Tuesday April 9th LECTURE “The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain” by Neil Faulkner, Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, an Issue Editor for ‘Current Archaeology’, Director of the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Neil tells us that the lecture will be based on his book, and will present new archaeological evidence and a new interpretation for the decline and fall of Roman Britain; the interpretation will flow from the evidence, but it will be based on Neil’s view that Rome was fundamentally a system of robbery with violence doomed to eventual collapse. All of us who believe that Rome was the fount of civilisation, law and order will have to be ready with our searching questions.
Tuesday May 14th Lecture by Harvey Sheldon (our President) on Greenwich.
Tuesday June 11th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. Saturday June 15th OUTING to the Roman bathhouse under the Al and to Towcester where we shall see Derek Batten’s earthwork which Time Team investigated and which Derek told us about in January 2001. Friday July 12th to Tuesday July 16th Long Weekend to Ireland. This is now full (43 members). If anyone would like to be put on the waiting list in case there are cancellations please contact Jackie Brookes. Will members already on the list please let Jackie know if they are vegetarians or require any special diet.
Saturday July 20th SUTTON HOO and WOODBRIDGE, with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward.
SUPPORT WORKER FOR LOCAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETIES
Following consultation with the active local archaeological societies in London (and that, of course, includes HADAS) English Heritage has agreed to provide funding for a person for one year to act as a ‘support worker’ for local societies. The intention is that the person appointed will discuss with societies what their aims and objectives are — or could be — and to develop programmes to help achieve them. The next stage will be a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a further funded programme. The support worker will be based at the Museum of London’s Archeological Archive and Research Centre, and will be managed by a small committee drawn from LAMAS and the Surrey Archaeological Society to represent local societies, with Hedley Swain of the Museum and Robert Whytehead of English Heritage. It is hoped that the appointment will be made in the next two or three months. The worker’s first task will be to visit all active local societies and discuss the key issues to be addressed and developed.
Web Site and Discussion Forum Christian Allen
The new HADAS Web Site is now online with lots of features including the latest news, events and articles. For those with a strong constitution, take a look at the photo gallery showing members hard at work. Since the start of February, with over four hundred visitors, the site has been a roaring success, but we still need your help. Send your stories, news and events to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.hadas.org.uld to find out what it’s all about. To receive the latest announcements about upcoming events, ask questions or just generally chat, join the email discussion group. Send an email to email@example.com asking to join, or visit https://www.hadas.org.uk/list to subscribe.
Post Boxes Bill Firth
Many thanks to Joan Holden, Ruth Whitehall, Peter Pickering and William Morris who have listed boxes in their local area. Particular thanks to William Morris who has produced a set of pictures of most, if not all, of the boxes in Hampstead Garden Suburb. 1 have also been promised lists from some other areas. Here is a selection of the more interesting of the boxes recorded so far. Victorian Only three Victorian boxes have been recorded to date. There must be others in the borough — what about Barnet and the other areas of population in the 19th century? North west side The Burroughs, NW4, nearly opposite Brampton Grove. Outside Post Office, Colindale Avenue, NW9, near Annesley Avenue. Large wall box in the station house, Woodside Park Station, N 12
Edwardian A selection to cover as many areas of the borough as possible. Woodstock Avenue Golders Green Road, NW1 I Asmuns Hill/Erskine Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, NW11. Church RoadlWroughton Terrace, NW4 West Hendon Broadway (Edgware Road) NW9, north west of Perryfield Way Westbury Road/Holden Road, N 12 Outside 827 High Road, North Finchley, N12, opposite Torrington Park Outside 878 High Road, North Finchley, N12, near Friern Watch Avenue Lichfield Grove/Wooton Grove, N3 Outside Post Office, Regents Park Road, N3, near East End Road Outside 83 Colney Hatch Lane, NW, opposite Sydney Road Colney Hatch Lane/Cromwell Road, N10 George V All George Fifth boxes have GR with no V in the cipher. There are a great many in the borough, an indication of when it was built up. Two interesting boxes are: Outside Post Office, West Hendon Broadway (Edgware Road) NW9 with sign pointing to Post Office on top. There used to be many of these signs and a number of boxes still show evidence of where the point of attachment was. One example is at the corner of Oakwood Drive and Denham Drive, Hampstead Garden Suburb, NW11, where the sign used to point to the Post Office in the Market Place. Holne Chase/Kingsley Way Hampstead Garden Suburb, NWI I. Oval box, posting aperture at one end, stamp machine (no longer there) at other end. Edward VIII Rare, only one recorded to date. Elliot Road/Hendon Way NW4. Note by the editor — Bill asks us to keep the recordings rolling in. His address is 49 Woodstock Avenue, NW11 9RG and his telephone number is 020 8455 7164. Recording can be unexpectedly amusing. I was studying one and looked round the back to see if there was any marking there: a helpful gentleman, thinking that I was rather confusedly trying to post a letter, pointed out to me that the aperture was at the front!
The Great Lord Novgorod — March Lecture by Clive Orton Peter Pickering
For our March lecture Professor Clive Orton of the Institute of Archaeology took us to Russia, a foreign country where they do things (at least archaeological things) differently. Novgorod was founded in the tenth (or perhaps the ninth) century AD by the Vikings. Its unique importance comes from its dependence on forest products, and the overwhelming importance of wood, used to build the houses and to make the roads — all replaced every twenty or thirty years, so that some roads have up to 28 superimposed surfaces. The result of this has been that a mixture of wood chippings and animal dung accumulated at about a metre a century, and, being waterlogged, formed a man-made ‘peaty substance’ which has preserved artifacts very well indeed. For instance besides metal objects and wood carvings over 900 legible documents have been found written on birchbark. Excavations here began around 1930 and continue to this day (with a gap in the war years when Novgorod was on the front line). The Russian excavators have been augmented over the past few years by a team from Bournemouth University and the Institute of Archaeology of University College London, under a programme called INTAS for the transfer of technology and new techniques. (INTAS is an independent International Association acting to preserve and promote East-West Scientific co-operation.) There is a great difference in approach between the two sides. Unencumbered by Health and Safety rules about the shoring of trench sides, the Russians’ excavation is done by schoolchildren and the recording by university students, with an impressive back up for the speedy conservation of finds. They do not use stratigraphy as we know it, but, assuming there are no cut features, excavate in tranches measuring two metres by two metres by twenty centimetres; dating by dendrochronology of the roads above and below. The British team has excavated a wooden building, digging statigraphically (though also using the Russian tranche technique to ensure compatibility), sieving, studying coarse pottery and seeking environmental information. Clive finished his fascinating talk with a brief tour of Novgorod and its impressive citadel (kremlin) and onion-domed churches. Many of his audience felt a desire to visit Novgorod, but no desire to live there during the most unappealing winters.
An Appreciation of Brian Jarman
HADAS has had only three Chairmen since its foundation. Councillor Brian Jarman succeeded Themistocles Constantinides, in 1962, and remained until 1986, when he was succeeded by Andrew Selkirk. Brian Jarman moved to Herstmonceux in East Sussex, where he died in January. News of this came from the website of Wealden District Council, who have provided this picture; here are some extracts from their press release:- `Cllr Jarman was elected in 1991 and was Leader from May 1995 to May 1997, when there was no overall political control. The present Leader said: “Brian . . . led the Council successfully through one of its most difficult times, when there was no overall majority and committee chairmanships were shared between the political groups. He bore the ill health which he suffered towards the end of his life with great braveness, and came to Council meetings in a wheelchair rather than let his fellow members down. Wealden has lost one of its most loyal and dedicated councillors.” `Councillor Jarman had not been a new-corner to local politics. Prior to moving to Herstmonceux from Hendon, he was a Councillor for the London Borough of Barnet, having won a by-election in 1970. He served until 1974 and then again from 1978 to 1985 when ill health forced him to step down. In his professional life, Mr Jarman was a solicitor’s clerk, both in London and locally. His great hobby was archaeology and he was a founder member of the Hendon and District Archaeological Society in the 1960s.’
Council for British Archaeology Sheila Woodward
The Winter Meeting of the CBA on 21st February was held in York, the Council’s home base. The meeting lasted only 30 minutes, but was incorporated in a full day’s programme exploring the theme “Archaeology for the Public” A tour of the ARC (the York Archaeological Resource Centre) was a stimulating experience. HADAS members saw the Centre, housed in the redundant St. Saviour’s church, in its early stages in 1997. Now it is fully operative and humming with activity and enthusiasm. A junior school group was being introduced to excavation techniques. Trays of finds give visitors a chance to handle and identify materials and objects. Processing of finds was being explained. Display areas link in with current news items on recent TV programmes or publications. There is a regular ‘surgery day’ when treasure-hunters, mostly metal detectorists, can bring in their finds for recording and identification. They are brought in by the sackful! Our visit coincided with a surgery and we were proudly shown the prize find of the day, a handsome Roman brooch, The section is manned mainly by keen and knowledgeable volunteers. The record-keeping is awe- inspiring. Outside, the old churchyard is now a Sensory Garden. Sweet-smelling plants and shrubs of mediaeval or earlier types are interspersed with fragments of old carved stone, tiles, and other material at the right height for handling. Explanatory boards beside them have large print, plus braille, and at the touch of a button a sound commentary. Designed primarily for disabled visitors, it is a most imaginative and delightful creation. The afternoon meeting dealt mainly with routine matters. A CBA Activity Report reviewed progress in the fields of education, youth activities, conservation, research and publications. Increases in membership fees were agreed (they will be published before September). National Archaeology Days in 2001 had 149 participating sites and an estimated 60,000 visitors. Following the meeting, Peter Addyman spoke on “Portable Antiquities and the Public”. The 1996 Treasure Act seems very successful with a 10% increase in the reporting of finds. The ARC’s surgeries are an example of this, and also illustrate the effectiveness of employing both amateurs and professionals. Tim Schadla-Hall from the Institute of Archaeology then gave a talk on “Public Participation in Archaeology’ in which he emphasised the opportunity now offered to cash in upon archaeology’s wide popularity. Community Archaeology can be both cheap and effective. Publicity must cater not only for the armchair archaeologists but also for the practical enthusiasts who want to participate, either full time or part time. Protection of our archaeological heritage is better achieved by openness and access than by secrecy. Professionalism has its place – but ignore the public at your peril!
The Ted Sammes project – ‘double archaeology’ brings Tudor and Stuart Hendon to life Jacqui Pearce
In September 2001, HADAS embarked on an ambitious and exciting project in collaboration with Birkbeck College, University of London and professional archaeologists from the Museum of London. A series of evening classes was set up at Avenue House, Finchley, through the sterling efforts of Andrew Selkirk and Harvey Sheldon, and although the numbers attending are relatively small, the course has now been running successfully for almost two terms. So what is it all about? Excavations carried out by HADAS on the site of Church End Farm from 1961 to 1966, and at nearby Church Terrace in the 1970s uncovered a considerable quantity of finds, and generated a lot of local interest at the time. Neither site, however, was ever published in full. Ted Sammes worked tirelessly to follow up all sorts of leads, tracking down finds, writing to specialists and carrying out research on these important sites located in the historic core of Hendon, around St Mary’s parish church. An exhibition, ‘One Man’s Archaeology’, was held at Church Farm House Museum, showing off some of the choice finds from the excavations. But for many years now the material recovered from these two sites has lain ‘dormant’ in the HADAS stores and was in danger of suffering the fate of so many archaeological investigations once the digging is over; until recently, that is. The aim of the Ted Sammes project is quite simply to revisit the Church End Farm and Church Terrace excavations and bring them to publication. This means, first of all, examining thoroughly the complete archive for each site and trying to reconstruct the stratigraphic sequence: for example, how was the site formed, and how do the features identified in the ground relate to each other, both spatially and chronologically? Having established, as far as possible, what had been discovered in excavation, we then began to create a detailed, computerised record of all the finds recovered from both sites, starting with Church End Farm, the earlier of the two digs. Calling on the expertise of a variety of specialists, the evening class has been learning how to identify and record animal bones, post-medieval pottery and clay tobacco pipes, which together constitute the bulk of the finds. In the process, a detailed finds manual is being assembled for use by HADAS members on post-excavation projects, and members of the class have been avidly acquiring skills which we hope will be valuable to the society in the future. Other categories of finds remain to be studied; we will be moving on to tackle these as the recording of the bones and ceramics reaches completion. And what happens after the complete computerised database has been created? Interpretation of the site and its finds will follow the thorough preparation of detailed records, and this is where things begin to get exciting. This is where the ‘double archaeology’ of this article’s title comes in: we are in effect re-excavating an excavation in order to make it come to life again and inform us about the lives of Hendon’s past inhabitants. In the process, we are also finding out a great deal about the new-born HADAS of forty years ago, bringing 21 st-century archaeological thought and methodology to bear on a site that is now known at first hand to only a handful of people who worked on the original dig. And it is proving to be a fascinating and very profitable exercise. – To sum up then — what have we found out about the site of Church End Farm so far? This note must serve as an interim statement, a brief preview of things to come, but we now believe that occupation of the site began in the early 16th century, probably during the reign of Henry VIII. This is based on finds of pottery typical of this period, and in fabrics and forms that were in widespread circulation throughout the London area: London-made red earthenware cooking and kitchen vessels, jugs and storage jars; and imported German stonewares from the Rhineland, including part of a very fine, decorated jug. So far, two sherds of medieval pottery and two Roman sherds have been identified, suggesting earlier activity in the vicinity of the site, but it was not until the second half of the 16th century that large quantities of finds begin to appear in the archaeological record. By the 17th century, the occupants of the site appear to have been flourishing, able to afford luxuries and non-essential, decorative items to adorn their home(s). While everyday earthenwares from London and the Surrey-Hampshire borders stocked the kitchen and the storeroom, finely painted, colourful tin-glazed wares or delftware could be used for serving and for display, or both. By the time of the Restoration, robust sliptrailed redwares and elaborately combed slipwares would have enlivened the display of crockery on the dresser and at the table, alongside fine slipwares from Werra, in the Rhineland, and Pisa, in northern Italy. There are considerable numbers of wine bottles in Rhenish stoneware, well known to many as ‘Bellarmines’, or more correctly as ‘Bartmann’ jugs. We have ceramic candlesticks, chamber pots, a wide range of cooking vessels, plates, dishes and bowls, mugs; drinking jugs, bottles, jars, jugs, costrels or portable flasks and, most surprising of all, at least fourteen ceramic ‘bird pots’. Made in late 16th- to early 17th-century London-area redware, these unglazed bottles have a cutout in the base and provision for a perch below the neck; they were fixed to the wall to provide nesting for small birds whose eggs could then be collected. Depicted in 17th century Dutch genre paintings, they have been found on many sites in London, but never in such large quantities as at Church End Farm. Why so many? An intriguing question, and one which we hope further analysis of the site will help to illuminate. The picture continues into the 18th century, with evidence for fine dinner and tea services in wares made in the Midlands, in the rapidly developing Potteries; all kinds of stoneware storage jars and bottles; practical kitchen earthenwares; more decorative delftware; Chinese export porcelain and much more. There are considerable numbers of clay tobacco pipes, spanning the early 17th to 19th centuries and many fascinating small finds, which have yet to be studied in depth.
We also know about the diet of the occupants of Church End Farm. The animal hone assemblage shows that they appear to have eaten well on prime cuts from cattle, pigs and sheep. Butchery marks and the gnawing of dogs are all recorded, adding to the overall picture. No poultry bones have been identified, but two mole skulls, bones from a swan, dogs and various rodents fill out the catalogue of fauna represented. As we draw near to the end of the course, we still have much to do. We have made great progress with the project so far, and have made many exciting discoveries, but we need to continue what we have started. With this in mind, Birkbeck College hopes to run a second, follow-up course in the autumn. These courses are open to all, but we would love to have more members from HADAS join us in uncovering Hendon’s early history through the rediscovery of the Ted Sammes archive. This year, classes have been meeting at Avenue House on Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 8.30pm. Details of future courses will be posted here in the newsletter in plenty of time, but make a note in your diaries to watch this space as autumn approaches.
Transport Corner Andy Simpson
This month it’s railways! I have previously reviewed books on Edgware and Willesden and Barnet and Finchley Tramways published by Middleton Press. This same publisher produces a number of railway titles, and in February 2002 added a title of particular local interest. Written by Geoff Goslin and J.E Connor, this is St Pancras To St Albans Midland Main Lines, (ISBN 1 901706 78 8) a 6 x 9 inch, 96-page hardback, retailing at a rather expensive £13.95. As is traditional with this series, the book starts with a map and six page historical summary detailing the story of the Midland Railway main line between St Pancras and St Albans and part of the Acton Branch. There is also a gradient profile showing the steady climb between Hendon and Elstree summit, a real challenge in steam days. Starting at St Pancras station, the book uses largely Edwardian and Victorian black and white photos and O.S. map extracts to illustrate the route, station-by-station, yard-by-yard, engine shed by engine shed down the line to St Albans. There are a few more modern photos to provide a contrast. Our particular area gets goad map and photographic coverage with Cricklewood station (opened as Child’s Hill & Cricklewood 2 Ma.); 1870) and engine shed, Brent Junction, Welsh Harp Station (1870-1903 — with photo of the booking office that survived until 1970), Hendon Station and engine shed (which lasted for only 12 years from 1870, but stood until 1965), Silkstream Junction and signal box, and of course Mill Hill Broadway station. The photos are well chosen, with a wealth of period detail, and are well reproduced on semi-matt paper. As mentioned, a touch expensive, but for those with an interest in local transport history, a good investment.
From the latest Greater London Archaeology Quarterly Review (November 2001 to February 2002)
Land to the rear of 26 Kings Road. Barnet. Thames Valley Archaeological Services. A single trench was excavated on the site to investigate the possible presence of a medieval kiln in the vicinity, as numerous pottery finds from that date have been recovered from the area, and a 13th century kiln pot found in Kings Road. The evaluation, however, was negative and did not produce any archaeological evidence. London Clay was observed directly under the topsoil, at c. I25m OD,
72 High Street Barnet Pre-Construct Archaeology The natural sandy gravel was found to be directly overlain by a late 16th/early 17th century layer in the north of the site, visible only in section. This layer had been truncated away within the excavated trench where the deep cellar of an 18th century building was located.
Rescue meeting Peter Pickering
On 23rd February RESCUE, the British Archaeological Trust, held an open meeting at the Museum of London addressed by David Miles, the Chief Archaeologist of English Heritage and Lord Redesdale, the Secretary and inspiration behind the recently-formed All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (APPAG). The discussion was a very lively one, and it possible here only to summarise some of the most interesting points raised. The serious problem of deep ploughing of the unexcavated parts of Verulamium; after a voluntary moratorium of two years it seems that restarting is very likely. It is amazing that scheduling of this enormously important monument cannot protect it. But Verulamium is but the highest profile of such sites — far greater damage is being done to Britain’s heritage by agriculture than by development or road-building. But the new Department of Farming and Rural Affairs, which has absorbed the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, has made a hopeful start by appointing archaeologists to its staff. Other damage to sites is caused by the drying out of wetlands (peat extraction being just a minor component), coastal erosion, metal detectorists — though some archaeologists have a fruitful partnership with the responsible end of that hobby there is a much more sinister wing (which is less a hobby than a criminal business) — and, more surprisingly, by burrowing animals, particularly the heavily protected badgers. There was grumbling about the cuts at local museums, especially in conservators — Northampton is the latest to go — museums not being a statutory function are inevitably under threat when local authorities have to save money — how fortunate we are in London with the opening of LAARC! There was also grumbling about the pay and conditions of archaeologists generally — it is not surprising that under ten per cent of archaeological graduates get jobs as archaeologists (it is more worrying that so few of them seem to join local societies, but that is another question), and about the problem of a proper research base for archaeology when most of it nowadays is done in advance of development (and quite a lot not very well, under the impetus of competitive tendering) and is not disseminated properly. The Heritage Lottery Fund is very keen on training, but does not seem to recognise archaeological training; but it has money which can be used for archaeological projects, and which societies like ours should be trying to tap. Our political masters see museums very much in terms of public access, and may not recognise how the public face needs to have behind it knowledge, underpinned by scholarship and research. The recent publications Power of Place and The Historic Environment: a Force for the Future — though long on trendy sentiments and short on references to real archaeology — are welcome as committing the Government some way to acknowledging the importance of the heritage, and are there to be quoted from whenever the Government seems to be shortchanging archaeology; the responsible Department — that for Culture Media and Sport — is low in the Whitehall pecking order. Resource — the Commission on Museums and Galleries — also seems blinkered in its views, not realising how important conservation expertise is. English Heritage are full of programmes — the National Mapping Project; the Monuments Protection Programme and the Historic Landscape Project, and are keen to distribute their bulletins free. None of the three main political parties has a policy on archaeology, though according to Lord Redesdale the Liberal Democrats are busy working on one, followed by the Conservatives. This is where the All Party Group comes in. It was formed in the wake of the collapse of the Culture and Recreation Bill at the time of the last General Election, and is designed to ensure that archaeology is on the political agenda and cannot be ignored by Ministers. Andrew Selkirk’s campaign about the Valletta convention had the very beneficial effect of bringing archaeology into the postbags of many Members of Parliament. The Group has an informative website on www.sal.org.uk/appag, from which you can learn that 129 peers and MPs have joined (including Andrew Dinsmore and Sydney Chapman but not, at least by mid- January, Rudi Vis); the 270 plus people and bodies (including HADAS) who have made submissions, and the main subjects of concern to it. APPAG has been made well aware of the concerns of Local Archaeological Societies; but it took a question to elicit any warm words about them from David Miles, who seemed in his talk to have rather an English heritage viewpoint.
Other Societies’ Events Compiled by Eric Morgan
Thursday 4th April (8pm) Pinner Local History Society. Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner. “Victorian Teenager’s Diary in Cassiobury House” Marian Strachan. £1.
Saturday 6th April (10.30am) Hornsey Historical Society. Restaurant Entrance, Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane N6. Walk along ancient boundaries in Kenwood, led by Malcolm Stokes (HADAS).
Wednesday 10th April (7.30pm) Southgate Civic Trust. Friends’ Meeting House, Church Hill, N21. “Highfield Park and House Winchmore Hill” Brenda Griffith-Williams.
Wednesday 10th April (8pm) Barnet and District Local History Society. Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet “The History of Early Plastics” Percy Reboul (HADAS).
Wednesday 17th April (8pm) London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. Interpretation Unit, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2. “Sutton Hoo Past, Present and Future” Angela Evans (British Museum) (HADAS will be visiting this summer)
Friday 19th April (8pm) Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hal], 2 Parsonage Lane corner Chase Side, Enfield “Reports of Excavations” (preceded by AGM).
Saturday 20th April (11am-4pm) North London Iran: let T nsport Enthusiasts’ Bazaar. St.Paul’s Centre; corner Church Street/Old Park Avenue, Enfield. Admission £1.50. Free vintage bus rides around local scenic area. Wide range of memorabilia, models etc. 20th anniversary.
Tuesday 23rd April (8pm) Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. Old Fire Station (Next to Town Hall) Friern Barnet Lane N12 “800 years of St John’s” Talk by Steven Krause
Thursday 25th April (8pm) The Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road N3 “After the Stagecoach had left — Development of Public Transport in Finchley” David A Ruddom (Friends of London Transport Museum)