 1988.

3. Annual Subscriptions for the year beginning 1st April 1989

To decide the amount of annual subscriptions for the year 1989-90 under Rule 4(a); the proposal put forward and recommended by your Committee is:

That from the 1st April 1989» the Society’s subscriptions shall be:-

Members aged 18-60 years £6.00 per annum

Members aged under 18 years £4.00 ” ”

Members aged over 60 years £4.00 ” ”

Dependent relatives residing with a Member £2.00 ” “

Corporate members £8.00 ” ”

NOTE: Your Committee consider themselves obliged to recommend this increase in subscriptions, in the light of the annual accounts as presented, which show that without the funds raised by the Minimart, the Society’s income from subscriptions and investment is not enough to cover the ordinary expenses, particularly those of the monthly Newsletter, as foreshadowed by the Hon Treasurer at the AGM.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Wrigley

Hon Secretary


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

NEWSLETTER 210: September 1988 Edited by Jean Snelling


Saturday September 10th Afternoon tour of Charterhouse with Mary O’Connell.

Tuesday October 4th Lecture. Recent excavations at Waltham Abbey by Peter Huggins

Saturday October 8th Stepney Walk with Muriel Large. Details & application form enclosed.

Saturday October 15th Minimart at St Mary’s Church Hall, Greyhound Hill, Hendon NW4. Ring 205 0950 if you have saleable items available now. Also old helpers and new volunteers please ring in if you are available on that date. (See separate leaflet and Sales & Wants list of larger items.)

Tuesday November 1st
Lecture. Excavations at the Mint, by Peter Mills.

Tuesday November 6th (to be confirmed) Tentative date for Christmas Party at St George’s Theatre, N7, which is a reconstruction of an Elizabethan Playhouse.


This is a gentle reminder – there are quite a lot of members who have not paid their subscription as from April 1st 1988. Please let me have your sub as soon as possible, and thank you.

The rates are as follows:

Full membership £5.00

Under 18 and over 60 £3.00

Additional members of the same family £1.00

Corporate members (Schools and Societies) £6.00

I await your remittance in due course.

Phyllis Fletcher, Membership Secretary 31 Addison Way, London NW11 6AL. 


All would have been well if when joining HADAS I had disconnected the phone. Or kept the phone and not joined, of course. As it was I had put myself at the mercy of persuasive friends like Brian Wrigley and Victor Jones and started therefore on my first archaeological dig, looking for an icehouse under the mound in the grounds of St Joseph’s Convent School in Hendon. An icehouse is a brick-lined hole in the ground used for storing ice, of unknown size, at unknown depth, but probably (the experts say) under some sort of mound. Well, there was a mound, certainly. Was there an icehouse under it? There were three ways to find out. First way: take up your resistivity equipment and in intermittent rain traipse backwards and forwards across the site, tangling up the lines and noting the resistance readings on damp notepaper. This is a gentle sort of occupation but it didn’t get us anywhere.

Second way: take one of the long metal rods with a point at one end a handle at the other and shove it in the ground until it meets an obstruction. When you do meet an obstruction, try shoving it in a few inches away and see if the obstruction is still there. It is? Then try a third time. Still there? So, stand around for a while wondering what it might perhaps be. Then take spade, fork and trowel and with the utmost care dig down to the obstruction. It will be a half brick, or possibly a broken roof tile.

Third way: gather in a group and argue cogently that there has to be a reason for the mound in the first place, that in the event of there actually being an icehouse the mound is there to cover the top of it sticking up above ground level, and that the best way to find it might be to start digging at the top of the mound and go down until either exhaustion or an icehouse supervened. Taking spades, and metal rods for probing (just in case), we dug a variety of small holes and trenches across the top of the mound, uncovering a considerable quantity of excellent clay, either glacial or not glacial according to Victor, lots of pebbles, more half bricks and bits of roof tile, several interesting pieces of old tree roots, and soil. At irregular intervals Victor, or Brian, or one of the others, seized a metal rod and prodded away to discover further half bricks or broken roof tiles. This kept up everyone’s spirits.

The third way proved in the end to be the one which worked. A small area of curving brickwork, properly set in mortar, was at last uncovered and a small trench a few feet away produced more of it, plus a junction with the top of what looked like the beginning of a tunnel leading off to the north. There was an icehouse and there was an entrance to it on the north side, as predicted by the experts. All that remained was to dig out the entrance, get in, and see what it looked like. The entrance was dug out to the point where we could see the roof of the tunnel and wriggle in on stomachs with a torch held out in front. The thing was full, more or less to the domed roof, with rubbish, decayed wheel-barrows, lengths of rusty chain-linked fencing, and so forth.’ Assuming, as we did, that the floor was roughly level with the floor of the entrance tunnel it would be a messy job but not too difficult. The floor of the tunnel when we finally reached it was admittedly lower than expected, but it still looked relatively straightforward.

Many, many week-ends later and with the spoil heap looming impressively high, we were able to work out more accurately what we were doing. The tunnel entrance came in at the top, just under the domed roof, of an egg-shaped cavity about eleven feet in diameter and about fifteen feet from top to bottom. And it was packed pretty well to the brim with consolidated garden rubbish and builders’ remnants of thirty years or so. This spread of time could be guessed from the recollection of an ex-school girl that in the early ‘thirties she could remember the tunnel leading on to a more or less flat floor, and also from discovering in the top layers a scrap of newspaper with the words “From our Special Correspondent Robert Boothby”. He was given a knighthood in 1953, so that went in some time before 1953.

We did not dig it all out. What we did was to dig out the tunnel to the point where we could go in with a mild crouch, and get wheel-barrows out the same way, and then excavate to the point where we were about a foot below the level of the entrance we were using. On the far side, opposite to the entrance, we marked out a small area in order to dig down and find the floor. This, we discovered, was somewhat futile? because there was no floor. The walls simply curved gently inwards to meet at the bottom and complete the egg shape. By then the small area was a larger area marked out by pieces of timber and shuttering, round a shaft seven or eight feet deep and entered by a short ladder which got in the way once you were down. We did at last reach the point where a probe showed the bottom to be about a further six inches down, but actually reaching it meant moving the shuttering back to enlarge the hole, and somehow our hearts weren’t in it. To get that far we had dug through about twelve feet of the equivalent of an old municipal rubbish tip. We were inclined to feel that we did not want to face one more barrow load of broken glass, roof tiles, very old Bovril bottles, lumps of plaster, half bricks, tree roots, pieces of corrugated iron sheet, consolidated ashes, or even plain soil.

We had, after all, found the icehouse under the mound in the grounds of St Joseph’s Convent School, and that was surely enough for one summer.


This new society’s membership is open to all current and past students and lecturers of the Extra Mural Diplomas in Archaeology and Field Archaeology and the Certificate in Field Archaeology. Associate membership is for ‘such other persons connected with Archaeology as the Committee shall approve and admit annually …. subject to payment of the normal annual membership fee’. The fee is £7, from October 1 to 30 September.

Lectures, seminars, meetings, field trips, visits to archaeological and historic sites, opportunities for excavation, conservation, field walking and surveys and a regular bulletin appear on the agenda. And a Christmas Party. A particular concern is the fostering of knowledge and interest in archaeology among members and the development of the Extension Diplomas and Certificate cited above.

Most old students and lecturers will have received information directly but anyone who wishes should contact the Membership Secretary of EMAS, c/o Birkbeck College Centre for Extra Mural Studies, University of London, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ«


LISTS: We have recently been able to fill in the previous gaps in our file of lists of documents in The Greater London Record Office relating to this borough. Further lists will be sent to us as they occur. We have just finished indexing the lists, at least summarily, for local people and places, and filing the cards has shown how far these references complement and extend our knowledge. Many of the sources are fairly well known and have been used, for instance, in writing the local chapters of the Victoria County History, but others may have been overlooked. Accession 351, for example, contains Allen and Cooper family papers relating to the manors of Finchley-Bibbesworth and Old Fold. Unexpectedly, these include a complete Finchley Poor Rate List of 1614, which is particularly valuable because of the destruction of most of the early Finchley vestry records. They also include a grant of 1553 of property in Barnet including four named inns in Chipping Barnet: The Lyon, George, Peahen and Antelope. The same accession also contains a large number of deeds relating to Hendon, particularly the western side and including Lower Hale, Bunns and Goldbeaters Farms.

MAPS: The 1890s 25″ OS Totteridge, and Barnet and Hadley streets in the Alan Godfrey edition are now available.

FORTHCOMING EXHIBITION: PLEA FOR HELP: In co-operation with Church Farm and the Education Department we are planning an exhibition on “The Growth of the Suburbs 1860-1940′,1 relating primarily to this borough. It will open on 14th October 1989 and run for about three months. It has a dual purpose, being designed both for the general public and for GCSE students as part of their examination project work. We therefore need to ensure that it is comprehensive and accurate and would very much welcome offers of loans of material or possibly personal reminiscences. If anyone has any items such as period artefacts or photographs they would consider lending for the exhibition would they please contact Gerrard Roots (Museum Curator) on. 01 203 0130.


Ann Kahn draws attention to the SERC Bulletin vol 3 no 11, Summer 1988, containing an article by Dr R.E.M. Hedges, Director of the Oxford Unit, which is largely funded on research grants from the SERC (Science and Engineering Research Council). No doubt we all think immediately of the investigations of the Turin Shroud, whose results are due this month.

The Unit was set up in 1979 by the Research Laboratory for Archaeology in order to develop accelerator- mass spectrometry (AMS) and to apply it to radiocarbon dating, and is one of 20-30 accelerator laboratories worldwide. There has been considerable publicity for the capacity of AMS to act on smaller samples and therefore a much better choice of materials for dating. The technique of AMS is explained in some detail in this article.

The aims of the Unit and some results will be of interest to HADAS members. More than 1200 radiocarbon dates have been produced in the last 3-4 years, 90% of them for archaeological research. They include samples from 57 different countries, 20 different types of materials, and. all archaeological periods over the last 45,000 years.

Priority is given to certain themes including:-

Studies of contextual and stratigraphic problems

Upper Paleolithic cave sequences

Late Paleolithic open sites

Development of agriculture and domestication

Early Man in the Americas

Mesolithic and Neolithic skeletal remains (especially in Britain)

Examples of objects dated include a parchment Mappa Mundi found binding an Elizabethan manuscript and dated to 1020-1270 AD; hairs from the moustache and undigested remains of Lindow Man’s last meal; string from the Guitarrero Cave in Peru, 10,000 years old; a Mesolithic drinking cup from Germany, made from birch bark and 9,000 years old; and a remnant of resin used to glue a flint arrowhead to its shaft, from Belgium – Upper Paleolithic.

Much work is undertaken along with other archaeological studies and methods. For instance dating wild and domesticated forms of grain and bones of gazelle and sheep from several Neolithic sites, especially Abu Hureyra*in Syria, so contributing to the emerging and clearer pictures of the start of the ‘Neolithic Revolution’. A start has been made on fresh dating of Paleolithic levels in ‘classic’ French cave sites, going back more than 40,000 years; previous radiocarbon dating having suffered from contaminated material. There is hope that eventually this work may lead to dating the transition from Neanderthal to Modern Man.

*(Some HADAS members are studying human bones from Abu Hureyra in Extra Mural classes.)


Cathedrals: who makes decisions on alterations, repairs and restorations in our great cathedrals? Deans and Provosts and their Capitular Bodies alone, it seems. Anxiety was expressed at the AGM of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings on June 28th.

Churches in use including cathedrals are now exempt from Scheduling as Ancient Monuments and the normal Building Control system. In 1977 government grants to churches in use were introduced on condition that the Church of England reviewed and reformed its own control system.

In 1984 the Faculty Jurisdiction Commission set up by the Church and chaired by the Bishop of Chichester recommended that a national body, which was to become known as the Cathedrals Advisory Commission, should be established with mandatory powers to approve or reject proposals for significant work to cathedrals. These recommendations were accepted by the General Synod.

Detailed proposals to this effect were put to the General Synod this spring, met with opposition by Deans and Provosts, and were referred back, the scheme appearing to be lost. 

At the SPAB meeting in June the Vice-Chairman Mr Jeremy Benson said, “The SPAB pledges itself to the securing of a proper and reasonable system of control over cathedrals, in the national interest. We have an over-riding duty to protect these buildings, for ourselves and our successors, and we urge…….nay challenge the General Synod of the Church of England to abide by its endorsement of the Chichester Report, and to introduce mandatory control over all significant repairs and alterations to our cathedrals”.

For further information contact Philip Venn, SPAB Secretary on 01 377 1644 (on HADAS list too).

Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage, London. Ted visited the Laboratory by ticket during its two Open Days in April and advises us to watch for the next opportunity. He enjoyed particularly the sections in geophysical prospecting and on dating and the conservation lab. There is a brief article on the Open Days in the English Heritage Magazine No2, July 1988, which indicates that they were thought to have been very successful, but as yet there is no sign of more invitations.

Reading Museum The new Curator is John Rhodes, previously Keeper of Art of Oxford County Museum Services, Woodchester. In an exhibition, People and Places, finishing on September 3rd, the Museum is showing pictures and paintings from its large reserve collection. Mon-Fri 10.00-5.30, Sat 10.00-5.00.

Pevsner Memorial Appeal. In celebration of Pevsner’s work, especially his Buildings of England, a trust has been launched with a target of £100,000, to restore paintings in St Michael’s Church, Garton-on-the Wolds, North Humberside. Donations should be sent to: The Pevsner Memorial Trust, c/o the Courtauld Institute of Art, 20 Portman Square, London W1H OBE.

Roman Baptismal Tank. The Daily Telegraph reported on June 15th the finding of a portion of a lead baptismal tank, found in a Roman wall at Caversham during gravel pit workings. On cleaning, a pattern of diamond shapes was revealed together with a CHI-RHO cross symbol. The piece was badly crushed, and is believed to date from C4 AD. Some accompanying timbers have been sent for conservation. Later it is hoped to display the finds in Reading Museum’s new Roman Gallery. Finds of tanks of this nature are extremely rare.

MEMBERS’ NEWS Dorothy Newbury

Alan Hill has been appointed to the newly established position of Honorary Public Relations Officer to the Prehistoric Society. Alan’s job will be to coordinate the Society’s links with the press in order to make the Society’s views known, and to see that the voice of the Society is heard effectively where prehistoric sites or monuments are threatened. We have noticed the difference already judging by the amount of material about the Prehistoric Society in the Times recently. Good work, Alan.

Erina Crossley Though Mrs Crossley resigned from the Society a year or two ago I am sure our members will be delighted to hear she has reached the great age of 103. She still lives at home, with a little help; and until a few years ago she regularly attended our lectures with Lucille Armstrong (now deceased) and enjoyed our meetings and minimarts.

Derek Batten FRICS Derek only joined the Society in 1986 but was immediately thrown in at the deep end , to give a talk at our AGM that year on his excavations in America researching Custer’s battlefields. Now, after 40 years with Simmonds & Partners, Hendon he is going a step further, to Manchester University to read for an honours degree in American History and Society. Good luck, Derek.

Christine Arnott – from the Channel to China by train. Christine was touching wood when she told me about the trip she will start on September 4th. “I’m superstitious so could you say ‘hoping to start’ please just in case anything goes wrong at the last minute.

I think I’d feel like touching wood too – because it’s the trip-of a lifetime. How would you like to travel, taking just over 6 weeks about it, from the Channel to China by train? Only two short stages will be by boat; one a quick nip across the Black Sea to Istamboul, the other 10 hours on the Caspian. Apart from that it’s trains all the way, including Paris to Vienna by – shades of Agatha Christie and Poirot – the old Orient Express; and then in China by steam train.

Though it’s not an archaeological trip, Christine knows she will see the Great Wall and – of course – the Warriors; she also hopes to see at least one prehistoric site, perhaps more. “I’m taking an enormous gamble” she says. “I daren’t think of all the things that could go wrong – either on the trip itself or at home while I’m away. But I’ve always wanted to do something adventurous once in my life – and this is it.”


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

NEWSLETTER 209: AUGUST 1988 Edited by Liz Sagues


Saturday August 20
Outing to Thornborough Barrows, Buckingham and Winslow Hall. Details and application form enclosed.

Saturday September 10
Afternoon outing with Mary O’Connell: a short guided walk round Little Britain followed by a tour of Charterhouse. Details and application form enclosed for this also, as it falls early in the month. Numbers are restricted, so first come, first served.

If applying for both trips, please make out separate cheques – to HADAS, as usual.

Tuesday October 4 Recent Excavations at Waltham Abbey, lecture by Peter Huggins, at Hendon Library, 8 for 8.30pm.

Saturday October 8 Stepney walk with Muriel Large

Saturday October 15
Minimart. Ring 203 0950 or 455 2751 if you have saleable items available now. (see also sales and wants list enclosed)

Tuesday December 6 Tentative date for Christmas Party (to be confirmed).

For late applications for outings, please ring Dorothy Newbury on 203 0950. Cancellations and empty places do occur sometimes.


Alec Jeakins There’s great news of one of our members of long standing Alec Jeakins has just announced to the enormous pleasure of his family that he’s taken unto himself a wife. They were married on June 24 and his bride, Ursula, is from Adelaide, Australia. All our older members will remember his for the discovery of our Mesolithic site on West Heath, Hampstead, and for directing our dig at Woodlands, Golders Green

Marion Newbury Another member of long standing who was a digger and pot-washer in her early days and later helped with outings – she led the Mary Rose trip – is still away in New Zealand. She has been gone 11 months now and is thoroughly enjoying her work there and the scenery. But she misses the antiquity and tradition of old England and has decided that New Zealand is not for her (her Mum gives a sigh of relief). She is planning to return in early 1989, via India, Tibet and Southern Europe.


Brian Wrigley and his team are back working on the ice house in the grounds of St Joseph’s Convent, Hendon. Work over the weekend of July 23-24 started the massive earth-moving project and the clearing of the rubbish inside. In one small area, the clearance reached what is thought to be the floor, but there was no sign at that point of the passage said to lead in. Work is likely to continue for a few more weekends and extra barrow-pushing hands would be welcome. Ring Brian Wrigley on 959 5982 for details.

NEW FOR OLD Isobel Stokes describes the HADAS outing to London Dockland on July 16.

“Canary Wharf is for the birds” screamed a huge anti-Dockland development poster from a council estate, as the HADAS coach sped through the Isle of Dogs. But, however strong the misgivings voiced by many members of the 50-strong party concerning the social tensions being created by the conversion of derelict warehouses into luxurious, security-conscious “yuppie” apartments right opposite the 1930s’ and 1950s’ council dwellings, our minds were mainly focussed upon the past history of this vast and fascinating area.

Our extremely knowledgeable and eloquent guide, Alex Werner of the Museum of London’s Department of Greater London Archaeology, took us first to the centre of London Bridge and vividly reconstructed for us the sights of the medieval port of London. We were reminded of the important excavations of the 1970s in Trig Lane and Custom House Quay and that Cannon Street Station was built on the site once occupied by the Hanseatic Merchants’ Quay. Indeed, this whole area was extremely busy from medieval times right up to the 1950s, with shipping, lighters and tugs, and the area to the north of the Customs House (next to the former Billingsgate Fish Market) would have been full of underwriters’ and merchants’ offices.

Our guide recalled that the Tower of’ London marked the limit of the Port of London in the 18th and 19th centuries and it was here that dutiable cargo was unloaded in the “Legal” Quay. However, with the tremendous growth in “suffrance” cargo in the 17th and 18th centuries and consequent gross insufficiency of warehouses behind the Legal Quay, a Government committee was set up in the last decade of the 18th century to deal with the chaotic state of river affairs and this recommended the building of the London Docks and, further down, the West India Docks in the Isle of Dogs.

On the south side of the river we admired the original Art Deco facade of part of the Hay’s Wharf development, which features a large public arcade, shops and restaurants centred on a restored Victorian warehouse, busy on weekday lunch-times but almost deserted at weekends.

Thence we travelled along Tooley Street, an area once known as “the larder of London” – for Hay’s Wharf was once one of London’s busiest wharves handling imported food, and where excavations in the 1970s found timbers from the Roman London Bridge. Here, while we waited while the bascules of Tower Bridge were raised for a tall old sailing wherry, the guide recommended a pleasant walk which we could take when we had more time on another day – to Shad Thames which is still non-tourist ridden, a maze of narrow streets with strikingly tall Victorian ware houses linked by dramatic overhead walkways leading up to St Saviour’s Dock, with its fine 19th century granaries and mills.

As we crossed Tower Bridge at last, our guide recalled the days when the traveller could catch a passenger steamer from the Pool of London to Hamburg and other European ports or to British north-eastern ports such as Newcastle or Aberdeen. Now large signs indicating new late 20th century forms of transport began to appear – “City Airport” and “Docklands Light Railway” and we passed “Tower Gateway” station which reminded us that in only 18 months’ time City businesspersons will be able to travel straight from Bank to the Isle of Dogs.

Next we sped past the former Royal Mint site, now being redeveloped as offices and housing – only the original front had been retained.

Then loomed the old imposing entrance to the former London Dock, with its high walls built to protect valuable cargoes and with two listed buildings – the General Office and Customs – still mercifully remaining in the midst of general demolition and massive earthworks arising from the excavation of the extensive wine vaults by developers.

A short break from the coach ensued with a walk to view St Katharine Docks, laid out in part by Thomas Telford and first opened in 1828-30 and where high-value cargoes – tea, curios, drugs, ceramics, carpets – were once stored in handsome warehouses but which has now been transformed into a popular tourist centre. It was gratifying to see a notice on a nearby council block entrance declaring its name as the Stephen and Matilda Tenants’ Co-operative, recalling the religious house which was established here in 1147 by Queen Matilda, consort to Stephen, and from which the name of the docks derives.

After re-boarding our coach we passed a new housing development on the filled-in western basin of the London Dock; indeed, this formed an interesting contrast to the five Grade I listed Wapping Pierhead Houses for senior dock company officials still surviving from 1811-13 – for planners are making strenuous efforts to ensure the preservation of architecturally significant buildings. Along we sped through Wapping High Street, past Wapping Police Station which stands on the site of the original station, built in 1797 to house the first river police in the world. Then we clattered over original granite sets through a surprisingly narrow road, where a few warehouses in King Henry’s Wharf still stood derelict, in stark contrast to the expensive new developments in nearby Gun Wharf and New Crane Wharf.

There were graphic signs of changing times, too, in Wapping Wall, where in the early ’70s disused warehouses had been colonised as ideal studios by artists and craftsmen but escalating rents have driven them out to be replaced by a regiment of estate agents! Then came one of the oldest public houses in Dockland – the Prospect of Whitby, dating back to 1320 – and the London Hydraulic Company’s pumping station (1890s), which closed in 1977 and will soon become the new home of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields’ recording studio.

It was a delight to catch a glimpse of peaceful Shadwell Basin, built in 1860 as an extension to London Docks, but now surrounded by tasteful new housing and used by highly colourful sailing enthusiasts.

We turned into The Highway (once notorious as Rotherhithe Highway – scene of many robberies) and ahead lay the huge Free Trade Wharf building, where the Department of Greater London Archaeology is currently attempting, with difficulty, to gain permission to excavate on phase two of the development, involving listed East India Company warehouses. For this site is most likely to yield Roman remains, a Roman road running here from the City.

Next we entered historic Limehouse, passing near the tall distinctive tower of St Anne’s, the major church of Docklands (1712-30), and also passing Dr David Owen’s front door next to the famous public house The Grapes in Narrow Street, dating back to the 18th century.

Then appeared the as-yet-undeveloped Regent’s Canal Dock and the Limehouse Cut, formed in the 1770s to link the Thames to the River Lea; then came Dunbar Wharf – named after a mid-Victorian ship-owner who inaugurated passenger services to Australia; next some unusually low-rise listed warehouse buildings, numbers 140-146 Narrow Street. Then came the charmingly named Three Colt Street which is the site of the limekilns from which Limehouse derives its name – a famous Whistler engraving depicts the entrance to these kilns. Although in the 19th century Limekiln Dock contained a large shipbuilding yard, sadly in the late 20th century the whole area is to be flattened in order to build a road tunnel under the Regent’s Canal Dock to link up with The Highway.

Ruefully, our guide announced that the forest of gigantic cranes ahead of us now heralded the notorious Canary Wharf development – the largest office development in Europe, which will include a horrendous tower 850 feet high.

The guide explained that the West India and East India Docks Companies were extremely wealthy and built their own toll roads in order to transport their goods into London. The old West India Dock- master’s house and impressive warehouses remain and in March Wall is the Grade I listed earliest docks building in London.

Thankfully, we clambered out of the coach by Canon Workshops, built in 1824-25 as a cooperage and now occupied by small businesses. Our guide outlined the history of the West India Docks: the Import Dock opened in 1802, the Export in 1806, forming the largest docks in the world until the mid-1850s. Here were unloaded cargoes of sugar, rum, mahogany and coffee.

The place-name of this area, the Isle of Dogs, originated in Elizabethan times, when the royal kennels were here. Another name for the district was Millwall and old maps show nine mills on the western side. Large letters on the front of an old and handsome warehouse proclaimed that it housed “The Museum of the Docklands” but our guide regretfully admitted that negotiations had fallen through and anyway it would have been too small, but the notice-board remained up as nobody had troubled to take it down!

During the Blitz the sugar warehouses were bombed, causing sugar and treacle to run and ooze everywhere. However, sugar was so valuable a commodity in wartime that it had to be collected up again! Only warehouses 1 and 2 survived the bombing and they are the last examples of multi-storey dock warehouses from the late Georgian period (1802-3), so are listed Grade I. One warehouse nearby is the studio of Spitting Image, but even this will disappear in the huge development of offices and shops, with a proposed average height of 12 stories and to include three skyscrapers. No public inquiry has been held to investigate this gigantic project, which will bring 50,000 to 60,000 people into the area to work each day.

Suitable overawed by such staggering statistics, HADAS members re-boarded the coach and drove past the reasonably pleasant Heron Quay low-level development. Then came the South Dock which began as the City Canal, designed as a short cut to save time on the long tidal haul round the southern end of the Isle of Dogs but which ended disastrously when tolls were introduced. Clipper ships were later moored here, as readers of Conrad’s novels will recall.

The guide now pointed out that the red-brick area marked the “enterprise zone”. Surprisingly, Levanton’s Timber Wharf is still working and high quality steel also continues to be unloaded here. The highly up-to-date printing works of the Daily Telegraph appeared and then Millwall Docks, opened in 1868 and closed in 1980, now forming the heart of the London Docklands Development Corporation Enterprise Zone.

Here a notable Scottish flavour was evident, with the Scots Chapel and the Robert Burns public house provided for shipbuilding workers. The first iron ship, The Great Eastern, was built here in 1853-58. We also noted with satisfaction the self-build houses being constructed by local people here and the Ferry Horse pub, one of the oldest listed buildings on the Isle of Dogs.

At 1pm we arrived at the picturesque Island Gardens to eat our picnics and to admire the wonderful views of the Greenwich Naval College opposite and to peer into the murky entrance to the foot tunnel under the Thames. We re-entered the coach to learn that in the 19th century the Isle of Dogs was the main industrial centre of London, with shipbuilding yards down the east and west sides.

Then past the listed Gun pub and Nelson House where the Admiral is reputed to have met Lady Hamilton. Ahead we glimpsed the new international headquarters of Reuter’s contrasting with the old Dockmaster’s house converted into six flats. Here too was once the Blackwall yard where East India Company ships were built and where the Department of Greater London Archaeology hopes to conduct a large excavation, with expectations of Far Eastern finds. In Poplar Business Park is located the library and archive of the Dockland Museum, archives of the Thames Conservancy and of dock companies and the Port of London Authority.

The superb All Saints, Poplar, Church (built 1820) has, like many other Dockland churches, recently been cleaned. St Matthias, Poplar, built 1654 as a chapel for the East India Company, is the oldest known complete building in Docklands, has a fine Cromwellian interior and memorial to the company merchants. It will shortly be converted into a baroque music centre.

Thence into East India Dock Road, built 1810-20 by the East India Company to convey locked and guarded waggons with high value cargoes of tea and china to City auction rooms. Then we passed another new printing works – that of the Financial Times, built on the north basin of the Import Dock of the East India Company. Thence over the River Lea with a spectacular view of its meanders before it enters the Thames. Here we viewed the Pura Foods Group building, on the site of the Thames Plate Glass Works where much of the Crystal Palace glass was made. Pura has sponsored the “Museum on the Move” project to schools and other community groups.

Next appeared Silvertown, a community which grew up in the 1850s at the time of the building of the Victoria Docks, the first docks of the railway age and largest in the world. Along Victoria Dock Road and we passed the massive Royal Group of Docks, dating from the 1850s on (the last, George V, opened in 1921). Here too is the listed Connaught public house with its listed urinal outside I This was one of the focal points of the docks, where workers congregated each morning for the infamous “call-off” – waiting to be hired.

The coach drew up at forbidding security gates and the guard let us through after our guide had announced us as coming from the Museum of London. We were thrilled to see the Thames Barrier some way off to the left as we entered this bleak area, also the huge Co-operative and Spillers’ Millennium Mills.

In this arid area stands the fine huge restored “W” Warehouse (1882) which is now used as a store, restoration workshop and visitors’ centre by the Museum of London. There are plans to develop a large leisure and housing complex on this site and it is hoped that the Museum of the Docklands will be a key element. Although the guide claimed that this centre was only a taster for what the museum will be like, HADAS members were enthralled by the wealth of industrial archaeological material here relating to dockland trades and crafts – displays of cargo-handling equipment, tobacco weighing, ships’ chandlers’ workshops, tea handling equipment, cooperage, wine handling area, diving equipment, small river craft, shipwrights’ tools, riggers’ and printer’s workshops. Craftsmen sometimes give demonstrations here.

The guide amused us with a dock policeman’s fog stick – extremely long to enable the holder to locate the dock edge in a “pea-souper”. This marvellous collection is a preview of the Museum of the Docklands, due to open in 1990.

The coach then took us into the City Airport, through Beckton and back to Island Gardens, where, after thanking our guide, we joined a huge queue waiting patiently at one complicated and extremely slow- working ticket machine for passes to board the exciting Docklands Light Railway. When we had at last completed the ordeal by ticket and validation machines (taking about 20 minutes), we were rewarded by an exhilarating 15-minute roof-top ride with spectacular views as we passed through West India and Millwall Docks, to find our coach waiting for us at Tower Gateway, to make the way home.

Our gratitude, firstly, goes to our very friendly and jocular driver, who had unexpectedly been called from his bed on what should have been his day off, to replace the original driver, whose vehicle had been vandalised overnight. Our heartiest thanks, too, to our efficient, tireless and eloquent guide, Alex Werner, and, above all, to Dorothy Newbury for so unflappably and thoroughly organising such a fascinating and absorbing tour of London’s historic Dockland, where we saw a new city for the 21st century being created in an area boasting a colourful history stretching back to Roman times.

Dorothy Newbury adds the following footnote: It was with great pleasure that we had with us, in the full coach, a good percentage of outing “old-timers”. It was lovely to see you back. Please keep it up.

Bill Firth describes the visit to 11 (Fighter) Group Wartime Operations Centre at RAF Uxbridge on July 16

A party of 35, including a good representation from HADAS and members of two other societies, visited the operations centre, which was set up by the first commander of Fighter Command after its formation in 1936, Air Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding. It was ready for use in 1939.

The room acted as the nerve centre for 11 Group, which was responsible for the air defence of South East England, and through it information was fed, evaluated and acted on. By a system of visual displays, kept up to date by the plotters, mainly WAAF, up-to-the- minute information was available to the group controller and his liaison officers. They sat in a “gallery” overlooking the chart table, on which friendly and enemy aircraft movements were plotted, with other visual displays, such as aircraft and squadron availability and the local weather at fighter airfields, on the wall behind. The room is set up to represent operations on September 15, 1940 (Battle of Britain Day) when the greatest air battle the world had ever seen took place, and was effectively won.

The most interesting aspect of the afternoon was the presence in the party of a lady who had served as a WAAF on the teleprinters in the room through the battle and until 1943. She told us how on September 15 she found she could not read the telex because someone’s sleeve was in the way and she brushed it aside only to look up and discover that the arm belonged to Churchill, who happened to be visiting.

Warrant Officer Wren, one of whose RAF duties is to guide visitors round the centre, first gave us a factual account of how the room operated but then, by taking us through the Battle of Britain and particularly the events of September 15, 1940, he made the whole centre live. Afterwards we spent a long time in the museum in the gallery where there is an interesting collection of souvenirs, press cuttings and photographs of the time and many aeroplane models.

We are grateful to the Officer Commanding RAF Uxbridge for permission to visit the centre and to W/0 Wren for his excellent and enthusiastic guidance. Incidentally, the centre remained operational until 1958, but modern weapons and detection systems then rendered it obsolete.


Nell Penny delves into transatlantic history to describe a distinguished stranger in Mill Hill

As usual Brigid Grafton Green first spotted an American Ambassador in Hendon in 1801. My own interest in His Excellency Rufus King, American Minister at the Court of St James from 1796 to 1803 and again for a very short period 1824-2 5, was stimulated by a detailed study of the enumerators’ census notebooks for the first national census in 1801. Further stimulation was provided by one of my family, staying in the Queens’ district of New York, coming across a Rufus King Memorial Park with a museum – closed for refurbishing – on the northern tip of Manhattan Island.

Rufus King (1755-1827) was a New Englander, educated at Harvard and trained as a lawyer, gaining experience in the commercial and maritime fields. He represented New York in the infant Congress of the USA and as a senator helped frame the constitution which divided power between the federal government and the states. In 1796 he accepted the post of ambassador in London. His legal training and experience made him a good choice because the previous ambassador had negotiated a treaty with the United Kingdom which set up a commission to settle claims and counter-claims arising from British seizure of American ships and seamen trading with the French West Indies during the Revolutionary Wars which had started in 1789. A Harvard friend of King’s, John Trumbull, a portrait painter, was already in London as a member of this commission.

When King came to London he rented No 1 Great Cumberland Place, at the west end of Oxford Street, as his home and office. He had arrived in London with Mrs King and four sons under 10 years old.

I do not know when he first rented a house in Mill Hill as a holiday home within riding distance of London because the Hendon rate books for 1793-1800 are missing from the otherwise comprehensive Hendon archives held by Barnet Libraries. But he must have been in Mill Hill in 1799 when he wrote to his landlord Samuel Davies asking what wages he should pay the gardener. He commented that “if he works with the same alacrity that he talks, he must be an excellent servant”.

Which house in Mill Hill did Rufus King rent? Informed guesswork must furnish the answer, because the enumerator of 1801 did not name or number houses in the village. Rufus King was No 121 in Mr Buckingham’s book. He was recorded as having a male and a female servant and a gardener. Presumably Mrs King and the children were in London.

In the rate book for 1801 he paid £4 10s on a 6d rate for “a house and grounds” and 9s “for land”. A house with a rateable vale of £180 was no mean property; and a neighbour – No 123 – was Sir John William Anderson who lived at Holcombe House, now St Mary’s Abbey. So I am guessing that King rented a newish house, “Belmont” – now the preparatory department of Mill Hill School. “Belmont” had been built for Peter Hammond who bequeathed it to his daughter, the wife of Samuel Davies – “Somerset” Davies according to the Victoria County History of Middlesex. And Davies was King’s landlord.

The aforementioned John Trumbull also appears in Hendon records. The parish marriage register has an entry for October 1, 1800: the groom was John Trumbull, aged 44, of St Mary-le-Bone, who married Miss Sarah Hope Harvey, 26, by licence. Miss Harvey, “strikingly beautiful but socially unacceptable”, was rumoured to be the illegitimate daughter of Lord Thurlow. In a letter to a friend King said he gave away the bride, whom he first met in the church. After the ceremony he asked Trumbull the name of his bride. “Mrs Trumbull, Sir,” replied Trumbull before he whisked her away in a coach.

A great deal of my information about Rufus King comes from “Rufus King, American Federalist” by Robert Ernst, a book published by the University of North Carolina. This was recommended to me by an archivist of the Library of Congress, Washington DC, and borrowed, through Barnet Libraries, from the British Library.


Some further comments on Colin Renfrew’s recent book Archaeology and Language, from Brian Wrigley

On the very day I received my Newsletter No 206, containing Jean Snelling’s admirably concise commentary on this book, I also received by postcard from the public library to say that it was now available on my reservation. So, even if belatedly, I hope I may enter the discussion on Colin Renfrew’s theory, which has interested me ever since I first heard it at the Prehistoric Society Conference in 1985 (reported in Newsletter 171).

I said then that I thought it would stand as an important landmark in archaeology; having now read the book I still think so, and would like the theory to be true. However, in some ways I am troubled – the troubles partly arising because the book itself is so well written and constructed. Very logically, Professor Renfrew starts out in his first few chapters to clear the site of previous theories, before attempting to erect his own. The trouble is, he does such an effective demolition job that Chapters 1-6 induce in the reader (this reader at any rate) such an attitude of critical disbelief that by the time I embarked on Chapter 7, setting out the new theory, I found myself extremely sceptical and unready to accept any theory whatsoever without unassailable positive evidence! And does he produce positive evidence? Well, no, really – though to be fair, how could” anyone do so, in this kind of prehistoric context? But he does, at least, (and to my relief) make a case that his theory is at least consistent with known facts, and a more cohesive explanation of them than the previous theories he criticises.

There are other troubles. A theme that runs through the book is the danger of too-ready acceptance by philologists of archaeological theories, and by archaeologists of philological ones: and yet Professor Renfrew’s own “model” (pace Peter Pickering!) relies on acceptance of archaeological theories – e.g., particularly, Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza’s “wave-of-advance”, and the spread of domesticated plant and animal species across Europe from a Near Eastern homeland. Further, to fit into the model, that homeland has to be a “Proto-Indo-European”- speaking one, which can by no means be regarded as established. What of the Semitic-speaking areas which have similar claims to be the homeland of domesticated species? Did they not also have a wave-of-advance? Where did their wave-of-advance go to? Why did it not go so far or so fast as the Indo-European one? Why isn’t Semitic, rather than Indo-European, the “Ursprache” of, say, Scotland?

Encouraged by the author’s own demolition job, one also begins to wonder how reliable are the linguistic theories of development and relationship, particularly where they depend on reconstructed proto- languages or decipherment of long-dead scripts.

Yes, there are questions. But the hypothesis is to me so attractive that I can only hope that, in time, answers to these questions will be brought within it and, in whatever modified form, a generally accepted hypothesis will result. This book directs (or redirects) attention to questions which need answers and to fields of study which should not be ignored by archaeology, if we are to aim at the fullest possible picture of prehistory. Not only a landmark – also a signpost.

The HADAS views on Archaeology and Language have been brought to its author’s attention. He replied thus to Dorothy Newbury:

“How very kind of you to send me a copy of your latest Newsletter. I am so glad that my book is exciting interest and indeed comment. With good wishes, yours sincerely, Colin Renfrew”


There are plans afoot to celebrate this year’s centenary of the birth of poet T.S. Eliot with a week-long exhibition, readings of his works and lectures which promise much interest. Ann Saunders, HADAS member and much-appreciated speaker, is gathering together photographs to illustrate London references in his poems, at St Magnus the Martyr Church, Lower Thames Street, from September 2 7 to October 2. The church will also be the setting, on September 28, for lectures by Stella Mary Newton, set and costume designer for the original productions of Eliot’s first three plays, and Anne Lamb, expert on Eliot and his faith. More details, closer to the date, from Dr Saunders on 455 2171.


Archaeology classes will, it seems, be sparse locally this autumn. So early inquiry for the Golders Green WEA 10-meeting course on the Aztecs, Maya and their predecessors in Mexico and Central America, given by Ursula Jones on Thursdays (8pm to 10pm), starting September 29, might be advisable. Contact branch secretary Mrs P. Michaelson, 38 Dersingham Road, NW2 1SL (452 8850). There is also to be a new WEA class, on Greek Drama (tutor Dr Anne Ward, Wednesdays 8pm to 10pm, from September 28) at Hendon Library, details from 440 9430. WEA fees are £40 for two terms, pensioners £30, unemployed £6.


Gerrard Roots previews “A Present Prom…” Seaside Souvenir Pottery, at Church Farm House Museum until September 18.

The exhibition shows about 120 pieces of this once enormously popular pictorial pottery, turned out in vast quantities for the “trippers” who came to Margate, Brighton, Worthing, Clacton and Rhyl in the heyday of the British seaside holiday from the 1880s to 1914. Mass- produced, mostly in Germany and Austria, the pottery was superseded by the picture postcard, and it finally virtually disappeared with the onset of World War One.

Cheap, sometimes crude in design and colour, but often – thanks to the then rapid advances in photographic transfer printing on ceramic – attractive and colourful, this pottery is a reminder of a major British social phenomenon – the holiday by the sea.

Church Farm House Museum. Greyhound Hill, Hendon, is open Monday to Saturday (except Tuesday) 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5.30pm; Tuesday 10am to 1pm, Sunday 2pm to 5.30pm.


Refugee from Nazism, at the London Museum of Jewish Life in Finchley, is the moving story of one of the 60,000 who escaped from the Nazis’ clutches. The central figure is Hilda Schindler, from a prosperous and well-educated Berlin family, who had to go into domestic service to permit her flight to England. The detailed account of her experiences, with a rich archive of relevant documents and photographs, is chillingly effective in bringing too-recent history to life.

The London Museum of Jewish Life is at 80 East End Road, N3, and the exhibition is open Sunday to Thursday 10.30am to 4.30pm, Friday 10.30am to 3.30pm, until August 14.

All the King’s Men…, at the British Library galleries in the British Museum, celebrates the tercentenary of the Glorious Revolution, which saw Catholic James II replaced by Protestant William and Mary and gave a great boost to constitutional government in England. This exhibition, full of the most remarkable contemporary documents and illustrations, puts the whole affair in its European setting and focuses on some of the major non-royal participants, who were as adept at shifting allegiances to suit personal fame and fortune as in honourably aiding the Causes they publicly supported. Look out for such highlights as the “secret treaty” of Dover, bought by the British Library last year for £317,000, in which Charles II sold his soul, effectively, to Louis XIV for cash and soldiers and then thought better of it, and a letter in Louis’ own hand addressing James as his “brother”. Centrepiece is a huge map of Europe, illustrating the changing boundaries in 1688, under a canopy of the blazing Sun King.

The exhibition continues until mid-November.

Fire Over Hampstead
is an Armada celebration, heavily pro-British in tone and particularly interesting for its exploration of the history of the beacon warning system. It shows that the Hampstead beacon was at the top of the Heath, beside Whitestone Pond, not on Parliament Hill where the 1988 anniversary fire was lit – and that that, with the 400-plus others round the country, should more properly have been lit on July 29 than July 19.

The display, particularly aimed at children, is at Burgh House, New End Square, Hampstead, until September 25, open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5pm.


A HADAS member is looking for someone to speak to a small local group on the subject of family history. Please ring Mr Hutchings, 205 4899, if you can help.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

NEWSLETTER 208: July 1988 Edited by Christine Arnott


Saturday 16th July
Outing to Docklands. Details and application form enclosed.

Bill Firth’s visit to RAF operations room is now full.

Saturday 20th August
Outing to Thornborough Barrows, Buckingham, and Winslow Hall.

Saturday 10th September Charterhouse tour with Mary O’Connell.

Saturday 8th October Stepney walk with Muriel Large.

Saturday 15th October Minimart.

As cancellations and empty places do occur, for late applications ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950).


Vanessa Bond, a member who is an actress, is appearing in a summer show at the Hippodrome, Eastbourne.

Dr. Ann Saunders, whose book entitled “The Art and Architecture of London” has a foreword by the Duke of Edinburgh, is now issued in paperback at £12.95. This is an illustrated guide.

Reva Brown, One of our newsletter editors, has been awarded a studentship to study full-time. She has given up her job as lecturer at the Hendon College of Further Education and has been accepted by Bradford University to study for a Ph.D. in Management. Congratulations!

Gillian Braithwaite, who has done so much for the society, is leaving us – at least temporarily. She directed our excavations last year at Brockley Hill and now is going to Moscow where her husband, Rodric, has been appointed as British Ambassador. Incidentally he received the K.C.M.G. in the recent Birthday Honours List.

For the next three years they will be living in a “sugar-plum fairy’ palace overlooking the Kremlin. They are both delighted with the posting as they have always been Russian experts. After reading Russian at Cambridge, Rodric’s first diplomatic posting over 20 years ago was to Poland, where Gillian began learning Polish. Subsequently they were posted to Russia, where she studied Russian. Although her original London degree was in French and Italian, she has subsequently taken a degree in Archaeology at the London Institute. Travelling the world with her husband, her well-known paper on Romano-British face urns was written while living in the Embassy in Washington.

We all wish her well in the new life and certainly HADAS members will now listen to the news from Moscow with a special and personal interest.

Helen Pickering. By a strange coincidence, Helen, the daughter of Peter Pickering, a member for many years, will also be going to the Embassy in Moscow this summer. Her post, though much humbler, will also be onerous, that of vice-consul. 

Paddy Musgrove Sadly we have to report the death of one of our most valued members. Below is printed an appreciation of him from Brigid Grafton Green.


It was sad and shocking to hear of the death of Paddy Musgrove. In the 15 years that he was a member he had become a part of HADAS life – at lectures, on outings, as an active differ and as a meticulous researcher. When he and his wife Margaret joined, in April 1973, Paddy described his interests as mainly prehistory and the Roman period in Britain; adding, with that bit of a brogue that never left him – “and Ireland, of course.”

He dived straight in at the deep end as regards HADAS activities. He had been a member only two days when he turned up for a Brockley Hill pottery session at the Teahouse; that summer he was digging at Church End, Hendon; and in July he and Margaret set up the first ever HADAS stall at Finchley carnival and stewarded it.

Their interests were wide and different. She was an expert at light-hearted quizzes, providing Twenty Questions on every subject from middens to strigils for the HADAS Christmas party. When she died in 1976 a lot of joy must have gone out of Paddy’s life. He threw himself more vigorously into the affairs of the two local societies in which he was interested – HADAS and the Finchley Society, of which he later became Chairman.

For HADAS he made himself into a specialist in the tricky technique of dating hedges from the species contained in them, eventually identifying two historic hedges in our area – the one which meanders across Lyttelton Playing Fields in Hampstead Garden Suburb, marking the north-west boundary of the Bishop of London’s estate from time immemorial; and the hedge which crosses Old Fold golf course at Hadley, which local legend claims as the “hedgesyde (under which) were redy assembled a great people, in array, of th’Erle of Warwike” before the Battle of Barnet in April 1471. There was a good dash of scholarly caution about Paddy. Having placed the date of planting of that hedge at probably around late 14C he added drily “it is possible that local tradition just could be correct.”

Parish boundaries – and particularly the remains of the boundary stones which marked them – were another speciality. In 1975 he undertook, for the Research Committee, the investigation of the parish boundaries of the Borough of Barnet. It was right up his street, because he loved working with maps; and when he handed the project on, in 1977, to Pete Griffiths to organise, he had put in two years intensive work on it.

Because of his other interests there, Paddy was always ready to undertake any archaeological work in Finchley, such as site-watching the building of the big Tesco store in Church End in 1978. He directed digs at the site of the old Rectory in Finchley and at adjacent Church Crescent, uncovering on made-up land, not the stratification for which he had hoped, but a mixture of artefacts ranging from half a dozen mesolithic flakes to pottery from the 12C to the 20C. His “short, sharp dig” in the basement of Finchley Manor House put another local legend to rest by producing the important basic fact that the cellar flagstones were contemporary with the main building (1723). They were not the floor of the original medieval manor which, it had been suggested, might have been on the exact same site.

After retiring as a Pan-Am administrator, Paddy had a chance to cultivate his many talents. Among them was first-class writing ability. He provided the Newsletter with many interesting articles on subjects as diverse as the evils of treasure-hunting and the joys of digging a Bronze Age promontory fort with our revered President, Professor Grimes – Paddy’s holiday occupation in many recent summers. He was a natural to report our most famous “outing”, calling his article “The Adventures of HADAS in Orkney”. 

Finally, here’s an example of Paddy’s careful observation and meticulous recording. In December 1978 we had been discussing what line Roman Watling Street might have followed at Brockley Hill, and Paddy said “I believe I saw the Roman road under the modern road 25 years ago when the Electricity Board opened a trench across the road.” Later he rang me up. “I’ve checked that,” he said. “It was in 1954, when Philip Suggett was digging at Brockley Hill. I wrote and told him that I had seen, in the section, a portion of the Roman roadway – coarse rammed gravel, at a surprisingly sharp camber – 4 to 5ft below modern road surface. I have the carbon of my letter to Suggett in front of me now.” Add to acute observation a splendid filing system

I shall miss Paddy horribly; and I’m sure that, in saying so, I voice the feelings of his many HADAS friends.

– Those members who missed the extremely interesting lecture by Gustav Milne on recent excavations in the City might like to know that we have purchased his book on the subject, and it is in the HADAS library (librarian June Porges, 346 5078).

Brian Wrigley’s letter concerning the site of the Paddock in the Burroughs, and suggesting it as the Hendon village green was given prominence in the “Hendon Times I’ The publication gave rise to a good deal of discussion among local residents.

HADAS is also working with others to persuade the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission to register our concern over the proposed developments at The Manor House, Finchley. If the development is given consent, HADAS is urging that the developer should provide for a proper archaeological investigation by the Museum of London.


With the current interest in medieval Barnet aroused by HADAS’s activities at Stapylton Road and St. John’s Church, it may be useful to draw attention to an important documentary source which has never been fully exploited. The manor of Barnet belonged until the Reformation to St. Alban’s Abbey and a court book for the manor covering the years 1246-1537 survives in the British Library as Additional MS 40167. It was extensively used by Professor Levett during her researches into the St. Alban’s estates, and although she did not live to complete her work much of it, including a description of and frequent references from the court book can be found in A.E. Levett: “Studies in Manorial History,” OUP 1938, reprinted 1963.

Professor Levett was not however concerned with detailed local topography and the court book does not ever seem to have been looked at from this perspective. During a brief preliminary examination I made several interesting discoveries, and I am sure that a more prolonged study would yield others. The book comprises extensive extracts made from the original court rolls, which do not survive. Although it did not begin to be compiled until 1355 the extracts are verbatim and are accurate and reliable.

Until 1350, one undivided court was held for the whole manor, and the name ‘Barnet’ was often used for the whole area. The two settlements, Chipping and East, are however sometimes distinguished in even the earliest entries. The name ‘Chipping’ is first used in 1323-4 and quickly becomes standard. The earlier standard form for the town, though, and this is a point which seems to have escaped the compilers of the Place-Name Society’s volume for Hertfordshire and all subsequent commentators, was Barnetley. Thus an entry for February 1249 records that the men of ‘Barnetleye’ and the men of ‘Estbarnet’ both pay 15s. in tallage. (This entry is transcribed in Levett, p.327). In 1263 an edict was given ‘hominibus de la Barnet viz. tam de la leye quam aliis’ (to the men of Barnet viz. both of la leye and the rest) to elect a reeve. The term was probably already becoming archaic, and what was by now the main settlement in the manor was often referred to as the town of Barnet (villa de Barnet), la Barnet, or simply Barnet. The older usage still survived, though until its complete replacement by Chipping Barnet, probably in the 1330s. In 1273, for instance, an enquiry was made ‘per totam villatam de la Leye’ concerning a property ‘in villa de la Barnetleye’. The forms Leyebarnet and in la Leye are also found. ‘Ley’ in wooded areas such as this means a clearing, and of course it also occurs locally in both Hadley and Finchley. East Barnet rather than Barnetley must have been the original settlement within Barnet since it had the parish church.

There is a lot of other interesting place-name evidence in the book which would richly repay detailed study. Of particular importance are the references to Southaw, which was an extensive area, and to the county boundary (le Schiremare de Middelsex), since these might shed light on more general problems of early settlement. There are also a number of quite early references to such places as Grindelsgate (Barnet Lane), where the manor court was sometimes held, Old Fold, Potters Lane and Mays Lane as well as many fields and crofts, many of them taking their names from the local families some of whose known histories could also be enlarged.

Within Chipping Barnet, some specific topographical references may be of particular interest. First, although we know that the market existed at least by 1199 when it received a royal charter, and therefore well before the earliest date of the court book, archaeologists might like to know of references to buildings in the market place (in mercato). The earliest which I noticed occurred in 1261-2. There are also some references to buildings within South Mimms parish, i.e. west of the High Street. At a preliminary glance the number of buildings in the town as a whole seems to have increased considerably during the 15th century, but this would need systematic study.

Finally, the court book provides what are currently by far our earliest references to St. John’s church. A court held on Monday 28 November 1272 recorded that Galien Smith had transferred ‘ad hostium ecclesie de Barnet quodam parcum messuagium suum in Barnet’ (at the door of the church of Barnet a certain small messuage of his in Barnet). Barnet used in a context like this seems always to mean Chipping rather than East, but if any doubt remains the next reference which I noted (and I may have missed others) is unambiguous. This occurs on 2 June 1305 when a property is described as ‘iuxta cimiterium sancti Johannis in le Barnet’ (next to the cemetery of St. John in Barnet).

It is hoped that a microfilm of the court book will soon be available at the borough’s archives and Local Studies Department at Egerton Gardens.

GOVERNMENT OBSERVED – An exhibition at Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, NW4

Have you seen the first ballot box used in a British election, or Clement Attlee’s own typewritten report on his cabinet colleagues, or Hogarth’s vivid paintings of corrupt 18thC Electioneering, a Whip’s ‘wand’ or an Ecu, which may become European currency? No? Then visit this exhibition, organised by a HADAS member.

Open daily 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5.30 pm, except Tuesday afternoons and Sunday mornings, 11th June to 24th July 1988. Admission free.

Aubrey and Valerie Hodes

A glorious summer day for a right royal excursion to Windsor Castle. Unfortunately, it was also F.A. cup final day, among other rival events, so the attendance was low, only 23 people. Undaunted, we travelled beside the Thames at Runnymede and saw the site where Magna Carta was signed in 1215 and the memorial to J.F. Kennedy erected. We arrived in Windsor in time for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. After we went to St. George’s Chapel, begun in 1475, one of the most dazzling late Gothic buildings in England. We saw the joint tomb of Henry VIII and his wife Jane Seymour; next lay the remains of King Charles I brought here secretly after his execution in Whitehall in 1649. The simple dignity of the tomb of King George VI contrasted with the florid, heavily ornamented memorial chapel to Victoria’s beloved Albert.

We moved on to the State Apartments, richly embellished during the reigns of George III and George IV. Here we were impressed by the magnificent paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens and Rembrandt, fine chandeliers and carpets, tapestries, suits of armour and ornate furniture. In the midst of these displays of pomp and circumstance, we came across the tiny box containing the bullet that robbed Nelson of his life at the battle of Trafalgar, and this will linger longest in the memory.

After separating for lunch some of us walked by the river, admiring the swans; others explored the antique shops of Eton or watched morris dancing outside the old pub – the Donkey House. A few of us visited the house built by Christopher Wren for himself in 1676, when he was the member of Parliament for Old Windsor, with its original oak panelling and drawing room. It is now an hotel.

After lunch we met our tour leaders, Dorothy Newbury and Ted Sammes, outside the Royalty and Empire exhibition, run by Madame Tussauds. This recreates the day in 1897 when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. She is shown arriving in Windsor on the royal train; the little old lady in black, surrounded by some members of her family, reviewing the guard of honour. In the little theatre, a video showed Victoria, Albert, Benjamin Disraeli and Charles Dickens, talking and gesticulating as naturally as if they were not made of wax.

Then we set off for home, passing the splendid pile of Hampton Court, David Garrick’s house, Alexander Pope’s villa and the horse chestnut avenues of Bushey Park, to end a thoroughly delightful day full of history, pageantry and tradition.

OUTING TO FLAG FEN – 11th June 1988 Ann Lawson

We could have been forgiven if we had thought that another ice age was engulfing these islands on this June day. A N.E. wind was blowing in from the Wash, chilling us all as we filed from the HADAS coach and alighted on the Roman road that had straddled the Fens 900 years after the Bronze Age farmers had built this island in the shallow waters of the Fens.

The site, a man-made island about 2-3 acres, of which 2% is currently being excavated. These villages, built in the middle of lakes, must have been sited with defence as the main objective. The environment was cold, wet and in constant danger of variable flooding. The island may have housed a ruling family and could therefore have been seen as a symbol of power to all around.

Dr. Francis Pryor showed us the small area being excavated with the enthusiasm of all great archaeologists. In 1983 when field-walking along a newly-cleared dyke, he saw shaped logs and planks protruding all along the dyke sides. During the next three weeks he and his team had found thousands of timbers, some worked by expert carpenters – some roughly hewn, all showed clearly tool marks and the fact that the trunks had been split lengthways. The British Museum has dated the site to 1000 BC and some of the oak trunks were found to be 200 years old when felled and probably cut in the primeval forest, some seven miles to the west of the site. Apart from oak, alder, willow and ash, all indigenous to the area, were used.

The edges of the island were made of stout timbers, some cut trunks and some planks, and laid in a criss-cross way; this was built up to make a substantial edge and walk-way round the island. Even the very large planks had been split, some measuring 50 cms wide and 30 metres long.

We now made our way (gratefully) into the covered excavation with its viewing platform. A large rectangular building is in the process of being uncovered and has to be continually sprayed with water. The building is approximately 20 metres long and 6 metres wide; the collapsed walls and supports were thick and built with cavity walls. The wall posts were 70 cms across and were pegged with mortice and tenon joints, as were the door lintels and roof supports. The house would have been thatched. Charred wood has been found but no sign of hearths.

The floor was a continuation of the “island floor”, layer upon layer of wood being remade time after time through 300-400 years in an on-going effort to keep the water at bay. The criss-cross of wood covered with sand and gravel each time a new layer of wood was laid down.

In the successive layers of gravel pottery sherds, animal bones, vegetable seeds and pollen have been found; a few flint tools, a bracelet and a dagger, the last two being on view in the British Museum. The whole area was flooded about 700BC. As the water level rose the island was abandoned and the farmers with their cattle probably moved westwards on to marginally higher ground.

It is hard to realise that 3000 years ago the land-table on which we were standing and the water level would have been 10ft. higher than today. This is the story of the drainage of the wetlands in this part of Britain. There is no evidence that the Romans had any drainage system, although the area was settled in the 1st and 2nd centuries; some attempt at drainage was made in early medieval times, but the 17th and 18th centuries saw the beginning of drainage on the grand scale and now the archaeologists must work fast before the wet peat and alluvial clays dry out.

The afternoon found us in Peterborough to look at the Norman Cathedral and the Museum. The cathedral, a superb example of Romanesque architecture, still dominates the modern town. The painted wooden ceiling dates from about 1220 and is unique in England. The herb garden in the old cloisters should not be missed, though the cloisters were badly damaged by Roundheads in 1643. In Priestgate is the Museum, where one is led through pre-history to the present day comprehensively.

There is only one way to end this account of a most enjoyable day, to give many thanks and congratulations to Dorothy for the unflappable organisation of the trip.


An account from Clodagh Pritchard to whet the appetites of any HADAS members who would like to visit this area of Italy!

Owing to a “little problem”, so we were told, our plane, bound for Rome, took off two hours later than expected. Consequently, the three-hour coach drive to Naples was completed in darkness. It was only on the return journey, nine days later, that I realized there is no stretch of real country between the two cities. The land, through which the motorway runs, lies between mountain ranges and it is cultivated and built up all the way.

Apart from its beautiful situation on the Bay, present day Naples is not a city to enjoy a walk in. Cars are parked on most of the pavements, and the constant flow of cars, buses and the manoeuvres of motor bicycles carrying one or more passengers, (complete with umbrella up if it is raining) is very confusing. There is a “spaghetti junction” to connect the lower city with the upper heights which defies the pedestrian. However, we moved about easily in a luxurious, air-conditioned coach, and only on rare occasions did we walk the streets to visit a church or cathedral.

The Archaeological Museum is housed in a palatial building which was distinctly chilly in the early morning. School parties were being introduced to the many treasures exhibited therein; and we had to take our turn to see the mosaics, frescoes and tempera painting from Pompeii and Herculaneum, the finds from these and other sites and the collection of bronzes. That afternoon, we drove out along the motorway to Cuma to the cave of the Cumean Sibyl, and on a sunny afternoon, to enjoy a walk up to the Citadel and on to the Temple of Jupiter at the summit. On the way back to Naples we stopped at Baia, a place where many notable Romans built sumptuous seaside villas; mosaic floors in situ and the remains of the public baths complex are still to be seen there.

The Palazzo Reale at Caserta was built in 1752-74 for Charles III of Bourbon. It was intended to rival Versailles. The State Apartments are very grand, but I found the smaller rooms with fireplaces, books, musical instruments and landscape paintings more pleasing. The grounds are so extensive that tourists are advised to take a bus to and from the Palace to the Cascade and the famous “Diana and Actaeon” fountain at the limit of the Park. The so-called “English Garden” gave us a walk before our return to the Palace and the postcard shop. Because of the climate and the heat in summer, there are no colourful bedding plants to please the eye. Well-kept hedges form the background to innumerable statues and the parkland provides ample space for Italian families to enjoy their leisure. The next morning we spent in Naples, and because our coach could not take us, we made our journeys on foot through the narrow streets to visit the Cathedral and several Churches.

Later we were collected again and taken to the beautiful, early nineteenth century Villa Floridana which houses a famous collection of porcelain and ceramics. At the back of the Villa, a flight of steps leads down to a terrace which overlooks the Bay of Naples and the port area of the city.

Capodimonte is a Royal Palace in Naples. Again the state rooms were chilly for our morning visit. The picture gallery has works by Titian, Holbein, Rubens, Caravaggio, Cariacci and many artists whose names and works are familiar in other European galleries. To end this day our driver drove us half-way up Vesuvius, and the most energetic members of our party were allowed time – about 45 minutes – to walk up to the crater. The sun was setting in a cloudless sky, and many other people were on their way up from, and down to the level of the tourist centre where our coach was parked.

On our way to Pompeii we stopped first at Oplontis, a large Roman Villa not yet open to the public and still under excavation. The inhabitants are thought to have had warning of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, because no human or animal bones have been discovered there. The wall- paintings at Oplontis are remarkable for their vivid colours and almost perfect state of preservation. The layout of the garden has been carefully recorded. Environmental research has revealed what plants and trees grew there in Roman times, and it is planned to replant the garden as it was originally laid out. After this site both Herculaneum and Pompeii were a little disappointing. There was much ground to be covered on foot in order to see important houses where wall-paintings and artefacts we had seen in the Museum were found, or in the case of Pompeii, plaster casts of the human figures and a dog, where they had been overcome and died in AD 79.

We went by hydrofoil to Capri on a Sunday. So did a great many other people. There was a little peace and quiet there in a monastery garden overlooking the sea. A bus ride took us to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele where Axel Munthe lived and wrote his famous book,(“The Story of San Michele”). The Villa Ioris, built on a remote promontory by the Emperor Tiberius, involved a long and arduous walk, not recommended for the older members of our party.

Salerno is a modern container port. We stayed there for four nights and ended our tour with a visit to Amalfi, Ravello and Paestum. We were held up for some time on the spectacular coast road to Amalfi by meeting a similar coach on a bend in the narrow road. Cars piled up fore and aft, Vespas sped up to the impasse and some were able to squeeze through. Several patient drivers left their cars and eventually sorted out the chaos and then, because of the delay, we took the mountain road to Amalfi. In this part of Italy, and at this time of year (mid-April) vines, orange and lemon trees, vegetable gardens are all shrouded in black polythene nets giving the sunlit landscape a funereal look. Why is this? Because of the risk of sudden hailstorms; no-one guessed the correct answer! The cathedrals at Amalfi and Ravello are very impressive and the Villa Rufolo at Revallo, high up the hillside, has a pleasant garden with a lovely view over sea and land.

On our last day we went to Paestum. Again, much more time was needed to fully appreciate the Greek Temples in this lovely, open site and the splendid Museum across the road.

On our return journey there was another “little problem” on our flight from Rome to Heathrow, but only one hour’s delay this time.


There are several interesting sites we hope to do some excavation on during this summer – unhappily, at the time of going to press we are still on tenterhooks with all of them, as to when they will be available for us to make a start! However, we are sure there will be an opportunity, somewhere, during July, and if you are interested in digging or fieldwalking or resistance survey, the best thing to do will be to let one of the three people following know, so that when one of these chances crystallizes, we can get in touch to muster up a team;

Brian Wrigley 21 Woodcroft Avenue NW7 2AH 959 5982

Victor Jones 78 Temple Fortune Avenue NW11 7TT 458 6180

John Enderby 19 Chatsworth Avenue NW4 203 2630

The sites possible are:

The Burroughs NW4 – proposed development in the grounds of St. Joseph’s Convent backing on to Burroughs Gardens where Ted Sammes found Saxon and medieval material.

62 High Street, High Barnet – area at the rear adjoins the area where remains of a building circa 1400 were found in the 1930’s.

Rear of Salisbury Hotel, High Barnet – possibility of finds from the retreat from the Battle of Barnet.

The Cottons, Mays Lane, Barnet – proposed development is near where medieval pottery was found in the 1950’s.

CHURCH TERRACE”REVISITED”, a trailed slip-ware dish. TED SAMMES.

Recently, March 1988, Dorothy Newbury drew the attention of John Enderby and myself to the trenches being dug by the Electricity Authority across the site. Grid ref. TQ 2289 8953.

Two trenches were dug by the workmen, one close to the main road at Church End Hendon close to the spot where we found Roman material in 1974. The second trench was at the S.E. corner in part of the site which was not excavated by us in 1974.At that time a very full range of Post Medieval pottery was found. Two categories were missing, salt-glazed stoneware, Bellarmine and Metropolitan trailed slip-ware.

In March the trench near the church produced only broken pieces of post-med peg roofing tiles. John Enderby was able to look when the second trench was open at the S.E. corner of the site. This trench cut through a layer of dark soil and also there were areas which were much reddened. I suspect that these do not reflect fires on the site but are brick dust. This was certainly vised in the road foundations of Brampton Grove, Hendon and could have been used in the original road, foundations for Church Terrace. The course of this road was diverted in 1975.

John found a very small piece of salt-glazed stoneware, probably from a Bellarmine bottle (mid 16 th c or later). More interestingly was a sherd in redware, part of a shallow dish with a white slip pattern, see drawing above.

The dish had an external diameter of 360 mm.(142″ inches)and was 58mm inches) deep. It was only glazed internally and had a white trailed slip pattern under the lead glaze. Such a pattern could have been produced using a cut off quill, through which liquid slip flowed, producing a simple pattern. The lead glaze would then have been put over the whole of the inside and later the dish was fired.

The date of the dish is probably mid to late 18th century and could have originated from the Harlow kilns in Essex.

Such pottery was made at many places, amongst them, North Staffordshire, Kent, Derbyshire, Sussex, Cheshire and Devonshire.

For further readings-

Post-Medieval Pottery, Jo Draper, Shire Archaeology No. 40,1984.


In 1970, as part of the work which we were doing in collaboration with The Greater London Industrial Archaeological Society I produced a map showing the milestones I had been able to trace within the present London Borough of Barnet, This work, with other material was part of our exhibition at their A.G.M. held at the Institute of Archaeology on July 4th that year. Since then I have continued to take an interest in milestones. It was with pleasure that I saw that the eighth milestone from London , close to Hendon Park Cemetery, which with the passage of time had sunk, had recently been dug out and re-erected as part of the rebuilding in the area. Congratulations to all who were responsible for its re-instatement.

There would seem to have been eleven in the series. Mileages were measured from traditional points in London, used in stage coach days; e.g. Hick’s Hall (St. John’s St. EC1),Tyburn Turnpike (Marble Arch), Hyde Park, Charing Cross, St Giles Pound. Our stones were probably erected about 1751 since Peter Collinson, Botanist, who came to live at Ridgeway House in 1749 wrote in 1752 that they were then newly erected.

All are of hard limestone and inscribed simply with the distance from London. With one exception, Noll, they are all on the lefthand side of the road coming from London.

The locations of those in our area are:-

IV. 4 miles from London, near Whitestone pond at N. end of Hampstead Grove. I suspect that this stone which reads IV miles from St. Giles Pound is not T measured from the same point as only 3/4 mile separates it from the site of No.5 and the rest. It seems reasonable to assume that our stones, which are in the old Hendon parish, are measured from near Charing Cross. That there are differences is not surprising since there was no National road authority, each parish doing what it believed to be correct.

V. Missing, would have been roughly opposite Welgarth Rd. I think it is preserved behind Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon. NW4

VI. Was by the pub. signpost of the White Swan, Golders Green Rd. until the 1960’s.

VII Built into a wall, between shops in Brent St. between Lodge Rd. & Church Rd.

VIII In Holders Hill Rd. just before Hendon Crematorium, recently re-erected.

IX. At top of Bittacy Hill, in front garden of No. 8, Evergreens.

X. Almost completely buried in the grass on Mill Hill Ridgeway, about 20ft. west of the War Memorial.

XI. When last noted it was lying in the right-hand verge in Highwood Hill, close to the junction with Hendon Wood Lane.

For further reading; HADAS, Newsletters Nos. 4 and 22.

Trans. LAMAS, Vol VII, PtII, 1935,pg327.

Money, Milk & Milestones, HADAS, Occasional Paper No. 3, 1976. Now out of print.


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NEWSLETTER 207: JUNE 1988 Edited by Deirdre Barrie


Saturday June 11th Outing to Flag Fen and Peterborough. Dr Francis Pryor has excavated on this site for many years. It is a Bronze Age village in the Fens with very well-preserved timbers and a model of it in the middle of a lake. This site is one of the finalists for the Hepworth Awards. Details and application form enclosed.

Saturday July 16th Outing to London Dockland

Saturday August 20th Outing to Buckinghamshire

Derbyshire Weekend Peter Griffiths has had to go to America again and regrettably we will have to cancel our weekend away this year. Perhaps we can arrange it for early next year instead.

I would again remind members to contact me (Dorothy Newbury, 01-203 0950) right up to the last minute if they find they can join an outing. We had 3 late cancellations for the Armada which we were able to fill – in fact we went over the numbers and some members had to be turned down.

Saturday September 10th Charterhouse Tour with Mary O’Connell

Saturday October 8th Stepney Walk with Muriel Large

Saturday October 15th Minimart


HADAS has found its “hidden passage” – the ice-house in the grounds of St Joseph’s Convent in The Burroughs, Hendon. We have had our eye on this enigmatic mound ever since Bridget Grafton Green wrote a characteristically percipient article about it in the Newsletter of June 1978. Now that development is threatened in the vicinity, the time has come to put a spade into the ground and open up the mound.

Our first weekend (30th April – 1st May), we dug in vain. It was difficult to know where to begin, so we stuck probes in everywhere, began to survey the mound, and opened up a number of small holes in different spots. The obvious approaches were all fruitless. A trench on the northern edge of the mound simply revealed clay. On the top of the mound, there was a brick plinth which formerly held a statue of the Madonna but excavation soon revealed that this was not the top opening to the ice-house, but that the bricks were set directly on the clay. Another small brick foundation also proved to be just one brick thick.

Success came in the second weekend, the 7th and 8th May. Brian Wrigley and Victor Jones decided to approach the problem systematically so they opened a trench 5 metres long, 2 metres to the north of the apex of the mound. This did the trick, and just over a metre down they found the stone barrel-vaulting of the entrance passage to the chamber. The trench proved to be extremely well sited, for further excavation revealed that this was precisely the point where the entrance passage joined the’ dome of the ice-house. It was soon clear why we had not found the entrance earlier: it was sited indeed on the north side of the ice-house but at an angle to the modern path, and we had assumed it would be at right angles to the modern path. We began excavating along the projected line of the passage to find the entrance. Tension rose as we all began scraping away, eager to find the hidden arch. Suddenly I realised that I was in luck, for the earth fell away from beneath my spade and I could see a black void disappearing towards the centre of the mound. We’d found it I

Everyone crowded eagerly around, and we pushed the probe into the darkness: there was nothing there! Unfortunately it was already time to pack up, so reluctantly we backfilled the blank trenches and made the site safe. However, Tuesday, (May 10) was the AGM, when Sylvia Beamon, the President of Subterranea Britannica came to give us a talk on ice-houses. We had found the entrance just in time, and she was able to inspect it in the gloaming.

The following weekend, May 14th and 15th, we returned again and we dug out the entrance to a depth of nearly a metre. It was Brian Wrigley who was the brave man who first crawled down the passage and reported that the air appeared to be fresh and that both the entrance passage and the ice-house itself appeared to be in excellent condition. It is a straight entrance passage, about 5 paces long, leading into a circular chamber with a vaulted roof. There is no entrance in the roof, and the belly of the ice-house is filled up to the level of the entrance. We did however make one remarkable discovery, of a statue of the Madonna. This had been smashed into small pieces, but it was presumably the Madonna who originally stood on the top of the mound. The paint was still remarkably well preserved.

When was the ice house built? Nell Penny is busy pursuing the documentary history of the area, so far without success. The Deeds of Norden Court, in whose grounds the ice house stands, are not in the Borough Records and are presumably still held by the Convent. When we can track them down we hope that they will be able to throw some documentary light on the archaeological discoveries.


This is the title of a consultation paper issued by the D.O.E. It asks for comments on the questions posed, by April 30th – totally insufficient time for Amateur Societies to take appropriate action.

The text of the document appears not to know or recognise the existence of non-professional archaeologists.

It is an attempt to improve the legislation on treasure-hunting and treasure trove, a measure long overdue. It would require finds to be reported in a specified time to authorities to be decided. Obviously ALL finds cannot be reported and it must be confined to objects of metal (bronze and precious metals), also some consideration should be given to stone implements.

This paper was discussed by the Working Party for London Archaeology on April 7th, and a submission will be made.

“British Archaeological News” for April 1988 carried the comments of the C.B.A. on its front page. They conclude that it is a “serious and well-drafted paper, and merits the closest study from the whole archaeological community, since the future of the study of the historical heritage may depend upon it.”

Copies of the consultation paper are obtainable from Peter Wright, D.O.E. Heritage Sponsorship, Division 3, Room 241, Lambeth Bridge House, London SE1 7SB.

Our Chairman, Andrew Selkirk, also has strong feelings on this subject, and considers the scheme totally unworkable. It would mean that any of us who stoops down and picks up a piece of flint will become a criminal unless he reports it to the “professionals”. A piece on the subject will shortly be appearing in “Current Archaeology”.


The business part of the meeting was speedily and efficiently carried out by Andrew Selkirk, Brian Wrigley, Victor Jones and Ted Sammes. Reports on the work of the Society during the past year and new developments facing us in the coming year, the good state of the finances and confirmation of existing officers and committee members were soon completed so that we could turn to the second half of the evening – the 3 speakers dealing with Ice-Houses, Bronze Age Swords and the Brockley Hill excavation of 1987.

The subject of Ice-Houses was especially relevant as the Society is excavating the mound at the back of St Joseph’s Convent in Hendon, and by chance Brian Wrigley reported that the entrance to the mound had been found that day, proving that the mound is an ice-house. Mrs Beamon gave a very informative account of the history of ice-houses, most of which date from the 17th and 18th centuries. They have various forms, but the most efficient is egg-shaped, built of brick, partly below ground and with a door and passage leading from them. Ice is packed in with alternate layers of straw and the ice is taken out as required. Some ice-houses were built in fishing areas, often at ground level, and the ice was taken on board ship to pack the fish in, and this continued until refrigeration was introduced. Very surprisingly, Mrs Beamon has traced the names of 3000 known ice-houses which will appear in her forthcoming book.

Brian Wrigley followed with a cut and thrust speech about Bronze Age swords, made especially interesting since he approached the subject as a fencer and so we learnt about the practical use of such swords, rather than looking at their artistic value. From this it seems that the shorter dagger-like sword may have been in use before the longer one.

Finally Gillian Braithwaite described the Brockley Hill excavation of 1987 and her slides reminded many of us of our field-walking there some time ago. Full details of the excavation are in her report, but the main findings were the existence of the gravel road as stated by Suggett and Grimes, and the bonus of an early Bronze Age arrow and some Mesolithic flints.


On May 1st, 45 of us took the coach to the Armada Exhibition at Greenwich. After a wet morning, the weather had cleared, and we had the rare pleasure of a sunny spring afternoon. All the world seemed to be on the road, and we arrived a little after our appointed time to find an enormous queue stretched along the front of the National Maritime Museum. However, we had an advance booking and were able to go straight in.

This exhibition is a long way from the world of jolly tenors singing about Drake’s drum, although there is a replica of that there. It is a neat, well balanced presentation of the issues leading up to the Armada, the battle, and its aftermath. There is an outstanding collection of pictures, mainly portraits, (including Elizabeth, outshone by her jewels, Philip Mary, Pope Sixtus V, and the commanders and courtiers of the day), drawn from Rome, France and Holland, as well as from England; and some very sportingly lent from Spain. There are also one or two excellent busts, and a fine miniature of Elizabeth by Hilliard – the Heneage Jewel. There is also, of course, the obligatory display of arms and armour, as well as ship models, bygones, and some very interesting maps.

We were told by the exhibition organisers that we should get round in 45 minutes, but some of us did not finish it in 90, and were too late for tea at the tables reserved for us. By then, over an hour before closing time, people were being turned away from the exhibition for lack of room, and we were fortunate to have attended in such a privileged and well organised manner.

My best memories? Pope Sixtus V who agreed to finance the Armada after it had been successful. Drake, who apparently deserted his post to pick up a prize, and then went back to finish the battle. Finally, the Spanish ship’s lantern about six feet high, gilded, and ornate as a Moorish temple, which looked like a Hollywood fake, and wasn’t.

Our thanks to Dorothy Newbury for another successful expedition, and to our cheerful driver, Frank.

A postscript from Janet Faraday for those members who saw the distressed mother duck and her ducklings in the Seamen’s Hospital grounds near the coach park at Greenwich: she reports that she wrote to the Hospital and they have replied that a ramp has been made and the ducklings are now safely with “Mum”.


St John the Baptist’s Church, Chipping (or High) Barnet, lies between the junction of Wood Street and the High Street (grid reference TQ 245965). It is a large church; built at the top of the hill, it dominates the High Street and all that goes on in it. Sometime in 1986 problems with damp led to the removal of the plaster from the north wall of the northernmost aisle (there are, in fact, two). Alleged to be the oldest part of the building, the removal of the plaster means we have a rare opportunity to study the history of a working church in a tangible way. Another point which interests the Committee is that no authoritative guidebook of the Church exists.

The History. There is much speculation about the earliest church on this site. To date, the earliest documentary reference to St John’s was made in 1361, when one John Botiller bequeathed 10 shillings to the church. In the mid-fifteenth century one John Beauchamp (d 1453) funded a major rebuilding of the church – comprising at least the chancel, arcades and nave clerestory – helpfully leaving his name in the south arcade. Apparently the north aisle wall remained substantially untouched by Beauchamp as there is general agreement that this is the earliest part of the church (1), although the basis of this belief is not clear. Certainly we know that the wall has received its share of attention since Beauchamp. The east and two square-headed north windows are all modern (2), possibly the work of William Butterfield, who greatly enlarged the church in 1875, while the fire-door at the east end was inserted in 1986 when the west end of the aisle was partitioned off to form the choir vestry.

The Wall. The area uncovered measures some 15m long by about 3.5m wide, but is effectively reduced in area by the modern features mentioned above, as well as a number of memorial plaques of assorted shapes and sizes. The wall is a patchwork of brick (mostly modern) and some wood, but more interestingly flint, rubble and an amount of dressed stone (ashlar). The workmen seem to have removed at least three separate layers of plaster, one coloured pink. (It is hoped this was its natural colour and not the result of-staining by an overlying wall-painting, which it is rumoured the church once had!) The lower part of the wall (measuring some 1.5m from the floor) has not had its plaster removed. There is currently no intention of re-plastering the wall, and it seems most of the parishioners find the revealed architecture aesthetically pleasing. A number of interesting features have already been noted which it is hoped will bear further investigation.

The aim of the investigation is to identify and date the earliest part(s) of the north aisle wall. To this end (and subject, of course, to the approval of the Rector and church authorities) the objectives are:

* to clean up” the wall, examine it carefully, and identify the features of interest;

* to produce a scaled plan of the wall showing clearly these and other features;

* to draw/photograph the features of interest;

* SUBJECT TO PERMISSION, to remove the selected part(s) of the 1.5m plaster “skirt”; and

* SUBJECT TO PERMISSION, to remove the plaster from the north wall of what is now the choir vestry.

Following on from this it may be that HADAS could contribute towards an authoritative guide to this very interesting church.

One member has already expressed an interest in helping with this project. One or two others would be most welcome – my telephone number is 205 1455 (evenings).

Footnotes (1) Page, W. (ed) 1908 “The Victoria History of the Counties of England – Hertfordshire” (Vol II part 2) p 332. Pevsner, N. 1953 “The Buildings of England – Hertfordshire” p 83. Gelder, W.H. (ed) 1984 “Historic Barnet” p 16.

(2) “Victoria County History” p 332.

My thanks to Jennie Cobban for the historical research, much of which I am holding in reserve.

HENDON VILLAGE GREEN – Letter from Hon. Secretary, 12th May

Brian Wrigley has sent the following letter to the Chief Executive and Town Clerk for the London Borough of Barnet at the Town Hall, Hendon, with copies to various councillors, the Finchley Society, Hendon Polytechnic and the “Hendon and Finchley Times”.

“The site of The Paddock, Middlesex Polytechnic, in The Burroughs, has recently been considered by this Society in connection with planning applications for the replacement of the fencing surrounding it, and we are pleased to see that the current proposal is for an open railing around this pleasant green area; however this has also given us to think about the future of this site.

We believe that this site should be the Hendon Village Green. Hendon lacks a forum, and this site would be ideal as such, being as it is in the centre of the old village of Hendon, adjacent to the Town Hall and the nearby old almshouses. To make it available to public access would add to the amenities of the Polytechnic and bring it more to the awareness of the community.

We consider it should be public open space, with access along both sides, which could be used by local organisations for meetings, markets and fairs. The cost of such use, perhaps the provision of a few park benches or other suitable furniture, would surely be minimal.

“We draw attention to what was said by the Inspector at the Public enquiry in June 1963, that The Paddock was a delightful local amenity that should be preserved, if possible, as an open space.

We wish to give a lead in this, and we call on the Borough Council, the Polytechnic, other amenity societies, and the local Press to support us in this.”


Forty-two members joined Sheila Woodward for a morning tour of St. Lawrence Whitchurch on 23rd April. To the approaching visitor the church, nestling in a churchyard that is well-kept but yet with a place for nature, seems very English. But though the tower is medieval, the body of the church is Georgian, which might make the visitor suspect something. Most English Georgian churches are however as sober as were the services for which they were built.

St Lawrence, inside, is a decidedly un-English baroque riot of painting: technicolour over the altar and the ducal box – I mean pew – and more restrained sepia and grey elsewhere. Nor is the body of the church all; to the north is the mausoleum of the Duke of Chandos, and beneath it – gruesome place – a brick vault with forty-two coffins in it, one for each … no, it was pure coincidence. Sheila made sure that none of us knocked him or herself out on the iron girder provided.

A fascinating morning. Thank you, Sheila.


The Borough Librarian writes: “Now that the Local History Librarian, Graham Roberts, has been appointed, we have been able to extend our opening hours. We are normally open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30 am to 5 pm, Thursday 9.30 to 7.30 pm, Saturday 9.00 am to 4 pm. However, since cover is still very thin, an appointment is still advisable.

Work continues in helping to produce local sheets in Alan Godfrey’s reprint edition of the 25” OS maps. Welsh Harp, Edgware, Whetstone and East Barnet have all appeared recently and Totteridge, Barnet and Hadley, and Finchley and Holders Hill are all in the pipeline. We are still looking for the Central Hendon sheet (Middlesex 11.7) in the 1890s edition in a good enough condition to copy.

We were, of course, delighted that Nell Penny’s work on the early Hendon censuses reached a still wider audience in February’s “Local Historian”. By coincidence Hendon will shortly feature again in its pages, as a short article on our collection of photographs by James Barber has been accepted for publication.”


(See Newsletter 201, December 1987) Just to round the Elworthys off. I have been looking through the Hendon St Mary’s Churchyard file and discovered the grave and inscription.

The grave is in red granite and lies east of the church about three rows east of the large Rundle tomb. Inscriptions read ROBERT PEARCE ELWORTHY who died April 1st 1925 aged 79 “The memory of the just is blessed”, MARY ELWORTHY, widow of ROBERT PEARCE ELWORTHY who died April 10th 1948 aged 88. “Rest in the Lord”. Previous notes were in Newsletters Nos. 195, 196, 198, 199, 200 and 201.


For three weeks at the end of March and the beginning of April this year, I was one of a fortunate few to attend a stimulating and mind- stretching course in Palaeopathology at the University of Bradford. It was organised by Keith Manchester and Charlotte Roberts of the Calvin Wells Laboratory for Burial Archaeology and Donald Ortner, Professor of Palaeopathology at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington (in Bradford for a year’s Sabbatical).

Not only were our tutors international, but we students were as well, having come from the United States, Canada, Colombia, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland (not to mention darkest Orkney!) We not only had lectures of a very high calibre all morning but intensive laboratory sessions all afternoon, and the free run of the Calvin wells Library and Bone Collections. I, personally, felt I was getting rather old, as although I could work hard all day, I could not, like my younger colleagues, play hard all night, and failed to do justice to the opportunity offered by staying in the Curry Capital of Great Britain. We did however, explore Yorkshire at the weekends and, as the weather was kind to us, saw the beauties of Fountains Abbey, Ripon Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey, saw the last leper church in England, and even heard St John’s Passion in York Minster. Needless to say, we visited Jorvik and, also, needless to say, we went to Ilkley Moor (where I did not wear a hat!)

I learnt more about ancient diseases in these three weeks than I could possibly have done in three years of intensive reading. It was a marvellous experience.

an exhibition of pictures, cartoons and memorabilia, on the British Constitution at Church Farm House Museum, Hendon, 11 June to 24 July 1988. Open Mon-Sat 10-1, 2-5.30. Do any members have photos or memorabilia of past politicians which they would be willing to lend? If so, please ring HADAS member Micky Watkins, 01-455 8813.

TRAVEL TALK – HOW ABOUT TUNISIA? Some thoughts by Stewart J. Wild

HADAS members considering summer holidays abroad might well overlook Tunisia as a holiday destination, but as I have recently spent some time there I would like to tell you about some of its older attractions.

The Phoenicians established small trading posts along the shores of N. Africa in what is now Tunisia, the oldest of which, Utica, is believed to have been founded in 1100 BC. Carthage was founded later, around 815 BC, but within two centuries had become a major Mediterranean power.

By the 3rd C BC, Rome was becoming increasingly irritated by the expansion of its rival empire across the water, and marched on Messina, a Carthaginian colony in Sicily. In 264 BC war was declared. Three bitter wars were fought over the next hundred years or so, the last of which ended as we all know with the total destruction of Carthage in 146 BC. Its territory became a Roman province – Africa Vetus.

Prosperity followed, and exports to Rome included wool, olive oil and wheat. Most of the considerable number of archaeological remains, mosaics etc. are from this period.

The most impressive reminder of the might of Rome must be the 3rd C. amphitheatre at El Jem (Roman Thysdrus), between Sousse and Sfax. Almost the size of the Coliseum in Rome and in some ways better preserved, the ruin dominates the town and the surrounding plain; it is visible for miles in all directions. In the dark underground dungeons you can almost hear the roar of lions.

Of Carthaginian Carthage, almost nothing remains – the Romans saw to that! But they built Roman Carthage in its place, and you can still see what’s left of a villa or two, the theatre, and the thermal baths.

Just south of Hammamet, part of a Roman settlement is slowly being excavated. There’s a long way to go; it was only discovered 20 years ago when the area was being surveyed for hotel development. The site, named Pupput, does not appear in any of the guide books and is not even shown on the local tourist maps!

Amongst the better-known sites of antiquity are Dougga (vast remains include a 3rd C BC mausoleum, and a superb theatre), Thuburbo Majus (Roman capitol and forum), Zaghouan (waterworks and aqueduct), and Sbeitla (forum, triumphal arch and mosaics).

Tunisia is inexpensive (the Dinar has devalued 50 per cent in the last 2 years), the food and wine are good, and the locals are friendly. English is spoken in most hotels and shops, and French will get you by almost everywhere.

For details of inclusive holidays see your travel agent – a good specialist operator is Tunisia Experience. Good all-round literature is available from the Tunisian Tourist Office, 7a Stafford Street,


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NEWSLETTER :206 MAY 1988 Edited by Anne Lawson


SUNDAY MAY 1ST AFTERNOON OUTING TO THE ARMADA EXHIBITION at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Any late-comers wishing to go on this outing should ring Dorothy Newbury on 203 0950 to see if there are any cancellations or spare places on the coach.

TUESDAY MAY 10TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING We would like to start the AGM at 8.15 or 8.20 if possible as we have an interesting programme to follow. Our first speaker will be SYLVIA BEAMON on Ice-Houses. Subscribers to “Current Archaeology” will have read her interesting report in the July 1987 issue (No. 105). Mrs. Beamon lives in Royston and first became interested in underground structures through the Royston Cave, a subject on which she delivered a paper in France in 1974. This led her to the study of ice-houses and she delivered another paper in France in 1975 to a conference of the French Society. She is now writing a book with Susan Roaf, “The Ice- Houses of Great Britain” which includes a list of 3000 known ice-houses. Ice-houses were built as part of our stately homes from the 16-17 century but Sylvia Beamon has traced the use of ice for storing food back to 140,000 BC.

This talk, with slides, will be of particular interest to HADAS as this summer we hope to settle, once and for all, “The Mystery of the Mound” at the rear of Hendon Town Hall and the Convent. Is it an Ice- House? If and when we have excavated perhaps Mrs. Beamon will come back and give us her expert opinion.

BRYAN WRIGLEY our second speaker, and Hon Secretary of HADAS, will give us a talk of a very different nature – “Sword fighting in the Bronze Age”. This is a subject which Bryan has studied for many years, on which he delivered a paper at the Congress of Independent Archaeologists last year.

GILLIAN BRAITHWAITE our third speaker is a committee member and organised the Brockley Hill (Sulloniacae) excavation last year. Her report was sent out with our January Newsletter and at the AGM she will show us slides and give a short talk on the excavation. So you see we have a full evening. An early start to the AGM would be helpful, and hopefully we will whizz through the business side in our usual record time.

SATURDAY MAY 14TH OUTING TO WINDSOR – TED SAMMES Details and applications form enclosed.




DERBYSHIRE WEEKEND Unfortunately Peter Griffiths who was organising this weekend has been away in America for the past 5 months and the hostel booking could not be confirmed in time. However, he is back now and is doing his best to arrange an alternative. More news later. 

For the benefit of New Members, an application form goes out with the Newsletter, either for the month, or the preceding month of the relevant outing. You are advised to return it as soon as possible as some outings are oversubscribed. Acceptance is not notified, but if you wish to be sure the post has not let you down, please ring Dorothy Newbury 203 0950 to confirm. Also, to all members, if you decide late that you want to go, even up to the night before, please ring the above number as we do have late cancellations, and sometimes not a full coach anyway. Our numbers fell on some of our trips last year, which of course means we run at a loss, as cost is always based upon a full coach. So please keep our outing dates free if you possibly can.


Thanks to all for sending me your subscriptions during April. As I shall be out and about from home during mid-May to mid-July, please keep sending your subs to my address or c/o Victor Jones, The Treasurer, 78 Temple Fortune Lane, London 1W11 7TT. I shall send you receipts later.

Also if you know anyone who is interested in joining the Society please let Victor Jones know and he will send them an application form.

Many thanks in advance. Phyllis Fletcher – Membership Secretary


Egypt has been a tourist attraction since Greek and Roman times. Herodotus writes vividly of his visits, as subsequent travellers have done since. Then as now appeal centred on monumental sites, the temples and tombs built for the worship of Gods or glorification of reigning monarchs, his family and sometimes collaterally powerful high priests. To the ancient Egyptians, to be unnamed was to cease to exist, so their monuments are carefully inscribed in hieroglyphs telling us of names and achievements of the dead.

Bonus No.1 is that the ancient Egyptians wrote it all down, and Bonus No. 2 is that Champollion decoded the hieroglyphs so that we can identify the higher echelons of Egyptian life thousands of years after their entry into the hereafter.

The native Egyptian, the fellahin, has left few traces for the archaeologist to work on, but what of the craftsmen who created the Royal monuments and embellished them so that to this day they are a source of wonder. Thanks to climate and the propensity for sand to bury whole sites, the underlying material is left intact awaiting the archaeologist’s trowel. Not belonging to the aristocracy, these highly skilled workmen are represented nowhere in the monuments they created. But their anonymity ended with the discovery of the village of Deir el-Medina which was their home for 400 years while they were at work on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Here some fifty specially chosen stonemasons, carpenters, draftsmen and painters lived with their families in a segregated community, guarded by special police, supplied with tools and provisions “by regular and special delivery” and under the direct control of the Pharaoh. The secrecy of their work necessitated isolation from the general populace, and their entire life was spent within their community. Sand has preserved the outline of the houses, streets and tombs of their villages. Likewise limestone flakes and papyri were found with names, cartoons and doodles, combining to give us vivid insight into the life style of these extraordinary craftsmen. We know they had a ten day week, working eight days on the tombs with overnight stays in temporary huts nearby, but it is the home village which gives us records of barter, absenteeism, quarrels, lawsuits, human touches with names and caricatures. In their spare time they applied their crafts to the communal construction of their own tombs in the village, small scale replicas of the Royal originals, exquisitely executed and poignantly personal.

Very early one morning with the mists still hovering over the Nile two intrepid HADAS members “past middle age” left the main party among much misgiving and shock horror from the tour guide to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Tomb Builders. We knew they had made this journey every 10 days, setting out from their village of Deir el-Medina carrying with them their tools, they in 1500 BC, we two in 1988.

Azib in his taxi had taken us to the village from our hotel and with much head-shaking had left us to our own devices.

From our balcony on the East bank of the Nile our binoculars had shown us a distant view of Hatshepsut’s temple and we had resolved not to leave Thebes without attempting this pilgrimage. As we set out with water, pills and creams instead of tools, and having left details of our route to the rescue party, the silence and the surrounding beauty was total. Azib was to meet us again in five hours at Deir el-Rahri.

Following a bowed horse-show shaped route over the cliffs to the apex, from which the descending path leads down the Valley of the Kings, we would retrace our steps to rejoin the horse-shoe and follow the other limb and so arrive at the far extremity of Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Rahri.

A perplexity of paths posed a problem but the pyramid-shaped mountain peak known as Meritsegar, the Serpent Goddess, “she who loves silence” keeps watch over the whole valley. As we climbed and the mist lifted the whole village ground plan was revealed. The pure sparkling air – the uninterrupted view of desert, cultivation and the river was like magic. On we climbed in utter silence and feeling outside ourselves we relived the journey of those special men. The trace was well defined and circled along the cliff top, it was hard to resist the temptation to get ever nearer the edge for a better view of the Valley below, which to our astonishment revealed details like the depressions where tamarisk trees had been planted over 3,000 years ago – details not identifiable at ground level. The overall vastness of the Temple complex is nowhere suggested by the frontal approach of the tourist group – and we were overawed by our eagle’s eye view of what had been created down there.

Behind us was the vast hinterland of cliffs leading up to Meritsegar at whose feet we sat to drink in the panorama stretched out before us – a vast theatrical backdrop of row upon row of mountain cliffs with linen fold facings and flat tops, so that a giant (or a God) could step over from one to another, each range presenting a wide spectrum of golden brown shades (and we were alone, quite alone, having met not a soul on our one-hour climb) though far below, deep in the Valley we could see human ants queuing to enter the Tomb of Tutankhamun, while we, out of this world looked on.

Exhilarated and well pleased with ourselves we retraced our steps to the other limb of the horse-shoe path, encircling widely Hatshepsut’s Temple. The downward path was more difficult with some footholds precarious and poorly spaced. However down we slid rather inelegantly to the far perimeter of the Temple of this female pharaoh whose life story is so controversial. To her and to the men who created her Temple we took our own brand of respect, marvelling at the beauty of it all. Down at ground level again, we joined the motley groups of tourists, but for two of them the grandeur of this Temple will always be augmented by our memory of the magnificence of its setting – what a place to spend eternity!

True to his word, Azib awaited us and we were able to reassure him that it was an altogether satisfying experience, which we recommend to all like- minded, eccentric Egyptian-buffs – do it, but in the early morning, in stout “footgear” and good company.

ARCHAEOLOGY AND LANGUAGE: the puzzle of Indo-European origins.

Colin Renfrew Jonathan Cape 1987 Jean Snelling

Our Newsletter 201 invited comments on this important new book and we were fortunate to have Peter Pickering’s article in February 1988. There cannot be many HADAS members able to bring a philologist’s judgement and to do it so promptly. To a non-philologist bed-time reader this is a difficult book because Professor Renfrew (also non-philologist) studies the significance to an archaeologist of the philological and archaeological evidence bearing on his great question. He asks, who were these Indo-Europeans to whom are attributed the roots of most European and Indo-Iranian languages? When were they and where, and how did their influence spread? Philologists appear to have trusted archaeologists for evidence that Indo-Europeans appeared from somewhere, invasively, possibly in or before the early Bronze Age and spread westwards; and so far the archaeologists have found no such evidence.

I think it appropriate to stress the force of Renfrew’s hypotheses – even if we find eventually that he is replacing one myth (the Indo- Europeans) by another persuasive myth – the pioneering neolithic peasants of Eastern Anatolia in 7,000 BC.

From these first farmers (barring any Chinese) Renfrew sees farming spreading mainly of its own accord, year by year and kilometre by kilometre – a wave of advance – west and northwards through Greece to the Atlantic and the Baltic, and southeast to Iran and by some route to Pakistan and India. With farming, he proposes, goes the farmers’ original language, modifying as it extends over great stretches of time and space and as varying local conditions and perhaps old pre-neolithic languages are encountered. By 3,000 BC or earlier farming has reached Scandinavia, Ireland and the Orkneys, and the Celtic, Germanic and Italic languages are emerging from their ancient roots (which we have still to call Indo-European even if we refer to Eastern Anatolian neolithic).

The theory of the wave of advance owes much to Cavalli-Sforza’s and Ammerman’s studies of farming developments in new territories. Farmers have larger families than hunter-gatherers and they also exhaust land, so they constantly require more space. It is postulated that an average farming population in new lands doubles its numbers every 18 years, and will take in 18 fresh kilometres in random directions every 25 years. This would be the driving force for the advance of peasant farming; there would also be small invasions and migrations, some of them known to archaeology. The large modern invasions of farming in North and South America, Australia etc. have become possible through technological advances, especially in traction, which were not available in prehistoric times. (Horses were used for traction from about 2600 BC or earlier but were not ridden until well after 2,000 BC, while the controlling stirrup comes in the Dark Ages.)

Renfrew points to the need for more archaeology to clarify the neolithic advance to Pakistan and India. Possibly it occurred early via Assyria, Kurdistan and Iran. But possibly it was delayed until 4,000-3,000 BC and went south-eastwards through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The delay would have involved a route through the Balkans to the steppes of the Ukraine, where nomadic pastoral ism developed in land where cereals would not grow, and then the movement southeast. Renfrew states the secondary nature of pastoralism, which requires a basic supply of agricultural products (i.e. bread).

Returning to language: if we ask what speech or dialects came with the early farmers to Britain from 4,500 BC, it has to be a form of Celtic coming directly from France or the Low Countries, as our share of the Indo- European heritage. It is now believed that later Celtic influences (Hallstatt or Belgic) did not involve much movement of people.

Readers will realise how much I have simplified, indeed over-simplified Renfrew’s complex work; and how unlikely we are to have heard the last of his propositions. If he is right over, among other things, the great antiquity of the British and Celtic languages, he will have given many of us a great personal boost as well as en intellectual stimulus.

Audree Price-Davies

Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary for Sunday September 2nd, 1666:

“Lords Day. Some of our maids sitting up late last night to get things ready against our feast today, Jane called us up about 3 in the morning to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose and slipped on my nightgown and went to her window and thought it to be on the back side of Mark Lane at the farthest but being unused to such fires as followed I thought it far enough off and so went to bed and to sleep.”

Mr. Gustav Milne in his dramatic and fascinating account of the Great Fire and the recent archaeological discoveries associated with it, showed us why Mr. Pepys might be excused for not recognising the magnitude of the fire. From his house near the Tower, Mr. Pepys was used to seeing fires in the City of London. Timber-framed buildings with jetted upper stories which allowed fires to pass easily across the road were often on fire, and warehouses fronting the Thames and filled with combustible materials, such as timber, oil and pitch added to the hazard. Firefighting equipment was rudimentary – buckets of water were used, and John Keeling’s fire engine which needed four people to pump the water from the water drum up to the hose – these were not very effective ways of controlling a fire. Destroying houses in the path of the fire to make a fire-break demanded the permission of the owners of the property and was not readily given. It was little wonder that the fire destroyed 13,200 houses, St. Paul’s Cathedral, 87 parish churches, the Guildhall, the Royal Exchange, the Custom House, Sessions House, 52 Company Halls, Blackwell Hall, Bridewell, Newgate Gaol, 3 City gates, 4 stone bridges, £2,000 worth of books, £1,500,000 worth of wine, tobacco, sugar and plums, and caused a total loss amounting to £10,000,000 when London’s annual income was £12,000.

The fire started when Thomas Faryner, a baker of Pudding Lane, omitted to ensure that the embers of his fire were sufficiently raked. It took hold during the night, an east wind fanned the blaze and the disaster could not be contained. All who could hired carts or boats and removed themselves and their possessions to the country. Rumours of a Dutch and French plot in starting the fire (the English were at war with Holland and France at the time) added to the panic. Eight fire-fighting posts were set up at which the constables of the respective parishes were ordered to attend with 100 men, and at every post there were to be 30 foot soldiers. The Court became seriously alarmed when the fire reached Temple Church, fearing that it would spread from there to Whitehall. Charles II and the Duke of York went to Moorfields, and helped by throwing buckets of water on the fire. The militia from Kent, Middlesex, and Hertfordshire were called out – but to maintain order, not to fight the fire, as Charles IT did not wish his precarious hold on the throne to be threatened by a riot.

In all, 436 acres were totally devastated, but the rebuilding was rapid, imaginative and pragmatic. Timber buildings would be banned in favour of brick, old streets and lanes would be paved and widened and obstructions such as market buildings and conduits would be moved out of the roadways. Buildings on by-streets would be 2-storied. On lanes of note and overlooking the Thames, they were to be 3-storied, while merchants’ mansion houses were to be no more than 4 stories. Thirty of the churches designed by Wren survive in some form. Other buildings include the Apothecaries’ Hall, Tallow Chandlers Hall, St. Paul’s Deanery and Chapter House, 1-3 Amen Court, 20-22 College Hill, Dr. Johnson’s house in Gough Square and 3-5 Raquel Court. The population of London rose to a million inhabitants after the Fire, and within 10 years, modern London was born.

Archaeological evidence has revealed that St. Mary at Hill church has pre-Fire masonry standing to its full height. Wren’s circular brick window had been inserted into a larger blocked-up stone window. Wren’s churches like so much of the post-Fire City had all the outward appearance of late seventeenth century design but retained the mediaeval plan.

Work on the waterfront has revealed building debris derived from the clearance of fire-damaged structures and at Blackfriars Underground Station excavation revealed a massive mediaeval river-wall in fine condition. In Pudding Lane on a site close to the bakehouse, excavations have exposed a cellar in which barrels of pitch were being stored. Compacted carbonised material revealed the remains of some 20 barrels which had been stored on five racks. This turned a minor into a major catastrophe. Associated finds included a worn sixpence of Elizabeth I (1558- 1603), clay tobacco pipes and local monochrome tiles.

This recent archaeological evidence provides a physical reality for the accounts of the Great Fire and adds a dramatic dimension to our understanding of the Fire. We are grateful to Mr. Milne for revealing this new dimension.

FIVE HUNDRED NOT OUT Brigid Grafton Green

We don’t often have a chance to offer congratulations on half- millennium: but that opportunity comes this year. The Finchley Charities are celebrating their 500th birthday. It was in 1488 that Robert Waren contributed his first “Gift;” following it up the next year with a second piece of land, the two to be administered by nine feoffees (we’d call them trustees today) for the needy poor of Finchley.

Waren’s first gift was three fields lying on the west side of Nether Street; later they became part of the Brent Lodge estate, and HADAS members of long standing will recall that one of our early digs was in the garden of Brent Lodge after that house had been demolished – we were in fact digging on the “Home Field” which Waren had bequeathed to Finchley in 1488.

The Charities can make a proud boast for a quincentenarian: since that first “Gift,” they have never looked That is clear from an excellent history – The Finchley Charities, 1488-1988 – which has been written to mark the occasion by Fred Davies, one of the Trustees.

In addition to administering various bequests and donations (which Mr. Davis describes in detail), the Charities have, since Elizabethan times, been responsible for Finchley almshouses. The first four small houses were “erected and built for the habitation of poor folks” in the early years of the 17c. In 1739 these first almshouses were pulled down and six new houses were built, “fronting on Finchley Common”.

In 1895 new almshouses were again erected “on the footpath from Long Lane to Oak Lane” (the site was not called Wilmot Close until many years later), and the 18c almshouses were demolished. A HADAS member of the 1960s, Jennifer Digby, spent much time and research trying unsuccessfully to pinpoint the likely site of those earlier buildings and their Tudor forerunners.

The 1895 buildings were added to and modernised in the 1930s and ’40s. In 1940 there was accommodation for 12 couples, the oldest of whom was 81, the youngest 69. A booklet of the time says that “no person is eligible for election who is less than 60 years of age and has resided in the Borough for less than 5 years. The allowances to the inmates vary from 5s (25p) a week upwards, according to whether the inmate is or is not in receipt of an old age pension. In addition the Trustees provide electric light and coal.”

Fred Davis tells us that four additional apartments went up in 1958; in 1966 a further block was added, and it was then that the name Wilmot Close came into use. Today the Charities provide 100 modern flats at three addresses: Wilmot and Thackrah Closes and Homesfield, East Finchley.

Mr. Davis’s account contains much interesting material from the early documents of the Charities. These throw a social spotlight on beliefs, attitudes – and unexpected facts – of everyday living. Who, for instance, would expect three elderly widows in the year 1817 to be (or indeed, to have the means to be) “constantly drunk, noisy and abusive,” so that the Trustees resolved that the Warden “do turn them out of possession, and let in proper objects” (that word “objects” rather gets me, too!)

If you would like to delve further into Fred Davis’s research, you can get a copy of his book, price £5, from Church End Library, Finchley.


There’s work ahead for HADAS diggers and would-be diggers! We have our eyes on three sites where the society hopes to be active during the summer months.

The first and potentially the most important is in the heart of Hendon in the grounds of St. Joseph’s Convent. The grounds of the Convent are to be sold off for redevelopment for a new housing estate and HADAS wants to investigate this potentially interesting area. We want to begin, however, in the grounds of the Convent itself where there is a mysterious man-made mound. It was described in HADAS Newsletter 08 of June 1978 where the conclusion was reached that it was probably an ice-house. Sylvia Beamon, who is our leading authority on ice-houses and whose work was described recently in Current Archaeology 105 will be coming to talk to us on ice-houses at the AGM on 10th May, and it would be nice if we could open the mound and find the entrance for her ready to inspect before that date. We hope to have permission for access at the May Bank Holiday weekend so that we can start investigations for the following weekend (Saturday 7-8th May) Brian Wrigley would like to hear from you, so get out your picks and shovels and give him a ring on 01-959 5982 if you can give him a hand.

The other two sites are both up in Barnet where Jenny Cobban is very active. One is not an excavation at all but above ground archaeology. This is Barnet parish Church. The main Parish Church is Victorian but the north aisle is the original medieval church. Recently the plaster has been stripped off the wall and it is very important that we draw the stones that are now visible. Robert Michel is very interested in this as he studied archaeology at Southampton University where he helped in studying churches by drawing their walls, stone by stone. He can be contacted in the evenings on 205 1455.

The other site is at Mays Lane in Barnet known as The Cottons. Excavations were carried out here in the 1950s by Derek Renn, and reported by him in the transactions of the East Herts Archs Soc 1955-57. (Derek is one of our leading amateur archaeologists – by profession he is a high- powered actuary and he had recently been elected the new president of LAMAS). It now appears to be that houses are to be built in the area, so there may be some medieval material awaiting discovery. Information on both these sites can be obtained from Jenny Cobban, on 440 3254. We do have permission to investigate this last site this coming summer.


Frank and Craigie Meyer are moving away to the North this month. They have both been very regular and outing attenders though their activities were curtailed a few years ago when Mr. Meyer was knocked down by a car. It was nice to see them back again at the April lecture and we wish them well. Craigie Meyer may be better known to us as Craigie Beswick as she was when she first joined, until she married Mr. Meyer, who has been a member since 1965.

Eric Ward. We reported some months back that HADAS one time photographer had been struck down with a crippling illness and was undergoing investigation. Following further study in America, four new investigative techniques have been devised, and Mr. Ward is bravely acting as “guinea pig” for the Hammersmith Hospital in this country. He is quite a VIP and they send a taxi for him when they are ready for the next session. He is at present waiting for the result of the last one. We all remember him with affection and hope that sometime soon his co-operation with the researchers will bring relief to himself and to others.

Vincent Foster. We reported last year that Vincent, a one-time committee member, digger, and participator in our period banquets had settled and married in America. We now have pleasure in reporting the birth of a daughter, Ida Marie, on the 2nd January this year.

Mrs. Banham. She is a founder member, and many of us know her as the provider of that large tin of sweeties that circulated the coach on nearly all our outings. She phoned me this week and I am pleased to report she is bright and perky as ever, but so regrets that her back problem prevents her travelling on outings and walking to lectures. She only lives in Station Road, Hendon, and would often come to lectures and some outings if she could get a lift. She did manage the Christmas Party at the Barbican and thoroughly enjoyed it. So if anyone could offer a lift occasionally I am sure she would be delighted.

Brigid Grafton Green. For the benefit of new members, Brigid was our Secretary and Newsletter editor for many, many years. For old members no introduction is needed and many, many of you enquire after her. She has had another session in hospital since Christmas but is now doing fine. We all know what a magnificent cook she is from her master-minding of all our banquet and party catering, be it Roman, Medieval or Arabian. One of her biggest sadnesses is that she can no longer make and enjoy all those exotic dishes as her diet is now restricted. Nevertheless when I phoned her this morning Grafton said “I’ll call her, she’s down the garden digging” – so that can’t be bad can it? We were all pleased to see her at the Chinese Warrior Exhibition and look forward to seeing her again soon.

Nell Penny is one of our regular subscribers to the Newsletter on her research into Hendon’s history. CONGRATULATIONS An article appears in the February edition of “The Local Historian” written by our own Nell Penny. The article is on the three first censuses of 1801, 1811 and 1821. We are lucky to have these censuses in Hendon because in most areas they have been destroyed. So Nell gave a whoop of delight when she found them.

Mrs. H.F. Faraday. We are sorry to report the death of Mrs. Faraday in February. She joined membership with her daughter Janet who has been a member for many years and who often brought her to lectures and outings.

Mrs. Ann Young. We have heard from Ann who moved to Rochester before Christmas. She came regularly on our outings and has dug with our president in Wales for many years now. She has joined the local Archaeological Society and hopes to either see us down there when we are next in Kent, or to join us on the occasional outing. The latest news we have of Ann is that she fell and hurt herself. We wish her better.


It was announced in April that the distinctive black and white building latterly used as an officers’ mess at Hendon Aerodrome has been listed Grade 2.

This is the one historic building at Hendon which was not listed early in 1987 mainly because at the time the main effort was to save the Grahame-White hangar and no-one wanted to divert attention from it.

The officers’ mess was originally built by Claude Grahame-White as a hotel for the distinguished visitors to tendon and is dated 1917 on a stone above the main entrance.

There is still concern about the listed buildings at Hendon, they are being shamefully neglected, evidently with the intention of hastening their decay, in the hope that they will fall down and the Ministry of Defence will thus gain their objective by default.

Apologies from Bill Firth for the clash of dates of the Docklands visit and the visit to the former 11 (Fighter) Group Operations Room, R.A.F. Uxbridge. The R.A.F.’s only available date Saturday July 16th.

John Enderby

From the point of view of HADAS, Chipping Barnet has become of prime concern in the last few months. Apart from the Stapylton Road development, which is fully reported on elsewhere, potentially exciting things have been happening all over the area. The origins of Barnet Parish Church are at last being researched, wells are being discovered and, in most cases unhappily, being destroyed by developers before they can be properly examined and documented, old properties are being pulled down daily, and known ‘”sensitive sites” put to the scourge of the Site Watchers’ anathema, the mechanical digger, before one can say “trial trench”!

Thus “The Salisbury Hotel”, a popular hostelry and meeting place seemingly in first rate condition, on the line of the retreat of Lord Hastings’ forces in the Battle of Barnet (1471), is being pulled down to make way for a major development utilising the considerable amount of land at the rear. The developer – South Molton Estates Ltd. – has agreed to co-operate in the recovery of any artefacts of the Battle that may be turned up by the mechanical diggers. Before the latter arrive to rape the topsoil, we hope to run a metal detector over a site that could yield multifarious metal objects. In reporting this, I am aware that I may induce heart failure in those of you who deplore the use of such a diabolical instrument. But with the archaeologist’s trowel and spade becoming artefacts themselves with the universal use of the mechanical digger, one is grateful for any scientific aid. Indeed, sadly, as we found at Stapylton Road, archaeological research today on an urban site can consist of little more than a hasty examination of massive spoil heaps while the omnipresent bulldozer adopts a threatening attitude at your side.

However, we do have some hope of planned research on one large site in Barnet – Mays Lane, which we hope to establish not only as the location of medieval Mayes Hall (mentioned in 1271) but to build on the evidence housed in Barnet Museum of early settlement resulting from a limited excavation carried out by David Renn some thirty years ago. LBB have kindly granted HADAS a licence for four months from next May to investigate the site.

We have not so far been as fortunate with yet another Barnet site. This is the access lane (paved with some of the few seemingly original cobblestones left in this area), and a large area of land at the rear of 62, High Street which is to be developed for office use. Last Wednesday the previous owner contacted me to report that the Contractors would be starting work the following Monday and did I know that there was a large extremely deep well, an ancient granary, and a wonderful monkey puzzle tree, on the site. For Jennie Cobban and I it was then all systems “go”, with a site visit and a myriad of calls to the LBB, the Local Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, the Contractor, the Museum of London, etc.! The well is, in fact, some twenty feet deep with at least two feet of water in the bottom, straight sided and seven feet wide with a heavy capping stone of considerable weight. Remembering how before Christmas I was roped and lowered down another well found at the Bow House, Wood Street, to commence a somewhat abortive excavation which resulted in its total collapse (fortunately after Jenny had hauled me out), I have so far tried nothing more adventurous than dropping a makeshift plumb line down the well to ascertain its depth. If only the ultimate fate of the well as a depositary for many tons of concrete can be delayed for a few days – I am due to plead again with the Project Manager at a Site Meeting – who knows … I So watch this SPACE.

Amongst the outbuildings also being demolished on this site is the old granary, the winding gear of which is remarkably still intact. We are negotiating with the Contractor in an attempt to have at least the wrought iron work preserved, perhaps for presentation to the Barnet Museum.

As regards the Monkey Puzzle tree on which there is no T.P.O. but in which doves are nesting, it seems I can do little except pray for Divine intervention. Why cannot man learn to live in harmony with the environment of the Planet for which he is a trustee instead of forever destroying it for short term gain – or greed? Photograph albums and folk memories of what might have been still part of our heritage do nothing to soften this shocking image.


We have a little more storage space, so if you are turning out winter clothes (men’s and women’s), or bric-a-brac, linens etc., during spring cleaning, please ring Dorothy Newbury 203 0950 or Christine Arnott 455 2751. We regret we cannot take big things, but we do get members enquiring from time to time if items of furniture or household equipment have been offered for sale. If you do have such things to dispose of, or need anything in particular, ring Dorothy Newbury on 203 0950.

Remember this is our only fund-raising, event each year – an event which helps to keep the society going.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

NEWSLETTER 205; APRIL 1988 Edited by: June Porges


Tuesday April 5 Archaeology and the Great Fire of London 1666, by Gustav Milne.

Members will remember the excellent lecture on the Roman City Centre Project 1986 which Gustav Milne gave us that year. Mr. Milne works for the Department of Urban Archaeology, Museum of London, and their recent work on the Great Fire has thrown new light on this event.

Saturday April 23
Morning tour of St Lawrence Whitchurch, Edgware, led by Sheila Woodward. Details and application form enclosed.


It is the 400th anniversary of the Armada and there will be an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, from 21 April to 4 September this year. An afternoon visit has been arranged for May 1st – a Sunday for a change. Details and application form enclosed.

Tuesday May 10 Annual General meeting. Programme to be announced in the May Newsletter.

Saturday May 14 Outing to Windsor – Ted Sammes.

Saturday June 11 Outing to Flag Fen and Peterborough – Dr Francis Pryor

Saturday July 16 Outing to London Dockland

SUBSCRIPTIONS Phyllis Fletcher

April 1st is the time to renew your membership subscription. You will find a renewal form with this Newsletter. Please send your subscription as soon as possible – the rates are set out on the form.


It is hoped that a short dig will be possible over the May Bank Holiday weekend (April 30 to May 2). Details will be announced in the next Newsletter. Enquiries to Brian Wrigley tel: 959 5982


Letter to the Editor from Percy Reboul:

“Nell Penny has done it again with a fascinating and well researched article into local boarding schools. Congratulations, it was a good read.”

The first half of this article was published in the March issue of the Newsletter – in good 19th century tradition it is being published in parts. So for Percy and everyone else who is eagerly awaiting the second part, here it is!

I have not been able to find any information about the Reverend George Lawrence’s school. He appeared in the census of 1811 as the Occupier of a house of 35 males and 8 females. He paid a modest £1:5s.0d when a 6d rate was set and he paid rates between 1811 and 1817. He was not attached to the parish church so I can only guess that he was a schoolmaster clergyman earning his living in the Burroughs, Parson Street, Holders Hill area of the parish.

There were also small girls’ boarding schools noted by the enumerator who visited William Lockwood’s mansion and the Reverend George Lawrence’s house. Mrs. Young had a household of 13 females in 1811, but I do not think that Mary Garvie dubbed “school mistress” was anything more than a children’s nurse. In 1821 Mrs Williams had a small school: one of her 13 residents was an infant, 3 were between five and ten years old, 4 between 10 and 15 and 2 between 15 and 20 years.

In 1801 there were no boarding schools in the ‘North End’ of Hendon parish. Perhaps Mill Hill was too remote from London and served by no main roads. But by 1811 the most famous of Hendon’s boarding schools, Mill Hill School for the education of the sons of Protestant Dissenters, had been founded on part of its present site. In 1807 a committee of ministers and London merchants purchased Ridgeway House, originally an Elizabethan mansion, for their new school. In 1811 the school appears in the census records. It is recorded as headed by John Wood although Mr. Atkinson was the headmaster. John Wood was the clearheaded, stern disciplinarian who taught mathematics until 1825. He was responsible for all “matters not scholastic”. In 1811 there were 62 males and 5 females living in Ridgeway House. The school fees were £45 a year with a reduction to £15 a year for the sons of ministers and “deserving cases”. The timetable had a heavy classical bias; Latin and Greek occupied a great deal of the boys’ time; but French, Mathematics, Drawing, Geography, History and English were also taught. The school day was a long one: In summer it stretched from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. with 4 ½ hours for meals, prayers and recreation. There were half-holidays on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In 1821 the school was still “Mr Wood’s Academy”, housing 82 males and 6 females. Of the males 56 were obviously schoolboys between 10 and 15 years and 22 aged between 15 and 20 years. Before the next census in 1831 Ridgeway House had disappeared and the core of the present school had been built.

Mr Wood left Mill Hill School in 1825 when the new school was being built. Perhaps the trustees were annoyed that he was a partner in a junior school established by his brother-in-law, Mr Thorogood, in a castellated house in front of the present St. Paul’s vicarage. This school had 20 boys aged between 5 and 10 years, and 27 between 10 and 15 years. Perhaps Mill Hill trustees thought Mr Thorogood was poaching their pupils.

Nearer the top of Bittacy Hill there was another boys’ boarding school in Littleberries, the old mansion today part of St Vincent’s Convent. Mr Lockwood of Burroughs Union House School had moved to Mill Hill – presumably in 1816. In 1821 his mansion housed 65 persons – 56 males and 9 females. There were 12 boys aged between 5 and 10 years, 31 between 10 and 15 years, but only 4 between 15 and 20 years. Mr Lockwood paid £2.10.00 rates on a 6d rate for his mansion and £2.10.00 for land. He continued to occupy Littleberries until 1825 when it was bought as a private residence by a Mr. Kerr.


Geraldine Beech began her lecture with a short account of the work of the Public Record Office. All Government Departments have to decide which of their many documents need to be preserved and these are deposited with the P.R.O. After 30 years most of these documents can be read by the public except in such cases as documents concerned with national defence, and personal records which may have a time limit of up to 100 years before they can be read. Going on from this introduction Miss Beech turned to tithe maps kept at the P.R.O. emphasizing that these maps only constitute a very small proportion of the several million maps held by the Map Department of which Miss Beech is an Assistant Keeper.

Historically tithes were a tenth part of the annual value of the products of the land, of stock reared on the land and of profits made from mills and fishing which had to be paid to the Church.

Tithes were also divided into great and small tithes – great tithes which consisted of corn, grain, hay and wood generally were paid to the rector, and small tithes went to the vicar. At the dissolution of the monasteries many of the rectorial tithes went to laymen while the vicar kept the rest. From early times money payments began to replace payments in kind, this increased with enclosures especially in the 18th century. Enclosure Acts fixed a payment which varied with the price of corn or allocated an amount of land in lieu of tithes. But by 1836 tithes were still payable in the majority of parishes in England and Wales. So it was decided to commute tithes. This meant that maps had to be drawn to show details of each parish – areas of pasture, crops, orchards, common land, houses, boundaries, roads. Only about a sixth of the total maps were sealed as first class maps by the Tithe Commissioners. The remainder were sometimes old manorial maps or inferior original surveys. Finally in 1936 a Tithe Act abolished all tithe rent charges payable on land, these were replaced by redemption annuities and these in turn were abolished in 1976. To the local historian the tithe plans and the written survey that accompanied them are of greatest value, since they provide the first large scale survey of a large part of the country (extending to some 11,800 parishes in England and Wales) and from them it is possible to reconstruct rural and sometimes urban conditions as the work of the Tithe Commissioners extended to many towns. There are of course many errors and emissions in the maps and the maps need to be used with other evidence, but their value remains as the Commissioners said ‘as a General Survey and Register of Real Property’ 


(LAMAS )March 12 1988, at the Museum of London. Jean Snelling

We had a full day of recent excavations in Greater London and of archaeology on Thames gravels, including work based on Oxford and northwest Surrey. This conference always produces a wealth of interesting stuff that is just too much to pass on (and why don’t more HADAS members come? or even join LAMAS as individual members?).

Certain themes emerged, to be reported here. First the extraordinary extent of present excavations while the City Big Bang and the riverside gravel extractions make their impacts. London office buildings even of the 1960s are replaced by larger buildings to house new electronic needs; roads are insatiable for travel. The Museum of London’s teams of archaeologists expect 50 excavations in 1988 and staff expanding from 97 to 168.

Among the organisational changes involved the theme of relating to developers is persistent and includes the gravel developers. Strides are being made in acquainting them with archaeological interests, in cooperating with them and respecting their needs, and in being funded by them. In the more promising areas flexibility advances; we heard of the rural Roman amphitheatre excavation (Frilford) to be funded by a neighbouring Italian restaurant, and of aerial photography for a site of common interest to be funded by the local metal detectors’ club.

The eyots of the Thames were mentioned frequently. From Lechlade to Chertsey to Hounslow to Bermondsey to Barking and Rainham the search is on for the prehistoric settlements on those islands which are now obscured by the surrounding channels filled with alluvium. Alluvium masks but also preserves what it hides. The gravel extraction can help to reveal the archaeology, if the archaeologists are quick enough.

From these and other excavations the prehistory emerges little by little. A dig below the old canal dock and the old high road at Uxbridge, searching for the underlying ruins of an Elizabethan mansion, came eventually to an undisturbed late Paleolithic knapping floor. Flint flakes lay beside their cores , and large flint tools (10-14 cms) are attributed to the Long Blade industry, rare in England but known on the continent, and operating in the last glacial period about 10,000 years ago. Nearby bones of reindeer, horse and other large mammals are expected to give radiocarbon dating.

From South Woodford come lower Paleolithic hand axes and flakes in situ. From Bermondsey eyot comes a Neolithic hand axe of 20cms of chipped stone and hafted, found below the shoreline, perhaps a ritual deposit. Close to it lay a platform of cut and interlaced wood similar to platforms of the Somerset trackways, raising the possibility of Southwark trackways. From Sipson Lane, Harmondsworth, come the bones of an auroch (wild bull) along with barbed and tanged arrowheads. (in the displays mounted by local societies as part of this conference were our HADAS finds, the Mesolithic flints and Bronze Age arrowhead from Brockley Hill 1987. We can feel gratified to have a rare clay site, amid all this gravel.) Another Neolithic axe comes from the Roman villa site at Beddington, Sutton, with a BA perforated hammer head. From Shepperton come a Neolithic mace head, a BA socketed axe with wooden handle and an Iron Age sword with enamelled scabbard. 

The well-known ‘ritual deposits’ of BA and IA fine metalwork found in the Thames not only point to lost settlements, but may also indicate a particular spot for such deposits at the confluence of the Thames with the river Wey. Continuity extends to Roman pewter plates and Saxon swords.

New features of Roman London have appeared in the press, for instance the amphitheatre and the C1 mosaic in Gutter Lane. We heard too of the excavation of the Bucklersbury shaft (Mansion House) of the Docklands Light Railway. Roman buildings at the bottom set up property lines which were maintained by medieval buildings and so through to Victorian times. A Roman planked floor allowed soldiers to drop bits of equipment through it for excavators to find.

Saxon London, probably 600-900 AD, has also appeared in the press. Stretching from the Fleet River to the National Gallery and to Long Acre on the north, its Covent Garden industrial areas are emerging part by part.

We heard from the Oxford unit that early C5 Saxon farms around Lechlade, relaxing after the intensive land development of the Roman period, made the same choice of lighter soils as had the Neolithics and settled for the secondary gravel terraces.

After so much London and Middlesex activity it was refreshing to hear about the Oxford unit’s five counties, where repeated aerial photography combines with field walking to discover new sites. Over such a wide area policy has to be considered with care. Regional complements and deficiencies in types of site influence planning. Comparability between suitable sites can be enhanced by selecting comparable methods of excavation. Large slabs of country, due for development, can be studied layer by layer from modern to prehistoric settlement – with help from the metal detectors. The study of weed remains can show ancient advances to new arable lands. The contents of Iron Age grain storage pits show distinctions between the large scale producers and the modest local consumers.

Contrasts between broad principles and excavation minutiae made this a very stimulating day.


We have had a feast of exhibitions in London recently and after the razzamatazz of the Emperor’s Warriors and the Age of Chivalry there is still another waiting to be seen at the British Museum. This has parallels with the Chinese exposition in that Suleyman the Magnificent was also a great leader who consolidated an empire, doubling the size of the Ottoman Empire during his life.

Suleyman (born in 1494. son of Selim I) was contemporary with Henry VIII of England, the Habsburg emperor Charles V, Francis I of France and Ivan (“the Terrible”), Tsar of Muscovy. He was an outstanding leader lawgiver and patron of the arts.

The exhibition consists mainly of loans from Turkey, notably from the Topkapi Saray in Istanbul which was Suleyman’s palace. There are prints from the British Museum’s own collection and ceramics, especially from the Goodman collection which was bequeathed to the EM in 1983. The exhibition glows with colour, – costumes, armour, books and ceramics depicting the rule of Suleyman the conqueror and the ruler, as well as the religion and life of the court during his reign. 

ZIMBABWE – THE GREAT June and Hans Porges

We left Bulawayo on a sunny morning driving through the suburbs filled with the astonishing blue of the jacaranda trees and the varying shades of bougainvillaea and out onto the good straight road to Masvingo (formerly Fort Victoria) which is the oldest town in Zimbabwe, founded by the first settlers as they trekked northwards. Matabeleland was dry and brown, suffering from the drought which has lasted seven years, and waiting longingly for the rains due in a month. The animals we saw from the car, mostly kudu and eland and cows, were thin and gaunt and the road dusty as we drove across the Highveld, passing the through areas rich in gold and other minerals. Gradually the country became less dry and glimpses of red appeared on the hillsides – the first masasa blossom of the spring. We turned off the road and found ourselves in a green flat valley, unloaded our cases at the attractive one- storey hotel, walked for five minutes and there standing up from the valley floor was a steep-sided rocky hill – the Hill Complex of the Great Zimbabwe. We only had time to scan it with field glasses that evening before the sun set, but had time to appreciate the wonderful position and atmosphere of the site.

Great Zimbabwe lies on the southern scarp of the 400-5000ft high plateau that forms the watershed between the Zambezi and the Limpopo rivers: cool, well watered, gently rolling plains covered in light savannah woodlands, free of tsetse fly and healthy for man and cattle. The largest and most striking hills around Great Zimbabwe are enormous smooth, bare, rounded domes of granite, formed by the exfoliation of layers of rock caused by marked daily changes of temperature due to the clear skies and tropical sunshine. These parallel-sided slabs of granite, 3 to 7 inches thick split off the domes, much as an onion peels, and slide down the slopes to collect as scree at the bottom. These can be readily cracked and broken down into manageable sizes to provide an abundant and natural source for building material. The fracture planes of the granite ensure that the broken pieces all have a very regular cuboidal shape with parallel top and bottom, vertical sides and a standard thickness, giving an accessible material which lends itself to building techniques based on more or less regular layers of stone.

All this became obvious the next morning when we set out to explore the site thoroughly, it was bright and sunny but cool enough for a cardigan, the following day was similar to the best hot English summer day. The whole site consists of three main groups of stone structures, the Hill Complex, the Great Enclosure and the Valley Complex. We went first to the Hill Complex which was known for many years as the Acropolis, there the huge natural boulders have been linked by short sections of dry stone wall built of neatly coursed, dressed blocks to form a series of inter-connected enclosures. There are several paths to the top which were used at different times and there are traces of circular huts built of daga, the local red clayey soil with gravel aggregates, which here must have been carried up from the valley. The Eastern enclosure of the Hill Complex, which incorporates towering natural boulders 50 – 60 feet high, and man-made platforms and stone pillars, six of which were capped with the famous stone birds – the Zimbabwe birds – is thought to have been a ritual site of some kind.

The Great Enclosure itself, sometimes known as the Elliptical Building, was a massive cuter wall, 100 feet in circumference and accompanied along about a third of its length by a parallel inner wall making a narrow corridor with walls in some places 30 feet high and 15 feet thick. At the end of the corridor is a solid conical tower. There are remains of daga huts within the enclosure, but unfortunately the whole site suffers from having been stripped by early settlers in the search for treasure. Radio carbon dates are few but from these, from the style of some pieces of pottery found and from parallel dating with other sub-Saharan structures five phases of occupation have been distinguished ranging from the Early Iron Age phase 1 occupation of the Hill Complex in the 3rd to 5th centuries AD, later Iron Age around the 11th and 12th centuries with Gumange ware pottery but no stone buildings, and around the 13th century pottery with a finer finish and relatively simple walled enclosures, pole and daga structures were more substantial than earlier. This was followed in the 14th and 15th centuries by the finest coursed stone and solid daga buildings.

In the valley there is a series of larger free-standing walled enclosures, which in several cases surrounded a complex of circular daga houses linked to each other by short sections of stone wall. The word Zimbabwe is derived from the Shona and means either stone houses or venerated houses. There are three wall styles at Great Zimbabwe – “P” style characterised by untrimmed face stone blocks and wavy courses with the bottom ones manning on unprepared foundations, these have been dated to the 13th century. The “Q” style has almost uniform sized face blocks and regular courses with the bottom ones on prepared surfaces, and includes steps, platforms and buttresses. This style has been dated to the 14th century. “R” style has a poor finish with irregular blocks piled haphazardly and wedged on top of each other, they were presumed to postdate the main building Phases.

Theories abound as to the use to which the enclosures were put, ritual, defence, prestige, slave or cattle enclosures. Opinion has fluctuated according to the political influences of the day. Zimbabwe is not unique, though it is the largest of an estimated 150 ruins that survive today over this area.

We spent nearly two days, not enough time, at this fabulous site – a marvellous combination of fascinating archaeology and an excellent hotel where we sat under the palm trees, sipping our cool drinks, watching the monkeys running across the roofs and the weaver binds chattering in and out of their tree colony.

While we were in Zimbabwe we also visited the Matopos, the hills to the west of Bulawayo, where there are many rock shelters and caves containing rock art. These Bushmen paintings, mostly depicting animals and humans, show four stages of development and ceased when animal husbanders and agriculturalists arrived and replaced the hunter-gatherers. The paintings are remarkable for the movement depicted. It is difficult to date this type of rock art, but carbon 14 dating has been used on some middens found underneath the paintings and these dates range from 60,000 to 1,000 years BC. Every phase of rock art shows the bow and arrow being carried by the human figures, therefore all the paintings must have been executed after the invention of the bow. Most of the paintings were done using colours obtained from the natural minerals found in nearby areas. Unfortunately time, damp and exfoliation are destroying some of the paintings, and at least one attempt at preservation has caused more problems. The highest point in the Matopos National Park is the dome named Malindidzimu (the place of spirits), where Cecil Rhodes loved to sit and where he arranged to be buried. The view is magnificent , Africa stretching away on all sides. Finally, after time spent at a comfortable safari lodge, where we wallowed in our watering hole and then lay on sunbeds to watch the animals visiting theirs, and where we had the opportunity to see wildlife moving across the landscape to which it belongs, we went on to the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Nature might have designed the Falls for tourists, the water comes crashing down into a gorge and then the river flows on to the right so it is possible to stand on the opposite side of the gorge to watch the rainbows forming and to attempt to photographs this immense sight. The spray from the Falls creates a rain forest, and water proofs and umbrellas are needed at some times of the year when walking along the edge of the gorge which is kept blessedly free of any commercial enterprises. Here we stayed at the historic Victoria Falls hotel, the first version of which was built in 1904 as soon as the railway, originally intended to go from the Cape to Cairo, reached Victoria Falls. It immediately became the fashion to make an excursion to the Falls and the father of our friend in Zimbabwe, who had been an early mining engineer in what is now Zambia, and who incidentally made his first journeys up from the Cape on a bicycle which he then used a his chief mode of transport, once arrived rather travel-stained and short of clothing to find in the two years he had been in the bush the railway and the hotel had arrived and there were ladies and gentlemen in full evening dress dining in the hotel. The hotel was also one of the stopover places for travellers on the Imperial Airways (later BOAC) flying boat route from London to South Africa, the plane landed on the Zambezi above the Falls, where the river forms one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted water in Africa. We have given this piece the title “Zimbabwe the Great” because that was how we found it, a beautiful country with friendly, smiling people, good hotels and roads, a beautiful climate and tap water you can drink!


This title has been given to an exhibition running at the Church Farm House Museum, Hendon until April 17. It is an exhibition of donations and other acquisitions from the Museum’s own collection. This is an opportunity to see material from books to bee-skips, from cradles to calculators and from pie crimpers to projectors acquired during recent years. Don’t forget the Museum is open weekdays (except Tuesday) 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5.30pm, Sundays 2pm to 5.30pm.


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By Jennie Lee Cobban and Brian Wrigley


Our interest in this site was first aroused in 1984 when we heard of plans to redevelop. In January 1985 we asked the London Borough of Barnet if we could have the opportunity to explore the site by excavation and otherwise, between demolition and redevelopment. We had in mind that the development, close as it was to the ancient route of the Great North Road, might disclose traces of medieval Chipping Barnet; the nearer the road we could explore, the greater the chances, but from inspection we knew the most likely areas were under concrete.

In September 1985, the Chief Executive and Town Clerk told us that the Council had decided that HADAS and the Barnet District Local History Society should be invited to carry out a survey. We made it clear that we considered that trial-trenching was essential to any useful survey, and in March 1986 we enquired the possibility of doing some work that summer; in December 1986 we attended, as invited, a meeting with BDLHS and the Controller of Development Services, when we found that we would not be allowed to do any excavation once the developers had gone into occupation, and before this stage we could only be allowed to dig on land already open – in practical terms this meant the back gardens of empty houses.

The contract with the developers (although we were not told this at the time) provided for the Council’s nominee(s) to have reasonable access…. during site clearance operations, “but not following the completion of the link road and the temporary car parks” and as it turned out, the link road and car parks had to be completed before any of the original car park concrete could be broken up; thus we had no opportunity of excavation on the car park site itself. However, through the goodwill of the developers, Lovells, we were allowed on site to observe whilst clearing and excavating operations were in progress.

We can feel that in spite of the difficulties, with our few small trial trenches and our site-watching we covered the site fully enough to be able to say it is established that the occupation of medieval Barnet (which must have existed) did not extend to this area, except possibly immediately alongside the main high road, to which the redevelopment, and hence our investigations, did not extend.

We also had in mind that this was a site which could have been suitable for earlier than medieval, perhaps even prehistoric, occupation; a site on a headland (more noticeably so in the past before Barnet Hill was banked up to ease the gradient) readily cut off by a diagonal ditch across the headland as a defence in almost any period. (See the accompanying Plan 1). We did in fact find, in site-watching, a short length of ditch, across the SE corner of the development site, which would be in the right direction to do just this (see Plan 2). However, in the sections exposed by the contractors’ excavations, and in the two shovelfuls of sample fill we were able to take, we found absolutely no identifiable artefactual evidence, so there is no evidence for date or use and we have to take it as most probably a drainage ditch which might be of any period whatever.

EXCAVATIONS 28 March to 9 May 1987

We opened Trenches I to IV in the positions shown in Plan 2; Trench I was a flowerbed and the nearest point we could get to the main road that was not covered in concrete. In Trenches I, II, and III we found nearly a metre depth of black organic soil above the underlying natural sandy gravel; the black soil was all well mixed up and we were unable to detect any real stratigraphy, quite modern pottery sherds appearing all the way down.

Trench IV was in a position which, from historical research, we thought should be at the back of the former Green Dragon Inn dating from the 17 Century. Apart from disturbance from a modern drain, we found, about 15 cm below present surface, several layers of hard-packed brick rubble and gravel which would be consistent with their being hard- standing in the inn yard, renewed from time to time. Below these layers was a layer of black organic soil including some clay pipes and sherds consistent with a 17 Century date, and below the black soil (nearly 1 metre below present surface) was the natural sandy gravel.

There were no finds in any of the trenches earlier than post-medieval.

SITE-WATCHING 30 November 1987 to 29 February 1988

We were, of course, concerned to establish whether the appearances in our few, tiny trenches, were typical of the whole site. We did make some enquiries of the possibilities of trial-trenching by machine on the main area of the car park, after the concrete had been broken up, but this did not prove possible and we had to be content, through the good offices of Lovells, the developers, with being allowed access to observe’ whilst their clearance and excavation of the site took place. Jennie Cobban, wearing three hats as HADAS, BLHS and Barnet Museum, was appointed Co-ordinator.

The observations confirmed that the site overall was like our trial trenches – up to a metre of black organic soil over the natural sandy gravel; no structures (apart from the Victorian ones we knew about and had seen being knocked down) and no earthworks apart from a pit (which turned out to have Victorian sherds in the bottom) and the ditch referred to in the Summary above. Again, there were no finds earlier than post-medieval.

The post-medieval finds included some metalwork, discovered through the willing and helpful co-operation of the Herts and District Metal Detecting Society in searching spoil heaps; one of these finds was a farthing of William III and Mary.

The front part of the Methodist Church including the twin towers were not demolished, but within the towers the contractors excavated to below the concrete footings and in the south tower, below the concrete of the footings resting on the sandy gravel natural, we noted two U-shaped intrusions of darker earth, one in the E baulk and one in the S baulk, clearly indicating a ditch running at 45 degrees NE to SW across the corner below the tower. Later, when No 111 High Street (see Plan 2) was demolished, an excavation was made by the contractors at the rear, exposing the footings of the wall of No 109, which showed similar signs of the continuation of the ditch in the same direction, as well as a brick-lined well; the brickwork has been tentatively dated to about 1800, but as the hole was promptly concreted in we were unable to get any dating evidence from the bottom of the well.

The front part of No 111 had a deep basement which would have destroyed any archaeological levels.


In the terms of both our licence, and the developer’s contract, all finds are the property of the LBB who have agreed they should be passed to the custodianship of BLHS for the Barnet Museum, and this has been done. It is intended to lodge the original notebooks of the excavation and site-watching similarly with Barnet Museum.


Whilst the mainly negative results of this exercise are unexciting, they are useful, and the operation as a whole has been a splendid example of co-operation between HADAS, BLHS, and Herts and District Metal Detecting Society. We are grateful for the support and advice we had from the Museum of London’s Department of Greater London Archaeology, including a site visit to our open trenches by Harvey Sheldon and Peter Mills, and for the efforts by Lovells and their Manager, Cam Lavin, to help us within their tight schedule. Mr Nickolls of Linden Villas kindly gave us access to store tools (as well as tea!) whilst we were digging. Those from BLHS and HADAS who helped, whether by research, advice, digging, pot- washing, or site-watching include:

Brigid Grafton Green, Ann Trewick, Paddy Musgrove, Alec Gouldsmith, Marjorie St Clair, Esther Isaacs, Pat Allison, Michael Bardill, John Whitehorn, Gillian Gear, Victor Jones, Alan Lawson, Ned Oak, George Sweetland, Anne Young, John Enderby, Robin Ford, Joanna Stent, John Heathfield, and Howard Bowdler.


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NEWSLETTER 204: MARCH 1988 Edited by Isobel McPherson


Tuesday March 1st Tithe Maps – Geraldine Beech

Miss Beech’s knowledge of the resources of the Public Record Office, especially of the maps which refer to our own district is bound to be of interest to many members. The Assistant Keeper in the Map Department of the P.R.O., she has a special interest in Tithe Maps and has published work on the subject.

Tuesday April 5th Archaeology and the Great Fire of London 1666 – Gustav Milne

Saturday April 23rd Morning Tour of St Lawrence Whitchurch, Edgware – Sheila Woodward

Tuesday May 10th Annual General Meeting

Saturday, May 14th Outing to Windsor – Ted Sammes

Saturday June 11th Outing to Flag Fen and Peterborough


Those of us who have been faithfully following Margaret Roxan’s adventures in the world of the Romans for a number of years now, knew that we were in for a lively, thought-provoking and thoroughly absorbing evening. We certainly were not disappointed. Well, fancy the Romans having got as far as Roumania, too, as if Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Egypt, Syria etc. were not enough.

It seems the Romans had been up to their old tricks again with a few local variations. The reasonably peaceful Dacians had been happily settled in Transylvania, having the odd battle, such as with the Scythians, who mainly occupied the area North of the Black Sea. This was reported by Heroditus around the 5th century B.C. There was also a battle with Alexander the Great around 335 B.C. when he was on his way to conquests elsewhere.

The Dacians, also liking to be known as the Getaie tribe, were strong in the Black Sea area and said to be a sort of local Mafia. The tribe was good at assimilating cultures from other more developed lands, Greece traded pottery; from Thracia (now Bulgaria) came silver and gold repoussé work. There was a big input from the Celts at the end of the Iron Age, such as a typically, distinguishably Celtic helmet. A drinking horn has also been found. The Celts also brought coinage, which tended to be of the symbolic variety, mainly based on coinage from Philip of Macedonia. It was probably used for prestigious purposes rather than by hoi-polloi.

The Romans began to cast their eagle eye on the Dacians around 44 B.C., when a king of the Dacians contemporary with Julius Caesar called Burabista started sending an army across the Hungarian plain, towards the coast. The Romans duly took note. By coincidence Burabista and Julius Caesar were both assassinated at the same time. The Romans were always worried about their Northern frontier and in any case saw no reason for frontiers, as there could be no possible reason why the whole known world did not want to come under their control. In any case they could not let a likely adversary get away with it and so Augustus relieved the Dacians of their borders. They, however, put up a good fight, but the Romans knew a trick or two and sent in a neighbouring tribe, the lazyges, to the Hungarian plain to attack. This, however, made the Dacians consolidate and along came a king, Decobalos, ready to take on the Romans. Domitian, Vespasian’s son was Emperor in Rome and not thought to be up to much. Decobalos put up a very good fight and a peaceful settlement on good terms for the Dacians was made around 80 B.C. Dacia was now used by the wily Romans as a buffer state.

Dr. Roxan showed us some interesting slides of Dacians, depicted on Constantine’s Arch and Trajan’s Column, both in Rome. The Dacians certainly looked most dignified. A war memorial was also constructed at Adamklissi. Sites in Roumania of Dacian/Roman remains are still being excavated and they seem to have much singularity.

City walls consisted of two walls, tied together with open beams. There were mud-brick buildings (shades of the Greeks), with sanctuaries of stone circles inside each other and could have been calendars. At the same time there were quite sophisticated settlements, with roads, drains and a variety of crops and sighs in the Greek alphabet.

True to form, the truce did not last long and Trajan once again declared war and defeated Decobalos, one of the reasons for attacking being that they had discovered gold in those hills. Trajan earned his place in Roumanian history by building paths along the Danube cliffs, and a canal parallel to the river, so avoiding the rapids. He had five legions, at least 6,000 men, posted in Roumania, including, it is related, some Britons. The wars are depicted most graphically, if perhaps not with historical accuracy, on Trajan’s Column. Trajan was followed by Hadrian who built colonia in old Dacia with, it appears, “all mod. cons,” and a wall along the frontier The main colonia was at a place called Sarmizegetusa. There is still much excavation going on in modern Roumania, and so much more to be discovered and visited.

Our appetites were delightfully whetted by Margaret Roxan’s talk, and once again a whole new world opened up. Thank you very much.


In the course of preparing for our 25th birthday programme, we approached the Borough authorities for some limited financial support We were advised that no smaller grants were available but that support might be sanctioned for a wider ranging project of general interest to the Borough.

The Society’s years of investigation into the archaeology and local history of Barnet have brought to light much evidence of the past; traces of mammoth and sabre-toothed tiger in Edgware, stone- age man on West Heath, Golders Green, the Romans on Brockley Hill and Saxons and medieval villagers in Hendon. Documentary research into the Battle of Barnet, churchyard recording, the study of field and farm boundaries and many other records of interest swell the body of new evidence which we can present.

It seemed that a collected record of this material, set in a wider framework of established knowledge, could provide a useful account of the development of the borough. The committee approved of the possibility and agreed to set up a working party to plan the undertaking, the members being Ted Sammes, Helen Gordon, Percy Reboul, Liz Holliday and the present writer. After various discussions it was decided to consult Brigid Grafton Green, our active and resourceful digger, researcher, archivist and Newsletter editor for many years, about our plans. We have also taken advantage of the recent recruitment to the Society of Mrs. Pat Taylor, a qualified local historian and one of the helpful team at the Local History Library. She is willing, with the support of the working party, to undertake the difficult task of co-ordinating and editing the publication. She will, no doubt, be glad to hear from other members who feel they can contribute to the work in hand.

The whole publication is expected to consist of eight or more chapters in two separate parts, the first dealing mainly with archaeological subjects in chronological order while the second will be more concerned with local history and the life of the people of Barnet from, roughly, the later Middle Ages to the present day.


If you want to see one of the most beautiful shows in town, get along fast to the British Museum. You’ll need to put your skates on, because it closes on March 6.

It is the Glass of the Caesars – not a big exhibition, perhaps 160-170 pieces – but its sheer quality makes up for any lack of quantity. It brings together the cream of three great collections of Roman glass – one from the BM itself, one from the Corning Museum of Glass in New York and the third from the Romisch-Germanisches Museum of Cologne.

The Imperial Age (1st C BC to Mid-6th AD) covers the period when there were major developments in glass making and decoration, and this story is followed steadily through. At the end, if you have time, you can drop in and see a film on glass-making in the ancient world. The period is historic for glass because it covers the revolution which occurred when glass-blowing – inflating and manipulation on a blow-pipe – started, as distinct from the older methods of casting, ciré-perdu or cutting from a solid block. The old methods were slow, expensive and confined the possession of glass only to the very wealthy. Glass blowing, quick and comparatively cheap, brought this shining material within the reach of many.

One of the most beautiful objects in the exhibition is the smallest – a tiny bust of the Emperor Augustus, only 5 cm high but with every detail perfectly modelled – the hair in curls, the furrowed brow and expressive eyes, the aquiline nose, the determined mouth and chin. This was a master craftsman at work.

It is difficult to single out particular objects when there is such a wealth of lovely things, all finely displayed, but I will try to mention a few: mosaic and ribbon glass bowls in glowing colours; cups in translucent green glass that copy the familiar shape of the Samian form 27; a cover, like a fish, in brilliant Prussian blue; and an old familiar friend, the Portland Vase, holding its own well among all these beauties. If you can afford to invest in a catalogue (price £19.50, but it’s my bet that this will increase in value in the years that follow this unique exhibition) there is an excellent 8 pages in it devoted to every aspect of this famous piece.

All those were from the sections dealing with the older methods of glass-making. From the “blown” sections, look specially at a fairylike bluebird, some 12 cm long, which may once have contained cosmetics; at a shapely, marvered 2-handled jar in reds, blues, yellows and whites, that melt into each other; at the most elegant drinking horn I’ve ever seen, in silvered pale-green glass, gently curving, decorated near the base with a slim trail of appliquéd glass winding round it; and at “The Masterpiece”, a wonderful, 30 cm tall flat-bodied bottle, decorated with coloured and gilded trails of leaves, garlands and bows. It comes from Cologne Museum and is a gorgeous piece – but no more gorgeous than our own Lycurgus cage-cup, which glows nearby, now red, now green, according to the light.

Of course there are one or two pieces which are, to modern eyes, monstrosities – for instance, an unguent bottle with 4 compartments, with bits sticking out all over it so that it looks like nothing but a demented hedgehog on its hind legs. Though outstandingly ugly, it is still interesting however – not least because the caption says it was “virtually unusable”, and that its purpose was presumably for display. was used to encourage the Roman shopper to buy a. phial of the 5th century equivalent of Chanel Numerus Quinque.


In 1821 the local census enumerators were asked to explain the causes of any abnormal increases or decreases in population in their parishes. Since 1811, Hendon’s population had grown from 2589 to 3100 in that decade. The clerk copied the enumerators’ opinions into the vestry minute book. It was thought that the increase was partly due to the increasing number of boarding schools in the parish and to the establishment of two parish orphanages – St Clement’s Danes in the Burroughs and St Martins-in-the-Fields at Highwood Ash in Mill Hill. Trying to find out the facts about these boarding schools has been a fascinating job. Why were there so many – or any – where were they – how long did they flourish – and what did they teach?

I think that boarding schools, like gentlemen’s villas, increased because some people, who could afford to, chose to live or have their children educated on the healthier “Northern “Heights” rather than in the close-packed, disease-ridden streets of London.

In the “South End” of the parish, Miss Lockier’s girls’ school appears in the 1801, 1811 and 1821 census books. In 1801 she paid £1.10.00 on a half-yearly rate at 6d in the £ for what must have been quite a substantial property which I think was in the Brent Bridge or Shirehall Lane area. In 1821 she paid £2.17.00 on a 6d rate and 15/- on another property for what must have been an enlarged house or another one in the same district. In 1801 there were 24 persons in Miss Lockier’s house – 2 males and 22 females. One person was working in agriculture, 2 in trade and 21 females were “unoccupied”. Was the agricultural worker the gardener and odd-job man? By 1811 Miss Lockier was officially a “schoolmistress” with a flourishing establishment of 51 females and a solitary male – the same gardener, odd-job man? The male occurs again in 1821; he was aged between twenty and thirty years so he probably was not one of the males of 1801. In 1821 there were 35 females in the house, 14 between 10 and 15 years, 12 between 15 and 20 years and nine older women. I don’t know what the young ladies were taught. The novels of Jane Austen tell us what their parents expected from their education – an ability to write a good hand and to spell correctly, to sing prettily and accompany themselves on the piano and perhaps to paint in water colours. Above all they were to learn the correct deportment of a young lady of good family.

In 1821 there were two other girls’ boarding schools in the Golders Green area. Miss Pegg housed 17 females – 13 of them less than 20 years old. Mrs Stables had 9 girls between 5 and 10 years and nine between 10 and 15 years..

The Burroughs had one boys’ school in 1801 run by James Goodyer – either the meticulous vestry clerk or his father or a male relative of the same name. The school used’ Burroughs House next to the workhouse, a pleasant eighteenth century house now tenanted by a firm of surveyors. In 1801 there were 56 persons in the house – 52 males, 4 females. Of these, 6 were occupied in “trade” and 50 were ‘unoccupied”. By 1811 James Goodyer, if the same man, was a “gentleman” living modestly with 2 females in a smaller house.

But there was a school in the Burroughs in 1811 – Burroughs Union House, maintained by Mr. Lockwood. In 1813 this gentleman put an announcement in an unidentified London paper declaring he had been “engaged in the arduous and important duty of instructing youth for 15 years”. He promised “to exert the same personal assiduity, the same strict attention to the selection of properly qualified assistants and the same strenuous endeavours to promote the moral and intellectual improvement of the pupils entrusted to his care that has been sanctioned by such very flattering marks of approbation.” The school fees were 35 guineas a year with one guinea entrance fee. Mr, Lockwood promised to ground his pupil’s “in the grand, rudiments of education” and to “qualify them completely for the public schools, the Army and Navy and mercantile pursuits etc.” Parents of prospective pupils were referred to two London gentlemen who had sons at the school.

In 1811 Mr. Lockwood had an establishment of 55 males and 5 females. He left the Burroughs in 1816 because the Hertfordshire Record Office holds an advertisement for the sale of Burroughs Union House in that year – “Freehold and Tithe free, with a forecourt, offices, coach house and stables on the road to Burrows, and a meadow in Church Lane.” Lockwood had paid rates of £3.00.00. on a 6d rate between 1810 and 1816. {TO BE CONTINUED) 


I received a nice Christmas card from one of our members, Mrs. Louise de Launay, from her home in Canterbury. I append below extracts from her letter which I think would interest members:

“I always am interested finding reference to the Grahame White Hangar, Hendon Aerodrome. Site watching notes etc. The Boundary Stone at The Spaniards, Hampstead. Until my mother died in 1957, we lived opposite what is now the Royal Free Hospital and The George, Haverstock Hill. Many household items of ours are at Church Farm House – desk, chest of drawers, coal hod, brass hearth fitting, yew armchair from Yorkshire years ago, battered warming-pan in kitchen – on permanent loan.”

So when you are next at Church Farm Museum have a look for the above items. Many thanks, Mrs. de Launay, for letting the Museum have so much on loan which the younger generations will find so fascinating.

If anyone would like a copy of the List of Members as at 1st February 1988, please write to me, Miss P. Fletcher, 31 Addison Way, London NW11 6AL.

Dorothy Newbury has had a letter from Mr. Jarman in which he wishes to be remembered to you all. He is back in good health, working and enjoying life at his new home in Herstmonceux. For the benefit of new members, Mr. Jarman, a founder member, was our Chairman from 1965 to 1985. He contributes this notice on the death of Mrs. I. Worby, aged 91 years, in January of this year.

“I was very sorry to hear that yet another of our long-serving members is no longer with us – Mrs. I. Worby. She will be remembered by those who, like myself, have belonged to the Society since the early days, as an early member of the Committee, a regular on our outings and as one who had a great interest in Archaeology. I also remember how in her younger days she was always willing to help and I can well remember her washing finds in somewhat primitive conditions at our early digs at Church End Farm in the days before the Polytechnic College was extended.

To the end of her days she maintained her interest in the Society and I am sure this helped to keep her happy in the evening of her long and useful life.” BRIAN JARMAN

News has reached us of the deaths of two other valued members, Dr. L.B. Hunt, who died last April, and Mr. J. K. Haughton, who died very suddenly early on New Year’s Day. Mrs. Hunt now lives at 30, The Comyns, Bushey Heath, Herts. WD2 1HP. Mrs. Haughton is keeping on the flat in St. Peter’s Court, with its lovely southern view. We send them our sympathy and our good wishes for the future.


Owing to pressure of space, these notes must be compressed. Members of the Committee may be consulted by those who wish for further details.

Very soon, our cramped store room at College Farm will be needed by Chris Owers, and we now face a crisis. Advertisements will be placed in the local press, but if possible, we should like to hear from any member who could offer some kind of accommodation for the excavation finds now at the farm – or who knows of someone else with space available. PLEASE HELP, THIS IS A MATTER OF URGENCY

The Computer Sub-Committee reported a recommendation for the purchase of a computer at a cost not exceeding £450, offset by a grant of £125. At a later date, a printer (not to exceed £200) would be needed.

The Excavation Working Party reported that the site north of the Burroughs, designated for development, is scheduled for clearance in about a year’s time. .It is hoped to excavate the mound in the Convent grounds if permission can be obtained. The site of a medieval house – possibly Mayshulle – was excavated in 1955-7 by the East Herts. Archaeological Society, South of Barnet Church. This area, chiefly allotments, may be available for excavation and certainly for field-walking. No painting was found on the (?) mid- 13th C. north wall of Barnet Church. Barnet Museum report that drawings and records of the wall are in preparation.

Dorothy Newbury has a quantity of surplus Newsletters covering the last two years. If any member wants back numbers, please ring her before she disposes of them. This is also an appeal – she is one Newsletter missing, No. 180 February 1986. Have you a spare, or could she borrow one to make a photocopy?

Eight new members have joined since the last meeting.


The fierce division of opinion over the 11th World Archaeological Congress shows no sign of dying down. As Paul Lashmar said, reviewing Peter Ucko’s book, Academic Freedom and Apartheid in the Observer, “The ramifications of all this for archaeology may well still be felt long after South Africa has achieved majority rule.” He regards the book as “a powerful, personal and honest account of the emotions and the logic that brought about the split.” The most interesting part of the argument he feels is the revelation of anger felt by indigenous groups at the lofty attitudes of European archaeologists; their ability to impose a dominant view of minority cultures from a distant, academic viewpoint.

Reviewing the same-book in the Independent, John Torode adopted the opposite position. In a largely hostile notice, he says “There is one thing on which all sides agree: the banned white South Africans are distinguished and liberal academics who have stood up against apartheid; and the South African government. They have not prostituted their professional standards to help ‘prove’ the ethnic inferiority of blacks or their supposedly weak title to the lands of southern Africa. Indeed their research has helped demolish the myths upon which claims of white superiority were built.”

Of the emerging, articulate groups of indigenous archaeologists, he comments, “Leaders of these indigenous groups will want academic results which further their political claims. Their rulers will want the opposite. Under such competing pressures, archaeologists like Professor Peter Ucko will need cool heads.” He points out the 71 countries represented at Southampton “include many of the most vicious, repressive regimes in the world, including a number which systematically distort their own history and- prehistory. Less than half are fully democratic. Yet he regards their participation and South Africa’s exclusion as a victory for the cause of freedom.” He finishes by saying “Mr. Ucko evidently sees an insistence on one kind of freedom (unimpeded academic discourse) as a denial of another (free political expression). But by establishing a false dichotomy between academic freedom and opposition to apartheid, he succeeds only in undermining both.”

The debate continues.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 4 : 1985 - 1989 | No Comments

Newsletter 202: JANUARY 1988 Edited by: Liz Holliday


Important reminder: lectures will be held on first TUESDAY each month

Tuesday 5th January Work for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Talk by Philip Venning. Philip, a HADAS member for many years, is Secretary of S.P.A.B.

Tuesday 12th January Visit to The Emperor’s Terracotta Warriors (Details below)

Tuesday 2nd February The Romans in Rumania – Margaret Roxan

Tuesday 1st March Tythe Maps – Geraldine Beach

Saturday 23rd April Morning tour of St. Lawrence, Whitchurch (Edgware) – conducted by Sheila Woodward


The visit is on but is now on Tuesday afternoon at 2p.m. Will all those who have booked meet at the Royal Horticultural Society’s OLD HALL, Vincent Square, SW1. Instructions as follows –

“On arrival, the group leader only should go to the group booking entrance at the centre of the hall, collect an admission voucher and return to ‘The Coach’ for the rest of the party.” As we don’t have a coach, presumably we gather outside.

Will members who have not yet paid please send cheques, payable to HADAS, by return as the tickets have already been paid for. Adults £4.50; OAP £3.


A hostelry with medieval atmosphere on an ancient site within the walls of Roman London was the perfect choice for an archaeological function. A comfortable coach manned by a cheerful driver had been arranged, for our journey to the Museum of London, and we arrived in good time for a sherry or coffee before making our way to the lecture hall.

Dr. Francis Sheppard led us through the history of the two London Museums with extracts and. illustrations from his book. The Guildhall Museum which began as an adjunct to the library in 1826 and. the National Museum founded in 1911 which was located at Lancaster House until 1939. After 1945 both museums had temporary quarters – The Guildhall at the Royal Exchange; The London Museum at Kensington Palace – until they came together in 1975. Transporting some of the larger artefacts created problems but now they are all together well presented for our interest and pleasure.

After the talk and a brisk walk in the bright and frosty evening, we received a warm welcome on our arrival at “The Crowders Well”. The restaurant below stairs (in the well so to speak!) was cosy and Christmassy – the room and tables attractively decorated with hats, crackers and streamers. With good food, and liquid refreshment, the buzz of conversation and laughter soon filled the room. We left with a feeling of well-being. Our thanks go to Dorothy for a well- organised, happy occasion.


The Society has been asked (by the BBC) if six members would like to be part of the audience for a forthcoming edition of Sir Robin Day’s QUESTION TIME. The programme will be recorded on a. Thursday evening (date not known yet), between 7.45pm and 9.15pm at the Greenwood Theatre, Guy’s Hospital Complex, which is close to London Bridge Station. Coffee and sandwiches will be available from 6.30. If you would like to represent HADAS, send your name and address to Brian Wrigley, The Mermaid, 21 Woodcroft Avenue, NW7 2AA as soon as possible. The first six names received will carry the flag for the rest of us.


Members will be saddened to hear that Mrs. Lucille Armstrong died suddenly early in December. She was nationally recognised for her knowledge of dance, a subject which she had studied and taught for over fifty years. She will be greatly missed, not only by her pupils but by her many friends within the Society.

BROCKLEY HILL Gill Braithwaite

The report on our month at Brockley Hill, which I’m afraid ended up rather longer than planned, has been produced as a separate leaflet instead of part of the Newsletter. I would like to take this opportunity to express my warmest thanks to the other HADAS committee members who helped me organise the dig, in particular to Brian Wrigley, who as “chief assistant organiser” provided invaluable help and support, as well as master-minding all the Electrical Resistivity Metering. Also to Robert Michel, the other “assistant organiser”, who was a tower of strength in every meaning of the phrase, and to Victor Jones and Jean Shelling who were always there when needed, and immensely helpful.

On their behalf, and on my own, I would like to heartily thank all the following old and new members who came to give us a hand, either digging, field-walking, finds-processing or resistivity metering: Tessa Smith (last remaining member of the Roman Group, and great tea lady and rape planter as well as everything else), Myfanwy Stewart (our only prehistorian, who was responsible almost single- handed for turning our Roman dig into a prehistoric one, and finding the famous Early Bronze Age arrow head in Trench C and most of the flints from the field-walking), Wendy Baker, Helen Gordon, June Porges (who obtained the invaluable maps of the 1970 Gas Main), Brian Macarthy, Vicky O’Connor, Howard Bowdler (whose metal detector in our trenches and on the spoil heaps was a very useful tool), Charles Reed, Marjorie St Clair, Jack Goldenfeld, Fred King, Trevor Tucker, Mike Bardill, Mick Streatfield, Mark Hillier, Brian Marston, Peter Pilkington, Jan Bryant, Eleanor Witherow, Jane Jones, David. Trinchero, Anne Young, and any others who I may have omitted to mention. Brian and I also owe a big thank-you to Dan Lampert and to my brother Anthony Robinson, who provided invaluable help and professional knowledge at the very beginning when we were faced with the daunting problem of trying to establish the exact position of the Water Pipe Line across the field. This was no easy matter in this huge, featureless field, with almost all its old hedgerows now ploughed-out and not a peg in sight.

Lastly I would just like to say that we were most grateful to the farmer, Mr. Shepherd, for generously allowing us the use of his field, despite the fact that it had already been sown. We were also very glad of the friendly support of various local inhabitants, who came with their children to look and give encouragement, one of them providing useful information about past earth-moving and. levelling operations in the field.. Another brought the fruits of his metal detecting – a perfect coin of Flaustina II and two tiny bronzes: a minute winged Cupid and a very fine head of Jupiter Ammon. Apparently people may come and. metal detect just as they can come and. shoot pigeons, on a financial basis. As metal detectors don’t go down much more than six inches and the field is already so massively disturbed by deep-ploughing and levelling operations, hopefully there is not much harm that they can do. It was clear though, that Brockley Hill is quite a favourite hunting ground. Perhaps more people can be encouraged to come and show us their finds. In this respect, as in many others, our being at Brockley Hill was a very positive factor.


Congratulations to Helen Lampert, whose painting ”Ghost House”* was selected for the recent Barnet Artists’ Exhibition held at North Finchley Library – no mean feat as 340 works were submitted, arid only 61 chosen for exhibition.

*(Any sub-conscious influence by the spirits of Roman potters past I wonder …? Ed)


The Immortal Swan A programme of rare film recording performances by “Anna Pavlova ‘will be introduced by Leonard. Newman, Assistant Curator of the Pavlova museum at Ivy House, at 8.15pm on Wednesday, 3rd February at North Finchley Library, Ravensdale Avenue, N.12

The Welsh Harp Dr, Leo Batten will be speaking at Hendon Library on Wednesday 24th February about the wildlife and plants of this valuable local habitat, created 100 years ago by the Regents Canal Company as a reservoir for their London canal network.


The splendid series of large-scale 19th Century Ordnance Survey maps reprinted by Alan Godfrey now includes The Welsh Harp, Edgware and. Whetstone. Our well-known secret agent (code name PR) has “found time in between reading the Thousand and One Nights to provide the notes which accompany the Whetstone map. Archivists Joanne Corden and Pamela Taylor have contributed notes for The Welsh Harp and Edgware. The new maps and the others so far available may be bought from local libraries and The Local History Library, price £1.20 each.

Alan Godfrey, the publisher, hopes to complete the series with other sheets covering the rest of the Borough. Unfortunately it is very difficult to find good, clean, uncreased copies of the originals. If any member has copies of the 1890s OS maps in good condition please contact Pamela or Joanne at the Local History Library- they will fall on your neck in gratitude;