Newsletter-566-May 2018

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No. 566 MAY 2018 Edited by Sue Willetts

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.

Tuesday 8th May 2018: ‘The archaeology of World war One” by Mark Smith.
Mark Smith is a military museum curator and specialist in military medals. He started collecting British medals in 1969 and owns an extensive private collection that he has amassed over the years; he started dealing in Militaria in 1983 in Islington, London – a hobby which has become a life-long passion. He is a well-known expert on the Victoria Cross, but flying clothing and RAF log books are also his specialist areas. He is a member of The Western Front Association, The Orders and Medals Research Society and a member of The Guild of Battlefield Guides. Mark’s notable appearances on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow include valuing a large collection of World War One German memorabilia at Walthamstow town hall and a toy panda mascot that flew on the famous “Dambusters Raid” in 1943 when the Roadshow visited RAF Coningsby. Mark’s talk looks at field finds over the last 30 years in France, Belgium and the UK.

Tuesday 12th June 2018: 7.30 pm Annual General Meeting. (Papers enclosed / attached) This is a good opportunity to meet Committee members. There will be a follow up talk by Jacqui Pearce about the Lant Street excavation which the Finds Group have been studying again this year.

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September 2018: Trip to East Anglia. Now full, but there is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October 2018:’Unrolling Egyptian Mummies in Victorian London’ by Gabriel Moshenka.

Tuesday 13th November 2018: The Rose – Shakespeare’s Secret Playhouse. Documentary film introduced by Anthony Lewis.

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8pm, with coffee/tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members: £2. Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10-minute walk away.


10.30 Meet in the entrance of the Guildhall Gallery (nearest station Moorgate), there is seating near the cloakroom. Visit the small exhibition on the City’s copy of the Magna Carta and the Roman Amphitheatre. Possibilities for afterwards: City Painting Collection, Guildhall and nearby Churches.
12.15 Lunch at the Prêt à Manger in Coleman Street. Walk to the London Bloomberg Mithraeum, 12 Walbrook, EC4N 8AA for our booked tour at 1.30.
All City sites are liable for closure at short notice so we may need to adapt. Members who wish to join us just for the Mithraeum should use Exit 8 from Bank Station. Our booking is in the name of Audrey Hooson. Any additional members welcome – e-mail or phone 020 8367 0922

Exhibition at Museum of London, Docklands 25th May – 28th October

Roman Dead: This exhibition looks at where and how Roman Londoners buried their dead, funerary rituals and beliefs and burial practices. NB Displays, include human remains. Events page gives details of related family events starting 25th May.

New Book: London’s waterfront 1100-1666. Published by Archaeopress and written by John Schofield, Lyn Blackmore and Jacqui Pearce with Tony Dyson. This is an account of the Medieval and Tudor waterfronts and their buildings excavated on four sites in Thames Street in 1974-84 including Billingsgate. The text can be downloaded free from the Open Access area of the Archaeopress website: or purchased as a hardback for £90.00 (Information from LAMAS Newsletter, issue 153, May 2018)

Roman London’s First Voices – The New Bloomberg writing-tablets Lecture by Dr Roger Tomlin, HADAS 13 March 2018. Paul Wernick, augmented and emended by Dr. Tomlin
Many of us might have walked past the Temple of Mithras in its old location on Queen Victoria Street; a few of us might already have visited it after its return to its original location under the new Bloomberg headquarters building in London. The site was first excavated in the 1950s as the late unlamented Bucklersbury House was being built; the Mithraeum was moved to Queen Victoria Street. With the demolition and rebuilding came an opportunity for MOLA archaeologists to re-excavate the site, and the Mithraeum has now been restored to its original position and is open to visit; it’s free, although you may have to book. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Bloomberg site was only revealed during the re-excavation – fragments of 400 writing tablets dumped by the Romans in the Walbrook, 80 of which are still readable and provide a series of insights into aspects of Roman London. The tablets, which seem to have been discarded as trash near the mouth of the then-open Walbrook as it flowed into the Thames, were the subject of a lecture by Roger Tomlin, retired Lecturer in Late Roman History at Oxford, editor of ‘Roman Inscriptions of Britain’ and widely published on inscriptions, writings and graffiti of the Roman period, who was invited by MOLA to examine and interpret the retrieved tablets.
Dr Tomlin first introduced us to wax tablets and how they were used in the Roman Empire. A wooden frame of a fairly standard size and form – a flat piece of wood 140mm x 100mm was covered with wax darkened with lamp black to form a writing surface which was inscribed with an iron or steel stylus. This writing scratched through the black wax to reveal letters inscribed in the lighter wood; the writing was light-on-dark. The wooden sheet had a raised edge provided with holes to allow two of them to be hinged with string or wire into a single item. The hinge-holes were also used to tie two or more tablets together, depending on format; a mid-19th C letter records that a block of “about ten” tablets tied in this way was found in Trawsfynydd, North Wales, but the originals are lost except for the first ‘page’.

The wood most typically used for these tablets is silver fir, which splits easily into thin layers perfect for this use. This wood originated in Gaul, showing that it was imported into Britain. It was also used for barrel-making, and the use for tablets may have been an early example of reusing materials no longer required for one purpose into another, particularly as some of the texts were written by coopers and brewers.

The damp silt into which the Bloomberg tablets were thrown has preserved organic material much better than is typically the case, not just the wooden tablets but a wicker basket found almost intact. However, the wax has in almost all cases been lost over time, and we must rely on the tendency of scribes to incise strongly into the wax, resulting in scratches identifiable as letters and words indenting the wooden support. Dr Tomlin noted that a Carthaginian commander would send secret messages by scratching them on to the wood of a tablet and then cover this text with wax to produce what would look to the unsuspicious observer like merely an unused table with no secret significance.

Tablets were erased and reused by using a broad spatula warmed to help the wax melt and flatten into a ‘new’ writing surface, so whilst the writing in the wax may have been clear the scratches into the wood from repeated use overwrite each other and often result in a mess which makes tablets unreadable by current technology. However, Dr Tomlin was sometimes able to recover both texts when a word or two, or even a line, had been re-written and he has been able to reconstruct some or all of the text of 80 tablets.
In addition to the tablets, about 200 styli were found – implements about the size of a pencil, with one end sharpened on a stone to a point for writing on a wax tablet and the other shaped like a narrow spatula or fishtail to allow errors to be smoothed out and corrected. This is another aspect which makes interpreting the marks in the wood difficult, although it also reveals scribes correcting themselves as they wrote, and humanises their work. This stylus could also be a personal weapon, although Julius Caesar was unsuccessful in his attempt to defend himself with one – his only weapon – when the conspirators surrounded him on the Ides of March.

Tablets of the form found in the Bloomberg excavations have been found in Egypt, Italy, Romania and Switzerland, often with more of the wax surviving than the Bloomberg examples. The wide use of this technology is shown in the wall-painting of Terentius Neo the baker of Pompeii, who is shown holding a papyrus roll while his wife sits holding a pair of wax tablets. A stone relief from Rome depicts a butcher cutting meat and a woman using a wax tablet and stylus, perhaps keeping the business records.

As the wax coating is now lost, interpretation of the tablets has to be based on reading scratches in the wood. To assist in this, they were photographed using raking light from four angles. Combining the resulting images in Photoshop allowed Dr Tomlin to examine on a computer virtual 3D views of the tablets. This was augmented by his more traditional use of a flexible artificial light source, and drawing the tablets on the basis of their outline in the photos; Dr Tomlin included examples of his very clear sketches in his presentation. He also noted that as he reproduced with a pencil the movements of the scribe’s stylus he could “feel the fingers” of the latter’s original writing movements. The process of reading the tablets was described by Dr Tomlin as Sudoku-like puzzle-solving, from scratches to letters to words to phrases and finally to a meaningful text.

The letter forms used by the scribes are much less formal than the chiselled inscriptions to which we are more accustomed. Their writing was constrained by the stabbing and scratching actions needed to write on a fairly hard tablet. The resulting script is identical to that found in Egyptian and Pompeiian tablets. Some pairs of letters can be difficult to distinguish, such as b/d and e/u, which makes interpretation more challenging, but the use of standard forms of address, salutation and legal formulae as well as typical names have allowed a considerable amount of interpolation. Informal spelling, dropping of the final letter from a word in one specific case,1 and other ‘vulgar’ uses of written language in unpolished rather than literary use are also observable, which again brings us closer to daily life than formal writing. Some tablets were seemingly dictated to literate slaves; one scribe records that he is writing “by order of my master” the receipt of two payments towards a farm – whether as rent or part payment for purchase is not known.

This is the ‘m’ in the ‘-um’ accusative ending, which we also know was hardly sounded in ordinary speech. So what did the tablet speak of? The Bloomberg tablets were used for legal documents relating to loans and transactions, as well as for less formal letters. They can be dated from information such as the consular names from a few years before the burning of London by Boudicca to some years after that destruction. Some of these document were legal or commercial, recording trading and transactions of businessmen, craftsmen and import/export merchants. The earliest financial document found, dated to six days before the Ides of January (8 January) 57 CE, records a debt of 105 denarii “from the value of goods delivered and sold” (followed by “or the person whom the matter will concern”, a legal form of words found elsewhere in the Empire). This amounts to 6 months’ pay for a Roman soldier, a considerable sum.
The ‘first financial document’ – a note of indebtedness, see below.

Bloomberg Tablet 44: Drawn by R.S.O. Tomlin. Copyright: R.S.O. Tomlin and MOLA.

A tablet of 50-60 CE records the value of about five deliveries of beer received by Crispus, including one of over 100 gallons. Records such as this show that London was economically active and that a business community was already active at that time, as merchants traded into the new province. A slightly later tablet records a transfer of foodstuffs from Verulamium to London on 21 October 62 CE, a date only 18 months after Boudicca burned both cities, reflecting the resilience in rebuilding both to a state at which commerce had restarted. Interestingly, despite the Roman and Pompeiian representations, no women are mentioned in any of the commercial records.

Legal tablets, such as one describing a preliminary judgement in a legal case, dated to 22 October 76, also reflect the growing importance of London as a trading centre, and the moving of institutions such as law courts from the capital (Colchester) to the main trading centre. Legal contracts and records of transactions on wax tablets, being written in a form which could be easily erased and rewritten, needed to be protected. To achieve this, three tablets were hinged together, the first two being bound together by a cord which ran down a wide flat groove where the witnesses placed their seals. The sealed-up text was written on the two inner faces, and a duplicate text written on the third tablet, before all three tablets were tied up with strings to which the seals of the witnesses to the agreement were applied. This meant that a text was available for consultation, but the master-text was sealed up, to allow it to be compared with the visible text in the event of claims that the latter had been altered. The names of the witnesses would then be scratched into the border of the set. This practice has enabled Dr Tomlin to conclude that at least a significant minority of Roman soldiers could at minimum write their name and unit; a tablet records this information from three witnesses written in three distinctly different hands.

Wax tablets were also used for less formal communications. Letters would have been written on the two wax faces of a pair of hinged tablets which, like a legal document, was then closed to protect (or hide) the writing of the message; the address of the recipient was then scratched on to the wooden outside of the pair. In one example, the recipient was warned that people were going round the forum boasting that he had lent them money. Dr Tomlin suggested that was perhaps an admonition to the recipient to be more careful in selecting to whom to lend money, and observed that this item of economic history, perhaps an early example of financial imprudence, was received with amusement by Bloomberg staff when he presented his findings to them! Another tablet, documenting both commercial and more personal concerns, is a complaining report that whilst the writer was away from home somebody else came and took away his transport animals, a loss which could not be replaced in less than three months.

A historically significant tablet records the name of Classicus as commander of the VIth cohort of Nervii after the Boudicca rebellion. Not only does this provide additional evidence of the presence of auxiliary troops from this tribe in Britain, also recorded in an inscription at a fort at Brough-by-Bainbridge, Yorkshire. The same cohort is also attested by inscriptions of different dates at Greatchesters and Rough Castle. Only one officer of the equestrian order with this name (Julius Classicus) is recorded, a man descended from Gallic kings who in 69 CE was in the Rhineland where, after the death of Nero, he threw off his Roman allegiance and almost-successfully rebelled against Roman rule. This revolt is recorded by Tacitus, who noted that Classicus wore the cloak of a Roman general when he received the surrender of legionaries.

To summarise, the Bloomberg tablets interpreted by Dr Tomlin reveal a history of business transactions, legal disputes, military aspects and personal letters at a turbulent time in British history, a history far more human than buildings or commemorative epigraphy can provide. They also unite the activities of people, citizens and slaves throughout the Roman Empire. Our thanks to Dr Tomlin, both for his lecture and for his corrections and improvements to this report.

Dorothy Newbury – memories Alec Jeakins

It’s over 20 years since my family and I lived in London. I last saw Dorothy when I came up to London for her lunch party in September 2007 but prior to that she was a significant person in my life.
As a freelancer I had gaps between jobs and Dorothy would help me out by booking me to make deliveries for the Hillary Press and also to drive her on her recces for HADAS outings – Dorothy’s outings always went like clockwork thanks to her advanced planning – that way I visited both Royal Holloway College and Holloway Prison! On some of these trips we were accompanied by my young son, Adrian who would be in his car seat singing the folk songs my wife often sang. Dorothy was always amazed how he segued from one tune to another. She would say “I thought he was singing X but now he’s singing Y. How does he do it?” (He did later become a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral.)
I recall only going on one of the long weekend trips that she organised and that was to Hadrian’s Wall. On the first night we were told to bring down our thermos flasks so that they would be ready next morning. There was Dorothy with everybody’s names on typed labels and a roll of sellotape to stick them on. Talk about covering every detail.
I always think of her as a busy person. If I called round to Sunnyfield Road in an evening, there she was in the kitchen – doing accounts, cooking, planning trips, working on preparations for the famous Minimart (storage for which took over the entire front room); she had no time for sitting in front of the television unlike Jack who always seemed glued to it.

Andrew Selkirk’s tribute filled in gaps for me and recalled detail I’d forgotten, as he wrote she had ‘a busy and productive life’ – what more could you wish for?

Dorothy Newbury memories Frances Radford

Dorothy was the vital force behind the Minimart to raise funds for HADAS. Dorothy was shown in the photograph in last month’s newsletter assembling the ‘troops’ stallholders (myself one of them) ready for her to blow her whistle to start the action. We all shot into position behind our respective stalls waiting for the customers and in they came, in droves, dashing from one stall to another as they could – a lively scene! When a lull came, Dorothy made sure we took it in turns to refresh ourselves downstairs with lunch or snacks and very good they were. A chance, too, to buy jams and fresh vegetables and plants. I also picked up cards, notebooks and offcuts from the Newbury’s printing press, in fact I have some still – so useful.
We owe much to Dorothy Newbury; she gave such energy to the Society and was an inspiration to others.

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan, Suzanne Taylor and Sue Willetts

Correction: Alteration to event posted in last month’s newsletter: Friday 18th May. 7.30 pm. Wembley History Society English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalkhill Road, Wembley, HA9 9EW (top of Blackbird Hill, adjacent to church) Lecture by Lomas on autographs cancelled due to illness and replaced by Middlesex: a forgotten county by Colin Oakes Visitors £3. Refreshments
Correction to Mill Hill History Society tour of Marlborough House on Tuesday 22nd May. Booking date should be Tuesday 8th May not 5th May. The address should be 38 Marion Road, Mill Hill NW7 4AN

Thursday 10th May 8.00 pm. Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution. 11, Southgate, Highgate, N6 6BS. Air battles of 1940. Talk by Jim Lloyd Davies (ex RAF) The RAF Centenary Lecture.

Saturday 12th May. Church End Library, Finchley 2.00 – 4.00 pm. Free talk by Hugh Petrie, Barnet’s Heritage Officer. A North London Railway, inc. Finchley sections of the Northern Line. For more details and to book a place contact the speaker at or Tel: 020 8359 3961

Saturday 12th May 9.45 am-5.25 pm. Shipbuilding on the Thames. Docklands History Group Symposium. Weston Theatre, Mus. of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. £30-35. For more details

Thursday 17th May. 6.30 pm Wine reception. London archaeologist. UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Sq., WC1H OPY. Slippery when wet. Annual lecture & AGM 7.00 pm given by Jessica Bryan (MOLA) on continuing work on the 7 year Thames Tideway tunnel project. RSVP for reception email Secretary at or write to her at 44 Tantallon Road, London, SW12 8DG Friday 18th May. Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London, N1 7ED. Drinks at 6:30pm for a 7.00 pm start. Free Tideway Community Lecture for The Thames Discovery Programme. More information here Monday 28th May – Sunday 3rd June. Enfield Archaeological Society. Whitsun Dig at Elsyng Palace (Forty Hall) Enfield, EN2 9HA. If you are interested in getting involved contact Field Work Director: Dr Martin Dearne at Also

Thursday 31st May. London History Day – Heritage England event. More than 70 of London’s museums, galleries and cultural spaces will open their doors to reveal special behind the scenes tours, rarely seen exhibits and one off events, celebrating the capital’s unique identity. 2018 is the year of courage, with many special events for London History Day touching on the pioneering spirit, heroism, initiative and kindness layered in our history. Venues include: Barnet Museum (activities related to 1471 Battle of Barnet), British Library, Jewish Museum, London Canal Museum and St. Pancras Int. Station.

Thursday 7th June, 8.00 pm. Pinner Local Hist. Soc. Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner, HA5 1AB Becoming Metroland: How the railways shaped Pinner. Talk by Oliver Green (L.T.Mus) £3.00

Friday 8th June. 8.00 pm. Doors open 7.30. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, Junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane Enfield, EN2 OHJ. Southwark, London, Britannia and Rome’s north-west frontier: some threads to connect? Presidential address by Harvey Sheldon (Also HADAS President) Visitors £1.50 Refreshments

Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th June. Barnet Museum. Barnet Elizabethans R.F.C. Byng Rd, Barnet. Barnet Medieval Festival with a living history camp, battle demonstrations, medieval traders and activities. Local organisations and food stalls. Time to be confirmed.

Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th June. 10.00 am – 5.00 pm Open Garden Squares Weekend. Visit gardens not normally open to the public Organised by London Parks & Gardens Trust. Includes Myddleton House Gardens, Bulls Cross, Enfield, EN2 9GH. Ticket holders get free audio tour. (HADAS did resistivity survey here) Advance tickets £15.00 which includes all gardens for both days.

Monday 11th June. Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet. The High Street: a stroll down memory lane.3.00 pm Talk by John Lynch. Visitors £2.00

Wednesday 13th June. 8.00 pm. Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Rd and Weston Park. The Deer Park of the Bishops of London in Highgate. Talk by Malcolm Stokes. Non members £2.00. Refreshments from 7.40 pm. Latecomers not admitted after 8.00 pm.

Thursday 14th June. 7.30 pm. Barnet Museum. Pennefeather Hall, Christchurch, St. Alban’s Road, Barnet EN5 4LA. Battle of Barnet: right to bear arms, early handguns. Talk by Helen Adams. £5.00 on the door. (Members £3.00) Refreshments

Thursday 14th June 8.00 pm. Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution. 11, Southgate, Highgate, N6 6BS. Scientific advances in archaeology. Talk by Keith Sugden.

Friday 15th June. 7.30 pm Wembley History Society. English Martyr’s Hall, Chalkhill Rd, Wembley, HA8 9EW. Conservation areas at 50 years. Talk by Lester Hillman. Visitors £3.00

Wednesday 20th June. 7.30 pm. Islington Archaeology and History Society, Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. Fantasy Islington. Talk by Lester Hillman on imaginings through the 18th –19th centuries. Visitors £1.00 AGM at 7.00 pm

Saturday 23rd June. 7.00 pm Barnet Museum & Local History Society. Coach outing to Wallingford and Dorchester-on-Thames Abbey. Wallingford is one of England’s oldest market towns, a Saxon Burh and important Thames crossing with a medieval bridge. There are 3 medieval churches, a museum and castle remains. Boat trips are available and there is a steam train, Coach leaves Wallingford at approx. 3.00 pm to visit Dorchester Abbey which has c.14th century wall paintings, medieval font, Jesse medieval stained glass windows and carvings and shrine to St. Birinuis. There is a church museum / tour, tea, driver’s tip incl. in cost of £31.00 Depart from Barnet Everyman Cinema at 8.30 am. Return from Dorchester Abbey c.5.30 pm. Contact Dennis Bird 020 8449 0705. Send cheque to him, payable to Barnet Museum and Local History Society, 87 Hadley High-Stone, Barnet, EN5 4QQ with name, address, phone number and he will ring to confirm.

Tuesday 26th June. 1.50 pm. Mill Hill Historical Society. Guided tour of the Grade 1 listed building, House Mill, Bromley-by-Bow, built in 1776. This is the world’s largest surviving tidal mill. A riverside gem of the early industrial revolution. £5.00 (members £3.00) Meet 1.50 for 2.00 pm at House Mill, Three Mills Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, E3 3DU. Book by 19th June. Send cheque payable to Mill Hill Historical Society & SAE to Julia Haynes, 38 Marion Road, London, NW7 4AN. Contact Julia on 020 8906 0563 or or book online at – (send cheque) For email reply inc your email address, phone no, and no of places reqd.

Wednesday 27th June. 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL. In the footsteps of the famous in Barnet. Talk by Paul Baker. Visitors £2. Refreshments. Thursday 28th June. 8.00 pm. Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Rd, N3 3QE. Annual General Meeting. Non members £2.00 Refreshments

Friday 29th June. 11.00 am Bentley Priory Museum. Mansion House Drive, Stanmore, HA7 3HT.
Secret War: RAF Tempsford and the S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) Talk by Debbie Land £3.00

With grateful thanks to this month’s contributors: Deidre Barrie, Alec Jeakins, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams, Frances Radford, Suzanne Taylor, Paul Wernick
Next Editor: –
Melvyn Dresner

Copy to him by May 18th, please.
Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, Herts EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350) email:
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076) email:
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076) email:
Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London NW7 4JL (020-8959 6419) e-mail:
Discussion Group: http:/


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No. 565 APRIL 2018 Edited by Peter Pickering

Precedence this month must be given to this most typical picture of DOROTHY NEWBURY who died on 13th February. Much more about her inside.

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming Lectures and Events.

Tuesday 10th April 2018: The Greater London Historical Environment Record’, by Stuart Cakebread. The Greater London Historical Environment Record was formerly known as the Sites and Monuments Record and is part of Historic England’s Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service. Stuart has been its manager for over eleven years. The Record is the basis for all archaeological research in London. It is used constantly by professional and amateur archaeologists, by academic and other researchers and by consultants working for local authorities and developers. It has to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Stuart will tell us all about it.

Tuesday 8th May 2018: ‘The archaeology of World war One” by Mark Smith.

Tuesday 12th June 2018: Annual General Meeting.

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September 2018: Trip to East Anglia. This is full, but there is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October 2018:’Unrolling Egyptian Mummies in Victorian London’ by Gabriel

Tuesday 13th November 2018: To be confirmed.

Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8pm,
with coffee/tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members: £2. Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10-minute walk away.


Are you interested in a visit to the London Mithraeum? If so, please put Thursday 10th May 2018 in your diary. Entry is free but must be booked; and getting there is free to those with freedom or other passes. We could possibly meet in the morning for another nearby attraction, and visit the Mithraeum in the afternoon, which apparently takes about 45 minutes. Email if you would like to go. If enough people are interested, more definite details will appear in the May HADAS Newsletter. Here is the website:

Dorothy Newbury

As was reported in the March newsletter, Dorothy Newbury died on February 13th, the day before her 98th birthday. Many HADAS members attended her funeral at Golders Green Crematorium on 7th March and afterwards reminisced at the Five Bells in East End Road. Here is what our former
Chairman, Andrew Selkirk, had to say: –
Dorothy Newbury was born on the 15th February 1920 and christened Dorothy Adelaide Law. She
was born in Bishops Stortford where her father, who was always known as Bonar Law, was the company secretary of the Bishop Stortford and Hertfordshire Gas Company. He was very keen on bowls and she remembered him all dressed up going to the bowling club. Dorothy was the youngest of three. She had a sister who was 12 years older and a brother who was born in 1916: she suspected that she may have been a ‘mistake’. Her two 2 elder siblings were both quite brainy and passed the scholarship exam, but she was always a bit of a rebel and didn’t like school, so she didn’t even take the scholarship exam and left school at 14.

She joined a wholesale grocer in Bishops Stortford, Alfred Button and Sons, who supplied groceries to Holland and Barrett and who were later taken over by Budgens, the supermarket group. She learnt shorthand and typing, and she learnt to operate the Burroughs adding machine, an early form of computer where you entered the amount on the keyboard, inserted a ledger card and pulled a handle.

From this sprang her knowledge of accountancy and her canniness with figures which stood her in
such good stead in her later business life and running the affairs of HADAS. She stayed there four years until she was sacked. She was still a bit of a rebel and when one day her boss spat into the waste paper basket she said, ‘You dirty pig’ and was sacked for her insolence.

She then went to work in a hatchery where eggs were placed under light to see if they were fertile: the ones that were went onto the hatchery and those that weren’t were sold to the local canteen. Her best friend also worked in the canteen and she soon joined her. The war by this time had broken out and the canteen became a soldier’s canteen and it was here that she met Jack.

Jack was six months older than she, was having been born in October 1919. He was born in
Bloomsbury and brought up in Golders Green where his father was a compositor on the Evening News and his sister worked on the News Chronicle. His father had begun life as a stand-up comedian and at one time worked with a partner called Charlie Chaplin. His partner suggested they should go off to America to seek their fortune, but Jack’s mother insisted that he stay at home and complete his apprenticeship. So, Charlie Chaplin went off to Hollywood and fame, and Jack’s father went off to printing and the News Chronicle. He was also very keen on sport, and at one time played football for Chelsea — admittedly during the First World War.

It was perhaps inevitable that Jack himself became a printer, so he served a 7-year apprenticeship for which his father paid £100 and emerged as a full-fledged compositor. When the war broke out, he was called up into the Royal Signals where he became a teleprinter operator.

He was notorious for being the scruffiest soldier in the army — Dorothy said that she never saw him in full uniform and he always seemed to be wearing sandals, which were not exactly proper dress for a soldier. What he did have however was a car, a red Morris 10 and he drove over from the camp at Much Hadham to the canteen at Bishop’s Stortford. Dorothy fancied him from the start. She was at the time engaged to an airman, but the airman was soon thrown over and she became engaged to Jack instead.

Even though Jack never progressed beyond the rank of Private in the army, he was nevertheless
considered a good catch: he was lively, he was good company, he was very good at his job — and he
had a red Morris! (The car belonged to his father, but since his father never learnt to drive, Jack ‘borrowed’ the car.) Eventually however Jack was to be posted abroad and so in a great hurry they decided to get married in order, they said, to claim the marriage allowance. Neither dared tell their parents, and so they were married in secret in a registry office and their parents were not told till four years later at the end of the war. They had a very brief honeymoon, travelling up to London to see Blythe Spirit at the Savoy, Jack for once looking semi respectable in a green tweed suit. They then drove down to St Ives.

Jack had fitted up his car with two petrol tanks, the usual one being used for normal petrol — very hard to get — but at the back there was a special hidden tank which was filled with army pink petrol. The trip down to St Ives was made on army pink petrol. (Shortly before this, the pink petrol had caused some problems. One of the officers took umbrage to the fact that Jack had a car, and he only had a bike, so he instigated a search and found the tank and the army petrol. Jack was put under close arrest and marched through the streets of Bishops Stortford. Dorothy witnessed the whole procedure and didn’t bat an eyelid, but Jack was fined 3 days’ pay. However, some weeks later the officer asked if he could borrow the car to take his girlfriend back to London. Jack duly obliged, and thereafter continued to use Army petrol without fear or favour.)

After the honeymoon they parted. Jack was sent out to Singapore, but on the journey out, Singapore fell to the Japanese, so Jack went on to Ceylon where he spent the rest of the war. On the way, however, he stopped off in Durban where he was billeted on a family in the suburb of Hillary. The family treated him like royalty, which is why, when they came to set up their press, they called it the Hillary Press.

Back in England, Dorothy went to work on a farm. She had always wanted to work on a farm, but
her parents thought that farm work was demeaning, and the only proper work was office work. But
now freed from parental constraints, she was able to achieve her ambition and she worked on a farm in Harlow looking after pigs, boiling up pig swill on a solid fuel boiler. She always maintained that pigs are clean animals and are greatly maligned in popular parlance.

After that she moved to the Post Office. She took a course at Brentwood School and became a
telephone engineer. She also learnt to drive a little green Post Office van. She was given a week to learn to drive, which she duly did, and she spent the rest of the war maintaining telephones in Hertfordshire and Essex. On one occasion she went to fix up a phone for a colonel, but she arrived when the colonel was changing, and he opened the door stark naked. ‘I’ve come to fix the phone’ said Dorothy, nonplussed at seeing such a splendid figure of military masculinity. ‘In there’ said the colonel, waving to the study, impressed by the fine display of female fortitude. Dorothy duly installed his phone. She also fixed many phones in the American camps. At one she was accosted by a jet black American soldier wearing skin tight trousers. ‘Would you like some chocolate?’ he asked. Yes please, said Dorothy, but when he extracted the chocolate from his trousers, it had become moulded to the shape of his legs. Dorothy ate it notwithstanding.

Then in 1945 the war came to an end, and Jack returned from Ceylon and was put onto training
teleprinter operators. ‘You are the scruffiest soldier I have ever seen’ said the officer, ‘but as you are a trainer, I suppose I will have to make you a lance corporal’. But his new rank only lasted a very short time, as he was demobbed soon after. Reunited once again, they finally confessed to their parents that they were, in fact, married, and went to live with Jack’s parents in Golders Green. His mother saw to it that Dorothy slept separately in the room downstairs. It was not altogether a happy arrangement as his mother’s bridge partners in Golders Green did not altogether approve of the secret marriage — and Dorothy was still considered to be something of a wild young thing.

But they determined to set up their own printing works and they opened a factory of one room behind a barber’s shop in Cricklewood Broadway; they called it the Broadway Press. Downstairs they had a hand-fed Platen which Dorothy learned to operate, while Jack had a room in the loft approached by a ladder where he did all the composing. The business expanded, and they were able to buy a house in Dallas Road, Hendon. Then they moved the business to West Hendon Broadway where they acquired a second printing machine and they acquired their first employee — Harry Hill — an elderly compositor to whom Jack had originally been apprenticed. At first Jack had a partner, but the partner spent more time in the pub than at the press, so Jack and Dorothy bought him out for £125. ‘You’ll last three months — if you’re lucky’ was his parting comment. That was nearly 70 years ago.

Then came their big breakthrough: they secured the printing business of F W Kahn, a firm in St
Martins-le-Grand. The business was a good one, supplying programmes to cinemas. In those days,
cinemas supplied a programme to every customer describing the film, and this became a steady regular weekly run supplying programmes to cinemas all over north London.

In 1949 they moved into a small factory/stable in West Hendon belonging to the Gas Light and Coal
Company. Later they later bought it for £8000, but soon after the Council compulsorily purchased the site for £14,000 and knocked it down. The site is just being redeveloped- 70 years later. They looked around for new premises, and Dorothy spotted that the Hendon Times in Church Road, Hendon was moving out of its printing works, and that the premises were for sale. Dorothy bargained the price down to £45,000, which meant that they had to find £31,000. The bank refused a loan even though they had never had an overdraft and always paid their bills on time, but luckily the Eagle Star Insurance Co stepped in with a loan that took them 13 years to pay back. At the latest valuation, the site is now worth £2.75m.

It proved a wonderful move, with turnover up 100% in three months. They added machines and
equipment, always paying for the last before buying the next, with Dorothy keeping a firm hand on
the finances. They never had a salesman, but Dorothy flirted with all the customers — except when
they were late in their payments, when she turned into a dragon. The firm expanded rapidly until
eventually they employed some 24 people. It proved to be a highly successful partnership with Jack doing the printing and Dorothy looking after the financial side.

At first, they lived in a flat in Llanvanor Road, but soon they purchased their first house in Dallas Road. Then around 1963 Dorothy looked around for a house close to the factory, as Dallas Road was due to be compulsorily purchased for the ‘new’ Ml motorway embankment, and bought their lovely house in Sunningfields Road, a short walk away from the factory, but overlooking the Sunny Hill Park.

And then there was the family. In 1957 Christopher was born and attended Hendon Prep, then
University College School, then followed his father (a little reluctantly, he says) into the printing trade, studying at the London College of Printing, and since then maintaining all the equipment at the Hillary Press factory, and recently the business. He has one son and spends much of his time involved with the Air Training Corps and joint ownership and maintenance of an old electric train: 1198 “Linda the Lymington Flier”.

In 1960 Marion was born. She was educated at South Hampstead High School and trained as a
physiotherapist, married a doctor, who is now a GP in Bishops Waltham and has become the proud
mother of three children, so Dorothy has four grandchildren in all.

This was a time when Dorothy bloomed and excelled as a director of Hillary Press, managing the
finances and collecting the cash. Woe betide any customer who was late paying without a good
excuse! She also found time to keep fit and Jack called her ‘Max Wall’ in her leotard and tights. She had a great love of cooking and collected all 72 issues of the Cordon Bleu cookery magazine. And she did her best to convert a ‘meat and two veg man’ to the joys of foreign cooking.

Then with the children growing up Dorothy entered into the third great part of her life when she joined HADAS, the Hendon and District Archaeological Society. HADAS was founded in 1961 to investigate the Saxon origins of Hendon, but it expanded steadily under the dynamic leadership of three remarkable women — Brigid Grafton Green, Daphne Lorimer, and then Dorothy.
Dorothy was associated with two activities in particular: the first was the Newsletter, which she, being a printer, soon took over the running and printing. The Newsletter came out monthly and continues to come out monthly, but with a different editor every month. And Dorothy undertook the crucial task of keeping all the editors in order.

And then there was the Minimart: the bring and buy sale held every year in the Autumn which was
vital for the financial side of the society, bringing in regularly £l,500 a year which made all the difference between profit and loss. Dorothy organised everything. She spent the year collecting materials until eventually both the garage and the front room of the house were taken over, and the family breathed a sigh of relief when the Minimart was over, and they could reclaim the space in the house. Then there was also the lunch supplied by members, with Dorothy contributing glorious quiches and unfeasibly huge meringues.

Dorothy at the Minimart

Dorothy also became the programme secretary, arranging the programmes and outings, notably the
three-day long weekend where every year HADAS visited a distant part of the country, going even as far as Orkney and the Isle of Man. There were Christmas outings too, and the fabulous Roman Banquet which she and others organised following a Roman cookery course. This was followed up by a Turkish banquet with belly dancers.

I only came in towards the end when the previous Chairman, Councillor Jarman retired and I was
parachuted in to become the Chairman. And Dorothy was absolutely wonderful, she looked after me,
and kept me in order, and told me what I ought to do. I don’t know how I would have managed without Dorothy.

Eventually her life was crowned by the well-deserved award of an MBE for all her services to HADAS and to the community. She went up to the Palace escorted by a member of the Royal Household staff because of her poor sight. She remained slightly worried that the whole thing was a hoax, until she actually received her medal. At her retirement party she delighted us by saying how much she had enjoyed her 30 years at the Society and that she hoped she had not been too rude to too many people.

She continued to do the books for the business until failing eyesight and the increasing effects of dementia took hold. Jack ‘stepped up to the plate’, looking after her until his accident in 2011 when the amazing team of carers assumed his role, caring for both with Christopher and Marion keeping an eye on it all.

Good humour and a positive attitude made much of what was to follow bearable, and for a short
time, love seemed to blossom again as Dorothy forgot all the arguments and battles of the previous 72 years and she and Jack could be found dancing around the kitchen.

When Jack died in 2014, Dorothy’s main carer Francesca assumed his role, fulfilling that task, ably assisted by Elvan and Grace beautifully until the end. Dorothy had a busy and productive life, a life filled with people who loved her, respected her, and enjoyed her wicked sense of humour (and her cooking).

Who can ask for more?
There is indeed not much more to say, except to emphasise the active role Dorothy took in HADAS’s
digs, especially the epic ones of the Mesolithic site on West Heath, and of the two in Hendon – Church End Farm, and Church Terrace. It was in the course of the Church Terrace dig that human remains were found (and subsequently vandalised); the picture on the next page shows Dorothy looking quizzically at a piece of bone.

Now for some personal memories. Your editor will never forget being being reminded on several
occasions by Dorothy, with a twinkle in her eye, of the time when his wife and he drove to Hatfield for a mediaeval banquet because they thought they had missed the coach only to discover that they had got the date wrong.

Audrey Hooson remembers a Saturday evening telephone call during the West Heath dig:-
Dorothy – Audrey do you and John pass any shops on the way to the dig? We are nearly out of biscuits.
Audrey – No but I will bring some from my cupboard.
Dorothy – Plain biscuits, nothing special or they will eat too many and we can’t afford it.
Sheila Woodward remembers when, on an outing, the HADAS party pulled up at Stonehenge for a
comfort stop. Dorothy insisted that that was the purpose and instructed members not to look at the stones.
If readers have any other reminiscences, the next editor would be happy to hear from you.

Dorothy at the Church Terrace, Hendon Dig 1972/73, discussing how to deal with the human

Membership Renewal – Stephen Brunning (Membership Secretary)

The HADAS membership year runs from 1st April, so all memberships subscriptions are now due for
renewal, apart from those new members who have joined since January this year. Members who pay by standing order/Direct Debit need take no action. The rates remain unchanged.

Anyone who thinks they should have had a Membership Renewal Form or Standing Order Form but
hasn’t received one, anyone who wants to make their membership under Gift Aid and hasn’t already
done so, or anyone who has any question at all about their membership, please contact me (contact
details on back page).

Historic Victorian Milepost in Cricklewood Restored
(This article comes from a press notice by the Cricklewood Railway Terraces Residents Community
Association headed “A Heartening Victory for Local Residents” Does anyone know of other historic
milestones that could do with tender loving care?)

For years, sharp-eyed travellers on the A5 Cricklewood Broadway road might have noticed, as they
come over the rise by Beacon Bingo and the Travelodge, a humble monument set back on the grass
verge of the highway. You’d have had to look closely though – in its deteriorated state, rusting and overhung by a line of London plane trees, this Grade II listed structure didn’t exactly stand out.

The Milestone before restoration

It’s a roadside milepost – a surviving relic from the time of horse-drawn carriages. The A5 here is ancient, once part of a Roman road previously known as Watling Street. Approaching from the south, the milepost reads “Watford 10”. From the north, it reads “London 4”, indicating the distance in miles from the Victorian-era edge of London at Tyburn (modern day Marble Arch).
According to Mike Horne, who runs the historical research site Metadyne and on it keeps an inventory of London mile markers, this cast iron milepost is one of only two between London and Watford that exist in their original positions.

A few local residents from the Cricklewood Railway Terraces, a set of old workers’ cottages which
occupy the land behind the milepost, approached Barnet Council in June 2017 in an effort to have the monument restored.

For a time, it seemed a bit of a lost cause. Jurisdiction was debated as to who at Barnet council was ultimately responsible for the milepost’s upkeep.

Cartographer and local researcher David Wenk was brought in to help draft a letter to Barnet council, which aimed to clearly set out the council’s responsibility for the milepost’s maintenance. This letter was cosigned by Marlene Wardle, chair of the Cricklewood Railway Terraces Residents’ Community Association, and Railway Terraces resident Ramsay Wood.
In the end, Brian Francis, an engineer at Barnet council, agreed to take on the project. A team from the Highways department set out in January of this year to restore the milepost. Adhering to guidance published by The Milestone Society (an organisation dedicated to the preservation and cataloguing of historic mile markers throughout England) Francis’s team undertook a sensitive renovation. They cleared vegetation away, repaired the rusting portions of the milepost, and gave it a handsome new coat of paint.

The results speak for themselves. The milepost, now beautifully restored to its original, sharp black and white colour scheme, has regained its rightful prominence as an important historic marker on the A5 Cricklewood Broadway.

The milepost as seen from the footpath alongside the A5, January 2018.

Protecting the Roman Empire: understanding fortlets and frontiers –
lecture by Matthew Symonds: Sue Willetts

Studies of the Roman army throughout the Empire have understandably been concentrated on the more extensive remains of forts and their associated settlements which has overshadowed the role of smaller military installations such as fortlets and towers. Matthew’s lecture concentrated on fortlets and he explained his ideas on their function but also something of the life of soldiers on duty within them.

Fortlets were small military installations with a masonry or turf and timber fortification (depending on location) which surrounded a yard containing a basic barrack block together with a shrine and lavatory.

They housed a limited number of infantry and cavalry – as small a number as thought necessary would be sent out from the main fort on a rotating duty for several months, possibly for up to a year at a time. These outposts were built according to the local security situation (which may have changed over time of course) and placed to give oversight of strategic positions, such as valleys and rivers. Fortlets were needed to curtail potential raiders / pirates on the frontiers but also within provinces too. In Britain there are examples of fortlets from Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall usually built at a fixed distance between the forts and not always in the best strategic position! A fortlet in Devon, Martinhoe was however particularly well positioned.

In peacetime, fortlet life was probably dull, repetitive and to alleviate boredom the soldiers would most likely indulge in drinking, gambling (and using prostitutes) but there could be a risk of a raid and it might have been difficult to secure backup from a distant fort. It has been suggested that duties included collecting taxes but the evidence does not bear this out – it appears that the men could not have been trusted!

The survival of ostraca (inscriptions on broken pottery) from the site of al-Muwayh (ancient
Krokodilo), one of the stations along the Koptos to Myos Hormos in Egypt’s Eastern Desert is an
important source of first hand evidence of daily life, somewhat similar to the material from the
Vindolanda tablets The documents, both official and private letters (most of them in Greek) include postal registers which show the frequent contact between soldiers in different stations – so not such a lonely life as we might have expected. Interesting details include the password of the day, the transport of fresh fish, mention of bribery, the theft of camels (possibly as many as 50) from a stone quarry, with a party sent to investigate which retreated as well as a lengthy account of an attack on another station.

Matthew’s research has shown that the presence or absence of fortlets in the landscape is something of a barometer for the local security situation: abandonment indicating improved security whereas subsequent constructions imply deteriorating security. This was a very interesting talk which was wide ranging, entertaining and well-illustrated. For more details see his new book: Protecting the Roman Empire: Fortlets, Frontiers, and the Quest for Post-Conquest Security published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan

Wednesday 18th April. 7.30pm. Islington Archaeology and History Society. Islington Town
Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD Rubbish or Ritual – Mediaeval treasure in the River Thames. Talk by
John Clark, who will ask whether items were thrown into the Thames as part of a ceremony. £1
Friday 20th April. 7pm. City of London Archaeological Society. St Olave’s Church Hall, Mark
Lane EC3R 7BB The Rediscovery of Roman London from John Snow to William Stukeley. Talk
by John Clark about the later sixteenth century historians acquiring new knowledge of London’s
origins. Visitors £3. Refreshments after.

Tuesday 24th April. 10.30 am. Enfield Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction Chase
Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. The Enfield Brewery. Talk by Rahul Mulchandani. An independent
Brewery established in Edmonton in 2016; its challenges and successes and why the beer is called
‘Enfield’. £1 Includes free tasting!

Wednesday 25th April. 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North
Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL. Ancient Woodland. Talk
by John Fleetwood (Woodland Trust). Visitors £2. Refreshments.

Thursday 26th April. 8pm. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House East End Road N3
9QE Save our footpaths Campaign – Don’t lose your way Talk by Roger Chapman on the work
currently under way by the Ramblers Association and local societies to ensure that the historic
paths in Finchley are on the definitive map by 2026. Non-members £2.

Wednesday 9th May. 7.45pm. Hornsey Historical Society. Union Church Hall, corner Ferme
Park Road/Weston Park N8 9PX. Mediaeval Pilgrims’ BadgesTalk by Keith Fawkes. Visitors £2.
Refreshments, sales and information from 7.30pm.

Friday 11th May. 7.45pm. Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage
Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ. Roman Sarcophagus from Harper Road Southwark
Talk by Irene Gross (PCA). Visitors £1. Refreshments, sales and information from 7.30pm.
Saturdays 12th and 19th May. 10.30 am and 2.30pm Heath and Hampstead Society. Guided walks
of Hampstead’s Historic Plaques. Led by Julia Male. Taking in the plaques including Ramsay
MacDonald, General de Gaulle, John Constable, George Romney, Marie Stopes, Daphne du Maurier
and John Galsworthy. The morning walks cover the area to the west of Heath Street and the afternoon walks the east and south of Heath Street. The meeting point for all walks is at the entrance to Hampstead Underground station. Each walk will take about two hours, the morning walks ending close to the station and the afternoon walks at Burgh House. The cost of each walk is £10 per person. To reserve a place email and send a cheque for made payable to The Heath and Hampstead Society to Frank Harding, 11 Pilgrims Lane, London NW3 1SJ. Include name, address, telephone number and email and note which walks to book.

Monday 14th May. 3pm. Barnet Museum and Local History Society. Church House, Wood
Street, Barnet (opposite museum). Mind the Gap. Talk by Terence Atkins. Visitors £2.

Wednesday 16th May 7.30pm. Willesden Local History Society. The Grange, Neasden
Roundabout, NW10. The History of the Grange, Neasden. Talk by Vijay Amin. Note venue.

Wednesday 16th May. 8pm. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage
Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ Copped Hall – the Restoration of a Georgian
Mansion. Talk by Vic Knope Talk by Mike Brown. £1 (HADAS did some resistivity and
surveying work here.)

Thursday 17th May. 7.30pm. Barnet Museum and Local History Society. Pennefather Hall,
Christ Church, St Alban’s Road Barnet EN5 4LA Battle of Barnet – More Bangs for your Groats –
Mediaeval Gunpowder and Weapons. talk by Dan Spencer £5 (members 33) on the door.
Refreshments Included

Friday 18th May. 7pm. City of London Archaeological Society. St Olave’s Church Hall, Mark
Lane EC3R 7BB Septimus Severus, first hammer of the Scots. Talk by Dr Simon Elliott on the
story of the largest ever military campaign in Britain. Visitors £3. Refreshments after.

Friday 18th May. 7.30 pm. Wembley History Society English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalkhill Road,
Wembley, HA9 9EW (top of Blackbird Hill, adjacent to church) Collecting Autographs at the
Willesden Hippodrome. Talk by Terry Lomas. Visitors £3. Refreshments

Tuesday 22nd May. 11am. Mill Hill Historical Society. Tour of Marlborough House, guided
through some of the fine rooms and given a history of the building which after being lived in by
dukes and royalty is now home to the Commonwealth Secretariat. Meet 10.50 am for 11 am at the
entrance gate of Marlborough House, Pall Mall, SW1A 1DD. Book by Tuesday 5th May, as
names have to be submitted in advance. Cost £7 (members £5). Send cheque (payable to Mill Hill
Historical Society) and stamped addressed envelope to Julia Haynes, 30 Marion Road, Mill Hill,
London NW7 4AN; contact her on 020 8906 0563, email, or book online
at, (but still need to send cheque}. Members of National Trust,
English Heritage or Historic Houses Association should bring their membership cards. For
lectronic replies provide email address, otherwise give name and telephone number and number
of places requested.

Wednesday 23rd May. 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North
Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL. The Regent’s Canal.
Talk by Roger Squires (London Canal Museum). Visitors £2. Refreshments.

With grateful thanks to this month’s contributors: Andrew Selkirk, Deidre Barrie, Steve
Brunning, Don Cooper, Audrey Hooson, Eric Morgan, Sue Willetts and Sheila Woodward
Next Editor: –
Sue Willetts

Copy to her by April 16th, please.
Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, Herts EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS (020-8449 7076)
Hon. Membership Secretary: Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London NW7
4JL (020-8959 6419) e-mail:
Discussion Group: http:/


By | HADAS, Latest Newsletter, Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

Number 564 MARCH 2018 Edited by Deirdre Barrie


I regret to announce that Dorothy Newbury died at about mid-day on February 13th one day before
her 98th birthday. Funeral Wednesday, the 7th of March 2018 at 2pm at Golders Green Crematorium
see for directions, parking etc.
R.I.P. Dorothy. Please send memories / photos of Dorothy to the next editor who will compile a
special tribute in the next issue. Best wishes, Don Cooper.

Tuesday 13 March at 8pm; Dr Roger Tomlin Roman London’s First Voices; Roman
writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London. ‘Roman London’s First Voices’ are the City’s first
documents, writing-tablets found on the site of the new European headquarters of Bloombergs when
it was excavated by Museum of London Archaeology. The site is famous as that of the Roman
temple of Mithras, which was demolished in 1954, but has now been rebuilt by Bloombergs. It is on
the west bank of the Walbrook, which the Romans crossed as they expanded from Cornhill towards
Ludgate Hill. The deep river-silts have preserved a wealth of organic material, notably stylus tablets
which have lost their waxed coating but can still be read from residual scratches in the wood. These
Bloomberg tablets are scraps of business correspondence and memoranda from the first half-century
of Roman London, including a promissory note dated 8 January 57, the earliest financial document
from the City of London.

Roger Tomlin, retired Lecturer in Late-Roman History at Oxford, has for many years been editor of
‘Roman Inscriptions of Britain’, in which capacity he has published new discoveries – not only
stone inscriptions, but graffiti of all kinds and writing-tablets like these from Bloomberg. He has
published them as Roman London’s First Voices: Writing tablets from the Bloomberg excavations,
2010–14 (2016), but has also just published Britannia Romana: Roman Inscriptions and Roman
Britain (2017). He has never been to Hendon, but he was attracted by the Society’s invitation
because his father was born there, a century ago. NB p.9. LAMAS conference – afternoon session

Tuesday 10 April 2018 at 8pm: Stuart Cakebread The Greater London Historical
Environment Record.

Tuesday 8 May 2018 at 8pm: Mark Smith The archaeology of World War One

Tuesday 12 June 2018 at 8pm; ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Monday 17th to Friday 21st September – HADAS Trip to East Anglia. The trip is
now full, but there is a waiting list.

Tuesday 9th October at 8pm: Gabriel Moshenka Unrolling Egyptian mummies in
Victorian London (Gabe is well known to HADAS through his help with various
fieldwork projects)

Tuesday 13 November 2018: TO BE CONFIRMED

Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8 pm, with coffee/tea afterwards. Non-members admission: £2; Buses 13, 125, 143, 326, 382 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10 minute walk away.
Subscriptions for the year 2018/19 are now due If you pay by cheque, please find a renewal form with this newsletter. Members who joined after 1st January 2018 need take no action as your payment is good until 31st March 2019.

January Lecture – “ The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex” by Professor Christopher Scull Write-up by Jim Nelhams

Prittlewell is on the north side of Southend-on-Sea. When widening a road in 2003, an archaeological survey was carried out by MoLAS (now MoLA) on a barrow. This discovered a wooden chamber containing many archaeological finds and a high-status burial.

The chamber measured four metres square with a depth of about one and a half metres. It was lined with oak, with a wooden floor covered by rush matting and with metal hooks around the wall. The oak roof had partly collapsed and some flooding had occurred.

The exact date has not been determined, but is late 6th or early 7th century. A number of other high-status Saxon burials from this period are known, the most prominent being at Sutton Hoo, which is of a very high status person. Prittlewell is slightly lower in status but thought to be of a young, as-yet-unidentified prince.
Two unique gold foil crosses, which would have covered the eyes, indicated that this was a Christian burial, possibly the earliest found in Britain. The date is almost certainly before St Augustine arrived in Canterbury.

It is planned to exhibit a reproduction of the chamber, possibly in a bespoke museum, in Southend. The full analysis by MOLA is scheduled for publication later in 2018.

Reconstruction of the burial chamber showing many of the items found, many in situ, which include the coffin made of ash boards, which had been covered in textiles, the burial clothing with some metal fittings, a sword and shield, two spears and an arrow, a spoon, an iron folding stool with a leather seat, and assorted crockery and drinking vessels.

Preparation for a training day to be provided by HADAS to members of the Birkbeck Archaeological Society – Robin Densem
Through the good offices of Melvyn Dresner, Bill Bass has helped prepared a programme for a practical archaeology training day to be provided by HADAS on 24th March 2018 for members of the Birkbeck Archaeological Society (BAS).Some members of HADAS assembled at Stephens House on 11th February 2018 to prepare for the training day.

The photograph shows the HADAS team making preparation “in the field”, at Stephens House gardens.

It is envisaged that HADAS will include material on at least some of the following:
 The work and role of HADAS
 How one can get involved in archaeology
 The archaeology of Barnet and Hendon
 Archaeological fieldwork techniques including practical sessions on surveying on site and carrying out a resistivity survey
 Post-excavation work including finds, reports and archiving.

The programme is subject to finalisation and will to some extent be weather dependent!

Are the boundaries right? Number 1 East Finchley Roger Chapman

When Barnet Council determines whether archaeology is likely to be a consideration in determining a planning application in the Borough, one of the key maps the planners use is the proposals map of the Local Plan which has marked on it ‘Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance’. You can find this map at:
Barnet, with assistance from English Heritage (via the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service – GLAAS), the Museum of London and the Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS), has identified five prehistoric, four Roman and thirty medieval sites containing archaeological remains of more than local importance. These have been grouped into nineteen ‘Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance’.

The Local plan will be reviewed in the next few years. Development pressures will increase markedly, with a forecast 20% population increase by 2041.
HADAS needs to know if the areas identified are the correct ones, and also to build up evidence to support a case where we think boundaries should be changed. Over coming months we will look at all of the areas of special archaeological significance in the borough, and this month we start with East Finchley.
East Finchley

This Area of Special Archaeological Significance (ASAS) (now known as Archaeological Priority Areas APAs) consists of two sections:
a) East End (western area):
A medieval hamlet is located here, which is believed to have developed in the 14th century. The East End Road was an ancient road connecting the hamlet with the hamlet at Church End.
b) Park Gate (eastern area):
East End and Park Gate, mentioned respectively in 1365 and 1375 AD, together formed a scattered hamlet where the East End Road met the Great North road. The traditional village centre was located at Market Place, which held a hog market in the 18th century.

Fig: 2 The designated ASAS for East Finchley

Source: accessed 29.10.2017.

Looking at historic mapping such as John Roques 1754 map (see below), it looks like the ‘Park Gate (eastern area boundary) needs to be redrawn, as it does not cover the historic Market Place core. Historic Mapping.

A topographical Map of the County of Middlesex by John Roque 1754

Would you agree? Do you know East Finchley? Have you got any more information we could
use to develop the evidence base for the importance and boundaries of this ASAS?

If you do agree, please let me know by sending me an email:

Frodsham Trip – Last day Jim Nelhams

After lots of time on our feet in Chester and Liverpool, time to head homewards and rest our legs with Dave Ketley at the wheel of our Galleon. Quite a long way to London, so three stops on route – a mill with two working water wheels, an unusual church and a battlefield.

Driver Dave Ketley, with HADAS mascot Ted, and his friends
Archie and PC Edward Bruin Walker.

Thanks to everybody on the trip for your support, humour and patience. Judging by the number signed up for 2018, it cannot have been too bad.
Thanks also to all those who have taken the time to provide interesting and comprehensive notes and photos covering the places visited – Jon and Vicki Baldwin, Deirdre Barrie, Jean Bayne, Claudette Carlton, Don Cooper, Audrey Hooson, Sylvia Javes, Kevin McSharry, Dudley Miles, Brenda Pershouse, Peter Pickering, David and Emma Robinson, Andy Simpson, Liz Tucker, Micky Watkins, Stewart Wild and Simon Williams

Cheddleton Flint Mill by Don Cooper

I was particularly looking forward to visiting the Cheddleton Flint Mill, because of its association with the North Staffordshire potteries. Although crushed flint seems to have been added to early medieval pots to help them to survive in the kilns, calcified crushed flint came into its own in the 1700s or thereabouts. Calcination is the process of heating, in this case flint, to a temperature of 1100° degrees plus, to break down its crystalline structure to make it easier to crush and grind. The crushed flint was not only added to the clay to improve its strength and quality, but because its purity meant it was very white it was used as a slip for coating red earthenware vessels.

The two working waterwheels at Cheddleton
The process at Cheddleton started with the delivery of nodules of flint. The flint mostly came from the South-East of England often from the beaches under the white cliffs of Dover. The nodules were then taken by ship to the ports served by the Trent and Mersey Canal and its offshoot the Caldon Canal which passes the Cheddleton Flint Mill.

Narrowboat on the Caldon Canal with HADAS onlookers

The flint was unloaded and placed in the kiln (there were three kilns at Cheddleton) and heated until it was calcified.

The remains of the kilns at Cheddleton © Vicki Baldwin
The flint nodules were then placed in a grinding pan filled with water to keep the dust down. The base of the grinding pan was paved with chert stones and the waterwheel drove around arms (called “Runners”) attached to a spindle to effect the grinding action.

The grinding pan

After the flint has been ground to a slurry, the water is drawn off and the resultant “paste” is shipped to the potteries by narrowboat for use in the body of ceramic vessels, and also as a slip to produce the characteristic white ware of the time.

The above is a simplified account of the process carried out at Cheddleton Mill during roughly a century from 1720. However, the Cheddleton Mill has a much longer history. In 1253 there is a water mill recorded there; and in 1580 there are two mills under one roof, one for grinding corn and one for fulling (washing woollen cloth). The mill operated under various guises up until 1963. It came under the Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust in 1967. Much of the information in this article is taken from their February 2002 publication.
During our visit the grinding pan was working, albeit driven by an electric motor, and our very knowledgeable guide told us the history of the mill. What an excellent visit!
Bibliography: “The Story of pottery Materials” published by The Cheddleton Flint Mill Industrial Heritage Trust (February 2002).

St Giles Church Cheadle (Staffordshire) Peter Pickering

To those of us who think of churches as basically grey stone buildings, enlivened by some stained-glass windows and perhaps a statue or two or a faded wall painting, St Giles Cheadle was an unexpected – and maybe even unwelcome – revelation. It is covered in colourful decoration. We gasped as we trooped into the church as the last but one stop on our return to London.
There was another party being taken round by a talkative guide; some tacked on for a bit, while others left the church in short order to slake their thirst. But most stayed to marvel at the opulence of a building dating not all that long after Catholic emancipation, the wealth of its patron the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the single-minded and very knowledgeable evocation of the mediaeval church by its architect, Augustus Welby Pugin (who among so much else in his short life designed the fixtures and fittings of the Houses of Parliament).

How different the architecture of this church, all intended to evoke mystery and adoration, from that of the Catholic cathedral we had seen the previous day with its central altar; Pugin would have abominated that, and if he had known that Catholic services were to be in English, …..

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park Deirdre Barrie

The site of the Battle of Bosworth has come a long way since the far-off days when an understandably irritable farmer used to ask devotees of Richard III please to get off his fields. At a first glance the multi-award-winning Centre looks like an isolated group of farm buildings.

However, it contains a compact exhibition with interactive exhibits, dramatically lighted costumed figures, an array of weapons, and a film about the battle, as well as a café, conference room, shop and car parking. Gone are the days of typed tickets in dusty glass cases. There is something here to interest everyone, from young children to serious historians.
The family trees and relative claims of Richard III and Henry VII are analysed. Short films of actors playing various 15th C characters tell of their experience of the battle and how they fared afterwards. There is a dramatic, short film about the battle itself. We had no time for the circular Battlefield Trail, which leads to attractive and historic villages in the area.
Apparently Henry VII later raised an alabaster tomb over Richard’s grave – it is suggested that by leaving the king’s body at Leicester, Henry was avoiding a cult.
The battlefield site itself was lost and rediscovered “after several years of careful study and fieldwork” as not being on Ambion Hill as was long thought, but 2.5 km to the west. The exhibition ends with an account of the peaceful 118 years of Tudor rule after the Battle.

OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS compiled by Eric Morgan
Saturday 10th March 2018, Museum of London. Morning session: Recent Work, and Afternoon session: The Bloomberg Site Tickets on sale now. £15.00 before 1st March, then £17.50 Programme
Wednesday 14th March, 7.45 pm, Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, Ferme Park Road/ Weston Park N8, 9PX, Archaeology and Technology in London’s Lea Valley – Did One Influence the Other? Talk by Dr Jim Lewis. Visitors £2.
Monday 19th March, 8 pm, Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/ Chase Side, Enfield EN2 OAJ, Enfield’s Railway History Part 3: Trains and the Piccadilly Line. Talk by Dave Cockle.
Wednesday 4th April, 8pm. Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society, Wealdstone Baptist Church Hall, High Street, Wealdstone. Cassiobury Park. Talk by Paul Rabbitts. Visitors £3.
Thursday 5th April, 7.30 pm Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 ILT, Tunnels Under Holborn. Talk by Antony Clayton. From some of the earliest tube tunnels and the “ghost” station of British Museum, to WWII tunnels and modern bunkers, including Kingsway Telephone Exchange and some of the so-called “secret” tunnels in the area, will be explored. Visitors £1.
Monday 9th April, 3 pm. Barnet Museum and Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite Museum) Who Put the “Bath” in Bath Place? Talk by Andrew Beach, Visitors £3.
Friday 13th April, 7.45 pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 OAJ. Excavations and Fieldwork of E.A.S. 2017. Talk by Dr Martin Dearne (Enfield Archaeological Society), preceded by AGM. Visitors £1. Refreshments/sales/info, 7.30 pm.
Saturday 14th April, 1.30 pm, Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Pennefather Hall, Christchurch, St Albans Rd., Barnet EN5 4LA. Battle of Barnet: Painting the Roses at War. Talk by Graham Turner. Tickets in advance from Barnet Museum, 31 Wood St, Barnet, EN5 4BE. Tel. 020 8440 8066, or e-mail ; or on the door, £5 (members £3) refresh-ments included.
ALSO Saturday 14th April, Barnet 1471 Battlefields Society Medieval Banquet, Church House,
2 Wood St. Barnet. Four-course meal, opportunity to re-enact and dress up in medieval costume (prize for best-dressed). To book, e-mail Liz at Tickets £49.50 each.
Wednesday 18th April, 6 pm, Gresham College at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. The Birth of Modern Theatreland – Covent Garden and the two Theatres Royal. Talk by Simon Thurley, looking at the significance and impact of these great institutions on the development of London since since Charles II. Free.
With big thanks to this month’s contributors: Vicki Baldwin, Bill Bass, Roger Chapman; Don Cooper, Robin Densem, Eric Morgan; Jim Nelhams; Peter Pickering.

Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman: Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams 61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Membership Sec: Stephen Brunning, 1, Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London NW7 4JL (020 8959 6419) e-mail:
Join the HADAS email discussion group via the website at:


By | Latest Newsletter, Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

Number 563 FEBRUARY 2018 Edited by Andy Simpson


Tuesday 13 February at 8pm Dr Matthew Symonds. ‘Protecting the Roman Empire:
understanding fortlets and frontiers’.

The Roman army enjoys an enviable reputation as an instrument of waging war, but as the modern
world reminds us, an enduring victory requires far more than simply winning battles. When it came
to suppressing insurgencies, or deterring the depredations of bandits, the army frequently deployed small groups of infantry and cavalry based in fortlets. This remarkable installation type has never previously been studied in detail, and shows a new side to the Roman army. Rather than displaying the aggressive uniformity for which the Roman military is famous, individual fortlets were usually bespoke installations tailored to local needs. Examining fortlet use in north-west Europe helps explain the differing designs of the Empire’s most famous artificial frontier systems, including Hadrian’s Wall and the Upper German and Raetian limites. The archaeological evidence will be integrated with documentary sources, which disclose the gritty reality of life in a Roman fortlet.

Tuesday 13 March at 8pm; Dr. Roger Tomlin Roman London’s First Voices;
Roman writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London

Tuesday 10 April 2018 at 8pm: Stuart Cakebread The Greater London Historical
Environment Record

Tuesday 8 May 2018 at 8pm: Mark Smith The archaeology of World War One

Tuesday 12 June 2018 at 8pm; ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Tuesday 9th October at 8pm: Gabriel Moshenka Unrolling Egyptian mummies in
Victorian London (Gabe is well known to HADAS through his help with various
fieldwork projects)

Tuesday 13 November 2018: TO BE CONFIRMED

Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3
3QE, and start promptly at 8 pm, with coffee/tea afterwards. Non-members admission: £2; Buses
13, 125, 143, 326, 382 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central station (Northern Line), is a 5-10
minute walk away.
Honour for HADAS member Don Cooper

We are pleased to announce that Jacqui Pearce has been elected as President of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA). Jacqui, who is a HADAS member, also teaches our course on finds processing, which is run at Stephens House (formerly Avenue House) every Wednesday evening during term time. Jacqui’s day job is as a Senior Finds Specialist with Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) working on finds from excavations in London. Jacqui is also the author of many books on the artefacts of the Post-Medieval period. We wish her well in her new (additional!) role.

Joanna Corden

Sad news from James Corden – his wife Joanna M Corden, formerly archivist at London Borough of Barnet and The Royal Society, passed away on 16 December 2017, aged 70, a month after suffering a severe stroke. She was born in Bologna on 5 August 1947 and had only just retired. She always enjoyed HADAS and history in general; she leaves a family.

November Lecture – The Hunting of Hephzibah Jim Nelhams

Faced with the late withdrawal of our booked speaker, I offered to fill in and update HADAS on the Story of Hephzibah.

In newsletter 418, January 2006, I noted how we had discovered Hephzibah WILLOWS, Jo’s half great aunt. Hephzibah was the daughter of Jo’s great grandfather, William Willows, from his first marriage, and was born late in 1842 in Cambridgeshire. Her existence does not seem to have been known to later generations, and she may not have had any contact with her father after he re-married.

By 2006, we had found that Hephzibah had married, had two children, Ethel and Sidney, and in 1881 the family was living near Wakefield in Yorkshire. But there the track went cold.
In newsletter 475, October 2010, I was able to give an update. The story had moved on when we found that Hephzibah and her family emigrated to Australia in 1883. Ethel married a gentleman named Jesse Dyer in 1903 and lived to the age of 95. We found her grandson, Norman, and during a trip to Australia met and stayed with him. When we visited his cousin Duncan, we found that Duncan had a photograph of Hephzibah. We also found Hephzibah’s grave.

Photos of Hephzibah, Ethel and Jesse Dyer taken about 1905

At this point, Norman and Duncan knew the origin of their great grandmother, Hephzibah, but had no information about their grandfather Jesse. We still had work to do. The lecture gave me the opportunity to illustrate the wide variety of information about ordinary people, a lot of it available online or in local archives.

The story moves on. Matching information from Jesse’s death certificate showed that he came from a village called Hailey, just to the north of Witney in Oxfordshire. His father, William Dyer, was a farmer with several other sons, eldest Robert, and a daughter. On a visit to the churchyard in Hailey, we found seven family graves. Robert had a daughter named Ada Frances, so with those unusual names, I started to trace her line. In 1898, Ada Frances (also known as Ada Fanny) married Ernest John Chandler, a tailor from Derbyshire, at the church in Hailey.

How they met, we do not know, but their first son was born a year later in Bromley, and in 1901 they had settled in Southall, Middlesex.

By the 1911 census, they had moved to Ealing and had five more children. Two of the brothers died in a motor cycle accident in Inverness in 1929, so I found myself looking at Robert Storer Chandler. The records show that Robert married in 1925 and had three children, Monica, Robert Hugh and Rosemary. At this point, loud bells were ringing, so I had Jo check my entries and conclusions. All looked correct.

Then in 1959, Robert Hugh Chandler married Patricia Ann Willows at the registry office in Ealing. The couple had two daughters.

We started in the Cambridgeshire village of Coton, traced Hephzibah, daughter of William Willows, via Wakefield to Australia where her daughter Ethel married Jesse Dyer. Jesse came from the Oxfordshire village of Hailey. Jesse’s brother’s great grandson, Robert Hugh Chandler married Patricia Ann Willows in Ealing in 1959. And Patricia Ann Willows was the great granddaughter of William Willows from his second marriage, and Jo’s sister.

Thus Robert’s and Patricia’s two children were related to Norman in Australia both through their mother and their father.

Excavations at Hendon School, Golders Rise, Hendon, London, NW4 2HP.
Site Code: GDR17, NGR TQ 23610 89011, June 2017. Bill Bass

This is a report on excavations and student outreach involving HADAS and University College London’s Institute of Archaeology (IoA). Following on from previous work at the school between 2006 and 2012, it was decided to revive the project to give another set of school students an experience of archaeology and the disciplines that go with it, together with a history of the area. It also gave an opportunity for students of the IoA to gain additional practical archaeological and teaching practice, and it gave HADAS a further chance to find out more about the Roman and Medieval material that was found here in the previous digs mentioned below.

Emma Densham (IoA) organised a timetable of various archaeological activities with the school and liaised with her fellow students on supervision of the school pupils with the aim of showing the pupils (Year 10 mainly) details of the techniques of archaeology such as – What is archaeology? Why are we digging here? How to excavate/record sites, finds processing and similar themes. For further background information on the IoA/student perspective please see the article featuring Emma Densham in September’s 2017 HADAS Newsletter (Archaeology Today – A student view).
HADAS supplied volunteers from the Fieldwork Team who helped supervise and excavate. We also provided the tools and material for the dig.

Dig background

Previous digs at Hendon School include – 2006 (HDS06), 2007 (HDS06), 2008 (HDS06), 2009 (HDS06), 2010 (HDS06), 2011 (HDS06), 2012 (HDS06). These have been reported in HADAS Newsletters and in the dig archive.

But a brief recap; some of the trenches have contained small amounts of Roman pottery, most have had a fair scattering of medieval pottery – fairly substantial in some cases, there is always an amount of post-medieval pottery and building material.

In most cases the pottery sherds are small in nature and abraded/worn possibly found in a plough soil, none have so far been associated with a feature – pit, ditch or gulley etc.
There are known pockets of Saxon and Medieval occupation in The Burroughs and Church End areas of Hendon. Does Brent Street and Bell Lane near to Hendon School represent a further medieval hamlet, the finds of which are found along the northern boundary of Hendon School playing field? Usually at these sites there is a scattering or background ‘noise’ of Roman material, is there an occupation site in the area?

John Norden (1548-1625), cartographer to Elizabeth I built a substantial structure – Hendon House. The gardens and orchards stretched eastwards, the house was just beyond the vicinity of the current school building, but the gardens stretched onto land occupied by the school and playing field.


For the 2017 campaign a 6m x 2m trench (trench 1) was laid along the northern boundary of the playing field adjacent to the tall chain-link ‘catch fencing’, a further two 0.50cm x 2m test-pits were excavated just to the west of the main trench.

Trench 1.
The turf and topsoil, was approx 30-40cm in depth from the 61.70 OD level. The brown silty/sand and clay layer context [100/101] produced a wide mixture of finds including modern to Roman in date. They were composed of pottery, small amounts of tobacco pipe, building materials – brick/tile, glass, iron, pre and post decimal coins, some animal bone and modern plastics/tin-cans etc.
Pottery included Transfer Printed wares (TPW) 1780-1900, Post-Medieval Redwares (PMR) 1580-1900, small amounts of Tin-glazed wares (TGW) 1570-1746 and Borderwares 1550-1700, Stoneware sherds of both the German and English varieties were noted – a part of a jar was inscribed “HARTLEY LONDON” 18th or 19th centuries.

Medieval pottery consisted of varieties of early (1050-1200) and coarse (1170-1350) South Herts wares (SHER), Coarse Border Wares (CBW) (1270-1500). A total of 17 sherds of medieval pottery were recovered from context [100/101] in the form of rims, body sherds and bases. They were mainly small sherds and abraded.

Several sherds of Roman pot were identified, notably a body sherd of Colour-Coated Beaker from Trier (50-400AD), 4 sherds of red slip ware possibly OXRC (270-400), a rim of grey fabric with red-brown coating of possible industrial use was noted. A total of 11 sherds of Roman pottery were recorded from this context.

The clay tobacco pipe included bowls or part bowls of types AO15 1660-1680 and AO25 1700-1770. Coins from context [100] included four decimal types of ½p to 2p. Recovered from [101] were pre-decimal coins of ¼d 1933, ½d 1905-1927 some others illegible, and 21 decimal coins of ½ to 20p.
Context [102] lay beneath [100/101], it was a yellow-brown sandy clay approx 20cm thick. Again a rather mixed layer of medieval and post-medieval pot, clay tobacco pipe, building material – mostly roof tile (much was discarded on site, some samples were kept), small amounts of glass and iron.

The post-medieval pottery was similar to that found in [100/101].
Of the medieval pot there were 14 body sherds including SHER in fine and flinty fabric, Early SHER (ESHER) 1050-1200, CBW and London ware LOND (1080-1350).

In the north-west side of Trench 1 a shallow depression was recorded [104], it was filled with a dark grey/brown clay with pebbles, it was 1.20m in dia and approx 10cm deep. The nature of this feature was uncertain with no dating evidence.

The mottled yellow-brown sandy clay was reached at approx 60cm below the turf, a ‘sondage’ (small inspection trench) was dug in the east of Trench 1 to confirm that this was the natural clay.

Trench 2

Trench 2 was placed 6m west of trench 1 and was 0.50m (E-W) x 2.00m (N-S). The turf level was 61.88OD

The top-soil [200] was essentially the same as trench 1 containing clinker, coal and chalk fragments and other ‘modern’ material. There were small amounts of pottery – PMR, English Stoneware, TGW(D), Post-Medieval Black Glazed ware 1580-1700 (PMBL). Also noted were building material, glass and fragments of clay tobacco pipe.

Beneath [200] was [201] which was similar to [101] as described above, including small amounts of Raeren Stoneware 1480-1610, Frechen Stoneware 1550-1700, Metropolitan Slipware 1500-1800, White Salt-Glazed ware (SWSG) 1720-1780, Red Border wares 1550-1900 and PMRs. One sherd of medieval SHER 1170-1350 was noted.
Other finds from [201] were minor amounts of building materials, glass and iron nails

Trench 3

Trench 3 was 1.00m west of trench 2 and of similar dimensions, it was started but not finished and was backfilled and not formally recorded. It would have been similar to trench 2, being used to give pupils a chance to excavate.

Trenches 2 and 3 were not fully excavated to the natural clay.

In trench 1 below the turf and topsoil was context [102] which by the finds was a disturbed layer either through the levelling for the playing field or previous plough action, allotments or similar. Unfortunately there was no evidence of ‘features’ – pits, post-holes, ditches and so forth that could relate to the post-medieval or earlier periods. But the medieval and Roman finds once again point to possible occupation in the area. The 2017 dig is fairly similar to that of 2008 where a same size trench was dug several metres to the west where there were similar disturbed contexts. Compared to those trenches dug in 2011 and 2012 some metres to the east (the NE corner of the playing field), these trenches had a more substantial medieval content in a perhaps more ‘secure’ less disturbed layers.

So the origin of the Roman and medieval material is still a mystery and as mentioned in previous Hendon School reports perhaps there was a settlement in the Brent Street/Bell Lane junction, ribbon development along Bell Lane or similar. At the time of writing (December 2017) the school was proposing to rebuild some classrooms along the NW side of the playing field which may be a further opportunity to add to the picture. The school students over a couple of weeks were involved in the archaeology, ranging from history of the area, excavation, surveying, finds washing and processing and so forth. Members of HADAS (some new to practical archaeology) and UCL students also gained experience from the various disciplines.

Map showing the approximate position of the trenches and their year, 2009 (not shown here) was along the eastern border.

HADAS hard at work in hot and sunny conditions in trench 1, looking east. (Vicki Baldwin)

The eastern end of trench 1 showing contexts 100/101, 102 and the natural clay layer at the bottom.

Emma Densham and the UCL/IoA students.
HADAS Fieldwork Team. Teachers and students of Hendon School. Caretakers and ground staff of Hendon School. Jacqui Pearce (finds identification).

Hadas Frodsham trip – Day 4 Jim Nelhams

After visiting the Roman city of Chester with its Cathedral dating from 11th Century, Thursday saw us in Liverpool, a young city, with two major Cathedrals both consecrated in the 20th Century, and both with unique features. As Kevin notes, the Catholic Cathedral has its own underground car park. The Anglican Cathedral illustrates probably the largest and smallest designs of George Gilbert Scott. The size of the largest is evident, but the smallest is an iconic telephone box to one side of the main nave. Is this the only cathedral with a telephone box inside? For the familiar red telephone box was also designed by Gilbert Scott, winning a competition in 1924, and some of them are now listed by Heritage England.

And close to our pick-up point at the Albert Dock stands a “Liverpool Special” letter box. Only seven of these boxes, installed in 1863, were made, and just the one remains in public use though not in its original location. Their erection followed a long battle with Post Office management in London. They were built because in Liverpool but not London, it was permitted to post newspapers as well as letters. This caused the boxes to fill, with a number of complaints from the police that they were regularly overflowing.

A Street Called Hope Kevin McSharry

On the penultimate day of the HADAS long trip, based at Frodsham in Cheshire, we visited the great port city of Liverpool. A dry sunny day we had of it which made for a leisurely relaxing visit.

Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Anglican Cathedral of The Risen Christ
Our first two stops took in the two great icons of this city: its cathedrals, which stand at either end of the ecumenically sounding Hope Street; the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King and the Anglican Cathedral also dedicated to the Christ – the Risen Christ. Architecturally, the cathedrals could not be more different: the Catholic – modern and futuristic and the Anglican Gothic, traditional, and massive.

The Metropolitan (Catholic) is circular in plan but conical in shape. The approach to the main entrance is from a spacious piazza and up a broad and steep majestic flight of steps. We lesser mortals chose not the majestic approach but that which was via a lift in the cathedral underground car park. Which other cathedral in the British Isles, nay the world boasts an underground car park? The focus of the circular interior is the sanctuary and altar, with the tower above it.

Inside Cathedral of Christ the King

The benches are concentric to the sanctuary allowing for an unobstructed view of the altar. Around the perimeter of the interior is a series of chapels. The whole interior is suffused by beautiful lines of light, blue being dominant, reflecting the colours of the stained glass designed by John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens. The cathedral was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd and built between 1962 and 1967. The structure we see today which is stunning, is not that which was originally intended by the distinguished architect, Edwin Lutyens. Cost prevented the Lutyens design seeing the light of day. What there is of Lutyens is the impressive crypt.

The Anglican Cathedral is in complete contrast to the Catholic Cathedral but by golly is it impressive. Liverpool Cathedral is a magnificent, traditional gothic structure. The interior is solemn, imposing and majestic with columns soaring to a distant roof. The sheer size is breath-taking. The statistics exemplify: the largest in Britain, fifth largest in the world. Giles Gilbert Scott, of that illustrious family of architects, designed the cathedral but died before its completion which took 74 years – 1904 to 1978 with the Metropolitan cathedral taking just five.

Inside the Anglican Cathedral of The Risen Christ
The two cathedrals need to be visited together, as it were, which the Hadassians did. Our visit heralded a wonderful visit to this great city.

More in Liverpool Brenda Pershouse

There is much more to see in Liverpool. As well as the two majestic Cathedrals and three major museums and art galleries, there is St George’s Hall.

This is one of the great Victorian classical buildings, a masterpiece of the young architect Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, who began work on it in 1842. It is classical Greek design. The enormous hall is very elaborately decorated from floor to ceiling. There are Corinthian columns, stained glass windows and a row of marble statues the length of the hall.

From there, I continued walking to find the Cavern quarter. In Matthew Street is a sculpture made by the very talented Tommy Steele of Eleanor Rigby. Four sculptured heads of the Beatles are displayed above a shop doorway, and John Lennon leans against the wall outside the famous Cavern Club. A life-size group of the four stands near the Liver Building – yet another tourist attraction in this interesting city.

Chester Vintage Transport Andy Simpson

Naturally the chance was taken to visit the redeveloped site of the former Chester tram depot opposite the railway station. Although now replaced by student accommodation since the ill-advised privatisation of the former Chester City Council owned bus company a few years ago which led to overnight chaos from the replacement private operator, the 3ft 6in gauge depot track fan, last used on 15th February 1930, has been carefully preserved at the front (Tramway Street) and rear (Car Street) of the site; the Car St track is shown in the photo below, with Station Road and the former GWR station visible at the rear of the shot. Electric trams first ran in public service in Chester on 6th April 1903; the small fleet of eighteen trams ran virtually unaltered until the shabby and run-down small open-top four wheeled tramcars were replaced by Chester Corporation motorbuses. One or two wall rosettes for supporting the overhead wires remain visible in the city centre, especially Northgate St and Westgate St.

Other ‘vintage’ transport encountered in Chester was the replica WW1-era London General Omnibus Co B- Type bus operated by Chester Heritage Tours – , starting by the collection of Roman columns displayed in Northgate Street. It is quite a good replica, albeit with non-prototypical windscreens added for driver comfort, and is built on the chassis of a 1964 Bedford SB5 coach chassis originally delivered to Wessex Coaches in Bristol and one of three rebuilt in its present form in 1982 in Cornwall – photo below at Northgate Street. These tours began in June 2005. Some 2,500 of the original rugged and reliable B-type were built, and ran in London 1910-1927; many were used in France in WW1 for troop transport, and as field ambulances and even carrier pigeon lofts. Originals can be seen at the LT Museum Covent Garden and Acton Depot sites, and there is another – ‘Old Bill’ – in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

Other Societies’ Events Eric Morgan

Friday 16th February 7pm COLAS St Olave’s Hall, Mark Lane, EC3R 7BB Uncivilised Genes, Human Evolution & The Urban Paradox Presidential Address by Gustav Milne Preceded by AGM Wine & Nibbles to follow. Visitors £3 Drawing on what Archaeological evidence reveals about Palaeolithic & Mesolithic diets, as on anthropological studies of contemporary Hunter-Gatherer Societies. Book out.

Friday 16th February, 7.30pm Wembley History Society English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalkhill Road Wembley HA9 9EW (Top of Blackbird Hill, adj. to church) John Betjeman’s London – Talk by Colin Oaks Visitors £3.

Monday 19th February 8.15pm Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society St Martins Church Hall Eastcote Road, Ruislip – One Thames or Two? The Archaeology of London’s River Talk by Jon Cotton.

Thursday 22nd February 2.30pm Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House (Stephens House) 17, East End Road N3 3QE Hawthorn Dene- Its Role in Local and National History Talk by Frank Kelsall Non-members £2 Please Note Start Time.

Thursday 1st March, 8pm Pinner Local History Society Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner HA5 1AB Pinner’s Old Roads- Paths, Tracks, Travellers & Tarmac Research Group presentation by members. Visitors £2.00

Wednesday 7th March 6pm Gresham College At Museum of London 150, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN Palace, Park & Square; St James’s The Birth of the West End. Talk by Simon Thurley on the Buildings From A Court Quarter To the New West End Free.

Monday 12th March 3pm Barnet Museum & Local History Society Church House, Wood St, Barnet (opposite Museum) Barnet War Memorials and Heroes Talk by Martin Russell Visitors £2.

Wednesday 14th March 2.30pm Mill Hill Historical Society Trinity Church, The Broadway, NW7 Royal Medicine Through The Ages Talk by Dr Barry Walsh Preceded by A.G.M.

Friday 16th March 7.30pm Wembley History Society Address as February. The Olympic Way Story Talk by Philip Grant (Brent Archives) Visitors £3.

Wednesday 28th March, 7.45pm Friern Barnet& District Local History Society North Middx Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL How Women Got the Vote Talk by Barry Hall Visitors £2. Refreshments and Bar. CORRECTION – The date of the February talk was shown as 25th; should be 28th.

Thursday 29th March, 8pm Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House The Barnet Society Talk by Robin Bishop and Discussion. Visitors £2.

With thanks for newsletter contributions this month to; Bill Bass; Don Cooper; James Corden; Kevin McSharry; Eric Morgan; Jim Nelhams; Brenda Pershouse.

Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet, Herts. EN5 5HS (020 8440 4350)
Hon. Secretary Jo Nelhams 61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Hon. Treasurer Jim Nelhams 61 Potters Road Barnet EN5 5HS (020 8449 7076)
Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning, 1, Reddings Close, Mill Hill, London
NW7 4JL (020 8959 6419) e-mail:
Web site:
Discussion Group;


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No. 562 January 2018 Edited by Sue Willetts


Tuesday 9th January 8pm: Prof. Christopher Scull. The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex.
Tuesday 13th February at 8pm: Dr Matthew Symonds. ‘Protecting the Roman Empire: understanding fortlets and frontiers’.
Tuesday 13th March at 8pm: Roman London’s First Voices: Roman writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London. Lecture by Dr Roger Tomlin.

All Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee & tea served afterwards. Non-members welcome (£2.00). Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a 5-10-minute walk away.

Information on the January lecture: The Prittlewell Prince: life, death and belief in south-east England at the time of St Augustine
The outstanding Anglo-Saxon burial at Prittlewell, Southend, Essex was discovered and excavated in the winter of 2003-2004 by a team from Museum of London Archaeology. The importance of the well-preserved chamber grave and its outstanding assemblage of grave goods, dating from c AD 600, was immediately apparent and prompted international academic and public interest. A full programme of study and analysis has now been completed and a full report is in preparation for publication in 2018. This lecture will review what we now know about of the chamber grave and the individual buried there, and how this changes our understanding of the early East Saxon kingdom and its place in south-east England at the dawn of English Christianity.
Christopher Scull is academic advisor to the Prittlewell project and a joint author, with Lyn Blackmore, Ian Blair and Sue Hirst, of the forthcoming monograph report. A Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and the Department of Archaeology and Conservation, Cardiff University, he is a former Research Director of English Heritage and has published widely on the archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England.

Hadas Christmas Party Jim Nelhams

What a lovely response to our Christmas Party this year. Forty-seven people planned to attend, but nobody was dreaming of a “White Christmas Party” to make travel so difficult. Twenty-six people managed to get to Avenue House to enjoy the splendid dinner cooked by

the Avenue House staff, one of whom had walked from Whetstone. Some of our attendees had similar tales of their journey. Well done to all that made it and commiserations to those snowbound at home.

Thanks to Melvyn for the photos.

What did they miss? Most of all, the good company of all that were there, with the day compèred by Don Cooper sporting this year’s Christmas Jumper, complete with flashing lights. Musical entertainment came from Jim and Jo Nelhams with everybody joining in some Christmassy songs, and the intellectual challenge in the form of a table quiz came from Vicki Baldwin, who was unfortunately herself under the weather! Two wonderful cakes had been cooked by Liz, and slices of these were duly consumed with coffee and mince pies. And, of course, the raffle with the star prize of a bottle of Roman wine, carefully guarded by Ted, our mascot, and his friend.

Nice to see our President, Harvey Sheldon, who travelled up from his home in South London, where there was no snow.

Summer Trip 2018 Jim Nelhams

Already we have had 30 people express an interest in the trip, which is sufficient to go ahead. We will be using the Best Western Brome Grange Hotel, near Diss. This hotel is slightly smaller than most of our previous destinations, with only 40 rooms, of which we have reserved 30, so if you want to come, please let Jo or myself know. Contact information is at the end of this newsletter.
The price depends partly on the numbers sharing the coach but is expected to be £530 for a single room, or £480 per person sharing a room, and increase of £5 over last year. Deposits will be required at the end of February. The trip itself is from Monday 17th to Friday 21st September (inclusive).
So do not miss out by delaying. If we know early enough, we may be able to reserve the odd extra room.

Jodrell Bank / Heritage
Further to the item in the November newsletter, Peter Pickering spotted this item in the Budget statement

4.60 Jodrell Bank – The government is providing £4 million to Jodrell Bank, subject to approval of a sustainable business case, as part of their £20.5 million project to create a new interpretation centre promoting the historically significant scientific work undertaken at this site in Cheshire. The following is the link to Heritage Alliance’s preliminary note on the budget and how it might impact on the Heritage. Budget item

Frodsham Trip – Day 3 Jim Nelhams

On our trips, we have a chance to enjoy the various interests of members in the group, and they provide us with interesting and enthusiastic notes. Although we started in the Cathedral with its history and archaeology, we then had the chance to go and indulge other interests.

Chester Cathedral Simon Williams

Chester Cathedral, dedicated to St. Werburgh, was originally (from the 1190’s) a Benedictine Abbey of which only one round arch span survives in the North transept, impressive and remarkably still intact, and standing to a fair height – despite the vogue for destruction of the C16 and 17 waves of denial, ironically, only escaping due to having been dismantled. For example, that of Becket, and most others being raised to the ground.

The quire contains a remarkable display of the woodcarvers’ art – misericords and bench ends such as the Pelican in her piety, an elephant bearing a fortified medieval fighting platform, the Eagles of the 4 evangelists, Jacob’s dream with an angel bearing a ladder, a Medieval pilgrim to St. Werburgh’s, complete with beard, large brimmed hat (presumably to keep out the journey’s weather?) and a staff. Victorian ones depict Aesop’s Fables.
The South Isle contains the Chester Imp, his stone frozen figure looking very uncomfortable, with head and limbs are twisted rather savagely contorted at right-angles (maybe due penance for being an imp? – I wouldn’t know!), and rather squashed into the rectangular facet of a construction stone, very much like inspiration for a C20 modernist piece? Whatever else, he is bound to see you, even if you not him! The C20 glass is a success, particularly the 1961 Great East Window.

A welcome bonus was a falconry display, initiated to act as a pigeon scarer. This enterprise has become a “decoy” attraction in its own right, and a convenient source of income. We were invited to
handle a small black Egyptian vulture and a falcon, with flights to the glove for group members. It was remarkable how fast and swooping silently low they returned super-accurately, brushing between onlookers’ heads by inches, returning for bait– that elusive free lunch? We were also shown the aviary which even contained a Golden Eagle.

Chester Cathedral Falconry and Nature Gardens Sylvia Javes

After our visit to the cathedral we were taken round to the falconry in the cathedral grounds. Several birds were on perches on the lawn, with others in aviaries around the site. There were hawks, buzzards, an eagle (Grace), a barn owl and some falcons. Falcons have long wings and are built for speed, catching their prey on the wing. Peregrine falcons are often used to scare nuisance pigeons away from stations, airfields, and notably at Wimbledon. All birds kept for falconry are captive bred, it being illegal to take birds from the wild. Although the handlers are generally known as falconers, the term for someone training and flying hawks is an austringer. Three birds were flown. First there was a mischievous vulture called Tinks, who loped behind the keeper like a cartoon character. Vultures are scavengers that clear up carrion in tropical countries. They are an essential part of the eco system, so when they are depleted as they are in some parts of the world, it can have a serious effect on human health. Tinks really loved his keeper – or was it perhaps his love of the tit-bits of meat in the keeper’s pouch that kept him so close?

Pip was a female kestrel, raised and imprinted from four days old. She flew from a perch or her handler to another handler for a scrap of meat. Several of us were given the chance to have her perch and retrieve the food from our gloved fists. Similarly, Rio, a male Harris hawk flew to the gloved fists of members of our party. Rio flew into the trees around the field, from where he was called down by the handler. He liked to swoop in low over the heads of the audience. Although falconry is a 4000-year old sport, Harris hawks have only been used since the 1970s. While we were watching the birds, our attention was drawn to a bird soaring high above us. It was a wild sparrow hawk, probably attracted by the hawks and falcons in the display.

Sculpture Exhibition Audrey Hooson

Our visit to Chester Cathedral coincided with “Ark” a sculpture exhibition mounted jointly by the Cathedral and Gallery Pangolin. Pangolin owns Europe’s biggest Art Foundry and several galleries including one in Kings Place at Kings Cross.
As the name of the exhibition implied the main theme was depictions of animals, some veristic but many more interpretive. It was obvious that a lot of thought had been taken when placing the sculptures, in order to show both them and the Cathedral to advantage.
Our introductory tour to the Cathedral was given next to ‘Hollow Form with Inner Form’ 1968 bronze by Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975. Afterwards some of us decided to miss the Falconry and tour the Cathedral by searching for the 90 sculptures. ‘Ark: High and Dry’ by Jon Buck b1951 was at the entrance to the Quire, it shows many animals within the Ark. ‘Time Taken’ by Almuth Tebbenhoff b1949 was nearby, well placed in a dark corner with side light on the polished marble.

It was interesting to realise that looking at the temporary exhibition made one more aware of the skill and beauty of the resident misericords, bench ends and decorated arches.
A fascinating morning shared with many families and visitors who might not have gone to a gallery to see modern art but possibly lured in by ‘Percival’ 2006 by Sarah Lukas b1962, were really enjoying walking around with their maps.

The City Walls Liz Tucker

Chester has a lot in common with York, where I went to school. Both are cities with a Roman history, a cathedral, a castle on a hill, a racecourse, and extensive city walls. The most obvious difference is in the geology; Chester’s castle, cathedral and walls are all constructed of the bright red local sandstone.

The Romans first built a turf wall in about 75AD, around the important fortress of Deva, called after the local “goddess river”, now the Dee, which rushes down from Wales. Later, the wall was rebuilt in stone, and then repaired using old gravestones, now in the Grosvenor Museum. (You can see parts of the old Roman stones by leaning over the edge – we took their word for it!)

In Saxon times, Queen Aethelfleda extended the walls to the south and west, to protect her town (burh). They were maintained by officials known as murengers. Over the centuries, to the present day, the walls were fortified in the Civil War, gates were replaced by arches and bridges built, to accommodate increasing traffic, and towers were constructed. However, it is still possible to walk almost a complete circuit, reminiscent of the playing-card shape of the Roman fort.

Among the towers are King Charles’ Tower, from which the king could see his defeated army straggling back from the Battle of Rowton Moor; the Parlour, a semi-circular tower from which an official watched his employees making rope in the street below; and the Water Tower, where goods were unloaded from the River Dee in medieval times. The picturesque river is celebrated in the poem “O Mary, call the cattle home, across the sands of Dee” and the song about the Jolly Miller who “cares for nobody, no, not I, and nobody cares for me”.
Later the river silted up, and was canalised in the 18th century; around the same time, the Chester Canal was constructed, now part of the Shropshire Union Canal.
I was surprised to see that many stretches of the wall are actually at street level on the inside, which I have never noticed before in any walled city. On the outside, there are dramatic views down to the Dee, with its historic bridge, and to the canal. We could see boats and barges, and were sorry we did not have time for a boat trip, which we usually do on HADAS trips!

HADAS chums will know of my distinct weakness for all things Romano-British, so a day to explore Chester –the former legionary fortress of Deva Victrix, home of Legio XX Valeria Victrix – for Roman relics old and new was a definite bonus! The most obvious feature is of course the Roman parts of the city walls, especially the stretch of north wall with 13 rather bulging un-mortared courses of wall with its original Roman Cornice overlooking the canal.

Leaving the group at the cathedral, first stop was the group of Roman column bases and stone-cut drainage channels and other fragments displayed on Northgate Street near the town hall.
After a diversion to check out the site of the former Chester tram depot (of which more in a later report) it was down to the half-exposed and comprehensively excavated amphitheatre (original capacity 8,000) with its well-illustrated and informative caption boards, a feature of many of the other sites visited during the day.
And onwards to part of the original Roman Eastgate arch visible from conveniently placed steps up to the top of the city wall on the north side over Dinky Donuts. Not quite up to Lincoln Newport arch standards, but good to see nonetheless.

Staying with the fast food theme, next up was a visit to the cellar of Spud-U- Like at 39 Bridge Street to view an impressive, and beautifully lit, section of legionary bathhouse stone hypocaust pillars; this section of hypocaust, which had supported the floor of the sudatarium (sweating Room) was discovered as early as 1821. Much of the bathhouse, with walls still standing 12 feet high, was wantonly destroyed by construction of the Grosvenor Shopping Mall on the east side of Bridge Street in 1963-4, with the developers permitting little archaeological salvage or recording.
Heading back towards the amphitheatre, the Roman Gardens by the Newgate, off Pepper Street, form a nice walk down to the River Dee and have more excellent caption boards and many of the columns and column bases from the exercise hall of the legionary baths salvaged by the Victorians when it was exposed in the 1860s, as well as a reconstructed section of hypocaust. Nearby is the base of a Roman angle tower beside the Newgate.

And, of course, the obligatory visit to the Grosvenor Museum (first opened in 1886) for its magnificent collection of Roman tombstones, sculptures and inscriptions, many of them some of the 150 or more found by the Victorians built into the city wall. These are displayed in the Graham Webster gallery – older readers will remember he was a former curator at the museum, expert on the Roman Army and long-time excavator at Wroxeter.

Locations with Roman remains not visited on this occasion included a section of hypocaust in 12 Northgate Street and column bases from the Principia in the cellar of Pret a Manger at 23 Northgate Row West, and also the strongroom of the Principia adjacent to the Dublin Packet pub on Northgate St. There is also the Dewa Roman experience with exposed Roman remains, just west of Bridge Street, and parts of the Roman quayside near the racecourse.

A handy pocket guide to these attractions is the booklet ‘Deva – Roman Chester – Discover Chester’s Ancient Ruins’ by Gordon Emery – published 2017 – a snip for just £2.95. So I know which bits to look out for on my next visit!

See and and also

The London Mithraeum Stewart Wild

Roman Londinium’s Temple of Mithras, constructed around AD 240, was first discovered in 1954 during the excavation of a WWII bomb site prior to the building of Bucklersbury House in Walbrook, just north of Cannon Street. Lead archaeologist W. F. Grimes said of the discovery, “It was something of a fluke.”

Public interest was astonishing: some 30,000 people queued to see the excavation as it neared its conclusion. As a result, a partial reconstruction of the temple was unveiled in 1962 on Queen Victoria Street at street level roughly 300 feet northwest of its original location. There it resided for almost fifty years, increasingly ignored as modern buildings went up all around.
In 2010 American financial software and media giant Bloomberg acquired the triangular site for their European headquarters. The company worked with the City of London and a team of conservation specialists to excavate the entire site, recovering a wonderful hoard of Roman artefacts in the process. They agreed to dismantle the temple and reconstruct it close to its original position and level, recreating the form of the original foundation within a publicly accessible space.
Admission is free

Now, seven years on, members of the public can again admire the temple layout, seven metres below modern street level, in a purpose built air-conditioned vault. On the entrance level is a wall display of the astonishing variety of finds that were recovered during the year-long excavation.

Below on a mezzazine level are computer displays and information of the cult of Mithras across the Roman empire. Then you descend to the reconstructed low-level ruin itself, cleverly and atmospherically lit, and with suitable sound effects.

Known as Bloomberg SPACE, the London Mithraeum is open:

Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 – 18.00hrs Sundays 12.00 – 17.00hrs First Thursday of the month 10.00 – 20.00hrs

It’s best to book a timed ‘slot’ but walk-in visitors are welcome at off-peak times. Admission is free. The entrance is at 12 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AA. An average visit lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

Future talk
On Tuesday 13 March 2018 the HADAS monthly meeting will feature a talk by Dr Roger Tomlin entitled Roman London’s First Voices: Roman writing tablets from Bloomberg, London. Don’t miss it.
Further information:

LAMAS History Conference – Part 2 by Don Cooper
The morning session ended with the presentation of the 2017 Local History Publications Awards.

The Book prize was awarded to the Borough of Twickenham Local History Society for “Down the Drain” by Ray Elmitt. “Whetstone Revealed” by John Heathfield and David Berger, from the Friern Barnet and District Local History Society was Highly Commended

The Journal prize was awarded to Camden Local History for “Camden History Review number 40”, edited by David Hayes, described by the judging committee as outstanding.
The Newsletter prize (this was the first year this category has been awarded) was awarded to the Hornsey Historical Society for “newsletter 149”, edited by Lesley Ramm.
Newsletters 213, 214, 216, and 219 from the Barnes and Mortlake History Society, edited by Murray Hedgcock, were highly commended.

The first talk after lunch was by Julian Bowsher. It was entitled “Paratheatrical entertainment in 16th & 17th Century London”. Julian described the entertainments that took place other than plays in the theatre and other literary activities. These activities ranged from the legitimate ones: dancing, music, fencing matches, acrobatic displays and the exhibition of animals, to the illegitimate and unsavoury including such as: theft and gambling, prostitution and drunkenness. It was a good talk well illustrated. I must admit I hadn’t realised that fencing had been such a large sport in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Ian Bevan then took the same theme forward to the Victorians. Of course, by then there were parks and pleasure gardens, museums, art galleries, theatres, concert halls, music halls and organised sports such as rugby, and football all vying to provide entertainment outside the working day for a growing population, more affluent and ready and able to enjoy themselves.
Tea break brought the opportunity to visit the stalls of the many local history societies. There were lots of publications for sale. Many of them mentioned reducing membership and the difficulty in recruiting new younger active members. This is the same issue as plagues local archaeological societies. Perhaps 2018 will bring an opportunity for the consolidation of local heritage societies!

I was unable to attend the last two talks: Julie Ackroyd talk entitled “Stealing children in 1600: Stocking the London Stage with Actors” and Alexander Clayton’s talk on “Sapient Pigs and Rascal Tigers: Animal Curiosities on the Streets and Stages of London, C.1750-c.1850”.

Overall this conference on the “Pastimes in Times Past: entertainment in London” was enjoyable and successful.

The Curtain Playhouse excavations – lecture from excavator Heather Knight, Museum of London Sue Willetts

Excavation of this site by MoLA staff began in 2016 in response to earlier investigations related to a proposed redevelopment in Shoreditch (London Borough of Hackney) of an area of c.400,000 sq. ft. This excavation has greatly expanded our knowledge of 16th and 17th century theatre history and there have been some surprising discoveries. A drawing of the area now in Utrecht shows a polygonal theatre type building in the area and it was thought (erroneously) that this showed the Curtain Playhouse which we know was named after the nearby Curtain Close. The name Curtain is not connected to stage curtains, but related to the name of the walled pasture in which the playhouse was built.

Documentary evidence shows that the playhouse was open by 1577, but after it closed c.1625 it was demolished, and the site was lost. Records show that it was purpose built and used by Shakespeare’s company, The Lord Chamberlain’s men between 1597 and 1599 before they relocated to the newly built polygonal shaped Globe Playhouse on Bankside. The MoLA team were expecting to excavate a similar polygonal structure and although about ¼ of the building still lies beneath a pub there was enough archaeology left to show that the building was rectangular. The external dimensions were 25m x 22m and there was an open gravel yard where most of the audience would have stood, and while there is evidence of timber galleries with mid and upper areas, these may have been areas for standing. The eastern range housed a rectangular stage (c.14m x 5m) which was almost certainly used for fencing training / displays which fits in very well with the reach needed for two fencers on a stage. Another interesting feature of the Curtain Playhouse was the discovery of a passageway running underneath the stage with steps down to it from both ends to assist the movement of the actors.

Finds have included the lower part of a ceramic bird whistle which might have been used to create bird sounds, as in Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 5. Over 250 glass beads were found, which may have been from clothes worn by actors or by the audience. If from the latter this may indicate that productions at the Curtain were not (as had been suggested) mainly aimed at the lower end of the market. Other finds include finials from boxes used to collect money, (box office payment / money for food and drink) drinking vessels, clay pipes, fruit seeds and important dating evidence from two coins of 1572 and a James I farthing from 1613. It is thought that the Curtain Playhouse would have been able to hold an audience of 1400 in contrast to the nearby Curtain Theatre which would have been limited to about 800. It was pleasing to hear that the excavated area will be preserved in the new housing / retail development which is appropriately to be called The Stage.

For more information and images of finds, including the bird whistle, the finials and photographs of the excavations see the following websites: The developer’s website shows how they propose to preserve and incorporate the excavated areas including a visitor centre.

This was an excellent lecture, shedding more light on the theatres and playhouses of Shakespearian London.

Other Societies’ events Eric Morgan

Friday, 19th January 7pm. COLAS, St. Olaves Parish Church, Mark Lane, EC3R 7BR.” Tower Bridge – The Bridgehouse Estates”. Talk by Dirk Bennett. Visitors £3.
Wednesday, 24th January 7.45pm. Friern Barnet& District Local History Society, North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL. “Life before Death – Stories from the Parish Churchyard”. Talk by John Phillpot. Visitors £2.
Thursday 1st February 8pm. Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner, HA5 1AD. “The Denham Murders of 1870”. Talk by Neil Watson. Visitors £3.
Thursday 8th February 7.30pm. Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, Hampstead, NW3 1LT. “Belsize remembered”. Talk by Ranee Bar. Visitors £1.
Monday, 12th February 3pm. Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood St. Barnet. “Zeppelin Raids of WW1” Talk by Harvey Watson. Visitors £2.
Wednesday, 14th February 2.30pm. Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway, NW7. “The History of Pantomime”. Talk by Leanne Walters.
Wednesday, 14th February 7.45pm. Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, cnr Ferme Park Rd/Western Park, N8 9PX. “Evacuees of WW11”. Talk by Mike Brown. Visitors £2.
Wednesday, 21st February 7.30pm. Willesden Local History Society, St. Mary’s Church Hall, Neasden Lane, NW10 2TS. “Bankers & Fat Cats – exploring the lives of the well-off buried in Kensal Green Cemetery”. Talk by Signe Hoffos (COLAS)
Wednesday, 25th February 7.45pm. Friern Barnet& District Local History Society, North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL. “The History of Alms Houses”. Talk by Simon Smith. Visitors £2.

Early Notice
Saturday, 10th March. LAMAS 55th Annual Conference of London Archaeologists, The Weston Theatre, Museum of London.

The morning session is on recent excavation work in London
The afternoon session is on the Bloomberg Site (Temple of Mithras)

Early bird tickets £15 (if before the 1st March) from Jon Cotton, c/o Early Department, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Cheques made payable to LAMAS.

Acknowledgements & Thanks: Jim Nelhams, Liz Tucker, Eric Morgan, Stewart Wild, Don Cooper, Audrey Hooson, Sue Willetts, Simon Williams, Sylvia Javes.
Chairman: Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel: 020 8440 4350
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel: 020 8449 7076
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel: 020 8449 7076
Hon. Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, NW7 4JL Tel. 020 8959 6419
Web site:
Discussion group:


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No. 561 DECEMBER 2017 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 and their families, a happy holiday and a healthy and prosperous 2018

Sunday 10th December 2017 HADAS Christmas Party at Stephens House and Gardens (formerly Avenue House) from 12.30 to 4.00 pm Tuesday 9th January 8pm: Professor Christopher Scull The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex. Tuesday 13th February at 8pm: To Be Confirmed. Tuesday 13h March at 8pm: Dr. Roger Tomlin Roman London’s First Voices: Roman writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London.
Tuesday 10th April 2018 at 8pm: Stuart Cakebread The Greater London Historical Environment Record.
Tuesday 8th May 2018 at 8pm: Mark Smith The archaeology of WW1 (PROVISIONAL).
Tuesday 12th June 2018: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Tuesday 9th October 2018 at 8pm: Gabriel Moshenska Unrolling Egyptian mummies in Victorian London
Tuesday 13th November 2018: TO BE CONFIRMED All Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee & tea served afterwards. Non-members welcome (£2.00). Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a 5-10-minute walk away.

Newsletter editors required. We are in urgent need of additional newsletter editors for the HADAS monthly newsletter. Just once a year, each Editor puts together one Newsletter, using information and reports sent to them mainly by email and preparing the newsletter to a general format/style guide. The assembled newsletter is then sent to the newsletter co-ordinator (a member of HADAS committee, currently Sue Willetts). If you are just thinking about volunteering and want to know more, please e-mail or phone or 0208 440 4350

2018 Long Trip Jim Nelhams
We are pleased to announce that our long trip next year will be based at the Best Western Brome Grange Hotel ( from Monday 17th to Friday 21st September 2018. The cost is expected to be around the same as this year with deposits due at the end of February and the balance in July.
The Hotel is at Brome, just south of Diss, and close to the border between Suffolk and Norfolk. The hotel is slightly smaller than some we have used, so if necessary, we will run a waiting list. To register your interest, please contact Jim or Jo Nelhams by email or phone as soon as you can, so that we have an indication of the number of rooms required.
Contact information is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Search for the Battle of Barnet Chantry Chapel Bill Bass
As members may be aware there has been a wide ranging archaeological survey and small-scale test-pitting excavation over the last couple of years to test the theory that the Battle of Barnet took place further north than the accepted area of Hadley Green. The survey is being undertaken by Glenn Foard of Huddersfield University and Sam Wilson of Cotswold Archaeology with Barnet Museum organisation and volunteers. Part of that search is to try and locate the Chantry Chapel said to have been built after the conflict possibly over or near burial pits containing the dead.
There have been many theories where the chapel may have been but Brian Warren, a local historian, has conducted extensive research on the matter and believes he may have identified the area of the chapel based on various maps and documents and evidence in the Manor of South Mimms records. The moated area known as ‘Hermitage Cottage’ is a likely candidate which lies in the vicinity of Wrotham Park north of Hadley.
The 2017 campaign included a further metal-detecting survey and a range of test-pits over the possible site of the chapel. This area has been previously surveyed with geophysics, but this had been inconclusive. The land had also been built over by subsequent owners, perhaps masking earlier archaeology. On this occasion HADAS were involved by supplying volunteers from our Fieldwork Team together with digging tools. Volunteers from Barnet Museum were also involved, all overseen by battlefield specialist Sam Wilson.

A total of 16 1x1m test-pits were dug within the moated area. Most of the finds were post-medieval brick and tile demolition rubble. A substantial brick built ‘culvert’ was seen at the bottom of one trench and nearby the cut/edge of a large ditch feature was excavated, possibly something to do with the culvert, or something else. Mixed in with all of this was some pot, animal bone, some glass and so forth, mostly dating to 1700-1800 period? Many of the trenches were dug down to the sandy natural – which had a large amount of decayed root material; a bit confusing at times.

Other finds included a dressed stone block found near the existing moat arm, some dressed flint and small amounts of lead (to hold stained glass), a possible decorated strap-end/book clasp (?) and some buckles, coins, lead-weights and other metal finds found by a metal-detectorist. The date of this material needs investigating.
So, unfortunately, as yet no real sign of the chapel foundation and not much late medieval material (so far), but the finds will undergo cleaning and processing which may reveal further evidence. Also, we have only looked at a smallish area of a large site in and out of the moated area. Hopefully the project will continue next year to find the elusive Battle of Barnet Chantry Chapel.
Further reading:
Reappraisal of The Battle of Barnet 1471 by Brian Warren.
Geoffrey de Mandeville and London’s Camelot by Jennie Lee Cobham.

The Shipway Tobacco Clay Pipe Makers of Bermondsey Susan Trackman

Thomas Shipway
He lived and worked as a tobacco pipe maker from a house in Thomas Place (renamed 1901/2 Caffrey Place in Great Suffolk Street) from at least 1832. He may have been born in Shoreditch c1798. Thomas had a wife Catherine. They had six children. The eldest, Charles, was born in 1820 and the youngest, Elizabeth, was born in 1836. All six were christened on the 30th June 1837 at St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey. Thomas Shipway died in 1839. The Museum of London (MOL) database gives Thomas’ working dates as 1832-1840, so presumably his moulds continued to be used for a short while after his death. His pipes were marked TS. He may have been working in partnership or employed a member of the Longworth family (see below).

Catherine Shipway
Catherine Shipway was born in Herefordshire in 1798. She and Thomas probably married about 1819-1820. Their elder son, Charles, was born in 1820. Presumably, she helped her husband in the business as she took it over after his death. The MOL database gives her working dates as 1844-1858, but she was already working as a pipe maker by 1841. The 1841 Census lists Catherine and her elder son Charles as tobacco pipe makers but the enumerator (by ditto marks) indicted that all her six children were involved in the business. A journeyman, Thomas Port, is listed as part of Catherine’s household. Presumably, he was employed by her. Catherine marked her pipes CS. None of her children appear in the MOL database.

The 1841Census also shows that another pipe maker, Thomas Longworth (aged 26) his wife and two children, were living at the same address. The MOL database states that Thomas, John and Robert Longworth all worked in Southwark. Their pipes were marked TL. One member of the family (son or nephew) later worked in Highgate. According to the 1861 Census, a John Longworth (aged 20) worked at the Tobacco Pipe Manufacury in Muswell Hill Road.

Catherine remained in Thomas Place for at least another ten years. The 1851 Census shows that Catherine was still working as a pipe maker. Charles had left home but her younger son William (aged 20) was still living with her and was working as a tobacco pipe maker. Her daughters, although living at home, were not involved in the business. The oldest had become a dressmaker. Catherine’s household also included a fifteen-year-old apprentice, George Laywood.

At some time, between 1851 and 1861(possibly about 1858) Catherine Shipway and her son William moved from Thomas Place to a house in Wynford Terrace, Rotherhithe. Whilst, the 1861 Census, states that William Shipway was still working as a pipe maker, Catherine had embarked on a new career as a linen draper. By 1871 William had joined his mother as a draper’s assistant. An eighteen-year-old granddaughter, Maryann Shipway (presumably the daughter of the elder son, Charles) was also employed in the business. The 1861 Census shows that business was doing well enough for Catherine to employ a sixteen-year-old live-in domestic servant. By 1861 Charles Shipway was also no longer a pipe maker. Catherine Shipway died in 1878 aged 82.

A new publication from Barnet Museum and Local History Society (BMLHS)
Don Cooper
BMLHS have published a fascinating journal of history articles from Barnet. There are nine articles in this the first volume of BMLHS journal, ranging from a theft at an East Barnet Tennis Tournament in 1475, connections with the Church Farm Boys Home in East Barnet, Zeppelins over Barnet in WWI, memorials from the Second Boer War, the effect of bombing in WWII, The Jesus Hospital Alms-houses as well as an article about a sampler from the 18th century. It is an informative read. This is a promising start to a new publication series from BMLHS.
The Barnet History Journal, Volume 1 (2017) can be obtained from Barnet Museum at the reasonable cost of £4 per copy.

Another new publication Don Cooper
An Atlas of English Parish boundaries by T C H (Tim) Cockin is published by Malthouse Press. This whopping 900-page volume is an atlas of old English parishes for local historians and genealogists. The 19th Century Ordnance Survey 6-Inch County series maps have been traced over at 16.8mm (0.6619 inch) to 1 mile with readable text, combined with information from tithe maps and other sources. The book is available at £45 from or phone 0178 237 2067

LAMAS Local History Conference – Part 1 Don Cooper The 52nd LAMAS (London & Middlesex Archaeological Society) Local History Conference took place on Saturday, 18th November in the Weston Theatre at the Museum of London. The conference was reasonably well attended with the theatre about half full. The theme of the conference this year was “Pastimes in Times Past: Entertainment in London”. The first speaker was Dr. Michael John Law (a research fellow in History) and his topic was “London Roadhouses in Fact and Fiction”. In the 1930s, Roadhouses were built mostly on the western side of London outside the area covered by the Metropolitan police. They were built beside the new arterial roads which had been constructed after the First World War. They provided massive and around the clock entertainment. The two largest were the “Ace of Spades” on the Kingston by-pass and “The Thatched Barn” on the Barnet by-pass. They relied for customers on the motor car (no speed limits, no drink driving laws). Those who had cars in the city could speed down the arterial roads with their companions and have a great time swimming (the Thatched Barn had a 60m pool!), eating and drinking. The advent of petrol rationing, and the start of WWII killed them off. However, they live on in fiction with many detective and spy stories (Graham Greene and J. B. Priestley included) featuring them. It was used as a location for the TV series “The Saint” and, later, “The Prisoner”. The original building was demolished at the end of the 1980s and is now a hotel. There are all sorts of myths about the Thatched Barn, probably brought about by its proximity to the MGM studios nearby, and the fact that it was used by the Special Operations Executive during WWII. I was left thinking I must find out more, especially about “The Thatched Barn”. Then Dr Michael Peplar talked about “Cultural Capital: London and the making of Modern Public entertainment” The talk’s premise was that a distinctly modern culture centred on London developed in Britain between the late 17th c and the early 20th c. with London’s emergence as the largest city in the world with a population that wanted to be entertained. The growth of London can be ascribed to the industrial revolution and colonial growth, giving its citizens more disposable time and money. This opportunity was satisfied by the new kinds of public and semi-public spaces – commercial theatre, pleasure gardens, coffee shops, music halls, shopping arcades, and sporting venues that became available. The keynote lecture was by Lee Jackson. It was entitled “The way of the Whirled: Commercial dancing in Victorian London”. Londoners loved to dance, from the polka mania of the 1840s to the Hammersmith Palais of the twentieth century. The Hammersmith Palais which opened after the First World War only closed in 2007. Lee traced the history of commercial dancing through this period from the upper-class ball through the highly respectable late-Victorian town hall to the seedy prostitute-ridden dance academies. Ultimately none of these establishments could compete with the music hall and modern alternative entertainments. Lee Jackson has written both fiction and non-fiction about London. He also runs a vast website on Victorian London – well worth a visit. This was fascinating talk. To be continued in the next newsletter

FRODSHAM Trip – Day 2 Jim Nelhams
Tuesday and we are up to the full complement of 40 on the coach. A leisurely day was planned with not too much walking and an early return to the hotel. Our first visit was to Norton Priory, where staff had kindly agreed to open early so that we could fit in our later visits. Then to the Lion Salt Works in Northwich followed by one of my highlights of the trip, a ride in the Anderton Boat Lift. But let others expand.

Norton Priory Museum and Gardens Claudette Carlton
Since 1134, this site has housed an Augustinian Abbey, a Tudor House and a Georgian Mansion. The present museum was opened in 2016, and provides a spacious light-filled entrance to the archaeological remains of the monastery, via the virtually intact monastic undercroft.

Only foundations remain of the monastery. The Abbot’s herb garden has been re-created, and there is a seat in the gardens with sculptures of a Green Man on one arm and a Corn Goddess on the other. Four bays of the monastic cloister have been re-created in the museum.
Norton Priory has a large tile collection, which must have been beautiful in situ, with their colours and patterns. There is information in this display about tile-making in medieval times.

One of Norton Priory’s treasures is the 14th century double life-size statue of St Christopher

Exhibits in the museum include objects discovered in the midden, which was used by the servants of the Tudor house as a rubbish dump: leather shoes and glazed pottery bottles. There are also objects from the Georgian mansion – buttons and jewellery and more personal items.
A walled garden was built in the 1770s and restored in the 1980s. Though past its summer best at the time of the visit, it was still elegant, with herbaceous borders and rose beds, a pergola, and a beautiful tree of life gate. The garden is the National Collection holder of Tree Quinces. (But let Emma and David add more on this.)
This was a very enjoyable visit.

Norton Priory Georgian Walled Garden Emma and David Robinson
It was an unexpected pleasure that this reconstructed Georgian walled garden surrounded by a woodland garden (which contains the ruins of an Augustinian priory) was included on the HADAS trip itinerary. The garden was built between 1757 and 1770 for the Brooke family, the owners of Norton Priory. The Georgian house became derelict in1921 and the garden then went to sleep until in 1984 it was awoken. Unfortunately, the original plans of the garden were destroyed in a fire. Much of its fascination today rests in its sensitive recreation by the Gillespies as a kitchen garden which would have supplied the sophisticated culinary needs of the Brooke family. In doing so the Gillespies drew on records of other Georgian walled gardens and some surviving photographs and drawings.

We were fortunate to be able to talk to some of the gardeners – including a few of their fantastic team of volunteers. They explained something of what they did at the garden, the activities which went on and that some of the garden produce was used in their cafes. We were also fortunate to be shown some of the surviving images of the original garden. It sadly did not prove possible to recreate all of the buildings including glasshouses.

Since Emma started her career as a botanist and we had both looked after an English Heritage listed garden open to the public we were fascinated by the collection of fruit and vegetables varieties typical of the 18th and 19th centuries and used for culinary purposes. The garden is the home of the National Collection of Tree Quince (Cydonia oblonga) which is native to the rocky slopes and woodland margins in countries of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia. The trees are quite diverse and are dotted around the garden. Quince trees in England are first recorded in about 1275, when Edward I had some planted at the Tower of London. Other notable fruit collected include medlars (Mespilus germanica); historic varieties of apples and pears; black, red and white currant varieties; and, diverse rhubarb cultivars. Today there is an orchard, a fruit garden, a vegetable and herb garden, various ornamental borders and a traditional Rose Walk.

Outside the garden, in the woodland, stands a remarkable ice house where ice was stored in the winter for use in the kitchen – including making those famous iced puddings so much enjoyed by the Georgians.
We had a fascinating walk from the Norton Priory Museum mostly through broad leafed woodland. It was a wonderful season for toadstools and we saw an outstanding clump of the fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).

We could have spent much longer in the garden and woods but had to find time to visit the ruins and Museum.

Lion Salt Works Stewart Wild
Our next visit was to a major site of industrial archaeology, the former Lion Salt Works, in Marston northeast of Northwich. There had been activity on the site since the early nineteenth century, but the works sadly closed in 1986 and became derelict.

After the buildings were purchased by the local council to prevent their demolition, a charitable trust was formed in 1993. Money was raised from English Heritage and government agencies; a conservation plan was published; most of the buildings became Grade II listed, and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) put in nearly £5 million towards the cost of restoration (the site scored highly in 2004 in the popular BBC tv programme Restoration).

Now a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the Lion Salt Works finally opened as a museum and major visitor attraction in June 2015, and what a marvellous site it is.

What the Romans did for us
Salt of course has been important throughout history, not only for improving the taste of food but also as a preservative. The Romans exploited underground salt and brine pools in the area, but the knowledge seems to have departed with the legions, not to return until the seventeenth century.
The first salt works on the site began in 1857, a family business. Shafts were sunk to extract brine, machinery installed, salt pans built to evaporate the water, and salt was shipped out via the adjacent Trent and Mersey Canal.

Temperature is important
The Lion Salt Works began under new ownership in 1894. Within ten years a new stove house and larger evaporating pans had been installed and markets developed not only locally but as far away as America, Canada, Australia and NZ, India and West Africa (apparently Cheshire salt was better able to withstand the high temperatures and humidity of the Tropics). Later, salt was sold to Denmark as their bacon industry developed.

Our self-guided tour through an array of buildings showed how different types of salt were produced by varying the temperature in the giant salt pans. Fine-grade table salt is produced at 110 degrees C; common salt for industry and defrosting roads at 93º C, while low-grade salt used for preserving fish and meat requires only 38º C.

Decline and fall
The company survived two world wars despite increasing competition from solar-evaporation salt pans around the world and improving technology (vacuum evaporation) in this country. By 1950 almost all of Lion’s production went to West Africa but having all its eggs in one salty basket was to spell doom as a result of the Biafran War (1967–70) and later unrest in Nigeria, and exports rapidly declined.

Despite investment and modernisation, the works was unable to compete on price and by 1980 was little more than a working museum, finally closing for good in 1986. How fortunate we are that the site, now owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, has been preserved thanks to ardent conservationists and volunteers and a shedload of HLF money.

It was hot work touring the buildings, up and down stairs and reading all the excellent storyboards, but fortunately there was time before our next visit to take refreshment in the friendly on-site cafe or to visit the nearby Red Lion Inn to enjoy the excellent local ale.

The Anderton Boat Lift Vicki Baldwin

“Remember 252 tons. It’s important.” At least that’s what we were told.
One of only two operating boat lifts in the UK, and by far the more venerable (Falkirk opened in 2002), Anderton was first opened in 1875 to create a link between the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.

By the end of the 17th century, salt mining had become a major industry around Northwich, Middlewich, Nantwich and Winsford. The River Weaver Navigation, completed in 1734, provided a link between Winsford and Frodsham where it joined the River Mersey.

The Trent and Mersey Canal, opened in 1777, provided another route which ran further south to the coal and pottery industries around Stoke-on-Trent. The operators of both waterways decided it was more profitable to co-operate and in 1793 a basin was created at Anderton on the north bank of the River Weaver. However, as this was 50 feet below the Trent and Mersey Canal it was necessary to use cranes, salt chutes and an inclined plane to tranship the cargoes. In 1831 another quay and entrance were added to the basin, and by 1870 Anderton had become a major interchange for the transhipment of goods between the two waterways. This was time-consuming and expensive. A more convenient solution would be to move the boats complete with their cargoes. There was no suitable location for a flight of locks to be constructed and a boat lift was proposed. Chief engineer Edward Leader Williams designed an efficient hydraulic ram system working a counterbalanced pair of water-filled caissons. Each wrought iron caisson measured 75ft (22.9m) long, 15ft (4.72m) wide and 9ft 6in (2.90m) deep. The two hydraulic rams were 50ft (15.2m) long and 3ft (0.90m) diameter pistons in 50ft (15.2m) long, 5ft 6in (1.68m) diameter cylinders. The cast iron superstructure provided guide rails for the caissons and was connected to the Trent and Mersey Canal by a 165ft (50.3m) aqueduct with gates at either end. At the top of the lift structure an accumulator primed by a 10 horse-power steam engine enabled adjustments to either cylinder at the start or end of the lift. Independent operation of each cylinder was also possible.

Construction took 2½ years and the lift opened on 26 July 1875. After operating for 5 years, the cylinder of one ram burst with a loaded caisson at the top of the lift. The rapid descent was cushioned by the water escaping from the cylinder and the water filled dock at river level. Fortunately, no one was injured and the superstructure sustained no major damage. Inspection revealed the necessity to replace both cylinders and the pipework. The hydraulic system was not a sealed one and both waterways contained pollutants which led to corrosion and “grooving” of the pistons. Copper was used to effect repairs but created more problems. By 1904 the prospect of having to close the lift for extensive repairs caused the operators to consider alternative methods of operation. Installation of an electric motor and changes to the superstructure to support the added weight took place between 1906 and 1908. During that period the boat lift was only closed for a total of 49 days, reopening on 29 July 1908.

The lift continued to run for another 75 years, although post WWII the decline of commercial canal usage meant that by the 1970s most traffic was recreational and seasonal. In 1983 during repairs, extensive corrosion was discovered and the lift was closed. A restoration plan was launched in the 1990s and the £7 million required was raised. Work started in 2000 to restore the lift using an hydraulic oil system. In March 2002 the lift was reopened to boats. A trip on a boat using the lift is a fascinating experience.

Oh, I nearly forgot, but you didn’t, did you? The reason 252 tons is important is that it is the operating weight of each caisson. 252 tons full of water and, due to displacement, 252 tons including a boat.

Other Societies Events Eric Morgan

Monday 8th January, 3pm Barnet Museum and Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (Opposite Barnet Museum). The Festival of Britain – the left overs Talk by Rob Kayne. Visitors £2
Wednesday 10th January 2.30pm Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway, NW7. The Golden Age of Folk Song Collecting Talk by Laura Smythe.
Wednesday 10th January 7.45pm Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Rd/Weston Park, N8 9PX. The Influence of Effluence: Tottenham Sewage Works & The Markfield Beam Engine Talk by Ken Brereton. Visitors £2 refreshments.

Monday 15th January, 8pm Enfield Society/ Joint Meeting with Edmonton Hundred Historical Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/ Junction Chase Side, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. Enfield Power Station: A Century of Generation Talk by Grant Browning.

Advance Notice
Friday 23rd to Saturday 24th February. Current Archaeology Live 2018, at UCL, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HD, Wide range of expert speakers sharing latest archaeological finds and research, Current Archaeology’ awards at drinks reception and Current World Archaeology photographic competition. Tickets on sale at early bird rate of £89 for subscribers (available until Monday, 15th January 2018 and standard price of £139 for non-subscribers. To book call 02088195580 and quote “Canf 18 mc” or visit .

Acknowledgements & Thanks: Susan Trackman, Stewart Wild, Jim Nelhams, Bill Bass, Vicki Baldwin, Emma and David Robinson, Claudette Carlton, Eric Morgan.

Chairman: Don Cooper, 59 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel: 020 8440 4350
Hon. Secretary: Jo Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel: 020 8449 7076
Hon. Treasurer: Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS Tel: 020 8449 7076
Hon. Membership Sec. Stephen Brunning, 1 Reddings Close, Mill Hill, NW7 4JL Tel. 020 8959 6419
Web site:
Discussion group:


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No. 560                                NOVEMBER 2017                       Edited by Micky Watkins



Tuesday 14th November at 8pm: The Hunting of Hephzibah. Lecture by Jim


Wilson is unable to make it but it is hoped the talk on the Battle of Barnet Project will take place next year. 


Sunday 10th December.12.30-4pm HADAS Christmas Party. Avenue House    Cost £30. Apply to Jim Nelhams.

Full Christmas Lunch –Cash Bar – Raffle – Good Company – Surprises?


Tuesday 9th January 8pm: Prof. Christopher Scull “ The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex.”


Tuesday 13th February at 8pm: To Be Confirmed.  


Tuesday 13h March at 8pm: Roman London’s First Voices: Roman writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London. Lecture by Dr Roger Tomlin. 


All Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee & tea served afterwards. Non-members welcome (£2.00). Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a 5-10-minute walk away.

The Hunting of Hephzibah                                                                                        Jim Nelhams         

When I first started on Jo’s family tree, nobody in her family knew anything about Hephzibah, nor even that she had existed. Tracking her around the world proved an interesting and satisfying project.

The search led me to dig through lots of historical records, to the point that I decided that this was family archaeology. Such records can help HADAS research – indeed, when we looked at Hendon House prior to digging at Hendon School, we were able to establish who had lived in the house in Victorian times.   

So come and hear how through Hephzibah, the small village of Coton close to Cambridge is connected to the Oxfordshire village of Hailey, north of Witney, and the extra-ordinary twist at the end of the story.

Lant Street, Southwark and HADAS Finds Group                                                  Melvyn Dresner


At HADAS’s Annual General Meeting in June 2017, Harvey Sheldon, Robin Densem and

Jacqui Pearce provided background information to the Lant Street dig, which was dug in

1999. Since October 2016, the HADAS Finds Group under the expert guidance of Jacqui Pearce has been processing pottery finds and since October 2017, clay pipes from Lant Street, Southwark.


Harvey Sheldon explained how from 1995 to 2001, Birkbeck College organised training digs with the support of Southwark Council. He explained how this was driven by competitive tendering for Council services and need to fulfil requirements of Planning Policy Guidance 16: Archaeology and Planning (PPG 16). This Policy was introduced in November 1990 following public outcry after a number of high-profile scandals such as the threatened destruction of the Rose Theatre in London by developers. The key concept was if archaeology cannot be preserved in situ then PPG 16 requires preservation by record.


The collaboration with John Dylan at Southwark Council was vital to establishing the training over a long period. Students got experience they needed and the Council was able to preserve by recording.  Digs were for five week periods and included sites on Old Kent Road, Bermondsey and Old Jamaica Road. Due to lack of budget and expenses such as portacabins and portaloos, budgets for post evacuation work was limited, which is where HADAS Finds Group has become involved. The approach to training was a panel of tutors supervising on site with instructions on section drawing and planning, as well as specialist advice on finds. 


Robin Densem explained that the site was a car park used by local primary school teachers and digging on the first week was delayed because of difficulty getting on site and getting the school teachers off.  There were four buildings identified on site.  Deep trenching and the small size of the site compared to student numbers was a major safety and logistical headache. The site was a practicable challenge with deep and rich archaeological finds and strong historical connections. The site did not bottom to natural sediments but did reveal brick walls with chalk foundations


Using historic maps and map regressions we able to see the 18th and 19th century buildings and relate them to the trenches dug by Birkbeck students. We know there was a public house on site and it was on this site where Charles Dickens lodged age twelve. His father, John Dickens, was at the Marshalsea prison for debt. By the time Charles Dickens wrote his first novel in 1836-37 (Pickwick Papers published in serial form), he had not forgotten Lant Street, even though he was only there for a few weeks at the age of twelve. 


“There is a repose about Lant Street, in the Borough, which sheds a gentle melancholy upon the soul. There are always a good many houses to let in the street: it is a by-street too, and its dulness is soothing. A house in Lant Street would not come within the denomination of a firstrate residence, in the strict acceptation of the term; but it is a most desirable spot nevertheless. If a man wished to abstract himself from the world — to remove himself from within the reach of temptation — to place himself beyond the possibility of any inducement to look out of the window — we should recommend him by all means go to Lant Street.”


Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers, 1837 Chapter XXXII.


 Pottery Overview


Jacqui Pearce provided background on the HADAS Finds Group (which started in 2001) that is now working through the Lant Street material, including recording bulk finds of pottery and clay pipe, identifying small finds – the most interesting pieces found on site. Also, re-bagging and labelling, so the material can be sent to London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC), including sorting pottery into forms and fabric. We also identified some of the small finds for photographical recording by Susan Trackman. This term we are focussing on clay pipe, and we look at other material such as glass ware, ceramic building material 


During the lecture Jacqui provided parallels to what we found on site from paintings of the relevant period. So for Surrey/ Hampshire border ware (17th century), we can see Jan Steen’s (1626-79) Private Bathers – a painter of the Dutch Golden Age. 


There were also drinking vessels from the 17th century associated with public houses that were known on Lant Street – in dark colours with brown or black glazes. By the late 18th century there were redware’s such as pipkins – a cooking pot, usually with three legs and hollow handle designed to place directly over a heat source.  There were chamber pots from the mid-18th century with comfy rims and London made earthenware such as storage jars. All of this material gives an impression of domestic life at Lant Street in the 17th – 18th centuries. Candlestick made in border ware, though it seemed less designed more improvised. 


More refined pottery included tin glaze known as London Delftware (as the technique was first brought to England by Dutch potters) was found on site, including pottery made relatively locally at Rotherhithe.  This pottery design is influenced by late Ming Chinese pottery with designs such as Bird on rock, Chinaman among grasses. The latter using colours blue and yellow, other popular colours are blue cobalt and mauve made from magnesium. Joseph Highmore’s painting, Mr Oldham and his guests (1734-1745)) shows a man grasping a bowl of this era.


Other material found on site includes drug jars from 17th century that could have been used by a pharmacist or apothecary on site or just in a domestic context. Also, white tin glaze chamber pots were found. We can see from the pottery how Lant Street was connected to the global trade and national production with Portuguese tin glaze with Chinese decoration from 1630’s with parrots and cultural themes. There was also 1660 – 18th century Staffordshire slip

– dishes and cups with names such as “TURNER” applied in jewelled slip. In addition there was Frechen stoneware from Northern Rhineland, and the appearance of English stoneware from the 1670’s, including from John Dwight’s (d.1703) pottery in Fulham, the pioneer of stoneware in Britain, building on German practice. Also, we have names on pottery, such as George and Dragon, which could be the name of the pub on Lant Street and techniques such as white salt glaze was introduced in the 1720’s. Various forms such as mini-mugs, an arm grasping snake handle from porringer and a pineapple shaped teapot in creamware from the 1740’s, – indicating global trade in luxuries. Pearlware appears from the last quarter of the 18th century with cobalt and tea bowls in pewter were influencing pottery production. Pottery found on site shows how this was part of a globally linked production. For example, Chinese porcelain with klobard decoration is over-painted in London or Amsterdam before being used in Lant Street. This is work in progress, and will take some detailed analysis before we can interpret these finds.


Archaeology on Jersey                                                         Peter Pickering


I went to Jersey with a Council for British Archaeology tour at the end of September. Jersey is no more than nine miles by five, so although the roads can be narrow and/or congested coach journeys from one site to another do not take long. The tour was led by Robert Waterhouse, Field Archaeologist to the Société Jersiaise, who lectured to us each evening in the Société’s rooms (although English is the language spoken, the French connection is evident in the names of streets etc). During the three days of the tour I saw was it seven neolithic tombs of various varieties, mostly benefiting from the activities of past antiquaries, two Iron Age promontory forts, two major castles on the coast (one Elizabethan, and the other dating from soon after continental Normandy was lost in 1204 to the English (Angevin) crown) and the Channel Islands remained possessions of King John. 

            The best preserved and most remarkable of the Neolithic tombs is La Hougue Bie, an 18.6-metre-long passage chamber covered by a 12.2 metre high earth mound; see the picture below. On the top is a mediaeval chapel, remodelled just before the reformation to have in it a replica of Christ’s sepulchre in Jerusalem (actually, there was at one time an eighteenthcentury folly, but it was demolished by the excavators in the ’twenties because they feared its weight would damage the tomb beneath). We went, bent double, into the chamber, which is supposed to be lit by the rising sun at the equinox; no-one got up early enough to test this.


Another highlight of the tour was the Câtillon hoard, found in 2012. In the museum, just by La Hougue Bie, we met the conservators and one of the detectorists who had found it. It was not quite a chance find, since an old lady had said that when she was a girl work on a


hedgerow had uncovered some ‘funny-looking silvery buttons’; hunting for the place referred to eventually found, at a depth below that searchable by most metal detectors, this hoard of some 70,000 coins. Oh, and there were quite a few pieces of gold  – torcs and the like – as well. The coins were almost all of the Coriosolitae tribe, from mainland France. Clearly, as has been observed, Jersey was seen as a good place to deposit your wealth then, as it is today! Lifting the hoard, the size of a small bath, in one piece was a major achievement. Conserving the coins and other objects is almost complete, though a section of the hoard is being retained as it was, for the benefit of future generations with, perhaps, even better techniques than we have. The conservators have some specialised equipment, for scanning coins before they are removed from the mass. 

The detectorists’ declaration of the find to the authorities for proper excavation was exemplary, though Jersey has no modern treasure legislation, and even how far the mediaeval provisions of Treasure Trove apply in Jersey seemed unclear. There is now pressure for Jersey to pass a modern treasure law, based on that in England and Wales.


FRODSHAM TRIP – Day 1                                                                             Jim Nelhams

Having loaded our luggage and food supplies at our home, and with Dave Ketley as driver, our coach took its usual tour of the Borough before heading westward onto the M40, where our first stop, for comfort and a quick coffee or something stronger, was at the Beaconsfield services. Thirty seven passengers plus mascots were with us with a further three to join later at the hotel.

Leaving Beaconsfield, we headed north for our first visit at Redditch, where because of the excellence of our guides and the interest shown, we had little time to visit the adjacent ruins of Bordesley Abbey (though it was a little damp) after which we called at Jodrell Bank before heading on to our hotel at Frodsham. But let fellow travellers take up the story.


The Forge Mill and National Needle Museum                                           Micky Watkins

The Redditch area has been the centre of needle making in Britain since the 17th century. At first it was a cottage industry with people working in their own homes. In the early 19th Century machines were introduced and so production was concentrated in factories. The Museum shows the ten processes used to turn coils of steel wire into needles.

The heated wire was pulled through holes of diminishing size to the required thickness, it was cut into the length of two needles and straightened. Next the “pointer” held 50 to 100 needles against the grinding stone. This was the most dangerous job because the men continually inhaled stone and metal dust and got “twitters” of metal flying into their eyes. “Pointers Rot” was the name for their lung disease and they mostly died before they were 30. They were paid a guinea a day, which meant they were rich.

Women, who were only paid 8 to 12 shilling a week, stamped the needle eyes with a stamp worked by foot. Women and children filed off excess metal and broke the double needles into two. Boys were paid only 2 shillings a week. They all worked 13 hours a day with one hour off for dinner and 2 half hour breaks.

On the top floor of the Museum building there is a display of the different types of needle made – for sail-making, bookbinding, embroidery, tapestry, leather. gramophones and fishhooks. I did not see this display as I did not have time because I was so fascinated by the needle-making processes.   

Apart from the Museum, we saw the water wheel and the Scouring Mill it motivated. The mill pond is fed by a stream once known as the “Red Ditch” from which the town gets its name. Needles were brought here from all the neighbouring factories in order to polish them. About 60,000 needles were placed in a sett, a wooden holder lined with canvas, and powdered stone and grease added. Each sett was tied up tightly and then they were rolled for at least a day, and for a week for “best brights”. Then they were washed, and dried in barrels filled with sawdust which were revolved by the water power. The gleaming needles were packed by women and children at home.

The Museum and Forge Mill are run by the local authority and volunteers who kindly started the water wheel for us. The whole site is an excellent display of industrial archaeology.





                                                                                                                                            (Photo from Andy Simpson showing the machinery, powered by the overshot water wheel, which rolls the setts of needles)

Bordesley Abbey                                                                                                   Jean Bayne

 Very few of us managed to get more than a glimpse of the low lying ruins of the Abbey as we ran out of time. But situated close to the Needle factory, its visible remains belie its local past importance. Built in the 12 Century by Cistercian monks, an ascetic order who focused then on spiritual communion with God and valued isolated places to live, it survived and changed till the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538. It has been virtually undisturbed since that time—except by local archaeologists.

In 1864, a local teacher began excavations and drew up plans from his researches to show what the Abbey would have looked like. The night stairs can still be seen but nothing on a large scale. Since 1969, the local authority has supported an annual excavation. Before the Abbey, there is evidence of pre-historic and Roman occupation of the land from artefacts found there. The Abbey site itself has revealed changing floor and building levels, water mills and workshops which point to leather, metal and wood working and cemeteries with skeletons. The monks owned large tracts of inhospitable land which they cleared, drained and levelled for building and used for sustenance and building materials.  They even changed the landscape by altering the course of the river. And in the 14th century, 3000 sheep were recorded. The hard work was undertaken by the lay brothers rather than the monks themselves.

The Abbey contracted in the late Middle Ages, either due to flooding or lack of available labour, and was given the coup de grace by Henry VIII at the dissolution. 



Jodrell Bank                                                                                                       Dudley Miles

The Grade I listed Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank, with its 76.2 metre dish, is an impressive sight. The giant gear racks for its tilting mechanism were recycled from the 15-inch gun turrets of two battleships, the Royal Sovereign and the Revenge, which were being broken up. I was surprised to learn that even though it is sixty years old, it is still the third largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world. It is so sensitive that we were required to turn off our mobile phones, although this turned out to be unnecessary as the telescope is currently turned off while it undergoes repair and enhancement. There is a visitor centre which shows several interesting films.


It is well known that it was the only telescope able to track the first man-made object in space in 1957, the Russian Sputnik 1, but I was fascinated to learn that it also had a role in the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the dish was pointed towards Russia to warn if any missiles were launched. It played an important role in the discovery of pulsars, the extremely compressed cores of stars which have exploded. It is now part of a network of seven radio telescopes to create one virtual telescope 217 kilometres across, which can produce images as sharp as the Hubble Space Telescope. Recently, the Lovell telescope has joined a collaboration with a much larger baseline to image the black hole at the centre of our galaxy.

(It is interesting to add that most of the things recorded by the telescope are considerably older than anything archaeologists might dig. Effectively, Jodrell Bank is the start of space archaeology. JN)


Forest Hills Hotel                                                                                            Jim Nelhams

“Best Western Forest Hills Hotel” was constructed in 1988. With its superb location on top of Frodsham Hill and wonderful views across the Mersey estuary the area was ideal for picnic parties, Sunday School outings and day trippers looking to enjoy the simple pleasures of a children’s playground, swing boats and a helter-skelter.

The site had been used as a business for over 100 years and early records show there had been a coffee shop here before the turn of the century. During the early 1900’s the business was extended to include further public entertainment’s such as live music and dancing. During the Second World War the business ceased whilst the premises were taken over by the Ministry of Defence and the skating rink turned into a hospital.

In 1947 the site was returned to the owners and further development of the catering and entertainment facilities took place. The emphasis during the 1960’s was placed on the dance hall and live entertainment. In the late 60’s early 70’s, ballroom dancing gave way to pop groups and cabaret artistes. Many famous artistes who appeared include Gerry and the

Pacemakers, the Searchers, Showaddywaddy, Lulu and Luvvers and the swinging Blue Jeans.

Undoubtedly the most exciting night of all was in 1963 when the Beatles performed, many local people have vivid memories of the exhilarating atmosphere on that incredible night. The lively programme also included such well-known personalities as Bob Monkhouse, Frankie

Vaughan, Cannon & Ball, Tom O’Connor and Ken Dodd.”

There is a war memorial close to the hotel, well worth the short walk to enjoy the views across the Mersey. The two Liverpool Cathedrals which we were to visit were identifiable on the skyline.

As well as comfortable rooms, we enjoyed good food and friendly service, and splendid sandwiches made in the kitchen to be included in our packed lunches.


A Useful Tube Map                                                  Deirdre Barrie

Map of Roman sites in London expressed as a tube map see this link  


Other Societies’ events                                                                                   Eric Morgan

Monday 6th Nov. CBA, The Linnean Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly. Archaeology

Day and AGM, beginning with a discussion on the public image of archaeology, followed by

AGM. Then a celebration of community archaeology by the presentation of the Marsh Awards. Drinks reception. Then a lecture on Presenting Maritime Archaeology to the Public by Christopher Dobbs and Alexandra Hildred. See

Wednesday 8th Nov. 2pm. City of London, Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, EC2V 7HH. The Rediscovery of Roman London: from John Stowe to William Stukeley. Talk by John Clark.

Sunday 3rd Dec. 10.30am. Heath and Hampstead Society. Meet in Hampstead Lane by the

210 bus stop opp. Stormont Rd. The Hidden Heath, Signs of the Heath’s Past. Walk by Michael Hammerson. Lasts approx 2 hrs. Dpnation £5.


Wednesday 6th Dec. 6pm. Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y

5HW.  House, Shop and Wardrobe in London’s Merchant Community. Talk by Simon Thurley. Free.


Tuesday 12th Dec. 6.30pm. Lamas. Clore Learning Centre, Museum of London. London’s Waterfront. Talk by John Schofield. Visitors £2.


Tuesday 12th Dec. 7.45pm. Amateur Geological Society, Finchley Baptist Church, East End Rd.,N3 3PL. (opp. Avenue House). Why Planet Earth is Habitable. Talk by Dr PhilipStrandmann.


Wednesday 13th Dec. 2.30pm.Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway, Mill Hill, NW7. How to Keep Your Head – A Light Hearted Look at the Tower of London and its Surroundings. Talk by Danny Hockman (Blue badge guide).


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No. 559   OCTOBER 2017                                                                       Edited by Stephen Brunning            



Tuesday 10th October at 8pm. The Curtain Playhouse excavations.  Lecture by Heather Knight (MOLA)


Heather Knight will be talking about the archaeology found on the site of the Curtain playhouse and look at the kind of questions that archaeology on the Curtain site is raising and the new narratives that the archaeology is proposing, and how archaeology is contributing to our understanding of the evolution of 16th and 17th century theatre.


The Curtain playhouse was built c.1577 on the outskirts of the City of London and is one of the very earliest purpose built theatrical venues and operated as a place of public entertainment until the mid-1620s. During that time it staged many productions including William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Ben Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour. Of the handful of Elizabethan and Jacobean playhouses that were built in

London, the Curtain is one of the least historically documented and until the site was excavated in 2016 very little was known about it. The results of the excavation have astounded theatre historians and are contributing enormously to an interdisciplinary dialogue researching the origins of English drama.


Heather Knight is a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and has been a Senior

Archaeologist with the MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) since 1995. Over that time Heather has focused on the archaeology of medieval and post-medieval urban development with a particular emphasis on theatre archaeology and has led the excavations of the Theatre and the Curtain, two Elizabethan playhouses in Shoreditch where many of Shakespeare’s early plays were performed. Heather is also a member of the Advisory Board for “Before Shakespeare”, a multidisciplinary research project focusing on early modern drama and the first 30 years of London commercial playhouses.


Tuesday 14th November at 8pm: The Hunting of Hephzibah Lecture by Jim Nelhams (HADAS Treasurer)  PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF LECTURE.         Sam Wilson is unable to make it but it is hoped the talk on the Battle of Barnet Project will take place next year.


Sunday 10th DecemberHADAS Christmas Party.  Please see article in this newsletter and booking form enclosed or attached.


Tuesday 9th January 8pm:  Prof. Christopher Scull  The Anglo-Saxon princely burial at Prittlewell, Essex.


Tuesday 13th February at 8pm: To Be Confirmed.


Tuesday 13h March at 8pm:  Roman London’s First Voices: Roman writing-tablets from Bloomberg, London. Lecture by Dr Roger Tomlin.

All Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee & tea served afterwards. Non-members welcome (£2.00). Buses 13, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a 5-10 minute walk away. 


Carpenters Lock Re-opens in Stratford.      Jim Nelhams.                                                              

The River Lea rises at Leagrave just north of Luton and its course takes a route southwards before joining the Thames via Bow Creek at Leamouth. A number of man-made changes have been made over the years, partly to power mills, including those at Three Mills, visited by HADAS when returning from our Canterbury trip. At Lea Bridge Road, where a waterworks and filtration beds were established, the river turns left over a weir before continuing southwards in what is known as the Waterworks River. A canal was built to aid barge traffic, and this also connects via the Hertford Navigation to the Regents Canal, giving access to North London, and further to the Grand Union Canal.

Three main passages of water, collectively known as the Bow Back Rivers, are to be found in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at Stratford.

On the west side is the Lea Navigation, in the middle, a short canal – the City Mill River, with the

Waterworks River on the east side. In recent times, the Waterworks River was widened to allow the use of large barges bringing and removing material during the construction of the Olympic facilities.

At the north end of the Olympic Park sits Carpenters Lock (just above arrow on map), which allowed barge traffic to pass between the river and the navigation. Originally built in 1934, it also helped control any water surges following heavy rain in Hertfordshire. This was after floods in 1928 put the Stratford railway works under water. The lock fell out of use in 1960, and following a ten year project costing £1.8million, it was officially re-opened for use on Bank Holiday Monday at the end of August. This allows complete circumnavigation of the Park.

The lock is unique within Britain, having unusual lock gates. Instead of the traditional vertical gates, there are concave metal gates. These resemble the gates of the Thames Barrier, but rather than being lowered under the water, they are raised to allow passage underneath. Each of the two gates, built in Sheffield, weighs 14 tons, and counterbalanced by weights, they are moved by electric motors. The original gates were operated by hydraulics.



We have booked the Drawing Room at Avenue House on Sunday 10th December from 12:30 to 4:00pm for our annual Christmas get together.

Following feedback after last year’s party (see Newsletter 550 – January 2017), we will follow the same format this year with a full Christmas Dinner courtesy of Malcolm Godfrey and his staff. The planned time for serving the meal is 2:00pm.

A separate booking form is with this newsletter. Please specify any special dietary requirements.

We look forward to seeing many members with a chance to chat in relaxed surroundings.


Hello and Goodbye – changes to our currency.     Jim Nelhams.  

Coins are very useful as dating evidence when found in archaeological digs. But traditional bank notes do not survive in the ground. Is that changing?

In 1991, our “copper” coinage was changed to copper plated steel. In 2012, some iron content was introduced to the 10p, 20p and 50p coins. These changes were made to cut the cost of raw materials used in new coins but the result is that these coins can now rust.

More recently, we have seen the introduction of the polymer £5 note. How long will they last if buried in the ground?

More changes are under way. A new polymer £10 note was announced at Winchester Cathedral on 18th July this year, for introduction on 14th September, a year and a day since the £5 note was first used. By the time you read this newsletter, you will have started to see them. The notes feature Jane Austin, and the announcement was on the 200th anniversary of her death in Winchester, where her tomb is in the Cathedral. HADAS visited the Cathedral during our stay in the New Forest. A picture of the Cathedral also appears on the note.

The old £10 note will be withdrawn in the spring of 2018, and three months’ notice will be given by the Bank of England. Over £8 billion worth of the notes are in circulation.

Looking further ahead, a polymer £20 note is scheduled for 2020 with a picture of artist J W M Turner. And a new £50 will follow, though there is no decision on the date for this.

On 28th March this year, we saw the new 12-sided dual metal £1 coin, which contains no iron. This was introduced primarily to make forgery more difficult and expensive and the new coin is claimed to be the most secure coin in the world. It was estimated that up to 1 in 6 old coins were forgeries. The process is completed on Sunday 15th October this year when the old coins cease to be legal tender. So check your purses, pockets and money boxes and make sure you use them before that date. Not long to go!

Paddington Crossrail Walk.                                                                          Jo Nelhams

When on the ‘Bus Pass’ outing on 29th June to the Crossrail Exhibition, we saw information about a

Crossrail walk, meeting at ‘Paddington Bear Statue’ on Platform 1 at Paddington Station on the 20th August. About 30 walkers gathered, this being the last in a series of 10 walks that started in February at different places on the Crossrail route. The first underground (Metropolitan Line) from Paddington to Farringdon was opened in 1864, at which time people could arrive at the main line station in horse drawn carriages. Some privately owned carriages could be loaded onto the train, so the occupants could travel in the comfort of their own carriage. Access was from Bishops Bridge Road and this access continued when motorised transport was introduced. Later the taxi rank was moved to Eastbourne Terrace, but with the Crossrail development it has returned close to its original location. Our walk started round the outside of the station and along Eastbourne Terrace, down the side of the station. The Crossrail station is below ground, but its entrance is visible from the road. The station will measure 260 metres in length and the new trains will be 200 metres.

With so much underground digging, it is essential to monitor movement, to ensure existing structures were stable and buildings were not affected. Along the route many prisms were attached to buildings from which robotic theodolites compiled data. These were evident as we walked past the exterior of Paddington Station. The tunnelling was done using TBMs (tunnel boring machines) and tradition is that tunnel machines are given female names before they are used. The 8 machines were used in pairs. The names were- Ada, named after Ada Lovelace the earliest Computer scientist, who worked with Charles Babbage, and Phyllis, named after Phyllis Pearsall, portrait painter who created the A to Z London Street map.

Elizabeth and Victoria are named after two Queens.

Jessica and Ellie named after Olympic Gold medal winners Jessica Ennis Hill (Heptathlon) and Eleanor Simmonds (Swimming Paralympics).

Sophia named after Marc Brunel’s wife Sophia Kingdom and Mary after Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s wife Mary Elizabeth Horsley.

A time capsule has been buried at Farringdon as well as the cutter head from TBM Phyllis. One of the objects in the capsule is a 2013 copy of the A to Z map of London streets.

From Paddington we made our way towards Royal Oak Station and the Westbourne Park area.  Opposite Royal Oak Station there is a road named Westbourne Park Villas. Thomas Hardy lived for a time in one of the houses and there is a Blue Plaque. (see page 6). For a time, he worked for the Midland Railway. On the opposite side of the road, bordering the railway is a Grade 2 listed curved wall designed by Brunel.  Walking to the end of the wall, we proceeded to a footbridge across the main GWR route and standing on the footbridge looking west was the site of the Brunel Engine sheds, which were exposed by the Crossrail excavations. Looking to the east the portal, the entrance for the 26 mile Crossrail tunnel under London was clearly visible.


                                                                                                                                                                         Curved wall designed by Brunel

Some of the new trains are already running between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, though using only 7 of the 9 carriages because the platforms at the existing Liverpool Street Station, as opposed to Crossrail, are not long enough.

Entrance to 26 mile Crossrail tunnel



The original Great Western Railway plan was to have the terminus at Euston, which would be shared with the London and Birmingham Railway. The GWR Board pulled out of this plan and instructed Brunel to pursue his idea of a station at Paddington. His first station was constructed from wood and opened in 1838. With the rapid development of the railway, Paddington quickly neared capacity and by 1854 the wooden station was being demolished. Planning its replacement, Brunel moved some of the engine and carriage sheds and workshops to a field in Westbourne Park. The excavation exposed evidence of the Broad Gauge sheds and Standard Gauge as well as turntables. In 1861, the tracks into Paddington were modified to accommodate standard gauge. Many plans and drawings are still in existence, documenting the development of the site, which saw many changes. The GWR eventually outgrew the site and on the 17th March 1906 a new depot opened at Old Oak Common. By June much of Westbourne Park had been demolished.


Some recent Planning Application news.          Bill Bass


1201 High Road, Whetstone, London N20.

This is the area of a former ‘B&Q’ site now being developed for housing. As this was a fairly large site near to Totteridge Road/High Road junction where evidence of medieval occupation is known, an archaeological evaluation was conducted by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).


Mostly small amounts of post-medieval pottery, peg-tile and other material were found in the five trenches sampled. The area seems to have been used for quarrying and agricultural purposes; the lack of occupational finds appears to reflect this.


1255 High Road, Whetstone, London N20.

This site is the Council offices just north of the ‘B&Q’ site as above; permission is being sort to turn this into a residential block. Associated development at the base of the site may disturb any remaining archaeology; hopefully this will be protected by an archaeological condition.


(Holly Lodge) 189 Barnet Road, Barnet.

This is a development near the junction of Barnet Road and Barnet Gate Lane, Arkley. It’s a possible area of medieval occupation together with a later brick and tile works, and north of Barnet Road there is Arkley Windmill, a listed corn mill.


The site is in an Archaeological Priority Area (APA). CFA Archaeology Ltd carried out an evaluation here finding very small amounts of mid to 19thC deposits, including tin-glazed ware pottery. The area is thought to have been levelled by the building of the 19thC brick and tile works before Holly Lodge was built.


48 Chesnut Grove, East Barnet

A planning application has been received to develop this area for housing. Some of the land here may have been landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown when it was the estate of ‘Little Grove’ between 17681770; this includes a fish pond which could indicate earlier occupation of the site. Historic England has recommended detailed research and assessment by a historic landscape specialist.

70 High St, Barnet.

This is currently under development; all that is left of the original building is the front face/facia. As the structure is in an APA where the medieval heart of High Barnet is thought to be, it is hoped the archaeological condition attached to the planning approval is carried-out.


Other Societies’ Events, compiled by Eric Morgan.


Wednesday 11th October 2.30pm. Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway NW7. Almshouses:

an international, national and local perspective of their origins and development. Talk by Simon Smith.   


Tuesday 24th October, 7.30pm.  Barnet Museum and Local History Society, Pennefather Hall, Christ Church, St

Albans Road, Barnet EN5 4LA.  Protecting the Roman Empire.  Gillian Gear Memorial Lecture given by Matthew Symonds (expert on Roman archaeology and forts built to protect the Roman Empire).  Tickets on the door £3 for members, £5 for visitors.  Refreshments included.


Saturday 4th November 10.30am to 4.30pm. Geologists Association, Festival of Geology, University College. Gower Street, WC1.  Lots of stalls from geological societies from all over the country, including The Amateur Geological Society.


Wednesday 8th November, 2.30pm.  Mill Hill Historical Society, Trinity Church, The Broadway NW7.  House Mill, Bromley by Bow: the world’s largest surviving tidal mill.  Talk by Beverly Charters.


Friday 10th November, 7.45pm.  Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction of Chase

Side, Enfield EN2 0AJ.  A glimpse of the Black Death at West Smithfield.  Talk by Don Walker (MOLA).   Visitors £1


Friday 17th November, 7.30pm.   COLAS, St Olave’s Church Hall, Mark Lane, EC3R 7BB. Recent archaeological discoveries at Holy Family School, Walthamstow. Talk by Shane Maher (PCA). Visitors £3.  Light refreshments afterwards.


Saturday 18th November 10.30am to 6pm.  LAMAS Local History Conference, Weston Theatre, Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN. Pastimes in Times Past: Entertainment in London. Includes local history displays by societies all over London.  Afternoon refreshments are provided free.  For tickets and further information visit


Tuesday 21st November, 8pm.  Barnet Museum and Local History Society.  Church House, Wood Street, Barnet

(opposite museum). AGM.  Also Barnet Physic Well, Well Approach, EN5 3DY.  Well is open on Saturday 25th November from 2-4pm.  FREE entry.


Wednesday 22nd November, 7.45pm.  Friern Barnet & District Local History Society.  North Middx Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL.  Behind Closed Doors: the life of a Prison Officer.  Talk by Pauline Martindale.  Visitors £2.  Refreshments.


Saturday 25th November, 11am to 3pm.  Barnet 1471 Battlefields Society. St John the Baptist Church, Barnet, EN5 4BW.  Talks by Mike Ingram & Nathen Amin on subjects connected to the Wars of The Roses.  There will also be a medieval re-enactment plus afternoon tea and stalls including the Battle of Barnet Project & The Battlefields Trust.  Come and learn about the NEW Barnet 1471 Battlefields Society.  Tickets are £12.50 for adults and £6.25 for children.  For further information and to book tickets please email:


Saturday 25th November 10am-4pm.  Amateur Geological Society. North London mineral, gem and fossil show. 

Trinity Church, 15 Nether Street, N12 7NN.  (Near Tally Ho pub and Arts Depot).  Jewellery, raffle and lucky dip.  Lots of stalls.  Refreshments.  Entrance £2.


Thursday 30th November, 8pm.  Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, N3 3QE.  The ghost of Lily Painter.  Jean Scott Memorial Lecture given by Caitlin Davies.  Visitors £2.


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No. 558                                  Date: September 2017            Edited by: Sandra Claggett



Monday 25th to Friday 29th September: Trip to Frodsham

Lectures start again with: 

Tuesday 10th October 2017: The Curtain Playhouse excavations by Heather Knight MOLA  Tuesday 14th November 2017: The Battle of Barnet Project by Sam Wilson  

All Lectures are held at Stephens House & Gardens (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.  

Farewell to long standing members.                                                                By Jo Nelhams  

Harold and Erna Karton

Harold and Erna Karton had been HADAS members since 1981.  

Harold grew up in the East End and after leaving school, secured an apprenticeship in the Jewellery trade. This led him to form a partnership and he worked in Hatton Garden trading in diamonds. 


Erna was born in Poland and came to England when she was 8 and lived in London. Harold and Erna married in 1944 and had a daughter Marianne. Erna studied with the Open University and became a social worker, particularly working in psychiatric care.

Both had a keen interest in the arts and were members of a number of organisations. They were also volunteer workers, Harold especially with the North London Hospice. When Harold joined HADAS the West Heath excavation was in progress and he was one of the many members who participated in the dig. They used to attend lectures, but not in more recent years. Harold died on 23rd November 2016 and Erna on June 1st, 2017.

Jean Lamont

Jean grew up in Woodside Park, the elder of two girls. Father joined the RAF and towards the end of the war, he was posted to Catterick in Yorkshire, where the family lived for a while.  Later she passed the 11 plus and attended South Hampstead High School. After leaving school, she joined the Board of Trade and, while working, she studied for a degree in modern languages, which led to promotion. She had a varied career, ranging from involvement in the Kyoto convention to eradicate CFCs as the UK representative at the United Nations conferences in Brussels and Geneva, to working with Lord Gowrie at the Ministry of Culture to develop business sponsorship of the arts, leading her to an interest in crafts, especially pottery.

She joined HADAS in July 1993 and when she retired her interest in archaeology broadened and she studied for a diploma. She visited many sites in Europe and was a member of a number of organisations. She frequently attended lectures, selecting those in which she was interested. She took part in the HADAS trip to Buxton as that was also an area that she had not visited.

Her volunteer work included organising a group of ladies with some memory of WW2 to go into schools to talk to the children with artefacts such as gas masks and ration books. Other interest included theatre, ballet and gardening.


Docklands Museum Outing By Jim Nelhams, Deirdre Barrie, and Audrey Hooson


The August newsletter carried a brief report of our bus pass outing, but did not report what we found. The exhibition ends on the 3rd September.

The Docklands Museum is part of the Museum of London, and is situated in an old rum warehouse on the side of the docks, close to those tall office blocks at Canary Wharf. It contains two floors with a permanent exhibition showing the history of the London Docks, including information covering World War 2. It is quite easy to spend a couple of hours in that section of the museum.

But, before starting, HADAS members fortified themselves at the Museum café before visiting what was a compact and professional exhibition based on the building of Crossrail across London. The railway line runs for a total of 118km (74 miles) including 42km (26 miles) of new tunnels. Ten new stations are included with eight existing stations having major upgrades and a further a further 22 needing adaptations. Tunnelling was undertaken using 8 tunnel boring machines (TBMs), working in pairs on parallel tunnels. All these TBMs were given female names following mining traditions. One of these was named Sophia after Sophia Kingdom, wife of Marc Isambard Brunel and mother of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

It was not possible to remove all the TBMs, so interesting discoveries await the archaeologists of the future. 

Most archaeology in London is found within 9 metres of the surface and a lot of the tunnels are below this level. Thus, most of the archaeological discoveries were made on the surface or where work on a station was needed. Fourteen major archaeological sites were explored and a wide variety of the many finds were displayed in the museum. 

Deirdre Barry notes that the archaeological finds made by Crossrail during their tunnelling include Roman hipposandals (iron horseshoes you tied on to horses’ hooves), medieval skates made of animal bone, the skeletons of Bedlam inmates who died of plague and a Tudor bowling ball. There is a collection of skulls from the Roman period whose origin is at present hotly disputed. The wall-high films of the actual tunnelling are especially impressive. 

In addition, the project required the demolition of a number of buildings, and each of these has been thoroughly photographed and recorded.

Several historic graveyards were investigated, and a video made by an osteologist explained the research that had been possible into the various plagues which have been recorded in London.

To the west of Paddington, the archaeological team had found and recorded the original engineering works built by I K Brunel for the Great Western Railway. Immediately outside the museum is moored St Peter’s Barge, the only floating church in London.

Audrey Hooson reports that having been made aware recently of the fine carving needed for Hokusai’s print blocks she was intrigued by the wooden Tillet blocks in the museum.

They are dated 1767-1800 and measure H425mm x W400mm x D400mm. Tillet blocks were used to stamp the wrappings around bales of cloth for export across the globe.  The designs featured the name of the manufacturer as an advertisement but included decorative elements sometimes showing the eventual destination.  For utility objects, they were very attractive and very large blocks (see the picture below). 



                                                                                                                                                                                                               A wooden Tillet block


Some other exciting exhibitions currently taking place   By Sandra Claggett

I have been involved with volunteering on both of these free temporary exhibition’s which are well worth a visit. There is also other information to see at their locations.

Exhibition at the Petrie entitled ‘Different perspectives’ on now until the 30th of

September. This exhibition concerns Flinders Petrie and the importance of the archaeologist’s role in gathering intelligence during the First World War in the Middle East. Archaeologists’ skills in mapping, languages, code-breaking and knowledge of the peoples of the Ottoman Empire were invaluable. Panels include information on T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell,

Leonard Woolley and themes such as the role of women and contested heritage. The Petrie Egyptology museum where the exhibition is held is also full of wonderful information.  

Abandon Ship, surviving the Wartime Atlantic, exhibition on the HQS Wellington at Temple Stairs on the Embankment, on now until the 6th of November. It is a fascinating account of the bravery and fortitude of the British Merchant Navy. The exhibition highlights the SS Otaki sunk in 1917, her captain refused to leave his post and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The second, MV Richmond Castle, was sunk by a German Uboat in 1942; the U-boat captain generously surfaced to give survivors some supplies before departing. Afterwards, a young seaman from Stornoway, Angus Murray, improvised a sail from two blankets and steered one of the ship’s lifeboats for nine days until he and 17 others were rescued.


The Wellington itself is a floating treasure. The UK’s only surviving example of a Second

World War escort ship, it has been moored on the Thames at Victoria Embankment since 1948. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a vessel of this type and there are fascinating ship models and memorabilia on board.

The exhibition ‘Abandon Ship!’ is open, Sundays and Mondays only, 1100 to 1700. Full details of the exhibition programme can be found at www.abandonship/blog


Boudica: Friday 8 September – Sunday 1 October 2017 – Globe Theatre, South Bank. By Sue Willetts       Yard (standing) £5 | Gallery (seated) £20 – £45. Under 18s – £3 off all seats in the Globe.

Captioned Performances  Saturday 23 September, 2.00pm;                                         

AudioDescribed  Performances

Saturday 30 September, 2.00pm

Synopsis: AD 61, Britannia. On the furthest outreaches of the Roman Empire – at the very edge of the known world – rebellion is brewing.  The King of the Iceni has died and his widow Boudica has tried to claim her rightful throne. For her insolence in defying Rome, the queen has been flogged, her daughters have been raped, and they have been banished from their homeland. But now, Queen Boudica has returned. And this time she has an army.  She will have revenge. She will have blood. She will make Rome quake in fear.

Boudica is a brand new ancient history play that tells the story of one of Britain’s most infamous women: a queen, a warrior and a rebel. The role of Boudica will be played by Gina McKee. In 2016, McKee performed in Faith Healer at the Donmar Warehouse, and is wellknown for her role as Bella in the 1999 film Notting Hill.  This production portrays the violent world of Boudica and the coarseness of battle. Please note Boudica contains strong language, blood, sexual violence and graphic fight scenes.

Roman London interactivemap

This map has been produced by Heritage Daily, an online science, research and publishing news service which was launched in 2011. Once accessed, click on the red circles to display more information and images. This organization publishes on past sciences, geo-sciences and general science, with a core focus on the disciplines of archaeology, paleontology and paleoanthropology and is staffed by a volunteer team of historians and archaeologists with a passion for quality publishing and the dissemination of knowledge.


Archaeology Today – A student view                                  By Roger Chapman

Emma Densham, who led the UCL contingent at the recent Hendon School dig, is an ex- Hendon School pupil and spoke to HADAS about her career in archaeology. Emma is 23 and currently studying for an MA in Public Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. 

When did you first become interested in Archaeology? 

My mum has always had a passion for Egyptology, and used to give tours of the Egyptian galleries at the British Museum, so as a kid I was in the BM nearly every Sunday, picking her up once she had finished her tours.  I didn’t really understand at the time that what I was seeing was archaeology, or even that archaeology was something that modern people did, but the huge statues fascinated me and I think that my interest in history grew from there.  I think it was probably a combination of my parents’ encouragement, watching Time Team, finding the history that we were learning at school really interesting (because the projects were always the most creative!), and having a chance to take part in archaeological excavations at school that really attracted me to the subject.

What attracted you to take the subject further?

I was lucky to be chosen to take part in the excavations at Hendon School (run by UCL and HADAS) during their very first year, and I think it was this that first got me excited about archaeology.  The encouragement of the people I met through that project, particularly the volunteers who taught me how to excavate and answered all my questions – most of which they had probably had to answer a hundred times before – about archaeology and what they did really ignited a passion within me.  To me archaeology was this really fun thing that I could do to learn about the past that involved interacting with really nice people who were always encouraging and friendly.  It was a great way to be introduced to the subject and is definitely a large part of why I am where I am today.

How did you end up at UCL?

When it came to applying for university I knew that UCL would be on my list, mostly because I had had the chance to interact with UCL students through the Hendon School excavations.  I looked at a few other universities, but had pretty much discounted Oxford and Cambridge (my grades weren’t good enough and I never really understood the appeal!) and most of the other universities I looked at, such as Birmingham and Exeter, had much smaller archaeology departments than UCL.  UCL had the added benefit of being close to home, meaning that I wouldn’t have to move out; I was in the first year of students where fees were raised to £9,000 a year, and although it was all covered by student loan it was a hugely daunting prospect to be in that much debt, and being able to stay at home meant that I could also keep my job.  I think that perhaps what clinched it for me was going for an interview at UCL and being handed artefacts from their collections, and seeing the cases full of finds that are in most of the teaching rooms throughout the building:  it was amazing to see so much history around me, and was the first time I had seen so much stuff outside of a museum. 


What transferrable skills does archaeology give you?

Where to begin with this one?!  The list is pretty much endless, and you don’t realise quite how many different skills archaeology provides you with until you’re filling out job applications and can tick box after box with things that you have learnt through archaeology!  Probably the most important ones to me are:  team and independent work; attention to detail; and endurance.  

The ability to be able to work well both as a member of a team and on your own are hugely important life skills, and whatever area of archaeology you take part in they are skills that you will learn and hone very quickly.  You have to take a measure of responsibility for yourself and your actions on an archaeological site, something which I feel also comes under the team/independent work heading, because whatever you do cannot be undone, and if you are messing around someone (or something) could get hurt.  

Attention to detail is another key skill that you pick up very quickly when excavating – especially if the artefacts you’re looking for are the same colour as the mud you’re digging through! – because we often have such little evidence to interpret the past with, it is incredibly important to pay close attention to what you are doing, and this is something that you will then take with you to every other job you do.  

Endurance sounds somewhat intimidating, and I can’t deny that archaeology can be hard work, often carried out in harsh conditions – every archaeologist has their favourite horror stories about the worst conditions they’ve worked in, and it can sometimes turn into a bit of a competition!  Being able to carry out physical tasks, to be able to cope with camping (and to be able to deal with spiders – as a huge arachnophobe this one is still hard for me!), to not be afraid to get dirty, and to be able to focus for long periods of time are all skills that will serve you well in the future.  This is not to say that if you don’t like getting dirty, or if you physically can’t dig or camp that archaeology is not for you!  There are so many different tasks that come under the umbrella term of ‘archaeology’, so if you don’t enjoy excavating but love finds you might prefer finds processing or lab work, and these tasks will provide you with a whole different set of transferable skills that I haven’t touched on!

What are the range of careers you could go out on to with your qualifications? Do you have examples of what careers friends/colleagues have pursued with an archaeology background?

Here, again, the list is endless!  A few examples of careers that some colleagues of mine from university have gone into:  publishing, commercial archaeology, banking, teaching, working in museums, joining the police, not to mention a whole host of people who have continued on to do master’s degrees in various subjects… A careers advisor who used to recruit for NGOs once told me that if she had realised all the transferable skills that archaeologists had she would have hired us wherever possible!  The list of careers you could go into is endless and is only limited by your imagination.  Even if you don’t want to pursue archaeology as a degree, taking part in archaeological fieldwork – as well as being loads of fun – is a great way to learn new skills and will look great on your CV.  Employers will always ask about the fieldwork that you have done, so it’s a great talking point for interviews too!

Why did you come back to Hendon School?

Hendon School is the school that I attended from 2005-2012, and I will always have a soft spot for it – I had some amazing teachers, made some great friends, and it’s where I had my first experience of archaeology!  I knew that the school had reached out to HADAS and were hoping to restart the excavations, and I really enjoy working with kids.  I think I was especially motivated to try and show teachers and students alike the importance of archaeology, and the number of different ways it can fit into the school curriculum, because this last year it has been announced that Archaeology will no longer be offered as an A-level subject, meaning that there will be no official qualification in Archaeology before degree level offered in England from next year.  If you combine this with the fact that, when Britain leaves the EU, archaeology, which gets more than half of its funding from the EU, will be woefully short of funds, I think that it is incredibly important that archaeologists move now to try and show people the benefits and importance of what we do before we reach a crisis point.  Coming back to Hendon was a first step in trying to do that for me, by giving students the same kind of positive experience of archaeology that I had as a child, and hopefully getting them interested in archaeology.

What did you get out of the Hendon School dig?

For starters, I definitely learnt a lot about what goes into organising and running an excavation!  A lot of things went wrong – students turning up on the wrong day or in the wrong gear, and clashes with the school exams timetable that meant that we had to completely change our plans – but we managed to deal with each problem in turn and still run a successful project (transferable skill: flexibility!) and the feedback that we’ve had from the students has been overwhelmingly positive, with many students saying that they would be interested in taking part in archaeology again in the future because it was fun and interesting.  We even had one student who came back to see us with things that he had excavated from his back garden!  To me, that’s what excavating in schools is all about: engaging the students. What did you find on the dig?

We found a lot of different things from a mixed deposit, probably from when the field was levelled.  Some of the things that the students found most interesting were the coke can from the 1970s, the bowl of a clay smoking pipe that was still intact, and some coins with dates ranging from 1927 to at least the 1990s, possibly later.  There were a large number of finds, including pottery, metal, and CBM, which supported the conclusions of the previous excavations in the same area, and meant that the students had a lot of material to clean and record.

Is it important for young people to join their local Archaeology society?

Definitely.  Not only will you learn things that you would never have imagined from the people you’ll meet there, you will have a whole range of new experiences opened to you.  You will meet people who you would otherwise never have met, and will have a chance to do things that other people will never get to do.  Joining up will give you a whole host of positive things, and you can help to teach others about the importance of archaeology for everyone.  Archaeology has this reputation for being only for older people, but the majority of us are actually pretty young!  

What could local societies do to attract more young people to join them?

Be open, be patient, and be inviting.  There is definitely a tendency among all archaeologists to assume that people who haven’t done archaeological fieldwork before – and especially young people – shouldn’t be allowed to take part in ‘proper’ archaeology, but with the right guidance and supervision there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t – after all, we were all in that position once.  Different people will be attracted to archaeology for different reasons, and may have a few misconceptions (often as a result of watching too much Indiana Jones or Time Team) so you might have to be patient with people, and always try to be inclusive of everyone who is interested in archaeology.  One of the things that I loved about the Hendon excavations when I took part as a school student was how inviting and encouraging everyone I met was, and if that hadn’t been the case I might not have gone into archaeology at all!  

I would also say offer as many different things for families as possible, and look outside of just digging, because archaeology is so much more than that!  Perhaps approach pre-existing youth groups, and offer a programme of activities for the kids to get them interested and involved in archaeology, and definitely build relationships with local schools wherever possible.  Local YAC (Young Archaeologists’ Club) groups might be a good place to start, as they will be made up of kids who are interested in archaeology already and who want to learn more!  Embrace technology too – consider opening Snapchat and Twitter accounts so that people can easily follow what you’re doing and you can potentially reach a much wider audience, and try to publicise what you do whenever you can.  Young people are often reluctant to join groups made up mostly of older adults in areas that they don’t know very much about, because they don’t want to seem stupid or be patronised, so try to engage them in a way where they feel heard and validated and you will be creating a group of knowledgeable and skilled young people who will be ready to take the world of archaeology by storm.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Emma Densham

Hampstead Garden Suburb – U3A                                                            by Don Cooper

I have been contacted by Jack Berkovi about the newly formed Hampstead Garden Suburb

U3A branch. People have been asking him about having an archaeology “course/group”.  Jack has asked if anybody from HADAS would like to run such a group for them.

If it is something you would be interesting in doing please contact Jack on his mobile

07788183196 or his email . If anyone wants more information the website is


 Information on a new course offered by Mill Hill Archaeology Study Society sent by Peter Nicholson

From the 6th of October a new course begins with Allan Wilson entitled ‘The archaeology of the Eastern Roman Empire’. There are 10 sessions and it costs £75. Classes are held 10am until noon at: The Eversfield Centre, Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, London, NW7 2AE. You can enrol at the first meeting. Please contact the Secretary Peter Nicholson on 0208 9594757. The society website is


Details of other societies’ events                                        By Eric Morgan   Friday 15th of September, 7.00pm. CoLAS, St. Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3R 7EE. 21 Lime Street Revisited. Talk by Lesley Dunwoodie and Ian Betts (MoLA) on the latest excavations featuring fantastic Roman period painted wall plaster. Visitors £3. 


Sunday 24th of September, leaving promptly at 9am return at 5pm from Embankment Station. CoLAS coach trip to West Stow Saxon village and Bury St Edmunds. West Stow is the scene of important excavations into early Anglo-Saxon settlement and is a site for experimental archaeology and reconstructed Saxon buildings. On the day of the visit there are re-enactments by Wulfingas, there is also a café. Later the market town of Bury St Edmunds is visited with its cathedral and Moyes’ museum. To book send a cheque for £32 (which includes West Stow entry) paid to the City of London Archaeology Society providing your full contact details to: Ms Rose Baillie, 14 Brock Meadow, Woodside Park, London, N12 7DB. Or contact her on Tel: 0208 201 9271.  


Thursday the 5th of October, 8pm. Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane car park, Pinner. Digging in Pinner. Talk by Pat Clarke (local historian and LAMAS) on archaeology findings. Visitors £3.   


Monday the 9th of October, 3pm. Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood St, Barnet (opposite museum). History of Hadley Wood. Talk by John Leather-Dale. Visitors £2.  Also Barnet Physic Well, Well Approach, Barnet, EN5 3DY is open on Saturday 28th of October 2-4. Free.


Tuesday the 10th of October, 1pm. Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN. Roman London’s First Voices. Talk by Doctor Roger Tomlin. On recently recovered wax stylus writing tablets from excavations at Bloomberg Square dated to AD 5090. How they were deciphered and what can be learned from them. Free.


Friday the 13th of October, 7.45pm. Enfield Archaeology Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, EN2 OAJ. Talk by Stephen Gilbert (E.A.S) Medieval Kremlins and Monasteries on Russia’s Golden Ring. Visitors £1. Joint meeting with the Enfield Society. 


Friday 20th of October, 7pm. CoLAS. St. Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3R 7EE. Talk by Lesley Grout (guide) on the royal burials at St. George’s chapel, Windsor. Burials from the Plantagenets to near the present day. Visitors £3. Light refreshments after. 


Friday 20th of October, 7.30pm. Wembley History Society. English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalk Hill Road, Wembley, HA9 9EW. Talk by Bruce Thomson (Abbey guide). Women in Westminster. Visitors £3. Refreshments in interval.


Wednesday 25th of October, 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North Middx. Golf Club, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL. Talk by Lawrence Summer on the Victorians.  Visitors £2. Light refreshments and bar before and after. 


Thursday the 26th of October, 6pm. Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN. Joint meeting with the Royal Historical Society. Annual Colin Matthew lecture given by Mary Beard. How to spot a Roman Emperor. Free, no reservations required. Linked to the City of London Roman Festival in Autumn 2017. 


Thursday the 26th of October, 8pm. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, N3 3QE. A talk by Mark King (Chair British Guild ofTtourist Guides) on Finchley during World War I. Visitors £2. Refreshments. 


Saturday 28th of October, 2pm. Enfield Society. Joint meeting with the Monumental Brass Society. At All Saints Church, Edmonton. 65 Church St, Edmonton, N9 9AT. Looking at the history, monuments and personalities of Edmonton and All Saints Church. Howard Medwell (Blue Badge guide) talking on Edmonton through the ages as well as the history of the church, the monuments it contains and Charles Lamb. The newly restored tower will be open. Ending with tea and cakes. Free. The church will be open from midday.


Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th of October. M.O.L.A. Foreshore Forum 2017.

Thames Discovery programme and the Coastal Intertidal Zone of Archaeological Network (CITIZEN). A whole weekend of intertidal archaeology from the river to the sea. Full details on Eventbrite.


Thanks to our contributors: Don Cooper, Sue Willetts, Deirdre Barrie,

Audrey Hooson, Roger Chapman, Jo and Jim Nelhams, and Eric Morgan



By | Past Newsletters, Volume 10: 2015 - 2019‎ | No Comments

No. 557                                               AUGUST  2017                     Edited by Vicki Baldwin




Monday 25th to Friday 29th September: Trip to Frodsham

Lectures start again with: 

Tuesday 10th October 2017: The Curtain Playhouse excavations by Heather Knight MOLA 

Tuesday 14th November 2017: The Battle of Barnet Project by Sam Wilson 

Lectures start at 7.45 for 8.00pm in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. Buses 13, 143, 326 & 460 pass close by, and it is five to ten minutes’ walk from Finchley Central Station (Northern Line).  Tea/coffee and biscuits follow the talk.




Members in Hendon, Colindale and Edgware and anyone else who is interested: 

URBAN VISION Last Free Training Event for the Barnet Local List Review

Following the success of the past three training events and due to demand we have added one last date to the training programme.

Our aim is to provide skills and training opportunities to volunteers who are keen to assist us in identifying new buildings and structures to compile a comprehensive new Local List of heritage assets in the borough and join our 43 current volunteers!

For our current volunteers please feel free to join us if you would like a refresher, you are more than welcome!

The local list nominations are critical to the recording and documentation of our built heritage assets.  Your time and interest as a volunteer will help to provide up to date information on the existing Local List.   You can also help identify and discover new entries to the local list. For further information about the current local list please visit:

This final free event will provide you with the background, training and practical demonstration of what we need and how you can directly help.  This will include information about how to identify, research and locally list potential heritage assets. At the event volunteers will be given the opportunity to choose an area to survey and receive a comprehensive volunteer pack.

The details of the free training event are:

Time: Tuesday 8th August 2017 14:00-15:30

Location: Hendon Town Hall, Committee Room 3, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BG

How to book:

Places are limited and booking is essential, in order to reserve your place, or to find out more, email, together with the names of all delegates and if applicable the group you are representing or please call the office with these details on 01538 386 221.


Londinium – The City’s Roman Heritage                                      via Sue Willetts

Starting at the end of July, a three month programme of activity celebrating the City’s Roman heritage will begin. The link to the website is here

Of particular interest is a panel discussion at the Museum of London with Peter Marsden and Max Hebditch on 2 September, where they will be discussing excavation in the post-war period.


From Joe Sullivan, Heritage Outreach Officer at RAF Museum, Colindale

                                                                                                                        via Don Cooper 

Historic Hendon

As part of the redevelopment of the RAF Museum site in Colindale, I am leading on a project called ‘Historic Hendon’. I am running a programme involving projects that aim to link local people to the airfield and RAF history of the local Colindale and Hendon area. One project is to collect memories and stories from local people, who may remember the place as an airfield, or remember the development of Grahame Park over the year, or even met, knew, or have stories about people working on the airfield. These stories can be as long or short as you want to tell.


We recently ran several workshops in the community and found an amazing resource of stories that we have never captured, but that tell the story of our local community and its history. We have recruited a team of volunteers and trained them with skills that help capture, discuss, and record these stories to preserve them for the future, and we will be looking to share these stories through future podcasts and exhibitions.

If you or anyone you know of have some stories to share and are interested in taking part in an interview, or would like some more information, please get back in touch – it would be great to hear from you.

Contact details:

Joe Sullivan

Heritage Outreach Officer (Engagement and Interpretation)

Royal Air Force Museum

020 8358 4862



Bus Pass Outing                                                                    Jim and Jo Nelhams

On Thursday June 29th we experimented with a Bus Pass Outing as many of our members are over a certain age. The excellent Cross Rail Archaeology Exhibition at the Docklands Museum was the chosen destination for this outing. The Museum also has a permanent display giving the history of Docklands.

We met at the Bank Station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) platform where 12 members assembled, and travelled to West India Quay station.

A short walk and we were at the Museum where 2 more members joined us making 14 altogether. Everybody was at liberty to go round at their own pace.

The Museum has its own cafe where members were able to lunch together or they could visit the Wetherspoons  pub and a number of other restaurants almost next door.

Feedback on the exhibitions will be in the next newsletter.

We also have received a number of suggestions for further outings.


HISTORY AT “HOPSCOTCH”                                                     Deirdre Barrie

You may well have spotted “Hopscotch”, the well-stocked sweet shop in Barnet High Street, opposite the Church.  Mr. Michael Kentish, the proprietor, is also an historian –  this helps explain the small panel to the right of his shop front. It looks a bit boring, rather like the timetable panel at a bus stop, but peer closely, and you will find it is crammed with hundreds of years’ worth of historical detail as well as some fascinating photographs.

Apparently the shop is in a Designated Area of Archaeological Significance. Its site was once part of a medieval burgage plot and is at a section of the Old Great North Road which was once known as “The Squeeze.” The panel a gives a condensed history of the area and the famous people who have made their way through “The Squeeze.” These include Edward IV with 11,000 men, on his way to the Battle of Barnet, and Elizabeth I (in purple velvet, with an escort of 1,000), as well as General Monck and his men marching on London to restore Charles II to the throne. I for one did not know that Bishop Bonner had a William Hale burnt at the stake as a heretic in Church Passage, just opposite. The details end with the surprising fact that the tower of Barnet Church is said to be “the highest point between itself and the Ural Mountains to the east and York to the north.”

The historical panel can just be made out to the right of this picture of the shop front:  You might even have time to have a look at the tempting range of sweets inside.  (I promise I was not bribed with my bag of aniseed balls to write this, I had to pay for them!)


From the Essex Society for Archaeology & History – Summer Newsletter

Historic pubs come under planning protection

After years of campaigning led by CAMRA’s membership, the Government announced in March a historic change in the law to remove a longstanding loophole that has enabled developers to demolish pubs or convert them to another use without applying for planning permission.

CAMRA and its members, who sent over 8000 emails to politicians in the last three months alone, was essential in securing this win for pubs

Although this change comes too late for thousands of pubs already lost, it will be crucial to supporting all the great pubs which remain for generations to come.

All pubs in England will now be given the protection they deserve, and owners will always have to apply for planning permission before they can convert or demolish a pub.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA National Chairman Friday, 24th March 2017

More information on a find from Clitterhouse Farm (CTH16)

                                                                                    Bill Bass & Vicki Baldwin



An interesting find (Trench 2, context 009) was sherds of a ‘Char Dish’ in Tin-glazed or Delft Ware. Char is a relative of the Trout; it’s found in the Arctic areas and the Lake District and is processed to a paste and served in these dishes. The vessels were quite popular with a fish motif on the outside and being made in a variety of pottery fabrics, Tin-glazed ones are often associated with Liverpool potteries perhaps around the mid 18th century.

The rather comically glum expression on the face of the little fish made me curious about the dish, the fish and its culinary use.  There are many pictures of char dishes on the internet, all seem to be of a similar size 23cm diameter x 4cm height, and all have somewhat naïve depictions of the Arctic Char in various fanciful colours.  They seem to be datable to the 18th and 19th centuries and their purpose was possibly to make the delicacy of “Potted Char” more readily available to those with a discerning palate.  Rather than a paste a la “Patum Peperium”,  “Potted Char” appears more akin to “Potted Shrimps” in that cooked Char are sealed in their container with a covering of melted butter.   I found the following recipe reproduced on Louise Allen’s blog .  It is from The Housekeeper’s Instructor; or, Universal Family Cook by W.A. Henderson (1807).


After having cleaned your fish, cut off the fins, tails, and heads, and lay them in rows in a long baking pan, having first seasoned them with pepper, salt, and mace.  Send them to the oven, and when they are done, lay them in your pots, and cover them with clarified butter.  This fish is greatly admired, and is peculiar to the lakes in Westmoreland.

I must confess I have not tried this recipe and only reproduce it here as an example of the use of the dish in question.


Why Roman Concrete Has Stood The Test of Time                     Vicki Baldwin

The secret to the longevity of Roman structures built using concrete, particularly wharves and seawalls, lies in a complex chemical reaction between constituents of the concrete and seawater.  It has long been known that Roman concrete contained lime and volcanic ash.  Detailed research has identified components within the ash that are the key to explaining the continued strength of the material.  A rare mineral called Aluminium Tobermorite plus another called Phillipsite have been discovered within samples of the concrete.  The lime and ash mixture generates heat upon exposure to seawater, which in turn leads to the development and importantly, continued growth of the tobermorite and phillipsite, creating over time an increasingly strong material.

There is more work to be done in determining the exact proportions of materials in order to recreate the formula, but it could lead to more environmentally friendly and longer lasting building materials.


Protecting, Conserving and Understanding Barnet’s Archaeology                                                                                                                                Roger Chapman

Barnet has two key planning documents that deal with the Borough’s archaeology. It has the Local Plan Core Strategy and the more detailed Development Management Policies. Both these documents were approved by Council in 2012 following an examination in public, to which HADAS contributed. What do these documents say and how can we use them to further the interests of Archaeology in Barnet?

The core strategy has warm words to say about Heritage in Barnet noting that the borough has a broad range of ‘heritage assets’ including Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, Locally Listed Buildings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, a Historic Battlefield site and Local Areas of Archaeological Significance. These assets “can be used to ensure continued sustainability of an area and promote a sense of place.”

The Core Strategy notes that Barnet has a “rich archaeological and architectural heritage which includes the only Historic Battlefield (Battle of Barnet – 1471) in London.” In addition, there are “nearly forty sites of archaeological importance containing prehistoric, Roman and medieval remains.” In terms of buildings of historic and architectural importance in Barnet there are over 2,200 Listed Buildings and 1,600 buildings on the Local List. (The Local List is under review – see the article by Vicky) There are “two Scheduled Ancient Monuments at Brockley Hill in Edgware and Manor House in Finchley, three registered Historic Parks and Gardens at St Marylebone Cemetery, Avenue House Garden and Golders Green Crematorium.”

The Core Strategy notes that Barnet’s archaeological heritage is a “valuable education and community resource. As Barnet changes it is important that development proposals in areas of archaeological significance help broaden our knowledge of the past as a result of properly conducted on-site investigations.” It all sounds promising. The detailed policies are contained in a separate document known as the Development Management policies and DMO6 – Barnet’s Heritage and Conservation is the one to watch. (Copy of this policy at end of this piece.) The preamble to the policy comments that archaeology is “vulnerable to modern development and land use. Archaeological remains above and below ground level, and ancient monuments, are important surviving evidence of the borough’s past, and once removed they are lost forever.”

Barnet with assistance from English Heritage (via the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service – GLAAS), the Museum of London and the Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS), has identified five prehistoric, four Roman and thirty medieval sites containing archaeological remains of more than local importance. These have been grouped into nineteen ‘Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance’. (See map below)

Development proposals in these areas will need to provide detail in consultation with GLAAS of how they will investigate, catalogue and where possible preserve the remains in situ or in a museum as part of any application. It may also be appropriate for HADAS to be consulted.

Barnet accept that “discovery is an important basis of archaeology.” They continue that “when researching the development potential of a site, developers should, in all cases, assess whether the site is known or is likely to contain archaeological remains. Where there is good reason to believe that there are remains of archaeological importance on a site, we will consider directing applicants to supply further details of proposed developments, including the results of an archaeological desk-based assessment and field evaluation.”

Barnet further remark, “where important archaeological remains are found the council will seek to resist development which adversely affects the process of preserving the remains on site. Where this is not possible mitigation which may include excavation, analysis of remains and public dissemination of results will be expected by an archaeological organisation with approval from the GLAAS and the council before development commences. If permitted, the loss through development of any archaeological remains will need to be recorded in line with para 141 in the NPPF. (National Planning Policy Framework) Planning conditions or a legal agreement will be used to secure this.

Overall the Framework for considering Archaeology in Barnet appears strong. The practical application of the policy by the planning department does not always appear to fully reflect the fine words. Sterling work by HADAS members tries to keep the archaeology banner flying high.

Over the years many developers in Barnet have submitted desk top appraisals on sites prior to development and some field reports have been completed. Using these, along with site visits, historical research etc. I’m proposing that we establish a HADAS Research Group to start in the autumn, on Sunday mornings at Stephens House, with the intention of reviewing all 19 of the Boroughs “Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance”. Partly this will be so that we can proactively identify sites where we know in advance that we will want detailed archaeological work to be undertaken but also to prepare ourselves for the update of Barnet’s planning policies which will begin in the next 18 months or so and to which we can put detailed evidence of existing areas and possibly also identify new ones for inclusion.

Interested in getting involved in this research? Email me at the following address:

PS There are plenty of acronyms and jargon used in the planning process and as a practicing planner of over 40 years I may have fallen into the trap of using too much of it above. If you join the Research group I’ll let you into the secret of why planners use so much jargon. In the meantime you should get to know one more term because Historic England have determined that all Boroughs across London should now call their defined Areas not as “Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance” but as “Archaeological Priority Areas.”

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 set out in Table 7.2 should demonstrate the following:

• the significance of the heritage aset

• 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.








Other Societies’ Events                                                                           Eric Morgan


Updates to July 2017 newsletter:

The date of the CoLAS talk should be Friday 18th August not 15th

The cost of the Mill Hill Historical Society visit is £15

Wednesday 30th August, 2.30pm, Highgate WoodMeet at Information Hut. Entrance from Archway Road N6 opposite Church Road, or from Muswell Hill Road.  Historical Walk (there were Roman pottery kilns in the wood).  For details see

Sunday 3rd September, 11am-3pm.  Highgate Wood Community Day.

Sunday 3rd September, 11am-5pm.  Angel Canal Festival.  Along the Regent’s Canal towpath from Islington & City Road Basin, N1.  Lots of stalls including Islington Archaeological Society and London Canal Museum.  Also live music, food stalls, boat rally & trips, craft stalls, etc.  Free Entry.

Thursday 7th September, 7.30pm. London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross N1 9RT.  Limehouse & the area around.  Talk.  Admission after 7pm, £4 (£3 concessions).

Friday 8th September, 7.45pm.  Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/jnct. Chaseside, Enfield EN2 0AJ.  Forty Hall – Hidden Secrets: Archaeological Monitoring of Refurbishment Work 2012-2014.  Talk by Neil Pinchbeck (E.A.S.).  Visitors £1.  Refreshments, sales & information from 7.30pm.

Friday 8th September, Amateur Geological Society.  The Industrial Archaeology of Brentford.  Walk led by Mike Howgate.  Lasts 2 hours.  Cost £8.  For details email  Hiss address is 71 Hoppers Road, Winchmore Hill N21 3LP.  Telephone 02088822606.  Cheques should be made out to M.E. Howgate.

Monday 11th September, 3pm.  Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opposite museum).  The Rothschilds – An A-Z.  Talk by Melanie Aspey.  Visitors £2.

Also Barnet Physic Well, Well Approach, Barnet EN5 3DY is open on Saturdays 26th August & 23rd September from 2-4pm.  Free entry.

Tuesday 12th September, 1pm, Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly W1J 0BE.  Smithfield Market – Its remarkable general market, those curious columns & The Museum of London.  Talk by Dr. Jennifer Freeman.

Tuesday12 September, 7.45pm.  Amateur Geological Society, Finchley Baptist Church Hall, 6 East End Road N3 3QL (cnr. Stanhope Avenue, opposite Avenue House). The Textures of Peridotite Rocks of Sub-Continental Mantle Origin.  Talk by Dr. Brian Tabor (Harrow & Hillingdon Geological Society).

Tuesday 12th September, 8pm.  Historical Association North London Branch, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ.  German Kings & The Holy Roman Empire.   Talk by Robin Blades (secretary), followed by light refreshments & Branch AGM.  Visitors £1.

Wednesday 13th September, 7.45pm.  Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, Ferme Park Road/Western Park, N8 9PX.  The Great Houses of Highgate.  Talk by Richard Webber (Highgate Society).  Visitors £2.  Refreshments, sales and information from 7.30pm.

Wednesday13th September, 6pm.  Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN.  From Royal Highway to Common Sewer: The River Thames and Its Architecture.  Talk by Simon Thurley.  Free.  Part of the City of London 2017 Thames Festival.

Friday 15th September, 7.30pm.  Wembley History Society, English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalkhill Road, Wembley HA9 9EW (top of Blackbird Hill adjacent to Church).  Tea & Memories.  Talk & film by Debbie Nyman & Karl Roberts about the life & times of Roe Green Village.  Visitors £3.  Refreshments in interval – tea/coffee 50p.

Saturday16th & Sunday 17th September.  Open House London Weekend.  Lots of buildings that are not normally open to the public will be open for free.  For details please check the Open House booklet or the website.  Events include:

Saturday 16th September, 2pm.  Hornsey Historical Society.  Meet at Muswell Hill Library, Queen’s Avenue N10.  History Walk of Muswell Hill.  Led by Keith Fawkes (Chair).  Ends at Northbank, Pages Lane N10 where refreshments & homemade cakes are available along with a talk about Northbank.

Sunday 17th September, 11am-4pm.  Hornsey Historical Society.  The Old Schoolhouse, corner Tottenham Lane/Rokesly Avenue N8 7EL (buses W3, 41 or 91 stop nearby) will be open.  There will be a small exhibition on aspects of local history.  Members will be on hand including Albert Pinching (sales manager) to answer questions about the building.  There are maps, books & postcards for sale.  There is a collection of many rare photographs.

Sunday 17th September, 11am-5.30pm.  Queens Park Day, Chevening Road/Harvist Road NW6.  Lots of stalls including Willesden Local History Society.  Also live music, food stalls, craft stalls, etc.

Sunday 17th September, 10.30am.  Finchley Society.  World War I walk.  Led by Mark King.  Commemorating 103rd Anniversary of the 1st Battle of the Marne.  Meet at Henleys Corner.  On the walk we’ll explore the street where the first British soldier to die grew up; green fields where cows sustained the local residents; the grand home of a leading industrialist & MP whose stationary products were used in everyday correspondence between armed servicemen & their families; a hall converted to use as a hospital for injured troops; a school whose Cadet Corps’ young pupils & staff went on to serve their country; a community hospital dedicated to the Eternal Memory of the Fallen from the Finchley area, and a memorial celebrating one of the turning points on the Western Front.  Learn about the battle and why this dramatic French statue was erected in Finchley.  More information on

Monday 18th September, 9am.  Mill Hill Historical Society.  Coach outing to Chatham Historic Dockyard where there is much to see from warships, R.N.L.I. lifeboats, exploring the many galleries, & a whole lot more.  Also included is a submarine tour & the Victorian ropery.  You are free to take this day at your own pace.  Various lunch options are available.  Please book by Friday 18th August.  Cost adults £37-50 (concessions £36).  Coach leaves at 9am from Hartley Hall, Mill Hill Broadway NW7.  Will leave for home at 4.30pm.  Please send cheque and s.a.e. to Julia Haynes, 38 Marion Road, Mill Hill NW7 4AN.  Cheques to be made payable to Mill Hill Historical Society.  Contact Julia Haynes on 020 8906 0563 or email  For electronic replies please supply your email address, otherwise give your name & telephone no. & no. of places required.

Monday 18th September, 8pm.  Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ.  A Palace on the Hill; a Story of Many Parts.  Talk by Dr. Jim Lewis on the history of Alexandra Palace.

Wednesday 20th September, 8pm.  Edmonton Hundred Historical Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ.  Chase Farm Schools: Part 2 – Hospital.  Talk by Frank Bayford.  Visitors £1.

Wednesday 20th September, 7.30pm.  Willesden Local History Society, St. Mary’s Church Hall, Neasden Lane, NW10 2TS (near Magistrates’ Court).  “A Willesden Green Walk”.  Talk by Irina Porter (Chair) who has researched the boundary of the Willesden Green area & gathered many images which she will show.

Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th September, 11am-6pm.  Enfield Town & Country Show, Town Park, Cecil Road, Enfield.  Lots of stalls including Enfield Society.  Also live music, food stalls, craft stalls, & new in 2017 – a Living History & Re-Enactment Village.  Entrance £1-£5.

Tuesday 26th September, 10.30am.  Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ.  The Forgotten Houses of Tottenham.  Talk by Valerie Crosby.

Wednesday 27th September, 1pm.  Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN.  Discovering the Port of Roman London.  Talk by Dr. Gustav Milne (UCL).  Free.

Wednesday 27th September, 7.45pm.  Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane N20 0NL.  Friern Barnet on Film.  Visitors £2.  Refreshments & bar before & afterwards.

Thursday28th September, 8pm.  Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House (Stephens’ House), 17 East End Road N3 3PE.  The Railways of the Northern Heights.  Talk by Andy Savage (Exec. Dir. of Railway Heritage Trust & Avenue House).  Visitors £2.  Refreshments.

Saturday 30th September, 2pm.  Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Pennefather Hall, Christ Church, St. Alban’s Road, Barnet EN5 4LA.  Battle of Barnet: Being Richard III.  Talk by Dominic Smee & Richard Knox.  Tickets on door £5, members £3.  Refreshments.