The 14th Annual General Meeting
This meeting of the Society took place on 6 May at Central Library. Vice-President Mrs. Rosa Freedman presided, welcoming the 67 members who attended and recalling that she had been present at the foundation meeting of the society, 14 years before. Then she had been asked to persuade Hendon Borough Council to lend us “some buckets and spades”. We had come a long way since then, and she felt that the Borough of Barnet could count itself lucky in possessing such an active archaeological society.
The various Reports which followed Mrs. Freedman’s opening remarks illustrated the many facets of this activity. Brian Jarman reported an increase in membership — now at 270, and all-time high; and an increasing attendance at lectures and outings. Jeremy Clynes introduced a Balance Sheet showing a healthy bank balance of nearly £600 and a surplus of £190 odd for 1974/5. Ted Sammes described past and current excavations, surveys of buildings, work on pottery and other finds and numerous smaller projects. All in all, these reports painted a picture of a vigorous and thriving Society whose members are prepared to work for it in many ways.
There were some warning notes, of course. Mr. Clynes mentioned that £200 of our bank balance is already “bespoke” for projects in the early part of this year; Mr Sammes commented on the problems of publishing the results of research, the need — so long felt — for a permanent HQ and the importance of members increasing their knowledge and skill by attending the many archaeological classes available in the London area.
Three special resolutions, which had been circulated to members of prior to the meeting, were passed. These provided a tidying-up operation which brought the HADAS Constitution into line with the Society’s present practise.
The following Officers and Committee were elected for 1975-6:
Chairman – Mr. Brian Jarman
Vice-Chairman – Mr. E. Sammes
Hon. Secretary – Mrs. B. Grafton Green
Hon. Treasurer – Mr. J. Clynes
Committee: Mrs. C. Arnott, Mr. M. Bird, Mr. G. M. T. Corlet, Mr. J. Enderby, Miss E. Holliday, Mr. G. Ingram, Mrs. D. Lorimer, Mrs. D. Newbury, Mrs. N. Penny, Miss Ann Trewick, Miss J. Wade, Mrs. F. Wilkinson, Mr. E. Wookey.
Dates For Your Diary
Saturday 14 June: the next outing to Maiden Castle and Dorchester. An application form is enclosed, please return it to Mrs. Newbury as soon as possible.
The archaeological riches of Maiden Castle will need little introduction to HADAS members — it is one of the most famous sites in Southern Britain, with a spectacular Iron Age hill-fort covering 45 acres, the just-visible remains of a in Neolithic long barrow and a Romano-British temple. The archaeological span of the site is from c. 2500 BC to 370 AD. Dorchester — the Casterbridge of Hardy’s novels — contains many Hardy links, including the novelist’s former home, as well as the lodgings of Judge Jeffreys.
Saturday 12 July — outing to Norwich
Saturday 13 September — outing to Lullingstone and Knole.
And a Special Date
Friday 26 September — Sunday 28 September.
Last autumn’s weekend in Shropshire so whetted member’s appetites for going further afield that the Programme Committee has had no peace until a further weekend has been arranged.
This will take place on the above dates, and will be to Hadrian’s Wall — the first long trip HADAS has so far made. An application form is enclosed and members are urged to complete it and return it to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible, since arrangements have to be made well in advance because of problems of accommodation, guides, etc.
We hope to see most of the famous “sides” of the Wall – Housesteads fort, the Carrowburgh Mithraeum, the new excavations at Vindolanda, now being carried on under the directorship of Robin Birley, the baths at Chesters, Corbridge fort and museum and the excellent Roman Museum at Newcastle University. We feel it will be an outstanding weekend which will go down in HADAS annals.
On Saturday 28 June HADAS is invited to join a Camden History Society walk around North End, Hampstead. Part of the walk will, in fact, take place in our own Borough, as we shall cross the Camden/Barnet boundary at Wyldes Farm.
This hospitable invitation from the Camden History Society arises from their visit to us last October, when they joined us at the opening lecture of the HADAS winter season. The walk will start from Jack Straw’s Castle at 3.00 p.m. The HADAS contingent will be limited to 20 members, as we are being given a cup of tea by the present owner of Wyldes and there is a limit to the number that can be accommodated. If you would like to join the walk, would you please let a Brigid Grafton Green know by 20 June at latest. The first 20 members to apply will be the lucky ones.
The walk will take in the grounds of the house of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (the house itself, alas, was demolished some years ago), the Bull and Bush, Golders Hill Park, Pavlova’s house and Byron Cottage, and will finish at Wyldes. (Any HADAS member who does not know something of a history of Wyldes is in bad need of HADAS Occasional Paper No. 2, “The Blue Plaques of Barnet”: get one, price £0.40, from our Treasurer, Jeremy Clynes, who wrote the Wyldes entry in the booklet!)
And, talking of our Treasurer, he has a message for members who have not yet paid to their 1975/6 subscription. It’s very simple: please do! The rates for this year, which began a 1 April, 1975, are:
Full membership – £1.00
Under 18 – 65p
Senior Citizen – 75p
Subscriptions should be sent to Jeremy Clynes.
A fresh translation of Domesday Book, county by county and in a cheap edition, is an event to be welcomed by all local historians. As a source of information about a local land tenure, population, agricultural resources and comparative values in 1086 Domesday is unique and irreplaceable. The only printed Latin text, until some three months ago, was set up in 1783 by Abraham Farley.
Now Phiilimore has started publication, under the editorship of Dr. John Morris, of the complete Latin text with a modern English translation alongside. Huntingdon, Middlesex and Surrey are already in print. Other counties will follow until the whole publication is complete in — it is hoped — 1979.
This is a new translation of the Domesday entry for the Manor of Hendon, in the Middlesex Hundred of Gore:
The Abbot of St. Peter’s* holds HENDON. It answers for 25 hides. Land for sixteen ploughs. Ten hides belong to the Lordship; three ploughs there. The villagers have eight ploughs; a further five possible. A priest has one virgate; three villagers, a half hide each; seven villagers, one virgate each; sixteen villagers, half a virgate each; twelve smallholders who hold half a hide; six cottages; one slave. Meadow for two oxen; woodland, 1,000 pigs, and 10s. too. Total value £8; when acquired the same; before 1066 £12. This manor lay and lies in the lordship of St. Peter’s Church.
i.e. Abbot of Westminster.
Notes: hide — a unit of land measurement, usually reckoned at 120 acres, but sometimes different; or a unit of tax assessment.
virgate — a fraction of a hide, usually 1/4.
woodland, 1,000 pigs — may mean sufficient woodland to pasture 1,000 pigs; or woodland on which 1,000 pigs are paid for right of pasture.
In hardback, the three counties so far published each cost £2.50; in a paperback, £1.25. Should be obtainable from any good bookseller; or direct from Phillimore, Shopwyke Hall, Chichester, Sussex.
The May Outing
A report by Paddy Musgrove.
On May 17th the Southend Arterial Road was flooded. Colin and Ann Evans are therefore to be congratulated, not only for their excellent planning of the Society’s outing to Mucking and neighbourhood, but also for having had the foresight to select a gravel site. Even those without wellingtons remained dry-shod.
Following the discovery by air photography of a palimpsest of crop-marked features, nine years rescue digging just ahead of the gravel quarrier’s equipment on the 100 ft terrace has revealed occupation over a period of 4,000 years.
Escorted by the site director, Mrs. M. U. Jones, and other site workers, members were able to view Iron Age round huts and sunken Saxon huts at various stages of excavation. At first sight the large expanse of bared gravel seemed devoid of detail, but soon members were busily identifying unexcavated features by differences of soiled colour and texture — a useful exercise for diggers!
Mucking’s importance is reflected in the interest which it generates overseas, from whence come about half its volunteers. At present there are enthusiasts from the United States, the Netherlands and Poland.
We were treated to hot drinks on site and also to a small exhibition of finds. Literature was eagerly bought and, let it be recorded, at gratifyingly reasonable prices.
Next visited was Thurrock Local History Museum, where further finds from Mucking were to be seen and where the displays and captions could serve as an example to many more pretentious establishments. It is truly a local museum illustrating the development of the area from earliest times down to the latest factory.
At Prittlewell Priory we were escorted by its Keeper, Mr. D. G. MacLeod, around this interesting Cluniac foundation which dates from about 1110 AD. Here time was all too short. Our final visit was to Southchurch Hall (thirteenth or fourteenth century) where excavation is in progress. The grounds have been heavily landscaped in recent times (but without record) so reconstruction of the earliest features is providing many problems. We saw exposed chalk walling which may be part of a gatehouse: but such massive masonry seemed out of keeping with the existing manor house.
Parish Boundary Survey
The April Newsletter announced this new field-work project: a survey on of the parish boundaries of our Borough, with the object of listing and indexing all boundary stones which remain.
Christine Arnott is acting as organiser of the project; she has already collected the nucleus of a group of volunteers. A pilot survey of a small area of the Hendon/Hampstead boundary has been made, as a preliminary to formulating the guidelines on which the whole survey will be conducted.
If you would like to help when the full survey gets under way, please let Christine Arnott know now so that she can keep you informed of developments.
Hundreds And Hundreds Of Postcards
If you have any interest at all in the history of the last 70 years in any part of the Borough of Barnet, then there is probably something for you in the present exhibition at Church Farm House Museum ( “Postcard Views of the Borough” — open till 20 June next.)
Row upon serried row of postcards provide new slants on the recent history of Totteridge, Hadley, Arkley, High Barnet, Whetstone, East and New Barnet, Friern Barnet, Childs Hill and Cricklewood, North Finchley, East Finchley and Golders Green. Particularly well represented in numbers of cards are Mill Hill, Church End Finchley and Church End Hendon (one of the two Church End Hendon displays contains 200 cards).
Here you will see the River Brent as a charming, meandering country stream complete with waterfalls; and roads which you may now think of as car-lined commuter tracks appear as recently as 60 years ago in the guise of tree-lined country lanes. There are a few cards dated to the late 1890s, but the majority belong to this century and are shown in date order, so that they illustrate how development accelerated between 1900 and the 1930s.
The only criticism to be made of this excellent exhibition is that the sheer massed effect of so many postcards provides more detail than the mind can cope with at one sitting. This is an exhibition which should be visited and revisited so that it can be studied in small doses. And don’t believe all the postcards tell you; some of the captions printed on the actual cards are highly inaccurate. Several cards described the Hampstead Garden Suburb as Hampstead Garden City: the very thing it wasn’t. While the men who planned them 70 years ago would never recognise Meadway Gate at the top of Hoop Lane, NW11 under its title of “Meadgate”, nor the entrance to Big Wood, Temple Fortune Hill, as “Woodgate”.
It’s some time — in fact, not since last October — that there has been a paragraph in the Newsletter about our new members. Since then 42 new colleagues have joined the Society; the Newsletter has great pleasure in welcoming them, and hopes that they will enjoy participating in may HADAS activities. They are:
Mrs. Lucille Armstrong, Golders Green; Mr. Batchelor, North Finchley; Mrs. Beevor, Hendon; Miss Linda Clackson, Edgware; Stephen Conrad, Mill Hill; Miss Glenys Davies, Muswell Hill; Mrs. Dean, Willesden; Dennis Devereux, Hendon; P. W. Foster, Mill Hill; Vincent Foster, Funchley; Canon Gilmore, Friern Barnet; Mrs. Griffith, Mill Hill; Mr. & Mrs. Heathfield, N. Finchley; H. M. Hoather, Whetstone; Miss Holburn, Stanmore; Mrs. Holtman, Hendon; Miss Howel, Garden Suburb; A. R. Hudson, Totteridge; Mrs. Hughes, Arnos Grove; Mrs. And Miss Loewi, and Dr. & Mrs. Maclagan, Garden Suburb; Miss Catherine Norris, N. Finchley; Miss Janet Norton, Barnet; Mrs. Dawn Orr, Garden Suburb; Mrs. Pares, New Barnet; A. J. Peacock, Hendon; R. F. Penney, Finchley; Mrs. Porges, Finchley; Mrs. Pritchard, Hampstead; Miss Helen Rowland, N. Finchley; Ms. Mary Salton, Totteridge; R. R. Shah, Hendon; Mrs. Shulman, Golders Green; Mrs. Solomons, Finchley; Mrs. Mary Turner, East Barnet; Mr. & Mrs. Wagland, Colindale; Mr. & Mrs. Stuart Winter, New Barnet.