Saturday 18 October MINIMART Please note the revised date
11.30am – 2.30pm at St Mary’s Church House, top of Greyhound Hill, Hendon (opposite Church Farmhouse Museum). Admission 20p.
Tuesday 14 October EVENING LECTURE*
“Prehistoric and Medieval Metal Working in North Wales: Excavation and Experiment” by Peter Crew.
Peter guided us around one of his excavations during our 1979 long weekend in North Wales
Tuesday 11 November EVENING LECTURE*
“Latest News from Flag Fen” by Garry Fincham
Garry was our guide when we visited Flag Fen last year.
Wednesday 3 December CHRISTMAS DINNER
At Sutton House, Hackney. The evening, organised by Dorothy Newbury, includes a guided tour of the House.
Lectures are held at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3. Doors open at 8.00pm for an 8.30 start.
See page 8 for more dates for your diary.
The Minimart A few final points on the run-in to the revised date:
Will helpers, old and new, please contact Dorothy to confirm that they can still attend.
Posters advertising the Minimart are available from Dorothy – these are suitable for car windows or other prominent places.
Further donations of items for sale would be appreciated especially bric-a-brac.
Dorothy’s home phone number is 0181-203 0950
From the Membership Secretary The Committee welcome the following new members who have joined since April: Rhoda Baker, Diana Benyon, Martin Doran, Pauline Drayson, Gillian Hartnoll, Jean Lamont, David and Alex Miles, Julie Mirvis, Eve O’Connor and Ruth Whitehill. We hope they will be able to attend some of the new season’s lectures and support the Minimart!
So that’s where it was! The Observer newspaper reported in August that the Anglican Church in South Africa was trying to find the long-lost Black Christ, a painting by Ronald Harrison which became an icon for the anti-apartheid movement in the 1960s, The report jogged the memory of “a spry 90-year-old” in Hampstead who for several years had been storing the painting in his cellar. Startled HADAS member, Julius Baker, scribbled “Well I’m damned, I’ve got it!” across’ his newspaper when he read the story.
SCOLA Conference Peter Pickering tells us that tickets for the SCOLA conference, revisiting “The Future of London’s Past”, are selling well but that he would like to see more HADAS members at it. The scene of the conference, to be held at the Museum of London on Saturday 6 December commencing 9.30am, will be set by Martin Biddle, one of the original authors of “The Future of
London’s Past”, and Simon Thurley, the new Director of the Museum of London. Peter Addyman, one of our guides this year at York, is also a speaker. The cost is £7.50 (6.00 for SCOLA members). Tickets are available from Peter Pickering at 3 Westbury road, London, N12 7NY, cheques payable to SCOLA with an sae please.
It is with great sadness that we record the death in the North London Hospice of dear Gill. She was a member of long-standing who joined us on all our outings and most weekends for the past twenty years. She has also been one of our leading helpers at all our Minimarts – pricing goods and running the gift stall. Gill may have been quiet and unobtrusive but she was one of the pillars c the Society. She started work in the Civil Service with her lifelong friend, Gwen Searle (they were often mistaken for sisters) and Gwen has been an outstanding strength to Gill over the last year or so, travelling almost daily from Twickenham to be with her, sometimes staying overnight when the going was tough. Gill’s funeral was held at Golders Green on Wednesday 24th September, but it wasn’t possible to let all her friends know. HADAS will miss her.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
From Pam Taylor
Barnet Local Studies & Archives
It was interesting to read Roy Walker’s description of the use of ground probing radar at The Priory, but unsurprising that no tunnel was found. In the first place, The Priory was never more a manor house than it was a religious establishment, and although it has 17th century origins it underwent considerable 19th century alterations. Secondly, and more importantly, underground tunnels are an extremely widespread myth, but very rare in reality. I have been told, among others, of tunnels to both Hendon and Finchley parish churches, from Abbots Gardens in East Finchley to Parliament Hill Fields and, best of all, under the Thames between Fulham and Putney churches. I reply that the technology would have to have been remarkably advanced – even up here just think of our London Clay and high water table, that I assume ladies in their finery, who in any case had carriages, would find rain preferable to mud, and that tunnel-travelling never features in the novels which are our best social history (Mrs Gaskell, Jane Austen etc), where the gentry clearly enjoy meeting and impressing each other as often as possible. The result is disappointed looks but no convincing rejoinders, although, so strong is the apparent need for such myths, I doubt if my rationalism is ever persuasive either.
From Philip Venning
Secretary, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
I wasn’t wholly surprised to read in the September Newsletter that no tunnel was found between the building and the church. “The tunnel leading to the church” is one of the most common myths associated with old buildings. Occasionally they do exist, but this, are even rarer than timber framed buildings made of “old ships’ timbers”. In the latter case many buildings were built of reused timbers but except in areas close to ports, rivers, etc, they were more commonly taken from other buildings.
Many of our ideas about what old buildings should look like are based on what the Victorians did. Today, homeowners generally know that in most regions the blackening of exposed timbers was largely a 19th century practice, but a specially pernicious fashion -stripping old plaster to expose stone or brickwork in the mistaken belief this is “authentic” – is much harder to counteract. Then of course there are the more recent trends such as the stripping of pine, an inferior wood Us’ was meant to be painted; the prominent use of so-called “bulls eye” glass, the waste glass; the use of brass door and window fittings when cast iron was more common; and the list of myths and misapprehensions goes on.
The above comments from HADAS members are welcomed. MoLAS was aware of the myth of tunnels leading to churches – the work was funded by the houseowner. I understood one reason for the myth might be glimpses of “tunnels” leading of poorly-lit crypts not externally but to private vaults within the crypt. The term “ships timbers”, I believe, has been applied to the quality of ancient timber not its origin, in the same way as ‘marine ply” today perhaps sees more bathrooms than boats. Roy Walker
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HAMPSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB The third edition of Henrietta’s Dream by Kathleen M Slack, revised and expanded, has recently been published. It examines the aim of Henrietta Barnett to create from scratch a green, healthy and beautiful environment, in which “all classes could live in neighbourliness together”. Her social ideals were less fully achieved and Kathleen investigates the reasons for this and the way in which Hampstead Garden Suburb has subsequently developed. The author has lived on the Suburb since 1972 any draws on the direct testimony of those who were children when autocratic Dame Henrietta was an all too immediate and authoritarian presence. The book, 157pp, 23 illustrations and a map, can be ordered from The Trust Office, 862 Finchley Road, London, NW11 6AB, price £9.95 plus £1.50 p&p.
THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT IN BARNET
October 31, 1997 (Halloween) sees the publication of HADAS member Jennie Lee Cobban’s new book entitled Geoffrey de Mandeville and London’s Camelot: Ghosts, Mysteries and The Occult in Barnet. In the book, which includes 24 photographs and 21 illustrations, Jennie closely analyses law the local legend of Geoffrey de Mandeville’s ghost came into existence in the early years of the twentieth century. She also surveys the life story of this infamous medieval Earl, his local connections and his relationship with the enigmatic Knights Templars. The history of excavations in Trent Park at the mysterious archaeological site known as Camlet Moat, long associated with the de Mandevilles and recently described as “London’s Camelot”, is also described here in detail for the first time along with the fascinating myths which have attached themselves to the site over the years. Other historical mysteries into which she delves include Hadley Wood Camp, the whereabouts of the Battle of Barnet chantry chapel and Monken Hadley’s elusive monks, mounds, secret passage and hermitage. Some of her thoughts may well prove controversial! Jennie has been collecting Barnet folklore and ghost stories for several years, many of which she recounts in the book. There are headless ghosts in East Barnet, smoking ghosts in Chipping Barnet and ghosts of grey, blue and white ladies in abundance. She also investigates the bizarre religious cults which have flourished in the Barnet area over the years. These include the “Reverend” John Ward’s Confraternity of Christ the King at Park Road, New Barnet in the 1930s and 40s, the cult of the 18th century “prophetess” Joanna Southcott in East Barnet and the more recent antics of “Bishop” Sean Manchester, whose “Church of the Holy Grail” was based in Chipping Barnet until a few years ago.
To launch her book Jennie is holding a private Halloween party on 31 October at the 17th century Church House in Monken Hadley (just behind the graveyard) from 8.30pm until the witching hour. Copies will be on sale at the special price of £8.50. She extends a general invitation to any HADAS members who would like to come along. Halloween costume is optional, but please bring a bottle (or two!) Contact Jennie on 0181-440 3254 for further details. The book will also be on sale at local bookshops and Barnet Museum or from Jennie direct (£9.99 incl. p&p) at 42 Tudor Road, New Barnet, Herts, EN5 5NP. Any profits arising from the sale of the book will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
ARCHAEOLOGY FROM BENEATH THE BRITISH MUSEUM
An excavation in advance of the redevelopment works on the Great Court at the British Museum has revealed the remains of Montagu House, the original home of the Museum’s exhibits. Montagu House, the London home of the Dukes of Bedford, was constructed in 1686 and was bought by the nation in 1754 to house the national museum; the stable block was used to house the museum’s senior staff! The present BM, begun by Smirke in 1823, was built over the great garden with the bulk of the old house lying under the forecourt on Great Russell Street. Only the main wing of the first museum, demolished in 1842, lies under the present building. The excavation has revealed the internal north-eastern angle of the courtyard of Montagu House. Fragments of the demolished House have been uncovered including decorated plasterwork, some gilded and the usual discards – clay tobacco pipe and glass bottles. Excavation will take place over the next two years when it is hoped to find evidence of London’s Civil War defences.
ARCHAEOLOGY FROM BENEATH THE WAVES
Southampton University’s Archaeology Department and students have been excavating 18th century shipbuilding slipways on the Beaulieu River basin. In collaboration with the Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology and the Beaulieu Estate they have conducted archive research, topographic and hydrographic surveys and recording timbers. Finds are being preserved at the Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum where they plan to display virtual reality shipyard reconstructions.
After five year’s work, excavation of The Swan, a Cromwellian warship which sank off the Isle of Mull in 1653, will now cease due to lack of funding. Although much has been achieved there is still much more left to be done.
Robert Ballard, who located the wrecks of the Titanic and Bismarck, has found the wrecks of another eight ships including some that plied the Mediterranean between ancient Rome and Carthage. The finds are of five Roman ships (200 BC to 400 AD), a 17th/18th century Islamic fishing vessel and two 19th century ships.
The playhouses and brothels around Southwark Bridge in Shakespeare’s time were built on the edge of a marsh, surveys of the Thames foreshore have shown. Reclamation work began in the Middle Ages but the area around Bankside remained very damp until the advent of wharves…, and shipyards.
Timbers found in the Thames off Chelsea have been carbon-dated to the 8th century. This reinforces Thames Foreshore Survey officer Mike Webber’s view that these are the remains of Offa’s Palace. (Mike lectured to HADAS on the aims of the Survey in 1996)
THE YORKSHIRE TALES Edited by Roy Chaucer
This year’s long weekend to York, from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th September was, as you will see below, a great success thanks Mainly to Dorothy’s hard work during the previous twelve months and for the excellent groundwork put in by her and her son Christopher. This was a return visit by HADAS with five of the previous party of twenty-one years ago present giving the trip the sense of being a periodic pilgrimage to this former capital of northern Roman Britain.
The HADAS pilgrims rose early, cantered off, loathe to tarry
Lest they missed a coach called Shire and its driver Barry.
Alas, they waited long, for one was late in getting in
But cheerily they applauded him, that tardy Paul O’Flynn.
The Bentley’s Tale: Day One
The Addyman summoning all his powers
Enthraled his audience for two whole hours
There was a round of applause when, at exactly 11.30, our coach drew up in its reserved space outside Selby Abbey, writes Rosemary Bentley. Commenced in 1069, this former monastic building is now the parish church, standing on one side of the market square. The west door is framed by four heavily carved concentric Norman arches on slender columns, very like Rochester Cathedral. The interior columns are, fortunately, traditionally sturdy, one of those under the centre tower having subsided so far that one side of the arch has stretched into perpendicular shape. A genuine perpendicular east window is mostly hidden by the altar screen but illuminates the fan vaulting of the choir. A fire in the roof in 1906 resulted in the building being scrubbed inside and out, traces of soot remaining on the delicately carved capitals in the south aisle. If fault is to be found with this lovely place it is that the new roof is still aggressively shiny in the midday sun.
After finding our rooms at the College of York and Ripon St John, beside the town wall of York, we met the first of several dedicated members of the York Archaeological Trust. Richard Kemp’s theme was the Roman wall and he marched us, sinister, dexter, to the Multiangular Tower at the western corner of the Roman fort which would originally have had a simple rounded corner. The adjacent short stretch of Roman wall, still standing 20 feet high, shows that the Tower was addedlater, perhaps to impress a visiting dignitary, rather than for any direct military purpose. Dr Kemp introduced us to Saxa quadrata stone bricks of varying length but all cut to the same height, that of a modern house brick. During our walk we looked out for medieval buildings repaired with these recycled bricks. The original fortification would have been of earth and three further layers of soil have been identified between the Roman remains and the existing walls which were begun in the mid-13th century. We walked along the, , west and north walls which stand above or beside the Roman work, passing the immaculate gardens that lie behind the Minster. The Roman headquarters are beneath the Minster but on a different axis, the Romans having aligned themselves NW-SE alongside the River Ouse. We left the wall at the point where it was extended by the Vikings and visited the Archaeological Resource Centre where the enthusiastic staff encouraged us to identify fragments, write our names in runes and play with their computers. After supper Peter Addyman of the Trust explained, with slides, how York developed on a defensible site between two rivers after the IX Legion had been sent from Lincoln to quell a rebellion. The Ouse, flowing past York to the Humber, was a vital means of transport and its floodwaters equally important in preserving artefacts.
The Smith’s Tale: Day Two
They dieseled by bus around the Riding
Then nostalgia’d by train into the siding.
Having mastered the door-locking systems of the University, we sped away via Gillygate and Bootham Bar accompanied by Peter Addyman, writes Tessa Smith. Up the wide Vale of York, where once a forest of gall-oaks grew, now a patchwork of harvest fields and grazing sheep, passing the White Horse of the distant Kilburn Hills, through Coxwold, the flag of its 15th century church flying sadly at half-mast, then just a glimpse of Byland Abbey, grey on the steep hillside, through Ampleforth, with a wave from an Ampleforth boy, dropping down via Helmsley Castle, thence winding steeply through wooded banks until unfolded the secret stone glory that is Rievaulx Abbey. The slender elegance of the 13th century east end, with its narrow lancet windows and slim-arched flying buttresses contrasted with the massive strength and severity of the earlier 12th century stonework. The golden ruins are built on a rocky outcrop surrounded by hills that go down to the River Rye. We admired the frater or great dining hall with its preserved doorway, the infirmary, the apsidal chapter house and the elaborate drainage system. English Heritage is working here at the moment, recording every stone and crack so as to maintain the structures as they are now.
But, “lateness is the enemy of the soul” as the Cistercians would say, and although we wouldhave liked to linger longer we sped onwards through the soft landscape of the south side of the moors to St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale, a comparatively tiny church, very secluded, late Anglo-Saxon, to be welcomed by Professor Philip Rahtz and his wife Lorna. He has found evidence of an earlier monastery and in his current dig behind the church recently found a lead plaque with an 8th/9th century inscription plus a piece of elaborate twisted coloured glass from an imported Italian vessel. Within the chuchyard walls are built Saxon grave slabs and crosses Inside the church are two more grave slabs, intricately carved, one showing a sword with a hollow where could have been a great jewel. These grave slabs a century ago were said to bear the inscription Cyning Aethilwald in runic characters, inspiring the idea that an ancient building lay nearby. Certainly, the present church was built from material of a previous building. A unique feature of St Gregory’s is the Saxon sundial set over the south doorway. It is a stone slab, seven feet long, the centre third being a very simple dial which divides daylight hours into four “tides”. The two outer thirds proclaim “Orm Gamal’s son bought St Gregory’s Minster when it was all broken down and fallen and let it be made anew from the ground… in Edward’s day the King and in Tosti’s day, the Earl” (AD 1060). The sundial told us it was time to travel on to Pickering where we climbed aboard our North Yorkshire Moors Railway carriage. Like Bisto kids, but sniffing evocative smells of smoke, we set off at a leisurely pace heaved along by our engine Repton, one of the Schools Class of thirty engines (thank you Andy), through woods and moorlands to Grosmont. There we strolled through the world’s earliest railway tunnel where Stephenson’s first horse-drawn trains ran in 1833, to the deviation sheds where the Blue Peter engine was being overhauled. One cream tea later, the Eric Treacy chuffed us back at a good clickety-clack. Finally – and I really can’t believe we did all this and more in one day – to Malton and the Old Lodge. This was no ordinary hotel being built over part of a Roman Fort at the hub of the Roman road system, adjacent to a medieval castle and with the ruins of a Jacobean mansion in the back garden. The new owner, Norris Binner, was well-pleased with his acquisition of this large lodge, and with theparticipation of English Heritage. He told us that the Time Team had excavated in the garden last year and that the finds were at Malton in the local museum. Our host kindly showed us the heavily panelled Jacobean gatehouse, dated 1604, the gallery and rooms above. And finally, at last, we sat down to a really splendid meal which all of us agreed was one of the best.
The Bass’s Tale: Day Three
The pilgrims bravely uttered no cry for mercy
On the wet slippery slopes to Wharram Percy.
Understandably today’s events were overshadowed by the funeral of the Princess of Wales. York in the morning like so many other towns was almost deserted as people watched the proceedings on television, some visiting York Minster where the service was relayed on screens.
HADAS set off in the afternoon to visit the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy located amongst the rolling hills and valleys of East Yorkshire, writes Bill Bass. On our way we passed through Stamford Bridge where Harold of England defeated a large invading army under Harold Hadrada of Norway in September 1066 shortly before the Battle of Hastings. Unfortunately, a large area of the battle site, described by Peter Addyman as “wonderfully evocative”, is likely to be developed for new housing. By the time we arrived at Wharram the weather had turned against us – wind and rain prevailed. Never mind, our party made its way down a long track to the site. Avoiding a herd of cows, most of us headed for the shelter of the ruined church.
Before excavation of Wharram Percy it was thought that deserted medieval villages were relatively rare and that they were fairly simple crafting and farming hamlets. Earthworks of these sites were generally thought to be of one phase, ie the one when they were deserted. Excavation and surveys by Maurice Beresford and John Hurst over forty years from 1950 have shown that the situation is far more complex and that Wharram along with other medieval villages may have had occupation, some continuous, from the Neolithic and later periods. Early work at the Yorkshire site revealed an array of differing post-holes, footings, foundations and floors from various structures built on the same area or toft, many on different alignments. It can now be seen that the origins of Wharram Percy appear to follow a regular series of intensively-used Iron Age and subsequent Roman farmsteads but not as yet a nucleated settlement. It’s not until the middle and later Saxon period that excavation points to what later became the planned medieval village. This later Saxon “village” is thought to have been re-planned in the Scandinavian 10th century or possibly by post-Conquest Normans. It was based around a communal green with two rows of crofts, a re-sited manor house and church.Excavation of St Martin’s Church also reflects the changing fortunes and population levels in the village. This sequence begins with a small timber structure. perhaps 8th century, later replaced by a larger example in sandstone with further expansion during the Saxon period. Growth can be seen throughout the medieval occupation with the addition of aisles, altars, enlargements to the chancel and so forth. In the 16th century the church along with the village shows signs of abandonment. This was due to many factors including a rise in population, over-working of existing and marginal land and crop failure. Often it was more economic to farm sheep – as a result peasants were forced to move away from the village. We inspected the mill-pond and shallow earthworks then made a soggy return to the coach for our next stop at Melton.
Melton is a fair-sized market town lying in the south-west corner of the Vale of Pickering on the River Derwent. The geography of the area makes it a natural gateway to the Vale and land-routes connecting the Wolds and North Yorkshire Moors. The museum was the focus of our attention here and reflects the rich pattern of settlement in the surrounding area from an early stage. The post-glacial lakes, marsh and forest attracted Mesolithic people to the well-known winter and spring camp at Star Carr. Mahon itself was well-frequented by Neolithic people with finds of axes, maceheads and flints, the distribution of long barrows mainly confined to the Wolds and Tabular Hills. The Bronze Age is represented by at least nineteen barrows around Mahon and the nearby parish of Norton. Unfortunately many were levelled in the 19thcentury. The “food vessel” tradition is strong in this area. Evidence for the early Iron Age is a bit sketchy. There is occupation from a later (3rd century) period with square-ditched barrows in Norton. Other dykes and linear
IN. earthworks are in the vicinity. This community is probably part of the Parisi tribe. One of their sites with quernstones, potboilers, chalk statuettes and weaving artefacts was discovered beneath the Roman fort. The fort was built around AD79 as part of Agricola’s system of forts and roads linking northern England, replacing an earlier camp. Mahon was then known as Derventio. There have been several digs on the fort and its vicus revealing a continuing story of expansion and contraction of the fort and the surrounding town and industries. In the same area as the fort were Malton’s medieval castle and the Jacobean mansion. It was these two areas that the Time Team investigated, finding evidence for the location of both. A small room displayed some of the programme’s results including a replica medieval-style sword made in a local blacksmith’s forge.In the evening we had an opportunity to visit the renowned Jorvik Viking Centre “after hours.” When HADAS was last here in 1976 they saw this area of Coppergate when it was under excavation. Today, we were met by a real live Viking in chain-mail and after a short introduction were sent back in time – to October AD948 to be precise. Our route passes bustling market stalls and rows of basket goods for sale before turning into an alleyway between buildings heading down towards the river. In a house, a family are preparing their evening meal, in the backyard are animals, wells and a cess-pit (engaged). Finally, we pass the wharf with a boat unloading its cargo. All of these scenes are based on excavated evidence down to the smallest detail. The waterlogged nature of the site preserved a rich variety of finds – metal, wood, leather, bone, fabrics and environmental material much of which was on display. We passed through a reconstruction of the dig and processing laboratories – real Viking-age timbers have been stabilised and then re-erected where they were found. They are the best-preserved timber buildings of this period to be found in Britain.
Emerging back to 1997 time (it’s still raining) HADAS decided to visit the local hostelries. The so-called “hardened drinkers” set off to a riverside pub, while the “social drinkers” returned to the college bar. Returning to the college the “hardened drinkers” found they had been outdone by one D. Newbury who had drunk her companions under the table demolishing the entire bar’s sherry stock.
The Walker’s Tale: Day Four
On Sunday the group once more did walk
Around Eboracum, then Yorvik, now York.
Sunday morning saw HADAS, Andrew Jones, our guide (who we first met at the ARC) and an equal number of Canada geese at the foot of Clifford’s Tower, writes Roy Walker. It was built in 1068 at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss thus controlling the main trade route into the area. Originally of wood, the current stone tower dates from the 14th century and comprises four intersecting circular drums with mini-turrets at the intersections. The gatehouse is at the front and at the opposing side is an external garderobe complex unfortunately facing the Stakis Hotel! The Tower has a bloody history of repression and this law and order aspect of the site is maintained, less bloodily, by the adjacent law courts and the prison, now the Castle Museum.
Excavation on the Stakis Hotel site revealed medieval ditches leading to the Foss providing water defences for the Castle. Dams on the river created mill ponds for grain milling giving William control over food production and fish ponds to provide high status food-gifts when necessary. A traditional method of controlling the conquered.
We crossed the Victorian cast-iron Skelmersdale Bridge to the site of the second of William’s castles – Baile Hill. This is on the opposite side of the Ouse to the first and was not as important. It was constructed in 1069 within the area of the Roman Colonia, the administrative centre of 2nd/3rd century York. It was conjectured that the Roman bank and wall might lie beneath the medieval ones which we were following.
Leaving the walls we entered the Bishophill area, observing the entrance to air-raid shelters beneath the wall and were shown the site of Peter Wenham’s excavations in the 1960s when timber-lined wells and square timber buildings of the Roman town had been revealed. The 2-3 metres of stratigraphy required further work. The church of St Mary Bishophill Junior despite its name is the oldest surviving church in the city. The tower is built of re-used Roman masonry with white limestone blocks in the lower courses and sandstone blocks at the top – the reverse order in which the Romans used them indicating that they were removed from the Roman buildings top downwards as the tower went upwards. Inside, the tower arch leading to the nave is an intact re-used Roman arch. Nearby is the graveyard of St Mary Bishophill Senior with its wall showing Roman terracing in its stonework. Higher-status domestic buildings were found in this area.
Once more back on the wall, Andrew pointed out the Bar Convent, home of Margaret Clitheroe’s hand. In the 17th century she had sheltered Catholic priests, was arrested and refused to recant her religion. She was slowly crushed to death and her hand remains as a grisly relic to her martyrdom. We passed through Micklegate Bar, the main Roman entrance to the city and observed the new railway station situated outside the walls. The original station, its platform still visible, was inside the walls. A Roman cemetery was excavated beneath the 1870s station and the finds deposited in the Yorkshire Museum. As this was within the Colonia large civic buildings should be expected but due to York’s decline in the 19th century there has been little development with less opportunity for excavation.
We dropped down to the waterfront by Lendal Bridge to look at the river frontage of the Guildhall. This was the site of a major Roman bridging point which has been located together with lead pipes for a public river water supply. It was possible to ford the river here before weirs were constructed so this point was under the control of the fortress. Roman warehouses have been found but no wharves as yet. Nearby was a Roman temple with around 2000 low-grade coins perhaps used as offerings for a safe river journey.
Our tour finished within the nave of St Mary’s Abbey next to the Yorkshire Museum. This was a most prosperous Benedictine house, a place of pilgrimage, which survived the Reformation as Henry VIII took the monastery for himself and it was not fully robbed. The Museum is built on Abbey remains and they have been incorporated into its displays.
Andrew was thanked for giving up his Sunday morning to show us the south-west corner of York and the group dispersed to the far corners of the city to make up for the time lost on the previous day.
We rejoined the coach a few hours later and a traditional HADAS return home followed with a comfort stop at Grantham. Stuart Wild had kindly donated souvenirs of his world-wide travels for use as prizes in the raffle, the proceeds of which went to the driver whose skill and patience had contributed greatly to the outing. Paul O’Flynn had acted as Dorothy’s right-hand man throughout – map-reading and making the announcements – which was greatly appreciated. Julius Baker proposed a splendid vote of thanks to Dorothy for all the work that she had put into the outing (and into the Society for that matter), sentiments we were pleased to heartily endorse. (Where to next year – Dorothy?)
BARNET & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY The emphasis at their next meeting is local history. Richard Selby will talk about Barnet’s Pubs, the subject of his recent book. Wednesday 8 October, The Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet, at 8.00pm.
ENFIELD ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY Friday 17 October The Thames Archaeological Survey by Mike Webber. 7.30 for 8.00pm, Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side and Parsonage Lane, Enfield. 50p for visitors. Phone 0181-804 6918 for confirmation of programme.
FINCHLEY SOCIETY WINE AND CHEESE EVENING A reminder for those who notified Liz Holliday of their intention to attend this Finchley Society function on Sunday 19 October – it commences at 7.30pm in the Drawing Room of Avenue House.
FINCHLEY SOCIETY Thursday 30 October 40 Years On – Renewing Civic Pride by Michael Gwilliam, Director of the Civic Trust. 7.45pm, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3. Phone 0181-346 7182 for confirmation of programme