Saturday 22 July, Outing to Leicestershire with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward. Details were sent out last month.
Wednesday 30 August — Sunday 3 September, HADAS Long Weekend in Devon and Cornwall, staying at Plymouth University. Now fully booked with a small waiting list.
Tuesday 10th October 2006, Nadia Durrani (assistant editor, Current Archaeology), The Queen of Sheba.
Tuesday 14th November 2006, Barry Taylor & Steve Ellwood (both of English Heritage), The Sites and Monuments Records for Barnet.
Tuesday 9th January 2007, Stephen Knight (curator, Colne Valley Postal Museum, Essex), British Post Box Design and Use: the first 150 years.
Tuesday 13th February 2007, tba.
Tuesday 13th March 2007, Eileen Bowlt (Chairman, LAMAS) The London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) in the early days.
Tuesday 10th April 2007, Denis Smith (Lecturer, Industrial Archaeologist) title tba.
Tuesday 8th May 2007, TBA.
Lectures start at 8.00pm in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Rd, Finchley N3 3QE. Buses 82, 143, 260, 326 & 460 pass close by, whilst Finchley Central station (Northern Line) is a five to ten minute walk.
At the time of writing this note (13 June) the HADAS Fieldwork Team is very busy, assisting on a number excavations. The UCL excavation at Kingsbury old parish church, mentioned by Andy Agate in his May lecture (see below) is now underway, with assistance from HADAS. This dig is scheduled to continue for four weeks. At Hendon School a UCL excavation is due to start on 19th June under the government’s Widening Participation and Social Scheme. HADAS has been involved in carrying out the resistivity survey and researching the background to the site. HADAS is due to return to Pinner Golf Club for a small excavation on 4-6th July. We regret numbers are very restricted on this dig, as golfing must go on! There may be more opportunities for members to dig on our return to Kingsbury School in early July. We are hoping to carryout a resistivity survey, and possible metal detecting scan at Wrotham Park over what is believed to be the site of the mortuary chapel from the Battle of Barnet. Also, perhaps in late July carry out another resistivity survey at Swanley Bar where a considerable amount of medieval pottery has been found. Meanwhile the sorting of flints from the West Heath excavation continues in the Garden Room at Avenue House on most Sunday mornings from about 10.30 am onwards. Members new and old are welcome to come along, but do check emails or contact Bill Bass, to confirm the room will be open. One hardly needs to say that this is a good place to keep up to date with HADAS fieldwork. Arrangements for field working are usually at short notice and members interested in taking part should inform Bill Bass or Don Cooper and watch out for emails.
Don and Liz hosted a nibbles and wine ‘get together’ for members in the Dining Room at Avenue House on Sunday afternoon, the 21st May. The event, which brought out some familiar faces, saw a number of new members present. It was pleasant to chat; there never seems to be enough time after lectures! Thanks to Don and Liz and other committee members.
HADAS usually has a stall at Cricklewood Festival but the festival has been cancelled this year due to the uncertain future of Hendon Football Club and its Claremont Road ground. which is earmarked for redevelopment.
Rosemary Bentley remembers Julius Baker Julius Baker, ‘possibly the world’s oldest demonstrator’, was a sufficiently public figure to be featured in the BBC obituary programme, Brief Lives, on April 30th. A South African lawyer, he was involved in the anti-apartheid movement and was one of the many arrested during a demo after the Sharpville shootings in 1960. Released on a technicality he fled to Swaziland and escaped, with Donald Trelford after the Observer newspaper sent a light plane for them. Settling in north London he had secret meetings with ANC members and also protested against the Vietnam War. At the age of 97 he joined the march against the Iraq war and walked all the way from the Embankment to Hyde Park. He was proud to receive a telegram from Mandela on his 90th birthday, and later that year visited South Africa. After various ceremonies he took a holiday alone at Victoria Falls. A notice read ‘See the Falls from the air-, so he took a ticket and was taken by jeep to a small, high hilltop by silent young South Africans. Apprehensively he asked where the airfield was. There was no airfield, and Julius became probably the world’s oldest hang glider. Dorothy remembers going to Julius’s 90th birthday party, held at Regents College, Regents Park, and still has her invitation.
A phone call some months ago from Barnet Museum’s Gillian Gear brought Jim Nelhams and myself together with Mr J M Lee, Curator of Monken Hadley Common, to Hadley Woods one cold morning. A few days earlier a volunteer worker cutting brambles in the woods had reported finding a large number of clay tobacco bowls among the brambles. He had in fact collected together some sixty claypipe bowls with a section of stem attached. Our visit netted a further 100 similar pipes within a short space of time, just by trowelling around in the soil filth, in a compact radius of some four to five feet. The topsoil here is very shallow, lying on very hard layer. We suspect the pipes to have lain in the wood for only two or three years and could have been thrown down from a sack. Why not just put them in a dustbin? This dump is unusual in a number of respects. It is usually pipe stems, not the bowls, which are found; the half-dozen or so stems found can be accounted for by breakage. More unusual, not one pipe is decorated or has a maker’s mark, suggesting that these are someone’s rejects after sorting through a much larger assemblage. It is possible that they have been washed previously before dumping. The absence of any marked or decorated pipes is compensated by the rich variety of bowl shapes and sizes. Stephen Brunning is working on the pipes and is to use them to form a reference typology. The pipes found by the volunteer have only recently reached Stephen. Of the 100 pipes which Jim and I found, Stephen reports that 50% are 17th century and 50% 18th century, including quite a number which span the turn of the century. No pipes are 19th or 20th century. The earliest type is dated between 1610 and 1640 and the latest between 1740 and 1770. Those yet to be examined might produce other types and dates and a full listing should be available by the next Newsletter.
8 Watford Heath Farm Pinner Road
Watford WD 19 4ER
01923 210 752 15 June 2006
To: The Editor
We should perhaps remind ourselves that the HADAS Newsletter purports to be a journal of record. As such, Philip Bailey’s speculative article on the origins of Whetstone (June issue) sits uncomfortably on its pages and raises the issue about the need for some form of peer review on such contributions. His attempt to link the surname Bywestern, which he found in modern transcripts of Barnet manor court rolls needs several caveats. First, if Westen means the western settlement of farm, there is an equally strong or stronger candidate in Barnet manor’s own West End which lay towards the present hospital site and is obviously still commemorated in West End Lane. Secondly, absolutely no weight can be placed on whether such settlements were exactly west, or any other compass point of the main settlement or its church. Think of East End in Finchley, which is south east of the church and clearly south of the parish. Mr Bailey’s article also relies upon the assumption that what he saw in the 1930’s translation and transcription of the Barnet court rolls was entirely reliable. We should take account of the fact that Richard Bywesten would probably have spoken a form of Middle English and been dealt with in the court baron by a Norman French speaking clerk acting as the lord’s bailiff. The record of the court’s proceedings would have been taken down in rough by a clerk writing in Norman French and then translated into legal Latin by the lord’s steward, who was usually a trained lawyer. By 1246 legal Latin was almost a language in itself with many short forms and legalistic conventions. There was no agreed spelling at that period as Mr Bailey demonstrates in his article by listing some of the spellings of the name ‘Whetstone’. Richard’s name might well have been Weston, Westen or Westun. The opportunities for mishearing, mis-spelling and misunderstanding were manifold. The whole subject is a minefield for anyone untrained in its complexities and even worse, is a beacon for those afflicted with what we might call the Da Vinci syndrome! Yours etc. John Heathfield, Percy Reboul, Pamela Taylor
In May, Andy Agate spoke to us on the old parish church of Kingsbury, Middlesex and the work he has undertaken as part of his MA studies at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. In place of our usual lecture report, Andy has written the following article based on his lecture. On the southern border of the ancient parish of Kingsbury, just to the north west of the Brent reservoir, sits St Andrew’s Old Church. The church, which is now redundant, is rarely open to the public and its secluded location makes it vulnerable to vandalism. Past work at the church has generally been narrowly focused upon dating the building itself, however, a new project aims to assess the significance of the site by considering it in a wider landscape context. Through the examination of a range of existing evidence. for example documents and maps, combined with new evidence from topographical survey and archaeological excavation it is hoped to build a better understanding of the significance of this sadly neglected site. Early documents relating to Kingsbury (the name means ‘the King’s Stronghold’) include a charter of AD 957 referring to Kingsbury as Tunworth, whilst at Domesday there was a priest who had one virgate of land (about 30 acres). The church itself is not mentioned, however. the three fields directly north of the church were known as ‘Church Fields’ in 1597. These amount to just over 30 acres and provide some circumstantial evidence of a link between the Domesday priest and a Saxon church. But was it this particular building? The main clues to the age of the church are the architectural features and whilst the corner stones of the church resemble Saxon ‘long-and-short’ work the style of the Romanesque doorway in the south wall suggests a mid to late twelfth century date. It is conceivable that the church was built post-conquest by workmen who still employed some of the older techniques. However there is much more to this site than the standing building. The site was first recognised as being significant by the antiquarian William Stukeley who visited and sketched the site in 1757. Two features of the site led him to believe that the church had a Roman connection; firstly the Roman tile which forms part of the building material used and secondly, a rectangular earthwork which surrounds the site. Stukeley imagined the site as one of ‘Caesar’s camps’ and concluded that the Roman tile must have come from Verulamium (St Albans). The origin of the Roman tile may be disputed, however, the existence of complete hypocaust box-flue tiles inside the church and the inclusion of Roman pottery in the building fabric strongly suggest a more local origin than St Albans. Meanwhile the surrounding earthwork, recorded by Stukeley is now barely visible. A topographical survey carried out last year shows that there is perhaps some trace of a bank on the south and east sides of the church but that the supposed ditch was not detected. This survey also showed that the church and the earthwork followed different alignments; a feature also picked up on by Stukeley. I he topographical survey also showed that the church was built on the very edge of the highest contour in the area. This means that the church was constructed in a prominent location in the landscape; on the end of a spur of land which overlooked the valley of the river Brent. Indeed the church can be seen from almost a kilometre away on the far side of the Brent valley. It has been noted that there existed a Middle bronze Age cremation cemetery in the valley (now under the Brent reservoir), which leads to a tantalising question; does the site have a prehistoric origin? I his question, and many others which surround this enigmatic site, may only be answered through archaeological excavation. Such intervention is difficult in the crowded graveyard, however there are some areas which are accessible and this summer a limited excavation project will take place. It is hoped that the results of this may be presented in a future edition of the newsletter.
As mentioned by Don Cooper at the AGM, HADAS has been working with UCL on a ‘dig’ at Hendon School. It is recorded that the house, once occupied by John Norden, the famous 16th century mapmaker stood on the site now occupied by the school. The aims of the dig are to see if the house can be located, and to introduce pupils and staff at the school to archaeology. Andrew Coulson, Don Cooper and myself have assisted in a survey of the school field, covering an area 80 metres by 50. Although this did not reveal any striking features, the plan is to dig at least one small trench on the field. This was planned for late June, and an update will follow in a later newsletter. As part of the research, I located a copy of the 1895 OS map at Hendon Library, and Andy Agate has used his computer skills to overlay this on a satellite picture taken from the Google Earth internet site. Those present at the AGM will have seen the results, which clearly show Hendon House to the east of the school site. We know that this house was built in the early 18th century to replace the earlier house. The map also shows a walled garden, and if, as believed, the then owner, John Cornwall, first Director of the Bank of England, lived in the old house while the new one was being built, the walled garden may well be the site of the original house. We wait to see. The later house was demolished in 1909 — the school dates from shortly after this. I have also been using other internet facilities to find out more about the later Hendon House. The story, like the dig is incomplete, but this is what I have found. The 1841 census shows the house, with the address as BRAINT Street, occupied by Major General Christopher Fagan, a 55 year old retired soldier who had served in Bengal. Also in the household are his 30 year old wife, 5 children and 8 servants. The Times recorded later in 1841 the wedding of his son from his first marriage. Major General Fagan died in 1843 at his estate in Wiltshire (register of births, deaths and marriages), having left Hendon. In the 1851 and 1861 censuses the house is shown as a private mental institution. This caused some amusement to the current school staff! I have not been unable to find any residents in the census records of 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901. This seems to be because the owner at that time had several houses and was elsewhere each time the census was taken. The new owner was Mr Ardwick Burgess, eldest son of Henry Weech Burgess of the Temples. This house was at the southern end of the parish of Hendon at Childs Hill, near where the Watford Way joins the Finchley Road today. (There are roads in this area called Weech Road, Ardwick Road and Burgess Hill.) Since Ardwick Burgess also served in the army, it is possible that he was overseas for at least one census. Ardwick Burgess had married in 1871, and it seems that he purchased Hendon House at this time. His first wife died, and he remarried in 1881. The Times of April 6th 1886 reports the birth of a daughter at Hendon House. While helping on Andy Agate’s dig at Kingsbury Old Church, I noticed in the churchyard the family vault of Henry Weech Burgess, and on one face is records the death in 1908 of Ardwick Burgess. So perhaps that is why, in early 1909, The Times is advertising the sale of Hendon House by auction. (The price required was £15,250.) My documentation has been passed on, and will help the school in the understanding of their history and the project.
Most people in the Western world are aware that Islam works to a different calendar, based on moon cycles, with the result that this year of 2006 is 1427 AH and that the holy month of fasting (Ramadan) comes around about eleven days earlier each year. But few are aware of how this difference came about, a lacuna I seek to fill with this offering. And what is the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars? The hijri calendar In the year we know as AD 638, six years after the death of the Prophet Muhammed, Islam’s second Caliph Umar recognised the need for a single calendar to govern the affairs of Muslims throughout a rapidly expanding empire. This was first of all a practical matter. Correspondence with officials in newly conquered lands had to be dated. But tribes in Persia used a different calendar from Syria; Egypt used yet another. Each of these calendars had a different starting point, or epoch, and none accorded with systems used in the Arabian peninsula. The Sasanids, the ruling dynasty of Persia, used June 16, AD 632, the date of the accession of the last Sasanid monarch Yazdagird III. Syria, which until the Muslim conquest had been part of the Ottoman Empire, used a form of the Roman calendar, with an epoch of October 1, 312 BC. Egypt used the Coptic calendar, with an epoch of August 29, AD 284. And although all were solar, geared to the seasons and containing 365 days, each had a different system for compensating for the fact that the true length of the solar year is not 365 but 365.2422 days. In tribal pre-Islamic Arabia, a number of systems of measuring time had been used. Some calendars were lunar, while others were lunisolar, using months based on the phases of the moon but intercalating days outside the lunar cycle to synchronize the calendar with the seasons. In central Arabia, the course of the year was charted by the position of the stars relative to the horizon at sunset and sunrise, dividing the ecliptic into 28 equal parts corresponding to the position of the moon on each successive night of the month. The names of the month in that calendar have continued in the Islamic calendar to this day. There were two other reasons why Umar rejected solar calendars. Firstly, the holy Qur’an advises that time should be reckoned by the moon. Not only that, but calendars used by the Persians, Syrians and Egyptians were identified with other cultures and religions. He decided therefore to create a single calendar specifically to be identified with Islam: it would be lunar, and would have twelve months, each with 29 or 30 days. This gives the Islamic lunar year 354 days [6×29 + 6×30], eleven days less than the solar year. Even today, the official start of each month is only decided when a gathering of senior clerics in Saudi Arabia first spots the new moon. Umar chose as the epoch for the new calendar the hijrah, the date of the legendary journey of the Prophet Muhammed from Makkah to Madinah, where Muslims first attained religious and political autonomy. The hijrah thus occurred on 1 Muharram 1 according to the Islamic calendar, which was named hijri after its epoch. This date corresponds to July 16, AD 622 in the Gregorian calendar. Today, in the West, it is customary, when writing hijri dates, to use the abbreviation AH, which stands for the Latin anno hegirae, `year of the hijrah’. Because the Islamic lunar calendar is eleven days shorter than the solar one, it is therefore not synchronized with the seasons. Its festivals, which fall on the same day of the same lunar months each year, make the round of the seasons every 33 solar years. This eleven-day difference between the lunar and the solar year accounts for the difficulty of converting dates from one system to another. The Julian calendar The early calendar of the Roman Empire was lunisolar, containing 355 days divided into twelve months beginning on January 1 (after Janus, an ancient Italian god, and the guardian of doors and gates). To
keep it more or less in accord with the solar cycle, a month was added every two years. The system for doing so was complex, and cumulative errors gradually misaligned it with the seasons. By 46 BC, it was some three months out of alignment, and Julius Caesar decided on its reform. Consulting Greek astronomers in Alexandria, he created a solar calendar in which the year we call 46 BC was extended by eighty days. Every fourth year one day was added to February (from Februa, a festival of purification held in the middle of the month), effectively compensating for the solar year’s length of 365.25 days. Although, even this turned out to be not entirely accurate. What came to known as the Julian calendar continued in use throughout Europe and the New World until 1582. The use of epoch AD 1 dates from the sixth century, becoming widespread over the centuries that followed, in part due to the writings of the Venerable Bede (c. 673-735). Because the concept of zero had not yet reached the West from Islamic lands (an innovation credited to the arrival of the Moors in Spain in 711), there was no year between 1 BC and AD 1. During the seventh century, the spread of Christianity led to Christmas Day being recognised as the start of the year. However, during the twelfth century, the Church changed its mind and decided that the year should begin on Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, which fell on March 25. In the Middle Ages, the Christian liturgical calendar was further grafted onto the Julian one, and took into account traditional pagan festivals, and the computation of lunar festivals like Easter (after Eostre, goddess of Spring), which falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. It exercised some of the best minds in Christendom. The Gregorian calendar The Julian year was however 11 minutes and 14 seconds too long. By the early sixteenth century, due to the accumulated error, the spring equinox was falling on March 11 rather than when it should, on March 21. Copernicus and others provided the calculations, and advised the pope that each year was in fact 365.2422 days long. As a result Pope Gregory XIII ordered that Thursday October 4, 1582 would be followed by Friday October 15. Most catholic countries accepted the new ‘Gregorian’ calendar, but protestant countries held back and it was not adopted in England and the Americas until the eighteenth century, and in Turkey and Russia not until 1917. Its use is now almost universal worldwide, although in Islamic countries, especially in Saudi Arabia, the traditional hijri calendar is still in common use outside the business and scientific world. The ‘loss’ of eleven days in the calendar, which in Britain took place after an Act of Parliament when September 2, 1752 was followed by September 14, is the reason our current tax year ends oddly on April 5. Simple folk were furious that their lives were being shortened by eleven days, while taxpayers objected to paying a full year’s tax on 354 days’ income. Moreover, rents were traditionally due on March 25, a quarter day, and the end of the financial year. Tenants rioted when they realised that they were being cheated out of eleven days for the same rent, and demanded that the due date be advanced by a similar amount. Thus rents and taxes henceforth became due on April 5, 1752.
Sunday 2 July, 1am-4.00pm, Kensal Green Cemetery, Open Day. Tours, band.
Tuesday 11 July, 8.00pm, Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave, N3. Paul Craddock (BM), Prehistoric Metal Mining in Britain.
Tuesday 11 July, 7.00pm Edmonton Hundred Historical Society & Enfield Preservation Society, Guided walk, starting from gates of Millfield House, Edmonton and ending in Church St Conservation Area.
Saturday 15 July 11.00am, Willesden Local History Society. Tour of St Matthew’s Church, Willesden, led by Fr. Alex Hill, proceeding to Roundwood Park for coffee/ lunch & tour of park. Meet: St Matthews Church, St Marys Rd, NW 10.
Saturday 15 July 9.00am, Barnet & District Local History Society, coach outing to Faversham and Downe House with coffee at Maison Dieu, Ospringe. Meet Barnet Odeon. Cost £20 (£15 EH members with card) Contact: Pat Alison, 37 Ladbrooke Drive, Potters Bar, EN6 1QR. n 01707 858430. Cheques payable to Barnet & District Local History Society.
National Archaeology Week, Saturday 15 July— Sunday 23 July. Many local events, including:
COLAS, Sat-Sun 15-16th, COLAS at the Tower of London, Free displays & activities held in open space by the River Wall. Artefact handling of COLAS and LAARC collections, replicas & games.
Enfield Archaeological Society & Enfield Preservation Society, Sun.16th, 11.00- 4.00pm, Forty Hall, Under you Feet: the Archaeology of Enfield, a free family activity day. Details from Enfield Museum Services 8379 1468 or www.enfield.gov.uk/museum
Museum of London. Events throughout the week, including adult lectures and family activities. Families can join in a ‘Real Dig’ in Haringey. Information leaflets or see museum website. Some events must be pre-booked.
Friday 21 July, 7.00pm, COLAS, St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3 Lucia Gahlin (Petrie Museum) Digging in the City of the Sun: Amarna in the Petrie Museum, visitors £2.
Friday 21 July, 11.00am AND Sunday 23 July, 11.00am. Amateur Geological Society, The Roman Wall from Tower Hill. Walks led by Mike Howgate. Cost £7. Contact Mike Howgate 8882 2606, email@example.com. Cheques (payable to Mike Howgate) to Mike Howgate, 71 Hoppers Rd, Winchmore Hill, N21 3LP.
Tuesday 25 July, 2.00pm, Harrow Museum, talk by Tony Earle, The Thames Sailing Barge. Cost £2.