NEWSLETTER No. 167 JANUARY 1985
Anno novo faustum felix tibi sit
Tuesday 8th January 1985 John Nash, the Hero of Regents Park by Dr .Ann Saunders
We all recall the two memorable lectures by Dr. Saunders which have traced the history of Marylebone from 1530 when Oxford Street was the road to Oxford – to the Dissolution when Henry VIII took 550 acres north of the village of Marylebone for hunting (the area now called Regents Park). Later, when royal money ran out, trees were felled and the land let as small-holdings until the inception of Nash’s plan for a residential estate and public park.
Tuesday 9 February 1985 Writing in Roman Britain- Evidence from Vindolanda and Bath by Mark Hassall
Tuesday 5 March 1985 West Heath Excavation: Daphne Lorimer
Tuesday 2 April 1985 Aerial Photography Christopher Stanley
AN INVITATION, has come from our colleagues in the North-west London branch of the Historical Association. Their February lecture may, they feel, be of particular interest to HADAS members. On Thursday, 21 February Gareth Davies, Director of the Verulamium Museum, will be speaking to them about Roman St.Albans. The NW London branch meets at Westfield College, Kidderpore Avenue, NW3 at 8pm, and HADAS members are cordially invited to attend this meeting as guests.
One of the most pleasant things at this time of year is that we often have news of HADAS members who live further afield. One of our Vice-Presidents, DAISY HILL, who was secretary of the Society in the late 1960s, sent us a Christmas card from Derbyshire. She moved to Chesterfield some years ago and now reports that she has settled very happily there. “I do so enjoy reading the ‘Arc’ Newsletter”, she writes, “so I really feel I should send something for the postage.” She enclosed a donation of £5, which is most welcome both to the Editor and to the Hon. Treasurer:
Nice to have a card, too, and good wishes to the Society, from another member of long standing. RONALD BEVAN, who joined us in 1975, retired to Canterbury some little time ago and has kept up his subscription because he too enjoys the Newsletter.
AUBREY HODES, now a teacher at Hua Qiao University in China, must be our farthest-flung member. We had a card from him too, in an exotic envelope with 8 pictorial stamps showing everything from the Great Wall to a bunch of chrysanthemums, a lake village to a modern looking train on a viaduct, Aubrey sends best wishes to all the friends he has made in HADAS since he joined in 1979. You will remember that we had some news of him via JUNE PORGES in the November Newsletter, Now he adds some more – including what he had just eaten for an ordinary Chinese lunch: ” a whole crab each, then a stew of goat, noodles and cabbage, followed by satsumas. I’m enjoying the food:” He enclosed some interesting cuttings from the China Daily, an English language Chinese newspaper and we hope to have space to quote from them in a later Newsletter.
PROCESSING HELPERS WANTED
The October Newsletter published an SOS from the Greater London Archaeological unit asking for volunteers to help with their backlog of processing work – particularly finds from the excavation of a Roman cemetery at Tenter Street and from the Clerkenwell nunnery. Two experienced HADAS members Hwlen Gordon,and Jean Snelling, have offered to lend a hand, and they start work on the first Monday in January. They propose to spend from 10.15 – 4pm each Monday thereafter at 42 Theobalds Road, WC1, where the GLA unit is based. Their work will be mainly cleaning and marking bones from the Roman cemetery.
Offers of help from other HADAS members either occasionally or as regular Monday assignment – would be most welcome. If you would like to offer, please give Jean Snelling a ring on 346 3553.
HADAS member Myrtle Levy sends news of a course in an unexpected subject which she feels may be of interest to members. It consists of. 10 lectures by Anthony Sackville on Antique. European Fan, which will take-place on Wednesdays, starting on January 16, at 6.30 – 8.30pm, at the City University, Northampton Square, EC1.
Fans may sound a far cry from dirt archaeology, but Mrs Levy puts a powerful case, for their: value as documentary evidence.. “These folding paintings carried by aristocratic ladies are a perfect marriage of history and art!’ she says. “It’s staggering how much information you can glean from the detailed study of a fan.” The cult of the fan in ‘Europe (and this course confines itself to European fans) reached its peak in France.
Lectures will be illustrated with slides which, says Mrs. Levy, “are really exquisite”
Further details can be obtained from Barbara Zanditon, 253 4393 (ext. 3252), who will
also provide information about a similar daytime course on the subject at the Barbican
Proposed extensions to two buildings in historic areas of the Borough were included in recent planning application lists. They were ,
51 High Street, Chipping Barnet a 2-story rear extension & single story storage
Five Bells Public House. 165 East side and rear extensions, partly for new
End Road, East Finchley restaurant
If members happen to be passing these sites and see any building preparations, please
let either Christie Arnott (455,2751) or John Enderby (203 2630) know ‘as we might like to take sites
The Committee met at the end of November. The following ‘matters, among many were discussed:
The membership Secretary reported that the number of members at the end Novemeber1, 1984 almost exactly equalled the figure at the same time last year: In fact we were one up in1984 with.367 instead of 366 members. This is interesting becausee both counts were taken after the names of all those who had not paid their ‘Annual sub. then 7 months overdue had been deleted.
It was noted that in the the last 18 months or so we had lost – for various reasons the majority of the excellent team of photographers who had once been available to photograph digs, buildings and events for the Society. The Committee resolved to try to rebuild its photographic team and any member interested in helping in this work is asked to let the Hon. Secretary (959 5982) know.
The Committee heard with regret that the Department of the Environment has refused to list various historic timber buildings of Grahame White’s original Hendon Aerodrome.
A report from the Excavation Working Party tabled at the meeting mentioned the Society’s interest in and preliminary investigation of a possible excavation site in Chipping Barnet.
It was agreed that HADAS should ask the Borough to oppose a request from a Hertfordshire metal detecting society to operate on the archaeologically sensitive Elstree Open Space.
GOING TO SCHOOL IN EAST BARNET
The Barnet & District Local History Society has just produced No. 23 in its series of occasional bulletins on special subjects. This time it is five pages devoted to Education In East Barnet in the 19th century, by Gillian Gear – who with Diana Goodwin, published a pamphlet on the general history of East Barnet village some years’ ago. The leaflet summarises a longer study by the author, the material for which is available to researchers at Barnet Museum.
Extensive use is made of the 1851/61/71 Censuses. Among the events which followed the 1871 Education Act was the building of a new school in 1871-2. It’s interesting that the school was promptly inspected by that most famous of HMIs, Matthew Arnold, who reported in July 1872 “This district (he included New Barnet) contains 2400 inhabitants of whom 3/11ths are of the class whose children may be expected to attend elementary school. School accommodation ought to be provided for 417 children”.
The Bulletin is illustrated with a centre spread of three photographs, but alas these have reproduced poorly
CHRISTMAS PARTY 1984 Report by Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramasses II
‘An Arabian Night’ maybe – definitely ‘A Night to Remember’. Yes, HADAS has done it again.
Christmas started a little earlier this year for some 70 members who enjoy a good feast and dressing up to embellish the Eastern setting. Our thanks to Dorothy Newbury, her choice of venue, The Meritage Club next to St: Mary’s Church, Hendon proved ideal.
Admirably disguised with Ali Baba posters painted by Mary Spiegelhalter, who now resides in Devon – she and her husband were special guests. Other artistic adornments to add Eastern atmosphere were created by Brian and Rosemary Wibberley – a mass of red candles glowed romantically, and although we didn’t tarry till Midnight’s hour, no ghosts appeared from the hallowed ground beneath (hallowed, of course, because dug by HADAS).
A well equiped spacious kitchen for our team of tireless cooks, with a long-open hatch for another, team of equally tireless, slaves to sprint back and forth from, enticing us with such. Eastern Delights as Sanbusak, Dolmades., Moussaka, Munkaczina and Cacik to name but a few of the 16 or so exotic dishes to tax out taste-buds to the full. The quality was such that I’m sure Egon Ronay would gladly have pinned a few more stars on the walls. So our thanks too to the absent cooks who slaved over their stoves at home on our behalf.
John Enderby masquerading as a rather shady Arab played a dual role of Master of Ceremonies and Bacchus. One aided impeccable programme timing, the other guaranteed no one a desert thirst, after some .7 or 8 delicacies our gastronomical capacities were given a welcome respite whilst being delightfully entertained by two Belly Dancers – recording to John “Hot in from Riyadh” (which is Arabic for Stoke Newington). Perhaps I shouldn’t disillusion our men-folk, but the two blonde bomb-shells, Sheri and Chantal, are a mother and daughter act (don’t ask me which is which). Hardly surprising, they had three other engagements that night: Need I say more ?
A few dishes later we had more entertainment announced by Christine Arnott – a young man full of self aplomb, one James Haythorn (pronounced Haw) a pupil of St. Paul’s
School, who has quite obviously, a guaranteed future in the ‘World of Magic’. As our Chairman Brian Jarman commented in his ‘wind-up’ speech, certain TV celebrities (mentioning no names of course – well, not a lot) had better watch out. Appropriately, our esteemed treasurer Vic Jones, dressed as Lawrence of Arabia (or was it a Carmelite Friar?) was the selected victim who had a £1 note deviously burned. Vic was astute enough to sign away HADAS funds rather than his own. Fortunately, by some stroke of magic the HADAS £1 turned up unharmed in a sealed container untouched by magic hands, so happily We remain solvent.
An Eastern-dress parade rounded off a highly enjoyable evening. Much imagination and artistic ingenuity had produced a fascinating diversity of costumes, making a ‘winner’ difficult to choose. Helena Nash how ever won the day with a brilliant Egyptian cobra head -dress and gilded collar. The mens’ prize went to another of our special guests, also, would you believe it, specially up from Devon – our celebrated ‘previous’ West Heath Dig Director, Desmond Collins resplendent in embroidered attire plus fez.
Lastly, and very far from least, all our thanks go to the MASTERMIND who dreamed up and worked out the whole proceedings – who else but Brigid Grafton Green. Obviously brigid, THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
ALL ABOUT ROMAN POTTERY KILNS
An important publication for Roman kiln-studies is The Pottery Kilns of Roman Britain by Vivien G. Swan – No.5 in the Supplementary Series of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. It is finely produced and well-illustrated. It begins with a short history of Romano British kiln studies and goes on to the siting and distribution of kilns. Illustrations at this point include two multi-coloured maps of solid and drift geology; black and white maps showing kiln distribution (a) by century from 1st – 4th centuries; (b) by kiln type, according to the kind of floors (bar or solid), the shape and number of flues (single or double) and large-scale black and white maps of specific regions. (The East Midlands map includes Verulamium, Brockley Hill, Highgate Wood and London).
Then comes a chapter on techniques of kiln building and operation; another on the features associated with kiln-sites (pits for levigating clay, platforms for mixing it, workshops, kick-wheels, pivot stones for wheels, etc.) There is a particularly interesting chapter on the transition of kiln structures and techniques from the late Iron Age to the later 1st Century AD, followed by excellent isometric drawings, starting with Belgic kilns from the Nene valley and the Upchurch marshes and going through to 4c. Oxfordshire kilns.
There are chapters on pottery manufacture in the Conquest period: on the major regional industries; on non-speciallist regional kiln-types and where kiln studies should go in the future. Appendix A provides an 18-page list of kiln sites, county by county and a back-pocket in the volume carries 6 sheets of microfiche gazetteer giving further details of each site.
Appendix B gives recommendations for preservation of kiln sites. Many HADAS members, particularly those in the Roman Group, will be interested in some quotes from it, for instance: “Very few kiln sites remain unploughed. Even fewer have extant earthworks, such as waster heaps, and many factories must have been cleared up and levelled immediately after they ceased operation. Most uneroded or undisturbed kiln sites survive in old woodland or marginal scrub land. It is therefore particularly desirable that those remaining should be protected from damage such as afforestation, ploughing or non-archaeological digging. Areas ‘designated for conservation, moreover, should comprise not merely the actual kilns but also their immediate surroundings, where auxiliary features may occur. There is indeed a need to locate precisely some of the kiln structures listed, and to define the exact limits of many of the factories by geophysical methods,”
Vivien Swan provides a short list of kiln sites which are ‘apparently unploughed
and substantially undisturbed’ . None of those sites are in Middlesex. Then she lists sites which are under cultivation or otherwise damaged but which ‘are worthy of protection from further erosion’. There are two entries for Middlesex in that list and they are:
HENDON (1) Hilltop Cafe, Brockley Hill (earliest known site in major special‑
(2) Brockley Hill, Field 410, S of pond (one of few undeveloped sites in major kiln complex.)
A glossary, bibliography and index complete the volume which costs £12.50 – not high at today’s prices for so comprehensive a production, Obtainable from HMSO, 49 High Holborn, WC1V 6HB.
LATEST FROM LAMAS
The second joint publication of the two London county societies – the London and Middlesex A.S. and the Surrey A.S. – has just appeared. It is distributed to LAMAS members (and there are many in HADAS) as part of their subscription and of course there is a copy in the HADAS library. It is Excavations in Staines 1975-767 the Friends’ Burial Ground Site by K R., Crouch and S. A. Shanks.
This 135-page report takes the site at the Quaker Burial Ground in Staines through its history from the Mesolithic to the 19 century. When the Council bought the site, no longer in use by the Society of Friends, in 1960, the burials (78 graves dated between 1849-1944) were removed to a communal grave at Jordans, the Quaker centre in Bucks.
Near the start of the report is a summary of the phases excavated on the site. Phase I is prehistoric, and runs from Mesolithic to Late Bronze Age. Iron Age evidence is missing, owing to a rise in the water table and flooding during that period. The Mesolithic presence is slight and consists of flints. In fact prehistoric features are rare. There is one ‘possible’ Neolithic storage pit and three ‘presumed’ Bronze Age postholes. The finds are what gives substance to possible prehistoric occupation: 188 worked flints of which 115 show retouch and a further 16 show signs of use.
“The Mesolithic forms” says the report “probably include three small blade cores and 4 or 5 microliths.” The Neolithic is represented by a leaf arrowhead, scrapers and awls and is followed by some EBA types e.g. polished-edged knives and two barbed and tanged arrowheads. A near-complete skeleton of an adult Bronze Age cow was found.
The site really comes into its own with the Roman levels, starting with a preFlavian ditch and bank. The first building is in the Flavian-Hadrianic phase, timber-framed with beam-slot foundations, and demolished c.AD130. That is followed by a larger timber building with painted walls. There is evidence of some kind of continual use of the site – even if only for rubbish pits – throughout Roman times up to the 5th century, except for one 50-year hiatus in the mid-3rd century, when layers of flood debris and silt seal the earlier levels.
Later phases include. a Saxon gully system, an early Medieval stone building, 12th -14th century pit groups and after a gap of nearly three centuries, 19th century rubbish pits and the foundations of the first Meeting House, built in 1843 and demolished in 1930s.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MICROFICHE?
The two books reviewed above both have microfiche insertions, containing detailed (and no doubt very interesting) material, such as a gazetteer of kiln sites, a catalogue of flints and a. catalogue of pottery fabrics and vessels,.
Even among archaeological academics, to whom such facilities may by easily available, opinions are sharply divided on the subject and tempers run high when it is discussed. You either like or hate microfiche.
If the fiche material is truly additional to what would have appeared anyway – that is, if there has been no adulteration of what would have been the normal printed text then it seems reasonable enough to add the bonus of Microfiche for those able to use it.
The moment it begins to replace what would previously been in ordinary print however, it creates an unfair world in which the general reader becomes a second class citizen.
Do HADAS members have views on this controversial subject? It seems likely to crop up more rather than less, as publishing costs rise. If you have any comments the Newsletter would be interested to hear from you.
ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY
More books have been kindly donated to the Society by Mrs.Starr and others. If you would like to visit the library at Avenue House please telephone JUNE PORGES 346 5078 (evenings).
EMERY, W. B. Archaic Egypt 1361
CAMP, L. S. & CAMP, C. C. de Life & Death of a Pharaoh: Tutankamen 1970
WHITE, J.E.M. Ancient Egypt: its Culture & History 1970
GARDINER,A. Egypt of the Pharaohs 1966
EDWARDS, I. E.S. The Pyramids of Egypt 1961
MORTET, P. Eternal Egypt 1964
DONADONI, S. Egyptian Museum, Cairo 1370
NYLANDER, C. The Deep WelL archaeology & the Life of the Past 1969
BASS, G. F. Archaeology under Water 1966
WOOLLEY, C. L. The Sumerians 1965
RIDLEY, M. Treasures of China 1973
HALLO, W. W. & SIMPSON, W. K. The Ancient near East: a History 1971
LUCE, J. V. The End of Atlantis: New Light on an Old Legend 1970
HERM, G. The Phoenicians: the Purple Empire of the Ancient World 1975
WUNDERLICH, H.G. The Secret of Crete 1976
COTTRELL, L. The Bull of Minos 1955
MICHEL, J. The View over Atlantis 1969
WELLARD, J. The Search for the Etruscans 1973
BRITISH MUSEUM A General Introductory Guide to the Egyptian Collections
in the British Museum 1964
CHURCH FARM HOUSE MUSEUM, Greyhound Hill, Hendon, NW4 4JR
“Towards Tomorrow”- Children and Young People in and out of School” An exhibition of photographs by Henry Grant
15th December 1984 – 10th February 1985 (Closed 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th 31st Dec.
and 1st January)
NEW SETS OF POSTCARDS AVAILABLE FROM BARNET LIBRARIES
SET 19: Dollis Brook _5:views 1904-1912
SET 20- Railway Stations 5 views – Edgware Station, c.1900: New Barnet Station c.1900: East Finchley Station c.1925: Finchley Station c.1906 (2 cards)
Sets available from all libraries in the Borough, price 40p per set. (Single copies from Church Farm House Museum),
COURSES AT OXFORD
18th – 20th January 1985 Dissolution & Resurrection: the re-use of Monastic Buildings Full Residential: £38 Non Residential with meals: £25.50 Non Residential/No meals: £14
16th – 17th February 1985 Artist & Patron in Roman Britain Full Residential with meals £23 Non Residential £17 Non Residential/No meals £9.50 Details ete. from Archaeology/Local History Course Secretary, Oxford University Dept. for External Studies, 3-7 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA as soon as possible.