Volume 9: 2010 – 2014

newsletter-505-April-2013 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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No. 505 APRIL 2013 Edited by Peter Pickering

H A D A S D I A R Y – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8 pm, with coffee/tea and biscuits (£1) afterwards. Non-members: £1. Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley

Central station (Northern Line), is a short walk away.

Tuesday 9th April 2013: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future. Lecture by Courtney Nimura & Eliott Wragg.

Courtney Nimura is a PhD Candidate at the University of Reading studying prehistoric maritime rock art in Scandinavia. She previously worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (USA) in Conservation and Collections Management before returning to university in the UK. Courtney has a BA and MFA in photography / museum studies from the United States, and an MA in Maritime Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London. Alongside her work with the Nautical Archaeology Society, she works for the Thames Discovery Programme in London.

Eliott Wragg has a BA in Ancient History and Archaeology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Field Archaeology, both from Birmingham University and an MA in Maritime Archaeology from UCL. He worked as an Archaeological Site Assistant for the Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit and Pre-Construct Archaeology before becoming a Senior Archaeologist for the latter and then going on to work as a freelance site supervisor and project manager on sites in the South-East of England. He is currently the Field Officer for the Thames Discovery Programme and has a particular interest in vessels and vessel fragments.

Tuesday 14th May 2013 – 10,000 years of History beneath your Feet: The Bankside Foreshore. Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey.

1st June 2013 Foreshore Walk – Following her talk, Dr Haughey has offered to give us a tour of the foreshore of the river by Bankside and the Tate Modern, numbers permitting. The walk will take about two hours and cost £5 per person. The date has been chosen because then the tide is most suitable. The idea is we meet at the Millennium Bridge, south side, in front of the Tate Modern ready to leave at 13.30. The walk will take place provided there are at least 15 participants (the maximum number is 20) and it will be first come first served. Contact Don Cooper telephone 020 8440 4350, e-mail:

Tuesday 11th June 2013 -Annual General Meeting.Sunday 15th to Thursday 19th September 2013 – Buxton Trip

We now have sufficient members signed up for our trip in September based in Buxton, Derbyshire to make the trip viable. See February newsletter for details. It would still be nice to have a few more.

Our selected hotel should provide comfort for all, with excellent company provided by other HADAS members. If you are interested but have not yet signed up, please contact Jim or Jo Nelhams (see last page for contact details).

Tuesday 8th October 2013 – Brunel’s Tunnel under the Thames. Lecture by Robert Hulse, Director of the Brunel Museum.

Tuesday 12th November 2013 – Lions on Kunulua – excavations of Early Bronze and Iron Age periods at Tell Tayinat, Hatay, Turkey. Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey.

Sunday 1st December 2013 – Following our enjoyable Christmas event in the last two years, we have again booked Avenue House. The “party” will run from roughly 12:00 to 4:30. More details in due course.

‘The Archaeology of the First Peoples into North America.’ course by Peter Nicholson
The Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society is running a course of six classes with this title. The course will examine the archaeology of the first of the native peoples into North America. We will investigate theories regarding the entry and date via the Bering Strait and routes available to the newcomers from Alaska and the Yukon. The Clovis and then Folsum expansion into the Great Plains will be dealt with as will the possible human causes of the megafauna extinction. Questionable sites and theories will be covered along with the latest theories concerning language and DNA. Finally we will study the problems of working with living indigenous peoples and their attitude to archaeology and the excavation of burial sites. The course tutor is Scott

McCracken. The course is on Friday mornings from 10 to 12, beginning 19th April, in the Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, NW7 2AE. The cost for the course will be £40. Enrol at the first meeting; if you have not previously attended the Society’s meetings please contact the secretary, Peter Nicholson (020-8959 4757).

CBA Winter meeting at York on 2nd & 3rd March 2013 by Don Cooper
This meeting was themed as a forum on the ‘Role of local societies in archaeology in the 21st century’. Representatives of a large number of societies, both county level societies and small local ones, attended. It was interesting that the activities of large and small societies were very similar, namely: A winter lecture series for members, outings in the summer, small scale excavations and fieldwalking, newsletters or leaflets (various frequencies from monthly to once a year), training in the form of one day courses all the way to full 22 week ones, and social and fund-raising events. Most societies do their best to ‘defend’ local heritage, but find it difficult to mobilise support in strength.

The issues facing the societies are also very similar: a declining and ageing membership, increased cost of communication with members (publishing newsletters, postage etc.), and very few active members, (for instance, a number of societies have stopped doing outings as there was no one to run them).

A major challenge is technology and multi-media with many of the more senior members of societies finding that receiving information such as newsletters by email, electronic payment for subscriptions, using web sites, Facebook, blogspots and Twitter, difficult to understand and use. As a consequence the gradual change over to online media from paper and posted mail is and will be more difficult and expensive for local societies.

In these challenging times, partnerships with other heritage societies as well as non-heritage societies offer an opportunity to pursue local goals more effectively and ‘beef-up’ the strength of advocacy in defence of heritage.Overall the forum enabled an exchange of ideas on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and threats facing local and county societies and provided an opportunity for establishing inter society relationships.

February Lecture – Can you tell a Longboat from a Log Boat? Tessa Smith

I think I can now, thanks to the lecture entitled “From Logboat to Warrior – Evolution of the Wooden Ship” given by Eliott Wragg – Field Officer of the Thames Discovery Programme.

Eliott steered us expertly at a rate of knots from skin boats to log boats to clinker-built boats, from the introduction of masts, sails, paddles and rudder, from river and estuary boats to sea-worthy ships and from fighting and merchant types made entirely of wood to the rise of the iron ship.

One of the earliest boats mentioned in the lecture was the Hasholme Iron Age logboat made around 300 BC from a single large hollowed oak tree dug out by hand or burned out by fire and made watertight by a mixture of moss and twigs. It had a small shelf at one end and would have been manoeuvred by a pole.
The Dover bronze age boat is much older, dating from 1500 BC, the middle bronze age. It is one of the world’s oldest known sea-going boats. It was excavated in 1992 and I remember the excitement in the press at the time, so much so that Sheila Woodward and I organised a HADAS outing to Dover to see it in the museum’s spectacular new gallery. It was impressive, made using four huge oak planks sewn together with yew lashings, a technique which was clearly visible to us.

The oldest archaeological find of a wooden Nordic boat is the Hjortspring, built about 350BC, the oldest known boat to use clinker planking, where the planks overlap one another. Later designs had stronger keels and the hull was reinforced by oak stathes joined by iron rods – boats were becoming more sea-worthy.

The Anglo Saxon early 7th century burial ship at Sutton Hoo is a longboat (in fact 90 feet long) and is a fast shallow draft vessel, but there is no evidence of sail or mast. But the Oseberg Viking longboat built around 820AD has a mast holder for a square wooden sail amidship; it is the biggest Viking longboat ever found, a massive 36 metres, 4 metres longer than the Mary Rose.

During the middle ages ships became more seaworthy both for fighting and carrying cargo. The development of masts and sails meant that the ships were no longer dependent on oarsmen and could travel vast distances using wind power.

Fighting castles were added fore and aft as in the Grace Dieu built in 1418 for Henry V, and the Mary Rose built in 1511 for Henry VIII, carrying heavier and more powerful guns. Extraordinary ornamentation carvings and gilding were added, evoked for us by paintings of ships in full sail, dipping, turning and wheeling.

To this day it is not entirely clear how the ship wheel evolved during the 18th century, but it was a huge technical breakthrough, controlling the rudder by a series of block and tackle, gear wheels, cogs and chains.

With the development of ironclad wooden boats and ships made of iron, wooden boats could not compete. In1843 Brunel’s Great Britain became the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic; in 1860 Warrior became the first entirely iron boat, thus initiating the decline of the age of magnificent great wooden ships.

Eliott steered us expertly back to harbour, somewhat breathless through our journey by wooden boat, many, many of which had sunk, and as he said ‘it was very convenient for us – all those boats sinking.’

Current Archaeology Conference Peter Pickering

I attended Current Archaeology’s annual conference on 1st and 2nd March. Like last year, it was in the University of London Senate House, and the Beveridge Hall, which holds 450, was well filled, very largely, I judged, with Current Archaeology readers from outside London. The programme included reports on important recent excavations.

From the prehistoric age we learnt of some very grand Neolithic structures at the Ness of Brodgar (with traces of colouring), which would have graced the prehistoric Mediterranean; of the nine bronze age river boats at Must Farm (quite near Flag Fen); and of the colossal hill fort (the largest in Britain and four times as big as Maiden Castle) at Ham Hill Somerset.
There were three talks on Roman Britain. Keith Parfitt brought us up to date on the Folkestone Roman Villa with its important but previously unknown Iron Age predecessor (memorably visited by HADAS in 2011); it was good to learn that further work there is planned this year, since the whole site will sooner or later fall into the sea. Andrew Birley talked about Vindolanda, a very popular site for volunteers; he showed us two pieces of beautiful painted glass from Cologne which were found in different parts of the site, but which fitted together. The division between military and civilian in Vindolanda became blurred in the fourth century, and activity seems to have continued in some form long after the end of Roman rule. Ian Haynes talked about the strange case of the Maryport altars, unearthed from pits by antiquarians in the nineteenth century and long believed to have been buried deliberately each one in advance of the dedication of the next, but which now appear to have been used as filling for pits holding structural timber uprights of a late building (perhaps related to some post- Roman tombstones inscribed in Latin).

There were three reports on community projects on Anglo-Saxon villages. The cemetery in Oakington, Cambridgeshire, has produced several intriguing burials, including two with horses, one with a cow and one with a spoon – thought to have been a weaning spoon. The exploration of the cemetery is being complemented by small digs around the village, to improve knowledge of the settlement. The Lyminge Archaeological Project is investigating a settlement that was of high status before the conversion to Christianity (with a large timber hall) and became a double monastery (monks and nuns), with a great quantity of fish bones. Neil Faulkner has a long-running project at Sedgeford in Norfolk, but is concerned by the lack of a conceptual framework for Anglo-Saxon settlements like that for the Roman period, with towns, villages, villas and forts; he believes that archaeology can produce that framework, and gave an account of Anglo-Saxon history as evolution from small egalitarian settlements to feudal villages dominated by thegns and the church.

For later times we had Richard Buckley on Richard III; Heather Knight on the Curtain Playhouse, revealed by MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) and to be preserved in some way as that area of Shoreditch is redeveloped; Pieta Greaves on the conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard; and the osteologist Don Walker on the evidence of mass fatalities from the Spitalfields cemetery, which he believes point to a famine attributable to the effect of a volcanic eruption (perhaps in South America) in 1258.

There was also a whole session on Herculaneum and Pompeii, in preparation for the exhibition at the British Museum, and talks on Operation Nightingale (archaeology by wounded service personnel) and on the rescue archaeology of the National Roads Authority of Ireland.

EXCAVATION, 1978 Andy Simpson

Having looked recently at the Hendon Fuller Street and White Swan Golders Green excavations from the HADAS back catalogue of unpublished excavations, we return once again to Hendon.

Back during the Bank Holiday weekend, 26-28th August 1978, the late Ted Sammes directed another dig in central Hendon to add to those in Burroughs Gardens (1972), Church Terrace (1973/4) and Fuller Street (1974). This was on the perimeter of the far end of car park which lay between the Town Hall and the public gardens of the Grove. As the April 1978 HADAS newsletter recorded, the object was ‘to test the area so that we will have a better idea of whether or not a larger dig should take place before the proposed extension of the Town Hall gets under way in a year or two’s time’. The August 1978 HADAS newsletter further noted ‘This will be a short exploratory dig, directed by Ted Sammes, to assess the archaeological potential of the area prior to a proposed development by Barnet Borough Council’

Hendon Town Hall lies at the centre of the Burroughs, standing on the west side just south-east of the former Grove House site where the Victorians had found some evidence of Roman Hendon; it was originally part of the Grove grounds, as shown in Cook’s map of 1796, sitting just at the SE corner of the grounds. With the foundation stone laid on the 10th October 1900 and a formal opening on 13th November 1901, Hendon Town Hall itself, built in the grounds of Grove House, was completed from designs by T.H. Watson, serving as the offices of the then Hendon Urban District Council, being extended at the back in 1934 when ‘an extensive enlargement was completed’, according to the brochure for the Hendon Borough Show Civics Exhibition 1952. It became Hendon Town Hall in 1932 when Hendon became a Municipal Borough, and now has a modern extension to Middlesex University standing right behind it. The University now leases most of the Town Hall building itself also, except for the council chamber.


Grove House itself, a large stuccoed two-storey building built by 1753, sited to give commanding views westwards towards Harrow and north to Mill Hill, and substantially rebuilt in the 19th century and later, successively, a private nursing home and mental home, was demolished in 1934 following purchase by Hendon Council. The now-levelled site of the house and part of its grounds survive as a small public park called The Grove at the rear of the Fire Station and University, with the original entrance avenue which led directly to the house still extant between University buildings now leading to the park and site of the house. In the Grove grounds in late 1889 in the area of the former Technical College playing fields – the present Middlesex University – were found fragments of Roman pottery including cremation urns, a complete flagon, and building material (including two bricks and flanged roofing tile) and bone fragments.

The Grove House grounds were further reduced by the building of the still-extant adjacent Fire Station in 1914 and the neo-Georgian library in 1929, along with Hendon College of Technology in 1939 – now the main campus of Middlesex University – being extended in 1955 and 1969 (mainly on former Church End Farm land).

Photo – Grove Gardens February 2013,
Grove House stood on the central flat area until 1934.

Photo – Grove Gardens February 2013,
Grove House stood on the central flat area until 1934.

Further work near the Grove House site took place when in May 1995, the South East London Archaeological Unit undertook a watching brief at the Hendon Campus of Middlesex University, which showed that extensive terracing had removed any possible archaeological evidence, and no dating evidence was recovered from the single feature exposed, a broad hollow. Further archaeological evaluation work at the Hatchcroft development on the Burroughs, Hendon in 2007 (TQ2276 8929, site code HCF07) in five trenches found only post-medieval features and an undated ditch, possibly landscaping associated with the construction of Grove House in 1753.

Also, in November 2002 prior to new construction work, AOC Archaeology opened up four trenches in the former car park site (TQ2275 8940) at Middlesex University down Greyhound Hill opposite the entrance to Sunny Hill Park. The trenches cut through modern tarmac and down through made ground to a depth of two metres, being opened on a Tuesday and backfilled the following morning after nothing was found except the site of a possible pond at the top end of the site and natural gravels cut by possible palaeochannels.

Photo – Extant Brickwork, rear of Grove Gardens, February 2013 – Grove House outbuilding footings?
(Now supporting park steps)

Four trenches were dug, at the south and west sides of the car park, lettered A through to D. No original site records, plans or sections appear to have survived, but if anyone knows otherwise we will be delighted to hear from them! Although it was originally thought the dig might continue into September, the three days of the August Bank Holiday were in the end thought enough.

All we have are three annotated copies of a black and white group portrait of five of the diggers taken during backfilling of a trench adjacent to a tall brick boundary wall on 9th September 1978, and four different colour print snapshots taken by the late George Ingram on Sunday 27th August 1978 which concentrate on people rather than features, centered on the deep, narrow trench being backfilled in the later B/W photo. The one photo showing the trench sides indicates a considerable amount of brick rubble in the very dark humic make-up.

There are some references in the annual London Archaeologist excavation round-up and HADAS Committee minutes for June and September 1978, however, along with the original finds.

The site was located at Grid reference NGR TQ22608920 (London HER record no. 081978/00/00. The excavation team included Ted Sammes, Percy Reboul, Jeremy Clynes, Raymond and Christopher Lowe and George Ingram.
It was found that the site had been levelled by twentieth-century dumping; beneath this eighteenth and nineteenth century pottery, clay tobacco pipes and modern field drains were discovered, along with two small conjoining sherds of medieval pottery.

To quote the September 1978 HADAS Committee minutes; ‘Four trenches were opened. One produced nothing but wood blocks for road work (none of which seem to have been retained – AS); one (Trench B) produced Victoriana with one residual piece of medieval pottery (broken in two- later confirmed as London Ware – AS). The others (trenches C and D) produced field drains. A gravel path, shown on the 19th century estate map, was found. Three small yellow bricks, similar to those found on other nearby sites, came from the immediate Town Hall/Grove Gardens area.

There is no mention of whether the natural was reached or not. A later exhibition caption states that the dig ‘came, through lack of evidence, to no definite conclusion. The site was, in fact, virtually sterile.’

Ted Sammes (reclining) supervises operations whilst Jeremy Clynes points at the camera… and is that Percy Reboul with his back to the camera? (George Ingram photo)

Ford Cortina (Mk II?) – and Mum – with only known photo of actual section. (George Ingram photo) THE TRENCHES

Trench A appears to have been dug in four distinct spits in the absence of recognisable contexts in the dump make-up, up to a recorded depth of 60cm. Finds were a piece of building plaster, clay pipe fragments, most of the post-medieval – medieval pottery recovered from the site – mostly refined white wares – and glass (bottle- neck and ‘OXO’ jar), a bone toothbrush handle, a glass marble, a Yale key, a bottle top marked ‘3d Deposit on Bottle’, and a latch-plate from a lock.

An unusual find is a piece of shrapnel, probably 3.7-inch artillery shell, seemingly complete with driving band (which engaged with the rifling of the gun barrel to spin-stabilise the shell) – possibly originating from local Second World War heavy anti-aircraft (AA) sites.

Research kindly undertaken by my colleague Andy Renwick, Curator of Photographs at the RAF Museum, indicates that battery ZW13 was in Mill Hill (TQ 218 945) and ZW14 was in West Hendon (TQ 211 881). Both were equipped with the 3.7″ anti-aircraft gun – an example of which is displayed in the Battle of Britain Hall at the RAF Museum Hendon.
There was also an Anti-Aircraft Flight which was based at RAF Hendon until June 1942. This could have been equipped with 40mm Bofors and these were the guns deployed in the grounds of the Met Police Training School in Aerodrome Road and Sunny Hill Park overlooking RAF Hendon itself.

In March 2013, local resident Dennis Weston kindly provided the following recollection of his time as a teenage fire-watcher at the Town Hall:

‘In 1943, on leaving school, I started work in the wages department of the local council at Hendon Town Hall, working normal office hours of 9am to 5pm. To provide extra assistance to the ARP services, a volunteer group of Town Hall employees, working on a shift basis, provided a group of fire-watchers specifically for the protection of the Town Hall building. A group of six employees commenced duties after normal office hours until the following morning’s normal start time. At various points along the corridors were buckets of water and sand, checked on a daily basis. Once an air raid siren had been heard, routine checks were made to all floors of the building.’

‘On evenings when no air raid sirens had sounded, the Town Hall volunteers had access to a games room with a full sized snooker table and use of a substantial kitchen with equipment to make tea and toast. Should no air raid siren be sounded during the whole night, camp beds were provided in one of the corridors for the volunteers to snatch a few hours’ sleep as they were expected to resume normal duties in the office the next day. A small expense allowance was paid for each night’s duty and for an office junior this was a welcome addition!’

‘My outstanding memory relates to the night of September 1940 when a group of us on duty stood on the roof of the Town Hall and watched in horror the crimson glow of the fires raging in the city of London’

Trench B, dug to a depth of 50cm, yielded two conjoining base sherds of medieval pottery – London Type Ware (LOND) – dated 1080 – 1350 – the only medieval find from the site. In addition there was a considerable quantity of post-medieval pottery, again, mostly refined white wares.

Trench C, dug to 40cm, yielded post-medieval pottery including a complete stoneware inkpot, clay pipe fragments, a glazed tile, and four lengths of modern field drain.

Trench D yielded just two more lengths of modern field drain.

The finds were fully sorted and recorded using standard MOLAS recording forms.

Selection of finds, including medieval London ware top left, artillery shell fragment (with driving bands) top right, 1942 cup fragment to left of shrapnel. 50 pence piece as scale.

Apart from the two pieces of medieval pottery referred to above, the majority of the pottery found was Victorian or more recent – much of it refined white ware (REFW, 1800 – date), of which some has transfer decoration.
Some of it at least appears to be ‘Government issue’ – one sizable piece of plate from Trench A being marked on the base ‘G.VI.R Clokie & Co Ltd 1944’ A cup fragment appears to have (19) 42 on the base. Perhaps these are related to Home Guard or other use – the roof of the Town Hall was certainly a fire-watching post during World War Two.

English Porcelain (ENPO, 1740s onwards) and English Stonewares (ENGS) are also present, plus late tin-glazed ware (TGW) and Post-Medieval Redware (PMR, 1580 – 1900) and Transfer-Printed wares (TPW). Identifiable fragments include an R.White’s stoneware ginger beer bottle.

Clay Pipe
Only trenches A and C yielded any clay pipe remnants – a total of 15 stem fragments and five bowls, or parts thereof. Of the latter, only three were complete enough to be datable – one each of types AO28, 29 and 30 – their date ranges being 1820-1860, 1840-1880 and 1850-1910 respectively. Additionally, one undated stem and spur fragment had a shield design either side of the spur, and an incomplete bowl had a dot design either side of the front seam.

Building Material
This mostly consisted of lengths of modern field drain and some bricks.

Trench C had yielded four 30cm (one foot) field drain lengths, one incomplete. Their average external diameter was 6cm/2.5 inches. A further two similar lengths came from Trench D.

Unstratified from the adjacent Grove Gardens came five yellow bricks, original average length 180mm, depth 37mm, two of them incomplete. These are likely to be hand-made ‘Dutch’ bricks of late sixteenth/ seventeenth century date, of which a number have been found in the Hendon area.

There was also one glazed half-brick, 72mm long and 36mm deep, glazed on face and thickness only. There were also two unstratified pieces of conjoining oolitic limestone, painted on two faces; total length 87mm, thickness 30cm.It is retained along with five unstratified sherds of post-medieval pottery.

The finds are entirely consistent with mid-twentieth century dumping that may include material contemporary with and/or resultant from the demolition of, Grove House. The background residual medieval sherd is hardly surprising in a site so close to proven medieval activity at Burroughs Gardens, Church End Farm and Church Terrace.


‘Excavation Round-up 1978’ in London Archaeologist Vol. 3 (10) Spring 1979, p.262

Gillies, S. and Taylor, P. Hendon, Child’s Hill, Golders Green and Mill Hill: A Pictorial History. Phillimore, 1993
J . Clynes et al. Town Trail 1: Hendon. Barnet Libraries Local History Publications, June 1979

Pearce, J. (Ed.) The Last Hendon Farm: The archaeology and history of Church End Farm, HADAS, 2006 Petrie, H. Hendon & Golders Green Past. Historical Publications, 2005

What happened at the Roman Baths? Peter Pickering

We know a lot about what Roman baths were like, since they are ubiquitous among the ruins we visit. We do not see any Romans in them. But there have come down to us some tantalising glimpses of Romans in the baths. One is to be found in the amazingly named ‘Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana.’, which have recently been edited and translated into English by Eleanor Dickey of the University of Exeter. The Hermeneumata contain a phrasebook, like those one can buy for travelling abroad, designed to teach Latin speakers Greek or Greek speakers Latin. Here is a conversation between, it seems, a Roman going to the baths and his slave:

‘Take the towels down to the bath, the strigil, face-cloth, foot-cloth, flask of oil, soap. Go ahead of us, get a place.’
‘Where do you direct it to be? At the public baths, or the private one?’

‘Wherever you order.’

‘Just go ahead; I’m talking to you, the ones who are here.’

‘Let there be hot water for us.’

‘I’ll tell you when we’re coming.’

‘Get up, let’s go.’

‘Do you want to go from here through the portico, on account of the rain?’

‘Do you want to come to the privy?’

‘You reminded me well; my belly urges me to go. Let’s go now.’ ‘Take off your clothes.’

‘Take my shoes, put the clothes together, cover them, watch them well: don’t doze off, on account of the thieves.’ ‘Grab a ball for us: let’s play in the ball court.’

‘I want to practise on the wrestling-ground. Come here, let’s wrestle after a while for a moment.’

‘I don’t know if I can; I stopped wrestling a long time ago. Nevertheless, I shall try if I can.’ ‘I have been tired out easily.’

‘Let’s go into the first room, the tepidarium. Give the bath-keeper coins; get the change.’

‘Anoint me.’

‘I have anointed you.’

‘Rub me.’

‘Come to the sweat-room.’

‘Are you sweating?’

‘I am sweating; I am exhausted.’

‘Let’s go in to the hot pool.’

‘Go down.’

‘Let’s use the dry heat room and go down that way to the hot pool.’

‘Go down, pour hot water over me. Now get out. Throw yourself into the open-air pool.’ ‘Swim!’

‘I swam.’

‘Go over to the basin; pour water over yourself.’

‘Hand me the strigil. Rub me down. Wrap the towels around me. Dry my head and feet. Give me my shoes, put on my shoes. Hand me my underwear, mantle, Dalmatian tunic. Gather up the clothes and all our things. Follow me home, and buy for us from the bath-shop, chopped food and lupins and beans in vinegar.’ ‘You bathed well, may it be well for you.’

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan
Monday 8th April. 3pm Barnet and District Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street, Barnet
(opposite museum) ‘The Barnet Foundling Hospital at Monken Hadley” Talk by Yvonne Tomlinson. (See Stephen Brunning’s article in the February Newsletter)

Sunday 14th April. Battlefields Trust Chairman Frank Baldwin will lead a walk over the site of this decisive Wars of the Roses battle. Meet at 11.00am at the Old Monken Public House, High Street, Barnet, EN5 5SU. For further information contact Harvey Watson on 01494 257847 or email

Tuesday 16th April. 6.30pm Osidge Library, Brunswick Park Road N11 1EY ‘The Fields of Friern’. Talk by Dr Pauline Ashridge (See review of her book in the December Newsletter)

Thursday 25th April. 7.30pm Finchley Society. Christ Church North Finchley N12 (opposite Homebase). (note unusual venue) ‘A Walk round Finchley’ Mike Gee. Refreshments 7.30 pm. Non-members £2.

Monday 29th April. 10.15 am to 5pm UCL Institute of Archaeology ‘You can’t take it with you: Artefacts in Burials from Post-Roman to Modern’. Details from Jackie Keily, Museum of London. 020-7814 5734

Wednesday 15th May. 7.30pm Willesden Local History Society, St Mungo’s Centre, 115 Pound Lane NW10 2HV(opposite bus garage) ‘Lost railway stations of Willesden and Environs’ Talk by Cliff Wadsworth.

Friday 17th May. 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane\Junction Chase Side Enfield. ‘Skeletons in the Museum of London’ Talk by Jelena Bekvalak. Visitors £1. Refreshments etc 7.30 pm.

Friday 17th May. 6.30pm LAARC Mortimer Wheeler House 46 Eagle Wharf Road N1 7ED ‘Archaeological Archive by Twilight’ Discover some rarely seen finds after dark alongside Curator-led tours, object handling, performances and workshops. Book in advance online at or call 020-7001 9844. £7 (concessions £6).

Friday 17th May 7pm COLAS St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3. ‘The Crossrail Archaeology Project.’ Jay Carver – Project Archaeologist’ Visitors £2.

Wednesday 22nd May. 7.45pm Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone Police Station) Friern Barnet Lane N20. John Donovan Memorial Lecture ‘the 1960s’ Non- members £2 refreshments 7.45 pm and after meeting.

Thursday 31st May. 8pm Finchley Society. Avenue House. Discussion meeting. Topics to be arranged. Non- members £2.

Saturdays (various) in May. ‘Trinity in May’. Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether Street N12 7NN. Festival of Arts, Music, Literature and Lots More.

Newsletter-504-March-2013 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

Number 504 March 2013 Edited by Deirdre Barrie

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8 pm, with
coffee/tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members: £1. Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a short walk away.

Tuesday 12th March: The Railway Heritage Trust. Lecture by Andy Savage, Director of the Trust. The Railway Heritage Trust’s objectives were set in 1985: assisting the operational railway companies in the preservation and upkeep of listed buildings and structures, and in the transfer of non-operational premises and structures to outside bodies willing to undertake their preservation. The Trust achieves its objectives by giving both advice and grants. Britain’s railway heritage is one of the world’s richest, and railway buildings completed as recently as 1966 have been listed.

Andy Savage is the Executive Director of the Trust, which he joined at the start of 2010. Prior to that he was Deputy Chief Inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport, following a long career in railway civil engineering and, more recently, contractor safety. Andy has a long involvement in railway heritage, and in the building aspects of it, with a particular involvement in the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. Andy is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and of the Permanent Way Institution (of which he was President from 2006 to 2008). He is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and of the Chartered Institute of Transport.

Tuesday 9th April: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future. Lecture by Mark Beattie-Edwards, Programme Director, Nautical Archaeology Society.
Tuesday 14th May 2013: 10,000 years of History Beneath your Feet: the Bankside foreshore. Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey
Tuesday 8th October: Brunel’s Tunnel under the Thames. Lecture by Robert Hulse, Director of the Brunel Museum
Tuesday 12th November: Lions on Kunulua – excavations of Early Bronze and Iron Age periods at Tell Tayinat, Hatay, Turkey – Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey

HADAS “long weekend”, 15-19 September 2013 Jim Nelhams

There are still a few places left on the HADAS “long weekend”- actually a total of five days from Sunday 15th to Thursday 19th September. We will be based at Lee Wood (Best Western) Hotel in Buxton in the Derbyshire Peak District, an area which HADAS does not seem to have visited before.

We expect to visit Stoke on Trent, the “plague village” of Eyam, and Matlock Spa, including the Heights of Abraham, and more. Pick up points will as usual be Barnet, Whetstone, Finchley, Hendon, Golders Green and Temple Fortune. Times are not yet known until we confirm our en route coffee stop.

The proposed cost will be £450 per person sharing a double/twin room and £495 for a single. If you need a form, email or phone Jim Nelhams (details at the end of this newsletter), and send your £100 deposit, not later than 15th March. Cheques payable to HADAS please. We hope you can join us for what we expect to be another enjoyable trip.

New Barnet History Project Jim Nelhams

New Barnet is by definition “new” and does not have much written history. Cromer Road Primary School is celebrating 80 years of existence and as part of this has started a history project to fill the gap. The project is being run by Mrs Susan Skedd who works for English Heritage and has obtained a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for equipment and other resources.

On Sunday 10th February, there was an open afternoon at the school which was attended by a number of ex-pupils, some of whom went to the school in the 1930s. Many came armed with photographs and lots of memories. A further meeting is scheduled for Sunday 28th April from 2 to 4 p.m.

HADAS is looking into the possibility of a small archaeological dig in the summer either in or close to the school premises, which are on the edge of the old county boundary between Middlesex and Hertfordshire.

Can you help this project? Did you or any of your family or friends go to Cromer Road? Are you interested in digging there? If so, please contact Jim Nelhams (details on back page of newsletter) who will put you in touch with the appropriate people.

Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind Audrey Hooson (British Museum until 26th May 2013)

This current exhibition at the British Museum, curated by Jill Cook, has exhibits from across Europe. Loans have come from the Czech Republic, France, Germany , Russia and the UK. The museum has been able to bring together examples of sculpture, drawings, models and jewellery. The earliest of these date from the last 40,000 years of the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.

Many of the items are very small, they are grouped by theme and beautifully lit, mainly in island cases to enable an all-round view. There is a small room with images from cave paintings projected onto an undulatory wall, in an attempt to evoke the visitor’s experience.

As the title implies, the emphasis of this exhibition is more on art and human development than on archaeological excavation. A few examples of 20th Century art are included for comparison.

As is usual at the British Museum, the exhibition is supported by lectures. I went to Jill Cook’s “Curator’s Introduction” talk and found it very interesting. This will be repeated on the 16th of March and the 19th of April (free but booking advised). Entrance to the Exhibition is £10 with some concessions. It is half price for Artcard holders and also, on Monday afternoons, for seniors.

News of Members
Mrs Jennifer Searle wrote to the Membership Secretary on behalf of her mother, Mrs Margaret Taylor of St Albans, who at age 97 has decided not to renew her membership:

“Mrs Margaret Taylor thanks the members of HADAS for their very interesting reports and excavations in their area. Increasing poor health and no longer driving herself – she sadly offers her resignation from the Society, with innumerable happy memories of involvement in HADAS. She has so many rich, varied memories of all her involvement for a very long time. Thank you for these memories & best wishes for the Society’s future.”
We wish Mrs Taylor the very best, and send her our good wishes.

The Whetstone Turnpike Trust Don Cooper

The other day Brian Warren, a well-known HADAS member and researcher, brought along a handwritten copy of a memorial of a deed he found in the archives of Hatfield House. The deed dated from about 1829. It was a petition to parliament as follows:

“To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned inhabitants, owners and occupiers of lands and tenements within the Parish of Finchley in the County of Middlesex, showeth that a Bill has lately been brought into and depending in Parliament entitled “A bill for the further improvement of the road from London to Holyhead and of the road from London to Liverpool.” That such Bill proposes to create additional tolls to be levied within the district of Whetstone Trust which will be manifestly unnecessarily partial and oppressive on your petitioners and the inhabitants of Finchley Parish using the said road and more especially on the farmers and cultivators of the lands within the parish.
That the said bill, if passed into a law, will be extremely prejudicial to the interests of your petitioners.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that they may be heard by themselves, their counsels, agents and witnesses against such parts of the said bill that affects them and the same may not pass into law as it now stands or that your petitioners may have such other relief as your Lordships deem fit.”

The petition is signed by 35 named individuals including the Rector, Churchwardens and Overseers of the local church. Intrigued – I wondered what it was all about!

There were turnpike trusts set up all along the road from London to Holyhead. The trusts levied tolls on passing traffic and used the money to maintain and repair the road. Quoting from the “Sixth Report from the select committee on the Road from London to Holyhead on Turnpike trusts between London and Holyhead, ordered by the House of Common to be printed 6th July 1819”

“The Whetstone Trust commences at the southern termination of the St Alban’s Trust near the Obelisk , which is north of Barnet; it passes through this town and Whetstone and over Finchley Common to Highgate gatehouse, a distance of 8½ miles.
It is unlucky that the towns of St Albans, Barnet and Highgate stand upon the summit of hills, and that the road, in order to pass through them, has to cross ridges and valleys alternately;

whereas by passing a few miles to the east or west of the present line most of the hills would have been avoided.
To render the road in this Trust as perfect as circumstances admit, it is necessary that some hollows should be raised, and inclinations eased. The descent from Barnet is 1 in 21 for 66yds; 1 in 14 for 132; and 1 in 18 for 66yds; these two latter are evidently too steep, and the uppermost is only admissible if kept hard and smooth. In ascending to Whetstone the first part is 1 in 21 for 66yds and 1 in 18½ for 121, this latter is too steep, and the whole may be easily remedied by cutting a little near the top of the hill and raising the hollow on the north side. There are also sundry others, that is to say, near the seven mile stone, at the Green Man Inn, at the sixth mile, and by the Old Lion Inn. Materials for raising these hollows may sometimes be obtained by cutting the adjacent ridges, sometimes by lower the footpaths, which are in some instances much too high in some place, by cutting off unnecessary bends in the road fences. This is an extract from Thomas Telford’s 1st report on the English part of the Holyhead road.

After detailing the toll rate, comes the sting in the tail as follows:

According to the report,

“the annual expense for repairs, upon an average of four years, previous to 1817, is, in the aforementioned return, stated at £3083.6s.7¾; this upon 8½ miles of road, is at a rate of
£362.14s per mile, being double of the most expensive of the other Trusts, where the materials are much more difficult to procured. It is not stated that in this expense any particular improvement has been lately made; nor did I notice any upon the inspection; but, in justice to the Trustees it ought to be stated, that sundry essential improvements have in the course of some years past been made in this Trust, say, near Barnet and Finchley Common.”

Need I say more?

The digital image that I am quoting from was made by the University of Southampton library digitisation unit.

Ironbridge Trip – Day 5

Visit to Blists Hill Victorian Town Patrick McSharry

On the fifth and final day of our trip to Ironbridge and its environs we visited Blists Hill Victorian Town, which began its life in 1967 and was formally opened in 1973. It stands on what was a large derelict industrial site and has been developed over a number of years. In many respects it is still an ongoing project – organic in nature with the primary purpose, as far as visitors are concerned, to immerse them in an “atmosphere of a small industrial town at a pivotal time in British history – the period between 1890 and 1910.” It is managed and run by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. I first visited the “town” in 1981 and upon my arrival last September became immediately aware of the huge changes/expansion that had taken place in the intervening years, especially the increased vibrancy of a working period community.

The “town” occupies a 50-acre site where iron was once smelted, coal and clay were mined and where bricks and roofing were made. Initially the idea was that the site should be an open-air industrial park where industrial processes and craft skills could be demonstrated, and was the first of its kind in the whole of the country. Originally it was called “Blists Hill Open Air Museum” but in the 1980s the focus began to change. People rather than processes became the new priority. No longer was it to be an open-air museum – its original conception – but a working town. To this end buildings located elsewhere and due for demolition were rescued and reconstructed on site, brick by brick, thus, for example, the bakery originated from Dawley, the doctor’s surgery had been located on the Sutherland Estate, Cottage from Donnington and the Board School had been relocated from Stirchley. Many buildings, however, are simply replicas incorporating original features of those still standing elsewhere; thus the bank was modelled on the still standing Lloyds Bank branch in Brosely (where the Clay pipe Museum is located). The newly built “Canal Street” completed in 2009 was closely modelled on extant and historic buildings in the Telford area which included the new fish & chip shop (frying on the day we visited and doing a roaring trade), the drapers shop and the post office. A whole range of typical small trades and services in the main town area were introduced, including adding domestic housing. Small crafts included an iron foundry, a tallow candle manufactory, a shoeing smith, and a decorative plasterer, for example. One could make purchases and be assured of the quality of the products sold.

The net result has been to create a snapshot from the past brought back to life, made the more real by the fact that staff (“costumed demonstrators“) wear Victorian costume and have been trained in the skills and history of the profession they re-enact. Walking into the post office, the bakery, or, for that matter, the chemist, the staff engage the visitor in authentic period conversation referring to matters/concerns of the day – the death of the old Queen, the relief of Mafeking or the increased price of flour. Momentarily one felt transported into another age courtesy perhaps of Dr. Who’s Tardis. In wandering around the complex, listening as one did to the costumed demonstrators the Trust actively encouraged the visitor to become involved in the various activities with the clear intention of ensuring that one saw Blists Hill through the eyes of a Victorian and thus experiencing it as though one were really visiting a small industrial town over a century ago. In this they largely succeeded. Additionally, the Trust, I was told, very often organises special themed events using professional actors to bring to life “the customs and traditions in the lives of ordinary working class Victorians.” Very often, during the visit, one was invariably overwhelmed by feelings of intense nostalgia for a bygone age when old fashioned courtesies abounded and where the individual counted and personal service and, indeed the quality of that service, counted for something. But enough of hankering for the so-called good old days (always a relative concept) lest we become intoxicated by the mystic chords of memory and inadvertently allow ourselves to become completely detached from reality! It has its own risks!

The visit lasted about four hours, which gave us time to walk around the site if so inclined or simply to concentrate on the town area, equally time-consuming but just as enjoyable. I decided to tour the whole complex before taking refuge at the “New Inn” Public House and its restaurant to enjoy a lovely bowl of soup and home-made bread. Talking of bread, I managed to purchase some freshly-baked fruit rolls from the bakery (in spite of the long queue), receiving the advice upon payment that they should not be consumed whilst hot. This was a memorable and remarkable visit which I hope to repeat in the future when the town will perhaps have further expanded (there is room for new development or even redevelopment) becoming a mini Victorian metropolis with its own singular dynamic, and thus ensuring a permanent focus for the inquiring public! And so we departed, thankful for a glimpse into a past world, and made our way on to Stoke Bruerne, our final visit, and its canal side in Northamptonshire before returning to London.

The Hay Inclined Plane Stewart Wild/Jim Nelhams
Those who chose to visit the Tar Tunnel on our second day would have seen the bottom end of the Hay Inclined Plane. These days, it is not possible to climb the plane from the bottom, but a short walk along the bank of what remains of this section of the Shropshire Canal takes you to the top end of the Plane. This ingenious piece of engineering, which got its name from Hay Farm on whose land it was built, commenced in 1792 and operated for over one hundred years, until 1894.

After the failure of the Tar Tunnel as a method of bringing coal direct to the canal boats, engineers constructed an inclined-plane railway nearby – basically a pair of railway tracks up the hillside at an angle of around thirty-five degrees. They rose just over 200ft to join an arm of the Shropshire Canal at the top of the hill. Tubs 20ft long with a capacity of up to five tons of coal were loaded onto cradles, lowered down the hillside with controlled descent and transferred to waiting boats on the Coalport Canal below. The scant remains of a brick boiler house and winding mechanism stand mute and overgrown at the top. This employed a funicular principle with a rope or wire running round a pulley wheel, so that as the tub descended, another came back up the other track. There also, you can see where the special cradles were immersed in the water underneath the tubs before raising them out and over a hump to start their journey down the slope.

Stoke Bruerne Jim Nelhams

On our way to Ironbridge, we had stopped for coffee at a canal-side pub, and our original plan for the return journey was similar, until we heard that our intended stop had been closed. A hasty plan B suggested a stop at Stoke Bruerne, though some members might already have been there.

This little village sits on the Grand Union Canal south of Northampton at the top of a flight of 7 locks and close to the Blisworth Tunnel. As well as a waterside hostelry appropriately named “The Boat Inn”, it boasts a small “Canal Museum” with coffee house and the necessary toilets. The Museum is on the upper floors of an old warehouse. Of particular interest was the model of another “inclined plane”, this one at Foxton on the Leicester Branch of the canal. At Foxton, two seven-foot wide narrowboats could be floated into a tank, with the whole tank descending sideways to the bottom of the hill. This process would take around 12 minutes, where the alternative route through two staircases of 4 locks each without passing places would take 45 minutes on average. (While the locks are still in use, sadly the inclined plane is rather overgrown. Work is planned by a volunteer group to restore it.)

“The Boat Inn“, as well as providing sustenance, runs a short boat trip service, and many of our intrepid travellers took advantage of this. The leisurely ride, sticking to the canal speed limit of 4 miles per hour, took us up to and just inside the mouth of the Blisworth Tunnel before turning and dropping us back at the starting point.

For the final time, we boarded our golden coach for the journey back home.

On Wenlock Edge Jim Nelhams

Wenlock Edge is an escarpment of some 16 miles running between Craven Arms and Ironbridge, overlooking the plain on which Wroxeter sits. A.E.Housman immortalised this in his poetry in “A Shropshire Lad”. And one evening at our meal, to much approbation stepped forward Ken Carter in best Thespian mode to recite the poem for us. Well done, Ken.

Events at Avenue House Jim Nelhams
A number of events are planned this year at Avenue House which may be of interest. Here are some dates for your diaries.

Quiz Suppers continue and are planned for 14th March, 16th May, 17th October and 12th December. HADAS, using the team name “The Old Ruins”, has a good record at these quizzes, but new team members are always welcome.

Sunday Marts will be held on the second Sunday each month starting in April (14th). These will have stalls on the terrace and by the stable block, as well as in the house. As a tenant, HADAS is able to have our own stall free of charge outside the garden room, providing that we have someone to man it.

The Bothy Gardens are open on the first Sunday each month until October. There will be a £5 charge in June and September, but other months are free of charge.

By the time this is published we will have missed the first Murder Mystery Supper (a trial event!), but if this goes well, further events of this type are planned. And July 29th sees a “Party in the Park”.

And don’t forget The Stephens Collection, open to the public 2pm – 4.30 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only. Admission free.


Tuesday 12th March, 8pm Highgate Society, 10A, South Grove, N6 6BS. Henrietta Barnett, Victorian Philanthropist and Social Reformer. Talk by Micky Watkins, HADAS member (who has just written a book on this subject). Free admission.

Tuesday 19th March, 6.30-7.30 pm. Ruislip Lido Railway Society, Osidge Library, Brunswick Park Road, N11 1EY. Talk by members on The History and Operation of Ruislip Lido Railway Since 1945.

Wednesday 20th March, 6pm Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. The Historic Collections of Lambeth Palace. Talk by Giles Mandelbrote (Librarian and Archivist). Free.

Thursday 21st March, 7.30 pm. Camden History Society – Local Studies Library, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PY. The Day Parliament Burnt Down. Talk by Caroline Shenton.

Thursday 21st March, 8pm. Finchley Society. Drawing room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, N3 3PE. Discussion. (Please see March/April Newsletter “Finchley Society” for further details). Note: change of date. Visitors £2.

CORRECTION: Friday 22nd March, 7.30 pm, Wembley History Society, 977 Harrow Road, Sudbury, HAO 25F (opp. “Black Horse” pub). What is Sudbury? Talk by Len Snow (author and historian). Visitors £2. (Please note change of date from 15th and also different venue!) This is a correction to February’s Newsletter.

Wednesday 27th March, 7.45 pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society at St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone Police Station) Friern Barnet Lane, N20. Dig For Victory – talk by Russell Bowes. Visitors £2, refreshments 7.45 pm.

Wednesday 3rd April, 5pm. British Archaeological Association, Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1V OHS. Commemoration and the Development of the English Parish Church. Talk by Nigel Saul. Tea at 4.30 pm

Saturday 13th April, 10.30 am-4 pm. LAMAS – Visit to the Medieval Settlement in Ruislip, including tour round Manor Farm (including its medieval and Tudor buildings) and the High Street, with a walk through Park Wood, returning down Bury Street in the afternoon to see the Park medieval earthworks and more timber- framed houses. The tour will be led by Colin and Eileen Bowlt. Please e-mail, or call 01895 638060 to book a place. Meet at 10.30 am at Ruislip Station, or 11 am at St. Martin’s Approach car park, Ruislip High St / Eastcote Rd., HA4 8DG.

Tuesday 16th April, 6.30-7.30 pm. North Finchley Library, Ravensdale Avenue, N12 9HP. The Friern Hospital Story. Talk by David Berguer (Chair, Friern Barnet Local History Society).

Wednesday 24th April, 7.45 pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone Police Station) Friern Barnet Lane, N20. Octavia Hill, talk by Pamela Wright. Visitors £2. Refreshments 7.45 pm.

Thursday 25th April 8 pm, Finchley Society. Christ Church, High Road, North Finchley N12 (opposite Homebase). Talk details not yet finalised. (Please see March/April Finchley Society Newsletter and note change of venue). Visitors £2, refreshments.

With thanks to this month’s contributors; Bill Bass, Stephen Brunning, Don Cooper, Audrey Hooson, Patrick McSharry, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams and Stewart Wild.

Join the HADAS e-mail discussion group via the website at:

Newsletter-503-February-2013 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

Number 503 February 2013 Edited by Andy Simpson

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8 pm,

with coffee/tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members: £1. Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a short walk away.

Tuesday 12 February From Longboat to Warrior; the evolution of the wooden ship Lecture by Eliot Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme (NB- held in the Salon)
Tuesday 12th March: The Railway Heritage Trust Lecture by Andy Savage.

Tuesday 9th April: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future
Lecture by Mark Beattie-Edwards, Programme Director, Nautical Archaeology Society. Tuesday 14th May 2013: 10,000 years of History Beneath your Feet: the Bankside foreshore Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey
Tuesday 8th October: Brunel’s Tunnel under the Thames

Lecture by Robert Hulse – Director of the Brunel Museum
Tuesday 12th November: Lions on Kunulua – excavations of Early Bronze and Iron Age periods at Tell Tayinat, Hatay, Turkey Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey

Our “long weekend”, 2013 Jim Nelhams

HADAS long weekends have for a few years been rather longer, and our trip in 2013 is a total of 5 days, running from Sunday 15th September and returning home on Thursday 19th. We will be based at Lee Wood (Best Western) Hotel in Buxton in the Derbyshire Peak District, an area which HADAS does not seem to have visited before.

We expect to visit Stoke on Trent, the “plague village” of Eyam, and Matlock Spa, including the Heights of Abraham, and are examining a number of other options. If you have any other suggestions, please talk to Jim or Jo Nelhams or Don Cooper (contact details on back page of newsletter).
Pick up points will as usual be Barnet, Whetstone, Finchley, Hendon, Golders Green and Temple Fortune. Times are not yet known until we confirm our en route coffee stop.
We managed to hold prices last year, but unfortunately both hotel and coach prices have risen this year so the proposed cost will be £450 per person sharing a double/twin room and £495 for a single.
These prices are based on a group of 36 people. Because the prices have risen, we need to know that we have enough interest to make the trip viable.
With this newsletter, you will find a form about the trip. If you want to come, please complete it and return the form to Jim Nelhams with your deposit, not later than 15th March. Cheques payable to HADAS please. Cheques will not be banked until we know we have enough support.
We hope you can join us for what we expect to be another enjoyable trip.
Thanks, but no tanks Andy Simpson

Last month’s newsletter featured recent resistivity work by HADAS at Martin Primary School, East Finchley.
The main entrance corridor of the school features original Finchley Urban District Council architect’s plans for the school, and historic photographs. One of these seemingly dates to the late First World War period, showing the entire school grouped in front of the main entrance (this photo being reproduced on the first page of the January/February 2013 Finchley Society Newsletter), and what appears to be a classic Great War British tank in the background. Or not. When I showed this to RAF Museum colleague Alan Wicks, a member of the Friends of Bovington Tank Museum (, he pointed out a few problems. Using the people standing on top as a scale, for one thing it isn’t long enough, and the forward raised housing is too square and too big – and should slope at the back. It could perhaps be a mock-up, perhaps in wood, and produced for recruiting or ‘Tank Bank Week’ fundraising events run by the National War Savings Committee. Anyone out there know more of tanks in Great War Finchley or Barnet?
Publication Backlog Andy Simpson

Further to last year’s articles on 1970s HADAS digs in Fuller St, Hendon, and the White Swan, Golders Green, I am now working on the Hendon Town Hall dig directed by Ted Sammes over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 1978, assisted by the Sunday morning Avenue House gang with the finds processing. There are no extant site notes or drawings, just a few informal snapshots, mostly by the late George Ingrams, and just a handful of references in HADAS committee minutes. Finds are varied – a single

residual sherd of medieval pottery, clay pipes, and much 18th- 19th century pottery, including part of a Government Issue plate dated 1944 and even a fragment of shrapnel from an artillery shell, presumably from anti-aircraft fire.

Margaret Maher 1938-2012 – a personal tribute by Myfanwy Stewart

It was with great sadness that Margaret’s friends heard that she had passed away on the 15th December 2012 after years of illness. She had fought ill health with an indomitable spirit that came as no surprise to all who knew her.

We first met when HADAS started the Mesolithic excavation of West Heath, Hampstead, under the direction of the late Daphne Lorimer, and we stayed to the close in 1981. In 1977 the excavation of the West Heath Spring site, a boggy area to the south-east, was made possible when Margaret’s husband William (always “Billy” to her) provided a HY-Mac excavator to dig out the first 1.6. metres of the bog. Samples from a deeper pit were taken by the late M.Girling and J. Grieg and evidence of five thousand years of environmental data were obtained from the beetle and pollen evidence. Sadly Billy was to die prematurely and Margaret was left a widow with 4 children.

After West Heath, we both went as full time students to the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and successfully graduated. We dug on the Mesolithic site on Hengistbury Head and then West Heath was re-opened by HADAS in 1984 under Margaret’s direction.

Margaret proved to be a very able director for the 3 year excavation. Extremely thorough, she ran a ‘tight ship’ which brought out the best in the diggers. Her knowledge of flint knapping and typology was prodigious and she was always eager to teach all who took part. She generated enthusiasm and the site had a very happy atmosphere.

My usually reticent mother, who progressed from tea making to writing up the finds ledger, said that working on the site “was one of the happiest times of my life” and that Margaret was “a real worker”. It was very gratifying when UCL acknowledged the excavation and allowed their undergraduates to work there as part of their required excavation experience.

Much humour came from the crowd of people who inevitably came to watch and comment from behind the fence. A memorable moment came when a mounted police officer called to Margaret “I am looking for a man”. “Aren’t we all” she jokingly shouted back.

The last time we excavated together was at Culverwell, the Mesolithic shell midden on the Isle of Portland, owned and directed by Susann Palmer. Overlooking the sea, the site was a complete contrast to West Heath and added to our experience of the Mesolithic.

The last time I saw Margaret she knew she did not have long to live. She faced the inevitable with immense courage and dignity. The large congregation at her funeral requiem mass showed how well she was regarded and included members of HADAS and former UCL graduates.

Another side of Margaret was shown in the order of service booklet which referred to her “eclectic taste in music”, some of which was played at her funeral. Included also was a selection from her collection of “sayings, oddments and poetry that she particularly liked or which touched a chord”. She really was “one of a kind” and will be greatly missed by her friends. Sincere and deepest sympathy is sent to her children and family.

Ironbridge Trip – Day 4


Day 4 of this year’s HADAS excursion to Shropshire was a real delight despite the inclement weather. It began with Bridgnorth, thence to the atmospheric pipe factory of Broseley and finally to Cosford to view the RAF Museum there.
Bridgnorth’s name comes from a bridge over the Severn, a little to the north of where the town stands. It is one town with two very distinct parts: The High Town which stands on a cliff and overlooks the River Severn; and the Low Town on the west bank of the Severn. The two parts are connected by the Bridgnorth Funicular or Castle Hill Railway, said to be the steepest inland funicular railway in Britain.

Our guided tour began in the windswept Sainsbury’s car park but with one or two stops we hastened to the historic centre of Bridgnorth High Town, which we entered by Northgate the only surviving gate of the original five. Northgate houses the Bridgnorth Museum, which had been opened for our Hadasian party. The Museum was accessed by a narrow, steep stone staircase. The Museum’s shape was dictated by its location on the Northgate cum wall of Bridgnorth. Thus it was one long narrow room crammed with a fascinating collection of historic artefacts telling the story of Bridgnorth over the centuries. Members of the Bridgnorth & District Historical Society were on hand to answer the many questions posed to them.

Much of historic High Town Bridgnorth we see today dates from the seventeenth century, as the town was a severe casualty of the English Civil War (1641-1649). The fateful day was the 29th March 1646 when Parliamentary forces attacked the town which had declared for the King. Bridgnorth’s motto is “Fidelitas Urbis Salus Regius” (In the Town’s loyalty lies the King’s Safety). In the ensuing melee much of the town was fired and a goodly portion of St. Leonard’s Church destroyed, by explosion.

A hop, skip and a jump from Northgate was St. Leonard’s Church approached by a narrow picturesque street. As with St. Mary’s in Shrewsbury, St. Leonard’s is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Its location which is circular is a delight and known as St. Leonard’s Close. St. Leonard’s is a Norman foundation and some of its interesting features include lovely windows and a pulpit carved, as an angel with a trumpet, in wood.

Our tour wended its way to Bridgnorth’s 17th century Town Hall (part of which was once a court of justice), a half-timbered building standing over the arched market area, that dominates the High Street. The Town Hall, accessed by a wooden staircase, is a gem. The Council chamber, wooden panelled with interesting stained glass windows is a palimpsest of the Town’s history since the 17th century. Our tour of the High Town concluded at the classically designed church of St. Mary Magdalene. Designed by whom? None other than Thomas Telford with whom I associated things

industrial and not this light-filled beautiful, spacious building with soaring windows. St. Mary’s, despite its classical design, stands on an 11th century foundation and, unlike St. Leonard’s, is the centre of an active and vibrant parish.

Leaving St. Mary’s we hastened to the Castle Hill Railway, approached by a narrow walkway with stunning views over the Severn and beyond. Views said by Charles I to be the finest in the Kingdom.

What fun it is to ride on unusual forms of transport. The funicular railway is one such form. The railway, initially operated by water, is now powered by electricity.

Below – going down! – Photo by Andy Simpson.

The railway operated two cars on parallel tracks. Connected by steel cables, the carriages serve to counter-balance each other, as one rises to the top station the other runs to the bottom station. The railway (opened in July 1892) is a testament to Victorian entrepreneurial and engineering skills.

Two of Bridgnorth’s most famous sons are Francis Moore of “Old Moore’s Almanac” fame and Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Shakespearian actor and star of stage and screen. Their names evoked those mystic cards of memory of my childhood as the Almanac was always in our house, usually bought at the door from an itinerant pedlar; and Sir Cedric is remembered from the black & white (and some colour) films shown at the matinee performances at the Classic Cinema, alas now no more. I remember more vividly his son, the actor Edward Hardwicke, a grandson of Bridgnorth, who played Watson to Jeremy Brett’s Holmes.

Once our descent, from the High Town to the Low Town had been accomplished we embarked on the coach at Lavington Hole to journey to historic Broseley.


And so to visit the Broseley pipe museum; the museum is on the site of one of the last clay pipe factories in Britain. It belonged to the Southorn family. Having opened in 1880 as Crown Pipeworks, it closed in 1957 and was left as it was until becoming a museum in 1992. (The last pipe-making factory to close in Britain was John Pollock & Co. of Manchester, which closed in 1992). The village of Broseley was renowned for clay pipe makers, the first one being recorded in 1590. Such was the popularity of clay pipe smoking that what was once a cottage industry became an industrial factory business.

At its peak in the 18th century Broseley was known world-wide for the quality of its clay pipes and there were a number of factories in the village. Smoking a “Broseley”

was the height of fashion. However, by the late 19th century clay pipe smoking was in decline as cigarettes became more popular. To meet this challenge the various

companies consolidated and eventually only William Southorn & Co., which had started in 1823, was left.

As a final fling they diversified into making china dolls, pipes for children to blow bubbles with etc., but gave up the struggle in 1957 when Harry Southorn died.

We were very fortunate to be able to arrange for Rex M Key (one of the very last clay pipe makers) to give us a demonstration of how clay pipes had been made in the factory. In summary, the clay (which often came up from Cornwall) was washed in tubs to remove imperfections. Then it was worked like dough to remove the air and was rolled into a rough pipe shape and a wire pushed through the stem to make the hole. Next it was put in a two part steel mould to form the bowl properly, the mould was clamped and the wire pushed through to complete the hole for the smoke to reach the smoker. Once dried, it was trimmed and excess clay removed, put in saggars (ceramic boxes for holding products put in kilns, which could be stacked neatly and reused) and fired in the kiln. The kiln at this factory held 75,000 pipes, and firing and cooling took four days in all. After the clay pipes were fired, they were sometimes polished and burnished, and had the tips dipped in a waxy substance so that the smoker’s lips did not stick to the clay. The pipes were packed carefully in straw or wood shavings (as they are very fragile!), boxed and dispatched all around the world.

Clay pipes came in all shapes and sizes. Essentially they were used as advertising for a whole host of organisations; pubs, clubs, societies, and often commemorated individual people and events. The smallest pipes were known as “cutties”, church warden pipes were 20” (50cms) long, and the longest pipes were up to 36” (91cms).

Below – Rex at work – photo by Andy Simpson

Rex is a knowledgeable clay pipe enthusiast (he has a personal collection of 14,000 pipes) and he gave us a wonderful demonstration on how to make clay pipes supported by an excellent commentary – thanks Rex. As one of the last clay pipe makers, he says he is inundated with orders from organisations wanting clay pipes to advertise their organisations.

After the demonstration (which was done in two groups so that everyone could see Rex at work) we toured the rest of the remains of the factory, left as if the workforce had just gone home for the day, and viewed workbenches, samples of moulds, types of pipes as well as videos of pipe-making in the past. As clay pipes were virtually a disposable item hence “a pipe and pint for a penny”, with frequent changes of designs, they are an important tool, when found in context, in helping to date archaeological finds. The pipe museum, a time capsule of what the working conditions were like in the declining years of this industry, was a grim place to work, full of dust, but a fascinating gem of a place to visit.

Warning – Contains Aeroplanes! Andy Simpson

After a most enjoyable visit to Broseley, we moved on to the Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford, which is the ‘Midlands Outstation’ of the Hendon museum. This is a long-established collection; the writer of this note remembers with affection 1970s Sunday afternoon drives out to what was then the Cosford Aerospace Museum, long before it was formally joined with the museum at Hendon.

In those days, when the aircraft there were viewed as one of the RAF’s former ‘Regional Collections’ of historic aircraft, for 50 pence you got museum admission, duplicated guidebook, AND a car sticker! Even today, admission remains free.

This is a large site to one side of what remains an operational airfield and tri-service training base – see

The museum site occupies five large buildings – a reception building, upper pair of hangars, lower hangar, the vast, lottery-funded National Cold War Exhibition building (‘NCWE’), and the building where we started our visit, the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (‘MBCC’), named after a long-serving Chairman of the RAF Museum Trustees, a wartime bomber pilot. Our guide for the tour of the centre was MBCC Manager Tim Wallis, also ex-RAF. Tim talked us through the conservation and restoration role of the MBCC, with particular reference to the on-going long-term restoration projects on two wartime RAF bombers – the Vickers Wellington, after 40 years display at Hendon, and the Handley Page Hampden wreck recovered from its Russian forest crash site in the early 1990s and requiring total rebuild whilst retaining as much as possible of the original structure. Also being worked on was the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel, an early development version of the late lamented Harrier Jump Jet that recently fell victim to government cuts. Tim’s team of technicians and apprentices have also been heavily involved in the reassembly of the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft, a derivative of the Comet airliner, seen parked outside in the final stages of assembly following its move by road from Kemble airfield in Gloucestershire – Cosford’s relatively short runway means not all RAF Museum acquisitions can be flown in due to their size and weight.

After this most informative tour, we were free to explore the rest of the site. Many concentrated on the NCWE with its collection of Cold War artefacts including tanks and armoured vehicles as well as aircraft. It is the only place in the world displaying all three nuclear–capable ‘V Bombers’ – Victor, Valiant and Vulcan. See

Below – Cosford’s De Havilland Mosquito and Avro Lincoln (Photo by Andy Simpson)

Others of the group found their way to the hangars containing the extensive collection of research and development aircraft, including the ill-fated TSR2, and warplanes, including Mosquito and Lincoln bombers, the latter a development of the immortal Lancaster. The weather was perfect and after a good stroll round we headed back to the hotel.

Site visit to the Bucklersbury House Excavation Bill Bass

The visit was organised by the City of London Archaeological Society, on the 12th Dec 2012. As it was popular the group was split into a morning and afternoon time-slot, this report is of the afternoon session.

The site borders Queen Victoria St to the north (near Bank station) and takes in not only the area of the now demolished Bucklersbury House, but also other properties to the south. Our party entered via the north-west entrance, where we were met by Sadie Watson, the Project Officer for Museum of London Archaeology. After signing-in, the first thing to strike you was the massive scale of the site, 5-10m deep in places and covering a wide area, lots of big construction plant, piling machines and staff in high visibility vests. It was, we were told, currently the biggest privately- financed development in Europe. After walking down to the site cabin we were given a briefing on the site by Sadie.

This part of the City between Moorgate and Bank was bisected north to south by the River Walbrook which created the upper Walbrook Valley. This area has long been known for its archaeological importance.

In the early 1950s, Professor Grimes discovered and excavated the Temple of Mithras (whose peripatetic fate will be more fully reported in due course). In more recent times there have been several high-profile digs associated with the Walbrook Valley including No1 Poultry – which overlooks our site just to the north, Drapers Gardens and 8-10 Moorgate. In fact the excavations at 8-10 Moorgate and of Bucklersbury House were being dug concurrently for a time, those at Moorgate have just been completed (early December).

The earliest signs of Roman occupation in the immediate area came from No1 Poultry – a timber drain of 47AD. In this period the Walbrook would have been navigable by boat. As noted in the other sites above, the Walbrook and its valley became increasingly industrialised, post-holes, piles, revetments and the like saw the river channelled and moved for various purposes. At Bucklersbury, a system of plank-lined drains and wells have been recorded across the area, posts, and groupings of posts, may indicate a substantial mill and associated mill-race being built over the river at the north of the site.

Eventually as water levels dropped and the Walbrook became silted up, timber-framed buildings were erected over the line of the river around the late 1st to early 2nd century. Built mostly of oak they would have been founded on base-plates supported on piles with vertical beams slotted into mortice joints, then in-filled with wattle and daub walls. Access to the buildings could be seen with excavation of fence-lined alleyways. Preservation of these wooden frames and fence features was described as ‘excellent’.

After a series of dumping and levelling layers in the later Roman period, the area was re-modelled with buildings of ragstone lining the east of the Walbrook, together with a shrine, walls and floors possibly leading to, or associated with, a temple precinct – The Temple of Mithras. Indeed remains of the foundations of the Temple of Mithras not removed when it was dismantled in 1954 were rediscovered during early work on the site, but were reburied, as it is now a ‘Scheduled Ancient Monument’.

A tessellated floor was recorded and lifted, the floor was partially made with recycled materials – hypocaust tiles and similar, so not top-notch but a step-up from a beaten earth or chalk floor, for instance. (In 1869 a superb mosaic was discovered in the region of Bucklersbury).

It would appear that the Walbrook is the place to dig as at Drapers Gardens there was a wonderful array of finds, which were passed around the table. These included a small polished Neolithic hand- axe – found in a Roman context where somebody had tried to drill a hole through it to act as a pendant. Another star find was a small amber amulet shaped like a gladiator’s helmet. From the Walbrook Discovery Programme blog:

“At a little over 1 cm across this was a great spot on site and could easily have been missed. The helmet has a large crest and has a lattice work of engraved lines on the face which forms a stylised representation of a visor. It is perforated through the crest for suspension. This type of helmet was worn by a murmillo type of gladiator who was armed with a sword, shield, helmet, greaves and padding on his right arm. Normally paired off against a thraex these gladiators were amongst the most popular of the imperial Roman period and would undoubtedly have competed at the Londinium Amphitheatre at Guildhall Yard”.

Some recently excavated wax writing-tablets in excellent, water-logged condition, were also seen. The wax has disappeared but the impressed writing can often be seen with scientific and photographic techniques. One from No.1 Poultry describes the sale of a female slave – Fortunata. A host of other finds we saw included copper items – pendants, brooches, hinges, coins, buckles and a tabard for holding your chain-mail together. Iron keys and arrowheads were also seen.

We were soon issued with our own hi-vis ‘safety-kit’ and retracing our steps from the west to a viewing platform on the east of the site off the Walbrook street. Most of

the archaeology survives only down the east side of the site due to truncation by the 1950s office development. We were looking through and over massive modern day

steel piling and revetments, this was needed as the site was so deep and directly behind us was St Stephen’s Church, whose medieval 15th century foundations

needed to be kept in check! A new entrance to Bank station will be built in this area and there are plans to re-instate the line of the Roman Road of Watling Street

across the site here. Looking down we could see many of the 50-60 archaeologists working away at the deep black deposits of the 2nd century Walbrook. They are

surrounded by Roman timber posts – of the possible two-storey mill together with other walls, wells and drains, in between was their modern concrete equivalents. As an aside, many of the Roman timbers may be recycled as an ‘art instillation’ in the new building, which will also include a publicly accessible new display of the Temple of Mithras. It was a fascinating and impressive sight to see such a large chunk of well-preserved archaeology being excavated in the City of London.

The site is being developed by McAlpine to be the European HQ of Bloomberg LP. Many thanks to Sophie Jackson, Director Design and Development and Sadie

Watson of MOLA, for giving up so much of her time, and to Rose Baillie for organising the visit. The dig can be followed on the blog here:

( where more info and further finds are to be found.

The Foundling Hospital in Hadley Report by Stephen Brunning.
I recently joined the Barnet U3A and attended my first meeting and lecture on 3rd January. The lecture was given by exhibition curator Yvonne Tomlinson.

The Foundling Hospital was set up by Thomas Coram (1668-1751) who was appalled by the plight of London’s abandoned children. The hospital received its charter on 17th October 1739 and became the first children’s charity. A building to house the children opened in Bloomsbury in 1745. There were 376 governors who included royalty and painter William Hogarth. Women were not allowed to be governors. Hogarth donated paintings to the hospital and composer George Frideric Handel gave concerts to raise much needed funds.

On admission the children were given a token with a number on it which they had to wear at all times. They were also baptised in a new name to protect the mother’s identity. The hospital became the legal guardian to the children who placed them in apprenticeships at age 12 and supervised the placements until they were 24 years old (male) and 21 (female). Boys were apprenticed into a variety of trades and the girls in domestic service. Not all children were accepted and those who were too sick were turned away. On the first day of the “General Reception” (GR – 2nd June 1756 to 31st March 1760) over 117 children arrived. The numbers became so great that branch hospitals were required. These were established at Ackworth, Aylesbury, Barnet, Chester and Shrewsbury.

A remarkable Barnet woman by the name of Mrs Prudence West suggested in May 1760 and again in September 1762 that a branch hospital be set up in Monken Hadley. She felt the country air would be good for the children. It finally opened on 19th December 1762 with Mrs West as Manager. The Matron and her assistant were Martha & Sarah Cullarne who received an annual salary of £15 and £10 respectively.

Mrs West recognised the need for the children to have a good diet and, like the children in London and the other branch hospitals, they were also given smallpox inoculations. Despite this, the death rate was shocking by modern standards. 42% of the children at Monken Hadley died although this was good when compared with the 63% before GR, 70% during GR and 45% after GR in London. Mrs West treated minor ailments herself and tried to help the sick children along with the nurses. This no doubt helped, as they had the third lowest death rate.

The Monken Hadley hospital finally closed its doors on 19th March 1768 and the children were collected by caravan. Some were deemed too sick to return to London and sent to a local nurse instead. Following her challenge to the hospital governors when the hospital closed, about the high price of goods, Mrs West was reimbursed 40/- to “keep her quiet” as Yvonne put it! Mrs West was the only woman managing an outreach hospital. In 1927 the hospital in Bloomsbury closed, and the children were moved to a building in Redhill. A site was found in Berkhamsted and a new hospital was built in 1935 which survives today as Ashlyns School. Parts of the original building still stands around a playground in Coram’s Fields, Bloomsbury, where adults are only admitted if accompanied by a child.


The Foundling Museum website, 2011: (accessed 3rd January 2013).

This talk complements the exhibition at Barnet Museum and the Foundling Voices exhibition which runs from 1st December 2012 to 28th February 2013; although after 14th January the original objects will be replaced by facsimiles. The exhibition will travel to Hendon, East Barnet and Chipping Barnet libraries until mid-April 2013.

The Mythology of a Pharaoh: Akhenaten, deformed or divine? Lucia Gahlin
Report on January’s lecture by Sigrid Padel

The reign of Akhenaten, 1352 – 1336 BC, stands out as an extraordinary chapter in Egyptian history and archaeology. It has attracted many theories and interpretations. Lucia Gahlin, who lectures in Egyptology at Bristol and Exeter, gave a lively, well-argued and illustrated account of what we actually know about him and his time.

Akhenaten broke with the long established ideas and traditions of religion and kingship in Egypt. Amun-Ra had long been the principal god in the Egyptian pantheon. His temple at Luxor is still one of the most impressive buildings ever constructed. Akhenaten replaced Amun-Ra by the Aten, the solar disc, making this the sole god, thus introducing a form of monotheism.

Akhenaten was the son of Amunhotep III and Queen Tiye. We know nothing of his childhood. Since his elder brother Thutmose died young, he was destined to rule as Amunhotep IV. But by the fifth year of his reign a significant change had taken place. He chose to be called Akhenaten. (“Akh”- spirit of ”Aten” – the sun god). His wife, Nefertiti, became Nefernefarnuaten. Though, at the beginning of his reign, Akhenaten had built a temple to the Aten at Karnak next to the temple of Amun-Ra, he soon decided to move his capital from Memphis to Amarna, a city he founded on a new site further south. This was laid out orientated towards two hills between which the sun rises on certain days of the year. He and Nefertiti had themselves portrayed beneath the sun’s disc with rays emanating from it towards the royal pair, creating an image of a special link with this god. It seems that Akhenaten saw himself as a God-King. The art of this period differs from the norm established in Egypt during the preceding centuries, using more sinuous lines, emphasising sexuality and the closeness of Akhenaten’s relationship with his wife and their six daughters. Statues of the king show him as rather effeminate.

The changes introduced by Akhenaten were not to last. He was succeeded by Smenkhare, who died soon after. This brought the nine-year-old Tutankhamun, formerly known as Tutankhaten, to the throne. Early in his reign El-Amarna was abandoned as was the cult introduced by Akhenaten. It is unclear what happened to his body and all his cartouches were erased from buildings and statues. His name, like those of his successors Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun, possibly his sons, are omitted from the King List of all pharaohs from about 1250 BC.

It is not surprising that this pharaoh has been heavily mythologised. The portrayal of Akhenaten’s body in statues and frescoes is seen by some as typical of homosexuality, bisexuality or linked to various conditions such as Marfan’s syndrome. He has been seen as a pacifist, not “smiting his enemies” as other pharaohs were seen to have done. Frescoes of this period seem to emphasize birds and flowers rather than warfare. But there are depictions of Akhenaten killing birds and Nefertiti in an aggressive pose. Sir Flinders Petrie who was responsible for the excavations of El-

Amarna saw Akhenaten as the first monogamist ruler, an idea that would have been appealing to his contemporaries. There is no real evidence for any of these interpretations. In judging the past it is more important to look at what is really known and to acknowledge that what is read into the past
often merely reflects the attitudes of the authors of these theories.

OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS compiled by Eric Morgan

Friday 22 February, 7.30pm. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society, jointly with Enfield Society, Charity School, Church St, Edmonton N9. Enfield’s Railway History, Pt. 1 – The Lea Valley, Southbury & Enfield Town Lines – talk by David Cockle. Visitors £1. Please note correction to this venue.

Sunday 3 March, 10.30am. Heath & Hampstead Society. Heroes and Villains – The History of the Heath as we know it. Meet at the Flagstaff, Whitestone Pond. Walk led by Thomas Radice. Lasts approx. 2 hours. Donation £3.00.

Tuesday 5–Sunday 17 March. Hendon Library, The Burroughs, Hendon NW4 4BQ. The Barnet Foundling Hospital, Monken Hadley, 1762-68. Exhibition- a continuation of the exhibition at Barnet Museum, which runs until 20 February (see January and this Newsletter). Then on to East Barnet Library, Tues 19–Sat 30 March, and then Tues 2–Sun 14 April at Chipping Barnet Library.

Tuesday 5 March, 8pm. St Albans & Herts Architectural & Historical Society, St Albans School, Abbey Gateway, St Albans AL3 4HB. Tudor Hertfordshire. Talk by Daphne Knott.

Mon 11 March, 3pm. Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood St, Barnet (opposite Museum). Charles & Mary Lamb – talk by Helen Walton.

Wed 13 March, 2.30 – 4pm. Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway, NW7. The History of Harrods (preceded by AGM) -talk by Mrs M. Wright.

Wed 13 March, 7.45pm. Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, Corner Ferme Park Road/Weston Park, N8 9PX. The Building of St Paul’s Cathedral – talk by Neil Houghton. Visitors £1.50

Friday 15 March, 7.30pm. Wembley History Society, 977, Harrow Road, Sudbury, HA0 2SF (opposite Black Horse Pub) – talk by Len Snow, author & historian. Visitors £2. NB- different venue.

Friday, 15 March, 8pm (refreshments & sales from 7.30). Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, junction Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. Old & New Finds of the Coin Collection of Verulamium Museum – talk by David Thorold. Visitors £1

Saturday 16 March 2013. LAMAS 50th Annual Conference of London Archaeologists Weston Theatre, Museum of London Morning session – recent work; Afternoon session – 50 Years of London Archaeology: Past, Present and Future. Tickets booked pre-1st March: £10.00, £15.00 after this date.
Cheque payable to LAMAS and SAE to Jon Cotton, c/o Department of Archaeological Collections & Archive, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN

With thanks to this month’s contributors; Bill Bass; Stephen Brunning; Don Cooper; Kevin McSharry; Eric Morgan; Jim Nelhams; Sigrid Padel; Myfanwy Stewart.

Newsletter-502-January-2013 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

No. 502 JANUARY 2013 Edited by Mary Rawitzer

Can I take the opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy and healthy New Year. A shorter newsletter this month, but please keep contributions flowing.


All Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.

Tuesday 8th January 2013: The Reign of Akhenaten Lecture by Lucia Gahlin

Tuesday 12th: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship.

Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.

Tuesday 12th March: The Railway Heritage Trust

Lecture by Andy Savage.

Tuesday 9th April: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future

Lecture by Mark Beattie-Edwards, Programme Director, Nautical Archaeology Society.

Tuesday 14th May 2013: 10,000 years of History Beneath your Feet: the Bankside foreshore

Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey

Tuesday 8th October: Brunel’s Tunnel under the Thames

Lecture by Robert Hulse – Director of the Brunel Museum

Tuesday 12th November: Lions on Kunulua – excavations of Early Bronze and Iron Age periods at Tell Tayinat, Hatay, Turkey Lecture by Dr Fiona Haughey.

THE TOMB OF A GOD by Tim Wilkins

At the end of November 2012 I joined a group of archaeologists and Egyptologists under Dr. Stephen Harvey, of the University of Chicago, to study at the ancient Egyptian site of Abydos, in what is now the central Egyptian region of Sohag. There are many elements to this huge and varied site including Dr. Harvey’s own excavations at the 50-metre square pyramid of Ahmose, and a series of 14 boat burials (see note 1). For me, however, the highlight was a visit to the site of Umm al Ga’ab in the low western desert, nearly at the mountain escarpment that marks the edge of the high desert. Here the German Archaeological Institute under Gunter Dreyer has been excavating a large number of royal tombs from the First Dynasty (3100 – 2900 BC), a number of tombs of the Pre-dynastic period around 3500 BC, and a cemetery from the Naqada period dating back to 4000 BC. The evidence from the Pre-dynastic tombs, covering a number of Kings including the Scorpion King, pushes back our knowledge of the earliest Egyptian kings by several hundred years.

One of the most interesting of the First Dynasty tombs is that of Djer, the third king of this dynasty, who reigned for 41 years from 3049 – 3008 BC. The tomb is a rectangular mud-brick structure sunk into the desert sand and now completely empty except for mud-brick internal buttresses and some statuary niches (see Figure 1 and photo 1). It was originally roofed with cedar beams. The inside of the tomb has been burned dark red from having been set alight in the First Intermediate period, a period from 2180 – 2055 BC when civil disruption, fighting, internal disorder and destruction wracked the country (plus ça change!).

Around the main chamber are 338 subsidiary shaft tombs containing the King’s servants and administrators who were killed and buried at the same time so they could continue to serve him in the after-life. In other tombs have been found mummified hunting dogs, and even lions, so the King can continue his favourite pastime of lion-hunting, and other pastimes are catered for by women of the royal harem.

The tomb was first excavated in the Middle Kingdom (11th – 13th dynasty, 2055 – 1650 B.C.) by pharaohs looking for the tomb of the god Osiris. With this tomb they decided they had found it, and placed in it a recumbent statue of the god impregnating Isis who has taken the form of a bird (see note 4), the remains of the plinths of which can still be seen. The statue is now in the Cairo museum. Once the tomb had been identified as that of Osiris it became a place of reverence and pilgrimage for a further two thousand years. When these pilgrims came to the tomb they left offerings in earthenware pots, a practice that has given the site its modern name of Umm al Ga’ab, “Mother of Pots” in Arabic. It is estimated that there are now the remains of between 8 million and 10 million pots, and somebody has the job of analysing and recording these by age, material, style etc.

We were very fortunate in being the last people from outside the dig team to see this tomb. The surrounding subsidiary tombs were already back-filled with sand to the tops of the mud-brick shafts (see photo 2), and in the first week of December the main chamber was back-filled, with just a sand mound marking its existence. This is to conserve it – the mud-brick is very friable and if left exposed would soon deteriorate under the sun and wind, turning to dust. So the tomb of King Djer and the god Osiris is once more under the Western Desert, and may stay that way for generations to come.

Note 1: After excavation and analysis, the wooden boats were left in their mud-brick surrounds and back-filled with sand, as lifting and preserving them was deemed too difficult and expensive. So they too are back under the sands of the desert.

Note 2: Early hints of the development of phonetic writing.

It is usually thought that writing developed in Mesopotamia, but Gunter Dreyer has found in the Naqada cemetery, and we were able to examine, small 1 cm square ivory tags with proto-phonetic writing on them. Not many of these can yet be read, but some can be interpreted through their similarity to later hieroglyphs, reading for example “From the Eastern lands” and “ From the Western lands” indicating that they were used to identify the source and perhaps content of goods containers – maybe recording who had paid their tributes and taxes.

Note 3: Is this where pyramids started?

The tombs of the early kings were covered by a sand tumulus and, according to Dreyer, there was a problem with this tumulus being blown away by the desert winds, so by the time of Djer the tomb was supported with low mud-brick walls. However this did nothing to stop the predations of animals, so they then built a larger surrounding perimeter wall. However this hid the tumulus from view, so they added a second higher level to it in a step, and by the Third Dynasty this had developed into a step pyramid – and pyramid building was under way.

Note 4: the legend of Osiris and Isis

Osiris was the oldest son of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut. Isis was his sister and wife. Osiris’s brother Seth wanted his kingdom (the underworld) and killed Osiris, cut his body into pieces and scattered them around Egypt. Isis travelled all over Egypt looking for the pieces and collected them all back together, except for one – his penis. So she created a new one for him, reaffixed it, and with a magic incantation brought him back to life long enough for him to impregnate her with their son Horus.

Figure 1: Plan of Djer tomb with surrounding subsidiary shaft tombs

Photo 1: Main chamber of tomb of Djer

Photo 2: Subsidiary shaft tombs now backfilled with sand and covered.


A large number of HADAS members and their guests assembled at Avenue House for our Christmas Party. Some 48 attended. Four people were unable to come, so we could have had over 50, a large number for any HADAS event.

It was so nice to see several of the more senior members, particularly Phyllis Fletcher, who came in her wheelchair, Joan Wrigley and Rosalie Ivens. Plenty of time was allowed for them and others to catch up on news.

A short table quiz was provided with questions and pictures of personalities from the 1950s. Apologies to those who might have expected something Roman but we could not go back that far for photographs. The winners found themselves presented with a HADAS mug containing a chocolate Father Christmas.

Food and drink was provided by Avenue House, with manager Malcolm slaving away in the kitchen. Added to this were two magnificent Christmas cakes – the product of further slaving by the Chairman’s wife, Liz.

Music in the form of Christmas songs and carols was provided by Jo Nelhams on digital piano, enhanced by the singing of many of those present, and a good time was had by all.

Our thanks are due to those who kindly provided prizes for the raffle.


Many of us remember Geoff Egan, a hirsute member of the Museum of London, a man with encyclopaedic knowledge of all things medieval and post-medieval, who died in February 2011. A memorial lecture series has been established in his name. This, the second lecture, was held at the Society of Antiquaries on the 14th December 2012 sponsored by the Society for Post-medieval Archaeology. In front of a large audience Bly Straube, the senior archaeological curator at Jamestown, Virginia, USA, the site of the first permanent European settlement in the US in 1607, spoke of the exciting finds from over 25 years of excavation at the site. Over 1.5 million artefacts have been recovered and are conserved and stored on the site.

It would be impossible to detail all the fascinating information which was discovered at this site about the lives of the settlers, their relations with the local native population, the dreadful time they went through when their food ran out, etc and etc., as told by Bly. A couple of things stood out for me:

Apparently each settler was entitled to bring a small bag of personal possessions with him. Some brought coins, for instance, even though there was no money as such in the new settlement, one man brought an antique lamp from the Roman period – I wonder why? Bly made the analogy with modern astronauts going up to the space station, who were also entitled to bring a small bag of mementos and one man took a Florida Fishing License with him – again why?

Trade with the local natives consisted inter alia of glass beads and trinkets and yet on excavations at the natives’ dwelling places almost no such artefacts are recovered – why?

Most of the artefacts, e.g. ceramics, well-preserved metals and so on, came with the settlers from England and as such are a great help in dating the currency of such artefacts. Bly clearly is a great enthusiast about the site and its artefacts and succeeded in communicating her enthusiasm. The web site for Jamestown is It is well worth a visit, especially if you haven’t seen the real thing!


Roger Chapman, a governor at Martin Primary School, East Finchley, is involved in planning the centenary celebrations of the building the school is housed in. As part of that celebration

Roger approached UCL and HADAS to plan a historical and archaeological review of the area. The first manifestation of that task was to carry out some resistivity in the school playing fields during the school’s Christmas fair. Vicki Baldwin, Tim Curtis, Bill Bass, Andy Simpson, Jim Nelhams, Gabe Moshenska (UCL) and I set out a 20 x 20m grid on a very wet playing field on a freezing cold day.

After we completed the grid we processed it on the HADAS computer and were able to show our results to the teachers, parents and pupils who were there. The results were very interesting as can be seen from this photograph of the results as displayed on-screen.

The photograph seems to show a number of field drains running across the playing field towards the school, where we are told there is a large water-collecting culvert. However there are other interesting anomalies also apparent that we look forward to exploring in the spring.

Thanks to all who took part in this first task in what looks to be an exciting and worthwhile project.


Until January 13th Barnet Museum has an exhibition of loaned objects from The Foundling Museum’s Foundling Hospital and Coram collections. In connection with this there will be an exhibition of images from the Foundling Museum, running until 20th February. The loaned objects will later go on tour until mid-April and can be seen at the public libraries in Hendon, Barnet and Chipping Barnet.

Barnet Museum is now open Tuesday-Thursday, 1.30-4.30pm, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 2-4pm, at 31 Wood St, Barnet EN5 4BE.

OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS compiled by Eric Morgan

Wednesday 16th January 7.30pm. Images from the Archives. Talk, Malcolm Barres-Baker (Brent Archivist). Willesden Local History Society. St Mungo’s Centre, 115 Pound Lane NW10 2HB.

Friday 18th January 7.30pm. London in 1837. Talk, Malcolm Barres-Baker. Wembley Local History Society. St Andrew’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury NW9 5AZ. £2.

Monday 21st January 8.15pm. Aircraft Manufacturers in the London Area. Talk, Ron Smith. Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local Hist. Soc. St Martin’s Church Hall, High St/Eastcote Rd, Ruislip HA4 8DG. £2.

Wednesday 23rd January 7.45pm. Life in the Big Company. Talk, Dr Stan Gilks. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0LP. £2, refreshments.

Wednesday 30th January 1-2pm. Meet the Expert., join the Curator of “Londinium 2012” responsible for reinventing the Museum of London (MoL) Roman Gallery Display & look at the parallels between Londinium & today’s capital city. MoL,150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Free.

Thursday 31st Janaury 2.30pm. Dig for Victory. Talk by Russell Bowes. Finchley Society. Drawing Room Avenue House. £2.

Wednesday 6th February 6pm. Forwards & Backwards: Architecture in inter-war England .Talk by Simon Thurley. MoL (see 30/1/13 above). About the huge expansion of the suburbs. Free.

Thursday 7th February 10.30am-12. History of Pharmacy & Medicine throughout the 20th Century. Talk, Ollie Natelson. Mill Hill Library, Hartley Ave, NW7 2HX. Coffee morning talk, free.

Thursday 7th February 8pm. Harefield & its Charities. Talk, John Ross. Pinner Local History Society. Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Pak, Pinner. £2.

Friday 8th February 8pm. The Archaeology of the Royal Palaces of Enfield. Talk, Ian Jones. Enfield Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction of Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ.

Monday 11th February 3pm. The Peabody Trust.Talk Christine Wagg. Barnet Museum & Local History Society. Church House, Wood St, Barnet (opp. the museum).

Wednesday 13th February 2.30-4pm. The British Library News Collection. Talk, Stewart Gillies. Mill Hill Historical Society. Trinity Church, The Broadway, Mill Hill, NW7.

Friday 15th February 8pm. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines: The Archaeology of Constantinople. Talk, Ian Jones. Enfield Arch.Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/jn. Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ.

Wednesday 20th February 7.30pm. Saxby & Farmer: Kilburn’s largest employers. (Internationally famous railway signalling experts, c.1862-1903). Talk, Dick Wendling. Willesden Local History Society. St Mungo’s Centre – see 16th January above.

Thursday 21st February 7.30pm. Unearthing Redpath (one of the most famous fraudsters of the 19th century). Talk, Marian Kamlish & Devid Hayes. Camden History Society. Burgh House, New End Sq, NW3 1LT.

Thursday 21st February 8.15pm. Ancient Egyptian Medicine. Talk, Dr Carole Reeve (UCL). Hampstead Scientific Society. Crypt Room, St John’s Church, Church Row, NW3. Refreshments during interval.

Friday 22tnd February 8pm. The History of Enfield’s Railways. Part 1: The Lea Valley, Southbury & Enfield Town Lines. Talk, Dave Cockle. Joint Edmonton Hundred Historical Society/Enfield Society. Jubilee Hall (see 15th February). £1.

Saturday 23rd February 11am-3.30pm. Enfield Transport Bazaar. North London Transport Society. St Stephen’s Hall, Park Ave, Bush Hill Park EN1 2BA. Admission £2. Refreshments available.

Wednesday 27th February 7.45pm. Individuals in Communities. Talk, Hugh Petrie (see next entry). Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall – see January 23rd. £2.

Thursday 28th February 2.30pm. From the Archives. Talk, Hugh Petrie, London Borough of Barnet Heritage Officer/former Borough Archivist. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House. Refreshments before & after. £2.


Grateful thanks to Don Cooper, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams and Tim Wilkins

Newsletter-501-December-2012 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

No. 501 December 2012 Edited by Don Cooper
Doesn’t time go quickly, here we are in the middle of November looking forward to that end-of-year holiday period again!! Do the years go faster as you get older? It seems like only yesterday that I edited the last one!
May we take the opportunity to wish all our readers a happy holiday and a healthy and prosperous 2013.
HADAS DIARY 2012 – 2013

All Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.
Sunday 2nd December: Christmas party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30 (approx.)Buffet lunch, price £22 to include some drink. Last minute attendance: phone Jim Nelhams (see back page).
Tuesday 8 January: The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? Lecture by Lucia Gahlin (who has kindly stepped in to replace Nathalie Andrews).
Tuesday 12 February: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship. Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.
Tuesday 12 March: The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage.
Tuesday 9 April: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future. Lecture by Mark Beattie-Edwards, Programme Director, Nautical Archaeology Society.
Dates for your long term diary:
The next HADAS long-weekend will take place from 15th September to 19th September 2013.
The Festival of Archaeology will take place from 13th July to 28th July 2013
The events run by local societies in the New Year are included in Eric Morgan’s “diary” on the last page of this newsletter, however, two late items:
Friday, 7th December 2012 at 13.15: “Saturnalia and the origins of Christmas” by Sam Moorhead, at the British Museum, Free – booking advised.
Thursday, 6th December 2012 at 10.30: “The Welsh Harp” a talk by Hugh Petrie, Barnet Archivist at Mill Hill Library, Hartley Avenue, NW7 2HX.
Newsletter 500 and still going strong by Mary Rawitzer
“If you want something done, ask a busy person”

After last month’s bumper Newsletter (HADAS’s first 16-pager?) it seemed a good time to thank all those responsible for out monthly production. I believe we can be proud that this is the only publication by a similar voluntary organisation that is produced by 12 individual editors, each doing just one Newsletter a year (although I must admit to not having done any proper research so await correction).
In the old days, Dorothy Newbury’s highly effective proof-reading didn’t alter whatever each editor produced, but now Sue Willetts and myself comb through each month’s production and, since our backgrounds (librarian/publishing) make us both rather pernickety about print we spend quite a while ensuring the layout is good – no headings on one page/text on the next, no “widows and orphans”, Latin names decently italicised, north not North ….. Occasionally our best intentions are stymied by the horrors of computer systems, but we’re getting there. Someone who has more input than most of us is Eric Morgan, responsible for the full round-up of other societies’ events which he faithfully produces, hand-written, every month. During this last year he has even managed to get one month ahead so that planning visits to other events is now much easier. Then we have the production process at Hillary Press: Christopher Newbury takes the version sent over by computer and gets it ready for printing – when he’s there. Otherwise I trot over with hard copy. Jack Newbury, still in charge at 92, tells me how busy they are and that it will be quite a few days before they can get round to any printing. Wonderfully helpful Rocco, who actually does the printing for us, mutters something and then phones within a day or two to say it’s ready for collection. Finally (thanks to Dorothy Newbury who makes us welcome at home and offers us tea, biscuits and entertainment) we stuff the envelopes (labels stuck on by Doug Evans) and use Hillary Press’s franking machine – still an amazing 31p-and-a-bit against horrendous 50p 2nd class* . Enormous thanks to all those mentioned and to the other editors, Vicki Baldwin, Deirdre Barrie, Stephen Brunning, Don Cooper, Graham Javes, Jim Nelhams, Peter Pickering, Dot Ravenswood, Andy Simpson, Micky Watkins.

*Please consider getting your Newsletter by e-mail. Contact me on Mary Rawitzer
Hendon Tokens go North by Peter Pickering

During the HADAS stay in Ironbridge we visited Bridgnorth, and the admirable museum run by the Bridgnorth and District Historical Society (alas, alas for Church Farmhouse). Some of us had our eyes caught by a collection of coin-like tokens (donated to the museum many years ago), among which was this:

Fig. 1 Tokens from Hendon – with David Garrick and St Mary’s church, Hendon

(Reproduced by kind permission of the Bridgnorth museum (website, who retain the copyright)

This intrigued us, and we have done a little research. Towards the end of the eighteenth century a shortage of small change led many traders to issue tokens. Hendon is unusual, though not unique, among places in Middlesex in having ones of its own. David Garrick, as well as being a nationally famous actor, had been until his death in 1779 the Lord of the Manor of Hendon and owner of Hendon Hall; he was therefore very suitable to be portrayed. Besides this token there is another one (apparently rarer) which has the same obverse, with the church, and on the reverse a greyhound and the name B Price. Between 1765 and 1796 a father and son, both named Benjamin Price, were licensees of the Greyhound, the inn close to Hendon Church at which HADAS members have often refreshed themselves.

It is clear why tokens appeared at the end of the eighteenth century, as they had a century earlier, because of the incompetence of the monetary authorities in providing what commerce needed where it needed it. It is less clear how tokens actually worked – what guarantee a person having one had that it would be honoured and by whom. There are several books about the tokens from a numismatist’s viewpoint, concentrating on design, scarcity and value (from the beginning tokens were collected, and there are many which were made specifically for collectors). We have found one book – Whiting’s ‘Trade Tokens – a Social and Economic History’ – which is written by a historian seeking to find out how and why tokens came into being and were finally suppressed by Act of Parliament. But it contains little about their actual use. Other HADAS members may have knowledge or ideas.

Barnet Archives and the Local Studies Centre new opening hours from October 2012

Please note that access arrangements for the above have changed from October 2012.
Monday – closed
Tuesday – 10am – 5pm (by appointment only)
Wednesday – 1pm – 7pm (drop-in service)
Thursday – 10am – 2pm (by appointment only) and 2pm – 5pm (drop-in service)
Friday – 10am – 2pm (by appointment only) and 2pm – 5pm (drop-in service)
Saturday (first and third Saturday of the month) – 9.30am – 2pm (by appointment only) and 2pm – 4.30pm (drop-in service)
By appointment only sessions must be booked in advance by telephoning 020 8359 3960. Booking is essential for use of the microfilm reader.
The Barnet Archives and Local Studies Centre are at:
Hendon Library (first floor),
The Burroughs,
London NW4 4BQ

How to get to The Barnet Archives and Local Studies Centre

Buses: 143, 183, 326
Underground: Hendon central, Northern Line – 15 minute walk
British Rail: Hendon, Thameslink – 15 minute walk.

A medieval pottery report – a summary from three years excavation. By Don Cooper
Hendon School Site Code HDS06
For the last seven years HADAS and University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Archaeology (IoA) have been giving practical archaeology courses at Hendon School in Golders Rise, Hendon, NW4 2PH. Pupils from year eight and nine are invited to take part in a week’s practical archaeology including inter alia excavation on the school’s playing field. The last three years excavations have taken place in more or less the same part of the schools playing field i.e. the northeast corner around about 10 metres north-west of grid reference 523675.129E, 189026.785N (see map). The reason why we were digging in more or less the same area was because in 2010 (see HADAS newsletter No. 473 August 2010) right at the end of the dig we found over a hundred sherds of early medieval pottery in a secure context in a small ½m x 2m x 25cm sondage (a slot with a trench designed to look at lower levels): there was also a modest sized post hole cut into the natural. The sondage came about because we had not succeeded in reaching the natural London clay surface over the whole trench. Finding over a hundred sherds was surprising as a cache of early medieval pottery sherds was unexpected in this area.
So we returned to the same area in 2011 and opened a larger trench (see HADAS newsletter no.485 August 2011). This time pressures of weather and a much larger cohort of pupils meant that we only reached the fairly secure context (there were a number of intrusions) above the natural London clay surface over about a quarter of the 6m x 6m trench, nevertheless another substantial number of early medieval sherds were found. In June 2012 we returned again to more or less the same area determined to reach the same context immediately above the natural clay. We excavated a 4m x 2m trench, but before we had fully excavated down to the natural, down came the rain! (I’m sure you remember June 2012).
I reported in the September newsletter (No 498 September 2012) that “Although we are no nearer to having a satisfactory theory as to why all these early medieval pottery sherds we found accumulated in this particular area, the fact that they are mostly abraded, and that we haven’t found evidence of structures” (other than the one post hole in the 2010 excavation) “is leaning towards the idea that they represent hill wash from the hamlet that existed where Brent Street and Bell Lane meet. However, one of the alternative theories, that these sherds are the detritus from along the side of a very old lane that crossed Mutton Bridge on its way to Hampstead/London cannot be fully discounted.”
All the pottery sherds found have been examined and identified by Jacqui Pearce, an expert on medieval pottery who works for Museum of London Archaeological Service (MoLA). I have not included the relatively small number of modern, Victorian, and post-1600 sherds that came from disturbed layers and contexts above the secure layer in this analysis, but only the surprising cache of early dated sherds. The results are as follows:
E/date = Earliest date for the fabric
L/date = Latest date for the fabric
Sherds = Number of sherds found
Weight = Weight in grams
Med = Medieval

Fabric Description Sherds E/date L/date Weight Forms
Roman Various Roman fabrics 13 50 400 51 Misc
EMFL Early Med flint-tempered ware 2 970 1100 17 Cooking pot
EMCS Early Med coarse sand-tempered ware 80 1000 1200 344 Cooking pots
ESHER Early South Herts grey ware 98 1050 1200 690 Cooking pots
LCOAR Coarse London-type ware 1 1080 1200 7 Jar
LOND London-type ware 45 1080 1350 192 Various
SHER South Herts grey ware 100 1170 1350 611 C/pots & Bowls
KING Kingston ware 21 1230 1400 102 Jugs & bowls
MG Mill Green ware 2 1270 1350 4 Misc
CBW Coarse Surrey-Hampshire border ware 30 1270 1500 217 Cooking pots
LMHG Late Med Herts Glazed ware 1 1350 1450 2 Misc
CHEA Cheam ware 1 1350 1500 10 Misc
PMRE Early Post-Med red ware 11 1480 1600 141 Various
In the same contexts, as well as the pottery sherds, there were a number of peg tile fragments and there were three lumps of slag which are still being examined to see if we can learn more from them. The only animal bone in all three excavations was very degraded as bone does not appear to survive in that particular area of the playing field. A re-examination of the medieval sherds from all three excavations indicate that they were not as abraded as first thought and although no indication of structures, other than the post hole, were found it is likely they have not travelled very far since their deposition.
The contexts above the medieval layer were very disturbed with detritus from the playing field including in 2012 a computer “flash drive” – the artefact of the future? The area had been used for allotments during the WWII, so there were lots of remains of flower pots, rusty implements, bits of brick, tile and glass. Earlier occupation was attested to by the numerous clay pipe stems and bowls. The spread of dates for the manufacture of the pottery sherds found in these upper layers indicate more or less continuous occupation in the area.
English Heritage have extended the Area of Special Archaeological Significance to cover this site as a consequence of the quantity of medieval pottery sherds found and it is to be hoped that when an opportunity arises to excavate further in the area this will lead to a greater understanding as to why this large quantity of early medieval pottery is present. All the people involved in these three excavations have been acknowledged in the previous HADAS newsletters: No. 473 August 2010, No. 485 August 2011 and No 498 September 2012.
Book Review by Stewart Wild
Henrietta Barnett – Social Worker and Community Planner
by Micky Watkins
Published by the author and Hampstead Garden Suburb Archive Trust
Softback 21cm x 27cm; 320pp; ISBN 978-0-9549798-7-4; £14.95
Micky Watkins has lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb for over fifty years and has been a member of HADAS for more than half that time. For the past twenty years she has worked at Hampstead Garden Suburb Archive, and this detailed book on the life and achievements of Dame Henrietta Barnett (1851–1936) is the result of exhaustive study covering this remarkable woman’s life and the legacy she left behind in north London.

Fig. 1. An Evocative Cover
It is a magnificent work. Part One (1851–1900) covers Henrietta Octavia Rowland’s childhood, the death of her German mother when Henrietta was only two weeks old, and her considerable inheritance on the death of her father when she was only 18. In 1870 Henrietta joined the newly formed Charity Organisation Society where she met Octavia Hill who was an influential committee member, and who later was a founder of the National Trust. Here, Henrietta wrote in her diary, she found her “life’s work”: social reform and improved housing conditions for the poor and needy. In December that year, at a party to celebrate Octavia Hill’s birthday, she met a local curate, Samuel Barnett, who, although seven years older, seems to have fallen in love with her on the spot. They married two years later, in January 1873, and bound by love, Christian religion and charitable work, formed a solid partnership that lasted over forty years. They spent their honeymoon visiting cathedrals in southern England. After their marriage the young couple moved east where Samuel was appointed vicar of St Jude’s in Whitechapel, “the worst parish in my diocese”, according to the Bishop of London, on account of poverty and crime. These days it is difficult to imagine how appalling living conditions were in the East End at this time. Both the young vicar and his wife worked tirelessly to improve children’s education, alleviate poverty, crime and prostitution, and provide short holiday breaks in the country for parishioners. One of their greatest achievements was the establishment of Toynbee Hall in 1884, set up like an Oxbridge college and taking its name from Arnold Toynbee, a young academic and associate of the Barnetts who had died aged only 30 in 1883 – probably of overwork – serving the poor. Another lasting achievement was the foundation of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, which opened in 1901. Despite steamer trips to destinations like Norway, Italy and Gibraltar, Henrietta’s deteriorating health was a constant worry and in October 1890 the Barnetts were so exhausted that they decided to embark on a trip around the world. Accompanied by a faithful secretary and a nurse, they visited India, Ceylon, Japan, Canada and the United States, arriving back at Liverpool in July 1891.The move to north London began in 1889 when the Barnetts bought Heath End House in Hampstead, close to the Spaniards Inn. They delighted in the Heath to the south and the unspoilt farmland stretching away to the north. But they were aware of huge changes to come, for in 1896 Henrietta had heard of a plan to build an underground railway from Charing Cross northwards. In 1902 Charles Tyson Yerkes formed the Underground Electric Company and an Act of Parliament sanctioned the extension of the Hampstead Tube to Golders Green. Henrietta knew that rows of houses were bound to follow and was desperate to preserve the fields and woods below their house as an extension of Hampstead Heath. The idea of a Garden Suburb was born.
Part two (1901–1936)
Surprisingly, Henrietta only embarked upon building the Suburb after she had reached the age of fifty. It was her experience of the poverty and degradation of the East End which inspired her to create an ideal community. But how did she have the influence and administrative ability to turn an ideal into bricks and mortar? How was she able to recruit well-known architects, churchmen, titled aristocrats and wealthy benefactors? Henrietta had her sights on eighty acres of fields which were owned by the Eton College Trustees. The College was persuaded to make an offer for sale at a reasonable £600 per acre, but where was she going to get £48,000, an enormous sum in those days? An address book which included famous names, politicians and royalty helped; she started with 13,000 individual letters, personally signed by her or her secretary. It’s a fascinating story. Despite being what we would now call manic-depressive, Henrietta was clearly charming, fun to have around, and possessed a fine sense of humour. She delighted that land once held by King Henry VIII should now change hands under a document signed by one Henrietta Octavia! She also had an astonishing capacity for hard work and a stubborn insistence on Christian principles to achieve her goals. As Lord Lytton observed, at the unveiling of her memorial in July 1937, “She could be very obstinate at times, bless her …… but she had the faith which moves mountains.” Conceived as an antidote to the slums of the East End, the Suburb today is somewhat removed from Henrietta’s ideals, being principally middle-class and with a growing Jewish community that finds it difficult to integrate. The working class is conspicuous by its absence and there is no longer any housing specifically for women and children. Yet it remains widely known and copied throughout the English-speaking world, and continues to attract talented and well-known people and celebrities. Famous names of past residents run into the hundreds. There have been many books and biographies both by and about Henrietta Barnett but none has been as comprehensive and well researched as this one, with extensive local knowledge added to little-known facts and quotations gleaned from trawling through hitherto unpublished sources. The author’s background as a social historian, town planner, teacher and archivist makes her uniquely qualified for the task. Micky’s book is lavishly illustrated with archive and modern photographs in both colour and b&w, and comes with copious references, an extensive bibliography and a useful index. Beautifully written, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in social history and the alleviation of poverty, and especially to those who are familiar with the remarkable square mile of town planning that lies on our southern doorstep. It’s also a lovely true story.
Editor’s note: The book can be purchased locally at Daunts, Joseph’s Bookstore, the Suburb Gallery or direct from the author:
Other books on Local History recently produced, which would make great festive gifts.
Reviewed by Peter Pickering & Don Cooper
The first book is by Dr. Pauline Ashridge entitled ‘The Fields of Friern’. It is a deeply researched and meticulously referenced account of the demesne lands of Friern Barnet – that is, those fields which had been held by the Knights Hospitallers as Lords of the Manor of Friern Barnet, and which after the Reformation passed to St Paul’s Cathedral, who sold the lands, while keeping many of the rights, in 1800. The book ends with the building of houses in what are now Torrington Park and Friern Park. There are several pen pictures of amusing and tragic events in the history of these demesne lands, and a number of more significant episodes, especially the one on which much of the book’s argument turns – a nineteenth century legal dispute which concluded that the owners of any of the demesne lands did not have to pay tithe rents to the parish church because the lands had at one time belonged to Cistercian monks. Anyone seriously interested in the local history of our borough must get a copy of this book (obtainable from Kershaw Publishing, P.O. Box 55123 North Finchley, N12 9YH; £9.99). An archaeologist must wonder where the various buildings (including a ‘chapel and hermitage’) actually were, and whether any trace of them could be found amid the open lands and gardens of Friern Barnet.
The second book is David Berguer’s magisterial ‘The Friern Hospital Story’ which goes from the beginning of 1847, when the Middlesex Justices decided to build an Asylum for Pauper Lunatics in the eastern part of the county, to its closure in 1993 and redevelopment under the scarcely appropriate name of Princess Park Manor. There are 176 pages in all, with building and medical history, illustrative anecdotes, and lists of the causes of admission, the fines on attendants for dereliction of duty, and the meals provided; and yet on some occasions as I read it I thought ‘Could we not be told a bit more about this episode?’ It is an enthralling story, and though not cheerful, is not depressing; the hospital in its heyday was a well-run small town, and progressive in its treatment of mental illness, though no doubt many people were incarcerated then who would lead normal lives in the community to-day. My only criticism is that few of the large number of illustrations are given dates in their captions (though the text often helps) – oh, and Cardinal Hume’s name has an intrusive ‘l’. The book is obtainable from Chaville Press, 148 Friern Park, N12 9LU, priced at £14.99.
And finally a book called “The Dunlops of Church Farm” by Dr. Valerie Preston-Dunlop. This book is the story of the Dunlop side of her family who lived at Church Farm, Hendon from 1870 until 1944, when the house was bought by Hendon Council. (Afterwards it became the now lamented Church Farm House Museum). Valerie has written a very personal history of her family from their origins as farmers in Scotland to their life at Church Farm in Hendon and on to what they did after life in Hendon. Church Farm was obviously a happy place to live for this prosperous farming family with lots of children. The book costs £10.00 plus postage was published in 2012 by Verve Publishing, 56 Lock Chase, London SE3 9HA and can be obtained via Don Cooper (see my address below).

“The life and Legacy of George Peabody” by Sheila Woodward
(Lecture by Christine Wagg)
“Peabody Buildings” have been part of the London landscape for 150 years. The name was familiar to me, and the buildings became familiar to me in the 1940s when I had a “visiting” job in south and central London – though I don’t remember ever visiting anyone in a Peabody Building. But I knew nothing about Peabody himself until I listened to Christine Wagg’s most interesting lecture.George Peabody was a Victorian philanthropist, an American by birth, a Londoner by adoption. Born in Massachusetts in 1795, the third of eight children, he was apprenticed at the age of 11 to a small shopkeeper. His father’s sudden death in 1811 plunged the family into desperate poverty, but that fired George with a determination to make a good living for himself and his family. In 1812 he moved to Baltimore and set up his own business. He was shrewd and hard-working and his abilities soon earned him respect and prosperity. He entered into partnership and then founded a company, Peabody, Riggs & Co, which traded in wool and cotton. In 1827, George made his first visit to London, to negotiate the sale of American cotton to the Lancashire cotton mills. Impressed by London life and following regular yearly visits, he settled permanently in London in 1838. He had become a wealthy man and a skilful banker; he paid the American contribution to the 1851 Great Exhibition, and in 1852 formed a business association with J. S. Morgan. Its “descendant” still exists, as Morgan, Grenfell & Co Ltd.
A compassionate man who had experienced poverty himself, George Peabody was appalled by the poverty and deprivation he witnessed in the slums of London. He joined a group of people (they included Lord Shaftesbury and Angela Burdett Coutts) active in a search for a solution. In 1862, Peabody established a Trust with a sum of £150,000, his “gift to London”. He suggested that the money be spent on “construction of such improved for the poor as may combine in the utmost possible degree the essentials of healthfulness, comfort, social enjoyment and economy”.
The trustees set about fulfilling this request, and within a year of their appointment they had decided to build their first block of tenements. A site was purchased in Commercial Street in Spitalfields. The architect appointed was Henry Astley Darbishire and he designed two long blocks with shops on the ground floor and living quarters above, and commercial laundries on the top floor. The flats were approached from a central corridor, with shared communal washing facilities and lavatories at one end, placed above one another for efficient drainage. The walls were un-plastered, lime-washed brick.
Four larger estates soon followed: Peabody Square in Islington, Shadwell, Westminster and Chelsea. Large enough to erect blocks arranged around squares which could be railed off, giving a sense of community, the buildings set a standard of accommodation that was consistent and the non-self-contained flats discouraged subletting and overcrowding.These early groups of Peabody estates had in due course to be modified. The self-contained flat was eventually introduced in 1911, each flat having a private scullery and toilet. However, the original fixtures and fittings included built-in cupboards in kitchens and bedrooms, a cooking range, bedroom stoves and gas lighting. The trust also provided and paid for lighting on stairs and in corridors, a dust chute on each landing for commercial collection of rubbish, and laundries and drying rooms. Children could play in the central courtyard, and there was access to schools and workshops. Arrangements for refurbishment, future care and maintenance were, and are, mind-boggling.George Peabody was given the freedom of the City of London, was elected to The Atheneum, and was awarded the Congressional Medal (first awarded to George Washington). Queen Victoria wrote him a letter of thanks and presented him with a special portrait. Peabody died in 1869.He had what amounted to a State Funeral in Westminster Abbey (it was attended by William Gladstone) and was buried in the Abbey, but only temporarily. His body was later transported to America, to rest in his native Massachusetts.
Ironbridge Day 3 – Shrewsbury and Wroxeter
Excursion to Salopia by Kevin McSharry
The third day of our HADAS Ironbridge visit started in Shrewsbury (Salopia) a town that never ceases to delight even though I have had the good fortune to visit it many times before. “Floreat Salopia” – may Shrewsbury flourish – is the town motto and flourished it has, since Saxon times.Shrewsbury is almost an island surrounded as it is, on three sides by the meandering River Severn. One can readily understand why a settlement grew up here – it is an easily defensible site.The medieval layout of Shrewsbury has been largely preserved and staggeringly it has over 650 listed buildings. The main shopping and business area retains its ancient and intricate street pattern. A maze of narrow passages, called shuts, criss-cross the town between the main streets. Together with a large number of magnificent black and white houses of the sixteenth century, and earlier, these create a very distinctive fine-looking oldie worldly town.
Our day began at the Norman Church of St. Mary’s, which is now managed by the Churches Conservation Trust. What a fine job the C.C.T has done with St. Mary’s. The Trust is to be lauded for its conservation work. Our excellent guide, the regional director of C.C.T, was bubbly, enthusiastic and charismatic. The long history of St. Mary’s, with its many features, was brought alive by his unpacking, peeling back the layers of history of the churches’ features. It became a journey back in time. Mickey Watkins takes up the story.
St Mary’s Church Shrewsbury by Mickey Watkins
St Mary’s was founded by King Edward the Peacemaker c. AD960. The original Saxon building was replaced in the mid 12th century by a Norman cruciform church, but the Bell Tower remained and was probably used as an open air preaching tower. The church is a Royal Peculiar and so has been under the crown, not the Bishop of Lichfield. Now it is under the Churches Conservation Trust. The windows are so massive that the church is flooded with light, even though there is so much stained glass. A 19th century vicar, the Revd William Rowland, collected medieval glass from all over Europe for the windows and they are amazing. The Jesse window, representing the genealogy of the Holy Family, fills the East window behind the altar. The nave ceiling is carved with angels holding musical instruments, grotesque faces and animals. There is the tomb of a crusader and a sedilia for the weary HADAS explorer.High up above the south porch there is an anchorite’s cell in which a woman lived, visited twice a day with food and to empty her pot. People visited her to seek advice.Frances Radford found a glass window commemorating St Bernard who, when he went to consecrate a new abbey found it full of flies, He excommunicated them. On the following morning they were all dead and the glass depicts them being swept away.
Kevin continues
After the instructive tour of St. Mary’s we were let loose, until early afternoon, to explore the town.Shrewsbury has many famous sons and daughters. Two of them are Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Brother Cadfael, of whom more later. Darwin was born in Shrewsbury and is a huge source of pride for the town. His name is lent to the Darwin Shopping Centre, Darwin Street and the modern monument Darwin Gate. In 2009 a 40 foot sculpture named Quantum heap was unveiled in tribute to Charles Darwin’s bicentenary. There is even a night club named “Evolution”. Darwin is an alumnus of Shrewsbury public school as is Michael Heseltine an elder and luminary of the current Tory Party. One personal discovery during the morning was a small artisan bakery opposite the rail station. The bakery produces bread which is ‘proved’ for twenty four hours, thus ensuring it is digestible and tasty unlike the modern Chorley Wood method of producing bread of this supermarket age.Our visit to Shrewsbury but whetted the appetite. A week could be spent in its environs and even then only a little of its story would be revealed. We will return!
Our excursion concluded with a visit to Shrewsbury Abbey, a Benedictine foundation (1083). Much of the monastery was destroyed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1540) by the Taliban agents of that age. Brenda Pershouse takes up the story.
Shrewsbury Abbey by Brenda Pershouse
Our visit to Shrewsbury Abbey was brief but informative.The present Abbey church was founded by the Normans in 1083 on the site of a small Saxon church dedicated to St. Peter. The monks followed the rule of St. Benedict and during the twelfth century the Abbey flourished. In 1137, the monks acquired the bones of St. Gwenfrew (St. Winefride) in Wales. The relics were enshrined and Shrewsbury Abbey became a major centre for pilgrimage.The Abbey is impressive. Four Norman pillars remain from the original building, the remainder being in Gothic style. There are beautiful stained glass windows two of which are dedicated to St. Winefride and St. Benedict, who founded the monasteries as we know them today.In 1283, Edward I called a meeting at Shrewsbury Abbey. The particular significance of this assembly was to invite the “commons”, that is the knights from the counties, as well as the “Lords”! The Shrewsbury parliament set the pattern for the future development of our parliamentary system. In 1983, the then Speaker of the House of Commons came to the Abbey to commemorate the 700th anniversary of this significant event.Wilfred Owen, the World War One poet who was killed while serving his country, is commemorated on the First World War Memorial found below the tower.The Abbey attracts thousands of visitors a year one of the attractions being Edith Pargeter’s mystery novels (written under the pseudonym Ellis Peters), “The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael” which are set in Shrewsbury Abbey. This link is commemorated in stained glass.
Then we were on to our golden chariot for the short journey to Wroxeter.
Wroxeter Roman City By Sheila Woodward
Wroxeter is one of the most tantalising and enigmatic of our Roman towns. Originating (like so many) as a legionary fortress in about the mid 50s AD, it was excellently sited and was capable of holding an entire legion of 5000 men. The successive town, founded about AD 90 on the departure of the army, continued to thrive as an administrative and trading centre and by 120/130 AD it had become the 4th largest town in Roman Britain, boasting fine public buildings and some wealthy inhabitants. After the prosperous years came a general decline and by the middle of the seventh century, the town had dwindled away, replaced by a small village with only memories of past greatness. Less than 5% of the Roman town is now visible; the rest is underground.

Fig 1. The great wall at Wroxeter

The most prominent reminder of Wroxeter’s past greatness is known, rather endearingly, as the Old Work. It is part or the original south wall of the basilica of the baths. It is one of the largest free standing pieces of masonry left from Roman Britain and it certainly dominates the site: with its rather dark rugged fabric, it seems to brood over the area. Inevitably in the 18th century, the Old Work became a “Romantic” subject for local artists, and indeed Wroxeter has inspired much poetry – from A. E. Housman’s “On Wenlock Edge” to “Uriconium” by Wilfred Owen. Apart from the Old Work, the remains of the baths, especially the basilica, tend to be fragmentary but information panels and reconstructions are well placed and the bath complexes are impressive. Similarly, the remains of the Market Hall and of the Forum can be appreciated given time and imagination. As already mentioned, excavation at Wroxeter has been minimal. The site is in the care of English Heritage, and, as mainly plough land and pasture, is not in imminent danger. But considerable work has been done by investigation using other techniques. Aerial photography can reveal for example stone structures; geophysical techniques such as gradiometry, resistivity and ground-penetrating radar can detect various activities, human or otherwise, and structures. The grandly-named Wroxeter Hinterland Project has revealed a surprising density of population (at least 5000 people at its height) and has studied industrial activity.Even small-scale excavations in Wroxeter over the last 200 years have produced a good quantity of artefacts. The site museum has an excellent and varied display of a selection of the finds: jewellery, pottery, glassware, tools, weapons, building materials and so on. The first full-scale archaeological excavation did not take place until 1859 when the bath buildings now on display were uncovered. The bath buildings were again the main focus of the dig in 1936 (Kathleen Kenyon), 1955 (Graham Webster) and 1966 (Philip Baker of Birmingham University).A new piece of experimental archaeology was carried out in 2010. Six builders were set the task of constructing from scratch a “villa urbana” – a Roman Town-house – using only tools and materials known to the Romans. The design of the building was based loosely on a house excavated in Wroxeter in 1913/1914, having an oak frame covered with painted lime plaster, and forming an L-shaped building with rooms around a courtyard, and a separate bath complex. Although not a permanent structure, the house has demonstrated that a large building can stand without foundations, as it had to be built on a platform to protect the archaeology beneath. The creation of the house, which is now open to visitors, was filmed for a Channel 4 television series “Rome wasn’t Built in a Day”.
The archaeological potentials of Wroxeter and of the settlement patterns outside the town are huge. Quite literally watch this space!
St Andrew’s Church, Wroxeter by Vicki Baldwin
In common with churches whose buildings have been long established, the fabric of St. Andrew’s is a palimpsest. Its history may be read in its walls. There are Roman tiles and worked stone, some carved, parts of what was possibly a market cross, scars, niches, abrupt joints in the stonework indicating changes in size, blocked doorways and windows, weathered gargoyles, and repairs ancient and modern.

Fig.2. St Andrews Church Wroxeter
Set in a well-kept churchyard, at first sight it appears to be a living part of the local village and it is somewhat surprising to discover that it was “declared pastorally redundant” (to quote the guidebook) as long ago as 1980. Its excellent state of repair is due to The Churches Conservation Trust (then known as the Redundant Churches Fund) who took charge of it in 1987.There is mention in the Domesday Book of an establishment with four priests. The church was enlarged in the 12th century and a south aisle built with a chantry chapel later added to its east end. Part of the chantry chapel wall still exists in the present church. In 1347 the church was given to Haughmond Abbey. At some point a tower was added, but the date is not clear, although carvings said to come from Haughmond Abbey would tend to indicate that the upper storeys, at least, were post Dissolution of the Abbey.While the exterior of the church is fascinating, the interior is equally so.

Fig. 3. The Font at St Andrews church Wroxeter
The font is carved from the top of a massive Roman pillar and is the first thing one sees upon entering. It is completely plain and dominates the space. Beyond it, against the north wall, is a 14th century chest that probably held the church records and valuables. There are box pews and a carved Jacobean pulpit. In the 18th century gallery at the west end are pipes from the organ originally built in 1849. Fragments of wall painting are visible and one of the nave windows contains some 15th century glass. However, most imposing are the three ‘table tombs’. These date from the mid-16th century and are extremely fine examples. Changes in fashions of the period can be observed in the highly detailed figures. The earliest tomb is that of Sir Thomas Bromley, who died in 1555, and his wife Mabel. Their children are depicted on the side of their tomb, those dying in infancy or stillborn are shown wrapped in swaddling clothes and look rather like Egyptian mummies. Their daughter Margaret married Sir Richard Newport and their tomb is on the opposite side chancel. Sir Richard died in 1570 and Margaret in 1578. Their children are also depicted on the side of the tomb. The third tomb belongs to John Berker who married Margaret, daughter of Sir Francis Newport son of Sir Richard and his wife. This tomb bears a very touching inscription:
The sayd John Berker, being in good and perfect health at the
decease of the sayd Margaret, fell sick the next day following and
deceased the XVII day after, he being then of the age of 40 years;
they died leaving no issue of their bodies behind them.

Wroxeter Vineyard by Andrew Coulson
Wine has been popular in Wroxeter from pre-history to the present day. The Shrewsbury Museum, on the Wroxeter floor, has a wine flagon and mug in Severn Valley ware and a wine cup in Samian ware. These are on display. What more they have is not known.
The vineyard is sited on the dry, sandy soil of Wroxeter plateau some half mile south of the Old Work. Vines require sunlight to produce grapes and the Fohn effect caused by the surrounding hills ensures that the site will receive an average of 1010 hours of sunlight per annum as opposed to 850 on land further south.The area, described as a smallholding, constitutes 24 acres of which 8 are in the hands of English Heritage, 7.5 are down to sheep, and the remaining 8.5 constitute the vineyard.Initial planting took place in 1991 but not until after a struggle with the planning authorities as to whether a vineyard was industrial or agricultural. Agriculture won. Four types of vine are grown, three German and one French. The parallels of latitude embracing vineyards are 52 North to 53 North; the same applies to Northern Germany, around the Berlin area, and northern France is slightly lower – between 50 and 51 North. The types of wine produced include red, white, rosé and sparkling. Vines are climbers and are planted between stakes which are about 1 metre apart. The vines are supported by metal wires at a convenient height for picking. The lines of vines run north/south and are about 2 metres apart. It is important to ensure that the productive part of the vine is not shaded. It is possible that the growth of grass around the foot of the vine is done to conserve moisture. The impression was that harvest time is late October, or as the weather dictates. Picking is presumably done by hand, the grapes being collected in buckets and trays which are taken to the buildings by tractor and trailer. In the buildings, four processes take place; crushing, pressing – for white but not red grapes, fermentation and bottling. Crushing is done by a machine with rollers, the human foot being redundant, after which the red is placed in fermentation vats while the white is placed in canvas bags and subjected to approx. 35 pounds per square inch pressure. Before fermentation starts a yeast nutriment is added to both red and white. Fermentation lasts 7 to 10 days at which point the wine may be drinkable. Extra time for maturation may be needed, and tasting is the method of finding out.

Fig. 4. But when do we get to drink some……..
Tasting cards list the wines to be tested using the values of 3 (colour), 5 (aroma) and 12 for general impression. Marked by our panel out of 20, the Noble Roman came out with totals between 15 and 16, Regner between 12 and 14, and Shropshire Blush 14 and 18. Obviously best to employ just one expert.Marketing is basic. Buyers drive in, local farm shops have a stock, and the vineyard is listed as a Waitrose Individual Producer. In a good year, the product will be 36,000 bottles, the average being between 15 and 20 thousand. At £6 per bottle, this adds up, but even, a smallholding of 16 acres cannot reliably maintain a family of four. It looks as though Wroxeter still has its part-time soldiers.
LAMAS History Conference report by Don Cooper
The 47th London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) history Conference was held in the Weston Theatre at the Museum of London on the 18th November 2012. The title of this year’s conference was “A Capital Way to go: death in London through the ages”. We wondered whether we wanted to spend a whole day on the morbid subject of death. However, we decided to give it a go and we are so glad we did. It was a splendid conference. The theatre which holds 230 people was packed.
After the opening remarks, Jelena Bekvalac Curator of Human Osteology at the Museum of London gave a talk comparing the bones of the rich people buried in St Brides Church with the poor people who were buried in the lower graveyard between the dates of 1740 and 1852. It was remarkable that the differences were not as marked as one might have guessed, 85% of children died before the age of five and rickets was common in both rich and poor children but perhaps for different reasons: rich babies were wrapped in swaddling clothes and did not leave the house and therefore did not get vitamin D, poor babies had a diet that did not include vitamin D. Jelena researched the average costs of burials during this period: if poor burials cost £1 then rich burials cost £5.
Christian Steer of London University posed the question “Why gravestones and memorials in Christian burials?” Before the reformation in the 16th century, when people believed in Purgatory as an intermediate places between heaven and hell, grave memorials were therefore so that one would be remembered after death, they provided a mourning opportunity, but mainly they reminded those left behind to pray for them and therefore shorten their period in purgatory. “Pray for the soul of..” was a popular grave memorial. After the reformation memorials were more likely to describe the good deeds of the departed rather than asking for intercession for them. In the period 1200 to 1514 there were 110 parish churches and 45 religious houses in London but only 37 medieval memorial monuments have survived.
This was followed by the local history publication awards:
The Book Prize to Merton Historical Society for a book called “The Cammers, Canons and Park Place” by E N Montague.
Journal Prize to Brentford and Chiswick Historical Society.
Back to the conference, Peter Razzell a historical demographer spoke of mortality in London between 1550 and 1800. I have selected a few points: (1) Reliable evidence is extremely difficult to come by because recording by parish clergy was inconsistent. (2) Between 1838 and 1844 the rich had a worse record in mortality than the poor. (3) A survey of 21 year old brides showed that half of all their fathers were dead by the time their daughter married. (4) The introduction of smallpox inoculations gave greatly reduced mortality,
Robert Stephenson spoke on the gruesome history of body snatching from between the mid-18th century and 1832. In 1752 murderers were hung but not buried, ideal for body snatching. But the law changed in 1832 and that, thank goodness, was the end of body snatching.
John Clarke, head of library services at Great Ormond Street Hospital & Consultant Historian to Brookwood Cemetery spoke of the Victorian developments in the disposal of the dead, from the over- crowded parish cemeteries, to the great Victorian cemeteries known as the “Magnificent Seven” : Kensal Green (1833), West Norwood (1836), Highgate (1839), Abney Park (1840), Brompton (1840), Nunhead (1840) Tower Hamlets (1841). Then came the cholera panic of 1848/9 which created three enormous “out of town” cemeteries where the corpse went by train: The Great Eastern Metropolitan, The Great Western Metroplitan and the London Necroroplis and then finally to consider cremation.
The last talk of a successful day was by Brent Elliott, Historian of the Royal Horticultural Society on Epitaphs and Obituaries, full of amusing, bizarre illustrations of how people want to be remembered. The surprise was how many of the oft-quoted ones never appeared on any gravestones, but were “invented” by authors, poets etc.
LAMAS are to be recommended for putting on such a successful conference.
LAMAS survey of Grave Boards By Don Cooper
LAMAS are initiating a survey of Grave Boards to see if they can build up a history of them and their use as gravestones. The photo below is an example culled from the internet:

Fig. 1. Holy Trinity Markbeech Kent

Sometimes the ends were metal and, of course, over the years the wood rotted and these grave boards disappeared. However, these boards are important relics of the past and a study of them is long overdue. When did they start? Were they a substitute for grave stones? Why? When did they stop being used? If you know of any grave boards still in existence or have old photos of them in churchyards or any documentary evidence please let me know and I will pass them on to the researcher. The internet has already been trawled.
Other Societies Events By Eric Morgan
Wednesday, 12th December 2012 at 20.00: “ The Shadwell Shams: Bill and Charley and fake antiques” a talk by Philip Mernick for Islington Archaeological and History Society, at Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1.
Thursday, 3rd January 2013 at 20.00: “The Bishop of Rochester’s Palace” a talk by Patricia Clarke, for Pinner Local History Society, at Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Pinner. HA5 1AA, Visitors £2.
Wednesday, 9th January 2013 at 13.00: “The Art of the Underground: 150 years of redesigning London” a talk by Oliver Green of the London Transport Museum at Gresham College at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN, Free.
Wednesday, 9th January 2013 at 14.30 to 16.30: “The Last Castle” a talk by Steven Morris for Mill Hill Historical Society, at Trinity Church, The Broadway, NW7 3TB.
Wednesday, 9th January 2013 at 19.45: “The history of Wanstead House, East London” a talk by Stephen Denford for Hornsey Historical Society, at Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Road and Weston Park, N8 0PX. Visitors £2 Refreshments at 19.40.
Monday, 14th January 2013 at 15.00: “The make do and mend Olympics of 1948” a talk by Joan Davis, for the Barnet Museum and Local History Society, at Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite the museum), EN5 4BW.
Tuesday, 15th January 2013 at 20.00: “Number one Market Place St Albans: Life next door from the clock tower from 1550” a talk by Chris Green, for the St Albans and Hertfordshire architectural and Archaeological Society, at St. Albans school, Abbey Gateway, St Albans AL3 4HB.
Wednesday, 16th January 2013 at 19.30: A talk by the Brent Archivist Malcolm Barres-Baker, detail to follow, please see for Willesden Local History Society, at St Mungo’s Centre, 115 Pound Lane (opposite the bus garage) NW10 2HU.
Wednesday, 16th January 2013 at 20.00: “ A Murderography of Islington” a talk by Peter Stubley for Islington Archaeological and History Society, at Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1.
Thursday, 17th January 2013 at 1930: “Science in Burton Street: Sarah Bowditch 1791 – 1856” a talk by Professor Mary Orr for Camden History Society at Local Studies Library, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PY.
Friday, 18th January 2013 at 1900: “Excavations in the Roman town of Sandy” a talk by Catherine Edwards of AoC for the City of London Archaeological Society (CoLAS) at St, Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, near Fenchurch Street, EC3R. Visitors £2.

Acknowledgements Our thanks to Peter Pickering, Vicki Baldwin, Andrew Coulson, Sheila Woodward, Brenda Pershouse, Micky Watkins, Kevin McSharry, Eric Morgan, Stewart Wild and Mary Rawitzer

Newsletter-500-November-2012 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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No. 500 November 2012 Edited by Jim Nelhams


Newsletter 500: another milestone in our history. Our monthly newsletters are one of the benefits of membership of our group. Although HADAS was founded in 1961, the first newsletter did not appear until October 1969. Through the early years, publication was occasional, so only now have we reached our 500. It’s still a chance to dig up some of our past, while including reports on recent activity. As usual, we start, as we should, by looking forward.

HADAS DIARY 2012 – 2013

All Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm,
with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.

Tuesday 13 November: Archaeological Discoveries in Southwark. Lecture by Peter Moore, Pre- Construct Archaeology (PCA).

Peter has been working in archaeology for 32 years and in the commercial archaeological sector for the last 25, as a site supervisor for 3 years and as a project manager for 21 years. Before join- ing PCA in 1995 he concentrated on managing projects in northeast London and southwest Essex, and since then he has been responsible for undertaking projects across southeast England and on a national basis. He has been a director of PCA since 1998. He writes –

“The lecture I will give will consist of the recent findings PCA have made around Bermondsey Square (Roman, Saxon and Medieval) and Elephant & Castle (which will be ongoing – Medieval to 19th century graveyard) and that PCA have made together with the Oxford Unit on the Thameslink projects at Borough Market, Borough High Street and London Bridge (Roman to Post-Medieval).”

Sunday 2 December: Christmas Party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30 pm (approx.) A buffet lunch. Price £22 to include some drink. Your chance to meet or catch up with friends and colleagues. A booking form is with this newsletter. Please return this by 15th November as we need to book the right amount of food and drink.

Tuesday 8 January: The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? Lecture by Lucia Gahlin (who has kindly stepped in to replace Nathalie Andrews).

Tuesday 12 February: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship. Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.

Tuesday 12 March: The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage.

Tuesday 9 April: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future. Lecture by Mark Beattie-Edwards, Programme Director, Nautical Archaeology Society.

Future Outings
We are looking at possible hotels in the Buxton area for our long outing next year. More information

when available. The new Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth was due to open this November, but the date has now changed to “early in 2013”. It certainly should be open next summer, so we plan a visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard at some stage.

Extracts from our Old Newsletters

From Newsletter 100 (June 1979)

The first news was that although we now have a small room at Avenue House where we keep books and records and 3 or 4 people can work, we are still without, and still desperately need, a real head- quarters. If any member can suggest how HADAS might obtain the use of a large room, with some means of lighting and warmth, available at weekends as well as during the week, will they please, without hesitation, let any member of the Committee know about it? The room needs to be big enough to take 20/25 members at a processing session; and HADAS would have to be the sole occupant, so that the room could be locked when not in use and work in progress left undisturbed.
(Perhaps at Church Farmhouse… Ed.)

From Newsletter 200 (October 1987): A Greater Architect than Wren?

Some authorities claim he was, but Henry Yevely, master mason, is a name of little popular recognition. HADAS member Ann Saunders is aiming to end some of that neglect, with an exhibition on Yeveley at the Church of St Magnus-the-Martyr, Lower Thames Street beside London Bridge, from October 12-18.

Henry Yeveley, writes Dr Saunders, was responsible for raising the walls of Westminster Hall to support the magnificent hammerbeam roof, for continuing the nave of Westminster Abbey, for work on Canterbury Cathedral and at the Tower of London, and for much else besides. The exhibition attempts to illustrate his more important achievements and to give some idea of the religious and social life of the 14th century.

Events associated with the exhibition are an illustrated talk of The Dress of Working Londoners in the Time of Henry Yeveley, by Helen McCarthy (October 13, 1.05pm) followed by a short recital of medieval music; a slide lecture on Yeveley by John Harvey (October 14, 7pm); readings from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (October 15, 12.50pm); a lecture for schools on medieval London by Dr Saunders (October 15, 2.30pm). All are in the church.

From Newsletter 300 (March 1996)

Percy Reboul, another long-standing member, is reported in an extract from a Plastics Industry Journal: The Greater London Industrial Archaeological Society (GLIAS) heard an entertaining history of “The Material with a Thousand Uses”. The history of Bakelite was presented by Percy Reboul, who is Chairman of the Plastics Historical Society. The golden age of Bakelite radios and telephones has now passed, bringing the closure of the 26-acre Tyseley plant in Birmingham, operated by BXL for whom Percy worked. The thrust of the lecture, which stimulated considerable interest among the GLIAS members, was firmly in the past. Percy’s gift for bringing this to life and his unfailing enthusiasm for
the subject were clearly on display. (Percy gave the same lecture to the Finchley Society on 29 February.)

From Newsletter 400 (July 2004): Congratulations to Dorothy by Denis Ross

Congratulations to our Vice-President Dorothy Newbury, who has been awarded an MBE for services to Archaeology in North London. This is a very well-deserved honour as Dorothy has devoted herself to HADAS for many years, during which time she has raised large sums of money for the Society, organised outings and newsletters, served on the committee and pursued the Society’s interests in many other ways.

Memories from Andrew Selkirk

Last year, we asked members to let us have their memories. A number were included in the November 2011 newsletter. Here is an extract from notes penned (or keyboarded?) by Andrew Selkirk. –

I first met HADAS across the fence at the West Heath excavations. We lived the other side of Hampstead Heath, a good 40 minutes’ walk away, but one Sunday we decided to walk over and see if we could find the excavations we had heard were taking place. With some difficulty we found the dig. We talked politely across the fence and when they heard we were archaeologists, we were invited in and shown round the dig and the finds.

I went along to some of their meetings and they seemed a friendly lot, but then several years later, I was suddenly invited to be their Chairman. I was very flattered but I did not really feel suitable. They pressed me and so in a moment of weakness, I was accepted and was chairman for 18 very happy years.

I soon found out that the society had been run by three very formidable ladies. The first was Brigid Grafton Green who was the secretary and Newsletter editor, and was in many ways the great driving force. She had originally read English and Logic at Oxford, and then took an extramural diploma in archaeology. By profession, she was a journalist. She wrote several books about local affairs, a History of the Hampstead Garden Suburb, and Milk for the Millions, an account of College Farm, built as a showcase for the Express Dairies in 1883.

Then there was Daphne Lorimer who ran the West Heath excavation. Daphne was originally trained as a radiographer. Having brought up her family, Daphne took up archaeology and took the London course that specialised in animal bones. She became an animal bones specialist and in great demand for producing reports on the subject.

The third was Dorothy Newbury. She and her husband Jack ran and still run a printing factory in the heart of Hendon. Dorothy made two major contributions, firstly by masterminding the Newsletter after Brigid, and printing it, but most of all by running the “Minimart” every October – the highlight of the social year. Financially, this was very successful, usually making a profit over £1000 – keeping the society afloat and enabling a certain amount of luxury.

The other major character at HADAS was Ted Sammes. Ted was born and brought up in the borough and there was little he did not know about Hendon. He worked in the milling industry and knew all about the various types of wheat. He never married and to some extent treated HADAS as his family. He maintained a flat in Hendon even when his business took him down to Maidenhead where he joined the local archaeological society. On his death, we discovered that he had left the residue of his estate jointly to HADAS and Maidenhead Archaeological Society.

News of Mary O’Connell Stewart Wild

Older members will remember Mary O’Connell, a member for many years, who gave us fascinating illustrated talks on many subjects, especially London’s hidden gems and historical oddities. As a quali- fied Blue Badge guide, she also led guided walks for HADAS outings in and around Clerkenwell, an area of which her knowledge was encyclopaedic.

Some years ago, after she was widowed, she moved from Colindale down to Taunton in Somerset in order to be nearer her daughter Susan, and we lost touch with her.

At the end of September Stewart Wild heard from Susan to the effect that Mary has been living comfortably in a retirement home in Bristol for the last four years, but that recently, now in her 86th year, her health has sadly deteriorated and her memory has almost gone. Stewart has Susan’s address in Bristol and will keep in touch with her.

New Courses at City Lit

The City Lit, has begun offering non-accredited courses in Archaeology and plan to expand this provision very shortly. New courses for the Winter and Spring terms are as follows:

– Archaeology: Key archaeological sites of Great Britain

Explore archaeological case studies from the Stone Age to the recent British Past. Dates: Tuesday 10.30-12.30, 8th January-13th March. Course code: HAY02

– Archaeology in London

Explore the archaeology and history of London through class-based sessions and fieldtrips Dates: Tuesday 10.30-12.30, 9th April-18th June. Course code: HAY03

For further information visit the City Lit website or phone Humanities on 020 7492 2652.

From the Iron Age to World War II – Outing to St Albans on 30 September 2012

For our last outing of the year, with Stewart Wild but not, sadly, his co-organiser June Porges, who passed away at the beginning of September (see October newsletter), we were blessed with fine weather and a very comfortable coach from Hearn’s.

Iron Age Mysteries revealed by Don Cooper

We met up with our guide for the day, local historian and archaeologist Roger Miles, in what appeared to be a suburban estate a mile and a bit (2km) north of St Albans (Verulamium). What is here we wondered? Roger led us down a narrow path between two semi-detached houses and after fifty yards or so we came upon an amazing sight. A huge ditch some 24 feet (8m) deep, 90 feet (28m) wide, and, we were to learn, over three-quarters of a mile (1½ km) long. It runs in more or less a straight line for this distance.

It is called Beech Bottom Dyke. As we walked along a short section of it, Roger described it and pointed out some of its features. It is a man-made, late Iron Age (50BC – 50AD) earthwork with the spoil piled up on both sides to give it more substance. It runs northeast–southwest and is cut into the clay and gravel of a dry valley. A Roman coin hoard was found at a depth of over 4m when Sir Mortimer Wheeler was excavating in the area, indicating that it was partly filled in when the hoard was deposited.

In the Iron Age the area was in the territory of the Catuvellauni, a powerful Celtic tribe. What was its purpose? It could be a boundary ditch, but why did it only encompass that particular area? It could be defensive, but then the “enemy” could have gone around it. It could be to indicate status and power, but who does it impress? There is a similar ditch (date and size) nearby at Wheathampstead, but its function there seems to be to defend a settlement. Maybe we will never know what it was for!

In 1461 the Yorkists utilised Beech Bottom Dyke in setting up their defences against a Lancastrian attack, although the attack never came from that direction! In the 1860s it was used as a rifle range to train local volunteers in preparation for a French invasion. A bank was put across it and targets set on the bank. The maximum range was 600 yards. The bank had to be straightened slightly to accommodate the rifle range. Presumably they used the dyke so that passers-by were less likely to be hit by stray bullets.

Nowadays Beech Bottom Dyke is a Scheduled Ancient Monument managed by English Heritage. Our thanks are due to Roger for showing us this “hidden treasure”.

The Wars of the Roses

A short walk brought us to a nearby grassy area where we were treated to a short but excellent talk by Peter Burley about the Wars of the Roses and the two Battles of St Albans (1455 and 1461). What made it special was that we were on the site of the battlefield itself, although you would never know by looking at the suburban landscape today. Peter is an authority on this period of history and co-author of the best-selling book The Battles of St Albans. His talk expertly put events into context, leading up to the more celebrated Battle of Barnet a few years later.

Kingsbury Manor & Verulamium Museum Tessa Smith is impressed

We were welcomed to Kingsbury Manor farmhouse and ancient tithe barn by owners Jill and Adam Singer. The huge timber-framed medieval barn was built in the late fourteenth century as a monastic grange, dendrochronology having shown that the massive timbers were felled in 1374. Roger Miles was again with us as our expert guide.

A hipped porch entrance at the side leads into a lofty and cathedral-like interior which has a main nave with tie-beam braces and only one side aisle, the other having been removed. The barn had major restoration in 2009 by specialist craftsmen – it took 70,000 hand-made pegs to attach the roof tiles. The supporting walls contain Roman brick from a previous Roman building and apotropaic marks, seventeenth-century anti-witch or good-luck graffiti.

Some HADAS members took great interest in the engine of the Aston Martin sports car in the farmyard, whilst others stroked the owners’ friendly Irish wolfhound, before we looked at the exterior of the manor house itself. The house is built over the Roman road to Colchester, which passes underneath what is now the dining room, and set beside the river Ver by the watermill. The farmhouse itself is a conglomeration of centuries of building and additions, and in the garden are large pieces of Hertfordshire puddingstone.

On the other side of the millpond lies Kingsbury water mill – originally the Abbot’s malt mill – where visitors can view the restored and working wheel; the old grinding machinery remains in place, while upstairs a small museum has a selection of milling machinery and farming implements on show. Part of the mill is now the Waffle House restaurant.

Fishpool Street has several medieval buildings, some with overhanging jetties. It is believed to owe its name to fishponds which provided a livelihood for the Saxon residents of Kingsbury. There are several old public houses, three of them timber-framed listed buildings – all of them were open for business but sadly St Michael’s Church was not.

After lunch we met Simon West, the District Archaeologist, at Verulamium Museum which has some of the finest Roman mosaics and wall plasters outside the Mediterranean. He gave us an excellent talk about the Roman finds from Turners Hall Farm in Wheathampstead (HADAS had visited the dig some years ago, excavated from 2002–2006), appropriately in the room where the finds are exhibited.

Turners Hall Farm was a late Iron Age to late Roman farmstead with villa nearby, of high status, a municipium, for which the Celtic elite were incorporated into the Roman State. The original finds of cremated bones and buried artefacts were made by a metal detectorist, the second by archaeologists.

It is known from DNA tests that the bones were from females, and of royalty by the quality of the finds: finest imported ware, glass flagons, a rare strainer bowl with an infusion of artemesia found inside, two silver brooches, three knives and 35 arrowheads as well as a pellet mould for coin manufacturing.

After playing games of Roman noughts and crosses, with touch screens and pull-out drawers of artefacts, we were off to visit the twentieth century at the Mosquito Museum.

Aeroplane Heaven Andy Simpson approves

Final visit of this pleasant and rewarding day out was to the volunteer-run de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre ( at Salisbury Hall where the famous Mosquito aircraft design team was established in secret just prior to World War II. Some, including the author of this note, will remember this as the Mosquito Aircraft Museum, nestling in its rural location just off the M25, adjacent to the moated Salisbury Hall manor house, which is in private occupation.

This is the oldest dedicated aircraft museum in the UK, opened to the public on 15 May 1959 with just one hangar and one initial complete aircraft – the prototype de Havilland Mosquito of 1940, the fast and amazingly versatile ‘Wooden Wonder’ – which remains there today, albeit totally stripped down and dismantled and undergoing long-term deep conservation and restoration. It had survived the late 1940s and 50s in storage though at one time ordered to be burnt as scrap – sleight of hand by a handful of enthusiasts ensured its survival.

The Museum is now home to no fewer than three Mosquitos – including a wartime FB Mk VI fighter- bomber composite restoration – the fuselage rescued from a Dutch technical college and the wings from an Israeli kibbutz, and being worked on by a sizeable group of volunteers during our visit – and a postwar B Mk 35 bomber (and later target-tug) variant, withdrawn along with the last of the RAF’s Mosquitos in 1963, and star of the not-terribly-good 1968 feature film Mosquito Squadron, a sort-of- sequel to the immortal 633 Squadron.

There are two hangars on site, outbuildings housing supporting displays and a small shop, and a number of aircraft and airliner fuselages and nose sections on external display, including the fuselage of a rare de Havilland Comet 1 jet airliner. As mentioned by Ralph Steiner, our friendly and knowledgeable volunteer site guide, there are hopes of building a new hangar to get these precious items under cover.

It is noticeable that many of the aircraft are open for public access, including the Horsa troop-carrying glider section as used in the D-Day landings and the Arnhem and Rhine crossing operations in 1944/45. The well-known de Havilland Moth family of inter-war light aircraft is well represented, plus post-war ‘Heavy Metal’ such as the formidable Sea Vixen Fleet Air Arm carrier fighter, whose cockpit is also open to view – the viewing platform giving a good view of the external displays.

Inside the hangars, related displays include models and crash-site recovery items. There is also a small café area which provided HADAS with a welcome caffeine fix! Ralph was enthusiastic enough to continue to talk to us after the Museum’s normal closing time, for which we thanked him warmly.

Brunel Lecture Jim Nelhams

Robert Hulse is the Director of the Brunel Tunnel Museum in Rotherhithe. Having seen him lecture before, I could not resist attending the Mill Hill Historical Society meeting on 10th October.

Robert does not use any computer aids in his lecture. Instead, he hands rounds picture cards illustrating his subject and by doing so, involves all of his audience all of the time. No chance to sleep through this one. He is also an expert in his subject, always talking without notes.

Robert detailed the history of the tunnel under the Thames, a project started by Marc Brunel and taken over by his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, from its beginning in 1825 to the present day. The tunnel was completed in 1843 after overcoming engineering and financial problems. But finances continued to be a problem and in 1865, it was sold to the East London Railway Company. The first steam train ran through in 1869, and later the line became part of the underground system, running from Shoreditch to New Cross. More recently the line was extended in the north to Highbury & Islington,

and in the south to West Croydon. Plans are underway to join this to Clapham Junction, completing a circuit around London.

Why was Brunel’s tunnel important, so much so that it has been declared an Industrial World Heritage site? It was the first tunnel completed which went under water, and used techniques developed by Marc Brunel which are still in use today. Previous tunnels used the “cut and cover” technique and had to be close to the surface – impossible under water. His ideas have allowed the building of metro systems in cities across the world, as well as the Channel Tunnel and other underwater tunnels. Today, they are being used for Crossrail.

To start the digging, Brunel built the world’s first drilling “caisson”, a large circular brick construction which was sunk into the ground, and from which the tunnelling commenced. Until recently, the trains ran through the bottom of this, but in 2011, Balfour Beatty built a false concrete floor, creating a large circular space above the tracks and allowing public access for the first time in over 140 years. The Museum, which is next door to the tunnel in the old pumping house, now regularly promotes musical events there.

As the talk progressed, Robert’s abilities as a salesman became more apparent. The Museum does need income, and a selection of Brunel Tunnel branded goods were available for sale at the end. And what a queue there was – a clear recognition of the success of the talk.


The Ironbridge Gorge is a one of the first group of seven sites in the UK to have been designated as a World Heritage site in 1986. This designation imposes a duty on local organisations. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is a charity founded in 1967 and is responsible for 36 scheduled monuments and listed buildings. It also runs 10 separate museums, each with a different function, and scattered geographically throughout the area. A single “group passport” gave us access to all of these though we did not plan to visit them all.

First an introduction to the area, and what better place to start than the river.

The Magnificent Severn Tessa Smith

We were all looking forward to our river trip today and there below the quayside lay our boat peacefully moored.

Sadly not a coracle or a trow – but a dear little river cruiser – Hafren – named after a mythical princess after whom the river Severn was named and who according to legend was drowned in its dark and swirling waters – a bit daunting. Nevertheless…… with a blast of Handel’s Water Music we were off downstream towards the Iron Bridge on the seemingly calm and serene river, today running rather fast and strong.

The sides of the gorge were deep and overgrown with dense green foliage. We glided on past ghosts of long ago, men and horses dragging heavy loads down the scarred zigzag tracks from the quarries above. Only our imaginations could supply the cacophony of noise, the thumping of machinery and crunch of cart wheels. Now all was peaceful and silent and green.

We have had a lot of rain recently and today the water was running at 18-22 mph, very fast – usually it would have been only 10 mph – and it was 14 inches above normal level, so we were relieved to know that there is no Severn bore today; in fact no bore gets upstream from Gloucester. However it gets very cold in the gorge and the young cruiser man told us that in 2010 on Xmas Day the river was frozen over completely from the rapids at Bedlam all the way to Ironbridge.

We cruised on past the edges of the villages, the remains of the Teddy Bear factory and little museum – until the iconic view of the Iron Bridge itself came into view – cameras clicked at every angle as the boat eased slowly round.

It was here that Matthew Webb learned to swim, close to the Iron Bridge, a most dangerous part of the river where currents and changes of depth make unpredictable hazards. He later became the first man to swim the English Channel. Luckily no HADAS members fell overboard as we made our way back upstream.

Sadly during the last few years there has been much bank erosion – the river has not been dredged and the edges not maintained – branches have fallen in and banks washed away – this is killing wildlife – this year a kingfisher lost its nest 3 times – first the eggs were lost then the next brood of young were lost, lastly the third lot of eggs washed away. Have fish in the river been affected? The River Severn is one of the best rivers in UK for barbel, pike,roach and chub.

Finally we were back – we had sailed the Magnificent Severn and not one of us was seasick

Museum of the Gorge Jo Nelhams

The Ironbridge Gorge as it is known today is midway between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. This is the area that was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. In 1834 the Coalbrookdale Company built the gothic warehouse, which is now called the Severn Warehouse. This is now the Museum of the Gorge.

As you enter the museum, there is an intricate model of the Gorge as it was in 1796 which was known then as Coalbrookdale. It depicts the location of the industries developed as well as the sources of raw materials of coal, iron, clay and limestone and the River Severn as the source of water for power.

There are many illustrations showing the mines, ironworks, bricks and tile works and other associated manufacturing industries, as well as the revolutionary ‘Hay Inclined Plane’ designed to transport canal boats between the different levels of canals.

A short informative film shows the 10 museums which now occupy the sites along the valley, some of which are working museums. The film gives an overview of the diversity of products that used to be made in the Gorge.

The most visible survivor is the Ironbridge. Little is known about the actual construction of the bridge. It was designed by an architect from Shrewsbury, Thomas Farnholls Pritchard (1723-77). Pritchard did not live to see the bridge completed. Construction began in late 1777 and in 1778 the foundationsTrust and stone abutments were built. The cast iron ribs were erected across the river in 1779. Abraham Darby III was responsible for the construction, but it is not known in which foundry the bridge was cast and how Darby secured the necessary quantity of iron.

The Jackfield Tile Museum Audrey Hooson

The village of Jackfield was once the centre of the world tile making industry. Many famous companies were situated there, or close by, exploiting the excellent clay supply, availability of fuel and long range transport. ‘Broseley’ roofing tiles were made on a large scale. In the 1890’s when production was at its height, it is estimated that that the ‘Broseley’ district produced three-quarters of a million tiles each week. Decorative wall and floor tiles of various types were made by Maw & Co., the Hargreaves, Craven Dunnill Co. Ltd., (later just Craven Dunnill) and many smaller concerns.

The Iron Bridge Gorge Museum Trust bought the remains of Craven Dunnill’s 1874 factory in 1983 and started a project of restoration and development that was finally completed in 2007. The site now contains the unique tile museum, education workshops and facilities for tenant manufacturers and designers. It also has the remaining bases of two large kilns that show the extent of the originals.

The entrance to the museum has a mosaic floor and tiled staircase, leading to a restoration of the original Trade Showroom, Board Room and offices. Panels of different tiles have been fitted to the walls and an original tile cabinet, from Maw & Co’s showroom, installed. Upstairs was the Drawing Office or Design Studio, a high-ceilinged room with two huge Gothic windows to provide maximum light. Until WWI there were Artist and Design classes at the ‘Coalbrookdale Literary and Scientific Institution’. Students were able to enter competitions run by the ‘South Kensington School of Art’ (later part of the V & A). In 1870 Hargreaves, Craven Dunnill Co. Ltd. set up a profit-sharing scheme for all employees; from July to December 1870 it provided a bonus of 5%. Unfortunately the scheme had to be abandoned in the 1930’s, due to the trade recession.

The tiles displayed in the museum are not solely from the Jackfield area. The themes in this room were Style versus Subject Matter, The Aesthetic Movement, Persian and Moorish Designs and Gothic Revival Encaustic Tiles. There were sets of ‘Story Tiles’ showing nursery rhymes, Aesop’s fables and The Seasons. The original examples from William De Morgan and Morris & Company made it obvious that both Maw & Company and Craven Dunnill copied and adapted their designs.

The main section of the museum contained an impressive series of room sets. These use rescued or replicated tiles to show how ubiquitous their use was during the Victorian Era and later. Displayed were Covent Garden Underground station, with Maw’s tiles, a butcher’s shop with a panel of cows and sheep in a meadow and a frieze of vegetative swags and roundels containing pig’s heads. Tiles from the museum collection created an imitation Church of England memorial chapel using encaustic tiles from several locations.

Between the 1890’s and 1930’s many children’s wards in hospitals were decorated with tile panels. By the 1960’s and 70’s these colourful scenes had gone out of fashion. Fortunately many were saved by

the museum. The examples on display, ‘The Maypole’ and ‘ All the Fun of the Fair’, designed by Haydn Jensen, were removed from the Bernard Baron children’s ward at the Middlesex Hospital, London in 1988.

The final room explained the manufacturing technicalities of various floor and wall tiles. With diagrams, videos and material samples for the body of the tile, colouring and decoration. There was also a mould store from the Maw & Co., & Craven Dunnill Collection. These can still be used for replacement and restoration projects.

In London examples from this area can be seen in the V & A, the Marianne North Gallery at Kew, The Royal Academy, Harrods food hall and many churches.

Coalport China Museum Liz Gapp

Having visited the Jackfield Tile Museum, we arrived at the Coalport China Museum, located in works established in the 1790s and closed in 1926, when all work was transferred to Stoke. The entrance is via the shop, which leads straight in to a large display of china dating from the 18th century onwards. A very unusual part of the display shows the evolution of teacup shapes from 1795 to 1925, using half cup relief profiles, with recordings that can be listened to on headphones to explain this.

From here we went to the Demonstration Workshop, where there are a series of techniques on show, starting with the way in which clay is used to throw pots. These are known as ‘jigger’, used to produce flatware (e.g. plates), and ‘jolly’, used to produce hollowware (e.g. cups). The proportions of ingredients used for Coalport’s standard bone china recipe were shown in three glass jars, viz 50% animal bone, 25% Cornish stone, 25% china clay from Cornwall.

The next part of the display here shows the use of moulds and slip casting (used for casting enclosed hollow shapes like teapots), followed by the moulds used for flower making (in clay). Then displayed is the traditional underglaze technique, which was usually in a single colour, alongside modern on- glaze technique, which were multi-coloured. Transfer printing and glaze dipping were also shown.

Several of us were able to talk to a knowledgeable lady who was doing onglaze decoration. She explained that the colours for underglaze decoration were more muted, and there were fewer of them. Also they changed colour with firing, so required some knowledgeable imagination when applying them. They were more durable than the onglaze decoration which, being applied over the glaze, meant they were not dishwasher-proof. However, the onglaze colours were more varied and brighter. She also explained the varying firing temperatures; 800 C, used for glazing transfer prints, up to 1200 C, used for bone china and saggars. The higher the temperature, the more durable the end product, but if the glaze was fired to the higher temperature it would melt the transfer underneath. Saggars have to be strong as they are the containers that contain the unfired ceramics when they are put in the kilns for firing, and are used repeatedly. Also explained was that the length of firing was due to the need to raise the temperature gradually to that required so as not to stress the materials used and cause them to break.

We then moved on to another building, an original bottle oven kiln that had been set up with a cut away mock-up of the way in which the kiln would have been organised for a firing, showing the arrangement of the saggars with the ceramics in them. There is an audio-visual display with a mock-up of the firing, with roaring noise from the fire and flames. Also shown are the access points where sample pots would have been retrieved to test whether they were fired sufficiently or not.

There were several other buildings including a workshop where individual ceramicists work, a saggar makers’ workshop, and another old bottle oven kiln building with a wonderful, well labelled, set of

display cases in the middle. In another area of the building there is a collection of Caughley pottery which concentrated on blue and white pottery and dates from 1750 until around 1799.

This was a fascinating visit, which left plenty to see for a future visit, after which some people went on to visit the Tar Tunnel, whilst the rest of us returned to Ironbridge.

The Tar Tunnel Stewart Wild

After our visit to the Coalport China Museum, a lot of us walked along the canal towpath to the bottom of the Hay Inclined Plane and the adjacent road bridge. Managing to resist for a moment the attractions of a tearoom and ice-cream parlour, we descended some steps, entered what appeared to be the house next door and found ourselves in the entrance to the extraordinary Tar Tunnel. A nice lady checked that we had tickets and gave us hard hats – another piece of ‘elf & safety’ regulations introduced since my last visit!

It all goes back to 1787, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when mining in the area was in its heyday. The plan was to connect the canal alongside the River Severn to the lower galleries of the coal mines below Blists Hill, where there is now a lovely open-air museum that we would visit on our final day.

Miners blasted and lined with brick a horizontal tunnel straight into the hill, proceeding for around 3,000ft. As they did so, they noticed naturally occurring bitumen oozing from a layer of sandstone through the walls. Further in, they encountered a gushing spring of the black stuff, which effectively brought digging to an end and turned the owners’ attention to the commercial possibilities of bitumen production.

Ships at the time were made of wood and large quantities of bitumen were needed to caulk the wooden decks and tar the ropes for weatherproofing. Smaller amounts were apparently also bottled and sold as a remedy for rheumatism and other ailments. It is not recorded how profitable the enterprise was, but demand would have dropped as ships were increasingly made of iron and engines replaced sails

Visitors today can walk about 300ft into the tunnel until they reach an iron gate; only tall people are likely to bang their heads. Small amounts of oozing bitumen are clearly visible on the walls. A couple of old coal trucks stand rusting on one side and the tunnel is electrically lit. Display boards at the entrance explain some of the history; there’s nothing like it anywhere else in Britain.

After the failure of the tunnel as a method of bringing coal direct to the canal boats, engineers constructed an inclined-plane railway nearby – basically a pair of railway tracks up the hillside at an angle of around thirty-five degrees. But more of that later as on our last day, we were able to see the tracks from the top of the hill.

The China Museum’s bottle kiln adjacent to the canal

Another view of the impressive 4-story high bottle kiln

Covent Garden Tube Station as many of us remember it – transported to the Tile Museum

Site Watching by HADAS at St John the Baptist churchyard, Chipping Barnet in 2012

Bill Bass & Don Cooper

During the period March to June 2012 work was undertaken to landscape and remodel the churchyard environment. The work was instigated by Barnet Council and carried out by contractors – Blakedown Landscapes (SE) Ltd.


The church is located in the London Borough of Barnet at OS grid ref TQ24514/96476. The

churchyard is west of St John the Baptist church, bounded by High Street (A1000) to the north and Wood Street (A411) to the south. Church Passage runs north to south on the western boundary of the site. A benchmark on the church is at 129.57m od. The archaeological site code is CPA12.


In 1199, the Abbot of St Albans obtained a charter from King John to establish a market at Barnet.

Excavations from Barnet High Street (to the south of the church) and west along Wood Street have recovered pottery and occupation from the mid-12th century. A church was on the site by approx 1250; this was rebuilt in the mid-15th century, with an extensive rebuild in the 1872-1875 period.

Some of the area to the west of Church Passage was owned by bricklayers in the 1700s and by the 1800s shops were being developed in Church Passage especially near the High Street. The Hyde Institute was built along the Passage in 1904.

The Works

It was thought that the present churchyard layout had become a bit untidy and tired, needing a revamp with better accessibility. The recent work included the removal of the boundary “Holly bush Hedge” which aligned with what was iron-paling fencing set in stone setts (the iron fencing probably removed during the war). These stone setts were also removed. Groundworks were dug for the foundations of new hard-standing, steps, benches and paths. Also reworked was the paving surrounding the War Memorial.

Site Watching and Archaeology

Members of HADAS attended the site several times a week during the March to June period of the

works. The main objective was site-watching the boundary hedge removal, the groundworks, which were mainly confined to a narrow trench approx 0.30m wide x 0.40m deep along the side of Church Passage, with more superficial work for the foundation of new paths across the site and adjacent flowerbeds. The spoilheaps from various earthworks were also checked. As the churchyard is still consecrated ground the collection of human bone disturbed by the works was seen as a priority.

As the churchyard has been much remodelled and landscaped in the past, e.g. gravestones moved, a new western church entrance created, the War Memorial moved at some point from the east end of the church to the churchyard, this meant that no features were noted, thus all the finds were treated as being from a single topsoil context.



71 pieces of bone were collected from across the churchyard, all were disarticulated being re-deposited and scattered over the site. However, most came from the middle section of the site adjacent to the Memorial Garden and along the western hedge line. Susan Trackman produced a report ‘Human Bone Report on disarticulated bones found in 2012’. The report details the bone types found from various parts of the skeleton including skull, mandible, humerus, ulna, ribs, vertebra, femur, fibula, tibia and metacarpals. The fragmentary and random nature of the small sample made it very difficult to ascertain any meaningful results for age, diet, lifestyle, occupation, sex, stature, disease etc. The mandible displayed signs of disease: ” … this woman suffered from severe dental disease – all right mandibular teeth were lost well before death. Remodelling of the bone over the tooth sockets is almost complete”.. Despite the difficulties, the report contains detailed measurement and assessment of all the human bone found. The full report lies with the archive.


5 pieces of unidentified animal bone were found, 3 jaw teeth, 1 rib, 1 shaft/joint.


119 sherds were recovered consisting of:

SHER 1170-1300 x 1

Post- med
BORDY 1550-1700 x 2

PMBL 1580-1700 x 1

PMR 1580-1900 x 14

RBOR 1550-1900 x 4

PMFR 1580-1900 x 4

CHPO 1580-1900 x 1

STSL 1660-1870 x 2

ENGS 1700-1900 x 10

TPW 1780-1900 x 73

TGW SPNG 1780-1900 x 2

MOCH 1780-1900 x 5


1 x Mouth piece 60 x Stems

Pipe bowls
1 x AO21 1680-1710, Spur marks: Decoration

1 x AO28 1700-1770, Spur marks: Decoration: –

3 x AO27 1780-1820, Spur marks: Sun Decoration: Wheatsheaf

3 x AO28 1820-1860, Spur marks: KS WT Decoration: Oaks/Leaves

1 x AO29 1840-1880, Spur marks: Decoration Wheatsheaf

7 x AO30 1850-1910, Spur marks: Decoration: Wheatsheaf

1 x AO31 1850-1910, Spur marks: R Decoration: –

7 x AO33 Post 1840, Spur marks: WT TTY, Sun Decoration: Oaks/Leaves

1 x Calabash Early 20th C, Decoration: White metal rim

2 x Unknown


1854 Napoleon III, 10 Centimes, worn

1860 George III, ½ Penny, very worn/degraded 1971 2p

1985 2p

1994 2p

2005 2p


5 x sherds of peg tile

1 x fragment of roof slate

1 x sherd of inscribed sherd of decorated chimney pot

1 x sample brick (railing stone foundation) 280mm long, 120mm wide, 50mm deep, very shallow frog.


13 x bottle glass, 1 x complete small bottle, 2 x window glass


1 x coffin handle, 1 x knife blade, 2 x shoe sole reinforcements, 4 x nails (all metal heavily corroded).


The pottery broadly dates from the late 16th century to late 19th century and consists mainly of the common post-medieval wares e.g. Borderwares (BORDY), Mochawares (MOCH), Redwares (PMR), English stonewares (ENGS) and Transfer Printed Wares (TPW), consisting mostly of plates, cups and bowls. One sherd of medieval pottery was noted.

The clay-pipe dates from the late 17th century to early 20th century some with spur-marks and decoration. So far the spur-marks have not been matched with makers from the London region, but as Barnet was a major coaching stop the pipes could have come from a wide ranging area. One fragment of the AO33 type bowls was partially stamped HIGH……. which may be ‘Highgate’ an area in north London known to have had clay pipe manufacturers.

The finds are essentially random samples from an unstratified context, they were found in the groundworks or the spoilheaps associated with the work adjacent to Church Passage. They would represent casual loss e.g. coins & clay-pipe, along Church Passage, a busy thoroughfare today as it would have been years ago. The pottery, glass, building materials etc would represent domestic rubbish dumping in the area with some of the iron items from coffin furniture.


Ben Garrett, Adrian Barnden and James Fitzgerald for Blakedown Landscapes (SE) Ltd.

Megan Hallett & Caroline Bragg for Barnet Council

St John the Baptist: Church Warden Nigel Baker and Rector Canon Hall Speers Sue Trackman for the bone report.

Kim Stabler, English Heritage.

English Heritage At Risk Register Jim Nelhams

English Heritage (EH) maintains a list of areas and structures that it considers to be “at risk”. The EH website states: “The Heritage at Risk programme provides a dynamic picture of the health of England’s built heritage. It also provides advice on how best to save those sites most at risk of being lost forever.”

English Heritage is committed to reducing the overall number of sites at risk of loss as a result of neglect, decay and inappropriate development. How this will be achieved is set out in the Heritage at Risk Strategy.

Every year EH publishes a list of those sites most at risk of being lost. The latest list was published in October and includes the following within the London Borough of Barnet. At this time, the list does not include Church Farmhouse – something we need to keep under review.

The items/areas currently listed are: Brockley Hill site
College Farm, Finchley including the main building, dairy and silo.

At Avenue House, The Bothy and the concrete Water Tower. Two tombs in the churchyard at St Mary’s Hendon.
The monument to Major John Cartwright at St Mary’s Finchley. The Physic Well in Barnet.
Colindale Hospital administrative block.

With limited resources, English Heritage can not easily monitor all listed items but rely on knowledgeable observers, such as HADAS members, to warn them if things deteriorate.

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan

Sunday 25th November to Monday 3rd December. Barnet Borough Arts Council. The Spires (Outside Waitrose) Barnet. Paintings and Drawings & What’s On info (incl. HADAS).

Saturday 1st December, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Museum of London: George Peabody – East End to the City. Walk through 150 years of his history, from the earliest estate to the seat of his financial successes and his statue next to the Royal Exchange. Cost £10 (concs. £8, Friends £7). Book online at or call 020 7001 9844. (HADAS’s October lecture was on George Peabody.)

Sunday 2nd December, 10:30 a.m. Heath and Hampstead Society. The Hidden Heath. Meet at the Gazebo near the old kitchen garden, east of Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, N6.
Walk led by Michael Hammerson (Highgate Society), archaeologist & HADAS member. Cost £3.

Sunday 2nd December, from noon. Barnet High Street Christmas Fair. Music, dance, stalls in the High Street, theatre in The Bull, crafts fairs in Church House and exhibitions at Barnet Museum.

Tuesday 4th December, 6:30 p.m. LAMAS – Clore Learning Centre, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. “There is nothing like dissecting to give you an appetite” – doctors and nurses in Dickens. Kevin Brown. £2. (Refreshments at 6:00)

Thursday 6th December, 7:30 p.m. London Canal Museum, New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, N1 9RT. “The Chesterfield Canal, Past, Present and Future.” Geraint Coles. £4 (concs. £2.50).

Thursday 6th December, 8:00 p.m. Pinner Local History Society. Village Hall, Chapel Lane, Pinner. “George Arliss, our first Oscar winner?” Talk by Barbara Lanning. Visitors, £2.

Other Societies’ Events (continued)
Monday 10th December, 7:45 p.m. West Wessex Archaeology Group (WEAG). School Hall, Woodford County High School, High Road, Woodford Green, IG8 9LA. “Domestic Finance in Roman
Britain”. Talk by Amelia Dowler.

Wednesday 12th December, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway, Mill Hill, NW7. “Elstree – Britain’s Hollywood”. Talk by Bob Redman.

Tuesday 11th December, 2 – 3 p.m. Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow, HA2 6PX. “Dicken’s Christmas”. Talk by Colin Oakes. £2.

Tuesday 11th December, 7:45 p.m. Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, Finchley, N3 1BD. “A Burgess Shale type Biota from the Cambrian of Australia”. Talk by Dr Greg Edgecombe (Natural History Museum).

Wednesday 12th December, 7:45 p.m. Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Road/Weston Park, N8 9PX. “The History of Lord’s Cricket Ground.” Talk by Stephen Green. Visitors £2. Refreshments.

Thursday 13th December, 7:30 p.m. Camden History Society. Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT. “Celebrating Christmas in Medieval London.” Talk by Caroline Barron. £1. Wine and mince pies from 7:00 p.m.

Friday 14th December 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Museum of London, EC2Y 5HN. “Roman Fort Visit.” Tour of the remains of the Western Gate of London’s military fort, located beneath the streets next to the Museum. Free, but tickets allocated on arrival.

Friday 21st December, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Museum of London (as above). “Archaeology Close Up”. Drop in on monthly object handling sessions with members of the Museum’s Archaeological Collections Department. Free.

Newsletter-499-October-2012 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

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No. 499 OCTOBER 2012 Edited by Stephen Brunning

HADAS DIARY 2012-2013

Tuesday 9 October: The Life and Legacy of George Peabody – Lecture by Christine Wagg.

This first talk of the new lecture season will outline the life and work of George Peabody, an American merchant banker and philanthropist. He founded the Peabody Trust in 1862 to “ameliorate the conditions of the poor and needy of London”. His trustees were given a total of £500,000 to build affordable housing for working-class Londoners. “Peabody Buildings” remain a feature of London’s landscape to this day. Since the last war the Trust has acquired properties from a number of other organisations which pioneered the development of working-class housing, including The Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes, and the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company.

The Trust now owns or manages approximately 20,000 dwellings and is London’s largest charitable housing association. The talk incorporates an account of the history of the Trust and describes some of its older properties, as well as a few highlights of its archive collection.

Christine Wagg works as legal assistant to the Peabody Trust. In 1994 she was responsible for arranging the transfer of the Trust’s archive collection to London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell and she regularly deals with enquiries about the Trust’s history and early records.

Tuesday 13 November: Archaeological Discoveries in Southwark – Lecture by Peter Moore, Pre-Construct Archaeology.

Sunday 2 December: Christmas Party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30 pm (approx.) A buffet lunch. Price £22 to include some drink. Booking form in next month’s newsletter.

Tuesday 8 January: The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? Lecture by Nathalie Andrews.

Tuesday 12 February: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship. Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.

Tuesday 12 March: The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage.

Tuesday 9th April: Nautical Archaeology – past, present and future – Lecture by Mark Beattie-Edwards – Programme Director, Nautical Archaeology Society.

All Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.

JUNE PORGES: 1929-2012

Jean Bayne writes:
June died peacefully on Thursday September 6 in University College Hospital with her family around her. She had been coping bravely with cancer for some time.

Born in 1929 in Cheshire, June spent her early years in the North and later, during the war years, attended a boarding school in North Wales. She loved Snowdonia and took her family back for many happy holidays there in later years. Trained as a librarian, she came down to London, where she met Hans, her future husband. After a short, whirlwind romance, they married in 1956 and settled in Hampstead. This was, without doubt, June’s favourite place in London! But the pressures of a growing family and the needs of elderly parents led to a move to Finchley in 1971. In the same year she joined HADAS.

During the seventies, she was very involved with the West Heath dig on Hampstead Heath, revelling in the opportunity to focus on ‘real’ archaeology while she studied for the Diploma. It was the first Mesolithic site to be discovered in Greater London. She enjoyed both the friendships she made and the excitement of the practical experience. Helping to organize training digs, at one point, she and Hans provided a tent for the training session so that students could work and rest under cover. Tessa Smith remembers her on a HADAS trip in 1984 to Ickworth where June and Hans saw a field of buttercups and could not resist sitting down in the middle of them and laughing together. Tessa also remembers June’s generosity in hosting a birthday party for George Ingrams (his 90th). The cake had a digging trowel to cut it!

June was always willing to become involved and worked proactively for HADAS over many years. She soon joined the committee and became the librarian/archivist for the society. In this role, she not only catalogued the books owned by HADAS but was also active in encouraging the use of the library by giving her time as an adviser to students.

For many years, June also undertook the responsibility of finding speakers for the monthly lectures and wining and dining them beforehand. She contributed to the Newsletter and was always interested in the Society’s general activities. Furthermore, with Stewart Wild, she arranged yearly outings to places of archaeological interest, determined to include an actual dig wherever possible. I feel that the St Albans trip this year will be a special time to remember her.

June developed her interest in mosaics by joining ASPROM, a society for the preservation of Roman mosaics and she was always delighted when we came across any mosaics on our trips. Her general interest in archaeology, history and culture underpinned extensive travelling around the world: this included Zimbabwe, India, Australia, Russia, the Middle East, New Zealand, Morocco, America, Italy and France, Colombia and Egypt.

Another passion was opera. June joined the Amici di Verdi Society and went to Italy each year to see operas. She also undertook an opera degree at Rose Bruford College when she retired, graduating in 2006. The course was very challenging as June had no initial musical training but she bought a keyboard and found some help. The students were all opera buffs and, I think, they so enjoyed their course with opera visits, opera weekends and lunches that they took the modules quite slowly so they did not have to finish the course too quickly! A devotee of the English National Opera, June almost became a fixture there. She went several times a week, seeing dress rehearsals as well as final performances, and also helped out as a ‘Friend’. Her son Adam felt she would not be able to bear the idea of no longer being able to go.

Another very strong interest was Russia, its history and culture. June attended lectures every year and read widely. A few years ago, June and I went to Russia, travelling by boat between St Petersburg and Moscow, and she impressed the guide very much with her wide-ranging knowledge. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting up with June’s grandson, Edward, who was studying in Moscow at the time. He took us around and was able to order food for us and explain aspects of day-to-day Russian life, such as travelling on the wonderful but confusing metro system.

June adored her large family and birthdays and landmark events were always accompanied by lunches at Kenwood or parties at home. Christmas was a very special time, celebrated on Christmas Eve according to Austrian custom (Hans was brought up in Austria). All the family gathered at June’s house. I was always enchanted by the real, lighted candles on the Christmas tree – a very important ritual!

It was also a time when she particularly missed Hans: he died in 1990 from Legionnaires’ disease. However, she continued, then, to work in her day job which may have helped a little. By that time, she had been well established for many years as Head of Information in the Exploration Department of British Gas. She brought her organizational and managerial qualities to whatever she did and HADAS benefited greatly. Chairing meetings and general committee work were second nature to June. But she was also very socially skilled, able to relate to many different types of people and she knew how to reconcile differences and move things ahead in a calm, positive way. She had warmth, charm and an intelligent perception about people laced with a very good sense of humour. Above all, she was strong, brave and independent with great leadership qualities: very much her own woman. I never heard her complain even when I knew she was suffering.

I had lunch with her just before the recent HADAS trip to Ironbridge. At that point, she was very breathless and becoming increasingly immobile. However, she was very animated, laughing and joking throughout the meal. She made it clear that she knew she was coming close to the end of her life and was able to accept it, saying that she had had a good life. I shall always treasure the memory of the last time I saw her because, by the time I returned from Ironbridge, she was in hospital, completely exhausted. In the event, the end came very suddenly: far too soon for all of us.

She leaves three children: Adam, Joanna and Simon and a stepdaughter Tessa, and their spouses Mariana, Warren, Alison and Ingolf. And seven grandchildren too: Edward, Johnny, Arron, Kerry, Emily, Daniel and Oliver.

On behalf of HADAS, I would like to send them all our condolences. June will be very much missed.

Stewart Wild adds:
June lived in Finchley, in a nearby road, even longer than I, and was my nearest HADAS neighbour, so to speak. When the weather was bad we would sometimes offer each other a lift to meetings at Avenue House. I hadn’t known her very long before she was sadly widowed.

We became good friends, for she was a lively conversationalist with an excellent memory, and I always enjoyed hearing about her adventures, from memories of boarding school in World War II and later librarianship to travels in Austria and elsewhere and her love of opera. In 2007 she joined me and a small group of friends on a wonderful three-week tour of India which included steam train experiences in Shimla and the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

In 2000 I visited the newly reopened Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey and was so impressed that I invited the director to speak to HADAS at our monthly meeting. When I suggested a day-trip to Waltham Abbey, including the old Temple Bar (at that time in a nearby field), June kindly agreed to help me with the arrangements, and the first of our HADAS summer outings took place in August 2001.

Since then we have jointly organized one each summer, covering a wide range of historic locations in southern England. June’s contribution was immense as she knew more about archaeology that I ever will, and as a committee member she kept me in touch with HADAS policy and contacts. For my part, June was happy to leave me to sort out transport, itinerary and costings.

This month’s outing to St Albans is our twelfth joint effort, and I am so sorry that it will now be our last. We shall all miss her sunny personality and vast knowledge.

Ironbridge – Jim Nelhams

A Golden Coach for an outing! No, not Cinderella, but our group of 32 heading for our extended outing in the Ironbridge area. For the third year running, we had Dave as our driver. He claimed he had tried to get out of it, but we had promised him some challenges to his driving skills.

Our first stop was for coffee at The Narrow Boat at Weedon. This watering hole is situated on the A5 just where it crosses the Grand Union Canal, and provides a terrace with a view of the narrowboats as they make their stately way along at a maximum four miles per hour.

Suitably refreshed, we continued along the A5 (alias Watling Street). Our next stop was at Wall, a site visited by HADAS on a trip some years ago. Our thanks to Terry Dawson for suggesting it. Thence we moved to Buildwas Abbey (not Bill Bass Abbey) before a five minute drive to our hotel. As the hotel itself has an interesting history and splendid decoration, it is included in our write-ups.

Roman Wall – Simon Williams

Today, Roman Wall is dominated by an 1837 church with an interesting steeple: more Picturesque than Neo-Gothic, by the young George Gilbert Scott (of Albert Memorial fame). The Roman name for Wall – Letocetum – is possibly a Romanization of an earlier Iron Age name meaning ‘grey wood’ (‘leto’, or ‘llwyd’ in Welsh, meaning grey, and ‘cetum’, or ‘coed’ in Welsh, meaning ‘wood’). Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest pre-Roman activity on the site.

The site of Roman Wall was an important posting station and staging post on Watling Street – the busy and vital route north – with accommodation in a guest house. Bath suite fragments of sumptuously painted mythological scenes are preserved in the museum and furnace stoke-holes are visible. This and the associated gym were twice extended. The guest house was used mainly by couriers on official business who would cover about 50 miles a day. Later a civilian settlement developed.

The site also comprises an early Marching Camp and forts of 60-110 AD – one built in response to the Boudiccan rebellion. On all the military sites at Wall army occupation was rapidly followed by civilian buildings and industrial activity: metal-working and, in particular, glass-working.

The small museum houses artefacts ranging from the general – an impressive part of a stone column and clay tiles with impressions of animal feet, including deer (which further illustrates a woodland setting, quite unlike the present-day) – to the personal, such as jewellery. Of particular note, a finger ring with the symbols of peace and plenty: clasped hands and crossed cornucopia, based on a coin reverse of 69AD.

Buildwas Abbey – Peter Pickering

“Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang”, said Shakespeare in one of his Sonnets. Well, there was a sweet baby bird chirping in its nest high up in the chapterhouse of Buildwas Abbey. And though the choir was certainly ruined, a good deal of the fabric of this Cistercian Abbey by the Severn survived the dissolution of the monasteries. Built in the second half of the twelfth century, it was not altered very much over the next four hundred years. So, in the sunshine, it gave us a good impression of England in the Ages of Faith.

Buildwas was famous for its large number of books (many produced in the scriptorium on site); two recesses for cupboards to contain them are still there in a book room (armarium) opening off the cloister. There are, moreover, original tiles to be seen in various places, many collected together to form the centre of the floor of the chapterhouse; these tiles were a good introduction to the comprehensive display of Victorian tiles in the Jackfield Tile Museum which we visited later.

Best Western Valley Hotel – Frances Radford

The main part of the hotel was a house known as Severn House, built in 1757. It is now greatly extended taking in nearby buildings. The interior holds surprises such as a disused well in one hallway, two main staircases, a conference suite and among others, a couple of individual rooms with doors resembling front entrances to houses, one having two steps up. Someone said it makes you think there should be a bottle of milk on the top step!

A potted history

It was George Godwin, a Master Collier, who had the house built on the upper part of a meadow leading down to the Severn River. He died in 1773. It is known that around 1803 Sarah Darby bought it and having no direct descendants, bequeathed it to her niece Ann Dickinson in 1821. Bernard Dickinson, Ann’s husband, came from a Quaker family living in Beverley, Yorkshire. We do not know if they ever lived in Severn House, but a tythe map of Madeley 1849 states that their son Henry and his wife occupied the house. After Henry’s wife died, he married a Susannah Hadwen, daughter of a Liverpool banker, so by 1871, he was living in Liverpool and the new occupier of Severn House was Arthur Maw, aged 36.

John Hornby Maw, Arthur’s father, was keen to set up his sons in business and saw the possibility of making encaustic tiles in Worcester, but, after finding the clay there unsuitable, moved the whole workforce and equipment (a mammoth job) to Bentham near Ironbridge, where both coal and clay were readily available. A wise move, as at this time the demand had increased for floor tiles needed in the restoration of churches and civic buildings. As Maw’s factory output rapidly increased, other types of tiles were produced, e.g. hand painted and majolica, and exports ranged over many countries abroad.

Luckily the hotel has been able to retain the original majolica tiles on the walls of the old entrance hall and staircase, tiles which were specially made for the house. These were installed in 1890 by Robert Henry Clarke, an Ironbridge craftsman who worked for the Maws. The tiles are unique as the moulds used in their making were destroyed. Other tiles of interest lie under the carpet in the hotel entrance and there is also a fine tiled fireplace in room 18.

The next owner was Thomas Parker who proved to be something of an inventor. He was responsible for inventing the sparking plug, the electrification of tramways, an omnibus system, the Liverpool Overhead Railway and other structures. He also worked on a smokeless fuel – ‘Coalite’ – a product his son Thomas Parker junior further developed. The third Thomas Parker, a grandson, a celebrated forensic pathologist, lived for a short while in the house in 1908-9.

In 1939, Severn House was converted to a hotel by Wrekin Brewery. Changes followed with the present owners buying the hotel in 1988.

Early 19th century photographs show the garden of the house with tennis courts. One shows the terrace looking out beyond to the bank of trees on the far side of the river, much as it is today – a very beautiful setting.

HADAS organisers, Jim and Jo Nelhams, couldn’t have chosen better – a very pleasant and comfortable hotel providing delicious food. A BIG THANK YOU to them and the staff of the Valley Hotel.

Greetings to new members – Stephen Brunning

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the new members who have joined (or re-joined) HADAS since this time last year. They are: Adam Alim, Christopher and Juliette Brown, Tim Curtis, Julia Doherty, Simon Houlton, Clinton Hudgell, Audrey Joubert, Keith Martin, Jacqui Pearce, Joan Scannell and Kenneth Sutherland-Thomas. Look forward to seeing you at a forthcoming event.

Avenue House Appeal

Avenue House is important to HADAS. It is here that our archive and library are stored, with a lease of the garden room and garage. Our successful lecture programme and Wednesday evening course on post excavation analysis are held in the house.

The Grade II listed house and the ten acres of grounds were left to the people of Finchley in 1918 by Henry Charles Stephens, MP for Hornsey and son of the inventor of the famous Stephens’ ink. In 2002 the Avenue House Estate Trust (AHET) took over the running of the estate from Barnet Council.

At a crisis meeting in March 2011 it was reported that AHET had recorded losses of more than £30,000 and was in danger of being declared bankrupt in a few weeks. If this happened the house and gardens would be handed back to Barnet Council and conceivably be put up for sale, as befell the adjacent Hertford Lodge.

The Friends of Avenue House (FoAH) were re-formed in the spring of 2011 to raise funds which has helped the estate to survive the immediate financial crisis. Things are steadily improving, room bookings are up and donations/events last year have raised £19,000. However, it has been estimated the estate needs £80,000 per annum to cover the grounds maintenance costs alone. Can you help?

FoAH raises £12,000 per year by standing orders from neighbours and others interested in keeping the house and grounds open for all to enjoy. The majority pay £10 per month although a few donate up to £50 per month. Any help you can give would be gratefully appreciated. If you cannot contribute a regular amount, a single donation will enable the trust to carry out one-off repairs or help build up its reserves.

Please see the enclosed flyer or visit and click on “get involved” at the top of the page. Alternatively, email AHET Chairman Andy Savage at

Thank you.

Other Societies’ events, compiled by Eric Morgan

Wednesday 10th October 2.30-4pm. Mill Hill Historical Society. Trinity Church, The Broadway NW7 (please note new venue). The Brunels and their Tunnels. Talk by Robert Hulse.

Saturday 10th November 10.30am-4.30pm. Geologists’ Association Festival of Geology. University College, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT. Exhibitions, fossil and mineral displays, stonecraft, books, maps, geological equipment and talks. Further details telephone 020 7434 9298. Visit Admission FREE. Amateur Geological Society have a stand here.

Sunday 11th November 10.30am. G.A. Festival of Geology. London Building Stones Walk. Led by Eric Robinson (who once gave HADAS a talk on the building stones of our churches). Meet at the south (Green Park) entrance to Green Park station. Walk along Piccadilly to Hyde Park Corner. Lasts around 1.5 hours. Charge £5. Register by email or telephone 020 7434 9298.

Wednesday 14th November 2.30-4pm. Trinity Church, The Broadway NW7. Grahame White and the London Aerodrome. Talk by David Keen.

Thursday 15th November 8pm. Enfield Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction of Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. The History of Enfield’s Railways. Part 2: Western Enfield. Talk by Dave Cockle.

Friday 16th November 8pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction of Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. Vice-Presidential Address. Jon Cotton. Visitors £1.

Saturday 17th November 10am-5pm. LAMAS Local History Conference. Weston Theatre, Museum of London. A Capital Way to Go: Death in London through the ages. (details in September newsletter).

Wednesday 21st November 8pm. Barnet Museum & Local History Society. Church House, Wood Street (opposite museum). AGM.

Saturday 24th November 10.15am-3.30pm. Amateur Geological Society’s Mineral & Fossil Bazaar. St Mary’s Hall, Hendon Lane N3. Rocks, crystals, gemstones, jewellery. Refreshments. Admission £1.

Wednesday 28th November 7.45pm. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St John’s Church Hall (next to Whetstone Police Station), Friern Barnet Lane, N20. London’s Transport 1900-1990. Talk by David Clark. Visitors £2. Refreshments 7.45pm and after.

Thursday 29th November 8pm. Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House. Dickens in the Outer Suburbs. Jean Scott Memorial Lecture given by Andrew Sanders. Non-members £2.

Newsletter-498-September 2012 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

No. 498 SEPTEMBER 2012 Edited by Graham Javes

HADAS DIARY 2012-2013

Sunday 30 September: Outing to St Albans and environs, with June Porges and Stewart Wild. The cost is £25 all-inclusive, which is lower than last year’s visit to Chatham. We have done our best to design an attractive day out, catering to a wide range of interests. From the Iron Age to the Romans and the Saxons, and from the Middle Ages to the Second World War, we cover a lot of ground in one day! Do join us. A booking form was enclosed with the August Newsletter.

Tuesday 9 October: The Life and Legacy of George Peabody – Lecture by Christine Wagg

Tuesday 13 November: Archaeological Discoveries in Southwark – Lecture by Peter Moore, Pre-Construct Archaeology.

Sunday 2 December: Christmas Party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30 pm (approx.) A buffet lunch. Details in next month’s Newsletter.

Tuesday 8 January: The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? by Nathalie Andrews

Tuesday 12 February: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship. Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.

Tuesday 12 March: The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage.

All Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.

Finds in Focus – now fully booked.

Finds in Focus, the HADAS course on post-excavation analysis, held on Wednesdays at Avenue House, will start again on 26th September. Please note that this course is now fully subscribed. The course will again be tutored by Jacqui Pearce, BA FSA M IfA.

Membership Renewals

A number of members have not yet renewed their subscription, which became due on 1st April. If this applies to you a letter with a renewal form is enclosed with this newsletter. If you do not receive a letter but have not yet posted your cheque, please get in touch with me by 1 st October. Stephen Brunning, Membership Secretary.

Field School and Excavation at Hendon School, 11th – 16th June 2012 by Don Cooper

This excavation is run in conjunction with University College London, Institute of Archaeology (IoA). It is amazing to think that this year HADAS returned to Hendon School for the seventh time– doesn’t time fly! The main objective remains to give the young pupils at the school, boys and girls from years 7 and 8, an opportunity to experience practical archaeology in the field. Sarah D hanj al , a PhD student at the IoA, and I met the pupils for an afternoon at the end of May to explain to them what we were doing, to give them an introduction to archaeology, and a description and history of the site. We also told them of the requirements for taking part in the dig – letters of permission from their parents, proof of tetanus injections, a health and safety briefing, and we gave them a recommendation on the type of clothes and boots they should wear. There were about 25 pupils. Following this meeting Sarah prepared a comprehensive booklet for each pupil. Quoting from the booklet, here is an example of the programme:

Day 1 – Archaeological Finds – we will look at the things we have found before, to work out what they are and what we might find this year. We will also look at how we look after what we find.

Archaeological Recording 1 – we’ll be working on photography and using surveying techniques to record our trench.

Day 2 – Archaeological recording 2 – We’ll be working on plan and section drawing. To these tasks, excavating, finds washing and finds marking must be added.

This one week intensive field school in practical archaeology has been developed over the last seven years, and enabled a large number of young pupils from the school to experience, however fleetingly, what field archaeologists do. It was very heartening this year to have a pupil who took part in one of the first field schools return to help to supervise the school, before herself starting an archaeology degree at UCL.

What of the Archaeology?

Site Code: HDS06. This year the context numbers were preceded by “2012” to distinguish them from previous years. The nearest fixed grid reference was 523675.129E 189026.785N. The centre of the only trench was 8 metres north-west of the grid reference and 61.08 metres above sea level. The trench was sited at the north-east corner of Hendon School playing field (Fig.1). This was in the general area of the trenches from the 2010 and 2011 excavations. The main reason trenches were sited here originally was so as not to interfere with the sports arena, as the school’s sports day usually occurred around the same time as the excavations. However, after the discovery of over 100 pieces of early medieval pottery sherd in 2010, and a similar number in 2011, a return to broadly the same area was considered appropriate. In the event a 4 metre by 2 metre trench was opened to the north -west of the previous year’s trench. As has become a familiar pattern, the de-turfing layer and the context below the grass was full of the detritus of a school playing field – sweet wrappers, broken biros, bits of glass and low denomination coins. As a sign of the times there was one computer flash drive – the artefact of the future? The main context was a thick layer of disturbed soil, which included a slight gravel spread, and had a mix of clay pipe, glass (green and white bottle glass), and pottery sherds dating anywhere from 12th century to the 20th century.

The area had been used for garden allotments during the Second World War and had been well and truly “chewed up”. Unfortunately the June weather intervened (I’m sure you remember the rain!) and so again we were thwarted in fully completing the excavation.Nevertheless the undisturbed layer immediately above the natural London clay contained over 50 sherds of early medieval pottery. These are currently being analysed and it is hoped that the 2010, 2011 and 2012 collection of early medieval pottery sherds can be brought together and reported on in the near future. Although we are no nearer to having a satisfactory theory as to why all these early medieval pottery sherds we found accumulated in this particular area, the fact that they are mostly abraded, and that we haven’t found evidence of structures is leaning towards the idea that they represent hill wash from the hamlet that existed where Brent Street and Bell Lane meet. However, one of the alternative theories, that these sherds are the detritus from along the side of a very old lane that crossed Mutton Bridge on its way to Hampstead/London cannot be fully discounted. Perhaps we will never know!

Thanks are due to all the people who made the practical archaeology field school and excavation possible, particularly Sarah Dhanjal, Gabe Moshenska, Lewis Hopper, Jenny Murphy from UCL, Angie Holmes, Jim Nelhams, Vicki Baldwin, Bill Bass and Sigrid Padel from HA DAS and student Emma Densem, as well as Jill Hickman from Hendon School.

Friends of Avenue House lecture, 13th September 2012, 7.30pm, in the Drawing Room. From Finchley to the Mansion House, Sir Michael Bear will speak on his year in office as Lord Mayor of London.

Cost: £7.50, which includes a glass of wine and nibbles on the terrace afterwards. The first drink is free on presentation of ticket. Cash bar. All proceeds towards the upkeep of Avenue House Estate. To book ‘9: 020 8346 7812, or email:


The last Unitary Development Plan (UDP) for Barnet was adopted in May 2006. Virtually at once, the Council started work on its replacement, which in accordance with legislation passed in 2004, was to be called the Local Development Framework (LDF). The main documents in this are the Core Strategy (CS) and Development Management Policies (DM P),

which together form the Local Plan. In July this year Barnet’s Cabinet approved, for submission to the full Council for formal adoption on September 11th, the CS and DMP. These will then be of the highest importance, taking over from the UDP as the basis for all planning decisions taken by the Council.

I was actively involved on behalf of the Finchley Society and of HADAS in the lengthy process of preparing these documents, up to an Examination-in-Public before an Inspector in December 2011 last year. Though they are less than satisfactory in several other respects (tall buildings and flat conversions, for instance), as far as the heritage and archaeology are concerned I am happy with them. Here is Policy DM06 “Barnet’s Heritage and Conservation”:-

a. All heritage assets will be protected in line with their significance. All development will have regard to the local historic context.
b. Development proposals must preserve or enhance the character and appearance of 16 Conservation Areas in Barnet.

c. Proposals involving or affecting Barnet’s heritage assets … should demonstrate the following:

● the significance of the heritage asset

●the impact of the proposal on the significance of the heritage asset

●the impact of the proposal on the setting of the heritage asset

● how the significance and/or setting of a heritage asset can be better revealed ●the opportunities to mitigate or adapt to climate change

● how the benefits outweigh any harm caused to the heritage asset

d There will be a presumption in favour of retaining all 1,600 locally listed buildings in Barnet and any buildings which makes a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the 16 conservation areas.

e. Archaeological remains will be protected in particular in the 19 identified Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance and elsewhere in Barnet. Any development that may affect archaeological remains will need to demonstrate the likely impact upon the remains and the proposed mitigation to reduce that impact.

Whether these admirable policies will always be maintained against pressure from developers or other priorities of the Council’s own, remains to be seen. But as long as the Council is prepared to hold to them, their being enshrined in a Local Plan means an Inspector is very much more likely to turn appeals down, despite the Government’s national presumption in favour of “sustainable development”.

Trent Park Open House – Stephen Brunning

On 28th July I had the opportunity to visit Trent Park mansion as part of their Open House events. The Grade II listed country house stands in the grounds of Middlesex University. The university is being relocated later this year and the grounds are to be put up for sale.

In 1778 a small villa was commissioned by Sir Richard Jebb. The walls of the original house can still be seen inside the existing building, complete with doorway and alcoves either side. John Cumming, a Russian merchant bought the estate’s leasehold in 1815 and added two wings, a basement and attic. In 1908 the lease was acquired by Sir Edward Sassoon, MP for Hythe who had married into the wealthy Rothschild family. In 1912 the lease passed to Sir Phillip Sassoon on the death of his father. Sir Philip also became the MP for Hythe, was an

art collector and cousin to wartime poet Siegfried Sassoon. During the First World War he was aide-de-camp to Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. In 1926 began a five year programme of redesign internally and externally. This is the Trent Park we see today.

Sir Philip’s monogram appears everywhere: on the walls, over doors and on the fireplace. Most were gilded in gold leaf. There are finely decorative pillars in the house. They do not support the ceiling and are therefore purely ornamental. In the 1920’s a terrace was built on the side of the sloping gardens, to entertain during the lavish parties held there. This terrace is now out of bounds due to subsidence since no foundations were dug.

The guests at Trent Park enjoyed a level of service that was second to none. There was golf, tennis and swimming in the grounds that had earlier been landscaped by Humphrey Repton Dyed flowers matched the curtains in each bedroom, ladies received an orchid before dinner, and the gentlemen would find a carnation and cocktails on their dressing table ( Leiva & Ali, 2012) . Famous celebrity guests included Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, T E Lawrence, Edward and Wallis Simpson. Our tour guide Oliver explained that T E Lawrence liked to sign the visitor’s book under a pseudonym. Indeed on the day I was there Lawrence, Edward and Mrs Simpson had returned (in reality, actors in period costume).

Winston Churchill was known for his landscape paintings. He also did a number of interior scenes, at least two of which were painted in the “blue room” at Trent Park. Churchill loved the peace and tranquillity at Trent, away from the hustle and bustle of politics in London.

Sir Philip Sassoon died in June 1939, and his ashes were scattered over the estate from a plane of 601 squadron (County of London, Auxiliary Air Force) of which he was Hon. Air Commodore. The valuable furniture was given to his sister’s estate at Houghton Hall, Norfolk.

During the Second World War Trent Park became a POW camp and Interrogation Centre for captured high ranking German Officers. When the war ended the Ministry of Education set up a training college for teachers of Art, Drama, and later, Handicrafts. In 1974 Trent Park College became part of Middlesex Polytechnic, and Middlesex University in 1992.


Leiva, Oliver & Ali, Aadam (eds.) 2012. Trent Park Open House guide. I have uploaded 22 photographs taken during the afternoon:


THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF MOST ANCIENT EGYPT – Tutor: Scott McCracken. This course, arranged by the Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society, will examine the development of one of the world’s oldest civilisations, from its formative stage to the end of the Old Kingdom. The Predynastic Period saw a settled agricultural land with towns along the banks of the Nile. These settlements grew into a civilisation with one of the earliest writing systems and a complex set of religious beliefs. The course will consider why a civilisation began here and look at settlement pattern, religion, burial practice, social and political organisation, and architecture.

The course will be on Fridays from 10:00 – 12:00pm, at The Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, and will run for 22 weeks beginning 28 September, at a cost of £130. Enrolment will be at the first meeting. If new to the society, please contact the Secretary, Peter Nicholson, ‘M 020 8359 4757 or see the website:


LAMAS Local History Workshop

LOCAL HISTORY IN SCHOOLS – THE LOCAL HISTORIAN’S ROLE Wednesday 17 October 2012, 2.00 — 5.00pm, Museum of London, Clore Learning Centre. This workshop is intended for members of local history societies, librarians and museum workers, and others who visit schools or explore historical and archaeological sites with

young children and would like to exchange ideas and enhance their skills. Case studies from local history societies will be presented as examples of what has been achieved and what was successful.

The cost of the workshop is £10. For more information please contact Eileen Bowlt at, ‘M 01895 638060. To reserve a place please send £10 with your contact details (email, phone and address) to LAMAS Local History Workshop, 9 Umfreville Road, London, N4 1 RY.


SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2012: 10:00 — 5:00pm Weston Theatre, Museum of London A CAPITAL WAY TO GO: DEATH IN LONDON THROUGH THE AGES

St Brides’ s: Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Jelena Bekvalac, Curator Human Osteology, Museum of London
‘I will have a stone to lye a pone me’: Memory and Commemoration in Medieval London, Christian Steer, Royal Holloway, University of London
Presentation of Publications Awards by Prof Martin Biddle, President of LAMAS

Lunch (bring your own food & drink to consume in the lunch space in the Clore Learning Centre, or purchase from the Museum of London cafés or restaurant.
Mortality in London 1550-1800, Peter Razzel l, Historical Demographer

The Gruesome History of Body Snatching, Robert Stephenson, Guide in the City of London and at Kensal Green Cemetery
Afternoon break

From Here to Eternity: Victorian Developments in the Disposal of the Dead, John Clarke, Head of Library Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Consultant Historian to Brookwood Cemetery
The Last Word: Epitaphs and Obituaries, Brent Elliott, Historian, Royal Horticultural Society
Cost: Early-bird tickets purchased before 31 October: £10; after 31 October: £15. Tickets may be purchased on the LAMAS website ( with payment by PayPal, or by post to Pat Clark, 22 Malpas Drive, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 1 DQ, enclosing a cheque and SAE. Further details are available on the website, where an application form may be downloaded.

Other Societies’ events, compiled by Eric Morgan

Sun 9 Sept. Muswell Hill Festival. Cherry Tree Wood, East Finchley (off High Road, N2). Hornsey Historical Society will have a stand . Lots of community stalls + Donkey Derby.
Sat 15 – Sun 16 Sept. R.A.F. Museum. Grahame Park Way, NW9 5QW. Battle of Britain weekend. 1 0am – 6pm. Last admission 5.30pm
Sun 16 Sept 12-5.30 Queens Park Festival. Harvist Rd, NW6. Willesden Green Local History Society will have a stand.
T ues 18 Sept.. 2-3pm Harrow Museum. Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow ‘From Wealdstone Station to Greenhill.’ Talk by Peter Scott. £3.00
Wed 19 Sept 7.30 pm Willesden Local History Society. St.Mungo’s Centre, 115 Pound Lane (opp. Bus Garage) NW10 2HU. ‘My Neasden of the 1950’s’ Talk by David Unwin.
Wed 19 Sept 8.00 pm Islington Archaeology & History Society. Islington Town Hall, Upper St, N1. ‘The Day Parliament burnt down’ (October 1884) Talk by Caroline Shenton
T hurs 20 Sept 7.30 pm Camden History Society, Camden Study Centre, 2nd Floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Rd, WC1 8PA, ‘The restoration of St.Pancras Station and the Midland Grand Hotel’, talk by Robert Thorne.
Mon 23 – Mon 30 Sept. Barnet Borough Arts Council. The Spires (opp. Waitrose) High St. Barnet. Paintings, prints, photographs & What’s on information, incl. HADAS
Wed 26 Sept 7.45pm Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St. John’s Church Hall. Friern Barnet Lane, N20. ‘The Temple’ Talk by John Neal. Visitors £2.00 Refreshments
Sat 29 Sept. 10.30 – 4pm. Metroline Willesden Bus Garage. Pound Lane, High Road, NW 6 2JY. Centenary Open Day. Vehicle displays, sales stands and Heritage vehicles running on special services. Admission by programme on the day.
Thurs 4 Oct. 6.30pm Childs Hill Library, 320 Cricklewood Lane, NW2 2QE, ‘Scarp’, talk by Nick Papadimitriou on his new book on the 17-mile North Middx/ South Herts escarpment known as Scarp.

Mon 8 Oct. 3.00pm, Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood St. Barnet, ‘Edith Cavell – an Extraordinary Woman’, by Lucy Johnston.
Fri 12 Oct. 8.00pm Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ. ‘Post-Medieval Archaeology in London’, by Jacqui Pearce. Visitors £1, refreshments from 7.30pm.
Sat 13 Oct. 10.30am – 3.30pm, London Omnibus Traction Society, Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Ave, Wealdstone (nr. Harrow & Wealdstone Stn). ‘Autumn Transport Spectacular’. About 60 stands, incl. North London Transport Society.
Wed 17 Oct. 8.00pm, Edmonton Hundred Historical Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. ‘Tales from an Heir Hunter: Tracing Beneficiaries’, by Alan Lamprell.

Thurs 18 Oct. 7.30pm, Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT. ‘A Hampstead Coterie: the Carrs and Lushingtons’, by David Taylor.
Thurs 18 Oct, 8.00pm, Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall (address above) ‘Historic Buildings and Monuments in Enfield at Risk’, by Tony Dey.
Fri. 19 Oct. 7.00pm. COLAS, St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. ‘London’s Food Plant Remains’, by Karen Stewart, MOLA. Visitor £2
Sat 20 Oct. 10.00- 11.00am, Hendon Library, The Burroughs. ‘Barnet’s First Black People’, by Hugh Petrie, archivist. Part of Black History Month. Followed by various other talks.
Wed 24 Oct. 7.45pm, Friern Barnet & District LHS. St John’s Church Hall (next to police station) Friern Barnet Lane, N20. ‘Dig for Victory’, by Russell Bowes. Visitors £2.
Thurs 25 Oct, 8.00pm, Finchley Society, at Avenue House in Drawing Room, ‘Discussion’, TBA, see next Newsletter or
Sat. 27 Oct. 10.00 — 4.30pm, Edmonton Hundred Historical Soc. Jubilee Hall, DAY CONFERENCE, TBA. Check for details.
Tues 30 Oct. 6.30-7.30, Osidge Library, Brunswick Park Rd, N11 1 EY, ‘Individuals in Communities, Black People in Barnet before 1940’, by Hugh Petrie, archivist.

Thanks to all who supplied copy: Stephen Brunning, Don Cooper, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams, Peter Nicholson, Peter Pickering and Sue W illetts.

Newsletter-497-August-2012 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

No. 497 August 2012 Edited by Sue Willetts

HADAS DIARY 2012-2013

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE and start promptly at 8.00 pm with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.
Sunday 26 – Thursday 30 August: Summer trip to Ironbridge

Sunday 30 September: Outing to the St. Albans area with June Porges and Stewart Wild.

Enclosed with this newsletter is the booking form for our summer outing at the end of September to St Albans and environs. At £25 the all-inclusive price is lower than Chatham last year. We have done our best to design an attractive day out, catering to a wide range of interests. From the Iron Age to the Romans and the Saxons, and from the Middle Ages to the Second World War, we cover a lot of ground in one day! Do join us.

Please book as soon as possible; any queries can be made to the email addresses shown on the booking form.
Tuesday 9 October: The Life and Legacy of George Peabody – Lecture by Christine Wagg

Tuesday 13 November: Archaeological Discoveries in Southwark – Lecture by Peter Moore, Pre-Construct Archaeology.
Sunday 2 December: Christmas Party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30 pm (approx.)

Tuesday 8 January: The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? Lecture by Nathalie Andrews
Tuesday 12 February: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship. Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.
Tuesday 12 March: The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage.

Church Farm House and Barnet Council’s Review of the area
Don Cooper’s report (see below pp.2.-6) has been passed to Barnet Council to assist with the Review of Hendon Church End and Hendon the Burroughs Conservation Areas which ends on 30th July. Two illustrated documents, Hendon Church End Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Proposals (51 pages) and a Public Consultation Exhibition (14 pages) are available using this link:­regeneration/conservationareasconsultation

Church Farm House, Hendon — a history, chronology & building descriptionDon Cooper


In March 2011 Church Farm House Museum was closed by the London Borough of Barnet Council and much of the collection is in the process of being disposed of. The Grade II* listed building and its gardens have been put up for sale (April 2012). This is a time of great danger for this wonderful old building and important heritage asset. This short report is designed to summarise the history and importance of the building in the hope that it might be saved to remain in public ownership for the benefit of everybody. Note: For consistency I will call the house – Church Farm House rather than Church Farmhouse.

Comments on Church Farm House

Here are some of the comments on the building and its importance as a heritage asset:

“Church Farm House, house 30 yards W.S.W. of the church, is of three storeys. The exterior retains two late 17th -century (C17) windows with solid frames and the central chimney stack that has a four grouped diagonal shafts. Inside the building is a considerable amount of original panelling and some panelled doors” (Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, 1937).

‘Church Farm House, on the N side of Church End, now a museum is a delightful survival from rural Hendon, acquired by Hendon Council in 1944 and restored in 1954. Chiefly C17, with red brick three-bay front of two stories divided by a platband; three widely spaced gables with original dormer windows. Other windows with later sashes; early C19 brick porch. Fine grouped chimneystack with four flues, between parlour (l.) and hall (r.). Kitchen to the r. of the hall, with large rear fireplace. Behind is a C18 service wing, later heightened to two storeys. The lobby entrance in front of the main stack now leads to a passage cut through the stack in the late C19, with early C19 staircase beyond. Some reused C16 panelling in the hall, formerly upstairs. Upstairs the main chamber lies over the hall, with closet over the entrance lobby.’ (Cherry & Pevsner, 1998).

‘The sole survival is Church Farm House, Church End, a gabled brick building dating probably from the early 17th century and one of the most complete examples of Middlesex vernacular architecture of its time.’ (VCH, vol.5 P6).

‘One of the oldest structures in the parish is probably the house at Church End, occupied by Mr Andrew Dunlop, of Church Farm…. Judging from the general style of the building, and especially from the massive red chimney stack which surrounds its three gables, it appears to date from the early part of the 17th century, although the windows sashes and doors, with other details are modern.’(Evans, 1890).

Next to the Greyhound Inn is a building which constitutes Hendon’s most valuable legacy from the past- Church Farm, whose snow-white gables (the house was white-washed every year — ), old tile roof, and massive chimney-stack eloquently bespeak a “sixteenth-century” (sic) origin. (Gunn, 1912, p.95).

Chronology of Church Farm, Hendon and its residents

1688 The first definite date, when we know that the house was owned by the Lords of the Manor of Hendon, the Powis family, and tenanted by a local man Daniel Kemp. Daniel Kemp married Mary Nicholl in February 1682. (St Mary’s Hendon Parish register). She was the daughter of George Nicholl and cousin of Randall Nicholl. It was Daniel’s second marriage. They had seven children. (Hitchen-Kemp, 1902 p.46 & 47).

1711 Daniel Kemp died and his will was proved in 1712 and the tenancy passed to his son Daniel the younger.

1749 On the death of Daniel the younger, the farm was occupied by his son also called Daniel.

1753 There is an apprenticeship indenture of 1753 by which a poor child of the parish was apprenticed to a local blacksmith, the indenture bearing the signature of Daniel Kemp recorded as tenant of Church Farm. (Anon. 1955).

1753 Thomas Browne, land agent for the Lord of the Manor of Hendon, the Earl of Powys gives us an insight into the letting value of land when he says “The land (one of Earl Powys’s farms is let at £1.10 an acre) at an average is no better than Kemps which is let at about £1 per acre.”

1754 Messeder (1754) records that “Daniel Kempe held Church farm for a year0ly rent of £240 for 255 acres”.

1754 (Act 27 George. 2) page 19. Earl and Countess of Powis’ estate: sale of the manor of Hendon for payment of William, late Marquis of Powis’ debts and incumbrances and settling the barony and lordship of Powis in Montgomeryshire in Lieu thereof.
1756 David Garrick bought the manor, but Church Farm House, the farm buildings and 153 acres of land were sold separately to a Mr Bingley for £4890. Daniel Kemp remained tenant-at-will.
1763 Daniel Kemp died leaving only a daughter called Dinah.

1764 The ownership and freehold of the farm passed to Theodore Henry Brinckman whose father had married an Anne Bingley. Anne Bingley’s parents were John Bingley (the probable original purchaser of Church Farm House) and Margaret Broadhead (Burke’s Peerage, 2003). Theodore Henry Brinckman changed his surname to Broadhead by act of parliament in accordance with the will of a brewer uncle and later the family changed it back to Brinckman in 1842 by royal licence. See grave monument in St Mary’s Church graveyard, Hendon.

The Bingley / Brinckman / Broadhead family were the freeholders of Church Farm House and farm from 1756 to 1918. The name of the farm was changed from Church End Farm to Church Farm.

1774 Dinah Kemp married Edward Clarke and left Church Farm.

1796 We don’t know how much of the time T. H. Broadhead actually lived at Church Farm. Cooke (1796) “House and buildings at Church End:-
Freeholders’ name – Theodore Broadhead, Esq.

Name of House and Field – A large farm house with yards, barns, stables, Garden etc. Mowing Grass and Tythe Measure – Demesne
Measure with hedge and ditch – 5 perches

Tythe free – Freehold”.

We don’t know if the Bingley / Brinckman / Broadhead family lived there as it seems most of the time the house was occupied by and the land farmed by tenants. There were many tenants of Church Farm in the 18th and 19th centuries. Between 1780 and 1843, for example, there were sixteen, representing eleven families.

1817 – 1823 Mark Lemon Co-founder and first editor of Punch lived in Church Farm House. There is a Blue Plaque commemorating him on the front of the building

1870 Andrew Dunlop, a Scotsman from Ayrshire, became the lessee of the farm house and land.

1874 Andrew Dunlop made many alterations to the house. He cut a passageway through the massive chimney stack which dominates the building and added the front porch (this front door away from the farmyard to which the old main entrance led, reflects the shifting status of Dunlop from farmer to semi-suburban gentleman.) The bay window was added and steps to the cellar were built. The upper rooms to the eastern extension were made accessible to the rest of the house; before they had been separate and kept as accommodation for itinerant farm workers.

1904 Andrew Dunlop died.

1918 George Dunlop, Andrew Dunlop’s son, bought the freehold of the farm from the owner Sir Theodore Francis Brinckman.

1939 The farm ceased being a dairy farm.

1944 In February the house was bought from the Dunlop family by Hendon Council with the intention of demolishing it.

1947 Due to post-war housing shortage the house was converted into three flats for Council tenants. 1949 A second recommendation was made for the house to be demolished. After much discussion the Council called for an Architect’s report in case the building was worth saving.

1950 The house was listed on 3rd February 1950 as Grade II* and described as “Mid C17. “L” plan with wing projecting back on east side. Brick faced, tiled roof. Stack of grouped diagonal chimney shafts. Main (S) front, 2 storey with 3 dormer gables. Three widely spaced windows in each floor, but position altered in some cases. Early C19, enclosed porch, brick with hipped tiled roof to left of centre and splayed bay on west side of house, ground floor.”
List entry Number: 1188513

1951 The report was favourable and the Council decided to restore the house and use it as a local history museum.
1954 The restoration of the building was completed in September

1955 Church Farm House Museum was opened by the Mayor of Hendon, N.G. Brett-James, on 30th April.

1955 – 2011 The Museum was set–up with two main displays as follows: A period area consisting of three period furnished rooms

(1) The kitchen, set about 1820, had a huge open fireplace containing a clockwork spitjack, a chimney crane and bread oven. A splendid refectory table and oak dresser showed off over a 100 Victorian Kitchen utensils.

(2) The scullery with its display of laundry equipment.
(3) The dining room furnished as it would have been in the 1850s.

The other display areas of the museum, mostly on the upper floor, housed temporary exhibitions featuring different but mostly locally relevant themes. Gerrard Roots, the last curator, & his predecessors in the j ob, worked tirelessly to put on at least 4 exhibitions a year.

1980 25th Anniversary of the opening of Church Farm House Museum. ‘Major repairs to the Museum were carried out at the beginning of this year’ (Roots, G., 1980).

2010 The Museum celebrated 350 years of Church Farm House with exhibitions on the history of the building, on the restoration, and the excavations in the garden and in Sunny Hill Park

2011 The Museum closed

2012 Museum building and grounds put up for sale.

Details of the Building
Church Farm House is an L shaped brick building, of two and a half storeys. It has a roof sloping in from all sides of the building, or “hipped roof’, with three original 17th century window frames, and a central square chimneystack. There is a bay at the west end, parapet walls between the gables at the front and a front porch.

Plan – The plan of the house is a development and blend of two common forms. Originally built with a solid central chimneystack, incor­porating two fireplaces set back to back, it was altered in the late nineteenth century and an arch cut through the stack forming a passage to the staircase behind. The present plan is similar to the cross passage type. The staircase, c1800, has indications (a lowered window) that the original staircase ran differently. The bay at the west end, 19th century, was rebuilt
in 1947, after being damaged during the war.

Walling – The fourteen inch walls are red brick built, bonded with lime mortar, and laid directly on to the clay earth two or three feet below ground level at the kitchen end, and deeper at the cellar end. The use of bricks became popular following the Great Fire of London (1666). John Moxon (c1680), wrote “The common Bricks that are made here in England, are nine inches in length, four inches and one half in breadth, and two and an half in thickness; and sometimes three inches thick”, and this is true of the bricks of Church Farm House. The joining pattern of bricks at Church Farm is known as Flemish bond (oddly rare in Flanders itself). The little decorative brickwork is reserved for the parapets on the gables at the front and string courses, and the chimney (see below). Tie plates, on the centre gable at the front and to the left of the door at the rear, are used with tie bars to strengthen the brickwork.

Roofing – Heavy oak timbers support the roof. The tiles are originals held in place with oak pegs. The few replacements on the north gables are handmade. There is no ridge board, usual in this type of roof construction, and the rafters are halved. Laths, laid across the rafters, are covered with a thin thatch, providing insulation. Barley and walnut shells, discovered when the floor boards were lifted, show that at one time the attic was used for storage.

Fireplaces – The kitchen fireplace is of particular interest. This was revealed after the removal of modern brickwork and cement facing which housed a comparatively modern stove. The original oak beam over the fire recess remains and to the right is a brick baking oven. In the central bedroom there is an oak beam over the Victorian fireplace.

Chimneys -The main chimney is protected from the weather by passing through the ridge of the roof. It has six decorative and grouped diagonal stacks, with oversailing brick courses. The chimney stack on the east wall is a later addition which replaced another about four or five feet from the southeast corner. There was also a baking oven further north along the same wall. The kitchen chimney was built in the gable wall before the extension of 1754. There are two large flues and traces of a third.

Box gutters – Two lead-lined open box gutters run inside the east and west attics.

Flooring – The floors, supported by oak beams, had wide floor boards which have been replaced by pitch-pine boards. In the kitchen, half the stone paving (nearest the fireplace) is original. Ground floor middle room was probably stone paved on the same level as the kitchen. The cellar is also stone floored.
Windows — Nearly all the windows have been replaced over the years. The first floor east bedroom and the two attic gables on the north elevation are all examples of oak mullioned windows. These frames may originally have had solid wooden shutters with some woven material rather than glass. Early glass manufacture relied on spinning molten glass into a disc and cutting small diamond segments, which could be transported to where they were needed with less chance of breakage. This meant that the panes produced were small.
Doors – The oldest door at Church Farm House is in the ground floor middle room, and was originally from the east bedroom, and is, along with the panelling, 17th c. The door now marks the position of a former serving hatch. The front porch and door are 19th c; the general practice in the seventeenth century was for the front door to open on to the farmyard. The present “back” door is of interest being wider but lower than a more modern door. The doors into the attics are original, as are the hinges and some of the door furniture.
Cellar — This may have been the farm’s dairy. The original west wall remains, although its windows were sealed when the bay was added. The walls show recesses for joists, probably for low shelves. For some reason, which is not apparent, the chimney stack extends about five feet further to the north than it does at ground level.
A survey and condition report was carried out by Eaton Strevens Associates in Dec. 2009
Anon. 1955. Church Farm Museum Published by the Borough of Hendon.
Baker, T. F.T. (Ed.) 1976. A History of Middlesex. London: Oxford University Press. Victoria County History series Volume 5.
British Private Statutes 1751 – 1800.
Cherry, Bridget, & Pevsner, Nikolaus. 1998. The Buildings of England: London 4 North. London: Yale University Press.
Cooke, John. 1796. An index to the map of the whole manor and parish of Hendon.

Evans, Edward Thornton. 1890. History & Topography of Hendon. Re-issued in 2012.

Gunn, Edwin. 1912. Hendon. The Architectural Review Volume XXX1.

H itchen-Kemp, Frederick. About 1902. A General History of the Kemp and Kempe families of Great Britain and her Colonies. London: Leadenhall Press.
Holliday, E., Roots, G., Shearing, M. 1980. Church Farm, Hendon. Hendon: London Borough of Barnet Library Service.
Messeder, Issac.1754. “Field book to the Plan of the Manor and Parish of Hendon”.

Mosley, Charles. 2003 (Ed.) Burke’s Peerage 107th edition Delaware, USA: Burke’s Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.
Pearce, Jacqui (ed.) 2004. The Last Farm in Hendon. London: Hendon and District Archaeological Society.
Petrie, Hugh. 2005. Hendon and Golders Green Past. London: Historical Publications.

Roots, Gerrard. 1980. Church Farm, Hendon: 25 years of Church Farm House Museum. Hendon: London Borough of Barnet Library Service.
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments: An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex 1937.
Victoria County History (Volume 5, page 6).

Archaeology News A New Book: The Trust for Thanet Archaeology (another voluntary local archaeological society) have produced a new book called “Underground Thanet – quarries,

shelters, tunnels and caves” by Rod LeGear for all you underground fans! It is priced at £8.00 and can be ordered from: Trust for Thanet Archaeology, The Antoinette Centre, Quex Park, Birchington, Kent CT7 0BH.
From the Milestone Society Newsletter – July 2012: ‘Two milestones and two boundary stones displayed at Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon face an uncertain future following the closure of the museum last year. Barnet Council wishes to dispose of the museum and has invited bid submissions. The two milestones are a Barrett cast iron type removed from Edgware Road near Staples corner reading LONDON/5/WATFORD/9, which has undergone some recent restoration, and a very worn stone reading V/M I L ES/FROM/LON DON taken from North End Road, Golders Green. Both examples have been exhibited in the grounds of the museum for many years. At the time of writing Barnet Council has yet to make any announcement on the future of its museum collections.’
Appeal for information: History of Burnt Oak.
Mr John O’Neill is researching the local history of Burnt Oak with a view to publication and would be grateful for help on the following aspects of his research in relation to dating pre 1840’s buildings (Rate books consulted but these were not helpful); dating the installation of gas lighting – street and domestic; and dating the installation of mains water and drainage, all with specific reference to the cottages along Edgware Road. Also anything that exists about the fire station that operated from South Road until around 1925 – records of appliances, call-outs etc. John O’Neill. Mobile 07939177682 and email
Other Societies’ events We are now listing events for the current and following month Sun 5 Aug 3-5pm Bothy Garden Open Day. Avenue House. East End Rd, N3 3QE. Free
Mon 6 – Fri 10 & Mon 13 – Fri 17 Aug. W.E.A.G. & Copped Hall Trust Archaeological Project:; . NB Not for beginners. Continued excavation etc of a Tudor Grand House from Medieval beginnings. Supervision by professional archaeologists assisted by experienced volunteers. Weekly cost £90.00 not inc.lunch. All tools, apart from trowels provided. Details from Mrs Pauline Dalton, Roseleigh, Epping Rd, Epping, Essex, CH 16 5HW. Tel 01 992 813725
Tue 14 Aug. 7.45 pm. Amateur Geological Society. The Parlour. St.Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave, N3. Karst landscapes of the Far East. Talk by Tony Waltham (Geophotos)
Sat 18 – Sun 19 Aug 12-6pm Friern Barnet Summer Show. Friary Park, Friern Barnet Lane, N12 Friern Barnet & District Local History Soc; HADAS will be represented.
Mon 27 Aug 1-1.45, 2.30 – 3.15, 4-4.45 pm Markfield Beam Engine steam date. Museum Markfield Park, S.Tottenham, N15 4RB. Tel 01707 873628 or for info.
Sat 1 – Sun 2 Sept 11 am – 4pm Enfield Town Show, Town Park, Cecil Rd. Enfield. Admission £3.00. Enfield Society & Enfield Archaeological Society will have a stand.
Sun 2 Sept.:3-5pm Bothy Garden Party, Avenue House grounds. East End Rd, N3 3QE. Small charge. HA DAS are usually in the Garden Room from 10.30 am on Sundays.
Sun 2 Sept 11 am- 6pm Angel Canal Festival, Regent’s Canal, City Road Basin.

Tue 4 Sept 6.30 – 7.30 Osidge Library. B rusnwick Park Rd, N1 1 1 EY . Talk about the Battle of Barnet by Paul Baker (HADAS member) Refreshments.
Sat 8 Sept Barnet Museum & Local History Society. Coach outing to Wrest Park (English Heritage property) in morning & Stotford Water Mill/Nature reserve in afternoon with cream-tea. Tel: Pat Alison 01707 858430 or or Barnet Museum 020 8449 8066
Sun 9 — Tues 11 Sept Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival, Ivy House, 94-96 North End Rd, NW11 7SX. (Anna Pavlova lived here) Next to Golders Hill Pk.
Mon 10 Sept 3pm Barnet Museum, Wood St, Barnet. Saxon London, Talk by Robin Densem
Tue 11 Sept.: 7.45 pm. A.G.S. See 14 Aug for location. Challenging current wisdom that modern man migrated out of Africa. Talk by Bob Maurer (Harrow / Hillingdon Geol. Soc.)
Wed 12 Sept .: 7.45pm Hornsey Historical Soc. Union Church Hall, Corner Ferme Park Rd. (Weston Park) N8. Stapylton Hall and two other houses. Talk by author Gillian Tyndall.
Fri 14 Sept 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane / Junction Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ Update on the excavations at Copped Hall. Talk by John Shepherd. (Copped Hall Trust) Visitors £1.00. Refreshments, sales etc from 7.30 pm
Tue 18 Sept Forty Hall re-opening celebrations, Forty Hall, Enfield. Enfield Society. The story of the Hall will be covered by illustrated talks starting at 8.00 pm, drinks from 7.30 pm. Cost £10 with the first 80 applicants entitled to a free 30 min guided tour of Forty Hall during the evening with four separately ticketed tours at 6.30, 6.45, 7.00 and 7.15. Apply to Emma Halstead, at Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ: enclose a s.a.e, phone number, number of tickets & payment plus, if you wish to apply for a guided tour, please state your preferred tour time.
Sat 22 – Sun 23 Sept.: London Open House weekend. Free access to over 700 buildings. Also walks, engineering and landscape tours, night-time openings, and experts’ talks – all free. This year’s theme is ‘The Changing Face of London’
Tue 27 Sept 8pm Finchley Society. Martin School, High Road, East.Finchley, N2. Entrance at end of Plane Tree Walk. Change of venue. No talk details yet:

Newsletter-496-July-2012 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

By | Past Newsletters, Volume 9: 2010 - 2014 | No Comments

No. 496 JULY 2012 Edited by Dot Ravenswood

HADAS DIARY 2012-2013

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE, and start at 7.45 for 8.00pm, with tea, coffee and biscuits afterwards. Non-members are welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 143, 326 and
460 pass close by, and Finchley Central Station (Northern Line) is five to ten minutes walk away.


Sunday 26 – Thursday 30 August Summer trip to Ironbridge
Sunday 30 September Day outing to the St Albans area with Stewart and June

Tuesday 9 October The Life and Legacy of George Peabody – Lecture by Christine Wagg Tuesday 13 November Archaeological discoveries in Southwark – Lecture by Peter Moore, Pre-Construct Archaeology
Sunday 2 December Christmas Party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30pm (approx.)


Tuesday 8 January The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? – Lecture by Nathalie

Tuesday 12 February From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship – Lecture by

Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme

Tuesday 12 March The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage

To be continued…

Annual General Meeting Tuesday 12th June 2012
Report by Jo Nelhams

The 51st Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday June 12th at 8pm in Avenue House. The meeting was attended by 33 members, which was rather disappointing, with apologies from a further eight members.

The Chairman, Don Cooper, introduced the President, Harvey Sheldon, who proceeded to chair the meeting. The Annual Report and audited Accounts were approved by the meeting. The officers and current members on the Committee remained unchanged, although three vacancies still remain for the Committee.

The closing discussion centered on Church Farmhouse, which had closed as a museum at the end of March 2011. The building has been unused and unoccupied since its closure and its future is unknown. The meeting expressed its concern at the situation which had arisen with regard to Church Farmhouse Museum. It passed a resolution urging Barnet Council to re-open Church Farmhouse and authorised the HADAS Committee to explore how this should be done.

The meeting was followed by presentations of activities in which members have participated during the last year. Bill Bass gave an update on the site watching in Church Passage in Barnet. Vicki Baldwin presented a picture show of the Society’s trip to the Isle of Wight, and Don Cooper updated the work on the digs that have been done at Hendon School for the past few years, although this year will probably be the final one. Stewart Wild concluded the evening with an account in words and pictures of his very interesting adventures in North Korea.

Our thanks to all those who made contributions to an interesting meeting, and we look forward to continuing support from all our members in the forthcoming year for lectures, digs, outings and social activities.

● A reminder of the members of the Committee
Chairman: Don Cooper Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning Committee: Vicki Baldwin, Bill Bass, Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan, June Porges, Mary Rawitzer, Andrew Selkirk, Tim Wilkins, Sue Willetts


Hendon School We have recently completed another dig at Hendon School, close to Brent Street. We have dug on the school playing field each year since 2006, and have involved children from the school. Once again, we were surprised by the amount of pottery that we discovered. A further report will appear in due course.

Church Farmhouse We have been negotiating with Barnet Council for permission to dig again in the grounds at the back of Church Farmhouse in Hendon from Saturday 7th to Sunday 15th July. Things look very positive, although for the security of the building we will likely not be able to use the basement room for storage. Alternative storage is being sought. The objective is to further explore the Saxon ditch which runs through the grounds.

We appreciate that many members have expressed an interest in digging but because of work commitments are normally unable to take part. For this reason, we have chosen the dates to include two weekends. If you would like to get involved even for just a short period, here is your chance.


Many thanks to those who have done so. At the time of writing, however, 33 have still to send off their cheques. If you intend to renew this year, I would be grateful to receive payment by 1st August 2012 at the following rates: £15 (full), £5 (each additional member at the same address), £6 (student). My address is on the last page of this newsletter.
It is not necessary to return the renewal form enclosed with April’s newsletter. A piece of paper with your name, postal address, telephone number and email address (if applicable) will suffice. I will then be able to check that the details we hold are still correct. It would also be helpful if you could indicate your willingness to receive the newsletter by email. This helps to keep our costs to a minimum. Thank you.
Stephen Brunning, Membership Secretary

● Please contact Jim Nelhams (020 8449 7076) if you are interested

Identifying and Recording Clay

Tobacco Pipes

Study Day at the London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre on Saturday 21st April 2012

Report by Stephen Brunning

I attended the second and final study day on Identifying and Recording Clay Tobacco Pipes at the LAARC, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED. The lead tutor was Jacqui Pearce, specialist in medieval and later ceramics at Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA). Jacqui was ably assisted by Francis Grew (Archive Manager), and Dan Nesbitt (Assistant Curator).

Following registration the group of 12 attendees had an hour’s PowerPoint presentation on the history of tobacco pipes and smoking. Jacqui explained how to date pipes accurately by sorting into bowl types on the basis of characteristic styles, which led to a London typology devised by David Atkinson and Adrian Oswald and published in 1969. We were also taught about makers’ marks that were stamped or moulded on the bowl, stem, heel or spur.

Although King James I initially disapproved of smoking on the grounds that it was bad for your health, he relented and granted the first charter in 1619 to the “Tobacco Pipe Makers of Westminster”. At first smoking was very expensive and the handmade bowls were small and crudely made. As techniques improved pipes were made with more precision, particularly after the introduction of the gin press around 1700. Bowls were thinner and stems more slender. By the 1850s clay tobacco pipe smoking was virtually at an end, as cigarettes were being used by soldiers in the Crimea. A few makers still exist to supply pipes to re-enactors and others. For further information see Heather Coleman’s website at

After coffee we split into six groups of two people to take part in a practical session on recording individual pipes on the MOLA Context Record Sheet. My partner appeared to be unfamiliar with the various codes used on the MOLA recording sheets, but having been a part of the Avenue House evening class for some 12 years I was able to assist here.

Suitably nourished after sandwiches and fruit, we were given an hour’s PowerPoint presentation on decoration and imported pipes. During the first half of the 18th century London pipemakers were producing pipes with heraldic symbols on them. A common example was the Prince of Wales Feathers. By 1750, Masonic emblems were added, along with designs representing public houses and regiments. During the second half of the 19th century, the making of decorated pipes increased, and some bowls were even moulded into the heads of famous people. Popular figures included General Gordon and William Gladstone.

In London we find imported pipes from Holland and France among others. A common bowl design was that of Marshal Foch. Meerschaum, a soft white mineral, was also used to make pipes. When smoked, meerschaum pipes changed colour. »»

»» For the final exercise we were divided into groups of three and given a small assemblage of stratified pipes from one context. The object was to record and then give an interpretation to the whole class. I was spokesperson for my group and explained (or attempted to explain) the Terminus Post Quem (TPQ) and Terminus Ante Quem (TAQ) of our assemblage. The TPQ is based on the earliest date of the latest pipe, and the TAQ is based on the absence of the common types. In other words, what’s missing? The aim is to narrow down the date of deposition.

I realise that there are large chunks missing from this history of tobacco pipes, but needed to keep the report short for inclusion in the newsletter. Jacqui Pearce went into far greater detail and also explained how pipes were made. A good starting place if you wish to find out more is Eric G. Ayto’s book Clay Tobacco Pipes. Published by Shire at £4.99, it is still in print, although it was out of stock when I checked the website on 8th June.

A very enjoyable day, but then I never tire of hearing Jacqui’s talks. I always come away thinking “I don’t remember hearing that before!” I also got to see a small part of the wonderful new MOLA pipe reference collection, which was my main reason for attending.

Shared Learning Project at the London Archaeological Archive and
Research Centre (LAARC)

The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre is the largest archaeological archive in the world and has just entered The Guinness Book of Records. You have the opportunity to apply to join a Shared Learning Project that will take place one afternoon a week for 10 weeks from Wednesday 3rd October to Wednesday 5th December at the Museum of London LAARC, Mortimer Wheeler House, Eagle Wharf Road N1 7ED (weeks 1 – 7 from 13.30 to 16.00), and at the Museum of London, 150
London Wall EC2Y 5HN (weeks 8 – 10 from 13.00 to 16.00).

LAARC stores and curates over 200,000 boxes of London’s archaeology. LAARC’s Volunteer Programmes have been involving volunteers to assist with the repacking and reorganisation of its archaeological collections from early 60’s and 70’s excavations. This work helps increase access to the archaeological collections whilst creating extra space for future material. It also promotes archaeology and the use of archives via public tours and outreach events.

This exciting new project offers you the chance to work in the world’s largest archaeological archive,
to handle archaeology and learn how it is curated. You will also develop public engagement skills.

As a volunteer you will be required to commit to the 10-week programme, volunteering one afternoon (Wednesday) a week as outlined above. There are limited places on this project and you will need to be prepared to work as part of a team. Your attendance each week is essential, as during the project you will learn basic collections care skills, focusing mainly on pottery collections from one excavation before going on to use these skills to engage museum visitors in interactive handling sessions at the Museum of London. As a participant on this particular project you may claim up to £10 towards travel expenses on production of receipts.

As a volunteer you will be of great value to LAARC, as you will be helping to improve the storage and access of the collections and to promote archaeology and the archaeological archive. The closing date for applications is 30th July.

● For further information and an application form, email

Bumps, Bombs and Birds: the history and archaeology of RSPB reserves

A talk by Robin Standring, RSPB Reserves Archaeologist,
on 8th May 2012 Report by Sylvia Javes

The Society for the Protection of Birds was founded in 1889 by a group of women who were horrified by the mass slaughter of birds for their fashionable plumes. The society was granted its Royal Charter in 1904, and the RSPB has been protecting birds for more than a century. Now the RSPB has over a million members, and owns, leases or manages 211 nature reserves covering about 150,000 hectares. Much of this land contains ancient monuments, and in recognition of this, Robin Standring is employed by the RSPB with the help of a grant from English Heritage.

Gun emplacement Most RSPB reserves have something of historical interest, but there are many that have Scheduled Ancient Monuments within them. Arne, in Dorset, which is open heathland and old oak woodland, has a listed WW2 gun emplacement on top of a hill. This has been cleared of scrub and encroaching trees. Prehistoric burial mounds in various reserves, such as Lake Vyrnwy, and Normanton Down near Stonehenge, are similarly cleared of scrub to stop roots destroying the mounds and allow native heathland herbs to regenerate on and around them.

Iron Age broch The scheduled monuments on reserves vary considerably. In Shetland there is an Iron Age broch on Mousa. In Orkney, Brodgar reserve surrounds the monument of the Ring of Brodgar. In the Scottish Highlands there are clan chief burial sites to protect. Minsmere in Suffolk contains the remains of a small chapel on the original site of Leiston Abbey, which has been stabilised and protected. At the RSPB headquarters at Sandy in Bedfordshire there are two Iron Age hill forts.

Anti-tank cubes Many reserves have “ancient monuments” from the two World Wars. Minsmere came into existence because the coast was flooded during WW2 to prevent enemy tanks from landing. Avocets began to nest there, and the site was preserved. There are still anti-tank cubes along the coastal dunes, making useful perches for visitors to eat their picnics. Further up the coast at Titchwell, there was a minefield and firing and bombing ranges. Rainham Marshes, medieval marshes next to the River Thames, were closed to the public for over 100 years and used as a military firing range. When the RSPB bought the site much of the infrastructure was kept, including shooting butts. Information boards explain the history of the buildings which have been conserved.

Saxon canoe Some reserves have archaeological remains that are not scheduled – in fact they may be unexpected. Signs of Roman occupation were found at Brading Marshes on the Isle of Wight; at South Essex Marshes 10,000 shards of Roman pottery were found when making the car park, and a Saxon log canoe was found at Langstone Harbour in Hampshire.

Archaeological services are very useful when the RSPB wishes to reinstate ancient landscapes such as wetlands. Land newly acquired by the RSPB may have been drained only 100 years ago. Trenches can reveal ancient land uses, and boreholes show the previous positions of lakes, rivers and alluvial terraces. At Willingham Mere near Earith in Cambridgeshire, archaeologists excavating the site ahead of Hanson’s Needingworth Quarry workings found evidence of wet woodland and reed beds. Bones from bitterns, marsh harriers and pelicans were found. Knowledge from this dig will be used when reinstating wetland at other fenland sites.

Many of the RSPB reserves are used as educational resources by schools, and whereas this is mainly for environmental education, the history of human occupation may also be taught using evidence in the environment. This was a fascinating talk, showing that RSPB reserves are not just about birds.
● More information may be found on the RSPB website,

Cowes Chain Ferry

A footnote to the HADAS trip to the Isle of Wight, September 2011 Jim Nelhams

Waiting for our ferry back to the mainland provided an opportunity to view the chain ferry. The Cowes Floating Bridge is a vehicular chain ferry which crosses the tidal River Medina between East Cowes and Cowes, saving a ten-mile trip via Newport. The first floating bridge here was established in 1859 and is one of the few remaining that have not been replaced by a physical bridge. The service is owned and operated by the Isle of Wight Council, who have run it since 1901. The ferry currently used is named No. 5; it is the fifth to be owned by the Council, and the eighth in total. It was built in 1975 and can carry up to 20 cars. At the side of the ramp is a plaque with a humorous poem by Glyn Roberts:-

The cars on board, the gates well shut, the ferry was to leave
From Cowes to make its crossing, one chilly winter’s eve
But sat there quite immobile, as the skipper called in pain,
“What VERY THOUGHTLESS PERSON tied a reef knot in the chain?”

You wouldn’t think it possible, each link weighed fifty pound
All welded up in solid steel and bolted to the ground
Yet somehow, while the ferry sat and waited in the rain
Some Very Thoughtless Person tied a reef knot in the chain.

It might have been a motorist who bore some kind of grudge.
It might have been an admiral, it might have been a judge
– But with what motivation? Can anyone explain
Why man or maid should want to braid a reef knot in the chain?

The skipper tore his hair out and called the County Press.
He radioed the Council to come and sort the mess
And he approached the Boy Scouts (as knots are their domain)
To see if they could puzzle out the reef knot in the chain.

A dozen Scouts pulled this way; a dozen Scouts pulled that
But still the chain stayed knotted up, they couldn’t get it flat.
In fact by seven-thirty – and this is quite uncanny,
The very simple reef knot had turned into a granny.

So then they called the firemen who when they came said, “Please
Just stand aside and we’ll soon have this knot undone with ease.”
They pushed and shoved till half-past ten, they couldn’t get it loose.
By then the wretched granny knot had turned into a noose!

If you wait here for what can seem like half an hour or more
And watch that ferry motionless on yonder blessed shore,
Do not despair but say a prayer – and hope it’s not in vain
That no Very Thoughtless Person tied a reef knot in the chain.

Little Syon The Syon Park Training Excavations this year take place in the area of Sir Richard Wynne’s house, Little Syon, shown (above) as it was in 1815. The house stood close to the London Road; it was demolished in the 19th century. Remains of the house and grounds may be found, and more Roman finds are expected. Courses run from Monday 9th to Friday 25th July. Further details below.

Other societies’ events Eric Morgan

Wednesday 4th July 1.30 – 3pm. Harrow Arts Centre, 171 Uxbridge Rd., Hatch End, Middx. HA5
4EA. Heritage Tour of Harrow Arts Centre site, including Royal Commercial Travellers’ School and
Grade II* listed Elliott Hall. Tickets £3.00. Book online at or on 020 8416 8989.

Saturday 7th July 11am-5pm. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery Open Day, Harrow Rd. NW6/
Ladbroke Grove W6. Tours, displays, Willesden Local History Society and Friends’ bookstall.

Sunday 8th July 2-5pm. Bothy Garden Open Day, Avenue House Grounds, East End Rd N3 3QE. Alyth Youth Singers 3pm. Teas £5 charge. (HADAS in Garden Room 10.30am)

Monday 9th – Friday 13th & Monday 16th – Friday 25th July Syon Park Training Excavations Syon Park, Brentford. In partnership with MOLA. Excavation of the area of Sir Richard Wynne’s house, close to London Rd. (The house was demolished in the 19th century.) It is expected that more Roman archaeology will also be unearthed. Two hands-on courses, suitable for all levels, covering aspects of site survey, excavation and recording. 9am-5pm each day. Cost £195. Contact Kath Creed or Kate Sumnall (020 7814 5733, email, or visit

Tuesday 10th July 7pm. Enfield Society Heritage Walk round Enfield Town. Starts at Market Place Enfield EN2 6LN, and includes entry into St Andrew’s church and the Tudor room. Ends at Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/jnc. Chase Side, where refreshments will be available and purchases may be made. Tickets required. Please apply to Emma Halstead at Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane Enfield EN2
OAJ, enclosing s.a.e. and your telephone no.

Saturday 14th July Welwyn Archaeological Society. Archaeology in Hertfordshire: recent research. A conference to mark the 80th birthday of Tony Rook (who has given HADAS several talks in the past). At Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, starting at 9am. Various speakers. Please contact Kris Lockyear (one of the speakers) for booking details and further information on

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th July Festival of British Archaeology: Enfield Archaeological Society dig at Theobalds Palace, Cedars Park, Cheshunt, Herts. Contact Mike Dewbrey on 01707 870888. »»

Saturday 14th – Sunday 29th July: Festival of British Archaeology at the Museum of London
150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN
Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd July. Join staff to find out about the vital role that ceramics have played in the history of the capital. Discover how and why pots were made. Free.
Friday 20th July 12-2pm Archaeology up Close: object handling session with members of the museum’s Archaeological Collections department. 2-2.30pm and 3-3.30pm: Roman fort visit. Free.

Wednesday 25th July 1-2pm Meet the Expert: London and the Olympics. Learn about the capital’s role in Olympic Games past and present with Cathy Ross.

Tuesday 17th July Festival of British Archaeology: Enfield Archaeological Society dig at Elsyng

Palace, Forty Hall, Forty Hill, Enfield. Contact Mike Dewbrey on 01717 870888 (office) for details.

Friday 25th July 7pm. COLAS. St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3. Excavations at the London

Mint 1986-88: talk by Ian Grainger (MOLA). £2.