Saturday July 14 – Down Farm Cranbourne Chase and Wilton House Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward Martin Green is a farmer whose farm is wild life ‘set aside’ land. The Dorset Cursus runs right through the farmland and he has excavated henges, barrows, pits and postholes. A deep natural shaft has revealed beaker ware, Neolithic and Mesolithic artefacts, many of which are on display in his hen- coup museum. Do come and join us on this fascinating outing (Details and application form enclosed).
Saturday August 11 – Waltham Abbey and The Gunpowder Mills Stewart Wild and June Porges
Tuesday October 9 – Start of Lecture Season
Archaeology in London Peter Pickering
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, is required to produce something called a Spatial Development Strategy, which will lay down principles which boroughs like Barnet will have to follow in their Unitary Development Plans. He has embarked on the process of drawing up this Strategy, publishing for consultation a document entitled ‘Towards the London Plan’. It contains no reference to archaeology, and sees the heritage (historic buildings and views, conservation areas etc) very largely in the context of tourism. This is unfortunate, and I hope that the final Strategy will appreciate that archaeology and archaeological investigations are very important in helping Londoners themselves to understand their past and so the world we all live in to-day, and that historic buildings have a value which goes much wider than tourism and positively assist regeneration and development. There is another stage to go through before the Strategy is finalised. A full draft will have to be published for comment – the same sort of process as with borough UDPs.
Herakleion, Egypt, underwater discoveries
Work by international archaeologists, led by Franck Goddio, on the sunken site of the ancient port devastated by an earthquake 1,200 years ago, is revealing a number of treasures. These include a bust of the goddess Isis; three giant statues of Hapi, the god of the Nile flood; and of a pharaoh and his queen respectively; and a giant stela. Hieroglyphic text on s smaller stela showed the name of the city and said that the giant stela should be set at the Nile’s exit into the Mediterranean, by order of the Pharaoh Nectaneho I in 380 BC. (The Times 8 June 2001)
A.G.M. by Denis Ross
The 40th Annual General Meeting of the Society was held on 12 June 2001. The following Officers were re-elected to the Committee: Chairman: Andrew Selkirk Vice-Chairman: Brian Wrigley Hon. Treasurer: Micky O’Flynn Hon Secretary: Denis Ross The following 13 other members were elected to the Committee: Christian Allen*, Richard Askew*, Bill Bass, Jackie Brookes, Don Cooper*, Andrew Coulson, Judy Kaye*, Eric Morgan, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Nicholson, Peter Pickering, Andy Simpson and Tim Wilkins. Those marked* are new members of the Committee. Judy Kaye is taking over from Vikki O’Connor as Membership Secretary. The Chairman paid tribute to Vikki’s long services to the Society as Membership Secretary and in many other respects and expressed the hope that her association with the Society and its activities would continue. Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins had each decided not to seek re-election after many years on the Committee and the Meeting expressed appreciation of their services to the Society. The retirement of Dr Ann Saunders as President was accepted with regret. The Chairman said how involved she had been in the Society’s activities. The Meeting endorsed the proposal that Mr. Harvey Sheldon be appointed as President in her place. The Meeting also endorsed the proposed alterations to the Society’s Constitution
Report on the History of HADAS by June Porges
As is usual with HADAS the business of the AGM was despatched quickly, efficiently and with good humour and we were able to get down to the fun side of the evening. As this is our 40th anniversary year we asked Sheila Woodward to talk about the history of the Society which she did with the aid of slides, many of which came from the Ted Sammes archive. We saw pictures of the first dig at Church End Farm where our founder, Mr T. E. Constanides, hoped to find the evidence of Saxon Hendon about which he held such passionate views. This was not actually found until ten years later at Church Terrace. That was the dig which produced Saxon pottery and a copper alloy or bronze pin with an interesting head of two inturned spirals. and put HADAS firmly on the archaeological map. This position was confirmed from 1976 by the ten year dig on Hampstead Heath exposing the first known Mesolithic site in Greater London. This site attracted much publicity among archaeologists, newspapers, television and the general public Sheila had many slides to show of the ideal conditions of this site, easy sandy trowelling near the surface, a beautiful tree shaded location and, for the first two years at least, glorious weather. The dig generated a great deal of research by HADAS members and outside specialists, especially on flint tool working and burning, and on environmental evidence such as seeds and beetles. Shortage of time prevented us seeing details of all the other digs in which HADAS has been involved, and of the other activities which make up the life of this very active Society. These have included lectures by members, field walking , resistivity surveys, and stream walking. Bill Firth has led research on the industries of the area including Hendon aerodrome, which resulted in the saving of listed buildings. There has been work on boundary stones, milestones, local buildings, church yard projects and blue plaques. Andy Simpson brought us up to date with slides, assembled by Vicki O’Connor, of recent activities which have included investigations at Hanshaw Drive and Barnet Gate Meadow. Unfortunately the weather over the last year has not equalled 1976 and the digs have suffered from the flooded conditions. Congratulations to the persistence of the diggers. There were also pictures of the exciting experiment in pottery firing; first gathering clay, making it into pots, then the firing day at College Farm which included painting of the pots by visiting children. The less physically demanding side of HADAS activities include monthly lectures during the winter months, day outings during the summer and the ever popular long weekends which have taken place all over the UK. To illustrate this Graham Javes had brought along some slides of the 2000 Orkney visit, a return visit there after the first one in 1978. There were also slides of HADAS with its hair down, and its togas on, at the Christmas dinners, which have taken place at many locations from the Tower of London to the Hendon Meritage Centre. HADAS has published many booklets including Pinning Down the Pact, a history of local archaeology produced to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 1986. Thanks to Sheila, who did a valiant job having shortly come out of hospital, and everyone else involved for putting together what was inevitably a gallop through the history of the Society. There were many reminders of some of the energetic characters who have contributed to HADAS still being a lively and active Society.
HADAS digs at Whetstone with Thames Valley Archaeological Services by Graham Javes
The Victorian buildings at the junction of the High Road and Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, pictured in last month’s Newsletter have now been demolished and the site cleared for a new department store for Boots the Chemist An archaeological condition was attached to planning consent, the contract being awarded to Thames Valley Archaeological Services. TVAS invited HADAS to visit the site during evaluation. John Heathfield and I met Dr. Steve Ford, the director of the company, on 4th of May, and as a result HADAS members were invited to dig with TVAS as volunteers during the subsequent excavation. Events moved rapidly. On Monday 21st of May I received a call from the site and went straight over to meet Graham Hall, the excavation director. They had gone straight from evaluation into the excavation and had already found a few medieval pottery sherds. The troops were called. By the Wednesday Vicki O’Connor and Jill Hooper went in, by Friday we had four diggers on site. In spite of the short notice and the fact that it was a weekday dig, HADAS fielded three or four diggers each day, seven members digging on one day when I was on site. Altogether fourteen members dug; some just once, others on a number of occasions. Whilst the main job was digging, members helped with drawing, surveying, cleaning up the site and recording. Bill Bass shared his knowledge of pottery found on earlier digs in the locality, whilst John Heathfield and Percy Reboul provided historical background to the site and to the history of Whetstone. Though medieval sherds of several pottery types were found, most, if not all, were in the plough-soil. One feature was a ditch running parallel to the High Road, which lined up with the frontage of the Bull and Butcher pub next door; the building line of the late buildings had stood several metres forward. Though broken into by some of the shop cellars, the ditch ran the full width of the site. The reason for this ditch is a source of interest. Graham Hall expressed his thanks to the Society for its assistance. We were able to make a significant contribution to the excavation, whilst members relished the opportunity of extra digging, providing useful experience which some members have added to their CVs. It was, I think, a first for HADAS to work with a professional unit though individual members have worked at Spitalfields and other sites. Several members have suggested we do it again? Thames Valley Archaeological Services has an excellent website with many photographs – www.tvas.co.uk
HADAS Outing to Canterbury by Barry Reilly
This, our first outing of the year, got off to a fine start with a tour of the Big Dig excavation site in Canterbury, the largest in urban Britain. ‘The Big Dig’ is a six year project organised by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust to record the archaeology of the city as it is exposed by new development. The current area of investigation is White Friars, site of the Friary closed down by Henry VIII in 1538. At first sight the most notable feature is the large number of pits being excavated. The natural brick earth which underlies Canterbury is ideal for making daubs, so it could be dug out for running repairs to wattle and daub. Since the citizens of Canterbury had neither a piped sewage system nor a refuse disposal service until Victorian times, both rubbish and cess pits had to be dug in back gardens. As expected, evidence has emerged of continuous habitation from Iron Age times; what was not expected was the uncovering of a fine Anglo-Saxon metalled road. Even more exciting has been the discovery of a Roman interval tower some 16 feet high, but, sadly, we were unable to view this since it is boarded up at present. Evidence has also been found of medieval lanes together with adjoining close-packed dwellings, which could have been shops. Other features include burials close to the Friary walls; some ovens, possibly Roman, and a stone-lined medieval storage cellar. We were shown a range of recent finds, as yet undated, including Iron Age, Roman and medieval coins; Roman tiles and tesserae; animal bones and horn cores; Roman and medieval pottery sherds; a medieval thimble and part of a Roman toiletry set comprising tweezers and an ear scoop. This fascinating tour concluded in the visitors centre with more well presented displays of finds. The White Friars excavation continues for another four weeks and there should be an opportunity to see the final outcome when Channel 4 hopefully screens two programmes on the dig at around Christmas time.
Afternoon walk around Canterbury by Beverley Perkins
After the mainly Roman emphasis of our morning visit, our afternoon walk highlighted the medieval and Tudor aspects of Canterbury. Our guide started by asking us to observe the facades of the Georgian shops in St Margaret Street. She pointed out that what appeared to be bricks were in fact “mathematical tiles” laid to resemble brick, a technique which became fashionable in Georgian times as a relatively cheap means of turning medieval buildings into Georgian ones. She then took us round to the back of these shops where the 15c. timber-framed structures with their small, leaded windows were clearly visible. Our guide pointed out a nearby church constructed of flint, a typical building material of the region. Also built of flint is the former Poor Priests’ Hospital, originally an open hall house with a central fireplace, solar and chapel. It now houses the Canterbury Heritage Museum containing exhibitions on Canterbury through the ages. Pausing to note that Rupert Bear was created in 1920 by a citizen of Canterbury, we crossed the river to the pretty island which is the site of Greyfriars’ Friary, the first Franciscan settlement in England. The only part of the Friary to survive is a small, two-storey, 13th century building which forms a bridge over the river. In one of the lower rooms is a hatch through which the monks could fish in cold weather. After the Dissolution the building came into the possession of the Lovelace family – it was Richard Lovelace, the poet, who wrote: “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage” – prophetic, perhaps, since in later years the building served as an overflow prison and prisoners’ graffiti can be seen on the walls_ Fittingly, it has now been re-acquired by the Franciscans who have established a peaceful chapel in the upper room. Back in the centre of town, we stopped to admire the Sun Hotel (built in 1503) with its jettied upper stories. Until it was restored, its decorative timbers and herringbone brickwork had been concealed under layers of plaster. Although we had time to ourselves after the organised visits, Canterbury has so many museums and places of interest that it is impossible to cover them all in one day – an excellent reason for a return visit to explore this interesting city in more detail
Canterbury Cathedral by Audree Price-Davies
The history of Canterbury Cathedral is linked closely to the power struggle between church and state in England, as the main characters in this drama are linked to the Cathedral. In 597 A.D. the Pope sent St. Augustine to England to re-christianize the country. The early Celtic Church had been all but superseded by the deities of the Roman Empire. St. Augustine landed at Thanet and converted King Ethelbert of Kent, the Saxon king, whose wife was already a Christian. A church surviving from Roman times became the cathedral of the new diocese, and the present building occupies the site. St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, defended the church against interference by the English crown. There is a stained glass window depicting him in his chapel of St. Anselm. In 1162 Thomas Beckett was made Archbishop of Canterbury and was zealous in defence of the church. He criticised Henry II’s judicial reforms and then fled to France. The crowd cheered his return and Henry exclaimed “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights went to Canterbury and murdered Thomas in 1170 in the area now known as The Martyrdom’, where an altar and memorial now stand. St. Thomas Beckett shrine stood at the centre of Trinity Chapel but was demolished in 1538, by order of Henry VIII, and now a single candle burns there. The first performance of Murder in the Cathedral by T.S.Eliot, which dramatises the murder, was held in the Chapter House of the Priory. The Cathedral was part of the Benedictine Priory, whose monks held services in the church until 1540, when Henry had the Priory demolished in his quarrel with Rome over his plans to marry Anne Boleyn. He seized the wealth of the church and monastery for the state. During the Civil War (1642-1646) many sculptures were beheaded and stained glass broken by the Puritans. They objected to the power of the church over the people. The Cathedral is a place of soaring perpendicular pinnacles on slender vertical lines, giving a sense of exaltation. The fan vaulting in the Bell Harry shows the vaulting typical of Gothic architecture in its later stages. The stained glass is one of the glories of medieval English art. After our visit to the Cathedral, afternoon tea in the dappled sunshine of the walled garden of the Priory was a fitting end. (Delicious home-made cakes and hot freshly brewed tea) Our thanks are due to Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins who researched and organised this very interesting and successful outing.
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Joan Wrigley writes “Thank you to all who know me for your good wishes for my speedy recovery from my recent operation. 1 fear the recovery will not be speedy but I am ever hopeful. I think my Consultant is trying to convert me into “A Mermaid” by making my legs into a tail, neither of them seem to want to work very well at the moment. Sincerely” [Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery, mermaids notwithstanding!- ed.]
Copped Hall By Richard Askew.
As reported in earlier Newsletters HADAS had been contacted by Nicholas Bateson from the West Essex Archaeological Group (WEAG) to create a joint venture between our two groups to do a geophysical survey of the Tudor house and later Elizabethan gardens at Copped Hall , Epping . But due to the annoying delay caused by the governments over-reaction to the foot and mouth outbreak this venture had to be put on hold. But I’m now pleased to announce that this Joint venture is now well under way, so with the aid of our trusted Nilsson model 400 4-pin soil resistance meter, our enthusiastic dig team and a convoy of automobiles we Iay siege to Copped Hall every Sunday morning with the determined task of seeking out and plotting any points of archaeological interest, here’s a Sunday by Sunday account of the mission.
Today is a nice dry day and the project is well attended by both HADAS and WEAG members. The day started with a brief tour by Alan Cox after which we have decided to start our survey with the site of the large Tudor house of which a large column feature is in place surrounded by brick tumble. we plotted out our first 20m grid which accommodated the Tudor column (this way if there are any walls this will put them within the grid) then after a peaceful lunch we had a few practice runs ‘North the resistance meter to give WEAG members a chance to get used to the equipment.
The day is once again dry and the project is again well attended by both HADAS and WEAG. Today we started our first 20m grid (plotted last week) which will start at the north face and worked from west to east working at lm intervals. There are signs of sporadic brick remains on the surface within the grid as well as some trees, the grid itself sits just inside a small square of trees the soth side of which separates this grid from the once rose gardens which at some point had a path way through them which may show up on the results. While the main group was busy surveying Bill, Andy and Myself laid out the next 20m grip into what was the later rose gardens. Both WEAG and HADAS members had a good time and soon got the hang of the equipment which with a steady rhythm we soon had the grid finished.
Today is dry but cloudy, and once again well attended by both groups. We started by checking last weeks results which didn’t show much of interest so we plodded on and surveyed grid two, but we skipped the first 2 runs due to the tree line which ran directly across the first line of the North side of the grid. While the survey under the supervision of Christian & Brian completed grid 2, Bill Bass and myself discussed how to offset the baseline into the Elizabethan gardens, once grid 2 was finished we removed some logs that were in the way and extended the grid up the south bank creating a small grid (grid 3) and which was finished short with plans to complete it next week.
Today is dry with sunny periods due, as expected attendance is high from both groups. We checked last weeks results which had a few interesting results but they were most likely from the later Rose gardens rather from the Tudor building. Then as Brian supervised the completion of grid 3, Christian and myself plotted the new baseline into the Elizabethan gardens and set out a 20m grid (grid 4) which was then completed in two teams Supervised by Brian and then myself, Meanwhile Christian and Andrew started the task of plotting the grids onto the map using the nearest bench mark.
Today it was wet and windy, but I was happy to see that the ran didn’t stop people from attending the project. We plotted out grid 5 which During it’s completion the weather did it’s best to stop us, but with waterproofs at hand and Eric and Brian supervising the task was completed. As grid 5 was in motion Christian and myself laid out grid 6 and then finished taking the levels and angles for the map plotting with the help of Andrew Coulson (HADAS) and Roger and Christina Gibbons (WEAG). (I would just like to thank the Friends of Copped Hall for the wonderful cakes, and also to thank WEAL for the opportunity to create this joint venture, I hope we can make a note of this and create a few joint projects of our own with some of the other local and not so local Archaeological Groups at sonic point soon.)
The Festival of Britain Bill Firth
The recent exhibition at Church Farm House brought back many memories. I have some rather hazy ones of the Festival of Britain – a lot has happened in the ensuing 50 years! However, I still have a number of souvenirs. The main ones are the guides to the South Bank Site, the Exhibition of Science at South Kensington, the Pleasure Gardens at Battersea and the Festival Ship, Campania. I visited all of these. To complement the guides a have a 198 page paperback issued in 1976 to commemorate the 25th anniversary. There is also a set of six coloured postcards of the South Bank Site to which I have added a view from the air in black and white. Tucked inside the South Bank Guide I found a Souvenir Weather Report and Forecast (price threepence) dated Friday 17th August 1951. Presumably that was the day I visited the South Bank. The Festival Ship Campania was a smaller edition of the main Festival exhibition, designed to bring the Festival to people who could not get to the South Bank, by visiting a number of ports round the country. It visited Southampton for ten days in early May 1951. My parents had retired to Swanage, my father was keen to see the exhibition and there was a special boat trip (by paddle steamer of course) from Swanage arranged to visit it. My mother was a poor sailor and I went with my father. I remember it as a great day out. Those were rather difficult days. Although it was six years after the war there was still some food rationing and other austerity measures. We lived in a rather drab world. It was all accepted then, would it be now? [Members who missed this exhibition may like to know of a different, smaller version, to be held at the Wyllott’s Centre, Potters Bar, in October. (contact 01707 645 005 ext 20)] Nefertiti as the ‘Elder Woman’
According to Dr. Susan James, a Cambridge-trained Egyptologist, all of the portrayals of Nefertiti from the workshop of Djehutymes at Akhenaten’s capital on the Nile, bear a strong resemblance to the mummy known as the ‘Elder Woman’ The mummy was discovered by the French archaeologist Victor Lloret in a cache of royal mummies that included the earlier Pharaoh Amenophis II, still resting in his own sarcophagus. Prosaically numbered as Egyptian Museum 61070, the ‘Elder Woman’ was found bereft of her coffin, and was given her nickname by the anatomist Sir Graham Elliot Smith, to distinguish her from the Younger Woman’, found in the same room Smith described her as 1.45 metres tall and “middle aged”. ( The Times 5 June 2001)
Archimedes Lost Mss Recovered With Modern Technology
A report by William Peakin dealing with the discovery of a parchment bearing some seminal and hitherto unknown works of Archimedes, which were erased and overwritten as a 13th century prayerbook. Experts at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore used various imaging techniques to reveal the hidden text. Work is also being done to conserve the parchment; to decipher the passages and analyse the diagrams. (Sunday Times Magazine 17 June 2001 pp30-35)
Bernardine Evaristo. The Emperor’s Babe;
a verse novel Hamish Hamilton, 2001 £10.99 The story of Zuleika of Londonium, A.D.211, lover of the ‘African Emperor’, Septimus Severus. Based on her experience as poet-in-residence at Museum of London. (The Times 6 June 200
OTHER SOCIETIES EVENTS Eric Morgan
Thursday 5 July 7.30pm London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, N1 Branches of the Grand Junction. Talk by Alan Faulkener. £2.50 (£1.25 conc.)
Friday 6 July 6pm. Geologists’ Association. Scientific Societies’ Lecture Theatre, New Burlington Place, W.1. Forensic geology. Talk by Professor Ken Pye.
Saturday 7 July – Sunday 8 July. East Barnet Festival, Oak Hill Park, Church Hill Road, East Barnet. (Last year HADAS shared a stall with The Friends of East Barnet Clock.)
Tuesday 10 July 8pm . Amateur Geological Society. The Parlour, St. Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, N.3. Chalk-record of life and death in hothouse ocean. Talk by Dr. Ian Jarvis
Friday 13 July – Saturday 14 July. Pevsner Guides 50th anniversary. Victoria and Albert Museum conference on 20th c. writing on English architecture. (contact V & A box office 7942 2209)
Sunday 15 July 1pm- 10pm. Cricklewood Festival. Clitterhose Playingfields, Claremont Road, NW2
Sunday 15 July 4pm. Summer at the Bothy. Avenue House, East End Road, N3 Stage and screen combat. How martial arts developed over last 500 years. £6 (i5 conc.) (box office 8455 4640)
Sunday 15 July 3pm. The Jewish Museum. 89 East End Road, N3. East Endings; film on Jewish East End. (n incl coffee and pastries. Book in advance 8349 1143)
Thursday 19 July 7.30pm. Camden Historical Society, Church Hall, Kelly St., Kentish Town, NW5 The St. Giles Missionaries. Talk by David Hayes
Friday 20 July 7pm. City of London Archaeological Society. St. Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. London, Londoners and medieval English embroidery. Talk by Dr. Penelope Wallis
Saturday 21 July 10am-5pm. Kensal Green Cemetery and West London Crematorium, Harrow Road,W10. Open day (major annual event with many attractions)
Sunday 22 July 2pm – 4pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. Friern Park, N12. Conducted walk. £1.00 (contact John Donovan 01707 642 886)
Sunday 22 July 3pm.The Jewish Museum. 89 East End Road, N3. Cartoon workshop, In connection with current exhibition of Jewish cartoonists. £3.00 (Book in advance 8349 1143)