newsletter-522-September-2014 – HADAS Newsletter Archive

No 522 September 2014 Edited by P McSharry


Tuesday 14th October at 8pm: Finding Neanderthal tools in Norfolk cliffs. Lecture by Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum.

Tuesday 11th November at 8pm: A Hamlet in Hendon – the Church Terrace site from the Mesolithic to the 21st century. Lecture by Jacqui Pearce. Jacqui is one of the principal authors of our latest book, and tutor of the HADAS Finds Group whose work over many years resulted in the publication of the 1973/74 excavations.

Sunday 7th December: Christmas Party 12 noon – 4.30 pm (approx.) Details coming soon.

All the above events unless otherwise stated will be held at Stephens House & Gardens (formerly Avenue House), 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE. Lectures start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome to the lectures (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.

HADAS Long Outing 2015

Our long outing in 2015 will be from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th September, staying at the Best Western Forest Lodge Hotel at Lyndhurst in the New Forest, and expecting to visit Salisbury, Winchester, Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard among other places. Any suggestions would be welcomed. At this time, we have booked the whole hotel, but we will need firm numbers by Christmas. The provisional cost is unchanged from the last three trips – £450 per person sharing a room and £495 for a single room. Please let Jo or Jim Nelhams (contact details on newsletter back page) know if you would like to come.

The Archaeology of the Anglo-Saxons

The arrival of the various Anglo-Saxon ethnic groups following the end of the Roman occupation marked a major change in the political make-up of Britain. The nature of this settlement and the emergence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms will be examined, along with the later arrival of the Vikings and the interaction of the two peoples. The unification of England into one kingdom will be studied. Themes such as settlement patterns, burial practices, political organisation, trade and urbanism will be explored for both the Anglo-Saxon and Viking periods. The course will finish with the end of Anglo-Saxon rule in 1066.

The course is arranged: by the Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society. Venue: The Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, NW7 2AE. Time: 10.00 – 12.00 Fridays beginning 3rd October 2014. Cost: £150 for 20 classes. Tutor: Scott McCracken.

Enrol at the first meeting. If you have not previously attended the Society’s meetings please contact the Secretary: Peter Nicholson 020 8959 4757.


49th Local History Conference Saturday 22 November 2014
10.30am – 5.00pm
Weston Theatre, Museum of London

Coppers, Crooks & Counsel: Law & Order in London

Download booking form by Ctrl+click or go to

10.30-11.00 Doors open: displays by societies in Clore Learning Centre

11.00 Opening by John Clark, President of LAMAS
11.05 Portals of the Law: How people Got Access to Justice in Medieval London – Dr Penny Tucker, historical author
11.50 Law and Business in 17th-Century London: The Lord Mayor’s Court and its Litigants – Prof. CW Brooks, History Dept. University of Durham 12.35 Presentation of Local History Publications Award – introduced by John
12.45-2.00 Lunch break – time to view societies’ displays on the floor above the

Weston Theatre
2.00 The Police of London in Transition 1750-1850 – Jerry White, Professor of History at Birkbeck
2.45 Transported Beyond the Seas: Criminal Justice and the Experience of
Punishment in the Late 18th and 19th Centuries – Tim Hitchcock,

Professor of Digital History, University of Sussex
3.15-4.00 Tea – available in the Weston Theatre foyer and the Clore Learning Centre

4.00 London’s Prisons in the 19th Century – Alex Werner, Head of History
Collections, Museum of London
4.30 Detectives in Fiction – Dr Kathryn Johnson of the British Library 5.00 Close

Local history displays by societies will be on show from 10.30am, before the conference starts at 11.00am, in the Clore Learning Centre, on the floor above the Weston Theatre, where they can be seen throughout the day, particularly during the lunch period and the afternoon break.

The Museum has disabled parking spaces for blue and orange badge holders, but they need to be booked in advance (limited space) – call Security Office 020 7814 5552. Otherwise there is an NCP car park beneath the Museum.

Lunch is not provided but may be purchased from the Museum’s cafes and bar, or bring your own to eat in the Clore Learning Centre Lunch Space, above the Weston Theatre.

Afternoon tea with biscuits will be provided free of charge in the Weston Theatre foyer and upstairs beside the local history displays.

Tickets will available from 1 September: £12 before 31 October, or £15 from 1 November. They can be purchased using PayPal via the LAMAS website, by downloading the booking form (details above) or contact Eleanor Stanier (tel: 020 8876 0252, e-mail: 48 Coval Rd, London SW14 7RL.

Kent Trip Day 2 – Dover Jim Nelhams

This would have been a tricky day without good weather. As usual, Don had booked the sunshine – so no problems. In a recent trip to Folkestone, we had hoped to visit the Roman Painted House, but the M25 conspired against us. The Painted House does not open on Mondays, so was not on our busy list for Day 2 – see Day 4 for our visit there.

Our coach dropped us midway between Dover Museum (council supported) and the pedestrian underpass under the M20 link Road. While this underpass was being constructed in 1992, workers discovered the remains of a Bronze Age boat, which after conservation is now to be found in the Museum. Part of the boat could not be excavated and remains under an office block.


The main purpose of our visit to the museum was to see the Bronze Age Life Gallery and the internationally important Bronze Age Boat. Curator Jon Iveson met us and described the finding of the boat, in September 1992, during excavations prior to the construction of the A20 road link between Folkestone and Dover, and later conservation work. The boat was in the centre of the town 6m below the present road surface and close to standing buildings. At this level the wood was waterlogged and preserved by the anaerobic sediments in which it was buried. The position, at the bottom of a deep cramped shaft, well below modern hightide level and continually flooded, posed many practical problems. It was decided to cut the boat in pieces, using a rotary saw and lift them out by crane. The whole process was recorded on 130 hours of video and there was world-wide media interest.

The surviving hull measures 2.2m by 9.5m but since it was not possible to excavate fully, the total length is not known and there are several theories. When originally seen the tool marks of its fabrication were visible. Such a large unexpected find was impossible for the Canterbury Archaeological Trust to handle and after arranging for the thirty-two pieces to be stored in a water-filled tank, funding was sought. The Dover Bronze Age Boat Trust was created in 1993, with the purpose of raising funds for preserving, publishing and displaying this important artifact. It was also decided to use it as a basis for a new gallery of Bronze Age Life in Dover museum.

Following the detailed recording of all the pieces at a scale of 1:1 the timbers were soaked in a solution of PEG for 16 months before being taken to the Mary Rose Trust for freezedrying. The necessity of cutting the vessel in sections made this simpler and the timbers remained intact with minimal shrinkage and deformation. For display the parts were repositioned and laid on a supporting frame.

The remains of the boat consist of four large planks hewn from logs of a huge straight-grained oak tree. Two flat planks form the bottom, each carved out of half a log, leaving upstanding cleats and rails to allow jointing with other boat timbers. These planks were joined together along a central butt joint, with transverse timber and wedges hammered through the cleats and central rails. Curved side planks, also possessing side cleats, were stitched to the bottom of the boat using twisted withies of yew. On the top of these there was another row of stitches; there were clearly two further planks to add height. She had been made waterproof by pressing a mixture of beeswax and animal fat into the stitches and along the seams, where pads of compressed moss wading had been added.

Figure 1 Source:

The layout of the Bronze Age Gallery is very dramatic. The boat is in a central island case, gleaming in the bright light. Even with the truncation, the length is impressive. The themes of the wall cases explain the importance and put it in context. The tools and materials used in making a half scale reconstruction are displayed, with an interpretation of the original form. Another case shows the development of early boat design, including comparisons with the Ferriby boats found near the estuary of the River Humber in 1937. Several sections offer suggestions for the use of the boat. In the base a particular type of glauconite sand, not local to Dover, was found giving evidence of travel into the English Channel. Since there was no support for a mast it is probable that paddles were used.

The Langdon Bay Hoard of 360 bronze tools, weapons and ornaments discovered during the 1970’s at a possible ship-wreck site shows the

size of trade. It was suggested that such items, pottery and jewellery were exported in exchange for copper, tin, gold, amber, faience, furs, exotic animals and slaves though alternative explanations see the hoard as being of French type implements, an import of scrap bronze from northern France. In order to explain Bronze Age life, evidence from Swedish rock engravings, Danish bog finds and continental house sites was used. .

The Polar Bear Jo Nelhams

As we climbed the stairs to the gallery housing the Bronze Age boat, we came across a large glass cabinet in which was an enormous polar bear. It certainly gave one an idea of how powerful and frightening these animals are, and the huge size, when in a vertical stance. He is certainly not a cuddly Teddy Bear!!!

The Polar Bear was brought back to Dover by the Medical Officer of the 1894-7 Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition, Dr Reginald Koettlitz. An old boy of Dover College and a doctor in Dover, Dr Koettlitz was an intrepid explorer. His travels also took him to the Antarctic where he was Surgeon to the National Antarctic Expedition of 1904-7 led by Captain Scott. The bear stood in the surgery of Dr. Maurice Koettliz, the
explorer’s nephew, until the 1950s when it was given to the museum.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I Jo Nelhams

After viewing the Bronze Age boat, there was time to wander around the rest of the museum.

In the corner of one of the galleries was a portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1. This portrait is one of the few paintings made for the civic environment. Dover was one of the towns that commissioned their own portrait to be displayed in the Town Hall as evidence of their loyalty to the crown.

The portrait was commissioned in the fortieth year of her reign. The cost was 25 shillings, with a special wooden frame carved with Tudor heraldic supports of a dragon and lion costing 6 shillings and 9 pence under the city mayor, “Jeromy Garrett”. The Queen is shown as head of state wearing her parliamentary robes.

Dover Town Hall

A short walk up the High Street led us to the Town Hall where we were greeted by Derek Leach, chairman of the Dover Society and two other volunteers. Tea and coffee also awaited us, and suitably refreshed, and after a brief introduction, we were divided into three groups for conducted tours of the building.

The Town Hall has a chequered history. It was founded by Hubert de Burgh, then warden of Dover Castle, in 1203. For the first 300 years, it served as a hostel for pilgrims, particularly those travelling from the continent to visit the shrine of Thomas à Becket in Canterbury, and a hospital for the sick.

For the next 300 years, it was used by the Crown as a naval victualing yard, with its
own bakery and brewery, one of several supplying the nation’s warships.

In 1834, it was sold to Dover Town Council and converted for use as a meeting hall, courtroom and gaol, and enlarged by two of the best known Victorian architects, Ambrose Poynter and William Burges. With local government reorganisation, its role as a civic centre has largely ceased.

The main area, the Stone Hall, has six Victorian stained glass windows showing important events in Dover’s history. The walls are adorned with portraits of monarchs, past mayors and Lord Wardens of the Cinque Ports, including Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

St Mary’s Church Jim Nelhams

We had passed this church on our way to the Town Hall, and returned to it on our way back to the coach. Lindsay Powell Williams, one of our guides at the Town Hall, gave a brief history of the church and allowed us time to look around.

Although little evidence remains, it is possible that the original church was of Saxon origin. The current building, which sits, as does much of central Dover, on a Roman

structure, was built between 1066 and 1086, when the Domesday Book lists three churches in the town.

The present building is largely of Victorian construction and dates from about 1843. During the rebuilding, original Norman piers and arches were taken down, the stones numbered and then re-erected in their new position.

The church lost most of its windows during WW2. Most of the replacements show various historical associations between the church and the town. One, more recent window commemorates the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster of 1987 when 193 passengers and crew lost their lives.

Leaving the church, there was time for a brief walkabout. Andy Simpson and Jeffrey Lesser visited the Dover Discovery Centre next to the museum.

Dover Discovery Centre Andy Simpson

I did a quick visit to the Dover Discovery Centre (library, to you or I) at the end of the High St/Market Square, which has bright modern galleries flanking either side of the main entrance, both sides permitting viewing of exposed archaeological remains, with detailed caption panels – the footings of a demolished medieval church on one side (the town side), and parts of the Classis Britannica and Saxon Shore forts on another – not far from the Painted House and its Shore Fort west wall remains, visited and much enjoyed later that week.

Visible are the footings of the North Gatehouse of the East Gateway of the Classis Britannica fort, consisting of a rectangular room with semi-circular front dating to c.AD 130-140, discovered by Brian Philp and his team in 1974; it is overlain on its front edge by the rather overgrown solid drum-like bastion of the later Saxon Shore Fort dated around AD 270, still standing some four-six foot in height.

Jeffrey Lesser

The Dover Discovery Centre contains a reconstruction of a double Anglo Saxon grave discovered in 2009 near Wolverton in the Alkham Valley. It is unusual in that it contains two male skeletons arranged one above the other, but separately like a double decker bus. The upper is supported by a plank which lies on two short pillars of chalk. Two femurs from an earlier burial support a plank above the upper body. The upper plank is in turn surmounted with a skull, possibly belonging to the owner of the pair of femora. Were these two warriors related? A defensive ditch surrounded the mound which contained the grave.

Dover Castle Jim & Jo Nelhams

We could not visit Dover without going to the castle, which overlooks the town, but it is not as easy as you might think. There are car parks at the top of the hill within the walls, close to the main ticket office. These are reached by road through narrow and low arches (rather lower than our coach) and across a bridge leading to Canons Gate, but coaches have to drop their passengers lower down the hill below the Constable’s Gate, the main entrance since it was built by Hubert de Burgh around 1217, with a steep climb to the entrance. Luckily, we had spotted this on our reconnaissance, so had arranged for a minibus to meet the coach and take 16 of our party to the highest car park near the castle keep, while the more energetic of us scaled the footpath entrance.

The castle can be divided into four main sections. The earliest features on the site include the “pharos” or Roman lighthouse and the Anglo-Saxon church, St Mary in Castro. The pharos is a unique survivor in Britain. Another lighthouse once stood on the other side of the valley, but has not survived. Between them, they provided navigation aids for crossing the channel. Further towers were opposite on the French coast.

The next section, the inner bailey, dates from the twelfth century and formed the medieval heart of the castle. In the 1180s, Henry II remodelled the castle, planning its Great Tower as a palace. King John and Henry III continued to build extensions forming the rings of defensive walls surrounding the Great Tower.

From the 1740s onwards, the medieval banks and ditches were reshaped as the castle was adapted for artillery warfare.

In more recent times, during WW2, it was the headquarters for the Admiralty’s regional command, which utilised and adapted the “wartime tunnels”, constructed in the Napoleonic era.

Dover Castle has been of great strategic importance being located overlooking the shortest sea crossing from the continent. For over 800 years, it has been expanded and adapted above and below ground to meet the changes and challenges of the development of more powerful weapons and warfare.

From the top of the Great Tower, there are clear views across to France, and through the Channel, with its busy traffic of ferries and other shipping.

A surprise in Dover Castle Don Cooper

The inner bailey of Dover Castle has been set up as English Heritage believe it would have looked in King Henry II’s time, say AD1180. It is an extremely colourful recreation and with wood fires on each floor the castle feels almost comfortable. The recreation was completed in 2009 and has been open to the public ever since. It is well worth a visit.

However, what really took my eye was a Mappa Mundi or map of the world, hanging in one of the “king’s” rooms. English Heritage commissioned Phil and Tamara Pleasant to re-create an authentic 12th century Mappa Mundi. They took as a starting point the Sawley Map said to be the only surviving English 12th century Mappa Mundi which is in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, modified the detail from the Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral which dates to about 1300 and changed the orientation so the east is at the top and Britain at the bottom. It is centred on the Mediterranean.

The map is 3ft by 4ft and is hand-crafted in calfskin leather. The ink/paint is made from ground-up lapis lazuli, malachite, oak galls, gold leaf and “Dragon’s blood” made from the root of a shrub. It is a serious modern attempt to re-create a medieval world map.

One can imagine King Henry looking at his map of the world much as we do and wondering about the animals and peoples living in those far-away places.

My thanks to the English Heritage guide who told us all about it.

Other Societies’ Events, compiled by Eric Morgan

Saturday 13th – Sunday 14th September, 11am – 6pm. Enfield Town Show – Town Park, Cecil Road, Enfield. Enfield Society & Enfield Archaeological Society will have stands here.
Lots more stalls. Admission £3 (concessions available).
Sunday 14th September, 12 – 5.30pm. Queen’s Park Festival. Harvist Road, NW6. Willesden Local History Society will have a stand here. More stalls, entertainment, etc.

Saturday 20th September. Silk Road Festival – Cricklewood Broadway, NW2. Lots of stalls all along the Broadway and roads adjoining. Also entertainment.

Monday 29th September, 6pm. Gresham College at Museum of London. 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to War in 1914. Talk by Christopher Clark
(St Catherine’s College, Cambridge). Free.

Thursday, 2nd October, 1.00pm. Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, ECIN 2HH. Exploring Ephemera: The Illumination of History. Talk by John Scott on the role of everyday documents illustrating the development of UK in the 19th century.

Thursday 2nd October, 8.00pm. Pinner Local History Society. Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner. From Roxeth to the Royal Fusiliers: A Story of the Great War. Talk by Doug Kirby. Visitors £2.

Mondays at One. London Archaeology: Gresham College at Museum of London. 150, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN – in conjunction with the City of London Archaeological Trust. Demonstrating the City’s historic environment.

– Monday 6th October, 1pm. Pompey of the North – The Bloomberg Site. Talk by Sadie Watson (Mola). The extensive excavation provided a detailed narrative for the early Roman period. Waterlogged sediments preserved structures & artefacts. Free.

– Monday 13th October, 1pm. London in the not-so-Dark Ages. Talk by Lyn Blackmore (Mola). An overview of the results of over 40 years of research into the origins, development & decline of Middle Saxon Lundenwic.

– Monday 20th October, 1pm. Vanishing Archaeology: The Greenwich Fore-Shore. Talk by Natalie Cohen (Mola). Nearly 20 years of investigation of the Thames Intertidal Zone have revealed activity from Mesolithic to Modern.

– Monday 27th October, 1pm. The Archaeology of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Talk by Dr John Schofield (Mola). Recent work has brought together what we know of the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Cathedral beneath and around St Paul’s.

Tuesday 7th October, 2 – 3pm. Harrow Museum – The Granary, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow, HA2 6PX. A General History of Pinner. Talk by Pat Clarke (Pinner LHS & LAMAS). Cost £3.50.

There are also exhibitions: Wednesday 10th September – Sunday 12th October: Our Harrow Stories, memories, objects, experiences of Harrow; Wed. 15th October – Sun. 4th January 2015 ‘Good Old Roxey’ – a pictorial history of South Harrow in the 19th & 20thCentury.

Wednesday 8th October, 1pm. Gresham College, Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn, ECIN 2HH. Interpreting Ely Cathedral. Talk by Dr Lynne Broughton. Free.

Wednesday 8th October, 6pm. Gresham College at Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Cultural Revolution: Palaces of the early Stuart Kings. Talk by Simon Thurley (CEO of English Heritage) on patrons of art and architecture.

Monday 13th October, 3pm. Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street, Barnet (opp. Museum) July 1, 1916: The Somme – Day One. Talk by Dennis Bird. Visitors £2.
Wednesday 15th October, 7.30pm. Willesden Local History Society – St Mary’s Church Hall, Neasden Lane, NW10 2TS (Nr. Magistrates’ Court) ‘Bigamists and Two-Timers’. Talk by Signe Hoffos (CoLAS & F.O.K.G.E.) on some of the rather naughty people buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Friday 17th October, 7pm. CoLAS – St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3R 7NB. Beyond the Mithraeum: Excavation of the Bloomberg London Site. Talk by Michael Tetrean (Mola). Visitors £2. Light refreshments after.

Friday, 17th October, 7.30pm. Wembley History Society – English Martyrs’ Hall, Chalk Hill Road, Wembley, HA9 9EW (top of Blackbird Hill, adj to church). The Jewel of Wembley. Talk by Philip Grant (Brent Archives) on the story of Burma and its people at the British Empire Exhibition from a 1924 scrapbook. Visitors £2.

Friday 17th October, 7.45pm. Enfield Archaeological Society – Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/jnc, Chase Side, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. Life and Death in 19th Century London. Talk by Michael Henderson (Mola). Visitors £1. Refreshments 7.30pm.

Wednesday 22nd October, 7.45pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society – North Middx Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL. Back to the Drawing Board: Transport systems that failed. £2.

Saturday 25th October, 9.45am – 4.30pm. Edmonton Hundred Historical Society Day Conference: In and Around the Cambridge Road: the longest consecutive numbered road in the country – with a speaker from Bruce Castle Museum. Also Dr Martin Dearne (E.A.S.), and Dr Jim Lewis (Author), Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. For more details and booking: Tel. 020 8363 9495, or visit or email:

Thursday 30th October, 8pm. Finchley Society Drawing Room, Avenue House (Stephens House), East End Road, N3 3QE. Discussion Meeting. For further details see Finchley Society’s Sept/Oct Newsletter. Non-members £2.

Leave a Reply