Newsletter 141 November, 1982
THE EXOTIC MISTS OF PREHISTORIC EDGWARE
During, the coming winter the Prehistoric Group plans to undertake two major projects: first, to walk and chart the streams of the Borough of Barnet; secondly to research known finds of Bronze and Iron Age structures and artefacts in the Borough, with the object of producing a late prehistoric gazetteer which will fill the gap between the Stone Age and Roman gazetteers published in 1979 in the July, August and September Newsletters.
The first watercourse to receive the group’s attention will be the Edgware Silk Stream. A “field” walk has been arranged for Sun Nov 14 at 10 am… Members wishing to take part (and all members of the Society will be most welcome) should meet at the entrance to Montrose Recreation Ground, the Greenway, NW9 (The Greenway is a turning off Edgware Road .just north of the Hyde). Wear Wellies:
The Silk Stream is of considerable archaeological interest, it rises by the Roman. kiln site of Sulloniacae, on Brockley Hill (hence the name) and after uniting with Dean’s Brook and, Edgware Brook it flows into the northern end of the Welsh Harp. During its course it passes the site of a 19c discovery of Pleistocene mammal bones. These bones were found about 5ft below the surface and overlaid by deposits of clay with flint pebbles, about 300-400yards north of the Silk Bridge, Colindeep lane, during sewerage excavations. They were reported by Dr Henry Hicks in 1895 to Horace B Woodward (see ‘Memoirs of the Geological Survey of England and Wales The Geology of the London District, chap. VIII: “Valley Gravel and Brick Earth” Deposits along tributary valleys”).
The bones are now lodged in Church Farm House Museum and .have recently been examined and identified by Dr. Sutcliffe of the British Museum (Natural History) as Pleistocene. They include:
two large fragments of tusk, showing signs of laterial twist, so probably mammoth;
two elephant molars in poor preservation: one possibly shows diamond-shaped plates and may be from a straight-tusked elephant, the other is larger and may be mammoth;
the head of an elephant femur, showing signs of being gnawed by a carnivore (?sabre-toothed tiger);
the upper molar of a woolly rhinoceros;
and possible fragments of a hippopotamus canine.
These, together with a shark’s tooth from an Eocene deposit, make up a rather startling and exotic collection for the London Borough of Barnet!
There is also a report of a late Neolithic or Bronze Age pick or axe being found, rather vaguely, in the Edgware district. The British Museum record it as: ‘a fragment (the business end) of a flaked axe of dark brown flint, which seems to have been broken in antiquity and re-trimmed round the fracture. It has a flat pointed oval section and its length (broken) is approx. 8 cm. It is not a transversely-sharpened (tranchet) axe but would typologically fit into a Neolithic or Bronze Age context.’
Those members who attended last year’s CBA Group conference will remember that Dr Ian Kinnes, in his talk on the Neolithic in Hertfordshire, asserted that where a Neolithic axe is found, a farm settlement is not far away with these facts in mind, we feel that the Silk Stream’s banks will bear investigation. We also hope to map the course of the stream so that we know precisely where it has been channelled (either in pipe or between artificial banks) and where it still appears to follow a natural course.
It would be much appreciated if you would let me know if you are coning please ring 458 5674 after November 10, Daphne Lorimer
MORE NEWS FROM THE GROUPS
ROMAN GROUP Some notes on past and future events by Helen Gordon and Pete Griffiths
The weekend of Oct 9/10 saw another Roman processing weekend at the Teahouse, Hampstead Garden Suburb. Our thanks are due once again to John Enderby for kindly making possible all the arrangements. Work on the finds from the Brockley Hill digs of 1948-56 is still proceeding. This time we were concentrating on bowls, amphorae and imported ware. Marking and indexing of Roman (and other) material from various HADAS field walks also continued and is nearing completion.
Some members of the group dug a small experimental trench in a private garden on the line of the Viatores Route 220 in Southgate, on October 17. This was just outside the boundary of our Borough, and was done with the kind agreement of our colleagues in the Enfield Archaeological Society. A report will appear in a later Newsletter.
The group will visit Verulamium Museum on Sat. Nov 20 at 2 pm, when the Deputy Director, Chris Saunders, will show us the Museum’s collection of Roman pottery. Anyone interested will be welcome tojoin us: numbers must inevitably be limited, so please apply early to Jenny Griffiths.
(812 5156); lifts can be arranged. An admission fee is charged, which includes admission to the park, containing a stretch of Roman wall and hypocaust there is an extra charge for the Roman theatre. Jenny will conduct anyone interested round the park before the Museum visit notify her beforehand, and meet at. 1pm in the car park..
A Visit to Welwyn Roman Bath is planned early in the New Year. Watch the Newsletter for further details. The Roman Group is always happy to welcome’ additional members – just-ring either Helen Gordon. (203 1004) or Tessa Smith (958 5159) if you would like to know more about it.
The group has several projects on the go at the moment, and would welcome offers of help. For instance, Nell Penny is engaged on a survey of field names throughout the Borough of Barnet and that’s quite a sizeable project. As London’s third largest borough, with an area of 35 square miles, there were a lot of fields in the area in the 1840s -“the time that has been taken as the basis of the survey. Our main tool is the Tithe maps produced between 1838-54 as a result of the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836.
Mrs Penny is working steadily from parish to parish. She would be particularly happy to receive offers of help from members prepared to research field names in Edgware Chipping Barnet or East Barnet parishes. Ring her on 458 1689 if you would like to help, and she will give you details of the methods being used in the survey.That’s only one of several projects. If you would like to hear more about them, please give me a ring and I’ll be glad to tell you. One of them may be right up your street! BRIGID GRAFTON GREEN
Tues Nov 2. Anglo-Saxon Britain, by Professor Henry Loyn (see October Newsletter for details)
Mon Dec 13. Christmas Supper party at Burgh House, Hampstead. Application form enclosed. This replaces the Dec 7 entry on the Programme card (Stationers Hall).
Tues Jan 4. Marylebone Park,’1537-1811, by Dr Ann Saunders
Tues Feb 1. Still to be arranged
Tues Mar 1. Egypt, Gift of the Nile, by Vivienne Constantinides (who is the daughter of our founder)
Tues Apr 12. Early Mining and Metallurgy from its inception to the Bronze Age, by Paul Craddock
(Please note this meeting is on the second Tuesday of the month).
Wed Nay 11. Annual General Meeting
CHANGE AT THE SECRETARY’S DESK
During his report to the Annual General Meeting last May our Chairman, Brian Jarman announced the impending resignation of our Hon. Secretary of the last 12 years, Brigid Grafton Green. She had intended to resign at the AGM, but had agreed to continue for a few more months until a successor became available. That successor has now materialised, and as from October HADAS has a new Hon. Secretary – Brian Wrigley. Members who dug at West Heath will remember him – often accompanied by his younger son, Stephen as a weekend digger; they may also recall that one of our popular “tea-ladies” at West Heath was Brian’s wife, Joan, who used to revive us on Sundays with that essential to all successful digs – a nice cupper. Joan will be as big a help to Brian as she always was a comfort to the West Heath diggers, because she is a trained secretary and prepared to do all his typing for him. Lucky chap
Brigid asks us to say that she doesn’t propose, once she has passed the Hon Secretary’s work over to Brian, just to sink into a state of blissful inertia. She is remaining on the Committee and will continue to edit the HADAS Newsletter, helped from time to time by four stalwart associate editors – Enid Hill, Liz Holliday, Isobel McPherson and Liz Sagues. Brigid will also do some exhibition work for the Society and will continue to organise the Documentary Group – with, she hopes, a bit of time left over for some actual research.
NE’W HOME FOR LONDON’S RECORDS
The Greater London Record Office will open in its new premises at 40 Northampton Road EC1 on Jan 4 next. Members may like to have a note of the opening hours, which are:
Tues-Fri 10 am-4.45pm
Tues 4.45-7.30 pm (late opening)
Late opening on Tuesdays is by appointment only; ring 633 6351 to make an appointment. The office will be closed during the 3rd/4th weeks of October and between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The nearest Underground station is Farringdon Road, on the Circle and Metropolitan lines. From there you walk west (i.e. towards Kings Cross) along Farringdon Road and turn left at Bowling Green Lane. The Record Office and History Library is on the left-hand side, at the junction of Bowling Green Lane/Rosoman Street, with its entrance in Northampton Road. If anyone would like a leaflet giving this information plus bus routes and a map, please ring Brigid Grafton Green .(455 9040).
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE By OLIVE BANHAM reports on the last of the summer outings
That’s exactly what it was for two of us as we turned the clock back 21 years, and drove through undulating Essex countryside to Chipping Ongar. In 1961 things were very much played by ear. In 1982 they were meticulously – and beautifully – planned.
Mike Eddy gave us an interesting tour of the large motte and bailey of Ongar Castle, which was built in the early 12c by the de Lucy family. Only a few bricks of the entrance gateway remain. We then looked round the church, dedicated to St Martin of Tours and built about 1083 AD of Coggeshall bricks and rubble. A brass and a stained glass window in the chancel are dedicated to Elizabeth Sammes, wife of an earlier Edward Sammes. She was the grandmother of our own Ted Sammes, planner and compere of the 1982 trip. That made us feel we were right at home! Livingstone stayed for a time in the town and Jane Taylor, author of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” lived there.
At Greensted the sun shone brilliantly and we were able to picnic in the churchyard before looking round this survival of a Saxon church, built about 845 AD. The walls of the nave are made of split oak logs. We even got caught up in a wedding there were more HADAS members than wedding guests!
On again to Waltham and a look round the Epping Forest Museum which now serves the whole district and is housed in a timber-framed house nearly 500 years old. Ken Bascombe ably guided us round the precincts of Waltham Abbey a large area which was formerly covered by the monastery cloisters and the magnificent conventional buildings. Part of the main gateway is still standing; also Harold’s Bridge, so-called because of his close association with the Abbey.
After a scrumptious tea (one of the best we’ve ever had), we went inside the existing church which is entirely nave with Norman and Gothic or Pointed arches. The rose window at the east end was one of the earliest works of Sir Edward Burne Jones. The present ceiling, painted in 1862 by Sir Edward Poynter, depicts the four elements and the signs of the zodiac. On the east wall of the Lady Chapel is a fresco of the last judgment. A worthy anniversary outing, I’m sure Mr Constantinides would have agreed.
SCRAPS OF HISTORY
This is just to remind members that three scrap-books of press cuttings, of historical and archaeological interest, have now been compiled. They cover the period 1974-81.
It had been intended to obtain cuttings from each of the local papers serving our area, but this could not be arranged. The collection consists mainly of cuttings from the Barnet Press and the Hendon Times. I should like to express my grateful thanks to Daphne Lorimer, who used to save copies of the Barnet Press for me while she lived in Totteridge and to Charmian Lewis, who has now taken over this job from Mrs Lorimer.
As well as cuttings of pictures and events with a bearing on local history and archaeology, there is a special section on HADAS’s own activities. The other cuttings are kept in separate folios for each district.
It is hoped that this collection will be of use to researchers, but to make the record more useful and to facilitate easy reference, it needs an index. I would greatly appreciate the help of any member (or better. still, two members) prepared to take the completed volumes home and to compile a typed index. If you can help, please let me know.
53 Selborne Gardens, NW4.
COALHOLE COVERS RUTH WAGLAND describes the first of the winter lectures
The first meeting of the new autumn season opened at Hendon Library on Oct 5. A moderately sized audience came to hear a lecture by Mrs Lily Goddard on Coalhole Covers and Victorian domestic life.
She began by showing us several covers of different designs from various parts of London. These were made by unknown pattern makers, using mahogany and yellow pine to make their moulds. We saw slides of present day casting taking place at the Ironbridge foundry. The method of rubbing was described and slides of rubbings made by Mrs Goddard, not only in London but in Brighton, Hove and Hastings,were shown.
Rubbings are used as a source of inspiration for designs by Mrs Goddard’s students. We were shown bags and cushion covers which had printed designs on them, together with a wall hanging extending and embellishing the original coalhole cover design. There was also the ubiquitous tee-shirt with coalhole motif. Mrs Goddard had been commissioned by Harrods to produce a design for linen place mats and serviettes to be part of a craft exhibition held in the store. A mounted ceramic wall plaque of a cover formed part of a small display of covers and literature which the lecturer brought with her. Mrs. Goddard concluded by urging us to be more awareof Victorian street furniture, such as boot scrapers, door knockers and railings. She asked that we should try to ensure that those surviving did not disappear overnight as had happened to so many artefacts in the past.
A vote of thanks for this interesting lecture was proposed by Paddy Musgrove
CHRISTMAS IS COMING and are you having difficulty finding Christmas presents?
Why not give a publication from HADAS, either an Occasional Paper or a book from Shire? Details of both are enclosed with this Newsletter. Also don’t forget HADAS notelets with a drawing of Warwick the Kingmaker, which make excellent Christmas cards or presents.
These offers are open to everyone, so encourage your friends to order At the same time. Extra catalogues are. available from Jeremy Clynes, G6 Hampstead Way, NW11. . (Phone: 455 4271).
It has been suggested that the Newsletter should have a Committee Corner, with news of Committee doings and decisions. It may not be possible to publish such a feature every month, because dates of Committee meetings and Newsletter press dates won’t always fit; but whenever possible, we propose in future to give you some Committee low-down. ‘Here’s the first batch:
College Farm. A determined effort (led by Christine Arnott) has been made this autumn to clear up our room at the farm. The finishing touch will be to erect shelving to hold boxes of finds: Peter Fauvel Clinch is working on this at the moment. As well as finds, some of our digging equipment can be stored, and we have tables for processing finds. The room has been a godsend in preparing the West Heath material for publication.
Our premises at the farm consist of a small room next to a stable, with a further walk-in storage area opening from it. It is kindly provided for us, free of charge, by the tenant farmer, Chris Ower who has long been a true friend in need to HADAS. We are deeply grateful to Mr and Mrs Ower for this most valuable roof over our heads. We have our own key and can come and go as we please. Just as a token of our gratitude, we try to make an annual contribution to Mr Ower’s expenses – and the Committee has just arranged to send off a cheque.
Conservation Area Advisory Committee in Finchley. A new CAAC has been setup for the three Conservation Areas in Finchley – Church End, Moss Hall and Finchley Garden Village. HADAS was invited by the Borough to nominate two members. June Porges and Isobel McPherson have kindly agreed to serve for this year.
Surveying equipment. During the summer the Committee decided to add to our surveying equipment. We have for some time had a level, tripod and Sopwith stave, which have been much used: now we have bought a plane-table, tripod and alidade. These were a great bargain found by Daphne Lorimer and purchased with rapidity by our Hon. Treasurer, Victor Jones, who knows a good thing when he sees one.
Members’ help would be much appreciated with one matter which came up at the last Committee. Possible site watchers in the northernmost part of the Borough are, we find, somewhat thin on the ground. There is a site in Barkley which may be developed in the near future; and if it is, we would very much like to find someone who would be prepared to watch the foundation trenches. If you either live near Mays Lane, or have occasion to go along it frequently, and you would be prepared to help, please let Brian Wrigley (959 5982).
A GALLERY WITH A VIEW_
If you haven’t already been to see the Billingsgate dig in Lower Thames Street from its special public viewing gallery, do go before the end of November when the gallery closes. Admission is 25p for adults, 15p for children, pensioners and students. Nearest station is Monument. The gallery is closed on Mondays, but open Tues-Sat, 11 am-5 pm. Suns 2-5 pm.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1.10 pm you get a talk on the progress of the dig thrown in. Lunchtime season tickets are available for £1, and admit to 5 lunchtime talks, so you can keep tabs on the progress of the dig by going several times. The dig is organised by the Museum of London, who point out that this is the last – and only chance to discover what the Saxon harbour of London was like.
Our Borough Planning Department kindly keeps us up to date about buildings in LBB which have been added to the Statutory List of Buildings of Architectural and Historic Interest – a service for which we are most grateful. We are particularly happy to have the citations which form the detail of the List. A now batch has recently arrived, and here it is:
Osidge House Chase Side, East Barnet. This large early 19c mansion, just near the eastern boundary of our Borough, was once owned by the millionaire grocer, Sir Thomas Lipton, who lived there during the days when his “Shamrock” yachts were trying-unsuccessfully to win the America Cup. It’s a three-storey house in yellow brick and stucco, and is now a nurses home. It is also one of the buildings at which HADAS hopes a Blue Plaque will soon be erected to commemorate its historic associations (more of that in a future Newsletter).
East Finchley Baptist Church Hall, Creirhton Avenue, N2. Designed by George Baines, 1902, An art nouveau Gothic church hall of knapped flint, rich in interesting architectural detail.
Friern Hospital, Friern Barnet Rd, N11. Designed by S W Daukes of Cheltenham. The foundation stone was laid in 1849. The building was opened, as the Colney Hatch Asylum serving the county of Middlesex, in July 1851. It was re-named Friern Hospital in 1937. There is a central block, with two towers and a dome, flanked by long wines. The full length of the front is 1881 ft, in yellow brick with stone dressings. Its historic interest, according to the citation, is in its work for the more humane treatment of the insane, who were “kept without shackle or even strait-waistcoat.”
Listed as well are the single-storey lodge of the Hospital and the garden-house which is an attractive feature of the grounds.
An interesting new group, the Experimental Firing Group, has been formed recently to promote interest in and research into the processes and methods employed in the manufacture and use of ceramics in antiquity. Inspiration for the new group comes from the Archaeology Department of Leicester University.
The first meeting will be on Nov 6 from 10.30 onwards at Attenborough Building, Leicester University. There will be reports on projects already undertaken, discussion of plans for proposed future research and – unless the heavens open- a demonstration open firing. Further information about the group, which hopes to publish “modest reports” of its experiments, from Ann Woods, Dept. of Archaeology, Leicester University (enclose an sae, please).
THEY’VE DONE IT AGAIN!
As the Newsletter went to press on October 23 another highly successful HADAS Minimart took place, masterminded by our fund-raisers-in-chief, Dorothy Newbury and Christine Arnott. It was held at St. Mary’s Church Hall, at the top of Greyhound Hill in Hendon. A large number of HADAS members attended and provided varied skills – pricing, selling, cooking, fetching and carrying, catering, door-keeping and accounting, to name just a few.
The stalls were as crowded with goodies as usual, the Ploughman’s Lunch – rapidly becoming a highlight of HADAS Minimarts – was delicious, as ever, the salespeople as persuasive, the atmosphere as friendly. And – pretty good for what had originally been intended as a “mini” Minimart – our Hon. Treasurer went home with a pleased smile on his face and some £500 extra in his pocket. (The precise figure is not yet available, but that’s a good rough one – and it’s net, not gross.
The special flavour of a HADAS Minitart (no pun on the Ploughman’s Lunch intended) comes, we’ve decided, as much from it being a social gathering as a money-making-exercise. Indeed, prices are pitched low enough, both in what we heard being described rather grandly as “The Food Hall downstairs and upstairs among the good-as-new and white elephants, that everyone can go home with that warm inner glow that comes from buying a bargain.
Helpers were so thick on the ground that naming names would not be fair. Let’s just, leave it that HADAS is again deeply indebted to Dorothy and Christine, whose idea it was and to who fell the major part of the organisation and work.