Table of contents
1.1 HADAS DIARY-forthcoming lectures
1.2 New Series of Time Team
1.3 New Book
1.4 Jack Goldenfeld, 27 December 1929 – 23 December 2004
1.5 Laurency Bentley
1.6 Lecture Report – Durolevum
1.7 Bedford Castle
1.8 Boy Racers (And that’s what The Times called them!)
1.10 Burgh House Exhibition
1.11 Hadas in the News
1.12 Roman Meal Follow-Up
1.13 Roman Colchester: The Western Cemetery Explored
1.14 Other Societies’ Lectures & Events: Eric Morgan’s Monthly Round-Up
2 Archive Notes
2.1 See Also
Edited by Andy Simpson
HADAS DIARY-forthcoming lectures
Tuesday 8 February ‘The Silk Road’ Dr. Susan Whitfield
Susan Whitfield was curator of the excellent Silk Road exhibition at
the British Library last autumn. She runs the International Dunhuang
Project at the British Library, providing Internet access to over
50,000 pre-eleventh-century Silk Road manuscripts now in collections
worldwide. She has written many books and articles on the Silk Road
and China, and travels there regularly.
Tuesday 8 March ‘Pinner Chalk Mines’
Ken Kirkman of Pinner Local History Soc.
Tuesday 12 April To Be Announced
Tuesday 10 May ‘The Road To Rome’
In the steps of a medieval pilgrim Mark Hassell
27-31 July HADAS trip to Northumbria, organised by Jackie Brooks.
Lectures start at 8pm in the Drawing Room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3, and are followed by question time and tea/coffee, finishing 10pm prompt. Buses including the 82/143/260/326 pass close by, a 5-10 minute walk from Avenue House or 15-20-minute walk from Finchley Central Tube Station. Non-members £1, tea or coffee 70p
New Series of Time Team
That time-honoured feature of winter Sunday evenings is back-the new series of Time Team. Channel 4, around 5.00pm (times may vary); the first episode featured a Tudor Manor House at Chenies, near Amersham. See www.channel4.com/history/timeteam
6 February Grace Dieu Lower Hull of Tudor Warship in the River Hamble, Hants.
13 February Going Upmarket in Gloucestershire (Standish, Gloucs)
20 February Picts and Hermits; Cave Dwellers of Fife (Wemyss, Fife)
27 February Lost Centuries of St Osyth (St Osyth, Essex)
6 March The Puzzle of Pickett’s Farm (South Perrott, Dorset)
13 March Norman Neighbours (Skipsea, Humberside)
20 March Tower Blocks and Togas
…advertised in a ‘Flyer’ I received recently. Titled ‘Religious Devills’ of Hampstead Individually Respected, Collectively Reviled by Ruth Rowntree. Price £19.50, including P&P Published by Harris Manchester College, Mansfield Road, Oxford, England OXI 3TD ISBN 0-9534849-3-9 Cheques payable to ‘Harris Manchester College’ The title is taken from a ditty of 1700 relating how ‘strangers’ had fenced in some wells on Hampstead Heath; these ‘strangers’ founded the Hampstead Wells Charity and were also the founders of a dissenter’s Meeting for Worship in 1692. The book covers the development of religious dissent in England, and how the congregation of the dissenter’s Meeting adopted Unitarian beliefs and built the Rosslyn Chapel that stands off Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead today. The book describes the changes alongside the development of Hampstead, outlining the influence of each upon the other. Over 100 illustrations include maps showing the location of older properties in relation to modern day Hampstead streets.
Jack Goldenfeld, 27 December 1929 – 23 December 2004
HADAS has lost another long-serving member with the recent death of Jack Goldenfeld. Jack was a regular visitor to lectures and undertook valuable work on the Ted Sammes Archive; His widow, Alice Goldenfeld, has very kindly provided the following obituary:
It is with sadness that we report the death of Jack Goldenfeld, keen HADAS member and archaeologist of some repute, on December 23rd, days before his 75th birthday and just after his 50th wedding anniversary.
Jack came to archaeology towards the end of 1979, when he determined that he would make the time, despite running a business, to study his life-long interest in archaeology.
Between 1979 and 1999, he gained the Certificate in Field Archaeology, Diploma in Archaeology, Post-Diploma in Archeological Draughtmanship, and was engaged in approximately 20 digs in the UK, France and the USA and/or archiving exercises with Universities, HADAS, Museum of London and English Heritage, as well as mounting an exhibition at Church Vale Farm; additionally he was an advisor to The Big Dig on Channel 4 television.
His biggest source of pride, and his most enjoyable activity, though, was sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with others. He taught at Stanmore Adult Education College and West Herts Colleges, and had the enviable problem of oversubscribed classes – because his enthusiasm and knowledge was infectious.
Latterly, he had been commissioned to archive part of the collection of Raphael Salaman, benefactor of a permanent display of tools (‘Tools for the Job’) at St Albans Museum, an exercise which he did in characteristic good humour and diligence, despite his rapidly weakening condition. He completed the exercise only days before his death.
During the latter days of his battle against cancer, he said his biggest sadness was being unable to continue teaching and inspiring others.
Jack leaves a wife, Alice, two sons Nigel and Anthony and four grandchildren Zippy and Zoë; Joe and Harry. Zoë has been touched by Jack’s devotion to archaeology, and has a good working knowledge of hieroglyphics and archaeological practice; Zoë is 6 years old.
We also mark with regret the passing of another long standing member, with thanks to Rosemary Bentley for the following;
Laurence died 6 January 2005, aged 75, after refusing further surgery (He was a life member of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society)
Laurence and Rosemary joined HADAS about 30 years ago, after he chanced to read a Newsletter in the library. There was an article on the theme of One Parking Metre equals 1.094 Parking Yards which particularly caught his attention. He was no archaeologist but took an interest in everything which came his way. Thus he went on as many trips and weekends as possible and sometimes did the write-up.
Rosemary thanks HADAS for all the fun you gave him.
Lecture Report – Durolevum
November’s lecture was given by Dr Paul Wilkinson, Director of the Kent Archaeological Field School (KAFS) at Faversham, which offers training to archaeology students as well as to members of the general public. His subject was the ‘lost’ Roman town of Durolevum.
The first reference to Durolevum appears in the second Antonine Itinerary of the late 2nd century, which lists a road station of that name 13 miles from Rochester and 12 miles from Canterbury, placing it fairly well near the village of Ospringe, near Faversham. Flinders Petrie quotes the mediaeval chronicler Tysilio who names the gathering ground of the British at the time of Caesar’s invasion as Doral, probably a British form of Durolevum.
Judd’s Hill, situated in Syndale Park near Ospringe, has long been identified as a possible site of a Roman fort or camp. The hill dominates the surrounding area and has access to the sea via Oare Creek and the tidal Swale river – until the 19th century the main navigation route into London. When ploughing turned up pottery and a brooch in the 1780s, Hasted carried out an excavation and reported a square enclosure typical of Roman construction, defined by the remains of a ditch. A 1920s Ordnance Survey map identifies “Remains of a Camp (supposed remains of Durolevum)”. Later maps, however, show only fragments of ramparts. The cutting of a gas-pipe trench through the park in 1931 uncovered parts of Watling Street as well as storage pits, hearths, animal bones, oyster shells, Spanish oil jars and pottery; while east of the hilltop enclosure a cemetery was found containing over 380 burials.
KAFS has undertaken excavations on and around the site over a number of years. Their initial excavation found sections of a ditch with ‘ankle-breakers’ at the bottom. Pottery found in the ditch has been dated to the time of the Claudian invasion. Iron Age pottery has also been found, suggesting a long occupation of the site. However, owing to damage by extensive landscaping and gas-main trenching, no continuous ditch has come to light. There is also little evidence of permanent structures on the site. A Time Team excavation uncovered Roman ditches but concluded that there was no evidence for a fort. Interpretation has to remain inconclusive, but the site could have been a defended farmstead or a camp.
Geophysical surveys and excavations have uncovered ribbon development stretching about 2.5km along Watling Street. Although high-status artefacts were found, the buildings themselves were low-status timber constructions, suggesting ‘squatter’ developments built to take advantage of passing trade. The main town may lie under the village of Ospringe. The site appears to have been occupied from the 1st to the 5th century.
On the other side of Watling Street from Judd’s Hill lie the ruins of the Stone Chapel. The ruins were noted by Hasted as containing Roman remains, although a 1870s excavator concluded that they were “far too Roman to be Roman” and suggested that they were a Norman pastiche. KAFS excavations have identified a Roman building about 20ft square with an Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval church butting up to the remains. The entrance was located on the west side and a free-standing altar alongside the east wall. Since most Roman pagan temples had the doorway on the east and the altar outside, it is believed that this building was a Roman Christian church dating from at least the 4th century, with burials extending into the 5th century. It is the only known religious building in Britain showing continuity of worship from the Roman period into the 14th century. The area abounds in Roman remains. Dr Wilkinson pointed out on the map 18 Roman villas strung out at intervals of about 2.5 miles, set back from Watling Street along a line of springs. Most of the estates are located in the more fertile land between Watling Street and the coast, and cover about 2,000 acres, while those to the south of Watling Street, where the land rises towards the North Downs, cover about 3,000 acres. Some modern Parish boundaries can be shown to follow the Roman estate boundaries.
Our thanks to Dr Wilkinson for a most interesting and through-provoking talk on a area which is little known as compared to the familiar sites of Richborough and Rochester. HADAS members interested in the work of KAFS can visit their website at www.kafs.co.uk. The museum of the Maison-Dieu at Ospringe holds a collection of artefacts found in the area.
Just out of our area, the formerly virtually derelict site of Bedford Castle has been revamped. For this, Albion Archaeology, along with Bedford Borough Council, featured in the English Heritage sponsored Heritage in Britain Award for the best project securing long-term preservation of a site or monument. The former Royal castle at Bedford was deliberately slighted to prevent it ever being used again after a siege in 1224. Regeneration has created an urban park close to the river embankment. The castle mound has been restored as a recognisable feature. Work included restoration of stone facings to the mound, these revetment walls reminding your editor of pictures of stone and timber castles in Japan. A timber framed, tower-style shelter has been erected on the castle mound to display 13th century carpentry techniques. Timber sculptures flank the entrances to the site, and stone walling and a Victorian icehouse have been repaired and conserved. Interpretation panels have also been provided, and there has been selective felling and management of trees on the castle mound to retain its wooded character whilst ensuring he visibility and preservation of the earthwork.
Boy Racers (And that’s what The Times called them!)
Hot News from Essex is the discovery of what is being hailed as the only known Roman circus – chariot racing track – in Britain – found on the 209 acre site of a Army barracks in Colchester, now being redeveloped under the Private Finance Initiative to rebuild most of the garrison. English Heritage is studying reports on the site on Napier Road, which is hoped to be retained as open space in the new development by developers Taylor Woodrow. The Colchester Archaeological Trust have been working on the site investigating the few remains, which may be of First Century date. The site lies on flat land south of the walled Roman town, between two main Roman roads leading into the city. On each side, Two parallel walls have been found, some 250 m long and 70 m apart, the buttressed outer walls suggesting they once supported terraced seating, with other fragmentary remains. It was constructed of imported greensand stone The site has been heavily robbed, possibly to help build the nearby medieval St. John’s Abbey. Kate Orr was able to give some details at the January lecture.
Audree Price Davies enjoyed December’s HADAS Christmas meal so much she has penned the following thank-you note – en Francais – to the French Chef, Pierre:
Cher Pierre Félicitations pour le diner que vous nous avey préparé à Avenue House, le Vendredi dix décembre. Il était bien cuisiné, et bien co-ordierré et le tout était bien présenté. Je vous en remercie.
(Good practice for my O-level French, Grade E, 1976 – Ed)
Burgh House Exhibition
On until 27th February at Burgh House, Hampstead is an exhibition examining Victorian Hampstead’s reputation as the healthiest suburb in London. The natural spring waters found there encouraged many hospitals to open in the area in the nineteenth century.
The museum is also looking to collect oral history testaments from Hampstead residents who lived there during World War II. If you would like to take part, contact Curator Marilyn Green on 0207 431 0144. Due to receipt of lottery funding, much of the building, including the Hampstead Museum, is closed for rebuilding in March/April.
Hadas in the News
HADAS have been in the press again – with a useful article in the 23 December 2004 edition of the Barnet & Potters Bar Times, who heard of the HADAS website from a press-release by Tim Wilkins. The article, ‘Excavated and online’ is illustrated with a photo of the first season of excavations at Church Farm House Museum in 1993, with Graham and Sylvia Javes to the fore! The article describes the website and past excavations, with details provided by Bill Bass.
Another press article of interest was in the Barnet Express, dated 25 November 2004, recording the discovery by amateur metal detectorist Darren Wright of a well-preserved Bronze Age palstave axe in a field north of High Barnet. The axe is shown being examined by Barnet Museum staff Pat Allison and Dr Gillian Gear – it had been sent to Verulamium Museum for identification. Mr Wright has now donated the axe to Barnet Museum
Roman Meal Follow-Up
In the interests of experimental archaeology, I followed your recipe for Movetum, the Roman savoury relish. Perhaps something was lost in the translation. The amount of garlic would be better with 4 cloves rather than 4 bulbs (which is 32 cloves.) This could explain why the Romans were forced to leave Britain or alternatively why their enemies fled the field of battle. Similarly 4 tablespoonfuls of vinegar and 2 of oil should be the other way round for smoothness.
Roman Colchester: The Western Cemetery Explored
Talk by Kate Orr from the Colchester Archaeological Trust, January 14th 2005
Close-up of part of Roman cremation burial with pottery lamp.
awaiting image –cja 02:08, 4 Mar 2005 (GMT)
Kate followed up the HADAS summer visit to Colchester with a talk on the Roman burial practices discovered during the excavation of the Western Cemetery in 2003. This took place as a result of the demolition of Handford House, a Victorian building. Some crude nineteenth century efforts at excavation had already been made but the techniques now available enabled more precise results to be ascertained although there were limited opportunities to explore the whole site of 75 square metres: only 10% was dug. It was calculated that the site contained around 600 burials of which 63 were excavated. On the whole, it was well preserved, as there had been very little ploughing on the site since Roman times.
As is usual in Roman towns, the burial site was outside the walled area and its use spanned the first and second centuries. It included both cremations and inhumations and two bustas or special pyres. Some of the cremations would have been removed earlier but even so the diversity of types of burial was very interesting. There was no consistent pattern apart from the clusters of inhumations on one side: these were presumably later, although probably not Christian as this cemetery was in earlier use. The skeletons were not arranged in an east -west direction. The cremations were scattered about the site.
The bodies were of Romanised Britons, buried with coins in their mouths, rather than native Britons and there may have been many military burials as there was a garrison at Colchester. The tombstone of the centurion, Facilis, was an example. But there is evidence, among the bones and the grave goods, that women and children were also buried there.
Some cremations were in single pots in circular pits; others included several pots alongside, or on top of, the covered urn These pots may have been for food and drink for the deceased to take on his/her journey to the underworld or left over from graveside feasts to commemorate the dead or libations. Some included lamps, many very well preserved, hidden under broken pots which seemed to be shielding them. Some had symbols, or pictures, on them: a crocodile, lion, coins, a masked head and may have represented guardian spirits, particularly for children. These were also likely to be linked with early interments, perhaps predating Boudicca (60 AD). There were also Amphora burials. These amphora, possibly from Spain, may have originally carried wine. The one excavated was over a metre down in a narrow slot. The urn and pots were found inside along with the top of the amphora, a flagon and a lamp. It was a factory lamp, not a picture one, and therefore later in the first century. One curious burial, thought to be that of a child, was found deep down in a very wide pit. However the remains, alongside a little beaker, melon beads and a small amulet were small in comparison to the space, suggesting that inhumation may have been a first choice and then came a change of mind. Evidence from hasps, a copper alloy lock plate and a ring mean that some circular urns were placed in wooden boxes. Scraps of textile suggest there was either a lining to the box or the bones were put in a bag. There may also have been decorative straps on the box.
An unusual find on this site was the evidence of bustas. This is were the body was burned above the pit and was left resting in it, rather than being placed in an urn or pot .In the first 6 ft. long rectangular busta, the body was in anatomical order: toe bones, pelvis and skull. Charcoal was evidence of burning and there were nails, most likely of hobnail boots. (Many hobnail boot nails were found on this site). In the second, roughly oval shaped smaller pit, the bones were jumbled. They were likely to have been those of a woman, as a two-piece mirror was put in after the pyre together with a spoon, maybe for lotions. Other types of burials included ones with debris placed around the pot.
This excavation raised many questions: there was such a diversity of cremation types that they may have had different meanings, perhaps representing the differing status of the people who died. Or it may just have been fashionable to undertake one type rather than another. There may also have been inhumations alongside cremations and some bones may have been kept rather than others. May be inhumation was easier and cheaper as it used less wood for burning .The later skeletons as evidenced by the pottery, although higgledy-piggledy, suggest ideas about resurrection and the after life which may have preceded Christianity. The two bustas cannot be dated precisely so they may be from different centuries or for different practices.
The quality of some of the artefacts was astounding: for example, a very well preserved first century cup in one piece, a glass jar, possibly for unguents and many of the lamps. The other claim to a special find for this cemetery was the discovery of the two bustas, known to be connected to military centres There is one in St.Albans and one in London but no others have yet come to light in Colchester. So it is a relatively rare discovery.
It was an intriguing, well presented and illustrated talk and led to many questions from the audience. Our thanks to Kate for a very enjoyable evening.
Other Societies’ Lectures & Events: Eric Morgan’s Monthly Round-Up
Wednesday 9 February 8.15pm Mill Hill Historical Society Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, NW7 AGM, followed by he Old Watling St –Talk by David Baker.
Thursday 10 February 8pm Finchley Society Local History Group Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Rd NW3 Speakers include archivists Hugh Petrie and Yashin Webb.
Monday 14 February 3pm Barnet Local History Society Church House, Wood Street Barnet Forty Hall Pleasure Gardens, Grounds and Park (where HADAS have done resistivity work) Talk by Geoffrey Gillam, Enfield Archaeological Society.
February 14-19 10-6 daily Royal Air Force Museum London (Note new name) Grahame Park Way Colindale ‘Helicopter Half Term’ – visiting helicopters, models, story telling and model making for the kids.
Wednesday 16 February 7pm. Royal Air Force Museum London (Hendon) Claude Grahame-White and his Aircraft Factory by Edward Sargent Grahame Park Way, Colindale
Thursday 17 February 8pm Enfield Preservation Society Jubilee Hall, Jcn Chase Side/Parsonage Lane, Enfield A Nostalgic Walk Around Enfield Frank Bayford.
Friday 18 February 6.30 for 7pm City of London Archaeological Society (COLAS) AGM and lecture: Survival or Introduction? Romanitas in Britain Ken Dark, Unvty of Reading St Olave’s Hall, Mark Lane, London EC3 (2 minutes from Fenchurch St Station)
Thursday 24 February 2.30pm Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House Will Societies Like Ours Survive? Talk by John Hajdu
Saturday 19 March 11-5 42nd Annual Conference of London Archaeologists – the LAMAS CONFERENCE Museum of London Lecture Theatre. 11am – 5.30pm Morning session – recent work. Afternoon-LAMAS 150th anniversary presentations. Afternoon coffee available. Stands and displays, hopefully including HADAS, in attendance. Tickets £5.00 non-members from Jon Cotton, Early Department, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2 5HN. Early booking advised. See you there!
Thanks as ever to this month’s contributors; Bill Bass, Jean Bayne, Rosemary Bentley, Alice Goldenfeld, Jeffrey Lesser, Eric Morgan, Beverley Perkins, and Audree Price-Davies.
Please send copy for the March issue (by 13 February latest) to; DEIRDRE BARRIE