Volume 6 : 1995 – 1999


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments


It is received wisdom that the Neanderthals did not contribute to the development of Cro-Magnon man but ran parallel until they disappeared. New evidence has come to light which challenges this view. The skeleton of a young boy found in Portugal, shows distinct features of both the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. As the Telegraph has it reporting the find, the two strains “made love not war”!!Joking apart, if there is inter­breeding it can be interpreted to challenge the long held “Out of Africa” theory that the early humans evolved in Africa before moving north and west to displace the Neanderthals without mingling. No doubt the new approach will give rise to much discussion.

The mummified bodies of three children have been discovered in NW Argen­tine at 22,000 feet. The richness and variety of grave goods have been wonderfully preserved in the dry cold. The completeness of the evidence throws light on the religious practices of the INCA some 500 years ago. They were then the most powerful civilisation in the Americas. It is thought that the altitude of the burials indicates sacrifice to the mountain gods. There is no evidence of violent killing; rather it is believed the children were drugged and buried while in a stupor, but still alive. Although the finds were made some five years ago, the team kept secret their importance until able to secure the site. They hope for a major advance in knowledge of the cultural and political context of the burials.


Nearer home, an unsuspected and uniquely untouched site outside Swindon has revealed what is probably a large Roman religious complex. English Heritage have paid nearly £ 1 min to buy out an intending developer.

This a very large purchase for them, reflecting the importance placed on the site. Testing with keyhole bores is in line with EH’s intention to move slowly, and in the greatest detail, taking years rather than months to develop the dig. (Times)


Saturday 12 June- OUTING Penshurst Place, Lullingstone Roman Villa

and Eynsford Castle with Mickys Cohen & Watkins

Saturday 17 JULY OUTING Gloucestershire with Tessa Smith &Sheila


Saturday l4 August- OUTING West Stow & Framlingham(Sflk)with Bill Bass

HADAS LONG WEEKEND Portsmouth &Isle of Wight SEPTEMBER 3,4&5.


Mary O’CONNELL advises SPITALFIELDS SITE opens Mon-Fri12-2pm (no Sat)

Suns 10-4pm

Sunday 25 July SPECIAL TOUR-1pm. Booking advised



Newsletter 336 contained 03) an item on the notification to us by the Environment Agency of proposed dredging of the Silk Stream at Colindale, and our request to be allowed to observe and record any features of archaeological interest. We have now had notifications of similar work on Pymmes Brook, and on Dollis Brook at Finchley Bridge.

Our most recent information is that the Silk Stream and Pymmes Brook works are at present “on hold” so we have to await further news. The Dollis Brook works, I am

told, will possibly start about September, and I should of course be glad to hear from any Members who would be available to help with observation.

Another scheme we have notice of is a Silk Stream Flood Alleviation Scheme which involves considerable earth-moving work in various areas. The ‘Environmental Assessment
Scoping Consultation’ we have received includes reference to possible archaeological investigations and we shall be in consultation and co-operation with English Heritage’s Advisory Officer over this. There seems to be widespread consultation on environmental issues and it may be some time before we know when the work will be likely to start, but meanwhile I should be glad to hear from any Members who would be interested to help in any archaeological work which may fall to us.


Our new President, Dr. Ann Saunders, ably chaired the AGM with her usual efficiency and good humour. The Chairman gave his report, and in the absence of the Hon. Treasurer on

holiday in the Bay of Naples (groans of envy from the audience!) he also presented the

accounts which were duly approved by the meeting.

All the nine Vice-Presidents were confirmed in office, and the Officers and ten members of the

Committee who had offered themselves for re-election were duly elected.

We were then able to move onto the more entertaining part of the evening when reports were given on the activities of the Society over the past year.

Andy Simpson gave a briefer version of the talk, with slides, which he recently gave to the Finchley Society on the history of HADAS over the last ten years.

Vicky O’Connor talked about the field walking on Brockley Hill. Funded by English Heritage this included training sessions in surveying and pottery identification. There have been many weeks of finds processing and analysis, which will continue for some time and helpers are always welcome. Roy Walker spoke about the future work on surveying the ditch on East Heath. This Anglo-Saxon boundary encloses land granted to Westminster Abbey by Ethelred in 986. The HADAS survey was started in Kenwood and will continue across the Heath.

Brian Wrigley, the Fieldwork Secretary, then outlined proposed interests for the next ten years,

including the Hampstead Heath continuing survey and watching the activities of the Water Board. They have a large programme for dredging the Silk Stream and Dollis Brook. He

appealed for ideas on work which could be undertaken by the Society. Many thanks to the President and to the Speakers for an enjoyable AGM.

Hendon and District Archaeological Society Chairman’s Reports 11th May 1999

HADAS has enjoyed another successful year, with membership just exceeding the 300 mark.

The most notable project undertaken by HADAS over the past year has been a field walking exercise carried out at Bury Farm, Brockley Hill in the scheduled area which took place over the weekends at the cad of August 1998. English Heritage gave scheduled monument consent on condition that we received training and instruction from professional archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology Service. We are very grateful to Fiona Seale), and her colleagues for helping us lay out the site and identify the Roman pottery. English Heritage gave us a grant to cover the professional fees. Since then the working party has been fully engaged in its Sunday sessions in marking and quantifying the pot and in the process learning a lot about Roman pottery.

The lectures and outings continued to flourish and we are very grateful to June Porges for organising a stimulating lecture • session. The highlight of the outings was the three day trip to Bristol, organised once again by Dorothy Newbury on the 3rd to 6th September.

A major event for the Society is always the Minimart which happily turns a fund raising event into a happy social occasion: It was held this year on 10th October and raised nearly 4.1500, a record.’ Once again our grateful thanks are duc to Dorothy Newbury and her helpers for its success.

The Newsletter continued to appear under its roster of editors which resulted in a wide range of styles and typefaces and indeed different colours. At the last meeting the committee resolved that one of the issues in the late Spring should be enlarged to form the HADAS Journal in which all the work done by our Society or concerned with archaeology in the Borough of Barnet in the past year should be brought together.

The Publicity and Publications Committees have been active and the publication of the revised edition of our Blue Plaques book entitled, Commemorative Plaques – People, and Places in the London Borough of Barnet, by Joanna Cordon and Liz Holliday has been scheduled for early in 2,000. Gill Baker generously left the society L1,00 in her will, and this has been earmarked towards the cost of this new book. A new publicity leaflet has also been produced thanks to Tim Wilkins.

Finally, I should record the sad death of one of our Vice-Presidents, Ted Sammes, on- November 7th -1998. Ted was one of the founder Members of the Society and directed two of the early excavations in Hendon at The Burroughs and more particularly at Church Terrace, the latter of which was published in one of our booklets, Pinning Down the Past: Finds front a Hendon Dig. He also wrote a book for Shire Publications,: South Eastern England in their Discovering Regional- Archaeology series. Ted was a cereal scientist by profession and shortly before his retirement he moved to Maidenhead. In his will he generously left the residuary estate to be divided between the Maidenhead Archaeological Society and HADAS, and in the coming year we will have to decide how best to forward the interests of archaeology with the help of this valuable bequest.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the members of the committee who have given us once again such a successful .year. In particular I should like to thank Denis Ross, our new secretary, for throwing himself in the task with such vigour; to Micky O’Flynn who manages the accounts with such quiet efficiency; and in particular to Vikki O’Connor who performs the thankless but vital task of Membership Secretary. Above all I would like to thank Dorothy Newbury, now our Vice President, for all she does for the Society, for organising the Minimart, masterminding and printing the Newsletter and masterminding and herself arranging many of our excursions, and the Christmas Dinner. I must not forget Brian Wrigley, who organises the working party and deals with most of the legal and planning side and represents us on many bodies, and who, with his wife Joan, makes our committee meetings so comfortable. Our thanks to you all.


In his second lecture to HADAS on the Thames Archaeological Survey (TAS), Mike Webber concentrated on the educational aspects rather than detailed site reporting. TAS has created public awareness of the river’s resources, partly through organising walks and talks and partly through national press coverage which has been slanted towards human interest rather than artefacts. The finding of a baton-shaped object last September led to Press headlines proclaiming ‘the first cricket bat’ . Mike admitted that a more cautious interpretation would be a tool to kill fish caught in traps or a flax beater. Although English Heritage weren’t amused by the press headlines, Mike found justification when he

learned that a full classroom session at Stoke-on-Trent had produced some colourful pictures of the object with alternative uses. The foreshore project has fostered public involvement through the open events, hands-on and feet-in. School parties are encouraged to visit and the children are enthused by the things they pick up and by the variety of wildlife they observe. Their perception of the Thames is changed by their experience, from seeing the Thames as dirty and boring they come to realise it is fascinating and possibly the cleanest capital city river in the world. Although archaeology does not feature in the National Curriculum, the Thames survey does connect through geography, geology, social and environmental sciences and history.

The objectives of the survey, as expressed at their Archaeology of the Thames Foreshore conference last year, have been fulfilled. The baseline archaeological survey of the tidal Thames from Teddington

to Greenwich actually went further, at no extra cost, to include Rainham and Erith.

Through the survey activity Londoners were able to access their archaeological heritage, students and several local societies participated – giving their members the opportunity to learn and practice a range of new skills. TAS raised awareness of the potential of the foreshore as a resource, it is now on the agenda of planners, politicians and businessmen.

Mike highlighted some of their archaeological discoveries and latest interpretations. At Erith a submerged forest is suffering erosion, the area is the subject of study by PhD student Sophie Seal who has labelled 600 trees to date, sampling for species and felling age. Also, seeds which are buried in the sand and mud need to be researched further. Comparative study of trackways, such as at Beckton, may link them with felling in the Erith forest. Stone axes found at Erith are now (obviously) a product of forest management and not, as previously described, ‘ritual objects’.

The 3-year survey completed at the end of May 1999, and to Mike and his team’s credit, held to budget. (Perhaps they should have worked on the Jubilee Line extension or built the British Library instead?).

We were grateful to Mike Webber for agreeing to talk to us at very short notice, as our scheduled speaker had double-booked our date, and we look forward to a third visit…

Vikki O’Connor


Michael Holton writes to Dorothy Newbury:‑

“As a Geographer I have always admired the work of of HADAS and joined it hoping to support it. Alas I have too many irons in the fire but the Newsletter became a most enjoyable, informative and continuous

source. The membership is very good at writing up and interpreting events and the team at publishing results. One gets a clear picture of what is afoot over a very wide area of interest. A lot of effort.

My current chief task is to research the story of the Garden Suburb during the last war. I have been surprised at how much information there is still around mainly social history, though some of which has an archaeological aspect – though the physical remnants are now mainly below ground.”

Dorothy suggests if any member has anything to tell or any photos about the garden Suburb during the last war, I am sure Mr Holton would be pleased to know.

Dorothy would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Editors and Contributors for their hard work on behalf of members, and says she receives many letters of appreciation.

CONGRATULATIONS to Stewart Wild for winning the Telegraph competition

“Where is it?” in May. Readers are asked to identify a mystery photo -what the object is and where located not easy with a minimum of clues. THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME…

Several HADAS members were working on finds at the Garden Room on Sunday 10th May and as it was a sunny day they were working outside. Around mid-day a St John’s Ambulance lady approached us asking if this was the right day for the Church End Festival ‑

there being no sign of any activity in the park other than the usual kids, bikes and dogs. We hadn’t seen any notices around but we believed this was the right date and very soon people began to arrive, dragging trestles, bags and boxes to the lawns. Not one to miss the chance of a sale, Andy Simpson quickly set up our display board next to where we were working and improvised a sales point with the projector stand. When we called it a day at around

3.30pm, Andy had sold £25-worth of HADAS publications and may even have recruited a new member or two.


Barnet Conservation Volunteers have published their 1999 task programme targeting Arrandene Open Space, Mill Hill; Totteridge Fields

nature reserve; Moat Mount Open Space, Mill Hill; and Hadley Green. IM s not archaeology but you do get the fresh air! For more information, visit their Web Site at:

London Borough of Barnet is also now contactable on the Web (anyone care to test this?)

SPITALFIELDS – Web site for information on the excavations:


Henry Roots, veteran of the Hendon anti-squirrel league has hung up his hunting claws. His bemused ‘owner’, Gerrard, (if anyone can claim to own a cat!), says that Henry has learned to live at peace with the wildlife around Church Farmhouse Museum – a complete change of character. This is the animal who, on more than one occasion, deposited a verminous beastie in the Roots’ bath. The new persona seems to coincide with the broken tail event reported in HADAS newsletter 323, although there are other possibilities. Could he have been converted by a vision of a deceased squirrel in the churchyard? Has he become a vegan? Is he worried about pollution in the food chain, or genetically-modified rats? Does this mean the Museum will have to recruit a new pest controller? Take your NOMINATIONS along to Church Farmhouse Museum at the top of Greyhound Hill, NW4, when next you visit…

Farm Museum.

The current display at the Museum, “A Century of Bears’, finishes on 6th June and will be followed by an exhibition on the origins and history of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade – opening on 26th June.

An exhibition on Haunted Barnet (Borough) is being planned for the autumn. Anyone with material/suggestions/anecdotes to offer should contact the Gerrard Roots, Curator at Church Farmhouse Museum, on 0181-203 0130.


Barnet & District Local History Society

Wednesday 9 June, 8pm – Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, High Barnet BDLHS Vice-President(and member of HADAS)Graham Javes will reveal his recent researches into the history of Chipping Barnet and its Market. (Donation requested from non-members.)

Enfield Archaeological Society have planned an ‘Air Raid Experience’ to be held for their members and friends at Millfield House, Enfield on Sunday 4th July, with tours of a large communal shelter between 11am and 5pm. Details of their society from Geoffrey Gillam, 0181 367 0263.


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Tuesday 9th March
Sam Moorhead — Letters, curses and the landed gentry in

Roman Britain

Tuesday 13th April Eric Robinson — Archaeology of local building materials

Tuesday 11th May


The Royal Exchange
by Roy Walker

Our January lecture was delivered by our recently appointed President, Ann Saunders. Ably qualified to speak on a range of topics, her theme that evening was The Royal Exchange, and we benefited from Ann’s wide-ranging, in-depth knowledge of history and archaeology, coupled with the entertaining addition of anecdotes and insights into the lives of the associated characters. Her own involvement with the Royal Exchange began in 1989 when its Curator/Keeper telephoned to ask if she could research a 400 page book in eleven months! The Queen was to re-open the Exchange after refurbishment and the book would be needed by then. A publication was produced but Ann, having realised that the subject required a much broader approach, contacted thirty experts (including Ralph Merrifield) who agreed to contribute to a definitive history.

The story starts with Richard Gresham, Lord Mayor in 1538. He was impressed by the Bourse (the covered market) in Antwerp and requested Thomas Cromwell to obtain Henry VIII’s support for such a building to be constructed in the City of London. He was unsuccessful. Richard’s son, Thomas, working as his father’s representative in Antwerp was also impressed by The Bourse. Wars with Spain created trading difficulties in Europe which heightened the need for an Exchange in London. The death in 1654 of Thomas’s only son left no heir to the family name and Gresham then proposed that if the City provided the land he would build an Exchange, the income passing to his wife during her lifetime then to the City. This application was successful and an architect from Antwerp, Van der Paesschen, designed the first building which was opened in 1569. It was very basic -a courtyard with shops around. It was to have been called Gresham’s Exchange but following a visit by Elizabeth I in 1570 was renamed The Royal Exchange which did not please Sir Thomas! Gresham died in 1579 but had not left the Exchange solely to the City as promised. After his wife’s death, it passed jointly to the Mercers Company and The City provided that his own house in Broad Street was used as Gresham College.** His name was finally perpetuated – the College still operates today from Barnard’s Inn, High Holborn. This first Exchange was destroyed in the Great Fire but was rebuilt within three years, only to be destroyed by another fire in 1838. The third (and present) Exchange was designed by William Tite.

The lecture was enlivened by many interesting asides, most of which could have been the subject of lectures in their own right. For example, the portrait of Thomas Gresham held by the Mercer’s Company was the first full-length portrait of a commoner; part of the land compulsorily purchased for the construction of the third Exchange belonged to Charles Roach Smith, the Father of London’s Archaeology, who had been a thorn in the side of the City Corporation over their failure to respect the archaeology revealed during building works; the first Exchange was prefabricated in Antwerp – much to the annoyance of London’s workmen; William Tite published a book on the archaeology discovered during the excavation of the site, which led eventually to the formation of the Guildhall Museum.

The Royal Exchange is a building that I pass almost every day, but, since Ann’s lecture, I am now much more aware of the reasons for its existence and of the personalities that brought about its construction. And I eagerly await our President’s next lecture, hopefully in the not too distant future.

** Gresham College provides free hour-long, lectures on the topics of astronomy, divinity, geometry, law, music, physic, rhetoric and Commerce. For the lecture programme, contact Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, EC1N 2HH —0171 831 0575

Rescue Excavation at Saracen’s Head Yard, Holywell Hill, St Albans — 29th June to 17th July 1998
by Jack Goldenfeld

Following an evaluation prior to a redevelopment scheme, an excavation directed by Simon West, Field Archaeologist, was mounted by the St Albans Museum’s Archaeological Unit, in which I took part. The official part of the investigation is still being compiled, so this summary is merely a very brief and un-detailed overview of the project.


Walls dating to the 16th century and the Victorian circular drain more or less provide a bracketed time period for the site’s surviving structural remains. Also found were many medieval roof-tiles.


There were a number of 12th/13th century pits and wells, and some possibly medieval post-holes. The pits and wells could only be excavated down to the level of 1.2 metres, the limit beyond which shoring up would have been required under current health and safety legislation. The expense involved, plus the limitations of the time-frame precluded going down any further


The pottery included 12th & 13th century wares, medieval grey wares, 17th and 18th century glazed and decorated wares, plus Victorian types. Two broken Saracen’s Head Inn glazed tankard pots with part of the name of the inn and a depiction of the Saracen’s Head were also found, one of which bore a date reading 177- (the last digit was missing). Three coins were found, the earliest of which was an issue of Henry VII (1490-1510), the two others being late 18th century issues of George II. There were, unsurprisingly, lots of bottles and bottle-glass fragments, also of late 18th century date and pieces of tobacco-pipe bowls and stems.

The best small find was a late Saxon bone thistle-head pin dated c.1000 AD, whilst the largest was the completely articulated skeleton of a horse that had died at a considerable age, probably after a lifetime of hard work. The back bones were fused and the lower limbs, which must have suffered injury at some time, showed signs of new bone growth. Arthritis was also present. The fact that Dobbin hadn’t been sent off to the knacker’s yard and that he had been formally buried might mean that he had been in service with his owner for quite some time and was affectionately regarded as almost a member of the family! During the very last minutes of the very last day, I came across a small tin quatrefoil-shaped belt or harness decoration in a

shallow pit that I was excavating – a fitting end to an interesting and enlightening, if all-too-short, archaeological episode.

(Jack joined HADAS in 1987 and has dug on many professional excavations with MoLAS, Bucks Archaeological Unit, and the St Albans Unit in the UK, also in France and the USA. He lectures on archaeology at West Herts College, and is a key member of our Avenue House finds processing team.)

Membership News
Vikki O’Connor

We have had another boost to the membership numbers – Dr John Navas, Dominic and Maja Green, Philip Bailey and Yvonne Melnick have all signed up in

1999. Yvonne has already visited the Garden Room to see what we are up to – and was soon put to work marking up pottery! (No arms twisted, honest, guv!)

We are pleased to tell you that Marjorie Errington is back at home again after a spell in hospital, and we hope to see her at Avenue House and on summer outings again soon.

Obituary by Rosemary Bentley


Pat, a Canadian, loved London and settled in Golders Green with his Greek wife, Angela. They joined HADAS a year later, intrigued by our varied programme.

We met last September, at the start of the trip to Bristol, when I shared his ashtray.
After that, we pariahs, with our loyal spouses, stuck together. But one didn’t need an

excuse to speak to Pat, a teacher of literature, an accomplished musician, a collector
of paintings and a gently humorous humanist. As Vicki has said, he was a man who

knitted people together. He had had pneumonia, but his death on 21st January was unexpected. Listening to the funeral tributes from recent friends and a companion of

his youth come all the way from Canada, I was struck with a sense of loss. Not because of old memories, but for a rewarding friendship that might have been.


Site Watching

The Environment Agency have contacted HADAS, via Committee Member Brian Wrigley, notifying us of proposed ‘heavy maintenance in the form of dredging to …. the Silk Stream at Colindale, NW9’. Brian has replied suggesting that, as this

particular area does not fall within the Areas of Archaeological Significance noted on
the LB of Barnet’s Unitary Development Plan, sufficient archaeological coverage

might be provided by organised observation and recording of features of possible
archaeological interest which may be revealed by the works, and asking when they

will commence. Brian has also discussed this project with Robert Whytehead, the Borough’s archaeological adviser from English Heritage, to confirm that EH had no plans to undertake this work and that they support HADAS’s proposal.

We have been supplied with a copy of the Environment Agency’s location plan and will be contacting our members living close to the proposed works who may wish to participate. If you live a little further afield but are interested, please contact

Brian Wrigley 0181 959 5982 or Vikki O’Connor 0181 361 1350. (Brian noticed that, according to A Place in Time, a mammoth bone was found in this area a century ago!).

News from Bill Bass


During January, noted pottery specialist Jacqueline Pearce from Finds and Environmental Specialist Services paid a visit to both Barnet Museum and the HADAS archive at Avenue House. She is currently working on a monograph dealing with South Herts Greyware and local coarse wares, as part of a type-series of medieval pottery mainly found in the City of London. Jacqueline inspected a number of assemblages from sites such as Kings Road, Arkley, the ex-Victoria Maternity Hospital, Wood Street, Barnet, 19-29 Barnet High Street, and Church Farm Museum, Hendon. The meetings were useful, with an exchange of ideas and information on all sides.

On Thursday, 28th January, Andy Simpson gave an entertaining lecture to the Finchley Society at Avenue House about HADAS during the last ten years. He explained a range of our activities with excavations, including 1264 Whetstone High Road, The Forge Golders Green Road, and others mentioned above, fieldwalking at Brockley Hill, finds processing, exhibitions, publications and so forth. For some reason, most of the slides appeared to have a public house I them. A thirsty Andy then led a small contingent of HADAS members to the Queens Head for further research into this strange phenomenon. Late in January, earthmoving contractors in the Northampton area uncovered some stone footings and, being ‘Time Team’ watchers, they contacted the local archaeological unit who were maintaining a watching brief on the large site. The footings in fact turned out to be a hitherto unknown Roman villa — the most visible feature of which was part of the bath house complete with hypocaust pilae (part of the cold plunge bath was later rescued from the contractors’ spoil heap). Of two parallel trenches, one had evidence of at least two Iron Age roundhouse with Roman ditches cutting them. This trench was excavated immediately by the Northampton Unit as it had no planning condition (pre-PPG 16). The other trench contained most of the ‘front’ section of the villa, whilst this was not under immediate threat, the are needed to be rapidly exposed to ascertain the full extent of the structure. A call came through the archaeological grapevine for volunteers to help at very short notice. Thus Andy Simpson and myself found ourselves on site with 20 or so other volunteers from various other sources for a weekend’s digging on the recently discovered villa. The idea was to basically clean the mud left by the earthmoving with trowel, mattock and hoe down to the top of the pitched stone footing. Andy comments — “The villa seems to be of the classic winged corridor type with the bathhouse at one end and a channelled hypocaust in the centre of the main building. Deeper surviving foundations on the outside wall of the corridor suggest the building stood on a slight slope with a good view of the wide adjacent valley. The date of the building is suggested by 3rd century tile in the footings and pottery (including Nene Valley Ware) and coins covering the first to the fourth century, indicating occupation of the side throughout the Roman period.” By the end of the weekend, most of the main plan had been revealed so that the developers and English Heritage could decide what to do next. Funding was forthcoming to record what has been found so far and for geophysical work.

The Archaeology of the new Millennium Bridge — the first pedestrian bridge is being built across the Thames

Mike Webber, Co-ordinating Officer for the Thames Archaeological Survey is speaking at series of seminars and foreshore visits during March. Unfortunately, these are fully booked, but Mr Webber, who has lectured to us at Hendon, is trying to arrange a special visit for us in April. Will interested members please contact

Dorothy Newbury on 0181 203 0950. If a visit can be arranged, an application form will be included in the April Newsletter.

36th Annual Conference of London Archaeologists

Saturday, 20th March 1999 Museum of London Lecture Theatre

11.00 Chairman’s opening remarks and presentation of the Ralph Merrifield Award 11.10 Excavations at Atlas Wharf, Isle of Dogs (Bronze Age trackways and Thames flood defences) David Lakin, MoLAS

11.30 Excavations at Monument House, City (Roman culvert and Great Fire deposits (Ian Blair, MoLAS)

11.55 Excavations at Charter Quay, Kingston-upon-Thames (Medieval High Street and backland activity) Phil Andrews, Wessex Archaeology

12.20 Excavations at Blackfriars House, Fleet Valley (Fleet River reclamation and

17th century Bridewell burials) Catherine Kavanagh, AOC Archaeology

12.40 Excavations at Deptford Power Station, Deptford (Post-medieval ship building

and Trinity House almshouses) David Divers, Pre-Construct Archaeology 1.0 LUNCH (not provided, available in the café)

2.15 The Thames Archaeological Survey 1995-98: A review, Mike Webber, field Officer, Thames Archaeological Survey

2.45 An Archaeological Research Framework for the Greater Thames Estuary, John Williams, Kent County Council

3.15 Topographic modelling of the Thames flood plain, Martin Bates, University of Wales, Lampeter

3.45 TEA (provided)

4.30 Towards a Museum in docklands, Chris Ellmers, Museum in Dockands

5.0 Recent excavations at the Eton Rowing Lake, Tim Allen, Oxford
Archaeological Unit

HADAS will be providing a display of our recent work.

• Cost: £4.00 — enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your cheque

Ticket applications and general enquiries to: John Cotton, Early Department, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN

More Time Team programmes

Sunday 7th March: Kemerton, Worcs — significant Bronze Age settlement Sunday 14th March: Bawsey, Norfolk — hunt for ceremonial or religious site Sunday 21st March: Nevis, West Indies — search for evidence of the slave trade Sunday 28th March: Nevis (pt 2) — the culture of the Amer-Indians

Summer Activities

A course on ‘Ancient Crafts & Technology’ run by the University of Sussex, 26th 30th July J I at the Iron Age Activity Centre, Michelham Priory, covers pottery, metal and woodworking, textiles, building technologies and boat building. Fee £125
(concession £100). To enrol, phone Lisa Templeton on 01273 678527.

UCL Institute of Archaeology courses at Bignor Roman Villa offer training in Excavation Techniques (5 days £120), Surveying for Archaeologists (5 days £120 or 2 days £50), Archaeological Conservation (1 day £30), Planning and Section Drawing (2 days £50) and Timber-framed Buildings (2 days £65). The dates fall between 5th July and 15th August – full details from Mrs Sheila Maltby at the UCL Field Archaeology Unit in West Sussex, tel: 01273 845497.

The University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE) is offering two archaeology weekends:

19th- 21st March — Settlement and landscape in the mid- to late Bronze Age Britain

April — Understanding medieval towns.

Cost in a shared room – £115. Contact the Administrator, Day and Weekend Schools, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA — 01865 270 380

In conjunction with Distant Horizons, OUDCE has arranged a study tour of Norman Sicily from 6th-13th September, led by Trevor Rowley, author of Norman England. The price is £1,050 per person. Contact Daniel Moore, Distant Horizons, 4 Amherst Road, Manchester M14 6U0— 0161 225 5317.

Little known museum

The Scott Polar Research Institute Museum, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, open Monday to Saturday 2.30-4.00, admission free, was founded in 1920 as a memorial to Scott and his companions. Exhibitions include Shackleton’s photos, letters from Oates to his parents and from Wilson and Scott resigned to their deaths, snow shoes, skis, sledges, Eskimo and whaler carvings, geological finds — and specially designed food, for instance Huntley and Palmer’s “Antarctica” cream crackers.


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Tuesday 13th April Archaeology of Local Building Materials

Lecture by D r Eric Robinson – a geologist who has found some surprising use of local brick and stone since Saxon times. He will focus on St Mary’s Church

Thursday 29th April Visit to Highgate Cemetery with Stewart Wild

(application form enclosed )

Tuesday 11th May at 8.00 pm for 8.30

HADAS Annual General Meeting

followed by Talk and Slides on the Year’s Activities

Coffee and biscuits will be available as usual before the meeting

Saturday 12th June Outing to Penshurst Place, Lullingstone Roman Villa

and Eynsford Castle with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins

Saturday 17th July Gloucestershire with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward

Saturday 14th August Suffolk with Bill Bass


HADAS WEEKEND from Dorothy Newbury

Please accept my apologies. I have had numerous phone-calls re absence of a Weekend date. Now I know you would like one I will work on it. I have been trying our member Daphne Lorimer for a return visit to Orkney – no luck this year – should we try for the Millenium? It would be pricey. For this year how about Southampton University with visits in that area, and a day on the Isle of Wight? Jacky Brookes is getting me some information.


HADAS members know how important the Archives are to our local historians and archaeologists as well as to schools. We feel very much indebted to our two experienced local Archivists, Joanna Corden and Pamela Taylor (part-timers), who have hitherto been helped by a local studies librarian (full-time). Now Joanna Corden is leaving to become Archivist to the Royal Society, but it is a shock to hear that Pamela Taylor has resigned on account of the freezing of the librarian’s post which means a 50% cut in staffing.

We are glad to hear that the Council has agreed to provide temporary cover while advertising for a part-time librarian and a part-time archivist. It may be very difficult to fill these posts with well qualified people for salaries are less than for teachers. Moreover, the appointment of two part-timers will still leave one post unfilled. We must make the council unfreeze the other post as soon as possible. In any case, we will have lost all the experience and local knowledge that Joanna and Pam have been able to give us.


Helen Gordon has fallen again and broken her fifth limb, but she is soldiering on and hopes to participate in some of our activities again soon.

Cyril Pentecost has phoned and I am sure all our outing regulars would love to have him join us again this summer.

Dr Reva Brown, our March Newsletter Editor, is now Professor Reva Brown. Congratulations and thanks for continuing as editor of one of our Newsletters. How about organising an archaeological trip in your area for year 2000? Derek Batten”s `Castle’ might be excavated by then.


As a resident of East Barnet I have become increasingly concerned about the state of disrepair of the clock tower situated on the roof of the parade of shops known as Clock House Parade in the centre of East Barnet village. The tower is in urgent need of painting before the wooden part of the structure deteriorates further.

According to the Victoria County History, in 1406 Thomas Dudman is recorded as paying rent to the Abbot of St Albans for a tenement known as Mendhams. He left the house to his daughter Agnes – she married William Rolfe of Chaseside.

In 1619 and 1654 there are further references to a house known as Dudmans.

In 1821 Dudmans had its name changed to the Clock House. It is reasonable to assume that a clock was erected about that time (not necessarily the present one). By 1900 a new front had been added to the Clock House. The photo from about that time shows the present clock tower in position on the roof of the house.

In 1926 the Clock House was pulled down and was replaced by a new parade. Fortunately, the clock tower was rescued and placed on the roof of the shops and until recently the clock kept good time. The mechanism was restored some years ago and the clock face is currently being refurbished by a local man.

All the beautiful old houses in East Barnet were pulled down to make way for housing development in the 1930s and the clock tower is one of the few remaining links the village possesses with its past.

I am in the process of getting the problem referred to English Heritage with a view to asking the owner to put repairs in hand. Local people are anxious that it should once again keep the time for the villagers. Has anyone any suggestions to offer as to the next step?



Most HADAS members know that our Society owes a great deal to the work of Brigid who died in 1991. She edited the Newsletters from 1970 for nearly twenty years, and was Hon. Secretary to the Society. She was deeply involved in the West Heath Excavation and she organised all our entertainments – Who will ever forget the Roman Banquet and Arabian Nights with all the authentic food?

Brigid was also the Founder of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archive. She collected the material together, and was the Archivist from 1973 until her death. It has long been recognised that there should be a memorial to Brigid, but nothing suitable could be found . Now two grants of £1000 each from the Millie Apthorp Fund and from Barnet Council will reinforce the Trust’s funds and make it possible to produce a Catalogue of the Archive. The Archive Trust intends to dedicate the Catalogue to Brigid’s memory.

Most of the Archive is now housed in the London Metropolitan Archive, 40 Northampton Rd., Clerkenwell (0171-332 3820), where house plans, photographs and much written material can be seen – Please ring to make an appointment. Remaining in the Basement Room at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute is a small reference library, some duplicate photographs and tape recordings and many files of Suburb history. The Basement Room is usually open on Tuesday mornings during School terms – You are welcome to make a visit – please ring the Suburb Archivist, Mr Harry Cobb (0181- 458 3688)

The Archive is of national and international interest as well as of local importance, and the Catalogue when completed will be a fitting tribute to Brigid.


For our February lecture we had a return visit from Paul Roberts of the British Museum, telling us about his work at Forum Novum in the Sabine Hills as part of the Tiber valley project. Forum Novum was one of the small towns of Roman Italy – a type of settlement about which little is known. It was a very small town; though it had a forum with two temples, there did not seem to be many buildings other than public ones. Paul’s slides made it look an idyllic site, rural with Mount Soracte in the background. Forum Novum was important in early Christian times as the scene of two martyrdoms under the emperor Diocletian. The basilica was excavated in the 1970s, and the floor of the important romanesque church restored in 1990; Paul was scathing about both of these operations.

The British Museum’s team carried out a geophysical survey, using ground penetrating radar, found a huge villa, completely unknown hitherto – it came as a surprise to the local inhabitants. The outlines of the villa were very clear, but the team’s hopes of finding fine mosaics and wall plaster were dashed. The remains of the walls, only a short way below the surface of the ground, were bare, and over most of the area there was no rubble and very few artefacts of any sort; one corner of the courtyard, and a drain, however, were rich in finds. But the finds were from centuries later than the building itself, which dated from the time of the emperor Nero. What the excavators had at first thought was a drain proved wider than would have been expected, and had pots built into its walls – perhaps it was a fishpond for the production of eels, a Roman delicacy.

The mystery is why so little was left of what had been a huge villa. The excavators considered and rejected the idea that it had been comprehensively demolished; no clearance could have been as thorough as this must have been. The most likely solution is that the villa was never finished. Was it being built for a rich and important senator who fell from imperial favour in the troublous times of the emperor Nero, and vanished from the scene?

Perhaps further investigations will reveal more. And perhaps Paul will come back to tell us more about his mystery.


I have recently returned from the Peloponnese having travelled by road from Athens on an ancient road network which took in Corinth, Epidaurus, Argos, and, above all, Mycenae.

This prehistoric town, the most important in Greece, was built on the north-east side of the Argive plain, and was once the centre of a glorious civilisation lasting from 1600 BC until 1100 BC. Even today, modern Mycenae is an important point on the road system leading to Nafplion, the first capital of Greece after Independence (1822) and thought by many (including myself) to be the loveliest town in the whole of Greece.

I visited Mycenae, a thirty minute journey from Nafplion, on a bright sunny day but, even so, the extensive ruins of this once regal ancient city were invested with a brooding sense of darkness and horror. Here Orestes committed the heinous crime of matricide. I hope to tell the chilling story in a future article on the curse of the House of Atreus.

The remarkable Mycenean civilisation reached its zenith in the second millennium BC as can be seen from the fabulous gold objects – including the gold mask of Agamemnon – now in the Athens Museum. Many such priceless artefacts were excavated by the German discoverer of Troy, Heinrich Schliemann, who led a series of excavations from 1874. 1 visited the house – now a hotel – in which he lived in Mycenae and was honoured to sign the Distinguished Visitors Book in the name of NADAS!

Like Epidaurus, which is still being excavated by Greek archaeologists with a grant of £2m from the European Union, similarly funded workers were busily engaged in excavating several areas of the huge site, some 170 years after the first dig.

Today one enters the site (on payment of 1500 drachma, about £3 ) through the Lion Gate, a colossal monolithic limestone tympanum flanked by two headless lionesses of impressive dimensions. On the right are the concentric stone circles that form the Royal Tombs in which

Schliemann found no less than nineteen skeletons. After traversing a large ramp there is an exhausting and rough climb – no English Heritage type path

or handrail – to the summit (912ft ) the early part of the way bordered by walls made up of blocks of stone that weigh as much as 20 tons and are 26ft wide in places. They are all so accurately cut that no mortar was needed The view from the Acropolis and the remains of the Royal Palace was fantastic in all directions, and one realised that it must have been impregnable to attackers Fortunately, water was not too much of a problem for the residents of the Royal palace, as there was a ‘secret’ source and cistern in the eastern fortress if one was prepared -I was not – to descend ninety nine steps

in total darkness.

On the way back to the modern village I came to a true masterpiece, the so called treasure of Atreus, thought to have been the tomb of Agamemnon, dating from c.1300 BC. Entrance is gained through the `dromos’, a long stone tunnel cut deep in the hillside. The `tholos’. or circular interior, is reached through an impressive portal with a lintel of enormous stone blocks one of which has been estimated at 120 tons. The vault itself is an amazing beehive structure built of thirty three courses of ashlar masonry (again no mortar ) reaching a height of 76ft. To me, it proved to be one of the wonders of the ancient world and, without doubt, a landmark in the history of European architecture.


Our member Derek Batten writes that life at Castle Mount is not all plain sailing. You may remember that Derek now lives in Northamptonshire and bought this 800 year old Norman castle with the intention of excavating it. At present the castle is covered with a great many shrubs and trees – 130 trees in all – and Derek wants to cut down 10 sycamore trees before they damage the 11 metre high ramparts any further. In this he is backed by English Heritage. The Villagers are fighting to protect the trees, fearing that they may all be cut down, and led by the chairman of Grafton Regis parish meeting they have sent a 60-signature petition to the planners. Derek hopes the Time Team may get interested in the Castle. Would this turn all the village into keen archaeologists?


The methods used to calculate age from skeletal and dental remains have recently been challenged by scientists working at Leeds and Bradford Universities. They think that we have systematically underestimated age at death. This may explain why there is a great difference between scientific and documentary evidence of age. For instance analysis of skeletons suggested that life expectancy in Ancient Rome was less than 50, while documentary evidence shows that lots of Romans lived to be 70 or more If these new ideas are correct, it will lead to a radical revision of ideas about health and welfare in the past. (Times 11.3.1999 )


The Museum of London Archaeology Service is undertaking a cemetery excavation in Spitalfields running through to September, and has asked local societies to form a reserve of volunteers. The work falls into two categories – excavation and other. Excavation of the burials requires helpers who are competent in this highly specialised task. To an extent you will be working without too close supervision so this is not a task for beginners, nor is it a training dig. Other tasks include manning the viewing gallery and helping to explain the excavation to visitors and finds processing. Instruction will of course be given. If you are interested in volunteering for this work please contact Vikki O’Connor (0181-361 1350) who will forward your name to MoLAS_ STOP-PRESS

Archaeologists working at the Spitalfield site have just made a rare find – a Roman coffin made of lead – indicating a very high-ranking, wealthy occupant. The Roman Mayor of London?


Barnet & District Local History Society

Wednesday 14 April, 8pm, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Rd, Barnet `City Churches’ – Paul Taylor

Visitors – small donation.

Finchley Society

Thursday 29 April, 8pm, Drawing Room, Avenue House ‘Countryside & Conservation’ – Lisa Stringer, LB Barnet (Membership Sec: Lynn Bresler 0181 446 6249)

Camden History Society

Thursday 22 April, 7.30pm, Heath Branch Library, Keats Grove,Hampstead NW3 ‘Keat’s Triangle.

Willesden Society

Wednesday 21 April, 8pm, Rising Sun Pub, Harlesden Rd.,Willesden Green NW10 `Kensal Rise Onwards’ by Ted Brooks

Hornsey Historical Society

Wednesday 14 April, 8.00pm, Union Church Hall, Ferme Park Rd., N8 ‘London’s Country Houses’ by Caroline Knight


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Tuesday 9th Feb Lecture – Paul Roberts – Villa of the Mysteries ;

Recent excavations at Villa Novum in the Sabine Hills, Italy.

(Members will remember the fascinating lecture which Paul Roberts gave last year when he came from the British Museum to talk about Mummy Portraits from Ancient Egypt. Last summer’s Sabine Hill excavations did not turn out as expected – hence the Villa of Mysteries!)

Tuesday 9 Mar Sam Moorhead – Letters, curses and the landed gentry in Roman Britain.

See below for more on Mr. Moorhead.

Tuesday 13 April Eric Robinson – Archaeology of local building materials.

Tuesday 11th May HADAS. AGM.


Our March Lecturer, Sam Moorhead, is giving a course at the British Museum, titled The History of British Archaeology’ on Tuesday evenings, 6 April – 18 May 1999, 5.30-7.00p.m. In these lectures he will be exploring archaeology in Britain through the people who founded and developed its study. These include famous names such as Camden, Stukeley and other antiquaries, through the age of Darwin and Pitt-Rivers to Woolley, Carter, Wheeler and Kenyon. (Readers could give themselves a mini-quiz by associating these names with the relevant sites, which include, among others and in no particular order, Wroxeter, St. Albans, Ur, Valley of the Kings and Avebury – Ed.) The course includes optional field trip and museum visits. Tickets £90.00, BM Society and concessions £80.00.

The Archaeology of Landscape public lecture course at the Institute of Archaeology, Birkbeck College,26 Russell Square (barely 10 minutes walk from Euston Station) began 21 January. February lectures include Roman Spain (4th), landscapes in late prehistory (11th) , landscape archaeology in Northamptonshire (18th) and, starring Mick Aston from Time Team ( and University of Bristol) medieval settlement in Somerset (25th). Thursdays from 7pm; £5.00 on the door (Concessions £2.50).


Local author, Hendon resident and HADAS member PERCY REBOUL seeks help; he is working on a book about the London Borough of Barnet in the 20th century and would be delighted to hear from any HADAS member who has a good photograph of the 1997 Princess Diana funeral procession passing at any point through the Borough, (a weekend memorable for those of us on the HADAS trip to York – which was shut for the day of the funeral. Many members signed the books of condolences at some of the Yorkshire churches -Ed). He undertakes to return the picture within 24 hours and the usual credit would be given. Percy can be contacted on 0181-203-3664.


Between Two Hedges is Peggy Wells’ personal account of the history of Village Road, Church End, Finchley 1908 – 1998. Her parents moved there in 1911 when the area was newly developed along the lines of the model planning used at Letchworth. The two hedges of the title mark old field boundaries and may have been planted in medieval times. A pedestrian visitor passing through Village Road with its enclosed green space may sense the same air of nostalgia I experienced whilst reading this delightful book – a living local history bringing together facts, photographs, maps, anecdotes about the early residents, a decline in communal activities after World War II and, more recently, a revival of ‘village’ events. The 28-page book is obtainable by post from Peggy Wells, 50 Village Road, N3 1TJ, price £3.00 plus either an A5 stamped addressed envelope or an additional 50p to cover same. (It would be fascinating to see more books like this…).


A new museum for north-east London is The Jewish Military Museum and Memorial Room in Stamford Hill. The Association of Jewish•Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) Military Museum was established several years ago at the AJEX Headquarters to commemorate the contribution to various military campaigns made by British and other Jewish men and women over the last two centuries, with a particular emphasis on the two world wars. The displays use material purchased and donated by veterans and their families and includes the uniform of Lieut. F. A. de Pass, the first Jewish VC. (1914); the Museum also serves as a resource centre for serious researchers by collecting a variety of papers and documents and advising on availability of official records such as the WW2 British Jewish Chaplain Index cards kept on serving personnel.The Museum is staffed by volunteers and is presently open by appointment only to groups and individuals by writing to ; The Archivists, AJEX Museum, AJEX House, East Bank, Stamford Hill, London N16 5RT. Appointments can also be made by telephoning Archivist Henry Morris on 0181 800 2844 or faxing Assistant Archivist Martin Sugarman at 0181-533-5228. Admission is usually free but donations are very welcome.

LONDON ARCHAEOLOGICAL ARCHIVE AND RESEARCH CENTRE – A REMINDER As mentioned last month, the Museum of London LAARC Project at Eagle Wharf Road, Hackney still needs donations. Fellow society COLAS have contributed £200,000 from one bequest, and over £500.00 from member’s donations, but the gesture of support is as important as the money in many ways and HADAS Hon Treasurer Micky O’Flynn (address on back page) will be pleased to receive any contributions to one overall HADAS donation as agreed by the Committee.


Ever wondered what the Committee does other than drink all the Wrigley’s Tea and fuss the cats? HADAS Secretary DENNIS ROSS reveals all…

Meetings of the Committee are held quarterly. At a recent meeting, it was agreed to include in Newsletters matters of general interest to members discussed at such meetings. The last meeting was on 11 December 1998 and included the following items;

The Committee expressed its regret at the death of Ted Sammes. It was reported that he had left the Society half a share in his residuary estate. It will, of course be some time before the actual amount of this bequest can be established.

Various working groups and their respective leaders were identified; Field Work, Brian Wrigley; Research, Vikki O’Connor; Industrial Archaeology, Bill Firth; Site Watching, Myfanwy Stewart; Roman Group, Stephen Aleck; Publications, Andrew Selkirk; Programme and Newsletters, Dorothy Newbury.

As mentioned elsewhere, examination of the Brockley Hill finds continues. Fiona Seeley of MOLAS had looked at the finds and established a ‘reference collection’ and the Roman pottery will be further inspected by Fiona in due course.

4 The Treasurer reported the receipt of a f1000 legacy from Gill Baker, and the Minimart showed a profit to date of £1385.

5 There are now 291 members of the Society. The Committee has under consideration ways to increase membership and the question of publicity generally.


The Society regularly receives correspondence from official bodies, most of this requiring carefully considered attention, and Brian Wrigley is frequently the Committee Member who, in consultation with the Committee, undertakes these labours..

Hadas was recently requested by the London Borough of Barnet to provide comment/suggestions for amendments to the areas of archaeological significance noted on their Unitary Development Plan (UDP). This document is consulted when the Borough considers planning applications, in compliance with Planning Policy Guidance Note 16 (PPG 16). We proposed that one of the areas should be extended to include the Decoy Pond and a short stretch of the Mutton Brook to the north of this feature close to Golders Green Road. The Borough’s Planning Department has confirmed to Brian that our recommendation has been accepted.

HADAS has copies of the Borough’s official maps of areas of archaeological significance which are kept at Avenue House and are of course available to any interested members.


The Environment Agency has conducted HADAS, inviting us to comment on environmental issues for inclusion in their North London Local Environment Agency 5-year Plan (LEAP). A extract of Brian’s reply on our behalf follows:

`Routes of watercourses are in general of potential archaeological interest, particularly where there are areas of open land beside them where ancient land surfaces (possibly containing evidence of past use) may be covered and protected by alluvium. We should very much like to see some provision in the LEAP for archaeological work to be allowed, and indeed encouraged, in such areas where for any reason operations take place involving earth moving such as dredging, de-silting or water course changing’


Barnet & District Local History Society Venue – Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet. Mon 8th February 3pm Talk by Jack Edwards; The Eleanor Crosses

Mon 8th March 3pm Talk by Dr. John Kent; London’s Money, From the Romans to the Victorians.

Edmonton Hundred Historical Society ( Also at the Jubilee Hall Enfield – Visitors £1) Wed 24th February 8pm Talk by Dr. Jim Lewis on Forgotten Industries of the Lea Valley

Enfield Archaeological Society

Venue – Jubilee Hall, Junction of Chase side and Parsonage Lane, Enfield. Visitors welcome – £1. Fri 19 February 8pm Talk by John Clark; The Industries of medieval London

Hornsey Historical Society

Venue – Union Church Community Centre, corner of Ferule Park Road and Weston Park, N8. Wed 10th February 8pm Talk by Ruth Phillips on Historic Food in England


The 36th Conference of London Archaeologists

Saturday 20th March 1999 11.00 AM – 5.45 PM Museum of London Lecture Theatre Morning Session; Recent Work. Afternoon Session; Archaeology of the River (Thames)

Speakers will include Mike Webber of the Thames Foreshore Project, John Williams of Kent County Council speaking on the Research Framework for the Thames, and Martin Bates from University on the topographical modelling of the Thames flood plain. (Both Mike and Martin have talked to HADAS within the last couple of years)

Tickers, £3.00 (LAMAS Members) £4.00 (Non – Members) available from Jon Cotton, Early Department, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y SHN.

Cheques payable to LAMAS- S.A.E. Required.

Pinner Local History Society (0181-866-3372) (Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Pinner) Thurs. 4th February 8pm Talk by Catherine Dolman on Renaissance Jewellery


The Daily Mail recently reported that life for the dinosaurs some 200 million years ago may have had its problems. Palaeontologists at Portsmouth University have found evidence that they may have been bothered by parasitic mites ; in one example they found 70 micrometer wide mite eggs on a 120 million year old fossil archaeopteryx ( a bird -like creature) feather found in Brazil.


Members are still in residence at Avenue House, Finchley most Sundays and Wednesdays carrying on with post-excavation work .We are presently engaged in analysis of the material from the fieldwalking at the Roman pottery kiln site at Brockley Hill last August. The material has all now been cleaned and bulk sorted; we are now beginning the task of sorting the Roman pottery by type and form and marking it up with the site code. There is a small amount of Samian table wares, some grey-wares and a great deal of Verulamium Region ware, known to the cognoscenti as `VRW’ including; as would be expected, many mortaria sherds plus fragments of flagon necks and strap handles also from jugs and flagons. There is also a considerable quantity of Roman brick and tile including flanged `tegula’ and lesser quantities of clay pipe and post medieval pottery and glass. As this material comes from the plough soil it is well broken up with few pieces of pottery larger than 2 or 3 inches although these do include some good base fragments. Most of the Roman pottery does appear to have come from the area nearest the road with totals thinning out the closer you move to the centre of the field; more analysis will permit further exploration of distribution patterns.

Contact Brian (0181-959-5982) or Vikki (0181-361-1350) if you wish to join in!


Edgwarebury Farm Installation of sewage treatment plant – warrants further consideration says English Heritage.

Mill Hill School The Ridgeway. EH again recommend further investigation.

94 Gervase Road Burnt Oak Near the site of the Roman finds excavated by HADAS from the drive of a house in Thirleby Road in the 1970s.


No North London tram books to review this month, but ever keen to maintain a theme, I popped out one lunchtime recently for a quick bit of transport archaeology fieldwork. Until a few months ago, one of the attractions (?) of Mill Hill Park was the dingy underpass beneath the Barnet By-Pass. This has now been completely rebuilt and is much larger and better lit. One feature that did disappear during the rebuild was two four-five feet long lengths of grooved tram track stood vertically in the pathway at the western end, acting as barriers to bikes and other wheeled traffic. To my knowledge this was the last tram track still visible in the Borough; other track, disused since 1938, is certainly still in situ at the foot of Barnet Hill, though well buried by modern road surfaces and only visible during roadworks, and some of the track at the site of Colindale depot survived into the 1970s. If anyone knows of other extant tramlines in the Borough I would be interested to hear from them. South of the River of course, a whole new generation of trams is already running on test as Croydon Tramlink nears completion with classic street track around Croydon and reserved track to Wimbledon. Recent transport studies have considered modern ‘light rail’ or even trolleybuses back on the Edgware Road but as with the suggested reopening of the rail route from Mill Hill East to serve Copthall Stadium these plans have yet to materialise.


The Evening Standard recently reported the discovery of the possible foundations of a large Roman triumphal arch at the main entrance to Londinium on a site at the rear of the Old Bailey, along with a tributary of the lost River Fleet. The foundations could alternatively be those of a huge mausoleum.


We are now well into the new 10 part Time Team series on Channel 4 at Sunday Teatime as usual. Following programmes on kiln sites in the Potteries, and Roman Cumbria in a back garden, at the time of writing we have still to see programmes on the 7th Feb Smallhythe, Kent – medieval port destroyed in 1514; 14th Feb Beauport Park East Sussex -iron works of the Classis Britannica; 21st Feb Reedham Marshes, Norfolk recovery of two WW2 B17 bombers; 28 Feb Turkdean ,Gloucs return to the Roman villa site; and four more programmes in March.

Also back on Thursday nights is BBC look-alike ‘Meet the Ancestors’ which has already reconstructed the Saxon Warrior found buried surrounded by the graves of small children, also with weapons for the afterlife, found on an American Airbase in East Anglia, and a Roman inhabitant of Winchester in his lead coffin.

Lucy Etherington in the Evening Standard ‘Hot Tickets’ Entertainment guide, in that publication’s usual objective manner, reviewed ‘Ancestors’ thus; ‘I always thought that people working at the British Museum were the sort who had been told by their doctors to avoid excitement. If so, there’s going to be a lot of sick notes when archaeologist Julian Richards presents them with his (sic) latest find -an Anglo Saxon warriors grave…For those who found Tony Robinson’s Time Team on Channel 4 a touch infantile, this is the sensible BBC2 version for grown-ups and pipe smokers.’ Charming!


Latest in the always excellent programme of temporary exhibitions at the Museum, running only until Valentine’s Day (146 Feb) , so hurry – is ‘JIGSAW PUZZLES’.

This display is based on three extensive local private collections and features jigsaw puzzles from the early nineteenth century to modern day 3-D versions. The huge range of puzzle subjects is well covered including educational tools and TV tie-ins, including such childhood memory-joggers as Andy Pandy and the Flower Pot Men, which is not, contrary to rumour, the name of the new digging team rock band. (Mind You, Bill does a mean air guitar!)

But seriously folks, the modern items such as the 3-D ‘Millennium Falcon’ space ship and bust of Darth Vader from Star Wars are impressive, as is the wonderful selection of GWR publicity jigsaws. Depending on your railway allegiances, the ‘Great Way Round’ or ‘Gods’ Wonderful Railway’ certainly knew how to keep itself in the public eye, the jigsaws featuring holiday destinations and GWR locos, especially pride of the fleet, the ‘King’ class express passenger locos. For the children -and others – there are plenty of puzzles to try out.

Following on from 13 March to 9 May 1999 will be ‘HAUNTED BARNET’ – the story of the supernatural and occult in Barnet Borough, covering ghostly highwaymen and witches’ covens.


Those with an interest in family history may like to check out this new facility established by the ONS and the Public Record Office; it provides a new base for the research facilities previously at St. Catherine’s House and the Census Reading Rooms in Chancery Lane. The centre provides advice on its collection of genealogical records and a bookshop, photocopying service and refreshment area. Visit it at 1 Myddelton Street, London EC1R 1UW. Tel. 0181 392 5300. Those ‘on line’ can check the web site at Got that?


After many trials and tribulations with the planning of the 1998 Christmas Dinner- and even a couple of sleepless nights- the evening seemed to go well in the end. With three different council departments to deal with I just could not believe things could possibly run smoothly. However all was well in the end, and the 54 members present all seemed to enjoy the evening. (Definitely! – Ed). After a preliminary glass of wine and get together, Norman Burgess our Finchley Society speaker also had some problems trying to track down a working projector. No matter – his talk on Henry Charles ‘Inky’ Stephens and the Avenue House grounds and house itself was amusing and very enlightening and started the evening off well, as did the opportunity to view the Stephens Museum. Our traditionally served meal was excellent and the service of the catering staff was most jolly and efficient – so all was well that ended well.

must also thank Vikki and Roy for handing me a greeting and thank you card for my efforts, signed by those present and accompanied by a box of luxury chocolates. Thank you all for appreciating my efforts. ( A pleasure Dorothy – amply deserved as always – Ed.)


Dorothy Newbury pointed out this item which appeared (under a different title!) in a October 1998 Northamptonshire County Council Newsbrief;

Councillor Derek Batton’s unique initiative only yards from his home caught my eye…read on to discover this news story which has hit national and local headlines…told in his own words.


Well, not quite. This story began in April 1997. M•route to many local areas took me from my home in Paulerspury through the small village of Alderton and along the side of a wooded mound which I passed countless times without giving it a second thought. Suddenly an Estate Agent’s board appeared: FOR SALE: CASTLE AND MOAT.

Curiosity and a lifelong interest in history took their grip soon after election day and I clambered to the top of the embankment to be amazed at the extent of this neglected monument. Further details from the agents gave me a flavour of its history and I was suddenly in a bidding race. Something else happened at this time. The Norwich Union de-mutualised and I was given a vast number of shares, the value of which seemed to me to verge on the immoral. I had to submit a final sealed bid, dreamt up a number, panicked and then realised that the number had some significance to me, stuck with it, put in my bid and was delighted to be successful.

So, what am I going to do with this castle I’ve bought? I intend to release the latent archaeological and historical potential of this historic Ringwork. I had done some archaeological work in the past, in America on Indian Wars and Civil War Battlefields, and thought it would be fun to.start digging my own castle. Not too easy. This is a scheduled monument (only some 7% of monuments are scheduled, so it must be important) and I am not allowed to put a spade in the ground or hardly pull up a weed without consent from English Heritage, but with the inestimable help of Northamptonshire Heritage, we are working on it. The next year should see us doing some geophysical-work and then, maybe, some ‘real’ archaeology.

There are five Ring Works in Northamptonshire. Mine at Alderton is by far the largest and is the one about which least is known. The scale of the moat and ramparts is dramatic; I have a badger sett in one corner ; surface pottery finds so far have been identified as Iron Age, Medieval and Roman.

The top is a natural amphitheatre with great potential; there is scope for finding something really important. As a friend of mine remarked: ‘Derek, it’s great big toy, isn’t it? Just about the most exciting toy I’ve ever possessed.

A friend tells me that Warwick Castle is up for sale. There is a horse called County Councillor running in the 2.30 at Kempton Park tomorrow, starting price should be 25 to 1. Now, if I take what’s left of the Norwich Union money out of the bank…..


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Tuesday 12 January The Royal Exchange given by our new President, Dr Ann Saunders F.S.A., Ph D. Particular attention of this lecture will be focused on to the building of the third, present, Exchange and to the archaeological discoveries and arguments surrounding it.

Tuesday 9 February Lecture: Villa of the Mysteries by Paul Roberts.

Tuesday 9 March Lecture: Sam Moorhead – “Letters, curses and landed gentry in Roman Britain”.

(Not prehistoric as previously announced)

Lectures for 1999 will be in the Drawing Room (ground floor) at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3

Brockley Hill, Bury Farm Fieldwalking Project

Work on bulk identification of finds should have been completed by the New Year at Avenue House. After which work will continue marking and quantifying the pottery – fabric, form, date, types and so forth. This is not (always) as daunting as it seems and gives a good opportunity to handle such material at first hand. Contact Vikki O’ Connor on 0181 361 1350 or Brian Wrigley 0181 959 5982 if you wish to take part on Sundays or most Wednesdays.

On Saturday 14th November Fiona Seeley of The Museum of London Finds and Environmental Service held a successful workshop at the Old Training Centre, r/o Hertford Lodge, Avenue House, showing and advising members the finer points of Roman pottery identification. Fabrics such as Verulamium Region Ware, Brockley Hill Slip Ware, Colour Coated and the odd sherd of Samian Ware were studied under various lenses. Hopefully this will all be remembered for the next phase of the project!

Some of the most interesting glass sherds from the fieldwalking were taken to John Sheperd at The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (L4ARC). They were identified as being from a 17th ‘cloche’ – an early form of bell-jar to help grow and propagate plants. These were large and fragile vessels, the manufacture and transport of which must have been a difficult and hazardous affair. We also have an invitation to return so that we can study and compare the material/archive of earlier Brockley Hill excavations with the finds – pottery & tile etc. from our recent fieldwalking.


The above is a small illustration of how useful a facility such as the L44RC project can be for London’s archaeological societies. The staff are now fully installed at Eagle Wharf Road, Hackney – working on the archive, various projects and publications – but are not open to the public. Also the Centre can now, once again, accept finds and records from London’s excavations for storage. At present they are waiting for the result of their bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that they can convert the building into a major Centre for public access to the archive (see April ’98 Newsletter) – but they also need public support….

To this end the HADAS Committee are supporting the Museum of London’s appeal for donations to the project from all local London societies and interested bodies. Please send any contributions, however large or small, to the Hon. Treasurer, Micky O’Flynn (address on last page), cheques payable to HADAS, they will be then sent as one donation from the Society, thank you.

The November Lecture – Bronze Brass and Zinc in ancient and modern China
by Paul Craddock

This was a most interesting talk on ancient metallurgical technology. Paul’s last lecture to us was in 1990, on zinc production in India, and this lecture followed the story on to China – well he spent a little time reminding us of what he said before in case we did not all rememher, although I think most of us did

Production of zinc as a metal has the problem that it vaporises at a temperature below that of which it can be smelted from its ore: thus the process has to include one of distillation of hot zinc vapour Distillation was done earliest in India, using a furnace containing clay retorts pack with ore and appropriate reacting materials, the neck of the retort protruding downwards through the furnace floor to a cool chamber where the zinc vapour condensed. This is thought to have started in the 10th century BC.

By the 16th century, India had a world-wide export trade in zinc, whilst china had none, but China took the industry up and by the end of the century dominated the international market. They used a technique varying from the Indian, in that the clay retort was larger, and the other way up, ie the furnace heat was to the closed bottom of the retort, whilst the open top had a closed lid with, below it, above the heated charge of ore and coal, was a saucer-shaped lid, round which the vapours could pass, the zinc vapour then condensing on the upper surface of the ‘saucer’. Large numbers of retorts would be packed in rows in a large furnace.

What was particularly amazing was that Paul was able to show us a video of these techniques still being used when he was in China in 1995 – by rural groups competing with industrial works. The techniques have evolved somewhat, for example the furnace is now a building, with a single fire outside, the flames from which are guided by channels in amongst the neat rows of charged retorts.

A most interesting and informative lecture for anyone interested in ancient technology Brian Wrigley

Membership News

Our current membership is around the 290 mark and the following are our latest additions – Richard Riding, Mrs P. Baker, Ms M. Baker, Lisa Todd, Melanie Lloyd, Mrs S Ross, Richard Askew, Jacqueline Schofield, Hugh Hamilton, Emily Towers, Stephen Brunning. We welcome them to HADAS and hope they will find time to participate in our activities. It is gratifying that several of our more recent members have been active on the Brockley Hill fieldwalking project. We are planning more work for you next year

Incidently, if anyone is attending archaeology classes and would like a couple of membership forms to pass round please give me a call – Vikki O’Connor

Audree Price-Davies reports on The Wroxeter Hinterland Survey lecture given by Roger White Being computer-ignorant and knowing nothing about the Wroxeter Hinterland Survey are not the best qualifications for writing up a lecture on the subject. However the lecture was clear informative and very interesting.

The Romans decided to build a new town in the NW Midlands. This area was not exposed to Roman trade or influence and the native population lived largely in hill-forts or enclosures. The project was aimed at investigating the evidence for the Romanisation of the hinterland. To this end every possible means of investigation was used -technological in the use of a geographical Information System (GIS), which can cope with a large range of data, and also traditional methods such as fieldwalking, small-scale excavation and metal detected finds. Volunteers were recruited and 400 people worked on the project. Some foreign teams were also represented – from France, Japan, Germany and Canada.

The excavation covered Many of the sites of the Cornovii tribe – at Meole Brace and at Duncote Farm over 2000 pieces of pottery were found. A pattern emerged – Roman pottery scatters followed the main roads, so Roman life seems to be a thinly applied veneer where people acquired pottery if it was easy to do so. In addition, prehistoric flintwork as well as Roman and Medieval pottery were found near existing farms. This may perhaps indicate that Shropshire settlement patterns has a great deal of continuity more villa sites may be masked by later farms.

One of the villa sites was excavated. Whitley Grange,. 4 miles SW of Shrewsbury and 9 miles west of Wroxeter was chosen. The excavation revealed a set of baths and a swimming pool around a central courtyard and at right angles, a central room with a smaller room at each side. The main room had its mosaic floor still mostly preserved and was credited to the W.Midlands school and was dated 350-375 AD. The baths were used possibly up to 550 AD and afterwards there was squatter occupation. But this was not a villa as there were no bedrooms or living rooms. It could have been a hunting lodge or dacha, such villas were popular among the late Roman aristocracy, or it could have been a ritual site.

The geophysical surveys and aerial photographs are being used to reconstitute Wroxeter buildings in Virtual Reality and this will help us to understand this complex site and the surrounding countryside.

See ‘Current Archaeology’ 157 for further details of this large scale survey.

News of Members

Philip yenning FSA a member for many years and was active on the West Heath excavation team, has recently joined the newly created Westminster Abbey Rihric Commission whose job is to advise on all works to the Abbey including archaeology.

Marjorie Errington is temporarily in The Cottage Homes, Bedford House, Hammers Lane, Mill Hill, London NW7 4DR. She would be glad to here from friends.

Freda Wilkinson is out of hospital and home again, she was also at West Heath and dug with Ted Sammes at Church Terrace, Hendon. Freda, an expert on flint artefacts still takes a keen interest in archaeology and the activities of HADAS. Prior to his illness Ted visited her in Hendon, and now Margaret Maher keeps her up to date with HADAS when she visits her.

From Dave Bromley

Dear Dorothy,

Can Graham and I, through you, thank all our friends in HADAS for all their kind words and support during this difficult time for us both. It helps to know that Pat was held in such high regard, and will be missed by so many. We were overwhelmed by the number who attended her funeral and can we thank those from HADAS who were there and those who donated to the collection, this raised to date £1010.00 and I have passed cheque’s for this amount to the Friends of the Royal Free. They will hold this money until a request is received for a specific piece of equipment for the Friend Oncology Day Ward, they thought this would be more appropriate than just using it in the general ward fund. They will send details when this is finalised. Once again thank you all.

Museum News

Good news landed at the RAF Museum at Hendon, on December 2nd it was confirmed- that the Heritage Lottery Fund have agreed to award a development grant of £79,200 to undertake further feasibility studies into the museums expansion project outlined in Oct 1997. Additionally, the fund have approved in principle a further sum of £4,562,800 towards the construction of a new landmark building for the display of the collections and to expand the recently opened fun ‘n’ flight interactive gallery. It is also hoped to move the Graham White hanger to the new site, eventually displaying the collection of earlier aeroplanes, This sum is dependent on the Museum completing its designs within the agreed financial limits and raising a ‘further £1,000,000 to support the project.

A lottery grant of £851,200 has also enabled the Verulamium Museum, St Albans to open their new extension, this features an impressive new rotunda entrance, shop and colonnade, new Iron Age displays and introductory ‘virtual reality’ video. Other areas have been expanded such as the conservation lab, photographic studio and storage rooms. Processing of the finds, including 500 coins, from the preceeding excavation is advancing well, the potential for additional information from this site is enormous, with an almost complete sequence of archaeology running from the earliest Roman town through to the 1930s and the building of the Museum.

Any members who visited the British Museum recently will have not failed to see that work on the Great Court scheme is taking shape and on target for its opening in autumn 2000. Oversailing The Reading Room and surrounding quadrangle, without visible means of support, will be a stupendous glass roof, 6000 sq. m in area, covering the entire two-acre central space. The cost of the whole project is £97 million with a whopping £45.75 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Stars In Their Eyes

Any couch potato members who were watching the ‘mid-week’ lottery draw on Wed 25th November may have just spotted two HADAS diggers lurking in the audience. There was an archaeological theme that night – ‘The Salcombe Bay Treasure’. The story concerned a team of amateur divers working twelve miles off Devon’s coastline finding and recovering 400 gold coins, gold ingots, pottery fragments, lead weights and other objects. This important find was properly reported to the Receiver of Wrecks (remains of the actual wreck have not yet been located), the site was immediately designated. The unknown vessel is likely to have been sailing from Morocco to England when it sank. The coins and jewellery are almost all Moroccan dating to around the 1630s or 1640s – the largest assemblage of Islamic gold coins found in England.

The BBC on these occasions like to involve an audience (almost) related to the subject. Thus Andy Simpson and your Editor, through the good offices of HADAS Secretary Denis Ross found themselves under the bright lights of the TV Centre, together with a motley crew from the Institute of Archaeology. Order of events went something like this – rehearsals/ food & drink/ Carol Smillie’s interview with the divers/ food & drink/ short film of the wreck site/ lottery draw live with John wotsisnarne of the white gloves/ free ticket – didn’t win sobt/ lots of clapping/ off air. Andy wonders if Carol needed an assistant..

The finds are now on display in the British Museum’s Money Gallery – who hope to acquire them, full story in the Spring 1998 BM Magazine. Work on the wreck site will continue.

Pisa cake

During early December there was a further attempt to stabalise The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Under the scheme, plastic-covered cables 338ft long and four inched thick are being attached to the second loggia of the tower at a height of 70ft. Built in 1173 as the campanile (belltower) of the adjoining cathedral, the tower leans about 15ft out of true in a southward direction. The idea being to remove soil from the northrn side to correct the tilt “fractionally”.

THE TIMES 12/12/98

Realms of the Maya (and hurricanes) by Bill Bass

Our first site was Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – an amazing introduction to Mayan architecture. This is one of the best preserved Mayan cities, here amongst other platforms and structures laid out over a wide area are pyramids, temples, ball courts, steam baths, an observatory and a spectacular natural well 60m deep x 35m used for sacred purposes. It is thought that Chichen Itza (the Mouth of the Well of the Itzaes) was first settled during the Late Classic period between 550 and 900 AD. Shortly thereafter Chichen was invaded by the Toltecs, who had moved down from their central-highlands capital of Tula, north of the present-day Mexico City. Thus there is a fusion of images from the two cultures to be seen as we walked around, many where of Chac – an important Mayan rain god.

The sun god was not slacking either as it was in the 90s, so it came as a relief to walk the 300m through the leafy jungle to the Sacred Cenote (the natural well). Hundreds of artefacts have been dredged from here including gold and jade- jewellery, along with skeletons of men, women and – mostly – children. We spot a large Iguana basking in the sun apparently not bothered by the attention. Back at the Main Plaza we could examine the El Castillo temple/pyramid which is in fact the Mayan calendar formed in stone with terraces, stairways and panels all equating to their days, months and years. This pyramid was built over a previous version – a regular occurrence of all Mayan building, earlier structures were built over every 52 years or so. We were able to climb a passage inside the older pyramid to a chamber which boasted a brilliant red jaguar throne with inlaid eyes of jade. Inside it was hot, sweltering, slippery experience, once outside we climbed the 25m to the top – an archaeological assault course! But it was worth it as you could survey the whole of this magnificent site.

Travelling by public transport we reached Merida – capital of the state of Yucatan. This was a centre of Mayan culture before the Spanish conquest (1542), now a pleasant colonial town of narrow streets, parks and squares. Merida’s Cathedral was built on the side of a Mayan temple – incorporating some of the stone, it was completed in 1598 – therefore celebrating its 400th anniversary.

Rising from the Yucatan plain are the Puce Hills, home to Uxmal, an extensive city dating from 600-900AD. Puce also gives its name to the local architecture – a hypnotic form of repetitive geometric design including serpent imagery, columns, phallic symbols and our friend Chac – the rain god who was needed here, given The lack of water in this region. Many of the ruins have been restored, while others, a little more than piles of stone _await their tun Buildings include the 39.m high Pyramid of the Magician – unusual in that it was built on an oval base, this being the 5th incarnation. The Governor’s Palace is a massive building said to be one of the finest specimens of Mayan architecture. Also impressive was a courtyard complex named the Quadrangle of the Nuns as it somewhat resembles a cloister. In fact, no-one knows for certain what purpose it served, perhaps a palace. The structure which is entered by a fine corbelled arch, is covered by intricate lattice and fretwork decoration with masks of gods and mythical beings. Elsewhere, a large stone/platform area had been gridded and opened for excavation – a lot of work for somebody, no archaeologists were on site as it was a Sunday. At another site, Palenque, an opportunity was taken to fly over the site in a mierolight at sunrise in the still, early morning air – an excellent highlight.

As the panoramic road climbs steeply from humid rainforest through pine forest and cloud, the temperature gradually becomes fresher. San Cristobal de Las Casas (2,100 metres) is an attractive colonial town with a colourful, busy market and several churches. A particularly fine example is Santo Domingo, built by 1560, with a spectacular baroque facade added in the 17th century. We stayed at the Hotel Na Bolom which previously had been the home of Danish archaeologist Frans Blom, who died in 1963 and his Swiss wife, the anthropologist and photographer Gertrude Duby-Blom_ The hotel now preserves photographs,. books (14,000)–aFtefaots and ,so on .from Moir work; they shared a passion for -the Chiapas region particularly the Lacandon Indians.

We took a tour of some of the local Tzotzil and Tzeltal Indian villages. For most of the colonial era San Cristobal’s Spanish citizens made their fortunes – usually from wheat – at the cost of the Indians, who lost their lands and suffered diseases, taxes and forced labour. Not much seems to have changed as in early January 1994 the Zapatista National Liberation Army representing Mexico’s (and especially Chiapa’s) oppressed Indians, seized San Cristobal by force of arms. Though the rebellion was suppressed by the Mexican army within a matter of weeks (there are still many army road-blocks) resentment still goes on, in spite of Golrernment promises to improve matters with recent peace talks. The Indians welcome (tolerate?) tourists as they can publicise their cause and also sell home-made produce and crafts – mainly elaborately woven goods. On entering the village church at San Juan Chamula you’re greeted with an amazing sight – a carpet of burning candles and incense, around the walls are many images and statues of various Saints. Amongst this scene huddled worshippers kneel praying to religious deities but also making offerings to the spirits of the ancestors buried nearby – a complete mixture of Catholic and shaman/pagan practice.

We reached the Guatemalan border via the Pan-American highway which then skirts 3,800 metre high peaks of the Sierra de Chumatanes our destination being Lake Atitlan and the town of Panjachel. The lake, some 10 miles long by 6 miles wide, is overlooked by an outstanding panoramic view of three volcanoes which are reflected perfectly in the lakeside water, the lake itself is a collapsed cone 320 metres deep. Some of the many villages surrounding the lake were explored by boat, three separate languages are spoken by the different Indian groups clustered round the lake, A short ride away is Chichicastenango famous for its large market on Thursday and Sunday (today). The stalls are many, varied and packed into narrow alleyways and any other nooks and crannies, the place is a sea of people – tourists and locals, there’s nothing for it but to dive in and get swept along. Everything is sold here: food produce, leather goods, household, pottery, clothes and much else_ The locals are colourful in their traditional clothing – the styles, patterns and colours used by each village are unique. A refuge is sought in the two churches which oppose each other across the market square and a small local museum of Mayan objects including pots, figurines, flint and obsidian spearheads, collected by the local residents over the years, there is also a beautiful jade display.

Outside the town most of the local population live in scattered villages, ranches, or else on small crofts and farms clinging to the hills, many lived in very basic housing – thatched mud brick or wooden tin-roofed structures_ Making a living from corn/maize and other arable products with perhaps a few animals. Often they were to be seen walking their produce to the local market or waiting for a lift at the roadside_

Antigua was a former capital until a series of earthquakes devastated the town forcing the capital to move a few miles south-east to the present site at Guatemala City in 1776. Antigua is a picturesque place full of ruined and restored colonial buildings many of which can (and were) visited – churches, convents and colleges etc, or you can just wander round, there’s a pleasant cosmopolitan feel to the place. It’s difficult to get lost here as the area is dominated by volcanoes, particularly Volcan Agua in the south-east, which could be seen towering over most parts of the city.

By now we begin to hear of a hurricane developing in the Caribbean Sea but information is hard to come by as nobody is sure where it’s heading.

A domestic flight from Guatemala City takes us from the highlands down to Flores, capital of the Peters region. Here we are back in the steamy heat of the tropics – the dense Peten rainforest lies in the centre of the southern Yucatan Peninsular, covering a vast range which extends to the borders with Mexico and Belize. Flores town stands on a island in Lake Peten-ltza, connected by a causeway to the mainland. This is a base to visit the vast Mayan complex of Tikal located in a national park – a 575 sq km preserve containing thousands of separate ruined structures. The central area of the city occupied about 16 sq km with more than 4,000 structures. Tikal was settled by the Mayans in c.700 BC, one reason may have been the abundance of flint nearby, with the subsequent trade and exchange for other goods brought prosperity and the start of

monumental building c.500 BC. By the dawn of the Early Classic Period about 250AD Tikal had become an important religious, cultural and commercial city with a large population.

We are at the site very early in the morning, there’s an eerie sound of howler monkeys calling from the forest. It’s still dark and torches are needed to follow our guide and the trail. Our first objective is Temple IV, and 64m high structure, much of which is covered in trees and has to be climbed by ladders, but once at the top there is again breathtaking views for miles over the forest with the tops of other temples emerging from the forest canopy. From here we have an excellent 5-hour tour winding around the various plazas, acropolis, palaces and pyramids, also taking in flora and fauna – monkeys, bats, toucans and colourful wild turkeys. Here also monuments are being excavated and restored by the University of Pennsylvania and Guatemala Institute of Anthropology and History – I wondered whether they had any vacancies…

Our route should have taken us across the border to Belize but, due to hurricane Mitch, Belize City was being evacuated and the borders closed. Returning to Guatemala City was not an option as it was being affected by high winds and heavy rain. Mitch decides to move inland and hits Honduras and Nicaragua and those living there with devastating effect. It’s decided to head west and north, crossing back to Mexico by the river Usumacinta eventually reaching Villahermosa in the Tabasco region.

Here we can visit the La Yenta Parque Museo which houses artefacts and carvings from the site of an Olmec settlement of La Yenta. Petroleum excavation in the 1950s forced the removal of the most significant objects 123 km west to Villahermosa, and are now arranged in a ‘jungle’ setting/park similar to their original site. The Olmec culture dates from 1500 BC and flourished from 800BC to 200AD and they are best known for their sculptured massive basalt heads – the largest of which weighs 24 tons and stands more than 2m tall.

We flew from Cancun – mostly developed into a tourist resort area, a complete contrast to the open green countryside of the Yucatan dotted with the sites, towns and villages of the Maya and their descendants. Their rich heritage deserves a return visit in the future.

Echoing to the sound of the sacred Quetzal ?

A suggestion that the ancient Mayans built a pyramid to echo like the call of a sacred bird, marking perhaps the world’s oldest sound recording, has been put forward at a meeting of acoustic researchers. Handclaps evoke chirped echoes from the staircases of the pyramid of Kulkulkan at Chichen Itza, Mexico. David Lubman said ” What is very interesting is that the chirped echo sounds arguably like the primary call of the Mayan sacred bird – the Quetzal, could the Maya have intentionally coded this sound into the pyramid architecture? I think this is possible. In the millennium since this pyramid was built, though plaster has eroded from the limestone staircases, the sound is still recognisable,” A Mayan glyph from the Dresden Codex makes the connection between the pyramid of Kulkukan and the Quetzal.” This magnificent bird, now near extinction, has for many years represented the spirit of the Maya”, he said. (The Daily Telegraph)

Fleet Street Corner with Stephen Aleck

Archaeologists have been, excavating Britain’s ‘most complete’ Roman town-house, at Colliton Park, Dorchester, with the help of a £300,000 grant from Dorset County Council. The site has been known for sixty years, but it was abandoned at the start of the war, and covered with soil to preserve it. A new glass roofed stone structure has been built, based on the original foundations, to enclose the site. It is planned to open it to the public in early 2000. A particularly interesting feature is the well preserved floor mosaics, which visitors will be allowed to walk on ( – with care, presumably).

The Times 24111/98

Members who are offered dodgy footprints at car boot sales should note the following, from the Evening Standard, 27/1 l /981

‘Australian police are targeting Europe in the hunt for a fossilised dinosaur footprint believed to be 120 million years old.

It follows the arrest of two men who have been charged with stealing the fossil and other rare human footprints from an Aboriginal site near Broome in Western Australia. The artefacts could fetch hundreds of pounds on the black market.

Dates for your New Year diary:

Following The Archaeology of Towns in England lectures at the Institute of Archaeology, the-1999 series continues on Thursdays 7.00pm with The Archaeology of Landscape – and starts with:

21 January, The Anatomy of Midland Landscapes, Tony Brown/University of Leicester

28 January, Late Prehistoric Landscapes in Northern Britain: Desertion or Continuity, Rob Young/Leicester 4 February, Approaches to the Roman Landscape in Spain, Simon Keay/University of Southampton

Fee: £40/£20 concessions, single lectures £5/£2.50, more details Birkbeck College – 0171 631 6686

Birkbeck are also running an Anglo-Saxon England course with Dave Beard as lecturer. Starts Monday 11th January 1999 2.00pm – 4.00pm for 24 meetings. Fee: £102/£51. Contact Anna Colloms on the above number.

23 January, CONFERENCE London Bodies: generations past – The discovery, care and investigation of human remains will be discussed by experts from many fields. Tickets £16/10, contact Interpretation Unit on 0171 600 3699.

The Museum of London are presenting some of their lunchtime lectures in connection with the London Bodies exhibition, Fridays 1.10pm 50 mins’

15 January, Anne Mowbray: a medieval princess – specialists shed new light on medieval diet, costume and burial customs. Bill White and John Clark.

29 January, Shaping the queen: the cut and construction of the Phoenix dress – Jean Hunnisett’s lecture will explore the construction of the clothes which created the Elizabethan shape.

16 January, Mastering mosaic – a one day workshop at the Museum of London, 10.30am-4pm.

Learn the ancient, but newly fashionable, art of mosaic in a day. Find out about London’s stunning Roman mosaics from a museum expert and then learn the basic techniques from a qualified mosaic artist. Tickets £30/£25, contact Interpretation Unit on 0171 600 3699.

Barnet & District Local History Society

Their opening lecture of the new year is Mediaeval Embroidery & Embroiderers by Kay Staniland. At Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet. Monday 11th January, 2.45 for 3.00pm start .

St Mary’s Church on The Ridgeway, Mill Hill have had a beautiful scale model built of nearby Belmont House complete with fixtures and fittings. The dolls house 3ft tall and 211 4ins wide (valued at £15.000) is being raffled to raise funds for the Church Hall, it can be viewed in Mayfields of Mill Hill Broadway during January. The full scale house was built in 1772 in the style of Robert Adams, the architect being James Paine Junior. Features include Georgian furniture and a spiral staircase surmounted by a glass lantern. The structure still stands now owned by Belmont School, a few alterations have been made but the general style remains intact.

If you like to buy one of the raffle tickets, send a SEA to Janette Poulton, 5 Parkside, Mill Hill, NW7. Tickets are £1 for one or £5 for a book of five.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments


Thursday 3 December Christmas Dinner at Avenue House

Tuesday 12 January

The opening lecture for 1999 will be. given by our new President, Dr Ann Saunders F.S.A., Ph D. Dr Saunders joined HADAS shortly after the Society was formed in 1962. She is a historian, ,writer, editor and lecturer and Hon. Editor to the London Topographical Society. Her lecture is entitled:

The Royal Exchange. Particular atten­tion will be given to the building of the third, present, Exchange and to the archeological discoveries and argu­ments surrounding it.

Tuesday 9 February

Villa of the Mysteries by Paul Roberts

Tuesday 9 March

Sam Moorhead will give a lecture on a prehistoric subject (title to be con­firmed)

All lectures are held at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3 at 8.00pm for 8.30pm



Part of the largest Roman theatre in Britain, built around AD190, has been discovered in Canterbury beneath an estate agent’s premises. A major section was found 47 years ago, under another estate agents. “Extensive accommoda­tion, to seat 3,000. Should be seen.”


Mrs Banham, a founder-member, who was reported to be recovering from a fall in the last Newsletter, has unfortunately fallen again and fractured her other pelvis. Following another spell in hospital she is back in her residential home and being well cared for. She has her own phone if anyone wants to contact her. She was still cheer­ful but fed up when Dorothy spoke to her in mid November.

Bill Bass has just returned from an archeological holiday in South America . Fortunately the dreadful hurricane and floods only curtailed his last two days when he was due to visit Belize.

Pat Bromley – sadly, we report her death. Several members attended her funeral held on 11 November. Pat, her husband David and their son, Graham were regulars on our weekends away and at Christmas parties. Graham, now in his last year at Bangor University, was a member of the digging team at Church Farmhouse Museum. Our deepest sympathy goes to David and Graham and we hope to see David again at lec­tures in the New Year.

Ted Sammes F.S.A. founder-member, Vice-President and mine of information on any archeological subject, died of pneumonia in hospital on November 7. Tributes to him appear within this Newsletter.

Andrew Selkirk, our Chairman, is now in Guatemala for an archeological conference, so he has also missed the devastation that has hit that part of the world.


St Stephen’s Hospital, Mays Lane, Barnet

English Heritage have waived any further requirement for archaeological assessment and evaluation of this site. The hospital, now demolished, stood on a large area of land to the north of Mays Lane where evidence of medieval settlement might have been expected. However, it is now thought that the southern half of the site, adjacent to Mays Lane “has been significantly affected by previous development”, while the northern half “although open land, is likely to have been open field throughout histo­ry, and it would not seem that earlier occupation evidence would lie there”.

45 Rowsley Avenue, Hendon, NW4 (Planning application)

Excavations at nearby Church Terrace revealed Saxon, medieval and Roman material. A cremation urn was found close by at Sunny Gardens Road.

35 Southbourne Crescent, Hendon, NW4 (Planning application)

Neo-Jadeite axe and a coin of Probus have been found nearby.

Wood Farm, Wood Lane, Brockley Hill, Stanmore

Rob Whytehead of English Heritage tells us that the Oxford Archaeological Unit have undertaken desktop assessment and subsequent field excavation. New opinion is that the site does not appear archaeologically promising in spite of finds made nearby.

Northgate Clinic, Goldsmith Avenue, NW9

A field excavation has been recommended as Roman pottery finds were made close to

Stewart J Wild reviews “THE BIG DIG”

Subtitled “Archaeology and the Jubilee Line Extension”, this attractive, well-illustrated book was published last summer by the Museum of London. It gives an overview of how London Transport’s £2.6 billion engineering project was driven through some of the most archaeologically sensitive areas of London, ending up on top of a medieval abbey in Stratford. The excavations and finds at Westminster, Borough High Street and Stratford get the most coverage and are presented in an easy-to-read-style calculated to have broad appeal. There are panels on archaeological techniques and snapshots of the capital’s history from the last Ice Age to the 20th century – quite an achievement in 44 pages. At £4.99 The Big Dig is good value for money and would make an attractive Christmas Present, especially for children.

SULLONIACIS – A DAMPENER FOR SUN-WORSHIPPERS ? Pamela Taylor adds some cautionary notes to October’s article

Stephen Aleck’s article in Newsletter No.331 Sulloniacis found – at Hendon? is a stimulating essay, but a few notes of caution need adding.

The idea that St. Mary’s, Hendon, was founded on a centre of pagan sun-worship derives from Fred Hitchin-Kemp, an enthusi­astic local historian active in the 1920s. Mr. Hitchin-Kemp did valuable pioneering work on some actual documents, but his wider theories were, even by the standards of the time, wildly ahistorical. This is perfectly demonstrated by his derivations for the place-names of Ravensfield – where the Danes raised their standard- and the Silk Stream – from a market or souk held at Hendon. Both con­cepts add to the gaiety of nations, but to nothing else, and his association of Hendon church and Sunny Fields with pagan sun-wor­ship similarly proves nothing beyond the strength of his local patriotism and imagination.

English place-names, usually, and to a truly remarkable extent, derive from Anglo-Saxon, not Romano-British, settlement. Watling Street, for example, takes its name from the Waeclingas not from their Romano-British predecessors. Even if the connection between the Roman Sul/ – of Sulloniacis and Sol/sun is acceptable, the jump from this to an Anglo-Saxon tribe of Sonningas is extremely dubious. There were indeed such tribes, and they gave their names to Sunbury (West Middlesex) and Sonning (Berkshire). Hendon, however, is resolutely Hendon – “at the high down”.

The first reference to Sunny Hill Fields comes only from the 18th century, and is both late and minor. A significant name might perhaps have surfaced on the earlier manorial surveys. Looking at the 18th century maps, I am more impressed by the way in which the Sunny Hill Fields seem to be taken (cleared?) from the surrounding woods of Downage.

It is true that there are good examples of estate-continuity between Roman and Anglo-Saxon England and also, doubtless, that early churches were sometimes endowed with their pagan predecessors’ estates. The surviving 10th century Westminster Abbey char­ters with their detailed boundary clauses show beyond any possible doubt, however, that neither situation applied to Hendon. This area must have been converted to Christianity, if not at the start of the 7th century then certainly by its end, and this is not a state­ment about lingering private beliefs but about the guaranteed destruction, or conversion, of cult centres. Even if Westminster Abbey was around at the time, which is doubtful, it did not receive these lands then. Indeed, as late as 957 land in Lotheresleage and Tunworth, much of which was soon to become the northern part of the abbey’s manor of Hendon (hence the charter’s preservation) was granted by the king to one of his thegns. Not only was the unified manor of Hendon recorded in Domesday Book made up of at least four separately acquired components, but the 957 boundaries make it clear that at that stage almost the whole of the Watling Street stretch, and on both sides of the road, lay not within Hendon but within Lotheresleage and/or Tunworth. A meticulous exam­ination of these documents, along with helpful maps, is provided by David Sullivan in his book The Wesimister Corridor (1994).

The staging post of Sulloniacis recorded in the Antonine Itinerary, on the probably safe assumption that it was on this route at all, must have lain actually on Watling Street. If it was separate from the pottery works at Brockley Hill, then Harvey Sheldon’s sug­gestion of Redhill has much to recommend it. All the early maps show this as a significant hill, normally a criterion for any early set­tlement on our heavy clay, and probably equally as attractive for a staging post (as with the later Chipping Barnet). Redhill became the standard name for this area from the 17th century onwards, but deeds and other references from 957 through to the 19th century make it clear that it was the original centre of Tunworth, one of the subjects of the 957 grant referred to above and was a large and important estate covering the whole of northern Kingsbury. If continuity were to be sought, and I personally wouldn’t, then this would be a better bet.

The ealden tunstealle of 957 is convincingly located by Sullivan at the northern edge of Tunworth. Place-name study has made considerable progress since 1910, and the name is very unlikely to mean anything more than an enclosed farmstead.

The HADAS dig at Church End in 1973-74 under Ted Sammes’ exemplary leadership, triumphantly proved both Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon habitation at the top of the high down. There is certainly more to be discovered, not least the explanation for the Romano-British spoil pit at Thirlby Road – both the obvious exception to the generalisation about early habitation seeking high ground and fairly close to Redhill. Wider theories about continuity, though, have to take full account of the already existing and sur­prisingly detailed documentary evidence.


Christmas exhibition at The Museum of London

Favourite toys from the past fifty years will be on display from 1 December until 4 January 1999. Toy-giving to children is a recent phenomenon, although Londoners have a long history of giving gifts at the winter festival. The earliest display will feature a Roman ‘good luck’ New Year oil lamp and New Year finger rings from Tudor times. More modern ‘must haves’ include Mecsano and Hornby trains from the 1950s right up to the Teletubbies and Nintendo of today. Special attention will be given to long-stand­ing favourites, such as Christmas annuals, dolls and the teddy bear – first introduced in 1933.

The Museum is open 10am-5.50pm Monday to Saturday and 12noon – 5.30pm on Sundays. Charges: £5 adult, £3 Concessions, £12 Family (5 people, maximum 2 adults), under 5s free. All tickets valid for 1 year. Free admission after 4.30pm.

a new exhibition at
Church Farmhouse Museum

12 December – 14 February

Jigsaw puzzles have been a popular pas­time for over 200 years. This exhibition displays hundreds of examples, from simple early 19th century “push-fit” models to the elaborate 3D puzzles of today. In addition there will be lots of puzzles for the young and not so young to try.

Edward Sammes F.S.A., A.R.P.S.
1920 – 1998
Cereal scientist, photographer, amateur archaeologist and local historian

John Enderby, a Founder Member and Vice President of HADAS writes:

It was with much sadness that I received the news of Ted’s death on 7 November. He will always be remembered with respect and affection as a rare if some­what austere character, whose long ser­vice to HADAS never faltered until he experienced serious heart problems some two years ago.

I first met Ted in 1960 when, along with Brigid Grafton Green and Mr. Constantinides, he attended Professor Zeuner’ s archaeology lectures at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Ted quickly proved himself to be an outstanding student whose well-researched written work shamed the others. I immediately struck up a rap­port with him and, as a comparative newcomer to the area, found him to be a fund of knowledge on Middlesex and Hendon in particular.

It was Ted who persuaded Mr Constan (as he was always known) to found HADAS in 1961, the early meetings being held in his home in Hendon.

Ted’s working life involved the scien­tific study of yeast, and I have often wondered if his occasional tetchy out­bursts were the result of the fermenta­tion process! Certainly they were instantly forgiven by the HADAS com­mittee on which he served for over thir­ty years and where he initiated many worthwhile endeavours. Articles, such as Milestones (1976) flowed from his pen on a variety of subjects, while his camera recorded hundreds of artefacts. I fervently hope that when Ted’s home in Taplow and flat in Hendon are cleared, all this valuable material will be pre­served to cherish his memory.

In a long life, one of Ted’s happiest moments was when he earned the acco­lade of being made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries – a rare honour for an amateur archaeologist. LAMAS, too, was much indebted to him, not only for his regular attendance, but often for knowledgeable and often pithy contri­butions.

Earlier this year HADAS happily decided to “come down my way” and Ted, bless him, although already very ill, typically wrote to me apologising for not being able to journey down to Dorset with what he called “The John Enderby Fan Club”.

We shall all miss him and have our own memories. Personally, I feel privileged to have known a man of stature intellec­tually who belied a fragile frame with courage and determination in an active retirement.

From Percy Reboul, HADAS member and Hendon resident:

I cannot think of Ted Sammes (I always called him Uncle Ted) without remem­bering his delightful old mother and father who walked regularly in Sunnyhill Park. All three seemed to me to be the very epitome of Hendon Past. Ted, I think, took after his father who was a master craftsman. Ted’s great strength was in practical matters which provided a nice balance with other HADAS members who had more intel­lectual pretensions. He was, for exam­ple, a fine photographer, much travelled and well read on a variety of historical and archeological subjects.

Text Box: LHis digs at The Burroughs and Church Terrace will always be the highspots of HADAS activities for me. With hind­sight, they were not as sophisticated as today’s digs but they were enormously enjoyable, with afternoon tea being brewed on a wood fire rather than being brought in flasks. Ted’s decision to pub­lish his findings in the form of a booklet rather than a more traditional report was not liked by some but I believe that Pinning Down the Past (what a marvel­lous title) and its associated exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum did more for local archaeology than almost any­thing else.

With Ted’s death, another great char­acter and talent has left our ranks. We shall not see his like again. May he rest in peace.

A tribute from Pamela Taylor, Archivist for London Borough of Barnet:

Ted was unique and utterly irreplace­able . A Hendon resident for most of his life, and with a father both active in local politics and a keen photographer of events and places, he must have imbibed a sense of the importance of history and its recording from his very earliest days. One of the photos he gave the Local Collection shows him as a suitably angelic choirboy at St. Mary’s, and is typically and helpfully endorsed: “Four members of SL Mary’s Church choir about 1933+, since my diary for 1933 says ‘April 16th, Easter Day, we started wearing frills’. Previously it had been stiff Eton collars which we laun­dered at our own expense!”

Among a great range of interests, archaeology was his abiding passion, and to it he brought all his formidable qualities. He was absolutely right to be furious that before the 1944 Education Act, someone of his outstanding talent had been denied a university education. Anyone who knows anything about the digs he led, or ever called on him for help, will know the range and depth of his knowledge, organisational skills and energy – all constantly and generously shared.

The last time I saw him, earlier this year, was completely typical. Despite all his undaunted will-power, he never fully recovered from his heart bypass operation and accepting that he was never going to manage to organise all his collections fully before handing them over, decided to transfer the St. Mary’s churchyard survey to us. I arrived to find the table covered with boxes, brought downstairs at heaven knows what cost, and full of archival material for HADAS and us. After we had gone through them, and refusing the rest he needed, he let down the ladder

Ted Sammes was cremated at Slough Crematorium on 18 November. Over 100 former colleagues and friends attended his funeral including representatives from Weston Research Laboratories Ltd where he worked, the Maidenhead Archaeological Society and HADAS. Weston Laboratories generously provided tea and refreshments after the service and this gave people the opportunity to share their memories of Ted. The society will be making a donation to the British Heart Foundation in Ted’s memory and if you would like to contribute please contact Sheila Woodward


Study Day at The Museum of London reported by Stewart J Wild

On Saturday 7 November I enjoyed a well attended full-day seminar at The Museum of London, part of the Museum’s ongoing
Education Programme. Jon Cotton, Curator of Prehistory, introduced the six speakers by saying that in the last few years a whole
new generation of sites have come to light in Greater London and that prehistory can now be seen as a worthy study in its own right.

John Lewis, a specialist in prehistory spoke of his excavation and analysis of late Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic sites in the Colne Valley at Uxbridge. Hunter-gatherers, migrating out of the pre-Ice Age North Sea Plain had moved up the river valleys in search of reindeer and red deer. Bone artefacts, tools and flints had been found, while flints and a hand axe found at Stamen near Heathrow Airport had been dated to around 22,000BC.

Reader in Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, John Barrett’s previous excavations include Highgate Wood, and he is cur­rently involved in the archeological programme connected with the proposed development of Terminal 5 at Heathrow. He illustrat­ed his paper with slides showing his work at a pair of late Bronze Age sites at Mucking in Essex, stressing that sites should be seen in relation to each other and the surrounding landscape in order to understand the evolution of the political and social evolution changes of that landscape.

John Dillon joined The Museum of London in 1983 and worked on a number of complex sites, including deeply stratified water­fronts. He has also been involved with the Jubilee Line extension. He revealed the secrets of a well-sealed and well-preserved Bronze Age site at Rammey Marsh, Enfield, on a former sewage works just south of the M25 alongside a tributary of the River Lea. Along 80 metres of channel-edge excavation finds included late Bronze Age pottery and metalwork, a Romano-British ditch and bones including a complete cow skeleton. The site is now being developed as a business park.

Jane Sidell of the Jubilee Line Extension Paleo-environmental Research Project spoke of the great opportunities afforded by the extension of the line to Stratford – more precisely of the excavation required for new ticket offices and approach passages, for the running tunnels are deep in London clay. Many of the fifty or so sites were very complicated, including Westminster, Borough High Street, North Greenwich and Atlas Wharf and Rotherhithe. Some contaminated sites had to be avoided. Knowledge was gained of fluvial history, sedimentary processes and prehistoric ecological development. Radiocarbon dating and pollen analysis were helpful and the study of prehistoric diatoms revealed salinity and therefore tide levels. The site at Union Street, Southwark contained 140 different types of pollen revealing much about early agriculture.

After a wide-ranging career including work in Peru, Frank Meddons is now a Director of Pre-Construct. Archaeology Ltd based in London. His presentation featured his work on a number of Bronze Age sites on gravel terraces along the Thames: Rainham, Dagenham, Barking, Beckton, Silvertown, Southwark (Hopton Street) and Runnymede Bridge. Trackways dating from 1600­120013C were found almost always to be made of alder, and evidence of ancient ploughing has been revealed, along with a quantity of stone tools and artefacts.

Mike Webber is a Curator in the Museum’s Early Department and the co-ordinator since 1995 of the Thames Archeological Survey. Thousands of objects have been found in the river, often as a result of dredging. Further ongoing study of the Thames fore­shore has revealed many sites of interest. The most ancient are those furthest up-river. They include Richmond (dating back to 7000BC), Syon Reach, Chiswick Eyot, Hammersmith Bridge, Putney and Vauxhall Bridge (could the wooden relics revealed at low tide and dated to around 1630BC be the foundations of London’s lust bridge?). Remains of submerged forests have come to light at Westminster, Southwark, Bermondsey and Rainham, and the constant erosion of estuarine mud continues to reveal more.

Jon Cotton summed up a fascinating day by thanking the speakers for casting a lot of light on London’s prehistory and reminding us that this also served to show us bow much more there is to know.

There was just time afterwards to take a quick look at the Museum’s current exhibition – London Bodies. This major presentation, which runs until 21 February 1999, explores the changing shape of Londoners from prehistory to the present day. Including skele­tons from different periods as well as other artefacts and images, the exhibition examines how fashion, environment, human migra­tion and invasion have all played a part in changing the appearance of the average Londoner. If you’ve an hour or so to spare, this is well worth a visit. The Museum closes at 6pm but is free of charge after 4.30pm.


Derek Batten reports his latest exploits in New Mexico

Once again, I am indebted to my good friend Charlie Haecker for notifying me of this dig in Mescalero Apache Country in the Guadelope Mountains of south east New Mexico. His postcard arrived in early September giving me the dates. A diary consultation showed, almost unbelievably, a completely clear week. No further encouragement needed.

Historical background – a brief outline

The Lipan, Chiricahua and Mescalero Apaches occupied this inhospitable land for centuries before the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the area. They lived by hunting, gathering, trading with and raiding their neighbours. Their reaction to increasing white incursion into their land was much the same as other Indians – they didn’t go much on the idea!

We were particularly concerned with the Mescaleros, so called because of their partiality to a staple diet of mescal, made by roast­ing or steaming the mescal plant – a somewhat evil looking cactus type flora, still to be seen today. Their homelands were in and around the Guadelope and Sacramento Mountains in the south-east corner of New Mexico. The famous John Butterfield Stagecoach Line skirted to the south of these mountains and was sometimes attacked by the Mescaleros, just like the last but one reel of John Ford’s Stagecoach. Raiding and stealing horses and cattle from white settlers was another nuisance pastime. Eventually, the frontier army was called on to stop these deprivations.

The Mescaleros lived in tipis, somewhat similar to the Plains Indians and in wickiups made from branches of trees. These were grouped together and given the Spanish name Racheria_ Army tactics were simple. Locate these settlements, move in and scare away the Apaches – preferably in winter, destroying everything: tents, animals, food, cooking pots, clothing, and leave the harsh climate to kill off the scattered families. Such ‘attacks’ were made before and after the Civil War.

We were concerned with two such punitive expeditions by F Troop of the 3rd Cavalry under the command of Lt. Howard Bass Cushing. The first of these was in November 1869, locating and fighting a band of Mescaleros who had stolen cattle and horses from up on the Rio Hondo. In December the same year two other engagements took place on 26th and 30th. (I have copies of Lt. Cushing’s reports if anyone is interested).

The project

This had two objectives: the site of Cushing’s November engagement had been located in Last Chance Canyon, but the parameters of this were unsure and as this area is likely to be opened for public access with an interpretive trail, more detailed on-site investi­gation was needed. The location of the fight on 30th December is known but that on 26th, probably in Dark Canyon, is less sure. Hence our week’s work. I discovered late in the week that this whole project was part of the Forest Service’s Passport in Time pro­gramme, where volunteers (such as me) become involved.

Our leader is a youngish guy – very dark, black beard, long black hair, bandanna and the unbelievable Anglo-Saxon name of Christopher Adams. The other volunteers are the usual mixed bunch including two archaeologists from Wyoming (husband and wife, both experts on rock art); my old friend Larry Grimes from Oklahoma City (who worked with me on the Washita Battlefield and La Glorietta digs); a Swedish guy (very good looking and a Western devotee). Altogether about twelve of us. Accommodation is better than average with bunk beds, comfortable mattresses, a good living area with TV, adequate kitchen and bathroom. I arrive more or less on time after a night in Albuquerque and a basin of Mexican food at La Hacienda on the terrace overlooking Albuquerque’s old Town Square, still a lot more comfortable than the better-known main Plaza. in Santa Fe.

My first real conversation with Chris proceeds as follows:

Me: (ever mindful of my first Little Big Horn discomfort) What’s the mosquito situation round here?

Chris: They’re no problem this time of year but we do have a plague of rattlesnakes.

Me: Rattlesnakes! (gulp!)

Chris: Yes, we’ve seen several recently. The rock rattlers are the worst as they don’t actually rattle to give you a warning they’re about to strike.

Me: Sorry Chris, I’ve just remembered I’ve a vital appointment on Tuesday …

Actually, in the end, none of us saw a rattlesnake. I learnt an old Apache trick. I cut a stout stick from an Agave plant and kept it with me all the time, banging it constantly on the ground. Sound travels more through solids, as my old physics master, Potts Murphy, taught me and the constant banging of the base of the stick on the ground frightens away the rattlesnakes. It certainly worked for me. At the end of the week I was more sorry to leave my stick than to say farewell to some of my compadres.

Last Chance Canyon

A pretty desolate place. I’m not sure why anyone would choose to live here but they did. Our first day out involved a visit to the local beauty spot: Sitting Bull Falls. A curious name as the great Oglalla Sioux chief was never within hundreds of miles of the place. Here we met some real Mescalaros, one of whom claimed to be a direct descendant of Cochise. They were interested in the project, so Chris showed them, and us, the extent of his findings to date and the skirmish line that F Troop had formed. After lunch, a small party of us climbed up to a promontory to look for Apache breastworks. A rear view, no breastworks but hard going for me as the elevation here is 6,000 – 6,500 feet up.

The next day we start metal detecting in earnest. Chris is anxious to establish the extent to which F Troop penetrated the canyon, so we set to beyond his established skirmish line. I’m very apprehensive about the snakes but when we gather for lunch we’ve found nothing. After lunch we move up to a widish flat area of land and lo and behold, I make the first major strikes, unearthing an Apache tinkler and a flat piece of metal from which they made their arrow heads. Other finds in the area seem to indicate that this is a Racheria site undisturbed by Cushing. Another piece in the jigsaw puzzle. By the way, a tinkler is a piece of metal, rolled roughly into a cone shape and about 1″ long. They were used by Apache women to decorate their clothing.

This seems to conclude our Last Chance Canyon investigation. The extent of Cushing’s incursion has been established. I suggest it should be called “The Battle of Last Chance Canyon” because both sides exchanged fire and both side suffered dead and wound­ed.

Dark Canyon

This occupied our last three days. I’d expected Dark Canyon to be a forbidding place. Not so. Last Chance had been rocky (rat­tlesnakes?) and vegetated with desert plants: yucca, cholla, sotal, agave, luchuguilla and plenty of prickly pear. By contrast Dark Canyon was pleasantly wooded, mainly with ponderosa pine, oak, juniper and ladrone with cholla here and there. This was pleasant terrain with isolated clearings. The trees afforded shade which was just as well as we hardly saw a cloud during this time and suf­fered temperatures in the upper eighties.

We began in an area Chris reckoned Cushing might have been. We set off metal detecting across an incline, gradually increasing to quite a steep slope. Unlike previously, we investigate our own hits. I keep going upwards and very soon find myself alone. Do I continue up, move left or right or what? Oh for Irvin Lee’s regimented procedure! I can still see our vehicles some 550 feet below and a figure nearby. My binoculars tell me it’s Bill, so I decide to go down – not easy on the loose stony soil underfoot. Somehow we all meet for lunch, all recording nil information.

Bill is a quiet guy, born in Plymouth, his mother a G.I. bride. He has a hunch about a flat area of land closer to the mouth of the canyon. So we have a go at that and within minutes locate an Apache bracelet. Who finds it? Need you ask? Seems we’ve stumbled on another Racheria site which yields a great deal of Apache goodies, plus the odd button, musket ball, minnie ball and tinklers by the score.

We work this area for the next two days finding the odd arrow point, more buttons but alas no Spencer Cartridge cases or slugs. We survey in the major finds by a curious mixture of prismatic compass bearings and pacing. Goodness knows how accurately these will plot. The prevailing theory is that this may have been the site of an 1858 fight and the Cushing location remains a mystery. There’s a lot of private land hereabouts and the owners don’t much care for archaeologists. At that point the week’s project ends. Some more refinement of history has taken place and, from my viewpoint, it’s been just great.

Billy the Kid

I could have flown into El Paso which is slightly nearer to the Guadelopes than Albaquerque. I chose the latter not only because of my affinity with the town but because the journey south would take me through the heart of Billy the Kid country. So, on the Sunday, I detoured to Fort Sumner first to visit the grave and see the remains of the fort itself. The grave is now inside a large cage – rather like an old fashioned jail – as the headstone had been stolen in the recent past. The nearby museum is full of memorabilia but arranged in a haphazard way, poorly documented and displayed. Fort Sumner, built to guard the Navajos on the adjacent Basque Rodondo Reservation, was abandoned years ago but there is an interpretive trail and a nice small display manned by a most helpful, well informed, State Trooper. The house where Pat Garrett shot Billy is gone but a plaque marks the spot.

My original journey back was to have been to El Paso but having made good time in the first hour or so, I considered returning to Albuquerque. I rearranged my flight and was able to visit Lincoln, centre of the Lincoln County War. Many of the important build­ings are still extant and I was able to visit them all. The museum is one of the best. “Why is your flag at half mast?” I asked. “Because we’ve heard today that the Board of Governors have decided to close down the museum”. Unbelievable!

The drive to Socorro for an overnight stop was spectacular. A good genuine Mexican meal with half a carafe of Inglenook Blush, the wine costing just $4.50. (Gosh! prices in California are a rip off!). Problems in Albuquerque, but all sorted out eventually. Homeward bound!

This was my seventh dig. I feel I’ve made a modest contribution towards the project and I’ve certainly learnt a lot about Apache history and culture. I have a Forest Service magazine with details of similar schemes, all asking for volunteers and most providing free food and accommodation, so it looks as if I have a choice of digs for the future.


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments


Tuesday 10th November Lecture –‘Bronze, Brass and Zinc in Ancient and Modern China’ by Paul Caddocy

Thursday 3rd December Christmas Dinner at Avenue House with talk by Norman Burgess, curator of the Stephens’ collection.

Tuesday 12th January LECTURE – ‘The Royal Exchange’ by


Tuesday 9th February LECTURE – ‘Villa of the Mysteries’ by


NOTE: LECTURES will be held at AVENUE HOUSE, EAST END ROAD, FINCHLEY,N.3 8 p.m. for 8.30 p.m.


I forgot to ask anyone to write a report – so this is an opportunity to thank all those who provided such excellent goods for sale, made cakes, jams and meringues for the food and provision stalls, and quiches for the lunches. Tessa and Sheila, with their regular teams, coped efficiently, as always, on cakes and lunches.

Thanks to Mary, Doug and Christopher for their help with tables and chairs the day before, Bill and Christopher for loading up and transferring goods to the hail and back again with the remains’, the eam of tough guys who staggered upstairs with it all, our staunch team of regulars who manned the stalls and cleared up afterwards, leaving the premises CLEANER (I may say) than when we started.

By 3.30 p.m. I gave up, but Bill and Andy carried on by coming home with me and counting the money – and with excellent results. Sales on the day
exceeded £900 ! Add to this pre – Minimart sales, generous donations from

Myranwy Stewart and Mrs Banham who could not attend, and we reached the MAGNIFICENT TOTAL of nearly £1500 A RECORD

And,of course, the members and friends who came to buy were most important too. Forgive me if I have left anyone out to whom I should give special thanks.. (signed) Dorothy Newbury (alias Auntie Wainwright of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.) PLEASE NOTE: For the weeks prior to the Minimart, rumour has spread in the Society that anyone who calls at 55 Sunnyfields Road with goods for the event, or for any other reason, connected with HADAS or not, is not allowed to leave the house without buying something…, this is true (adds another) but nevertheless there was plenty left to sell, and in a particularly jolly atmosphere, even the clear-up; Don’t give up, Dorothy !

Some preliminary thoughts on

I recently noticed a thirteenth century entry in the manorial records which may prove of significance to our research on the early history of East Barnet. This reference of 1273 seems to describe a ‘hall’ at East Barnet belonging to ‘the lord’. The entry, along with Pamela Taylor’s translation (which she describes as ‘more literal than stylish’ – well it has to be better than I can do, Pam), runs as follows:

Priori a Conquestu

Halimot apud Barnet die Lune proxime ante festum sancti Luce evangeli anno duo Robertus de Molendino ManquamJ iustus heres et propinquior gersumavit terram Simonis fratris sal. et dominus seisivit eundem Robertum cum eadem terra coram multibus hominibus in aula sua de Estbartzet. et dat domino pro ingresso .habendo. et pro herietto Simonis fratris sui xxxs.

Robert of the Mill, the just and nearest heir, paid the entry fine for the land of Simon his brother, and the lord gave the same Robert seisin [tenure) of the same land in front of many men in his hall of East Barnet, and for having entry and fora heriot [death duty) for his brother Simon he gives the lord 30s.

The passage is rather ambiguous, (is it Robert’s hall or the lord’s?) but Pam says that her sense of the word ‘aula’ is that it refers to a rather grand hall, and is unlikely to refer to Robert’s dining room.

Whether or not this ‘aula’ can be reconciled in any way with Kechyners Manor at East Barnet is an interesting question, and one which is impossible to answer at present. Much research remains to be carried out on this fascinating ‘manor’ and its relationship with the manor of Barnet as a whole.

What we can say is that in medieval times Kechyners Manor was held by the Kitchener of St Alban’s, who was one of the obedientaries of the Abbey. As things stand, I think we should imagine the manor as a farm estate, whose specialised job was to provide food for St Alban’s Abbey. (The monks paid ‘carriers’ to transport food from the outlying estates to the Abbey.) The Kitchener had assigned to him several manors, all of which seemed to be known as Kitchener’s ferm’. He received rent from the Abbot from these particular manors. In return, the Abbot received from the Kitchener an allowance of food. (VCH Vol. 4, p 413)

The date at which our monastic farm was established at East Barnet is unknown. In 1363, Abbot Thomas de la Mare (a former Kitchener himself) readjusted the lands held by the Kitchen because at that time its income was £181, while its expenses were £255 Ss 8d Kycheners Manor at East Barnet may date from this time of re­allocation of lands, or may already have been allocated to the Kitchener’s use at some earlier date. It may be worth pointing out that Levett says that ‘the Kitchen is said to have owed many of its endowments to Adam the Cellarer.’ [from 1151-56]. (Studies in Manorial History, p 113)

A monastic estate such as Kechyners Manor would, as I understand it, comprise a fairly substantial farmhouse (?hall) and a chapel, along with a storage barn and, occasionally, dovecote, fishponds and vineyard. (Did I once hear somebody mention that they had seen a map of East Barnet which marked a vineyard, or is this my imagination?) The actual farm buildings were often set around a courtyard. I have not yet considered whether the farm would be worked by monastic lay brothers or the local peasantry or both. Its organisation probably changed through the years according to the economic climate.

It is worth noting that many of these farms continued to be worked in post-Dissolution times, and that East Barnet (according to Gillian Gear) possessed an old barn within the Church Farm complex to the South of the church. The Church Farm house itself is thought to have dated from circa1660, but could well have been earlier, or a rebuilding. But I think we should maintain an open mind about the location of this farm, or manor complex (and `aula’1). The site may well lie adjacent to the church towards, perhaps, the north or north-west. Our evidence is too sketchy at present to make any assumptions.

According to the VCH (Vol. 2, p 332), at the Dissolution Kechyners Manor passed to the Crown and in 1547 was granted to Sir Richard Lee. Sir Richard was a military engineer and friend of Henry VIII (Richard’s wife, Margaret, was even friendlier towards Henry VIII than Sir Richard if we can believe the gossip!). He was granted extensive St Alban’s Abbey property and when he acquired Ketchyners Manor in East Barnet in 1547 it was at that time in the occupation of the rector of Barnet.

By 1554, when Anthony Butler acquired the manors of Barnet and East Barnet from John Goodwin and John Maynard, Kechyners Manor was reserved from the sale and was said to be held by the parson of Barnet. (Had Sir Richard earlier re-conveyed Kechyners Manor back to the church, as he did his monastic property in St Albans itself in 1557?) From the Dissolution until 1554 it does seem that Kechyners Manor was serving as the rectory for East Barnet. Its name then disappears from the records.

However, Reverend Cass (East Barnet, p 243) tells us that in 1558, Sir Anthony Mason, the curate (the `sir’ is an ecclesiastical title) took in a parcel of East Barnet churchyard, which adjoined the Town House which he occupied. Now if Kechyners Manor had been occupied from 1547 – 1554 by the local clergyman, there seems little reason to suppose he would have removed himself by 1558. It seems to me to be worth considering that the name `Kechyners Manor’ disappeared because that manor (or a part of it) had became known as the Rectory by 1558. (This is presumably the property described in 1631 as being ‘a decayed tenement adjoining the churchyard’, rent £1 3s 4d, when a new rectory was acquired elsewhere. (Cass, East Barnet, p 243-4). Cass goes on to tell us that this old Rectory lay `near the churchyard gate’. Whether he is referring to the lych-gate or some other gate is not made clear. Neither is his reasoning.

What should be clear from the above is that we have a lot of work to do on the early history of East Barnet. We are making a start, but at present every excursion into the records seems to raise more questions than it answers! Any comments, corrections, or further information relating to anything discussed in the last couple of pages (representing little more than random research notes) would be most gratefully received.



In Newsletter 327, June 199S, Bill Bass reviewed In Search of Sulloniacis, which raised the question of the location of the Roman place called Sulloniacis, mentioned in the Antinonine Itineraries: was it at Brockley Hill, Edgware, Burnt Oak, or somewhere else? In fact it I think it can be argued that Sulloniacis was an estate of larger area than has normally been acknowledged, taking in Brockley Hill and probably another place on Watling Street that was used for the reception of travellers, and that the centre of the estate-was in Hendon, near the church. The reasoning is as follows.

Perhaps an investigation of the name, Sullomacis, might help to identify the place to which it referred. The ending -acis signifies ‘the estate belonging to …’ some group, possibly … the family or descendants of ‘. This suggests immediately that Sulloniacis may cover, not just one single hilltop, but a larger Romano-British estate. The first part, Sulloni-, is interpreted as an otherwise unknown personal name, Sulloni, or Sullonios.

Harvey Sheldon has suggested that the first syllable of Sulloni- might come from the name Sufis, the goddess of the spring at Bath, assimilated by the Romans with Minerva. Subs is often described, based presumably on the characteristics of Minerva and the association with Aquae Sufis, as a goddess of healing waters, but in fact she may originally have been a sun-goddess. Subs’ temple at Bath had a perpetual coal-fire burning on the altar, which may seem more suitable for a solar deity than a healing one. Indeed one of the finest finds displayed at Bath is a large carving representing the face of a sun-god. Sun-goddesses were worshipped under similar names to Sulis by the Celts and their contemporaries in various parts of Europe. In modern Welsh (the closest extant language to ancient British Celtic) Dydd Sul (or something similar sorry Welsh speakers!) means Sunday. Sun-worship became increasingly popular in the Roman world just before the advent of Christianity. An interesting foot note about Subs in the Roman volume of the Oxford History of England says ‘She is traditionally called Sul; but Professor Tolkein points out to me that the Celtic nominative can only be Subs, and our authority for believing that even the Romans made a nominative Sul on the analogy of their own Sol — perhaps meaning the same — is not good. The Celtic suits can mean ‘the eye’, and this again may mean the sun.’ Professor Tolkein was of course a considerable expert in real ancient languages, as well as those that he made up himself.

It was suggested by Hendon historian Fred Hitchin-Kemp that St Mary’s Church in Hendon was founded at what was formerly a centre for sun-worship. This theory is derived from the name of the hill upon which the church stands: Sunny Hill; three fields of this name are shown on Messeder’s 1754. map, being the first three fields encountered on the left hand side when going along the footpath from the churchyard towards Mill Hill, and they now form the highest part of the park. The name ‘Sunny Hill’ demands some thought, but it is not unfortunately mentioned in the English Place-Names Society’s volume or any other place-name literature. The park is certainly a very pleasant place, but no meteorological data I have ever seen suggests that it is sunnier than any other hill in the area! I suspect the first element might be a corruption of Sunning (as in the name of the nearby Sunningfields Road, so named in Victorian times), from Sunningas — tribe or followers of the sun, or of a person called Sunny, whose name may also relate to the sun.

So perhaps Sulloniacis refers to Hendon? Further consideration of the second syllable of Sullomacis might help with this theory. Refering to a modern Welsh dictionary, an attractive option is liwyn, ‘a grove’ — a grove being a sacred place to the Druids. Hence, perhaps, the double consonant in Sulloniacis? (Also, there was an old property called ‘The Grove’ on the west side of Hendon hill, now the park behind the Town Hall; but a connection here may be stretching credibility just a little too far). So could Sullon mean the grove (or temple?) of Sulis, the sun-goddess; the Sulloni the people pertaining to such a place, and Sulloniacis, the estate belonging to them? Hendon manor was, from at least the ninth century, granted by successive monarchs to the use and upkeep of Westminster Abbey. It is known that in the dark ages, Christian institutions took over lands and estates belonging formerly to heathen religious establishments.

We do know from finds in the Church End, Hendon area that there was indeed a Roman presence there. But if Sulloniacis’ centre was to be found at Hendon, there must-have been at least one other settlement within the estate, since Church End Hendon is too far from Watling Street to be the staging-post mentioned in the Antonine Itineraries. The Roman rubbish pit found by HADAS at Burnt Oak and thought to be derived from a villa is probably also rather too far from the Street, being half a kilometre distant, and the unsuitability of Brockley Hill in this respect has been mentioned by others.

To further confirm the presence of a Roman rest-station on Watling Street (as opposed to some distance off it), the charters by which Saxon kings granted Hendon to the Abbey gave descriptions of the bounds. These bounds include an old tunsteall, apparently on Watling Street, somewhere between Colindale and Edgware. The literal meaning of tunsteall is `town enclosed-place’. (An alternative interpretation of tunsteall could be ‘farm yard’, but McClure (1910) clearly saw the name as referring to an old town. He assumes in fact that the place referred to is Brockley Hill, and wonders why it is mentioned in the wrong geographical location! Perhaps other English place names derived from the same words should be investigated for evidence of early settlement on the basis of the ‘town’ meaning).

So whereas we might now start to consider that Sulloniacis might have been a whole estate centred on Hendon, the problem of the location within it of the staging post mentioned in the Itinerary is

still not resolved, except to the extent that it was probably on Watling Street, between Colindale and Edgware.

And was the pottery industry of Brockley Hill also within the Sulloniacis estate? I think probably it was. One reason is proximity: Brockley Hill and Hendon are seven kilometres apart, and clearly visible from each other. The intervening valley is drained by the Silkstream, whose early names (Sulk, sulc, suluc) denote an association with Sulloniacis. Then there is the evidence offered by pieces of Roman pottery made in Northern England stamped with the name Sullon, presumably a craftsman who named himself after a place where he had previously worked or served his apprenticeship, thus confirming a connection between Sulloniacis, and pottery.

References. Bird/Hassell/Sheldon Interpreting Roman London, 1996, the chapter In Search of Sulloniacis by Harvey Sheldon: location of Sulloniacis, possible association with Sufis and Silkstream. McClure, British Place Names in their Historical Setting, 1910: meanings

of tunsteall and Sulloniacis. Gover etc. The Place Names of Middlesex, EPNS, 1941: derivation of Silkstream from Suluc, AS charter reproduced as Appendix 1. Rivet and Smith, The Place-names of Roman Britain, 1979: derivation of Sulloniacis. Fred Hitchirr‑

Kemp, Notes on a Survey of Hendon made in 1754 …, Hendon 192819, typescript in Hendon library: poss. association of Sunnyhill with sun worship, pp 7 — 8, 230 — 232. Janet McCrickard, Eclipse of the Sun, 1990: sun worship across Europe, Su/is as sun goddess. Encyclopaedia Britannica: various articles give details of sun-worship in Roman times. The Roman Surveyors … , Dilke: heathen religious sites taken over by Christians. Oxford History of England – Roman Britain … , Collingwood and Myers: information about Sufis. A new history of Hendon church is in preparation by Mr R Somes, containing further information, and I am indebted to him for pointing out the sun-worship connection.ROMAN HENDON (Contd) Steve Aleck


The Viatores in their book in the sixties, pointed out that a Roman road ought to pass through Mill Hill and Hendon, and delineated what they thought to be its route. HADAS then conducted many investigations of this route, without finding any evidence of it ( – although a Roman road was discovered, it was probably a different one!) Since that time some members have suspected that route 167 does indeed exist, but on quite a different line to that which the Viatores published.

We are currently investigating this route, and trying to find an area which will warrant excavation and/or geophysical testing. A group of intrepid members took a break from washing Brockley Hill sherds on 11 October and tramped over a part of Copthall Fields, but found that the interesting-looking mound that I thought was a Roman road is more likely to be associated with a sewage pipe!


Drainage work in this field at Church End, Hendon is being watched as mentioned in the last newsletter. A full report will be prepared when the work is finished, but at this point we can say that, although non situ archaeological remains have been seen. We have now found one or two sherds of apparently Roman pottery, as well as several pieces of Roman brick, in addition to the late- and

post- mediaeval material mentioned last month.


This private school is in buildings, formerly Shakerham Farm, of which the oldest part is timber-framed. The small timber framed wing is thought to be a remaining wing of an original hall-house (i.e. a house without a chimney, open to the roof).

The school wants to demolish some modern structures at the back of this site and build a new block, and the Council, advised by English Heritage, agreed to allow this, provided that archaeological site watching is carried out to see whether remains of the hall-house turn up in the excavations. EH suggested that HADAS might be able to do this work, and have offered to assist us in preparing a programme of archaeological work.

Would anybody who might be able to visit the site during the works please contact Brian Wrigley or Stephen Aleck (959 0722). (Works are starting in March.)


MRS BANHAM – a Founder Member of HADAS. All her friends in the Soc­iety will be pleased to hear that she is progressing well after her fall on the way to church. a member of the nursing home staff tells me that Mrs Banham is a very determined lady (don’t we all know it?). With somebody to hold her arm to give her confidence, she can walk the length of the corridor – in spite of her broken pelvis, broken wrist and sprained ankle ! She can also write letters again. We all wish her well.

TED SAMMES – another Founder Member, is in hospital. He has been at home with daily care since his heart operation a few years ago. Maid­enhead Archaelogical Society contacted us through Liz Holliday on 18th October, and will be in touch re his progress. Ring Dorothy on 0181- 203-0950 for any further information or his address.


More News of Oetzi the Alpine Iceman

A kind friend and neighbour has given me a copy of an article in the New Scientist of 12th September, by Tom Loy, about his scientific re­search into the Iceman’s toolkit. He has spent many years making and using tools of prehistoric types, then examining the microscopic res­idues, which had clearly helped his investigation. Some points which interested me follow

The 2 arrows were long and deep-penetrating (from the bloodstains up to midshaft),feathered (fletched) spirally to provide spin for long shots.

The scraper was ‘of classic design’ – triangular in section, one edge for cutting grasses (silica gloss), one for bone scraping (collagen res­idues), ends for skinworking, backbone shaped as a plane to shave bone or antler – ‘the original Swiss Army Knife’

The copper axe residues included collagen and blood, suggesting use in butchering; the nicks and dents in the edge matched the scallops pattern­ed on the bow also found, suggesting Oetzi had made his own bow.

Tom Loy’s interpretation is that Oetzi was a highly skilled hunter who made his own weapons, carrying all necessary multi-purpose tools ‘for hunting , butchering and bringing back meat, skins, antlers or horn on his lightweight pack frame’.

Still to come is the completion of laboratory DNA tests on blood resid­ues to show what species they were from. I find the evidence of ancient technological skills most impressive. If any reader would like a copy of the full article, I should be happy to provide it.

North London Archaeological Liaison Committee

This Committee meets three times a year, organised by MoLAS for repres­entatives from MoLAS, local authorities and Societies, and the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service of English Heritage. I usually att­end for HADAS, and at the October meeting I was very pleased to find that Councillor Steven Blomer was there for Barnet Council – the first time for some years they have been represented. English Heritage apologised for absence, due to a meeting of their own discussing London archaeology’s organisation, consultation, research agenda etc.

The current planning application for golf courses at Edgwarebury was men­tioned, and T reported HADAS’s submission in support of GLAAS’s; MoLAS (who did the desktop assessment) are submitting proposals to the develop­ers. I was asked about ‘The Paddock’ in Hendon and was able to report some sitewatching owing to the assiduity of our Stephen Aleck.

I also reported English Heritage’s request for us to help on a school site in Hale Lane, Mill Hill, and, of course, to update our position on fieldwalking at Brockley Hill. (For Stephen Aleck’s updates see page h )

PLANNING APPLICATIONS (From Robert Whytehead of English Heritage)

Kingshead House, The Ridgeway. N.W.7,near where pre-historic and Saxon finds have been made.

Northgate Clinic, Goldsmith Ave. N.W.9, which is close to the early site of Kingsbury end where Roman material has been found.

Sobek House Rooker Way and 1 – 5 Rushgrove Parade N.W.9, along the Edgware road, former Roman road of Watling Street.

In London Borough. of Harrow, the Council itself is planning to change the use of land and buildings at Wood Farm, Wood Lane, Stanmore, to cemetery and residential use. Although out of our Borough, this site

is very close to the Roman potteries site of Silonicae at Brockley Hill, where we have been fieldwalking recently. (From TESSA SMITH)


We have passed the halfway mark in cleaning the finds thanks to the unflagging efforts of the fieldwalking team, but we do need to maintain the present pace to complete this work by the end of October. The next phase will be identification of the contents of each bag and recording on bulk finds sheets – less messy and more fun than bowls of mud? After all this has been done, we will get down to the detailed work on the pottery recording sheets.

In the meantime, if you have expertise in pot, brick/tile identification but have not already taken part in this particular project, could you get in touch with Brian Wrigley on 0181 959 5982 or Vikki O’Connor on 0181 361 1350.
Fiona Seeley of the Museum of London Finds & Environmental Service (MoLFES) will be spending the day with us on Saturday 14th November to make a start on analysing the pottery.



Barnet & District Local History Society

Wednesday 25 November – Annual General Meeting

At: Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, High Barnet, 7.45 for 8pm

City of London Archaeological Society

Friday 20 November

Iron Working in Roman Britain – Dr David Sim

At St Olave’s Hall, Mark Lane, EC3, 6.30 for 7pm. Visitors welcome.

Enfield Archaeological Society

Friday 20th November

London’s Medieval Monasteries: the fruits of post-excavation research – Barney Sloane

At: Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side/ Parsonage Lane, Enfield, 7.30 for 8pm, visitors 50p. Hornsey Historical Society

Wednesday 11 November

The Council for the Preservation of Rural England – Stephen Cooper

At: Union Church Community Centre, corner of Ferme Park Road & Western Park, 8pm.

Pinner Local History Society

Thursday 5 November

Harefield, the Last Village in Middlesex – Eileen Bowlt

At: Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, 8pm, visitors £1.

St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society

Friday 27 November

Geophysical Methods for Archaeology – Dr Vince Gaffney

At: St Albans School, 8pm.

The Archaeology of Towns in England – public lecture series

The Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Sq, WC1, 7.00pm. £5 (£2.50 concessions) at the door. Thurs 12 November: IPSWICH – Keith Wade, Suffolk County Archaeologist

Thurs 19 November: VERULAMIUM – Ros Niblett, St Albans Museum

Thurs 26 November: DORCHESTER – Peter Woodward, Dorset County Museum

Thurs 3 December: CANTERBURY – Paul Bennett, Canterbury Archaeological Trust Thurs 10 December: WINCHESTER – Martin Biddle, Hertford College, Uni. of Oxford

Perceptions of London – Writers and Artists in the Metropolis
Saturday 21 November 10am – 5pm
Tickets £5, available from: 36 Church Road, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 7PX


Extra-Mural Studies at The Instituter, Hampstead Garden Suburb

London. N.W.11 7 BN


(Birkbeck Extra-Mural Studies Centre, University of London)

Certificate and Diploma in archaeology

Course no. 374 The Archaeology of the Ancient Levant

Mondays 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Institute – 20 Meetings + 4 visits

from 28.9.98.

Teacher : J. Clayton B.A.

Fee:94.00 (OAP, low waged, unwaged: £47.00)

This course will give a broad overview of the archaeology of Palest­ine and its neighbouring countries from the earliest times until the end of the second milennium B.C. Special reference will be made to
the relationships between the archaeological and textual sources. Includes coursework.

Historical Association (Hampstead and North London Branch) Fellowship House, Willifield Green, Hampstead Garden Suburb N.W.11, at 7.45 p.m.

Thursday,l9th November – Dr Kate Lowe (Goldsmiths’ College)

‘Female Witnesses in 16th C. Italy’ Nun historians on the world

within and without their cloisters.

Thursday, 10th December – Miss Brenda Bolton (queen Mary and Westfield


‘Innocent III meets his Martin Guerre :the strange case of Gills and Palmerius, who returns from captivity to claim her from her second


Mill Hill Historical Society

Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway,Mill Hill, at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, llth November – Mrs M. Smith,who gave an excellent lecture to the Society last winter, and we are pleased to welcome her again.

Java, Sulowesi (Celebes) Sumatra’

Wednesday,9th December. – Mr Richard Nichols

‘Bethlem Hospital’ This famous hospital celebrated its 750th

anniversary last year. The design of the new building erected after the Great Fire of London set the standard for such hospitals caring for the mentally ill for the next 150 years.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS (Contd. from page 7 )

In late 1995, we were invited to, and did, comment on the Planning Brief for possible redevelopment at Mill Hill (East) Gas Works Site, as did English Heritage (GLAAS). We were told an archaeological ass­esment would be needed to support any planning application. In Nov­ember, 1996, Herts Archaeological Trust completed a desk-based ass­essment for British Gas. December 1996 GLAAS advised the planning authority that any application should be supported by a field eval‑

uation on the playing field area. In August 1998, our Committee heard that Barnet Council had given planning consent without any archaeol­ical provision and I was asked to write expressing our disappointment We have had an apology for ‘the oversight’ with explanation that the permission is only ‘outline’ and it is hoped that the omission will be corrected when further applications are made before the commence­ment of works. (From BRIAN WRIGLEY)

A weekend in Bristol and South Wales

Day 1- Thursday 3rd September 1998

Lacock and Bath Tessa Smith

Leaving the umbrellas of London far behind us, a coach of HADAS pilgrims travelled towards the west country to sample the archaeological delights of Bath and Bristol. In spite of a crawl of heavy traffic, a dizziness of roundabouts and a close encounter with a low bridge, we emerged triumphant in glorious autumn sunshine into the National Trust village of Lacock. We were like children set free in a sweet shop. The assortment of buildings range from a large 14th century barn and tiny 14th century cruck beam cottage, to the 19th century school, complete with children playing in the playground. The market cross, the village lock-up, the 15th century wool merchant’s house, with a fine horse passage and over-hanging jetty, every corner was a delight.

Lacock Abbey was founded in 1232 and the town developed as a wool town, with spinning and weaving, but today, a silver smithy fronts the slaughter house, a pottery replaces the weaver, and not a sheep is to be heard. Only the `oo’s and ah’s’ of HADAS members! (whoops! Sorry)

At the dissolution of the monasteries Lacock Abbey was converted into a private country house, and eventually owned by the Talbot family, who gave it to the National Trust in 1944, together with the whole village. Although the Abbey was not open, some of us visited the fine medieval cloisters and admired the 15th century wall paintings. All of us visited the museum.

The most famous member of the Talbot family was William Fox Talbot, the pioneer of photography. The Fox Talbot Museum shows the fascinating development from the camera obscura to the earliest photographs using the properties of silver nitrate and the positive/negative process. It is claimed that Fox Talbot was an eminent botanist, mathematician, physicist and transcriber of Syrian and Chaldean cuneiform texts, (hieroglyphs?) He also remodelled the south elevation of Lacock Abbey, giving it an elegantly ornate tower, roof balustrade and oriole window.

Well satisfied with our first stop, we sped on to Bath, grand and golden in the sunshine, the only natural hot springs in Britain.

Central to the baths at Aquae Sulis is the Great Bath, smooth and serene as a bowling green, open to the sky and fed by clean hot mineral waters, which gush out of a huge drain with tremendous force, heat and steam. In Roman times a vaulted roof of timber and tile covered this 5 foot deep swimming pool, keeping the waters clear. Now it is dangerously full of green algae. The pool is lined with massive sheets of lead, mined from the Mendip lead mines; this lead lining has never leaked and never been stolen! Adjacent to the Great Bath the hypercaust system fed heat to the tepidarium, caldarium and laconicum, a circular chamber that provided dry heat. Here we made offerings to the gods of the Archaeological Trust, and hand-tested the surprisingly high temperature of the water.

Latest archaeological excavations have centred on the temple ruins below the pump room, and have revealed more of the shrine dedicated to Sulis Minerva, the Romano-Celtic goddess of the springs. The Museum contains the shield of Minerva decorated with the famous Gorgons head, the gilded head from a statue of Minerva, Roman carvings and sculptures, offerings of jewellery and coins, and lead curses. These curses were scratched on sheets of lead, rolled and given to the gods.

It seemed incongruous to be transported to the 18th century Pump Room above, filled with 20th century diners in a Georgian Salon. Did anyone try the medicinal waters and live dangerously? I think more of us went to worship at Sally Lunn’s, the oldest house in Bath.

Alternative Bath researchers sought out the Pulteney Bridge and Weir, some took the open top bus ride, some worshipped at the train museum, some translated, hilariously, Latin inscriptions on monuments in the Abbey. We ate ice creams in the street. Would Beau Nash have approved? A good time was had by all.

From Bath to Bristol, beside the Clifton Suspension Bridge which spans the tremendous Avon Gorge, past the Bristol Zoo to Hyatt Hall, where hot water gushed out in abundance and where we were made to drink intoxicating liquors before a somewhat early night.

Day 2 – Friday 4th September 1998

Of Druids, Witches and Rubbery Masses Bill Bass

After a coffee at the ‘Druids Arms’ we were ready to step back 5000 years into pre-history.

The megalithic stones of Stanton Drew greeted us with a cloak of mist and drizzle, we convinced ourselves that this made the place more atmospheric and mysterious. Incongruously the site is approached through a small housing estate which opens-up into an area of high ground, this is overlooked by the rolling countryside of North Somerset on all sides.

Our guide was Gail Boyle of Bristol City Museum who explained that the stones were first recorded in 1664 by John Aubrey and first planned by Stukely in 1776, There are in fact three circles, the largest of these (Great Circle 115m dia) is second in size only to Avebury, the other two being comparatively small_ The Great and adjacent north-east circles were approached by short avenues of standing stones. This being farmland a herd of cows together with HADAS members listened intently as Gail mentioned the megaliths were of local manufacture – a source 3 miles distant and that apart from the odd chambered tomb and hillfort there is a relative lack of detected prehistoric sites in the area, though this may change soon (see below).

The site has attracted a considerable tradition of folklore. Most persistently is the tale that the stones represent members of a wedding party and its musicians, lured by the Devil to celebrate on the Sabbath and thus becoming petrified in their revels. As it happens I felt a bit like this as I had left my coat on the coach.

Stanton’s stone circles lie somewhat off the beaten track and have been minding their own business for many centuries with little in the way of modern research. But this has changed – big time. In 1997 as part of a re­evaluation of the site, the Ancient Monuments Laboratory of English Heritage carried out a magnetometer survey of the large field which contains the Great Circle and north-east circle. Its results were surprising and well publicised in the press. Readings showed a very large buried ditch enclosing the largest stone circle plus a concentric pattern of buried pits within the megaliths. These have been compared with sites such as Woodhenge, near Stonehenge, and the Sanctuary , near Avebury where it’s thought that similar pits held massive upright timbers that may or may not have been roofed.

This has thrust Stanton Drew into the spotlight as an important and complex henge site used a focus for gatherings, religious or otherwise. Further survey work is planned to explore the south-west circle which stands slightly aloof and overlooking the other two. When Gail wins the Lottery she’s going to have the whole surrounding landscape surveyed! Once more to the ‘Druids Arms’ because in its beer-garden is a group of three large stones called the Cove which must closely relate to its sister monuments down on the farm.

It was a fascinating visit to a quiet, untouched and as yet undeveloped site that has more secrets to reveal.

Next stop was the Chewton Cheese Dairy where a ton of Cheddar cheese is produced every day (how do they get it through the door?) by traditional methods.

The Dairy belongs to Viscount Chewton, heir to the Earl Waldegrave, whose ancestor, Sir Edward Waldegrave, was given the land by Queen Mary, daughter of Henry VIII in 1553. The Wildergrave family has owned the land ever since. There was a Benedictine house on this site, later occupied by the Carthusians and then in its place a large Gothic style house – Chewton Priory now mostly gone.

We were given an introduction by Simon Foulds and Francis Disney – a right pair of comedians, also, Simon at one time had been a lecturer in archaeology. They conveyed a well rehearsed and amusing talk on the process of making their cheese. After traditional cheese words such as cows (a lot), milk, starter, lactose, curds, whey, salt and rubbery masses had passed us by, it was time for a brief tour of the dairy. This included a demonstration on how to make the all-important rind which allows the cheese to mature properly, our cheese then gets pressed for a very, long time. In the strangely near empty storeroom we could view the finished result, a mild cheese is usually about 5-6 months old while a mature (or tasty cheese) takes 8-12 months. The temperature in here is kept at a constant 50°F or 10°C – I knew this as I had left my coat on the coach.

On then to Wookey Hole Showcases. Millions of years ago the River Axe as it became known dissolved limestones and conglomerates to form passages and caverns through the Mendip Hills. Stone tools prove that The

caves were occupied c 50.000 years ago, they were hunting bear, hyena and rhinoceros, much later Iron-age people of c 250BC also lived here. Bones from a Romano-British cemetery have been found but they were washed in when the caves flooded periodically.

Inside a trail led us through a dramatically lit series of chambers with stalactites, stalagmites, amazing colourful rock formations and the clear waters of the Axe. One minute we’re ducking through a low passage then next we’re high above on a catwalk. Our guide impressed us with the legend of the Witch of Wookey ” an evil old woman who lived in the caves with her dog, one day while casseroling a child she was turned to stone by a monk who sprinkled her with holy water”. No change there then, being turned to stone is obviously an occupational hazard in Somerset. Inside Wookey’s chambers the temperature is a slightly chilly 11°C damn!

From the caves a path leads to the Wookey Hole Mill, one of two handmade paper mills in Britain. A papermill was recorded here in 1610, advantages included a good supply of clean water from the Axe, good drying breezes up the valley and little air pollution, although it was close enough to Wells and Bristol for a supply of cotton rags, the essential raw material for making paper at that time. When machines took over in the mid 19thC a William Hodgkinson bought the mill to preserve the handmade skills which ran until the 1950s. Nowadays Madame Tussauds runs a commercial operation with the old Victorian machinery.

For some reason the mill also houses a tribute to the Victorian Seaside Pier with penny arcades, crazy mirrors and so forth. My particular favourite being the ‘Magical Mirror Maze’ with over forty mirrors, each eight feet high and set at precise 60° angles creating the impression of a huge vaulted crypt – very effective.

By now it is tipping down with rain, from Wookey the coach takes us the scenic route through Cheddar Gorge to the village of Priddy where we had a fine dinner at ‘The New Inn’.

Day 3–Saturday 5th September 1998 Denis J Ross

We emerged from our single rooms for breakfast at 8 and took to our coach at 9 bearing our packed lunches. We drove 12 miles to Ca erwent, not far over the Severn Bridge in Wales. There we were met by Howard Pell, an independent guide. He proved to be as enthusiastic as he was articulate in taking us round the remains of what was once Venta Silurum , “the market town of the Silures”, the tribe conquered by the Romans around 75 AD after lengthy hostilities. We learnt that ” Caer” meant “Fort” and “Went” meant “Market Place” and that the town was thought to have had a population of some 3,000 people. In about 330 AD, the Romans, as part of the town, built a Temple to Mars Ocelus and a market centre with shops, houses, forum and a basilica which housed council and tribunal rooms. The remains also included a large,

centrally heated town house of the 2nd. or 3rd. century AD obviously belonging to a person of some substance.

Howard then took us on a walk (no slouches us!) right round the town walls which were in varying degrees of height and preservation. Our progress in one part was impeded by some aggressive looking long-horned cows (Welsh Blacks) protecting their calves but we showed no fear and passed safely. The walls were built in about 330AD and Howard posed the question of why, at that stage, they were thought to be necessary.

Then to the Village Church which had incorporated into its structure some Roman masonry and a Roman mosaic. It also had on display a block of stone dedicated to Mars Ocelus and an inscribed statue base honouring the name of Tiberius Claudius Paulinus, onetime commander of the Second Legion when it was stationed in the area.

Back in the coach and 10 miles further into Wales to Caerleon. Again we met Howard to extend his enthusiastic approach with the 50 acre Legionary Fort of Isca Silarum . It was built in about 75 AD (about the same time as the Coliseum in Rome) as a base for the 5500 men of the Second Augustan Legion (crack troops) after the pacification of the Silures. In the time available, we could not see everything and Howard concentrated on the The Barracks and The Amphitheatre.

The barracks were a series of 60 single -storied buildings each of which accommodated 80 men, commanded by a centurion, in 8 man

cubicles. Only one line of these had been excavated and the floor levels revealed. The other lines were indicated by “stone maps”. Howard evoked the lives of the soldiers in their cramped conditions (the centurion was better off) with special reference to their bathing and toilet needs.

The enormous amphitheatre was excavated in 1926/7 by Sir Mortimer Wheeler. Here could be seated 6000 men on tiers of wooden seats to watch military training, gladiatorial combat or the baiting of wild animals. Howard indicated the various entrances and exits and, with his help, we could imagine the original height and the sight it must have been when full. A belief existed, and may still exist, that the amphitheatre was the site of King Arthur’s Round Table. Howard gave this theory short shift!

Having thanked Howard Pell for his impressive performance, it was back to the coach and off on the 23 miles to Monmouth the very name of which speaks history. We were met (near the famous 13th century stone-gated Monnow Bridge) by Steve Clarke of Monmouth Archaeological Society. He gave us a preliminary chat about his Society’s activities and then led us to their current excavation in Monnow Street (the main street) itself. This was remarkable for an amateur Society. It was inside a very large building which had so far been saved from development. A large area had already been dug to a considerable depth and a further area was in course of being dug. As to the dug area, Steve told us about the various levels which had been identified from Roman (50AD) onwards including mediaeval house floors and terraces and areas of flooding. He also described the impressive finds of pottery, bones and artefacts. We looked at the area now being dug and Steve pointed out a stone furnace and a well.

After thanking Steve, and a walk around,and tea in, Monmouth, we drove the ten miles via the Wye Valley to Tintern there to gaze in wonder at the ruins of Tintern Abbey-a break from the earlier Roman

emphasis as it was founded by the Cistercians in the 12th century. The ruins are as magnificent a spectacle as ever with the graceful lines of the towering walls and the “open to the skies” effect.

We then repaired to The Anchor in Tintern for food and drink before returning to our base in Bristol. It had been a long and tiring day but a very interesting and enjoyable one. There were some drooping eyelids in the coach on the way back!

Day 4 – Sunday 6th September 1998



Following our morning ration of bacon and egg we said our tearful farewells to the University and departed for the centre of Bristol for our tour led by Bruce Williams of the 11-strong Bristol City Museum based Bristol and Region Archaeological Services. Your scribe noticed as we pulled up at Broad Weir to meet our guide some tell tale signs and trotted gleefully off to photograph traces of lifted tramway pointwork fossilised in a length of surviving granite sets – Bristol lost her trams, and much else besides, in the 1941 Blitz.

We were given a quick historical account of Bristol which had a late Saxon Mint, the contemporary town standing on a plateau defended by rivers, the later Norman Ringwork and Motte and Bailey Castle (later rebuilt in stone in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries) protecting the landward side. We traced the line of the east castle wall in an area which became the commercial heart of Bristol until utterly destroyed in the 1940/41 air raids and totally rebuilt post-war when the new shopping area moved elsewhere in the city. In the modern, landscaped Castle Park we viewed the surviving sally port and two surviving arches of the King’s Hall, some of the few castle fragments visible above ground and not demolished in 1656 or lost to later cellars and bomb damage. The much battered remains of the twelfth century south curtain wall displayed the typical local red mortar, due to its local Triassic sandstone content and two arrow slots, plus very visible evidence of decay of these only recently conserved remains which badly needed repointing. Still in good working order was the Courage Brewery in the floating Harbour area built to ease traffic and control the former 40 feet tidal drop of the river Avon. We viewed the surviving shells of the blitzed churches of St. Peter and its neighbour St. Mary-le-Port, both now sheltering some of Bristol’s homeless population. Moving to the medieval centre at Broad St, where the road junction once had a church at each corner, we viewed the 4 sixteenth/seventeenth century bronze pillars where Bristol merchants transacted business on these ‘nails’, hence the phrase `to pay on the nail’. We also saw the surviving 13th century town gate at Tower Lane, surmounted by the redundant church of St. John the Baptist, now maintained by the Redundant Churches Fund.

Following this informative tour we moved to the Great Western Dock area for lunch, giving your scribe chance to visit the aircraft engines, motor vehicles, broad gauge railway carriage side – and tram model – at the excellent Bristol Industrial Museum, to where he travelled courtesy of the new flywheel operated Parry People Mover electric tram running on a trial basis along a surviving length of the old dock railway system.

We then moved on to that magnificent vessel, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s S.S. Great Britain, launched in 1843 as the worlds’ biggest ship and recovered from the Falkland Islands as a derelict hulk in 1970 – restoration has been underway ever since. She was the first ocean going propeller driven iron ship and effort is presently concentrated on recreating the ‘Great (steam) Engine’- then the most powerful in the world, developing some 1,600 horsepower and consuming 70 tonnes of coal daily. After a very informative guided tour, which stressed the strict Victorian separation of the social classes, (divided by the engine room !) a stroll on

deck – and beneath the ship – a slightly intimidating experience, walking round the base of her dry dock – brought home her sheer size, impressive even today. Her long and varied career as luxury liner, armed gold carrier, troop ship, cargo sailing ship and storage hulk is well covered by the interior displays.

A fast run back to London ended another wonderful weekend. Well done Dorothy!


Who would have believed that, adjacent to the noisy and traffic-polluted Harrow Road, there lies an area of 77 acres of peace and tranquillity, with easy parking

Stewart Wild made it possible for a large group of HADAS members to visit All souls’ Cemetery recently, where we met outside the Anglican Chapel. Inside this neo-classical building, built of Portland stone in Doric style, with porticos and colonnades, we sat on long pews which overlook

a huge brass-topped catafalque. During Victorian funerals, this mechanism supported and lowered magnificent triple-lined coffins, by means of hyd­raulics, down to the catacombs below. Recently this catafalque has been restored to full working order by the Friends of the Cemetery.

The catacombs are the largest working catacombs in the country, with a capacity for about 4,000 coffins, now three-quarters full. They are com­posed of long brick passages, with vaulted roofs, compartmented to contain sealed coffins on shelves in perpetuity. We peered through iron grills at decaying wood, burial wreaths, rusting brass, velvet and verdigris, and urns of ashes long forgotten.

All souls’ Cemetery was thefirst great commercial cemetery to be opened in London (1833) in answer to the scandalous overcrowding and appalling con­ditions of city churchyards at that time. For those who could afford it, it offered a secure and fashionable burial, usually pompous and pretent­ious, in accord with Victorian values and taste.

The variety of monuments crowded together, of all shapes and sizes, is quite breath-taking, reflecting the beliefs, the perceived importances and wealth of those past times. There are also some modern burials, which also reflect these same influences. The graveyard is open to all today.

The stonemasons of times past were kept busy: Greek sarcophagi, winged cherubs, female figures in attitudes of grief, doves, swags of flowers, Gothic pinnacles, a riot of crocketting, huge pedimented mausoleums, a cornucopia of stonework. In contrast, some burials are simply remember­ed : a wooden cross, a pathside headstone, a polished granite slab.

Part of the fascination of this necropolis is the variety of people buried there : Charles Babbage, Wilkie Collins, W.H. smith, three children of King George III, Sir Terence Rattigan, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Blondini, the mother of Oscar Wilde, the sister-in-law of Charles Dickens. Some HADAS members searched out thoir own particular relation’s grave.

An area of the cemetery is devoted to Dissenters from the Anglican Church. The Dissenters’ Chapel was, like the rest of the cemetery, in a poor state after the Second World War, and has been restored very recently. it was here, in an area behind the north wing, that we gathered for a splendid afternoon tea.

it was a fascinating, soulful and weird experience – not to be forgotten –

Thank you, Stewart.


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MINIMART – our annual fundraiser. Will helpers and contributors please phone Dorothy Newbury (0181-203 0950).

Cake, jam and marmalade makers with anything for the fruit and produce stall, please ring SheilaWoodward (952 3897),

Quiche-makers and ploughmans lunch contributors please ring Tessa Smith (958 9159). Please see enclosed leaflet.

Lecture: “The Wroxeter Hinterland and Survey” by Roger White

Lecture: “Bronze, Brass and Zinc in Ancient and Modern China” by Paul Craddock


CHRISTMAS DINNER at Avenue House with talk about “Inky Stephens” and the history of the house by Norman Burgess, Curator of the Stephens Collection.

(Application form enclosed)

“The Royal Exchange” by Dr Ann Saunders, President of HADAS.

(Lectures are held at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3 – 8.00 pm for 8.30 start)


In a summer of disappointing weather HADAS achieved the seemingly impossible: at least 90% sunshine on all its Saturday outings. It rained as we set out for the west country on 15th August but thereafter it was sunshine all the way.

The A303 affords splendid views of a variety of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments: henges, round barrows, long barrows, cursus and the like. ( The view of Stonehenge is at present rather too splendid for the monument’s good but that will change if and when the new road plans are implemented ), Bill Bass’s admirable outing programme and his commentary during the journey ensured that we missed no part of this prehistorian’s dream landscape. The historian’s interest was catered for, too, in the pleasant old county town of Wilton, with a glimpse of the fine entrance porch to Wilton House and a reminder of the town’s carpet-weaving fame, and the extraordinary Fovant Regimental Badges cut into the hillside during the First World War by troops stationed there for training.

After a brief stop for excellent coffee at the hospitable Lancers Inn at Sutton Mandeville we wended our way to Old Wardour Castle. And I do mean wended! The tortuous winding lanes called for skilful navigation by Bill and even more skilful manipulation by our coach driver. The ruined castle was well worth the effort to reach it and its setting is superb. Built in the 14th century as a fortified manor, the building was extensively damaged during the Civil War and was never fully restored. When New Wardour Castle was built in the 18th century, old Wardour became a feature of its landscaped grounds, one of those “picturesque ruins” so popular in that period. Nevertheless the remains of the hexagonal keep are substantial enough to repay a detailed exploration and the reinstatement of some upper floors enables one to climb almost to roof level to enjoy the magnificent view. Curiosities adjacent to the keep include a fantastic grotto, a Gothic Pavilion, and a miniature “Avebury stone circle”.

And so to Shaftesbury, Thomas Hardy’s Shaston, a Saxon foundation on a 700 foot high ridge commanding views over Blackmore Vale and Cranborne Chase. It is not surprising that Alfred the Great made the town his capital for a time and founded a nunnery there in 888 with his daughter Aethelgifu as its first abbess. John Enderby a founder member of HADAS now living in Dorset was joint organizer with Bill of this day’s outing and he had arranged a delightful reception for us at the Grovesnor Hotel where we were greeted by the Mayor of Shaftesbury. He and two local historians talked to us about the town and its history. We were also able to admire – and I use the word in its old sense, to marvel at – the Chevy Chase Sideboard, 12 feet wide,10 feet high and 4 feet deep, carved in solid oak in 1863 and depicting in 6 panels the tragic story of the Battle of Chevy Chase. That, you may recall, recounts how a hunting expedition turned into a vicious battle between Harry Hotspur of Northumberland and the Earl of Douglas. The elaboration and vigour of the carving is indeed wondrous but I can only quote Sir Kenneth Clark: “The attempt to make a sideboard into the equivalent of a large historical painting has produced an object so monstrous as to be almost amiable. However nobody could, I think, accuse it of good taste”. The local populace are said to be inordinately proud of it and refer to it as That Monstrosity.

After a short conducted walk through the town we were free to explore on our own. I found the ruined abbey a peaceful and poignant place and the adjacent small museum, shortly to be closed for enlargement, full of treasures: carved stones, lovely medieval tiles, fragments of cloth and pins. St. Peter’s Church has a crypt which was once an inn cellar. Picturesque Gold Hill was made famous by the Hovis bread advertisement. And from all sides of the town the views are spectacular.

In the afternoon we travelled a few miles south to Fontmell Magna where John and Barbara Enderby now live. It is a village with a long history, its origins being probably pre-Saxon. John took us on a walking tour of its charming lanes. Fontmell was once well known for its watermills and I was impressed to find that the Enderby property includes half a millpond! The Flower family, brewers and publishers, made their home in this village. The parish church contains no fewer than 3 fonts: Saxon, rather too battered to be usable, Norman, currently in use, and Victorian, now superseded. In addition to the Pugin tiles in the chancel and some rare Munich glass in the west window, we admired an arras, made by the Kneeler Group, of features of the village, and the Village Millennium Tapestry Project involving some 50 people and being masterminded by Leonora Luxton.

Finally we drove to Springhead, a mill of Saxon ancestry on the eastern fringe of Fontmell, used through the years for a variety of purposes – corn mill, fulling mill, bottle plant – and now an Arts and Environmental Study Centre. At this idyllic spot, in perfect weather, we had a gorgeous alfresco Dorsetshire Cream Tea. A walk throgh the mill’s lovely gardens afterwards rounded off a glorious day – but 2 members of the party got lost in the gardens – and a search party itself disappeared just as the missing members turned up! Eventually all were re-united and it really had been a GLORIOUS day. Thank you, Bill and John.


Thirty seven adults and four children made the trek to Brockley Hill during the fieldwalking survey, enabling us to cover three-quarters of the scheduled area. We finished on August Bank Holiday Monday, and the task of cleaning and classifying finds has already begun. There is enough work for everyone so, if you have a spare couple of hours during October weekends, please contact Bill Bass on 0181-449 0165 or Vikki O’Connor on 0181-361 1350 to check which days and times we are working at the Avenue House Garden Room. With enough volunteers it may be possible to work weekdays.

We have appreciated this opportunity given to us by English Heritage to work on a project that is of benefit to them as well as, judging by the turnout, to ourselves. It was also appreciated that the nearby Royal Orthopaedic Hospital allowed us access to their staff car park and to their toilets.

Several of our more recent members have contributed much to the success of this project, and we once again have a sizeable team of active members on which to base future projects.

Brian Wrigley led our training day in June when his instructions in surveying complemented the work of Duncan Lees, a professional archaeological surveyor employed with the aid of a grant made by English Heritage. Fiona Seeley, a Museum of London finds specialist, instructed our fieldwalking team on the types of pottery expected on site. Her University dissertation was on Brockley Hill pottery typologies and she will take a personal interest in the analysis of our finds as well as advising us in a professional capacity. This professional help, at no direct cost to ourselves, has been most useful to the Society and has served to expand members’ skills.We will report on our progress in future newsletters and we intend to publish our final report later this year. There should be some interesting slides of HADAS at work, and of the finds, to show at next year’s AGM.


Now is the time to enrol for new courses and lectures –

Historical Association lectures are held every month during the winter at Fellowship House, Willifield Way, NW 11 at 8pm. Thursday 15th October British Feature Films and the Re-Writing of the Second World War (with video clips) by Stephen Guy of Queen Mary College. Thursday 19th November Female Witnesses in 15th Century Italy – Nun Historians by Kate Lowe of Goldsmiths College. Visitors welcome (small donation).

Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon N1114 (0181-203 0130) continues showing HADAS finds. The current exhibition is on Minnie Abse, Poet and Doctor. He lives locally and refers to local scenes in some of his poems. On Sunday 15th November – closing date of the exhibition – Minnie Abse will give a Reading at Golders Green Library, 7.30pm.

St. Mary’s Church, Church Hill Road, East Barnet is holding a History Festival over the weekend of aid and 4th October. Exhibition on the history of the Church and East Barnet, admission £1. The event runs from 11am to 5 pm on Saturday. There will also be sideshows with a Victorian theme. On the Sunday they plan to hold special church services as they might have been in the past’.

Enfield Archaeological Society, Friday October 16, lecture on A walk through Gardening History at Capel Manor by Steven Dowbiggin – at Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane, Enfield, doors open 730 for 8pm. Visitors welcome on donation of 50p.

Pinner Local History Society hold their meetings at Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, commencing 8pm. Visitors welcome on donation of £1. The 1st October talk by Louise Leates is on Sir Walter Scott and Abbotsford, and the 5th November talk by Eileen Bowlt is about Harefield, the Last Village in Middlesex.

Barnet Local History Society’s next talk, Wednesday 14th October is on Hadley Wood by L. Redgrave. Venue: Wesley hall, Stapylton Rd. (next to the public library), 7.45 for 8pm. Visitors welcome (small donation).

RAF Museum, Hendon. Autumn lectures, monthly, on Wednesdays:

2nd September, The RAF’s Air Historical Branch; 4th November, Archive Films; 2nd December, RAF Logistics. In the Museum Lecture Theatre – Free.

Just in case you have slipped through *Peter Pickering’s net – SCOLA (Standing Conference on London Archaeology) are holding their science-themed conference LONDON UNDER THE MICROSCOPE on Saturday 17th October at the Museum of London 10am – 4.30pm. Speakers are Alistair Bartlett, Ian Tyers, Jane Siddell, Tony Waldon, Bill McCann, Keith Wilkinson, Richard Macphall. Reports include:the Bull & Bush Wharf; Black Death Cemetery at the Royal Mint; the formation of dark earth; and the changing levels of the River Thames. (*Hadas committee member Peter Pickering, also the Assistant Secretary of SCOLA, has mastered the art of leafleting – as slow-off-the-mark fieldwalkers at Brockley Hill will attest.) Tickets: JS McCracken, Fiat B, 231 Sandycombe Rd. Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2ZW, £10 per head (£8.50 to SCOLA members). Cheques payable to SCOLA – and please enclose SAE.

And whilst you have your cheque books at the ready,why not sign up for the 19th Symposium on Hertfordshire History? The River and the Road: the Lea and the Old North Road before the 19th Century – Saturday 7th November at Presdales School, Hoe Lane,Ware, 9.30am to 5pm will present: The River and the Road – Theme and Variations; The Roman Road; Hertfordshire Malt and Enfield Traders; John Scott and the 18th Century Turnpikes of East Herts.; Mills and Millstreams; The Navigable Lea before 1767. Admission £7.50. HADAS members wishing to attend should contact Alan Greening, 12 Links Avenue, Hertford SG l3 7SR (01992 554713).

AND FOR THE HARVEY SHELDON FAN CLUB Harvey’s public lecture series at the Institute of Archaeology, Gordon Square, WC1. The Archaeology of the Towns in England. 7pm prompt. Pay on the door. (Last year £5 per evening was definitely value for money – as the HADAS digging team will confirm! The first five talks are:

Thurs 1st October: The Archaeology of Colchester by Mark Davies.

8th Oct. Chichester by Su Fulwood 15th Oct: Lincoln by Mick Jones

22nd Oct. York by Patrick Ottaway 29thOct.: Cirencester by Neil Holbrook

BIRKBECK COLLEGE 1998/9 archaeology courses cover a wide range of topics, including field archaeology, evolution, prehistoric Europe, the Aegean, South America. artefacts, and industrial archaeology. Most courses commence end-September/early October. Contact Birkbeck for details: 0171 631 6633.


Discovering London: 30 week course of walks, visits, lectures at Barnet College, Russell Lane, N20, commencing Friday 25 September, choice of morning or afternoon sessions.

Birkbeck College’s History of London Certificate – two of the three 24 week modules will be at Barnet College , Wood St.:

The Making of Modern London 1660-1990, from Mon. 21 Sept. 11.15am – 1.15pm

The Culture of Victorian London from Tues. 22 Sept. 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Programme 3 of Birkbeck’s Field Archaeology Diploma: Field Archaeology and the Post Roman Period in Southern Britain will be at Barnet College, Wood St.. commencing Thursday 24 September 7.30-9.30pm. Further details from Barnet College – 0800-919 963.

WEA/Birkbeck College Course in Industrial Archaeology at the Queen Elizabeth’s Centre, Meadway, Barnet. 20 weekly meetings beginning Monday, 5th October at 7.45pm. You may attend the first meeting without obligation – turn up on the night or phone Peter Nicholson (0181-959 4757)


HADAS is asked to comment on many planning applications. To carry any clout the comment must stick to the archaeological implications, but many people will be dismayed to learn that there is an appplication to build 2×18-hole golf courses around Bury Farm, Edgwarebury Lane, together with a 30 bay driving range, clubhouse and large car park. Brian Wrigley undertook the work – and it is a lot of work- of researching and drafting a comment.. He stressed the importance of this area of open farmland, one of the few in Barnet and indeed in Greater London, which may still carry evidence of ancient farming techniques on its surface as well as below ground. HADAS backs up MOLAS in recommending a thorough field assessment before any earth-moving starts.


The Paddock is a small field between the Burroughs and Church End, which you will pass on the way to the Minimart. A sewer is being constructed, involving considerable digging. Stephen Aleck, who is site watching, has recovered fragments of brick, tiles and coarse pottery from the top soil – some medieval and some later,


It is a year since Gill died. She was a member of long standing, and a friend of many of us. She had run our Minimart gift stall for years, and was known to so many as a participant in all our outings and weekends away. Her affairs have been concluded and HADAS has received a legacy of £1000. It has been decided to use this for the publication of an updated “Blue Plaques” brochure, dedicated to Gill as a permanent memorial. Dorothy Newbury and Gwen Searle.


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Saturday 26th September: Outing: Kensal Green Cemetery with Stewart Wild. All Souls’ Cemetery

was the first of the great commercial cemeteries. It opened in January 1833 with 54 acres, and now covers 77 acres. Famous people are buried there and many of the monuments are Grade 2 Listed for their historic and architectural interest (application and details attached).

Saturday 10th October MINIMART – our annual fundraiser. Will helpers and contributors please

phone Dorothy Newbury (0181-203 0950). Cake, jam and marmalade makers with anything for the food and produce stall, please ring Sheila Woodward 952 3897. Quiche-makers and ploughman’s lunch contributors please ring Tessa Smith 958 9159

Tuesday 13th October Lecture: “The Wroxeter Hinterland and Survey” – Gordon White

Tuesday 10th November Lecture: “Bronze, Brass and Zinc in Ancient and Modern China” ‑ Paul Craddock

Thursday 3rd December PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE. CHRISTMAS DINNER at Avenue House with talk about “Inky Stephens” and the history of the house by Norman Burgess.

(Lectures are held at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3 – 8.00 pm for 8.30 start).


AND DOWNLAND OPEN AIR MUSEUM AT SINGLETON must ignore the italic text)

The coffee halt at Compton gave time for a brief visit to St Nicholas’ Church, with its unique double chancel. The upper chamber dates from about 1180, and the metal-like wood of its rail is some of the oldest remaining in Britain. [Our bearded guide elected to remain anonymous. “I am a nobody,” he said. “But my wife is the Sacristan!”].

The site of Fishbourne Palace was occupied in three stages from AD 43 to AD290, beginning with a Claudian supply base near what was then a good harbour in a friendly area, and culminating in a very splendid building occupied by someone important and now unknown. Was it Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, a local king who helped the Romans?

Text Box: 2On arrival at Fishbourne, HADAS were initially hustled through the museum, the covered palace site with its mosaics, and the reconstructed garden which was at the centre of the old palace. Mr David Rudkin was waiting to talk to us at the dig on the south side, where volunteers were tackling a re-examination of Professor Barry Cunliffe’s earlier dig. [Mr Rudkin, author and broadcaster, sported an “I’VE DUG AT FISHBOURNE PALACE” T-shirt, and despite constant betrayals into silence by his mike with its shoulder power supply, proved a lively and expert talker.] Members are referred to “Fishbourne – A Guide to the Site” by Professor Barry Cunliffe/D Rudkin, a copy of which is in the HADAS Library.

The first glimpse of the Open Air Museum at Singleton seemed uneasily Disneyesque: sunlit morris dancers jigging to ethnic squeezebox tunes in a square of half-timbered buildings. But the houses turned out to be authentic and fascinating, warmed into life by log-fires. A 17th C mill sold delicious shortbread, there was a splendid medieval hall complete with four-poster and homespun hangings, a little Victorian schoolhouse and exhibits on ancient building construction methods and lost country skills. [The pseudo blacksmith in the forge was very friendly and owned up to working in the construction industry at Heathrow during the week.].

Alarming clouds of blue smoke trailing from the back of our coach heralded a breakdown and being marooned for nearly two hours in Haslemere. [Some HADAS-ites scattered to forage. Haslemere is so up-market that no inexpensive food outlets are allowed to sully its center. Even a harmless silver kebab kiosk – with its moustachioed inmates in situ? – had been forcibly towed “beyond the city limits”.]

Our driver confided that “the turbos had gone”, but his mobile summoned a replacement coach, and we reached home after dark. [One horrified lady then realised she had left her handbag on the coach! But rigid strictures on drivers’ hours meant that the replacement driver had headed to St Albans instead of West Sussex, and she was able to retrieve the lost bag.] Our thanks to Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward for reconnoitering an excellent outing. [Dorothy still has her special arrangement with the weathermen for sunshine.] DB


Marjorie Errington, lecture tea-maker, regular outing and weekend attender, has had an unexpected stay in hospital. She is now home again. We wish her well, and look forward to seeing her again soon

Some happy news – HADAS member Trevor Tucker’s wife was recently delivered of their second child. Baby Jacob Benjamin weighed in at a robust 101b 1 oz – hopefully a future member of the digging team! (Trevor dug at Brockley Hill and the Hendon Ice House).

From the Membership Secretary;

A reminder about those outstanding renewals – standard membership is £8.00, joint membership £10.50. We would like to receive the overdue subs as soon as possible …


The date of the first sash windows is challenged by R S Nichols of the Mill Hill Historical Society (item on the Visit to Bletchley Park, August Newsletter). He writes: “With respect to the visit to Winslow Hall and the statement that this was the first country house to be fitted with sash windows, this assertion is incorrect. According to the authors of the most recent history of Bethlem Hospital (of which Robert Hooke was the architect) this was fitted with sash windows in 1676, as was the Royal College of Physicians, of which he was also the architect. The patients’ cubicles had no glazing, as fresh air was considered to be good for them, as with

sanatoria today. The History states that Hooke was the inventor. He designed a house at Bloomsbury for Sir William Jones which had sash windows, as had his country house, Ramsbury Manor. This was started before Sir William’s death in May 1682, and the history of its building is the subject of an article in Architectural History 30: 1987 written by H J Louw and in the Guildhall Library. ‘1

The principle of sash windows (continues Mr Nichols) is the pulley wheel and counterbalance, such as Hooke used in his invention of the wheel barometer, but with two required in this case. The article states that Ramsbury Manor is one of the finest examples of a medium-sized house of the post-Restoration period, and has been maintained in an excellent state of preservation, its present owner being Harry Hyams, developer of Centre Point.

(Mr R N Nichols is the author of The Diaries of Robert Hooke. the Leonardo of London, and says that HADAS members are welcome to a signed copy of his book for £10, postage paid (0181-958 3485))


West Heath, Hampstead Mesolithic Excavation 1976-1981 and 1984-1986

June Porges was visiting Burgh House Museum and discovered that our case of West Heath flint finds was not there. June talked to the new Curator, Marilyn Green, and the detective work began.

Way back in 1987, we had been asked by Christopher Wade, who was Curator then, for the loan of a display of our finds from the West Heath Mesolithic excavation. Daphne Lorimer and Margaret Maher made up and labelled a case of flints (including one of our hand axes). We believed it was still on display. We contacted Margaret who spoke to Daphne. Both confirmed the above and recalled that a letter was sent setting out the details of the loan. Margaret has searched for the letter at Avenue House and was about to investigate further into Tessa’s inventory of some of Brigid Grafton Green’s paperwork, which is lodged at another store. In the meantime we contacted Christopher Wade direct, who remembered all about the arrangement. He has found the collection in the stores at Burgh House. It had been dismantled by a previous Curator who intended to reorganise it, but never did.

Happily the new curator who is showing “The History of Hampstead” will be meeting up with Margaret shortly to help sort out and relabel the flint collection and put it on display again. Daphne supervised the Phase I excavation (Published) and Margaret supervised Phase II (to be published).

Burgh House is well worth a visit any time – and refreshments are available. Opening hours on request. We will let members know when our West Heath Collection is on view again.


Re Andy Simpson’s reference passing reference to the redundant church of Wroxeter St Andrew in Newsletter 329: the earliest parts of the present church are believed to replace a smaller Saxon predecessor. In addition to the Saxon cross mentioned by Andy Simpson, the church also features reused Roman material. The gateway of the main entrance to the churchyard is formed by a pair of Roman columns, and there are Roman stones in the north wall. Inside, the font is part of a Roman column.

St Andrew’s is one of more than 300 pastorally redundant Anglican churches now in the care of The Churches
Conservation Trust (formerly the Redundant Churches Fund, and established almost 30 years ago). Nearly one‑
third of Trust Churches will be participating in the Heritage Open Days Weekend on 12/13 September. (Details

of Trust Churches including a guidebook to Wroxeter St Andrew (£1,30) from Celia Gould, Administrator, The Churches Conservation Trust, 89 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1DH Tel 0171-936 2285)

Other Societies’Events

The Finchley Society

Thursday 24 September Talk: Agenda 21 by Karl Ruge

at the Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 3(2E – 7.45pm Enfield Archaeology Society

Friday 18 September Talk: The King Arthur Cross by Geoffrey Gillam

at Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side & Parsonage Lane, Enfield – 8.00pm Barnet & District Local History Society

Wednesday 9 September Talk: The Fatal Gallows Tree by John Neal at Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet – 8.00pm

Something useful in the wood shed?

Our old aluminium draining board in the Garden Room at Avenue House looks like the surface of the moon – pitted, corroded and pretty disgusting. It occurred to the Digging Team that a more respectable item could easily be hiding away in a HADAS loft or shed. We need the sort that hooks on to a butler sink – if you think you have

just the item we will be happy to give you back the space it is taking up, plus a mug of Digging Team coffee and biscuits! Again, please call Brian or Vikki…


By | Past Newsletters, Volume 6 : 1995 - 1999 | No Comments

No. 329 AUGUST 1998 Edited by Peter Pickering



Bill Bass & John Enderby.


THURSDAY 3rd to SUNDAY 6th SEPTEMBER More places may become available. Our weekend will include LACOCK ABBEY, the FOX TALBOT PHOTOGRAPHIC MUSEUM, the ROMAN BATHS and PUMPROOM in BATH, CAERLEON and CAERWENT in WALES, a CURRENT EXCAVATION in MONMOUTH; STANTON DREW STONE CIRCLE, a return visit to S.S. GREAT BRITAIN, and a guided walk in BRISTOL.Ring Dorothy Newbury (0181-203 0950) if you would like to join us.


MINIMART our annual fundraiser.

LECTURE: BRONZE, BRASS and ZINC in Ancient & Modern China Paul Craddock


PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE CHRISTMAS DINNER at Avenue House. Norman Burgess, Curator of the Stephens Collection, will talk to us about ‘Inky Stephens’, and the history of Avenue House and grounds. There will also be an opportunity to see the Stephens Collection.

Vikki O’Connor

Hello to new members Stella Marina Caldas and John Saunders. It has been good to see our newer members coming along to lectures and outings and getting involved in current projects. Anyone with ideas for new projects should contact the next newsletter editor for publication and response from other interested members. Let’s get going!

One of our members who used to live in Barnet, Jean Hawkins, wrote saying she has recently moved to Earls Barton in Northamptonshire. She has joined the Upper Nene Society but sends regards to HADAS to `any who remember me’. Earls Barton is also probably familiar to many members, with its famous Saxon tower and nearby motte and bailey… (tinge of envy creeping in!)



Those good folk at Middleton Press have given me another excuse to write about trams in the newsletter through their latest publication in the Tramways Classics series — ‘EDGWARE AND WILLESDEN TRAMWAYS’ by Robert J Harley which follows the usual Middleton format — 96 hardbound pages with a profusion of Edwardian streetscenes, plus rolling stock details including drawings and details of the `Feltham’ trams of the 1930s which dominated the Finchley and Golders Green services of the time.

The book covers Canons Park, Edgware, Colindale, West Hendon, Cricklewood, Willesden, Wembley, Sudbury, Harlesden, Paddington, Acton and Wood Lane routes in some detail. There is a detailed track diagram, historical summary, route map excerpt, and extracts from large scale Ordnance Survey maps including the Annesley Avenue area of Colindale with its tram depot, motor works, laundry, soap works, bookbinding works and electrical works.

The photographs include some very sylvan-looking views of Canons Park terminus, trams stabled at Colindale depot, running through Edgware and West Hendon and also Cricklewood Broadway.

This excellent book costs £12.95. To support a worthy cause it can be obtained post free from LCCTT (Promotions) Ltd, 66 Lady Somerset Road, Kentish Town London NW5 1TU.

This worthy cause — the London County Council Tramways Trust, with which your reviewer (surprise, surprise) is associated — exists to rescue, and raise funds for the restoration of, old London tramcars. Our current project is the restoration of a London United Tramways double deck, open top bogie tram of Edwardian date very similar to the Metropolitan Electric trams that ran for some 30 years in the Barnet/Finchley/Edgware areas. The lower deck of our example survived as part of a bungalow, and when restored will operate at the National Tramway Museum, Crich, Derbyshire, where the two London trams already restored by the trust (both double deck electric — four-wheeler LCC 106 and El bogie car 1622) operate. Rush your order off now! The previously reviewed Middleton books on Barnet and Finchley Tramways, Hampstead and Highgate Tramways, Enfield and Wood Green Tramways and, for railway buffs, the Alexandra Palace Branch can be obtained from the same address, price £11.95 each.

Andy Simpson

Many moons ago, when Pontius was a pilot and your scribe a lowly undergraduate, he spent the first of several seasons excavating at the Roman city at Wroxeter, between Shrewsbury and Telford, Shropshire. [Even more moons ago, when the ashes of the Roman and his trouble were scarcely cool under Uricon, your editor participated in a training dig there led by Graham Webster.] Trowelling away in the shadow of that remarkable survival, the ‘Old Work’ — the largest fragment of a Roman civilian building still standing in Britain — he was working on the Baths Basilica site in the centre of the town, directed by Philip Barker — him of ‘Techniques of Archaeological Excavation’ fame. One of the site supervisors was Roger White — the same Dr Roger (not Gordon as previously listed in the Newsletter) White from the Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit who will be lecturing us on the Wroxeter Hinterland Survey in October.

Together with Philip Barker, Roger has just published a new account of Wroxeter — `WROXETER —LIFE AND DEATH OF A ROMAN CITY’. This is the first of the new ‘History & Archaeology’ series to be produced by Tempus Publishing Ltd of Stroud, Gloucestershire. Released in June, the book is priced at £14.99. This softback book has 160 indexed pages and over a hundred illustrations, including colour, showing extant remains, site plans, finds and several reconstruction drawings.

Wroxeter (Viriconium Cornoviorum) was the fourth largest city in Roman Britain after London, Cirencester and St. Albans and flourished from its first century origins as a legionary fortress around 57AD well into the sixth century. The whole site is now a scheduled ancient monument with the well preserved baths complex and site museum open to the public, with the modern village of Wroxeter the only present habitation of the site. Since the 1960s intensive modern excavations and survey work have supplemented the efforts of Victorian and subsequent excavators to make it possible to understand much of the rise and fall of the city.

Chapters include: The modern rediscovery of Wroxeter; Wroxeter under the Roman military rule; The impact of Rome on the local inhabitants; The growth of the city and its buildings; The late Roman city; The Dark Age Town; and saxon, mediaeval and later Wroxeter. The site is particularly important for Philip Barker’s painstaking excavation of the rubble platforms laid down after AD500 overlying the demolished basilica which revealed several phases of substantial, classical style timber buildings which were occupied well into the seventh century. They were then carefully and peacefully dismantled and the majority of the inhabitants moved away, leaving a few around the crossing of the River Severn and possibly a Celtic monastery. Certainly parts of a free-standing Saxon cross survive in the walls of the now redundant village church. Similar evidence has been found at other sites, including Chester, and gives a valuable insight into the still Romanised habits of sub-Roman Britain. The book discusses the politics of dark age Shropshire and the Welsh Marches at some length.

This is an excellent and very readable book that should be on the shelf of any student of Roman and early mediaeval Britain. Further Tempus publications will cover Fishbourne Roman Palace; Hadrian’s Wall —History and Guide; the House of Horus — Ritual in an ancient Egyptian temple, and Roman Infantry Equipment of the later Empire.


Andy Simpson

A full coachload of HADAS trippers old and new braved the June downpours for this most enjoyable excursion around the leafy and very picturesque byways of Buckinghamshire. Bletchley Park — “Britain’s Best Kept Secret’ — where wartime German codes were deciphered — came first after a fast run from London. During the journey we were entertained by HADAS member Jean Neal’s recollections of her own wartime service at the site — for which see below. On the outskirts of Bletchley we passed the appropriately named modern pub, ‘The Enigma Tavern’ named after the wartime German code broken at Bletchley Park.

On arrival, following coffee in the NAAFI and an introductory talk in the magnificently ceilinged former ballroom of the elegant Victorian mansion built from 1883-1905 by the Jewish stockbroker, local benefactor and Liberal MP Sir Herbert Leon we embarked on a tour of the many displays. The mansion and its 550 acre estate had its origins in a farmhouse built around 1860, part of which survives in the present fabric. Following the death of Sir Herbert and his wife the house and estate passed to a property developer in 1938

But was saved by the deteriorating situation in Europe which led to its leasing by the Government Code and Cipher school in June that year

but was saved by the deteriorating situation in Europe which led to its leasing by the ‘Government Code and Cipher School’ in June that year — the forerunner of today’s GCHQ. Churchill visited and stayed frequently and called the work of the Intelligence Services in Bletchley Park his ‘Ultra Secret’. By its wartime peak—in-1944, 12,000 people were working in the hugely expanded site, (8000 on code work and 4000 support staff). By 1946 most personnel had left, leaving a small monitoring station operational until 1987. Many of its buildings survive following post-war use as a training centre by the Post Office, a teacher-training facility and the Civil Aviation Authority until 1993.

It is now run by volunteers who formed the Bletchley Park Trust Ltd in 1992 to retain part of the site for use by local groups and as a codebreaking memorial and museum and is open alternate weekends throughout the year. Visitor totals so far have been very encouraging (50,000 in two years) — it was certainly busy during our visit. We viewed the beautifully restored AFS vehicles in the garage and the sentry box that saw the passing of 40 motorcycle despatch riders per hour at the peak. Bletchley Park’s secrets were so well kept that-the only German bombs to hit it, in 1941, were a few randomly jettisoned by a passing bomber. Early uses included using radio hams to pick up German messages and provision of a loft for carrier pigeons. There is a display and partial reconstruction of the ‘Turing Bombe’ (Enigma code deciphering machine) and a working replica of the ‘Colossus’ — the world’s first large electronic valve computer, of which there were 10 on site by 1943. There is a cryptology museum, 50 vehicles of the Military Vehicle Trust, including a WW2 German ‘half-track’, a wonderful display of model boats, a model railway exhibition, displays of uniforms, flying equipment and aircraft crash site material by the Buckinghamshire Aircraft Recovery Group, an amateur radio station, old cinema projectors, wartime uniforms, two resident wartime re-enactment groups — British Airborne and German — computer displays, an extensive Churchill memorabilia collection, relics of RAF Halton Camp and its military railway, a toy collection and cafes and a bar. More than enough for a full day return visit!

After leaving Bletchley Park we ventured deeper into Bucks and its rolling countryside to visit the pretty market town of Winslow where we were to have a tour of Winslow Hall. Built for the very able Winslow-born Treasury Secretary Sir Christopher Lowndes in 1700, at a cost of £6,586 lOs 2d, the hall was probably designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and is one of the very few country houses to have survived without major alteration. A family home for Lowndes, his fourth wife and their 14 children, it was the first private country house to have sash windows, helped by the fact that the outer walls were not loadbearing, the central partition wall and its four chimney breasts providing much of the strength. The original accounts book for the construction was viewed during the tour. Following nineteenth century use as a school and wartime use as a RAF Bomber Command Headquarters, it has been modernised and redecorated by the present owners, retired Ambassador Sir Edward Tomkins and his wife, having narrowly escaped post-war demolition. We started with a tour of the extensive gardens, accompanied by Sir Edward and his two lively spaniels, followed by some very welcome tea and cake. The group then divided, one half being shown round by Lady Tomkins herself — she is a founder member of the St. Tiggiwinkles Hedgehog sanctuary, evidenced by the many toy/model hedgehogs given by friends.

Our thanks are due to Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins (and Dorothy!) for organising this most enjoyable day out.

Jean Neal

I arrived at Bletchley Park, or BP as it was not very affectionately known, in July 1943, straight from University and without the faintest idea what my war work was going to be. I was then given my pass and sent out on the Transport to my billet in Wolverton, an unappealing small town some ten miles away, dominated by the railway works and consisting almost entirely of distinctly mean dwellings without bathrooms or indoor lavatories. I was fortunate enough , however, to be billeted in one of the very few modern semis, with a bathroom. By the end of the war there were about 12,000 of us, Army, Navy, Air Force, American Forces and Foreign Office civilians, distributed over a large area in North Bucks and adjacent counties, in all sorts of conditions. The Wrens, for example, were in Woburn Abbey, the civilians, of which I was one, in private billets. Transport was a major operation. We were nearly all on shift work (my section worked one week days, one week nights, one week evenings, which meant we never had time to establish a sleep pattern) so the great fleet of coaches surged through the countryside several times a day, bringing us in, taking us home.

The next day I went to school, signed the Official Secrets Act and began to learn about the Enigma machine, and a fortnight later I started work in Hut 6, dealing with German army codes. My section did the preliminary work on the thousands of coded messages that poured in daily and the brilliant mathematicians in the room next door cracked the codes with astonishing speed, aided by the Turing Bombe, the great computer that filled a room. The work itself was not usually exciting, but we always knew how important it was, and during the Normandy landings we were all working flat out and excitement was at fever pitch as we waited for vital messages to come through. I still feel I shouldn’t be writing this. We were forbidden to say a word about our work to anyone outside Hut 6, so we couldn’t mention it in the canteen or the Transport, let alone to the world at large; and none of us did. It really was the Best Kept Secret of the War; but in 1972 I read an article in The Times, I think, telling all.

Well, I thought, that’s all right then, and was delighted to be able to tell Tim, to whom I had been married for many years, what I did in the great war. My parents never knew. Social life, for most of us, was almost non-existent. Our friends were as likely as not to be on different shifts, and there were at least ten women to every man, which didn’t help. Mostly we went to the cinema. There were five accessible fleapits, all changing programmes midweek so there was a fair amount of choice if you weren’t too fussy, and it got us out of our billets: There was a certain amount of entertainment laid on. I remember a revue in which a row of sailors sang ‘We joined the Navy to see the sea, but what did we see? We saw BP.’.

We saw BP, and it was very strange to see it again, 53 years on: Hut 6, where it all happened, once full of life and drama, now a boarded-up ruin. It was strange, and a little sad, but I’m so glad I went.

Peter Pickering

During a wet week with the Classical Association in Lampeter this spring I went on a visit led by Barry Burnham of the Department of Archaeology at Lampeter to the Gold Mines at Dolaucothi. These mines were worked extensively in Roman times, if not before, and just before the last war a serious attempt was made to extract gold; but failed — one reason was that the level of arsenic in the ore was so high that the only smelters that would take it were in distant Seattle and politically impossible Hamburg. The Roman workings include two tunnels (adits) and many water-channels (leats) and tanks; some archaeological evidence has been found for a Roman water-powered crushing and grinding mill. There are, by the river below the mines, traces of a Roman fort with later civilian occupation.

The mines are now owned by the National Trust, and open to the public. It is unfortunate that some things done to make the site more friendly to the visitor have not helped in the preservation of remains of Roman or recent mining.

SITES AND MONUMENTS records (SMRs) should have statutory status to ease funding local government reorganisation. So says a ‘strategic partnership’ of English Heritage, the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers and the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. SMR development has been identified as a legitimate area for Heritage Lottery Fund grants, they add. A new `statement of co-operation’ by the three bodies provides a framework for decisions on grants — and includes a plan for a computerised ‘national network of heritage information’, with wide public access. From The Library Association Record, courtesy of Ann Kahn.


Audree Price-Davies

In December 1996 the society visited Tower Bridge, prior to the annual dinner. On December 8th —two days after the dinner — it was announced that “the competition to design London’s first pedestrian bridge was won by the British team of architects Sir Norman Foster and sculptor Sir Simon Caro. The bridge, an arc of stainless steel and cable, will run from below St. Paul’s Cathedral on the north bank to the Bankside power station, the site of the new Tate Gallery of Modern Art, on the south side.”

Plans are now in hand to commence building the bridge and it will be designated the Millennium Bridge. As a footbridge only, the view of Southwark on one side and St. Paul’s and its environs on the other side will be enhanced as will the view of the river. It will be financed by public and private funding in the sum of £12,000,000.

Meanwhile, close to Vauxhall Bridge, archaeologists, led by Gustav Milne whose enthusiastic talks to us many members will recall, have uncovered a series of paired oak posts, about four metres apart, which they believe to be part of a prehistoric bridge across the Thames. The structure has been carbon-dated to between 750 BC and 400 BC, some 2,700 years old.

Ancient spearheads have been found nearby, but archaeologists are hampered by the fact that the remains are only visible at low tide, which is just one hour a day. The tide erodes the evidence and artefacts each time it covers the excavation, and it is a race against time and tide.

According to the Guardian newspaper, there is a possibility of recreating the bridge, not at the same place, but somewhere higher up the Thames.

A new exhibition “London’s River: Turning the Tide” has just opened at the Museum of London.


One of the more speculative papers at the Lampeter conference mentioned above was by David Woods of Maynooth, who produced the, to me, startling theory that the Roman emperor Gaius (popularly called Caligula) (37-41 AD) planned to construct a bridge of boats across the English Channel so as to get his army into Britain and conquer it. Ancient historians, who are very hostile to Caligula, ascribe his actions to megalomaniac madness, but David Woods believes there was policy behind them.

In 39 AD Caligula built a bridge of boats from Baiae to Puteoli on the bay of Naples, reputedly to emulate Xerxes, who had constructed such a bridge across the Hellespont. David Woods argues that he had two practical reasons for this: first, to test the technology which he wished to use for an invasion of Britain, and second to reassure his troops that it was entirely safe to entrust themselves to such a novel structure. The `invasion’ of Puteoli was a dress-rehearsal for the invasion of Britain, down to the triumphant procession back from Puteoli to Baiae, which was intended to prefigure a similar procession from Britain to Gaul. Besides testing his bridge, early in 40 AD Caligula visited the coast of Gaul; David Woods saw this as a reconnaissance. He would have put his plans into effect but for his premature death.


The remains of a prehistoric forest at least 4,000 years old have been discovered by the Thames at Erith, in South-east London. Besides the trunks and roots there are signs of wooden structures, possibly raised trackways, and lines of stakes, which may be fish traps. The remains have been identified by the Thames Archaeological Survey, a largely amateur project, whose co-ordinator and only paid employee, Mike Webber, talked to us in April 1996.

The Museum of London Archaeology Service has found London’s earliest main drain, a Roman culvert high enough to walk through, on the site of a housing development near the Monument. Some 80 feet of the structure survives intact.


In preparation for the fieldwalking at Bury Farm, Brockley Hill, some twenty members attended our training day on 13th June. Fiona Seeley of the Museum of London Finds and Environmental Service (MoLFES) conducted a session on pottery-processing. Her thorough descriptions of the industries found in the Brockley Hill area covered vessel type, form, fabric and dating. Some of the material from previous fieldwalking at Brockley Hill was available for members to handle, with Fiona explaining details to watch out for, such as the sparkle on the mica-dusted ware. She expects HADAS to gain some useful information from the walk such as whether the scheduled monument area is being damaged. This would be obvious from the number of freshly broken sherds. There could also be evidence of potters’ specialisation as well as signs of activity on the site after the kilns went out of production in the late 2nd century. We will be meeting Fiona again later this year after the finds have been cleaned and numbered when she will be overseeing classification. In the meantime she intends to assemble a reference collection for us to use.

The afternoon session was brilliantly improvised by Brian Wrigley who demonstrated surveying techniques indoors on this drizzly day! Having explained why we use the dumpy level and how to set it up, members were invited to have a go themselves. For laying out a grid on the field it will be necessary to measure right angles accurately, and Brian outlined two methods,— by using the levelling equipment and by using a baseline with the good old three-four-five triangle. Brian has been buried in paperwork recently ­applying for all the permissions required before we so much as poke a ranging rod into the field.

Duncan Lees, a MoLAS land surveyor, was able to re-schedule to Saturday 11th July his session on levelling and setting out a grid. We had only a few days notice to round up fifteen people who expect to be available to set up the actual grid for fieldwalking. It was not possible to contact the entire membership, but we have spare copies of Duncan’s detailed notes on Establishing and setting out a site grid and Levelling Traverses — a few basic pointers which will be kept at HADAS’s Avenue House library. Thanks once again to Gerard Roots for his permission to invade the Church Farm House Museum garden — and to Duncan for lugging his high-tech equipment over to Hendon.[Your editor was there. The weather was most unseasonal (global warming has taken a year off), but his interest was held throughout and he now knows what planes of collimation are.]

By the time this newsletter appears, we should be in the middle of the Brockley Hill project; the farmer has indicated that the land should be combined and available for approximately ten days from the last week of July/first week of August. If you have some free time PLEASE PHONE NOW: Brian Wrigley 0181-959 5982 or Vikki O’Connor 0181-361 1350 (both have answerphones).

Note: The scheduled monument’s field is opposite the entrance to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Brockley Hill, on bus route 107 which runs from Edgware in one direction and to Borehamwood and Barnet in the other. Car parking is limited, but we can provide further details. Details of finds processing sessions will be in future newsletter/s.


Members may be aware that College Farm, Finchley, which is owned by the Highways Agency, is in danger of being sold off to a developer. Letters from the public should help to prevent this. So please write expressing your feelings to Kevin Daves, Highways Agency, Room 16, Federated House. London Road, Dorking RH4 1SZ.


The visit arranged for the morning of Saturday 4th July proved so popular that it was repeated in the afternoon. St. Pancras Chambers started life as the Midland Grand Hotel, built by the Midland Railway Company to a design by Sir George Gilbert Scott and opened in 1878. It is one of the greatest monuments to the confidence of the railway age. It is enormous — bigger than Lincoln cathedral. It was closed as a hotel in 1935, and was used as railway offices — with an interlude as a YMCA hostel just after the war — until it was virtually abandoned in the mid-1980s. Its exterior was conserved and restored early this decade, but the inside has had very little done to it. This means that, under later coats of paint and the grime of London from the days before the Clean Air Act, there is a complete Victorian scheme of decoration, mostly of patterns but with pictures of the Virtues (Temperance, Chastity and the like) and a remarkable oneof the ‘Garden of Deduit’ by Thomas Wallis Hay showing an illicit amour in an idyllic mediaeval garden. Decoration is everywhere: Minton floor tiles; Wilton and Axminster carpets; a wonderful colour contrast between the red Mansfield limestone, yellow Ancaster stone and pink and green polished limestones; carved ceiling bosses; plaster skilfully masquerading as carved wood; and decorative metalwork.

Heating such a building was an awesome task. There was some central heating in the corridors, if the boilers were up to it, but for the rooms there were 650 fireplaces, each requiring daily coal in the winter. Lighting was originally by gas, though conversion to electricity came fairly soon. The public rooms included a Ladies’ smoking room.

We were taken round by Calum Rollo, whose enthusiasm was infectious; his knowledge was impressive, as was his readiness to tell us of the many unsolved puzzles about the building and its use. For instance, what about bathrooms; there were very few rooms that even might have had such a use, and to those he preferred to give the less definite name of wetrooms. There are drawings and photographs surviving from the beginning, but far more have been lost.

What of the future? The building came close to demolition in the 1960s, as the great Euston Arch had been; it is now Grade I listed, and seems structurally sound. But its economic use, without which it can scarcely get proper conservation, seems to depend on the construction of a Channel Tunnel Rail Link to St Pancras; and the latest financial difficulties of the Link mean that it is unlikely to be built until 2007 at the earliest. Meanwhile St. Pancras Chambers deteriorate slowly.

Emerging into daylight from the gloom of this great Victorian building we went round a few corners to the London Canal Museum, where we watched a video of a film made in the 1920s of a coal barge trip from Limehouse to Paddington Basin; definitely a film to convince one that the present day, for all its unpleasantnesses, is preferable to former times. This feeling was reinforced by the displays of ice-cream making and vending (the Museum is in Gatti’s warehouse, and includes an enormous pit where ice from Norway was stored); just looking at them made some think about salmonella.

Thanks to Vikki O’Connor for arranging a fascinating visit.


Some of the questions posed by Calum Rollo on our recent visit to St. Pancras Chambers could possibly be answered by HADAS members. Calum was interested to learn that, as a child, Sheila Woodward stayed at the Midland Hotel shortly before its closure in 1935, and he asked her to write down every detail she could recall. There are many gaps in the history both of the building itself and of its use as hotel and railway offices so every scrap of information is of value. If you could help with any of the following (or other points) please drop me a line at 2a Dene Road, London N11 1 ES and I’ll forward it to Calum at London & Continental.

Who staved there? The registers have all disappeared — or did they?

Who worked there? Someone you know, heard of, family folklore? They could throw light on how the hotel functioned.

The silver — was auctioned off in the 1980s but no note was kept of who bought it. The pieces were stamped ‘Midland’ and with a wyvern, the symbol of Midland Railways. Only seven or so examples have been retained and these will not represent the entire collection. Where did the rest go?

The original Gillows furniture — also sold off, but where did it go? (Are you sitting on a piece of it now, as you read your newsletter?!)

Camel. Yes, camel. A series of heraldic shields, representing the major towns served by the Midland Railway, contains a mystery shield depicting a camel. We are assured it is not Camelford — but which town is it? Or is it a stonemason’s ingenious way of creating symmetry and rounding up to an even number of shields?

Clock The tower originally contained a clock mechanism by Thomas Walker which was removed early on as it was not very efficient at driving the four faces in sync, being affected by varying wind forces on each face. The only indication that it ever existed is the bracket still in the tower bearing the maker’s name. Where did it go? The clock mechanism replacing it was by Dent who had designed a method of keeping the four faces in sync. When BR’s station clocks went ‘atomic’ the Dent mechanism was to be destroyed but BR were persuaded to preserve it.

Photos, plans, catalogues, designs, any information relating to this building would be welcomed. A HADAS member collects hotel catalogues but has not found one for the Midland so, if anyone has a copy to dispose of, Calum and our member would be interested…


Peter Pickering

English Heritage’s Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service guide and monitor all archaeological work in Greater London on behalf of the London boroughs other than Southwark and the City. They have just revised and re-issued a set of five Archaeological Guidance Papers, which will be used to make sure that a consistent approach is maintained in all archaeological work across the region. The papers are comprehensive. The first covers desk-based assessments, which are to be prepared prior to the submission of a planning application; the paper re-iterates the presumption in favour of the preservation in .situ of nationally important archaeological remains. The second emphasises the need fora written scheme of investigation to be submitted by the applicant for planning permission and approved by the planning authority. The third is a statement of the standards and practices appropriate for archaeological fieldwork in London. The fourth lays down a format for archaeological reports. The fifth deals with evaluations, which lead to the formulation of a strategy for the preservation or management of archaeological remains, and/or a strategy for the mitigation of the effects of development proposals, and/or the formulation of proposals for further archaeological investigations within a programme of research.

Although the philosophy within which these guidance papers have been drawn up is not without its critics, it is good to see the systematic way in which English Heritage are tackling the job of ensuring consistency in Greater London. If any HADAS member thinks they need to study these papers, I am sure English Heritage will be happy to provide a set.


Joanna Corden and Liz Holliday are busy working on a revised and enlarged illustrated edition of ‘The Blue Plaques of Barnet’. The new booklet will include as many commemorative plaques as possible together with biographical details of their subjects.


The latest news from Robert Whytehead, English Heritage is:- 5 Brockley Hill, Stanmore – a recommendation for archaeological monitoring of the site to be secured by planning conditions. It lies close to where a Roman cremation urn was uncovered in Pipers Green Lane. Institute for Medical Research N_W7 – A watching brief on any earthmoving and recommendation for archaeological recording. The Institute is near the Saxon and mediaeval village of Mill Hill. 360-366 Burnt Oak Broadway – further consideration. The mediaeval village of Edgware may have extended as far as the site – and in the 18th century a house stood on or near it.St-Rose’s Convent Orange Hill Road, Edgware – further assessment. This site lies close to where HADAS excavated Roman material.The following Planning applications warrant site watching:- 7 Florence St. NW4; 19 Monkville Avenue NW 11; 70 Sunny Gardens Road NW4; and 68 Sunny Gardens Road NW4.


June Gibson writes – “We recently visited Sicily. In Palermo Cathedral we had the solar/zodiac clock pointed out to us. A diagonal brass line was set in the floor. Enclosed zodiac signs formed the ‘hours’ along this line. The line led to a sun sign which was under a roof solar. In effect it was a huge sundial set in the floor. Because of the language difficulty (no English spoken, and we did not speak Italian, let alone the Sicilian dialect!) we could only glean that there was one in England, in Norfolk. Enquiries to both denomination cathedrals in Norwich drew a blank, so I am appealing to the well-travelled and all-knowing HADAS members, who perhaps have seen or know the whereabouts of such a feature in one of our churches (the information about Norfolk may not be accurate. Any ideas please?

To June Gibson, 64, Erskine Hill London NW11 6HG (0181-455 3245)


The application of scientific techniques has greatly aided our understanding of many aspects of London’s archaeology. The Standing Conference on London Archaeology (SCOLA) has therefore decided that this year’s conference should be on Science and its application to the archaeology of London, with the title `London Under the Microscope’. The Conference will honour the memory of Tony Clark, one of the most important pioneers in developing geophysical surveying and archaeomagnetic dating. Alistair Bartlett will deliver the Tony Clark Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Surrey Archaeological Society. Other speakers will include Ian Tyers on the role of tree-ring dating, Jane Siddell describing the changing levels of the River Thames, Tony Waldron analysing the important Black Death cemetery at the Royal Mint site, Bill McCann reporting on the continuing work of the Tony Clark Lab, Keith Wilkinson on the multi­disciplinary analyses at Bull Wharf and Richard Macphail discussing building decay and the formation of dark earth.

The conference will be on Saturday 17th October in the Museum of London. It will cost £10.00 (£8.50 for members of SCOLA), to include tea and coffee.

Tickets are obtainable from to J S McCracken, Flat B, 231 Sandycombe Road, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2ZW. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope, and make cheques payable to SCOLA.