NEWSLETTER  NO, 157:     March, 1984.  


On Tuesday March 6th  John Musty, ISO, MA, C.Chem, FRICS, FSA, recently retired as Head of the Ancient  Monument Laboratory, will tell us about ‘Twenty-five Years of Excavation in Wiltshire: an Archaeological Autobiography.’ His talk will cover how he first got ‘hooked’ on Archaeology and then go on to describe some of the digs, from 1955-on, that he did for the Salisbury Museum Research Committee. They include, among other things, medieval pottery kilns, a tile kiln, a Saxon cemetery and a deserted medieval village. Many members will no doubt also know of Mr. Musty’s work wearing anther hat – as the regular contributor of the Science Diary in Current Archaeology.

Mr. Musty has warned us that he may have to leave about 9:50 – so please note that this lecture will start very promptly.

Tuesday, April 3rd Underwater Archaeology in the. Holy Land                                Alexander Flinder.

Saturday May 5th. Hampstead Walk. 2.p.m.                                               led by Christopher Wade.

Sunday May 13th.     Possible trip to the new Jorvik Viking Centre at York (see enclosed

slip and also note the February Newsletter, p11

Tuesday May 15th. Annual General Meeting.

Lecture and the AGM take place at Central Library, The Burroughs, N.W.4. Coffee 8.p.m., lecture 8:30.p.m.

A few Members have reported not receiving a programme card with their January Newsletter. If you happen to have been similarly unlucky, please give Phyllis Fletcher a ring (455 2558) and she will send you a card.



On Sunday March llth a kiln-walk has been arranged to explore some of the sites of Roman kilns between Brockley Hill and St. Albans. We will meet at 10.a.m, at the top of Brockley Hill and use cars between sites.

Anyone interested please contact Tessa Smith (958 9159) for further details.     

Ted Sammes sends us this information about a one-day, workshop, which he highly recommends, on finds from the current Silchester excavations. It will be on Saturday, March, 24th at the School of Education, London Road, Reading University from 9:30 a.m., to 5:45.p.m. Fees £3.60, or £1.80 for Pensioners. Enrolment through the School for Extramural and Continuing Education, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 2AA (cheques payable to University of Reading). Coins, wall-plaster, animal bones, ironwork, pollen, seed and plant remains, glass and pottery will all be discussed.

 Prehistoric Group

Stream Walking

As announced in the last Newsletter, the stream walkers have now turned their attention to the Dollis Brook and the first three walks took place during December and January. The weather was kind, the going was easy, and the wildlife, both plant and animal, was varied and interesting. Archaeological friends were rather less in evidence!

We are walking upstream and we began at the junction of Brent Street and the North Circular Road, near the site of the former Brent Bridge Hotel. At this point the Dollis Brook has already become, strictly speaking, the Upper Brent River, having changed its name a little further up at its confluence with the Mutton Brook. Walking Northwards beyond that confluence, our way has lain mainly through the linear parks which are such a feature of the Dollis Brook Valley. Some parts of the brook are now heavily constrained by concrete banks but for the most part it meanders in a natural earth channel. There is, however, ample evidence that the course of the brook has been considerably re-channelled during recent years. We have followed it Northward under the Great North Way and up through Windsor Open Space and we greatly admired the magnificent soaring arcade of the railway viaduct which spans the brook at Dollis Road. It was completed in 1867 and is a handsome monument of the industrial age. Beyond it the brook becomes even more convoluted with oxbow lakes in the process of formation. Here it forms the eastern boundary of Finchley Golf Course and affords a picturesque view of Nether Court, the 19th Century Mansion now used as a Club House.

The usual pebbly beaches in the meanders of the stream were carefully examined and were noted for future watching. A few pieces of flint and bone were collected for more detailed inspection. The bed of the stream yielded one intriguing artefact: a wooden comb, vertical (i.e. teeth along one of the shorter edges), and measuring 8 inches by 2½ inches. There were originally 8 teeth, each about 3½ inches long; one of the end teeth is now missing. The comb handle is decorated with an incised face: eyes, nose and mouth, fairly crudely carved. Any ideas about (1) its use, if any and (2) its possible date? A modern African comb, perhaps?

The next walk is due to take place on Sunday March 4th, Sheila Woodward (952 3897) would be glad to hear from potential recruits and to give them further details. Wellington boots recommended.


Volunteers have come forward recently for two documentary projects mentioned in earlier Newsletters.

A new Member, GAVIN MORGAN, who is reading History at University, has offered to do further research on the Barnet end of the 18/19e cattle and horse droving trade (there is an article in this Newsletter by Tom Elias, of the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre, who is working at the Welsh end). We shall hope in due course to publish Gavin’s discoveries.

The second volunteer is CHRISTINE ARNOTT, who is going to start making a new index of Listed Buildings in the Borough. This will be a long job, and more helpers would be welcome – please ring Brigid Grafton. Green if you, too, would like to take part in it (455-9040).

Meantime the Group’s long-term projects continue. NELL PENNY is revelling( and we really mean revelling) in the Poor Law records – you can see some further results of her work elsewhere in this Newsletter.

This year is, in fact, the 150th Anniversary of the New Poor Law Act of 1834 which, with the Parliamentary Report which preceded it, has been described as ‘one of the classic documents of western social History.’ Of all 19c legislation, the New Poor Law probably had the greatest effect on the lives of ordinary people. The only place we have

been able to discover where the Anniversary is being celebrated – and assessed – is, unfortunately, a long way off – in Middlesborough, where Leeds University is organising a day-school in April. Perhaps this would be a good subject for the LAMAS Local History Conference next Autumn:



Who could be a better choice than Ted Sammes, one of our Vice-Presidents, to give the first Constantinides Memorial Lecture and what better subject could be found than the HADAS dig at Church Terrace which he masterminded for two seasons? For

Mr. Constantinides was convinced of the Saxon origin of Hendon and Ted Semmes proved it. He went even further back and found earlier traces of activity in the area with the discovery of 14 flints (possibly worked) and some Roman pottery. For those of us who took part in the dig the lecture was a nostalgic occasion, looking at Ted’s admirable slides and his exhibition of some of the finds.

The site is at the top of Greyhound Hill at a height of 287 feet above 0.D, on a capping of pebble gravels and looking towards a line of hills – Crow’s map of 1754 shows the Church of St. Mary and three other buildings, but by 1970 Church Terrace had a row of shops ending with the Clerk’s Cottage near the Church and a row of terrraced houses running back at right angles towards the Church School. It was this site that Barnet Council decided to demolish and rebuild and HADAS was fortunate enough to be allowed to dig before rebuilding began. Ted Sammes decided to concentrate on the area nearest to the Church since this was likely to be an area of early development. Indeed the Church with its fine 12th Century font stands on the site of an earlier Church which might have been Saxon. A Priest is mentioned in the Domesday entry for Hendon and a charter of A.D.959 (though possibly a forgery) mentions Hendon as being in the possession of Westminster Abbey.

A four metre grid was laid across the site prior to the start of the dig and during the two seasons some 58 HADAS Members took part. Apart from the 14 flints found, a cache of Roman pottery and broken tegulae was found late in the dig on the West side near the road. This was dated late 3rd or early 4th Century and included, apart from colour coated and grey sherds and imitation Samian ware, fragments from the mouth of a multiple vase and, most important, a flagon neck with a stylised face. These last two are often associated with a religious site which if it existed must lie under the road or near the Church.

For tracing the development of the site the discovery of a Saxon ditch running East to West adjacent to the Church wall and containing chaff/grass tempered sherds of pottery dated to the 6th-9th Centuries is of great importance. And one of the best finds of the dig was a double headed in turned spiral pin of the same period found in the centre trench under a wall of possible Tudor origin.

Later mediaeval ditches of the 13th and 14th Centuries were found running across the site, containing grey pottery probably of Hertfordshire origin, including a whole pot made at a kiln at Arkley. From the footings of an outhouse came two pieces of Purbeck Marble, part of a 13th Century grave slab, presumably from the grave of an important man. This brings us to the three or four graves found on the site (outside the present Churchyard) and dated after the 14th Century as one cuts into the ditch system. The most southerly of the graves dug had the carpal bones of a hand placed separately in a small pit. Was this a malefactor who did not survive the punishment of the loss of a hand? Ted’s slides showed many finds from the site through various centuries showing its continuous history – coins dating from Edward II to Charles II, clay pipes dating from 1620 to 19th Century, various pits full of bottles some from the 17th and others from the 18th Centuries, and a third rubbish pit in use from 1750 ­1800 (a mine of goods).

Finds came from several countries – pieces of quern stones from Germany, a Nuremberg Jetton of the 16th Century, a Galley halfpenny from Venice dated about 1450, a Delft floor tile( which might have been made in England), some yellow bricks scattered over the site which Ted feels are Dutch early 17th Century and the tops of two’ bottles, one of which carries the seal of Pouham Spa in Belgium. We all look forward now to reading Ted’s full account of the dig when it is finished, but for the moment we have enjoyed a summary of what is to come, and admire the vast amount of research done by Ted in connection with the finds.


The Committee met on February 3rd, after a rather longer interval than usual as Christmas had intervened. Among the matters raised were

 The Borough Planning Department has had a heavy demand – from schools, branch. libraries and other organisations – for the ‘Archaeology in Barnet’ leaflet which HADAS helped to produce. They are therefore planning to reprint it.

The Committee discussed ways of encouraging more under-18 Membership. It was pointed out that the years between 14-18 are some of the busiest anyone has to cope with, what with mock O and A-levels, real O and A-levels, University entrance etc. Active junior Membership is therefore most likely to occur under 14, before the exam bandwagon starts rolling, although once youngsters acquire a pre-14 taste for Archaeology they will probably stick with HADAS, though less actively, during the exam years. Any Member who has ideas for encouraging junior Membership or who would be prepared to help in that department is asked to get in touch with our Membership Secretary, Phyllis Fletcher.  She will be delighted to hear from them. One way of building a stronger junior representation. in. the Society may be by encouraging schools to take out corporate Membership and it was cheering therefore to learn that another School – The Mount – has just joined us.

The Committee learnt that the Blue Plaque which has until now recorded our Borough’s first appearance on the stage of history – that’s the plaque marking the site of the Roman pottery manufactury of Sulloniacae at Brockley Hill, Edgware – has been vandalised. This is he second time in 8 years. that it has happened. The original plaque installed by. Hendon urban District Council in the late 1950’s, was vandalised in 1976. At that time the Borough Planning Department was very speedy  about providing and installing a replacement We have written to the Borough Planning Officer to ask if he could kindly do the same again.

**STOP PRESS *Plaque found being re-erected. There was news of another Blue Plaque – the one which commemorated “The Abbots Bower”, the country seat of the Abbots of Westminster, who held Hendon from time immemorial until Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. That plaque hung between two posts on a grass verge at the junction of Cedars Close and Parson Street, Hendon. It, too, was vandalised some little time ago. (It is possibly significant that both vandalised plaques are of the ‘swinging’ type, not the sort clamped to a wall). It was reported that the Borough Librarian has now had the Abbot Bower plaque. re-cut and is arranging for its re-erection. –

The February Newsletter mentioned that a display on HADAS’s work had been prepared for a reception for Conservation Area Advisory Committees in January. The Committee was informed that the same display along with those of other local Societies, has been set up at Central Library in The Burroughs for a few weeks.

The Committee decided to follow a suggestion from the Council for British Archaeology and write to the four MP’s whose constituencies are in the Borough of Barnet    Sydney Chapman, John Gorst, Margaret. Thatcher and Peter Thomas.  The letter will point out some implications for Archaeology and local History of the demolition of the Greater London Council, and will mention particularly the need to safeguard the futures of the Historic Buildings Division, the GLC Record Office, the GLC Members Library .and the newly formed, GLC- funded Greater London Archaeological Service.


Further to Camilla Raah’s note on ‘Early Metallurgy’ in the February Newsletter ­I ran into Paul Craddock yesterday outside the British Museum and he told me that he has just returned from 2 months excavation work in Zawar.

They have been able to confirm the findings of the preliminary survey. A whole bank of undisturbed zinc retorts had been uncovered. There was enough residual material in the retorts for detailed analysis. This he hoped would give a clear picture of how this early distillation process was carried out. He is now certain that zinc distillation was in use at Zawar several centuries before it was known in Western Europe. He hopes to get a report on this excavation published later this year, possibly in Scientific American.


The Following sites, which might be of some archaeological interest, have been the subject of planning applications in the last month or so:

Land adjoining 11 Ranelagh Close, Edgware                           Chalet bungalow.

Manaton House, High. Street, Edgware                                   Change of use which may result

in some trenching near the  line of Watling Street.

53, Ashley Lane, N.W.4.                                                           3 detached houses.

We are sorry to report that ELIZABETH SANDERSON, who has been in charge of the Society’s site-watching operations for the last 18 months, has asked to be relieved of that responsibility, as she is taking up a new job which will occupy all her time. Until fresh arrangements are made, will Members who notice signs of building activity on the above sites (or on any of the others listed in earlier Newsletters) please notify our Hon. Secretary, Brian Wrigley (959 5982).

The Newsletter would like to take this chance of thanking Elizabeth very much

for all the hard work she has put in on HADAS’s account and wishing her very well in her new work. We hope she will still manage to find an occasional moment for HADAS:

CHARITY CHILDREN – A LONG TIME AGO.                                          by Nell Penny.

In the early eighteenth century average life expectancy was less than thirty years, so it’s not surprising that Hendon overseers of the poor had to provide for a fair number of orphans and children whose fathers – the wage-earners- had died or were ill.

Sometimes a child was not a continuous burden on the rates. In 1711 the overseers recorded their payments about Sarah Cleving’s child.

“Sarah Cleving 2 weeks 3/‑

Gave her relief when .in labour several times 15/‑

Paid for fetching and carrying the Midwife 3/9

Two Midwives 10/-

Paid John Martin for wood for her. 8/- blanketts 2/-

Coffin and shroud for her child 2/3

Goody Turner for carrying the Corpse to Church and making an affidavit.”

But infant mortality in Hendon parish does not seem to have reached the horrific

numbers of those in the parish of St. Martins in the Fields or any London parish.

In 1715 a committee of the House of Commons reported that — “parish Infants and

Exposed Bastards are inhumanly suffered to die by the Barbarity of Nurses, especially Parish Nurses who are a sort of people void of Commiseration or Religion hired by the officers to take off a Burden from the Parish at the cheapest and easiest Rates they can*. When disaster hit a local family as it did the Chalkhills in 1708 the parish had to step in. It burried Chalkhill and his wife and paid to have their children kept, clothed and apprenticed. Here are some of the items dealing with the children. “Thomas Newman kept Ed Chalkhill for 6 weeks 6/-: William Chalkhill (a relative?) took Stephen and Martha apprentices for premiums totaling £17. Thomas Gillman took Ed Chalkhill apprentice for £3. 5. 0; Widow Lane kept Stephen 4 weeks for 8/- and Anne for 39 weeks for £3.18 O. All these children plus John needed clothes. £3.12. 3, was spent during the year buying shirts, britches, shifts, 4 petticoats, a suit for £1. 6. 0, stockings, shoes and a hat for 2/6.

I. don’t think there was a workhouse in Hendon before 1735 and we have no evidence that children were housed there after 1735. It was more likely that they were boarded out with ‘Dames’. In 1709 “Richinson’s girl” was kept by Widow Lane for 2/- a week and was provided with 2 shifts, 2 aprons, stockings and shoes and 4 caps. A widow nursed James Barber’s four children for a whole year at 8/- week. In 1715 the youngest Chalkhill orphan John was still being kept by Widow Lane at 2/- a week.

If children were apprenticed to a master in another parish they ceased to be chargeable to the parish and if they served their time would acquire a settlement elsewhere.

So the premiums and the expenses of indentures were looked upon as economical by the parish. Between 1703 and 1743 at least ‘forty children were apprenticed. Five actual indentures survive. In 1719 William Bunyan was apprenticed to Henry Pritchard of St. Martin’s in the Fields until he should be 24 to learn “the art and craft and mystery of a joyner”. For a premium of £5 Sarah Sutton aged 13 was apprenticed to a Manty (Mantua?) maker of St. Botolph’s Bishopsgate until she was 21 or married. A blacksmith in Stepney had £4 to take a 10 year old lad. Mary Winterbury whose parents were “both lately dead” went to Frances Framblay of St. -Giles in the Fields for 6 years. Framblay was a gold and silver button maker. Probably most of the girl apprentices went as domestic servants.

Two very tantalizing entries in the accounts also appear in the vestry minutes. These entries suggest that the officers thought that parish children should have some education. In 1708 “all the School Dames shall bring in their bills of schooling and Teaching of Charity Children with the numbers of their scholars”. In 1709 the accounts were more explicit:- “School Dames shall have 3d. a week for teaching everyone of the Charity Children in the Testament and Bible and 2d a week for teaching them in their horn books and Primers provided. Such children must go to be taught at School 4 dayes in the week at least”. Moreover ” all school dames shall bring or send their children to Church every Lord’s Day forenoon and afternoon and every Fryday in the forenoon”.

If the dames neglected these last instructions they were to lose 1/- a week off their next pay. But nowhere is their “next pay” named as such. We have to presume it is lost in some of the monthly pensions to many widows. Just as frustrating are two other casual entries: a schoolmaster was to continue to teach the Charity Children until he is dismissed:” and “the writings belonging to the Charity Schoolhouse are in the possession of John Nicoll Senior and will be produced at the request of the vestry”.

Would that the overseers had realised that enlightening future research students was just as important as convincing the vestrymen and a magistrate that they had been honest stewards of parish money!

* The English Poor in the Eighteenth Century: Dorothy Marshall. PUBLICATIONS.

Mr. C. S. Smeeton, a native of Finchley has produced the first volume of his book “The Metropolitan Tramways” (£12.00 from LRTA publications, 13A, The Precinct, .Broxbourne, Herts. EN 10. 7 HY). This includes details of the huge car works on the corner of Annesley Avenue, Colindale, where the first British-built trolleybus ran in 1909. Its intended route between Golders Green and the Edgware Road at Hendon would have taken it along Brampton Grove. Objections prevailed and the scheme was dropped.




Rosalind Berwald’s delightful collection of 19th & 20th Century childrens’ books is on view at Church Farm, Hendon until March 25th. Admission free Open 10.a.m. – 1.p.m. and 2.p.m. – 5:30.p.m. except for Tuesday p.m. and Sunday a.m.

·       Gunnersbury Park Museum is mounting an exhibition of early local Archaeology from April. 6th to June 3rd. “Antiquary to Archaeologist, Recording West London’s Past” records the growth of true Archaeology from the antiquarian (basically treasure-seeking) interest of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. Stukeley’s “Roman” camp on Hounslow Heath. Pitt Rivers’ work on the Acton gravel terraces and the dedicated work of local enthusiasts such as John Allen Brown of Ealing, all receive their due..

For further details contact Phil Philo 992-1612.

HADLEY WOOD DIG 1983.        By  Brian Wrigley.

The site is described in the report of the survey in Newsletter 148, June 1983. Our minimum objective in the dig, which took place at weekends during July‑September, was to cut a section through the bank and external ditch of this large ring earthwork in a part where it was clearly defined, to establish its form, which could be used for reference in any future investigation, e.g., of a possible entrance where there might be more expectation of datable finds. If we found anything else of interest, so much the better. The location is shown in the diagrams attached.

A section 0.5m wide on a bearing 1740 Grid, was dug across the bank and ditch; a wider area had been cleared of the top humus layer (which accounts for the absence of the main humus layer in the section drawing of the west side). We immediately came across stiff clay, very difficult to dig either wet (sticky) or dry (like concrete). Trowelling and sieving were impossible, and we concentrated on careful recording of the section exposed by mattock and shovel.

We made no significant finds which could help in dating.

We were surprised at the shallowness of the remaining traces of the earthwork; it was almost more obvious on the surface than in the strata below (see section drawings) and the height from ditch bottom to bank crest is substantially less than the 5 feet given by Derek Renn reporting his 1953 section. Our site is one of the most steeply sloping areas; it therefore may have been more eroded, or the ditch may originally not have had to be cut so deep as elsewhere. A substantial amount of erosion was noted all over the woods; in many places can be seen trees, from their size not more than decades old, whose roots are exposed for some 15 – 30 cm above the present ground surface.

Section Drawings.







The two ‘bowls’ of darker grey soil (F) on the east side only, it was concluded, were due to root activity of trees now gone, and can be ignored. What is then left as the possible remaining signs of the ditch in layers C and D; which appear on both sides. D must surely be a fall into, or silting up of; the ditch; C, which is darker grey and appears to be more organic material than the neighbouring layers, may be similarly a fall into the ditch, or it may be, a soil formed by plant activity on the slope of the ditch when it was open, and later buried.

Layer B, below the humus has been labeled simply “disturbed clay” it was not found possible, as had been hoped; to distinguish between disturbance to the clay caused by human activity, and that caused merely by plant activity. One thing can be said for certain, that the outline of the ditch cannot have gone lower than the surface which we found of the undisturbed clay “Bedrock” (G) which is a quite shallow depthbelow the present surface. It seems most likely the original outline of the ditch must have been the lower edge of Layer C.


Although the position of the bank is obvious on the surface, there is little evidence below for its building up. Directly below what now appears as the crest of the bank, was found a layer (E) of distrurbed clay different in texture, but not colour from the overlying layer B;It was harder, drier and more crumbly and without present root activity. This may be either (1) a remnant of the original soil buried by the building of the bank or (ii) the lowest layer of the bank and in either case put below the level of further root activity by the raising of the surface above it.

A curious feature was the thin spread of clay overlying, on the south slope of the bank, a tapering wedge of the humus; this was interpreted as a fall of clay caused by the fall in the past of a tree, its roots leaving the humus-filled hole seen just south of the crest of the bank; this appears on both baulks. On this interpretation, of the fall of a single tree, this feature should be peculiar to a particular spot we happened to choose for our section; if on any future investigation, it should appear to be present along the length of the bank some other interpretation would have to be sought which might be that it represents some wooden structure atop the bank which has collapsed after the .rotting of its supports. It is clearly a feature to be  looked for in any future investigation – which, to seek this this feature near the surface only, need not be a full excavation of a section.          

Further investigation.

A few soil samples were taken which have been passed to Richard Hubbard who has very kindly agreed to arrange for his NE London poly students to examine them.

Time, weather and availability did not permit .the cutting of a further section in a more level part, for which permission had been given by the Management Committee of the Common; it may be hoped we will be able to do this some time in the future.

 General interpretation.

Since Derek Renn’s 1953 report, this earthwork has been generally regarded, on grounds of morphology and location, as on Iron hillfort; we found no evidence to confirm or deny this. On the other hand, the suggestion (put forward by Paddy Musgrove) that its appearance is consistent with a post-medieval woodland boundary cannot be cast aside; there is historical evidence of a re-stocking with deer at the same time as re­planting of trees, which would give ample cause for such a barrier.

*   *

We are particularly indebted to Bernard Johnson for his interest and advice on his several attendances on the site; also to Dr. John Kent, Richard Hubbard and to Geoffrey Gillam and Brian Warren (Enfield Arch. Soc.) for their help.


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