Sat 26 July, Outing to Reading and Silchester. Prof. Mike Fulford will guide us around the current excavation. Details enclosed. It might he possible to borrow a tape of the TV programme shown last spring. Contact Tessa 020 8958 9159. (See also November lecture below.)
Thurs 11 to Sun 14 September, Long Weekend to the West Country. Now full, but ring Jackie Brookes in case there is a cancellation.
Tues 14 October, 250 Years of the British Museum, by Dr Marjorie Caygill
Tues 11 November, Roman Silchester, by Prof Mike Fulford. (See 26 July above)
The AGM by Denis Ross
The Society’s Annual General Meeting was held at Avenue House on 10 June 2003, with the President. Harvey Sheldon, in the Chair. Some 40 members attended. All the Resolutions set out in the Notice of Meeting were duly passed. The Meeting recorded the end of an era – Andrew Selkirk did not seek re-election as Chairman after 17 years in that Office and Brian Wrigley did not seek re-election as Vice-chairman after many years in that office and having previously served as Secretary. Each had agreed to continue to serve on the Committee. The Meeting approved with acclaim the proposal that each of them be appointed as a Vice-President and also an Honorary Member of the Society. After the formal business of the Meeting, Dorothy Newbury thanked each of them for their long and valuable services to the Society and the President presented each of them with a picture. The Officers duly elected for the current year were: Chairman: Don Cooper
Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering
Hon. Treasurer: Micky O’ Flynn
Hon. Secretary: Denis Ross
The following were duly elected as other members of the Committee: Christian Allen, Bill Bass, Jackie Brookes, Andrew Coulson, Catherine Da Costa, Eric Morgan, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Nicholson, Mary Rawitzer (Membership Secretary), Andrew Selkirk, Tim Wilkins and Brian Wrigley. The Constitution provides for up to 13 members of the Committee apart from the Officers so there is one vacancy at the present time. The other matter to note is that the Meeting approved the proposal that as from 1 April 2004 the annual subscription for membership of the Society be increased from £8 to £12, subject to the following concessions: (a) £4 for a person who is a member of the same family as, and lives at the same address as, a member paying the full subscription; (b) £5 for a member under the age of 18, or under 25 if a student in full-time education. After the formal Meeting had ended, members of the Committee gave presentations on some of the Society’s activities during the past year.
Following the AGM … Don Cooper
After the business of the AGM there were a number of short talks by members of the society on events that had taken place during the past year and also mentioning some forthcoming attractions:
Don Cooper described the course run jointly by Birkbeck College, University of London and HADAS
entitled “Post excavation: An analysis of materials from the Sammes archive.” During last year the dozen of so students of this course concentrated on completing the analysis of the Church End Farm excavation from 1961-1966, under the expert guidance of Jacqui Pearce (the countr•’s foremost expert on Medieval and Post-medieval pottery) with lectures by experts on metals, glass, buildings etc. The results will be published in the next volume of HADAS Journal. A new course will start in September 2003 and will concentrate on analysing the archive from the Church Terrace excavations at Hendon. The artefacts from these excavations covering Roman, Saxon, Medieval and Post-medieval will provide a great opportunity for anyone wishing to become more familiar with the methods and techniques of post excavation analysis as well as the story of Hendon over the years. We are delighted that Jacqui Pearce has agreed to run the course again. For further details see the enclosed flyer.
Andrew Coulson then spoke on river walking on the upper Dollis Brook.
It was both amusing and informative and in what is now becoming an annual event he showed slides of verdant foliage and enigmatic “cobble” surfaces. He also displayed a small collection of “finds”. There are many unanswered questions in relation to the brook and its environs and Andrew with his team hope to continue river walking during the coming year. Anyone wishing to join him in this venture will be most welcome.
Andy Simpson described the major exhibition put on by HADAS at Church Farm Museum between 15 March and 15 June 2003.
The exhibition entitled “Hendon’s Hidden History” concentrated on the story and artefacts from the many HADAS excavations in the immediate area of Church Farm Museum. He praised and thanked Gerrard Roots, the curator, for his help and co-operation in mounting the exhibition. Andy and other members and Gerrard are to be congratulated for all their hard work in making it such a success.
Finally Bill Bass described the many other events that have taken place during the last year.
These ranged from the excavation at Hanshawe Drive (lots of demolition rubbish but no Romans!) to G.I.S. surveys at Friary Park and Middleton I louse, using the new resistivity meter, the latter survey being a joint operation with Enfield Archaeological Society. HADAS had a presence at Avenue House Open Days, the East Barnet Festival, and the LAMAS conference.
A Letter from Joan and Brian Wrigley
June 2003 The Editor Joan and Brian would like to thank the Committee for their kind words and the most apt retirement gift. It is most appropriate as we had just come back from a visit to Stonehenge with the Prehistoric Society. Brian hopes to be able to contribute as a Committee Member and Joan is happy to provide a venue with refreshments for Committee Meetings. Thank you HADAS for all the good wishes. Sincerely, Joan & Brian Wrigley
Society visit to the Mackerye End excavation and Ely by Graham Javes
In March Simon West, field archaeologist at St Albans Museums Service gave us a lecture about the ongoing excavations at Turnershall Farm, Mackerye End, Wheathampstead (see the report in the April Newsletter). On 14 June Simon gave HADAS a guided tour of the site. Metal detectorists working in a field had reported to St Albans Museums finds of bronze objects which seemed to come from cremations burials; soon after a massive gas pipeline was routed through the field. This led the Museums Service to mount an archaeological excavation last year. This season’s digging had only begun the week previous to our visit and Simon showed us how the site had weathered and ‘greened up’ since last year. Geophysical survey and excavation has dated the site from the Late Iron Age, about 50 BC, through to the Late Roman period in the 4th century AD. There is some suggestion of an Anglo-Saxon settlement, before AD 600. Pollen evidence suggests a dry, open wooded landscape similar to today, with ponds when it is wet, but fields were smaller. Simon showed us the two burials, seen now only as changes in coloration of the soil but which probably once were small barrows 3-4ft high, though there is no evidence of quarrying, The excavation was very dry making it difficult to see features but Simon was able to delineate for us the semi-circular outline of half of a Late Iron Age roundhouse. Analysis of pottery, especially of Samian ware has revised the date for the burials to no earlier than AD 140-155. Coin pellet moulds excavated containing traces of bronze, silver and gold raise the question was this a minting site? A pyre-related pit and the quality of objects buried in the grave suggest a high status site. Some of the pottery and bronze vessels may have been already over 100 years old when buried and the deceased may have been clothed in material from Egypt or Turkey. In another field we saw the corner of a flint building emerging which geo-physics tell us is 10m x 10m, certainly indicating a villa estate but very large to be an agricultural building. By the time this report is read the suggestion that it may be a temple mausoleum might have been proven. There is a public open day on 5th & 6th July 2003. The site is at Turnershall Farm, Mackerye End, off Marshalls Heath Lane, Wheathampstead. it can also be found on the internet at www.stalbans@museums org.uk Coffee was taken at the Crooked Chimney pub in Lemsford. It is not often that one is able to get into the roof space of an ancient timber-framed building, but pursuing the call of nature, the gentlemen in the party were able to inspect the roof timbers of the oldest part of the building. I later discovered the pub was called The Chequers in 1756 but had previously been a farmhouse known as Hornbeam Hall. We proceeded to Ely, where our itinerary included a guided-tour of the cathedral, with time free to visit some of the numerous attractions. These included the Stained Glass Museum in the cathedral triforium, where it was possible to examine windows not normally at such close distance. Built in the 13th-century Cromwell’s House had been an inn, a vicarage, and now a museum. devoted to Oliver Cromwell, although he only lived there a mere ten years. The Town Museum occupies the former gaol of the bishops of Ely, dispensers of justice until 1836. The day ended with a delicious clotted cream tea in the cathedral Almonry, Our thanks go to Micky Watkins who planned and led the outing so successfully.
Reminiscences of Southwark Peter Pickering
Our President’s lecture in May was very nostalgic for me. For when I came to London in 1958 and was looking to pursue an interest in archaeology, the first society I found was the London Natural History Society, which had at that time an active archaeological section. We had a close association with the Cuming Museum in Southwark, and helped with the sorting of pottery stored there from Kathleen Kenyon’s excavations at Newcomen Street and 199 Borough High Street later we worked on material in an old and draughty building in Upper Ground, which I came close to setting on fire with one of the heaters. I also remember spending a few days digging on another site in Borough High Street (where I was almost left behind in a deep trench) and at Winchester Palace (one of Francis Celoria’s unpublished excavations). We tried, without success, to find evidence of a Roman Road behind a pub called The Two Eagles on the Old Kent Road. We also helped in the work Peter Marsden did on a wooden Roman boat found on the site of New Guy’s House. It was all interesting, and 1 hope productive, though some aspects of the excavation techniques would not measure up to the requirements of to day – those were the days before the Health and Safety Act.
River meanders to the end of its Journey Emma Freeman
To the relief of many, Emma Freeman is proud to announce that her dissertation on the River Brent is nearing completion. The prolonged gestation of this monster has been arduous for all concerned, but I would especially like to thank Andrew Coulson and the river walkers for their optimism and ideas and for trailing through the mud on behalf of the greater good! If anyone has any last minute nuggets of history, archaeology or general wisdom they wish me to include, please feel free to e-mail me at em-ma@rocketmail_com. Thanks again to everyone for all your help. Luv and kisses Emma We wish Emma success with her submission and hope that she might allow us to read her dissertation in due course. Ed.
The Battlefields Trust walk of the site of the Battle of Barnet. by Graham Javes.
The Battle of Barnet, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses, was fought on, or near, Hadley Green. Two crowned kings of England fought for the English crown. Actually Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the Kingmaker) represented Henry V1 of the House of Lancaster, who was present as the prisoner of the Yorkist Edward 1V. As the legend on the Hadley Highstone reads: ‘Here was fought the Famous Battle between Edward the 4th and the Earl of Warwick April 14th ANNO 1471 in which the Earl of Warwick was Defeated and Slain’. Not many people know these facts according to The Battlefields Trust, which seeks to raise public awareness of this and other battlefields. To this end and to mark the anniversary of the battle, the Trust, in co-operation with this society, organised a battlefield walk on Sunday 13 April this year. Participants assembled in Barnet Museum to hear a welcome speech by Gillian Gear and introduction by Frank Baldwin. others joined the walk at Ye Olde Monken Holt, the original advertised meeting point. Some sixty people, members of the Battlefields Trust and from local organisations including HADAS, and other interested people assembled at the Hadley entrance to King George’s Fields where Jonathan Smith and Frank Baldwin of the Battlefields Trust produced a large sketch map of the possible battlefield site. They admitted that they didn’t have all the answers and indeed that there are more questions than answers; further, the recent English Heritage Battlefields Register is not without error, as became obvious during our walk. We moved on to about the middle of King George’s Field, to be told that the marsh from where Edward attacked was probably at the bottom of the hill. It was a hot spring day as we looked down on New Barnet. To attack uphill in full armour, holding formation seems to this listener a poor strategy and rather unlikely, even if the hillside might then have been well-grazed by animals. On Hadley Green we were asked to assemble into opposing ‘battalions’, and to imagine we were each many times our number. the purpose to consider the area offal ground needed to execute a medieval battle on the scale of Barnet. On Old Fold Manor Golf Course we inspected an ancient hedge behind which Warwick may have sheltered. I’m told there are three possible hedges depending upon your theories of the battle and that the one we saw was not the one examined recently for the TV programme Two Men in a Trench’. Finally we looked at fields at the end of Warwick Close, off Barnet Road, marked ‘Deadman’s Bottom’ on the English Heritage battlefield map. Deadman’s Bottom has traditionally been associated with the burial of many of the common soldiers who fell in battle_ According to my Pathfinder 2.5-inch OS map Deadman-s Bottom lies further north between Barnet Road and Wagon Road? The organisers warned that there are more questions than there are answers. They were right, but only by walking the area might we begin to answer some of them_ I realise there are people who have walked the battlefield for many years longer than myself and I was grateful to meet some of them. The walk stimulated a lot of interest and the organisers are to be congratulated. The weather too was kind and the day most enjoyable. [A slightly different version of this report appeared in Barnet & District Local History Society Newsletter 2003-2]
News of Members
Jack Goldenfeld was selected as one of the archaeological advisors for the Channel 4 Time Team Big Dig on the weekend of the 28th and 29th June. Also, he continues with his work as Tutor in Archaeology at West Herts College where the next Academic Year commences on 29th September at Berkhamsted, and on 1st October at Hemel Hempstead. His ‘Introduction to Archaeology’ 1-year course has now been arranged as two 15-week semesters, instead of the usual three 10-week terms, with Berkhamsted’s being on Mondays_ from I till 3pm whilst Hemel’s is on Wednesday evenings, from 7.15 to 9.15pm. Anyone who is interested and wants further details may contact Jack
Madingley Hall. Cambridge
The new brochure of ‘Residential courses at Madingley Hall’ was published last month listing a wide range of fascinating courses for ‘life-long learners’ (aren’t we all?). For those not in the know, Madingley Hail is the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education centre: a Jacobean manor house, sensitively extended, set in grounds laid out by Capability Brown. Most courses run from Friday evening until Sunday, midweek, Madingley is a conference centre, and standards of accommodation and catering are excellent. To single out individual courses is invidious: two archaeology courses which caught my eye are: Medieval Pottery and Osteoarchaeology, the Study of Ancient Human Remains, other courses include The Black Death (a personal recommendation) and The Architecture of Ely Cathedral. There is also Natural History, Philosophy, Psychology and Religion. For a brochure contact Madingley Hall, 01954 280399, or visit the website at www.cont-ed.cam.uk
Exhibition of West Heslerton excavation. by Sylvia Javes
Members travelling to the York area this summer may be interested in an exhibition at Malton Museum, celebrating 25 years of digging at West Heslerton. Following the discovery of Early Anglo-Saxon burials in 1977, West Heslerton has been the focus of one of the largest archaeological research programmes in Europe. This exhibition provides the first opportunity to present the results of this project, which has changed our understanding of settlement in the Vale of Pickering from the prehistoric to mediaeval periods.Many of the finds in the exhibition are displayed for the first time, including Anglo-Saxon jewellery, Bronze Age beakers, flints and pottery. The museum also has an excellent display of local Roman artefacts including pottery from the Norton and Crambeck potteries, and a small display of items from Wharram Percy. At nearby Orchard Fields, the ramparts of the Derventio Roman fort can be seen, close to The Lodge (now a hotel) and the site of the castle, where Time Team dug some years ago. Another attraction in the area is Eden Camp at Old Mahon. This was a prisoner of war camp consisting of 35 huts, which is now a ‘Modern History Theme Museum’, mainly a museum of WW2. Each but has a different theme, such as Bomber Command, The Blitz, The Home Front, Women at War, Rationing, and so on. A small section is devoted to WW1, and recent conflicts are represented. A visit to Eden Camp needs several hours’. Mahon is 18 miles north east of York. The museum is in the old Town Hall in the market place. Open: Monday Saturday, I0 — 4, until October 31st, closed Sundays. Eden Camp is open daily from 10 — 5, admission adults £4, cons £3. .West Heslerton is on the web at www.landscaperesearchcentre.org/Research also on the English Heritage site at www.eng-h.2ov.uk
Archaeology in Lithuania by Stewart Wild
I recently spent a few days in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, one of the three Baltic States making great strides since gaining their independence from the former Soviet Union in August 1991. In the heart of the city, just behind the Cathedral and in the shadow of Castle Hill, there is an unusual archaeological site that has attracted international attention. It is the site of a 14th-century royal palace razed during the Tsarist occupation at the end of the 18th century. Vilnius was founded in 1323. The old palace was built by Grand Duke Gediminas, a pagan ruler who consolidated his power over the newly created state. After a fire in 1419, Grand Duke Vytautas rebuilt the palace, and a century later Zygimantas the Old added a third storey, remodelling it in the Renaissance style. In 1610 further renovation introduced elements of the Baroque style. During the war with Moscow in 1655 the palace was looted and burned and decline set in No longer a royal residence it was ignored, robbed and finally torn down in 1799. The foundations and filled-in cellars were left in the damp earth, coming to light once more in 1987-2001, when a four-year project of excavations provided a cornucopia of information_ Now, in a celebration of statehood and to mark Lithuania’s joining the European Union, the palace is being rebuilt. The excavated archaeological remains have been conserved and protected against the elements, and 200 piles are being sunk to carry the weight of the new building. The site is open on weekdays (there’s a tiny museum/souvenir shop) and visitors are welcome. At an anticipated cost of 100 million Litas (E18 million), the project is scheduled for completion in 2009. The controversial new building will become a cultural and educational centre and museum of statehood as well as, no doubt, a tourist attraction.
Piddington Roman Villa, Northamptonshire by June Porges
I had a message from Roy Friendship-Taylor who spoke to us in April 2002 and whose site we visited in August. The latest news from the Piddington Roman villa site is that another building has been found in the adjacent field. It seems to have burnt down in the late second century. There is much associated burnt Sam ian and other pottery. Roy says anyone who wishes to visit during the August dig will be most welcome. See the excavation on: www.unas.org.uk [Ed]
Other Societies’ Events Compiled by Eric Morgan
Thurs 3 July, 7.30pm, The London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Rd, NI. The River Fleet, Past, Present & Future’ by Jane Trowel].
Sat 5 July, 10 00-5.00pm Kensall Green Cemetery Open Day, Ladbrooke Grove, W10
Sat/Sun 5/6 July, 12.00 – 7.00pm, East Barnet Festival, Oak Hill Park, EB. Theme: ‘Glory Days’, with 50s- 70s music & dance. HADAS hopes to have a stall on the Sat if there are sufficient members to man it. Offers of help, part/full day to Eric please, .
Sun 6 July, 10.30-7.00pm, North London Transport Society, ‘Uncompleted Northern Line Extensions’ Walk, led by Jim Blake, starting Finsbury Park Station. Walk via Highgate to Alexandra Palace, then vintage bus connection to Mill Hill East, walk to Edgeware and Bushey Heath. Return to Finsbury Park by vintage bus. Advance booking essential, with large SAE to NLTS Events, 8 The Rowans, N13 5AD.
Sun 6 July, 2.30pm, Heath & Hampstead Society, Burgh House, New End Sq. NW3. ‘Artefacts of East Heath’, walk led by Michael Welbank, £1. (HADAS surveyed a Saxon ditch here.) Also Hampstead Antiques & Collectors’ Fair, Community Centre, 78 High St, NW3, 10.00-5.00pm.
Tues 8 July, 8.00pm, Amateur Geological Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s United Reform Church, Victoria Ave, N3. The History of the Thames, by Prof. John Catt (UCL).
Thurs July 10, 6.45pm, Friends of Cricklewood Library, Cricklewood Library, 152 Olive Rd, NW2. The Grange Museum and Churchill’s Bunker, by Alex Sidney, (Brent Archivist).
Sat/Sun 12/13 July, 10.00-3.00pm, HADAS at Avenue House for a pre-National Archaeology Weekend. Surveying in the grounds of Avenue House, training in use of the level, resistivity meter & computer processing of results. Members are needed to open the library, run bookstall. Other activities could include finds processing, etc. depending on the number of members available.
Sun 13 July, 2.00-4.00pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, Tour of North Finchley, led by Oliver Natelson, £1. Meet corner Dale Grove/Ballards Lane, N 12.
Tues 15 July, 2.00pm, Harrow Museum & Heritage Centre, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow. `History of Neasden & Dollis Hill’, by Mr Barres-Baker. £2.
Thurs 17 July, 7.30pin, Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Sq., N3. Burgh House Now & Then, by Marilyn Greene.
Fri 18 July, 7.00pm, City of London Archaeological Society, St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. Recent Excavations at Fenchurch St, by Vaughan Birbeck (Wessex Archaeology).
NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY WEEKEND, Saturday/Sunday 19-20 July, at various venues: Sat 10.30-4.30pm, Sun 12.00-4.30pm. LAARC, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Rd, N1, National Archaeology Weekend, Local Societies’ Fair. Come and investigate many London archaeological societies, see what’s happening in your area. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2, London Archaeological Trail between five sites: MoL, LAARC, Museum in Docklands, the Roman Amphitheatre at Guildhall Art Gallery, the Billingsgate Roman House & Baths. Events include discovering our ancestors using DNA testing, object handling, Roman soldiers, reconstructing prehistoric tools, the reconstructed Roman water lifting machine, participation in a dig, recording ancient buildings, etc. COLAS will be working at the Tower of London
Sun 20 July, HADAS will give a demonstration Resistivity Survey at Forty Hall, Enfield at the invitation of Enfield Archaeological Society.