Volume 8 : 2005 – 2009

Newsletter-456-March-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events in 2009

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, and start promptly at 8 pm. Nearest tube station is Finchley Central. Non-members: £1. Coffee tea and biscuits available.

Tuesday 10th March, 2009 – The Royal Gunpowder Mills – Richard Thomas. This lecture will take the form of a tour of the former Royal Gunpowder Factory at Waltham Abbey. We examine both the history of the site and the development of gunpowder and chemical explosives including nitro-glycerine, guncotton and cordite. We will also look at the canals and boats that formed the backbone of the transport system within the site.

Tuesday 14th April – An Album of Treasures – Ann Saunders, (HADAS member and past President)

Tuesday 12th May – The Guildhall Roman Amphitheatre – Lecture by Francis Grew (Museum of London)

Another date for your diary
This year the HADAS Long Weekend will take place between Wednesday 26th August and Sunday 30th August. Staying in the centre of Hereford we will explore the cathedrals and churches, castles, museums, industrial history and archaeology and much besides of the area. See the attached booking form for more details.

An Exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt
Report on the January Lecture – Denis Ross

On 13 January 2009, Nicole Douek gave a well-attended talk on “An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt”. Nicole is an Egyptologist by background and well known through her activities at the British Museum and elsewhere in the UK and also abroad. She was at one time an active member of HADAS and we had at last succeeded in getting her along to talk to us.

As indicated by the title of her talk, it was not concerned with the popular areas of the Nile but on that part of the Sahara which comprises the Western Desert of Egypt and to which Nicole has become a frequent visitor and tour leader. It consists of a vast area of sand – “the Great Sand Sea”- which is the driest desert in the world and in which whole armies have been known to disappear!

Supported by excellent slides, she took us on a tour of the area explaining the various geological formations of sand, granite, sandstone and limestone. Areas which were once inaccessible have become accessible over the years with appropriate vehicles – she produced a slide of early travellers with their Ford Model T vehicles – now superseded by Toyotas.

Nicole directed attention to the five major oases of the Western Desert – Siwa, Bahariyah, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga – where water is available and which “provide man with food, shelter and a very distinctive and individual desert culture.”

She explained that the advancing and retreating of the sea over millions of years had made the area very
productive of “finds” such as fossils, nummulites (single cell organisms that lived some 65 million years ago), coral, oyster shells, and ammonites. There are also “extraterritorial” rocks – fulgurites – remains of meteorites, and pebbles of Libyan glass. She had thoughtfully brought for our inspection an impressive collection of some of these items.
She told us about and showed slides of the Djara cave – first discovered in 1875 and rediscovered some 120 years later – which is full of stalactites and stalagmites and also contains ancient wall paintings of animals.
Nicole showed us impressive slides of the various kinds of sand dunes and of vehicles manoeuvring over them and explained the background of the production of dunes.

She showed slides of ancient tracks “telling of endless caravans”. She also told us about earlier explorers ranging from Herodotus to Bagnold.

Obviously, in this short note it is impossible to cover the breadth and fascination of her talk. Nicole is an enthusiast and enthusiasts are able to enthuse other people. It was obvious that she had that effect on her audi-
ence. After she finished, I heard various people enquiring about her forthcoming tours! We must ask her back!

JILL BRAITHWAITE – a brief note.
Members will be sorry to hear of the recent death of Jill Braithwaite, one-time member of HADAS. Her husband, Rodric Braithwaite, in his Guardian obituary article, says “My wife, Jill Braithwaite, who has died aged 71, had four careers: she was a promising diplomat, a wife and mother, a meticulous scholar, and a supporter of social reform in Russia.”

Day 5 (the final day) – THE HUMBER BRIDGE by Jo Nelhams

Our final day dawned, and we were greeted with a rather thick Yorkshire mist. We climbed aboard our red bus for the last time at Bishop Burton, with plans to view the Humber Bridge. Unfortunately the visibility was not as clear as we had hoped, but undaunted we vacated the bus at the bridge and had time to peruse the shop. We had crossed the bridge a few times in sunlight on our travels already, so we had had opportunities to admire this beautifully constructed man-made masterpiece.

The first design for a bridge over the Humber was in the 1930s by Sir Douglas Fox and Partners for a multi-span road bridge. In 1935 the first suggestion for a suspension bridge was mooted. The company was now known as Freeman Fox and Partners. In 1955 new designs were prepared and in 1959 The Humber Bridge Act was passed. Test drillings were made at Barton in 1967.

It was another 4 years before the Government announced that the bridge should go ahead. Freeman, Fox and Partners at once began to formulate detailed designs. In 1972, the construction of the Humber Bridge commenced at Barton-upon-Humber. This massive engineering project would be in operation for another 8 years.

One wonders what some of the great engineers of the past would think of how technology has progressed. The main span between the towers on the Humber Bridge stretches to 1,410 metres. The very famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, which was designed by Brunel has a central span of 214 metres and was erected at a time when steel was practically unknown. This iron bridge is almost exactly as it was completed in 1864. When reading of the construction of the Humber Bridge, the word that recurs frequently is “steel”. The coffer dams
were constructed of sheet piles of steel. The caissons had steel sections added. The concrete was reinforced with steel. 16,500 tonnes of steel was used as well as 480,000 tonnes of concrete.

The first suspension bridges were rope bridges, where the support was from above rather than below. The original conception of a suspension bridge is still the same, but the advancement in materials and mechanically-driven aids has contributed greatly to the magnificent extensions of the suspension bridge technology that we see today.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is over 150 years old, when the fastest road transport envisaged was a horse and carriage.

The Humber Bridge was formally opened in July 1981. What will be crossing it in 2131? Will it celebrate its 150 years? We will never know.

We returned to our big red bus and headed south for Andy’s treat. Can you believe it, an air museum he had not yet explored?


Having avoided the rain all weekend, we finally met it on our way home on Sunday, at the final place we visited – an aircraft museum I have never previously visited and had long wished to get to. Upon arrival at the site on the edge of a former wartime bomber airfeld, now subsumed into Winthorpe Showground on the outskirts of Newark, but with traces of dispersals and runway still visible, we were split into two groups and braved the drizzle to be taken round the site by enthusiastic members of this volunteer-run museum.

This is one of the UK’s largest volunteer-managed aviation museums, with some 69 aircraft and cockpit sections, of which a number are recognised as being of significant historic value by the National Aviation Heritage Committee, and many are now housed in two large display halls, with just the largest airframes still exposed to the outside elements. Separate buildings house the engine and artefact collections, and there is a very well stocked shop which was surprised by the number of books on the wartime defences of London that it suddenly sold to a certain coach party!

Many of the group parted with their 50ps for a chance to explore inside the Avro Shackleton maritime reconnaissance aircraft, a direct descendant of the immortal wartime Lancaster Bomber via its later derivative, the Avro Lincoln. None of the aircraft are airworthy, but several are undergoing static restoration to a very high standard, and the iconic Avro Vulcan V-Bomber still has its electric and hydraulic systems operable to enable volunteers to work its ground power unit, flaps, bomb doors and landing lights – quite an achievement for a large and complex aircraft which has now stood outside since 1983.

The Museum has its origins in 1965 when a derelict 1930s Westland Wallace biplane light bomber was rescued from a hedgerow near Cranwell, Lincs. After changing hands this aircraft is now restored and on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon. The Museum was established at its present site in 1967. Other notable aircraft displayed include an Avro Anson transport, Handley Page Hastings transport of Berlin Airlift fame, de Havilland Tiger Moth trainer, several English Electric Canberra bomber aircraft and nose sections, Fleet Air Arm aircraft such as the Gannet AEW aircraft, Sea Hawk fighter-bomber and Buccaneer jet bomber, a couple of Cold-War era Russian jet fighters, and classic 1950s RAF jet fighters such as the Gloster Javelin and Meteor and Supermarine Swift. Equally fascinating are relics such as the section of Avro Lancaster fuselage rescued from an afterlife as a garden shed and crash site/aviation archaeology items such as a very rare section of Handley Page Halifax bomber fuselage. There is also a display on Guy Gibson – a brave man, but not quite as portrayed by Richard Todd in the 1950s Dambusters film.

A fascinating end to a splendid weekend. Thanks again to Don, Liz, Jim and Jo.

HENDON SCHOOL EXCAVATION – 16th – 27th June 2008 Don Cooper
(Site code – HDS06)

A preliminary report of the above excavation was published in the August Newsletter (No. 449). Since that time, both the pottery sherds found and the animal bone have been analysed, and they provide a further insight into what was happening in Hendon through the ages.

The pottery report

The 6m x 2m trench yielded 258 sherds of pottery. There were six sherds of Roman pot, including a sherd of Roman mortarium or mortar bowl used for grinding seeds and herbs. This is a unique find from Hendon. Then there were twelve sherds of 11th to 12th century pots, mostly cooking pots similar to those found at Church Terrace and The Burroughs. There were also 57 sherds of 15th and 16th century pots, again similar to what is found on other digs in the Borough. Note that there are no sherds from the 13th and 14th centuries, a phenomenon we have seen elsewhere. Perhaps the Black Death in 1349 had had a devastating effect on the population of this part of Hendon. The remaining sherds cover a period from about 1600 right up to the turn of the 20th century. Jugs, jars, dishes, bowls, drinking cups and mugs as well as cooking pots are all represented.
The junction of Bell Lane and Brent Street is considered to be the site of one of the three ancient hamlets in Hendon, and the finding of sherds from the 10th to 12th century adds further evidence to that proposition. The excavation site which is in the grounds of John Norden’s Hendon House did not yield any sherds of pottery that could be directly associated with the house, although there is no reason to suppose that basic wares, such as are represented by the sherds found, were not used by his household.

The sherds have all been marked, bagged, boxed and labelled and are currently in HADAS’ store at Avenue House where they can be inspected. It is expected that they will be presented to Hendon School later this year. Our thanks are due to Jacqui Pearce of MOLA for identifying the form and fabric of the sherds found.

The animal bone report

A total of 54 animal and bird bones were recovered from the excavation. Overall, the bones recovered from most contexts were in good condition with some from the lowest contexts a bit more fragmentary than those from the upper contexts. The pH tests indicated that the acidity of the soil was more or less the same for each context.

The bones are, on the whole, from animals you would expect to find in a domestic assemblage, such as “food” bones from pigs, beef cattle, and sheep and indicate that the excavation area was used to dispose of domestic waste. The only slightly surprising bone is that of a wild bird possibly a lapwing. However, there are a number of ways it could have entered a domestic refuse area. The lapwing bone is interesting from the perspective that, if you assume it is a local bird, it hints that there was open field land around, as this is their natural environment.

Many of the animal bones are un-fused indicating that “joints” of young animals were being consumed. There were also typical cut marks reflecting that domestic consumption.

Our thanks are due to Emily Eshe who analysed the bones and the above paragraph is a summary of her report – Many, many thanks Emily.

Membership Renewal Stephen Brunning, Membership Secretary

The HADAS membership year runs from 1st April, so all memberships are now due for renewal apart from those new members who have joined since January. I have enclosed a renewal form for those people who pay by cheque, and would ask that you return the form to me along with your cheque for the appropriate amount.
A Standing Order form was enclosed with the January newsletter. If any member intends to pay the new rates by this method and has not yet submitted an updated mandate to their bank, I would be grateful if they could do so as soon as possible.

Anyone who thinks they should have had a membership renewal form or Standing Order form but hasn’t received one, anyone who wants to make their membership under Gift Aid and hasn’t already done so, or anyone who has any question at all about their membership: please just ask me! (Contact details on back page.) Many thanks.

Church Farmhouse Museum, the London Borough of Barnet’s museum at Hendon, intends to mount an exhibition in Summer 2009 on children’s writers and artists with Barnet Borough connexions.

The exhibition will concentrate on Oliver Postgate (Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog, The Clangers; born and grew up in Hendon and Finchley); Anthony Buckeridge (the Jennings stories; born in Mill Hill); Frank Horrabin (the Japhet & Happy cartoon series for the News Chronicle; lived in Hendon); and Sydney and Betty Hulme Beaman (the Toytown stories on radio and TV; lived in Golders Green).

Others featured will include Spike Milligan, Glen Petrie, Judy Hindley, Raymond Sheppard, Betty Ladler and Lewis Carroll (the Lewis Carroll Society was founded in Hendon in 1969 by the late Ellis Hillman, a former Mayor of Barnet Borough).

The Museum would be interested to hear from anyone with material on the above which they might be prepared to lend for the exhibition, or from those with information about other published children’s writers and artists with local connexions whom they think should be included. Please contact Church Farmhouse Museum by telephone on 0208 359 3942, or by email at


HADAS have been working hard at improving our online presence and now have a new discussion group hosted by Google Groups. As well as our new group, we are relaunching our website at and have a new home for the newsletter archive at

We have decided to restrict the new group to HADAS members only. People can request an invitation to join, but have to be approved by the group owners.

Please log onto and click on “apply for group member- ship” on the right hand side. If you are not already a member of google groups you will need to create an account first (from this page).

Once a person has joined, an email sent to is received by everyone on the list without disclosing each individual’s email address. However, unlike the old discussion list, your membership can be edited to show “no email”. This means you will have to log onto the group to read the posts. Some people prefer this as it saves emails clogging up their in-box. I am a member of 5 online discussion groups!!

Latest news, events and information about the society will be posted to the group, as well as more general discussion between members of the society. It is particularly useful in providing last minute event information that was too late for publication in the current newsletter, and will have passed by the time the next edition is printed.

It is very easy to unsubscribe from the discussion group. Click on “Edit my membership” down the right-hand side of the page, and you will see the option to do this.

I would like to reassure subscribers that the information is secure, as only the group owners (Don Cooper & I) have access to the email addresses of the people on it.


Thursday 5th March, 11am-12 noon, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2 “Archaeology of Spitalfields” with Francis Grew. Free, but book on 020 7001 9844.

Friday 6th March, 3-4pm, Museum of London as above. “Spitalfields Woman”, with Jenny Hall. Free, but book in advance. (Remains of woman found in Roman cemetery.)

Monday 9th March, 3 pm. Barnet & District Local History Society, Church House, Wood St., Barnet (opposite Museum) “Bizarre Barnet”. Gerard Roots (HADAS).

Tuesday 10th March, 3.15-4pm, Museum of London, as above. “Spitalfields – Romans to 19th C”, with Chris Thomas. Free, but book. (Discoveries made 1991-2003).

Wednesday 11th March, 8 pm, Mill Hill Historical Society, Wilberforce Centre, St Paul‘s Church, The Ridgeway, NW7.“Wren and his Contemporaries”. Jo and John Brewster.

Thursday 12th March, 6.30 pm. L.A.M.A.S., Terrace Room, Museum of London, as above. “Forging the Railway – Archaeologists Investigate Stations, Viaducts, Railway Works”. Talk by Andrew Westman (MOLA). Refreshments 6pm.

Saturday 14th March, 11am-5.30pm. L.A.M.A.S. Archaeology Conference, Wilberforce Lecture Theatre, Museum in Docklands, West India Quay, E14. Morning Session 11am-1pm: Recent Work; Afternoon Session, 2.15pm-5.30pm: London Icons. Cost including afternoon tea (3.45-4.30pm) for HADAS, £8. Ticket applications to Jon Cotton, Early Dept., Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN. [] or on line via Paypal at []. Please make cheques out to L.A.M.A.S. and enclose an SAE.

Thursday 26th March, 2.30 pm. Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Rd, N3. “John Betjeman – an Enthusiastic View”. Terence Atkins. Non-members £2.

newsletter-455-february-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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The winter lecture series is held, as ever, at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley. Nearest tube Finchley Central. Lectures start promptly at 8pm, non-members £1, coffee/biscuits available for purchase.

Tues 10 February Lecture by Tony Earle ‘The Building of the Underground’
“The excitement of the first lines”. “The health benefits of traveling in the smoke filled tunnels”!! An illustrated talk with pictures, models and
handouts covering the Underground from its inception to modern times with recollections from the mid 1950’s to the present day. Audience participation encouraged!
Tony Earle spent 40 years working for Kodak, starting in 1961 in the research workshop, and finishing as their Principle Scientist in 2001.
Tony now gives short talks to clubs, societies & museums on a variety of different subjects around the Home Counties and Essex.

Tues 10 March lecture by Richard Thomas The Royal Gunpowder Mills

Tues 14 April lecture by Ann Saunders – HADAS member and past President
An album of treasures

Tues 12 May lecture by Francis Grew – Museum of London
The Guildhall Roman Amphitheatre


That time-honoured feature of winter Sunday evenings is back – the new series of Time Team. Channel 4, around 5.45pm (times and transmission order may vary-details from the Unofficial Time Team web site,; Series started 4 January. See also the official site,

1 Feb – Blood, Sweat and Beers – Risehill, North Yorkshire.
8 Feb – Buried Bishops and Belfries – Salisbury Cathedral.
15 Feb – Anarchy in the UK – Radcot, Oxfordshire.
22 Feb – Mystery of the Ice Cream Villa – Yarwell, Colworth, Bedfordshire.
1 March – Hermit Harbour – Looe, Cornwall
8 March – Called to the Bar – Lincoln’s Inn, London
15 March – Beacon of the Fens – Warboys, The Fens
22 March – The Hollow Way – Ulnaby, County Durham
29 March – Skeletons in the Shed – Blythburgh, Suffolk

Hampstead and North West London Historical Association
The above branch of the Historical Association meets on Thursdays at 8pm at Fellowship House, Willifield Way, London NW11. There is no problem with parking. Visitors are welcome at £3.00, members of Fellowship House, 50p.

The further programme for 2009 is as follows:

12 February. Gladstone’s ever shifting reputation (illustrated). Dr Michael Partridge. Dr Partridge is the author of a recent biography, ‘Gladstone’ (2003), in which he delights in exploring the many controversies about this statesman, praised and reviled by his contemporaries, and still a subject of dissension among historians today.

12 March. Was Madame de Pompadour a better influence on Art than on Politics? (illustrated). Professor Julian Swann (Birkbeck College). Professor Swann has been foremost in exploring the relationship between French elites and the absolutist monarchy during the decades before the Revolution. Other historians have looked at one or other side in this conflict, but few have examined the crucial interaction between the two – the dilemma facing the royal administration: to buy off or oppose the opposition, in the elegant metaphor of President Johnson, to have the opponents in the tent pissing outwards, rather than on the outside pissing in. On this general theme Professor Swann has written some much acclaimed books, ‘Politics and the Parlement of Paris, 1754-1774’ (1995) and ‘Provincial Power and Absolute Monarchy: the Estates General of Burgundy, 1661-1790’ (2003), besides a host of articles, notably on the neglected subject of Political Disgrace during the ancien régime.

23 April. Churchill as seen through his art, (illustrated). Mrs. Josephine Cole. Mrs. Cole has long been intrigued by the many surprising ways in which art illumines history. Her fifteen years of experience as a journalist to the Splash Team, which involved working on daily newspapers, radio and television, has helped her to become one of the leading communicators in the subject.

For further information please contact the Secretary Hugh Hamilton, 2 Wild Hatch, London NW11 7LD. Tel 020 8455 8318.

A quick weblink; Subject: Festival of British Archaeology 2009; see
TRANSPORT CORNER – Buried steam loco at Scratchwood? Andy Simpson

An interesting snippet from that voice of Middle England, the Daily Mail. Apparently during the making of the 1962 feature film ‘The Password is Courage’ 86 tons of Derby Works built ex-LMS Fowler 2-6-4 tank loco, BR number 42325 of 1929, was derailed down a pit at Scratchwood Sidings between Mill Hill and Elstree tunnels on the St Pancras – Bedford Midland main line, where Scratchwood motorway services now stand. Anyone know anything? Is it possibly still there? The film is a factually based account of Sergeant-Major Charles Coward, played by Dirk Bogarde. The relevant scene shows Coward and other POW’s on a prison train hurling lighted straw onto a passing munitions train, which subsequently explodes, the loco supposedly being buried where it came to rest after the end of filming. Given that it would have been worth probably a couple of thousand pounds scrap value at 1962 prices (a good three/four years wages for the working man, then), this seems unlikely, and web sources indicate she was broken up on site by a local scrappy having only been fairly gently toppled on her side, but who knows? A few bits may remain.


This is the Finchley Society newsletter report of the talk given a year or so ago about La Déliverance. The talk itself had a lot more information about the other similar statues (of various sizes) and the vicissitudes they have suffered, and about what led Lord Rothermere (a) to buy the statue and (b) to present it to Finchley. Peter Pickering

Everything you did not know about the statue of La Délivrance and so never asked: Louise
Curzon could not have been the model as she claimed, the statue is not a copy, La Délivrance is really the name of the sword not the statue, and why the first battle of the Marne in 1914 meant much more to the French than just a victory. Martin Bolton revealed all this and more in a fascinating talk to the Finchley Society on November 29, based on his work in co-operation with John Rickard, both amateur researchers.

Louise Curzon could not have been the model because she was born in 1905 and the statue was started in 1914, when she would have been only nine years old. Also Emile Guillaume was a distinguished sculptor who would never have made a statue using only photographs, and is much more likely to have used a French rather than an English model. So who is the model? “I don’t know,” said Martin Bolton, “but I believe that the statue was inspired by Marianne, the symbol of the French revolution in 1792, and who was shown with an upraised sword, and again, naked, on a medal commemorating the battle of the Marne.
Is the statue a copy or the original? A number of statues were cast from the original clay model which Emile Guillaume created, so that all of them can be regarded originals.
The special significance of deliverance for the French was that in 1871 Paris was besieged by the Germans and they feared a repeat in 1914, from which the battle of the Marne delivered them.
“Délivrance” is written on the hilt of the Finchley statue, and probably this was originally intended as the name of the sword but became attached to the whole statue. Martin Bolton described the statue as an extremely important example of the first art deco style and a remarkable work of art, perfect in its portrayal of the human form.
Finchley Society information from or 8883 2633.

DAY 4 HADAS Long weekend Wharram Percy by Bill Bass

Our group is dropped off at the Bella Farm car-park and we set off westwards to the village. The path we follow has been used to access the Wharram Percy area for perhaps the last 2000 years so much so that the ‘ground level’ is a good 10 feet above our heads; we are walking down a worn ‘holloway’. At the bottom of the wold we encounter a more modern feature of the landscape – the disused trackbed of the Malton to Driffield Railway. The railway was conceived in the ‘railway mania’ of the 1850s as a main line between Newcastle and Hull, but in the event became a local line serving small settlements and quarries in the area; the railway was closed and lifted in the 1950s. After climbing the embankment we enter the English Heritage-maintained monument proper.

Wharram Percy is always worth a visit, tucked away in the chalkland Yorkshire wolds, it serves as an important type-site of a Deserted Medieval Village (DMV). Important, because although many DMV’s had been recognised across the country, their nature, use, date and reason for desertion had been open to much speculation until a long term excavation was started at Wharram in 1950. Over the next 40 years (say 6-8 weeks a year) a team led by Maurice Beresford and John Hurst meticulously surveyed and unpicked the archaeology of peasants ‘tofts & crofts’, a manor house, the church, mill and so on.

Walking along the path we come to an interpretation board, this shows the general layout of the village. On the higher slopes are peasant housing and two medieval manor house sites (one earlier, one later). Towards the lower slopes are further housing earthworks, a farm complex, church and watermill site.

Occupation of the area has been known from the pre-historic and Roman periods, in the Saxon era a farming settlement grew in the valley which evolved into the medieval village and surrounding ridge & furrow field systems.

To the left-side of the path there is a multitude of earthworks; these are the remains of croft houses on the lower slope of the wold with their kitchen gardens and access ways to the larger plots behind, which ran down to the stream. Next is the standing building of what was a mid-18th century courtyard farm, attached to the gable end of this structure is a dedication plaque to the excavation diggers (one of our group remembers visiting when the dig was in full swing) and a name board from Wharram station which was approximately ½ mile north of Wharram Percy on the railway line mentioned above.

The excavations and building survey at St Martin’s church perhaps reflect the story of Wharram Percy as a whole, and it was a rare opportunity to fully dig a standing church and sample its cemetery. The first church appears to have been built in the mid-10th century as a private church for the small settlement at that time. Gradually it expanded in size with added side aisles etc to become the local parish church, reaching its apogee in the mid 14th century then gradually thereafter (c1500) the village became depopulated. The church continued in a reduced capacity until the last service in 1949. Burials inside the building were fully excavated being post-medieval in date, whilst a large sample of the graveyard produced medieval and later burials. We inspected the now mostly roofless but preserved structure, the partial tower (half collapsed in a storm of 1959) and the remaining tombstones.

Some of the group had their packed lunch beside the picturesque and restored millpond. A stiff climb brings us to the higher plateaux, excavation here discovered the different types of building method of the peasants ‘long-houses’ e.g. cruck-framing, and their constant rebuilding and realignment on the same spot. 1956 saw the surprise discovery of a Norman 12th century manor house, the extensive undercroft was constructed of chalk block dressed with sandstone. A second manor house, later in date but unexcavated, lies slightly further north.

The reasons for these villages failing could stem from a number of situations, but the end came for Wharram Percy as the woollen cloth industry became more profitable than agriculture, thus the land was turned over to sheep farming and the peasants were moved on. The excavations have shown that far from being fixed features, the crofts, manor house and church etc were constantly changing according to the prevalent economic and other circumstances. Walking around it was good to see the site still attracted a fair number of visitors with an interest in the past – more feet for the ‘holloway’.

MALTON By Sylvia Javes

On the way to Malton we passed through Norton, a town rather in the shadow of Malton, but almost as large, and having its own town council. Until 1974 it was in the East Riding, administered from Beverley, whereas Malton was in the North Riding. All the ‘Malton’ racing stables, and the Malton rail and bus stations are actually in Norton. The River Derwent marks the boundary, and the County Bridge separates the two towns.

It being Saturday, Malton market was in full swing, and there was a continental market as well as the general market and the monthly farmers’ market. In the middle of the market place is the old town hall, from where Edmund Burke, MP for Malton, addressed his constituents in the 1780s. This now houses the local museum. On the ground floor are displays of Roman artefacts found in the area, including urns discovered by gravediggers in Norton Cemetery, and wall-plaster showing a picture of a goddess. Upstairs is the Wharram Percy exhibition with a reconstruction of a medieval village house, complete with farmyard sound effects. There is also a finds tent, and recorded reminiscences by Maurice Beresford. The display builds a picture of the people of Wharram Percy, with artefacts including personal items, agricultural tools, bakestones, and a chalice from the church. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of John Hurst, archaeologist at Wharram, who died in 2003.

St Michael’s Church in the market place and St Leonard’s church on the hill overlooking the town are both 12th century chapels of ease. St Leonard’s was gifted to the Catholics in 1971. Its clock tower and spire date from the 19th century.

Those who followed the town trail ventured as far as Old Malton Gate, where The Lodge is situated. This was the gatehouse of Malton Castle, built in 1604. It narrowly escaped demolition in about 1670 when Margaret and Mary Eure quarrelled over ownership of the property. The sheriff proposed demolishing the buildings and sharing the building stone. They demolished the manor house but came to an agreement before destroying the gatehouse. After many years of neglect the Lodge became a hotel in 1996. Beyond and behind The Lodge, on Orchard Fields, are the remains of a Roman Fort. Nearby, a Roman mosaic depicting the four seasons was excavated in 1949 and reburied. The Wharram Percy contingent arrived in Malton with time to slake their thirst before reboarding the coach for a surprise visit to the beautifully sited Kirkham Priory.

Castle Howard by Stewart Wild

After a pleasant interlude in Malton, we headed southwest to Castle Howard, first stopping briefly at what remains of Kirkham Priory (and a look at the neighbouring vintage signal box and gated level crossing on the line to Scarborough for a couple of the usual suspects – Ed).

These atmospheric ruins, in the care of English Heritage, are in a beautiful location overlooking the River Derwent. The Priory was founded around 1120 by Walter l’Espec, the founder of Rievaulx Abbey, and housed a prosperous religious community that followed the rule of St Augustine. After the Dissolution in 1537-39 it fell into ruin, and there is not much left today apart from the elaborate gatehouse and decorated façade. Its lovely setting, however, means that it continues to be a popular destination for visitors like us and tour boats up and down the river.

Castle Howard was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1699, and took over one hundred years to complete. It is not a castle at all, but a fabulous country mansion – think French château. It occupies, however, the site of a real castle, that of Henderskelfe or “Hundred Hill”, which was built in the reign of Edward III (1327-77) and burned down in 1695. The estate came into the hands of the Howard family, the earls of Carlisle, when Lord William Howard acquired it by marriage to Elizabeth, a descendant of the baron of Greystock, around 1550. The current owners, the Hon. Simon Howard and his wife Rebecca, are related to the Duke of Norfolk, and have two children, twins Merlin and Octavia, aged six. Set among one thousand acres of gardens dotted with statues, lakes and fountains, Castle Howard enjoys great views to the north and south. It is well-known for having been a major location for the acclaimed 1981 Granada TV series Brideshead Revisited starring Jeremy Irons and Diana Quick.

We entered the estate via the spacious Stable Courtyard, which houses the ticket office, stylish Courtyard Cafe, handmade chocolate shop, a gift shop/book shop, the Jorvik Glass Blowing Studio (handmade items in metal and glass for sale), and farm shop with quality local produce.

A tractor-driven land-train was available to transport us to the house itself, but the weather was fine so most of us chose to stroll the three hundred or so yards to the entrance. The rooms on show, reminiscent of Petworth House, contain much valuable furniture, many superb works of art, and family treasures and photographs – the tour is self-guided and there are knowledgeable stewards throughout. One room displays a temporary exhibition of large atmospheric photographs of the landscape and architecture of Castle Howard, taken in the space of a couple of hours one misty dawn last October by the owner’s brother Nick Howard.

But it has not always been so peaceful: in the early hours of 9 November 1940 a large part of the house was badly damaged by fire, which apparently started in a chimney. Most but not all of the devastated rooms have been restored in the decades since, and the house has been open to the public since 1952.

Some of the upper-floor apartments, still in a bare and unrestored state, were converted into a second Brideshead film-set interior earlier this year, and now house an exhibition with information boards that tell the story of the fire and how Evelyn Waugh’s famous novel came to be filmed not once but twice at Castle Howard. The 2008 version is a 133-minute movie that opened in the US in July and was due for release in this country in the first week of October (early reports suggested that you may prefer the novel).

The southeast wing is home to some permanent exhibitions that include Maids and Mistresses – The Women of Castle Howard and The Building of Castle Howard, although not everyone in our group made it this far.

After touring the house, we made good use of the cafe and other Stable Courtyard facilities before boarding our coach, tired but happy, for the return to Bishop Burton. On the way back our Treasurer announced the answers to the two clever quizzes he had devised; I cannot say who won the prize.

Bletchley Park A review of the November lecture by Jim Nelhams

Our lecture on 11th November, Armistice Day, was given by Hugh Davies. The lecture was subtitled “Enigma – how breaking the Axis codes led to the world’s first computer and what lessons it still has for us today”. The lecture itself proved to be a first for HADAS – a presentation using a computer projector – but with sound effects.

Bletchley Park is now controlled by English Heritage. HADAS has visited it in the past, but further work has been undertaken there, partly with Lottery funding, though they still need a lot more money. They have completed a full rebuild of the Colossus computer which is now fully operational.

The people who worked at Bletchley Park during WW2 made an enormous contribution to the Allies’ efforts. At the time, they were known as the Government Code and Cipher School, which later became GCHQ. Fundamentally, it was a civilian organisation and they never fired a shot. They collected information but did not make military decisions. SIGINT – Signals Intelligence – dealt with intercepting signals, decoding them and analysing the traffic. HUMINT dealt with Human Intelligence – information from agents, resistance organisations and POWs. TECHINT – Technical Intelligence – handled information from radar and photo reconnaissance.

With intercepted signals, direction finding equipment was used to locate the source of the signal, and because of a thorough study of the call signs, BP knew the location of the transmitters and to whom they were talking.

It was vital that the enemy should not find out that BP were reading their messages, which meant that our own people, excepting those at the very top, and those that needed to know, should not find out. Consequently, no action took place solely based on the intercepted information, and much information was attributed to false agents. There was no evidence that the enemy suspected that their signals were being read and understood.
BP aimed to discover – what the enemy was doing now (tactical); what he was about to do; what were his resources and capabilities; what he was thinking of doing; what was the effect of our actions; have we confused or misled him about our intentions and capabilities; was he doing the same to us.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, information led to successes against the U-boat fleet, and they were withdrawn in May 1943, allowing many more supply convoys to reach the UK. The U-boat offensive was rejoined later in 1943 but again withdrawn.

Approaching D-Day, BP knew Hitler’s belief that the main invasion would be across the Dover Straights. Without this knowledge, the Normandy Invasion would not have taken place when it did.

Most German messages were encoded and decoded using an Enigma Machine, though High Command messages later used a more complicated machine made by a company called Lorenz. To send a message, the originator had the plain language text and the decoding key to generate the coded message. The receiver used the same decoding key on the coded message to get back to the plain text. The decoding key changed daily. Bletchley Park only had the coded message and needed to discover the key to unscramble the message. Because of the large number of possibilities, manually discovering the code in a reasonable time was not possible.

They had received information from Poland about the Enigma machine. The Poles had developed an electro-mechanical machine to help decode this, but changes to the Enigma machines made this no longer usable. BP enhanced the original Polish design to produce their version, which they called “The Bombe”, which was successful, though slow.

The Lorenz machine was more complicated, and it took some time to decode the first message and understand how the machine worked. Because it had so many more options, a faster machine was needed and a machine christened “Colossus” was developed at the Post Office research department in Dollis Hill, built using electronic valves. The machine recently reconstructed at Bletchley Park is Colossus 2.

The German systems failed for a number of reasons, but mainly because they did not allow for human nature. While computers do what they are told, people are cleverer, and will make mistakes. They will use the same words and patterns so that their messages are in part predictable. This helped in reducing the options to be checked during decoding.

At Bletchley Park, the people achieved great things because they believed in what they were doing. Unfortunately, with the continuing requirement for secrecy, the development of the first computer and so many of the other remarkable achievements were not acknowledged for a considerable time.

AVENUE HOUSE, 1859 – 2009

18 Feb 2009, 7.30pm Quiz Night Tickets £8 per person, including finger food/nibbles, raffle and cash bar, tables of 6 or 8. A good time was had by all with the last quiz in November, and HADAS again hope to make up a table or two. Book a place by phone
(0208 346 78120 or e-mail or book in person at Avenue House.


Monday 9th February, 3pm Barnet & District Local History Society Church House, Wood St, Barnet (Opposite Museum) – Heraldry: The Picture-Book of History Talk by Dr Andrew Gray

Wednesday 11th February, 8pm Mill Hill History Society The Wilberforce Centre, St Paul’s Church, The Ridgeway, NW7 Beneath The City Streets: London’s Unseen History. Talk by Peter Lawrence (Preceded by AGM)

Wednesday 18 February, 7.30pm Willesden Local History Society. Scout House, High Rd, NW.10 (Corner Strode Road) The New River & its History Talk by Jean Linwood.

Thursday 19th February, 6.15pm LAMAS Terrace Room, Museum of London, London Wall, EC2 Presidential Address; Preceded by AGM. Refreshments 5.30pm.

Thursday 19 February, 7.30pm Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 The Strange History of Dr. Thomas Southwood Smith of Highgate. Talk by Isabel Raphael.

Wednesday 25 February, 8pm Friern Barnet & District Local History Society St John’s Church Hall (Next to Whetstone Police Station) Friern Barnet Lane, N20
100 Years of the North Circular Road Talk by Reg Hart Visitors £2.

Thursday 26th February, 2.30pm Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road N3 The City’s Old Lady – The Story of the Bank of England Talk by Brenda Cole. Non-Members £2.

Thanks as ever to this month’s contributors; Bill Bass; Stephen Brunning; Sylvia Javes; Eric Morgan; Jim Nelhams; Peter Pickering; Stewart Wild.

Newsletter-454-January-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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


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The winter lecture series takes place at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. Nearest tube Finchley Central. Lectures start promptly at 8 pm – non-members £1, Coffee or tea available.

Tues. 13th January lecture by Nicole Douek An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt

To the ancient Egyptians, the world was divided into two parts. One was “the Black Land”, the Nile Valley, with its rich, fertile soil, plentiful water and green fields. Beyond it lay the “Red Land”, the desert, the land of death, mysterious, dangerous, the physical embodiment of chaos. This lecture will explore the Western Desert, with its sea of sand dunes, its rock formations, unexpected lakes, ancient sea-beds covered with fossils. In the most remote corner of this desert is the great plateau of Gilf Kebir, with marvellous examples of the rock art of the Sahara. The five major Egyptian oases complete the picture of a fascinating and little known “other” Egypt.

Nicole Douek studied archaeology at London University – and as part of her training, she excavated a site on Hampstead Heath with HADAS. She also has a degree in Egyptology and Ancient History from University College London. She lectures at the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and a number of archaeological and historical societies. Television work for the BBC, Discovery Channel and PBS provides both fun and variety. Nicole lectures on tours to the Middle East, and in the last few years, she has been exploring areas few people have seen, following in the footsteps of the explorers who discovered and mapped the deserts of Egypt.

Tues. 10th February lecture by Tony Earle

The building of the Underground

Tues. 10th March, Tues. 14th April , Tues. 12th May to be arranged.

Brockley Hill Roman pottery project

Work continues at the Garden Room, Avenue House to process the finds from various Roman Brockley Hill finds in our care. We have finished the initial sort of the mortaria box and we are currently working on a box of mostly Jars and Beakers. With the arrival of the new laptop the work on the database has been going well with sherds (and in some cases) almost complete pots being cross-referenced with older lists/cards/publications, then labelled/bagged and boxed.

Once this first phase is completed (we have completed almost 2 out of 8 tea-chest size original storage boxes) we will go through them again for corrections, finer detail and sorting into the year they were dug.
We are at the Garden Room most Sundays 10.30-1.30pm (contact Bill 8449 5666)

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Membership Matters Stephen Brunning

Please find enclosed with this newsletter a Standing Order form. At the AGM on 10th June 2008 it was resolved to increase the rates for all categories of membership, having held the current rates since 1st April 2004.

From 1st April 2009, the new subscription rates will be: Full/corporate: £15.00 Student/under 18 £ 6.00* Each additional member at the same address: £ 5.00

Please note that the Student rate is described as: “Under the age of 18, or is over that age, but under the age of 25 AND a student is full time education”.
For those members who currently pay by Standing Order, I would be grateful if send the completed form to your bank now, with the date of first payment being 1st April 2009. This form will supersede the old one.

I would also like to encourage more members to pay by Standing Order. At the moment less than half by this method. Please consider changing to a Standing Order payment as we can save money on stamps, stationary etc by not having to send renewal notices.

Welcome to new members

A big Hello! to the following new members who have joined HADAS since July 2008: Susan Bristow, Daniel Brooks, Sarah Dhanjal, Nicole & Livia Della-Ragione, Sian John, Gabriel Moshenska, David & Emma-Jane Robinson and Joanne Udall. A warm welcome to you all! If you have not yet taken the plunge to attend one of our events, you don’t know what you’re missing! Please do come along, we would love to see you there.

Prescot Street lecture report correction (December 2008)

The speaker was in fact Chaz Morse of L-P Archaeology and not Guy Hunt. Apologies for any confusion. The report writer was certainly confused!

New exhibition at Church Farm Museum by Don Cooper

In addition to the usual toy exhibition at Christmas at Church Farm Museum, Gerard Roots has a small but fascinating exhibition entitled “Historic Views of London”, running from 13th December 2008 to 16th March 2009. The photographs are part of the Howarth-Loomes collection (the full collection is housed in National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh). Bernard Howarth-Loomes was a Barnet resident, who was a life-long collector of photographs and photographic equipment.

The current exhibition at Church Farm Museum is based on a new book, edited by Ann Saunders (a life-long HADAS member), which is being published by English Heritage. The book, called “Historic Views of London” reprints approximately half of the 350 photographs of Greater London in the collection and is available from Church Farm Museum and also W H Smiths price £19.99. If you want a flavour of the book do visit the exhibition.

Hampstead and North West London Historical Association

The above branch of the Historical Association meets on Thursdays at 8pm at Fellowship House, Willifield Way, London NW11. There is no problem with parking. Visitors are welcome at £3.00, members of Fellowship House, 50p.

22 January. Visions of heaven and hell: the medieval travel experience according to the monks (illustrated). Professor Jane E Sayers (University College London). Professor Sayers has written very extensively on the Middle Ages, notably the definitive biography of Innocent 111 (1994). She has a special gift for describing everyday life in monasteries, as in ‘The Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds’, while ‘At the time of Geoffrey Chaucer’ social life and customs between 1066 and 1485 are illumined in vivid detail.

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The Hendon ‘Jadeite’ axe & Project JADE Alison Sheridan and Bill Bass

In 1975 ‘Master’ Steven Jacob found what seemed to be a Neolithic polished stone axehead under a rose bush at the rear of 19 King’s Close, Bell Lane, Hendon (TLAMAS Vol 28, 1977). The axe was mid to dark green in colour, 224mm long x 72mm wide x 26mm thick. It was examined by Dr Ian Kinnes of the British Museum, and by Dr Alan Woolley and his colleagues at the Department of Mineralogy of the then-named British Museum (Natural History). Dr Kinnes thought it could be a Neolithic jadeite axehead imported from the Alps, and it was published as such in TLAMAS. The material was then identified by Dr Woolley as nephrite – a similar-looking material which does outcrop in the Alps, as well as elsewhere in the world, and the axehead was included in a list of jadeite and nephrite axeheads from Britain and Ireland that was published in 1977 (Jones et al. 1977). It has since been in the safe-keeping of Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon.

In November this year, the axehead was studied once more, this time by an international team of researchers from Projet JADE – a French-led project, directed by Dr Pierre Pétrequin and administered through the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, that is examining all Alpine Neolithic axeheads from the whole of Europe. Thanks to the efforts of the team’s GB and Ireland Co-Ordinator, Dr Alison Sheridan (who grew up in Mill Hill and works for National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh), and to her colleagues in the British Museum, the team brought their equipment to the British Museum and analysed 114 axeheads and wristguards from various places in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

From its shape, Dr Pétrequin – who has undertaken much ethno-archaeological research in Papua New Guinea and who is familiar with ‘ethnographic’ axeheads – recognised that the Hendon specimen was not actually a European Neolithic object at all, but rather a New Zealand axehead. This was confirmed when it was analysed. Two non-destructive methods were used: the measurement of specific gravity (which involved lowering the object into water), and reflectance spectroradiometry, which established the mineral composition of the axehead. This technique, which measures the sub-surface absorption of light (at various wavelengths), is borrowed from the world of remote sensing: the same basic kind of equipment was recently used on Mars, for example, to test for signs that water had been present. The results confirmed that the material is indeed nephrite – a kind of stone used for axeheads (and many other objects) in New Zealand.

It may be, therefore, that this axehead had been brought to Britain in the relatively recent past, by a previous occupant of the house, and thrown out into the garden when it was no longer of interest. Such things are a relatively frequent occurrence, and this would certainly explain how the axehead came to be lying under a rose bush, bereft of any kind of archaeological context.

Although it is perhaps disappointing to learn that the Hendon axehead will have to be removed from the list of British Neolithic specimens, it nevertheless has an interesting story of its own to tell.

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Day 3. of HADAS long weekend – Lincoln

After breakfast we again boarded our big red bus and set off for a day in Lincoln. Our first stop was a pre-arranged tour of the Cathedral after which we could choose to visit all or some of the many attractions of Lincoln.

Lincoln Cathedral by Deirdre Barrie

‘I have always held and am prepared against all evidence to maintain that the Cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have’. (John Ruskin 1819-1900)

The square limestone façade of Lincoln with its tiers of arcades, Romanesque friezes and two towers is awesomely impressive, (although two of the friezes of heaven and hell are absent and being restored). Inside the building there is an atmosphere of light and spaciousness. Despite the best efforts of 17th century iconoclasts who destroyed glass, tombs and shrines, and the fact that many of the memorial brasses were stripped away, much of great interest remains. HADAS split into two groups, each with its own guide. In 1072 William the Conqueror ordered Remigius, the first Norman bishop, to build a cathedral at Lincoln. The original cathedrals were damaged by fire and earthquake, so most of the rebuilt front dates from the time of St Hugh and Bishop Grosseteste in the 13th century. (During the rebuilding of the cathedral, St Hugh was known to carry a hod to help the builders in its reconstruction.) The two rose windows in the great transept are known as the Bishop’s Eye and the Dean’s Eye, and in recent times the 13th C Dean’s Eye was disassembled and laid out on the Cathedral floor for restoration. The man who over 16 years had to oversee the work and the reassembly of this giant glass jigsaw of 77 panels understandably said he would never undertake any similar task again. In the English Gothic Angel Choir (dedicated to St Hugh) our guide pointed out the carving of the famous Lincoln Imp, high on an archway over St Hugh’s head shrine. It was difficult in the time left to choose whether to visit the 13th century 10-sided Chapter House, the Wren Library, the cloisters, or the Treasury with its silver plate, (not to mention the tearoom). The Cathedral is above a steep hill, and HADAS members were glad they were going down to visit the local museum (The Collection) and did not have to clamber back up again.

Lincoln Castle by Jean Bayne

The East gate

The castle is entered through the East Gate and the area, just outside, encapsulates elements of the changing scenario of the castle over the centuries. Built in 1068 by William the Conqueror, close to the site of a Roman fortress, a circular Norman arch still stands amid medieval masonry. (Unfortunately, the remains of the fortress, including baths and mosaics, were destroyed in the building programmes of the 18th and 19th centuries.) Originally, a wide ditch, a retractable bridge and a portcullis provided defence here until the 14th century when two large drum towers were built and connected to the castle walls to create a barbican. Soldiers storming the gate would find themselves trapped between the towers and the gate: this space was known as the ‘killing ground.’ Cobblestones mark where the towers once stood. Lincoln Castle featured prominently n medieval warfare and was also significant in the Civil War of the17th century, being ‘disabled’ by Cromwell in 1648. The last building before the gate is the Judges’ Lodging of 1810, still in use but now up for sale! Judges descend the steps and are slowly driven a few hundred yards into the castle where the Courts sit. From the 18th through to the 19th century, the castle was also a prison and the hangman used to stay at the Black Boys Inn opposite the Lodgings. Close to the castle walls, but not easily accessible, is a Remembrance Garden for Second World War dead. Finally, our guide told us that when the gate was repaired four years ago, a time capsule for the 21st century was placed there containing symbols of modern life, including a mobile phone!

Within the Castle

Walking through the gate, past the Oriel window, said to come from John o’ Gaunt’s house, an extensive lawned area comes into view. Our guide pointed out that, unusually, the castle had had two mottes and bailies. Unfortunately, archaeologists have had only limited opportunities to excavate and, so far, only a few14 century skeletons have been found. The bailey walls, originally built of wood were gradually replaced by stone and brick and we saw a herringbone pattern in the bricks which is characteristic of a Norman building. The buildings in the central castle area include the 19th century turreted Courthouse designed by Sir Robert Smirke (1826), who was also responsible for the British Museum, and the prison, first built n 1789, and later extended in 1847.It is on the left hand side and was in use until 1878.The Magna Carta is housed at Lincoln, though currently, a replica is on display.

Cobb Hall

Cobb Hall is a 13th century defensive tower built into the wall with a semi-circular front, possibly based on a design from the crusades. It had arrow slits and probably housed a catapult type weapon on the roof. Sallyports with oak doors allowed soldiers to reconnoitre the ground outside. There were 2 levels inside the tower with fine stone vaulting and evidence that prisoners were chained and manacled there. The lower chamber, ‘the oubliette’, suggested that recalcitrant prisoners were placed in darkness and virtually forgotten. The three examples of graffiti on the walls have been attributed to the Templars who may have been kept there. And this grisly picture is continued into the 19th century. Condemned prisoners were hanged from the roof which was higher then, using a portable scaffold .The public gathered below to watch. At 12.00 on a Friday, a procession, led by the Governor, would cross the green from the prison to Cobb Hall. In those days, 200 offences led to the hangman’s noose and 38 people died in this way, the last in 1859. Public executions were banned in 1868 but they continued in the prison yard till 1877.

The Observatory Tower

We walked along the castle walls, with the cathedral in our sights, towards the Observatory Tower. This structure takes its name from a round turret on the top of the tower which was added by Governor Merryweather in 1822 in order to study the stars. (His enemies maintained that it was really to spy on female prisoners!) However, our guide preferred to call it Ranulf’s Tower because during the Civil War of 1141 between Stephen and Matilda, Earl Ranulf was granted part of Lincoln Castle by Stephen as a bribe and was able to build the tower.

The Lucy Tower

Further along, up 54 steps, we reached this tower. It was placed on the top of the most prominent of the two mottes; the first keep in the castle. This was so named as it was built by Lucy Taillebors, said to be the granddaughter of Lady Godiva, an important and wealthy woman in Lincoln. It was twice as high as it is now with thick inner and outer walls and a well. Clearly defensive and symbolic, the wooden stairs could be burned when all were inside and water poured down the clay sides of the motte to make the ground slippery and deter attackers. It was central to the siege in 1217 by Henry the third. Inside the tower little upright stones had been placed in the ground. These turned out to be footstones (not headstones) for hanged prisoners, buried here in non-consecrated ground. The last man hanged here was buried in the Lucy Tower.

Prison Chapel

Felons and debtors were kept prisoner, women as well as men. In 1846, the Separate System was introduced. This reflected the idea that prisoners should be kept isolated from each other with the minimum of contact Twenty two and a half hours were spent in their cells with a bible for company to encourage reflection on, and remorse for, their sins. When they did meet for exercise they were masked and veiled and had to hold on to a rope with knots as they moved round. But the most poignant exemplar of the system was the prison chapel. Each prisoner went into a separate box from which only the chaplain could be seen. The women sat at the front, heavily veiled. Only condemned prisoners were left to sit in open seats in a row at the back as they were considered to be beyond redemption. A coffin was placed at the front when a hanging was imminent. Needless to say, this cruel treatment did not work. Prisoners often went mad with the enforced isolation and the system was subsequently abandoned. But when the prison was moved outside the castle, the chapel was left behind intact. The atmosphere was bleak and gloomy. Many prisoners were held in Lincoln too, for transportation to Australia; 1.200 in all. These are some of the main aspects of the castle, a dominant symbol of political power, brought to life by our enthusiastic and lively guide.

The Museum of Lincolnshire life by Andy Simpson

Whilst most members of the party proceeded to a tour of the ramparts of Lincoln Castle and a personal flypast by the RAF (Grrr!), I made a solo visit to this excellent quadrangle courtyard arranged Lincolnshire County Council run museum, seduced by the siren call of a locally built First World War tank – a 1917-built ‘Mark IV Female’ armed with five machine guns and named ‘Flirt’ , for the cognoscenti. On loan from the Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset, she was restored in Lincoln by her original makers, Rustons, some 20 years ago. She stands in the transport gallery alongside a selection of Ruston built standard and narrow gauge diesel and petrol powered industrial locomotives. Other collections on view here in rooms around the courtyard include agriculture and rural life, showcasing Lincolnshire farm wagons and machinery; a working diesel road roller ; a splendid cast iron gent’s urinal; steam traction engines ; vintage motorcycles ; period room settings and shops such as living rooms , wash-house, parlour, kitchen, bedroom and nursery, a Co-op, Post Office and Draper, and craftsmen’s workshops including Stone Mason and basket maker , and the small but informative Royal Lincolnshire Regiment display. Located only 10 minutes or so walk from the Castle on the Burton Road, and close to one or two (sadly unvisited) local ‘real ale’ pubs, details can be found on . There are also regular temporary exhibitions, currently one on local engine makers Napier. A Victorian schoolroom accommodates school parties. A couple of pounds admission charge well spent.

The Roman Remains of Lincoln by Peter Pickering

After HADAS members had left the Cathedral, I led a party of those interested to see the visible remains of the upper Roman city, reminiscing nostalgically about my childhood in what was still, then, primarily a Victorian industrial city, separated from its cathedral and castle by the aptly-named Steep Hill. We passed the conserved remains of one of the churches which may have begun late in the Roman period and finished with the demolition of the Victorian one of which the father of a school-friend of mine was Rector. Then we saw in the Bail the circular granite setts which mark the position of the columns forming the frontage of the Forum, and turned off to the so-called Mint Wall, which was in fact the north wall of the Roman basilica – an extremely rare survival of a Roman building wall in Britain, of stone with bonding-courses of tiles. Then at the north end of the Bail stands Newport Arch, the inner face of the north gate of Lincoln in its third-century form, somewhat rebuilt after a lorry got disastrously stuck under it in 1964. We walked to the right along East Bight, to see some fragments of the city wall and of the water tank which stored water from the aqueduct. East Bight was blocked by building works, and so we could not proceed to the remains of the east gate, at the front of the Lincoln Hotel, but a few of the party went the long way round to see it.

The Collection

At the end of our day in Lincoln, the arrangement was that we would all meet at the oddly-named archaeological museum called “The Collection”. This purpose-built building houses an excellent collection of finds from Lincoln, a good cafe & shop as well good facilities. However, many visitors probably don’t find it because a search for Lincoln Archaeological Museum on the internet turns up a blank! After a good look round the museum and a welcome drink the big red bus appeared again and we returned to Bishop Burton for our evening meal.

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The THAMES DISCOVERY PROGRAMME (aka Thames foreshore survey Mark 2)

is finding its feet. It has a new website:

There will be a number of ways to get involved, including fieldwork, contributing local history information and following the project online.

The plan is for a repeating series of introductory events. Attendance at the training sessions is essential to become a FROG and to be covered by the project’s insurance.

Session 1 – an introduction. Not essential if you have taken part in foreshore work. Before (first was on 22 Nov) Session 2. In-door training. Next 24 January 2009 Institute of Arch. Essential. Advanced booking necessary. Session 3. Outdoor training. Next 14 & 15 Feb 2009. Custom House, Upper Thames St. Attendance at Indoor Training first is essential. Attend Sat or Sun. Keen types can go to both days.

If you miss this cycle of events, the process will start again with an ‘Introduction to the TDP’ at LAARC on 27 Feb 2009 6-8pm

You can contact the Thames Discovery Programme team via: LAARC, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED, Tel: 0207 5669310 The team recommend email as they are seldom at their desks.

Info kindly supplied by Rose Baillie

LAMAS 43rd Local History Conference – A short report on the lectures by Don Cooper

I and, at least, a half-a-dozen members of HADAS attended the 43rd LAMAS Local History Conference on 15th November 2008 at the City of London School for Girls by the Barbican. The conference was well attended, and the stalls of London’s history societies lined the auditorium selling their books and pamphlets. There were four main presentations during the day as well as the presentation of the LAMAS publications award to Wandsworth Historical Society for their publication “Putney and Roehampton in 1665: A street directory and guide” by Dorian Gerhold.

The first speaker, the new president of LAMAS, Professor Caroline Barron, gave us a fascinating talk on the on how foreign visitors viewed London between the time of William FitzStephen’s description of London in the 1170s and John Stow’s Survey of London in 1598. Their views are very important; to see ourselves as others see us adds another dimension to our knowledge of London and its residents during this period. She described the visit of various Italians, Germans, Dutch and French who kept diaries or wrote tales of London and Londoners.

In the second talk, Peter Barber of the British Library (it was he put on the great map exhibition) at the library two years or so ago), described the maps of London through the ages pointing out the fact that all the maps were in one way or another political propaganda. He gave some fascinating examples of “pretend” streets inserted in order that breaches of copyright can be detected, Ordnance Survey maps that omit some “defence” installations as well as maps drawn specifically to identify areas such as of poverty, ethnic or religious origin where the results lean towards the position taken by the map commissioner.

The two after lunch speakers dealt with recent surveys of London. Colin Thom of English Heritage considered surveys between 1894 – 2008, whereas Dr Cathy Ross dealt specifically with the so-called “forgotten survey” taken in the 1930s that deals with “life & Labour”.

The final speaker – Stefan Dickers – introduced us to the Bishopsgate Institute and an old LAMAS collection of 3000 glass slides of London that was left behind when they moved in 1977. These have now been “scanned” into a computer and are available on the Bishopsgate website.

After tea and a browse around the stalls it was time to leave and reflect on an excellent conference.

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HADAS Xmas Dinner 2008

The visit for this year was the Harrow Museum & Heritage Centre at Headstone Manor, this is an interesting complex of buildings consisting of The Great/Tithe Barn, The Small Barn, Granary and the Manor House. Unfortunately we could not visit the actual Manor House on this occasion as the bridge over the moat was subject to repair and strengthening. Instead we were given a powerpoint presentation by guide Karen Cochrane in the Great Barn.

Headstone Manor is Grade One listed, the earliest parts are believed to have been built circa 1310 (dendrochronology date), the structure comprises of one remaining bay of a timber-framed aisled hall and a two-storey cross wing. When originally built, the hall is known to have been much larger with (at least) one additional bay. A unique feature is that it is surrounded by the only complete surviving water filled moat in Middlesex. The building has seen many owners, uses and extensions over the years, including the Archbishop of Canterbury (c1344) who owned the land until 1546, then a succession of tenant farmers including the Redynges family who held it for 100 years from 1397. In 1546 King Henry VIII owned it briefly, other major owners were the Rewse (1631) and Williams families. Subsequent owners added another wing in the 1770s which contained more living accommodation. The front of the house was given a fashionable brick façade at this time, giving it the appearance it has today.

Now in the care of the London Borough of Harrow the house has been under much complex repair and restoration since 2004. A modern steel frame has been inserted through the oldest part to support the timber framing and there is an ongoing program to refurbish various rooms and features. In addition there is a program of works to update and improve the rest of the grounds and site.

Other structures include the impressive Great or Tithe Barn built c1506, it is 45m long, 15m wide with 10 bays and 2 wagon porches, the framework consists of English Oak. Now fully restored this is the heart of the site with lecture/exhibition areas, teashop, book sales etc. Across the courtyard is a smaller barn of similar date used for exhibitions. The Granary built in the late 1700s was part of a dairy farm in nearby Pinner, it was decided in 1991 to dismantle the structure and move it to Headstone Manor for reconstruction.

After a drive through the dark lanes of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, dinner was held at the Moor Mill near Bricket Wood, Radlett. This is a pub/restaurant which was converted from what was a water mill Two original waterwheels are still in operation throughout the year. The building is listed with much character and even old mill workings are still intact inside. The site is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086), the mill was known to have been rebuilt in 1350 for £11 pounds. The current mill dates from 1792 and in 1992 was converted to a pub.

Both Headstone Manor and Moor Mill are well worth a visit and they are not that far away. Many thanks are due to Stephen Brunning for his organisation, planning (and persistence) on the outing and to Jim Nelhams for his assistance.

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Other societies’ events by Eric Morgan

Thur 8th Jan: 8.00pm, Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner. How Middlesex Churches changed after the Reformation by Pat Clarke . Visitors £2.

Thurs 8th Jan: 6.30pm (refreshments 6.00pm), LAMAS, Terrace Room, Museum of London. Hospitallers & Templars in Greater London and beyond by Pam Willis

Mon 12th Jan: 3.00pm, Barnet & Local History Society, Church House, Wood St, Barnet, (opposite museum). John Betjeman – An enthusiasts view by Terence Atkins

Weds 14th Jan: 8.00pm, Mill Hill Historical Society, The Wilberforce Centre, St Paul’s Church, The Ridgeway NW7. Unusual small properties of the National Trust by R.W.T. Smith

Weds 14th Jan: 7.45pm, Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, Corner of Ferme Park Rd/Weston Park, N8. ‘A place in the sun’ – Fire insurance for local history by Brenda Griffith Williams.

Thur 15th Jan: 7.30pm, Camden History Society, Charlie Ratchford Centre, Belmont Street, NW1 The stationary winding engines at Chalk Farm by Peter Darley.

Thur 15th Jan: 8.00pm, Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield. Discovering Historic buildings in Enfield by Stephen Gilburt.

Fri 16th Jan: 7.00pm, City of London Archaeological Society, St Katherine Cree church hall, Leadenhall St, EC3 (please note change of venue). £2, light refreshments after. The archaeology of Nazareth & its hinterland from 1st century BC to the 13th century AD by Ken Dark

Thur 29th Jan: 2.30pm, Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley. Our water supply – from source to tap by Ian Pilsworth. Non members £2.00

newsletter-453-december-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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

s it is that holiday season again, we take the opportunity to wish all our readers a happy holiday, and a healthy and prosperous New Year.


Sunday 14h December 2008, HADAS Christmas Event. A visit to Headstone Manor, Harrow, & dinner at the “Moor Mill” Beefeater restaurant, Bricket Wood, Radlett.
Do check with Jim Nelhams (contact details on back page) for last minute availability.

Tuesday 13th January 2009, An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt. Lecture by Nicole Douek.

Tuesday 10th February 2009, The building of the Underground. Lecture by Tony Earle.

Tuesday 10th March, Tuesday 14th April & Tuesday 12th May 2009. The lectures for these dates are still to be arranged, but it is hoped to have at least one on a Roman theme.

Lectures start at 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).

Change to the Christmas Event programme – by Stephen Brunning

On 4th November I received the news that the bridge over the moat to Headstone Manor is in need of urgent repairs as it is gradually crumbling away and not safe to cross. The repairs are due to take place from this week, and the bridge will be worked on for approximately 10 weeks. The bridge is the only access point to the island and Headstone Manor, and obviously this affects visitor access to the site.
The work taking place on the bridge will affect our visit to Headstone Manor on 14th December 2008. Initially the supervisor of the works stated that no visitor access could take place on the 14th December, seeing that there will be no deck paving on the bridge. The workmen then agreed to escort our group back and forth across the bridge as required over the workmen’s gangway, but only on the basis that we all wear boots, high visibility jackets and hard hats! We would have to provide these items ourselves.
In view of the above problems, we have reluctantly decided to change the programme. Instead of the tour, we will have a one hour PowerPoint presentation talk in the Tithe Barn on the restoration of the manor house. This change will also provide more time to visit the other buildings on the site and have a relaxed hot drink. We will be leaving as planned at 5pm for the meal.
I hope everyone is not too disappointed by the change. If it’s very cold on the day it might be preferable to the tour anyway!

A successful Quiz night at Avenue House by Don Cooper
On Monday evening (10th November 2008) a very successful Quiz night was held at Avenue House to raise much-needed funds for the estate. As well as a HADAS table with eight members, Stewart Wild hosted a table, and other members were part of other teams. With drinks from the bar and hot jacket potatoes in the interval and a raffle with lots of prizes, this was a very convivial evening. In the event Stewart Wild’s team won and the HADAS table were joint second. I am reliably told that over £500 was raised for the estate, a magnificent achievement.

Thanks by Don Cooper
I would like to thank everybody who has sent in possible titles for the Church Terrace excavation book (do keep the suggestions coming!). We will review all the possible titles in due course and reach a decision.

Digging up Theodore John Ridge by Jim Nelhams
It started with the following inquiry through our website from a gentleman named Mike Dunn. Mr Dunn was based at RAF Hendon for 5 years.
“I am not quite sure if my enquiry falls strictly within the area of interest of HADAS, but I hope you might be able direct me to a contact who could help me.
I am trying to discover the exact location in Hendon Cemetery of Theodore John Ridge. He died in August 1911 and was the first man to be killed flying a British military aircraft. At the time he was working at Farnborough where he was the Assistant Superintendent. He was a qualified airship pilot and served with the Middlesex Yeomanry in the Boer War.”
Mr Dunn’s information about the burial came from the Rushmoor council website which contains this extract from a plaque – “the cortege going to Farnborough Station for the burial at Hendon.”
Andy Simpson checked the archives at the RAF museum and found three articles and a letter in contemporary periodicals. Mr Dunn had seen only one of the articles.
I checked the online archive for “The Times” and found an article on 22nd August 1911 referring to the accident, but this stated that the funeral was at Enfield cemetery that day and that Mr Ridge was the fourth son of the late Dr J J Ridge of Enfield. Interrogating the census information showed that Dr Ridge had lived in Baker Street, Enfield. A call to Enfield Council advised that the burial was in Lavender Hill Cemetery and provided the grave number.
A trip to the cemetery followed, where assistance from Steve, the Superintendent, helped me to locate and photograph the grave with a distinctive gravestone. Steve also told me that there was still a Dr Ridge in Enfield.
A quick GOOGLE on the internet confirmed this and also confirmed the family connection.
So I was able to send to Mr Dunn, photographs of the grave, the articles found by Andy Simpson, and some information about the family. Mr Dunn has since contacted Dr Tim Ridge and received a response with more family information.
Mr Dunn has kindly provided a brief biography of Theodore John Ridge, which follows.
Theodore John Ridge was born in Enfield Ridge on 31st October 1875, the son of Dr J James Ridge. Theodore Ridge was an electrical engineer by profession. He studied engineering at the City of London School. He worked in industry for a spell and also served as an electrical engineer aboard P and O ships for several years. In 1900, Ridge enlisted as a trooper in the 34th (Middlesex) Company, Imperial Yeomanry and served in the South African War. Whilst in South Africa, he transferred to the Army Remount Service but a severe bout of enteric fever forced his return to the UK.
In October 1909, Ridge was appointed as the first civilian Assistant Superintendent of the Army Balloon Factory. During his time at the factory, Ridge become one of a very small number of men who obtained a pilot’s certificate (# 119 – 17 August 1911), an aeronaut’s (ballooning) certificate (# 20 – 21 February 1911) and an airship pilot’s certificate (# 5 – 21 February 1911). In 1910, he joined the Royal Engineers (Territorial Force) and became commanding officer of the London Balloon Company RE (TF). A well-respected scientist and engineer, Ridge was particularly involved with the design and construction of Airship “Beta”. Ridge acted as crew member aboard “Beta” on a number of occasions, most notably during the first night flight by a British military airship, in June 1911.
On 18 August 1911, Ridge was killed at Farnborough, after crashing an aircraft known as the SE1 (Santos Experimental). The SE1 was a ‘re-construction’ of a Bleriot XII, re-designed by Geoffrey de Havilland as a canard pusher biplane. Following its first flight in June 1911, a series of major modifications were carried out, despite these modifications, de Havilland, still regarded the SE1 as being difficult to handle. On the day of the crash, against advice, Ridge insisted on taking the aircraft up. He was an inexperienced pilot and had never flown the SE1 before. Whilst returning to the airfield, he shut down the engine before attempting a turn. The aircraft stalled and crashed, killing Ridge. The coroner recorded a verdict of “death by mis-adventure”. Ridge was buried at Enfield cemetery, North London. Although he was acting in a civilian capacity, Ridge gained the ‘distinction’ of becoming the first pilot in the UK to be killed whilst flying a British military aircraft.
The departure of Theodore Ridge’s funeral cortege from Farnborough, was described in the newspapers thus:
The coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was placed upon a gun carriage, drawn by a team of six horses. This was followed by two full companies of the Royal Engineers, accompanied by the best band in the Army, that of the Royal Artillery. There were a number of officers in the procession, including General Scott Montcrieff, who was in command of the Engineers, and two other Generals. Major Sir Alexander Campbell Bannerman was in command of the procession. There were three representatives from the London Balloon Company. The wreaths were carried by orderlies behind the mourners. The route was lined with people who assembled to pay a last tribute to a brave man, while outside the Balloon Factory the hands, to the number of 350, by every one of whom the late Lieut Ridge was greatly beloved, stood at attention as the cortege passed.

Excavations at Prescot Street (The Roman aspect) by Bill Bass

This is a report on the first lecture of this year’s winter series. Lorna Richardson who was meant to give the talk had moved on to a different job, she was kindly replaced by the Project Director – Guy Hunt of L-P Archaeology who had dug the site. Although Prescot Street revealed a range of archaeology from Roman to Post-medieval (a row of Georgian houses and Victorian buildings), these are reflections of Guy’s Roman highlights of the dig.
Prescot Street is just east of the City of London in an area well known for its Roman roads and cemeteries. This dig covers one of the largest unexcavated areas left of the ‘East London Roman cemetery’, this extensive cemetery lined the Roman road that led north-eastwards from the city. Previous archaeological evaluations and excavations in the area have revealed a substantial number of burials dating to the 1st – 4th centuries AD.
After a desk-top survey and site evaluation in 2006 revealed Roman and later archaeology, a full scale dig started in March 2008 with the site being divided into ‘zones’ to allow builders to work one zone while L-P excavated in others.
Much of the stratigraphy was gravel and brickearth which had been extensively quarried. Amongst the pitting and quarrying were many Roman burials both inhumations and cremations. Inhumation burials came in all positions and alignments, East-West, West-East, North-South, South-North, and also slight variations of axis within these alignments; there were wooden coffins, lead coffins, stone coffins and shrouds.
Some of the cremations came with a selection of rich burial goods. One example had cremated bone in an upturned urn, next to it a wooden chest with iron nails and fittings had been placed into a pit dug into gravel. Along its East and West sides, ceramic jars and flagons (one with a deliberate slit in its side resembling a money box) had been arranged. On top of two of these was the inverted cremation urn. Inside the chest was a further cremation, probably in a small wooden box with three glass vessels along one side. And, at its Eastern side, most spectacular of all, was a complete glass millefiore dish in red, white and blue. The dish is a very rare find and would have belonged to someone of high status.
Not far from the dish cremation a ‘cist’ burial was discovered. Ceramic tiles had been used to form the sides; these included a fragment of box flue tile showing that the material employed to construct the cist derived from demolition of a Roman baths. Furthermore, evidence shows that at a later date the burial pit containing the cist was partially reopened and enlarged. This was in order to accommodate the cremated remains of another individual, this time interred within a ceramic vessel which was sealed by placing a Roman tile on the vessel’s neck – the later insertion of a relative or loved one? The remarkable preservation of the structure, coupled with the fact that only two other un-urned remains in cists are known from the Eastern cemetery made this feature an exceptional find. Another rare discovery was that of a Roman building, somewhat truncated, but what survives is a decent chunk of a rammed gravel floor surrounded by 3 walls. Basically, this was a small building measuring 2m x 2m internally, with a nice gravel floor. The lack of rubble and plaster in the foundations suggests either very thorough robbing or a timber construction. There is no evidence for either a door or a roof although it could have had both. There was no evidence for a burial at the centre of the building, and so the building is probably best categorised as some kind of funerary building like a columbarium containing the remains of many cremated individuals, or perhaps an Altar Tomb which once contained the remains of a single individual in some kind of above ground structure (either urn or sarcophagus). It is also possible that the building served some other function within the cemetery. These buildings are still quite a rarity, with only 7 known from the Eastern Roman Cemetery, but are well documented around the Roman world, with fine intact examples from Rome and Pompeii, to name just two. Excavations have now finished but the post-excavation carries on with much work to be done. Running parallel with the dig (and ongoing) has been the associated and rather fabulous website, managed by Lorna Richardson, where diaries, blogs, videos have been posted, together with much information on the digital recording of the excavation, maps and history of Prescot Street and surrounding area:
Well worth a look.

Day 2 of the HADAS long weekend

Beverley Minster, Beverley, and St. Mary’s Church in Beverley by Sheila Woodward
Beverley Minster
The second morning of our tour was spent in Beverley, now an attractive but modest market town, though in the 14th century it was taxed as the 11th richest town in England. Its great glory was, and is, its Minster, a popular pilgrim centre throughout the Middle Ages and source of the town’s wealth. Now a mere parish church, the Minster has the dimensions and architectural magnificence of a cathedral, soaring above the town and dominating the surrounding landscape. The interior is no less impressive: a breath-catching combination of splendour and grace. It certainly deserves its 5 stars in Simon Jenkins’s “England’s Thousand Best Churches”.
Bishop John of York, later canonised as Saint John of Beverley, founded a monastery on the site in the 8th century. His tomb-slab has pride of place in the Minster’s nave and was famed for its healing miracles. Reputedly sacked by the Vikings and re-founded as a College of Canons by King Athelstan (924 to 939), the Minster and its shrine prospered until seriously damaged by fire in 1188, followed in 1213 by the collapse of the central tower. Rebuilding between 1220 and 1390 produced the present lovely church with its graceful flowing lines and delicate tracery. There have, of course, been later additions and alterations, and when the College of Canons was suppressed in 1548 and the Minster became a parish church, there was a loss of revenue and much neglect. A leaning pillar in the north transept bears witness to its near collapse in the 18th century, and major restoration was carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries, yet nothing has destroyed the essential harmony of the building.
There was no time to do justice to detail: the wealth of exquisite carving in wood and stone, the medieval stained glass preserved in the great east window, the Snetzler organ with its colourful pipes. The huge Norman font is impressive. The frith stool, used in the rite of the right of sanctuary, is probably 7th or 8th century and a rare survival. The Georgian statues of St. John and King Athelstan which flank the south door are delightful: St. John suitably episcopal, King Athelstan hilarious in garments seeming to range from Ancient Greek via Medieval and Tudor to fashionable 18th century shoes. As our excellent guide, the Minster’s Virger, commented, Athelstan would have been so surprised! We were surprised by the vast chair made especially for a 19th century cleric who weighed 37 stone – a trifle obese perhaps. There was more fun in the misericords, 68 of them, depicting domestic and farmyard scenes, and I was fascinated by the trompe l’oeil floor – surely it should now be banned on Health and Safety grounds as a hazard to the short-sighted!
There is some pleasing modern metal sculpture in the retro-choir and one could spend many happy hours chasing the seventy stone carvings of the musicians in the nave. Of all this splendour, my lasting memories will be of the majesty and beauty of the whole Minster, the intricacy and elegance of its tombs and screens, and the enchanting exuberance of those carved musicians. To quote Jenkins: “ They drip from capitals, cling to hood moulds, hide in corners, and stare down from eaves, as if waiting to come to life to fill this fine church with sound.”.
Beverley town and St. Mary’s Church
Amazingly Beverley has a second church, St. Mary’s, not quite as grand as the Minster, but of equal interest. Walking to it we could admire Beverley’s fine Georgian houses and its busy central square with its cheerful little blue-domed market cross. The church itself is impressive with its pinnacles and battlements. It was founded in 1120 and served the already prosperous merchant guilds of the town. Like its sister church it suffered from the collapse of its central tower (in 1520) which entailed much reconstruction and repair. There was further damage during the Civil War. In the 19th century, the Pugins (father and son), and Sir Gilbert Scott were involved in a large-scale restoration, the result of which we still see today.
The most striking features of the church include the nave’s wooden ceiling bosses (1520), one depicting St. John of Beverley and King Athelstan, and the famous “minstrels’ capital” on a nave pier. These 5 cheery, colourful and irreverent-looking musicians have been referred to as England’s first pop group. They are raffishly dressed and one of them wears the Alderman’s chain. A guild of minstrels met yearly in Beverley at Rogation-tide to elect a new Alderman. This may account for the capital.
The roof of the chancel consists of forty panels bearing brightly-painted representations of the Kings of England up to Henry VI, some of them legendary. At its last restoration in 1939, George VI was substituted for the legendary Lochrine! The splendid misericords beneath the chancel stalls are mainly 15th century. St Michael’s chapel off the north choir aisle is a superb example of English Gothic Architecture with its ribbed vaulted ceiling and curvilinear tracery of windows and screens. On the ogee arch to the sacristy is carved a rabbit with a pilgrim’s staff and scrip, believed to have been the inspiration for the White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland”.
There was no time to visit the little museum in the old priest’s rooms, but Beverley had already provided enough treasures for one morning.

Skidby Windmill David Bromley

Skidby Mill, Grade II listed, is the last working windmill in Yorkshire and is also home to the Museum of East Riding Rural Life, where visitors can explore the history of the farming landscape and its village communities.
Skidby is an ideal location for a windmill, sited as it is 170 feet above sea level on the edge of the Yorkshire Wold. The first reference to a mill in Skidby – probably a primitive wooden post mill – was in 1316. The Lord of the Manor, as was the custom of the time, would have provided the mill stones and timber and his tenant miller would have maintained the mill.
By the 1620s there were two windmills and a horse mill in the village, though not necessarily on this site. Not until 1764 is there a clear record of a mill on the present site, a post mill with two stones which is shown on the enclosure award map of 1769.
In 1821 this post mill was sold and removed to make way for the present mill tower, which at that time was 20 feet lower and designed to mill local English wheat. Milling continued until the 1870s when cheap Canadian wheat flooded the home market. This made English wheat uneconomic and as Canadian wheat is too hard to mill using stones, the mill was converted to provide the power for animal feedstuff production in the now adjoining buildings. The tower of the mill, which had been freestanding until then, had to be raised by 20 feet to allow the sails clearance for these buildings to be added, hence the unusual vertical section in the normally tapering tower. The tower was also coated in bitumen to waterproof it, giving it its distinctive appearance.
In 1837 the entire cap was dismantled and rebuilt along with the sails, fantail and sack hoist. The mill continued in use until 1946 when one sail was struck by lightening and destroyed. It was also discovered that some of the cap timbers were unsafe, but it was not until after the war in 1948 that repairs could be undertaken and the mill brought back into operation. In 1954 the wind power was stopped and the mill was converted to electricity. Although the tower was converted to a grain silo and the sack hoist was removed, the mill workings were luckily left intact. The mill ceased commercial operation in 1966 and was ‘sold’ to Beverley Borough Council for £1. In 1974 it was restored to full working order using wind power and producing flour milled from English wheat. At the same time the Museum of East Riding Rural Life was added. Following Central Government re-organisations, the mill is now owned by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and managed as a museum by East Riding Rural Life.
Originally the mill had two pairs of French Burr mill stones and one pair of Derbyshire Grit stones. In the 1940s one pair of the French Burr stones was replaced with a pair of Composite stones. The remaining pair of French Burr stones, made in 1851, still produces fine-grade flour. The Derbyshire Grit stones are no longer driven and the Composite ones only run ‘light’ but do not grind flour.
The adjoining outbuildings house the museum, blacksmith’s shop, warehouses, barns (now a welcoming tearoom) and lastly the pigsties where the various kinds of feed produced by the feed mill were tested.
Following plenty of time for a guided talk by the miller into the workings of the mill and a look around the museum and yard, we took advantage of the tea room and facilities and had a relaxing lunch break. Then onwards to Hull to the museum quarter with its three fine museums – Hull Streetlife Museum, East Riding Archaeology Museum and Wilberforce House.

HULL Streetlife Museum Andy Simpson

These aeroplanes get everywhere. I was keen to revisit the former Museum of Transport at Kingston upon Hull, situated on the High Street, run by Hull City Council and now renamed and expertly revamped as the excellent ‘Streetlife Museum of Transport’, displaying 200 years of transport history. Special dioramas in this free-to-enter museum recreate the sights (including wagging horses tails), sounds (including begging street urchins) and unpleasant smells of the horse-drawn past, with the first Stagecoach ride simulator I have ever seen! Obviously my main ‘target’ was the trams, but also displayed there is a full-sized replica of a Blackburn Lincock single engined biplane of the 1920s, Blackburn being a local manufacturer. There is a separate motor car gallery and carriage gallery, street scenes (nice toyshop shopfront!), even a railway siding with two railway wagons, level crossing and signal box. There is also the now obligatory hands-on interactive area for children.
The transport museum was originally founded in 1925, following Hull’s participation in the Wembley Exhibition. Within a few years, local families, individuals, the Science Museum and other bodies had helped to establish the core of a superb collection of horse and mechanical transport. Closed due to extensive wartime bomb damage, the museum reopened in a reconstructed building in 1957 and has since been rebuilt again. Original exhibits include a Sedan Chair of 1800 from Huntingdon, a highly decorated cart from Sicily and a wide variety of horse-drawn carriages, also motorcycles and motor cars dating back to 1898, even a couple of Steam Cars and an electric buggy, all of 1901.
The Museum was the first in the country to publically display complete tramcars, with two examples rescued by private individuals and given display space by the transport museum. These magnificent specimens are a horse-drawn single deck example of c.1871, withdrawn from service on Ryde Pier, Isle of Wight, in 1935, and a personal favourite, the 1882 Kitson steam tram locomotive from Portstewart, Northern Ireland-identical to examples that ran in Birmingham and the Black Country. They were supplemented,when the Museum was rebuilt more recently, by an original Hull Corporation Tramways double deck electric tram on loan from the Tramway Museum at Crich. Derbyshire-Hull’s trams finished in 1945 but some, including this one, saw further service in Leeds, permitting its rescue by enthusiasts in the mid 1950s. You can board the platform and have a go on the driver’s ‘handles’. Needless to say, I did just that.
The Museum has a dockside location on the River Hull, close to its junction with the River Humber, permitting display of Hull’s last deep-sea sidewinder trawler, the 1960s vintage ‘Arctic Corsair’ which now retired from cod fishing, can be viewed from the quayside and boarded by prior arrangement.

Other Museums in Hull’s Museum Quarter by Don Cooper
In the same area, there is also the Hull & East Riding Archaeological Museum with its fine Roman mosaics, the 4th c BC Hasholme boat, a fine Iron Age sword and a Celtic World exhibition. Alternatively, you can visit the Wilberforce House Museum with its exhibitions exploring slavery, its abolition and its legacy. These museums are all clustered around a small grassy area full of statues but also with seats and benches, and places to picnic. The museum quarter of Hull is a feast for the archaeologist and historian! At 1700, the big red bus returned and we rounded-up everyone from the various museums and hostelries, and headed back to Bishop Burton College for a delightful tour of the gardens by the resident head gardener, followed by a pleasant evening meal, and so ended the second day of our trip.

Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan
Thursday, 4th December at 6.30pm, LAMAS, Terrace Room, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2. “Revisiting the Temple of Mithras & St Swithin’s House – new discoveries on old sites” a talk by Sophie Jackson (MOLA), refreshments at 6.00pm
Thursday, 11th December at 7.30pm, Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3. “Historic views of London from the collection of B. E. C. Howarth-Loomes, a talk by Dr. Ann Saunders (past president of HADAS). Please note there will be wine and mince pies from 7.00pm.

Thanks to this month’s contributors:
Eric Morgan, Bill Bass, Andy Simpson, Steve Brunning, David Bromley, Sheila Woodward, and Jim Nelhams.

newsletter-452-november-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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


Page 1


Tuesday, 11th November 2008, Bletchley Park: Enigma – how breaking the Axis codes led to the world’s first computer and what lessons it still has for today. Lecture by Hugh Davies.

“All the experts have stated unanimously that there is no possibility that Enigma messages have been deciphered and read by the enemy”. This German message WAS deciphered by the codebreakers at Bletchley Park! How did they do it? And what advantage did it give us?

Hugh’s background is primarily in computers from the early days of punched cards through to large main frames and the modern PC, almost wholly in management positions. He founded his own IT security company some 10 years ago based on the invention of an authentication system that did away with passwords. Hugh won the British Computer Society overall award for innovation in 1996. Now technically retired, Hugh has been leading tour groups at Bletchley Park for over five years. He also gives many outside lectures to organizations such as U3A, WI etc, and is a guest lecturer on cruise ships.

Sunday 14h December 2008, HADAS Christmas Event. A guided tour of Headstone Manor, Harrow, & dinner at the “Moor Mill” Beefeater restaurant, Bricket Wood Radlett.

A reminder that the completed booking form is required by 28th November. Please return to Jim Nelhams (see contact details on back page). The cost of £35 includes transport, guided tour of the manor house, followed by the dinner in Radlett.

Tuesday 13th January 2009, An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt. Lecture by Nicole Douek.

Tuesday 10th February 2009, The building of the Underground. Lecture by Tony Earle.

Tuesday 10th March, Tuesday 14th April & Tuesday 12th May 2009. The lectures for these dates are still to be arranged, but it is hoped to have at least one on a Roman theme.

Lectures start at 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).

John Donovan 1935-2008

John, one of our members, died on 8th September 2008. Although not a member for very long he was an active and enthusiastic one, researching inter alia the milestones and post boxes of Barnet. He was a prominent member of other local societies and was President of the Friern Barnet& District Local History Society. Our sincere condolences go to his daughter Linda Boxall and the rest of John’s family

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News from Post–Lib (Publication for Retired Librarians) September 2008

Baddesley Clinton is a small fifteenth century moated house owned by the National Trust. It was the home of the Catholic Ferrars family for 500 years. The library is not one of the largest in the National Trust houses, but is one of the most interesting as the books, shelved in fixed locations in bookcases around the walls with overflow into other rooms in the house, have been collected by the Ferrars over many years. Once the books have been catalogued and the catalogue made widely available, the National Trust will need to decide how to provide access for people who want to come and look at the books.

Situated in the bombed-out remains of a library in the Old Kent Road, the Livesey Museum was named after Sir George Livesey, Chairman of the Metropolitan Gas Company. The museum was opened by Sir John Betjeman is 1974. As a great lover of Victoriana, Sir John was also keen to see the Victorian church next door, and the Victorian gas works over the road.

(Baddesley Clinton medieval manor house & garden is situated near Solihull, West Midlands, and open to the public Wednesday to Sunday 11am-5pm between February & December. Times and dates vary between the house and grounds/shop/restaurant. Tel. 01564 783294 or email – Ed).

Book Title Competition – by Don Cooper

As the book on the HADAS Church Terrace excavation that took place in 1973/4 goes into its final editing stage, it is time to dream up a suitable title. There are no prizes except, of course, if your suggestion is accepted you will have the honour of seeing it on the shelves of many bookshops! As a little refresher, the dig carried out by HADAS volunteers took place near St Mary’s Church, Hendon and most of it is under the current Meritage Centre. The finds from the excavation cover many periods from the Romans to the present with an unusually high concentration of early Medieval pottery sherds. Rather than a turgid archaeological excavation report, the book aims to be a good read and should appeal to local people, HADAS members and people with an interest in history and archaeology.

So send us your suggestions and we will publish a selection of them in a future newsletter.

HADAS’s Long weekend in Beverley 27th to 31 August 2008

Rather than publish a separate report on the HADAS long weekend as is usually the custom, we have decided this year to serialise it in the newsletter. The main reason is that there were such good articles written by the attendees that it would have been a shame to condense them.

Day 1. HADAS Long Weekend

Flag Fen by Jo Nelhams

Wednesday August 27th dawned and an intrepid number of HADAS members were collected by a bright red Galleon coach from a number of appointed boarding points. All were counted on as present and correct and our cheerful driver Mark headed north with his erudite load!!

After a quick stop at Baldock to observe the facilities, our next destination was Flag Fen, located near Peterborough in a region which has proved to be one of the most important areas in the country for evidence enhancing our understanding today of Britain in prehistoric times.

The yellow flag iris which flourished in wetlands is the flower after which the basin was named. The earliest occupation of the Flag Fen basin dates from Neolithic times and occupation of the fenland area can be traced through to modern times.

The area was known possibly to have much archaeological evidence buried deeply beneath the surface and that excessive drainage would be harmful, but in the latter half of the 20th century the Fenlands were drained more extensively than in any previous historical era. In 1982, while dykes were being machine cleaned, archaeo-logists, led by Francis Pryor, found some timbers which had been worked in a distinctive manner. This was the catalyst that inspired the discovery of this fascinating and enormously important site. A 3000 year old line of posts was unearthed stretching nearly a kilometre. The post alignment was constructed across a wet stretch of ground. In the lowest lying, wettest part of the Fen a large timber platform had been built covering 2 to 3 acres. These finds were preserved in Flag Fen Park which was laid out in 1987and has gradually been enlarged to cover the whole length of the post alignment, now taking in an area of 20 acres. Much of the timber platform itself is now visible in an indoors viewing and preservation building.

What was the function of this extraordinary construction? It is thought to be almost certainly a route or track across a wet stretch of ground, but it could have been a defensive wall to protect against intruders who were living in the surrounding areas. In Europe in the Bronze and Iron Ages, water and wet places were important religious symbols so maybe it was a religious shrine.

Two Bronze Age roundhouses have been reconstructed, the smaller one recreated in the position it was found when the fields were first excavated. An Iron Age roundhouse has been reconstructed too, on the evidence from known roundhouses in the region.

A Roman road, wide enough for two carts to pass, was built in the mid 1st century and was the only major Roman road across the Fens. It joined the Roman road network at Denver, in Norfolk, where today there is also a fine working windmill.

The museum has displays of wooden objects as well as weapons, jewellery and sacrificial items. There are also accounts and illustrations of the excavations that have taken place since the initial discovery. Also displayed is a Bronze Age wheel, the oldest wheel in England. Outside there are two ancient breeds of pigs, Saddleback and Tamworth. We spent a couple of hours at Flag Fen, but the site has so much to offer that this somewhat brief account only scratches the surface of the wealth of information that has come to light since its discovery. Excavation is ongoing, so one does not know what else may come to light and all that you do see in the ground today is what was left there from the Bronze Age.

This visit was a splendid beginning and just a taste of what was to come over the next few days.

St. Peter’s Church, Barton-upon-Humber by Don Cooper

Our next port of call was the English Heritage managed St. Peter’s Church at Barton-upon-Humber, very close to the Humber Bridge. Described by Warwick Rodwell in the English Heritage Guidebook as “one of the most celebrated parish churches in England”, St. Peter’s is also one of the most thoroughly studied from its origins in the 10th C right up to it being declared redundant in 1972. The original tiny Anglo-Saxon church consisted of “a tower, which was used as a nave, a chancel and a baptistery” (English Heritage, 2007). The survival of the tower, the upper part of which was added in Norman times, and the baptistery is unique in England. Over the succeeding 1000 years or so a myriad of enhancements and extensions were added to the church. It was fascinating to explore the structure with the English Heritage guidebook and identify the surviving remains from the various changes over the centuries.

The site is also noted for its display of artefacts and human skeletons from the major excavation carried out when the cemetery was cleared. Some 2750 skeletons were uncovered during the excavation between 1978 and 1985 and have been studied ever since by archaeologists. The results of these studies are on display in the church. Everything from coffins to grave goods is shown with good explanation panels. The analysis of the human bones has helped to identify the causes of death of the skeletons found, as well as improving our knowledge of their diet and the diseases they suffered from.

At five o’clock our big red coach returned and we left a fascinating church with its well-displayed results of seven years of excavation.

Then we crossed the Humber Bridge, of which more in later reports, and travelled on to our accommodation for our four days stay at Bishop Burton Agricultural College.

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HADRIAN – Exhibition at the British Museum – by Tessa Smith

Whilst in Beverley four HADAS members were chatting about the Hadrian Exhibition at the British Museum and decided we would like to visit it some time. A few weeks ago our plans materialised, and we met near the Reading Room below the splendid Dome of the Museum

Immediately inside the exhibition one is met by a huge, exquisitely carved marble head, part of a colossal statue of the Emperor Hadrian, excavated just last year at Sagalassos in Turkey. The hair and beard are strong and curly; the pleated earlobe evident, the face looks so young.

The exhibition seems spacious even though it is contained within the area of the Reading Room. One aspect of Hadrian’s life leads to another, his rise to power, the Empire at war and in peacetime, his family, his relationships and his love of architecture. In each area statues reflect his power and his gradual ageing. The central part of the exhibition is devoted to architecture commissioned by Hadrian – the Tivoli, the Pantheon and the Wall.

A fascinating model of the site at Tivoli shows that it was not just a home and gardens for Hadrian, it was more like a small city with over 30 buildings, Imperial Palaces, library, theatre, barracks, bath houses, gardens, temples, fountains, and Doric columns – a sumptuous complex.

The Pantheon was built in 125 AD and is the best preserved example of an ancient building in the world, its dome being the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever having been built until recently. Hadrian ordered the granite columns from Egypt to be transported to the Nile, thence to Alexandria, crossing the Mediterranean to the Roman port of Ostia, then barged up the river Tiber. The oculus of the Pantheon is circled by a bronze cornice through which prayers go up towards the gods, and around which were thought to circle the sun, the heavens and the universe.

The Wall was begun in 122AD and completed in six years, a most important monument built in Britain as a sign of power and order. It stretched from Luguvalium (Carlisle) to Coria (Corbridge). The exhibition shows original parts of the Wall, two of the famous writing tablets and the exquisite studded slipper of Lepidusa. One space is devoted to Hadrian’s young lover Antinous, who drowned in the Nile causing Hadrian to mourn his death without precedent. This exhibition shows Hadrian not only as a powerful ruler but also as a human being.

We all enjoyed our visit so much that we felt we would like to do something similar again.
Next exhibition—BABYLON — Would anyone like to make up a group?

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A new image for the Museum of London

The following was circulated to contacts outside the museum. Thanks to Peter Pickering for bringing it to our attention.

“The Museum of London Group is rebranding to bring together its venues and values, with new names and a new logo.

The different parts of the Museum will now be known as Museum of London (MOL – note upper case ‘O’) , Museum of London Docklands (MOL Docklands) and Museum of London Archaeology (MOL Archaeology – not MoLAS) , respectively.

The striking new logo takes the conceptual form of London’s thumbprint. Coloured layers map the shape of London over time, reflecting the ever-changing, diverse and dynamic make up of London and Londoners, past, present and future. It links our three venues as destinations united in a single mission: to inspire a passion for London.

The Museum will begin rolling out its rebrand, in phases, in the run up to the opening of spectacular new £20.5 million galleries at Museum of London in spring 2010.”

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Avenue House Events

Quiz Night – Monday 10th November 2008 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 (or £8.50 with a Jacket potato with filling) and are available from the Lodge House.

Race Night – Monday 8th December 2008 at 7.30pm.Tickets, £5.00, available from the Lodge House.

For more details on both events, please ask at the Kiosk, Main House, or Lodge House, or phone 020 8346 7812.

As you know, without Avenue House we would not be able to lease the Garden Room and garage to store our finds & library. Please try and support the above events in order to keep the roof over our heads!

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In the light of all the development and particularly the future work planned on Colindale Hospital’s green site, I wanted to find out how Colindale once was. The word “Collindalia” (two ll’s) written in the stone in some housing in Colindale Avenue and a Victorian post box, shorter than the norm, intrigued me.

Looking at maps I see it was once just fields of course, and life grew up around Colindeep Lane, once an important main road used to cut through to London via the Burroughs and up to Hampstead and London as an alternative route when Watling Street became difficult to use. Some reference even mentions it was used during the War of the Roses. Later it was known as Ancient Street. I read that the name of Colindale comes from a sixteenth century family so I decided to see if I could find out more. At the archives I found a reference to John Collin living in the area “with right of his wife and a messuage [house] and a meadow” in Gladwin Street. Was the area previously known as Gladwin?

Interestingly I found elsewhere that Colindeep is derived from old Roman landmarks, for the purpose of rating and allotting land to natives! It says the Col would be evident here as the cross road or by-lane leading to the junction of two streams forming a deep. A booklet on Colindale Hospital quotes this version of the name. So what can you believe in these writings?

Later a few more houses were built in the area and reference is made to some residents including a Mr Twyford, originally from Willesden, who lived in Colindeep Lane between 1685 and 1689. It is said he once owned a house called “The Chestnuts”. Colindeep Lane was later to have houses built on it by Trobridge. It is still a cut-through road and very busy.

In 1890 the authorities in London were looking for a place where the “sick poor” might have a hospital and they looked out to Hendon, then a country parish seven miles from the City, and found Colindale. The Foundation Stone for Colindale Hospital was laid in June 1898. A leaflet says the site was bought for £12,500. One ward was filled with cases of TB patients and another with sick children and babies. Yet another served as a casualty ward. Colindale Avenue grew as a service road to the hospital, and was extended to serve the Aerodrome when that arrived. The road must have been the height of activity.

In 1901 Garstons trunk factory came to Colindale, in 1902 the British Museum built storage for its newspaper collection, then came the Government Lymph Establishment in 1907 and later the Police College, which was once the London Country Club and a golf course. The tube arrived and then was extended to Edgware.

During the Great War Colindale hospital did its bit, treating casualties from the aerodrome including a Mrs Stocks, the first woman to fly, who was unconscious for 30 days. Nurses would also do their bit for the war effort working in nearby fields. With limited transport (the main line at Hendon and an odd tram) a nurse would have to arrange to have enough time-off for a trip to Cricklewood!

In 1920 the hospital was taken over by the Metropolitan Asylums Board as a Sanatorium for advanced TB. A Dr Marcus Paterson, attached to the Brompton Hospital, took over its management. A pioneer in TB, he also encouraged Occupational Therapy and apparently let patients help out in the well-kept gardens. It was recognized as an important factor in treatment. But in 1930 the Asylums Board ceased to exist and the LCC took over the hospital. Dr Paterson retired.

During the Second World War the Hospital was incorporated into the Emergency Hospital Service. Ward 9 was made the first-aid post for Hendon Borough and other wards were made available for casualties from the Aerodrome. A bomb dropped in Hendon killed over 100 people with 350 casualties. Fifty of these were brought to Colindale.

In 1948 after fifty years service, with a lot of work on TB, the hospital came under the National Health Service.
Once almost on its own, the hospital has become surrounded by buildings, housing and factories. Latest proposals for the site include more housing, a high rise hotel and the movement of Barnet College from its Grahame Park location. This may be the last piece of an earlier Colindale left. The Victorian Society want to see more of it preserved. If you have any views please let your councillor know. An area action plan has been sent to local residents (see and an exhibition is to take place on Saturday 8 November and Monday 10 November 2008 at the RAF Museum, Colindale. See what you think.

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Other Societies’ Events Compiled by Eric Morgan

Tuesday 4th November 2-3pm. Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow. Bushey through Artists’ Eyes. Talk by Hugh Lewis (Curator of Bushey Museum). Cost £3.

Thursday 6th November, 6.30pm. LAMAS. Terrace Room, Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2. Archaeological Assemblages from 19th Century Houses. Talk by Nigel Jeffries (MoLAS). Refreshments 6pm.

Thursday 6th November 8pm. Pinner Local History Society. Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner. London before London. Talk by Jon Cotton (MoL). Visitors £2.

Sunday 9th November, 11am. A Meander through Monken Hadley. Meet outside The Spires, High Street, Barnet. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £6. Historical walk through beautiful, unspoilt Georgian Hadley . Wednesday 12th November 8pm. Mill Hill Historical Society. The Wilberforce Centre, St Paul’s Church, The Ridgeway NW7. Middlesex – The Lost County. Talk by Graham Dalling.

Friday 14th November 8pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, junction of Chase Side, Enfield. St Andrews Church – The Early Church and its Context. Talk by Daniel Secker. £1

Saturday 15th November 10am to 5pm. LAMAS Local History Conference. City of London School for Girls, Barbican EC2. London Recorded by Word, Map & Camera. For full details see September newsletter.

Sunday 16th November 11am. East Barnet Village. Guided walk. Meet outside East Barnet Library, Brookhill Road. Historical walk through ancient & modern East Barnet. Led by Paul Baker. Costs £6 and lasts 2 hours.

Tuesday 19th November 2.30pm. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society. Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane (junction of Chase Side) Enfield. Curiosities & Customs in the City. Talk by Paul Taylor.

Wednesday 19th November 1pm. Brent Museum, Education Room, Willesden Green Library Centre, High Road NW10. London During the English Civil Wars. Talk by Joe Carr (Curator)

Wednesday 19th November 8pm. Barnet & District Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite museum). AGM.

Wednesday 19th November 7.30pm. Willesden Local History Society. Scout House, High Road (corner of Strode Road) NW10. History of Gladstone Park & Dollis Hill House. Talk by Margaret Pratt & Cliff Wadsworth.

Wednesday 19th November 8pm. Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society. Wealdstone Baptist Church, High Street, Wealdstone. Archaeological Interests. Talk by Isobel Thompson.

Wednesday 19th November 8pm. Islington Archaeological & Historical Society. Islington Town Hall, Upper Street N1. London’s Gasholders: Works of Art & Engraving. Talk by Malcolm Tucker.

Thursday 20th November 7.30pm. Camden History Society. 5th Floor, Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road NW1. Innovation & Reform: Education and Medical Projects in 19th Century Bloomsbury. Talk by Professors Rosemary Ashton & Anne Hardy.

Friday 21st November 7pm. COLAS. St Katharine Cree Church Hall, Leadenhall Street EC3. The Archaeology of Jamestown USA. Talk by Geoff Egan (MoL). Visitors £2. Light refreshments afterwards.

Friday 21st November 7.30pm. Wembley History Society. St Andrews NEW Church, Church Lane, Kingsbury NW9. 176 years of the Oxford Movement. Talk by John Smith. Visitors £1. Light refreshments during interval.

Sunday 23rd November 11am. In the Footsteps of the Famous. Guided walk led by Paul Baker. Meet at High Barnet tube (top of Meadway). Explore the history of Barnet through the lives of the famous & infamous! £6.

Wednesday 26th November 7.45pm. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone police station), Friern Barnet Lane, N20. A Brief History of London Underground. Talk by Peter McMahon. £2. Refreshments.

Thursday 27th November 2.30pm. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road N3. Sound & Vision: Entertainment in Finchley & Surrounding District. Talk by Yasmine Webb (Barnet Archivist). Non-members £2.

Saturday 29th November 10.15am-3.30pm. Amateur Geological Society. Mineral & Fossil Bazaar. St Mary’s Hall, Hendon Lane N3. Including Rocks, Crystals, Gemstones & Jewellery. Refreshments. £1.

Sunday 30th November 11am. Every other House a Tavern. Guided walk led by Paul Baker. Meet at High Barnet tube (top of Meadway). See some of Barnet’s most Historical Pubs, and finish conveniently at a pub! Costs £6. Lasts 2 hours.

Monday 1st – Sunday 7th December. Barnet Borough Arts Council. The Spires (outside Waitrose), High Street Barnet. Paintings & What’s On (including HADAS) Sunday 7th December 11am-4pm. Barnet High Street Christmas Fair. Light music & teas in Barnet Church from 1pm. Music and Dance in the High Street & The Spires. Craft Fairs in Church House. Children’s Events at the Bull Theatre. Lots of Community and Charity stalls in the High Street & Funfair. Barnet Museum will also be open.

newsletter-451-october-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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Page 1

Lecture Season Starts Details from Stephen Brunning

Tuesday 14th October 2008 – Lorna Richardson: Community Archaeology in Greater London: Outreach Work and Excavations at Prescot Street

The Prescot Street site lies around 500m to the east of the Roman city wall and is currently being excavated by L – P: Archaeology. A number of Roman burials have been found, and a wealth of interesting late- and post-medieval finds. The Prescot Street project is unique in commercial archaeology: L – P : Archaeology have created a digital outreach project, with a comprehensive website that combines public access to the full excavation data with staff blogs, site photos, videos and resources for understanding the archaeology on site, aimed at both adults and children.

Lorna has a BA in Medieval Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, and is currently finishing a Masters degree in Public Archaeology. She is the outreach coordinator for L – P : Archaeology, based in East London. After graduating, she worked for a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations and, most recently, as a field archaeologist in London and the South West.

Tuesday 11th November 2008 – Hugh Davies Bletchley Park: Enigma – how cracking the enemy codes led to the world’s first computer.

Tuesday 13th January 2009 – Nicole Douek An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt

Tuesday 10th February 2009 – Tony Earle The building of the Underground

Tuesday 10th March 2009, Tuesday 14th April 2009, Tuesday 12th May 2009 Topics and Lecturers to be arranged.

CHRISTMAS EVENT – Sunday 14th December: Visit to Headstone Manor Tithe Barn, followed by a Christmas Dinner

This year’s Christmas occasion will, unusually, be a weekend event. The booking form is enclosed with this newsletter. Full details are also given later in the newsletter so that you can keep a copy.

We decided on an afternoon start to enable the outside of the manor house to be viewed before it gets too dark. Light afternoon refreshments can be purchased in the Tithe Barn for those waiting for the second tour, or having returned from the first. Bookings for the Dinner, including menu choices, required by 28th November.

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THE HISTORY OF HENDON SCHOOL by Trevor Eastfield Hendon School Archivist

The County School, Hendon, opened as a fee-paying school of 350 pupils in September 1914, just a month after the outbreak of the First World War.

By 1927 the field at the back of the school was levelled and trees planted, and in 1929-1930 the building of the gymnasium was started. In 1931 the intake of pupils rose from a two-form entry to a three-form entry, and by 1932-1933 the extension on the north side of the original school building was finished to enable accommodation of 480 pupils. In 1936 former pupil Harold Whitlock planted an oak tree sapling in front of the entrance to the gymnasium after being awarded a Gold Medal for the 50km walk by Adolf Hitler at the Berlin Olympic Games. By 1955 the school had 600 pupils and 320 staff, and in 1961 the extension on the south side of the building, which included a new Hall, Dining Hall and kitchens, was officially opened.

In the late 1960s, when plans for the reorganisation of secondary education were passed by Parliament, the London Borough of Barnet put forward, amongst other suggestions, the amalgamation of Hendon County Grammar School, situated in Golders Rise, with St David’s County Secondary School for Boys, in St David’s Place off Park Road in West Hendon. In 1971 this merger took place and Hendon County became Hendon Senior High School and St David’s was renamed Hendon Junior High School. It was not until 1978, when all the new buildings on the Hendon County site were finished, that the whole school became completely integrated on one site and called by its present name, Hendon School.

During 1987-1988 the school was threatened with closure by the London Borough of Barnet claiming falsely that it was no longer a viable institution, but by 1988-1989 the school had survived the threat after being awarded Grant Maintained status by the Government. Extensions to the new buildings close to the perimeter on the south side of the site took place during the 1990s.

The school currently has a seven-form intake with over 1,300 pupils, 120 teachers and 30 ancillary staff as well as a Saturday School for Languages with 200 pupils and 11 teachers.

In order to complete the picture it is also necessary to mention how St David’s County Secondary School for Boys came about. To explain this means going back to 1st October 1929 when Barnfield Senior Boys’ School opened in Silkstream Road, Burnt Oak, Edgware, with 267 boys. In January 1964 it amalgamated with Brent Secondary Modern School on its site in Sturgess Avenue, West Hendon. Brent Modern School, a mixed school, had opened on 7th January 1936 having been formally inaugurated the previous October by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll and daughter of Queen Victoria. (Three other schools were built to the same design – Colindale, Frith Manor and one other that the writer is unable to remember!).

In readiness for the joining of the two schools new buildings were erected in St David’s Place, and the two adjacent sites became one school named St David’s after its location. Originally it was to be named The Grahame-White School, after Claude Grahame-White the famous English aviator who had established Hendon Aerodrome and who played a seminal role in early British aviation, but his widow was reluctant to give her permission for this.

Today, the buildings of Barnfield School still exist. The adjacent primary school has now taken over part of the original secondary school after it had been used by Middlesex Polytechnic, now known as Middlesex University. When Middlesex Poly left it first became a pupil referral unit, but now it has become a nursery school. At the St David’s location the Brent School building has been demolished, but the original St David’s school building still stands, along with other buildings which have been added to the site, now named Parkfield Primary and Nursery School and catering for children from the ages of three to eleven.

Editor’s note – HADAS has supported digs at this school for the last few years. Details are in earlier newsletters.

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Fishbourne Palace from Sheila Woodward

Fishbourne Palace is amongst the grandest of our Roman buildings and it is certainly one of our most interesting. Brilliantly excavated and conserved and constantly studied and re-evaluated, it repays regular visits and always produces some surprises. The first systematic excavation of the site in the 1960s revealed a large first century building, dubbed a palace for its size and grandeur though there is no evidence of a royal resident (the client King Cogidubrius may have lived there), and below it traces of timber structures dating back to 43AD. That suggests a Claudian supply base or perhaps a secondary landing point for the invaders. Later excavations in the 1980s yielded evidence (good quality pottery and amphora) of pre-conquest trade with Italy and Gaul. In 1995, to the east of the palace, a building very like a “principia” was excavated, possibly a Roman military administration centre. Finds from 2002 excavations included a Roman sword scabbard of about 20AD, suggesting an army presence even prior to 43AD. Recent examination of animal bones from the 1960s excavations of the “palace period” produced intriguing information. A fallow deer which died c.60AD seems to have been born in Sicily; others, dated to 110AD, were born and died at Fishbourne. What was going on? Were special animals being imported for a deer park? Investigations continue. But the main attraction of Fishbourne is, and has always been, the palace and its superb collection of mosaics. It is the largest “in situ” collection in Britain and includes some of the earliest, dating from the late 1st century AD. The most famous and finest of the mosaics is Cupid on a Dolphin, a lively depiction with its glowing reds and its attendant seahorses and sealeopards. Its tesserae are said to number 360,000 (no, I didn’t count them!). Mosaics rescued from elsewhere have been added to the Fishbourne collection. The site’s high water table has presented special problems for both excavators and conservators. Floors have been lifted and re-laid, protective cover buildings erected, sun-reflective glass inserted. Last year the Collections Discovery Centre was opened, giving visitors an opportunity to see the reserve collections, to watch conservators at work and to view the more delicate finds preserved in the sensitive store. I doubt whether many people share the opinion of Pliny (quoted in the museum) that “whoever first discovered how to cut marble and carve up luxury into many portions was a man of misplaced ingenuity”.

Oliver Cromwell at Church Farm Museum from Gerrard Roots

Oliver Cromwell: Our Chief of Men

Oliver Cromwell, who died on 3 September 1658, was by any standards one of the most significant figures in British history. From obscure beginnings as an MP for Huntingdon, he went on to become a brilliant military commander who overthrew the monarchy, and a gifted orator who ruled over an – almost – united Great Britain.

Cromwell was a man of action in a violent time, but also a man of ideas in a period full of new ideas. His legacy was to put the lie to the Divine Right of Kings (after all, he executed one of them!), to establish Britain as a world power, and to introduce a measure of religious toleration – in an age when religion was politics – previously unknown in this country.

It is appropriate that Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon’s only surviving mid-17th Century building, should mark the 350th Anniversary of Cromwell’s death with a small display of depictions of Cromwell – even a copy of his death mask, and other objects relating to the Civil War, with a brief look at some local Cromwell connexions (Richard Cromwell, his son, lived at Finchley in the 1680s, and General Monck’s men camped at Tally Ho Corner before marching on London to restore Charles II in 1660).

The display includes an overview of Cromwell (with a free accompanying article) by leading Cromwellian scholar Professor Ivan Roots. The display is on until 30 November. Please ring 0208 359 3942 for further details.

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Archaeological Evaluation at Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School by Don Cooper

Site Code: MMS08 National Grid reference: 520938, 192206 Dated: April 2008 Site Address: Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School 68 Hale Lane Mill Hill London NW7 3RT

1.Introduction In May 1997 Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School submitted a planning application (planning references WO1858N & WO1858P issued on 13th May 1997), amended by WO1858U & WO1858V issued 5th February 2001, which inter alia included the construction of a new nursery building to replace a temporary structure on the north-east of the site. In November 2007 the Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS) was asked by Anne Hiscock of Inhouse Design Associates, 12 Blackstock Mews, Islington, London N4 2BT if they would carry out an archaeological watching brief at the school in order to fulfil the following planning condition from the planning application:

“4. No development shall take place within the area indicated until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved by the Local Planning Authority. Reason: to enable archaeological investigation of the site.”

The reason for the planning condition was that part of the main school building is a Grade II listed structure. A Scheme of Investigation was agreed with Kim Stabler of English Heritage and Anne Hiscock and accepted by Jon Finney of the London Borough of Barnet planning authority.

2.Geological & Topographical In advance of the development a site investigation report was produced by Hemsley Consulting covering the geological and soil conditions on the site. In addition, piles were sunk to approximately 19m of which at least 10m was dark bluey/grey London clay – the piles did not go any deeper. This was overlain by 8m of orangey London clay, above which was 25cms of gravelly clay with small round pebbles. This was all overlain by approximately 50cms of top soil. Relevant maps of the area are reproduced in A R Wittrick’s report on behalf of English Heritage, produced in 1996 and revised in 1998.

3.Archaeological and Historical background The known historical background of the site is also covered in A R Wittrick’s report. A previous HADAS investigation of the site produced nothing of archaeological interest as the pile cap beam did not penetrate the made ground.

4.Methodology On visiting the site and being given a tour by the contractors, it was decided to excavate a small test pit on the edge of the area to be developed. The test pit was 1m x 1m and was dug down in small spits. At about 45-50cms down, the top soil ran out and was replaced by gravelly clay with river-rolled pebbles. This layer lasted about 25-30cms at which point orangey London clay was reached. The orangey London clay was presumed to be the natural ground surface, as can clearly be seen in section photographs.

While the contractors were taking off about 0.8m from the surface of the whole site we were able to observe that the whole area of the site was similar to that in our test pit. The only differences observed were more tree roots, some Victorian(?) drainage pipes and three large square concrete blocks in a line, presumably the remains of an outbuilding. The blocks, which had plywood attached, were deemed to be Victorian.

When piling started we examined the results. One pile was driven about 18m into the ground starting at the orangey London clay layer (the top soil having been removed). There was approximately 8m of orangey London clay with occasional sandy lenses (hoggin). For the next 10m the London clay became its natural bluey colour and very plastic. There were no signs of organic material in the clay.

5.Results The test pit yielded artefacts in both its layers. Clay pipe stems and part of a pipe bowl, sherds of pottery – blue and white, creamware, porcelain and stoneware – occurred in both layers. There was also some animal bone and oyster shell, but, surprisingly, no glass. After washing and analysing the artefacts it appeared that they would fit into a date of between 1850 and 1900. When watching the digger removing the surface a similar sample of artefacts was noted. None of the finds were of significance and only a small number were retained.

6.Conclusion The area being redeveloped showed no evidence of occupation earlier than the last half of the 19th century. This could be related to the conversion of the Shakerham Farm to Maxwelton (sometimes spelt Maxwellton) House, a gentleman’s residence, which took place sometime between 1865 and 1895.

7.Acknowledgements HADAS would like to thank all the staff, security and contractor staff at Mathilda Marks-Kennedy, especially Jamie Bullock and Barry Ryan, for their full co-operation and assistance in carrying out this evaluation, also Anne Hiscock of Inhouse Design Associates for her help and advice. Thanks too to Bill Bass for the photographs and his invaluable help with the excavation.


Elson, W. K. 2007. Matilda Marks-Kennedy School, Mill Hill, London; Site investigation report (Hemsley Consulting) Wittrick, A. R. 1998. 68 Hale Lane Matilda Marks School LB Barnet; Report on buildings and other areas affected by proposed alterations/refurbishment (English Heritage)

Note: Photographs and maps of the excavation are available, but are not included here due to the difficulty of reproducing them in the newsletter.

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Stamp Costs and Charges from Mary Rawitzer

We are getting occasional reports of the Post Office imposing a surcharge on newsletters and other HADAS postal items, claiming the stamps were insufficient. This shouldn’t happen: we are all trying to check that stamp values are correct and make use of the Post Office itself when we’re not sure. If the Post Office tries to charge you, please check the envelope – even if you have to pay the surcharge first. We will refund the charges, right or wrong (contact the Treasurer).

Limerick Competion from Jim Nelhams

One feature of recent coach outings has been a Limerick competition usually inspired by Denis Ross who has supplied some challenging first lines. With such talent displayed by our coach passengers, how much more must there be among other HADAS members. So here is your chance to show us.

We want limericks relating either to HADAS or to archaeology. Send as many as you like to me (preferably by email, address shown on last page) by 10th November.

Nothing scurrilous please. Results judged by an eminent panel to be published in the December Newsletter.

CHRISTMAS EVENT – Sunday 14th December from Stephen Brunning/Don Cooper


Despite the disaster of 2006 when Headstone Manor was closed down shortly before the date of our Christmas dinner, we have decided to try again. Harrow Council took over the management of the museum when it reopened in February 2007 and things are now on a firmer footing.

Headstone Manor was built in 1310, although it was added to during the 14th, 17th & 18th centuries. The moat is also believed to date from the 14th century. In 1344 it was acquired for the Archbishop of Canterbury and remained his main residence in Middlesex until it was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1546. Shortly afterwards, Henry sold the manor and land into private ownership. It became part of Harrow Museum in 1986. Between autumn 2004 and August 2005 the “Ancient Parts” of the manor house were restored, having been covered up for many years.

The 1 hour guided tour will be split into two groups. the first one starting at 3pm and the second at 3.30pm. PLEASE WRAP UP WARMLY AS THERE IS NO HEATING IN THE MANOR HOUSE. The café will also be open for us to provide a welcome hot drink, and even afternoon refreshments, after the tour!!

We will board the coach at 5pm, giving us time for a brief look around the other buildings on the site. The coach will then transport us to The Moor Mill where we will have a celebratory meal.


1.30PM. Coach leaves the bus lay-by in front of the BP garage up from the Barnet Odeon, Great North Rd

1.45PM. Coach leaves from top of Hendon Lane, Finchley, opposite St Mary’s Church

1.55PM. Coach leaves Quadrant, Hendon, (outside DSS)

2.05PM. Coach leaves L’Artiste bus-stop, Golders Green, (under the Railway Bridge)

The Menu


Soup of the Day served with oven baked rustic bread Prawn Cocktail with tangy smoked salmon and citrus Marie Rose sauce, served with rustic bread Garlic & Herb Breaded Mushrooms with ranch and barbecue dips Koftas lamb and mutton koftas with a minted sour cream dip Honeydew Melon (V) served with red berry fruits and fresh orange slices

Mains Hand Carved Roast Turkey with sausage and herb stuffing, sausage wrapped in bacon, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce

Honey Cured Gammon Ham with sausage and herb stuffing, sausage wrapped in bacon, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and white onion sauce

Rump Steak with chips, fresh watercress, half a grilled tomato and a flat mushroom Fillets of Salmon with new potatoes and mixed salad, served with a pomegranate & maple sauce

Grilled Chicken Breast with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans, served with your choice of either red wines or smoked chilli sauce

Festive Quesadilla Wrap (V) filled with Brie, spinach and cranberry sauce, served with white & wild rice

DESSERTS Christmas Pudding§ with rich brandy sauce or crème fraîche Orange Liqueur Profiteroles§ with hot chocolate flavour fudge sauce and your choice of either crème fraîche or ice cream

Ice Cream Desserts with either hot chocolate flavour fudge sauce and Cadbury Crunchie Nuggets, or red berries and raspberry sauce, or mulled fruit mix

Fresh Fruit Salad in a Brandy Snap Basket a selection of fresh fruit in a brandy snap basket, served with crème fraîche

Apple & Mincemeat Tart with rich brandy sauce or crème fraîche

Cost: £35 – not including drinks


With so much of Colindale planned to be flattened, including the Newspaper Library and possibly the Police College too, there have been some fierce comments about the latest proposals for the area, and for Colindale Hospital in particular, on the Victorian Society’s website.

The Victorian Society says it fears: “… plans to sweep away all but the listed [Colindale Hospital] administration block for a residential scheme could erase much of the historic interest of the site, stripping Colindale of one of its most fascinating links with the past. This would be an appalling waste of Colindale’s heritage. The unlisted buildings have an inseparable relationship with the administration block, without them the site would not make historical sense. They add to the national importance of the listed building …. To sweep away [the pre-1940s buildings] would be to squander the potential of the historic buildings to contribute to an inspiring conversion scheme which capitalizes on the best of the area’s past.”

Fuller details of the area and its history and the latest plans will appear in the next Newsletter, but in the meantime planning decisions may be made. If you have some concerns for the heritage of the area you can find out more from the Victorian Society website or from the Council’s own site and may like to contact your Barnet Councillor, or even your local MP.

Other Societies’ Events from Eric Morgan

8th October Wednesday 8pm Mill Hill Historical Society. The Wilberforce Centre, St. Paul’s Church, The Ridgeway NW7 (note new venue). Would Wilberforce recognise St.Paul’s today? Dr Michael Works (Hon. Archivist)

8pm Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall, corner Ferme Park Rd/Weston Park N8. Paintings from Alexandra Palace – The Art of George Kenner. Mick McCormick. Refreshments 7.45 pm. Visitors £1

9th October Thursday 7pm Friends of Cricklewood Library. 152 Olive Road, NW2. History of Cricklewood from the Archives. Malcolm Barres-Baker

7.30pm Camden History Society. The Foundling Museum (Lecture Hall) Brunswick Square WC1. Celebrating Gray’s Anatomy(150th Anniversary) – Ruth Richardson

11th October Saturday 10am-4pm The London Maze. The Guildhall Art Gallery & Library, Guildhall Yard (off Gresham St.) EC2. Local History Fair with displays by 50 local history societies, museums and special interest groups. Access to main parts of the historic Guildhall. Specialist talks, guided walks and a wide range of activities. LAMAS and COLAS will both have stalls. Museum of London stall in the Roman Amphitheatre with finds from the Guildhall excavations. Admission free. Visit

11am Waltham Abbey Gardens. King Harold Day. Medieval Festivities including re-enactments, falconry, archery and crafts. See Other Societies’ Events (continued)

12th October Sunday
2.30pm London Canal Museum. 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross N1. Guided Panoramic Water Tower walk. £5 (concessions £4)

13th October Monday Barnet and District Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street. Barnet Quislings and Resistance after 1066. Lucy Johnson

15th October Wednesday 2-4pm Amateur Geological Society. Stones of the City Walk. Mike Howgate. Meet at Museum of London Cafe. Contact 020 8882 2606 or mob.07913 391063 or email £7. Cheques to Mike Howgate 77 Hoppers Road, London N21 3LP or pay on the day.

17th October Friday 7pm COLAS. St Katherine Free Church Hall, Leadenhall Street EC3. Excavations at Drapers Gardens – Neil Hawkins. Visitors £2

8pm Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield. 19th Century London Cemeteries. Dr. Ken Worpole. Visitors £1

20th October Monday

8.15pm Ruislip, Northwood and Eastcote Local History Society St.Martin’s Church Hall, Eastcote Road, Ruislip. Ruislip – an early 20th Century Garden Suburb – Eileen Bowlt. Visitors £2
21st October Tuesday 2.30pm Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, N. Harrow. A Walk around Old Pinner. P Clarke

30th October Thursday 8pm Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3. Why, How and What We Conserve – Philosophy and Practice in the Local Context. John Finney. Non-members £2

1st November Saturday 10.30am-4.30pm. Festival of Geology UCL. Gower Street WC1. Exhibitions of fossil and mineral displays and much more. Admission free. Tel 020 7434 9298. E-mail 7 years to save the planet Prof. Bill McGuire Climate Change Prof. Duncan Wingham Diamonds, Big Bang to Big Bucks Dr. Adrian Jones Dinosaurs Prof. Mike Benton

newsletter-450-september-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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


Page 1


Weekly, beginning Wednesday 1 October 2008, at Avenue House, 6.30 to 8.30pm, AFTER THE EXCAVATION – ARCHAEOLOGY FROM PROCESSING TO PUBLICATION – The joint HADAS/Birkbeck post-excavation course. See details below

The new lecture season begins next month with:

Tuesday 14 October 2008 Community Archaeology in Greater London: Outreach work and Excavations at Prescot Street, Lorna Richardson, outreach worker for L-P Archaeology.

Tuesday 11 November 2008 Bletchley Park: Enigma: how cracking the enemy codes led to the world’s first computer, by Hugh Davies.

Tuesday 13 January 2009 An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt, by Nicole Douek.

Tuesday 10th February 2009 The building of the Underground, by Tony Earle.

All lectures start at 8.00pm and are held in the Drawing Room at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, with coffee/tea and biscuits served afterwards. Buses 82, 143, 326, 382 & 460 pass close by. Avenue House is about a ten to fifteen minute-walk from Finchley Central Station (Northern Line). According to a signpost at the station exit, Avenue House is 828 yards away. Do not go through the ticket barrier but turn away from it taking the exit over the bridge, opposite the barrier.

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The Fieldwork Team meets most Sunday mornings in The Garden Room at Avenue House, around 10.30 hrs till 13.30-ish. 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.

At the moment we are processing finds from this year’s Church Farmhouse Museum dig, at the same time gearing up to process the Roman pottery from Brockley Hill inherited from excavations long before HADAS was founded. The team is looking at the archives and reports from these excavations, including finds from 1937, 1947 and several from the 1950s. We now have the listings, card index and history of the archive we are working on. The work will involve re-bagging, re-boxing and re-labelling of finds to Museum of London standards. When assembled the archive is destined to be deposited at the LAARC,. where it will be made available to researchers. Source: Bill Bass,


Post-diploma course in Archaeology for Birkbeck FLL to be held at Avenue House, Finchley, from Wednesday 01/10/08 to 25/3/09

Excavation is only the beginning of the process of archaeological investigation. This course aims to provide tuition for non-professional archaeologists and local archaeological societies in post-excavation recording and analysis by re-examining unpublished excavations. In 2008–9 we will be looking at excavations carried out in 1972 by HADAS at Burroughs Gardens, Hendon. The whole range of post-excavation procedures from basic finds processing to publication and archive deposition will be covered. The course will include lectures by specialists in various fields, such as ceramics, clay pipes, glass, building materials and animal bones. Class members will be closely involved in the sorting, identification, recording and analysis of each category of finds. This is a major emphasis of the course, with a view to interpreting the significance of the various finds in relation to the site. Teaching sessions will be alternated with workshops throughout and, as work proceeds, group discussion will be an important means of formulating strategies for writing up the results of analysis. The ultimate outcome of the course will be publication under the joint authorship of class members, with tuition provided in the construction, writing and illustration of archaeological reports. Instruction will also be given on storage of the excavated materials and written records, in line with current archive standards.

Post-Diploma courses are intended primarily for students who have completed their Certificate or Diploma studies, but are also open to others who have or wish to acquire relevant archaeological skills. Coursework will be aimed principally at producing reports for publication. Students are encouraged to complete and submit a portfolio of work during the course for assessment. This forms an essential part of the learning process and of work leading to the final publication.

Course content • minimum standards of recording and analysis leading to publication • finds processing, including washing, marking, storage and basic recording of bulk and registered finds • the recording and analysis of finds and environmental remains, by means of hands-on experience, accompanied by lectures and supervised by specialists: • glass • clay tobacco pipes • pottery (Roman to post-medieval) • ceramic building materials • animal bones • half-day sessions in the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, studying and recording finds • illustration and photography • research into various artefact types (highlighting important sources to inform further work) • analysing and interpreting data using a computerised database • the use of tables, histograms, pie charts and other graphic presentations of data • the writing and presentation of archaeological reports • editing, publishing conventions, the use of references and bibliographies • Study skills. In the course of the two terms, class members will be instructed and helped in the following: • current standards of archive storage • basic finds processing • handling and identifying different common types of excavated finds (pottery, building material, animal bone, clay pipes, glass) • methods of recording, analysing and interpreting data • the use and interrogation of computerised databases • cultivating research skills • the basics of archaeological finds illustration • accepted forms of referencing and the use of written sources • planning the final publication and the coursework involved in doing so • the development of writing skills aimed at archaeological publication

The course is taught by Jacqui Pearce, BA, FSA, MIFA, Starting Wed 1 Oct 2008, 6.30pm-8.30pm, 22 meetings. The fee is £300 (£150). Course code: FFAR015S5ACB 30 CATS points at Level 5. Venue: Avenue House, 15-17 East End Road, N3 3QE. Places are limited so early enrolment is advised. To enrol by telephone (full fee only) or to ask about concessions ring 020 7631 6651, quoting the course code. To enrol online go to:

For a copy of the Birkbeck Archaeology and Egyptology Mini Prospectus contact or FLL Archaeology, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ,  020 7631 6627.

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Graham, I have three trowels in my possession. The first is a trowel that I bought some years ago for HADAS digs and in July, after several years of inactivity, I couldn’t find it.

The next one is a larger, gardening-type tool (with a curved blade) given as a present in 1981 by a friend, to assist in the practical aspects of my archaeology/history degree that I was about to start. It has a pretty pink ribbon affixed through a hole in the wooden handle.

I acquired the third trowel at a sale before the HADAS Christmas meal at the Meritage Centre, I think. It is a sturdy specimen with the regulation rounded tip, much favoured by archaeologists. It has a label attached to it by a length of red twine, the label having the following inscription:

“GEORGE INGRAM’S TROWEL – it has seen many a HADAS dig. George died in November 1992 aged 92. We miss him on our outings”. [I believe that Tessa Smith is responsible for these touching words, but I stand to be corrected].

On 12th July I made a brief appearance at the Church Farm Museum dig. As I’d mislaid my trowel, I took the late Mr Ingram’s (after removing the label) and it assisted in the excavation of a field drain, which traversed the trench.

Mr Ingram’s trowel continues to grace HADAS digs, which I hope amuses him.

I could only have met George on a few occasions but I well remember his engaging conversation. He had recently undertaken a survey of nonconformist chapels in the borough of Barnet and had a passion for windmills which he readily shared with others. — Ed.

MR R.F. ALLEN Stephen Brunning

It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of our long-standing members, Mr R. F. Allen of Hampstead, at the age of 93. Mr Allen joined HADAS in, or maybe even before, 1976, the first year of excavations at West Heath and continued to support the Society, though latterly he had been less active.

We would like to publish an obituary in a future Newsletter. If you would like to send memories of Mr Allen, please contact me.

THE CITY’S HERITAGE (no longer in the City)

City of London Guide Lecturers Association, 25th Anniversary Exhibition.

The theme of this exhibition will be a display of ‘City Heritage’ objects that once graced the City of London but, for whatever reason, are no longer there.

Recently a man digging his garden in Wellington, New Zealand, found a paperweight made from the lead roof of Temple Bar, demolished in 1878. The weight is initialled ‘HJ’, believed to be the initials of Horace Jones, designer of Tower Bridge.

Now in America is Rennie’s London Bridge, re-erected over the Colorado River; a Wren church at Fulton, Missouri; a Cheapside shop now in Michigan; while the bells of St Dunstan-in-the-East decorate a winery in the Napa Valley, California. Early settlers took many artefacts with them, including the font in which William Penn was baptised at All Hallows by the Tower. Many suburban London churches, built when London expanded in the 19th-century, contain the altars, reredoses, organs and panelling from Wren churches, demolished to build offices. More recently, an Estonian businessman purchased the remains of the Baltic Exchange, to be re-erected in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Self-evidently many of these objects must be represented in images, often with a ‘before’ and ‘after’ photograph, but numerous smaller objects will return to their native City – at least for the duration of the exhibition. ‘The City’s Heritage (no longer in the City)’, the 25th Anniversary Exhibition of the City of London Guide Lecturers’ Association, is at the Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, EC2, 15 September to 12 November 2008.


On loan from the Museum of London are just 26 skeletons from its vast collections, now displayed in an exhibition examining the bones of some of those who lived, died and were buried in this city over 16 centuries. The exhibition at the Wellcome Collection portrays London’s rich past and varied social geography – from affluent Chelsea to the Cross Bones cemetery in Southwark, believed to have originally been a graveyard for prostitutes. With the aid of forensic science each of the skeletons tells its own story, revealing the times in which they lived and the health hazards they faced – from syphilis to smallpox and rickets. Skeletons: London’s Buried Bones is at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1 ( 020-7611 2222) until 28 Sept. Admission is free.

A Detailed Street Map of London five hundred years ago

is the latest title from the publishers Old House Books, to be published on 30 September 2008. With an introduction by Professor Caroline Barron of Royal Holloway College, University of London, this map will reveal the capital c.1520, as a garden city, with major streets, lanes, monasteries and churches, great houses, and public buildings, before the Dissolution, the Great Fire of 1666 and a population explosion swept so much away. Folded £9.99, rolled £12.99. For more information go to


As part of the recent National Archaeology Week, an open day was held for amateur archaeologists and members of the public at Forty Hall. A guide took groups round the nearby site of Elsyng Palace where, in a fenced enclosure, members of Enfield Archaeological Society and others were industriously excavating gravelly trenches, accompanied by a small lively dog (who was perhaps hoping for bones?). No doubt further details of the dig will eventually appear on the Society’s website.

Elsyng was a large royal palace used by Henry VIII during his royal progresses good hunting was to be had in nearby Enfield Chase. Little remains of the palace, which was demolished in the 17th century, and there is no picture of it except on a tapestry, but since excavations began in the 1960s, more details are gradually being added.

The much larger Elsyng is often confused with the manor house which once stood on the site of Pearson’s department store in Enfield town, and which is also popularly known as Enfield Palace. An impressive room composed of 16th century remnants: panelling, fireplace etc. still exists in a large private house in Enfield.

As at Eltham, the palace would have been on a moated site, with its main entrance across a drawbridge. “We peasants might have been allowed through the large gatehouse, but we would never have seen the privy apartments for the king and his household,” joked our guide. Local people would have been employed in the palace, which had to cater for large numbers of people.

There may have been a building on the site as early as the Norman Conquest, but in the 15th century the palace was extended by Sir Thomas Lovell, and it later came into the possession of Henry VIII. It was here that Edward VI and his sister Elizabeth heard of the death of their father. However, Elizabeth I later found Elsyng cold and old-fashioned, and favoured Theobalds.

There were lakes to the west of the palace, probably for carp, but our guide suggested that they might have been a water garden feature, unique for the period. The site of a drainage channel to the east of the palace is still visible because of much greener vegetation. Excavations in the present lime-tree avenue have revealed a courtyard paved with used bricks.

Lambert Simnel pretended to be one of Edward IV’s sons (the “Princes in the Tower”). After his attempt to claim the throne failed, Henry VII found Simnel work in the kitchens of Elsyng. When Simnel grew older, he was promoted to falconer. During the 60s digs at Elsyng, when the skull of a female peregrine was found, the very fanciful were tempted to think that it might have been one of the royal birds in Simnel’s care.

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Saturday 15th November 2008: 10.00 am–5.00 pm City of London School for Girls, Barbican

London from Fitzstephen to John Stow: the Eye of the Beholder by Prof. Caroline Barron, Royal Holloway University of London

Fixing the Image: the Mapping of London to 1900 by Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections, British Library

To Make Nobler and More Humanely Enjoyable the Life of the Great City: the Work of the Survey of London, 1894-2008 by Colin Thom, Senior Historian, Survey of London, English Heritage

Life and Labour in the 1930s: London’s Forgotten Survey by Dr Cathy Ross, Museum of London

Recording London by Camera: the LAMAS Slide Collection at the Bishopsgate Institute by Stefan Dickers, Library Special Collections Manager, Bishopsgate Institute

The Conference will be introduced by Prof. Caroline Barron, President of LAMAS, who will also present the Annual Local History Publications Award. There will be displays of recent work and publications by Local History Societies.

Tickets (including afternoon tea): £10 (£7 members of LAMAS) available from: Local History Conference, 24 Orchard Close, Ruislip, Middx. HA4 7LS enclosing cheque (payable to LAMAS) and stamped s.a.e. or:

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

Wednesday, 3 September, 8.00pm, Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society, Wealdstone Baptist Church Hall, High St. Wealdstone, The History & Work of Kew Gardens, by JLS. Keesing, visitors £1.

Thursday, 4 September, 10.30am, Mill Hill Library, Hartley Avenue, NW7, British Film Posters: an Illustrated History. Talk.

Thursday, 4 September, 6.00pm, Docklands History Group, Museum in Docklands, No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd. E14. Pitcher’s Dockyard 1789-1865, by Ken McGoverin. Donation £2.

Thurs, 4 Sept, 7.30pm, London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Rd, N1, Middle Thames Trade in the 18th & 19th Centuries, by Tony Ellis, River Thames Society.

Thurs, 4 Sept, 8.00pm, Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner, From Cogs to Crotchets: the Story of Mechanical Musical Instruments, by Arthur WJG. Ord-Hume. £1.

Sat-Sun, 6-7 September, 12.00-6.00pm Enfield Town Show, Town Park, Cecil Rd, Enfield, stalls include Enfield Society, Enfield Archeol. Society & Enfield Museum.

Sunday, 7 September 11.00-5.00pm, Angel Canal Festival, Regent’s Canal, City Road Basin, N1 (nr. LAARC) rally, boat trips, stalls, inc. Islington Arch. & Hist. Soc.

Sun. 7 Sept. 2.00pm, Kenwood House, Constable Talk & Tour, to celebrate his life, visiting locations where he lived and worked. Pre-book  020 8348 1286

Mon, 8 Sept, 3.00pm, Barnet & District LHS. Church House, Wood St, Barnet, Come into the Garden: an Historical Look at Gardens & Gardeners in the Borough of Barnet, by Yasmin Webb.

Tues 9th Sept. 2.00pm, Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow, Bricks & Skeletons: Ruins of a 1632 Brick Church & the Future of Bentley Priory, by Dr Frederick Hicks. £3.

Tues 9th Sept. 8.00 pm, Amateur Geological Society The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave, N3, A Mammoth in the High Street: the Hidden Geological Sites of Essex & East London, by Gerald Lucy.

Wed. 10 Sept. 7.45 for 8.00pm, Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church, Ferme Park Rd, N8, Lotus Cars and Hornsey, by Dr Mark Lawrence. £1.

Sat. 13 Sept. Enfield Society, Heritage Walk of Enfield Lock. Meet Enfield Lock station, 2.30pm, finish Government Row. Free, tickets in advance from Enfield libraries.

Mon. 15 Sept. 8.15pm, Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote LHS. St Martin’s Church Hall, Eastcote Rd, Ruislip, Kew Palace: bringing Britain’s Small Royal Residence back to Life, by Lee Prosser, £2.

Wed. 17 Sept, 7.30pm, Willesden LHS, Scout House, High Rd, NW10, Metropolitan Electric Locomotives and the People Associated with them, by Terry Lomas.

Wed. 17 Sept, 8pm, Edmonton Hund. Hist. Soc. Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane, EN1, John Walker of Arnos Grove 1766-1824: an Enlightened Gentleman, Ruby Galili.

Thurs. 18 Sept, 7.30pm, Camden Hist. Society, Burgh House, New End Sq. NW3, Folklore of Camden & Elsewhere in London, by Antony Clayton.

Fri. 19 Sept. 7pm, COLAS, St Katharine Cree Church Hall, Leadenhall St, Channel Tunnel Rail Link Investigations in the Lea Valley, by Andy Crockett, £2.

Fri. 19 Sept. 8pm, Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, Here be Dragons, a History of Fear in the Landscape, by Tim Harper on Christianising pagan sites. £1.

Sat-Sun, 20-21 Sept. is LONDON OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND with free access to more than 600 buildings. Details at Local events include: Wembley History Society, Old St Andrews Church, Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9, open Sat. only, 11am-3.30pm. Sat & Sun. 12-4.00pm, Myddleton House, free admission, charge to Gardens.

Tues.23 Sept. 2.00pm Harrow Museum, Edwardian London, by Colin Oakes, £3.

Mon. 22 – Sun 28 Sept. Barnet Boro’ Arts Council, The Spires, High St, Barnet, Paintings & What’s On (incl. HADAS), special display on festivals.

Wed. 24 Sept. 8.00pm, Friern Barnet & District LHS. St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, The Hampstead Garden Suburb Story, by Rosemary Roome, £2.

Wed. 24 Sept. 10.00 – 5.00pm, Camden Local Studies & Archives, Holborn Library, Theobalds Rd, Open Day. See behind the scenes, with demonstrations of conservation. Talk: Little Italy, by Tudor Allen, Senior Archivist, at 3pm. An exhibition on the Italian Quarter centred around Clerkenwell Rd, continuing until 27 Sept. Talk on Sources for Family History by Richard Knight. See or  020 7974 6342

Thurs. 25 Sept. 8.00pm, Finchley Society, Avenue House, Christ’s College, by David Smith, £2.

newsletter-449-august-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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


Page 1


Hendon and District Archaeological Society Lecture Programme 2008/09

Tuesday 14th October 2008 Lorna Richardson Community archaeology in Greater London. Outreach work and excavations at Prescot Street

Tuesday 11th November 2008 Hugh Davies: Bletchley Park: Enigma – how cracking the enemy codes led to the world’s first computer.

Tuesday 13th January 2009 Nicole Douek: An exploration of the Western Desert of Egypt

Tuesday 10th February 2009 Tony Earle: The building of the Underground

Tuesday 10th March 2009: TO BE ARRANGED

Tuesday 14th April 2009: TO BE ARRANGED

Tuesday 12th May 2009: TO BE ARRANGED

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

HADAS long weekend in Beverley – 27th to 31st August 2008

As a result of a couple of cancellations due to medical reasons, there are now two places available on the above trip. If you would like to join your fellow HADAS members on this trip please apply to the Chairman (Don Cooper) or the Treasurer (Jim Nelhams) at the addresses below.

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Preliminary report on the Excavation at Hendon School from June 16th to June 27th 2008 Don Cooper

Site code HDS06 Grid references: TQ23610, 89011 Height above sea level approx. 62m (as per GPS & estimation)

1.Introduction This is the preliminary report of the third season of excavations at Hendon School. The reports of the previous two seasons are available on request as is the original project design. The reports have also been published in the Hendon and District Archaeology Society’s (HADAS) newsletters and entries have been made in the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR). The main objectives of the excavation, as brought forward from the original project design, remain the same namely: to give pupils of year 8 and 9 at Hendon School the opportunity to experience practical archaeology and, at the same time, to see if there are any trace of the gardens and boundaries of John Norden’s Hendon House estate. The history of Hendon House and its site, as far as is currently known, is available at . An earlier map superimposed on an image from Google earth shows the location of the site (see Appendix D). One further objective in this season was to establish whether or not there were the remains of air-raid shelters under the north-west mound on the playing field. The excavation was carried by members of HADAS and students from the University of London’s Institute of Archaeology (UCL/IoA). It was organised by Sarah Dhanjal, the widening participation officer of UCL/IoA, who also produced an approved risk assessment document. Volunteer pupils were offered the chance, with permission from their parents, to take part in the excavation and Sarah gave them a number of classroom lessons on what to expect as well as an appropriate Health and Safety talk. Don Cooper, chairman of HADAS led the excavation.

2.Summary The excavation was a considerable success. The first objective of giving the pupils practical experience of archaeology was achieved helped undoubtedly by fine weather, lots of interesting “finds” and great support from the school. A total of thirty-six pupils (see appendix B) took part supported by three students from UCL/IoA plus Sarah Dhanjal and four HADAS members (see acknowledgements below). The school was ably represented by Jill Hickman, a PE teacher and the headmaster, Kevin McKellar, took a keen interest. The second objective of trying to finds traces of John Norden’s garden boundary may also have been achieved as imbedded in the natural clay were the remains of two stakes which may well define a northern boundary of the garden. There were no health and safety issues. The result of test pitting and survey indicated that the air raid shelters were not under the mound. The mound itself had the remains of a clinker high-jump fantail and underneath that demolition rubble. Further investigation of that area was not deemed necessary.

3.Detail As in previous years, where to place the trench was heavily constrained by the fact that the playing field is laid out as a sports field and with sports day approaching… However, as the boundary wall of the old garden was thought to be close to the edge of the northern boundary of the playing field, it was decided to place the trench there (see Appendix A). After a resistivity survey of that area, a 6m x 2m trench was established. The Modus operandi was somewhat different from the previous seasons. Excavating started about 0900 and the first group of pupils arrived at 11.00 for a two and a quarter hour session, then with a short break for lunch, the second group of the day arrived at 13.30 and finished at 15.45. The trench was then worked in until about 16.30. The consequence of this method was that there was little time for anything other than preparing the trench for the pupils plus a small amount of actual excavation despite the fact that the dig was over two weeks rather than one. It was also found in practice that the interval between pupil sessions was too short as there was insufficient time to have lunch, prepare the trench and tools for the next group of pupils as well as answer questions posed by teachers and non-participating pupils in their lunch break. The times were changed slightly to cater for this towards the end of the second week. The pupil sessions involved a short health and safety presentation to remind and supplement the classroom talk. They were then encouraged to get into the trench and to trowel an area under supervision from the archaeologists. The amount of individual time in the trench varied based on the pupils preference. There then followed a session of finds washing and marking. Other activities included surveying using a dumpy level and trying their hand at metal detecting. Over the two weeks each of the pupils had the opportunity to take part in two full sessions.

4.What did we find? The archaeology benefited from having two weeks (as opposed to the one week we had in previous seasons) as well as more volunteers and good weather. The natural London clay was reached and there was no evidence of prehistoric activity. There were the remains of two wooden stakes in the London clay (see appendix C) which prompted the speculation that they were the remains of a fence marking to boundary of the estate as they almost were, with an eye of faith, linked by a shallow depression/ditch in the clay. The London clay was overlain by a layer of clayey soil, which appeared not to be particularly disturbed. It contained one abraded sherd of Roman mortaria and a number of sherds of Saxon/early medieval pot (a detailed pottery report will be produced in due course). However the main types of pot sherds produced from this layer can be securely dated to between 1550 and 1700, probably to around 1650 judging by the types of pottery that were not represented. Almost all the sherds were small and somewhat abraded, indicating perhaps that they had been thrown out into the garden with domestic rubbish. This layer was in turn overlain by another layer of clayey soil which judging by the artefacts in it was either much disturbed or re-deposited from elsewhere. On balance it was probably disturbed because of the similarity of pot sherds at this level compared with the undisturbed layer. It yielded the usual collection of objects: coins including a 1905 penny, a postman’s uniform button from the 1920, belt buckles, early 20th century light fittings, claypipe stems and bowls, one part bowl with initials WT on the spur, as well as pot sherds, glass, and bricks and tiles The final layer of top soil and turves was “full” of the detritus of the playing field over many years. Coins, pen tops, crisp packets and plastic “bits” littered this layer. While we were on site the headmaster initiated a strategy to minimize the amount of litter left on the field by pupils during their breaks. It was fascinating to see that not much has changed over many years –a crisp packet we found in the upper layers of the trench had a “use by” date of 1984!! The amount of plastic wrappers found filled a large finds bag and this from a 6m x 2m trench!

5.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? There is at least one sherd from a Roman Mortaria

c.Excavations in the area have uncovered considerable Anglo-Saxon material, is there any evidence of similar remains here? There are a number of sherds that are probably Anglo-Saxon, we will not for certain in the detailed pottery analysis has been completed.

d.Is there any evidence of activity in the area between its mention in Domesday and the construction of the house? A number of early medieval pot sherds were recovered, which, if not re-deposited from elsewhere, would indicate activity locally during that period. The evidence from the Church Terrace site (CT73) and history of St Mary’s Church would support the proposition.

e.What evidence remains for the different phases of rebuilding of the house up to the demolition in 1909? Apart from the two wooden spikes from the natural London clay layer and the slight depression between them, there was no evidence of any previous structural activity. The sherds of tile and brick were insufficient to warrant claiming old buildings in the immediate area.

6.Results The main objective of the project was to provide training and experience of practical archaeology for the pupils of Hendon School. The interest and enthusiasm shown by the pupils that took part in the excavation, the number of pupils and teachers who came to view it during their leisure time as well as the many well-formed questions, made this made this excavation a considerable success. As far as the archaeology is concerned, this small trench in the garden area of the old Hendon House is unlikely to add much to our knowledge of the history of the area. Although further processing of the finds, as well as more ferreting at the archives may fill in some of the gaps in the history of John Norden’s Hendon House and Hendon School.

7.Acknowledgements Thanks are due to a whole range of people from staff at the school especially Jill Hickman, to UCL students Michelle de Gruchy and Emily Esche, to HADAS members Andrew Coulson, Angela Holmes, Jim Nelhams, and Vicki Baldwin not forgetting all the students who took part. Thanks also to Jacqui Pearce for agreeing to review the pot sherds found. Sarah Dhanjal, UCL Institute of Archaeology’s widening participation officer and Gabe Moshenska, a PhD student at UCL Institute of Archaeology, made it all possible. Thanks all Don Cooper

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HADAS Outing to West Sussex 5th July 2008

Butser Ancient Farm Jean Bayne

The ghost of Peter Reynolds walked beside us on our recent visit to the Ancient Farm. His fierce dedication to Butser and its educational ideals live on ,albeit in less colourful and more orthodox ways! I remember our last visit when he entertained us with his charismatic, erudite approach. Moreover, I have happy memories of a week spent at Butser in the mid nineties on an archaeological course. We made bronze, daubed wattle, counted spelt wheat, sampled soil , experimented with woad ,created pots and listened to lectures on all aspects of the farm. It was a fantastic experience!

Set up in 1972, a little way from its present site, the aim of the Ancient Farm is to investigate issues arising from archaeological excavations by using experimental techniques. In the main, it spans the years from 500 BC to 500 AD, representing five strands of research: buildings and their construction; agriculture ,both arable and stock; ancient technology, using raw materials; the observation of the process of form, reaction and decay; and lastly, the description and demonstration of the function and purpose of objects and constructs. The layout of Butser reflects these diverse interests and includes ancient sheep and goats, old types of wheat, both Spelt and Emmer, earthworks, a garden , a geophysical research area ,a weather station and a technology area which includes metal working and a pottery. All are subject to ongoing experimentation and /or study.

But the dominating feature of the farm is the buildings. Steve Dyer, the present director, focussed mostly on these in his talk to us. He is clearly passionate about their achievements and concerned to follow the precepts laid down by Peter Reynolds.

All the constructions are based on post hole evidence from somewhere in Britain and we started off in the largest one, which, with a fire in the middle, smoky and dark, evoked the atmosphere of the Iron Age! This had been built from scratch in 2006 after a squall had damaged the former one and pushed it sideways. The roof structure had had problems too so it was dismantled and replaced in its entirety. They began by researching existing information among the 100 or so roundhouses known to have been built in Britain in the Iron Age. Such large structures are uncommon and were more likely to have been built in the early Iron Age and used for community purposes rather than as domestic housing. However, Butser needed an adequate space for students on educational visits. Steve explained in some detail the order in which they set about building, starting with the roof and the inside posts and beams, using an A frame and pulley. Horizontal rings of timber took the weight of the roof which was also supported by rafters,tied together with hazel rods. Outer posts and a wattled outer wall were added. Thatching and daubing were the last activities. The apex of the roof had a Star of David as part of the cross bracing. (They had deliberately avoided a pentagon shape as this had pagan connections and could have led to a myriad of interesting complications!) They did experiment, however, with a different kind of floor, laying down rammed chalk to see how it would stand up to wear and tear in the long run. It took eleven months for a team of three to construct this large roundhouse.

We also went inside ‘the pink house’, a smaller structure based on excavations in Mold, North Wales. This was furnished to show how it might have been used as a domestic dwelling ,with the loom near the door, and therefore, the light, and a food preparation centre next to it. In the darker areas, there were beds and storage chests. One of the features of this construction was the stepped post holes, deeper on the inside and with an elongated shape rather than a round one. Steve pointed out that the dwellings had no hole in the roof. This would have acted as a flue and been dangerous. In fact, a hood of smoke had its uses ; it killed off bugs ,so discouraging birds from dismantling the thatch and also helped to preserve food by ‘smoking’ it. Steve commented that it was surprisingly warm in cold weather. Other smaller, simpler houses were also domestic dwellings, based on excavations at Glastonbury.

We completed our tour of the buildings by visiting the newest project, the Roman Villa. This was based on one found at Sparsholt near Winchester, late second or early third century AD, and it is constructed using authentic materials. The early plans had to be modified as money was offered by the Discovery Channel , who wished to record the building of the villa but was more interested in media potential than painstaking ,time consuming research. However, Roman building methods were employed, using flint nodules, lime mortar and wattle and daub. In the winter, the lime mortar would not set, which raises the question of how the Romans coped. Perhaps they only built in the warmer months. It was also difficult to know how far the masonry section of the wall went up . Because of the weight, it is likely that any upper storey was wattle and daub instead. And this was used here, above 50 cms. There were several rooms within the villa, one of which included a hypocaust under it. How the rooms were used in the original villa is a matter of conjecture but they have been decorated in accordance with examples from Britain and the Continent. There was also an enclosed veranda running across the front of the villa. Usually ,these were open but because of the climate in Britain, it was felt that they were probably turned into corridors instead. The team at Butser were unable to complete two storeys or use their preferred roofing materials because local planning permission was denied. It seems that this attractive rural area is to become a national park in the future and planning restrictions are already in place.

It was a delightful visit, amid fitful sunshine and chilly breezes. Informative, unique, serious in purpose and with great attention to detail in all its undertakings, the Ancient Farm is thriving under the care and dedication of its present director.

I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking June and Stewart for organising our trip so well

Fishbourne Roman Palace Tessa Smith

THE MUSEUM GALLERY displays a variety of Roman objects found during excavations on the site. By far the smallest is an intaglio of a racehorse, elegant and minute, carved onto onyx, which has to be viewed through a magnifying glass. How anyone could work on such a small scale is beyond belief. `Perhaps the racehorse would have worn iron hippo sandals, (removable horseshoes) like those displayed.

The exhibition of glassware includes square sided glass bottles with handles, blown in a mould. This type of bottle must have been the inspiration for the exact copy we have from Brockley Hill made in clay. (see the Moxom Collection at Church Farm Hendon). Other examples of glass include fragments of window glass buckled by the heat of the fire (270/280) as well as undamaged flat glass pieces. Examples of stone imported from around the Roman world to build and decorate the palace include marble from the Italian quarries at Carrera, exotic stone from Turkey, quartz and crinoidal limestone as well as Purbeck marble – all brought in through Chichester Harbour. A life size reproduction of a room in the palace AD 100, is based on archaeological excavation materials from Fishbourne. As well as wall paintings and mosaic floor the room includes a couch, a rectangular table, a cabinet, amphorae and a collection of pottery.

I enjoyed THE GARDEN AREA enormously because it was here that you had to get yourself orientated to understand exactly where visitors to the palace would have entered, If you were coming from the road from the harbour, through the east wing entrance, you would have entered the courtyard garden area. A long, wide walkway, edged with crenulated hedges led straight ahead towards the audience chamber in the west wing, which would have had a flight of wide steps leading up to it. On each side of this walkway would have been a large rectangular courtyard space now grassed over, Excavations show that water works and fountains edged the whole garden area, (parts of a marble basin from the garden is on show in the museum). Of course only half of the original garden is on view, the other half is now under adjacent housing. The rooms with the splendid mosaics would have looked out onto this tranquil area.

Adjacent to this area is a lovely little Roman garden, full of herbs, fruit, flowers and plants with medicinal value. Figs and olives, grape vines and apples mixed with gigantic globe artichoke. Do you suffer from fainting spells? Try penny royal. Flatulence or colic? = Lovage is the answer. Hiccups? = Chervil. To treat hemlock poisoning? Very useful in Roman times. = Absinthium. To bleach linen? = Soapwort of course. In a nearby potting shed a Roman gardener was continually complaining that the weeds grow quicker here than in Rome, and that all the hedging had to be cut at least twice a year.

So ended a wonderful day in West Sussex, or so we thought.

We were travelling home, quite all right When we suddenly got such a fright Oh! What a crash Two cars in a smash We thought that we’d be there all night.

But, miraculously not one person was hurt, although one car was an absolute write off, we had a grand-stand view of the road haulier at work.

Our thanks to June and Stuart for a lovely day out.

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Other Societies Events Eric Morgan

Sunday 3rd August, 2.30pm: Enfield Society, Heritage Walk: Southgate. Start at the station following along the High Street and other streets in the area. Guides will cover all the interesting buildings and tell the history. It is hoped that visits to Christ Church anf the Beaument Home can be made. The walk finishes near Broomfield Park.

Sunday 3rd August, 2.30pm: Heath and Hampstead Society, The Heath Extension. Meet at the cattle trough in Spaniards Road near The Spaniards Inn. Walk led by Tony Ghilchik. Donation £2. Lasts 2 hours.

Sunday 3rd August, 3-5pm: Finchley Society, Avenue House, East End Road. The Bothy Garden open day.

Friday 8th August, 10.30pm: Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square NW3: Alleys and Lanes in Hampstead. Walk led by Marilyn Greene.

Sunday 10th August, 2.30pm: Hornsey Historical Society, Old School House, 136 Tottenham Lane (cnr. Rokesly Ave.), Crouch End N8: Walk round Crouch End, full of interesting history, old villas and houses. Lasts 2hrs. Cost £2.

Monday 11th August, 2.30pm: Camden History Society. Meet outside entrance to Kings Cross underground, North side of Euston Road: Streets of St. Pancras. Walk led by Steve Denford.

Tuesday 12th August, 2-3pm: Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow: A Concise History of Whitefriars Glass. Talk by Mike Beech. Cost £3.

Tuesday 12th August, 7.30pm: Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St. Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, N3 (off Hendon Lane): Evening of talks given by members including Geology in South Africa by Sue Jacobs; Finchley W.E.A. Geology Class: some favourite places by Joe Sellars, and a display of field trip photos by John Wong.

Wednesday 13th August, 10.15am: Enfield Society. Meet outside Sainsburys in New Barnet for about 2.5hr linear walk via Hadley Woods, Monken Hadley and Hadley Green ending at High Barnet. Led by Ken Cooper.

Friday 15th August, 7pm: COLAS: From Jack the Ripper to St. George: Guided walk led by Robert Stephenson and tour of St. George’s Lutheran Church. Meet Whitechapel Station 7pm for walk; tour St. George’s, Alie Street, E1 7.45pm.

Saturday 16th August & Sunday 17th 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 including NW London RSPB.

Sunday 17th August, 11am: A Meander Through Monken Hadley. Meet outside The Spires, High Street, Barnet. Historical walk through beautiful, unspoilt Georgian Hadley. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £6.

Tuesday 26th August, 2-3pm: Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow: The History and Work of Kew Gardens. Talk by Jim Keesing. Cost £3.

Saturday 30th August, 7.30pm: Things That Go Bump in High Barnet: Meet at High Barnet tube, top of Meadway. Led by Paul Baker, cost £6. A ghostly, ghoulish walk through High Barnet and Monken Hadley.

Excavations at Copped Hall, Epping with WEAG, August 2008 From Monday to Friday, weeks beginning 11th & 18th August. Continued excavation of an Elizabethan Great House and its Medieval predecessors. This year the dig will be confined to people who have already learned the basic techniques of archaeological excavation and recording. No formal training sessions are planned but participants will be working under supervision by professional archaeologists. Costs £100 week which includes lunch and tea/coffee. All tools except a digging trowel are provided. Further information and application forms are available 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). This year the Copped Hall Trust wish to look closely at more of the masonry, and answer questions about the different phases of building and rebuilding.

newsletter-448-july-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Saturday 5 July Outing to West SussexJoin June Porges and Stewart Wild on a summer outing through the lovely Surrey and Sussex countryside, visiting Butser Ancient Farm & Experimental Archaeology Site and Fishbourne Roman Palace. It’s many years since HADAS has visited either of these sites and in each case there have been new discoveries, improvements and additions. There are a few places on the coach – Apply now.

Wednesday August 27 – Sunday August 31: Annual HADAS Long WeekendStaying at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, Yorkshire.

Long Weekend – It won’t be long now! The arrangements for our trip to Beverley, Hull and Lincoln are all but complete – it would be nice if someone could arrange the weather though!!! The balance of the cost (£300 per person) is due by the 20th August 2008, 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 at the usual address. On receipt of full payment, a little booklet of the trip and any instructions will be sent to you.

Secretary’s Corner

The Society’s 47th annual General Meeting was held on 10th June 2008 with the President, Harvey Sheldon, in the Chair. 36 Members were present. The various Resolutions in the Notice of Meeting were duly passed including, in particular, the re-appointment of Harvey Sheldon as President for a further term of 5 years, approval of the Annual Report and Accounts and the Resolution increasing the basic subscription as from 1 April 2009 from £12 to £15 with proportionate increases for concessions.

The Officers elected for the current year are: Chairman: Don Cooper Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams in place of Denis Ross who retired. Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning in place of Mary Rawitzer who retired. The following were elected as other members of the Society’s Committee: Bill Bass, Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan, June Porges, Denis Ross, Andrew Selkirk, and Tim Wilkins.

The Secretary stressed that there were now 5 vacancies on the Committee so that “reinforcements” were required.

The Treasurer tested the market on the form and timing of outings generally and of the Christmas Dinner. The Meeting was followed by talks with slides by Don Cooper and Bill Bass on the past year’s activities and by Andrew Coulson on finds from the Battle of Barnet site.

Membership Matters – New members & a new Secretary!

Hello. My name is Stephen Brunning and I am the new Membership Secretary for HADAS. You may have already seen my name in connection with this role, but it was not until the AGM on 10th June that I was formally elected. Before this date I was Acting Membership Secretary following the retirement of Mary Rawitzer. I would personally like to thank Mary for all the hard work she has put into the job, and for her guidance & assistance during the handover period.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the following new members who have joined during 2008: Andreas Bloch, Marsha Fu, John & Irene Hart, Amy Lewis, Barry Lomax, Patrick & Kevin McSharry, Susan Trackman, Joanne Van Der Bank and George Warren.

Please do come and join us at one of the activities planned over the next few months. (Keep an eye on the newsletters for further details). There are no lectures until October, as we take a break during the summer.

2 May 2008 Dear Mary, 1 should like you to insert this into the next newsletter under the section Membership Matters. It concerns my late mother whose obituary appeared in last month’s edition. Irene Owen 1912 – 2008 I am happy to say that Irene did not suffer from Parkinson’s Disease She had reasonably good mental and physical health, considering her age, until a very few months before her sudden death which was the result of a stroke. After the West Heath excavations finished, she joined the group of HADAS members processing human skeletons under the auspices of the Museum of London. The late Jean Snelling, another West Heath stalwart also worked on the project for a considerable time Yours sincerely,

Myfanwy Stewart

Mary Rawitzer apologises to Myfanwy for her mistake.

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What Do You Think?

A museum has been criticised for covering up three naked mummies that had been on display for 120 years. Manchester Museum concealed the mummies from head-to-toe two weeks ago, citing a growing number of visitor complaints, as it began a public consultation on how to display its Egyptian collection. Experts accused the Museum of taking “a step backwards” by denying museum-goers the opportunity to learn about mummies, and the decision sparked much debate on the museum web-site. Are we getting prudish or is this proper respect?

Nero’s Gate Unearthed

A Roman gate thought to have been built 2,000 years ago by Emperor Nero has been discovered in Germany. The gate and 36ft of town wall were found by builders digging Cologne’s new metro line. The emperor’s famously beautiful but ruthless mother, Agrippina the Younger, was born in Cologne. Archaeologists say he probably funded the gate as the city would have been too poor to afford sizeable fortifications against marauding Frankish tribes.

Outing to Avebury and Bath

On May 17th we visited these two popular archaeological sites. Luckily the predicted torrential rain did not happen, so the only hitch was when the coach was held up between St Albans and Barnet (no, not by highwaymen!)

After coffee, our friendly guide, Mike Powell, told us the history of Avebury, while brandishing a reproduction Neolithic flint axe. The henge and stone circle, of local sandstone (sarsens) have been dated to about 2600 BCE, and consist of a large circle of 98 stones, and two smaller ones of 27 and 29 stones, thought to relate to the lunar cycle. Within a short distance are the causewayed camp of Windmill Hill, the West Kennet Long Barrow, and the mysterious Silbury Hill. Stonehenge, less than 20 miles south, is more famous and more well-preserved, but the Avebury henge with stone circle is 700 years older, and many times the size – large enough to have a whole village slap-bang in the middle! This includes a medieval church with a Norman font and a rood-screen, a Tudor manor house, an eighteenth-century dovecote and a twentieth-century pub.

For generations the villagers lived among the stones, occasionally destroying them but mostly ignoring them, until John Aubrey, 17th-century scholar and gossip-columnist, became fascinated by them, and surveyed them for Charles II. In the 20th century, the millionaire Alexander Keillor excavated the site, and founded the museum.

We then went on to the comparatively modern world of Roman Bath. A guide showed us round the Baths, restored recently. Though visitors came to take the waters for many centuries, the main Roman bath was not rediscovered until Victorian times. Hot water springs up through a unique geological fault from deep within the earth’s crust (presumably the smaller hot well at Bristol, mentioned in the Rock Railway talk, originates from the same fault?). We saw the different baths constructed by the Romans, and the various objects that were thrown into them, including coins, and tablets naming and cursing thieves and other enemies.

For the rest of the afternoon, we had a choice of visiting the Abbey, an assortment of museums, and various tea-shops, or just admiring the Palladian architecture from the next major period of development after the Romans, i.e. the 18th century of Beau Nash and Jane Austen. There is so much to see in Bath, as well as in Bristol, Wells, and a nearby stone circle we had no time to visit; the afternoon made a good “taster” for a much longer visit.

Our thanks to Liz for organising this very successful outing. The good news is that Liz is prepared to lead us on another outing in 2009. Editor

Page 3

Book review by Bill Bass


Industrial Railway Society 2007 Robin Waywell £19.95

These are two of London’s Home Counties and today are very comprehensively given over to residential housing. It is the transition from the earlier rural countryside to this built-up region that provides the background to the information in this book. Long-term industrial activity in Hertfordshire comprised a number of factories at Watford that used locomotives, mainly in Government services, and other engineering and processing works served by the Great Northern main line between Potters Bar and Hitchin. The main concentration was, however, in the Lea Valley, from Tottenham to Brimsdown, with a succession of Gasworks, factories and power stations. Extensive extraction of sand and gravel took place from the river valleys and flood plains north of Watford and also along the Lea Valley, and very many narrow gauge internal combustion locomotives saw service on tramways in these pits”.

This book is essentially a catalogue of all these small industrial railways, of which, there were surprisingly many in the north London region. There is a wealth of detail for each site e.g. the nature of the railway/tramway, gauge, detailed location, dates, brief but detailed history of the system & the locos used on it. The use of such railways differed widely in nature, they could be transitory – used to build more ‘permanent’ railways or quarries or they may be fixed e.g. used at rolling mills, munitions factories and brickworks etc. There are location maps and in many cases layout maps of the individual factory and site systems.

Some local sites to Barnet include the exotic East Barnet Sewage Works, New Barnet Gas Works, Hendon Aerodrome, Express Dairy (Cricklewood), United Dairies (East Finchley), Mill Hill Gas Works, Mill Hill Barracks and contracts for building various ‘main’ lines – e.g. Great Northern Line/Midland Line/Underground lines, or roads/motorways e.g. A1 Barnet Bypass. Slightly further afield Park Royal was an industrial ‘hotspot’ with the Guiness Brewery and surrounding factories, and as mentioned above the Enfield area had a dense concentration of general works and in particular the Royal Small Arms Factory and Shell Factory. These could involve railways of a ‘standard’ or ‘narrow’ gauge nature.

But really this hardly scratches the surface on the many and varied systems that cover the region of this book. Well worth it if you’re interested in local industrial railways/archaeology.

Gold Cup in the Rag and Bones

A gold cup from the 3rd or 4th century BC has sold for £50,000 at auction. The cup was acquired by a rag and bone man who gave it to his grandson, John Webber, now 70, of Taunton, believing it was made of brass.

Discovery of 500 years old Shipwreck

The shipwreck, discovered off the southern Africa coast, contains a treasure trove of coins and ivory. The site yielded six bronze cannon, several tons of copper, more than 50 elephant tusks, pewter tableware, navigational instruments, weapons and thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins minted in the late 1400s and early 1500s. It may have been the caravel of Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to sail around the Cape of Good Hope.

Rare Mass Roman Grave Unearthed

The remains of 91 men, women and children are believed to have been hurriedly dumped during an outbreak of disease in the second or third century. The site was first located in Gloucester in 2004 and archaeologists spent four years of excavating the site and analysing bones. Louise Lou, of the company Oxford Archaeology, who led the analysis, said: “The skeletons were lying with their bones completely entangled, reflecting the fact that they had been dumped in a hurried manner. “When we studied the skeletons we looked for evidence to explain why they had been buried in such a way. This has led us to conclude the individuals were victims of an epidemic.” It is believed that the bodies were victims of the Antonine plague, which swept through Europe in the second century, about 100 years before the Romans left Britain. Two other mass Roman burial sites were unearthed in York in the 1870s but were not properly recorded and are therefore not officially recognised. Two first century sculptured and inscribed tombstones were also found on the site. One was for a 14 year-old slave and the other was for Lucius Octavius Martialis, a soldier of the 20th legion.


Post-diploma course in Archaeology for Birkbeck FLL to be held at Avenue House, Finchley from 01/10/08 to 25/3/09

Excavation is only the beginning of the process of archaeological investigation. This course aims to provide tuition for non-professional archaeologists and local archaeological societies in post-excavation recording and analysis by re-examining unpublished excavations. In 2008-9 we will be looking at excavations carried out in 1972 by Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS) at Burroughs Gardens, Hendon. The whole range of post-excavation procedures from basic finds processing to publication and archive deposition will be covered. The course will include lectures by specialists in various fields, such as ceramics, clay pipes, glass, building materials and animal bones. Class members will be closely involved in the sorting, identification, recording and analysis of each category of finds. This is a major emphasis of the course, with a view to interpreting the significance of the various finds in relation to the site. Teaching sessions will be alternated with workshops throughout, and as work proceeds group discussion will be important means of formulating strategies for writing up the results of analysis. The ultimate outcome of the course will be publication under the joint authorship of class members, with tuition provided in the construction, writing and illustration of archaeological reports. Instruction will also be given on storage of the excavated materials and written records in line with current archive standards.

Post-Diploma courses are intended primarily for students who have completed their Certificate or Diploma studies, but are also open to others who have or wish to acquire relevant archaeological skills. Coursework will be aimed principally at producing reports for publication. Students are encouraged to complete and submit a portfolio of work during the course for assessment. This forms an essential part of the learning process and of work leading to the final publication.

Course content

minimum standards of recording and analysis leading to publication finds processing, including washing, marking, storage and basic recording of bulk and registered finds the recording and analysis of finds and environmental remains, by means of hands-on experience, accompanied by lectures and supervised by specialists: glass clay tobacco pipes pottery (Roman to post-medieval) ceramic building materials animal bones half-day sessions in the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, studying and recording finds illustration and photography Research into various artefact types (highlighting important sources to inform further work) analysing and interpreting data using a computerized database the use of tables, histograms, pie charts and other graphic presentations of data the writing and presentation of archaeological reports editing, publishing conventions, the use of references and bibliographies

Study skills

In the course of the two terms, class members will be instructed and helped in the following: current standards of archive storage basic finds processing handling and identifying different common types of excavated finds (pottery, building material, animal bone, clay pipes, glass) methods of recording, analysing and interpreting data the use and interrogation of computerised databases cultivating research skills the basics of archaeological finds illustration accepted forms of referencing and the use of written sources planning the final publication and the coursework involved in doing so the development of writing skills aimed at archaeological publication

Course taught by: Jacqui Pearce BA FSA MIFA Wed 1 Oct 2008, 6.30pm-8.30pm 22 meetings £300 (£150) Course code: FFAR015S5ACB 30 CATS points at Level 5 Venue Avenue House 15-17 East End Road London N3 3QE Places are limited so early enrolment is advised. To enrol by telephone (full fee only) or to ask about concessions please ring 020 7631 6651, quoting the course code. To enrol online please go to:

For a copy of our Archaeology and Egyptology Mini Prospectus please contact or FLL Archaeology, 26 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DQ 020 7631 6627.

Monster Could Have Bitten a Car in Half

Fossilised remains have been found of a 50ft-long sea monster that would have been strong enough to bite a car in half. The creature, which lived 150 years ago in the Jurassic era, is the largest sea reptile ever found. A type of pliosaur, nick-named “The Monster”, it measured 50ft from tip to tail. It was discovered by a Norwegian team in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and is one of 40 marine reptile fossils found in what is being described as a treasure trove for palaeontologists. “These animals are awesomely powerful predators”, said Richard Forrest, a palaeontologist. “If you compare the skull of a large pliosaur to a crocodile, it is very clear it is much better built for biting. By comparison with a crocodile, you have something like three or four times the cross-sectional space for muscles. “A large pliosaur was big enough to pick up a small car in its jaws and bite it in half. The skeleton of the Monster consists of its snout, some teeth, much of its spine and shoulder socket, and one nearly complete flipper. Scientists are hopeful that more remains will be discovered. The long-necked version of the pliosaur, the plesiosaur, has been suggested as a possible identity for the Loch Ness Monster.

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Other Societies Events By Eric Morgan

Saturday 5 July – 11am-5pm Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery Open Day, Harrow Rd. NW10 Tours,Band, Refreshments, Stalls including Willesden Local History Society.

Saturday 5 July – 11.30am-9pm & Sunday 6 July 11.30am-7pm East Barnet Festival, Oak Hill Park, Church Hill Rd. East Barnet. Lots of Community Stalls.

Sunday 6 July 2pm – The Heart of High Barnet Guided Walk. Meet outside Barnet College, Wood St. Led by Paul Baker Costs £6

Tuesday 8 July 8pm – Amateur Geological Society The Parlour, St. Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave. N3 (off Hendon Lane) Early Man – The Hobbit talk by Lorraine Cornish (Natural History Museum).

Saturday 12 July 2pm – The Battle of Barnet, Guided Walk. Meet at Junction Gt. North Rd./Hadley Green Rd. Led by Paul Baker. Cost £6. Lasts 2 hrs. National Archaeology Week. The Detectives, Institute of Archaeology,, 31-4 Gordon Sq. WC1. Activities for all ages including finds handling, Ancient Crafts, Geophysics, Conservation Labs, Petrie Museum.

Sunday 13 July & Monday 14 July – National Archaeology Week. Enfield Archaeology Society. Dig at Theobalds Palace, Cedars Park, Broxbourne.

Tuesday 15 July 2-3pm – Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow. St. Paul’s Cathedral. Talk by Jo & John Brewster on its recent restoration. Charge £3

Tuesday 15 & Wednesday 16 July – British Museum. Bayeux Tapestry. Conference on new research. Fees £10 a day or £15 for both days. Please send cheque (payable to British Museum) with contact details to Dr Michael Lewis, Portable Antiquities & Treasure, British Museum, Gt. Russell St. WC1B 3DG

Wednesday 16 July – 7.30 pm Edmonton Hundred Historical Society. Jubilee Hall , 2 Parsonage Lane / Junction Chase Side, Enfield. The Cuffley Story talk by Pat Kline & Michael Clark.

Thursday 17 July – 7.30 pm Camden History Society, The Foundling Museum, off Wakefield St. WC1. George Morland, the Artist (1763-1804) – A Stolen Childhood and its Consequences. Talk by Marian Kamlish.

Friday 18 July 7pm – COLAS. St. Katharine Cree Church Hall, Leadenhall St. EC3. The City of London Cemetery & Crematorium – Its Past & Futture.

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 July – National Archaeology Week. Enfield Archaeology Society. Dig both days. HADAS did resistivity here.

Friday 18 – Sunday 20 July – National Archaeology Week. Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2.

Friday 18 – Preparing for 2012 – East London Archaeology – Lecture by Kieron Tyler. Fun & Games! Weekend of Family Activities, Tours, Talks, Looking at Games & Sport throughout History with objects from the Museum Sport Collection & Skeletons of Roman & Medieval Londoners with Possible Sports’ Injuries.

Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July 11.30am-4pm – Archaeology Weekend COLAS – At the Tower of London. A range of Public Displays & Activities in the open space in front of the Tower beside the River Thames. Handle finds including bones, pots, shoes, coins, clay pipes from London sites. Visit Tower beach on the Thames foreshore in the middle of the day.

Tuesday 29 July 2-3pm – Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, N. Harrow. The History of Hospitals & Nursing Talk by Kevin Brown 9curator of alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum). Charge £3.

newsletter-447-june-2008 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Tuesday 10th June – HADAS Annual General Meeting 8pm. At Avenue House. Followed by some interesting talks and snippets relating to members’ recent activities.

Sunday 22nd June 1pm – 3.30pm Members’ Annual Get-together, Avenue House Don Cooper Don Cooper, chairman of HADAS, will be hosting a get-together over a glass of wine and nibbles for members, and especially for those who have recently joined. This will be an opportunity for new members and old to chat about what they would like HADAS to do over the coming years and, if the weather is kind, to try out some of our equipment such as the Resistivity Meter, GPS handsets and the Metal Detector. We will also have a book sale for discontinued items from our library. So do come along to meet old friends and make new ones.

Saturday 5th July – Outing to West Sussex

Join June Porges and Stewart Wild on a summer outing through the lovely Surrey and Sussex countryside, visiting Butser Ancient Farm & Experimental Archaeology Site and Fishbourne Roman Palace. It’s many years since HADAS has visited either of these sites and in each case there have been new discoveries, improvements and additions. Full details and booking form enclosed.

Wednesday August 27th – Sunday August 31st:

Annual HADAS Long Weekend Staying at Bishop Burton College near Beverley, Yorkshire. Please note that this is now fully booked, but we are creating a waiting list as invariably someone drops out. Contact Don Cooper or Jim Nelhams (see end page)

As usual lectures & the AGM take place at 8pm at Avenue House, 17 East End Rd, Finchley N3 3QE.15-min walk from Finchley Central tube. Buses 82, 143, 260, 326 & 460 pass close by. Parking very limited directly outside, but plentiful nearby. Non-members £1. Tea, coffee, biscuits 80p

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Andy Simpson

This excellent and enthusiastically presented talk by an acknowledged expert on the history of Bristol, in particular its former tramway system, began with the classic quote from the secretary of another society ‘Dear Mr Davey, It is difficult to get good speakers so I am writing to you’! Mr Davey travels widely, giving talks on the Bristol Tramways and Clifton rocks railway in particular; his late father was a tramways enthusiast in the 1930s/40s so he inherited, and maintains, an extensive photographic record of the horse-and-electric operated Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company which succumbed to the Blitz in April 1941 (The Bristol Tram Photograph Collection). He also has an extensive collection of Bristol Tramways relics – seats, saloon doors, a staircase, destination boards, blinds & boxes, enamelled signs and other components – all housed in a private museum near his Bristol home. The wealthy residents of Clifton objected to the proletarian horse trams being extended to their superior suburb, but the Clifton Rocks funicular railway, situated in the dramatic River Avon Gorge close to the wonderful Victorian suspension bridge, was approved as it ran in a tunnel and would not spoil the beauty of the gorge. It took two years to build, financed by promoter and publisher George Newnes MP (knighted in 1895), who was also involved with the still extant Lynton and Lynmouth railway, a way being blasted through the limestone rock in 8ft chunks from March 1891 using a largely Canadian workforce. Its ceremonial opening was on 11th March 1893, with a top station at Clifton adjacent to the Avon Gorge Hotel and a bottom station on Hotwells Road, where connection could be made with the horse, and later electric, tramcars of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Co. On the first day 6,220 passengers were carried, and a souvenir gilded medallion issued. Normal fares were originally 1d up, but just ½d down! (2d and a “penny ha’penny” by 1928). From 1912, for 3d, a passenger could take a round trip from the Tramways Centre to Hotwells, climb to Clifton by railway and back by bus and tram. The unique four-track tunnel had tracks laid to the gauge of 3ft; depending on the weight of the passengers in the two pairs of cars, the 500ft long journey took around 45 seconds to climb 240ft! The railway was hydraulically operated, with a water reservoir top and bottom, with water pumped up by a Crossley gas engine and recycled. The descending car enabled the other to be pulled upwards. The semi-elliptical brick-lined tunnel was lit by gas and the cars were spring-mounted on a chassis which itself was mounted on a steel water tank. Safety was paramount; each train had three sets of brakes and there never was an accident. At the top station there was a way through into the well-remembered, now derelict, hotel ballroom, where the last dance was held in 1974. There were four trains, in two pairs operated independently of each other, mounted on individual water balance tanks, with two more built at the same time (1892) for the still-extant Bridgnorth Castle Hill railway in Shropshire. At the base of the line was the station at Hotwells Road, whose façade now faces directly onto the modern Portway. Passenger numbers were never large, and the railway went into receivership in 1912. Bristol Tramways operator George White bought the lease in November 1912, but with rising losses it finally closed on 1st October 1934, everything remaining in dusty limbo with the trams parked at the bottom station until the outbreak of war. The four tram bodies were removed early in 1941 and burnt at the tramway graveyard at Kingswood Depot, where all Bristol’s redundant trams were despatched between May 1938 and October 1941. During World War II, part of the upper end of the tunnels was used from 1941 as a public air-raid shelter complex with terraced seating in three separate shelters, protected by some 60ft of rock above. Access to the air- raid shelters was by ticket. At the bottom was a major BBC transmission facility with transmitters, studio, recording and control room and emergency diesel generators which ran from early 1941 until 1945, providing programmes for home and overseas, although the BBC – who had originally seen the railway tunnel as a home for their Symphony Orchestra – rented parts of the tunnel through until 1960. The BBC even staffed their own Home Guard unit. There was also a War Department facility for plotting the balloon barrage defences, and from March 1940 BOAC had offices and storage facilities there too. Ventilators and air-conditioning were installed in the tunnels and level floors put in over the tracks; Since 2005 the Clifton Rocks Railway Trust ( – a small but enthusiastic band of volunteers – have been busy clearing out decades of accumulated hotel rubbish from the tunnels and have refurbished parts of the top station, reinstalling an original turnstile dragged up from the base of the tunnels where it had been thrown in the 1940s. Other relics have also been recovered such as fragments of barrage balloon – part of the tunnel was used by the barrage balloon section of Imperial Airways (later BOAC) for balloon repairs. At the top station also, remarkably, can be seen track remains and the partly concreted-in remains of two winding wheels, complete with lengths of winding cable. At the bottom station, even the ‘Clifton Rocks Railway’ wording remains visible.

Occasional guided tours of the remains have been possible, and the author of this note was fortunate to join one such tour in early 2007, guided by Peter Davey himself. Ownership of the Hotel, which facilitated such tours, has now changed and the tours were temporarily suspended, but are starting again with the 17/18 May 2008 open weekend. The new owners of the hotel are Cathay Pacific Airways.
An excellent lecture, much enjoyed by all, and the speaker answered a number of questions, formally and informally, afterwards with members being able to purchase postcards and other souvenirs of the railway.

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The Wars of the Roses: Military Thought and Practice

Members who are interested in the Battle of Barnet and in military practice and archaeology may like to know of an all-day conference on September 27th arranged by The Richard III Foundation, Inc. [sic] at the Market Bosworth High School and Community College, Station Road, Market Bosworth, near Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Speakers and their topics will include: •David Baldwin – Reconstructing a Medieval Battle: Stoke Field 1487 •Glenn Foard – Warfare in a Medieval Landscape: finding Bosworth battlefield •Prof Anthony Goodman – Richard III as a Military Commander •Dr David Grummitt – Military Thought and Chivalric Expectation: Edward IV’s 1475 French campaign •Dr Paul Stamper of English Heritage – Battlefield Conservation, Designation and Display: aims and approaches from across the world. •Prof Matthew Strickland – The Price of Defeat: The treatment of prisoners in the Wars of the Roses.

A round table discussion in the afternoon, chaired by Professor Matthew Strickland, will include honorary patron Robert Hardy. Further information: Half Moon House, 32 Church Lane, Ryde. IoW PO33 2NB, or the corporate office at 9067 Vintage Wine Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89148 USA (for a full package), or email

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Archaeological work at Barnet College and Tudor Hall Bill Bass

In the near future Barnet College (Chipping Barnet) is due for redevelopment for a new building and campus. Archaeology South East (the commercial unit of University College London) conducted an archaeological evaluation there from 22nd to 24th April. The potential of the site should be high as it is positioned near to Barnet Parish Church, originally founded in the 13th Century, and adjacent to ‘Tudor Hall’, dated 1573. The area would have been busy in the medieval period. Indeed HADAS dug a site just south of the college site in 1990 & found medieval & post-medieval surfaces, pits and walls. Other medieval finds have been made in the vicinity.

Four trenches were dug in total by Archaeology South East, three towards the back of the College (near to the Red Lion/Toby Pub, on Fitzjohn Avenue) and one directly in front of it on Wood Street. Of those at the back, one trench contained a shallow ditch type feature found beneath a large build-up of made-ground. Running approximately north-south, undated, it was speculated that the ditch could have been a minor property boundary as it lined up roughly with one of the small alleys that come off Wood Street which may reflect an earlier medieval boundary, but the evidence was very slight and the report shows there could be other interpretations. The long trench (approx 20x2m) fronting Wood Street found made-up ground with some ‘modern’ brick features sitting on the natural clays and gravels. So, unfortunately, it seems that much of the potential of the site has been truncated and levelled away by the college building and its predecessors. It remains to be seen whether there will be any further archaeological work when the present buildings are demolished. (Thanks to Dave Fallon, Site Director, and the offices of Archaeology South East for information)

It seems that somebody jumped the gun at Tudor Hall as, just a couple of weeks before the above evaluation of the college, contractors had dug a substantial ‘service’ trench around the foundations of the Tudor Hall without, it seems, any archaeological provision. This was spotted by the keen eye of a HADAS member and reported to English Heritage, who stopped the work. An archaeological unit was sent retrospectively to inspect this ‘groundwork’; no further details are known at present.


LAMAS’s latest conference was held on 5th April 2008 at the Museum in Docklands and ANDY SIMPSON has once more kindly reviewed some of the more interesting papers

Work in the City and Beyond in 2007 Sophie Jackson (MoLAS)

The morning session on ‘Recent Work’ featured some fascinating updates and artefacts, as always. There were some 60 fieldwork projects in 2007. At St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, where the late Roman sarcophagus burial was found previously, archaeological work continued on a narrow strip of land, finding an early Roman building of around 50AD, the conquest period date suggesting a military identity. Also found were five very late Roman burials and three phases of very early Saxon buildings of around AD550, with greyware pottery dated AD430/470 from exactly the period when industrial scale pottery manufacture in Britain was, at one time, believed to have ceased. Excavations in the Walbrook area found ditches and the edge of the Walbrook marsh.

At No 1 New Change in the City

the former Bank of England premises at the eastern end of St Paul’s close to Cheapside and on the Roman Via Decumana, a prehistoric ground surface was found with Bronze Age features and pottery. As reported to CoLAS by Dave Saxby at their May 2008 lecture, the site was dug over 20 weeks during 2007 in two phases. It was heavily basemented, but archaeological deposits survived along Cheapside. A very early V-shaped ditch of c.AD50, complete with ‘ankle-breaker’, was located running along Cheapside, cutting the natural brickearth. It had previously been traced elsewhere along Cheapside and provided interesting evidence of possibly the earliest military occupation of Roman London. Forming part of 1.5m of Roman deposits were a series of four Roman buildings, one on top of the other and found on the same alignment, along with a line of piers of a possible 1st Century Roman temple. Some buildings with plaster and brickearth foundations, lying just above the brickearth, appear to have burnt down during the Boudiccan fire. There was a rich collection of highly decorated Roman wall plaster. Some prehistoric material was found, together with Medieval stone foundations (their cellars still being on the Roman buildings’ alignment) complete with burnt remains of floor joists from the Great Fire of London.

A site at 56 Gresham St

may represent part of the suspected amphitheatre/temples complex. Here they found the nearly complete ground plan and partial floor surfaces of a small 2nd/3rd Century square Roman temple or shrine of the classic cella and ambulatory type. (See:

At Heron Tower, Bart’s Hospital and the Old Bailey

the erstwhile city ditch was investigated, with medieval landfill and rubbish dumping. The Roman city wall was also located. The waterfront was investigated at Mondial House, built in 1973 and now being demolished. When built there was no archaeological monitoring and Roman and medieval deposits were destroyed without record, but one area did survive and medieval structures were recorded there when the site was again redeveloped, with some ten 15th to 17th Century brewing hearths and below them the late 13th Century waterfront with its timber wall and a massively constructed later waterfront, dated 1339, forming the eastern edge of a previously unknown dock.

At the Riverbank House site

there have been three redevelopments in 45 years, the latest being the first since 1981. At Lime St on the edge of Leadenhall Market in the City, machined out in 1974, a narrow strip remained for excavation, which revealed a Roman painted wall-plaster dump and tessellated mosaic floor from which the central mosaic had been removed before the building was demolished. The plaster is a superb, high-quality assemblage of around 120AD – forty-six bread crates of it – from a high-status room burnt in a 2nd Century fire; the building was demolished and there was little ensuing occupation above it, so the plaster dump survived undisturbed. This has permitted reconstruction, with details such as painted candelabra, fruit and flowers, birds and animals and a superb pattern of grapes on coloured panels. (See

Excavations at Drapers Gardens, City Tim Bradley (Pre-Construct Archaeology)

This talk covered excavations in the upper Walbrook Stream area, 100m south of the City Walls, where water-lain and anaerobic conditions permitted good survival of a 1st-3rd Century archaeological sequence, although later Roman levels had been truncated. A 1st Century AD Roman timber trackway and associated ditches was found which dendrochronology showed used timbers felled in AD62, just one year after the fledgling town was destroyed in the Boudiccan revolt, plus two Roman timber fences or palisades and a ditch on an area of higher ground. A notable find was a complete domestic wooden door, associated with some five infant burials buried within small timber boxes or coffins. This is the most complete of only three such doors ever found in Britain, complete with hinge pivots with horizontal battens, and is of late 1st Century date. There were also revetted channels crossed by two small footbridges, with three phases of construction (pre-Hadrianic to late 3rd Century), and a Roman timber box drain and Hadrianic period clay- and timber-walled buildings. There were eight of these flanking a north-south street frontage, one of which had been burnt. At one end a Roman timber floor survived – a planked floor and wattle walls. Other floors were of beaten earth. Also found was a Roman opus signinum floor and a bored square wooden pipe with lead lining. A tile-built Roman oven was found, along with in situ Roman pottery. Individual building plots had distinct groupings of finds, suggesting differing activities. There were 1100 registered small finds, including a possible carpenter’s wooden rule, Roman statue head and, in a timber-lined well complete with access struts in one corner, a hoard of 19 copper alloy vessels including wine bucket and dishes, a hanging bowl and flagon of post-375AD date, and a bear skull, possibly from an animal brought down from Scotland for the amphitheatre. (See

Picturing Roman London Barney Sloane

The afternoon session ‘Londinium and Beyond’ kicked off with this paper, looking at Images of the Empire – illustrating the idea of Roman London across the centuries. This is one of several papers that will feature in a forthcoming book on London archaeology. As far back as 1667, Christopher Wren drew Roman finds revealed during the reconstruction of St Paul’s Cathedral. London’s first archaeological ‘context sheet’ was produced by a London apothecary in 1672, showing a Roman pottery kiln in St Paul’s churchyard with coffins above it. There was then something of a gap, with more records made in the late 18th Century when in 1785 the antiquarian Gough produced a plan of walls and features found during sewer construction, even marking adjacent house numbers and details of a fine mosaic. In 1803 the famous 2nd Century Bacchus mosaic showing Bacchus riding a Tiger, now in the British Museum, was recorded in Leadenhall Street and in 1805 the Bank of England Roman mosaic was recorded as a scale drawing, possibly the first scale archaeological plan from the City of London. Billingsgate bath house was recorded in a detailed site/location plan of 1864 by architect William Tite. The Illustrated London News produced excellent reports of archaeological discoveries such as the Bucklersbury mosaic pavement (c.300AD) in 1869 with possibly the first-ever multi-context plan of the floor and heating flues beneath. This mosaic was immediately lifted for preservation, and is now at the Museum of London. The first ever excavation photo may be that taken in 1869 showing a re-used sarcophagus found at Westminster Abbey. A striking image shown was that of demolition of a length of the Roman city wall at Trinity House in 1882, with another fine view of the wall at Newgate in 1903. In 1912, the Roman ship was found at County Hall, and a timber-by-timber plan made of it – possibly the first example of a numbered drawing. By 1914, Roman pits on the GPO site at St Martin-le-Grand were being recorded, with the first example of linking finds assemblages to individual features. By 1954 Pathé News was recording moving pictures of the famous Grimes excavation of the Temple of Mithras and by 1969 the Highgate pottery kiln was lifted to preserve the actual structure elsewhere, as was done with the soon-to-be-moved, and rebuilt again, Temple of Mithras. Now we have the dawn of the digital age for archaeological reconstructions.

The Population of Roman London Hedley Swain and Tim Williams

What was the size of Roman London’s population? Something of a ‘stab in the dark’. In 1925, revised 1948, Home made the first attempt to calculate the population, looking at the walled area (some 320 acres), street pattern and house type to give a density of 140 people per acre – a population of 45,000 at its peak, with lots of open spaces. This figure stood unchallenged for many years. Estimating the total urban population needs to consider the number of people per hectare and take into account density in particular areas; identifying the size of the urban area and actual residential area – not necessarily the same – at a given time/point of development, and to include the extent of settlement in the pre-Boudiccan and pre-walled area of the 1st/2nd Century, the fort in the NW corner erected by 120AD and the walls which were added around AD 200. How big was the suburban development and the Southwark settlement? There are geographical and chronological differences in built-up areas. There was a western extension to the city around AD200. The total occupied area for each study period needs to be calculated, then less densely populated areas subtracted, such as public buildings, including baths, forum and amphitheatre, plus docks or industrial zones where space would be taken by workshops and storehouses. The residential area may have been some 100 hectares, and the likely number of people per property needs to be estimated – large townhouses with their kin and slaves may have had different populations to more densely occupied and more humble properties. Pompeii, pre-earthquake, had a population of some 19,000. High St, Londinium, based on excavations at No 1 Poultry, was a classic Museum of London exhibition of recent years, giving an excellent idea of Roman city life, complete with reconstructions and actors. Using figures from authors such as Home and Ralph Merrifield and Middle Eastern patterns of settlement, the average suggested population for pre-Boudiccan London c.AD60-61 is 9,300; for the Hadrianic period of 100-120AD some 25,800, and for AD 300 30,600. The speakers felt that the lower estimates were closest to reality.

Imagining Health Care in Roman London Ralph Jackson

The origin of London seems to be as an unofficial traders’ settlement around AD50. By the time of the Boudiccan revolt a decade later it had acquired an administrative role. There is a suggestion that an area near Moorgate may have been an artisans’ quarter, including doctors.

Satellite, Parasite, or Just London? Richard Reece

There is little evidence for the native British occupation of the future site of Londinium prior to the Claudian invasion of AD43. Then a muddy river bank sprang quickly to life. What was the motive for its formation? By comparison, Edward I’s 13th Century new towns didn’t always work – a motive is needed for agglomeration, towns/cities don’t just form on their own. Londinium could have formed as a money-making centre or to stop trouble in a newly occupied territory. It could either be self-financing or be worth financing as a satellite – a convenient ‘socket’ into which to fit the Roman ‘plug’, with encouragement for conspicuous expenditure.

There may have been a drop in trade in the 3rd Century, with some ‘slack water’ – a different balance of imports and exports and an increase in self-supporting industries – leading to slackening trade as the province of Britannia became more self-supporting and then leading to a possible reduction in customs duties. So was the satellite province still worth servicing to keep it Roman, but not to the extent of maintaining expensive basilica buildings, etc? Perhaps they may have gone out of use. London could have been gradually changing from a profitable, self-supporting satellite into an expensive parasite. So who would want it? Not the Britons, who had their own local centres – Civitas capitals. However, the Empire would need a point of contact. Deciding what Londinium means needs more than sets of archaeological data. Is it a typical Romano-British city? How does London compare with other places – the regional capital at Cirencester for instance, or the Western Empire’s provincial centres such as Trier or Lyons.

Glass in Roman London John Shepherd

As recorded by contemporary Roman writers, the introduction of glass blowing made glass production much cheaper, meaning it could be used for utilitarian purposes and it could be cleaned and reused. That there are relatively few Roman glass fragments in the archaeological record is due simply to recycling in Roman times; broken glass, known as cullet, was widely re-used. Items that have survived tend to be from pits/wells/cemeteries where they could not be retrieved. There is no evidence of new glassmaking from Roman London, just of glass recycling/reworking from the 1st-4th Century from all over the city, including the waterfront, Tower of London and Moorgate areas, the latter dating to the mid 2nd Century. There is little evidence of what Roman glass furnaces were actually like. The Regis House site saw glass blowing from the 60s-70s AD. The huge cullet dump found at Guildhall Yard in the 1990s yielded some 50kg of window glass, vessel glass and a little glass-working waste.

It may be possible to judge the repertoires of individual glass blowers through their cullet dumps. It would seem that clear glass was of higher status than coloured glass, being used for high value items. Around AD70 the writer Pliny recorded colourless fragments as being of the highest value, and crystal-like colourless fragments have been found in London of this date. Glass cutting dates back to the second millennium BC. Up to c.60AD, ground and polished banded/millefiore glass vessels were common; from around 70 to 100AD the highest value glassware was of the cut and colourless variety. Many high quality cut glass vessels have been found in Southwark, though facet-cut beakers are found all over London. More utilitarian products included jars and jugs for domestic use.

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Tuesday 3rd June 2-3pm BRASS FARTHINGS: 17C TOKENS OF TRADESMEN, GENTRY & CITY FATHERS Talk by Robert Thomson. Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View

Wednesday 4th June 8pm THE HISTORY OF KENWOOD Talk by Philip St Pride. Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society, Wealdstone Baptist Church Hall, High St, Wealdstone

Thursday 5th June 10.30am INDUSTRIES ALONG THE EDGWARE RD – A Historical View Talk, Mill Hill Library, Hartley Avenue, NW7

Thursday 5th June 7.30pm LONDON’S LOCKS, DOCKS & MARINAS: THEIR HISTORY Talk by Jeremy Batch. London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Rd, Kings Cross N1

Friday 6th June 7pm FIFTEEN YEARS OF THE TIME TEAM Talk by Tony Robinson World Monuments Fund St George’s Church, Bloomsbury (includes viewing the restored church & a review of WMF projects, tickets £20-30 from 020 7730 5344 or

Sunday 8th June 2-4pm THE BATTLE OF BARNET Guided Walk by Paul Baker Meet Junction Great North Rd/Hadley Rd Cost £6

Monday 9th June 3pm PRE-REFORMATION SURVIVALS IN PARISH CHURCHES IN ENGLAND Talk by Graham Javes (long-standing HADAS member) Barnet & District Local History Society. Church House,Wood St, Barnet (opposite Museum)

Sunday 15th June 4pm LEGENDS OF BARNET, HISTORICAL ENTERTAINMENT, including “The Battle of Barnet” by Denis O’Brien, “The Ghosts of Oakhill Park” by Liz Lea, “Dickensian Barnet” by Susi Earnshaw, “Remembering John Betjeman” by Baz Swain, “Sweet Music of the 1940s” by BMG Group. Theatre in the Park, Oakhill Park, Church Hill Rd, East Barnet

Wednesday 18th June 8pm THE HISTORY OF SILVER ST, ENFIELD Talk by Harold Noble. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield

Wednesday 18th June 8pm SEVEN PARISHIONERS OF STRATFORD-ATTE-BOW: 700 Years of Life in Bow. Talk by Michael Peet. Islington Archaeology & History Society Islington Town Hall, Upper St N1

Friday 20th June 7pm RECONSTRUCTION OF THE TUDOR KITCHENS AT HAMPTON COURT: Experimental Archaeology at work Talk, Marc Meltonville COLAS St Katherine Cree Church Hall, Leadenhall St EC3

Friday 20th June 7.30pm SONGS OF TRANSPORT Terry Lomas Wembley History Society St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury NW9

Saturday 21st June 2.30pm GUIDED PANORAMIC WALK TO THE TOP OF ST PANCRAS WATER TOWER, via Islington Tunnel West London Canal Museum 12-13 New Wharf Rd, Kings Cross N1

Sunday 22nd June EAST FINCHLEY FESTIVAL Cherry Tree Wood (off High Rd, East Finchley)

Sunday 22nd June 12-4pm SUMMER FAIR All Saints Arts Centre 122 Oakleigh Park Rd North, N20

Sunday 22nd June LEE VALLEY FESTIVAL Tottenham Marshes (off Watermead Way N17, nr Stonebridge Lock), incl., 1.30pm, Legends of Barnet (see 15 June)

Wednesday 25th June 8pm COMIC & SATIRICAL POSTCARDS Talk by Hugh Garnsworthy. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, N20

Thursday 26th June 7.30pm KINGS CROSS: Illustrated talk, Angela Inglison (author of new book of photos of the area). Camden History Society. St Pancras Old Church, St Pancras Rd NW1 (preceded by AGM)

Thursday 26th June 7.45pm BARNET BOROUGH ARTS COUNCIL: AGM Arts Depot, Nether St N12

Thursday 26th June 8pm KRUGER NATIONAL PARK Talk by Roz Avery (preceded by AGM). Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House