No. 630 September 2023 Edited by Paul Jackson

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events

We are pleased that we are able to resume lectures face-to-face following Covid, though lectures in winter may be on Zoom. Lectures are held in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. 7.45 for 8pm. Tea/Coffee/biscuits available for purchase after each talk. (Cash please)

Buses 143, 125, 326 and 460 pass close by, and it is a five to ten-minute walk from Finchley Central Station on the Barnet Branch of the Northern Line. Bus 382 also passes close to Finchley Central Station.

Tuesday 12th September 2023
Mike Noronha, Barnet Museum. The Battle of Barnet Survey and Project. Mike helped to coordinate ‘The Barnet battlefield project’ on behalf of Barnet Museum which mostly took place 2015-2018. The aim was to locate more precisely the battle area using a large-scale metal-detecting survey by Huddersfield University (a method used successfully at Bosworth), digs by community archaeologists and volunteers processing finds in the museum. One of the digs was on the possible site of the Chantry Chapel (built to commemorate the dead) in Wrotham Park. This was led by Cotswold Archaeology with HADAS taking part in supplying some diggers and tools. Mike will inform us of the results and of any future work.

SATURDAY 16th SEPTEMBER at Avenue House,10am –4pm. HADAS OPEN DAY. See August newsletter for details. Please come.

Tuesday 10th October 2023
Melvyn  Dresner.  Elsyng Palace: a digger’s view – see also article on page 3 of this issue

Tuesday 14th November 2023
Kris Lockyear, (University College London). Mapping Verulamium



On 9th August, with the kind permission and co-operation of Barnet Borough Heritage Development Officer, Hugh Petrie, members of HADAS attended Hendon Town Hall to install our new temporary display in the ’Heritage Barnet’ area of the foyer there.

The Sunday morning team have spent the last month or two preparing this new display, its exhibits and captions, and most of them were able to attend to fill up ‘their’ cases.
We have included, in the Roman corner, material from the Pipers Green Lane cremation burial from the foot of Brockley Hill and the Moxom Collection found at its summit; also items from more recent excavations at Hendon School and even Avenue House grounds. There are items from the 1960s excavations at Church End Farm Hendon, the former Church Farm Museum in the 1990s, and the Burroughs Gardens, Fuller Street /Chequers Pub areas of Hendon in the


1970s. A selection of HADAS publications are included and also there are new format HADAS membership forms to collect.

With thanks to the set-up team mostly seen in the picture below – (left to right) Hugh Petrie, Bill Bass, Andy Simpson, Melvyn Dresner, Peter Nicholson and Janet Mortimer – plus Tim Curtis (not pictured).


Do go along to Hendon Town Hall and view our new exhibition! It will hopefully be available to view until Christmas.

Elsyng Palace Dig 2023: a digger`s view Melvyn Dresner

Enfield Archaeological Society (EAS) has been digging at Elysng Palace since the 1960s and especially since 2004. This summer’s dig’s research aim was to locate the inner gatehouse and to identify the relationship between the moat features dug in 2022 and other buildings found on site in previous years, in particular the northern range.

Elysng Palace was a 15th century royal palace that was owned by Tudor monarchs. Prior to that there is evidence of medieval occupation. For the Tudor palace, we have substantial structural features, as well as rubble across the site.

This year revealed walls in situ, both internal walls and structures such as turrets or towers. As the palace is a scheduled monument, the archaeological design brief has been agreed with Dr Jane Sidell, Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Historic England.

BBC Digging for Britain with Dr Alice Roberts will feature the dig early in 2024. Alice, as well as a being a TV presenter, is Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham.

To find out more about the 2023 dig, you can read the daily blog on the EAS website:

For the October’s HADAS lecture, he will provide a digger’s insight into this year’s dig.


Now you can order Elysng: Enfield’s Lost Palace Revealed by Neil and Jon Pinchbeck from EAS:

Romans built more in South-West than was once thought Stewart Wild

The Romans built more towns and roads in the South-West than archaeologists have thought, research has found. Experts at the University of Exeter discovered a Roman road network spanning Devon and Cornwall as well as a grid system of streets in North Tawton, Devon, suggesting its importance as a settlement.

Dr Joao Fonte, who led the research alongside Dr Christopher Smart, both specialists in landscape archaeology and the heritage of the Roman Empire, said that the findings suggested that the South-West was more ‘Romanised’ than previously thought. “We understand that the roads were probably constructed by animal-drawn wheeled vehicles, avoiding flooded areas as much as possible,” he added.


After the conquest of Britain, Dr Fonte said, the entire network of roads would have been in use and the discovery “confirms that the South-West – Devon and Cornwall – were no different from other, more Romanised regions. The Roman influence was profound.”

In North Tawton, the Romans may have been interested in the area’s mining resources, he said, while its location in the middle of the region could have been useful in linking the site to ships and other resources. There was evidence of a grid system of streets and signs of the region’s first known amphitheatre, enclosed by both a rampart and a ditch, meaning that while it might not have been a full Roman city such as Londinium or Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum), it was a town of some importance.

The researchers used laser scans collected as part of the Environment Agency’s national LiDAR programme to identify sections of road west of the previously understood boundary. Among the insights is that, far from Exeter being the main nerve centre, it was North Tawton that supported vital connections with tidal estuaries north and south of Bodmin and Dartmoor.
“Despite more than seventy years of scholarship, published maps of the Roman road network in southern Britain have remained largely unchanged and all are consistent in showing that west of Exeter there was little solid evidence for a system of long-distance roads,” Dr Smart said.

SOURCE: The Daily Telegraph, 8 August 2023, item edited by Stewart Wild

The following information has been taken from Heritage Alliance Sue Willetts

Campaign to Boost Free Bus Travel This Summer

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a campaign to encourage more older people to make use of their free bus passes to get a ‘culture fix’ and rediscover local attractions. The campaign aims to improve wellbeing amongst older and disabled people as well as promote more sustainable forms of travel and grow the economy.

See more about the Take the Bus campaign at

British Archaeologists Call for Stronger Protections for Archaeology Sites

Archaeologists and palaeontologists across the country have warned that an important site in the Cotswolds where well-preserved ice-age mammoths have been discovered could be cut off to British researchers. The landowners have requested finds be returned and there are concerns that objects are being exported to the UAE, with archaeologists highlighting the lack of legislation in place to prevent this. Read more at –


Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan

Not all Societies or Organisations have yet returned to pre-covid conditions. Please check with them before planning to attend.


Sunday 10th September. 2pm. COLAS, Old St. Pancras Churchyard. Dying to get in. Visit with Lester Hillman leading a guided walk with an archaeological perspective on this ancient burial ground. The visit offers a chance to see the Grade II* listed church which has Roman fabric and has just completed works of repair and redecoration. Meet 1.50 pm at Old St. Pancras Church, Pancras Road, NW1 1UL, in park. Churchyard is immediately behind St. Pancras International Station.

Wednesday 13th September 8pm. Hornsey Historical Society. Talk on Zoom. Venice and the British by Martin Heard. Email for link or visit

Friday 15th September. 7.30 pm. Wembley Historical Society. St. Andrew’s Church Hall, (behind St. Andrew’s New Church), Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9. Dan Dare. Pilot of the future. Talk by Lester Hillman (see COLAS above). Looking back nearly 75 years, The Eagle comic of the 1950’s was remarkably prescient. Lester explains the history and London links along with its insightful writing, images, clear predictions and some surprises. Visitors £3. Refreshments in the interval.

Thursday 21st September 8pm. Enfield Society. A history of Enfield Chase at Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane / Junction Chase Side, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. Talk by Martin Paine, preceded by AGM.
The first of two talks that aim to bring to life the medieval and renaissance worlds of Enfield Chase, drawing on an array of sources including hunting treatises, literature, maps, and archival records. Martin aims to demonstrate why an understanding of Enfield Chase is essential to understanding the history of Enfield, including the grand houses, palaces and lodges that were once so prominent in the local landscape. Martin’s second talk will take place on Monday 16th October at 8pm.

Thursday 25th September 7.30 pm. Camden History Society. Talk on Zoom. 50 years of Fitzrovia News by Nick Bailey, Sue Blundell and Linus Rees (Editors). On the origins of the paper and later development, illustrating some of the leading themes and stories and in the contribution of community newsletters to recording and disseminating local history. Visit for details.

Tuesday 3rd October. 1-2pm Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BE, also on Zoom. Duke Alexander and his Sarcophagi. Talk by Prof. Aidan Dodson.
Also Wednesday 4th October. 5 pm. British Archaeological Association at the Society of Antiquaries. Reconstructing Bury St. Edmund’s Abbey. Talk by Dr. Steven Brindle (E.H.) Tea.
Also Thursday 5th October 5-6 pm Society of Antiquaries. Also on Zoom. Forging iron from the sky. Talk by Ian Thackray.
Also Thursday 12th October. 5-6 pm Society of Antiquaries, Also on Zoom. The wood that built London. Chris Schüler.
Also Thursday 19th October, 5-6 pm Society of Antiquaries. Also on Zoom. Mills Whip Projects-London’s Civil War defences: Rewriting history. Talk by Mike Hutchinson and Peter Milne. Also on Zoom.
Also Thursday 26th October, 5-6 pm Society of Antiquaries. Also on Zoom. The Athenaeum Club. Talk by Michael Wheeler.


Lectures are free but donations are welcome. Details and bookings through the website

Monday 9th October, 3 pm. Barnet Museum & Local History Society. St. John the Baptist Church, Chipping Barnet, corner High Street, Wood Street, Barnet, EN5 4BW. Enfield Chase: the making of a man-made landscape. Talk by John Leatherdale. Free to members. Visitors – £2.

Wednesday 11th October. 7.30 pm. Camden History Society. Talk on Zoom. Artists, refugees & spies in Belsize in the 1930s by Averil Nottage. Including the Mall Studios (off Parkhill Rd), home to Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and critic Herbert Read and the iconic modernist block of Lawn Road Flats which welcomed many exiles including communist political refugees from Germany & Austria, some who set up British spy networks. for details.

Wednesday 11th October. 8 pm Hornsey Historical Society. Talk on Zoom. Picturing the past and the present. Email for details or

Friday 13th October. 7.30 pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. Roman road to a dual carriageway – archaeological consultancy on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project. Talk by David Lakin. Visit for further details.

Monday 16th October 8 pm Enfield Society. Enfield Chase continued. See 21st Sept entry.
Martin Paine explores the rich history of the local area and the visible legacy of the Chase today.

Wednesday 18th October. 7.30 pm. Willesden Local History Society. St. Mary’s Church Hall, bottom of Neasden Lane, NW10 (round corner from Magistrates’ Court). Willesden’s post-war prefab-homes. Talk by Philip Grant (Brent Archives) may also be on Zoom.
If not a member, buy a ticket £3, for details

Thursday 19th October, 8 pm Historical Association: Hampstead and N.W. London branch. Fellowship House, 136a Willifield Way, NW11 6YD (off Finchley Road, Temple Fortune) The Mayans and Aztecs. Talk by Ian Mursell, hopefully also on Zoom. Email Jeremy Berkoff (Chair) or telephone 01793 229521 for details of Zoom link and how to pay. There may be a voluntary charge of £5. Refreshments afterwards.

Friday 20th October, 7pm COLAS. St. Olave’s Church, Hart Street, EC3R 7NB Human remains from the River Thames. Talk by Dr. Nichola Arthur (Natural History Museum) A Palaeopathologist examines the who, how and why of human bones from the Thames and its deposit. Also on Zoom. Book via Eventbrite. HADAS may send out the link to its members.

Friday 20th October. 7.30 pm. Wembley History Society, St. Andrew’s Church Hall, (behind St. Andrew’s New Church), Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9. The archaeology of the Thames foreshore. Talk by Dr. Will Rathouse (Senior Community Archaeologist for the Thames Discovery Programme hosted by MOLA) Visitors £3. Refreshments in interval.

Wednesday 25th October. 7.45 pm. Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL. Westminster at war: How the Luftwaffe destroyed the House of Commons. Talk by Barry Hall. Visit and click on programme or phone 020 8368 8814 for up-to-date details (David Berguer, Chair). Non-members £2. Bar available.


Thursday 26th October. 7.30 pm Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue (Stephens’) House, 17 East End Road, N3 3QE. Spymaster: the man who saved MI6. Talk by Dr Helen Fry about Thomas Joseph Kendrick, one of the most senior spymasters of the British Secret Intelligence Service in the 20th Century. Further details Non-members £2 at the door. Refreshments in interval.

With many thanks to this month’s contributors: Melvyn Dresner, Eric Morgan, Andy Simpson, Stewart Wild, Sue Willetts.

Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper, 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)

Hon. Secretary Janet Mortimer, 34, Cloister Road, Childs Hill, London NW2 2NP
(07449 978121) e-mail:

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

Membership Sec Vacancy

While we have no Membership Secretary

for the present, please address any correspondence such as change of member addresses or other miscellaneous correspondence to:

HADAS, c/o Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, London N3 3QE

Website at: – join the HADAS email discussion group via the website.


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