Newsletter 243 June 1991 Edited by Jean Snelling
Saturday June 15 Outing to the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading, with River Trip to Mapledurham. With Ted Sammes.
(Details and application form enclosed).
Saturday July 13 Historic Chatham Docks.
Saturday August 10 National Archaeologists Day, Hertford.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 30, 31, Sept. 1, Weekend in Norwich.
Saturday October 5 City Walk with Mary O’Connell.
Saturday October 12 Minimart at St Mary’s Church House, Hendon.
Members are invited by the Finchley Friends of Israel to a lecture at 8 pm on Wednesday June 12, to be given by Mr Alexander Flinder, the Underwater Archaeologist, on “Secrets of the Bible.Seas”. This will be his personal account, with slides, of underwater investigation over 20 years,
The lecture will be held in the Methodist Church Hall, Ballards Lane, N3. Refreshments will be served. The entrance to the Hall is in the side street, Essex Park. The Church is opposite Victoria Park.
Our invitation comes from Mr M Grossobel, of 61 Tithe Walk, London NW7 2PY to whom any further question should be addressed.
Members and Membership
Membership of HADAS for the year ending 31 March 1991 was 369.For the previous year it was 372.
We are very happy to welcome 28 new members who have joined from April 1990 up to mid-May 1991. Our welcome is rather late for the earlier ones, we apologise.
Miss J Belgrave, Miss J Blason, Mr J Cymberg, Mr Adam Daniels, Mrs J Gibson,
Mr W Griffiths, Mrs A Hardy, Mr M J Hutchinson, Mr P Kilipack, Miss L Minney,
Mrs E Moss, Mr J D Noonan and his parents ,11″ & Mrs Noonan, Miss L K Northcroft,
Ms K Owen, Mr B Schroder, Mr J Przybyla, Mr S M Redmond, Mr J Ryan,
Mrs J G Shepherd, Miss S J Smith, Miss E G Taylor, Mrs N Towler,
Miss C E M Troddin, Mr P A Wheatley, Mr J A Williams, Mrs M Marshall,
A tweed cap was found in the Hendon library lecture room soon after the April lecture. Is it YOURS? If so phone Dorothy Newbury 081 203 0950
Back Garden Archaeology
At the recent LAMAS conference the voluntary societies were urged to revive the good old practice named above. Now we are indebted to Mr C Silvertown, a resident of Temple Fortune, for extending the concept to allotments and for following up the research. He has kindly sent his report.
Over the past several years I have found a total of four early clay pipes (partial) on my allotment site, enclosed between Asmuns Place and Asmuns Hill NW11.
The two complete bowls (tulip shaped) are milled just below the lip, but the size of the foot or spur differs. The Guide to the Department of Urban Archaeology Clay Tobacco Type series, Museum of London, which is based on that devised by Atkinson & Oswald (1969) identifies a Type 2 bowl (c 1580-1610) and a Type 9 bowl (c 1640-1660).
The fragment of spur and stem found would appear to be Type 28 (c 1820-1840).
Note – The Barnet Museum , 31 Wood Street, Barnet, has a regular display of clay tobacco pipes showing proposed dates. Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday 2.30 – 4.30. Saturdays 10.0-12.0, 2.30-4.30. Tel. 081 440 8066.
News from English Heritage
Stewart J Wild quotes from the Guide to English Heritage Properties 1991 –
“In 1066 William the Conquror landed in Sussex at Pevensey. He then marched to Hastings and defeated King Alfred, irrevocably changing the course of English history”.
Annual General Meeting 7 May 1991
The following were nominated and elected as officers for the Society for 1991-2
Chairman Andrew Selkirk Vice Chairman John Enderby
Honorary Secretary Brian Wrigley Honorary Treasurer Victor Jones
Committee Christine Arnott, Micky Cohen, Phyllis Fletcher, John Heathfield, Alan Lawson, Margaret Maher, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Pickering, Ted Sammes, Andrew Simpson, Jean Snelling, Myfanwy Stewart.
Brian Wrigley and Victor Jones indicated their intentions to resign their posts in the coming year.
Elizabeth Holliday has agreed to assist with the Secretary’s duties.
The Committee’s decision was announced, to employ the title HADAS (Based on the Borough of Barnet).
After the Meeting Andrew Simpson and Bill Bass showed their clear and informative slides of the recent dig at 19-25 High Street, Barnet.
Phyllis Fletcher has informed the Committee of her wish to be relieved of her post as Honorary Membership Secretary during the coming year.
She, with Brian Wrigley and Victor Jones will have clocked up between them almost thirty years of service in their three posts. Without wishing to intimidate their successors, members will want to appreciate their longevity, and their stalwart work for the Society..
Of course they are not leaving HADAS, they just want more time for their other activities with us.
We sadly announce the death last month of Diana Wade. She and her husband Christopher were historian and Curator of the Hampstead Museum., Burgh House. Both were HADAS members as was their daughter Joanna, who will be remembered by West Heath diggers.
June Gibson reports that the Secretary of State for the Environment has turned down the application for planning permission for the proposed new bridge.
He considers that “there is a need to bring forward, as a matter of urgency, proposals which will meet the traffic needs of the area but which are compatible with the Conservation Area and the World Heritage status of the Gorge”.
HADAS members who visited Ironbridge last year, and no doubt many others, will await developments with much interest. Both the public enquiry and the other expressions of public opinion have contributed to the present respite.
ARIZONA Peter Pickering
We recently visited Arizona to see our son. We had not previously realized how many well-preserved Indian ruins there were. It was hard, however, to get a clear picture of the history of the American South-west, since there were several tribes and a good deal of migration, while the differences between the cultures were often subtle. But it seems that many sites were abandoned and peoples moved away or died out sometime before the coming Europeans, perhaps following a climatic change.
Indian sites are found throughout Arizona, amid the high pine forests near the Grand Canyon, in the Painted Desert to the East, and surrounded by the giant saguaro cacti of the southern hills. The Holakam round Phoenix dug extensive canals for their farming, and had courts like the inhabitants of Central America, they disappeared about 1400 AD (“Holakam” means “those who have gone” in a later language). The Anasazi were the major culture of the North-East, living in pueblo villages, and migrated at the end of the thirteenth century – among their descendants may be the Hopi Indians of today. We stayed in a motel on the Hopi reservation, and were captivated by the lively “Kochine” dolls they make. The Sinagua round about Flagstaff disappeared in the early fifteenth century, and the Salado, whose pottery is particularly attractive, vanished or were absorbed at about the same time. The sites are very varied. Many of them were apparently undefended settlements, with the different dwellings built contiguously, access being by ladders. But others – “Montezuma’s Castle” and Tonto – were built high up steep cliffs, with what must have been defensive intent. In one, but only one, Casa Grande, there was a single dominant building with massive walls of caliche and openings oriented on the sun at the solstice and the furthest point of the moon’s 18.5 year cycle. In another there was sunken room of probably ritual purpose, with benches and what was said to be an altar. Some sites were very small, and not large, though there are a very great number – for instance the rather meagre remains of one site close to the Grand Canyon is representative of some 2000 which have not been excavated or preserved. In the Painted Desert we saw petroglyphs, a mixture of representations of humans or animals (one striking one of a heron with a frog in its beak) and abstract designs, reminiscent of prehistoric art elsewhere. In the South, between Tucson and the Mexican border, Jesuits and, later, Franciscans established mission stations, with striking churches in a distinctive version of the baroque.
The ubiquitous visitors’ centres, and the fine museum of Indian art in Phoenix, had good collections of pottery – almost all with attractive bold designs in two or three colours – and less impressive collections of woven vessels, stone tools and a few textiles.
All but one of the sites we visited were run by the National parks Service, extremely well labelled, and sometimes with informed guides, but slightly antiseptic. I was amused by the way they made visitors keep to the paths.
I wonder if a pictogram of a snake would help at Stonehenge. One site, Besh-na-Gowah, however, was run by the local town Council, and the curator was much more like a HADAS person. She was obviously working on the pottery from the site, some of which she let me handle, and she sold me a tee-shirt with one of their finest (but now stolen) pieces depicted on it. This site had had much reconstruction work done, so that it could easily be comprehended by schoolchildren.
Finchley Walk 12th May 1991
A diversified programme was planned by Dorothy Newbury which walkers were able to juggle according to choice. The elements were Church End Finchley, Avenue House grounds, the HADAS workroom there, the Sternberg Centre for Judaism and the moat of Finchley C13 manor house, both at Manor House, East End
Mr David Smith, Vice president of the Finchley Society, led us in the Conservation Area of Hendon Lane/East End Road. His old-boy knowledge of Christs College enlivened that listed building. After a nod to the Church we imagined the excitement of Britain’s first motorised fire engine spluttering out of the old fire station, now disguised as shops. Park House (1739) and Flora Cottage (1850) represented the elegance of the old village centre, where Gravel Hill lost its gravel to the incoming turnpike of Regents Park Road (1826). Avenue House stood gaunt with its burnt wing but surprised many walkers with its remarkable public garden, unusual in its exotic trees collected by Henry Stephens on ink-selling travels and now reaching maturity. Wishes to return with more leisure were expressed.
Mr Smith delivered us safely further along East End Road to the Sternberg Centre. Coffee and a sit-down led up to the small but intense London Museum of Jewish Life with its collection of documents, photographs, maps, posters of East End London and memorabilia. A reconstructed tailors’ sweat shop looked deserted only minutes ago and a kitchen added to our party’s exclamations of “I remember – – “. Down stairs in the old drawing room was a special
exhibition based on the Jews of Aden, an ancient Arabian community which was forced to leave its last refuge of Aden in 1967, most people going to Israel but a minority settling in Stamford Hill. life in Aden and in London was the theme of the largely photographic collection, showing, a interesting community, totally new to most of us.
A dozen of us went to the garden to see the moat o the earlier manor house. Well – first find your moat. You would think it large enough – about 90 metres long in an L shape and 20 metres wide; but recently so overgrown in a wild garden that it is almost lost. The area was levelled to make a formal garden when the present Manor House was built by Thomas Alien in 1723, and in the 1920s the then convent school made it a sports ground. We know of the Old manor only from records. Belonging to the Bishops of London, possibly from Saxon times, it was leased from 1244 to a long series of London merchants who used the house and collected rents from the local families who leased all the farm land. In 1504 a lease listed the manor house, an orchard and another building as being within a moat” and a great barn and a long stable as being adjacent to the moat. In 1664 the Hearth Tax was paid on 19 hearths in the house. All this was cleared in 1723. A long islanded fishpond, first recorded in 1692 but of unknown age, remained alongside Squires Lane (opposite the present house) until this century, when it was drained and later built over for the Manor View houses. This pond appeared on old postcards erroneously titled “Finchley Moat”. All this felt a long way off as our party stood among the weeds in the old moat.
Most walkers then returned to Avenue House grounds to visit the garden room that is now the HADAS work place. The library, the computer, desks, a small committee table, some finds, some records, a sink, with access both to Avenue House and the garden; even with 20 people blocking one’s view it all looked very good. Victor Jones, Andy Simpson and Bill Bass had arranged for us a small exhibition of potsherds, drawings and photographs of recent HADAS sites. It was a fitting end to a very good, and sunny, afternoon with something for everyone to enjoy and remember.
Bounty for your Bookshelf
Full marks to Finchley’s Christs College School for the booklet it has produced to mark the school’s move from its long-time home in Hendon Lane to the Brookland site in East End Road. This is a copiously illustrated history of the school and its scholastic and sporting triumphs from its beginning – with three pupils – in 1857 in what had been, until then, a notorious Tudor-built pub, the Queen’s Head. Within a year a new wing had been added and there were 150 boarding pupils; within three years an entire new building had been built, in Gothic diapered brickwork and with a distinctive tower which was to dominate the Finchley skyline and to act “as a focal point architecturally and aesthetically in the development of Church End.” Sadly, the fate of those buildings, very much a part of Finchley’s history, hangs in the balance as we write.
If you would like to add this booklet to your own collection of local history, you can get a copy from Judy Berle, 271 Creighton Avenue, London N2 9BP, price 6£. Profits will go to school funds.
Another local offering, also highly commended, is The Streets of Belsize, published a month or so ago by the Camden History Society. This is a revised and enlarged edition of More Streets of Hampstead, originally published in 1973, and has been compiled by the Society’s History Group and edited by Christopher Wade (who is also a member of HADAS).
Again, it is well-produced and illustrated (maps, line drawings, photographs, reproductions of paintings and advertisements) and packed with facts. Not the least interesting of these is the litany of famous and notorious names of those who have lived on the streets of Belsize ranging from Edward Elgar to Dr Crippen, from the heavy-weight Dame Clara Butt to the feather-weight Twiggy. This will cost £5.95 to add to your collection, and you can get it by post from the Belsize Bookshop, 193 Haverstock Hill, NW3 kQL. Add 90p for post/packing.
Not specifically local, but a general book which should be on every local historian’s shelf: a recent addition to the Shire “Discovering” series, Discovering Parish Boundaries, by Angus Winchester. This 88 page booklet, illustrated with maps and plans and a central clutch of photographs, is a solid and concise exposition of how the admimristrative units of medieval England grew up; and despite the title, Dr Winchester doesn’t confine himself to the parish. He covers lordships and townships, hundreds and wapentakes, dioceses and deaneries. He describes boundary stones and markers, surveys and perambulations, and adds a chapter on parishes in Scotland and Wales.
There is also a full and useful appendix on further reading, and finally a note on which place-names record boundaries. Price £2.50 from Shire Publications, Cromwell House, Church Street, Princes Risborough Bucks HP17 9AJ.
The Newsletter looks forward greatly to Professor Colin Renfrew’s latest publication – the third, as it were, in a series of blockbusters. The first, in 1973, was Before Civilisation, which took apart radio-carbon dating and its effect on pre-history. The next, in 1987, put the cat among the linguists, with Archaeology and Language, in which Professor Renfrew (recently created a life-peer) turned Indo-European origins upside down. The latest – the publishers’ blurb calls it “a watershed achievement” – is “Archaeology – Theories, Methods and Practice”, and is written with Paul Bahn.
Thoughts in Avenue House Garden Room Micky Cohen
Many of us who visited Finchley landmarks on the HADAS May outing finished up at our Garden Room at Avenue House. Victor Jones and Andy Simpson had kindly set up a small exhibition for our benefit. There were examples of finds made recently, our large exhibition screen panels on the Barnet Market Place and Whetstone digs and a selection of publications.
First, congratulations are due to those who worked so hard to set our books and records in good order following the fire. The pleasant garden room was spick and span, finds neatly labelled and stored on shelving, books in good order. Those of us making our first visit were impressed. The Room is large enough to accommodate all this plus a sink and essentials for tea making equipment.
As a relative newcomer to HADAS I was most intrigued by the display of Transactions of the North Middlesex Archaeological Society (now part of LAMAS) and their Roman digs at Brockley Hill. These started in 1937, were interrupted by the war and continued in the 40s and 50s with HADAS participating. The site Sulloniace was certainly a pottery and may have been a Roman staging post although there is no direct evidence. That may well be lost to us under the Orthopaedic Hospital on the brow of the hill. Nevertheless the finds were important. Same of the pottery from the post war digs was lodged with the then Hendon Borough Council, later Barnet Council. Storage conditions were not entirely satisfactory so HADAS assumed responsibility and through the good offices of John Enderby the material has been stored at the Institute in Hampstead Garden Suburb.
About ten years ago some of the material was exhibited at Church Farm House Museum. I wonder if the time has come to exhibit again. Many of us more recent members may have no idea of the breadth of practical work the Society has undertaken in the past. It includes excavation in the Greyhound Hill area Saxon Hendon; and at St Mary’s Hendon – Roman finds – and of course the West Heath prehistoric dig. All this with recent work at Barnet and Whetstone would make a fine ‘retrospective’ – an opportunity for existing members to catch up on the past and perhaps an attraction to draw in new members. It would need a lot of work, but what about it, HADAS?
Plans for the 1991 season. Victor Jones
The Excavation Subcommittee has met to consider possible projects for this year. So far no urgent ‘rescue digs’ require the immediate action that has kept us so busy in the last few years. Three planning applications for development on sites of possible archaeological interest will need investigation. There are also possible projects which in my view should be looked at again now that the rescue work has diminished.
Some members who have joined the Society In recent years might be interested in an account in outline of archaeological undertakings in the recent past, which will be included in a coming Newsletter. Earlier work of the Society is incorporated in the general archaeological and historical account of this area in our publication, Barnet, A Place in Time, which we hope most members will have bought and read.
The three possible development sites mentioned above are – Golders Green Road near the North Circular Road; West Heath Road; and Old Folds moated site near Arkley.
In Golders Green Road is the site of Sutcliffes’ demolished gardening shop, just beyond the Prince Albert pub, now Harvester Restaurant. It was a blacksmith works in the 30s, going back to about 1820 and may have been there much earlier. It is near both the Woodlands and the Old Swan pub sites where HADAS conducted excavations and found medieval pottery and traces of an early road.
The West Heath Road project is for a development on the south side of the road. Although some distance from our West Heath site, it might be interesting to watch and perhaps trial trench, if we can get permission. In addition to the Mesolithic hunters’ site we also found a Saxon hearth, probably made for charcoal burning. It is possible that other occupation areas might exist in the surroundings.
The Old Folds redevelopment application is for the remaining moated area of this very old interesting and listed site. It is now the work and vehicleparking space for a golf club. This is thought to be right in the centre of the area where the Battle of Barnet commenced in 1471 and where many died. The memorial Highstone is only a short distance away, at the junction of two roads. It is thought possible that the foundations of the original moated building may be on the site.
Other possible undertakings being discussed include the following – field walking an area of Brockley Hill where more Neolithic flints, worked, might be found, like those collected in 1987examining an open space in Childs Hill where there was an ancient farm investigating the area near the Hadley Brewers Arms called I believe Dead man’s Ditch or Galley, very near the battle site. Resistance testing at St Joseph’s Convent near the Burroughs where earlier HADAS excavation found a medieval site assessing by documentary and map research and visits the more distant and peripheral areas and other less investigated parts of the Borough tracing by resistance testing the boundaries in the Borough of the mediaeval park of the Bishops of London.
Visiting the site of the 13th c moated manor of Finchley
University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education
Bewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA phone 0365 270369/270360
Archaeology and Local History Summer School August 3-17 1991
Computing for Archaeologists (beginners) 23-24 November 1991
The Hundred Years War 8-10 November 1991
The Urban Form in Europe 3000 BC to AD 1000 13-15 December 1991
Landscapes of the Past: Archaeology and Social History Tours Spring & Autumn 1991, Lucy Walker & Diana Williamson 10 Mayorswell Close. Gilesgate, Durham DH1 1JU