Volume 8 : 2005 – 2009


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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.

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News in Brief

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 mystery dump of Clay pipe bowls found in Hadley Woods by Graham Javes

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.

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Letter to the editor

8 Watford Heath Farm Pinner Road

Watford WD 19 4ER

01923 210 752 15 June 2006

To: The Editor

HADAS Newsletter

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

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St Andrew’s Old Church Kingsbury — A topographical approach by Andy Agate

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.

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Hendon House — the paper trail by Jim Nelhams

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.

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How Calendar Confusion came about. by Stewart Wild

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.

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OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS Compiled by Eric Morgan

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

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, 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.

Newsletter-465-December-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 8 : 2005 - 2009 | No Comments

Doesn’t time go quickly, here we are in the middle of November looking forward to that end-of-year holiday period again!! May we, however, take this opportunity to wish all our readers a joyous holiday and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


As you will all know by now we had the Cafe di Lino booked for Sunday, 6th December 2009 for a holiday meal. However, the fates were against us!! When I went to finalise the menu, the manager informed me that they were closing for good the next day. He returned our deposit and wished us well. C’est la vie! It was too late to try somewhere else, so apologies to all and, maybe, we will try again early in the New Year.

Tuesday 12th January 2010 The Archaeology of Anglo-Jewry in London 1066-1290 and 1656-c.1850. Lecture by Ken Marks.

Tuesday 9th February 2010 The Trendles Project. Lecture by William Cumber.

Tuesday 9th March 2010 The History of RAF Bentley Priory. Lecture by Erica Ferguson.

Tuesday 13th April 2010 The GWR comes to the Thames Valley. Lecture by John Chapman.

Tuesday 11th May 2010 Graeco-Roman Period Funerary Practices in Egypt. Lecture by John Johnson.

Lectures start at 7.45 for 8.00pm in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. Buses 82, 143, 326 & 460 pass close by, and it is five to ten minutes walk from Finchley Central Station (Northern Line).

Avenue House Quiz by Don Cooper

On Monday, 19th October a dozen or more stalwart members of HADAS turned up for the Avenue House Quiz which was run as part of the fundraising effort on behalf of the Avenue House estate and gardens. The HADAS members divided themselves into two tables and, suitably fed and watered settled down to answering the questions. After a titanic struggle HADAS emerged triumphant with one HADAS table being first and the other second out of the eight tables playing – a great effort! I was tempted to name names but I have resisted it.

According to an article in this week’s Barnet & Potters Bar Times (published Thursday, 12th November 2009) Avenue House “funding is desperately needed to help preserve a struggling historic building”.

The article goes on to say that because of the current economic environment bookings for its function rooms are down and the income is not covering the expenses. It would be a shame and a great loss if Avenue House were to fail so activities such as the quiz are ever more important and deserve our support.

Report on the Roman Pottery Day & Cookery Demonstration at Avenue House, August 2nd. By Bill Bassus

This event came together from two different angles. The first was the current project to computerise, catalogue and repackage the Roman pottery excavated at the kiln site on Brockley Hill, north of Edgware, during the 1930s to 1950s. Although not dug by HADAS, this substantial amount of material came into our care, and has been worked on by members of this society on and off over the years. We hope to bring the packaging and archive up to current museum standards with the aim of possibly depositing it with the London Archaeological Archive and Resource Centre (LAARC). The LAARC also has material from Brockley Hill (much from excavations in the 1960s) so it may be an idea to combine the two collections. Our collection has been on display on several occasions during HADAS’s care and ideas were floated for a final show before any deposit to the LAARC.

The second angle came from Rose Baillie, Chair of the City of London Archaeological Society (CoLAS). Rose has an interest in Roman cooking and has written books on the subject (see below). She was looking for a suitable venue to conduct some experimental Roman cookery and wondered if Avenue House would be a possibility. Thus the idea came about to combine the two like-minded projects.

The day was flagged and publicised as part of the CBA’s Festival of Archaeology 2009 and some smart publicity signs from them were set up around Avenue House. After much organisation the pottery display and information panels were set up in the Dining Room (most appropriate) of AH, the tables were laden with mortaria (many with stamps of the potters), flagons, jars, bowls, lamp holders, tazza (decorated incense burners or similar) and amphorae. Also on display were a collection of small finds including a chisel, samian ware dish, intaglio, antifix (roof ornament) and bronze pin. Other exhibits were the ‘Moxon Collection’ which contains the likes of a potters’ stamp, a square bottle, some small jars and a spacer, the spacer was used to create a space between any heating flues and a wall. A half-section model of a Roman kiln illustrated the type that may have been used at Brockley Hill. The information panels showed the location of the site and explained the nature and use of the pottery and potters who worked there.

The cooking camp set up outside next to the Garden Room, Rose and her helpers built a small low level metal hearth (about two bricks high) to protect the tarmac, this was filled with charcoal. Tables were laid out with food, ingredients and various replica pots. The charcoal was lit at 1.30pm and a busy period of activity started to follow as various dishes were cooked using a mortaria to grind/mash ingredients and cooking pots on the charcoal. It was fascinating to see how it might have been done. The audience (and this writer) sampled the occasional morsel (at their own risk) which they found to be very tasty.

Here we are able to disclose (ahem) a new find and how Rose got some of her inspiration:

New Vindolanda tablet sheds light on Roman cuisine.

Scientific advances have made possible the decipherment of another writing tablet from Vindolanda. It is believed to be a follow-up to the well-known birthday invitation from the Prefect’s wife to another officer’s wife, to join her on her birthday.

Three days before Ides of September
Claudia Severa to her Lepidina greetings.

Dear sister,

I greatly missed you on the day of my birthday. How pleasant the day would have been had you been present. I am grieved to hear of Sulpicia’s mishap with the mule. May she learn a lesson by it.

A great calamity befell us. Our careless slaves let the kitchen burn down and we are cooking on a hearth in the Praetorium courtyard. How the Brittunculi must be laughing. Thanks to the Saviour Gods no-one was hurt, although Aelius Filus is sniffing all day. I pray it is only the accursed summer and not something worse.

Then dear sister the Governor decided to visit. You know he likes to dine like Lucullus. I have not seen a grape since I left Portus Itius, my amphora of Hispanic olives is apparently at the bottom of the Tamesis and those scoundrels at Sulloniacae served my crockery order so ill it arrived either broken or misshapen. Despite everything we did manage some recipes from Apicius. Here is the menu –

Gustatio: Republican style garlic, cheese and herb relish; Sesame, chickpea and olive oil dip, served on soldiers’ bread.

Fercula: Matius’ Pork and Apple Minutal with leek; Lambs’ kidneys brazed in olive oil and fish sauce, with chicory, and celery and aniseed flavoured spelt dumplings.

Mensa secunda: In truth we could manage only a selection of nibbles from Esco’s taberna in the vicus, but there was plenty of wine and his Excellency seemed content…..

All our greetings to your Cerialis and the little ones. My Aelius says can Cerialis send down some legionary craftsmen as soon as possible – they cannot all be building that wall thing. I shall expect you sister my dearest soul, as soon as you are able. May you all prosper. Vale!

So there you have it, the day seemed to go very well with what appeared to be a large amount of HADAS members and members of the public passing through, including a surprise visit by HADAS Chairman Don Cooper who had been laid low recently. Rose would like to thank her helpers: Winston Edwards and Pam Bremner along with HADAS member Emma-Jane Robinson. I would like to thank Vicki Baldwinus for her dedication, Tessa Smith, Steve Brunning, Avenue House and other members who helped in the organisation or on the day, cheers.

From the rich literature on Roman cuisine, with a measure of social history, archaeology, a dash of scandal and fish sauce:

Eating and Drinking in the Roman World

An Introduction with Recipes

by Rose Baillie

Enlarged Third Edition 2009. A5. pp 54. Illustrated throughout. Spiral bound & laminated covers for easy kitchen use. £6 incl. p&p.

Available from the author: 15 Escuan Lodge, Aberdeen Park, London N5 2AP

Cheques payable to R.Baillie please.

Hampstead Heath: Tumulus Field – Pond Dig by Emma and David Robinson

We responded to a message from Don Cooper – on behalf of Michael Hammerson of The Highgate Society – asking for HADAS volunteers to provide practical assistance for a project to dig a new pond in the Tumulus Field (Hampstead Heath) in late October. The site is near the bottom of a north-east facing grassy slope above the model boating lake – OS Reference (approx.) TQ 2755 8670. It was chosen since a natural (seasonal) spring bubbles to the surface here. The project is still work in progress, and the final report will be summarised in the Newsletter in due course.

Above the site on the hill crest is a mound known as Boadicea’s Grave which some consider is the remains of a bowl-shaped Bronze Age tumulus. It is also the only scheduled ancient monument on Hampstead Heath. The origins of the mound are widely disputed and remain a puzzle. It was excavated by Sir Hercules Read in 1894 but no trace of a burial was found. In considering the evidence the local historian Alan Farmer believes that the mound was made in the 17th century possibly for a windmill and built up in the late 18th century to form a picturesque object in the landscape. To support his assertion he observes that a 16th century map shows the site within ancient woodland and no tumulus is marked [1]. However, it is possible that an existing but non-prominent feature could have been overlooked by the map maker. On the West Heath there is evidence of flint knapping and Michael Hammerson recently found a struck flint flake close to the new pond site. Beyond this we did not know what we might find. If we found Bronze Age cremations we would need to call in English Heritage! Our brief was to clean down the levels as they were scraped by the small excavator, look out for any finds or cut features and record our findings.

Two days in late October had been set aside for an initial archaeological excavation. We first did a little homework. Alan Farmer gives an account of the landscape history and this suggests that for many centuries Tumulus Field had been used for farming and leisure purposes. He helpfully includes a print depicting the model boating lake in 1854 – surrounded by meadowland and scattered mature trees – with people relaxing and going about their leisure pursuits [2]. We did an initial field walk. The site revealed an open ditch – the course of old field drains – with a moister area around the spring. In the drain below the top soil sandy loam was revealed. This reflects the geology of the Hampstead-Highgate ridge – a crescent of high ground connecting the two. The top horizon of the ridge is formed of Bagshot Sand (with localised masses of flints), with Claygate Beds (sandy clay) below – the whole lying on impermeable London Clay. Rainwater falling on the hill percolates down to the clay layer and emerges as springs towards the bottom of the slope. The immediate area was particularly rich in mole hills – notable for being composed mainly of fine crumbly loam. These produced, however, an interesting selection of finds (which proved broadly representative of later findings) and included: fragments of assorted ceramics (mostly 18th and 19th century) and clay tobacco pipes – together with fragments of brick, glass and tile, and flint and pebbles – but no coins or metal objects.

Hampstead Heath folk start work early. By 8.15 on the first day the team began to assemble. The weather for late October was glorious. We discussed strategy with Michael Hammerson and agreed that two trenches should be dug – the first across and the second down the slope. This selection was made in the hope that any linear or cut features would be revealed. Using a small excavator the turf was removed and the surface checked and trowelled. The surface was then carefully scraped and checked removing 5 or 6 cm at a time. Spoil heaps were trowelled. Finds arising from each scraping of the surface and the spoil were bagged and labelled. We were all surprised by the scarcity of substantial metal finds. Our lack of metal finds was confirmed by use of a metal detector. Doubtless someone had been there before us on such a mission?

Overall the finds from the pond reflected those produced by the moles – although we did find some wood/tree-root preserved in the damper areas near the spring which are arguably the remains of a large standard tree? As for evidence of cut features there is little to report beyond the presence of field drains of various ages. Milk bottles (20th century), however, were abundant – although there was less evidence to suggest unduly bibulous habits represented by beer and wine bottles. A little 17th century material was found and it is conjectured that this might relate to the workers who dug the model boating and other lakes. The first day the two trenches were cleared down to natural levels, and horizons measured and recorded. Environmentalists also sampled the underlying clay layers using a hand auger. The second day of digging our purpose was to scrape and check the substantial extent of the new pond back to the natural. This was achieved. The profiles remained broadly the same – although hydrological differences were noted. Most of the finds are still being cleaned and categorised – a task for which Susan Trackman kindly volunteered. We have arranged to meet up in late November with Michael Hammerson to discuss any further work and how best to write up the overall project.

We subsequently made a couple of further visits to check for further finds. We trowelled the drainage ditch below two large sections of bituminous drains (which had been removed to a safe distance). We also sampled and checked silt samples from the pipes. On each visit we have continued to monitor new molehills and, yes, the moles have found yet more clay pipes for us. Overall our impression of Tumulus Field is of an agricultural, natural and leisure landscape of great time-depth – which has preserved remarkably strong inheritances from the past. We are grateful to Meg Game and all the other City of London Corporation folk for their assistance and hospitality and look forward to visiting the completed pond in the spring.


[1] Farmer, A., 1984. Hampstead Heath. London: Historical Publications Ltd. pp. 127-129.

[2] Ibid – pp. 165.


Day 3 of our trip involved an incursion into Wales to visit the World Heritage site of Blaenavon, visiting a church on the way, and returning early to allow some time in Hereford.

KILPECK CHURCH by Audrey Hooson

The first visit of the day was to the mid-12th Century church of SS. Mary and David at Kilpeck, eight miles south-west of our base in Hereford. There is written evidence for an earlier monastic cell or kil of Pedoric in 650 AD and in the north-east corner of the nave there are Anglo-Saxon remains, which were incorporated into the Norman building.

The present church was built by Hugh de Kilpeck, adjacent to a castle built by his father, William fitz Norman. All that remains of this castle are a motte and a fragment of the keep, giving an unusual two layer churchyard.

Kilpeck now has the church, a few cottages and many visitors. The latter come mainly to see the red sandstone sculptural decoration. We were very fortunate to arrive early in the morning, when the low sun brought out the external detail very well. The small proportions of the church, when compared with Abbeys and Cathedrals, enable it to be seen very easily

Kilpeck is the most complete example of the “Herefordshire School” This was a conflation of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, West European and Oriental images, with the possible addition of Beasts from illuminated Bestiaries. The analysis and definition of these sources has kept many Scholars busy! Herefordshire seems quite an isolated county now, but in the Norman period it was a very important area and the local rulers travelled widely.

The church has a three-cell plan with a rectangular nave, square chancel and apsidal sanctuary, also a later minstrel’s gallery. Internally the main decorative elements are the Evangelical figures composing the chancel arch and the Cat masks forming the central boss of the chevron ribbed vault of the semi-circular apse.

Externally, the tympanum of the south portal has a Tree of Life with pillars adorned with a pair of snakes, having their tails in their mouths, symbolising the unending cycle of life and death. At the top right-hand pillar is the Green Man, fertility symbol of Springtime. Above the tympanum there is an Angel, symbol of the Western Church, and to its left a Phoenix, symbol of the Eastern Church. The left-hand pillar shows the so-called “Welsh Warriors”, two soldiers carrying swords and wearing Phrygian caps with quilted or mailed jackets, and above them a lion and a dragon. The door itself is furnished with wrought iron hinges that are identical to those at the Norman church at Peterchurch.

The West window has intricate rope-work ornamentation on the pillars and arch. Two Green Men cap the pillars.

Surrounding the apse, chancel and nave there is a series of eighty-nine elaborately carved stone corbels. These emphasise the startling mixture of Pagan and Christian decoration at this church. Over the South door and on the main axis of the apse are “Agnus Dei” but elsewhere, there is a carving of the “Sheelagh-na-gig” a Celtic fertility symbol. This ‘exhibitionist’ figure is similar to those found in South West France. There are others in England including at Salisbury and Lincoln.

Many animals such as deer, rabbits, lions, cats and various birds are depicted. An inverted ibex head is one of the subjects that gave rise to the theory that an illuminated Bestiary inspired some of these. Ibex were shown in this position since it was considered that their strong horns could bear the weight of their body, should they fall from a precipice. Humans are shown taking part in various activities, such as wrestling, juggling and playing a rebec.

It is customary to consider the sculptural decoration in churches as being created as a gift to God. The fascinating variety of sources and lavish forms in this Seigneural church seem more like Hugh de Kilpeck and his advisors displaying their erudition.

Blaenavon – The Big Pit – HADAS plunges to new depths by Jim Nelhams

From Kilpeck, where we had been joined by Stewart Wild, our “underground” expert (– no not just the Northern Line), we headed south, skirting Abergavenny and onto the A465 Head of the Valleys Road. The first turning to Blaenavon was ignored since it involved a humped-back bridge at Llanfoist over the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal on which our coach would have grounded – so a slightly longer route was needed.

The Big Pit at Blaenavon is now the National Coal Museum of Wales, and we had booked a tour of the mine. On arrival, we were split into two groups for the underground tour, and equipped with miner’s helmets and lamps. Sadly electrical equipment including cameras had to be stored away before this point, so the sight of our groups is left to your imagination and our memories. Down 300 feet in the cage and our tour begins, through the galleries and the underground stables once used by pit ponies, and past redundant equipment to the coal face. Such was the interest that the tour scheduled for 50 minutes took nearer 90. And the taller among us appreciated why we were wearing helmets.

Near the entrance, we had seen two old steam engines, showing how the coal was removed, but this mine predates the railways. It is an amalgamation of several mines, the oldest opening in 1812. At the outset, it, and the nearby Ironworks, survived because of the canal, and Hill’s tramroad, which connected Blaenavon to Llanfoist Wharf. Similar tramroads connected other pits to the canal. Hill’s tramroad involved three inclined planes and a tunnel, and was an engineering triumph on its own. Parts of the track still exist and replica wagons can be seen by the canal. The track used L-shaped rails two feet apart, allowing horses to walk between the rails. But our descent down to the village of Blaenavon was made in the comfort of our coach, to the Heritage Centre, with some passengers dropping off at the Ironworks on the way.

Blaenavon Ironworks by David Bromley

The ironworks opened in 1788 with three steam-powered blast furnaces. Within ten years it was the second largest in Wales, employing 350 people and producing 5,400 tons of iron a year. Two further furnaces were added in 1810 and it then became the one of the largest ironworks in the world.

The left-hand side of the site is cut into the hill to form a cliff, with the brick and stone furnaces built against it, allowing the raw materials – iron ore, limestone and coke – to be added to the furnace tops at the upper level. Also on this level were the calcining kilns, where the iron ore was roasted prior to loading to remove mud and moisture and drive off impurities.

Following Blaenavon’s closure, the fine cut stone facing of two of the furnaces was robbed out in 1911 to build the nearby church, giving an opportunity to view the exposed inverted ‘bottle-shaped’ firebrick lining and the construction of the furnaces. In Furnace 2, the base interior has been cut away prior to re-lining. The missing section would have completed the wine bottle shape down to the tapping point, as can be seen on another furnace where the iron tapping point is heavily scoured by the molten iron.

In front of the furnaces are a casting shed, where iron was tapped off from the furnace and run into moulds in the sand floor to form ‘pigs’, as well as a foundry shed where cast-iron finished products were made (with examples on show). Adjacent to the shed is a small cupola furnace for re-melting iron for casting.

To the right of the site are the workers’ cottages, company shop and offices, built around three sides of a square. Two cottages have been re-created as they were when built. Although very small, they were built to attract workers and were a great improvement on labourers’ cottages of the time. Originally they had outside ash buckets, the communal toilets being a much later addition.

The centre of the square had originally been the Manager’s house and office, but this was demolished in 1860 to build a chimney about 140 feet high to draw waste gases from the furnaces into the boilers of the blowing engines, now both demolished. These underground pipes also served to keep the workers’ cottages warm – an early form of underfloor heating.

The most striking feature of the site is the Balance Tower, a fine stone-faced structure some 90 feet high. The function of this water-powered lift was to raise the raw materials to the level of the furnace tops and the finished products from the foundry and casting shops up to the level of the railway. The raw materials arrived on the site at the lower level. At the top of the tower, an empty wagon was loaded onto a platform, below which was a tank holding 2.9 tons of water. A loaded wagon was placed onto the corresponding lower platform and the upper tank was filled with water. The upper wagon would then descend, slowly at first but gaining speed. A chain clamp on the upper wheel controlled the descent and when the wagon reached the bottom, an automatic valve released the water and the wagon was locked down. The operation was almost silent and was called the guillotine, as accidents were common. It is reported that a man was crushed in 1840.

The ironworks continued to operate until the 1860s, when a new works was opened nearby. By 1900 Blaenavon had become the maintenance department for the company’s steelworks and coalmines, but by the 1960s the site was in ruins.

It is now managed by Cadw Welsh Heritage Monuments and is part of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage site.

Hereford by Jeffrey Lesser

Fortunately Hereford was not on our daily itinerary of visits. As a base it was perfect as it gave more time to appreciate this West Country jewel. Of the three cities it is by far the most pleasant, not submerged by outlets of the multiple-shops as in the case of Worcester and Gloucester. There was the opportunity to visit at leisure the unspoilt architecture and sites apart from the Cathedral, of this relatively small historic city.

The Saxon town of Hereford (“army ford”) lay on the north of the bend in the river Wye and the castle on its bank allowed control in both directions. This did not prevent Welsh raids with a spectacular destruction of the Minster and town in 1055. The Minster was then already venerable having been founded in 676 CE. The famous Mappa Mundi, together with the library of chained books, is housed in a special building next to the Cathedral which dates from the 13th century. On the map both Hereford and Jerusalem are marked. Our 18th century but relatively modernized hotel was in Broad Street where there is a variety of architecture. Past the Cathedral to reach the river one must deviate through King Street, previously the King’s Ditch, and cross the 15C stone bridge where the Roman army forded.

From the south bank one sees the Bishop’s Palace close to the Cathedral before walking east along the park. There is a small monument recording the death by drowning of an unfortunate swimmer and begging others not to risk it. Perhaps this is why there were no boats to be seen although previously the river was an important commercial route. Re-crossing the river by the Victorian suspension bridge, one reaches the site of the castle itself raised on a slight cliff. Apart from some mounds, nothing is visible of this royal castle built by William FitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford, as defence against the Welsh. The Castle Pool is the only remnant of the moat. The site of the keep is now Redcliffe Gardens and the Watergate became a prison. Next to it is a house belonging to a gentlemen’s club known as the Society of Tempers who insisted on being pleasant, as do we.

East of the Cathedral lies Castle Street with the Cathedral school, where the corn market was held. St. Ethelbert Street commemorates the saint, king of East Anglia, murdered by King Offa in 794. Previously East Street was ‘Behind the Wall Street’ as it lay behind the Saxon defences. Chandos House, now a pharmacy, was the town house of the Duke of Chandos, M.P. for the City, although we know him for his connection with Edgware and Handel. Here are more smart 17th and 18th century residences and the 19th century terracotta Town Hall, said to house the City Charter given by Richard 1st in 1189. From here the architecture is later and more imposing, including the Shirehall and Assembly Rooms of Sir Robert Smirke, and the War Memorial of both World Wars.

The approach to the historic northern part of the city is dominated by the ‘Old House’ dated 1621. It is typically Jacobean and bears the arms of the Butchers’ Guild as it was at the end of the Shambles. However, it has been used for selling a wide variety of goods in the past but is now a local museum with much Jacobean furniture and implements.

The wide expanse of High Town which the ‘Old House’ dominates, is a public concourse counter-balancing the Cathedral to the north. It has been a market place since the 12th century, with names such as Cooken, Mercers’ and Butchers’ Rows. The Bullring and mediaeval Town Hall were here, the site of the latter marked out in black paving stones, south of the area of the Butter Market, which now is a modern market for a wide variety of goods.

In contrast to spacious High Town, narrow Capuchin Lane leads off south into Church Street, ex Cabbage Street, equally narrow. This passes south parallel to Broad Street, crossing East Street, previously the other end of ‘Behind the Wall Street ‘ mentioned before. Church Street has many picturesque shops with timber framing and stone cellars. Obviously it was of great importance despite its restricted width, leading from the busy commercial centre of High Town to the Cathedral surrounded by wide lawns.

The Cathedral and its contents require a proper account elsewhere. The ancient monuments it contains are notably counterbalanced by a striking modern abstract ‘Crown of Thorns’ at the Crossing. The beauty of the design sits incongruously with its subject, but staying in Hereford itself allowed appreciation of the atmosphere of the Cathedral at a quiet and empty time.

The Library of Hereford Cathedral by Emma and David Robinson

By any measure the Library of Hereford Cathedral is a remarkable survival whose origins can be traced back to 1100. The important 8th century Hereford Gospels manuscript is widely considered to be the sole survivor today of the burning of the earlier Saxon church in 1055. But what makes this Library unique? In their history of Hereford Cathedral Aylmer and Tiller [1] argue that this is because:

– An astonishing number of medieval manuscripts survive in their original early bindings.

– The Hereford Chained Library is the most perfect and largest (some 1,444 books) example of an early

Jacobean library in the country [and, indeed, the world].

– It survived both the Reformation and the Civil War remarkably complete.

– A working theological lending library and a reference library are still retained. [It is of note that there

has been a working theological library in the cathedral continuously since the 12th century].

– A new state of the art library building was acquired in 1996.

To this list naturally should be added the presence of manuscripts and early printed books of international importance dating from the 7th century – but in this Hereford is of course not alone amongst our English cathedral libraries.

It is therefore of no surprise that we were encouraged to visit the new Library building whilst in the Cathedral. Personally, having researched in academic libraries for many years, and with a particular interest in historical collections, a visit was, not surprisingly, a high priority for us.

The Library as it exists today has evolved over the years, with additions from various sources. Not only have smaller collections of books, manuscripts and archives previously kept elsewhere in the cathedral precincts been brought together for the first time, but also further significant collections have been transferred to the Library for safe keeping; for example, the important chained library of the parish church of All Saints Hereford which had remarkably survived in the church until 1992.

Over the years the Library was housed in various locations in the cathedral precincts – but notably in 1590 it was moved into the Lady Chapel from a cloister room. Security in libraries has always been a concern since books were rare and valuable yet easily transportable. At first, efforts were made to secure the physical Library space; however, by 1596/7 the first purchase of irons and chains to fasten books securely to the library shelving is recorded in the archive. A major innovation of this system was that books could for the first time be placed upright on the shelves and so save space. However, to be chained in this position they would need to be placed with their fore edges outwards – so that the chain would not get tangled when a book was lifted down and placed on the reading desk below. The chains end in a ring which runs upon a rod, and when a book is added to the shelf a key is used to free the hasp and release the rod.

The chained library is now housed in a specially designed chamber in the new library building which means that the whole chained library can now be seen in its original arrangement (as created between 1611 and 1841). This also allows the books to be kept in controlled environmental conditions to modern standards of preservation. The state of the art exhibition area gives visitors the chance to view treasures from the collections whilst aiding their interpretation.

On view in the exhibition area are a number of treasures of the Cathedral. Four of these which are of international importance are described briefly below.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi (or map of the world) dates to c. 1300. This is drawn on a single sheet of vellum and is the largest known surviving medieval map of its kind. It reveals how medieval scholars interpreted the world in spiritual and geographical terms. The proposed sale of the map in the late 20th century to raise funds for preservation of other cathedral treasures resulted in an international outcry – but subsequently its future in the cathedral collections was secured.

There is a particularly fine early copy of the Magna Carta. Although this charter (also called the Great Charter of Liberties) was agreed and signed by King John in 1215 at Runnymede, it went though a number of revisions and reissues before becoming enshrined in English statute law in 1297. The most significant revision of the charter was issued in 1217. It is this version which Hereford Cathedral possesses.

The Hereford Gospels is an 8th century illuminated manuscript gospel book with large illuminated initials in the insular style (and the only book known to have survived the burning of the cathedral in 1055). It is likely to have been produced in Wales or near the Welsh borders. It is of note for its decoration which has features relating to the pre-Christian Celtic style.

In the context of Hereford being an apple growing area it is also pertinent that the Library possesses the famous Cider Bible – a 1420 copy of Wycliffe’s version in English. In this the scribe wrote ‘he shall not drinke syn ne sidir’ instead of the usual ‘strong drink’.

Today the whole Library continues to serve the cathedral’s mission and to bear witness to the Christian faith. It is also an important research centre and noted visitor destination. It would have been good to have spent more time there – although we were lucky to be able to speak briefly with curator – but this will need to wait until we can pay another visit.

[1] G.E. Aylmer and John Tiller (2000). Hereford Cathedral: A History. Hambledon Continuum

The Staffordshire Hoard Don Cooper

This is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered. The hoard was discovered by a metal detectorist (Terry Herbert) in a farmer’s field in Staffordshire in July 2009. After uncovering a number of gold items and as required by the Treasure Act 1996 he informed the representative of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Archaeologists were mobilised and the important hoard was secured. The hoard has yet to be properly analysed and conserved, but early indications are that it dates to the late 7th or early 8th century, around the time covered by the great poem, Beowulf.

In Anglo-Saxon times this area of Staffordshire would have been in the Kingdom of Mercia. Mercia was ruled by Penda from 626 to 655 AD, followed by his son Wulfhere and then in 675 by another son Aethelred who reigned until 704. It is exciting to think that perhaps one of these kings was around at the time this hoard was deposited.

The hoard contains over 1500 items made up of 5kgs of gold and 2.5kgs of silver. To put it into perspective, the Sutton Hoo excavation in 1939 turned up 1.5kgs of gold. It is a “warlike” hoard consisting predominately of objects relating to the battlefield. There are, for instance, 87 sword pommels and 71 sword hilt collars. There are none or few domestic items or feminine ones. There are a number of apparently Christian crosses. One remarkable find is a strip of gold with inscriptions on both sides. One side has not yet been conserved and interpreted but the other contains an inscription in Latin from the Book of Numbers, which is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah or Pentateuch. The Latin reads: “Surge domine et dissipentur inimice tui et fugiant qui oderient te a facie tua” (Numbers, Chapter 10 verse 35). It can be translated as: “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be dispersed and those who hate you flee from before your face”

Many archaeologists believe that when this hoard is fully conserved, analysed and interpreted it will greatly improve our understanding of that period of the history of these islands that used to be described as the “Dark Ages”

Some of the artefacts are currently on display at the British Museum and there is another lecture on the discovery on the 10th December at 18.30 also at the British Museum, booking essential. To book ring 0207 323 8181, the cost is £5, concessions £3.

All of the information in this article has been collated from the web site: This web site has excellent photos of the hoard and is a good source for what is happening to the artefacts and where they are likely to be displayed. Any opinions expressed are mine.

Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan

Tuesday, 8th December 2009 at 18.30 LAMAS Terrace Room, Museum of London, London Wall, EC2 a lecture entitled “Rebels and Infidels at the City’s Village Hall: the Radical Collections at Bishopsgate Library” By Stefan Dickers. Refreshments at 18.00

Tuesday, 8th December 2009 at 20.00 Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Lane, N3 (off Hendon Lane) a lecture entitled “Fluorspar mining in the Northern Pennines” by David Greenwood

Thursday, 10th December 2009 at 12.45 Museum of London a talk by Jon Cotton entitled “Golden Age finds” Jon describes some of the curious objects found in the Thames in the Victorian Era. The talk is free.

Thursday, 17th December 2009 at 19.30 Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 a lecture entitled “London’s Shops – The World’s Emporium” by Susan Jenkinson. Cake & wine at 19.00, visitors £1.

Monday, 21st December 2009 at 20.15 Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society, St Martin’s church hall, Eastcote Road, Ruislip a lecture by Eileen Bowlt entitled “Ian Tait’s Ruislip in the 1920s” Visitors £2

Monday, January 11th 2010 at 15.00 Barnet & District Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet a lecture entitled “Hospital and quarantine ships on the river Thames” by Dr. Ian Johnston.

Friday, 16th January 2010 at 20.00 Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, (close to Chase Side) a lecture entitled “Southgate before World War I” by Graham Dalling, Visitors £1.

Newsletter-464-November-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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Tuesday, 10th November 2009, Bricks and Skeletons: St John the Evangelist Stanmore – 1932 Brick Church Ruin. Lecture by Dr Frederick Hicks.

The Domesday Book of 1086 lists Stanmore as having a priest with half a hyde of land, so presumably there was a church. It is known that there was a Saxon-medieval church, the first church, called St Mary’s. Increase in population led to a second church in 1632, built entirely of brick and named St John the Evangelist after John Wolstenholme, Farmer of Customs to King Charles I. Further increase in population led to a third church in 1850, which is still in current use.

Demolition of the brick church, to sell materials to offset the cost of the new church, was stopped in 1851 after a public outcry. It was left as a roofless ruin, described by Pevsner as “the finest ruin in Middlesex”. Historically involved are John Wolstenholme, Archbishop William Laud, Marquess of Abercorn (Hamilton), Fourth Earl of Aberdeen (Gordon), Prime Minister, Dowager Queen Adelaide and others buried in the churchyard such as W S Gilbert.

Dr Frederick Hicks is a retired GP and Vice-Chairman of the Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society.

Sunday 6th December 2009, 6.30 for 7pm. HADAS has booked the CASA DI LINO restaurant (see in North Finchley for the evening. Apart from a meal (from a special menu), we will have a guest lecturer and/or slides of this year’s trips. Details of the menu are being discussed but will include a choice of starters and main courses. To keep the cost down to around £20 per head, we will not be providing transport to what will be a local event.

Because of possible postal disruption, if you would like to take part, please email or phone Jim Nelhams –, 020 8449 7076, as soon as possible, and not later than 21st November. Details of the menu will be circulated to those responding. The invitation is open to HADAS members and their friends, and we hope that as many as possible will support this celebratory event.

Tuesday 12th January 2010. The Achaeology of Anglo-Jewry in London 1066-1290 and 1656-c.1850.

Lecture by Ken Marks.

Tuesday 9th February 2010. The Trendles Project. Lecture by William Cumber.

Tuesday 9th March 2010. The History of RAF Bentley Priory. Lecture by Erica Ferguson.

Tuesday 13th April 2010. The GWR comes to the Thames Valley. Lecture by John Chapman.

Tuesday 11th May 2010. Graeco-Roman Period Funerary Practices in Egypt. Lecture by John Johnson.

Lectures start at 7.45 for 8.00pm in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE.

Buses 82, 143, 326 & 460 pass close by, and it is five to ten minutes walk from Finchley Central Station (Northern Line).

Hereford Trip DAY 2 Jim Nelhams

Day 2 saw us heading for Worcester. After our first stop at the Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum, people were free to visit a number of places within walking distance. Museum tickets allowed half price admission to several of these, and “pocket money” was distributed on the coach to go towards the remaining costs.

Worcester Porcelain Museum by Sylvia Javes

When we arrived at the museum, we were served with coffee: served, of course in Worcester porcelain cups.

The museum is adjacent to the old Worcester Royal Porcelain factory, which, sadly, had closed down in June, a few weeks before our visit. The factory had been a major employer in Worcester, with crafts being passed down through generations. The museum was originally a reference and resource centre for the factory, with an archive of pattern books as well as collections of porcelain. Fortunately it is an independent trust and owns its own site, so there was no danger to its valuable collections when the factory went into liquidation.

In the mid 18th century, porcelain was imported from China. It was expensive, and the designs were not always suitable for the western market. Worcester Porcelain began in 1751, when Dr John Wall and his partner William Davis, a chemist, produced a fine porcelain in Worcester (porcelain = pure kaolin). A factory was established close to the river, with good transport connections for raw materials and shipping out the products. Early designs copied Chinese products, blue and white porcelain, but this was coarser than the Chinese product, and not durable. Then a better formula was developed, and the company began to prosper. New designs copied English silver: sauce and cream jugs, decorated with coloured Chinese prints. In the mid 1750s painted designs moved away from the Chinese prints. Influenced by Meissen designs, the artists painted flower sprays in soft colours.

The most fashionable background colour was blue, but it was difficult to achieve a perfect solid ground colour, so ‘scale blue’ was developed, tiny blue brush strokes forming the background. This job was done by children. Panels were left white, then filled with flowers, fruit, birds and insects by artists. Among the artists employed were engravers who made the patterns for transfer prints that were used for decoration. The transfers were inked papers that were applied to the porcelain, and then fired, to leave the design behind, and could be left monochrome or filled with colour by artists. Other experts included gilders: much Worcester porcelain is richly embellished with gold.

The museum is a treasure house of Worcester porcelain from the earliest pieces right up to modern ovenware. There are sumptuous dinner services, gilded and painted by skilled artists. In some services, each piece has a different design, for example a tea service with a different British bird on each piece. There are decorative vases and figurines, produced to grace mantelpieces, including a whole series of set pieces depicting American birds. The oven-to-table ware was originally made with gilding, but this was changed to green edging so the porcelain is microwave and dishwasher safe. This is a delightful museum, and would be well worth another visit.

Worcester Cathedral by Sigrid Padel

After our tour of the Worcester Porcelain Museum and lunch al fresco, but in warm sunshine, many of the group assembled for a guided tour of the cathedral. This began in the south transept, where we were joined by our guide, a rather elegant lady whose name, Faith Mountain, seemed very appropriate to her function. Though fairly advanced in years, she impressed us with her knowledge of this building and the love and enthusiasm with which she guided us.

Oswald, Bishop of Worcester from 961, built the first cathedral here, but this was destroyed by the Danes. The next building phase, under Wulfstan, began in 1084. Little of this remains, but we were able to visit the Norman crypt with its four aisles of seven narrow bays divided by a forest of slim round pillars, creating a space which emanates sanctity and peace, even today. Originally an ambulatory encircled the east end. This enabled pilgrims to file round the shrine of St. Oswald, just in front of the altar. Later on Oswald’s body was removed and the east end was blocked off. Though traces of the Norman cathedral survive here and there, the crypt and the chapter house are the only structures which show strong evidence of this style.

Most of the cathedral dates from the 13th and 14th centuries and is remarkable for a feeling of harmony created by its unity of style. Because we could not enter the nave, which was being used for an exhibition, we rather missed out on getting a view of the whole length and magnificence of this Gothic building, but we were able to see some of the remarkable detail and beautiful workmanship in the choir and ambulatory. Our guide pointed out some fine carving in the spandrels, especially in the Lady Chapel. The stained glass, some of it very beautiful, is mainly Victorian.

In the Choir there were some intriguing carved misericords, but unfortunately the lighting was poor and we did not have time to study them in detail. King John’s tomb is in a prominent position here. (Died 1216) He chose to be buried in this cathedral, which he visited often. Though we tend to think of him mainly as the king who had to sign Magna Carta, he appears here in a different light. He was fond of hunting in the nearby forests and loved Worcester. It is known that he venerated St. Wulfstan. A codicil to his will asked that he should be buried in this cathedral. On the north side of the chancel stands the highly decorated chantry chapel of Prince Arthur, elder brother of Henry VIII and first husband of Catharine of Aragon. Aged only 15, he had died at Ludlow Castle and was buried here with great pomp. English history might have run a very different course had he succeeded instead of Henry VIII!

We also visited the 14th century cloister and the Chapter House, the latter sadly being used as a cafe at the moment. It is unique for being the only circular Chapter House in England. The lower half is Norman, with beautiful blind arcading. Traces of paint still visible in places indicate the probably very vividly coloured decoration in its original state. The vaulting is supported by a single column, a design also to be found at Wells and Lincoln. This and the many later windows in the Perpendicular style create a wonderfully light space.

Drama in the Cathedral by Tessa Smith

In the magnificent setting of the Nave of Worcester Cathedral an exhibition of theatrical costume caught my eye. Excavated from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the V&A and film and TV costumiers’ archives, the clothes ranged from those worn by Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in Macbeth to those worn by Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

On entering the Nave a procession of slim and modest wedding gowns greeted the eye. Made in light and delicate fabrics of fawn and beige they were dainty and modest. However on closer inspection, and every model deserved close inspection, the needlework involved revealed pleats and plackets, ribbons and bows, embroidery and stitch work, the styles echoing the styles of each period. Costumes worn by Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, Billie Piper as Fanny Price in Mansfield Park, Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre, and even Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice processed down the Nave

The next display was of Royal costumes arranged regally on the steps leading up to the Quire of the Cathedral Rich and colourful clothes worn by some of our most well loved actresses as Queen Elizabeth1, Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett and Judy Dench displayed huge collars, tightly pointed waists, long and heavy trains, panniers of gold and silver and bodices flashing with jewels. King II, the Duke of Norfolk, Ann Boleyn and Queen Victoria were resplendent in rich embroidery at collar, cuff and hem.

Picking out a few from the next display (over 200 costumes altogether): outfits worn by Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter, Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen in Out of Africa, Madonna as Eva Peron and Minnie Driver as Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera made up quite an international cast, “all the world’s a stage”, and somehow the fact that the clothes were displayed on mannequins did not detract from the theatrical atmosphere in the Cathedral. Music from some of these played quietly, enhancing the spirit of the place.

Below the magnificent West Window a dramatic tableau of costumes from Shakespearean plays worn by Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet, Derek Jacobi as Prospero, Donald Sinden as Henry VIII, Glenda Jackson as Cleopatra, Juliet Stevenson as Titania. and Vanessa Redgrave in Taming of the Shrew held the stage Crimson velvet, yellow silk brocade and the occasional twinkle and flash of sequin on Titania’s costume contrasted with sombre leather and dull coarse weave, some clothes being quite subdued, after all the costumes are only props to help the actors portray their characters

A final motley crew from Pirates of the Caribbean and Robin Hood led me towards the exit of this superb exhibition of theatrical costume set in the dignified atmosphere of Worcester Cathedral.

A Chance Meeting in Worcester by Emma and David Robinson

One of the fascinating things about the study trip was how we each have our own stories to tell. Here are a few words from one of ours.

It was mid-afternoon. We were standing near St George’s Square after the funeral service of Private Jason Williams of the Mercian Regiment (who had given his life in the Afghanistan conflict), waiting for the cortege to go by. As it passed everyone began to clap to show their appreciation. It was an impressive and moving civic experience of a community marking their respect and affection for one of their own. Bystanders volunteered their own thoughts to us of what the ceremony had meant to them – remembering young people dear to them who had died young often in tragic circumstances.

Musing on this we walked on towards the High Street. On reaching Worcester Guildhall we encountered two others of our group who said that the mayor had just returned and had spoken with them. We were keen to make a visit to the building since guidebooks had enthused on the subject and not without reason.

The present Guildhall is a splendid Queen Anne building, begun in 1722 by Thomas White, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. White was not paid promptly for his efforts. He died in poverty in 1738, however not before assigning the debt owed him to the Worcester Royal Infirmary in his will. This debt was finally fulfilled when the city paid up in 1753. Rather to our surprise as we were looking around the magnificent entrance gallery the Mayor, Councillor Andrew Roberts, emerged from his parlour – and on hearing us exclaim about the splendour of the building invited us into his private rooms to meet the mayoress and for a closer look – particularly at the city regalia. These included the fine 18th century city maces and a 17th century ceremonial sword. He demonstrated how the maces were held and explained that tradition dictates how the position of the mace has to be reversed if the monarch has touched it. Since he had been wearing the mayoral chain this was not yet back in its safe. It is particularly fine and the chain consists of interlinked solid gold ingots. The Mayor and his partner were taking tea – naturally from a Royal Worcester Porcelain tea service.

The Mayor recounted the history of items amongst the earlier regalia which had to be sold to satisfy city debts. The city is lucky to still have this magnificent building since, as the Mayor added, in the 19th century there were plans to demolish the entire building and replace it rather in the style of Manchester’s Gothic Revival Town Hall. The earlier building was apparently retained solely because the Mayor at the time used his casting vote to defeat the proposal. After this the city simply ran out of money so the original Guildhall remains. By chance we had visited Manchester Town Hall – including the Mayor’s Parlour – in May 2009 on the occasion of the investiture of the Lord Mayor. The differences in style (including the regalia and tea services used) were, to say the least, striking.

The Mayor also showed us how Worcester had remembered all of those who had served in the First Wold War – not just those who had made the ultimate sacrifice – this great roll of honour being accommodated behind panelled doors in the entrance gallery. Having thanked the Mayor we then continued with our visit. Of particular note is the Assembly Room occupying almost the whole second floor, veryimpressive with fine decorated ceilings. However, it was the surprise element of the visit that impressed us most, enabling us to get a real feeling for the hospitality and traditions of the city.

The Commandery, Worcester by Vicki Baldwin

When we visited The Commandery, Sigrid Padel and I were not sure quite what to expect. From the outside it didn’t appear to be a particularly large building. We were given handsets and told that we had a choice of six tours to follow, all taking the same route. We were also told that if we wanted to follow all six then it would take us about six hours to complete. An hour to follow one tour seemed a reasonable amount of time, so we stepped through the door into a courtyard surrounded by timber framed buildings. Originally there had been a chapel to Saint Gudwal to which was later added a hospital that grew into two wings joined by the Great Hall. The current buildings dated from the late 15th century and have undergone several changes in use, hence the six different tours to follow. We chose to follow the first tour which covers the early history of the place as a hospital. Other tours dealt with The Commandery’s use as a private house in the 16th century; as a military headquarters in the Civil War, as a Victorian college for the blind and, most recently, as a printers.

The tour started in the Great Hall where there was a display relating the Civil War. One range of rooms related to wealthy living; the other to the life of the ordinary people. In total there were more than thirty rooms. Each room was numbered and had a small information board, but in general they were bare although some had 17th century carved fireplaces. The handsets provided the information. Some rooms had definite functions such as the ‘Games Room’ with its selection of well-made board games, each one appropriate for a period covered by the tours. The ‘Building Room’ had colour-coded plans of the building at the key periods and soft blocks to recreate the layout. Another room had six different ways of producing writing. My favourite was a room with its walls covered in names. Again these were colour-coded to period and were names of actual people who had been associated with the Commandery in its various phases. In the middle of the room was a table with a book that gave a short biography for each name.

Nothing prepared us for the original wall and ceiling paintings that adorn one room. These date from the period of the Hospital of Saint Wulfstan and although restored are impressive, not least for the ceiling painting depicting the Trinity and, unusually, showing the face of God. This room would have been for patients in the hospital to visit to pray for healing.

I’m sure we took more than an hour to complete the tour and could have taken longer. The idea of a series of almost empty rooms coupled with a structured narrative worked very well and had there been more time I would have liked to follow another tour. If I visit Worcester again, I would like to revisit The Commandery.

The Greyfriars, Worcester by Graham Javes

The Greyfriars is a late15th century timber-framed merchant’s townhouse, built about 1480 by Thomas Grene, who later described the building in his will as a ‘tenement and brewhouse’. On the profits of brewing, Grene rose to become High Bailiff in 1493 and 1497. The property was extended in the 17th century, probably by the Street family, when a gallery was built over an archway where previously it may have been open to the elements. The property saw many vicissitudes over the following centuries, the front being converted into several shops in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. There is now no evidence of a medieval Great Hall.

The house has been called The Greyfriars only since the early 20th century when local historians confused the upper floor with a description of the refectory of the Franciscan friary, which once stood nearby andall trace of which had finally disappeared about 100 years earlier. The Greyfriars came into the possession of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society. It was saved from demolition by Mr Matley Moore and his sister Miss Elsie Moore, who restored it on behalf of the society during the war years, resourcefully reusing materials then difficult to obtain. The present furniture, tapestries and decor, much dating from the 17th century, were acquired by the Moores, obtained from other houses, purchases from house-sales and gifts from their many friends in the Archaeological Society. Miss Moore was an artist and needlewoman interested in medieval wall painting and hangings, whilst her brother Matley specialised in churches and church silver, becoming secretary to the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Each was recognised in their field with a fellowship of the Society of Antiquaries. Finally, in 1949 the Moores moved into The Greyfriars, along with their mother, Florence, to live out their lives there.

Concerned at the destruction of the old city in the face of post-war redevelopment, Matley Moore persuaded the Worcestershire Archaeological Society to donate The Greyfriars to the National Trust in 1966.

During our visit to The Greyfriars, we were entertained by two students, who played early English music on replica contemporary instruments in the parlour, and discussed their instruments – the Northumberland bagpipes, a lute and a hurdy-gurdy – ­ with visitors.

Back to Hereford by Jim Nelhams

On our way back to Hereford, we diverted through Malvern Link, where we stopped at a very rare Victorian fluted Pillar Box, one of only four of its type still in use – three of these are in the Malvern area and the remaining one in Solihull. We continued over the Malvern Hills to enjoy the views of the surrounding countryside, which inspired so much of Sir Edward Elgar’s music.

The Finchley Arrow – straight to the point by Stewart Wild

Members, especially those living in Finchley, will be interested in the arrival of a new free community newspaper, the “Finchley Arrow”, edited by Andrew Taylor. Andrew and his wife Pam came on our summer
outing to Broughton Castle, and HADAS gets a mention in the first issue, available now on the internet at

Andrew is an experienced journalist and started the successful community newspaper “The Archer” in East Finchley some fifteen years ago. This latest internet newspaper is non-profit making, non-political and aims to publish monthly.

Calling all standing order payers! By Stephen Brunning

Have you moved home in the last few years? If so, I would be grateful if you could let me have a note of it to check against the membership database. I have come across a few members who have changed addresses that we were unaware of. Writing each year to the people who pay by cheque flags this up, but sometimes contact is lost with standing order payers. Emailing me at would be the best option, as I can also add this information to our list! Otherwise, a telephone call to 020 8959 6419 will suffice. Many thanks.

Excavations in St Martin-in-the-Fields – Report of October lecture by Peter Pickering

Our lecture series opened on Tuesday 13th October with a lecture by Alison Telfer of Museum of London Archaeology on the exciting excavations carried out in advance of and during the recent major refurbishment of the church of St-Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. The work has included in particular the demolition of Victorian burial vaults to create modern facilities for community use.

The present church, built in the 1720s by the architect James Gibbs, replaced earlier churches of which the archaeologists found no certain trace. What they did find, despite the removal of many archaeological deposits by the construction of the vaults and by the ubiquitous sewers, was evidence of continuous human activity from the earliest Roman times. In the nineteenth century a large number of coffins – after reburial of the bodies – had been dumped in pits; among them was a gold mourning ring dated 1815. From the seventeenth century were cellars. From the sixteenth a wall of uncertain purpose and, beneath that, a burial from the twelfth century. Beneath that again was a high status burial of the seventh century, with a hanging bowl, a small glass ‘palm cup’ (so called because it will fit into the palm of a hand) and amethyst beads. Under the nineteenth century vaults were deep cut Saxon pits, with antler picks, and perhaps a sunken-floor building. The sequence of burials continued with ones from the fifth/sixth centuries, and an early fifth century stone coffin, which had been reused – a few bones from the earlier occupant still being there.

Continuity was implied by the fact that the Saxon burials seemed to have respected the Roman ones. A particularly intriguing find was a tile kiln dated to the first half of the fifth century; what, the excavators wondered, were the tiles used for – was building going on nearby at the very end of the Roman period? Finally, there were traces of a building from the very beginning of the Roman occupation – a late Iron Age farm or perhaps, Alison speculated, a lookout post used by the Roman invaders?

This was a fine start to the lecture season, well presented, well illustrated and about an important site almost on our doorstep.

Postal Strike and e-mail by Mary Rawitzer

Thank you again to everyone who responded to our general request in the last newsletter for e-mail subscribers. Some people still prefer paper, of course and we are happy to keep it that way. However, if it looks as if there will be a serious postal strike we shall be sending this newsletter out by post as usual, but will also try to e-mail it to everyone for whom we have an up-to-date e-mail address.

Cuttings from the papers Submitted by Stewart Wild

The Sunday Telegraph – 3rd October 2009

A piece of a marble statue found at Fishbourne Roman Palace is believed to be depicting the Emperor Nero as a young boy. The stone, which is the right side of the head and lower face, will be scanned to create a computer image of what he may have looked like. The only other known statues of Nero are to be found in the Italian National Museum of Antiquities in Parma, and the Louvre Museum in Paris. The reason so few statues survive is because images of him were destroyed after he was declared an enemy of the state when ousted in a military coup. Although the statue was discovered in 1964, it was previously believed to be that of a British King called Togidubnes, or a member of his family.

Other Societies’ Events Compiled by Eric Morgan

Friday 6th November 12.45 to 1.45pm. Museum of London. London Wall EC2. Avid Antiquarians. Talk by Francis Grew on the Museum’s Roman Sculpture. FREE.

Wednesday 11th November 7.45pm. Mill Hill Historical Society. Wilberforce Centre, St Paul’s Church, The Ridgeway NW7. Christ’s Hospital School (Sussex). Talk by Colin G Bell.

Friday 13th November, 8pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, junction of Chase Side, Enfield. Waltham Abbey Excavations 2008. Talk by Peter Huggins. Visitors £1. Refreshments, sales and info from 7.30pm.

Thursday 19th November 7.30pm. Camden History Society. Burgh House, New End Sq NW3. History of the Blue Plaque Scheme in London. Talk by Howard Spencer.

Friday 20th November 7pm. COLAS. St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. From Ice Age to Essex: excavations on the Essex Gravels. Talk by Pamela Greenwood. Visitors £2. Light refreshments afterwards.

Friday 20th November 7.30pm. Wembley History Society. St Andrews (New) Church, Church Lane, Kingsbury NW9. 176 years of the Oxford Movement. Talk by Rev. John Smith. Visitors £1. Refreshments in interval.

Wednesday 25th November 8pm. Barnet & District Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite museum). AGM.

Wednesday 25th November 7.45pm. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall, (next to Whetstone Police Station), Friern Barnet Lane, N20. History of Queen Elizabeth Girls School. Talk by Jennifer Johnson. Cost £2. Refreshments before and after meeting.

Thursday 26th November 2.30pm. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3. Comic & Satirical Edwardian Postcards by Cynicus. Talk by Hugh Garnsworthy. Non-members £2.

Saturday 28th November 10.15am to 3.30pm. Amateur Geological Society. St Mary’s Hall, Hendon Lane N3. Mineral & Fossil Bazaar. Rocks, Crystals, Gemstones and Jewellery. Admission £1. Refreshments.

Monday 30th November to Sunday 6th December. Barnet Borough Arts Council. The Spires (outside Waitrose), High Street, Barnet. Painting & What’s On (including HADAS).

Newsletter-463-October-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 8 : 2005 - 2009 | No Comments

Membership Matters Stephen Brunning

A warm welcome to the new members who have joined since January 2009: Jeffrey & Rosie BENGE, Michael & Kiran GIBLIN, Jessica & Charmaine KLEIN, Gary, Sarah, Lucy & Thomas SENIOR.

If you have not yet taken the plunge to attend one of our events, you don’t know what you’re missing! Why not come along to one of the Tuesday evening lectures? We would love to see you there, and do come up and say hello!!

Liz Sagues has written to advise me that she is not renewing her membership of HADAS. Liz says she has lots of happy memories over a very long connection with the society. Liz joined in April 1976 and took part in the opening fortnight of the West Heath Dig that year. Some members will know Liz had moved to Chichester and tells me she is too far away and out of touch with all things archaeological now.
Liz has also asked me to extend her best wishes to everyone who knows her.

More for e-mail Newsletters, please Mary Rawitzer

We have had some helpful take-up of our offer to e-mail HADAS Newsletters, saving time and money and enabling members to select anything they need to keep in print without taking up too much space.

One of the things that came up on the Hereford trip was that many more people were interested or willing than originally replied. Of course, it was all too exciting for me to remember to write down the names of those interested!

So here is a fresh request and reminder: Are you willing to receive the HADAS Newsletter by e-mail? Would everyone who is and hasn’t yet said so, please e-mail me with the simple word “Yes”. Address:

NOTE: Sending newsletters by email would allow us to include colour photographs and diagrams.


A reminder that our lecture season starts this month. All lectures are at Avenue House, 17 East End Road,

N3 3QE – 7:30 for 8:00 pm. Visitors are welcome at a nominal charge of £1.

Tuesday 13th October 2009

Alison Telfer – Project Officer Museum of London Archaeology

Excavations at St Martin in the Fields

Traditional thought has suggested a Middle Saxon (7th century) date for the origins of the church of St Martin, located at the western edge of the Saxon town of Lundenwic. Recent excavations in the grounds of the church revealed a sarcophagus burial dating to the early 5th century, the time when the Romans were leaving Britain.

Alison Telfer is a Project Officer for Museum of London Archaeology, and has been digging in London for over twenty years. Alison says the site is one of the most exciting she has ever worked on, and feels honoured to be speaking to HADAS about it. Further revelations about the site have emerged (through scientific analysis) in the last 3 months, and so this lecture will be the most up-to-date yet.

Tuesday 10th November 2009

Dr Frederick Hicks

Bricks and Skeletons: St Johns 1632 Brick Church Ruin

Dates for 2010 lectures – (all Tuesdays)

12th January, 9th February, 9th March, 13th April, 11th May 2010.

Hendon St Mary’s Churchyard Jim Nelhams

Much recent work has been going on in the churchyard with undergrowth being cleared making many more of the graves accessible. It is also planned to replant the Garden of Rest. The work will aid our project to catalogue all the burials at St Mary’s. HADAS will be sending a donation to support the work.

HADAS Facebook Group Stephen Brunning

HADAS has started a Facebook group for people into social networking websites. I have uploaded a few photos to view at: Please feel free to add a few more.

If you have not already done so, you will need to sign up (free) first. Once registered, type “Hendon and District Archaeological Society” into the search box (top right of the screen). This should find our group.

Please take a look and tell me what you think. I do not want the Facebook group to take the place of the discussion list, but it’s good to advertise HADAS more widely. With the link to our own website, we may even get a few more members! I advertised the Roman Cookery Demonstration here, and it generated a good few enquiries as the event was forwarded to other people via “friends” lists.

The “great and the good” in archaeology seem to be on Facebook. But be warned – it can become addictive!!!!

The Medieval Period in the Local Area, by Brian Warren Graham Javes

Hard on the heels of his Reappraisal of the Battle of Barnet 1471 earlier this year, HADAS member Brian Warren has written another in the series of booklets published by Potters Bar and District Historical Society. This latest one is The Medieval Period in the Local Area: the area being South Mimms and Potters Bar.

Brian states his primary aim was to write the history of the manors in the parish and particularly to compare the earliest South Mimms court roll of 1345 with the rolls of 1451 and 1452. Between these dates, in 1387, occurs the earliest mention of Potters Bar: ‘the King’s Highway from Pottersbarre towards Barnet’ (pp.4-5). Medieval names of roads on the manor are given with their earliest known dates. The number of maps in this small booklet is impressive. This is the history of the manor of South Mimms, which was later sub-divided into the manors of Wyllyotts, Mandeville, Durhams, Old Fold, and Barnet, later called Mimms Side or West Barnet (p. 16). More especially, this booklet discusses the tenants recorded at the South Mimms View of Frankpledges in 1451 and 1452, opening a window into their lives.

The Medieval Period in the Local Area, by Brian Warren, Potters Bar and District Historical Society, 2009, pp. 36, A5, typescript, 12 photographs including cover, 9 maps, 1 drawing, Price £2 + £1 p&p. From Mrs Mabel Hammett, 4 Heath Cottages, Heath Road, Potters Bar, EN6 1LS. Cheques payable to Potters Bar and District Historical Society. (It is hoped that copies will be available at the next HADAS lecture.)


Our next committee meeting is on Thursday 15th October. If you would like anything to be discussed at this meeting, please talk to or email any committee member.

Celia Fiennes and Barnet Graham Javes

In her recent report on the HADAS outing to Broughton Castle, Jean Bayne noted the funerary monument in Broughton church to the second Lord Saye and Sele, one of the comparatively few Yorkist nobles to be killed at the battle of Barnet in 1471. Another distinguished member of the Fiennes family having connections with Barnet was Celia Fiennes, renowned for the journal she kept of her journeys through England, later edited as Through England on a side saddle in the time of William and Mary. Celia was the daughter of Nathaniel, the second son of William, the 8th Baron and first Viscount Saye and Sele. She was born in the manor house at Newton Toney, near Salisbury, in 1662.

On the final leg of her ‘Northern Journey’ in 1697, which had taken Celia from London through Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire to Lincoln, Nottingham, York, Hull and Scarborough, returning through the Peak District, Warwick, Northampton and St Albans, she eventually arrived in Barnet:

‘… and seems to be a very sharpe aire, it’s a large place and the houses are made commodious to entertain the Company that comes to drink the waters [at Barnet Physick Well] which certainly if they be at the paines to go once and see would have but little stomach to drink them; the well is a large place walled in 8 square, it’s at least two yards over and built 2 or 3 yards up from the water and over it is lattices of wood round to looke down into it and so covered like a house above, below are staires down to a doore to go in to dip the water there. I stood at the lowest step above the water to look into it, its full of leaves and dirt and every tyme they dip it troubles the water, not but what they take up and let stand looks clear but I could not taste it … ’

Comparing the Barnet mineral water unfavourably with that of Tunbridge and Hampstead, she likened it to Epsom. In both cases the spring was not fast-flowing so that debris was not washed away.

In those days the well stood on Barnet Common. The fashion for taking the waters ended, and with it Barnet’s claims as a tourist centre. In 1927 while the 180-house Wellhouse Estate was being built around the site, The Times reported that Barnet Urban District Council, ‘carrying out the wishes of many local societies and local historians’, and notably ‘the Barnet Record Society’, was planning to erect ‘a new brick structure with fountains, appropriate garden walks and flower beds, with two approach roads’ to be called Well Road and Pepys Crescent. In the event, in 1937, a mock-Tudor building was erected over the well – today a Grade II Listed Building, a target of vandals and on the English Heritage ‘Buildings At Risk Register’.

Returning to Celia Fiennes, she must have liked Chipping Barnet better than she liked its waters. For many years she made her principal home in Wood Street, Barnet, though it was at Hackney that she died. In 1709 she gave the Independent chapel in Wood Street (now the United Reform Church) a tablecloth and plate for the communion and in her will, proved 1738, she left the chapel £1 a year for ten years.

HADAS OUTINGS 2009 Jim Nelhams

When the committee discussed outings for this year, a number of suggestions were made. So each of our outings has tried one or more of the suggestions.

A midweek trip to Syon House and Syon Park allowed us to see a dig in progress. Although this trip was on a Wednesday, there was no drop in the number taking part.

The trip to Broughton Castle was on a Sunday: there was a lot less traffic, and more time at our destinations.

Finally, the trip to Hereford used a hotel instead of student accommodation. This seemed to work well, which means that we do not need to stay in a university town nor wait until the students have gone home.

We can take these lessons on board when planning for next year. Nevertheless, it is helpful to get your feedback – what worked and what didn’t, and why – and to get suggestions for next year and further ahead. If you have any ideas/comments on where we might go, or what we might change, please send them to Jo Nelhams (address and email shown on the back page of this newsletter).

Thank you, thank you, thank you Don Cooper

When I became ill in May, the HADAS long weekend trip was potentially in jeopardy; however, Jo and Jim Nelhams (our Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer respectively) stepped in and took over the task. There is a lot effort and time required to run these events and Jo and Jim have been magnificent. All “travellers” I have spoken to and heard from tell me that it was a most successful trip. On my behalf and on behalf of all those who went on the trip I would like to send a huge vote of thanks to Jo & Jim.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who sent get-well cards and messages to me which have been both very welcome and encouraging. I am looking forward to being healthy again. Thank you all very much.


After a tour of North London to pick up our 34 passengers, off we went in our coach (from Galleon Travel) towards Hereford. At the wheel was Craig. We were fortunate to have such a careful, considerate and helpful driver.

During the planning stages of this trip, the project had a code name in honour of our ex-Secretary – ROSS on WYE. The long term weather forecast indicated that “in Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen”. This proved accurate, and throughout the trip, the weather was kind to us.

Following a comfort/coffee stop at Oxford Services on the M40 before continuing westwards, everybody was provided with information about the places we had booked to visit and various options that they could choose, particularly in Worcester and Gloucester.

Our base was to be The Green Dragon Hotel in Hereford, a coaching inn dating from the 16th Century, though the front façade was added in 1857, and only 200 yards from the Cathedral. All rooms had television and tea-making equipment.

Apart from the first evening, when we had a lecture, coffee was served after dinner in the relaxing and comfortable Garrick Lounge (David Garrick, once owner of Hendon Hall, was born in Hereford) providing a good chance to get to know others on the trip. A number of friendships were made or strengthened.

Because the hotel did not provide packed lunches, these were made up each morning in Jim and Jo’s bedroom, with cereal bars and fruit juices brought from Barnet, and fresh sandwiches supplied to order from the nearby branch of Greggs. Fresh fruit was also available on the coach.

Adding to the enjoyment, we saw some beautiful countryside, such as the view from the Malvern Hills and a trip down the Wye Valley. For the ornithologists, at least 9 red kites were spotted near Loudwater on our homeward journey. These impressive birds died out in most of the England and Scotland in Victorian times, though a few remained in Mid-Wales. A number have been released at a sanctuary in the Chilterns since 1989 and have gradually been spreading across Southern England.

A number of our fellow travellers have already submitted their “homework” on places visited – to be serialised in this and future newsletters.

If anybody is interested in visiting any of the places which were on out itinerary, I am happy to pass on information about those places.

Jo and I would like to thank our fellow travellers for their kind words of appreciation, and for their co-operation, and hope that we see them again on future outings and at other HADAS events.


Tewkesbury and Deerhurst Sheila Woodward

Hereford was this year’s centre for the “HADAS LONG WEEKEND” – a loose term applied to outings extending over 3, 4 or 5 days, or even in 1978 to a full week! This was the 32nd such outing and I have been on 22 of them and can vouch for this year’s being another triumph of brilliant organisation and imaginative planning. So thank you Jim, Jo and Don.

On our first day, en route to Hereford, we visited two fascinating church buildings, both monastic in origin, but one huge and one tiny. Tewkesbury Abbey, splendidly sited at the confluence of the Rivers Avon and Severn, is now a mere parish church but with the dimensions of a cathedral. Its magnificent central tower dominates both church and landscape. The present building, founded in 1087 and considerably re-modelled in the 14th century, might be described as “Norman fabric with Decorated (style) trim”. Of its Saxon predecessor, also Benedictine and founded in 715 by the (allegedly named) Mercian Dukes Oddo and Doddo, there is little or no trace.

Tewkesbury Abbey is a glorious structure and one could enjoy it aesthetically while knowing nothing of its turbulent history. The Norman West Front with its elaborate 65 feet high recessed arch is immediately impressive. Enter the Abbey by the North door, where a simple cut cross in the porch wall marks the consecration of the building in 1121, and you are immediately in the great nave. It is awe-inspiring: the vast space, the 14 gigantic plain-drummed columns (they are over 6 feet in diameter and over 30 feet high), the distant view of the great East window. Overhead a plain Norman roof has been replaced by a riot of Decorated lierne vaulting, with central bosses illustrating the life of Christ and side bosses depicting angels playing various instruments – shawms, timbrels, even bagpipes and a hurdy-gurdy! Move eastward under the tower and into the choir and sanctuary. Here, Decorated has almost completely ousted Norman; only the stubs of the great pillars remain to support the new-style arches and windows. The “stellar” ceiling with its gilded liernes against a white, blue and red background, and the little Yorkist motifs of the sun in splendour, is stunning. The 7 windows display English medieval glass at its finest, the colours rich, vibrant, glowing. Behind the choir and sanctuary is the ambulatory with its chevet of chapels, and throughout this eastern area are scattered the tombs and chantries, superbly crafted and exquisitely lovely, which are one of the great glories of this church. It has been described as “second only to Westminster Abbey in its collection of funerary monuments”.

The history of Tewkesbury chimes with the history of medieval England. Most of the great dynasties of the period are recorded here in tomb or monument or stained glass; The Fitzhamons and Fitzroys who built, the de Clares and Despensers who re-modelled, extended or adorned, the Beauchamps and Nevilles who continued those activities. There were Crusaders, and there were rebels who changed sides frequently. During the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Tewkesbury was fought on the abbey’s doorstep and briefly inside its walls, and the Prince of Wales, Henry VI’s son, was buried before the altar, “cruelly slain while still a youth …. Alas the fury of men!”. George, Duke of Clarence, Edward IV’s brother, executed (or murdered) in the Tower of London, was brought back to Tewkesbury for burial with his wife. So Lancastrian and Yorkist lie together in death.

Tewkesbury ceased to be a monastery in 1540, at Henry VIII’s dissolution and Henry offered the abbey church to the people of Tewkesbury for £453, the estimated value of the roof-lead and bells. So it became our second largest parish church, the largest being Beverley Minster which we visited last year. Tewkesbury Abbey’s history since 1540 has been less turbulent but of continuing interest. It has acquired 3 organs (now more or less combined): the apse organ, the Milton organ (on which the poet may have played when it was at Hampton Court) and the Victorian Grove organ. There are “new” windows, including the Victorian west window and the 21st century Tom Denny windows. There are many “new” tombs including that of Mrs Craik who wrote “John Halifax, Gentleman”. (Our guide was most impressed to find that some of us had heard of, though not necessarily read, that famous Victorian novel!) Some of our group visited the Sacristy to see the church vestments and silverware. Despite its chequered history, Tewkesbury Abbey now seems a place of tranquillity and beauty, its main enemy no longer warfare but the periodic flooding of the River Severn.

Four miles south of Tewkesbury is the village of Deerhurst, on the east bank of the Severn. We were reminded of the latter’s tendency to flood as we walked past a huge “Nilometer” installed in a field to measure the depth of each year’s water. Deerhurst Church, which like Tewkesbury is dedicated to Mary the Virgin and is of monastic origin, is at first sight rather an architectural jumble. Indeed, Simon Jenkins describes it as “a delight to the detective”, a museum of styles and treasures from almost every period of English architecture. Yet it is small, as befits its village, and owes its current importance to its complex history and its exceptional survival. It is sited on an early frontier of Roman Britain at a point where the river was once fordable. As part of the Kingdom of Hwicce, it was Celtic Christian by the late 6th century and probably converted to Roman Christianity in the 7th century. The monastery at Deerhurst may go back to those early days and it possibly became a royal mausoleum, so growing in importance. Huge bequests of land in the 9th century added to its prestige and it was a meeting place for a treaty-signing in 1016 between Canute and Edmund Ironside. Its decline began when Edward the Confessor made it a cell of Saint Denis in Paris After that, it was downhill all the way to the Dissolution when it became a parish church.

The earliest church here, 6th or 7th century, was a simple rectangle which was altered and expanded between 715 and 1066 into an apsidal and aisled church by 2-storeyed chapels and a tall tower. A surprising amount of that Saxon structure remains but it is not always obvious. At our visit, we faced an additional complication as restoration and preservation work was in progress, but our very helpful guide minimised that problem. So the treasure hunt was on! For me, the view down the nave looking west, with those 2 ornate triangular windows, had the greatest impact. But there was also the sturdy font with its spiral decoration, the strangely-haunting beasts’ heads, still showing traces of colour; the moving simplicity of the Virgin with Child; and the rather unnerving Deerhurst angel whose enormous staring eyes, stylised wings and hair suggested Celtic influence.

There is little left of the monastic buildings: a few corbels, a cloister door. But Deerhurst has one more card up its sleeve – a second Saxon church, or rather, chapel. It was found in the 19th century under the plaster of Abbots Court, an adjacent farmhouse. Built of stone rubble, a simple two-cell structure with long and short quoins, both the chancel arch and south door arch have the horseshoe shape typical of the 11th century. The chapel is dated and identified by the Odda Stone found buried nearby. This is now in the Ashmolean, and it is inscribed in Latin translated as follows: –

“Earl Odda ordered this Royal hall to be built and dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity and for the soul of his brother Elfric who died in this place. Bishop Ealdred dedicated it on 12th April, the fourteenth year of Edward, King of England” (1056).

Earl Odda, after the fall of Earl Godwin, was a most important person of his day. He is buried at Pershore.

Incidentally, for anyone interested in the details of Philip Rahtz’s excavations at Deerhurst, the references are: –

P. A Rahtz Deerhurst Church Trans. of Bristol and Glos. Archaeol. 90(1971) 129-135

P.A Rahtz Deerhurst Current Archaeology 28(1971) 135-139

L.A.S Butler, P.A.Rahtz and H.M.Taylor

Deerhust 1971-1974 Antiquaries Journal 55(1975) 346-365

P.A.Rahtz Excavations at St Mary’s Church Deerhurst 1971-1973

CBA Research Report No 15 (London 1976)

Hereford – Evening Lecture by Tim Hoverd David and Emma Robinson

On the first evening of the tour we were very fortunate that Tim Hoverd, Archaeological Projects Officer/ Field Projects and Community-Based Activities, with Herefordshire Archaeology gave us an excellent introduction to the county. Tim is also closely involved in the major county project “The Lower Lugg Valley: Landscape Change and Conservation” which he spoke about at some length and illustrated with excellent slides. It is of note that this project revealed the county’s first recorded henge monument. More information will be available with the publication of the final project report scheduled for 30 September this year (further information is available on the county archaeology website).

The interest generated by Tim’s talk generally was so considerable that many questions were raised on a huge variety of issues and were all fielded with expertise by the speaker. However, we finally ran out of time with further questions still unasked. The timing of the lecture was particularly fortunate since it enabled the group to put into context much of what we saw during the tour, even where we were not able to make a specific visit. For example, crossing the Malvern Hills or driving through the market town of Ledbury. This latter location has now been selected by the Victoria County History’s England’s Past for Everyone Project. The working titles of the project reports are Ledbury: a Market Town and its Tudor Heritage and Medieval Ledbury.

What really struck us most forcefully about the lecture was that until recently relatively little work had been done on the county’s landscape and rich archaeological inheritances. The speaker made the valid point that the work done in the county to date is equivalent to what had been achieved in Dorset by the 1920s (although many archaeological sites in that county have sadly now been lost mainly due to ploughing). Tim also gave some consideration as to why the county had been so overlooked until recently and in this regard wondered whether the period when it was administratively combined with Worcestershire (from 1974 to 1998) had had the effect of reducing interest in areas away from the main focus of settlement. In this context, when considering the progress which had recently been made, Tim also emphasized the point that voluntary groups locally are now very important in making up for the indifference of the past.

In addition, Tim spoke at some length on the relatively unpopulated nature of Herefordshire after the early Middle Ages and the ravages of the plague, stressing that agricultural production had peaked at a very early date. This has led to a situation in which much land which was once cultivated for arable crops has become pasture or indeed woodland. What is now emerging is that a remarkable amount of underlying archaeology has been preserved in the landscape. So, for example, the speaker had been mapping landscape features such as ridge and furrow fields, boundary ditches; lime kilns, evidence of Roman settlements, and fortifications generally – all of which have been completely untouched and overlooked for centuries. Tim illustrated these points with a number of interesting maps resulting from his field walks and emphasised the fact that many of the locations he had identified had been lost from memory and appear on no known maps. He also stressed that in other counties many such survivals had long since been physically obliterated; increasing the heritage value of the sites which are now being revealed in Herefordshire.

During the Roman settlement the area became an important granary and communication route and there seems to have been a period of relative stability. The Roman settlement seems to have been far more important than previously recognised although much work remains to be done. It appeared to us that in many ways the amount of detailed work which had been carried out across the county was not dissimilar to the position which, until recently, had existed in remote areas such as the Shetland Islands where a full time archaeologist had not been appointed until the late 1990s. Simply due to its location on the Welsh borders Herefordshire has been very much at the margins of different cultures, which has led to it often being a contested landscape. This point was well illustrated by the descriptions of English incursions into Wales and Welsh incursions into England which occurred over an extensive period of time and led to the destruction of whole areas of farmland and settlements, including the city of Hereford.

This contested nature of the landscape since earliest settlement led on to an interesting description of the ferocity with which warfare had been carried on between various tribes and the attempts which had been made to eradicate not only the physical traces of settlement but also the cultural memory relating to the settlement.

From Tim’s talk the picture emerged of a county with a remarkably rich inheritance from past waves of settlement, but also one which had substantially been overlooked until the very recent past. The study of the archaeology of Herefordshire will not only give greater insights into the locality but also into the history of our country.


DAY 2 Worcester, including the Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum

DAY 3 Kilpeck Church; Blaenavon: the Big Pit and the Ironworks; Hereford

DAY 4 Newent Church plus Gloucester: Waterways Museum and Boat trip, etc

DAY 5 Caerwent Roman Town and Didcot Railway Centre

Other Societies’ Events

Eric Morgan

Until Sunday 4th October – Barnet Borough Arts Council – The Spires, Barnet. Art display, “What’s On” and advance information on festivals.

Thursday 1st October, 8pm – Pinner Local History Society – Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Pinner. Recording Londoners’ Iconic Buildings – Emma Dwyer (Senior Archaeologist, MOLA) – Visitors – £2.

Wednesday 14th October, 7.45pm – Hornsey Historical Society – Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Road/Weston Park, N8 – A. V. Roe, The first flight over Walthamstow Marshes – Dr Neil Houghton – Visitors – £1 – refreshments.

Friday 16th October, 7.30pm – Wembley History Society, St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Lane Kingsbury – London during the English Civil Wars – Joe Carr (Curator, Brent Museum) – Visitors – £1 – refreshments.

Friday 16th October, 8pm – Enfield Archaeology Society – Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane/Chase Side, Enfield – Prehistoric London Archaeology – Jon Cotton (Museum of London) – Visitors – £1 – refreshments from 7.30pm.

Monday 19th October, 8.15pm – Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society, St Martin’s Church Hall, Eastcote Road, Ruislip – The More: Cardinal Wolsey’s Palace in Rickmansworth – Heather Falvey – Visitors – £2.

Wednesday 21st October 7.30pm – Willesden Local History Society – Scout House, High Road, NW10 (corner Strode Road) – Christ Church Brondesbury – Gwen Molloy.

Wednesday 21st October, 8pm – Edmonton Hundred Historical Society – Jubilee Hall, Enfield (as above) – How rural Tottenham disappeared – Ken Barnes – Visitors – £1.

Thursday 22nd October, 7.30pm – Camden History Society – Wellcome Collection, 215 Euston Road, WC1 – Why did Darwin choose to live in Gower Street? – Dr Joe Cain – Visitors – £1.

Wednesday 28th October, 7.45pm – Friern Barnet & District Local History Society – St John’s Hall, Friern Barnet Lane (next to Police Station) – The Parish of Friern Barnet – Yasmine Webb – Visitors – £2 – refreshments.

Thursday 29th October, 8pm – Finchley Society – Avenue House – Hampstead Garden Suburb – place and people – Jane Blackburn – Visitors – £2.

Thanks to all our contributors – Stephen Brunning, Don Cooper, Graham Javes, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams, Mary Rawitzer, David and Emma Robinson and Sheila Woodward.

newsletter-462-September-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 8 : 2005 - 2009 | No Comments

It’s that time of the year again!

Only this year it is different, for the last five years Birkbeck College and HADAS have jointly run a course processing old HADAS digs to latest standards and bringing them to publication. However, this year Birkbeck has raised its course fees to £400 per student (it was £300 last year). As a consequence HADAS has decided to run the course itself. The course, “Looking at finds – a practical course in Post-Excavation Studies”, will be tutored by Jacqui Pearce (as usual) and will be held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. Meetings will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 8.30. The course will run for 22 two-hour sessions over two terms, from 30 September 2009 to 24 March 2010.

Fees and booking

We welcome anyone who wishes to acquire the relevant archaeological skills. The fee for the two terms is £275, payable to HADAS. To book, please contact the class tutor at or ring 020 8203 2506 (evenings only). For a detailed syllabus please check out the HADAS website or alternatively contact Jacqui Pearce or Don Cooper.


Our new lecture programme begins again in October.

Tuesday 13th October 2009, Excavations at St Martin in the Fields, Alison Telfer – Project Officer, Museum of London Archaeology.

Tuesday 10th November 2009, Bricks and Skeletons: St John’s 1632 Brick Church Ruin (St John the Evangelist, Stanmore), Dr Frederick Hicks.

Lectures are held in the Drawing Room at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, starting at 8.00pm. Coffee/tea and biscuits are served afterwards. New members and Visitors are welcomed. Avenue House is about ten to fifteen minutes walk from Finchley Central Station. Buses 82, 125, 143, 326, 382 & 460 pass close by.


The Fieldwork Team continues to meet most Sunday mornings in The Garden Room at Avenue House, around 10.30 hrs till ‘13.30ish’. New and old members are welcome to come along; though it is perhaps best first to check the emails on HADAS discussion: or ring Bill Bass, 020 8449 5666, to confirm that members will be meeting that Sunday.


Sunday July 26th 2009: We were welcomed at the entrance to Broughton Castle by Lord Saye and Sele himself – dapper, bright-eyed and charming ­– as we arrived ahead of time for our visit. So we had time to look at the 14th century church of St Mary, built close to the castle.

Evidence for an even earlier church lay in the 12th century circular font and an arcade of 4 arches in the south aisle appeared to be from the 13th century. Fragments of wall paintings survive and richly designed stained glass windows reflect changes down the centuries. Hatchments (1666-1847) decorate the walls. These are diamond shaped coats of arms which were hung outside the house of someone who had died. All of them were dedicated to either the Fiennes or Twistleton families. In fact, the Castle was in continuous family ownership from 1337. Alterations, additions and renewals continued to be made to the church, most recently in 1994, when the spire was struck by lightning and had to be restored. Nineteenth century restoration undertaken by Gilbert Scott and his son included a Gothic style pulpit and the chancel roof and east window. The changes were discreetly and sensitively done. The church is richly endowed with monuments, notable both for their number and as an index of family continuity throughout the centuries. They include the founder, Sir John de Broughton, who died in 1315, and the 2nd Lord Saye and Sele, who was killed at the battle of Barnet in 1471.

John de Broughton also founded the ‘castle’, early in the l4th century. It began life as a medieval manor house, dominated by the Great Hall and developed over the subsequent centuries into a grand Tudor mansion which remains virtually unchanged today. Entering through the gatehouse, the castle, as it is known, is set off dramatically by extensive front lawns and a wide moat. The high building itself has a symmetrical ‘feel’ to it, enhanced by the vertical and horizontal lines of the large windows. A small crenellated building was attached to one side in 1406, suggesting a military function but it was never a serious defensive establishment.

We entered the castle straight into the Great Hall where Lord Saye and Sele met us again to introduce us to his home and our guides. In spite of the suits of armour, leather buckets and family portraits of grand ancestors, it retained the atmosphere of a lived-in, family home, reinforced by Lord Saye’s description of chilly winter childhoods round the large log fire. I also recognized it from the film, Shakespeare in Love. Lord Saye was quick to point out how welcome film companies were in supporting the upkeep of the building!

The Great Hall had been significantly altered since medieval times when it had small windows, a low ceiling and a central fire. In the 16th century the roof was raised, large windows were put in and stairs and wings added. The walls and ceiling were plastered (though subsequently the plaster was removed from the walls) and the great fireplace was installed. The pendant ceiling dates from the 1760s.

Moving on, we next visited the undercroft, now a dining room, but originally used for storage in Tudor times. Beautiful oak double linenfold panelling decorated the room at intervals, with a tiny carving of sheep in the park at one point. Also notable was the vaulted ceiling which continued into the groined passageway out of the dining room and which included corbel heads at the base of the arches, one of which was the Green Man.

We made our way upstairs to the Queen’s Room, a bedroom named after Queen Anne of Denmark, who stayed there in 1604. The fireplace was an imposing feature: one of the first Elizabethan fireplaces built by English stonemasons in the new sixteenth century Renaissance style − with some local interpretation! In one corner of the room, there was a ‘squint’: a little window which looked down on the chapel and enabled the occupants to worship in their slippers perhaps. Our guide told us that he was once taking a group around and entered this room only to find it was occupied by a family guest! Again the whole building felt as if it was imbued with the living spirit of a welcoming, charming family.

The Queen’s Room was at the end of the Long Gallery, above the Great Hall, and this gallery featured ancestral and present day portraits of the family. One of the most notable was William Fiennes, the 8th Lord Saye and Sele, who was a Puritan Parliamentarian and active in the Civil War in the 17th century. He was pro-democracy and against Charles 1 because of his religion. However, he did not wish to be involved in the King’s execution and withdrew to Lundy for a number of years, thus avoiding Cromwell’s Parliament. When Charles II came to the throne in 1660, he was pardoned and brought back into government. No wonder he was nicknamed ‘Old Subtlety’!

In the 18th century, the name Fiennes was superseded by the name Twistleton, through marriage. (It was changed back to Fiennes in the 19th century.). In the l8th and l9th centuries, the family did not prosper, culminating in the experience of William Thomas, the 15th Earl who gambled away all the remaining wealth and was forced to auction the contents of the house in a 12 day auction in 1837.

Leading off the Long Gallery is the King’s Room which boasts a remarkable white chimney piece, stone underneath with a stucco overmantle above. The overmantle is decorated in the French style with dryads dancing round an oak tree. The Chinese wallpaper, dating from 1740-50, is hand-painted and the bed was designed in 1992 and built to reflect the character of the room. King James I (1604) and Edward VII (1901) both slept there.

At the end of the Long Gallery is the Great Parlour whose elaborate plaster ceiling bears the date 1599. Its striking nineteenth century wallpaper, designed to imitate Spanish leatherwork, reinforces the rather remote, dignified atmosphere of this room. It contained much family memorabilia including some coronation chairs. (Seemingly, if you attended a coronation, you were allowed to keep the chair you occupied; I wasn’t clear whether this applied to all the guests or only members of the aristocracy!)

At the top of the west stairs, lay a small but interesting room: The Room That Hath No Ears. Here, the 8th Lord, of Civil War renown, met with his cronies to criticize the King. Ostensibly claiming to be planning their new Puritan colony in America, they were, in fact, Parliamentary plotters. During the war the house was attacked and taken over when the King‘s army seized Banbury.

The Oak Room on the ground floor, originally l6th century, was also of historical interest. An interior porch had been built over the door on the inside of the room. It was inscribed: ‘I have no pleasure in the memory of the past’. It was clearly intended as a tribute to King Charles II. Even the painting over the fireplace is of a seascape of Scheveningen, Holland, from where Charles left exile to claim his throne in England. Wonderful Tudor oak panelling lines the walls and an intricate bone and tortoiseshell cabinet can be seen near the door.

We went out into the Lady’s Garden on the south side of the castle. Shrubs and flowers, especially roses, grew in profusion against the stone walls. In the middle, there were flower beds shaped like fleur-de-lys. Our guide told us that their shape was actually taken from the Scout Movement, not the French court, as one of the Lords had been an enthusiastic Scout Leader.

The Fiennes family are devoted to their castle and each other as William Fiennes makes clear in his new book: The Music Room. He describes his childhood in the castle, saying: ‘Nowhere was my sense of belonging as complete or unambiguous as it was in my childhood home.’

SWALCLIFFE BARN was our next stop. William of Wykham, founder of New College Oxford (1379), built this incredible barn for his college early in the 15th century. Oak trees from Bewdley Woods were used for the main roof timbers and local ironstone for the major construction. It is basically unaltered today and was used for 600 years until the 1960s, when it was still a working barn for storing agricultural produce and for housing pigs and poultry. The original stone threshing floors remain near the wagon porches.

Today, the barn houses carts and wagons and agricultural tools and machinery from the past and displays information on local history and archaeology. We noticed a Baker’s van and a Brewery Trolley and a Fire Engine and one cart which was still operating in the 1960s, telephone no.9 displayed on its side! Some members of our group had seen similar types of transport in their youth! The barn held memories of life in Swalcliffe through the ages and is itself one of the top dozen great barns remaining in England.

The Celtic World: The Archaeology of Iron Age Europe and Britain

This is the latest course arranged by the Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society, and will run on Fridays at 10:00-12:00, beginning on 2 October. The venue is the Lawrence Room at Hartley Hall, Flower Lane, NW7. The tutor will be Scott McCracken, known to many members, and the cost is £130 for the series of 20 classes. Enrolment will be at the first meeting. For further information contact the secretary, Peter Nicholson on 020 8959 4757.

Visit to Syon Park – 8th July 2009 Report by Jim Nelhams

During our long weekend in Durham a few years ago, we visited Alnwick Castle, home of the Duke of Northumberland. On this trip, we went to his London house, Syon House, on the north bank of the Thames opposite Kew Garden.

The first part of the visit was a conducted tour of the house. Our guide proved to be very interesting and knowledgeable, covering much history of the family as well as the house. Indeed, when we were offered the option of visiting some of the private rooms, everybody stayed with the group. Our guide also pointed out that some of the statues were fakes, made up from parts of other statues.

Sadly, the Northumberland Lion, which at one time was on the top of Northumberland House in Trafalgar Square, had been temporarily removed.

After the tour, we had the opportunity to view the grounds, including the Great Conservatory which contained some remarkable plants.

Syon House was the site of a Time Team dig in 2003 and since that time, with the encouragement of the House, it has been used by Birkbeck College each summer as a training dig for archaeology students. Volunteers from Richmond Archaeological Society are on hand during the dig to show members of the public around the site, but HADAS was privileged in receiving, despite the inclement weather, a thorough explanation of the dig and various findings from our President, Harvey Sheldon. Our thanks are due to Harvey.

Sigrid Padel, another of our members, has worked at the dig each year, and has kindly written in more detail about the findings, including some after our visit. Her report follows.

Digging at Syon 2004-9 Sigrid Padel

During the past five years and again in 2009, I was allowed to take part in Birkbeck’s training excavation as a volunteer helper. In practice that means that one might be asked to do almost anything from “clearing above blue plastic” where trenches are re-opened, to cleaning any part of the trench before photo sessions. Sometimes one is even allowed to dig, though most of that is done by the students who do, after all, pay for the privilege. This year, because there were many features to be investigated, volunteers were needed to excavate more than usual, especially during the last week and after the students had left.

In 2003 Time Team attempted to find the Bridgettine Abbey dissolved by Henry VIII, and had uncovered remnants of the foundations, especially at the east end of the church. By invitation from the then manager of the Syon Estate, Richard Pailthorpe, Birkbeck College was allowed to proceed with further investigation of the site. The Birkbeck digs aimed to discover not only as many as possible of the monastic remains, but also to trace and record remnants of the gardens that were laid out above in subsequent centuries.

Though much of these early formal gardens was destroyed when Capability Brown landscaped Syon Park in the eighteenth century, various paths and bedding trenches have been traced, Notable were two ornamental features,

probably fountains, dating to the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. For instance, the large round “pond”, identified as part of the garden shown on the map by Moses Glover of 1635, still existed, not only in outline, but with much of the brick paving still in situ. Some of us became very well acquainted with tumbles of brick which needed cleaning!

For me the main interest has been the discovery of abbey buildings. Several fellow volunteers and I are carrying out research into the Bridgettine Order and this abbey in particular. Properly we should use the name Birgittine, after the name of its founder, St. Birgitta of Sweden (1303-1373), if only to avoid confusion with the Irish St Bridget. (453-523). St. Birgitta, a fairly formidable character, left very precise instructions about how her order should be constituted and run, and how its churches should be constructed. This should be taken into consideration in interpreting what is uncovered at Syon. There are also records of the expenditure at the abbey from its foundation to its dissolution, summarised in an article by R.W. Dunning (“The Building of Syon Abbey” in Trans. Arc. Mons. Soc. 1981, Vol.25, p.16-26). From these and many other sources we know a fair amount about the various abbey buildings, but so far no plans or illustrations have been discovered which might aid interpretation.

For me, this year’s excavation was remarkable because not only did we uncover more parts of the abbey church, confirming its southern and south eastern extent, but also structures to the north of the church which appear to be the foundations of a cloister in the place where it was expected to be. Two buttressed robber trenches, one parallel with the north wall of the abbey, the other running north, would seem to be the outer walls of the cloister walk. Parallel with the eastern feature a more substantial foundation could be the wall of the east range of the buildings round the cloister. At Vadstena in Sweden, the mother house of the Bridgettine order, the nuns’ cloister lay to the north of the church. This was also the case at Gnadenberg in Bavaria. It is quite likely that this pattern was followed in England. Members of the Vadstena community spent two years in England helping to establish the monastery, but we have no evidence to show that they influenced the layout of the abbey buildings. If Birkbeck is allowed to continue excavation of the site next year, looking for the turn of the cloister wall at its northern extremity might be one of the research priorities.

Within the possible cloister area several features of uncertain purpose were excavated. One of these contained quite a large assemblage of pottery dating from a period up to 1520. Since the monastery was dissolved in 1539, the ceramics would seem to belong to the monastic period. It has to be said, though, that this area contained several intercutting features which await interpretation.

Time Team had come to the sensational conclusion that the abbey church had been ten bays long, extending from east of the present house to its western end, and nearly equalling Westminster Abbey in length. St. Birgitta, however stipulated that her churches should be five bays long. Several of the extant churches of the order follow that pattern. This summer a new geophysical investigation, part of a geophysics course run by Birkbeck, discovered what seem to be walls to the east of Syon House, exactly where the western end of a five bay church would have been. Whether this can be proved by excavation depends to some extent on being allowed to dig under the gravel path east of the house.

This is a mere snapshot of this large open area excavation, based largely on my experiences and interests. I have not mentioned the many burials which add an interesting and sometimes puzzling dimension to the interpretation of the site. It looks as if much remains to be discovered. It is to be hoped that Birkbeck can continue the investigation next year.

Ancient and New Discoveries in the Isle of Man Stewart J. Wild

On a recent visit to the Isle of Man – where HADAS enjoyed a long weekend trip in 1994 – I was interested to get the latest news on the excavations currently being carried out on the coast to the east of Ronaldsway Airport.

As part of the runway extension and construction of associated taxiways, major earthworks were started in May 2008. Archaeologists had already discovered nearby a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age village, three burials and numerous artifacts, including myriad pieces of pottery and worked flint.

Now a prehistoric dwelling dating back perhaps 8,000 years has been unearthed, the local newspaper trumpeting that it was “3,000 years older than Stonehenge”. Built by settlers after the end of the last Ice Age, it is probably the oldest structure ever found on the island.

Digging has brought to light the foundations of a shelter, with thousands of pieces of worked flint, charred remains of wood, and hundreds of hazelnut shells. The project is on schedule to be completed by the end of this year, and radio carbon-dating results are eagerly awaited. Manx National Heritage field archaeologist Andrew Johnson said, “Archaeologists hesitate to call a structure of this kind a ‘house’ because the received wisdom is that 8,000 years ago people moved through the landscape as nomads, gathering their food from the land, rather than staying put and farming and harvesting it. But this building was constructed from substantial pieces of timber and had a hearth for cooking and warmth. Its occupants lived here often, or long, enough to leave behind over 12,000 pieces of worked flint together with the tools needed to flake them, and food debris in the form of hundreds of hazelnut shells.”

The excavation has been undertaken by Oxford Archaeology North and monitored on behalf of the airport by Manx National Heritage. It is scheduled to be included by the BBC team filming the next series of Coast, so I hope we can look forward to seeing the results on our TV screens soon.


44th Local History Conference

OPEN-AIR LONDON: Pleasure, Parks and Protest: SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2009 10am–5pm

City of London School for Girls, Barbican

· Woodlands and Commons, by Dr. Colin Bowlt, LAMAS Archaeological Committee

· The London Square: Islets in our Desert of Brick, Slate and Mud, by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Gardener, Historian and Gardens Adviser to Hampton Court & Kensington Palaces

· Common People, Common Land: a History of London’s Open Spaces as Places of Protest

by Michael Berlin, FLL Birkbeck, University of London

· The Pleasure Gardens of London: a Creative Use for Open Space, by Katrina Burnett, with Kate Semmens (Soprano) and Steven Devine (Harpsichord) from Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst.

The Conference will be introduced by Prof. Caroline Barron, President of LAMAS, who will present the Annual Local History Publications Award. There will be displays of recent work and publications by local history societies. Cost (including afternoon tea): LAMAS members £8, Non-members of LAMAS £10. Tickets from: Local History Conference, 24 Orchard Close, Ruislip, Middx. HA4 7LS. Cheques should be payable to LAMAS. Please enclose an s.a.e.

Don Cooper notes four new short courses at Birkbeck coming up in the next twelve months:

Learning from Pots – the role of ceramics in archaeology. This one day course will take place on Saturday, 3 October 2009 from 10.00 am to 5pm at the LAARC and will be run by Jacqui Pearce. The cost is £42. (FFAR155N0ACB)

Investigating Archives, Site Reports and Records in Field Archaeology. This course will take place on Saturday, 13th February and Sunday, 14 February 2010 at Birkbeck College in Malet Street and will be run by Kathryn Meheux, BA, PhD. It runs from 10am to 5.00pm each day and costs £84. (FFAR157N0ACB)

Pre-historic Artefacts – Exploring Archaeological Finds from the Distant Past. This course will take place on Saturday, 17 April 2010 from 10.00am to 5.00pm at the LAARC and will be run by John Cotton and Jacqui Pearce. The cost will be £42. (FFAR156N0ACB)

Small Finds – Interpreting Material Culture from Excavated Artefacts. This one day course will run on Saturday, 19 June 2010 from 10am to 5pm at the LAARC. The course will be run by Jacqui Pearce and will cost £42. (FFAR154N0ACB)

There are concessionary rates of approximately 50% off the full price on all the courses for those who qualify. I have included the course reference numbers against each course to aid booking with Birkbeck (I am not responsible for the daft course referencing system!) Details of the content of the courses can be found on the Birkbeck website or 0845 6010174.

AUDREY HOOSON reports: Ruin and Rebellion: uncovering the past at Tutbury Castle

The current small exhibition in gallery 69a at the British Museum has interesting finds from recent and historical excavations in the Tutbury area of Staffordshire. In 1831, 30,000 silver coins were found and the display shows examples of these along with pottery finds.

The castle is possibly built on the site of an Iron Age hillfort and a gold torc from nearby Needwood Forest is one of the many objects on loan for the exhibition.

The exhibition closes 17 January 2010.

Eric Morgan’s Monthly Round-Up of What’s On.

Sat/Sun 5/6 Sept 10.30 – 6.00pm, Enfield Town Show, Town Park, Enfield. Including Enfield Society and Enfield Archaeological Society stalls.

Sun. 6 Sept. 3–6pm, The Bothy Garden, Avenue House, Open Day. HADAS will be in the Garden Room in the morning only.

Tues. 8 Sept. 8pm, Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave. N3, The Evolution of Whales, by Ted Wheeler.

Thurs. 10 Sept. 8.15pm, Hampstead Scientific Society, Age Concern Resource Centre, Henderson Ct, Prince Arthur Rd, corner Fitzjohns Ave, Scientific Methods in Archaeology, Dr Caroline Cartwright (British Museum)

Sat/ Sun 12/13 Sept. 10am -6pm, RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, NW9, Battle of Britain Weekend.

Mon. 14 Sept. 3pm, Barnet & Dist. Local Hist Soc, Church House, Wood St. Barnet, The Development of the English Country House from Medieval to 20th Century, based on National Trust Properties, Pamela Wright

Tues. 15 Sept. 8pm, Avenue House, East End Rd, Archaeology of Anglo-Jewry in London 1066-1290 & 1656-1850, illustrated talk by Kenneth Marks

Fri. 18 Sept. 8pm, Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane, Enfield, Kensington Palace & Excavations 2008, Tim Bradley (PCA), £1.

Fri. 18 Sept. 7.30pm, Wembley History Society, St Andrews Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9,

60 Years of Radio & TV, Trevor Legg, £1

London Open House Weekend, Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September.

Free access to hundreds of buildings, many not normally open to the public. See Events include:

Sat 19th only, 11am-4pm, Old St Andrews Church, Church Lane, Kingsbury, Open Day, Wembley Hist. Soc.

Sun. 20th Sept. 11am-4pm, Myddelton House: Open House, also E.A. Bowles’s House, Bulls Moor Lane, Enfield.

Sun. 20th Sept. 11-4.00pm, Highgate Woods Heritage Day, Information Hut, off Archway Rd, N6.

Sat/Sun 19/20 Sept. Open House: Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, E14, Pre-booked Tours of the Grade I Listed Warehouse, website or ‘ 020 7001 9844.

Thurs. 24 Sept. 7.45pm, Finchley Society, Avenue House, East End Rd. N3, They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus, Susette Palmer, £2.

Wed 23 Sept. 7.45pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, N20. London Garden Squares, Daphne Glick, £2. Refreshments before & after.

newsletter-461-August-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 8 : 2005 - 2009 | No Comments


SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST 2009 2pm-5pm





‘Claudia Severa to her Lepidina greetings. On 11 September, sister, for the day of the celebration of my birthday, I give you a warm invitation to make sure that you come to us, to make the day more enjoyable for me by your arrival, if you are present (?). Give my greetings to your Cerialis. My Aelius and my little son send him (?) their greetings. I shall expect you sister. Farewell, sister my dearest soul, as I hope to prosper, and hail.

Oops! Sorry! That’s invitation c. AD 100. What I meant to write was invitation AD 2009:

‘We are holding an exhibition of finds from the Brockley Hill (Sulloniacae) digs carried out between 1937 and 1954 which we are currently cataloguing, and an open air demonstration of Roman cookery by Rose Baillie on Sunday 2nd August 2009 from 2pm to 5pm. Refreshments will be served. Everybody is welcome and we look forward to seeing you all.’


HADAS long weekend in Hereford – 26th to 30th August 2009

The arrangements for our trip to Hereford have nearly been finalised – apart from the weather. The balance of the cost (£290 per person sharing a room or £330 for those in single rooms) is due by the 18th August 2009. Please send your payments to Jim Nelhams (address at back of newsletter). A little booklet of the trip and any instructions will be sent you as soon as it is possible.

A few places may still be available. We normally operate a waiting list as well because so often someone has to drop out, so please contact Jim if you are interested but have not yet signed up.


Hampstead Ponds Peter Pickering

The Hampstead Heath conservators are planning to widen a spring to make a small pond on a part of the Heath which is near a tumulus (known as Boudicca’s tomb!!) on Parliament Hill midway between the Hampstead and the Highgate Ponds. A worked flint has been found nearby by our member Mike Hammerson, and the construction of the pond provides an opportunity to look for any other evidence of ancient occupation, and perhaps study the palaeobotany of the Heath. Underneath the turf there is some 30cm of soil on top of clay; the soil would be removed and the clay used as the foundation for the pond; the area that would be affected would be at most 30 square metres, and two or three trenches dug between the removal of the turf and the actual construction of the pond could provide valuable archaeological evidence. The work is planned for September/October. HADAS will not be undertaking the archaeological work involved, but encourages any members who would be interested in this worthwhile project to get in touch with Michael Hammerson (4 Bramalea Close Highgate London N6 4QD; or Jonathan Meares (Heathfield House, 432 Archway Road, London, N6 4JH;


New member?

The following message has been forwarded by Andrew Coulson:

“We are proud to announce the birth of Jacob Thomas Allen born at 11.27pm Sunday 5th July 2009, weight 8lbs 7oz. All very tired and happy. Christian and Sam.”

Congratulations to you all.


Preliminary report on the Excavation at Hendon School from June 29th to July 10th 2009 –

Sarah Dhanjal

Site code HDS06 Grid references: TQ23610, 89011


The last two weeks have seen the fourth season of excavations at Hendon School. Don Cooper stated the aims and objectives of the Hendon School excavations in his report in the August 2008 HADAS newsletter. The structure of this report is based on his previous reports to aid anyone who may wish to study them.

To recap, the excavations were embarked upon after a former UCL Institute of Archaeology student, then working at Hendon School, enquired about the possibility of an archaeology project there. Working with HADAS, we looked into the possibility of archaeological interest in the area and found that it was the reputed site of John Norden’s Hendon House. Further information on the historical findings on Hendon House so far can be found at:

The excavation was set up to give practical experience of archaeology to groups of pupils from the school and to further our knowledge of Hendon House. Pupils were given classroom talks by Sarah Dhanjal and Don Cooper well before the dig weeks.


The excavation this year, as with previous years, was completely different to our other experiences at the school. We were sad to find that our chairman and dig director, Don Cooper, would be unable to join us due to illness. He was missed. In addition, our visits to Sharon’s Bakery on Brent Street were not as frequent.

The excavation, from the point of view of introducing the pupils to archaeological excavation and some of the other activities associated with it onsite, was a success. However, there are plans afoot within the dig team to make our fifth season more successful by adding a stronger educational structure to the activities. We had some problems with the weather, the first week was during the recent heat wave and the trench was baked solid at times. During the second week we were hampered by thunderstorms! With regard to the research questions that this project addresses, we have found further material evidence of activity on the Hendon House site from John Norden’s time until the demolition of the house in 1909. Further examination of the finds from the past three seasons, together with this years finds will suggest whether the gaps in the historical evidence are supported or refuted by the archaeology.


As with previous years, our choice of dig site was restricted by the location of the running track on the field. We were particularly interested by a long low mound at the westernmost edge of the field. We thought that it was likely to be related to the levelling of the playing field, or the construction of an access path for building works within the school. As such it was likely to contain some interesting artefacts. After a resistivity survey of the area, a 7m x 1.5m trench was established on an east-west alignment across the feature.

Excavating started about 0900 – 0930 and the first group of pupils arrived at 10.15 for a one and a three quarter hour session, then with a break for lunch, the second group arrived at 13.30 and finished at 15.15. Given the changeable weather the end of the day was decided by a consensus from the dig team.

We worked with pupils who had been chosen by their teachers to join the project and with those who asked our contact teacher, Jill Hickman, if they could be involved. On one morning we were visited by HARP, the Hendon School autism unit. We also had a visit from the local MP, Andrew Dismore, who showed great interest in our work and promised to try and visit us again soon.

The pupil sessions started with a short health and safety presentation. They were instructed in excavation techniques and asked to trowel in the trench supervised by HADAS and UCL archaeologists. The pupils were also involved in finds washing and sorting. Other activities included surveying using a dumpy level ably instructed by Jim Nelhams and metal detecting with Andrew Coulson. Over the two weeks each of the pupils had the opportunity to take part in at least two sessions.

What did we find?

We excavated the first c.35cm as one context. This was a very mixed deposit which included small, not easily definable patches of loamy soil mixed with lumps of clay. The clay lumps were thick and hard to trowel (especially when baked!) and are likely to be redeposited from other areas of the school site. In the side of the trench there was the suggestion of successive dumping of soil, but it was not distinct enough to separate out into contexts. In this context we found a range of artefacts including school related finds: a coke can, two marbles, a coke bottle (complete with screw top and a little coke still inside) and half a protractor. Interestingly there was not the usual spread of school detritus in this context. Going further into the school’s history, there were flowerpots related to the use of the playing field as allotments in WW2. Also within this context, related to prior usage of the site, we found one piece of 14th century pottery, several pieces of 16th century pottery, two pieces of 16th century tile and proportionately more pieces of 17th century and later pottery. Unique to this trench was a high proportion of bad quality Victorian land drain, possibly suggesting that a drain was disturbed in the works that resulted in the construction of the feature we were excavating. The Victorian period was particularly well represented in our trench, with a farthing from the reign of Victoria, some interesting pieces of blue and white pottery and two pieces of stamped pipe stem. One read HARRI- on one side and –ITION on the other. The second read –ISSON HIGHG– and –IVAL EXHI–. Research by HADAS members suggests that the pipe stems were from pipes produced for the Festival Exhibition in the 1860s.

Given the adverse weather conditions, we were not able to excavate the whole trench down to the natural clay level. A 75 cm sondage was excavated in order to see what the archaeology would reveal. We found that the redeposited loam and clay layer was on top of a fine loamy soil, which was distinctly sterile and devoid of finds, possibly indicating a previous turf layer. Below this lay a loamy clay layer from which there were a few finds, a clay and river rolled pebble layer and then the natural London clay.

Contribution to research questions

The research questions posed by the project design brief can be answered as follows:

a. Is there any residual evidence of prehistoric activity? There was no evidence of prehistoric activity.

b. Considering the proximity to various Roman roads, is there evidence of Roman activity? This year we found no evidence of Roman activity.

c. Excavations in the area have uncovered considerable Anglo-Saxon material, is there any evidence of similar remains here? We found no evidence of Anglo-Saxon activity.

d. Is there any evidence of activity in the area between its mention in Domesday and the construction of the house? Of the pottery that has been dated thus far, the earliest sherd we found was a heavily abraded piece of 14th century pot. It is not diagnostic, so we cannot link it to a particular form of pot and being a lone piece, does not constitute robust evidence of activity earlier than that of Norden’s Hendon House.

e. What evidence remains for the different phases of rebuilding of the house up to the demolition in 1909? We found the ‘usual’ spread of building material including bricks, mortar and roof tiles. Particularly nice finds, possibly related to Norden’s Hendon House, include 2 pieces of green glazed tile, probably 16th century and some 16th century pottery. From the 16th century onwards there is a small amount of pottery and in the later periods, clay pipe.


Every year we learn more about the Hendon House site, through the hard work of HADAS members who research the history and add to the oral history of the site. The archaeological excavations add another dimension by adding to the material evidence of the activity on the site through time. In addition it enables us to educate the school about the unique history of their site. We do this by working with specific groups of pupils, but also by talking to interested pupils and staff who are not involved in the project. We are also learning about how to work in the school environment. We hope that the fifth season at Hendon School will allow us to put our learning into practice.


Thanks to Jill Hickman, our contact at Hendon School who makes the excavations at the site possible. Thank you to my fellow UCL students Gabe Moshenska, Hannah Page, Sarah Doherty, Emily Esche, Nicola Kalimeris, Naomi Hollis and Matt Caro. Thank you to HADAS members Jim Nelhams, Angela Holmes, Vicki Baldwin and Andrew Coulson for sharing your interest, enthusiasm and experience and of course, your time. In addition, thanks to all of the pupils who took part, especially Emma Densham, who was doing her year 11 work experience with us. Thanks also to Jacqui Pearce for examining the pot sherds. Finally, thanks must go to Don Cooper, whose hard work and support makes these projects possible.


The following is a contribution from ‘M’, one of the pupils taking part in the dig:

“I thought the archaeology dig was great because I learnt so much more than what I used to know. We learnt about what equipment to use, to measure how deep we dug and how far. We also learnt about the history about a few objects as well.

Overall the dig was amazing and the archaeology team were really nice as well.”


And an article from The Press concerning the Church Farm dig:

The Press Thursday, July 16, 2009

Students dig in to find a little piece of history

by Lucy Purdy

CHILDREN saw history come alive this week as they took part in an archaeological dig in the grounds of the Church Farmhouse Museum in Hendon.

Pupils from St Mary’s CE School in Downage and St Mary’s and St John’s JMI School in Prothero Gardens, Hendon, joined archaeologists from University College London and Hendon And District Archaeological Society to investigate a Saxon ditch in the grounds of the house. It was built in Greyhound Hill in about 1660, opened as a local museum in 1955 and is one of the oldest surviving houses in the borough.

Sarah Dhanjal, a PhD student at UCL and member of HADAS, said the children relished the chance to take part in some excavations.

She said: “We talk to them about the history of the area and then get them in the trench and have a go themselves.

“They really enjoy the chance to do something physical and hopefully, for some of them, it will spark an interest in archaeology and history to go on to study the subject at university or just as a hobby.

“When you are stuck in a classroom, history doesn’t always make much sense. If you actually excavate something and learn that it’s 200 years old and you’re the first person to hold it since

it went in the ground – that’s really exciting!”

HADAS has held several digs in the grounds of the museum in the past, uncovering a Saxon ditch which is thought to be related to the church. They are also on the hunt for a well which can be seen in old pictures of the area but has yet to be unearthed.

Miss Dhanjal added: “It’s really important to do this kind of work to show people what we do. Archaeology is not something a lot of people know about and the children enjoy it a lot.”

HADAS Lecture – May 2009: London’s Roman Amphitheatre – Francis Grew

report by Andy Simpson

Francis is Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of London, and has led many tours of the preserved remains of the London amphitheatre which he expertly described in his talk to HADAS, setting it in the context of Roman London. The discovery captured the public imagination with its links to Gladiators.

The earliest hints of a possible amphitheatre in London/Londinium came, it was thought, with the discovery in the nineteenth century of a tombstone with gladiator sculpture showing a Retiarius (net carrier). This is one of the best depictions of this type of gladiator from the Roman Empire. It has a Greek inscription, dedicated by a woman to her husband Martialis, and was found on Tottenham Court Road. Sadly, the sculpture is of marble from Asia Minor and was probably imported into England in the sixteenth or seventeenth century as part of a private collection held by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel who had a house on the nearby Strand. In itself this is an interesting survival of such early collecting.

Antiquarians and the public have long been fascinated by Gladiators, and there was for many years a search for the presumed London amphitheatre. A further ‘Red Herring’ was the discovery of a very small ‘Gladiator’s Trident’ – possibly an eel spear, found in Southwark in the nineteenth century. Interest increased with the excavation of blitzed sites post WW2, with one suggested location being on the west bank of the Fleet River for topographical reasons. A key related discovery in 1987 by the late Dr Alan Vince was that of the long-sought Tudor Rose Theatre on the South Bank, with its interesting history, now displayed on site with conserved remains, with implications for conservation techniques. At one time it was thought the complex of Tudor playhouses/bearpits etc on the South Bank might have been a direct descendant of a Roman entertainments complex on the same site, but there is no evidence of this.

The Guildhall amphitheatre was found in 1988 as short stretches of wall found in four trial trenches dug before construction of a new Guildhall Art Gallery to replace that destroyed by enemy action in 1941. It had been expected to find remains of a medieval chapel attached to the Guildhall, and these remains were indeed located. The site is close to the Walbrook and outside the area of earliest Roman settlement, being just outside the Cripplegate Fort which housed the Governor of Britain’s Legionary bodyguard, leaving the question of if it was for military or civil use, although its relatively simple construction outlined below suggests it may have been for civilian use, perhaps including religious activities, animal fighting and the public execution of criminals.

What was found was a curving Roman wall laid on tile, and it was not immediately recognised as an amphitheatre. Other possibilities were a bath house or temple. A piece of the northern arena wall had first been noted in 1951 but its significance not noted at the time, and a dig nearby in 1985 had noted a curved wall, forming an arc with the newly discovered remains. Part of the site – the Guildhall Yard – had been open space since medieval times, bounded by the extant 15th-century Guildhall built 1411-1430 and Church of St Lawrence Jewry. The site was dug from 1992 to 1997, funded by the Corporation of London. About half of the courtyard (and actual arena) was excavated through area excavation, revealing a curving wall and entrance flanked by a chamber/room with two doorways either side; the rest hopefully survives, unexcavated, under the guildhall yard and surrounding buildings. Little of the structure remained above original ground level having been well robbed, but extensive foundations survived. Rooms either side of the entrance may have been to coral animals prior to driving them into the amphitheatre for slaughter.

The arena wall was of Kentish Ragstone and flat tile, and originally stood some 2m high. Post pits found are interpreted as being from a first phase timber-built amphitheatre erected c.AD70-74, replaced by a larger masonry phase post c. AD 120. The masonry phase had an arena roughly 57m X 45m with a 21m wide seating bank heaped up with spoil dug out from creating the arena (Giving a capacity of 7-10,000 people, bigger than the Caerleon Amphitheatre and comparable in size to those at Cirencester and Chester, compared to the 6,000 capacity of the present day Albert Hall), with entrances at the east and west ends and to the south. The eastern one had a cobbled surface and surviving wooden threshold beam. A magistrates viewing box probably stood at the north end. There was little evidence for a back wall, showing how simple the construction was, with no evidence for supporting buttresses of roofing over of the entrance passages. Caerleon and Chester, being military amphitheatres, had buttresses and a back wall, most such structures being concentrated in southern England. There was evidence in one side chamber of slots in a stone threshold suggesting a vertically sliding wooden gate to the amphitheatre, and thanks to waterlogged conditions, well preserved wooden channels and drains which were linked to an outside system that drained into the nearby Walbrook Valley. The site was always wet and drainage was required to clear blood etc from the arena. Markings on surviving timberwork is still undeciphered, and may be control marks by carpenters or timber merchants, with good survival of tree rings for dating.

The drains and timber-lined settling tank were built entirely of green oak dated AD74, close to the presumed original construction date. From the timber phase, evidence was found of base plates and uprights with a timber bank supporting the seating, the timberwork being very complex, with drains around the arena wall. There were relatively few finds, suggesting the arena had been kept clean, although the drains yielded some pottery including complete vessels dating the second masonry phase, including Black Burnished Ware. Notable finds included a gold ear ring and some 17 fragments of Samian pottery with gladiator friezes, many of them preserving a complete scene, suggesting children or others were trading or collecting these sherds as souvenirs. Some fragments of painted wall plaster from the arena wall were found, plus marble inlays and mouldings and a coping stone, possibly from the arena wall, in late deposits.

There was also a lead curse, inscribed ‘I give to the goddess Diana my headdress/band less one third. If anyone has done this, slave or free, I give him to the goddess, and through me let him be unable to live’. Diana of the hunt was an important patron goddess to gladiators and those involved in wild beast hunts, and this curse may be from someone who worked at the amphitheatre itself.

The discovery and designation as a scheduled ancient monument led to conservation issues (with advice from English Heritage) and a major engineering task to protect and display the remains in a special chamber at the level found, in a controlled environment allowing the remains to dry out slowly, avoiding damage to the Roman masonry, with the challenge of avoiding deep piles through the chamber.

Over 1000 timbers were recovered during the excavation, and many were given wax (polyethylene glycol – PEG) and freeze-drying treatment at York by the York Archaeological Trust labs, with another three-metre portion of plank-roofed main timber drain conserved and reinstalled by the Museum of London in February 2006.

Following a major rebuild c.AD250-270, the site seems to have gone into decline in the fourth century, involving dismantling and abandonment, with three burials dated to the 360s dug into the seating bank.

Being a potentially defensible site it housed Saxon buildings from the ninth century, and retained a thread of continuity as a public space. The first Guildhall was built close by in the twelfth century.

The site is now publically accessible, complete with conserved timber drains on show, and is highly recommended for a visit, which is inclusive in the modest charge to see the excellent Guildhall Art Gallery above, which opened in 1999, along with the Guildhall great hall and crypt, also open to the public. The curve of the oval amphitheatre is marked out in the Guildhall yard in black paving stones. For more details, see:

See also Nick Bateman’s Book Gladiators at the Guildhall: The Story of London’s Roman Amphitheatre and Medieval Guildhall (Paperback)


Roman Villas in Britain – A Retrospective Review Peter Pickering

In June I went to one of the two days of a conference with this title. It was held in the British Museum and was organised by the Association for Roman Archaeology. It was designed to challenge the long expected overview made by Sir Ian Richmond in ‘The Roman Villa in Britain’ (1969). He stated that a villa was a farm and primarily an economic term, indicating a place designed as an agricultural establishment.

The intention of the conference was to suggest alternative interpretations about the functions of villas. I did not, because of another engagement, manage to hear Roy Friendship-Taylor arguing that the Piddington Villa, the excavation of which HADAS visited a few years ago, was an imperial retreat, rather than a Romano-Celtic farm, nor the interpretation of Lullingstone as a pleasure house or hunting-lodge for the governor, later serving other functions, most of them religious; nor that of Great Witcombe as a magnificently proportioned rural shrine in honour of an as yet unknown water deity.

But I did hear Whitley Grange near Wroxeter interpreted as a hunting lodge with good fishing used by the élite of that city, and doubts about the ‘farmyard’ at Bignor (at which villa some gold-leaf wall plaster was found – an opulence very rare in the whole Roman empire). The other talks I heard were somewhat less revisionist. John Shepherd described the work he has done on Gayton Thorpe, which was first excavated in the 1920s. A paper about two villas – Dinnington and Yarford – on the south-western margins was especially concerned with the end of Roman Britain, and how the last phase of Dinnington was concurrent with the occupation of South Cadbury. Sam Moorhead and Philippa Walton presented a scholarly analysis of coin finds – apparently Britain has, compared with the rest of the empire, a large number of Constantinian coins, and the late silver ‘siliquae’.


What’s On Eric Morgan

Sunday 2nd August, 3-5pm: Finchley Society, Avenue House, East End Road. The Bothy Garden open day. (HADAS will be at Avenue House this afternoon – see first page of this newsletter.)

Tuesday 4th August, 2-3pm: Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow: Southwark Cathedral. Talk by John & Jo Brewster on its 1,000 year history. Cost £3.

Tuesday 11th August, 8pm: Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St. Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, N3 (off Hendon Lane): Dolled Up Gemstones: talk by Douglas Garrod on their artificial treatment.

Sunday 16th August, 2-4pm: The Battle of Barnet.. Guided walk. Meet at the junction of Great North Road/Hadley Green Road. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £7.

Tuesday 18th August, 2-3pm: Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow: War & Medicine. Talk by Kevin Brown on how war has dramatically impacted on the development of medicine. Cost £3.

Tuesday 18th August, 6pm: Highgate Wood Information Hut, off Archway Road, N6. Historical Walk.

Friday 21st August, 7pm: COLAS, St. Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3: Algeria Before Islam. Talk by Ian Jones. Visitors £2. Refreshments.

Saturday 22nd August & Sunday 23rd August, 12-6pm: Friern Barnet Summer Show, Friary Park, Friern Barnet Lane, N12. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society will have a stand there. Also an Art Exhibition by Barnet Borough Arts Council whose stand has HADAS info, and many other stalls.

Sunday 23rd August, 2-4pm: The Heart of High Barnet. Guided historical walk through 1,000 years. Meet outside Barnet College, Wood Street. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £7.

Sunday 30th August, 2pm: A Meander Through Monken Hadley. Meet outside The Spires, High Street, Barnet. Historical walk through beautiful, unspoilt Georgian Hadley. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £7.

Excavations at Copped Hall, Epping with WEAG, August 2008

From Monday 17th to Friday 21st August. Continued excavation of an Elizabethan Great House and its Medieval predecessors. Places still available on Field School (not for beginners) this week. Full details from Mrs. Pauline Dalton, Roseleigh, Epping Road, Epping, Essex CM16 5HW, tel. 01992813725, email: or visit (HADAS have helped WEAG here with resistivity and surveying site).

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HADAS DIARY: Forthcoming Events

Wednesday 8th July: Outing to Syon Park

At the AGM last month our president, Harvey Sheldon, praised the cafeteria at Syon Park and reminded members of how much else there is to see there, quite apart from the interesting dig and the last few days of an exhibition based on the Time Team dig there. Application forms were sent out some time ago, but you may still be able to get a place: contact Jim Nelhams (see his details on the back page).

Sunday 26th July: Outing to Broughton Castle, Swalcliffe Village etc:

*BREAKING NEWS* from Stewart Wild:

*Our outing on Sunday 26 July will visit a dig in progress*

Good news for all those joining us on 26 July for our visit to Broughton Castle, near Banbury. On the way home, we have been able to arrange a guided tour at a dig in progress. In fields near Abingdon, Oxford

University’s School of Archaeology has been excavating a complex site each summer since 2001.

The site is an Iron Age settlement which is overlain by a Romano-British temple complex. The temple has a large temenos area defined by a stone wall with various public buildings outside it. One of these is a large
circular structure whose function is unclear at the moment but it was probably some form of theatre/amphi-theatre associated with religious activities and the nearby temple.

We hope you will be able to join us for our first outing on a Sunday. Booking forms were distributed last month; if you need a copy please contact:

June Porges ( 020 8346 5078
Stewart Wild ( 020 8346 4166

Wednesday 26th August to Sunday 30th August inclusive –

HADAS long weekend in Hereford – not long to go!!! from Jim Nelhams

The arrangements for our trip to Hereford have nearly been finalised – apart from the weather. The balance of the cost (£290 per person sharing a room or £330 for those in single rooms) is due by the 18th August 2009, but should anybody like to pay an instalment in July and one in August they are welcome to do so. Please send your payments to Jim Nelhams (address at back of newsletter). A little booklet of the trip and any instructions will be sent to you as soon as it is available.

A few places may still be available. We normally operate a waiting list as well, because so often someone has to drop out, so please contact Jim if you are interested but have not yet signed up.

Ann Kahn

Each of our last three newsletters carried obituaries of long-standing members, and we were unable to include an appreciation of Ann Kahn as soon as we would have wished. Peter Pickering, who was among the HADAS members who were able to attend her funeral, has written the following for us:

Ann died on 21st April at the age of 85, immediately after completing our May newsletter, of which she was editor; this bald fact demonstrates the determination which was characteristic of her. She was a librarian by profession; she worked in Hendon public library in 1951, but her career was in the Civil Service, where she became Chief Librarian of the Department of Health and Social Security in 1974. She had many and varied interests, including the theatre and sailing (she was a founder member of both the Society for Theatre Research and the Civil Service Sailing Association) and of course archaeology (she had dug with Mortimer Wheeler at Maiden Castle). Ann joined HADAS in 1981; she was one of our regular team of newsletter editors and came to our meetings while she was still mobile. In 1989 she was confined to a wheelchair, in which I well remember her at our Christmas dinner in the Meritage Club. This scarcely cramped her style or her enthusiasms; Denis Ross and I visited her more than once to discuss the peculiarities of AppleMac computers, and at the time of her death she was engaged on projects including a Dictionary of Body Language and a History of the Civil Service Sailing Association.

Would you like to get the Newsletter by E-mail? Mary Rawitzer

Last month’s debacle, when three people between them managed NOT to put the Broughton Castle outing application form in with the June Newsletter, and it had to be e-mailed or posted separately, has prompted a suggestion from Jeffrey Lesser that some members might be willing, as he would be, to get the Newsletter by e-mail each month. This would save postage, paper and time, and bring the HADAS Newsletter into the modern world.

The HADAS Committee has considered this idea from time to time without ever making a decision, but really no decision is needed. If YOU would like to be sent the Newsletter by e-mail, please just send a brief message to – so that I am certain we have your correct address.

Who were those three guilty people? I’m not telling on the others. But I was one of them.


Ancient Egypt and Beyond: From Nubia to the Levant (6 – 31 July 2009)

UCL has announced a programme of one-week courses taught by experts, with lavishly-illustrated lectures, gallery work in the British Museum, special-access classes in the Petrie Museum and UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, as well as social events. For further information visit:

or contact The Director, Bloomsbury Summer School, Department of History, UCL, Gower St., London WC1E 6BT. Tel: 020 7679 3622. E-mail:

UCL has also launched week-long sessions under the heading Bloomsbury Summer School in Egypt. The course, Exploring Amarna: Akhenaten’s Abandoned City, will actually be taught in Egypt, by Professor Barry Kemp, with daily visits to ancient sites. The first course, from 24th to 31st October 2009, is already full, but there may still be availability for the following one, from 30th November to 7th December 2009.

Is this the largest erratic ever found? Stewart Wild

Members will, I am sure, know what an erratic is. The word was coined in the nineteenth century to describe a rock or boulder that had ‘wandered’ from its original location, having been carried along by a glacier.

We have hundreds, if not thousands, of erratics in this country. However, on a recent visit to western Canada, I came across a remarkable discovery. South of Calgary, Alberta, in a windswept field near a town called Okatoks (which means “Big Rock” in the native Blackfoot language), lies possibly the largest erratic ever found.

Measuring approximately 41x18x9 metres (135ft long, 60ft wide and 30ft high), this colossal mass of quartzite (a kind of tough sandstone) weighs around 16,700 tons, and is over 500 million years old. It arrived in this location more than 10,000 years ago, having been transported from Mount Edith Cavell in the Jasper area, some 400kms to the northwest, not just by a glacier, but on top of a glacier, after a rockfall.

The quartzite was formed by layers of sediment deposited some 570 to 540 million years ago in a shallow sea long before the uplift of the Rocky Mountains. As time passed, the sediment was buried as layer upon layer built up thousands of feet thick. The pressure generated by the weight of the overlying sediments compacted the sand grains and cemented them into extremely hard, durable rock.

For as long as anyone can remember, this colossal piece of rock has been a local wonder and attraction. Erosion and the passage of time – the winters are fierce in this part of the world – have broken the rock into two large and many small pieces, yet have still left enough sheer faces to attract local youngsters anxious to try their skills at surreptitious and unsupported rock climbing despite its being a Provincial Historic Site.

The massive Okatoks erratic is just one of a train of similar boulders scattered across the plains from Alberta to northern Montana, having been dumped by ancient glaciers which then melted as the last Ice Age came to an end.

Pictures and further details are available on this Alberta website:

Ancient Mass Grave found on Dorset Olympic Site

Reuters recently reported the discovery of an ancient burial pit containing 45 severed skulls, that could be a mass war grave dating back to Roman times. It was found under a road being built for the 2012 Olympics.

Archaeologists, who have only just begun excavating the site, say they do not yet know who the bones might belong to. Reuters quotes David Score of Oxford Archaeology who is heading the dig: “We think that these dismembered bodies are likely to be native Iron Age Britons. The question is – how did they die and who killed them. Were they fighting amongst themselves? Were they executed by the Romans? Did they die in a battle with the Romans? The exciting scenario for us possibly is that there were skirmishes with the invading Romans and that’s how they ended up chopped up in a pit”.

The skulls and other bones were unearthed at Ridgeway Hill, on the construction site of a new major relief road to Weymouth, on the Dorset coast, which is to host sailing events for the London Olympics.

When the main Roman invasion force landed in Britain in AD 43, Claudius’s legions moved swiftly through western England to subdue fierce Celtic tribes. The grave site is close to Maiden Castle – Europe’s largest Iron Age hill fort – where local tribes are said to have staged a last stand against the Roman legions after the invasion. Some historians believe the Romans sacked the site, butchering its population including women and children, before burning it to the ground.

Few artifacts have so far been found with the bones, though pottery shards dating to the late Iron Age and early Roman period have been found scattered around the 6-metre wide pit. 45 skulls have been counted so far, together with a tangle of torsos, arms and legs. Most skulls were those of young men, supporting the theory they could have been killed in battle or executed en masse. But the archaeologists say, pending further analysis, they could also be Roman citizens or indigenous people who had died through disease or disaster.

St. Mary at Finchley Churchyard: John Cartwright Monument Vicki Baldwin

Preparatory work pre-renovations, December 2008

HADAS was asked to supply an archaeologist to be present during the dismantling of the Cartwright monu-ment in the churchyard of St. Mary at Finchley in December 2008, prior to proposed repair and renovation work following the detailed survey and recommendations for subsequent work carried out in May 2006.

The monument in question was erected in 1835 and is situated at the western edge of St. Mary’s churchyard. At present it is surrounded by green painted hoardings. It consists of a slender, 4-sided, tapering obelisk on a rectangular column resting on a wider, square plinth. This is placed on top of a concealed vault. Problems had arisen because, due to a number of factors, the leading (eastern) edge of the plinth had compromised the roof of the vault. This in turn, had caused the monument to lean to the east, with the possibility that it might fall and cause injury to anyone nearby and probably further damage the vault.

The work in December 2008 was carried out in two phases by two specialist teams. The first phase, between 10th and 13th December, consisted of carefully removing the materials at the north end used to re-seal the vault after the 2006survey. The earth covering the steps down to the entrance was cleared and the bricks sealing the doorway removed. Once this had been done it was possible to access the chamber. Clearance of the backfill exposed a steep flight of 4 brick steps leading to a low entrance. There were 3 steps each of 3 courses of brick with the top course laid endwise on their sides and the top edge chamfered. The top step consisted of a single course of side-laid, top edge chamfered brick, and the side walls were also brick. The entrance was low (approximately 1–1.25m high) with a step down into the chamber. Along the west side ran a plinth with 8 in situ coffins. Cracking and movement of the walls and roof, detailed in the 2006 report, was clearly visible.

The next stage in this phase of work consisted of the construction of a protective shell over the coffins so that any subsequent work on the surface of the vault could be undertaken without the problem of dislodged material falling into it and causing further damage. The shell consisted of 2 layers: the first, marine ply nailed to 2”x 4” struts and the second, a layer of thick insulation board. Once the shell had been constructed, the entrance was re-bricked, the steps covered and the area backfilled.

The following week a second specialist team began dismantling the monument itself. At least one panel from the base had already become detached and was in storage elsewhere. Possibly there were only 3 panels, not 4, attached to the lower part, as it appears the monument would have been visible from 3 sides only, having been positioned at the western edge of the vault area rather than in the middle of the plot. The sections of the monu-ment were mortared together, possibly evidence of an early use of Portland cement, the first patent for which was lodged in 1824. The top (obelisk) part of the monument was constructed from 2 pieces of stone joined by poured lead plugs as well as mortar. As each section was freed it was lifted by crane and positioned within the compound. The base plinth was left in situ as it was judged that moving it could cause further damage to the underlying brickwork of the vault roof. Once the monument had been dismantled, each section was protected by layers of hessian and bubblewrap until further work can take place. The vault and monument remain behind the hoardings in St. Mary’s churchyard awaiting the next phase of renovation.

Annual General Meeting : Secretary’s Report and Comments Jo Nelhams

The Society’s 48th Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 9th June 2009 with the President Harvey Sheldon in the Chair. In the absence of the Chairman, Don Cooper, Peter Pickering, the Vice-Chairman introduced the President. The attendance of members was very disappointing as only 22 attended, about 12% of the membership, with a further 10 members sending their apologies. However, it was the first evening of the tube strike which cannot have helped.

The Annual Report and Accounts were approved by the meeting.

The Officers and Committee remained unchanged and were duly re-elected, there being no further offers of people to fill the 4 vacancies still available.

A reminder of who is who on the elected committee:

Chairman: Don Cooper Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering

Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams

Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning


Bill Bass, Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan, June Porges, Mary Rawitzer, Denis Ross, Andrew Selkirk, Tim Wilkins.

Four long-standing members died this year, Gillian Braithwaite, Andrew Saunders, Liz Holliday and Ann Kahn. They will be sadly missed.

More volunteers to act as editors/reserve editors of the newsletters are now badly needed, with access to a computer a requirement. Please contact a member of the committee if you are able to help. In the closing discussion the view was expressed that without active support from members for all the activities of the society, it would not be able to function.

The meeting was followed by presentations of the year’s activities in which members had participated.

Bill Bass presented an update on digging at Church Farm Museum. This was followed by the dig that took place at Hendon School, presented by Jim Nelhams. There will be further digs in both of these locations this year. Andy Simpson reported on the work of the Post-excavation Course run in conjunction with Birkbeck College with Jacqui Pearce as tutor. The book on the Church Terrace dig will be published later this year. Vicki Baldwin talked about the Cartwright Memorial (her report is above) and the evening concluded with a showing of a short film about the abandoned island of St. Kilda, made by a friend of Stewart Wild.

Those present at the AGM signed a get-well card and added personal messages to Don Cooper.

The following inscription was also added: –

The crew at our annual meeting But be sure, there’s no reason to panic. So we all have to make this appeal.

All wanted to send you a greeting. No need to get worried or manic We hope that, soon, better you’ll feel.

Such a shame you weren’t there We’re keeping afloat. For despite our endeavour,

To observe how they care No one’s rocking the boat, We know that it’s never

And to supervise moving the seating. And HADAS is not The Titanic. As good as when you’re at the wheel.

Other Societies’ Events from Eric Morgan

Thursday 2nd July, 7pm Enfield Society: Heritage Walk – Enfield Town.

Start at Market Place & look at historic buildings, including St Andrew’s Church & the Tudor

Room. End at Jubilee Hall with refreshments & sales tables

Other Societies’ Events (continued)

Thurs. 2nd July, 7-8.30pm Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Mddx Univ, Cat Hill, Barnet:

Through the Keyhole. Talk, by Lesley Hoskins on the everyday lives of Victorians. £5

Sat. 4th July, 11am-5pm Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery: Open Day, Harrow Rd NW6 &

Ladbroke Grove W10. Displays, stalls, food, incl. Willesden Local History Soc, bookstalls

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th July, 12-7pm. East Barnet Festival, Oak Hill Park, Church Hill Rd,

E. Barnet. Lots of community stalls

Sunday 5th July, Avenue House Grounds, East End Rd, N3

2.15pm: Tree Walk, by Gary Pearse (Friends of Windsor Open Space)

3-5pm: The Bothy Garden Open Day

Tuesday 7th July, 2-3pm. Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow:

40 Years at Kodak. Talk by Tony Earle. £3

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th July. Enfield Archaeological Society:

Dig at Theobalds Palace, Cedars Park, Broxbourne

Saturday 11th July, from 12-o’clock. Pentland Finchley Community Festival:

Victoria Park, Ballards Lane, N3. Lots of community stalls, incl. the Finchley Society

Tuesday 14th July, 8pm. Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church,

Victoria Ave, N3: Rock Curiosities. Talk, Stuart Adams

Wednesday 15th July, 7.30pm. Willesden Local History Soc: Guided tour of Lower Place.

Meet promptly, Grand Junction Arms car park, Acton Lane NW10. Led by Cliff Wadsworth

Saturday 18th & 19th July, 11am-4pm. Enfield Archaeological Society: Dig at Elsyng Palace

Forty Hall, Enfield (HADAS did resistivity here); also Enfield Museum Service:

The Tudors: in person & under your feet: Tudor Fayre

Saturday 18th July –Sunday 2nd August. Festival of British Archaeology, including Dig Harrow

exhibition 10.30am-5pm (Harrow Museum, see 7th July), Thames Treasures – London’s

River Revealed 10am(Sundays 11am)-6pm, series of events about the archaeology & the history

of the Thames. Full details: 020 7001 9844

Saturday 25th/Sunday 26th July, 11.30am-4pm. COLAS at the Tower (part of Festival of BA): a

wide range of public displays and activities in front of the Tower & (around midday) on the foreshore

Sunday 26th July, 2.30pm. Hornsey Historical Society: History Walk around Highgate, start

Pond Square, N6. For full details phone 020 8883 8486

Thanks to contributors: Peter Pickering, Stewart Wild, Vicki Baldwin, Jim & Jo Nelhams, Eric Morgan.

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Tuesday 9 June: Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 8 July: Outing to Syon Park

13-20 July: HADAS DIG in Church Farm House Museum garden

Sunday 26 July: Outing to Broughton Castle and Oxfordshire

Sunday 2 August: Brockley Hill Pottery Display & Roman Cookery Demonstration

Wednesday 26 August to Sunday 30 August: HADAS long weekend in Hereford



It is becoming increasingly difficult to find venues which are open on Saturdays so we are experimenting with a Sunday outing. Our main visit will be to Broughton Castle near Banbury. Some of you may have heard the Radio 4 reading of William Fiennes’ book “The Music Room” which is about his young days living in the castle which has been the home of the Fiennes family for twenty generations. We found it enchanting when we visited it and the fourteenth century church in the grounds. It is close to Swalcliffe village where there is a tithe barn (1409) with a small museum, remains of a Roman road and villa (at this point we are not sure whether digging will be in progress) and a hill fort which we promise not to make you climb! It should be an enjoyable day in a beautiful part of Oxfordshire. Application forms are included in this Newsletter.

Stewart Wild and June Porges

HADAS DIG Don Cooper

HADAS are going to dig at the back of Church Farm Museum again this year. The dig will start on the 13th July for one week. The Wednesday and Thursday the 15th and 16th of July will be devoted to the pupils of St Mary’s School. HADAS members will be welcome to come along on the other days to watch, get involved, chat and maybe get a cup of tea!

This is a rare opportunity for members to get involved with the practical side of archaeology. We look forward to seeing you there.


In the May Newsletter (p3) it was reported that the site of the burial place of Anthony and Cleopatra has been found 17 miles North of Alexandria. Dr Jeffrey Lesser points out that “North” must be wrong (unless this is underwater archaeology?).

In last month’s newsletter the old Discussion List URL was quoted by mistake.

The correct one is below:


Sun 2 August 14.00-17.00 Avenue House, 17 East End Rd, Finchley, London N3 3QE

This event will be a display of Roman pottery excavated from kiln sites on Brockley Hill near Edgware (sometimes thought to be the settlement of Solloniacis). The material comes from a number of digs during the 1930s, 40s and 50s which eventually came into the care of the HADAS. We are now processing the pottery to current museum standards, on show will be a wide range of pottery types that were made at Brockley Hill, examples of which were distributed all over Roman Britain. Also, there will be a demonstration of Roman cooking by Rose Baillie of the City of London Archaeological Society . Rose will show how she thought a Roman kitchen worked and will cook a number of dishes in replica Roman pots.

The above event is part of the Festival of British Archaeology two week extravaganza organised by the CBA. For further information please contact Sophie Cringle, Marketing and Events Officer, Council for British Archaeology, St Mary’s House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ. Tel: 01904 671417. Email:

See the full list at: We are listed under the London events (not Greater London). For members with no access to the internet, HADAS has ordered a small number of the National Events booklet which we hope will arrive to display at the AGM.

Bill Bass & Stephen Brunning


We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death (from pancreatic cancer) on the 8th April of Liz Holliday at the comparatively early age of 62. Before moving from Barnet to Chipperfield 18 years ago she had been an active and enthusiastic member of HADAS and she maintained the connection even after her move.

Liz spent her childhood in North London. She attended Henrietta Barnett School where she was Head Girl in 1965, went on to study librarianship at the North London Polytechnic, and joined the Barnet Libraries Service and, in due course, HADAS. With her love of literature, history and art, her organizing abilities and her boundless energy, Liz became a valued contributor to many HADAS projects. She undertook research, wrote articles for publications (and designed at least one of our booklet covers) and helped to mount exhibitions. She served as Honorary Secretary to HADAS in the 1980s and early 1990s, continuing for a spell after her move to Chipperfield in 1991. While in Barnet she had been a regular attender at lectures and she enjoyed our Society outings. I vividly remember her at Bosworth Battlefield in 1993, passionately defending the reputation of Richard III!

Indeed Liz’s great “passion for life” was the main theme of the tributes paid to her at the Service of Thanksgiving in Chipperfield Parish Church on the 21st April attended by over 200 people. The number of village organizations in which she had served as Chairman or Secretary or Treasurer was mind-boggling. They included the Choral Society, the Horticultural Society, the Women’s Institute, various church committees, a Bookworms Club which she founded, and the Chipperfield News of which she was joint editor. Her love of dogs was legendary and she always owned at least two. Following her early retirement she had become a keen traveler, venturing as far afield as China and telling delightful tales of her adventures.

But above all, Liz’s family (sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece) and her many friends and neighbours in Chipperfield remember her affection, her kindness, her wit, her cheerfulness and her courage. I am sure that is how her friends in HADAS remember her too.

EXIT SCOLA Peter Pickering

SCOLA is, or was, the Standing Conference on London Archaeology. I became its Assistant Secretary in 1995 and its Secretary in 2005; Michael Hammerson (a HADAS member) was its Treasurer even longer, having taken over from Derek Renn (a HADAS vice-president).

SCOLA was formed in 1992 in the wake of the Rose Theatre affair and the transfer of the responsibility for providing archaeological planning advice to London boroughs (the old Greater London Council had, of course, been abolished in 1986) from the Museum of London to English Heritage. SCOLA was intended to be a formal, pan-London forum with a solid constitution where issues of importance to the conduct of archaeology could be discussed, problems raised, and solutions found. It was originally sponsored by the Council for British Archaeology, the Society of Antiquaries and the two county archaeological societies, and had local archaeological societies, some local authorities and individuals among its membership. Its Chairman was not elected by the membership, but nominated by the Society of Antiquaries and the Council for British Archaeology; several very eminent people have become Chairman, including Barry Cunliffe, Michael Robbins, Martin Millett and Peter Addyman (twice)

SCOLA took a great interest from the beginning in the way in which developer-funded archaeology (under the Government’s Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 16) was working in London, financed research into this, and held a conference in 2002. In its earlier years it ran other conferences with a more general appeal, on prehistoric London, on Dark Age London, and revisiting Martin Biddle’s seminal ‘The Future of London’s Past’.

Much of SCOLA’s effort, was spent on trying to ensure that the powers that be took account of archaeology (and the historic environment generally). This was not easy – the Greater London Authority, at least under Ken Livingstone, was a great disappointment to us, as was the Government’s decision last year to drop the Heritage Protection Bill from its legislative programme. Borough councils have not supported SCOLA as was hoped, and several borough museums have been closed or are under threat (though there is some better news – Havering is going to open a new one.)

SCOLA also took up some special cases where the system was not working well – for instance the decision to “preserve in situ” under a car park rather than excavate properly an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Croydon, and the failure to impose an adequate archaeological condition on some redevelopment along the line of the Roman road in Bow. More recently, we pressed for proper excavation and recording before the Olympic facilities were built; this seems to be proceeding satisfactorily, though there remain concerns about the effect of the equestrian events on Greenwich park. Although providing finance was not among its primary purposes, SCOLA did on a few occasions grant-aid the publication of excavations and other projects. In furtherance of its aim to inform the public, in 2004, 2006 and 2008 SCOLA, in conjunction with the ‘London Archaeologist’ magazine, offered a prize for the best publication relating to the archaeology of Greater London that had appeared over the previous two years.

Throughout, SCOLA was anxious to inform and involve local societies, who in turn supported SCOLA through subscriptions. In the early days SCOLA had ‘local area groups’ and organised an annual meeting for local societies to share information and views. In 2002 these were subsumed in the London Archaeological Forum, under the aegis of the Museum of London.

This year SCOLA was dissolved. That was because of the formation of the London Group of the Council for British Archaeology. To know more about that, read on . . .

ENTER CBA London by Don Cooper

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) has for many years wanted to have a regional group that reflected the size and complexity of our capital city. The creation of CBA London in April 2008 provides this group. For those not familiar with the objectives of the national CBA they are spelt out on the following website: In summary, as well as carrying out its statutory role with respect to listed buildings, three specific strategic objectives are identified as follows:

Advocacy: campaigning on behalf of the historic environment both above and below ground, championing the role of the voluntary sector, ensuring that archaeology has a place in education and life-long learning.

Participation: CBA London will support and encourage participation by all levels of London society

Discovery: Enabling and supporting the research by others to advance knowledge in archaeology.

These strategic objectives are complementary to SCOLA’s objectives and CBA London proposes to build on the excellent work that SCOLA has carried out over the last seventeen years.

The advent of CBA London represents an opportunity for local societies to take advantage of a large, national charity dedicated to the promotion of archaeology and able to bring its formidable advocacy skills to local archaeological issues and opportunities via local representation.

In practical terms CBA London will support young people’s participation in archaeology through the Young Archaeologists’ Club and promoting and helping with local schools practical archaeology endeavours.

In research CBA London has a particular objective in assisting with advice and support the processing of local archaeological excavations towards publication and the creation of an accessible archive. CBA London also supports and encourages participation in the Thames Foreshore Project

CBA London represents a great opportunity for local societies to raise participation in archaeology to a new level and if there are any other roles/activities that HADAS members would like CBA London to consider please don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIGGING IN ISRAEL–Tel Gezer Micky Watkins

In January I had a wonderful holiday in Israel. My niece Ros and her Perry took my sister Bunty and I on a tour including Nazareth, the Crusader Castle at Acre, mosaics at Zippori, and the Carmel range. We had a delicious falafel lunch in a tiny café and a Bedouin breakfast. Everybody was glad that the terrible hostilities in Gaza had finished.

After all the famous sites, Ros and Perry sprung a surprise. One kilometre from their house is Tel Gezer, one of three cities founded by Solomon. There are no crowds, no entry fee, no barrier and no shop.. Only a magnificent view, and a partially excavated site of world importance with no one but us to look at it. The site is large, 30 acres, and has been important since Canaanite times as it guards a valley leading from the coast road to Jerusalem. The early inhabitants lived in caves cut in the rock. In the 2nd millennium BCE it became one of the foremost Canaanite cities with massive walls and towers. At the centre was a cult area with ten monolithic steles, some still standing, and a large stone tank, possibly used for sacrificial blood. The Egyptian Pharoahs destroyed the city with fire and the kings of Gezer became their vassals.

The city was rebuilt in the 11th century BCE and was then conquered by Joshua and the Israelites. Its great period was under King Solomon who made it one of the three royal centres away from Jerusalem. He built strong fortifications and a water system.

Among the many finds is the famous Gezer Calendar – a small limestone tablet on which a list of agricultural chores done each month is engraved. It is one of the earliest examples of Hebrew writing.

There is an excavation every summer with archaeologists and amateurs from all over the world joining in. Details can be found on the internet:

If you just want to visit the site and Israel, you can ask Ros and Perry to help you. They could pick you up at Tel Aviv airport, accommodate you in their very comfortable house and take you round Tel Gezer. If they have time they could take you on a further tour. Perry is on the local archaeological committee and they are keen to promote visits. Ros is a landscape gardener and Perry an environmental consultant. Their e-mail address is:

THE EYE OF CHILDHOOD: children’s writers and artists in Barnet borough

(30 May- 27 September 2009 )

Church Farmhouse Museum’s Summer exhibition reveals the many children’s authors and illustrators, past and present, with connexions to our area: from Oliver Postgate (The Clangers; Bagpuss) to Joe Craig ( the Jimmy Coates series); from Sydney Hulme Beaman (the Toytown stories on radio and TV) to Helen Craig & Katharine Holabird (Angelina Ballerina); from Anthony Buckeridge (Jennings) to Spike Milligan (Silly Verse for Kids).

Earlier authors featured include Frank Horrabin, whose Japhet & Happy comic strip in the News Chronicle rivalled Rupert Bear in popularity in the 1920s; Mark Lemon (first editor of Punch) who lived at Church Farm as a boy in the early 1800s; and Lewis Carroll, as the Lewis Carroll Society was founded in Hendon in 1969.

Children visiting the exhibition will have the opportunity to write their own poems and brief stories, or draw illustrations to their favourite tales.

Reading is one of childhood’s greatest adventures. Come along and see how much the many and varied writers and artists of Barnet borough have contributed to it.


Friday 5 June 2.15pm: The Match Girls Strike (1889) Talk by Dr Louise Raw. Free

Hampstead Museum, Burgh House, New End Square NW3

Monday 8 June 3pm:Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in Barnet, Finchley & Hendon. Talk by Nick Papadimitriou. Barnet & District Local History Society, Church House, Wood St Barnet (

Wednesday 10th June 7.45pm: The History of Churchyards. Talk by Dr Michael Worms. £1 Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, corner Ferme Park Rd./Weston Park N8

Saturday 13 June Highgate Summer Festival 12.30-5.30pm: Lots of stalls. Pond Square N6

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 June: London Open Garden Squares Weekend. Visit gardens not normally open to the public. Tickets £8 (£6.75 if booked in advance).

Sunday 14 June 1-5pm: Avenue House 150th Anniversary Celebration Fun Day. Entrance £2.50 Lots of stalls including HADAS. The Garden Room will be open from 10.30am

15 June—26 September: Exhibition of Oral History Recordings & Photographs of Local People. Camden Local Studies & Archives, Holborn Library, 32-8 Theobalds Rd WC1

Friday 19 June 7pm: Play Houses of Tudor London. Talk by Julian Bowsher. Visitors £2

COLAS, St Olaves Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3

Friday 19 June 8pm: Geoffery Gillam Memorial Lecture – His Contribution to Local Archaeology. Talk by IAW Jones. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 June: Victorian Country Fair, part of London-wide Festival

Kenwood, Hampstead Lane NW3

http// of London.jsp

Sunday 21 June: East Finchley Festival. Lots of stalls. Cherry Tree Wood (opp. Station)

Sunday 21 June 2pm: East Barnet Village, Guided Walk led by Paul Baker. 2 hours

Meet outside E. Barnet Library, Brookhill Rd

Tuesday 23 June 7.30pm: Barnet Borough Arts Council AGM. (HADAS is affiliated to BBAC)

Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether St N12

Thursday 25 June 8pm: East Finchley’s History Through Maps. Talk by Tony Roberts. £2

Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Rd N3

Sunday 28 June 11.30am: Plaque unveiling ceremony, St Mary’s Church, Hendon Lane N3

To bring attention to the architectural & historical importance of the Church

Newsletter-458-May-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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HADAS DIARY: Forthcoming Lectures and Events

Tuesday 12th May: The Guildhall Roman Amphitheatre Stephen Brunning

Twenty-one years ago, archaeologists encountered a strange, curving wall at the very bottom of a trench that had been dug to explore London’s mediaeval Guildhall. Soon they realised they had stumbled upon a Roman amphitheatre: a building which conjured up visions of gladiatorial combat or religious persecution, and whose location had been the subject of antiquarian speculation for centuries. In this lecture we shall see how the amphitheatre was gradually uncovered, rebuilt on paper as a complete structure, and eventually opened to the public in a special gallery beneath the Guildhall Art Gallery.

The speaker, Francis Grew, is curator of archaeology at the Museum of London. He visited the amphitheatre excavations on many occasions and regularly leads tours of the surviving remains. He has ‘a particular interest in Roman art, religion and inscriptions, and has just completed editing a catalogue of Roman sculpture from Southeast England.

Tuesday 9th June: Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 8th July: Outing to Syon Park (see separate application form)

Wednesday 26th August to Sunday 30th August inclusive — HADAS long weekend in Hereford

Andrew Saunders by Peter Pickering

One of our distinguished vice-presidents, Andrew Saunders, died on March 23rd at the age of 77. He became a vice-president in 1973, at which time he lived in New Barnet. He had an international reputation as a historian of Britain’s coastal defences — in January 1976 he lectured to us on the subject of Napoleonic Defences and Martello Towers — though his major excavation project was at Launceston Castle in Cornwall. From 1970 to 1989 he was Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings — a post which no longer exists, having been abolished in 1989 as part of the trend to elevate management over professional expertise. In retirement he lived in Battle, and it was in the Great Hall of Battle Abbey that one of our other vice-presidents, Andrew Selkirk, attended the memorial celebration for him.

Membership Matters by Stephen Brunning

Renewals from members who pay by cheque have been arriving steadily. Many thanks to everyone who has already paid. Having the money banked by 5th April is a great help as it means we can claim the Gift Aid from the Inland Revenue this financial year. We do, of course, need a signed Gift

Aid Declaration to reclaim the tax on the subscriptions, and just over half the membership has done this. Gift Aid is worth in the region of £400 to us.

If you intend to pay by cheque this year and have not already returned the renewal form, I would be most grateful if you could do so as soon as possible. To request a Gift Aid form, or for any other membership queries, please contact me (details on the back page). Thank you.

The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey by Peter Nicholson

The March lecture by Richard Thomas started with a brief history of gunpowder. In the 9th century China’s experiments with a variety of mixtures led initially to the making of fireworks and then to the first military use of gunpowder in about 1100. Inevitably news of this invention spread to Europe and in Britain Friar Roger Bacon experimented to find out the best proportions of the three constituents — saltpetre, charcoal and sulphur. He considered the knowledge to be so dangerous that he recorded the results in code in a document which still survives in the British Library. The first British military use was in bombards at Crecy in 1346. But they were less effective than bows and arrows and self-evidently remained so until some time after Agincourt in 1415.

A map of 1590 shows a fulling mill at the Waltham Abbey site, using the abundant water power provided by the River Lea. In 1640 this was converted to a powder mill. At that time, here and elsewhere, the manufacture of gunpowder was a private enterprise, but in 1787 the mill was bought by the government for £10,000 and £35,000 was spent on refurbishment and redevelopment.

Many precautions were taken to avoid explosions, but inevitably some occurred and lives were lost. The most dangerous process was the grinding together of the three components to form an intimate mixture. This was done by six-ton edge-running rollers, Initially water-powered, but after 1856 steam-powered by beam engines. The buildings where this was carried out, and others where gunpowder was handled and stored, were surrounded by earth banks or walls so that the force of any explosion was diverted upwards. Employees wore clothing and footwear designed to avoid harbouring grit which might cause sparks. It was necessary for transport round the site to be as smooth as possible. At first boats were used on an internal waterway system which was extended to a length of 10 miles. Later a narrow gauge railway was introduced, on which trucks on wooden wheels on wooden rails were moved by hand. Ultimately, metal wheels and rails were allowed and in 1916 a battery-powered locomotive was provided.

In the 19th century new explosives such as gun cotton and nitroglycerine were invented and the site was greatly expanded to accommodate their production. The, chemical reaction to produce nitro­glycerine was extremely hazardous. If the reaction mixture became either too hot or too cold it was likely to explode. A man was assigned to watch the thermometer continuously and to help his concentration he was given a one-legged stool to sit on.

During World War I the factory worked at maximum capacity with women providing over half the workforce. During World War II the manufacturing of explosives was stopped because of the greatly increased risk of bombing. In 1945 the site was converted to a research establishment which finally closed in 1991.

After decontamination the historic northern part was opened as a museum and visitor attraction. The southern extension was sold to provide an endowment, but unfortunately the proceeds were not well invested and, with a limited staff, it is only possible to open at weekends and a few other days. There is an exhibition and a 20 minute film and on many weekends social events are planned (see some listed under Other Societies’ Events, at back).

A tailpiece to last year’s long weekend at Beverley by Don Cooper

One of the surprises from our visit to the Hull Streetlife Museum was one of the largest thermometers I have ever seen. It was advertising Steven’s Ink – yes, he of Avenue House. It was on a reconstructed street of cobbled stones and replica shops including a chemist’s, grocer’s, bike shop, etc. The eight foot high thermometer stood outside the chemist’s shop and is another surviving relic of the Stephen’s Ink empire. Don’t forget to visit the Stephen’s Ink museum at Avenue House and see more exhibits from that great era.

Reappraisal of the Battle of Barnet 1471 by Don Cooper

Brian Warren, one of our members and a notable researcher, has produced this excellent booklet, which brings together for review all the known sources for the battle, ancient and modern. Brian reviews each reference with copious maps and diagrams and provides a fascinating overview of the tricky issue of where, on the actual ground, did the Battle of Barnet take place. This booklet should be required reading for all those interested in the history of Barnet. The booklet is published by the Potters Bar and District Historical Society and can be obtained for £2 plus £1 postage and packing from Mrs Mabel Hammett, 4 Heath Cottages, Heath Road, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 1LS.

Another Plea for Help by Don Cooper

Our Birkbeck course has been processing the finds from the HADAS dig at Burroughs Gardens in 1972. We have compared the diary entries with the finds we still have and it is clear we are missing a substantial number! Where are they? If anybody has a clue, or even a memory of what we kept, please give me a call on my phone number. 020 8440 4350.

Thanks very much.

Ancient Barnet from Brian Warren

Another proof of the antiquity of that part of Barnet which lies around the church has recently been brought to light by workmen who have commenced operations on the new building for the London and County Bank. In digging down to get space for a strong room, traces of ancient masonry were found. These consisted of large flints set in hard mortar which for a long time resisted pick and crowbar. The contractor, Mr PJ Baughten, a very competent judge of masonry, thinks the wall resembles in many respects the wall of Richborough Castle and also may be of Roman origin. (Barnet Press, 16.11.1878). I wonder what it really was?

British Museum: New Medieval Gallery

The British Museum has recently opened the Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery of Medieval Europe and a new book has been produced: Masterpieces of Medieval Europe by James Robinson (British Museum Press 2009, £19.99 – for more details see

Mark Anthony and Cleopatra: Final Resting Place?

Zahi Hawass, Director of Egypt’s Superior Council of Antiquities, said there was evidence that the couple were buried together in a complex tunnel system underlying the Tabusiris Magna temple, 17 miles north of Alexandria. A dig has started (Times, 16 April 2009). Sceptics must wait and see!

Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan

Saturday 2 May — Monday 4 May: Waltham Abbey — VE Day.

Information & confirmation: 01992 707370 &

Monday 11 May 3pm: Hell upon Water: the infamous prison ships of England 1783-1815. Paul Chamberlain, Barnet/District Local History Soc. Church House, Wood St, Barnet, opp Museum

Wednesday 13 May 7.45pm: From Crouch Hall to Gin Lane Talk by Ruth Hazeldine. Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall (corner Ferme Pk Rd/Weston Pk, N8) Visitors £1

Thursday 14 May 8pm: Discussion of on-going projects Finchley Society Local History Group Avenue House, East End Rd N3

Saturday 16 May — Sunday 17 May: Waltham Abbey Steam and Country Show Info: see 2 May

Saturday 16 May 10am-5pm: The Tudor Port of London: an archaeological investigation

Many interesting speakers, including Jacqui Pearce. West India Quay. Free, but book tickets: in advance from Gresham College (020 7831 0575 or enquiries

Tuesday 19th May 7pm: London Archaeologist Annual lecture/Meeting Institute of Archaeology 31-34 Gordon Square, WC1 Refreshments 6.30pm

Wednesday 20 May 7.30pm: Marylebone to Manchester, the old Great Central Railway route through Neasden. Talk by Peter Rousselange. Willesden Local History Society. Scout House, High Rd, NW10 (corner Strode Rd)

Wednesday 20 May 8pm: Supporting Community Archaeology Suzie Thomas. Islington Archaeology & History Society Islington Town Hall, Upper St, N1

Saturday 23 May — Monday 25 May: Saxon & Norman Event Waltham Abbey. Info: see 2 May

Monday 25 May until 5pm Both St Andrews old & new churches will be open, part of Kingsbury open day. Church Lane, NW9

Wednesday 27 May: RAF Museum: John Donovan Memorial Lecture by David Keen Friern Barnet & District Local History Society St John’s Church Hall (adj. Whetstone police station), Friern Barnet Lane, N20. Preceded by AGM £2

newsletter-457-april-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 8 : 2005 - 2009 | No Comments

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.

The winter lecture series is held, as ever, at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, a fifteen-minute walk from Finchley Central tube station. Lectures start promptly at 8pm; non-members £1; coffee, tea and biscuits
can be bought.

Tuesday 14th April An album of treasures -Ann Saunders – (HADAS member and past President)
Our speaker Ann Saunders MBE needs no introduction to a lot of our members as she was president of HADAS from 1998 until 2001. Ann is a historian, and says the most useful thing she has done has been the
resuscitation of Lambeth Palace Library after the Second World War (Ann was Deputy Librarian 1952-55). Amongst her many achievements has been her prize for Best Specialist Guide Book of the Year in 1984 by the
British Tourist Board. Ann has been the Hon. Editor since 1975 of the journal of the London Topographical Society, a registered charity which concentrates exclusively on publishing books and sheet material illustrating the history, growth and topography of London. Ann edited the book which is her topic this month. “Historic Views of London” is a new book published by English Heritage presenting a selection of images by Bernard Howarth-Loomes, who was a life long collector of pre-photographic apparatus, early photographs and photographic equipment. He had particular enthusiasm for stereoscopic, or three-dimensional, photography
which became popular after the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was in Barnet that Howarth-Loomes lived, and first exhibited some of his photographs at Church Farmhouse Museum in 1971. The book focuses on over half of
the 350 photographic views of London from 1852 to 1915, and includes treasured images of iconic London landmarks and historical events. Publication coincided with an exhibition based on the book at Church Farmhouse Museum.

Tuesday 12th May The Guildhall Roman Amphitheatre -Francis Grew – Museum of London

Tuesday 9th June – Annual General Meeting

26th August to 30th August 2009 inclusive – HADAS Long weekend in Hereford

We have had a flood of bookings for the above trip and places are going quickly. Please send your deposits in as soon as possible so that final numbers can be advised to the hotel. There are a finite number of places and when this is reached a waiting list will be created.

‘Archaeology of the Bible’ course Peter Nicholson

The Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society is running a course of six meetings “Archaeology of the Bible: a short introduction” on recent discoveries in the Near East and how they have illuminated our understanding of the Bible as history. The course tutor is Scott McCracken. The course is on Friday mornings, beginning 1st
May, in the Lawrence Room, Hartley Hall, Flower Lane NW7. For further information contact Peter Nicholson
(020-8959 4757)
The following article appeared in the Society for Clay Pipe Research newsletter Autumn/Winter 2008. As Richard Field spent his early childhood in Barnet, It should appeal to Newsletter readers. The article is published here by kind permission of the author, Susie White.

The Case of Richard Field: Pipemaker and Murderer By Susie White

Back in 2005 Members may recall a paper on references to clay tobacco pipemakers in the records of the Old Bailey (White 2005). Since publishing that paper another fascinating case from the Old Bailey has come to the author’s attention, that of Richard Field, pipemaker and murderer (Ref.t17141209-28). Not only do the details of the case itself survive, but we also have a transcription of Field’s confession and final words uttered immediately prior to his execution at Tyburn, as recorded by Paul Lorrain (18th Century Collections online).Both records give an astonishing account of his life as a pipemaker prior to his conviction and execution.
In his own words Richard Field tells us that he was born in Conyhatch [sic] in Middlesex c1687. He first went to school in Coney Hatch and then went on to study in Finchley, Totteridge, and East-Barnet where it is noted that “a good and pious Gentlewoman” took care of his education.

When he was about 12 years old (c1699) he went to America where he was bound Apprentice to Michael Harding, a tobacco pipemaker in Boston. What is so interesting about this reference is that it is a nice early
seventeenth-century reference to a pipemaker in New England. The account goes on to say that after had had served his full seven years’ apprenticeship, he then worked for three more years as a journeyman. His Master,Harding, was by all accounts a good “Christian” man which gave Field the outward appearance of being “religious and careful to discharge [his] Christian Duties”,. However, things were clearly not what they seemed and Field said that “he had a wicked heart, and would often wrong even his good Master secretly; stealing money and other things from him”.

Field finally returned to England in c1709 where he continued to make pipes. The account is interesting in that it tells us that from this work he was only able to earn “5s. or 6s. a Week, and no more”. This was clearly not enough for Field to live on and he was persuaded by his friends to try alternative employment, and he appears to have tried his hand at watch-making, learning the art of punching and gilding. Unfortunately for Field he was unable to achieve what he described as the “ability and perfection” in this new-found trade to make a living and
therefore fell back into his old means of earning money – “his old trade of pipe-making”, but chose to supplement his income and began once again to “pilfer and steal wherever he could”.

By 1714 Richard Field was living in the parish of Hillendon with his wife Mary, and was working as a journeyman for the pipemaker Gabriel Randal at Uxbridge in Middlesex. On the 20th October 1714 Field was
accused not only of stealing 25 guineas from Randal, but also of murdering Randal’s wife, Mary.
On the day in question Randal had left home to deliver some pipes,leaving Field in the house with Mrs Randal. When Randal returned, some two hours later, he went upstairs to find his wife “lying a-cross the bed, with her
hands and legs tied” and “a clout [sic] thrust down her Throat, and another tied round her Head before her Mouth”. He immediately called for help from his neighbours, and on looking round the house found that a chest had been broken open with a hammer, which was later found on the workshop floor, and money stolen. Randal also found Field’s bloodied work apron.

By this time Field had left the scene and had managed to get on board a ship bound for Virginia, but thankfully was captured before the ship could depart. Not only did the authorities recover the money, but they also found a purse in Field’s possession which had belonged to Mary Randal. When questioned, Field could not explain how the purse had come into his possession, but tried to claim that the robbery had been carried out by a man called John Gardner; he denied any knowledge of the murder.

The Jury found him guilty of murder and felony, but acquitted his wife, who had been accused of being an accessory. Field was sentenced to death and was to be hanged at Tyburn on Wednesday 22nd December, 1714.
Between the time of sentencing and the actual execution, Field and the other condemned prisoners in Newgate Prison were visited by Paul Lorrain who “pray’d with them, and expounded the word of God to them in the
Chapel of Newgate, to which they were brought up twice every day, to the end that being instructed in that Holy Word, they might (as in a glass) see the deformity and heinousness of their sins”. Field confessed to
Lorrain that “the Devil prompted him to, he did not know how”, but that he “now express’d great sorrow, and earnestly ask’d God’s pardon and his Master’s; wishing a thousand times that he had not brought this double
guilt of blood and robbery upon his soul”.

Lorrain’s account goes on to describe how two carts were used to carry the condemned men from Newgate Prison to Tyburn. He asked the bystanders to pray for the men, and asked that “all (particularly Young People)
to take warning by them”. As the cart drew away from the scaffold “they were turned off; every one of them with his last Breath mightily calling all the while upon God to have mercy on their departing Souls”.

Although this is quite a chilling and gruesome tale of a man sent to the gallows, what makes it interesting is the level of detail about his life prior to his conviction. If we are lucky, we can often trace the names of individual pipemakers through the parish records to discover who they married and how many children they had. But rarely do we get the opportunity to discover so much detail about an individual – when they were born; where they went to school and, perhaps most fascinating of all in this particular case, the fact that he was apprenticed
not to a pipemaker in England, but to one in America.


White, S.D., (2005) ‘References to Clay Tobacco Pipes in the Old Bailey Records’ in Society for Clay Pipe Research, 68, 16-23.

Digging up the relatives by Jim Nelhams

In the newsletter of January 2006, I documented our knowledge of Jo’s family from her Great Grandfather onwards, and how we had arrived at that point. Lots of questions were still unanswered particularly about Jo’s
Great Half Auntie Hephzibah. Well, we haven’t all got one of those!

To summarise, Hephzibah was the daughter of Great Grandfather, William Willows from his first marriage. She was born in 1842, and when her mother died the following year, she was brought up by her grandparents, who had themselves produced a daughter the previous year. We had been able to trace Hephzibah in the census returns for 1851, 1861, 1871 and after her marriage to William Williams in 1881. At that point, she was living near Wakefield with two young children (Ethel and Sidney), and William was working on the railways, possibly at a coalmine. We have seen the children’s baptism records in Wakefield. After that, we could not see any of the four, and I speculated that they might have emigrated. I was up against the proverbial brick wall.

Tracing family histories is now very popular and more and more records are being transcribed and made available on the internet throughout the world. Last Autumn, I received a circular e-mail telling me that some new
emigration information had just been released, so I checked. There they were – all four of them, arriving in New South Wales on 11th October 1883 aboard a ship named Ellora, under an assisted passage scheme. So back on
the trail.
With help, I found that they had gone to a town called Gosford, about 50 miles north of Sydney. The town’s website lists “Pioneers” and William is listed. His occupation is given as “platelayer” and I read that the railway to Gosford was completed in 1887. As they travelled under an assisted passage scheme, more information may
be stored at Kew.
I also found records of the deaths of Hephzibah, Sidney and Ethel, and two records, – either of which could be William. William and Hephzibah had had a third child, Ernest William, after arriving, so I have another line to follow.
I am not sure yet if Sidney married, but I have found that Ethel married Jesse William Dyer in 1903 and they had five children, though the first two died young. The third child, John Willows Dyer, born in 1906 is clearly in the family, shown by the common Victorian practice of using the grandmother’s maiden name as a middle name.
Ethel lived to the grand age of 95 and her death is recorded in the Sydney Morning Herald. As she only died in 1972, I guessed there would be people today who would remember her, so I used Google on the internet to
search for the family name in Gosford – and found three names.

I selected one of the names and fired off a speculative e-mail. Within 48 hours, I had a response – from Ethel’s grandson, and Hephzibah’s great grandson. He was very surprised and pleased, and sent photos of himself and his wife. I responded by sending him the information about Hephzibah and her parents.
We had already hoped to visit Australia next year, so now we will follow in Hephzibah’s footprints – though we do not plan to go by boat.

The Building of the Underground – report of February’s lecture by Tony Earle

The Underground was the vision of city solicitor Charles Pearson who saw the need to relieve congestion in the city streets brought about by the growing financial wealth of the British Empire.

The Great Western Railway, whose terminus was way out at Paddington, backed a scheme to build a railway under the streets to Farringdon allowing it to run ‘Broad Gauge’ trains right to the city. It was built by ‘cut and cover’ technique along what is now the Marylebone Road. Opening in 1863 it was an instant success; the world’s first underground railway and the only one ever to be hauled by steam.

Passengers travelled in closed carriages lit by gas but were often brought out to the surface coughing and gasping owing to the smoke and fumes from the engine mixed with fellow travellers’ cigar, cigarette and pipe smoke. Experiments with coke-fired and smoke-free engines were a failure.
The District Railway was next off the mark and by 1870 the government had decided to complete an underground circle running along the new embankment by the Temple (the Circle Line). When built, the

Metropolitan operated it the clockwise direction and the District, in competition, anti-clockwise with each having their own station at the same destination.

The first deep tube railway dug through the clay using a tunnelling shield was the City and South London (1890). Using electric locomotion passengers rode in carriages without windows affectionately known as
‘Padded Cells’. During the rest of the century the system in the centre expanded and at 1900 the map looked very similar to that of today.

Financial problems enabled an American financier Charles Yerkes to take control. Under his direction eight new extensions were built with many new stations. His architect Leslie Green designed the distinctive red tile glazed buildings, which are so familiar and easily recognised as tube stations.

Frank Pick was the direct successor to these early builders between the wars and it is to him that we owe the uniformity and style of the modern underground. He oversaw the integration of the system, the adoption of the corporate roundel logo, and the famous stylised map of Harry Beck in 1931 (Harry lived in Courthouse Road West Finchley). His architect Charles Holden built modern glass and brick stations such as the one at East Finchley, many of which have been listed.

During the war Churchill and the Government frequently met at Down Street station with other stations sheltering thousands every night. (Down Street station had been closed in 1932 and does not appear on Harry
Beck’s maps – SB).

With neglect and lack of investment during and after the war the system fell into a poor state of repair until the early 1960s when following public outcry the Government started re-investing in London Transport, with planned modernisation, new rolling stock and the building of the Victoria line. With new lines for the Olympics and Cross Rail just starting the future for the Underground looks bright.

With grateful thanks to Tony Earle for providing the notes used in this report. Despite the cold weather, lots of people turned up to hear his talk. We even needed more chairs which does not happen very often! The “Name the Station” quiz was good fun too – Stephen Brunning.

Gillian Braithwaite

As was briefly reported in the March newsletter Gillian Braithwaite died in November 2008. She joined HADAS in 1979 and dug enthusiastically at West Heath for three seasons before her husband was posted to the
British Embassy in Washington. During that time she was studying at the Institute of Archaeology, and wrote a dissertation on West Roman Face Pots, Face Beakers and Head Pots, which led to an important article in the journal ‘Britannia’ for 1984. After her return from the United States, she became active in HADAS once more,
and, prior to the laying of the water main from Arkley to Iver, led a month’s fieldwork and trial trenching in Brockley Hill in August-September 1987 looking for evidence of a Roman road east of the present A5 Watling Street.

She was a very nice person. Tessa Smith says that it was a pleasure to have been one of her team when she surveyed and excavated, and remembers her slim figure striding along in welly boots. Her easy welcoming and
friendly manner ensured that the excavating team worked well. She was insistent that the site would be left cleaned up and replanted – in her own words “like Mr. MacGregor’s cabbage patch.” She was hoping to go back
to Brockley Hill another year but then her husband became Ambassador in Moscow.

A reminiscence of Gillian Braithwaite by Robert Michel

I was very sorry to learn of Gillian Braithwaite’s passing late last year.

I was one of the gallant HADAS team that excavated and field-walked at Brockley Hill, Stanmore, in August/September 1987 under her direction. In my uninformed view, her project encapsulated all that is best
about non-professional archaeology.

* Her leadership was energetic in style and inclusive in nature. Even my opinion was sought occasionally!
* Gillian spent much of the dig phase in the trenches with the troops. Directing operations from a distant HQ
was clearly not her style.
* She had no qualms about calling in the professionals when necessary. Harvey Sheldon duly arrived and after
dubiously inspecting the fruits of our labours, opined that ‘Roman roads have made fools of us all’ (or some
* On completion of the dig, Gillian promptly produced an excavation report that was both concise (12 pages)
and accessible to the non-specialist.
* Finally – and arguably most importantly – she threw a ‘winding up party’, which sadly a prior engagement
meant I had to miss. I still have my yellowing hand written invitation which, with my personal copy of the
report, serves to prompt happy memories of a noteworthy HADAS dig and a very special person.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Mary O’Connell by Sheila Woodward

Mary O’Connell is well known to many of her fellow HADAS members. With her unsurpassed knowledge of London (she is a Freeman of the City and was one of its accredited guides) she has lad us on many fascinating
walks through its highways and byways, exploring both its great buildings and its hidden corners and quirky treasures. I remember particularly a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral when we saw its famous geometric staircase and its superb library which includes a Wyclif Bible, and another most interesting tour of Clerkenwell and the Museum and Priory Church of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem.
Mary ‘retired’ a couple of years ago to her bungalow in Taunton which had long been her holiday home. We heard recently that she has now moved to a care-home where her daughter assures us that she continues to enjoy
life and participates enthusiastically in all its activities. Her new address is Abbeyfield Extra Care Home, Heron House, Bishops Hull, Taunton TA1 5HA.

Dr Alan Vince BA PhD, FSA, MIfA (1952-2009)

Alan Vince died on 23rd February at the age of 56. He was one of the foremost authorities on mediaeval pottery in Britain, and in 2007 provided HADAS with invaluable advice on a sample of pottery from Church Terrace.
He had studied archaeology at Southampton University, and had a period working with the Department of Urban Archaeology at the Museum of London. In 1997 Alan started his company “The Alan Vince Archaeological Consultancy” while living in Lincoln. His research interests included Anglo-Saxon medieval towns, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Urban Archaeology, and Artefact Taphonomy. His death at such an early age is a serious loss to archaeology.

Robert Winton

Members will also regret to learn that Robert Winton, Secretary of the Finchley Society for many years until last autumn, died peacefully on 25th February at the age of 94.

Divine Cat: Speaking to the gods in Ancient Egypt
A British Museum Tour Brent Museum, 12 March – 10 May 2009

Brent Museum is hosting an exciting exhibition focussing on one of the British Museum’s great treasures: the iconic Gayer-Anderson Cat.

The ancient Egyptian sculpture is on display at Brent Museum, in Willesden Green from 12 March – 10 May 2009. This will be the first time that the cat has been displayed at another museum venue.

Councillor Irwin Van Colle, Brent Council’s Lead Member for Environment, Planning and Culture: “We are really excited to be able to display the Divine Cat, which is an amazing ancient sculpture of international
importance. It is an incredible coup for our museum to be the first place outside the British Museum to exhibit
the cat in 60 years.”

Brent Museum is based in Willesden Green Library Centre, 95 High Road, London, NW10 2SF. It is free to visit. To find out more, call 020 8937 3600 or visit

Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan

Sunday 5th April 2.30pm Hornsey Historical Society Tour and History walk round neglected bits of Hornsey village. Cost £2. Meet at corner of Hornsey High Road/Nightingale Lane to see old and new housing at
the beginning and end up at Hornsey’s oldest building – St. Mary’s Church tower. Lasts under 2 hours.

Monday 6th April 3pm Barnet and District Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite Museum) “Barnet in the Times.” Hugh Petrie.

Wednesday 8th April 7.45 pm Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall; Corner of Ferme Park Road and Weston Park N8 “The History of Coffee Houses (Coffee Shops, Coffee Stalls and Coffee Bars)” Marlene
McAndrew. Visitors £1. Refreshments.

Wednesday 15th April 7.30pm Willesden Local History Society. Scout House High Road NW10 (corner of Strode Road) “The Brent Cemeteries Service” Bob Langford. (Including restoration of the fine civilian war
memorial in Willesden New Cemetery and the redevelopment of the old cemetery.)

Thursdays 16th and 23rd April 2pm Amateur Geological Society. Walks visiting churches in the City of London. Start at Bank Tube Station. Each £7. Book by sending a cheque made out to M E Howgate (who leads
the walk) to Mike Howgate, 71 Hoppers Road, Winchmore Hill, N21 3LP, with contact details and list of walks you are paying for. (Tel 020 8882 2606) (e-mail Walks last 2 hours.

Thursday 16th April 6.30pm LAMAS Terrace Room, Museum of London 150 London Wall EC2 “Friends in the City: the Quakers in C17 and early C18 London”. Talk by Dr Simon Dixon. Refreshments 6pm.

Friday 17th April 7pm COLAS The City Temple, Holborn Viaduct WC1 “Child Health in London: 1000 years of Human Growth” Talk by Dr Daniel Antoine (Institute of Archaeology) Visitors £2. Light refreshments

Friday 17th April. 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane\Junction Chase Side Enfield. “The excavations and fieldwork of Enfield Archaeological Society 2008”. Preceded by AGM. Visitors £1. Refreshments, sales, information from 7.30pm.

Sunday 19th April. 11am The Battle of Barnet. Guided walk. Meet at the junction of Great North Road and Hadley Green Road. Led by Paul Baker. Costs £7.

Monday 22nd April. 7.45pm Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone Police Station) Friern Barnet Lane N20. “Hertfordshire and Local Convicts” Ken Griffin. Visitors
£2. Refreshments.

Tuesday 28th April 10.30am Enfield Society. Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane Enfield “Mr Bowles and Myddleton House.” Bryan Hewitt (HADAS did resistivity here).

Wednesday 29th April 6pm Gresham College. Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, EC1 “Merchants and heroes: London’s History in the time of John Stow.” Dr Matthew Davies.

Thursday 30th April 8pm Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road N3 “Finchley’s Pioneers of Film Exhibition 1909-18” Talk by Gerry Turvey. Non-members £2.

Thursday 30th April 8pm Camden History Society Burgh House, New End Square NW3 “Searching for Trevithick’s London Railway of 1808.” Talk by John Liffen.