No. 601 APRIL 2021 Edited by Sue Willetts

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Tuesday 13th April 2021 **
Signe Hoffos
Lost City Churches.Signe is active in COLAS, and is a trustee of Friends of the City Churches

Tuesday 11th May 2021 **
Lee Prosser
from Historic Royal Palaces
Against all the odds: a surviving medieval building in Barnet High Street.
A talk about timber-framed buildings, with reference to the Barnet Shop.

Tuesday 8th June 2021**

Tuesday 12th October**
Vicki Baldwin
Looe: a Story of Sea, Sand and Sardines

Tuesday 9th November**
Sam Wilson
Battlefield Archaeology: Barnet 1471

** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these lectures and the AGM at least will be held online via ZOOM.  Apologies to those who are unable to see the lectures while this is happening.

Membership renewals Stephen Brunning

The membership year runs from 1st April, so all memberships are now due for renewal, apart from those who joined since January 2021. A couple of members have bought to my attention that the account number on the renewal form differs to the one used for standing order payments and on previous bank transfers. I would like to reassure everyone that both accounts are still in use. The number quoted on the renewal form is the same as is used to pay in cheques via HSBC. Payment can be made to either account.

There is no need to change the details with your bank.


A Tribute to Joan Wrigley Andrew Selkirk

I was very sorry to hear that Joan Wrigley had died on 6 January following a stroke. Joan was one of these background heroes on whom archaeological societies depend. She was the wife of Brian Wrigley, who was the secretary of HADAS for most of the time that I was Chairman, and we held our committee meetings in the Wrigley’s home, sitting round the table in their front room.

Brian was the perfect secretary, keeping me in order, but Joan was always in the background, keeping Brian in order. She welcomed us when we arrived and at precisely the right moment, about two thirds of the way through the meeting, she would appear with tea and coffee, and biscuits and cakes to revive us all. And if I say that in retrospect, I rather enjoyed the committee meetings, it was in no small way due to the hospitality and warm welcome that Joan provided. Thank you, Joan!

Additional note from Don Cooper

As already stated, Brian was an important member of HADAS and held almost every committee role in the Society. When he died we sprinkled his ashes at Avenue House and the family donated a bench for the garden there. Joan’s request was that we sprinkle her ashes there as soon as it is possible to do so. Joan was a lovely lady and will be much missed.

Current Archaeology Conference Live 2021 Sue Willetts

Last month’s newsletter included a note about the dates of this annual conference, usually held in Senate House, University of London, but which took place online a week later than originally planned on 5th to the 7th March – and it was free to attend remotely. The format allowed the talks to be listened to in any order over the weekend and in the week following.

The announcements of the 2021 awards voted for by subscribers to the magazine and usually made at the Friday evening drinks event were announced by Julian Richards from Shaftesbury Abbey Museum.

Archaeology book: Kindred: Neanderthal life, love, death, and art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes
Research project: A unique glimpse into the Iron Age: excavating Clachtoll Broch
Rescue project: Problems of the Picts: searching for a lost people in northern Scotland
Archaeologist: Professor Paula J. Reimer. Paula is Director of the 14Chrono Centre for Climate,
the Environment, and Chronology in the School of Natural and Built                                     Environment at Queen’s University Belfast

The Newport Ship sails on Jim Nelhams

Our January lecture came from USA. Not so far away in February, our speaker was Bob Evans, Chair of The Friends of the Newport Ship, zooming in from Newport. Our long trip to Wales in 2019 stopped at The Ship where we saw many of the parts and enjoyed a talk about it. (See newsletter 584 of November 2019.) Since then, conservation work continues as does research into the ship and its background.

The River Usk at Newport has the second highest difference between high and low tide in the world. This provided a challenge to shipping but also meant that at high tide, ships could be sailed into a dock and onto a specially constructed wooden cradle for easy repairs. This happened to The Ship, but the cradle shifted and the ship toppled onto its side. While the upper parts were salvaged for recycling, the lower sections were abandoned and preserved in the silt.


When a new theatre was being constructed in Newport in 2002, work to dig out an orchestra pit found the timbers largely intact though some concrete piles had already been punched through. A coffer dam was built to enable the removal of the timbers and other finds.

Most of the footprint of the ship fell withing the orchestra pit area and the coffer dam, and the timbers were in remarkably good shape. After removal, they have been scanned in 3 dimensions and one-tenth scale plastic replicas produced using a computer 3-D printer. A scale model was available for us to inspect during our visit.

The Ship within the coffer dam
The plastic scale model

Bob explained that although a lot is known about 16th century boats, little is known about those from the 15th century. No written records about the boat have been found though there are lots of unexplored archives.

Clearly it was used to transport wine from the Iberian Peninsular. Some 100 wine casks were discovered on board and there was space for another 100. It was built for use in the Atlantic and analysis of the timbers point to the Basque area of northern Spain. Items belonging to the crew were of Iberian origin, as was some pottery.

The hull is clinker built (overlapping horizontal planks) with only one skin of planks fixed largely with iron nails of which some 27,000 would have been needed. They were carefully made. There were also some 8,000 tree nails. The keel was some 120 feet long making it among the largest of the time. Construction would have resembled Columbus’ vessels, though his were smaller. The planks were oak, and specially cultivated, and the keel was beech. The engineering is precise and could meet 20th century standards.
It is not known where on board the crew would have lived, though they did carry lots of food and live animals.

So why Newport? There were customs officials in Bristol, so landing cargoes in South Wales could avoid duty.

Other boats have been found in the area, including a stone-age boat and a Roman vessel. Although some funds have been received from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the organisation is largely run by volunteers. The Friends of the Ship have an annual subscription of £10 (even lower than Hadas) and new members are always welcome. See for more information.


Hymn to Hardham – follow up Mary Rawitzer

I was delighted to see Stewart Wild’s “Hymn to Hardham” in the March 2021 HADAS Newsletter. I too found it by chance. In the late 1980’s when I regularly drove to visit friends in Bognor and just happened to turn off the main A29 for a rest. To enter this small country church and be faced by those enormous antique figures painted on the high wall at the end of the nave was amazing and breathtaking.

Hurst Castle Damaged Jim Nelhams

Those members who came on our 2011 trip to the Isle of Wight will remember our boat trip from Yarmouth to visit Hurst Castle near Milford-on-Sea on the mainland, which is managed by Historic England.

Hurst Castle was originally built by Henry VIII between 1541 and 1544, one of a number of fortifications guarding approaches to the Solent. Large East and West Wing batteries were added from 1860. The castle was also used for searchlights and guns in World War One and World War Two.

H.E. carried out extensive work on the West Wing in 2019 to stabilise foundations and reinforce its sea defences at a cost around £750,000. Similar work on the East Wing was scheduled to start early in March this year, but a storm on 23rd February caused damage and on Friday 26th, a section of the wall collapsed. The castle was closed to the public at the time. A clip of the damage can be seen on the ITV news report.

The East Finchley Hurricane – an update Andy Simpson

Back in the summer of 2010 when I was still working as a curator at the Royal Force Museum Hendon, I was passed a letter from former Finchley Resident Mr George Cull, then resident in York.

He had rescued a section of starboard rear fuselage fabric, measuring 77 inches by 40 inches, from the classic but derelict Hawker Hurricane Mk 1 fighter, serial number P3835/2649M, once displayed outside the former wartime Air Training Corps (ATC) HQ opposite East Finchley underground station.

We corresponded, and the resulting details were published in my article in the September 2010 issue of the HADAS newsletter, which can be viewed online on the HADAS website; Volume 9: 2010 – 2014 Archives – HADAS.

In early March 2021 I was alerted via facebook that this same fragile piece of fabric, with part of the roundel and maintenance serial number, was now located in San Clemente, California, U.S.A, and was up for sale on the online ebay sales site. The asking price was US $7,250.00 (Approximately £5,246).

The fabric section as it is today, image inverted to show the roundel.


The lot included copies of the original museum correspondence, my HADAS newsletter article, and the photograph reproduced below taken at East Finchley by Mr. Cull on 27 January 1946. The surviving fabric panel is from the opposite side.

The aircraft was presumably scrapped not long afterwards as having no further use – at this point the Air Historical Branch of the RAF already had a couple of similar early Mk 1 Hurricanes stored for preservation since 1944-45, both of them Battle of Britain veterans – one of them, P2617, is currently at the RAF Museum London (Hendon), and the other, L1592, is at the Science Museum South Kensington.

The Finchley Hurricane in 1946

Commemorating the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet Susan Skedd

Wednesday 14th April 2021 sees the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet which resulted in a resounding victory for Edward IV against the Lancastrian army led by Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. This proved a decisive encounter in the Wars of the Roses and placed Edward in a commanding position in the power struggle between the rival Houses of York and Lancaster. His subsequent defeat of Margaret of Anjou’s army at Tewkesbury ensured his return to the throne of England and his rival claimants, Margaret’s son Edward and husband Henry VI were quickly dispatched.

Although the dramatic events of 1471 are not as well as well-known as the Battle of Bosworth twelve years later, they are being remembered in a variety of initiatives. The Royal Mail will be issuing a ‘Wars of the Roses’ series of stamps on 4th May, the anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury. Barnet Council has


commissioned a careful conservation of the Hadley Highstone, the memorial to the Battle of Barnet which was erected in 1740 by local landowner Sir Jeremy Sambrook. The inscription can be clearly read once more and a small, socially distanced wreath-laying ceremony will be held on 14th April to commemorate the fallen.

Barnet Museum’s brilliant array of heraldic banners will be flying from the lampposts of Barnet High Street in time for the anniversary and will remain in place during the summer. Barnet Medieval Festival returns to Byng Road playing fields on the weekend of 11th and 12th September, subject to government guidelines. A crowdfunding campaign for the festival has been launched and can be supported at

Hadley Highstone,
the memorial to the Battle of Barnet.
Photo by
Susan Skedd

The exact location of the battlefield in Barnet remains a hotly debated subject. The recent publication of Barnet Battlefield Project 2015-2018 by Glenn Foard and his team at Huddersfield University is extremely welcome and provides a fascinating summary and analysis of the evidence uncovered so far. To read the report, go to


St Mary’s Churchyard, Hendon

“Graves vandalised in churchyard” this was the headline in the Barnet Borough Times of 25th February 2021 by James Cowen.

“HEADSTONES and memorials in a churchyard were left lying and broken by vandals. Shocking photos show the damage caused to several graves at St Mary and Christ Church in Church End, Hendon, with some headstones ripped from the ground. The Metropolitan Police says it received a report of criminal damage at the cemetery on Friday February 19th. It was reported that a number of headstones had been damaged, the force said. Officers had attended the scene and carried out enquiries, but no suspects were identified.”
One resident called Sam, who did not want to reveal his surname, said he was walking through the cemetery on Tuesday when he noticed the damage. He said among the headstones destroyed were those of children and Falklands War veterans. “There were a number of headstones just turned upside down” Sam said. “I was very upset that somebody could do that. It is very sad that this has happened.”

Officers, from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team will continue regular patrols in the area following the incident.

Hendon Ward Councillor, Nizza Fluss, posted images on Twitter, which show multiple broken gravestones, with crosses that have been broken up in two examples. She urged anyone with any information to contact the Rev’d Dr Julie Gittoes, the Vicar of St Mary and Christ Church, Hendon, as well as the police, giving the reference number: 2403023/21 13/2/2021. Since the incident, members of the church’s community have placed flowers on the broken gravestones, to show their respect and care towards those affected by the incident.

This was a particularly bad attack on the churchyard. There have been no reports of damage in other local cemeteries, so it seems that someone(s) has a particular grudge against St. Mary’s.
Readers will recall that HADAS did a survey of the Cemetery in 1976 and we still get enquiries for information from our database.

Also from the Barnet Borough Times of 11th March – report by Simon Allin:

Dismore criticises Barnet Council over Hendon consultation

“London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore wrote to the council with a range of concerns over the consultation on the supplementary planning document (SPD) that will guide the Hendon Hub scheme. The proposed development is designed to provide 792 student homes and improved facilities in an area around the Middlesex University campus in The Burroughs, Hendon.

Mr Dismore, a former MP for Hendon, said residents should be given more chance to have their say on the SPD consultation, which closed last month. The Labour politician said: “I have been a strong supporter of Middlesex University for many years, but I think Barnet Council have handled the consultation very badly. They must give residents the chance to have their say in good time and undertake real engagement.”
Mr Dismore’s letter called for the consultation period to be extended to 12 weeks.


Museum exhibitions

Dates dependent on Government guidelines and will no doubt include online linked events.

British Museum

Forthcoming – Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint. Marking the 850th anniversary of his brutal murder, this special exhibition presents Becket’s tumultuous journey from a merchant’s son to an archbishop, and from a revered saint in death to a ‘traitor’ in the eyes of Henry VIII more than 350 years later.

Museum of London

Current – Votes for women
Experience the landmark Votes for Women display, originally open from February 2018-March 2019, for free online as a virtual exhibition. Explore the remarkable history of the Suffragettes and the legacy of the Deeds Not Words campaign, through videos, key collection items and much more.

With many thanks to this month’s contributors:
Don Cooper, Jim Nelhams, Mary Rawitzer, Andrew Selkirk, Andy Simpson,
Susan Skedd, Micky Watkins


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman                   Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS
                                    (020 8440 4350) e-mail:

Hon. Secretary           Jo Nelhams   61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS  
                                    (020 8449 7076) e-mail:

Hon. Treasurer          Roger Chapman 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
                                     (07855 304488)   e-mail:

Membership Sec.       Stephen Brunning, Flat 22 Goodwin Court, 52 Church Hill Road,
                                    East Barnet EN4 8FH1 (020 8440 8421) 

Web site:          


Leave a Reply