Newsletter No 174 August, 1985
SWANSCOMBE SKULLDIGGERY by Tessa &-George
Recently two HADAS members visited the site of the Swanscombe skull quarry during the Nature Conservancy weekend mentioned in the June Newsletter, when engraved stone markers were unveiled at the sites of the finding of three pieces of skull of this famous Paleolithic fossil. The actual skull, oldest found in NW Europe, was on show, loaned by the British Museum (Natural History Dept.), with fossil remains of mammoth bear giant elk, and fossil footprints of bison, rhino and elephant. Flint tools from the site, of various shapes and dates, filled several display cases in the temporary marquees. A demonstration of flint knapping using red deer antler, added further interest.
It is rather amusing that Swanscombe Man is now thought to be Swanscombe Young Woman – ‘young’ because the skull plates had not fused together, which is something that happens in the early twenties; and ‘woman’ because of the slim neck-muscle cavity. The skull bone is thick and has features of Neanderthal man, yet it is fairly similar in shape and general appearance to that of a modern skull, so the ancestry is open to debate.
Those of you who enjoyed the HADAS. outing to Swanscombe in 1981 will be interested to learn that a large cross-section of the bank is now exposed to show the sand and gravel strata laid down hundreds of thousands of years ago; and this area is where some of us found discarded examples of worked flints. Rhine snail shells have been excavated in the earliest levels and give rise to the theory that the Thames was originally the source of the Rhine. It was also fun to learn that the early meanderings of the River Thames made their way here via Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Finchley, rather like a Green Line coach, until various ice ages blocked the river with boulders and ice, and it was diverted. This area, at the edge of the wide. flood plain of the Thames, and now so much higher than the modern river which flows far away in the distance, was once an industrial site of prehistoric man; later it was used as a gravel pit, then a municipal rubbish tip and now it is protected by the Nature Conservancy Council and is open to visitors. It is just off the A2 north of Rochester.
Note: for new members not yet fully integrated into the. HADAS “family” Tressa is Tessa Smith, for several- years a Committee member, one of the leading lights of the Roman Group and a Guardian of our- interests in the Edgware area;’ while ‘George’ is George Ingram, the Society’s former librarian, a great supporter of HADAS outings and celebrations, and never seen at any of them without a cheery smile on his face.
Sat Aug 17 Trip to Porton Down and Salisbury. For security reasons the application form for this went out with the last Newsletter letter. Response has been good and the coach is full.
Sat Sept 21 Sutton Hoo/Woodbridge. Application form for this will be enclosed with the September Newsletter.
Sat Oct Minimart. Material is already coming in well, and we hope that you will keep) it up. Please ring either Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) or Christine Arnott (455 2751) if you have things you want to deposit or to have collected. Jam makers, please note – ‘a lb for HADAS’ added to your normal boiling will be much appreciated.
WEST HEATH. The dig closed at the end of July. A report on this year’s work will be published in a future Newsletter.
ON THE COLLEGE FARM FRONT
The end of the College Farm battle, it seems may be in sight: ‘at least tenant-farmer Chris Ower begins to feel that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Two weeks ago a preservation order, which protects it for the next 6 months, was slapped on the farm, and representatives of the GLC and Barnet arrived to put up notices to that effect. As reported in the last Newsletter, an application was made in May to the Historic Buildings Division of GLC to list the farm building on grounds of their importance to the-history of the dairy trade. It is understood that the GLC recommended listing; the preservation order is an interim measure, .to tide over until listing – which requires confirmation by the Department of Environment -finally takes place.
The ‘That’s Life’ Programme which featured the farm in June has had many repercussions. Some £3000 has arrived in cash from individuals, as well as many promises; two large firms have offered financial help and sponsorship; moves are on foot to set up a Trust for the farm, and the services of top accountants and lawyers to advise on the terms of the Trust have been provided free by a millionaire benefactor – help which Mr Ower particularly values. When the Trust is in being, Chris Ower’s avowed aim will be ‘to get the main building back to its former glory.’
The local press – both the Hendon Times and the Finchley Press – has also been helpful, and Chris Ower considers himself greatly in their debt for keeping the farm’s troubles in the news week after week.
He has good news to tell too, about the Highland cattle, in whose fate many HADAS members have been interested. They were originally sold to an independent buyer last March because Chris could no longer meet the cost of-their feed, and this fact was publicised. The cattle, however, weren’t immediately moved from the farm for two reasons: Chris hadn’t got the facilities to corral and transport them, and the buyer was short of pasture. For three Months they have remained, under sentence of departure, during which time one cow produced a beautiful Calf; now there is no need for them to go, so it is hoped to re-negotiate the deal and buy the cattle back.
There are also plans to enlist the interest of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, which does not at present have a centre in the London area.
All in all, there’s lots happening at College Farm – and at last they are mostly good things.
ROMAN SURPRISE. The retired archaeologist who visited 13c Dean Hall; Littledean, Gloucestershire, must have had the surprise of his life when he went down into the cellar. He looked at the masonry of which it was built once, twice and again: and realised that he was standing in a Roman building.
It is thought to be a temple-type structure: possibly a 1500 year old water shrine. A field course under the direction of Manchester University will be excavating it, during August.
MEDIEVAL POTTERY – LONDON-TYPE WARE.
by J E Pearce, A G Vince & N A Jenner (LAMAS Special Paper No 6)
The latest Special Paper of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society deals specifically with London Ware. This is the major type of glazed pottery in London from mid 12c-mid 13c – and it perhaps continues into the 14c.
This paper is especially welcome and, like most detailed surveys of medieval material, it is long overdue. To gain a more complete picture of the ‘London medieval pottery scene it must be read, in conjunction with the report on Mill Green Ware (Pearce et al, Trans LMAS vol 33, 1982) and Herts-Glazed Ware (Jenner & Vince Trans LMAS vol 34, 1983).
It deals carefully with methods of terminology and fabric. The authors have ranged widely round museums in the Greater London area; some 67 findspots being recorded – alas, excluding any mention of Hendon, which probably has a few sherds, although most are Herts Grey Ware.
The maps and distribution figures are good and it is interesting to see that material travelled as far as Exeter, New Romney (Kent) and Kings Lynn. An attempt has been made on p 20-21 to illustrate the changes in pottery fashion by type and date. This excellent system .is similar to that used in the monumental 2-vol work on Excavations in Medieval Southampton by Colin Platt & Richard Coleman-Smith (Leicester University Press 1975).
Pages 143-5 are an interesting attempt to link the capacity of drinking jugs and baluster jugs with their weight and also with the standard wine measures of the time.
There are many photographs, including four pages in colour showing 8 whole pots. There are also detailed photographs of the various types of clay ornamentation applied to the exterior of the body before glazing.
All types of product have been dealt with, including roof finials and louvres for smoke. Page 118 illustrates watering pots and on p. 46 the existence of three nearly whole ones is mentioned. Hendon can add another, found in the Church End Farm excavations of 1963. This was excavated material, but I am not sure if it was glazed.
This is a very good and welcome production: it is impossible in this space to deal with all its aspects. It is a ‘must’ for reference for anyone dealing with the medieval period.
Should you not be a member of .LAMAS and wish to purchase a copy, it is on sale at the Museum of London, price £6.00.
The Committee met on July 12 and, among other things, discussed.:
The Green Belt, which is the latest subject in the LBB series of draft topic.studies. HADAS has been invited to comment on it by early September.
The Committee decided to donate £25 to the fund for rebuilding Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, for which a major appeal was launched earlier this year. We have always been sympathetically treated by the Institute, both in the provision of adult courses in archaeology and in help with accommodation for processing work, storage, etc. This is a chance to show practical appreciation.
West Heath, Phase I (1976-81). .Daphne Lorimer reported, on behalf of the Prehistoric Group that the Council for British Archaeology has been approached for a grant towards cost of publication of the report. The full text of the report has been in the hands of the Museum of London which had indicated that the West Heath Phase I report could be published as a LAMAS Social Paper – since as long ago as last autumn. We have been surprised-(and, we must confess, disappointed) at hearing nothing at all from the Museum about publication in more than six months.
West Heath, Phase II (in progress). Margaret Maher reported the finding of another Mesolithic axe making four in all from the site. She also described a recent threat to the dig from vandals – with four paws. Rabbits have been doing their bit of excavat ion too – unfortunately in the sections. Chicken wire carefully applied, has proved •the answer.
There was no report from the Roman Group,. at present inactive.
At the request of the Documentary Group James Beard has done some’ research into early maps of the Stapylton Road area of Chipping Barnet, site of a possible dig. So far he, has unearthed 8 maps, ranging in date from 1817-1914; and he is still hot on the trail.
Our newest Group – the Photographic – reported holding its first meeting last Month and mapping out a plan of: future action. One- assignment is to photograph the 27 Blue Plaquesin the. Borough and their settings.-.This will -provide a preliminary canter for a larger project of photographing all the ‘Borough’s Listed buildings when the new Statutory List is published. Then our Listed Building index – a valuable research tool – will carry -photos as well as description s and historical details.
The Excavation Working Party reported a Sunday spent studying, on the ground, the projected line of the Lee Valley Water Company’s _pipeline across the north of the Borough, from Rowley Lane to Brockley Hill see Newsletter 171., p- 5). A member of the Photographic Group recorded the exercise.
‘The Committee agreed to continue to oppose the traffic management scheme proposed by the Ministry of Transport for Falloden Way, Hampstead Garden Suburb. The department has chosen the ugliest and most intrusive of the 5 schemes which it considered to be available; and one which will involve the removal of 15 magnificent mature plane trees.
As always, lists of planning applications for the three planning districts of the Borough – Northern;-Central and Western – were available for members to study. It was noted that two applications have now been approved to build detached houses in the Brockley-Hill area – one behind No 2 and one behind No 6 Brockley Hill,. Both are sites which should be watched during trenching. The Greater. London Archaeological Service had indicated some months ago that it might trial-trench here before development began, but we have heard nothing further of this.
The Committee noted with regret that no volunteer has been found to serve as Committee representative of our junior (under 18) members, and decided to widen its search.. Instead-of seeking -a representative among junior members only, the Committee would like to know if there is any member –perhaps in late teens. or: twenties – who would be .Prepared to be- co-opted, with the specific aim of helping to organise projects for juniors. If so, our Hon. Sec (959 5982) would be most happy to hear from her/him/ them.
MORE IN SORROW
As I have not had much response to my plea for subscriptions-in the July Newsletter, I have had to send. 100-plus (including married couples) reminder letters with this Newsletter. Please let me have your subs as soon as possible.- but if you have paid-by the time, you receive this, accept my apologies: and thanks in advance.
Please also note that in the Members List for January, 1985, I inadvertently gave the address of our Treasurer, Victor Jones, wrongly. It should be
78 Temple Fortune Lane (NOT Hill)
NW11 Tel: 458 6180
27 Decoy Avenue, NW11 OES
BRAVE NEW WORLD
Here’s a footnote to our correspondence in the January/February Newsletters about microfiche. You may recall that in January we reviewed an RCHM publication by
Vivien Swan on the Pottery Kilns of Roman Britain. We mentioned then that this book, which costs £12.50 has as a microfiche insertion a gazetteer of 1400 Roman kiln sites giving the following information about each site: location, type, dating, products, excavator, bibliography.
This is a practical exercise in the difference, that fiche makes to publishing costs. If the gazetteer had been printed as part of the original publication, the cost of the full volume would presumably have been in the region of £45 which would have put it beyond most private buyers except specialists. One up to fiche.
On the other hand, the current Antiquity (No 226 -.July 1985) contains a paper by Roy Adkins which is downright contemptuous of fiche as a publishing method. It describes it as ‘already obsolete.’ The publication method of the future, in MD Adkins’ view, will be via the home computer. ‘By the end of the century,’ he writes,”excavation reports are likely to be published on computer discs or tapes, and only excavation archives will be stored on microfiche.
These are some recent planning applications which might be archaeologically interesting if they were to be approved:
Brambles, Barnet Rd, Arkley 3 detached houses (outline)
The Red Garage, Wood St, Barnet demolition of garage & erection
of a new house
Land adj..Arkley Hall, Barnet Rd 4 detached houses (outline)
Those applications for approval: there is also news of some applications which have been approved, which we noted earlier as possibly interesting. They include:
188 High St, Barnet 2-storey rear extension
land adj Lawrence Campe Almshouses, sheltered flats, access road
Friern Barnet Lane (Queenswell
36 Wood St, Barnet new office building
part of Highwood Lodge grounds, NW? 2 houses, tennis court
If you notice activity on any of the above sites, please let John Enderby know on 203 2630. Newsletter readers form HADAS’s early-warning system, insofar as development on interesting sites is concerned. If you see anything like surveyors at work or materials or machinery being moved onto a site, please give John a ring: that will alert him, so that he can arrange for foundation or service trenches (anything, in fact, which disturbs present ground surface) to be watched for possible evidence.
NOT FORGETTING LISTED BUILDINGS…
Recent planning lists have also contained several applications for alterations or repairs to Listed buildings. These indicate the range of historic buildings and the varied building techniques that can be seen in the Borough of Barnet – for instance:
There is an application for extensions and a front Portico for Hasmonean Preparatory School at 8-10 Shirehall Lane, NW4, a side road near the North Circular end of Brent St, Hendon. A small gaggle of listed buildings stands just there – Nos 2, 4, 8 & 10. Nos 8 and 10- are considered to be of late 17c-early 18c date. ‘No 8 is 2-storeyed, with a hipped slate roof and rendered walls; No 10, also 2-storey, is in two parts, with a slightly later unifying red brick front. It has hipped, tiled roofs and a decrease-with fluted columns and cornice.
In Mill Hill two listed buildings are due for re-roofing this summer the Borough specifies hand-made roof tiles for this kind of job.
On Milespit Hill are The.Welches (Nos 1 & 2). It is proposed to re-tile the rear and side roofs of No 2 this summer, to match No 1, which was done recently. Both houses are early to mid-18c, two storeys with attics with flat dormer windows.. The first floors are rendered, the ground floors weatherboarded.
Re-roofing is also on the agenda for Nicoll Almshouses on Milespit Hill, originally built by Thomas Nicoll of Copt Hall in 1696. He provided a range of 6 one-storey brick almshouses, under a long red-tiled roof which will be the subject of the present exercise. These were for 6 men or women ‘who have at least- 5 years residence in the ancient parish of Hendon.’ The almshouses.were modernised in 1959 and again in 1971
The parish church of Chipping Barnet, St John the Baptist, is another listed building with alteration plans – not for the building itself, but for its curtilage. The work is described as ‘vehicular access and a hard’ standing.’ If this work should involve any disturbance of ground surface it would be worth observing, because the site has a long history. The’ church is considered to be at least a 13c foundation, possibly earlier, rebuilt in 1420 by a prosperous local maltster, John Beauchamp. It was restored and enlarged by William Butterfield in 1875, when the original nave and north aisle were retained and a new nave and south aisle added. There is a fine memorial to Thomas Ravenscroft (d.1630); his son James was a great Barnet benefactor, founding the Jesus Hospital in nearby Wood St.
Then there is an application to build a terrace of 4 houses in the garden of a listed building the walled garden of Belmont House (Mill Hill Junior-School) on the Ridgeway. This is, we understand, part of a plan to organise the renovation of a picturesque group of four 18c listed cottages nearby, which cannot be modernised until/unless other accommodation can be made available for the sitting tenants.
Both Belmont House and the chapel in its grounds are interesting. Belmont was built c 1765 for a Mr Hammond. One of its earliest owners was Sir Charles Flower (1763-183k), Lord Mayor of London in 1808. He owned a large slice of Mill Hill, having made his pile by provisioning the forces of George III. Two Mill Hill streets owe their names to him: Flower Lane and Goodwyn Avenue, named after his married daughter.
‘The chapel, also listed, has a different history. It was built about 1925, and was designed by John Carrick Stuart Soutar (1881-1951) FRIBA, who from 1915, when he replaced Raymond Unwin, was architect to the Hampstead Garden Suburb for over 30 years, with his drawing office at Wyldes Farm, one of the Borough’s best known listed buildings, which stands behind the Old Bull and Bush.
Finally, there is an application for a change of use for a listed building at 9 High Street, Elstree. That sets the imagination roving what strange changes of use that building has had in its life time. At present it is used as an office; the change of use application is for it to become a beautician’s parlour.
9 High Street, Elstree, began life, however almost five centuries ago. In. the Listed Buildings Schedule it is described like this;
“Frontage 18c on earlier partly-medieval house. Two storeys, cemented and colour washed.. ‘Three sashes, modern glazing.-Two small shop windows on the ground floor and central door. Parapet. To right is a carriage entrance with flat arch. Canted sash oriel over, with canted roof. Old tile roof, roar portion slates. Alley-way to left hand side with projecting chimney breast. The main range is a former open hall of c. 1500, with smoke blackened roof timbers, inserted floor fireplaces and chimney of c. 1600. 17c wing at rear at right angles.”
What would the medieval craftsmen who built the hall house have thought had they been able to take a pleat in time and look down from their work among the rafters, purlins and plates (which would later become smoke-blackened) into cubicles in which ladies were having their wrinkles rolled away under mudpacks or even disporting themselves in saunas?
FARMING ROMAN STYLE
A site beside the Roman Palace at Fishbourne, near Chichester, is to be used to re-create a rural environment which will demonstrate aspects of life in the West Sussex countryside during the lst-3rd centuries AD.
There will be grazing for cattle and sheep, two fields in which ancient varieties of wheat, beans, peas etc will be grown, beds for herbs and a wine arbour. The centerpiece will be an octagonal… experimental earthwork with adjacent weather station. Demonstrations of agricultural processes will be given, and it is hoped eventually to include reconstructions of Roman agricultural buildings.
The project is being run in collaboration with the Butser Ancient Farm Trust, Further information from Harold Shellswell, Education/Farm Project Officer, Fishbourne Roman Palace, Salthill Rd, Fishbourne.
In July we had further news of our Chairman, BRIAN JARMAN; we hasten to pass it on because many members have enquired about him.. His cousin, who has kindly kept us in touch with Brian’s progress, reported several weeks ago that he had just begun to turn the corner.
As Newsletter readers will know, Councillor Jarman was taken ill early in May, and at that time faced prolonged medical tests. While these took place he remained at home in Hendon; but towards the end of June he went to Sussex to stay with relatives; and from there went into St Mary’s Hospital in Eastbourne for treatment.
It is always pleasant to welcome new members: but doubly so when it is, in fact, a welcome back to a former member. That is how it is with GILL BRAITHWAITE who left England (and HADAS) in 1981 to accompany her husband to the Washington Embassy. Now she’s back at their house in Hampstead Garden Suburb – and she has returned to the HADAS fold too, we’re delighted to say.
Vice-President TED SAMMES – who, as many members will know, is also’ Chairman of the Maidenhead Archaeological and Historical Society – was co-organiser of an exhibition last month at Maidenhead Library on “When Brunel’s Railway Came to Maidenhead.” It celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Great Western Railway. Most appropriately, the workmen who were building an extension onto Ted’s house at Taplow unearthed in his garden some fragments of china cups and saucers stamped with the GWR coat of arms so those went on display too, a tribute to the balmy days of GWR catering. No throw-away plastic beakers then.
HADAS member MAIR LIVINGSTONE discovered, to her great surprise, on a recent Scottish holiday that sheep on Islay can climb nimbly up and down wide-apart stepping stones set in a 5ft high enclosure wall which human beings find tricky to negotiate. She discovered two ewes and three lambs happily cropping forbidden territory among medieval monuments and Celtic crosses which the enclosure wall should have kept sheep-free at Kildalton High Cross, a 10th c. site. Then she proved how they did it by watching them do it again when they had been shoó-ed out.
So she wrote and reported the athletic animals to the Argyll and Bute authorities, who have now solemnly decreed that, in view of the sheeps’ climbing abilities, stricter measures must be taken.
MILL HILL WALKABOUT
A report by MARY O’CONNELLon the July outing
A short sharp shower just before the off’ did not deter a couple of dozen HADAS hikers from setting out from the Rising Sun at Mill Hill on our summer walk..
Happily the sun returned as John Collier, secretary of the Mill Hill Historical Society, led us to the home of colonial administrator. Sir Stamford Raffles and the estate of his friend and neighbour William Wilberforce, champion of slaves and builder of St Pauls Church on the Ridgeway. The Wilberforce barn and lodge are in the good hands of Conservation Society members,’Mr and Mrs Kramer, who kindly invited us in to view the’ base of an old stone staircase which they have incorporated in their hall.
Later we were fortunate to be asked into the quaint old Post Office, home-of Mrs Dulcie Rispoli, to see the waterpump preserved in her sitting room.
John Collier told us odd tales about familiar houses like Highwood Ash, from which Celia – “the ‘Fienne’ lady on a white horse” . rode to Banbury Cross to visit her uncle on one of her many equestrian journeys through 17c England.
We heard that accounts still exist to show that oxen were once shod at the Old Forge; that Cardinal Newman took cartloads of fish to sell in London to help pay for his Missionary College; and that Sir James Murray employed his numerous children to sort through the paper slips bearing definitions for his Oxford English dictionary.
The Three Hammers pub was once within earshot of a smith, a stonemason and a joiner, and a school cottage has a pathway paved with inkwells. Mill Hill school is built on a Dissenters foundation and many trees and bushes there were planted by 18c botanist Peter Collinson whose home was nearby.
All this and a great deal more you may read in LBB’s Town Trail No 2: Mill Hill Village, by John Collier (25p).
As we neared the end of our trail, thunder rolled and we fled to St Vincent’s, where Sister Esther and the Vincent de Paul nuns had prepared a fine tea for us. The beautiful chapel and their centenary exhibition provided a fitting climax to a very enjoyable afternoon.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DRINKING HORNS?
The 1985 Bulletin of Experimental Archaeology describes the insights that ‘a simple experiment done properly’ can give, The experimentalists were 12-year-olds at Spalding Grammar School, Lincs, and their work was recorded by their schoolmaster, Peter Ryde, in Teaching History No 36, June 1983.
The boys answered their own questions while making and using drinking horns. Trial and error solved problems of cleaning and working the very raw horn material, which was delivered direct from the abattoir; and questions such as ‘how do you hold it?’ and ‘what do you do if you want to put it down before it is empty’ were easily answered in practice (in the last case, the capacity proved disappointingly small, so the problem can seldom have arisen in antiquity).
Peter Hyde’s practical advice will simplify this particular experiment for teachers wishing to follow his example. “But be warned,” he says, “it’s rather a gruesome business, and you will need to do as much as possible out of doors or the smell will haunt you in your dreams.”
LOOKING AHEAD TO AUTUMN
Maybe it seems early days – especially in the kind of summer we’ve had so far – to be thinking of autumn and winter courses: but you may like advance notice of some local plans.
First, there are University extramural courses at HGS Institute: The Certificate in Yield Archaeology enters its second – or Roman – year, with a course on the Romano-British period in SE England by Margaret Roxan on Thursday afternoons, starting Sept 19, 2-4 pm. The course costs £30 but and this is the first time with a university course – pensioners pay half-fee. Don’t be put off if you didn’t do the first year in 1984: the Certificate years need not be taken seriatim.
The Institute also offers a Diploma course in the History of Art: this year 16c High Renaissance, on Thurs, from Sept 26, 10.30am-12.30, E M King.
An evening non-diploma course in Egyptology is likely to be popular: Thurs from Sept 19, 7.17-9.15 pm, lecturer A Roberts. The above courses are each 2 terms. Enrol at HGS Institute, Central Sq, NW11 (in person or by post). Office open 9-5 except from Aug 5-27 inc, when the Institute is closed.
At the invitation of the Hornsey Historical Society HADAS is organising another “Aspects of Archaeology” course this year at the Old Schoolhouse, 136 Tottenham Lane, N8, where we have held courses before. As an experiment, this will be in daytime – 9 lectures and 1 visit on Mons, starting Sept 30, 1.45-3.45 pm.
The lecturers – Daphne Lorimer, Sheila Woodward and Brigid. Grafton Green – have chosen topics which closely interest them and the range is therefore aide – two linked lectures on underwater archaeology and its techniques, one dealing with a ‘drowned’ Mesolithic site off the Danish coast, the other with a French Neolithic lakeside village. Three’lectures are on famous archaeologists – Schliemann and the search for Troy, Leonard’ Woolley and excavations at Ur and Mortimer Wheeler, whose digs ranged from St Albans to Mohenjodaro. Town life in Roman Britain and Roman gods and burial practices are other subjects. A second, post-Christmas series is under consideration. HADAS members who are interested can get further information from Brigid Grafton Green (455 9040)
A MISSING LINK AT YORK?
The two missing centuries in the history of York – those years when the Anglian city of Eoforwic flourished, from the 7th-9th c. AD, may at last have been discovered. It was the success of the bustling, rich Anglian settlement which attracted Viking marauders and led to the founding of Viking Jorvik.
A dig on the site of the Redfearn National Glass factory at Fishergate, prior to development of the site as a hotel and houses, was aimed at excavating the priory of Gilbertine canons (the only medieval monastic order of English origin, founded by St Gilbert of Sampringham). In fact it not only uncovered part of the priory, but nearby it found pits, stakeholes, cesspits and ditches associated with Anglian artefacts – about 30 pieces of hand-made pottery, decorated glass beads, a silver finger ring, a copper-alloy strap-end with traces of red enamel, a 7c bronze spoon, clay loom weights and a bone comb fragment.
The site – at the junction of the rivers Foss and Ouse – would have been well suited to a trading station, and was down river from the decaying Roman fortress and city – in a similar situation to Anglo-Saxon Southampton, a site of similar date.
So far only narrow trenches have been opened, but it is hoped, if the finance can be found, to do an area excavation – and to establish without doubt the Anglian missing link.
EXHIBITIONS. Grange Museum, Neasden Lane, NW10 till Sept 14, 150th anniversary exhibition on the Welsh Harp Reservoir (part of which lies within our Borough). Victorian technology of the dam which holds back a water supply for London’s canals, scientific importance of the lake as a waterfowl haven and recreational uses of the reservoir and its banks by Londoners. Mons-Fris 12-5 pm (Weds 12-8 pm), Sats 10-5.
Church Farm House Museum, Hendon, “Miss Holgates Hendon – Pages from a Victorian Lady’s Sketchbook.” Hendon scenes drawn by Agnes Beattie Holgate in the ’50s of the last century are an interesting record of a world we have now lost until Sept 8.