Volume 5 : 1990 – 1994


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ISSUE NO. 282 – SEPTEMBER 1994 Edited by Helen Gordon


Tuesday 4 October –

Saturday 8 October –

Saturday 29 October –
Tuesday 1 November –

Outing to Alton, Old Winchester Hill and New Butser Excavating in Egypt Lecture by Patricia Spencer MINIMART see below

City Walk wi

The Hoxne Hoard and Others: Late Treasures from Britain Lecture by Dr Catherine Johns


Turn out your cupboards: pass on your white elephants: start cooking
and contact Dorothy to arrange for collection

STUDYING THIS WINTER? Birkbeck College’s Extra-Mural Programme 94/95 contains details

of more courses than ever before. Here are a few within reach of HADAS5 members:-

INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY (Advanced class) Monday 3 October, 7.45pm – 9.45pm

lecturer: Denis Smith, PhD, CEng, Barnet WEA, Ewan Hall, Wood St, Barnet. ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE SEA Tuesday 27 September 7.30pm – 9.30 pm

lecturer: B D Adams BA MPhil Elstree, Borehamwood & Radlett WEA, Borehamwood Community Centre, Allum Lane, Elstree

SOCIAL & HISTORICAL DEVEL IN ANCIENT EGYPT Tuesday 27 September 7.15 – 9.15 lecturer: Bill Manley BA, Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute

THE PEN & THE SWORD: the age of Alexander Wednesday 21 September 10 – 12

lecturer: Janet Corran MA, Watford WEA, The Stable Room, Rudolph Rd, Bushey

(advanced class)

20 YEARS BACK – NOSTALGIA 70th Anniversary of the Edgware line from Dorothy Newbury

Newsletter No.43 September 1974


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

If one man could truly lay claim to have been the “architect” of present-day Edgware, it is George Cross, an ambitious young estate agent who sensed that the area was ripe for development as early as 1910. Expansion quickened dramatically with the arrival of the tube. In 1926 ross, in conjunction with architect A J Butcher, developed 85 acres of the Canons Park Estate, where houses, expensive for their day, ranged from £1500 to £3500 We looked too at Cross’s “Premier Parade” of shops, dating from 1924; and at the Edgware Manor Estate, also developed by Cross in the 1920s .This year, in continuance of its celebrations of 150 years in existence, the R.A.I. picked Canterbury as the centre for its 140th Summer Meeting. Accomodated in Christchurch College, we were close enough to be able to wander into the city in the little spare time available. It ran from Monday July 11th, with an extra, a visit to Faversham, on the Saturday.

It was in some ways unfortunate that the Monday, spent walking round Canterbury, was one of the hottest of the season. We looked at a minimum of 9 sites had a reception in the evening at the Woolstore, followed by a lecture in the Cathedral! The day’s highlight for me was the talk on stone carving and the application of lime water to stabilise stone surfaces.

Tuesday saw us out and about, firstly in Fordwich Town Hall and then on to Reculver. I have never seen this dull, windswept site so warm and sunny! After lunch, taken in Salmeston Grange, we literally boiled in Ramsgate Harbour, but cooled off in Pugin’s St, Augustine’s Abbey and the Grange. These were both built with Pugin’s own money. As a contrast Richborough Roman Castle was stark, open and very warm, the best place being inside the little museum with its Roman finds.

Wednesday found us out and about in the Dover area, with a late visit to Hellfire Corner and an Evening Reception in the cool of the keep of Dover Casstle.

Thursday found us in Sandwich where the police took the coaches away for a safety check, Nice to know that they do check, but why pick on us, with our tight schedule?

HADAS members will remember going to Barfreston church some years ago; well, the south side has been given a lime water treatment and now looks much brighter.

Friday was for me a day in Romney Marshes, starting with a ride on the Romny/Hythe railway. We saw a very good collection of farm implements in the Barn at Brook. In the evening we all dressed forthe reception and dinner at Kings School in Canterbury.

Next day I joined a smaller party to walk round Faversham.

What did I find most interesting? Well, perhaps the Roman Museum, in process of being re-vamped where a mosaic pavement and some walls have been retained in situ.

About 140 people and so many sites to choose from, I can only mention a few! Next year Worcester will be the venue.

MEMBERS NEWS – a happy report this time from Dorothy

Tamara Baker, who with Julius has been a regular on outings and at lectures, has had a bad patch in hospital. But following a serious operation she is back home again and fighting fit.

NEW MEMBERS – by the way, we’ve been told that a Society outing can be something of an ordeal for new members. Those who have been in HADAS for some time may have forgotten how unnerving it is to face a coach-load of strange people who all seem to know each other and none of whom know you.

Next time you notice someone looking lost – or lonely, or nervous – on a HADAS outing, it would be a kindness to chat to them or help them feel at home.

Audree Price-Davies

The two significant features which run through the history and archaeology of Cyprus are copper and Aphrodite. Copper ensures the economic wealth of Cyprus and Aphrodite is the spiritual embodiment.

The word Cyprus comes from the Roman word for copper. Even as early as 3000 BC copper was being exploited, and from 2500-1050 BC it was more vigorously exploited. Religious leaders had control over the copper industry and this continued up to the classical

period. In Kition (Larnaca) the copper workshops were close to the Astarte temple, and remained in use from 600 BC until 450 BC. In the Hellenistic period 325-58 BC Cyprus came under the Ptolemies of Egypt and trade in copper with Egypt and the Greek world was very important. This was a period of wealth for Cyprus.

Aphrodite was reputed to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, who was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, the sea-nymph – or of Air and Earth. She stepped out of the sea and Homer wrote of her:-

‘I will sing of stately Aphrodite, gold-crowned and beautiful

Whose dominion is the walled cities of all sea-set Cyprus’

Aphrodite was the goddess of love and fertility and from the earliest times shrines were built to her which became places of pilgrimage. Flowers and fruit were the temple gifts and doves were sacrificed only once a year, A sanctuary uncovered at Enkomi was constructed with ashlar blocks with a propylaeum and cella and in the centre a stone pillar – an element incorporated from Mycenaean religion. It is at Paphos that the main sanctuary of Aphrodite was found since the birthplace of Aphrodite (Petra tou Romiou) is 25 kilometres east of Paphos and it is in this beautiful spot that Aphrodite the goddess of love and beauty is reputed to have risen from the waves. The sanctuary of Aphrodite at Kouklia village, Palaia Paphos, was a major religious centre during the whole of the first millenium BC and a celebrated place of pilgrimage. The ruins go back to the 12th century BC but the sanctuary was a place of cult and pilgrimage of the ancient world until the 4th century AD.

At the festival of Aphrodite and her lover Adonis, pilgrims landed from all parts of the ancient world and took the processional way to Paphos through groves whose lushness symbolised the fruitfulness of the goddess. The village of Yeroscipos, near to Paphos keeps this memory in its name, which means “holy garden”, and many streams still flow through here into the valley and then the sea.

Pygmalion fell in love with Aphrodite and because she did not return his love. he made an ivory image of her and laid it in his bed, praying to her for pity. Aphrodite, entering into this image brought it to life as Galatea and she bore him a son Paphus and a daughter Metharme. Pygmalian’s grand-son Cinyras, son of Paphus, founded the city of Paphos and built a famous temple to Aphrodite there.

Paphos itself, has within it or near it, a representative section of almost all the archaeological sites by means of which the history of Cyprus can be traced. Fourteen stone-age communities are known in Cyprus, along the north coast or in the short river valleys that descend from the Troodos mountains to the south. The communities huddle together on slopes or on tops of hills, and the lower parts of the round buildings are often of stone and have additions of stones and skins. The small interiors have hearths for cooking and heating, benches and windows but in many cases the area is further restricted by large and occasionally painted piers to support an upper floor beneath the beehive roof. In winter, the heat would gather at that higher level for sleeping and for curing stored venison. Kirokhitla, to the south of Paphos is such a centre. A few pottery vessels exist, but they preferred stone vessels. It would seem that the earliest Cypriot society was a well organised complex structure primarily engaged in farming, hunting and herding, rather than hunter-gatherers.

In all settlements the dead were buried just under the floors in crouched positions and there was a provision for offerings so presumably a form of ancestor worship existed. There is evidence of skull trepination, to relieve cranial pressure or possibly to prevent the return of the spirit.

Trade with Mycenae existed in the 15th, 15th and 14th centuries, but it is after the disruption of Mycenian society in the 13th century that the people left their homes and travelled eastwards. They were joined by other bands known as “peoples of the sea”. They visited Cyprus and may have settled there, Yhry brought their customs with them and influenced the development of Cyprus, After 1100 BC Cyprus became predominantly Greek-speaking as the Mycenaean settlers merged with the natives as at Enkomi, where there are Typical Mycenaean tombs with a rectangular chamber and a dromos, unlike the shaft and chamber tomb of the Cypriots.

In the Archaic period 750-475 BC the shrine to Astarte – the Phoenician equivalent to Aphrodite at Kition (Larnaca) became very important, but there was also a shrine to Aphrodite at nearby Tammassos. Egypt took over control of the island in 569 BC.

The Tombs of the Kings on the coast south of Paphos cover a wide area containing underground tombs carved out of solid rock, and dating to the 4th century BC. They are mainly decorated with Doric pillars. Wide sloping entrances of stone from ground level give access for horses and chariots which were probably buried with the dead after being killed. The rectangular tombs have small side chambers and in some cases the main area has an arched entrance. Whether kings were buried here or not the magnificence of the tombs gives the locality its name.

In Kato Paphos, near the harbour, a small Odeon of the 2nd century AD has been uncovered. It was entirely built of well-hewn limestone blocks and is now regularly used for musical and theatrical performances. In the same area of Roman remains the mosaics of the House of Dionysus, the House of Theseus and the House of Aion are of an exceptional quality. These amazing floors of 3rd century AD noblemen’s villas are among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mostly depict scenes from Greek mythology and are beautifully executed.

The Byzantine period with its monasteries and churches is well represented, as are also the crusader castles. Richard the Lionheart was married in Limmasol to Berengaria of Navarre and she was crowned Queen of England here. The Franks, Venetians and Ottoman Turks left their mark, but that is another chapter.

The archaeological sites in Cyprus are situated in areas of outstanding beauty as in the Troodos Mountains where the churches and monasteries have wall paintings and icons of exceptional style and form. The Akamas peninsula, 48 kilometres north of Paphos is a nature area where 22 different kinds of wild orchid exist and nature trails are marked throughout the area. Aphrodite is reputed to have bathed in a pool of a grotto shaded by a fig tree in this area and this has become a tourist attraction.

The work of excavation is evident everywhere and new sites are constantly being uncovered. Unfortunately, this is not so in the northern area Turkey has declared a “Northern
Republic of Cyprus”, but this is unrecognised by any state except Turkey. For this reason no state will undertake to fund archaeological excavation in North Cyprus and the buildings there deteriorate and crumble.

Bignor Surveyed by Bil

During July two members of HADAS attended a surveying course at Signor Roman Villa. This well known Sussex site was visited by HADAS in June ’93 (Newsletter 269) and is still being excavated by the Institute of Archaeology’s Field Unit; this work included the South Corridor and south east corner of the Court-yard.

A sample of tile-fall within the corridor was lifted but unfortunately yielded no dating evidence for the final phase of occupation of this part of the villa. Trial excavation beneath the floor level of the corridor revealed a large number of features and deposits and the on-going analyses of these discoveries will provide additional information about the early development of the villa.

A major discovery at Bignor in 1993 resulted from the first phase of a soil resistivity survey of the villa farmyard (or stockyard) This work, which was undertaken as a research and teaching exercise by Dr Tony Clark, examined a 40m strip In the western part of the farmyard. The survey data indicates a long building of at least three rooms running roughly north-south. Its dimensions are similar to the nearby east-west orientated building 66-68 recorded by Samuel Lyons in the early l9thc. It is possible that these two structures may be parts of the same scheme involving building along two sides of a yard with a wall defining its south-western edge. Traces of such a wall were detected by the resistivity survey. A circular anomaly in the yard may be a well – if so, this is the first to be located at Bignor.

This year the stock/farmyard is being looked at with three trenches on the E/W/S sides. Wall footings were indeed uncovered, along with possible pits, ditches and post-holes which are currently being excavated.

A total of eight people took part on the five day Archaeological Surveying course, which concentrated mostly on the practical aspects, eg use of tapes, triangulation, offsets, dumpy levels and theodolite. A bowl-barrow on Bignor Hill was used to teach the basics of contour surveying; nearby is a very well preserved section of Stane Street Roman road. A hi-tech alternative to the theodolite is EDM (Electronic Distance Measurement); this is at present rarely used in archaeology due to the high cost of the equipment. It fires out an infra-red beam which is reflected back by a prism; the machine then computes the distance, height and any angles.

Bignor also runs excavation training courses, and as members who have dug/visited the site know, it is in a very scenic area and would be a pleasant way to spend a week or so.

HERITAGE and HURRICANES reported by Bill Bass

An archaeological evaluation at the former Battle of Britain aerodrome at Hawkinge, near Folkestone, Kent has uncovered extensive traces of much earlier activity from beneath the runways. The oldest find from the site is part of a 5,000 year old polished flint axehead; a multitude of pits, post-holes and ditches were also found, showing the aerodrome to have been originally the home of farmers from the Iron-age, Roman and Medieval periods. In one pit a large Early Iron Age and tip (primitive plough tip) made of iron was found. Further to the north a Roman cremation burial was uncovered below the runway.

Despite war-time activity including enemy bombing, two of the four Roman pots buried with the cremation had survived whole. During the work a number of somewhat sinister metallic objects were also located which fortunately all proved to be harmless practice bombs.

(from the UCL Field Archaeology Unit newsletter)

Boundary Ditch, East heath, Hampstead
By Brian Wrigely

This interesting project has, regrettably, only been fleetingly mentioned in the Newsletter whilst the Excavation Working Party has had its attention concentrated on our excavations last year and early this. We have now however prepared a research design and submitted it to a number of interested authorities and bodies. In this we describe the history and importance of the site.

The ditch runs along the lie of an ancient land-boundary, which is still marked by (more recent) parish boundary-stones. The land-boundary which the ditch follows can be dated with certainty to the period 959-975AD, The ditch can be dated with certainty to a date before 1226-7AD, and may well be as old as the boundary itself.

A forthcoming book, “The Westminster Corridor” by David Sullivan QC (a leaflet about which was enclosed with a recent Newsletter) identifies this boundary as exactly conforming to the “bounds” described (in Anglo-Saxon) within CIO Latin charters of Westminster Abbey. The boundary separated one of the Abbey’s endowment estates, at Hampstead, from the estate of Tottenhall held by the Canon of St Pauls; and either then or later it also formed the old parish boundary between the parishes of Hampstead and St Pancras.

The Anglo-Saxon “bounds” refer to two places on the line of the ditch, at each of which there was at least a single settlement in or before the tenth century. The location of one of these settlements (“the wood-clearing, or ?farm, of Beggar”) can be identified fairly closely; the other, (“the wic or dwelling of Deomod”) is more difficult to place, but if found, might be more productive of habitation evidence.

Our suggested investigations include landscape surveying to record the surviving features and their state, including boundary markers, possibly some contour plans, resistivity testing backed up by auguring, with eventually possible limited excavation if survey suggests a suitable place. We are of course anxious not to duplicate research which may
have already been done by other bodies or individuals, and indeed our enquiries have already yielded some useful sources. Thus we would like to assemble as much ‘desk-top’ evidence as possible in time to plan surveying fieldwork later this year. I would be delighted to hear from any members interested in taking part.

Liz Holliday writes:-

I have received details of weekend courses from the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education to be held at Rewley House, Wellington Square, Oxford.

They include:-

November 19-20 December 9-11, February 10-12 1995 February 25-26

March 3-5

April 7-9







It seems to be a time of development for some of our churches in our borough Three applications for planning permission have arrived recently:-


Propose to demolish existing buildings and to redevelop for residential purposes at a density of 80 habitable rooms per acre – Parochial Church Council, Hendon.


demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment with 3 and 4 storey buildings for institutional use – International Bible Students Association.


proposal to redevelop to provide a single storey building for use as a place of worship -Mill Hill Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses

ENGLISH HERITAGE has written to us to earmark the following applications – all warranting further consideration:-

48 HIGH STREET, EDGWARE – within the medieval village of Edgware beside the Roman Road Land adjoining Edgware Rd/The Hyde/Silk stream

RAMSEY Close NW9 – Close to the find spot of Bronze Age burial in MOTE MOUNT – Nan Clark’s Lane, NW7 – an ancient earth-work

It is also noted that 1 BROCKLEY HILL Edgware propose a side extension – close to the find spot of a Roman burial at Pipers Green Lane.

ANY SIGNS OF ACTIVITY please contact Tessa Smith on 081 958 9159, or any committee member


On Saturday 16th July the HADAS Exibition was shown at the Cricklewood Community Forum at St Peter’s Church Hall, Cricklewood Lane; the idea being to show our work to parts of the borough where we have not been active recently, and perhaps attract more members. Several hobbies and interests were present, as diverse as photography to ballet dancing (I signed up several diggers for lessons!) Thanks to members who helped out on the day.


This announcement in the Ham and High struck horror in the hearts of countless Hampstead citizens I am informed by Christopher Wade, the Curator. He is still receiving commiserations from sympathisers and there have been so many letters and phonecalls, that a leaflet had to be printed to put the record straight and to draw attention to the date of issue of the newspaper.

The key clue came in the name of the Hungarian architect who was to refit Burgh House to cope with the demand for burghers. He was called Rapol Rifo.

EXHIBITION at Burgh House until Oct.2,
Wednesday to Sunday 12 –

A centenary of picture postcards. This is the period over which picture post cards took off, starting when there were six postal deliveries per day – providing plenty of scope for messages such as “see you for tea”.

Gerard Roots

On 25th July Church Farmhouse Museum awoke from its enforced hibernation (due to roof renovations) with the Exhibition LEWIS CARROLL IN WONDERLAND . With true Looking Glass logic, the Official Opening – by Barnet’s Mayor, and founder and Life President of the Lewis Carroll Society, Ellis Hillman – took place a week later, and was a great success. Carrollians from as far away as Japan mingled with Barnet Councillors, anarchists, television actors and the Friends of the Museum in Church Farm’s Garden (which looked fairly spruce, thanks in no small part to the attentions of horticulturally minded HADAS members in the previous week). Jam tarts were – inevitably – served.

Over a thousand visitors have now seen the Exhibition, which is based on a vast private collection of international significance. Similar material will not be seen again until the major commemorative Exhibitions are held here and abroad, planned for the Centenary of Carroll’s death, in 1998; so I do urge HADAS members to see the show, perhaps combining their viewing with their visit to the Minimart on 8th October.

LEWIS CARROLL a pioneer photographer Liz Holliday writes

He bought his first camera in 1856. To celebrate Carroll’s contribution to photography,

John Cass, a professional photographer, will be demonstrating the techniques of Victorian photography from 2.30-4.30 on Saturday 10 September and Saturday 24 September. John is very knowledgeable and his demonstrations will fascinate anyone interested in how Victorian photographers struggled with what was then a difficult and messy process to produce such evocative records of people and events.

From 2.30-4.30 on Saturday 17 September, Phillipa Rudge will be revealing some secrets of Victorian (and Wonderland!) cookery.

BOOK REVIEW:- THE MAN IN THE ICE – by Konrad Spindler, leader of the scientific investigation, publ.Weidenfeld & Nicolson,1994 translated from the German.

See Peter Pickering’s report of Antiquity’s article in the last Newsletter.

This is a book for the general public, but at the same time it carries a great deal of information about this extraordinary man, whose frozen body remained intact for 5,200 years in a depression under a glacier, until recent hot summers melted the glacier sufficiently to release him from his dying position, half standing, half leaning over a rock. . But the release, aided by hair dryers and a pneumatic drill, went on over 4 days, and at 3,210 m. altitude was dogged by stormy weather, freezing temperatures and snow – dodgy for helicopters. During these 4 days while the body was alternately partially melted by the September sun, and re-frozen by night, the equipment and clothing of the man was torn by the wind or trampled by numerous visitors.

The excitement built up as gradually the uniqueness of the case became realised. And also the legal complications – was he on the Italian or Austrian side of the frontier? Who was responsible for rescuing him? Had a crime been committed? Who did he belong to? And then the media! As the archaeological-historical importance of this man, equipped with the requirements for long distance travel in the stone age, developed, the proceedings were pestered by the legitimate curiosity of the multi-media.

This blow by blow account of the whole enterprise makes fascinating reading (and a study of international cooperation!) and provides factual detail of the finds and 30 pages of glossary, list of participents, bibliography and index.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments

ISSUE NO. 281 – AUGUST 1994 Edited by Anne Lawson


Tuesday – Saturday 9-13 August – ISLE OF MAN. Our group is full up and we have a waiting list, but further names can be added if you wish: ring 081-203 0950.

Saturday 3 September – OUTING TO NEW BUTSER SITE, OLD WINCHESTER HILL AND ALTON with Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor (details and application form enclosed).

Tuesday 4 October – EXCAVATING IN EGYPT Lecture by Patricia Spencer Saturday 8 October MINIMART

Saturday 29 October – City Walk with Mary O’Connell

Tuesday 1 November – The Hoxne Hoard and Others: Late Treasures from Britain. Lecture by Dr Catherine Johns.

Dorothy Newbury has organised our lectures for the past 15 years or so and the time has come when the job must be passed on to “Someone Else”. This is something that can be done entirely by phone or letter, and we already have a few names of possible speakers in hand. Will volunteers please phone 203 0950.


Church Farmhouse Museum, Greyhound Hill, NW4 (203 0130) 25 July – 25 October 1994

The exhibition celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Lewis Carroll Society, which was founded by Ellis Hillman – now fortuitously Mayor of Barnet. It is based on one of the three main private collections

of Carroll material, and includes early editions of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, as well as examples of his other works; original photographs and letters; sequels to, and -parodies of, his children’s books; translations; and a wide selection of material from the Carroll ‘industry’ – from sweets to sheet music.

A programme of associated events will be held at the Museum and at branch libraries in the Borough.

Mon – Thurs 10 am – 5 pm. Friday – closed. .Saturday 10 am – 1 om, 2 pm – 5.30 pm. Sunday 2 pm – 5.30 pm. Admission free.

I write to thank Roy Walker for his thorough and thoughtful review of my recent book on Whetstone and Finchley. I am pleased that he spotted one of the two mistakes in the final version.

His article raises the question of audience – just who is the book aimed at? I decided a reading age of about 81/2 and an attention span of about 20 seconds or should I have said “approximately a third of a minute?”

I found two aspects of writing the book particularly interesting, one is which words actually to use and the other is how to spell them. Thank you, Roy. JOHN HEATHFIELD


In connection with the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, two of us on its Committee went on a “museum crawl” to see how others were managing in the Oxford/Bucks area.

In the Abingdon Museum T. espied a Saxon double-headed pin with in turned spiral head. This one is slightly smaller than the one from Church Terrace, Hendon, found in 1972/73. It had come from Saxon layers in Abingdon – I am trying to get more details.

A drawing of Hendon’s pin can be seen in “Pinning Down the Past”, page 10, published by HADAS in 1986.

From Christopher Eve, the Local History Librarian


.Many of the residents of Hendon and Hill know of the legend of

Nan Clark – that her ghost still appears at midnight beneath a full moon to haunt the lane on Highwood Hill which bears her name. Some of the locals at the “Rising Sun” have even seen her appear in the old 17th century Pub. During the last war a sentry at Moat Mount called out the guard because he saw a woman walking down the lane and across the fields. The guard surrounded the area and moved in, but found nothing. Then in 1950, a group of ghosthunters led a midnight vigil at the lane in the hope of seeing the ghost. The story, reported in the “Hendon & Finchley Times” of November 24, 1950 said that no contact was made; although a Mrs. Beales, not to be outdone reported a “strong contact” and felt that “there was definitely something there.”

So who was Nan (or Ann Clark? Parish records are scanty, but it appears that she was a licensee of “The Three Crowns Inn” which once stood at the corner of Nan Clark’s Lane. In 1698 she was granted a renewal of her victualler’s licence and, in 1700, there is a record of her petition to licence an alehouse.

At that time all ?arishioners who could ?ay were assessed for contributions to the parish poor rate; records of which were kept by the local churchwardens. Careful study of these accounts reveals the following entries:

1703 –


13 months for Clark’s two children,



1704 –


8 months for Clark’s two children,

£ 6


with one Clark’s girls apprentice,

£ 5

1705 –

expended in having Eliz. Clark to London, paid for nursing Mary Clark 39 weeks,

£ 3

7s. 18s.

1706 –


for ,putting Mary Clark apprentice,

£ 5


From these entries it appears that Nan Clark was the mother of two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, who waseen 1703 and 1706 were receiving support from t1:-Elizabethhere is one conclusion which we might draw -that their Mother was dead by 1703, yet parish records state that she was not buried until July 7, 1708. Where was she during those five missing years:

further back, the parish records state that Vary Clark was baptised at St Mary’s, Hendon on July 1 1694. E1izabeth was baptised at St Andrew’s, Totteridge two years earlier. Mary is described as the daughter of Edward Clark, so it is probably that he is Nan’s husband. In addition, the records state that in 1685 Edward Clark, in being assessed for the poor rate, is described as a victualler, a strong link with Nan. Edward was the younger son of William Clark,a wealthy and respected member of the community and parish churchwarden. He died in 1696, his estate passing to the elder son, also called William. In 1690 the records show that there was a petition for the suppression of Edward’s licence as victualler. Could it be for some reason, that he was resented by the community and perhaps his father, because he had married Nan?

One last entry of interest is to be found in the records of the Sessions of the Peace at the Old Bailey. The case concerned was heard on October 2, 1702 and the names at the beginning of the entry include Elizabeth, Mary and William Clark. We can conclude that this was the hearing at which the two children were out into care. William Clark is probably referred to here as their guardian – he was, after all, their uncle.

What became of Edward and Nan Clark? Why is her spirit not at rest but still walks the lanes of Mill Hill Village where she once lived all those centuries ago?


Last year when we were excavating at Church Farm, the Greyhound Inn held a beer festival which introduced one or two of us to a strong beer called “Old Speckled Hen” which was brewed at Abingdon. So, when the outing to Abingdon and Dorchester-on-Thames was announced there was an immediate vote in our household in favour of going. The two Mickys, Cohen and Watkins, must have had the same interest because the morning started in Abingdon with refreshments in an old brewery, albeit one belonging to the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary, originally founded in AD 670 but rebuilt in the 12th century. All that now remains after 1538 is the Checker used as the Abbey’s accounting centre, the Checker Hall which has now been converted into an Elizabethan theatre and the Long Gallery with evidence of partitioning for use as accommodation in the late 15th century. These first floor rooms which had once been used as a brewery were above a lower hall and undercroft. The Main Gateway has also survived. Our introduction to the archaeology of Abingdon came from Tim Allen of the local unit who warned us that all the excavated remains had now been built over, the work of his unit having been very much of a rescue nature in advance of redevelopment. All archaeological periods are represented from the Iron Age onwards.

We were only able to catch a glimpse of the beauty of this town with its medieval houses as we progressed between the churches of St Nicholas and St Helens ably guided by members of the local archaeological society. The Mayor of Ock Street was being elected that day – an unofficial office dating back to 1700. Morris Men were dancing outside the public houses in Ock Street!

After lunch, the coach took us towards Dorchester-on-Thames (hereinafter called Dorchester) through “Three Men in a Boat” country. We stopped at Wittenham Clumps, two beech hills known locally as Mother Dunch’s Buttocks. David Miles, Director of the Oxford Archaeological Unit greeted us at the Clumps where he set the prehistoric scene for us atop one of the hills. We were at a spot which dominated the route to London, at the junction of the Thames Valley and the Vale of the White Horse. There had been much excavation on the valley floor where lakes now filled the gravel extraction pits. Gravel extraction and the Dorchester bypass had contributed both to the need for urgent rescue archaeology as well as to the destruction of much of this area’s Neolithic heritage. To the north of us was the Big Rings Henge, discovered in 1930, adjacent to the Dorchester Cursus; further north still was Mount Farm with Bronze Age burials and evidence of trackways within an extensive field system; at Bishop’s Court, north west of Dorchester were found Anglo Saxon inhumations as well as a two-headed late Saxon bronze ornament adopted as the logo for the Oxford Archaeological Unit below.

We left for the neighbouring buttock – Castle Hill – a univallate hillfort which has yet to be excavated although field walking has revealed Iron Age pottery. An Iron Age settlement however was excavated just to the south of the fort. Dorchester importantly lay on the boundary of three tribal groups, the Dobunni, Catuvellauni and the Atrebates. We were shown our next destination, the late Iron Age oppidum, Dyke Hills, lying one mile away across the Thames. This would be reached by a leisurely stroll through the woods, across the bridge where Christopher Robin played Pooh Sticks, and over several stiles. The weather was ideal for the walk, the stiles were easily crossed and several pooh sticks were purchased at the bridge (proceeds to the RNLI).

We rested at the oppidum while David outlined its history and the problem of obtaining permission to investigate the area further. The enclosure covers 114 acres with a double bank to the north and east, the south and west boundaries have vanished but are traceable. Cropmarks show the interior to contain circular houses aligned to internal roads. As the River Thames lies to the south and the River Thame to the west, it is likely that this was a traditional river crossing site. Even today, as then, the Thames often flows between the ramparts creating a moat. Anglo Saxon burials excavated within the oppidum area had early Saxon grave goods including a bronze buckle of c5th century similar to those found in continental military contexts. Other female burials also had brooches of north German origin, a sign that the Dorchester Roman garrison by AD 430 – 450 had many German settlers, perhaps foederati. Signs of 5th century settlement in and around the town of Dorchester have been recorded. Earlier excavation by Colonel Lane-Fox (later General Pitt-Rivers) had highlighted the familiar problem of cultivation destroying archaeology which led to the passing of Ancient Monuments legislation. We entered Dorchester where very little of its Roman history survives. It was probably a Roman customs post controlling river traffic to London as evidenced by a now-lost altar found in 1731, set up by Marcus Varius Severus a 2nd/3rd century “beneficiarius consularis”, a toll collector.

In AD 635, according to Bede, Bishop Birinus was sent to Britain to convert the natives. King Oswald of Northumbria visited Cynegils, King of the Gewisse (West Saxons) in order to marry his daughter. Birinus converted Cynegils and was granted land in Dorchester to establish his cathedral church. He died and was buried in Dorchester but his relics were later moved to Winchester. A shrine was erected in Dorchester Abbey in the 14th century but was destroyed in 1536. We visited the Abbey church conveniently situated next to the tea rooms. Unique to the church is a Tree of Jesse window with sculpted tracery forming the trunk and branches of the tree and the figures of Christ, David etc provided within the 14th century stained glass window. Of interest was the lead font of c1170 and a memorial of a knight, recumbent but drawing his sword. Dating from c1280, it is claimed that this dynamic sculpture influenced Henry Moore. The town itself provided many delights with its collection of medieval buildings, timber framed from local timber supplies, now depleted. The George Hotel, dating from the late 15th century, has a galleried range at the rear; the White Hart replaced the wattle and daub infill between its windows with brick nogging in 1691; the Bull Inn with its jettied upper storey. We started the outing at a medieval brewery and finished on a very similar theme!

Many thanks to Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins for such a delightful day which managed to combine many periods of archaeology, good weather, an excellent stroll through the English countryside and the perfect guides for the sites. The “Old Speckled Hen” was a bonus!


HADAS members who went on the Abingdon/Dorchester trip will remember David Miles, Head of the Oxford Archaeological Unit,who conducted us from Wittenham Clumps to Dorchester, and gave us an excellent talk on the iron age sites. He suggested that some of our members would enjoy visting the Unit’s excavation of the White Horse and Hill Fort at Uffington. Trenches will be open between 14th and 20th August, and the archaeologists will welcome visitors on Sunday as well as during the week. This is an excellent opportunity to visit a site of great importance in a beautful part of England.


MISS SHELDON, a member affectionately known as Shemmie, left London a few years ago to live in Yorkshire. She is still in touch with Renata Feldmeier, and although she is now in her eighties, she says she is still making peg-bags and oven cloths for charity as well as the mending jobs for which she was so well known in the Suburb. She says how much she always enjoyed the HADAS activities and wishes to be remembered to us all.

Outing to Richborough Castle and Archbishop’s Palace, Maidstone

After a late start and unfortunately without Tessa who was not well enough to join us, we set off on the M25 and over the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge to catch our first sight of distinctive Kentish oasthouses.

Our first stop was at The Friars, Aylesford, a Carmelite retreat and conference centre which provided welcome refreshment in its restored tithe barn.

On our way to Richborough we stopped to see Kit’s Coty (misnamed by the locals who had mistaken it for the remains of a house). The burial chamber is sited alongside Kent County Council’s Centenary Walk in a field full of beautiful poppies with wide views out to the surrounding chalk downland. The stones formed a burial chamber at the eastern end of a Neolithic long barrow circa 2000 B.C. which was originally an earth mound some 180 feet long. Now the stones are unfortunately only covered with ancient and modern graffiti.

We then made our way to Richborough through the orchards of Kent, past Canterbury’s city walls, through the very pretty village of Wingham, past “Pick Your Own” in full swing and on to the flat salt marshes at Richborough. There we were met by Dr. Tom Blagg who gave us a very interesting talk and guided tour of Richborough Castle.

Richborough Castle is a very difficult site to take in all at once because of the complicated chronology. There was some evidence of use during the Iron Age and then in A.D.43 it was the site of the Claudian invasion of Britain and became a supply base from A.D.43 to A.D.85. It thereafter became a Saxon shore fort and eventually was used by the Saxons until falling into disuse with many of the dressing stones of the walls carted away by locals over the centuries to incorporate in their own buildings.

The site was chosen by the Romans to launch their invasion of Britain because it was easily reached from the coast of France and could cope with the landing of the invasion fleet of some 500-600 ships. At that time the site had a natural defence and water route in the water channel (since silted up) adjoining it which flowed eventually into the Medway.

What now remains on the site are part of the walls, the interior and exterior mounds and ditches, the foundations of the monument, the remains of a bath house and the remains of a Saxon church including its font. There is very little evidence of Roman buildings within the site which leads archaeologists to conclude that any buildings were made of wood and/or the site was used as a temporary camp and the soldiers bivouacked under canvas.

The monument was in the form of a triumphal arch and could possibly have been erected to commemorate the invasion of Britain. The monument was indeed of monumental size. The foundation pit measured some 38m by 24.5m and was some 10m deep. It was the only Roman building in Britain known to have been dressed with Carrara marble (the same as that used by Michelangelo).

It is believed that the site was used by the Romans up until the beginning of the fifth century (evidenced by the fact that amongst the very many coins found on the site were coins issued under Theodosius).

The coach was strangely quiet on the way to the Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone with nearly all the group fast asleep.

The medieval Palace was built by Bishop Courtney when Maidstone was a five day journey from London. The medieval cattle market adjoins the Palace and is at the present time still used both as a cattle and general market.

We were shown round the Sir Garrard Tyrwhit Drake Carriage Museum in what were the stable buildings by our guide, Daphne Bailey, who gave us a very entertaining tour. There were carriages of every size and shape and the passengers were catered for from birth to death for the carriages included both a christening sedan and a hearse.

Hearing the actual history of each of the carriages certainly added to our enjoyment. And to add an even more personal touch, the museum attendant was descended from the man who made the decorative tassels of the carriage interiors. This tassel maker made a very good marriage to a princess of the Russian royal family. of her family of three daughters and three sons, only her daughters survived adulthood, her three sons having died young of the royal disease of haemophilia.

Our guide, Florence Lee, then conducted us on a whistle atop tour of the Palace itself which is now a combination of a very well mot out and interesting museum and function rooms. As a wedding party was going an in the function rooms our tour of the Palace was necessarily curtailed and it was a moot point as to whether Hadas got in the way of the wedding party or vice versa!

After a very good tea provided by two stalwart ladies All Saints Church we were given a tour of the church itself by a church warden. The church is the parish church of Maidstone and was founded as a collegiate church in 1395 by Archbishop Courtenay whose tomb is in the Church. Or is it – he is apparently also buried in Canterbury Cathedral. What a shame it was all too long ago for genetic fingerprinting to give us the definitive answer.

The church also contains a memorial to the family of George Washington. The coat of arms of the family depicted on the memorial includes stars and stripes and it is said that this is where the stars and stripes of the American flag originated.

Our tour of the church completed a very full and enjoyable day (as we have come to expect with Hadas outings). our thanks to Sheila and Tessa for organising a lovely outing and to Sheila for so ably coping on her own. Our commiserations to Tessa for missing a very nice day and we hope she is soon well again.


HADAS member Jack Goldenfeld reminds us that he is running his course “Glimpses of the oast – an Introduction to Archaeology” for two centres this year: West Herts College, at Rickmansworth, and Stanmore College, Stanmore. The course is designed to describe and explain the science of archaeology, to develop.) an awareness of the past and the recog­nition of its effects on the world today. As well as dealing with
archaeological theory, the course study archaeological site
examples of all periods and from all five continents. T t consists of ten evening meetings per term, commencing 21st September for West

Herts and 29th September for Stanmore.

Details from Jack at n923 285225 or West Hertsat 0923 255533 or Stanmore at 081-954 9481.


The following sites have been noted in the development applications list and may be of archaeological interest:

75 High Street. Barnet. English Heritage have now recommended an archaeological watching brief at this site.

38 Barnet Gate Lane, Arkley. The proposed demolition of an existing house, and the building of a four bedroom detached house and double garage here, has led English

Heritage to ask for further consideration of the planning application, following a preliminary archaeological appraisal of the site. “Barnet Gate was the site of a

manorial court in the medieval period, and the settlement there may have originated in the Anglo-Saxon period” (HADAS: A Place in Time p59).

Newsletter-280-July 1994

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Edited by Peter Pickering JULY 1994


Saturday 9 July

– With Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward
(Details and application form enclosed)

Saturday 16 July


St Peter’s Church Hall, Cricklewood Lane. HADAS and other local societies will be represented

Tuesday-Saturday ISLE OF MAN

9-13 August Our group is full up and we have 3 members on the

waiting list, but further names can be added if you wish ring 081-203 0950

Saturday 3 September OUTING TO NEW BUTSER SITE, OLD WINCHESTER HILL & ALTON – With Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor


Lecture by Dr Patricia Spencer

Saturday 8 October MINIMART

Peter Pickering

At the end of last month’s Newsletter Micky Watkins gave my telephone number as 081-455 2807. I know that is what has appeared in some lists, but it is wrong. My telephone number is 081-445 2807.


Daphne Lorimer, It is with sadness that we report that Daphne’s husband, Ian, died very suddenly at the end of May, only a few days before they were both due to go to America for the wedding of their son. Members who spent that happy week in Orkney in 1978 will remember their opening their lovely house to us for lunch; they organised our whole memorable week there.

Peter Keeley

At 2.15 on May 18th we met at Charing Cross under the replica Eleanor Cross. With Mary wearing her official guide badge and her Freeman of the

City brooch we felt we could go anywhere! First we toured the area south of the Strand, The Strand is a very ancient roadway between the Tower and Westminster and being above the floodplain was “a good address”,

In Villiers Street was the Keeper’s Office for the old Hungerford Suspension Bridge; Brunel used the chains from this for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, when Sir John Hawkshaw built the new bridge in to Charing Cross Station in 1864 at the cost of £18,000 or £131 per foot.

Down some steps into the Embankment Gardens is the Watergate where in 1862 the Duke of Buckingham could step into his boat, but is now high and dry. 1868 was the year of the “Great stink” and Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated the new low level sewage system into the Thames Embankment,

We went into Buckingham Street, Duke Street, now John Adam Street, past the RSA and soon we had built up the name George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Robert Street reminded us that four Scots took a lease on three acres here and redeveloped them; some lovely houses still remain in Adam Street,

Then we went past Carting Lane to the Savoy, the first hotel to have electric lights and lifts, and the Savoy Theatre where Mary gave us a song to remind us of its connection with Gilbert and Sullivan, Under Shell Mex House we learnt that as it had the largest clock-face in London it used to be called “Big Benzine”, A plaque on the wall of the Institute of Electrical Engineers recorded that the BBC started here before moving to Portland Place. Behind the bronze statue of Faraday was a foundation stone of massive size recording that Queen Victoria “had laid it with her own hand in 1886”, We hoped she had had some help,

Then round the corner and dominated by the Savoy Hotel was a little Chapel, and Churchyard surrounded by cobbled streets. The Savoy Chapel dating back to 1245 was destroyed by fire in 1864. The present replica Tudor Chapel has a beautiful panelled and painted ceiling. It is used and financed by the Queen and you can attend services and maybe rub shoulders with royalty, The cobbled streets were probably laid by John Moslem who bought the quarries in the Channel Islands about this time to pave the streets of London. Over the wall as we left the Churchyard we could just see the tombstone of Thomas Sutton who died in 1839 at the age of 101.

Going down the Strand to Coutts we observed the traffic going into the Savoy on the wrong side of the road, a throw back from the horse drawn cabs which could not turn in the street, and Zimbabwe House with defaced Epstein sculptures at high level,

The Frederick Gibberd and Partners Coutts building opened in 1978 after 20 years of planning hassle is an interesting and effective building. It is dated by the enormous steel bridge beams which hold the roof structure but the garden atrium and circulation space give a modern feel to the offices. The history of the Bank involves more Scots; John Campbell was a goldsmith banker who moved from Edinburgh to the Strand in 1692; the Coutts became involved in 1751, Thomas Coutts’ first shop is recreated to show how a goldsmith banker operated, in cramped dark beamed conditions, A banker dealt with all the affairs of a customer, not just finance, and Thomas Coutts had some important friends, notably George III,

Two dioramas gave us an idea of what banking with a family firm was like through the ages. In the boardroom is wonderful Chinese wallpaper given to Thomas Coutts in 1794 by the first ambassador to China, It had been installed at 59 The Strand and moved in 1904 to this site and involved a major conservation exercise to install it in the present room,

Coutts became part of the National Provincial and Union Bank in 1920 and is now part of the National Westminster but retains the character of a personal bank with a Coutts as its Chairman, Sir David Money-Coutts, KCVO.

Many thanks to Mary O’Connell and Barbara Peters, the Coutts, archivist for an excellent tour.

Roy Walker

The latest addition to the “Britain in Old Photographs” series is John Heathfield’s compilation “Around Whetstone and North Finchley”, published in June this year by Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, price £7.99, This is available from all good bookshops but if purchased direct from Barnet Museum (where John is the curator) all the profit is retained by the Museum. The photographs are from the Percy Reboul collection but acknowledgement is given to HADAS member Arthur Till for his contribution showing demolition scenes in the Brunswick Park area,

Presenting the history of an area by way of old photographs must be very limiting, For a start, none go back further than 1839, The Society for Photographing Relics of Old London, founded in 1875, may have set the precedent for other like-minded groups or individuals but photography was a rich man’s hobby and the resulting collection may be somewhat selective. There is also the problem of how best to use the archive to show how our present day surroundings are the product of changes over the last 150 years, which must surely be one aim of such publications,

In this new selection, a brief history of the area introduces the photographs, which date mainly from the turn of the century, Houses, private and public, are well represented, Transport and recreation, education and the workplace are all encompassed by this illustrated history, John’s captions provide not only details of the subject but make

observations about the photographs themselves, You only need to be reminded once of curiosity towards the camera to continue to notice blatant posing, such as the portly policeman outside the Torrington Arms, Individuals are featured, the Vicar of All Saints, Father Henry Miles, and his verger Bill Thatcher; Joseph Baxendale of Pickfords; Mr Pitson, the schoolmaster dismissed in 1896 for drunkenness and incompetence; and the schoolboys and girls themselves. There are even two generations of brick-laying Rebouls

Progressing through the book, which is sectioned into five localities, you can build up a picture of life in what were originally village communities. Cattle in 1900 walk the High Road passing the Blue Anchor, now Payless D.I.Y, Atora Beef suet really did use oxen to pull delivery carts (but only for publicity) and in 1895 a smallholder uses a donkey cart to carry his greengrocery along Nether Street, Photographs of the Whetstone crossroad and the High Street allow a sight of the Whetstone House in its pre Studio Cole existence and there are close-ups of a diamond mullion from the interior and the well (Victorian cistern) in the rear yard, excavated by HADAS. Mr Lawson is shown in his timberyard in 1936 adjacent to a photograph of the Merit Cycle and Motor works, which had previously occupied part of Lawson’s site. There was another cycle shop in the High Road and the Black Bull advertises “cyclists and clubs catered for”. Other photographs, in passing, reinforce the importance of cycling earlier this century, It is intriguing to look at the history of various sites. The Finchley Roller Skating Rink (1910) rapidly became a cinema, then a lorry depot and finally the Metropolitan Police Garage; the present Torrington Arms is the third on that site and the Priory, an early 18th century, crenellated building, was pulled down in 1939 to build Friern Barnet Town Hall. Of personal interest, as it is where I live, were the half dozen or so photographs of the Russell Lane area including a drawing of Gallants Farm and details of the oldest cottages still standing in the Lane.

My only criticism of this excellent book is that some of the captions could have been longer. In a few cases fuller clarification of locality could have been given. However, although it can be slightly frustrating when

questions raised by the photographs are not answered by the text, it must be remembered that the photographs are the raison d’ etre for the book and should stimulate the mind of the reader. It is not a written history and hopefully any reader who wishes to find out more can do so through the many other local history publications or by simply asking John Heathfield, I intend to, especially about the lower photograph on page 33. John, isn’t this Whetstone High Street?


In this true story of a Happy Family, the names have been changed – except for the one that really matters, that of Mr and Mrs Baker the Booksellers.

I have a friend with a strong interest in both archaeology and family history, whose father was a distinguished anthropologist. Let’s for the sake of continuing Friendship, call him Simon Devil, Browsing through the latest archaeological booklist from Tony and Rosemary Baker, I came across a reference to an offprint produced for the Devil Club from the 1922 transactions of a county archaeological society, at the other end of the country from the Devils’ current home, Intrigued, I asked Simon if he knew of the Devil Club, “No,” he replied. “I don’t think there were Devils in that part of the country, But it isn’t a common surname. Perhaps there is a connection, Can you order the reprint for me?”

Oops. Too late. The Baker stock tends to vanish quickly, unless you order the instant the list arrives, but Tony Baker was interested, “I haven’t sent off that order yet. I’ll look at the offprint and see if it says anything about the Devil Club.”

Twenty minutes later he phoned back. He’d contacted a leading figure in the county’s archaeological circles (“After 20 years in the business, I know who to ask…”) and produced a stream of information. The Devil Club had been started in the mid-18th century by the Reverend Philip Devil, a keen antiquarian and prolific writer on town and county history, He’d come to the county a few years before from the Channel Islands, anglicising his name from the Huguenot Philippe de Ville, The county archaeological society still commemorated him, in an annual dinner and an annual lecture, and the society’s current president – name and address provided – was “mad about Devil” and had originally been called de Ville, “You’ve found my great, great, great, great, great uncle Phillipe!”

I haven’t yet heard the outcome of the correspondence between Simon and the county archaeological society president, but the incident has reinforced my enthusiasm for the Bakers. Not only are they excellent booksellers (their lists are hugely tempting, and their service prompt and pleasant); they also take a very special interest in their customers, Of course; they come from Lincoln; Tony was at school with me and his father taught me Scripture and Greek – editor)

Any HADAS members who don’t yet buy from them are strongly recommended to make contact. The details are: A,P. and R, Baker Ltd, Booksellers and Publishers, The Leigh House, Church Lane, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, DG8 9HT. Phone 0988 403348, fax 0988 403443,


Another industrial landmark in the borough will be disappearing following the closure of Finchley bus garage in Woodberry Grove.

The depot was first opened by the Metropolitan Electric Tramways Company in 1905, was converted for trolley buses by the London Passenger Transport

Board in 1936 and to buses in 1962. The last buses ran from the garage in December 1993 and the site is to be redeveloped,

One interesting aspect of the depot was the installation of a traverser to give access from the entry road to those in the depot, Originally access to the depot roads was by a ‘fantail’ of points from the entry road but in 1929 the points were replaced by a traverser.

The traverser consisted of a length of track, long enough to take a tram, mounted on an electrically powered truck which ran on its own rails in a pit along the length of the depot, The tram ran on to this section of track which could then be ‘traversed’ to any road in the depot.


HADAS members will be pleased to know that a new temporary Local History Librarian, Christopher Eve, has been appointed, following the departure of Stewart Gillies to the Newspaper Library at Colindale last November. The restricted opening hours which have existed since then have now returned to normal, and the Archives and Local Studies Centre is now open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30 am – 5,00 pm, Thursday 9.30 am – 7,30pm, and Saturday 9.30 am -5,00 pm (closed for lunch 1,00- 2,00 pm).


We have been asked by the organising committee of this conference to see if any of our members would be willing to offer a talk lasting say 20 minutes at this conference, If any member would, would he or she please get in touch with Dr T Hillier of 2 Dunster Close, Harefield, Middlesex UB9 6B5 with a very brief account of content (with dates) and any requirement such as an overhead projector or slides.

Bill Bass

The following sites have been noted in the development applications list and may be of archaeological interest:

75 High Street, Barnet

224 High Street, Barnet

17 & 42 Grimsdyke Crescent, Barnet (near to mediaeval kiln site)

An extensive area in Oak Hill Park, East Barnet, adjacent to Church Hill road has been deturfed and excavated for the improvement of water and sewerage facilities. Several members are watching this site, but if anybody sees anything of interest please let us know.


The Times reported on 14th Tune that next month, under the direction of Geoffrey Wainwright, work will begin on the site at No 1 Poultry, near the Mansion House, which is famous for the fierce battle between those who wished to save the fine Victorian buildings there and Mr Peter Palumbo. Mr Wainwright is quoted as saying “We expect to find waterlogged Roman and mediaeval deposits to a depth of about 7 metres. There are likely to be the remains of substantial civic buildings with mosaic floors, and high status town houses. Overlying them will be the well preserved remains of mediaeval London, We know that from well documented records”. The developers have allowed the archaeologists 44 weeks to dig and record, and they are also paying £2 million for the excavation; the Times reminds us that since the developers got planning permission before 1990 they are under no obligation to permit or finance excavation.

THE ICEMAN Peter Pickering

The latest number of “Antiquity” carries a fascinating article about the mummified body found in September 1991 in a high snowfield on the Italian-Austrian border, The man has been dated to about 3200 BC by 14 radio-carbon determinations. He was carrying with him artefacts made of 17 different types of wood and plant material, and there are 8 species of animals among the skins etc used in his clothing. He had a bow, arrows, a quiver, a copper axe, two flint knives, a rucksack, a net, and a marble disc on a leather thong; he was wearing a belt which doubled as a pouch for his fire-making equipment and held up a leather loin-cloth and leggings made of

skin; his coat was made of alternating strips of differently coloured deer­skin; he wore an outer cape, conical cap and shoes of calf-skin filled with grass and held in place by an inner string “sock”, There were virtually no traces of food – perhaps he had eaten all he had when he died, Some features are as yet unexplained – his arrows were all unserviceable and his bow unfinished; and he had some freshly broken ribs as well as some healed ones; he seems to have been wearing no textiles. And we can speculate for ever precisely what he was doing so high up the mountains. Perhaps he was a shepherd with a side-line in mending bows and arrows. But one’s reaction must be respect for the skills possessed by people 5000 years ago

Even more recently there have been newspaper reports that DNA tests have demonstrated that the Iceman is not a hoax (never seemed likely), that he was a northern European (not surprising), and that 4% of modern Englishmen are descended from him (isn’t science wonderful?).


Readers may remember the HADAS outing to Great Burstead and to Maldon in Tune 1989. We visited the site of the new Maldon Southern Relief Road where, the Newsletter records, Roman cremations, Samian and grey ware had been found, as well as evidence suggesting a late Iron Age round house. Recent newspaper reports describe excavation near Maldon of the site of a Roman town, including a Romano-British temple overlying an Iron Age religious building. As usual, we are told that there is not enough money or time for excavation of more than 15% of the site


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments

NO.279 JUNE 1994 Edited by Mick, Watkins



– with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins.

Details and application form enclosed.


-With Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward

Tuesday-Saturday ISLE OF MAN

9 – 13 August Our group is full up and we have 3 members on the waiting list, but further

names can be added if you wish: ring 203 0950. Dorothy writes

enthusiastically about this expedition – see page 6.

Saturday 3 September OUTING TO NEW BUTSER SITE, OLD WINCHESTER HILL & ALTON -with Bill Bass and Vikki O’Connor

Saturday 16 July CRICKLEWOOD COMMUNITY FORUM, 10.00am-4.00pm

at St. Peter’s Church Hail, Cricklewood Lane, Local societies and groups will be represented. Volunteers needed to man a possible HADAS stand.


“SO NEAR TO HEAVEN”. An exhibition celebrating Hampstead Heath’s history and scenery.

A display of HADAS flint finds is included.


Lecture by Dr Patricia Spencer

Saturday 8 October MINIMART

Saturday 29 October CITY WALK with Mary O’Connell



HADAS has had a very successful year carrying out two major excavations. Our first excavation took place in the summer in the elegant surrounding of the garden of the Church Farm Museum. Here evidence for Medieval or indeed post Medieval Hendon was slight though we did uncover part of a Medieval rubbish deposit. Further excavations are needed preferably in the front garden of the Museum if we are to discover the medieval building that surely exists there. Brian Wrigley, who directed the excavation, also lectured about it to the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society.

In the winter we then carried out a rescue excavation in the less salubrious area of the former Victoria Maternity Hospital in Wood Street, Barnet. This was in the depths of the winter – December and January! It was our first excavation carried out under PPG 16 (Planning Policy Guidenote No 16) in order to provide clearance of the site for the developers. This we were able to do, in that we failed to find any medieval structures, though we did find a medieval ditch running under the listed Georgian building. A 19-page report on this was prepared by Bill Bass, Roy Walker and Brian Wrigley for the developers and English Heritage within a month of completing the excavation. This is the first PPG 16 excavation carried out by a local society anywhere in London.

Work on post-excavation continued most weekends at Avenue House. The report on the site of the Old Forge in Golders Green Road, excavated in 1991, is now nearly complete and work on Church Farm House is well advanced.


A technical seminar was held on the 16th May on Church Farm House in preparation for the excavation as a result of which a set of guide notes was prepared.

A full programme of lectures and visits took place throughout the year. The highlight was the weekend visit in September to Chester and Llandudno where the Society visited the Bronze Age Copper Mines.

A highly successful Christmas Dinner was held at University College where the Society viewed Jeremy Bentham. The Minimart was held on 16th October and raised £1,300. The monthly newsletter was published regularly throughout the year.


The Society is delighted to welcome Will Parnaby as its new Hon. Treasurer.

The time has come to say farewell to our President, Ralph Merrifield, who is retiring after four years in office. Ralph was only our second President, the first President, Professor Grimes having served from our foundation until his death. Ralph Merrifield has been an exemplary model of our new policy of keeping our Presidents for a fixed term of office and we are delighted to have seen so much of him. Following his retirement he will become an honorary member and we hope he will continue to visit us. We welcome as his successor Michael Robbins, the former President of the Society of Antiquaries. He is our leading railway historian and was formerly managing director of the London Underground.

In conclusion can I express my thanks especially to Dorothy Newbury for running the lectures, visits and Minimart so successfully; to Vikki O’Connor for her valiant work as Membership Secretary; and to all my fellow officers, the committee and the members of the Society for all their help and support throughout the year.

RALPH MERRIFIELD told us that he had many regrets in resigning from the office of President, but nowadays, he said, when he gets into a hole to view an excavation he has difficulty in getting out of it! He praised the work of HADAS, the most active of all London societies, and wished us the greatest success for the future.

Andrew Selkirk said that in the eyes of most people Ralph is “Mr Roman London”, and his vote of thanks to Ralph was heartily endorsed by Society members.

MICHAEL ROBBINS was unanimously elected as our new President. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Our Vice-Presidents were confirmed in office:John Enderby, Miss D.P.Hill, Brian Jarman, Daphne Lorimer, Mary Phillips and Edward Sammes.

Officers were re-elected: Andrew Selkirk as Chairman, Brian Wrigley as Vice-Chairman, Liz Holliday as Hon. Secretary, Will Parnaby as Hon. Treasurer.

A Committee was also elected: Bill Bass, Micky Cohen, Victor Jones, Dorothy Newbury, Vikki O’Connor (previously co-opted), Peter Pickering, Edward Sammes, Andy Simpson, Myfanwy Stewart, Roy Walker, Micky Watkins.


This film is a surprise and delight for HAAS members. It is a really professional film on the archaeology of our area, made for Channel 4, though never broadcast. The stars are all well known to us: Brigid Grafton Green, Isobel McPherson, Helen Gordon, Paddy Musgrave, Daphne Lorimer, Ted Sammes. Sadly we have lost Brigid, Isobel, and Paddy, but the film brings them to us again and will be treasured by their families and friends. The general geological and archaeological development of the North Thames area is presented by Steve Harman of Channel 4, who uses maps and diagrams to show us how this hilly area on the edge of the Thames basin has some special qualities which made it a desirable residential area for our mesolithic ancestors as well as for the Romans and ourselves. Daphne Lorimer at the West Heath site showed us flints used for arrows and for scrapers, and demonstrated knapping for us. Ted Sammes was at Church End, Hendon, and explained that the high hill and good views made it a desirable settlement for both Romans and Saxons. Brigid Grafton Green showed us a mortarium from Brockley Hill demonstrated how it was used to grind herbs and spices, and actually made up a recipe for a Roman marinade. Isobel Macpherson and Helen Gordon showed the probable courses of Roman roads on maps, and then walked some of them with the camera team. Paddy Musgrave showed how hedges could be dated by the number of species and told us that a hedge in Lyttleton playing field was probably 700 years old. All our ‘stars’ gave really interesting and clear explanations of the finds, there was no nervousness, but a great enthusiasm to communicate.

Our thanks to Tessa who made copies of the film, and to Christopher Newbury who wired up the video and provided us with 2 screens. Another showing may be possible if enough members are interested.

There was a fine display, mounted by Bill Bass, of the work at Church End, Hendon and at the Victoria Maternity Hospital in Barnet, and we had the pleasure of handling the pottery finds.


Our thanks to Dr Finch for sending us photocopies from this guide book of c. 1900. The cover shows two ladies sensibly dressed with ankle-length skirts and large hats. Despite all this clothing, the ladies could step out, for the walks are 6 to 8 miles long. It would be fun to try one of the walks, guide in hand, for instance, between Hendon and Edgware, down Church Lane take “the gate of a path which passes under two railway arches, and then runs through meadow after meadow for about two miles (skirting the Silk Stream at times), until at length it merges into a traffic road”. (see this guide in Avenue House Library)

MICHAEL ROBBINS C.B.E., our new President, has worked for many years in London Transport. After war service in the Royal Engineers, he re-joined the London Passenger Transport Board and became a member of the London Transport Executive and Managing Director of Railways. But in addition to this important career in transport, he has many publications including “The North London Railway”, “Middlesex Parish Churches”, “The Railway Age” and “History of London Transport”. Amongst his many other offices, he has been President of LAMAS, and of the Society of Antiquaries, and Chairman of the Museum of London. We are delighted that he has accepted the office of President of HADAS.


Church Farmhouse Site. We are carrying on with the processing of finds, and with the paper-work necessary for the interpretation of the site.

East Heath Boundary Ditch. We would be glad of help from anybody who knows about the topography, geology or vegetation of the area. Or indeed anybody who has done any documentary research on the old boundaries might help us in our survey.


We are pleased to welcome Mr and Mrs H.Burgess to HADAS. They may already be known to some of our members as fellow members of the Finchley Society.

After seven years as a HADAS member, Micaela Graham-Yooll and her husband have moved to Argentina. She sends her best wishes to the Society, adding that they can still be contacted through their London address during the summer.

Most members have now renewed their membership, but as 1st April is now two months past – a quick reminder.

Thank you, John Heathfield, for last month’s note on the East Finchley hog market: there is obviously quite a long story behind this. ( I believe the date of 1860 for “The George” was a misprint and should have read 1660? ).


at the 150 Year Celebration of the Royal Archaeological institute.

“On May 11th the Institute held a reception at St James’ Palace in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. This event was to a degree informal and I must confess that I enjoyed it very much. It was timed to start at 5.45pm and end at 8pm. Not merely was it a chance to mingle with the other 450 members who were present, but to see the Queen at close quarters with no obvious barriers.

Three reception rooms were used to accommodate us all, the Throne Room, the Entree Room and Queen Anne Room, all on the first floor of the Palace. The Royal pictures, the thickness of the carpets and the general brightness of the decoration all excited interest.

Towards the end of the reception, Andrew Saunders M.A.,F.S.A., the current President of the Society and one of our Vice Presidents, presented the Queen with a bound copy of the latest issue of the Archaeological Journal.

The Queen stayed for two hours. After her departure we were free to wander through other state rooms and the Chapel.

It was an occasion to meet many friends and acquaintances, amongst whom I espied Ralph Merrifield and his wife and five other HADAS members.”



Two amateur collectors have unearthed bones of a Polacanthus on a beach at Brighstone, Isle of

Wight. One collector gave his finds to the Island’s geology museum, but the other intends to display his share of the finds in his own rival museum. We hope the Polacanthus remains can be re-united!

(Daily Mail April 1994)


Wrecks, war defences, iron-stone workings and a submerged forest are some of the features that have been discovered below the sea on the coast of Durham and Yorkshire. The North East of England is taking the lead in carrying out an archaeological survey in territorial waters, up to 12

miles out to sea. This is part of a survey of all our territorial waters initiated by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in 1992. One very precious find is a piece of woven wood which is thought to be part of a 7000 year old fish-trap. It was discovered by a local pensioner.

(Weekend Telegraph 7 May)


Those who went on the HADAS visit with John Enderby some years ago may know that after 1981 the house was ‘modernized’ by an Iraqi businessman – 20 bathrooms, holes punched in plasterwork for light fittings! It is good news that the house has changed hands and is now going to be restored.


From written sources, such as Aristophanes and Pliny, historians know that women used herbal medicines to stop conception, but until recently the effects were supposed to be more magical and illusory than real. Now scientists are finding that medicines prepared from pennyroyal, pomegranates and date palm do in fact reduce fertility. A teaspoonful of Queen Anne’s Lace seeds in water can work as a `morning-after’ pill. The researchers conclude that “women in antiquity had significant control over their reproductive lives”. HADAS members are advised to try less ancient methods.

(Archaeology 47 as reported in The Times 5 May)

A JAPANESE INVENTION for reducing adverse wind currents caused by high-rise buildings is based on the flying buttress principle of medieval cathedrals.

( Daily Mail 8 April )


The oldest human remains ever found in Britain have been dug up in a quarry at Boxgrove, near Chichester. They date from time when homo sapiens were evolving. The bone is a tibia – lower leg bone -and as it is larger than in the average modern man, it is suggested that Sussex Man may have been 6ft 3ins tall!

The discovery was made by Dr Mark Roberts of the Institute of Archaeology, London. Boxgrove is one of the most important paleolithic sites in the world. These early inhabitants were living on the foreshore as the sea was higher then, and lived by gathering shellfish,roots and berries, scavenging and hunting. (Independent 18 May)

21 YEARS BACK – NOSTALGIA from DOROTHY NEWBURY Newsletter No 28. June 1973

The 12th Annual General Meeting

“Mr Jarman also reported the Society’s highest ever membership – 174. He emphasised that our most urgent need, if the Society is to go on from strength to strength, is permanent accommodation where we can store our tools, finds from excavations, archives, etc., and work on our various projects. Mr Edward Sammes, who read the Research Committee’s Report, also emphasised this need.”

21 years on and the problem is the same, only we have 20 times the amount of stuff to store.

Dating – An Unexpected Problem – More Nostalgia

“From time to time the Society receives some curious enquiries. On the whole they are, as you might expect, for an archaeological society, of the earth, earthy. Recently, however, a problem with an almost ethereal quality cropped up.

It came in a letter from an author in Reigate, who is preparing a book on the ghosts of London. “I am told,” he wrote to our Hon.Sec., that there have been reports of a ghost of a nun seen in the Lawrence Street vicinity, near the entrance to St. Joseph’s College. Some accounts refer to a sound of singing. I wonder if you can throw any light on this? A date, perhaps? Our Hon. Sec., – who feels a trifle more at home dating a Roman pot than a spirit – was nonplussed; but Mr Wookey, presiding at the A.G.M., gallantly leapt into the breach. He asked all present at the meeting to produce some more facts about this ghost.

One member promptly came up with what maybe the answer – that this is no nun, but instead the ghost of poor Nan Clark, who left her name behind her in Nan Clark’s Lane, Mill Hill. She was a serving maid who was foully murdered in the Lane; and she is said to walk there of a Midsummer Night.

Should any Newsletter reader be able to pad these facts out further (particularly with the desired date of Nan Clark’s demise); or should anyone be able to offer another contender for this ghostly title, the author in Reigate will doubtless be highly delighted.”


The more I delve into the history of the Isle of Man the more interesting it becomes. – Round houses, hill forts, Viking ship burials, megalith tombs, early Christian and Norse carved memorial crosses (200 of them), some in situ and some in the Manx Museum; Civil War forts, Medieval castles, unspoiled village folk museums, and the largest working waterwheel in the world, bringing us up to the 19th century.

Most of this came to light in the last war when a famous German archaeologist, Gerhard Bersu, was interned there, having left Germany when Hitler came to power. You couldn’t keep a good archaeologist down and he persuaded the authorities to provide him with 40 diggers from the internment camp. He proceeded to excavate continually, winter and summer, for the rest of the war. (see Current Archaeology No 27 July 1971)


The restoration of the Museum roof continues apace: the old roof has been stripped, the decayed straw removed and the rethatching is now underway. Everything seems on course for our re-opening on 25 July.

Among the many activities going on during closure is the setting up of a schools’ loan collection of Victorian domestic artefacts. The Museum needs to acquire duplicates of its more interesting cooking, cleaning and washing objects for these loan boxes, and I would be very pleased to hear from any HADAS member who might have suitable material. Examples of the kind of things I am looking for are on display at Hendon Library until 25 May.

Gerrard would be very grateful for any help. Please ring 081 203 0130.




This site lies on the slope, down to the north west, from Hendon Parish Church which stands on a plateau of higher ground between the valleys of the Dollis Brook/River Brent and the Silk Stream, the higher ground being capped by glacial sands over the London clay. Previous archaeology has shown Saxon and medieval occupation on the plateau near the church, with some pottery evidence of Roman activity. It seems likely that this was the centre of occupation of Hendon as referred to in Domesday.

The site itself is historically documented as having been the back yard of a farm from at least the 17th century, the farmhouse of that date still surviving as Church Farm House museum, a listed building. Documentary evidence indicates that in the 18th century there were buildings over most of the site behind the farmhouse, but these had disappeared before the 19th century OS maps.

It was therefore expected that we should find considerable man-made disturbance to the ground, but in addition to this it was found on excavation that there had been considerable natural soil movement downhill of sandy subsoil from the glacial capping, overlying a previously exposed land surface. This complicates the interpretation of dating from the artefacts found, and makes it important to use care in interpreting artefacts contained in any contexts as being in the same place that they were originally deposited.

With this caution in mind, nonetheless, there are three features found which can confidently be regarded as in their original place:

1. A narrow shallow gully cut into the old land surface, traced over a length of approximately 12 metres;

2. A small pit cut into the old land surface which included four medieval sherds:

3. Section of ditch running north/south filled with burnt material and a large amount of medieval pottery. The trench plan (figure1) shows the extent of the excavations with the positions indicated of the main features found.

The intention was to open up and explore as wide an area as reasonable, taking in the more interesting­ looking contours of the present surface, so as to give a general view and suggest likely matters for further detailed examination. This strategy seems to have worked (or as some might say, we have raised more questions than we have answered!)

Trench 2, in the northern part of the site, is where the landslip was most evident, which is consistent with the general downward slope of the land towards the north west. Figure 2 is a section diagram, (much reduced) of the layers found, showing the quite deep layers interpreted as being the landslip. These layers include numerous artefacts from medieval (c1150) to modern, and are topped by a humic soil above which is a line of bricks appearing to be the remains of an edging to the garden path shown in a mid-19th century OS map, suggesting that the landslip occurred between those dates. The gully and the medieval pit found were cut into the sandy clay layer, the old land surface, below these landslip layers.

Trench 1 showed considerable disturbance of soil rather from human activity than from landslip. The most notable feature was what appears to be a section of medieval ditch running north/south, shown diagrammatically in section in figure 3. The soil below this feature, into which it was partly cut, is of similar description to the old land surface found in trench 2, and it is in this layer that a few Saxo-Norman and Saxon sherds were found.

Trench 3 was started late in the dig and did not get beyond modern disturbance.


1. Establishing the extent of the surviving old land surface and its slope and conformation.

2. Seeking any more features in the old land surface and their period.

3. Investigating the extent of the surviving medieval ditch and its possible relationship with the Saxon and medieval ditches found in the Church Terrace excavation of 1973/4.


Now that our initial wide exploration has given us a better idea of where interesting features may lie below, some further investigations can be suggested of a more limited and less destructive nature.

1. A contour plan of the present surface would be of great help in interpreting the past earth movement found. Figure 4 is a diagram of two contours (83 and 84m OD) which can be approximately placed from measurements of levels already taken, and we should extend this to cover the whole site with measured levels.

2. Resistivity testing in detail in selected areas could pick up:

(a) The continuation and extent of the medieval ditch feature, and

(b) Features in the buried old land surface.

However, we know from experience that on this kind of soil, resistivity results are unlikely to be clear-cut enough to be relied on without the back-up of being tested by probing.

3. Probing by auger could help to confirm (or deny) resistivity results and could also pick up the old buried land surface enabling us to see the extent to which this survives and perhaps to make a contour plan of it.

4. Excavation. Following these investigations we can consider whether the results point to further limited and detailed excavation in selected places.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments

NEWSLETTER 276 Edited by Liz Sagues MARCH 1994

Di iary

Tuesday, March 1 The Moated Manor Project at Wood Hall

Lecture by Simon Tomson, Excavation Director for North Yorks Council.

This slide-lecture on a current excavation should be of particular interest, as it is it largely within the same period as some of our own excavations. In conjunction with National Power, Simon Tomson and his team are involved in a long-term excavation at Gale Common ash disposal site near Knottingley. Wood Hall was first mentioned in 1328 when it was the property of Queen Isabella, who was known as the she-wolf of France and is thought to have ordered the murder of her husband Edward II in 1327. Bridges across the moat, a very fine gatehouse, and evidence and artifacts of earlier occupation have been found. This is that rare thing, an excavation with no time limit, as it will take up to 20 years to cover the site with the ash from nearby power stations.

Saturday, March 19 LAMAS Conference

At this, the 31st Conference of London Archaeologists, our own Brian Wrigley will be among the speakers in the morning session, on recent archaeological research in the London area. Brian will describe last year’s HADAS dig at Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon. The afternoon session will be on Roman public building in London. Tickets are £4 from Jon Cotton, Museum of London, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN (071-600 3688 ext 259). HADAS will have an exhibition stand at the Conference.

Tuesday, April 5 Archaeology at St Bride’s Church 1952-1993

Lecture by Gustav Milne.

The church was originally investigated in the 1950s by the late Professor W. F. Grimes, former President of HADAS. Last year, before the replacement of the crypt display, Gustav Milne led a team from University College London to re-examine the standing structure. Some of the results were surprising.

HADAS lectures are held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, NW4, at 8pm for 8.30pm. Tuesday, May 3 HADAS Annual General Meeting: location to be announced.

Apologies… Apologies… Apologies…

Dorothy Newbury writes:

I hope there were not too many members arriving at the Library on Tuesday February 1 to find it closed. I must admit it was my fault. For 20 years Liz Holliday has nursed me by sending the appli­cation form for the year’s booking on the due date. Liz has been promoted and now, working from Friern Barnet, has no connection with the Hendon bookings, and I failed to send for the form.It was only by chance I phoned the porter at 4pm that day on another matter and was staggered to find we were not booked in. The lecture room was occupied by an exhibition and the Library closed for the evening. Several members rallied round and we phoned as many people as we could think of. The poor lecturer was on the train half­way down from Chester — if he has forgiven us we hope we can arrange an alternative date. I hang my head in shame.

What the papers say…

About old Beirut and new technology

John Schofield, well known to HADAS members for his lectures on London, has been delving into a past rather more distant, as the Independent on Sunday recently reported in a fascinating article on how computer-generated mapping is helping to trace the history of Beirut.

UNESCO provided funding to allow John Shofield to act as an archaeological consultant to the Lebanese as they excavate their civil-war-damaged capital city in an exercise somewhat reminiscent of the digging out of post-Blitz London.

Computer mapping was used in the investiga­tion of the Roman amphitheatre in Guildhall Yard, but the Beirut exercise is on a very much larger scale.

Using as a basis a map of the city drawn by a British naval map-maker in 1841, and underlaying that map with one of the modern city, centuries of history over an area of 160 hectares are being seen on screen. The 1841 map was drawn when Beirut still had two Crusader castles and most of its medi­eval walls, features shown in a near-contemporary sketch of the city’s seashore which also indicates a waterfront apparently constructed of reused Roman columns.

Much earlier structures may also be incorpo­rated into the multi-layer computer imaging, by adding a map — partly conjecture, but still valuable — of Beirut’s Roman remains, drawn following French excavations between the two World Wars.

The Romans’ great port of Berytus was de­stroyed by an earthquake in 551, and finds from that period have already been made in the current ar­chaeological programme, but the high-tech map­ping should help the international team currently at work to uncover more.

The intention is that these should be seen even­tually in the city-centre archaeological park planned as part of Beirut’s reconstruction. A treat in store for adventurous HADAS travellers!

· Rather nearer history concerned The Independent a couple of weeks earlier, when it reported on a survey of dry stone walls in the Lake District. Each valley, the National Trust study concluded, has a “ring garth”, built to divide agricultural land from the rough fellside and thus stop animals grazing on the former. These walls, originally up to five feet high, are thought to date from the 10th-11th centu-

ries. As a result of these findings, the National Trust is to give priority to repairing the ring garths, rather than more recent walls.

· Bizarre news from the Daily Telegraph, of the biggest known dog cemetery in the ancient world, found at Ashkelon in Israel. It dates from the late 5th century BC, and during the 50 years it was in use more than 1,200 dogs (two-thirds of them puppies) were buried there.

“Buried” is the appropriate term — “each car­cass was placed in its own shallow pit, lying on its side, with legs flexed and its tail tucked in around the hindlegs”, the report continues. There were no grave goods, however, (not even bones?) nor any marking of the graves.

Analysis shows that the dogs were not killed, butchered or eaten, and they appear to have died of natural causes. The dig director, Professor Lawrence Stager, of Harvard University, speculates that the dogs were part of a healing cult, common in parts of the Mediterranean and the Near East at the time.

· Dinosaur-mania has provoked a new interest in matters archaeological in the more popular press. The Daily Mail, in particular (thank you, the HADAS member who reads and snips so assiduously), has been particularly enthusiastic.

It has recently reported, for example, on the “Monster that put the bite on Wight”, a 120-million­yea r-old nasty almost as big as a London bus, and has even highlighted, in its property column, homes where there might be the possibility of finding a fossil in the back garden.

Not only dinosaurs, however, attract the Mail’s writers. They have tackled the possible present whereabouts of the gold Schliemann uncovered at Troy, the variety of beers made available to the workers who built the Pyramids, a 5,500-year-old poison arrow “factory” in West Africa, and the ulti­mate treasure-for-tuppence story, of a woman who bought a Pre-dynastic Egyptian pot at a car boot sale.

And one very recent snippet reveals that people in Biblical times suffered just as badly from back­ache as we do today. The evidence comes from the skeletons excavated at a cemetery near Wadi Haifa, Sudan. The bones also showed that the Sudanese of 350BC – 350AD were a long-lived lot, many surviv­ing to the age of 70.

Choosing this illustration to publicise the Church Farmhouse Museum shop as an excellent source of local history publica­tions is purely an exercise of the Editor’s prerogative — I spend many weekends afloat on the Welsh Harp, pictured here in 1870 during the London Swim­ming Club’s Aquatic Festival. The illustration is one of the many in Hendon, Childs Hill, Golders Green and Mill Hill, the splendid compilation by Stewart Gillies and Pamela Taylor of fact and views from the borough’s archives. The book is, of course, on sale in the shop-.

Counting out a republic’s history

The fascinating history of Venice can currently be studied at the British Museum — through the city’s coins.

A small display in the lobby outside the Coins & Medals Department entrance covers a millennium of minting, illustrating the development of the ducat, showing how the Venetians were slow to introduce machine-made coins and incorporating such oddi­ties as coins with fractional values.

Included, too, is a fascinating section on osellas, the coin-medals struck each year by the Doge as gifts to members of the Great Council — they replaced the former presents of wildfowl, by the time of the osellas’ introduction in the 1520s hunted to extinc­tion, and provide a potted history of the Republic, recording events of particular note.

These splendid coins are part of a much larger collection which has been given to the Museum by HADAS member Stella Greenall at the wish of her late husband Philip, who had also belonged to the society. Mr Greenall was well known for his interest in North London trade tokens as well as in the coinage of Venice.

His Venice collection was built up over some 30 years. As a mathematician as well as a numismatist, he enjoyed the elaborate denominations favoured by the Venetians — particularly, says Mrs Greenall, given the numerical conservatism of modern Euro­pean coinage. He was interested, too, in the techniques of minting, in the Venetian Mint — a beautiful and prominent building — itself, and in the coinage of the only Doge who had a full profile portrait of himself on his city’s coinage: when his period of office ended, such personal promotion was stopped.

The British Museum is delighted to receive the gift, and a catalogue combining both the Greenall Gift and its own Venetian material is planned. Venice Preserv’d: the Greenall Gift continues at the British Museum until May 15 .

The doors to Sutton House open at last

Many HADAS members are familiar with Sutton House, the oldest surviving domesticbuilding inEast London and subject of both an outing and a lecture for the society.

Now the good news is that the house, damaged by fire while a major restoration programme was under way, is finally open to the public.

Visitors can see some of the fruits of the ambi­tious partnership between the National Trust and local people, which is turning into an arts and com­munity centre what was once a family home, later became a girls’ boarding school, and later still housed a social services office, then a trades union headquarters and finally squatters. The Young National Trust Theatre is based in the building, there is a café-bar and shop, rooms are available for hire. Historical displays trace the story of the house, built in 1535, and introduce some of the characters associated with it, including its builder, the poor-boy-made-good Sir Ralf Sadleir, and silk merchant Captain John Milward, who added to its decoration.

While some of the past is revealed to visitors through such means as peel-back panels, research continues to unveil more. Meanwhile, a visit is al­ready rewarding.

Sutton House is at 2 Homerton High Street, E9 (081-986 2264). It is open to the public every Wednesday and Sunday from 11.30am to 5.30pm, admission £1.50 (free to National Trust members),

Bill Firth reports that:

At last, there’s action on the Aerodrome

The buildings at Hendon Aerodrome have been suffering from neglect since the RAF left in 1987, and the recession has meant that the site has not been of interest to developers.

Now, one of our local MPs, John Gorst, has taken up the safeguarding of buildings of national interest with the Department of National Heritage during the inquiry of the Parliamentary Select Com­mittee into English Heritage.

As a result the Select Committee recently visited Hendon where they were shown round by Mr Gorst and Dr Michael Fopp, Director of the RAF Museum, and saw the way the buildings are being allowed to deteriorate.

Mr Jocelyn Stevens, Chairman of English Heri­tage, who has given evidence to the committee on the neglect by the Ministry of Defence not only of Hendon but also of our military heritage generally, was also in the party.

There is hope that the site may become part of the neighbouring RAF Museum as an aviation theme park.

Mr Gorst has referred to six years of neglect since the RAF left Hendon, but the historic, listed buildings have been neglected for more than 15 years. When permission was sought to demolish the Grahame-White hangar in 1979 the RAF admit­ted that it was then in a poor state of repair.

This has been brought to Mr Gorst’s attention, but it is a pity that neither our MPs nor English Heritage took any action when we and other inter­ested parties drew their attention to the situation in 1980.

Bill Bass reveals:

The cuts may be mere ruts

Excavations at the Victoria Maternity Hospital, Wood Street, Barnet, were completed on February 12 with final digging and recording of the east-west silted linear feature in trench two.

Previously we’ve been calling this a ditch pos­sibly associated with an earlier alignment of the road, but as the “ditch” in trench one seems to have one “cut” although heavily truncated, the same fea­ture in trench two appears as several “cuts” or pos­sibly “ruts”, perhaps churned up by carts, etc. So a second theory is that it may be a back lane or track behind the 15th century cottages.

We hope to throw some more light on this in the post-excavation stage currently taking place, which will be closely followed by a report. This will enable Oliver & Saunders (site developers) to carry on developing.

The medieval pottery although not large in quantity has produced several interesting examples including a rim and handle sherd from a jug — this has a thumb impressed decoration characteristic of locally-made Herts Grey Ware from Arkley, Elstree and elsewhere. Another sherd may be a “bunghole” from a 15th century cistern of jug form of late Lon­don Ware-type fabric, but this needs confirmation.

These examples appear to fit date-wise with others in the area, eg finds opposite the site (now in Barnet Museum) when it was known as the Victoria Cottage Hospital.

Thanks to all the diggers for braving the ele­ments, and to the Black Horse for letting a muddy rabble warm up in their hostelry.

News in Brief:

· Is there a gremlin working his mischief somewhere? Two mem­bers living in West Hendon failed to receive their copies of the February Newsletter — strange that it should happen twice in the same area. If anyone else, in West Hendon or elsewhere, is not re­ceiving Newsletters, please let Dorothy Newbury (081-203 0950) know, so she can take up the problem with the Post Office.

· The Institute of Field Archae­ologists holds its eighth annual conference on April 13-15, at the University of Bradford. A programme and application form is available from: The Assistant Sec­retary, Institute of Field Archae­ologists, University of Birming­ham, Edgbaston, Birmingham BI5 2TT. Early booking is advised.

· The current display at Church Farmhouse Museum (Until March 27th) is hardly archaeological, but should appeal to any members of theatrical bent. It charts the 50-year-plus stage career of actor Donald Sinden. Some of the items have come from the collection of playbills, photographs and other ephemera stashed away in the loft of his home in Hampstead Gar­den Suburb; other items — such as costumes and paintings—have been loaned by the likes of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

· Something to look forward to: on July 27 the British Museum will open two new galleries de­voted to Europe from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Part of the display will examine the influence on design of the major archaeo­logical discoveries of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

‘The roof, roller-skating and cold baths’

For members who joined in the HADAS visit to St Paul’s last November and enjoyed coffee or lunch at the City of London Youth Hostel, Mary O’Connell has provided further information on the building’s original use —as the Cathedral Choir School. The following is summarised from an article by Paul Ward, of the Guild of the Companions of St Paul, in the City of London Guides Association Newsletter.

Mr Ward traces the history of the school from its medieval foundation, noting that in the years imme­diately before the construction of the Carter Lane school the 16 boys in the choir had attended No 1 Amen Court — a building still in existence — for their education.

The larger school had become necessary when, with the removal of the organ screen in the Cathedral in 1860, a much more numerous choir was required. The new building, designed by Francis Cramer Penrose, went up on land that had formerly been part of the Deanery garden.

He describes the internal arrangements of the school, including its dormitories, lobby where the boys’ mortarboards were hung, carpenter’s shop and fine wood-panelled Prayer Room, but also focusses on what went on outside.

He writes: Ask any old boy of the Choir School during most of its life in Carter Lane what he spe­cially remembers about the School, and the answer would probably be “the roof, roller-skating and cold baths”!

Cold baths every morning, followed by a brisk walk down to the Embankment towards Waterloo Bridge. Roller-skating along Carter Lane after Even­song on Saturday afternoon in the summer, when the cars and carthorses had gone home and that splendid apparatus which we called “Caesar’s chariot” had cleaned up.

“A playground of considerable dimensions on

the roof, wired in, like a bird-cage”, is how “the roof ” was described by another headmaster, the Rev. William Russell. In the summer there was room for cricket nets and in the winter five-a-side football. The school was organised into four forms which would take it in turns to have a period on the roof each day.

Another roof activity was “cradle fives”. A cricket cradle, for catching practice, had been pre­sented to the school during the First World War in recognition of the boys having continued to sing Matins one morning when there was an air raid and one bomb fell only 150 yeards from the Cathedral. This game, rather like five-a-side tennis, was played by throwing and catching the ball, using the cradle instead of a net.

Mr Ward describes, too, the school work de­manded of the boys, the time spent in choir practice — five afternoons a week — and on instrumental music— most boys learned one instrument, some of them two. He lists some famous old boys, including Walter de la Mare, Sir Charles Groves and Jimmy Edwards, and notes that during all or nearly all of the 93 years during which the school was in the Carter Lane building all the boys received board, lodging and education free.

Mary O’Connell adds, for members who have not already tried the Youth Hostel’s refreshments, that it welcomes visitors to good food at reasonable prices.

An invitation to:

Garibaldi… and coffee

The Secretary of the Hampstead and N.W. London Branch of the Historical Association has contacted HADAS to invite our members to their meetings as guests, (if attending, by way of courtesy, one should make a modest donation).

They recently changed venue to Fellowship House, Willifield Way, NW1I. Their next talk, on March 10, will be given by Professor Harry Hearder on the subject of ‘Garibaldi’, commencing at 8pm. Coffee is served after meetings.

If, in the meantime, you would like further information on the Association, please contact: Mrs Joyce Wheatley, 177 Hampstead Way, NW11 7YA, tel: 081-455 2820.

Brigid Grafton Green: memorial delayed

As there is still no definite news of what form the memorial being organised in Hampstead Garden Suburb for Brigid Grafton Green will take, HADAS is concerned that members who contributed towards it should know that their gifts are being kept safely aside.

However, to avoid further time-limit problems on cheques, the society would like to bank these contributions (accounting for them separately, with their intended use clearly identified).

If any members who contributed are unhappy with this arrangement and would like their gifts handled in a different way, could they please contact Dorothy Newbury by the end of March.

This is something for readers to puzzle over for the next month… What is this, and where was it? The answer will be in the April Newsletter. A hint: if you follow the suggestion at the top of page 3, you should find the answer.

News of members

Sadly, this month’s news is of members who are no longer with us.

Mr Alf Mendel, from Hampstead Garden Suburb, had been a member for many, many years. He and Mrs Mendel participated fully in our lectures, meet­ings and minimarts, and they were both with us for the weekend in Chester and Wales in September. Mr Mendel died suddenly while holidaying with his daughter in South Africa in late January. Our sym­pathy goes to Mrs Mendel.

Mr Ferris was a member, with his wife, back in 1978. Their membership lapsed for a while, then after Mrs Ferris died Mr Ferris rejoined and was a regular at lectures and outings. He also was with us for our September weekend. He died suddenly in his doc­tor’s surgery on December 17. He lived with his daughter and our sympathy goes to her.

Planning ahead

The HADAS weekend away:

Once again the Isle of Man is proving difficult to arrange, and expensive — in the region of £250 minimum for five days. Jackie Brooks has been researching the possibilities. School accommoda­tion was located, but mostly in dormitories, and with limited date availability.

Will any member who might still be interested please let Dorothy Newbury know — if there is enough interest, plans will be pursued. Ten passen­gers are needed for cheap rail travel.

Suggestions for an alternative destination will be welcomed. Ideas put forward so far include Cardiff University and South Wales, and Scotland, but others could be investigated.

The Christmas Dinner

Our principal annual social event is also caus­ing problems this year. Prices have risen, with steep charges for rooms, and as much as £5 per person for cutlery and table linen — and those are before the meal is mentioned! Among examples are £480 for the room at Brentford Steam Museum, plus £100 for an engine steaming; £1,000 at the Bank of England; £350 at both the Honorable Artillery Company and Canonbury Academy.

So any suggestions — of places where there is historical or archaeological interest as well as the possibility of eating will be welcomed by Dorothy.

Ideas on both these, please, to Dorothy Newbury on 081-203 0950.

Time to pay up

Subscriptions will be due on April 1. The rates, as last year, are: Adult £8; Second member of same family £2.50; Over 60/Student £5; Institution £8.

A payment slip is enclosed with this Newsletter. Please complete it and send it back to Vikki O’Connor, Hon Membership Secretary, as soon as possible.


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No: 275 FEBRUARY 1994 Edited by ANDY SIMPSON


Tuesday 1 February
Lecture: History and Restoration of the S.S. ‘Great Britain’ –

John Robinson, FMA,

This promises to be a treat for those with interests in industrial or maritime history in particular. Your editor remembers watching on ‘telly’, as a rather awe-struck 10-year-old, the arrival of the ship at Bristol from the Falklands way back in 1970. Both he – and the ship – have changed somewhat since!

Tuesday 1 March Lecture: The Mooted Manor project at Wood Hall – Simon

Tomson, Excavation Director for North Yorks Council.

In conjunction with National Power, he and his team are involved in a long-term excavation at Gale Common Ash Disposal site near Knottingley. Wood Hall was first mentioned in 1328 when it was the property of Queen Isabella who was known as the she-wolf of France and is thought to have ordered the murder of her husband Edward 2nd in 1327. Bridges across the moat, a very fine gatehouse, and evidence and artifacts of earlier occupation have been found. This is an excavation with no time limit – a rare occurrence – as it will take up to 20 years to cover the site with the ash from nearby power-stations where years of coal from the adjoining pits were burnt, This interesting slide-talk is on a current excavation, largely within the same period as some of our own excavations in the Borough of Barnet.

Saturday 19 March 31st Annual LAMAS Conference of London Archaeologists.

11 am – 5.30pm, Museum of London.

The 6 speakers in the morning session will cover recent archaeological research in the London Area, and include our own Brian Wrigley describing last year’s Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon dig. The afternoon session will be on Roman public building in London. Tickets £4 from Jon Cotton, Museum of London, London Wall, tel; 071-600 3699, ext 259.

Tuesday 5 April
Lecture: Archaeology at St Bride’s Church 1952-1993 –

Gustav Milne.

The church was originally investigated in the 50’s by Professor Grimes and in 1993 prior to replacing the crypt display a team from University College, London, led by Gustav Milne re-examined the standing structure with some surprising results.

Lectures are held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs, NW4, starting at 8pm for 8.30pm.

MEMBERS’ NEWS Dorothy Newbury

We note with pride that four of our members – Mary O’Connell, Sheila Woodward, Brian Wrigley and Ted Sammes are all giving talks to various local societies,


Our thanks to Pam Taylor who has accepted boxes of papers covering George Ingrams’ notes and research on Hendon. She has been through them all and placed them in the Borough Archives. More importantly, she has supplied us with five sheets of the catalogued material which is available for any member wishing to research any of the subjects therein. Copies of the list will be made and deposited with Roy Walker at Avenue House. George was 93 when he died last year and we must also thank his daughter Ruth for passing this material on to us.

(Some news cuttings on the former RAF Hendon, and the RAF Museum on the site, from George’s collection have also been passed to the RAF Museum Archives Section – Ed.)


Whatever happened to my old friend Ted Sammes over Christmas? His review of the new Philiimore pictorial history of Hendon was positively Scrooge-like in tone! If the ghost of Hendon Past had been a bit more active at Ted’s bedside, he might have wrung an admission from him that the introductory essay is one of the best features of the book„- well-written and scholarly, a rare combination. And it didn’t even get a mention!

Trying to select over 150 photographs for a book, of this kind must be not unlike choosing those 8 records for Desert Island Discs. You ([now before you begin that there is no way that every topic can be covered and it is not difficult, therefore, for critics to suggest ‘omissions’.

I share Ted’s assessment that the boot is ‘good value for money’: where else could you view a splendid old photograph for only 7p or so with a caption, historical essay, hard covers and an attractive dust-wrapper thrown in forftee?

And before you ask.; “No, I don’t have shares in Phillimore.’s Happy New Year to one and all.

Percy Reboul

Ted Sammes replies:

In reply to Percy,

I originally looked at the title of this boot and decided that, like all others in this very comprehensive Phillimore series, its main function was to present the pictures, which it has again done very well. Incidentally, I intended to convey the idea that I did not approve of pictures covering two pages – it ‘decomposes’ the picture to a large extent. I fear my handwriting was at fault as this does not come over clearly. I react the introduction, presumably by the two authors, and I would agree with Percy Rebours comments on its quality. It is of a standard that we would ea ect from a focal history archive Librarian and the Archivist of the same collection. I to not see the tastof a reviewer to be adulating all the time, nor to mention every aspect of a work., Indeed, a reviewer, at the risk, of offending, should try and point the way to improving things in the future. Liz Holliday in the previous newsletter had already given praise in an advertising blurb. I trust this a subject that now can be allowed to rest now be allowed to rest.

MILL HILL – A THOUSAND YEARS OF HISTORY. By Ralph Calder, illustrations by Ian Brown. Published by Angus Hudson Ltd in association with the Mill Hill Historical Society, 1993. Reviewed by Ted Sammes:

This book, the work of a local historian, is more profusely illustrated than was ‘The Story of Mill Hill’ by the late John W Collier. Ralph Calder had the task of completing John Collier’s book after his death, and no doubt this spurred him on to produce another volume, alas in a different format. All areas have a wealth of local history items and this book does not overlap to any significant degree the previous one. Ian Brown’s illustrations are line drawings with colour washes to add interest. Personally, I don’t like this idea but they do stand out, giving ‘punch’ to each subject. The text is also fortified

by a number of sketch maps which are helpful, Regrettably, the only photograph is in colour, but has a heavy red bias.

An all too rare feature in such books is the short list of Mill Hill residents and the listed buildings in Mill Hill. Some difficulty will be experienced by readers trying to link the two together. Indeed, a more comprehensive index would have greatly increased the value of this book. There is also a short list of some Mill Hill societies. One is left wondering why it had to be printed in Singapore? (Cheap labour to keep the costs down presumably – Ed.) Despite these things, it is an accurate book and very easy to read and digest. It is produced in hardback, with an illustrated dust cover and is priced at £12,99 plus postage and packing from Angus Hudson Ltd, Concorde House, Grenville Place, Mill Hill, NW7 3SA,

THE FIRST HUGH CHAPMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE at the Museum of London Dr Ralph Merrifield, Tuesday 11 January

Review by Ted Sammes:

Our President gave the first memorial lecture to members of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS); Hugh, secretary of the Society of Antiquaries and well known to many of our members, died tragically in an accident whilst walking along Piccadilly.

Ralph took as his subject “Roman metalwork from the Walbrook – Rubbish, Ritual or Redundancy?” (The Walbrook being one of London’s lost – or rather, culverted -rivers. Ed.) Much of the ironwork recovered came from anaerobic dark mud silts and had been well preserved. He also included votive multiple cups of the Roman period whilst pointing out that during the Roman period many Celtic springs and votive wells were places where hoards were deposited, Such was the case in the Walbrook Valley. At some later time in the Roman period the area was changed from a workshop area, and craftsmen moved out but left behind large quantities of nails and other iron objects.


The impending privatisation of London Transport’s bus operations claimed another victim in early December 1993 with the closure of Finchley Garage. The main reason for the closure was the transfer of the Garage’s lengthy Routemaster operated route 13, North Finchley – Aldwych via Golders Green, to BTS Buses of Borehamstiff, sorry, Borehamwood. The new operator will continue to operate their own Routemasters on the service, but only from Golders Green,

The Garage, situated just off Bollards Lane, North Finchley, opened on 7th June 1905 as a depot of the Metropolitan Electric Tramways Company and provided trams to work in the Barnet/Finchley/Golders Green/Wood Green/Highgate areas. The depot was heavily rebuilt in 1930 to accommodate the new luxury ‘Feltham’ trams, although trolleybuses moved in in August 1936, sharing the depot with a declining number of trams until final conversion to full trolley bus operation of local routes in March 1938. Conversion to motorbus operation, as with the trams, came in two phases, 1961-2, final conversion to motorbuses (Routemasters) coming during the Blizzard of 2nd January 1962, after a short period of joint motorbus/trolleybus operation.

(OK, who’s going to write in and defend Borehamwood?)

Liz Sagues

There’s an image which remains firmly in the mind after HADAS’s January outing. Irons, ordinary household irons, ready at hand to do the job they’re designed for —smoothing out creases. “Will you do my shirts?” asked one waggish member. “Certainly,” replied the subject of the question, “But it will be expensive.”

Understandable, that response, she would have been moonlighting. We weren’t on an industrial archaeology visit to an old-fashioned laundry, but in a building with a much more cerebral purpose. There was some new technology around, but a lot more of the old — including the irons.

The British Library Newspaper Library has been at its spacious site in Colindale since the first decade of the 20th century. As with books, so it is with newspapers— a copy of every one printed in Britain, national or local, paid-for or free, popular or serious, has to be deposited with the British Library. And as with books, the Library wouldn’t dream of throwing any away. On shelf after mile of shelf at Colindale is the evidence of this studious squirrel instinct,

After the introduction from our enthusiastic and well-informed guides Jill and Stewart (recently of Barnet Council’s archives department), we crocodiled down the road to the warehouse where the newspapers (and magazines and other popular periodicals) arrive, some 2,500 different titles, if I correctly remember one among many, many statistics, The technology of the delivery is rather more modern than that before World War One — then, it was by weekly horse and cart from Bloomsbury. (To clear up continuing confusion, a reminder: the British Library split off from its better-known parent, the British Museum, in 1973.)

Class War or The Times, Classical Music or the Barnet Press, they were all there alphabetically on shelves which stretched high above our heads, the upper levels full of older, microfilmed copies carefully wrapped in acid-free packaging for long-term storage,

Back to the main site, and the tour continued to the area where each paper is recorded and dilatory publishers chivvied for missing copies. Then through just a small part of the storage area, from which staff extract the bound volumes or microfilm reels which readers request, an archive of more than three centuries of contemporary events. We were allowed a brief time to browse among titles past: children’s magazines from the 1930s, when young readers clearly coped cheerfully with text more solid than today’s Guardian; journals of public health and confectioners, digests of footwear makers and printers, magazines illustrating cars and caravans long consigned to the scrapyard,

These, and all the other millions of issues of thousands of publications, can be consulted by any adult who can give library staff proof of identity to claim a pass. Opening hours are 10am to 4.45pm, up to four volumes or microfilm reels can be requested at a time (delivery is about half on hour, but you can ask for what you want by phone the previous day to avoid the wait) and photocopies can be ordered. Though there is lots of reading space, it does fill up, Early morning arrival is advised.

But the irons? You’ve noticed, no doubt, the references to microfilming. Newspapers are essentially transitory, fragile things, and microfilming is a way to make them accessible to readers, without destroying the original, as well as providing a source of income from sales of copy reels to other libraries and research institutes, The Library wants the best possible results, and creased and crinkled papers don’t photograph well. Hence the large room of ironing tables, each with its standard Rowenta or Morphy Richards or Hoover, and the irons beside each of the camera positions, for last-minute titivating of the subjects before exposure.

Altogether, that section of the Newspaper Library was almost surreal, from the lady in white gloves checking the exposed film, through the cassette of Bach suites to block out the whirrs and clicks for a camera-operating colleague, to the wall smothered with pin-ups of pussycats as a visual relief from all that small grey print.

The research possibilities of the Library are limitless, and it is an institution Barnet should be proud to house. A place of history reported as it was made, and — for someone who has worked on newspapers for nearly 30 years — a realisation that what is written one week is not, after all, forgotten the next.

Bill Bass

For our excavation team the labour is continuing at the above site – in spite of cold/rain/wind/snow/ice (ahh!). Weather has stopped play on several occasions but good progress has been made, the wettest December for some time has meant some diggers becoming adept at techniques of marine archaeology!

Work on trench one is nearly complete. Features here include a brick-lined drain and soak-away, a silty ditch deposit, also a pebble floor. Make-up of the ground appears to be mostly modern brick rubble, with sand and gravel. There are no signs of the earlier 15th century cottages as yet. (Le. those shown on old maps.) A start has been made on trench three on the southern boundary. It lies under grass and is rather less disturbed – it may be a garden area with several turf lines and sherds of ‘flowerpot’ visible down to what now appears to be two stepped terraces of clay, the brick fragments found within them indicating it is not natural.

Work on trench two has re-commenced, paying particular attention to the east-west ditch which appears to run beneath the hospital and into trench one. It is hoped to fully excavate this feature with a view to maximising the recovery of finds as well as accurately recording its location in relation to present day Wood Street; hopefully, we may have some evidence of its origin by the time the dig is finished.

The hospital was once a grand Georgian Mansion, fronting fashionable Wood Street and overlooking the Dollis Valley towards Totteridge. It now stands in a sea of compressed demolition rubble, perhaps reminiscent of a war-torn area. Its structure is now gutted and encased with scaffold ready for new work to begin.

All this is in contrast to our summer dig at the Church Farmhouse Museum – warm sunshine, leafy garden, cellar room with lighting and heating – those were the days… Volunteers are welcome at Barnet; if it’s still raining, please bring scuba gear, flippers, sonar-scanning equipment and inflatable dinghy – thanks!

(Since the above was written, work has continued on all three trenches, producing further evidence of extensive recent disturbance to the deposits. In addition to the flowerpots we have found our usual selection of clay pipe fragments and residual medieval sherds. The site was visited one night by ‘persons unknown’, and our shed broken into. Fortunately, nothing was stolen, nor any unnecessary damage inflicted either to our equipment, nor to the site. – Ed.)


The Museum of London’s current Events leaflet invites Londoners to enter their personal collections in The People’s Show 7994, an exhibition to be held at the Museum in June. The theme is local people’s collections, and 48 museums in the UK will be involved. If you are interested in sharing the fruits of your hobby/passion with the world, please contact: Rory O’Connell at the Museum of London on 071-600 3699, before 28 February 1994. (If you DO exhibit, please let the HADAS N/L editor know!)


A previously unknown Roman port, including 40 stone buildings, has been discovered in Kent, near the banks of the river Swale, north of Faversham. It appears to have functioned as a substantial port from the 1st century AD until well after the Roman period. Of equal importance are the results of research which indicate that the site -or its environs – was still an important port in the Anglo-Saxon period.

The site was located by Paul Wilkinson, a post-grad student, while preparing a thesis on ancient ports in north Kent, Finds so far are: roof tile; fragments of mosaic; hypocaust; tile; glass vessels; coarse and saurian pottery.

Some pieces of evidence suggest the place was of substantial importance in Roman and Anglo-Saxon eras. Firstly, it formed part of a royal estate associated with a rich Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Secondly, new research indicates there may have been an Anglo-Saxon royal tomb in the vicinity under a huge mound. Thirdly, the port – known to the Anglo-Saxons as Cillincg, was chosen in 699 by the Kentish king, Wihtred, as the venue for a meeting of all his nobles. The minutes of the meeting still survive in the form of a royal charter written on vellum in either 699 or the following century,

The site’s continuity of use from Roman port to Anglo-Saxon royal estate and port is extremely rare and is paralleled in the name of Faversham itself. It actually means “metalsmith’s settlement”, the first part being from the Latin ‘faber’ – (metalsmith), the second part being Anglo-Saxon for settlement. Research and excavation will continue into who built it, when and why.

Andy Simpson

Also in the news recently was the American Archaeologist who claims to have found traces of one of history’s great naval battles, famous for changing history and for the love affair of the centre of it.

Dr William Murray, leader of the US-Greek team Project Actium, has, by sonar contacts, identified 22 ancient oared warships 150′ down below the surface of the Ionian sea, two miles off the west coast of Greece.

He believes them to be part of the fleet commanded by Mark Antony and his lover Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, defeated at Actium by Octavian Caesar, Julius Caesar’s adopted son, in 31BC. Tradition, repeated by Shakespeare, has it that the defeated lovers committed suicide after the battle, defeat largely being due to Cleopatra. Against Antony’s generals’ wishes she joined his invasion fleet of 500 ships with 60 of her own and when the battle was still in the balance suddenly sailed off with her fleet, A distracted Antony breaking off the engagement and losing over 400 of his ships in the ensuing rout. Dr Murray believes the 22 ships he has found are some of the 60 burnt by the Roman victors.

This summer the team will attempt to find the bow mounted rams of the ships, which they hope to match to sockets built to hold 35 rams from Antony’s warships at the Temple of Apollo of Actium enlarged by Octavian to commemorate his victory, thereby proving the identity of the ships.


This exhibition should prove especially interesting to members who attended Ted Sammes’ talk in April 1992, about his visit to Jordan (report in Newsletter 244), He was fortunate in visiting Tell es-Sa’idiyeh two days after Jonathan Tubb had completed an excavation for the British Museum, The site was occupied from the early Bronze Age until c,700BC, The exhibition is in Room 88 (Basement) at the BM until 13 March,

HADAS has just lost one of its most distinguished members through the sad death of Alan Hill. This was extremely sudden. On Thursday 16th December I was him with Enid at the Society of Antiquaries’ Christmas Party, as cheerful as ever. When he returned home he said he felt ill. Enid took him to the Royal Free where he died of a massive heart attack at 5 o’clock next morning, aged 81.

Alan only came to archaeology quite recently. In his professional life he was Managing Director of Heinemann the publishers. He joined Heinemann in 1936, soon after he came down from Cambridge. Heinemann was at the time one of the big publishers of fiction – Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Nevil Shute and J B Priestly, and Alan was put in their most junior department, the Education books. However, Alan was a publisher of genius and, as the fiction side of Heinemann declined, so the education side increased enormously and eventually it was realised that it was the educational side that kept the whole firm afloat and Alan became Group Managing Director.

He also had a very strong influence in foreign publishing, particularly in West Africa where he launched the African Writers Series, – the first time that a British publisher had deigned to publish African writers, and as a result virtually all the leading African writers appeared in the series. He went on to publish books all over the world, not only in the Commonwealth, but also in East Asia, Japan, China and Russia, tramping round the countries, visiting bookshops, sometimes accompanied by Enid.

Since his retirement he has taken up archaeology, spurred on by his wife Enid. They were both active members of HADAS and Alan was also on the Council of the Prehistoric Society as their promotion manager and he had recently been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. When I last saw him Alan was busy thinking up ways of improving the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. He was one of the great movers and shakers of this world – a superb publisher who had published a series of Regional Archaeologies. He was always pushing for new projects and always in such a way that you felt he was on your side.

In all this he was immensely helped by his wife Enid. They met when he was 16 and she was 14; he was at Wyggeston Grammar School at Leicester and she was at Wyggeston Girls’ School, and when she was 14 and he was 16 they decided to get married. The did not tell anyone – least of all their parents, and it took 10 years before they actually got round to the wedding day. In the meantime Alan had gone up to Jesus College, Cambridge to read History while Enid went to Oxford to read History and obtain a Hockey Blue. They have a daughter and two sons, and numerous grandchildren. Enid herself joined in the publishing business and was for many years manager of the Loeb Classical Library, the classical students’ best friend, where classical texts are published with the Greek or Latin on one side and the English translation on the other.

Alan himself wrote a splendid autobiography “In Pursuit of Publishing”, describing his sometimes surprising part in a big business conglomerate. Coming from a non­conformist background, he had strong socialist principles, which at times seemed at odds with his great entrepreneurial skills. But perhaps as a result of this, and his enormous capacity for fun and enjoyment, he ran a very happy firm and enjoyed a very happy life. In all this, Enid played a vital role, and our sympathies go out to her.


Peter Pickering

I have since 1978 been a member of this Committee, having joined it as a Committee member of the Finchley Society. Its terms of reference are “to collect information and take action to save historical buildings of value threatened with demolition or alteration, and to preserve the character of historic areas, and to act with other societies in cases for conservation at public inquiries”.

In practice most of the Committee’s work comes from the rule (under DoE circular 8/87) that all applications to demolish or alter listed buildings must be sent by the local planning authority to a number of national societies, of which the Council for British Archaeology is one, and LAMAS is the agent for the CBA in London, All boroughs are supposed to send the Committee notifications of all such applications. In fact, compliance varies amongst boroughs; some seem to send every planning application they receive which affects a listed building, or an unlisted building in a conservation area, in however minor a way, while others seem to send only total demolitions or the most major alterations; Barnet falls into the latter category. Some, of course, may not comply with obligations at all.

For longer than I have been a member, the Committee has been under the chairmanship of Mr Dennis Corble. It aims to have people on it from all over London, usually nominated by local societies, and it keeps contact with societies in areas where it does not actually have a serving member. It meets every six weeks or so, and members may be asked by the Chairman to report on applications in their area and advise the Committee whether to take any action. Members are not however restricted to their own area, and since the Committee has many members of great knowledge and experience, discussions are well-informed and lively, and I have greatly enjoyed them and learnt a lot from them. Fascinating cases during my time have included the Prudential Insurance Building and the London Diorama.

The CBA has at times argued that its constituents should take into account only strictly archaeological aspects of cases, and at other times that objections should always be made to proposals to change historic buildings. But the Committee takes both a wider and a more pragmatic view of its remit, and takes aesthetic and practical matters into account, not objecting to changes that make it likely that a building will have a useful future, even if some of its character is lost in the process. The most recent local case with which the Committee has been concerned is the former RAF Officers’ Mess, to the proposals for which it has objected on the grounds that the new buildings would overwhelm the existing one and that they have a lower standard of design.

(Middlesex University hope to convert the mess and its surrounding five acres into Student Halls of Residence. – Ed.)

Vikki O’Connor

Only four weeks left of this membership year. A renewal form will be enclosed with your next newsletter. If you had problems with your Standing Order last April, could you double-check with your Bank that they have the correct amount in favour of HADAS at Girobank. Thank you.


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NEWSLETTER NO.274 – JANUARY 1994 Edited by D.L. Barrie


Tuesday, 11th January, 1994 – Visit to the Newspaper Library, Colindale NW9, 2 pm. This is now full, but anyone wishing to join the waiting list please ring Dorothy on 203 0950.

Tuesday 1st February, 1994 – “History and Restoration of the SS “Great Britain” – John Robinson, A treat for the industrial
archaeologists in the Society.

Our speaker, John Robinson, is Senior Curator, Maritime Collection, at the Science Museum. He has been involved throughout with the continuing restoration of the ship.

The SS “Great Britain’ was first built as an Atlantic liner. Designed by Brunel, she was the first ship built of iron and driven by a propeller to cross to America. The journey took nearly 15 days and the fare was about £30. Her seagoing life ended in 1886 in the Falkland Islands, and she was used as a coal and wool store until 1936 when she was finally towed away and scuttled. In 1970 she was salvaged and towed back home on a platform to the Great Western Dock in Bristol where she was built 150 years ago.

Many of our members will remember our tour of the ship in 1977 when HADAS spent a weekend at Bristol University.

Tuesday 1st March – Lecture to be confirmed.

Tuesday 5th April – “Archaeology at St. Bride’s Church 1952-1993” –

Gustav Milne.



I don’t know how she does it Year in, year out; Dorothy comes up with a new venue of great interest.

So – having identified our friendly coach driver David, behind his hirsute disguise, we were conveyed safely to Gower Street, there to meet up with the rest of our party (64 in all) for another HADAS Christmas feast.

I thought that the standard of fare provided by Mr Brudney and his team was of especially high standard, and I’m sure it was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Dorothy’s research the menu contained an article on UCL.

Our guides, Gill, Michael and Belinda, provided more on-the-spot information about the fine features of the building, the treasures of the history library and about Jeremy Bentham. And what a character he was, already an accomplished linguist and scholar in his tender years,

he was a voracious reader all his life. A bon viveur – who thought nothing of laying out 13 pence when dining out at “The Three Tuns” in Guildhall Yard (with 1d for the waiter.)

His interests were wide-ranging, from politics: – his “Fragment on government impressed many people to legislation principles:- “Laws should be for the total happiness of the community,” to prison reform:- his revolutionary design for the Panoptican and its management and discipline. (This inspection house was later developed as Millbank Prison, on the site now occupied by the Tate Gallery.) His brilliant philanthropic mind -loved the Truth!’ and he corresponded and debated with many of the leading figures of his time.

Because of his fascination with all things scientific, he left his body for dissection. The auto-icon was his final vanity and his instruc­tions to clothe his skeleton and seat it on display may be an example of the opinion held by his friends that he was a boy to the last.”

A marvelous evening – thanks from us all, Dorothy, and here’s to next year!


A Pictorial History by Stewart Gillies and Pamela Taylor published by Phillimore, £11.95

Last month the Newsletter included a short notice of this hardback book with an attractive dust cover.

It does not of course cover the whole of the old Hendon Borough, Edgware being conspicuous by its absence. Perhaps Phillimore will be covering this elsewhere. I liked the end photos, both of different subjects, but feel that an earlier drawing of the Old Smithy could have been found – it all looks too clean:

It’s very nice to see the arms of the Borough of Hendon, but what a pity this could not have been in colour:

Between the covers there are 166 black and white photos which are well produced and with captions for each one. In this respect it is nice to see old friendly photos and many that I had not see before. I would, however, have been happier if more of the photos had been deployed across two pages – the fold in the middle almost makes two separate photos.

There seems to my mind to be a lack of industrial sites, i.e. Rawlplug Co., Railways, Johnsons of Hendon and above all a few more shots of the Hendon Air Display or early tube trains at Golders Green. I realise it is difficult to give coverage to everything, but did we have to go to Italy for a representation of ox-roasting in 1932? (No.155). I remember the day very well and did get a slice of the ox. Maybe also church interiors did not get their fair share. The picture of the Silk Stream (No.115) widening out into the Welsh Harp is extremely interesting, as is also No. 120, Hendon Central Underground Station standing all alone in 1923, and on No.121 where is all the traffic down the Watford Way?

Yes, it includes cinemas, but for personal “fleapit’ nostalgia (minimum price 4d) I would also have liked to have seen the Classic Cinema just off Brent Street. The Edgware Road being surfaced with wood blocks is an interesting picture, all forgotten today, I fear. They often came up when there was prolonged rains

Maybe the biggest contrast of all is No.62, the Burroughs Pond, into which horses and carts could be driven.

The task of selecting these pictures must have been very interesting, time-consuming and at times I fear frustrating. Despite my above little carping comments, this book should be on the shelves of everyone with memories of Hendon past, and more importantly to those who are new to the old Borough of Hendon. Good value at £11.95p from Public Libraries and Church Farm Museum, etc.



Our expectant excavation team finally managed to gain access to the former Victoria Maternity Hospital site in Wood Street, Barnet. Delays were caused by massive concrete foundation blocks that had to be extracted and broken up on site by contractors. On a cold November 28, base-lines and trenches were laid out according to the plan and scheme of works as this is a Field Evaluation on behalf of the contractors (Oliver & Saunders). Three trenches were machine-dug on December 1 and 2 by JCS – this operation was overseen and directed by Mr. K. Tyler of the Museum of London Archaeological Service with HADAS assistance. Demolition and rubble over-burden was carefully scraped off with the

JCB using a toothless “bucket”. Digging stopped when any archaeological features were revealed or the natural sand/gravel/clay reached. We seem to have features in all three trenches including a possible ditch, pits and brick footings. Saturday and Sunday 5 and 6 December saw volunteers involved in initial cleaning/trowelling of trenches with one or two sherds of our ubiquitous medieval greywear pot appearing, also a spot

of surveying to establish a “level” or height above sea level, on site. Volunteers are welcome, please see the November Newsletter 272 for more info. Intensive care is given at the ‘Black Horse” over the road.


Ruislip, Northwood and Eastcote Local History Society is organising the 11th Local History Conference on “Roof Over Your Head” on
Saturday, February 26 1994 at the Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip, from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

There will be illustrated talks on a variety of subjects concerned with the development of domestic building, particularly in the Middlesex area, but also of general relevance. They have secured the services of some expert speakers, and are confident that the audience will enjoy an interesting day.

Tickets are £4, and include tea/coffee. Ample free parking and

access for the disabled available. Enquiries please to Mrs. E.C.Watling, Secretary, Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society, 7 The Greenway, Ickenham, Uxbridge, Middx. U810 8LS (0895) 673534. Please make cheques payable to ‘RNE Local History Society” and enclose SAE.


“Businesses in Barnet” is an exhibition at Barnet Museum, running in tandem with “Made in Barnet”, the exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum reported in last month’s Newsletter.

Elliott & Sons, the former photographic film manufacturers of Park Road, are represented by boxes of “Barnet Dry Plates” and copies of “The Barnet Photographic Book”, which later became the world-famous ”Ilford Manual of Photography.’

Watsons, the scientific instrument makers which closed in Bells Hill in 1981, is also featured. Regrettably it third industry from turn-of ­the-century Barnet town, that of denture-plate making, is unrepresented.

A large number of local firms have loaned or donated material to augment the museum’s own collections. Charles Neale & Sons have lent tokens made in its North Finchley factory which are used in London wholesale markets, as well as being keenly sought by collectors. Drawings for stained-glass windows at Knowle Church and tools of the trade of Luxford Studios, now The Glassery in East Barnet Road, record a family whose associations with stained glass go back some 300 years.

Commerce in Barnet is represented by the chain of office of the now defunct Barnet Chamber of Commerce, recently acquired by the museum.

A large brass shield with the words: Funerals to suit the Requirements of all classes” has been lent by W. Nodes, then Holmes & Sons, funeral directors. .Space precludes the many other businesses featured in this exhibition which runs until 31 January.



On the 13th November at Oaklands College, St Albans the Council for British Archaeology (CBA),Anglian Region, held their AGM with a conference on ‘Books, Bones and Burials”. HADAS are affiliated to the CBA as a society and is now covered by the Mid Anglia region which reaches London North of the Thames. Herts. Cambs., Essex members also belong on an individual basis. The CBA produce a magazine, ”British Archaeological News”, which comes out ten times a year, and a bi-monthly information supplement – “Briefly”. This has useful listings including forthcoming excavations for professionals and volunteers, training digs, events, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, day schools etc.

Talks at the AGM were given on Royal-Warrior burial at St Albans and Colchester, work on the Spitalfields Project – techniques and conditions on how to clear a crypt and record over 1,000 18th century and early 19th century coffins in various states of preservation (rather them than me); Reconstruction of ancient faces from skull casts by John Prag. Dr Ann Birchall spoke on China’s Terracotta Army, more of which is being found, including bronze figures. Martin Biddle talked on “The Search for Alban” (See “Current Archaeology” No.130). His search has led him to excavate beneath Alban’s shrine in the Abbey while it was being renovated. No evidence was found here except an unknown Georgian vault. Martin now believes that there may have been an early Saxon church or late Roman cemetery under the present nave, or further south downhill, possibly next to a (projected) Roman road, running east/west around the hill joining Verulamium’s north east gate.


Several sites have come to the attention of English Heritage for which they are recommending Field Evaluations or Watching Briefs.These include:

Nos. 143, 145 and 147 Friern Barnet Lane, N20 (possible site of a manor)

Nos. 1182-1228 High Road, Whetstone, N20 (near to the medieval village)

Land to rear of 176-204 High Street, Barnet Nos.63-67 Wood Street, Barnet (1 2407 9636)

On November 22nd 1993 several members from HADAS managed to observe foundation trenches for a two-storey house being dug at land to the rear of 63-67 Wood Street, Barnet. Trenches were opened by JCB and were approximately 1 metre wide by 1.5 metres deep. Nothing of archaeological significance was found. Garden topsoil approximately 60 cm deep was sitting directly on top of natural (undisturbed) orangy sands and gravel to the north, with yellow clay to the southern end. This information, though negative, may help us when excavating at the Victoria Maternity Hospital site also in Wood Street. Thanks to Andrew Scott (architect) and J. Clark (Builder) for their help.


Two exhibitions of note and currently running:

1) The Arts of Hinduism. This religion is over 2,000 years old, and in that time has developed its own art form to serve the many Hindu gods and goddesses. This when it comes to sculpture may be good for veneration or for the outside adornment of the temple.

The exhibition covers all forms from works on paper, large scroll paintings on cloth and all are centred round the major deities, Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi. It is open until April 10th 1994. Admission £2, concessions £1. I spent an interesting hour in another world.

2) A small free exhibition in the basement of the British Museum shows some of the latest finds from the Jordanian site of Tel es-Sa’idiyeh which Jonathan Tubb and others have been excavating for the British Museum for several seasons.

Finds range from iron work to well-fired pots. Of especial note is the fish in a small dish. On display also are the various tools used in recording the site.

Well worth a visit.


HADAS members visited the Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire some years ago. As I recently spent a couple of days there, I made a few notes as an update.

Butser, a reconstruction of an Iron Age farm, has been situated in its present picturesque site near Chalton since 1991 and in that time has both recreated work from the old site and developed new ‘projects and ideas. It continues as a unique experimental research establish­ment and educational centre welcoming the general public, school pupils and serious students of archaeology. Informal volunteer participation is encouraged alongside more formal courses. The current economic climate has, however, imposed constraints, but as long as no research work is ever compromised or general access limited, Butser enjoys becoming involved in more offbeat pursuits such as a programme on cookery for the BBC and Hallowe’en Celtic entertainments.

The large Celtic roundhouse, on the Longbridge Deverell Cowdown model, is the most obviously striking feature. It is the largest roundhouse ever constructed in Europe and contains artefacts relating to the lifestyle of the Celts. Two smaller roundhouses nearby are b based on evidence from the Glastonbury Lake Villages and would have been used as extra rooms.: at present they depict aspects of Celtic life like weaving. A four post structure used for drying out grain is a recent construction and a second granary is now under way. The grain would have been initially stored for several months in two large round pits like the two dug into the chalky ground outside the main enclosure At the moment, the pits are “demonstration models” as there is not e enough grain in bulk to warrant this type of storage. Other new items -on the farm include a circular sheep pen, haystacks, drying racks and a working pole lathe to help make wooden objects.

The smelting and pottery areas are just outside the enclosure and used for both activities and experiments. The earthworks round the enclosure are the subject of continuous research and comparative study. A pollen study group is being set up and will be developed this year. Crops of emmer wheat, spelt wheat, barley and oats are sown and experi­ments relating to sowing times, climate patterns, and natural weed growth are well in hand. Woad abounds, grown in a labyrinth layoutand is used for dyeing.

It is planned to develop the Romano-British aspect of the site. Two Roman surveying instruments, the Roman Groma and the Aqua Libra or water spirit level have already been set up. The base for the cottage Roman villa, probably to be based on the excavation of Sparsholt, has been laid, and it is planned to build a hypocaust using Roman-type bricks and tiles.

Animal husbandry is also very much part of Butser. Two Dexter cows are used for ploughing, five types of ancient sheep – the Soay, the Hebridean, the Mouflon, the Manx Loghtan and the Shetland – live along­side numerous old English goats and two bristly pigs. The roost, however, is ruled by Georgina, an old English Game Fowl hen, who sees humans as part of one great flock of chickens and keeps an eye on all that is going ant She occasionally passes on her opinions with a series of clucks and grunts. More chickens are currently being intro­duced to the farm.

The emphasis on educational activities is impressive, ever expanding and imaginative: over 5,000 schoolchildren visited Butser last year and it is hoped to increase that number to 20,000 in the future. It is the research and educational programmes which are carefully nurtured above all else and which underpit all the other activities.

If anyone is interested, there is a brochure available for 1994 courses from the farm. There is also a “list of wants” which Butser needs. If anyone can help and would like a copy, the Director can be contacted at the farm, using the following address. The list includes such things as teaspoons, a Tilley lamp and paintbrushes.




HORNDEAN, HANTS. Tel. 0705 598838


read the headline in the “Evening Standard” on 13th December. One of the team of archaeologists involved in the excavation under Guildhall Yard, EC2, has been referred to Brampton Hospital as he has contracted “farmer’s lung”. The surprising thing about this is that the disease may have been caused by spores which have survived in a stratum of the dig surviving from the time of William the Conqueror. The disease is rare in modern central London and is caused by an organism which grows on fermenting or rotting hay. The Museum of London (said the Standard) stopped the dig after the diagnosis was made and has called in experts in fungal diseases to test the site. The Council for British Archaeology and the Institute of Field Archaeologists believe that there are no previous cases where an organism has survived for so long.


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ssue no. 273 DECEMBER 1993 Edited by Reva Brown


Tuesday, 7th December, 1993: Christmas Dinner at University College, Gower Street. For last minute bookings, phone Dorothy Newbury – 203 0950 – to see if there are any places left or cancellations.

Tuesday, 11th January, 1994: Visit to the Newspaper Library, Colindale NW9 2.00 pm. Numbers are limited. Will members who have shown interest please confirm in writing to Dorothy Newbury, 55 Sunningfields Road, Hendon NW4. There is no charge, but a donation on the day may be appreciated.

Now until 16th January, 1994: British Museum: The Hoxne Hoard continues on display in Room 69A.

18th January to 16th May, 1994: British Museum: The next exhibition will be a collection of coins from Venice, gathered together by our former member, the late Philip Greenall. Mrs Greenall has presented the collection to the Museum.

Members’ News
Dorothy Newbury

Two more members are entering archaeology courses: Jean Bayne has passed her first year and is starting the second year. Tom Real starts his first year this autumn. Both are keen diggers.

Would any other members who have passed their exams, please let us know so we can give them a pat on the back?

Stephen Conrad will be participating in a “Christmas Holiday afternoon for Children” at the Museum of London on Thursday, 30th December at 2.30 pm. It is organised by Geoffrey Toms, who is known to many of us as our host at Attingham Park where we stayed in the 70s for our HADAS weekend. The subject is “Spitalfields changing communities 1690-1990”, starting with the Huguenot immigrants up to the more recent influx of the Bangladeshis. The East End is well-known for its ‘rag trade’ and Stephen is a tailor by trade.

John Enderby, founder member and one-time vice-chairman of the Society, a committee member for 30 years, and now a vice-president, finally left Hendon on 8 October. In 1992, John and Barbara achieved their ambition and bought a cottage in the country. For many years, John was principal of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute and gave the Society enormous assistance in so many ways – from occasional permission to use the Teahouse for finds processing etc., always arranging lecturers for archaeological evening classes, and more recently, examining Council planning applications for possible site-watching or excavation sites. John’s contribution to Hendon in general has been extensive – he retired from no less than 14 committees when he left the area. His latest efforts were concentrated on the new North London Hospice project, for which he raised thousands of pounds, on which he spent thousands of manhours. He has been invited to come up and meet the Queen at the forthcoming inauguration of the Hospice. For the many members and friends who knew him well, his new address is: Fosse Cottage, 46 Church Street, Fontmell Magna, near Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 ONY, telephone 0747 811805. He tells me he would love to see any old friends who are passing that way. My advice is – ring first. He is already involved in local activities. Our loss is their gain.

Mrs Banham is another founder member – and remembered by so many of us on summer outings, always bringing with her a large tin of sweets to sustain us on our journeys. She rarely missed an outing and always came on our weekends away until a spinal ailment curtailed her activities. She often writes, saying how she enjoys the Newsletters, and says she is still with us in spirit in all our activities. Mr Banham (now deceased) addressed all our newsletter envelopes by hand in the Society’s early days. We all owe so much to those dedicated early members who brought the Society into being, and it is up to the rest of us to do our utmost to keep it going. Mrs Banham still lives in Hendon and I would be happy to give anyone her address.

Stewart J. Wild

HADAS members will, I am sure, be as fascinated as I was with the latest exhibition at the national Gallery: The Making and Meaning of the Wilton Diptych. It is in the basement area of the new Sainsbury Building and is on until 12 December, 1993. Admission is free.

The subject of the exhibition, sponsored by Esso, is the breathtaking Wilton Diptych, the greatest painting to survive from 14th century England. Almost 600 years old, the Diptych is name after Wilton House, seat of the Earls of Pembroke, to whom the treasure belonged until the National Gallery acquired it in 1929. It is a portable altarpiece, probably made between 1395 and 1399, for the private religious devotion of Richard II, King of England 1377-1399, who is shown being presented by Saints John the Baptist, Edward the Confessor and Edmund to the Virgin and Child surrounded by angels. Nobody knows who painted it or exactly what it means.

The exhibition explores some possible interpretations of the diptych imagery through contemporary medieval objects such as stained glass, manuscripts, jewellery and sculpture. When the Diptych was cleaned in 1992, it was also scientifically examined, using the latest technology, and the results of this analysis are also show.

An excellent 25-minute video on the Diptych and its symbolism and imagery is shown every half-hour in an adjacent room. Highly recommended.

ROMAN AMPHORAE: Problems of Identification and Methodology

The Museum of London is holding a two-day conference – 23rd-24th January, 1994 ­on the topic of Roman amphorae. These were the great long-distance travellers, carrying commodities from the Mediterranean to the extremities of the Empire. Found throughout Britain, they have considerable potential, as yet mostly unrealized, for dating, and for illuminating contextual status and function. On the first day, papers on identification and methodology will be presented by a selection of international amphora specialists. On the second day, there will be a series of seminars making use of amphorae in the Museum of London Reserve Collection and from recent excavations. The conference costs £20.00, cheques to be made payable to the Museum of London. Send applications to Jo Groves, Museum of London Archaeology Service, Number 1 London Wall, London EC2Y 5EA.


What did a Roman centurion, anxious to endear himself to his troops, give them? A baths complex, of course. And what practice, common at Roman baths, is replicated in their modern municipal replacements? Unhappily, the stealing of bathers’ clothes.

Those were just two of a plethora of entertaining facts which bubbled up as Mark Hassall dipped into the vast pool of information about what went on in that most important of Roman institutions, the public bath. November’s lecturer, remembered with pleasure from earlier visits to HADAS, deservedly drew a capacity crowd to Hendon Library – where, by fortunate coincidence noted by Mr Hassall, the lecture room bears a substantial resemblance to the favoured decorative style of Roman bath designers.

Plunging into his subject with the enthusiasm of a Roman squaddie for his hot bath at the end of a cold day stationed on Hadrian’s Wall, he emphasised how baths proliferated in almost every Roman city. At Timgad in Algeria, there were 14 sets of public baths; in Ostia, Rome’s port, 20; the Eternal City itself had II huge public complexes (one, the baths of Diocletian, large enough for its frigidarium to be converted into a great Renaissance church and now to house the national museum) and some 800 to 900 smaller ones.

Baths were everywhere in the Roman Empire, continued Mr Hassall, Reader in Roman archaeology at the University College London Institute of Archaeology, even if, unlike the conventional Alan Sorrell reconstructions, those in the colder, wetter north had pitched tiled roofs rather than the cement barrel vaults favoured at sites such as Leptis Magna.

If baths were not as numerous in British cities as in those nearer the heart of the empire, they appeared early – there were military baths at Exeter by the mid-50s AD – and they could be both massive and magnificent, he said, instancing Caerleon and Leicester. The categorisation of Roman Britain as two bricks and a damp field was, he insisted, entirely wrong.

He splashed out energetically on the role of baths as social centres. Seneca had digs above one, and didn’t enjoy the experience. “He said how trying it was – like living over a disco … people jumping, splashing around, selling sausages, using depilators, ouch, ouch, ouch.” And pilfering at the municipal pool was no 20th-century phenomenon. So rampant was the disappearance of coats and robes at the baths of Roman Bath that the aggrieved victims sought divine retribution, cursing the thieves on pewter tablets which survive as evidence of their fury.

It was that “morally upright” emperor, Hadrian, who had stopped mixed bathing, leading to the introduction of separate-sex baths, two sets of rooms arranged in a mirror image of each other. He was also the excuse for a Roman joke – the account of how the emperor, meeting in the baths an old soldier who he had previously encountered on a tour of the outposts of the empire, was disturbed to find the man could not afford to pay a slave to scrape his back. He handed him a bag of gold … only to be confronted, on his next visit to the baths, by 40 old men in the same predicament.

Enjoyed, too, both by ancient Romans and modern Romanists, continued Mr Hassall, was the wordplay joke that the bath stoker was a fornacator, from “fornax” – furnace. Fornicator, he added, came from “fornix” – arch – “under which, presumably, it all happened”.

Warming to his theme, just as the water in the caldariums had got “hot, really hot”, he invited members “to take a bath” with him. He had, he admitted, already come close to it, confusing the doors to the library’s lavatories and encountering some female members of his audience where they had least expected him. In a concluding series of slides, he juxtaposed Roman scenes of bathing, from mosaics at the 5th century Sicilian villa of Piazza Armerina, with the barely-veiled interpretations of 19th century artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, the latter not just the classical Victorian excuse for an excursion into the softest of porn but also “very good” in their historical detail. And what could be more in line with modern practice than the message on the mosaic “mat” at the entrance to one palatial suite: “Have a good bath”?

The shower of questions which followed, on subjects from funding to fuelling, from affordability to filtering, proved – as did the huge wave of applause – how HADAS appreciated the evening.


We have received a request from Jean Linwood, Chairman of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Population Project which concerns 18th Century London. The Project is desperate for more volunteers, as the intention is to cover all the pre-19th century parishes of Central and Greater London, with the exception of the City of London. Work needs to be done for Edgware, Willesden, Great Stanmore and Harrow, among others, and there is no time limit for completion. Members of the Project meet at the Museum of London (on a Saturday morning) to discuss progress. If you are willing to take part in the project, contact Jean Linwood at 52 Lorne Road, Wealdstone, Harrow, Middx HA3 7NJ for further details on how to proceed.

MADE IN BARNET – exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum

Liz Sagues

Made in Barnet, which opened at Church Farmhouse Museum on 23 October, traces the history of industry in the Borough since the 1880s. The past 100 years have seen north-west London change from a collection of farming villages to suburban sprawl. Factories and workshops appeared among the houses and it is surprising how many companies – many of them household names – were based locally. Among them are Johnsons of Hendon, the photographic company, Frigidaire, Schweppes, Simms, the motor components company, once the largest employer in Finchley, Standard Telephones & Cables, Handly Page, Duple Coachbuilders and many others.

Some of the material on show is drawn from the Museum’s collections and most of the photographs are from the Borough’s Archive Collection. Some items have been lent by companies and individuals. The Museum would, however, like to mount a

much more comprehensive exhibition in 1995 or 1996. Gerrard Roots, the Curator, would like to hear from anyone who has objects, documents, photographs or memorabilia relating to local firms – large or small – which they would be prepared to lend (or donate) to the Museum. If you, your family or friends have any material you think may be relevant, do please contact the staff at the Museum or phone them on 081-203 0130.

The present exhibition will be on show until 16 January, 1994.

HENDON, CHILD’S HILL, GOLDERS GREEN AND MILL HILL – a pictorial history by Stewart Gillies and Pamela Taylor. Published by Phillimore, price 11.95 (hardback)

Many members will know Stewart (Local History Librarian) and Pamela (Archivist) from visits to the Barnet Libraries’ Archives and Local Studies Collection at Egerton Gardens. Their new book is the second in a trilogy which, when complete, will cover the present Borough of Barnet. Finchley and Frien Barnet was published in 1992, and the third volume, covering East Barnet, Chipping Barnet, Arkley, Totteridge and Hadley, is due next year.

Hendon … contains a ten-page introduction to the ancient manor and parish and 166 captioned illustrations, including a good selection of less well known material illustrating different aspects of the area. A full review of the book will appear in next month’s Newsletter. The book is on sale at your local library and at Church Farmhouse Museum. An ideal Christmas present for someone – or yourself!

Sitewatch At PDSA Building, Church Terrace, Hendon NW4
TQ 2298 8950

On Friday, 5 November, Ian Haigh and I were able to make ourselves available at short notice to view a narrow, shallow trench dug for foundations of a small back extension to this building. The Borough Planning Department had made a request in the planning permisssion for HADAS to be allowed access and we are grateful to the PDSA for their co-operation. The site was obviously of interest to us, being on the sandy plateau of Church End so close to HADAS digs at Church Terrace and Church Farmhouse.

In fact, about 90% of the trench (45cm wide) was into ground already disturbed by two drains below the tarmac-on-concrete surface. In the remaining area, beneath layers of tarmac, concrete, sand, and soil (probably disturbed), we note a natural layer of grey sandy clay, recognisably similar to a subsoil layer we had found in the Church Farmhouse excavation (there numbered Context 209). This was at a depth of 64 cm below the present tarmac surface; no artifacts were visible. For the record, a note of this inspection will be included in the Church Farmhouse excavation archive and report (CFM93).


A visit to St Paul’s

On a perfect November morning, HADAS members gathered on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in eager anticipation of another in-depth tour of a famous London landmark that few of us know as well as we should. Thanks to Mary O’Connell’s encyclopaedic knowledge and guiding skills, were not disappointed.

After a brief resume of the various buildings that preceded Wren’s masterpiece, we were invited to take a good look at the clock and the west facade. Our attention was drawn to the couple of fossils clearly Visible in the Portland flagstones outside the west door, then we entered the Cathedral, passing All Souls Chapel and the Chapel of St Dunstan. In the beautifully-panelled Chapel of St Michael and St George, the first of many privileges we enjoyed which are not part of the ‘normal’ tour, we learnt more of the history of the building and the functions of the various chapels.

We admired the Wellington Monument, and took time to explore the symbolism of The Light of the World, the Cathedral’s most famous painting. On the way to the Middlesex Regiment Chapel, we stopped to admire Henry Moore’s enigmatic Mother and Child sculpture. More fascinating facts and anecdotes about the building and its survival during the Blitz of WWII emerged as we rested in the Choir, the most richly-decorated part of St. Paul’s. We continued to the American Memorial Chapel, behind the high Altar and Baldacchino, later pausing at the lifelike effigy of John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s 1621-1631.

Down below in the enormous crypt, we would all have like longer to explore among the many memorials and tombs honouring our famous citizens and heroes of the last three centuries. Respects were, however, paid to Wellington and Nelson, and at the tomb of Wren himself, a plain black marble slab bearing the celebrated and eloquent epitaph Si monumentum requiris circumspice.

Canon Haliburton kindly showed us the Library, a rare privilege for it entailed ascending to the first floor level above the curtain wall, and allowed us to see places not normally accessible, including a view of the nave from high above the west door. The Library itself was just as Wren had designed it, with a charming all-round balcony and stuffed with rare books and manuscripts going back seven centuries.

The tour finished in the Whispering Gallery, with its remarkable sound effects and superb views of the nave, although most of the party felt energetic enough to ascend further to the Stone Gallery to enjoy fine views of the City and beyond. I personally made it all the way to the Golden Gallery on top of the Dome where the views over London made the climb of over 320 feet well worth the effort.

Thank you, Mary, for a fascinating tour, and thanks to Dorothy for organising it.


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Issue No. 272 NOVEMBER 1993 EDITED by DAWN ORR


Tuesday, 2nd November Lecture:”Fun and Games in the Roman Baths” – Mark Hassall,F.S.A.

A return visit by this entertaining speaker, who is Reader in Roman Archaeology, at

University College. This month’s subject will about the baths and bathing which were an essential element of Roman social life. In this talk Mr Hassell looks into the remains of Roman Baths from Scotland to the Sahara – and examines some of the activities that went on in them

Saturday, 6th November
Visit to St Paul’s Cathedral, with Mary O’Connell.

Application form in last Newsletter. There are a still a few places available. Phone Dorothy Newbury on 081 – 203 – 0950.

Tuesday,7th December Christmas Dinner at University College, Gower Street

Details and application form enclosed.

Tuesday, 11th January, 1994 Visit to the Newspaper Library, Colindale, N.W.9 – 2p.m.

Numbers are limited. Will members who have shown interest please confirm in writing to Dorothy Newbury, 55 Sunningfields Road, Hendon N.W.4. There is no charge, but a donation on the day may be appreciated.

BRITISH MUSEUM The HOXNE HOARD continues on display until 16th January, Room 69A.

Members will be interested to learn that the next exhibition at the B.M. after the HOXNE HOARD will be a collection of coins from Venice, gathered together by our former member, the late Philip Greenall. Mrs Greenall advises that the coins will be on display from 18th January until 16th May. She has presented the collection to the Museum.

MEMORIAL to the late Mrs BRIGID GRAFTON GREEN has not yet been decided. Members who subscribed earlier this year may be wondering why there is no news as yet. It appears that several suggested projects have proved unsatisfactory. The memorial will be shared by the many groups associated with the Institute and other organisat­ions in the Garden Suburb. As with HADAS, Brigid’s service to any organisation was invaluable, and we hope that a decision on her memorial will be made shortly. A plaque on the Institute building was the latest idea, but permission has been re­fused.

COLLEGE CAMPUS at RAF HENDON EAST CAMP is being considered by Barnet Council for planning permission. The new Middlesex University is proposing to house 579 stud­ents in the former officers’ mess site, just half a mile from the University, at an estimated cost of X2.0 million. The developers, ‘CPR’ of Mayfair are optimistic that the Council will grant permission in time for the academic year beginning September, 1994, and bring to an end the speculation over the new use for these historic 1915 Listed Buildings.


FRIEDA WILKINSON, almost a founder member, is back home again after many months in hospital and convalescent care. We are all pleased to learn that she is ‘on the mend’ and she will be happy to hear from old friends.

RICK GIBSON has been missed on recent outings and members have asked after him. Apart from being involved with other societies, Rick now has severe back problems following a coach trip (not one of ours !) and long journeys are proving painful. We hope he will be participating again in 1994.

ROY WALKER and BILL BASS We are happy to announce that these two keen diggers have passed their second year examination (Roman period) for the Certificate in Field Archaeology. Congratulations, Roy and Bill

Success, too, for MICKY COHEN, who has completed her fourth year for the Diploma in Archaeology. She has to face the practical section now. We wish her success in this, which will give her the full Diploma.

PAUL and MICKY O’FLYNN We were all pleased to see both of them helping at the Minimart and to learn that they are returning to work and live in London after a three-year absence in Derby. Both have continued membership and always join us on our weekend away. We are particularly pleased to congratulate Paul on his app­ointment as consultant at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London.

CHURCH FARMHOUSE DIG has ended – perhaps to be activated again another year.
Local interest continues in the displays at the Church Farmhouse Museum, and on
National Archaeology Day over 100 visitors came, as LIZ HOLLIDAY reports :

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY DAY – 28th & 29th August, 1993

100 visitors of all ages came to see the excavation in the garden at Church Farmhouse Museum during the Bank Holiday weekend. Society members, local residents and enthusiasts from further afield (including one family of four who came specially from Kent!) dodged round the trenches in the garden to discover what was going on. Brian Wrigley spotted Dr. Martin Bates from The Institute of Archaeology, who spent time to give an opinion on soil stratification.

it was the last weekend on site and the digging team were working against the clock to complete measuring and drawing before the trenches were back-filled. Many thanks to Bill Bass, Arthur Till, Vikki O’Connor and all the diggers who made the time to answer visitors’ questions, explain what they were doing and describe what they had found. Special thanks to Brian Wrigley and Roy Walker who conducted numerous groups round the site; to Sheila Woodward who patiently dealt with queries about finds and explained how they were cleaned and processed and to Tessa Smith who produced countless cups of tea and glasses of squash for visitors.

Dozens of people visited the museum to see the splendid selection of finds from three previous digs in the Hendon area which had been brought together by Ted Sammes. Ted, helped by Victor Jones, filled three showcases and supplemented the display with screens showing maps, plans and texts.

Unfortunately, arrangements for tours round the parish church did not work out so well. The vicar had only limited time on Saturday and was not available at all on Sunday. Nevertheless, our visitors seemed to enjoy themselves and certainly found out more about HADAS, the excavation and the museum.


As forecast in the August Newsletter, the former Victoria Maternity Hospital in Wood Street, High Barnet, is to be redeveloped — the central office block, a Listed Building, will be retained, and the building work will be ‘restrained pending archaeological evaluation and advice re preservation or protection..’

ROY WALKER has prepared the following information sheet and request for helpers: EXCAVATION AT THE VICTORIA MATERNITY HOSPITAL, WOOD STREET, HIGH BARNET

Following hard on the heels of the excavation at Church Farm is the above excavation due to commence on Monday 1st November, 1993. at which your assistance would once more be greatly appreciated. The hospital is a listed building, being a former Georgian mansion constructed on enclosed common land. Two cottages were on the site prior to the building of the house. It is currently proposed that two 15 by 4 metre trenches aligned north/south be dug beneath the now-demolished 20th century wings of the hospital, partially on the site of the previously-demolished 18th century wings of the original house. A third trench, 30 x 2 metres running east/ west, will be dug on open land to the rear of the hospital.

This will very much be a rescue excavation in advance of building works. It is very likely that a service road will be under construction on the site while we work so every attention must be given to site safety – hard hats and stout boots are essential. HADAS has some of the former but if possible please bring your own. A tool-store and a portaloo will be placed on site but there may not be much protection from the weather. Finds processing will be carried out at Avenue House, preferably at the same time as we excavate and assistance for this will be needed.

If you will be able to participate in this work, please let me know as soon as possible so that our plans can be finalised. It may be possible, if there are sufficient volunteers, to work on site weekdays, not just at weekends.

Please reply to: Roy Walker, 2a Dene Road, London. N11 lES. Telephone: 081 — 361 — 1350


This alarming headline appeared in The Independent just this summer ! The villain was operating a few miles north in Bedfordshire — let us hope that he does not transfer his attentions to the Victoria Maternity Hospital site

Thanks to the vigilance of Mrs Evelyn Baker, an Archaeology Officer with Bedford County Council, who was supervising a site under investigation before a new sewage pipe was laid, “Charlie” with metal detector and at least one Roman coin in his pocket, was caught on site and arrested. Alas — despite the keen cooperation of the Bedfordshire Constabulary —the Crown Prosecution Service declined to prosecute ‘because there was not a 51% (sic) probability of success the site had not been ringed with notices saying that this was an archaeological site and that theft would lead to prosecution ….’ Protective legislation is mooted — but when ???


The Maidenhead Advertiser (August 27,1993) featured a familiar figure in an illustration of a display of Roman finds from villas excavated in the Maidenhead area. Quotations from the same familiar figure – none other than our own Ted Sammes – are included in the accompanying article, for he was responsible for the display at the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, recently re-opened after three years of planning and re-styling. We are pleased to see Ted’s meticulous work appreciated elsewhere and suggest members would be interested in the wide range of finds to be inspected at Maidenhead if an autumn drive up the river can be arranged.

The Sunday Times (July 18,1993) defiantly spells archaeology with only one ‘a’, but may be forgiven (a little) since their account of ‘Saving the City’s Roman Amphitheatre’ was well presented and illustrated with detailed diagrams. According to the project engineer, Mike West of Oscar Faber, the remains of the amphitheatre, already a scheduled ancient monument, will be left intact while the basement and upper floors of the new building (art gallery and offices for the Corporation of London) are built under and around it…’We are putting in an 18-metre deep base­ment with the equivalent of Stonehenge perched above it.’ The work is to be com­pleted by 1996 – cost about £10 million. Part of a future London Walk with Mary ?

Time Travellers of London A Roman Day at the Museum of London with TESSA SMITH

On a lovely sunny Saturday (18th September), a group of HADAS members visited the Museum of London. The High Walkway to the museum gave us a panorama of old and new: the Roman Wall in fragmented ruins beneath towering modern architecture, as astound­ing to us today as the Roman buildings must have seemed to the native Catevellauni tribe 2,000 years ago.

Francis Grew, Curator of the Roman Department, together with Cheryl Thorogood, the Asst. Curator, shepherded us round the Roman gallery in leisurely fashion,sharing their expertise and knowledge. We marvelled at the Roman swords, the carpenters’ tools, the golden brooches, the hairpins ( how did they stay in ?), the face paint and make-up bottles, the wooden ladder still intact found in a well, and a thousand other small and fascinating items of Londinium Roman life.

The main reason for our visit was to handle and view a selection of Brockley Hill pottery normally kept in the store rooms of the museum. Although the display cover­ed a nuge exhibition table, it comprised only about Sig of the total collection, the choicest pieces : amphorae, mortaria, bowls, lids, rims, handles – most of which was excavated by Stephen Castle. However, of her items found at Southwark,London and St. Alban’s were on show, the Southwark Hofheim ‘collared’ flagons being the earliest examples of Brockley Hill ware, about 55 A.D. None of the very early flagons have been found in London, indicating that the earliest Roman advance settled in Soutwark, not London. It was also very interesting to read the site note-books and letters relating to the Brockley Hill excavations.

Outside the museum, Francis challenged us to identify the age of the bastion of the Roman Wall, and we were disappointed to have our illusions shattered – the actual structure is medieval, only the foundations are Roman. Down in a large vault below the museum building, silent as a time capsule, we walked around the preserved remains of the West Gate, so eerie and dusty, a contrast to the noise and smells that must have surrounded it 2,000 years ago.

Back in the museum, Francis gave us a short but comprehensive interpretation of the Brockley Hill wares and their importance. Finally, we watched a video ‘Barnet before Domesday’, made for Channel 4 by Steve Herman, starring Daphne Lorimer, Brigid -Grafton Green, Ted Sammes, Helen Gordon, Isobel McPherson and Paddy Musgrove.

It was a marvelous day, wonderful value – our entrance tickets to the museum are valid for another 3 months. The museum restaurant food is excellent and most of all we thank Dorothy and Francis for organizing it all.

P.S. The Museum will be updating its display methods in the near future, ‘after all it is 20 years old nowTo some of us, 20 years ago is quite modern – onlya blink – but to others it is history… such is the experience of time travellers


Setting the alarm for Saturday morning means a HADAS OUTING – always worth the passing torture of getting to the pick-up point on time! Saturday, 14th August, 1993, was worth almost a whole Newsletter in itself; yet another example of what Dorothy can plan, organise, cost and deliver to us, seemingly without fuss, always with good cheer.

It was a surprise to find that a red double-decker ‘SHIRE’ bus had been privatised for HADAS for the day, and we trundled happily out of the vulgar commerce of NW this and that into leafy Metroland – half an hour to our first destination at Stanmore and a rendezvous with other members from the Harrow area.

A visit to Great Stanmore ‘Old Church’ was an addition to the original itinerary, and we have to thank a member who told Dorothy about it. Another member, Helen Gordon, has family connections with the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, whose tomb was recently discover­ed at Great Stanmore and featured in our Newsletter of February, 1992. A pity that Helen was unable to be with us to hear our enthusiastic guide, Dr Frederick Hicks, relating the rather sad romances of the Victorian Aberdeens and their connections the Abercorns, and the excitement of discovering their lost family vault during the work of consolidating and making safe what remains of the 17th century church. Dr Hicks was Chairman of the Works Committee.

A Saxon church at ‘Stanmore Magna’ recorded in Domesday Book, and a medieval church dedicated to St Mary both came before the ‘Old Church’ rose to the glory of St. John the Evangelist – tall and splendid with rich red bricks, graceful arched windows, wide nave and soaring buttressed tower. It was rare in the troubled reign of Charles I to have a new church, rare to have one built in brick so lavishly, and perhaps rarest of all to have one consecrated by a Bishop of London, later Archbishop of Canterbury, who lost his head for High Treason. This hapless prelate was,of course, William Laud, ex­ecuted in 1645, four years before his sovereign met the same fate. At Laud’s trial, one of the accusations against him was that he ‘outwent Popery in the consecration of chapels..(such as).. St. John at Stanmore..’ To this charge Laud replied that Stanmore was ‘no chapel but a trueparish church’. Indeed it was paid for by one of the parish­ioners, one Sir John Wolstenholme ( many of the same name are prominent in the local history) whose profits from merchant adventuring also helped to sponsor the explorat­ions of Henry Hudson and William Baffin in Canada and Greenland. Wolstenholme’s supp­ort is honoured in the naming of a Cape and a Sound. Three other parishioners gave the land, notably the Lady of the Manor, Mrs Barbara Burnell, widow of a wealthy cloth mer­chant. According to Dr Hicks’s calculations, some 250,000 bricks, probably from nearby sources, were used in the construction. 360 years later, 250,000 pounds sterling were raised – not all from nearby – by appeal, to rescue the building from the elements, the vandals and the ivy. How did it come to fall into decay? Human frailty perhaps ?

It seems that, after two hundred years, Laud’s ‘true parish church’ needed repairs and was too small for the growing congregation. Land adjoining was on offer from a Colonel Tennant and it was decided to build a new church, designed by Henry Clutton in Kentish Rag and Bath Stone in the Victorian ‘early decorated’ style. The memorials and many of the fixtues and fittings of the brick church were transferred to Clutton’s building, but when the roof was removed and demolition imminent, there was much opposition. Public support, as it might today, kept the building standing, though sadly neglected and unused, except for burials in the nave. One such tomb is to be found right in the middle, the Hollond family mausoleum, a solid display of Victorian opulence, about the size of a bus shelter

The new church was consecrated in July, 1850, almost on the anniversary of Laud’s ceremonies in 1632. This time, the celebrant Bishop was imported from Salisbury. One wonders if his brother London had declined? We noted Dr Hicks’s assurance that the present Bishop of London, Dr David Hope, came willingly to dedicate the conservation works in July last year…. Many parishioners who supported and served the church throughout the centuries are remembered in the memorials, but a Wolstenholme tomb could not be missed. The effigies of an 18th century Sir John and his wife rest on a giant four poster bed of stone. He, resplendent in curled wig and elegant clothes, seems almost to be smiling, while Lady W. gazes fondly at him, turned affectionately

towards him with her head propped on her uplifted arm. A caption is certainly called for….

Another arresting and unusually colourful memorial commemorates the Burnells of almost four hundred years ago; it has been in three churches on the site. Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, who lived in the neighbouring Bentley Priory after Victoria’s accession, was a generous benefactor; the font is among her several gifts. The royal connection continues with the present Queen Mother’s patronage of the conservation appeal.

Outside in the colourfully planted and well-tended graveyard, we could have spent another happy hour in warm sunshine with the good Dr Hicks and his colleagues, but we had to be content with a passing glance at the graves of W.S. Gilbert of ‘G.&S.’ with a snow white guardian angel; William Knox D’Arcy, founder of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and a pioneer in Queensland ore mining; and the infant daughter of Lord and Lady Jellicoe. A charming cottage, Church Lodge, looks like the work of Norman Shaw. Did he convince Mrs Hollond, who had it built in memory of her husband, that the woeful style of the mausoleum need not be repeated?

From the bus, as we left, there was a fine panoramic view of the two churches and the graveyard. Definitely worth a return visit – and only a bus ride away.


A welcome cup of coffee awaited us at the ‘Hand in Hand’, a 16th century pub where we sat in the old coach yard or inside in the cool dining-room, reflecting on the Aberdeens and Abercorns, the religious and political zealots of times past, the marvels of 17th century bricklaying, the parish pride of Dr Hicks and so many gen­erations of benefactors and fund-raisers. Soon we were joined by Mrs Pat Clarke, Vice President of Pinner Local History Society, and her colleague, Mr Jim Gollond, who led us firmly out of the dream-time of Stanmore and its church-builders, aristo crats and wealthy merchants.

Now we were to meet a whole village, with a broad array of people and places. Here another church of St. John, this one the Baptist, has stood for at least 600 years; a midsummer frolic, the Pinner Fair, has continued uninterrupted since the charter of 1336 in the week after Whitsun (they still have Whitsun in Pinner); the little shops of the gently sloping High Street have but a thin veneer of 20th century glazing and decor, overlaid on Victorian Georgian and Tudor structures above and behind; the Beaumont family live and work and repair cars in the same premises used by their wheelwright ancestors at the time of the French Revolution; the Pinner Self Drive is run from and ancient barn; and with another nod to modern times a handsome Georg­ian house has been filmed for the solicitors’ offices in the TV series ‘May to Dec­ember’. Nor is the grisly hand of the developer missing, though the new Sainsbury’s is discreetly hidden up a lane, whereas the 1880 entrepreneur, Daniel Gurney, boldly destroyed several timber-framed structures and erected an ugly row of tall Victorian monsters in their stead, still a scar on the high Street. Surely he deserved to wait 15 years for his rents, while his houses stood empty and unloved.

We were glad to sit awhile in St John’s, built safely at the top of the High Street, secure from the often boisterous river Pinn, and listen to Mrs Clarke and Mr Gollond tell us something of the history of this ancient flint church, a ‘chapel of ease’ since 1321. The centuries of its life are marked by various features and additions, including a 15th century font and windows, a niche containing a chrysom for a baby of 3 weeks, whose grieving grandmother and father are mentioned in the inscription, but whose mother is unaccountably not named. What would the Social Services have made of that? Almost modern is the late Victroian Lady Chapel built for the girls of the Commercial Travellers’ School, who no doubt entertained themselves during tedious services with a handsome stained glass window at the east end, at its best with the mid-day sun behind it. All too soon we were out in the mid-day sun our­selves, briefly pausing in the graveyard to wonder at a strange narrow pyramid tomb, designed 150 years ago by an architect, John Lowden, to shelter the remains of his father. About six feet above the ground a marble coffin protrudes from two sides of the pyramid, but Mrs Clarke was confident that the coffin is merely symbolic since father Lowden rests more conventionally ‘six feet under’, beneath a sinister warning in the large fan-shaped decorative ironwork at the base of the pyramid : ‘I byde my


We strolled along the old coaching route to London in front of the church, admiring a trio of pretty cottages, and stopped in front of a large mansion, Pinner House, to hear more fascinating snippets from Mrs Clarke andMr Gollond. Pinner House has for many years been part of a sheltered housing scheme, with modest brick and weather­board additions blending quietly with the elegant brick pile. At least one of the incumbents of the church was wealthy enough to use this big house for his vicarage, in preference to the more humble dwelling behind. He also extended the front in offence to the symmetry of the Queen Anne original, and exercised his influence to have the road moved away from his front door so that now it has a bend at the top of the hill. One cannot imagine a latter day vicar bestriding his ‘world’ like such a colossus I Alas, no time for Pinner Park, but we were promised an inspection of its former granary, moved a few years ago to Headstone Manor, which was our next stop.


Between Pinner and Headstone Manor there are large villas with large gardens which bespeak comfortable incomes – the recession is not evident here. Nor is the London Borough of Harrow careless of its treasures, as we found in the Museum and Heritage Centre, developed during the last twenty years in the 14th century moated Manor House and farm buildings. At present the old Manor House and a small barn are partly cover­ed in a white plastic shroud, like the eyesore presently obscuring the Albert Memor­ial, but one has the feeling that the worthy burghers of Harrow will see to it that the 1990’s shortage of funds will soon be overcome and the expertise and craftsman­ship displayed in the work already done on the great barn and the Pinner granary will be continued in the other buildings. Meanwhile, the work sites are tidy and well looked after, almost as though the workmen have just gone off for lunch-break.

We enjoyed our own lunch in the great barn, 160 feet long, beneath a roof covered in beautiful hand-made clay tiles. It is not recorded how often the barn has been repaired since it was built in 1506, but it can never have been in better condition than it is now, certainly fit for the Archbishops of Canterbury who were Lords of the Manor from 825, or indeed for a King, the predator Henry VIII, who ‘acquired’it when Thomas Cromwell fell from grace.

Two more guides arrived, kindly arranged by Mrs Jan Strode, Chairman of the Museum Committee, and looked after us for a tour of the whole estate. We are so often led to explore and excavate remains of times past under the ground, but at Headstone the ‘skeletons’ are all exposed – no digging required! The timbers of walls and roofs of about two-thirds of the Manor House have been stripped of plaster and tiles, repaired and strengthened, ready for the next staged’ restoration. A wooden walkway right round the roof looks frighteningly high from the ground, but once up there the fasc­ination of looking down on the regiments of rafters dispels any vertigo. In one of the startlingly wide lead gutters lay a large tabby cat, fast asleep and quite obliv­ious to our shuffling feet and the chatter, maybe dreaming of his adventures with two entirely empty birds’ nests perched on a beam below him. Our guide revealed devoted interest in every inch of the building, as we were enlightened on the details of the timber framing and its many alterations, along with speculations and evidence of various uses and abuses. Our own Ted Sammes was able to offer an opinion on the age of the residual floor tiles. The opposite end of the Manor House is still a dwelling, a charming farm cottage on two sides of a sunny sheltered courtyard, where tomatoes and herbs share planted tubs with lobelia and petunias. Two rooms are set apart, furnished in 1930’s treasures, many just like those at home. This area has been the scene of a recent Hovis advertisement on television.

Back over the sturdy moat bridge and across the great yard to the Pinner granary, where our learned lady guide treated us to a potted feast of up-to-date archaeology, relating to excavations for the re-erection of the granary, a lengthy dig by the Wessex Archaeological Society which revealed evidence of a previous building some 30 feet long, flint over brick walls, possibly a stock barn with a sheltered yard. We could have got digging there and then, but we trooped obediently inside to find an excellent exhibition space on two floors: farm tools on the ground floor and local industry upstairs, complete with tape-recorded history to accompany displays by Kodak, Hamilton Brush Co., and the White Friars Glassworks.

A traditional sit-down HADAS tea with our friendly guides, an all-too-brief browse in the barn museum and bookshop, and we were back on the bus for home. Thank you,

Dorothy, and our guides, for a wonderful ‘London’ day.


It was a clear sunny day for the great load-up at 55 Sunningfields Road as stage two of the annual fund-raising effort began. Stage one, of course, is the long labour of sorting the goods, pricing them and storing them in the elastic-sided Newbury garage and other secret dens. Stage three sees us staggering up and down the stairs of that quaint Church House bearing boxes and cases, glancing longingly at the meringues and other goodies arriving more delicately in the ground floor eaterie. Stage four is the laying-out of the endless surprises which emerge from the packing cases and boxes, along with the inevitable last-minute offerings. Stage five is coffee time..the last pause for sanity before the pinnies, the cash floats and the final instructions from our faithful colonel-in-charge make stage six. Then the shrill command of the whistle, action stations and stage seven lasts for as long as it takes before we slink down to lovely Tessa’s lovely lunches. The meringues are all gone, naturally, but there’s good gossip and plenty of cheerful banter, often with a stranger who may be a new member, or a member’s friend, or someone’s son and a small digger whose tool is a wobbly plastic spoon being shoved round a ditch of quiche… so that’s stage eight, and then we must summon up the strength to return to the trestles or perhaps a swop with someone on another stall after a hasty hiding of the potted columbines safely (?) on the steps that go to nowhere behind the table. (That hall has many steps and passages that go to nowhere’.) Stage nine, the final ‘sell for whatever you can get’ is short but the tenth is another like seven, which lasts as long as it takes to get it all cleared up and packed away, floor swept and cars loaded to transport the ‘vestigial remains’ (a phrase beloved of our much missed Brigid) back to Dorothy’s hideaway until next time…

DID YOU HEAR OR SEE THE INEBRIATED PIANIST?? Dorothy says she missed him and so did several others, but the witnesses assert that he was playing the piano NEAR THE HIDING PLACE FOR BAGS AND OTHER PRECIOUS ITEMS. Dorothy was asked ‘to come up and remove him’ – one shot only required, perhaps? Later reports became rather fanciful, with vivid descriptions of party-like interlude with customers and helpers dancing and singing. Well, he went of his own accord, but did he buy anything? Did he discover the bubble-cut hair drier that was almost snapped up by a would-be flower arranger?

Total receipts so far amount to a,£1, 300 and rising. There is a small collection of articles to go to auction, and Dorothy says she ‘may raise the energy to do a couple of car boot sales with some of the relics, including two boxes of bric-a-brac which WERE UNOPENED.’The bric-a-brac helpers will not hear the end of that in a hurry.

Also from Dorothy, a big thank you to all helpers on the day, to the members who helped with the pricing, those who collected carloads beforehand, the NEW TEAM of strong young men who heaved goods up and down, and most particularly all the mem­bers who provided the excellent items for sale. Lastly, ‘Apologies to anyone to whom I was ratty (sic). I was unable to spend the planned week beforehand getting everything ready and had to rush around in the last few days – sorry, all!!

SHOPPING DAYS TO CHRISTMAS – you need not count – just buy your friends and relations a HADAS BOOK FOR CHRISTMAS. There is a good variety to choose from, and they are proper books – not just an ‘air trip read’ Ask Dorothy for details.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 5 : 1990 - 1994 | No Comments

Issue 271 October 1993 Edited by Micky Cohen

Tuesday 5th October “Aspects of Roman Pottery” Our lecture season opens

with a return visit of Dr Robin Symonds, who came and talked to us at our Brockley Hill/Roman Pottery seminar at St. Mary’s Church House in February this year. Robin Symonds was educated in the U.S.A. and Oxford, where he took a D.Phil. degree. His thesis has been published on RHENISH WARE. He was a Roman pottery researcher for Colchester Archaeological Trust for eight years, and a Roman pottery specialist for the Museum of London Archaeological Service since 1990.

Saturday, l6th October MINIMART at St. Mary’s Church House (top of Greyhound

Hill) Hendon. N.W.4. – our only fund-raising event each year. With rising costs, particularly Newsletter dispatch, our excavation expenses, hall hire for lectures and our room at Avenue House, it is even more essential that we make this event a success. Please see enclosed leaflet for details.

Tuesday, 2nd November Lecture: “Fun and Games in the Roman Baths” by Mark

Hassall, F.S.A. A return visit by this entertaining speaker, who is Reader in Roman Archaeology, University College. His interests include Roman inscriptions, the Roman army, and classical technology. This month’s subject will be Roman Baths. Baths and bathing were an essential element of Roman social life, and in this talk Mr Hassall looks into the remains of Roman Baths from Scotland to the Sahara and examines some of the activities that went on in them !!

Saturday,6th November Visit to St, Paul’s Cathedral, with Mary O’Connell.

Details and application form enclosed.

Tuesday,7th December Christmas Dinner at University College, Gower Street.

With guides, talks, viewing of the College.

Tuesday, 11th January,1994 Afternoon visit to the Newspaper Library,Colindale,N.W.9 Please phone Dorothy Newbury (081-203-0950) if you wish to join this group visit.

HADAS CHURCH FARM HOUSE DIG The OPEN DAYS on 28th and 29th August were a

great success. A detailed report will appear in next month’s Newsletter.

BRITISH MUSEUM The HOXNE HOARD is on display until 16th January in Room 69A.

Catherine Johns will lecture on the HOXNE TREASURE jewellery and plate on 7th Oct. at 1:15 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre.

OUT AND ABOUT WITH HADAS IN NORTH LONDON A report on visit to Stanmore, Pinner.

and Headstone Manor will appear in next month’s Newsletter.

Bill Bass

HADAS British Tour ’93 – Chester and Llandudno

DATE – 3rd September, 8.15 A.M..

Arrangements are set and battle-lines drawn for my first HADAS weekend trip, we leave Golders Green on time. A slight problem arises as the coach was supposed to have been a 53 seater but we ended up with a 48 one instead, tricky as there are 49 of us; its then realised one of our party is Joining later by train and all is resolved. Driver David points us towards the MI.

Leaving the M1 we pass through pretty villages and country lanes, the odd tractor having to take avoiding action, eventually Claybrooke Magna appears and a sign – Agricultural Merchants and Flour Millers marks our first visit ­Claybrooke Mill.

We have to negotiate a tight narrow lane which opens into a small yard with very little turning space; our party alights muttering how on earth driver David was going to get out of this one. The mill has been owned and restored by Mr. & Mrs. Mountford over 14 years, the present building dates from 1760 but corn may have been milled here up to 800 years ago. After tea a site tour shows a 3 storey structure built around a large water-wheel supplied by a mill-pond, this drives through gears, one of several sets of millstones which have been rescued from other sites and re-cut, resulting flour is sold to natural food shops etc.. Miraculously driver David has turned his coach and we head off towards Stoke.

Past Ashby de la &ouch with its castle, Burton-on-Trent – Bass Breweries etc.,(no relation and no time for a visit, shame), Tutbury Castle (15thc) is also glimpsed on our Journey.

Stoke on Trent’s industrial outskirts signal arrival at the Gladstone Pottery Museum, Langton. Lunch first, then a video describes the growth of six original towns which form Stoke-on-Trent; the core of Burslem still survives, as do those of Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke, Langton and Fenton. North Staffordshire was ideally situated when the craft of pottery came to be industrialised, here there was a variety of clay for pots, lead and salt for glaze, coal for firing, and plentiful water to mix materials. Successful farming areas in nearby counties of Derbyshire and Cheshire created a major market, by the Victorian era pottery had become affordable for everyone and factories like Gladstone China were producing vast quantities of medium-quality ware for both home and abroad. A system of canals and turnpike roads were used to transport goods, many of the canals are still in evidence today. Adoption of clean fuels in place of coal not only changed the air above Stoke, it sealed the fate of the city’s characteristic bottle ovens.

Gladstone comprises several huge bottle-shaped kilns (shaped to

create and control the upward draught), cobbled yards, original workshops and offices. It’s a working museum and many of the pottery techniques can be seen, one room, the ‘slip–house’ contained a very Heath-Robinson machine of pulleys, guide ropes, gears, driven by an adjacent steam engine to wash (blunge), sieve and strain clay, iron is also removed from it by magnets. Ted Semmes reckons HADAS should have one for finds processing! There is also extensive display of Tile – Victorian fireplaces etc., Sanitaryware – baths, sinks and rows of highly decorated water-closets, also galleries of Colour and Glazing.

We set off for Chester, a small diversion takes us to Beeston Castle a 15thc ruin spectacularly placed on a rocky cliff, part of the Mid Cheshire hills. A short drive following the Shropshire Union Canal brings us to Chester College, the college was founded in 1839 by the Church of England, here we set-up camp in comfortable accommodation amid a pleasant garden setting. There’s no rest for the wicked, after dinner a lecture with slides given by Mike Morris – Chester City Archaeologist. Mike explains that there is little or no evidence of pre­historic activity, present day Chester stands on the site of a Roman Fortress built c AD 79 as a base for military operations against the Welsh. This Fortress was constructed on a sandstone plateau surrounded by marsh land in a bend of the River Dee (hence DEVA) where a natural moat was formed on two sides. This was the lowest point at which a bridge could be built and the highest point to which sea-going craft could navigate. An original Fortress of turf and timber was eventually replaced with stone. Streets linked the four main gates to the central Principle; excavations elsewhere have revealed evidence of bath-houses, granaries, barracks, temples, ovens and an amphitheatre. First occupation was by the 2nd Adiutrux Legion and then by Agricola’s XX Valeria Victrix Legion. Saxons are believed to have settled in AD 650, King Aethelred of Mercies is credited with founding two churches – St. John outside the walls and St. Peter and St. Paulh, site of the present Cathedral. Cellared timber framed buildings with post-holes dug into the sandstone have been found, pottery (Chester Ware) once thought to be Roman can now identify Saxon levels, later there was a mint. After Viking invasion and Norman settlement the wall was extended and a medieval castle was built near the river and the port of Chester flourished. Mike also explained the Archaeology Unit employed 9 people and was one of the few units still funded by local Government and their emphasis to cover the district around Chester and all periods.


This morning we are split into two groups for guided walk around part of the wall and town. Our knowledgeable guide is Keith who looks like Nigel Kennedy the musician but without the violin. We start at Roodee Open Space where the Romans had a harbour (now silted up), a large section of quay wall still stands on the race-course below the city wall. Nearby is Gosvenor Bridge at one time the largest single span stone arch in the world, next is Chester Castle which apart from the motte is now mostly 19thc. At Bridgegate we observe the old Dee Bridge built 1380, a weir originally built by Earl Hugh the first of Chester (William Conqueror’s nephew) to provide water for powering his mills. Further along is the Groves a popular riverside promenade with pleasure boat trips, ducks, swans etc., a suspension footbridge of 1852 crosses here.

Keith leads us to the Amphitheatre which held about 8000 spectators, the largest military Roman Amphitheatre in Britain so far, remains of a shrine to the goddess Nemesis by the North entrance. Unfortunately only half of its structure is on show, the other half survives under a listed Georgian building.

We’re now standing in the Church of St. John, an original church was probably founded in c865 evidenced by a discovery of Celtic crosses in 1870. Once a seat of the Bishop of Mercia, we can observe the transitional architecture between the massive Norman columns and 13thc Clerestory above; there’s also a medieval wall painting. In 1881 St. John’S west tower collapsed and is now in ruins.

A short stroll northwards past Eastgate and its famous clock leads us to Chester Cathedral, after Saxon origins it became a Benedictine Abbey in 1092 attracting many pilgrims until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540. A year later the Abby Church became a Cathedral. Although essentially medieval, most of the original building has been replaced over the centuries, of note were 12thc restored Cloisters, elaborate 14thc choir stalls and recent stained glass windows.

Being a Saturday there’s a bustling town centre including a town-crier, street artists and musicians, shops are contained in the unique ‘Rows’. These are covered walkways which are thought to have started when Saxons built dwellings on top of Roman derelict rubble, the cellars of these were then dug out and eventually over many years formed into a remarkable shopping area of ranging architecture. There are timber framed balconies, walkways, pubs and shops, some dating to the 16thc, some having Roman hypocaust etc., on view in their basements.

We were then free to visit the Grosvenor Museum including a fine collection of Roman tombstones, altars and inscriptions (the Graham Webster Gallery), also Victorian, Georgian etc., period roams. Others visited the Deva Roman Experience or Chester Heritage Centre or Just browsed around the shops.

Earlier Keith said it was impossible to get lost in Chester that evening after closing time several members did the impossible.

On the Third Day

An early start finds us heading down the A55 towards Llandudno, approaching the town, on our right the majestic sweep of Llandudno Bay, sun

shimmering off the sea, hotels and promenade, to our left .a car-boot sale ‑
Dorothy’s eyes light-up, its mini-mart time again lest you forget. Driver David manages to navigate through more narrow streets to deposit us at Victoria Tramway Station.

The tramway was opened in 1902, original tramcars haul our party up steep roads and track to the summit of Great Orme [had, 679 feet above sea level. This is the only cable hauled street tramway in Britain. On top it’s a nice sunny day with panoramic views of Anglesey, Conwy Bay and the Irish Sea.

Halfway down from the summit is the Great Orme Bronze Age Copper Mine, there’s an introductory talk by Tony Hammond (Director) and a dramatic film. The mines were first discovered by 19thc miners who broke through earlier workings, these were long thought to be Roman. In 1976 Duncan James a local amateur began exploring the ancient workings and later obtained radio-carbon dating of 990 BC from charcoal, confirming Bronze Age origins. Tony with associates then formed the Great Orme Mining Company, building a visitor centre, and shifted thousands of tons of rubble to reveal the original Bronze Age entrances. The tunnels go at least 300 metres into the hillside and down 70 metres below the surface. Bone tools were used – over 8000 have been found, stone hammers were also used, the heaviest being 64 lb. in weight. On entering the tunnels we’re issued with a hard hat, our party follows single file a circular route down two levels out of eleven altogether. The passages are worked-out seams of copper, some so narrow they could only have been worked by small children. A huge underground cavern is the highlight, an intersection of several workings.

Back out in bright sunshine we’re given a tour by Frank Jowett the resident archaeologist, he explains the surrounding geology, current excavations and years of work yet to be done as the Bronze Age workings are much more extensive then yet known.

Our route home passes Conwy Castle and follows the Vale of Conwy, through a picturesque Betws-y-Coed, here we observe driver Davids technique of expertly guiding the coach through holiday traffic with a microphone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Seriously he’s an excellent driver who also gave informative commentaries.

Finally Paul O’Flynn gives deserved thanks to Dorothy for another well organised HADAS epic outing; Where to next year, we wonder?


Members will be well-acquainted with the products of Shire Publications, pocket-sized books at pocket-money prices, and in particular with the Discovering Regional Archaeology series published in the late 1960s and early 1970s – especially as Ted Sammes was the compiler of the volume covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In 1983 the Roman sites were collated into one volume, “Discovering Roman Britain”, edited by David E Johnston, and this year “Discovering Prehistoric England” edited by James Dyer has been published at the very reasonable price of f6.99 (296 pages, paperback). This book would make a suitable replacement for those well-used, dog-eared, twenty years old regional copies currently on your bookcases. However, if you would like a preview, Ted has very kindly donated a suitably inscribed copy to the HADAS library for which we thank him.

Thanks must also go to John Enderby for the donation of the following publications which has enlarged our local history collection:

The Story of Golders Green, C R Smith & J P Hall, 1979

Village into Borough, Old Finchley Series No 1, G R P Lawrence,1964

Finchley Manor: influential Families, F Davis, 1982

The Story of Hendon St Mary’s Church of England Schools, 1957

The Brasses of Middlesex, Part 16: Hendon, Heston, H K Cameron, (LAMAS Trans), 1975

An investigation of Roman Road No 167, B Robertson, (LAMAS Trans), undated

John also donated “An introduction to the Archaeology of Jersey”, I Cornwall & D E Johnston,1984; “Archaeology in Wales – volume 26”, CBA Group 2, Wales,1986 and “Siluria”, the newsletter of the Friends of.the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, 1989.

If you are interested in any of the above, the number to ring is 081-361 1350.

Roy Walker


We are pleased to announce another ‘batch’ of new members from our recent Church Farm House Museum dig: 4 junior members – Joanna Haigh, Laura Sanford, Danny Murray and Seb Lemon. Also joining us from the dig – Ian Haigh. We hope they will take part in our next dig (hopefully in October). We also welcome new members Mrs J Goldsmith, Mr L Amner, Mr G Scott, Mrs F Nieberg, and Mr M Cohen.

Not to forget our ‘established’ members – is anyone involved in something of interest which we could share – the newsletter editors would welcome articles, snippets of information etc. Looking forward to meeting you all at the new lecture season.