Aids to Research
Joanna Corden, Archivist to the London Borough of Barnet and a member of HADAS, has kindly accepted an invitation from the Newsletter to describe, during the next few months, the various groups of local archives which are available in (or occasionally outside) the Borough for consultation by researchers and students. This is the first of her series of articles.
The Borough of Barnet Archives and Local History Collection consists of varied material; it includes original documents, official records, books, pamphlets, maps and illustrations. It is housed in four different buildings: the Local History Library at Egerton Gardens, Hendon; the basement of South Friern Barnet Library, in Colney Hatch Lane, Church End Library, Hendon Lane, Finchley; and Chipping Barnet Library, Church Passage, Barnet.
In addition, other pockets of material exist which do not come within LBB’s Archives and Local History Collection, but all very relevant for researchers. There is, for instance, much material at Barnet Museum; Hampstead Garden Suburb has its own Archive Room; some material from the Barnets (East, New and Chipping) and from Totteridge can be found at the Hertfordshire Record Office in Hertford, because these areas came under LBB’s umbrella only with the Greater London local government reorganisation of 1965; some records from the end of the last century (when Hendon was part of a larger Rural District) — are lodged at Harrow; and so on. This series will mention all these groups of archives as well as the four which form the Archives and Local History Collection. This month I propose to deal with:
I. Chipping Barnet Library –
BOOKS. The books at this Library relate to Barnet and Totteridge specifically and to Hertfordshire generally. There are copies of the major historical works on the area; these include the Victoria County History, F.C. Cass’s books on the Barnet and South Mimms, the history and antiquities of the county of Hertford by R. Clutterbuck, and the history of Hertfordshire by J.E.Cussans. These last were written at the end of the nineteenth century, when an antiquarian emphasis was expected of a local historian. They are therefore full of information on the pedigrees of local families, but less helpful on other aspects.
The Victoria County History is reliable, but is in need of revision and updating. The Annals of Barnet is more scholarly in approach, and is a sharp contrast to a Chat About Barnet, by S.H. Widdecombe which is exactly what it claims to be: a chat.
Totteridge is represented by S.G.R. Barratt — and Monken Hadley by Nancy Clark — Hadley Wood; and W.H.Gelder — Georgian Hadley.
All the above, and other published works on Hertfordshire generally (which includes sections on those areas now included in the Borough of Barnet) and which covers such general subjects as inns, place names, education, flora, geology, etc, are to be found on the shelves at the appropriate Dewey classification number. A list of these books, which are kept in the reference section, is also available, free, from the Librarian on request.
MAPS. Very few maps are kept here; only a Barnet Urban District Council map of 1961, 6 inch to one mile, and some modern 6 inch and 25 inch OS maps.
NEWSPAPERS. The main local paper is the weekly Barnet Press, which is kept permanently. The early 19th-century volumes are, however, very fragile, and prospective users are advised to use the microphone, available from 1861 at Egerton Gardens. There is also the magazine Hertfordshire Countryside, which is illustrated. It is bi-monthly from a 1948-1966, and monthly since then. Finally there is the annual Hertfordshire Past And Present, kept since 1960.
EPHEMERA. There are files of press cuttings, from 1927-1932 and from April 1967 to today. There are also subject files (on e.g. Barnet Fair, Barnet Inclosure, etc) and files on various buildings and people connected with the area. These consist of varied material I can only describe them as containing anything which we may have accumulated over the years. There are no illustrations nor original archive material at this Library; such material is to be found at Barnet Museum, whose records will be the subject of a later article.
West Heath: Plans for 1978
By Daphne Lorimer.
HADAS will run a fortnight’s training excavation again this year. We know that several HADAS members would like to of themselves of the chance of doing at least part of their training for the Diploma or certificate Near home, so we hope that they will apply as soon as possible to Brigid Grafton Green for a place on the training dig. Speedy application is necessary because we shall have to put a ceiling on the number of students each week, and the following notice is to be distributed in the near future to all students taking the London University Diploma and Certificate courses:
“Mesolithic Site, West Heath, Hampstead. A training dig under the direction of Desmond Collins will be run by Hendon and District Archaeological Society for two weeks beginning 5 June, 1978. It will be accepted as a training excavation for the Extra-mural Diploma in Archaeology and the Certificate in Field Archaeology (University of London).
Fees: £12 weekly to include membership of HADAS. (There will be a reduction of fees for applicants who were members of HADAS on 1 January, 1978). Priority will be given to applicants wishing to enrol for both weeks. Applications should be made to Mrs. Grafton Green.
Apart from the training dig, up plans for the next West East season are as follows:
Digging will start again at the leg of Mutton Pond Site on Saturday 6 May. It is hoped to begin as usual with full-time fortnight (6 May – 21 May inclusive) and then to continue through the summer on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. So many people wanted to dig last August that it has been decided to keep the site open during August this year and, if it is desired, we might have a further full week’s digging during August. Do make a note of the West Heath dates in your diary now.
There will, of course, be no digging between a for July and 16 July, Wednesday HADAS trip to Orkney takes place; nor will he be digging on the Saturdays during the summer on which they put part HADAS outings.
This coming season should be an exciting one, as we shall be digging in an area known to be rich in finds, and there is always the possibility of finding another hearth. The boundary of the site has been altered slightly by the Park authorities during the winter, so that the public can now saunter down beside the pond — to the irritation of the swans!
And don’t forget to watch Chronicle on BBC 2 on Wednesday 8 February at 8.00p.m. HADAS will make a brief but meteoric appearance!
The Minimart will take place on 4 March, 1978, from 10.00a.m.-12.00p.m. This is a most vital date in the HADAS calendar, since upon the result of the Minimart depends much of our financial viability.
The venue it is Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens, NW4 (opposite Central Library). Entrance £0.05.
As this is our main fund-raising effort for the year, we appeal for help from all members in the work of stocking and the following stalls:
HOME PRODUCE. Home-made cakes, jams, marmalade and chutney will be specially welcome, but all foodstuffs will be gratefully received. Daphne Lorimer.
MISCELLANY. unwanted gifts, stationery, jewellery, cosmetics, etc. Nell Penny.
“NEARLY NEW”. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in reasonable condition. Dorothy Newbury.
BRIC-A-BRAC. Brass, pewter, china (anything that’s saleable and small enough to transport). Christine Arnott.
The names of those in charge of the stalls have been given so that you can get in touch with them to arrange collection, if required. Articles can also be brought to the February lecture (the only lecture between now and the Minimart); or to the processing weekend at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11 on Feb. 18/19. Offers to display in a prominent place a poster advertising the Minimart will be very welcome and posters can be collected at the February lecture.
In addition to the stalls mentioned above, George Ingram and Freda Wilkinson will be in charge of book and publication stalls, for which we already have sufficient material. No more books, beyond those already promised, are required.
Jeremy Clynes will have a stall for HADAS publications, and coffee and biscuits will be available at £0.15. Most members, we know, to find the Minimart great fun — so do roll up on 4 March, to enjoy yourselves and to help HADAS.
Other HADAS Events
Tues. Feb. 7. Pre-Columbian Cultures of Mexico – P.B.Barnes, MA.
Tues. Mar, 7. Meaning and Purpose of English Wall Paintings – Clive Rouse, MBE, FSA.
Tues. Apr. 4. Excavations in South West Lndon – Scott McCracken.
Mon. May 15. Annual General Meeting.
Meetings are held at the Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4 starting with coffee at 8.00p.m.
Sat. Feb. 11. Surveying session with Barrie Martin in the grounds of St. Joseph’s Convent, Watford Way, Hendon, NW4. Meet at 10.00a.m. inside of the main gates of the Convent. The object will be to record a large mound, the precise origin of which is unknown, in the Convent garden.
Sat/Sun. Feb. 18/19. Processing weekend at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11, from 10.00a.m.-5.00p.m. each day. All members welcome. The principal activity will be work on the West Heath finds; but some work in connection with the material from the 1948-56 digs at Brockley Hill Roman pottery kilns will also be undertaken. New members who haven’t ever seen the Brockley Hill pottery (mainly dated to AD 60-165) may like to take this chance of looking at it.
Incidentally, enclosed with this Newsletter are maps of two areas in which HADAS currently holds meetings: Central Hendon and Hampstead Garden Suburb. The committee felt that members who do not know these areas well might find such maps useful. The HGS map will show you how to get to the Teahouse for the processing weekend. There is, we regret to say, one error in this Suburb map, and you might like to alter it what you think of it: “Bigwood Hall” should read “Bigwood House.”
Sun. Feb. 26. Tentatively fixed for another field walk in the same area as the 29 January walk. Meet at the same place in Edgwarebury Lane (junction with Clay Lane) at 10.00a.m. but check first with the Brigid Grafton Green to confirm the date.
HADAS trip to Orkney
The trip is now fully booked, and unless applicants have heard to the contrary they can be sure they are on it. Dorothy Newbury will, however, be happy to add to the waiting list further names of those who would like to go if cancellations occur. Don’t send deposits, though — just give Dorothy a ring and ask her to put your name down among the reserves.
“A Possession for Ever: The Parthenon at Athens”
A report by Audree Price-Davies of the HADAS January Lecture.
The first part of the quotation above is taken from Thucydides, who made it about his own works. Mr Corbett applied it to the Parthenon; the continuous flow of questions at the end was evidence of the interest which the subject evoked.
Mr Cook’s lecture showed that the quotation is not just a statement, but implies a question. Will the Parthenon be “a possession for ever?” While describing its value and aesthetic quality, Mr Cook noted the attacks upon it — first by the early Christians, who used it as a church in 450 AD and destroyed some of the statues as being suitable; then by the Turks. They turned the building into an arsenal and in 1687 a shell fired from a British warship caused an explosion which destroyed a good deal of the structure. Today, the depredations continue, although now they are from natural causes: rainwater, diluted sulpuric acid, which erodes the features of the sculptures and also the marble floors; and the feet of countless visitors which wear away the marble, with the result that the Parthenon cannot now be entered by visitors — it must be viewed only from outside the building.
The Delian League was formed to defend Greek liberty against the Persians. In 454 BC. the treasury of the League was transferred to Athens, and Pericles set aside some League money for the building and rebuilding of temples and public buildings. The Parthenon was built between 447-433 BC, to the plans of Ictinus and Callicrates. It is constructed of marble, not the usual limestone and stucco. The temple was dedicated in 438 BC, but the pediment was not installed until 432 BC.
The decoration consists of the frieze, the metopes and the pediments; the carvings were made on the ground and then fitted in place. The subjects of the metopes were: on the west side, the struggle of the Greeks and the Amazons; on the eats, the battle of the Gods and Giants on Mount Ilymous, Athena being present; on the south, the Lapiths and Centaurs, showing the Centaurs who got drunk at a Lapiths wedding feast: and on the north, the Greeks and Trojans at the sack of Troy. These were stories which would be well known to the Greeks, but what is surprising is that the sculptures were placed so far above eye-level. They were in relief, but even so would not have been seen closely.
The frieze represents the Parthenaic procession – possibly the one held every four years to present a new gown for the bronze statue in the Parthenon of Athena Promachos, the work of Phidias, which is now completely lost to us. The frieze shows those who would take part in such a procession – the horsemen and chariots, with the attempts at rendering distance, groups of people talking, the burghers, the attendants leading sacrificial animals, women playing a religious part and the twelve gods and goddesses. It symbolises Athens at this time – its social structure and its achievements.
The pediment illustrated important moments in Athenian myth-history – the birth of the goddess Athena and the dispute between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of the city, which Athena won by her gift of an olive tree. These sculptures were done in the round, but the back would not have been seen once they were in position. They represent some of the finest classical sculpture. Most of these figures, however, can now be viewed closely as they are in the British Museum. Since hearing Mr. Cook I shall certainly look at them with a renewed and deeper appreciation.
Wanted – Xerox Boxes
If any HADAS member has access to a supply (no matter how small) of the rectangular strong cardboard boxes in which Xerox paper for copying machines is supplied, we would be most grateful for any unwanted boxes. They are admirable for keeping finds, because they stack so well.
Please let our Hon. Treasurer, Jeremy Clynes know if you can let us have any. Collection will, if needed, be arranged.
The 15th Conference of London Archaeologists
This will be held on Saturday 18 March at the Museum of London. Organised by the London and Middlesex Archaeology Society, the conference opens at 11.00a.m. and continues all day, with a break for lunch. Tickets, which include tea (but not lunch), cost £1 for LAMAS members and £2 for non- members. They are obtainable from Alison Bristow, London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, c/o Everitt and Sons, City Gate House, Finsbury Square, EC2.
The programme of the conference will be as usual — talks on digs and finds, questions and discussions if there is time, and during the lunch and tea breaks an opportunity to look at exhibits arranged by various London archaeological societies. HADAS plans a display on the lifting of the Mesolithic hearth found at West Heath last autumn.
Speakers at the Conference will include Peter Marsden on the Boats and Ports in the Thames Estuary in Antiquity; Steve Roskams on Recent Excavations in Milk Street; Humphrey Woods on excavations at Eeltham Palace, 1975-7; Mike Hammerson on Excavations under Southwark Cathedral; Ralph Merrifield on the Roman Sculptures from the Crypt of Southwark Cathedral; Margaret Jones on the relevance to London’s Archaeology of multi-period settlement at Mucking; and Scott McCracken on Excavations of the Chapter House at Merton Priory.
The HADAS Membership List
A membership list, compete to 1 January, 1978, was circulated with the last Newsletter.
One member has reported that two pages of his 8-page list were missing; another member tells me that no list at all was included with January Newsletter.
If any other member has had similar problems of missing or incomplete membership lists, would he/she please let the Hon. Secretary know, and a new list will be supplied?
Conference on Deposits in Sea Caves, Geological Museum, South Kensington, 11 March 1978, 10.00a.m.-5.00p.m. £1.50.
Residential course on Field Archaeology and landscape, Tutor Chris Taylor, at Knuston Hall, Irchester, Northants, 31 March – 7 April. £37.50
Weekend course on statistics for archaeologists, Tutor Clive Orton, same venue, May 12-14. £12. Further details of both courses obtainable from the Principal, Knuston Hall.