Tues 12 February: Francis Grew (Museum of London) – Life in Roman London.
Tues 12 March: Clive Orton (Institute of Archaeology) – Digging in a Russian Medieval City.
Lectures start at 8pm in the Drawing Room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3.
BOWLING GREEN HOUSE SURVEY
Following our survey at Copped Hall near Waltham Abbey, Dennis Hill of the Enfield Archaeology Society asked HADAS if we could conduct a similar survey at a site in their area. This site is Bowling Green House in the grounds of Myddleton House just north of Forty Hall in the Bulls Cross area of Enfield. Myddleton House is named after Sir Hugh Myddleton, who constructed The New River in 1610-1514 to carry drinking water from natural springs at Amwell in Hertfordshire into central London along a 38 mile man-made channel. A section of this river once ran through the gardens but has now been filled in. Myddleton House replaced a Tudor building called Bowling Green House, the remains of which lie under the gardens, it was a 12 room, red brick, gabled structure that was demolished in 1812 when the present house was finished. This part of the garden is now a lawn and flowerbeds, in the 1980s when a water pipe was being laid, the gardener came across some brick foundations thought to be in the area of the Tudor House. Following a site visit (mentioned in the last Newsletter), we decided to conduct a resistivity survey over the weekends of the 13/14 and 20/21 October. The first weekend was completely washed-out weather wise so the survey was completed in one day (21′), which was also timed as a public open day so visitors could see what we were up to. Members of the West Essex Archaeological Group who had invited us to Copped Hall joined us. The survey went well in sunny conditions (at last!) we also set-up a bookstall where Andy Simpson tried to sell his wares (he wasn’t having much luck) and explaining what we were doing. A 15 x 40m grid was laid out over the flat lawn known as Tom Tiddlers Ground with survey points at lm intervals. Christian Allen compiled the results (on page 2), (figure 1) shows a dot-density plot of the data. The plot strongly indicates a long linear structure across the northern half of the area. This appears to be part of a much larger structure. The contour plot (figure 2) shows that the structure has clearly defined edges, which implies that this is possibly a wall, its foundation, or similar construction. Given the strength of these results, the feature found is possibly a wall, or similar, belonging to a much larger structure. This implies that these may he part of the remains of the Tudor manor house that was previously situated in the grounds of the current Myddleton House. After the earlier site visit to Myddleton House the team were shown around a current excavation being carried out by the Enfield Archaeological Society elsewhere. The site to the south of the town near the Al0 was in a small back garden but was turning up big results in the form of Roman finds pottery etc as well as post holes and gullies. The area is thought to be a possible farm perhaps near-to or adjacent to a Roman posting-station positioned on Ermine Street now followed by the line of the A10. Bowling Green House survey results The illustrations show the clear nature of the resistivity reading. (Editor: Apologies that the images are not available yet!)
MUCH WENLOCK RE-VISITED by Dr John H Gorvin
Those members of HADAS who where able to travel to North Wales and those not so fortunate may not be aware that a fascinating marble panel from Much Wenlock Priory is to be seen in the very fine exhibition of Medieval sculpture at Tare Britain which continues until 3rd March 2002. This piece of Romanesque carving (1175-1200) was dug up in 1878. The panel, which was certainly partly gilt and painted, is from the base of an elaborate 8-sided lavabo in which the monks washed their hands_ This function is implied in the styling, with Christ in a boat holding the hands of two disciples. My interest in archaeology was awakened by family holidays taken over a number of years at Much Wenlock in the 1920s. We travelled from our home in Swansea by the scenically beautiful Central Wales Line and always stayed at Mrs Yapp’s cottage. One had the impression then, that the little town had altered little over the years – it is now, perhaps over gentrified. There was a lot to stimulate the mind of a small boy and much to amuse him, particularly when the piglet ran loose among the cattle-market pens.
Culture Secretary Tessa jowell has welcomed the appointment of Neil MacGregor as the next Director of the British Museum. The appointment will take effect from 1 August 2002. Mr MacGregor is currently Director of the National Gallery in London, a position he has held since 1987. He was previously Lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading, and Editor of the Burlington Magazine from 1981 to 1985. Dr Simon Thurley has been appointed Chief Executive of English Heritage Currently the Director of the Museum of London, he will take up his new post in March 2002.
TED SAMMES COURSE
The course being run in conjunction with Birkbeck University continues to progress well at Avenue House, accessing and analysing Ted’s archive from his excavations in Hendon. It is still possible to join the course and is an excellent way to handle and identify finds, and to acquire skills towards publishing reports and arc hives. Contact Jacqui Pearce on 020 7566 9325 or email email@example.com, or contact the Birkbeck Office on 020 76316627/6631 (Zoe Tomlinson or Sharon Light)
NEW SLIDE PROJECTOR
The society has now acquired a new projector to play with it’s a Kodak 1500 Ektalite carousel and features remote control and telescopic lens. It made its debut at the October lecture where it behaved itself impeccably (famous last words). We also now have a new projector stand from Unicol Engineering that will be unveiled at the February talk.
This is a useful leaflet/booklet published regularly by the Museum of London carrying the latest archaeological news from around the Capital. In the September 2001 edition there was an article on HADAS, with a bit about its history, excavations, journal, lectures and outings. A picture accompanying the article shows members working at the Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon dig in 1993.
Stephen Aleck who lives near the former Finchley bus station was clearing his garden recently when he `discovered’ a concrete plaque set into the wall that read — THIS WALL IS THE PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN ELECTRIC TRAMWAYS L 11)1931. See also Andy Simpson’s transport article
=HADAS DINNER or The Christmas Coach Calamity! BB
On the whole the evening was enjoyable, but once again HADAS members found themselves waiting for a late coach to take them to the venue, Grim’s Dyke Hotel, Harrow. Thanks to Peter Nicholson and Andy Simpson for driving around the various pick-up points informing members that there had been a mix-up at the coach office. A coach finally arrived some 11/2 hours late, Dorothy’s displeasure will no doubt be heard throughout the Shires (again). After the groups were dragged out of different hostelries (they were at Finchley anyway) we made it to Harrow. Walking up a very dark and mysterious driveway, a large mock-Tudor building loomed into view. We were ushered into an impressive dining hall (The Music Room) complete with barrel-vaulted ceiling, wood panelling and a massive alabaster fireplace. Paul Follows the Director, gave a talk on the history of the hotel, how it was designed by Norman Shaw and built in 1870 for the Victorian painter Frederick Goodall. In 1890 W. S. Gilbert of the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership lived in the house until his death in 1911. The hotel still holds many performances of Gilbert & Sullivan’s work. The building was used for different purposes during the 21’d World War, it then became derelict and used as a film set, later it was converted as a banqueting hall then refurbished into the present hotel. The gardens were landscaped by Goodall and later by Gilbert who added a lake in 1899, features from Gilberts time are still being found today such as an orchard and monkey house. Also in the garden is the Grim’s Dyke earthwork, part of a late Iron-age and Belgic boundary system, from which the hotel is named. During the dinner Stuart Wild acted as the raffle MC, distributing presents, by the fireplace, he only needed a red fur-edged costume to complete the scene…. Thanks to those mentioned above, to the staff at the hotel and to HADAS members for their patience.
BARNET TRANSPORT RELICS AT ACTON by Andy Simpson
The writer made one of his regular visits to the splendid new London’s Transport Museum large objects store in Acton, opposite Acton Town tube station and adjacent to Acton Underground Depot, in October 2001, notebook in hand and bobble hat firmly in place, to record the surprising number of Barnet area transport relics held there; these are listed below as the promised/threatened follow up to the recent ‘Last Tram From Barnet’ article. The Depot, as the Covent Garden based Museum’s storage and conservation centre, is open to the admission paying public on several weekends each year, (usually advertised in metro/Evening Standard) but not on a daily basis. Some 370,000 items – tickets to train bodies – are stored there as the reserve collection: Barnet area exhibits include; Complete wooden Passimeter booking office /ticket check point ex Golders Green tube station, c.1923, contemporary with the extension of the Northern Line beyond Golders Green towards Edgware. Under restoration. Dismantled half section of Otis lift car removed from Hampstead Station, complete with two Art Nouveau ventilation grill panels. Trolleybus traction (overhead wiring support) pole, 1930s, from Fine hley Depot, North Finchley- until removal after the depot’s closure in December 1993, probably the last such pole standing in the whole Borough of Barnet. It had survived in the depot yard supporting an overhead lamp. Information on survivors to the contrary gratefully received! Electric motor possibly used in conjunction with fuel pump from Finchley Bus garage after its conversion from trolleybus operation in 1961/62 Two cylindrical vacuum cleaners ex Finchley Bus Depot, plus a drum Vacuum cleaner on a wheeled frame from the same source, made by the British Vacuum Company, 1950s. They may have sucked up that very ticket older readers dropped way back when. Ex Cricklewood Garage AEC breakdown tender, London Transport 830J/AX1V1649, converted from STL type double deck bus No.390- in running order. 1972 stock Driving Motor tube car No.3530, ex Northern Line. Four car train of 1938 (red) tube stock; the last such unit to run in regular passenger service, being withdrawn off the Northern Line in 1988. Restored to 1960s condition; to be used for special enthusiast tours of the underground (Yes, there are such things) Smaller exhibits included a rich collection of some 3000 signs, including enamel station signs, such as a 1970s Northern Line map and ‘Platform 3 Mill Hill East and High Barnet’ sign from Finchley Central; one lettered Northern Line Platform 1 Northbound Totteridge and High Barnet’ and another worded ‘High Barnet Station Frequent Trains To All Parts Of London’; also a pre-Brent Cross station title `Brent’ Also a wooden notice `Employees are warned against crossing the tracks to and from Golders Green Station and attention is called to Shop Rules 2 3 & 5 Any further breach of these rules will be severely dealt with July 1911 By Order’. Surprisingly not in the Museum but still in place at Burnt Oak tube station are two splendidly vintage platform level 1920s/30s station name signs, one Burnt Oak for Wading’ (i.e. Wading Estate) and the other ‘Burnt Oak for Stag Lane Aerodrome’ – which closed c.19301 Well worth a photograph. The main museum at Covent Garden has a few exhibits with local connections such as the Metropolitan Electric Tramways ‘Feltham’ double deck tram of the type that ran to Golders Green, Fine hley and Whetstone until 1938. This has its motors wired up, and can be ‘driven’ by visitors, under supervision, once or twice a year. If you haven’t yet been, a visit to either – or both – places is recommended to jog memories or see how things used to be The next open day at Acton is the 2nd -3rd March 2002.
HARPER’S DIG by John Heathfield
What, I always call Harper’s, but what the scholars call 1263-75 High Road Whetstone, was the subject of an exploratory dig that was carried out by Thames Valley Archaeological Unit in April and May, 2001. The site is undoubtedly an old one. The Baxendale estate to the south was probably owned by Adam de Basing, who was living around 1250. The Bull & Butcher site to the north was the subject of a legal dispute in 1406. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the intervening properties were occupied by 1350. The earliest reference I have is to The George”, a pub which stood about where Waitrose’s car park comes out into Totteridge Lane. In 1596 this pub was owned by John Page. About 1680 it was occupied by John Odell who then moved to East Finchley, where he opened another pub called The George” and also opened a pig market; he eventually became one of the richest pig dealers in the kingdom.
HADAS members Andrew Coulson, Eric (the missing surveyor) Morgan and Peter N icholson get their hands dirty. A TVAS member wields the pick. The shop on the corner was sold by William Chambers to James Saunders in 1804. In 1819 Saunders sold a baker’s shop to Joseph Trendall (it was part of a lot of 16 houses), who sold it in 1851 to Joseph Baxendale. The shop was used by the Harper family after 1846, although they actually lived further south along the High Road, near Swan Lane recreation ground. The shops were rebuilt about 1880. The Victorian cellars obliterated all traces of the earlier dwellings. The remains of the walls of some of the Georgian buildings were excavated but the finds were disappointingly few – a total of 1.5 pottery sherds were found from the period 1350 to 1450. They were identified as Late Medieval Hertfordshire Glazed ware and South Herts grey ware. Thirty-five pieces of metal were found, of which the most striking was a copper-alloy thimble dating from about 1650-1760. In spite of this paucity of finds, the evidence all points to continuous occupation over some 650 years. The dig looking north, Whetstone High Road runs north – south, Waitrose is left of the picture and the Bull & Butcher is at the top. The excavated walls are post-medieval.
The Defence of Britain Conference (Part 1) By Andy Simpson
24 November 2001 Imperial War Museum, London Andrew Saunders, Chairman of the Defence of Britain project Steering Group, introduced the Conference. The Defence of Britain project, co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology and based in offices at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford is due to finish its work of surveying and recording WWI/2 British and-invasion and cold war defence sites in March 2002, and this was the conference called to mark its passing and present some of the results. It stemmed from the work of six members of the Fortress Study Group, who realised the need to record 20th century defence works before they vanished, involving the public and devising the necessary techniques and procedures for fieldwork and documentary research alike. Background to the Project – Richard Morris, CBA Hon Vice President Archaeology is catching up with the present, as exemplified by the projects’ study of cold-war bunkers and other sites. Some DoB project archaeologists were older than the sites they were recording! It is notable that Rescue Archaeology began with government funding to dig sites threatened by airfield construction 1938/39, and these same airfields are now being studied as archaeological entities themselves. Individual amateurs were researching such sites from the 1960s onwards. Later, the Fortress Study Group and RCHME did a pilot study on the Holderness area of Yorkshire. The CBA, with its pioneering tradition in new fields of archaeological study, such as industrial archaeology in the 1960s, became involved 1993/4 since staff, a home, and host body were needed for a full- scale study. Formally established in April 1995 to compile a UK wide database of twentieth century defence structures and enlist public help and encourage public understanding of such structures, the project has two full time staff and a network of volunteer regional coordinators. Success of the voluntary contribution led to the current English Heritage Images of England project, with volunteers photographing listed buildings for a national database. Mistakes were made in the early days, with inadequate and arbitrary resourcing and the tendency to get sidestepped into important, but limited resource consuming, local campaign work. The value of written records was underestimated to begin with and better preparation was required. It was hoped to help agencies such as English Heritage provide selection criteria for the protection of sites. It was important to keep a scattered pool of volunteers feeling in touch and appreciated; windows software for a database had to be designed. It was intended to concentrate on less well-recorded sites such as anti-invasion sites that have fewer extant records than heavy AA sites, for instance. It was proved that such volunteer centred projects need strong central support to coordinate work and disseminate information; the Images of England project has 21 staff to support 850 photographers ‘in the field’. DoB has reached new archaeological territory, laying the foundations for academic study, advancing the chronological horizons of archaeological study, including sites recorded onto enhanced and enriched local Sites and Monuments Records, into the late 20th century. People are now alert to the principle of ‘Power of Place’ – mood of national appreciation of what is of value. Understanding of such individual elements enhances the meaning of the landscape. The project achieved what it set out to do, giving new information and reversing previous assumptions on sources and what is important. The Results of The Defence of Britain Project – William Foot, Database Manager Paper records were processed into two computerised databases of twentieth century militarised home landscapes. 22,000 paper records have been collected, plus digital and primary/secondary sources including 10,000 photos illustrating types of defence structure. There are two groups of records – anti-invasion defences, and others. A thesaurus was developed to aid recording. English Heritage needed information not available from aerial photography or documentation, and study concentrated on anti-invasion defences from 1998, with 14,000 anti-invasion sites recorded, 8,500 of which survive throughout the country. Defence types include the ‘Coastal Crust’ of fortifications, linear ‘stop lines’, area defences such as airfields and urban `Keeps’, vulnerable point defence, airfield defence, counter -resistance underground hunkers, anti-tank islands and coastal batteries. Thee are records of 2,500 pillboxes and hardened defence works of the 28,000
UK pillboxes built from 1940, of which 25% survive, of which only 1000 – 3% – are in good order. Plotting of sites gives some idea of the clusters on the coast, such as vulnerable points like East Kent and Portland. Plotting of sites shows up stop lines – the Hadrian’s’ Wall of the 1940s – such as Carmarthen in Wales, Taunton and the GHQ line south and east of London running up to Richmond in North Yorkshire, a huge undertaking built by military and civilian labour in 20 weeks in 1940. The Scottish east coast defences were built by exiled Polish troops. Thematic work included the recording of 300 coastal batteries, the hidden bunker sites of auxiliary ‘resistance’ units and 263 defended airfields. Pillboxes included the ‘classic’ hexagonal type 24. A few Northern Irish sites were recorded — German invasion through the Irish Republic was expected in 1940-41. The most recorded county is Kent, with 1200 anti-invasion sites, 208 pillboxes and good documentary sources in the PRO. London has 529 sites with three anti-tank lines around the capital. Whitehall was intended as the inner ring. Detailed map work is continuing. 11 million acres of the UK were under some form of defence control, including airfields, Royal Observer Corps Posts, Anti Aircraft sites, evacuation centres, artillery and bombing ranges, and POW camps. In typical archaeological style, be it Roman coins, Saxon brooches or WW2 pillboxes, their distribution plots at present mirror the locations of active archaeological fieldworkers. Such sites as army camps need more work – incredibly, we know more of the standard layout of a Roman Legionary fortress than we do of a WW2 British Army Camp, even with people still around to ask who were involved. 450 new UK airfields were built in WW2, leaving a huge impact on the landscape. In some areas field walls are built not of stone, but of broken up bits of concrete runway. Relics include artwork inside airfield buildings and contemporary wartime graffiti -all part of a snapshot record of the condition of surviving sites at the end of the twentieth century. Some 7000 individuals have recorded sites, with others sending information – the amateur informing the professional, with the project acting as a clearinghouse for enquiries from filmmakers, writers and other researchers. The original construction was on an intense, but professional scale. Survival is something of a lottery. Most anti-tank ditches had been filled in by 1950, and there was a post-war programme for removal of TDW – Temporary Defence Works, especially on national parks, for instance. Extensive files on each plot of requisitioned land were sadly destroyed in the 1960s, leaving only a few fragments. German reconnaissance photos are a good source of closely dated detail, with the current project reusing many German wartime symbols for types of site. Some German maps are held at the RAFM. Aerial photos show WW1/2 features, often as cropmarks. The PRO holds war diaries with detailed maps. What next? It is intended by English Heritage to preserve representative examples to feed into the Monuments Protection Programme. Some whole landscapes will be studied to preserve typical wartime landscapes, recommending all components of the landscape, including pillboxes, for preservation. The data will go to the National Monuments Record at Swindon, with relevant sections copied to local sites and monuments records (SMRs). A detailed report will be issued and a book may be published. A historical map is projected, together with an illustrated Thesaurus. Further fields for future study include airfields, training areas, and the 1944/45 landscape of attack formed in the build up to D-Day – such as temporary camps, again with some good PRO documentation. Part 2 will include ease studies from around the regions.
`Research’ by an anonymous member (not the Editor), in a Weatherspoons pub recently, has revealed the existence of a `HADDAS HEADBANGER’ beer. This is a rare sighting in these parts and he suggested (when he had recovered) that further ‘research’ be undertaken immediately to sample the said liquid before it disappears. Perhaps the ‘quiz night sub-committee’ should look into this as a matter of urgency?
OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS by Eric Morgan
Thursday 1st Jan 2002, 7.30pm, LONDON CANAL MUSEUM, 12-13 New Wharf Rd, Kings X. EARLY CANAL DEVELOPMENT – IDEAS FROM EUROPE, Dr Roger Squires. Concs £1.25.
Wednesday 9th Jan, 8.00pm, HORNSEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Rd/Weston Terrace, N8. FRIERN PARK HOSPITAL, Dr Oliver Natelson, £1.00 entrance.
Wednesday 9th Jan, 8.15pm, MILL HILL HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, NW7. HOW DOES THE .20TH CENTURY HISTORIAN POSITION MILL HILL SCHOOL Roderick Braithwaite.
Thursday 106 Jan, 8.00pm, PINNER LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY, Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, A TOUR OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY, Mary Pocock. Donation £1.00.
Thursday 10th Jan, 6:45pm, FRIENDS OF CRICKLEWOOD LIBRARY; Olive Rd, NW2, MIDLAND RAILWAY (INCLUDING RAILWAY THROUGH GLADSTONE PARK), Geoff Goslin.
Monday 14th Jan, 3:00pm, BARNET & District LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY, Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Staplyton Rd, Barnet. THE CECIL FAMILY & HATFIELD HOUSE, Robin Perkins.
Wednesday 16th Jan, 6.30pm, LAMAS, Interpretation Unit – Museum of London, THE TWILIGHT ZONE REVISITED = REDISPLAYING LONDON’S EARLIEST PAST, Jonathon Cotton.
Wednesday 16th Jan; 8.00pm, WILLESDEN LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY, Willesden Suite, Library Centres 95 High Rd, NW10. THE BRENT ARCHIVIST RETURNS, Ian Johnston.
Friday 18th Jan, 8.00pm, ENFIELD ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane/Chase Side, Enfield. PPG16 – COMMERCIAL ARCHAEOLOGY, HAS IT WORKED?Robin Densum.
Monday 21st Jan, 8 00pm, FRIENDS OF BARNET BOROUGH LIBRARIES, Finchley Library, Hendon Lane, N3. THE UNIVERSITY OF THE 3rd AGE, Leon Smith.
Tuesday 22nd Jan, 2.00pm, AFTERNOON ARTS AT THE BULL, The Bull, 68 High St, Barnet. LOCAL HISTORY TALK. John Heathfield (HADAS member).
Wednesday 23rd Jan, 8.00pm, EDMONTON HUNDRED HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Jubilee Hall, Parsonage Lane/Chase Side, Enfield. THE WALKER FAMILY OF ARNOS GROVE. Ruby Galili.
Tuesday 29th Jan, 8.00pm, FRIERN BARNET & DIS I RIOT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY, Old Fire Station,next to Town Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, N12. ARCHITECTURAL GLIMPSES OF FRIERN BARNET John Phillips.