Congratulations to our Vice-President Dorothy Newbury, who has been awarded an MBE for services to Archaeology in North London. This is a very well-deserved honour as Dorothy has devoted herself to HADAS for many years, during which time she has raised large sums of money for the Society, organised outings and newsletters, served on the committee and pursued the Society’s interests in many other ways.
This is the four hundredth edition of HADAS Newsletter, which first appeared in October 1969. This took the form of a personalised letter to each member from the secretary, Daisy Hill, as will be seen from this extract from Ted Sammes’ letter.
Miss D.P. Hill
9, Prince of Wales Road, Hendon N. W 4
Dear Mr Sammes” October, 1969.
This is the first issue of a new venture which we hope in future to send members at, about six-weekly intervals.In addition to giving news of the Society’s increasing activities both in field work and research, the newsletter will also provide details of lectures and outings. That is why we have not sent you a programme card this year – we hope you may find the news letter, with its information about immediately forthcoming events, more helpful as a reminder. Brigid Grafton Green took over the secretaryship shortly afterwards. In Newsletter No 6 it was reported that: ‘with 6 books of Green Shield Stamps the Secretary can get one wheelbarrow, so if you can spare any GSS. the treasurer would be delighted to receive them to purchase equipment’. Looking into our well-equipped garage today, it would appear that a great many books of stamps were collected!
HADAS has a complete set of newsletters in its archives, which Andrew Coulson has recently scanned into the computer. In due course it will be possible to do keyword searches, to find all references, however minor, to subjects, people and places which have appeared in the Newsletter: a very powerful research tool.
Wednesday 14 July to Sunday 18 July Long Weekend to Cumbria. There have been two cancellations so contact Jackie Brookes to enquire if these are now filled.
Saturday 7 August, Outing to the Lewes area, with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward. Application form enclosed.
Saturday 4 September, Outing to Colchester, with June Porges and Stewart Wild.
Tuesday 12 October, Lecture by Lucia Gahlin, ‘Egyptology’.
Tuesday 9 November, Lecture by Paul Wilkinson, `Durolevum’.
Lectures start at 8.00pm in the Drawing Room Avenue House, East End Rd, Finchley, N3. Buses 82, 143. 260 & 326 pass close by, and it is a five to ten minute walkfrom Finchley Central Station (Northern Line).
As this Newsletter goes to press a small resistivity survey is planned for Wednesday 21 July, at Kingsbury School, Kingsbury, where it is intended to examine a 10-metre grid prior to an excavation by pupils of the school. It is hoped to find the remains of a Tudor cottage. A further resistivity grid was surveyed on 2 May on behalf of the Enfield Archaeological Society, which is to excavate the gatehouse of Henry VIII’ s Elsyng Palace as part of National Archaeology Day, 18 July 2004. (See below).
The Society’s Annual General Meeting took place on 8 June 2004 at Avenue House with the President, Harvey Sheldon, in the Chair. 34 members attended. All the Resolutions set out in the Notice of Meeting were duly passed. The Meeting marked the retirement of Micky O’Flynn as Treasurer having given excellent service in that Office for some years. The Meeting thanked her for all her efforts and wished her well for the future. Fortunately, the Chairman had encouraged his neighbour, Jim Nelhams, to take on the job. The Officers elected for the current year are: Chairman: Don Cooper Vice-Chairman: Peter Pickering Hon.Treasurer: Jim Nelhams Hon. Sec.: Denis Ross The following were duly elected as other members of the Committee: Christian Allen, Bill Bass, Jackie Brookes, Stephen Brunning (a new member of the Committee), Andrew Coulson, Eric Morgan, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Nicholson, June Porges, Mary Rawitzer (Membership Secretary), Andrew Selkirk and Tim Wilkins. The Meeting expressed its regret at the death during the year of Brian Wrigley —a stalwart of the Society for so many years — and was pleased to see Joan Wrigley at the Meeting. The Chairman referred to the proposal to purchase a bench from donations, to be placed in Avenue House Gardens with a suitable plaque in Brian’s memory. The Meeting agreed to offer honorary membership of the Society to the holders of certain Offices with the London Borough of Barnet which are relevant to the Society’s activities.
Following the AGM Sheila Woodward gave a talk on the Society’s excavations at West Heath on the edge of Hampstead Heath. The Heath is outside our borough, in Camden, and was at that time administered by the Greater London Council Parks Department. What began as a two-week full-time dig in May 1976 eventually turned into nine seasons, with the number of flints running into many thousands: as Sheila commented: ‘a lot of us cut our digging teeth on the Heath’. HADAS member Alec Jeakins discovered the site in 1973. Whilst walking over sandy bluff adjacent to Leg of Mutton Pond he realised that he was kicking worked flints, which looked mesolithic. Alec contacted Ted Sammes who showed the flints to Desmond Collins, who taught archaeology at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Alec and Desmond continued to collect flints in quantity: the site was being eroded away by walkers. Daphne Lorimer directed excavations from 1976-81, with Desmond Collins as adviser. No other organisation seemed interested and it became our dig by our members. It was exciting because it was the first mesolithic site in the Greater London area. Space and time were not a problem with no developer breathing down our necks. Mr Chalon of the Greater London Parks Department fenced the site off. We gridded the site with a 2-metre grid and worked alternate grids. The mesolithic hunter-gatherers left no structures but hearths were found. Sheila recalled it was an idyllic site: always sunny in 1976 with the site in dappled shade: ‘It was a joy to dig: great fun.’ Squirrels took your sandwiches (which for safety had to be left in the one car which was allowed on site) and came to join the party. One day one tapped Sheila on the arm asking for food. There were the sounds of birdcalls: whooper swans and ducks on the Leg of Mutton pond, and cranes and peacocks. The excavation was the subject of much public interest and camera teams descended upon us. Riders and walkers showed much interest. Desmond Collins devoted a great deal of time as adviser and helped with answering the questions. It was not local flint, which is small and poor, but almost certainly from the boulder clay of the Ice Age. The nearest place where this is found is in Finchley. A glass-lidded box was made to display a selection of the finds at the fence. Thermoluminescent dating of burnt flints suggests a mesolithic date between about 6000-4000 BC. In 1978 HADAS was authorised and privileged to run training digs accepted for the University of London Diploma in Archaeology. West Heath involved so many members and membership swelled: there was always something people could do — trowelling, finds processing, drawing, photography, speaking to visitors, making the tea; Margaret Maher experimented with flint-knapping and fitting flakes on to actual cores. When it rained trenches filled with water and frogs by the handful had to be removed each morning before work could commence. It was decided to get environmental evidence and attention moved upstream. Two experts were involved, James Greig on plant remains and Maureen Girling on insects. It was decided that the area had been fairly lightly forested in the Mesolithic period. Trespassers on site were a problem and netting was used to discourage trampling over the trenches. After a site but was vandalised and ‘nicked’, a light-weight hut was designed which could be put up in about eight minutes, removed at night and camouflaged under heaps of branches. There were some obvious attempts to plant fraudulent objects. Work ended in 1982 when it was thought we had reached the fringes of the site, but after further material came to light, a second phase was undertaken from 1984-86, directed by Margaret Maher: Daphne had by then moved to Orkney. After which it was decided that this was enough. The site was back-filled and a cake baked to celebrate the end. The 1976-82 excavations formed a BAR publication: publication of the second phase is forthcoming. Sheila’s lecture was fully illustrated with slides taken during the excavations, which provoked many memories and occasioned much nostalgia amongst those who had dug. (Dorothy admitted to still having her Mini Traveller parked outside, which she ruined with all the fetching and carrying.) And for those of us who joined HADAS later, it proved fascinating. We can all take pride in the achievements of West Heath. See: Desmond Collins & Daphne Lorimer, Excavations at the Mesolithic Site on West Heath, Hampstead 1976-1981, HADAS, 1989. Copies are available from HADAS.
As expected, the increase in annual subscription from April 1st has caused quite some chaos, especially for those paying by standing order. All those whose payments were not quite right – for a variety of reasons, but sometimes due to banks’ apparent inability to read – should have received a letter from me by now.If you normally pay by cheque and we have not yet had your payment you will find a reminder note enclosed with this newsletter. Unless we hear from you during July we will not send out any further newsletters or meeting notices.
This Newsletter is edited by a team of 12 members, who each produce one Newsletter per year. However, there are occasions when editors have to miss their issue, when their place is taken by a reserve editor. Recently we have lost two of our regular team. Will someone offer to be a Reserve Editor? We really need two people. Please ring Dorothy, 020 8203 0950 to find out what is involved. We also need someone (possibly two members to work together) to help organise one of the outings next year. Again, contact Dorothy for further information, , or speak to Sheila, Tessa, June or Micky Watkins.
Dear Sir In Jim Nelham’s interesting report of our President’s lecture about Roman roads, he says, ‘Some Roman roads have names… but we do not know what the Romans called them.’ I was not, unfortunately able to attend the lecture myself, but presume that Harvey was here speaking only of Roman roads in Britain. For we know the names of many roads in other parts of the Roman Empire. Besides the Appian Way (via Appia), built and named by Appius Claudius Caecus in the fourth century BC to link Rome with south Italy, there were, for instance, the Egnatian Way (via Egnatia) from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, named in the second century BC after the proconsul of Macedonia, and the Via Domitiana named after the emperor Domitian — that road was the subject of an obsequious poem by Statius. Perhaps sometime we shall find the name of a road in Britain from an inscription or a Vindolanda tablet. The author of the article on roads in the Oxford Classical Dictionary tells us the Roman roads “spectacularly expressed Rome’s power over the landscape”. Just like motorways today. Yours faithfully Peter Pickering
The Sternberg Centre at 80 East End Road, Finchley is a major North London Jewish complex, housing a school, a synagogue, the administration centre for the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, and a fine Jewish Museum, which is open to the public. The site has important archaeological interest, with a 1720s grade 2* listed Manor House, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument based on the remains of a moat, sluice moat and fish ponds of an earlier medieval manor house, located behind the present 1720s building. The medieval manor house, known as Bibsworth Manor, is mentioned as being in the possession of the Bishop of London in 1512, in a record at the London Metropolitan Archives. Many other documents relate to its subsequent history. Plans for a considerable development within the area are currently being submitted, and an opportunity to study these proposals was provided on Monday 24th May 2004, which was attended by members of HADAS. From a heritage point of view the effect of the developments would be to: • carry out repairs and improvements to the 1720s manor house itself • demolish the 20th century additions to the north of the 1720s manor house • improve the setting of the manor house by removing car parking from the front of it • bury/destroy the moat of the ancient manor as it would be below the footprint of the proposed new buildings cover the site with a much greater density of buildings than at present, which may or may not have an effect on the archaeology. MoLAS carried out an auger survey in January 2002 (MHF02) and confirmed the presence and probable alignment of the moat. A small excavation of the moat was also carried out by MoLAS in 1991 (MHB91) prior to a previous application for planning permission, which produced pottery from the 17th century, as well as some residual sherds from 15th century (London Archaeologist, vol.6, no 15, page 415). Both English Heritage and MoLAS are expected to be involved in the development if planning permission is granted. Members wishing further details should contact David Leibling at the Sternberg Centre.
Dear Dorothy Replying to your enquiry for anecdotes on HADAS history, one incident calls to mind that the members may be interested to hear. It was a HADAS trip some years ago to an excavation dig on Hayling Island We arrived at the site but the coach driver found he could not take us too close as the lanes leading to the dig were too narrow. We therefore were dropped some distance away, while the coach waited for us to go to our next stopping place. After spending some time at the dig we made our way back to the coach. As usual a head count was made and one of our ladies had not returned. We waited some time but there was no sign of her and two of the men went back to the site to see if they could find her. Both returned with news that they had spotted her and shouted to her that she he was going the wrong way and pointed out the lane that she must take. They said she was behind them and would be appearing any moment. Time passed and there was still no sign of the missing lady. The men who had gone to look for her could not understand where she had got to, after they had told her where to go. Our next venue was a country hotel for tea, and as time was passing it was decided that the driver would take us to the next venue and then return to the site to try to find our lady. When we arrived at the hotel who should be there to greet us but the lady who had gone missing! Then we heard what had happened. The lady found standing at the open site was too cold for her and she decided to cut short her visit to the dig and go back to sit in the coach until we were ready to leave. When she got to the place where the coach had dropped us she found there was no coach waiting. As the lane was too narrow to allow the coach to stop, the driver had driven away to find a better waiting area and would return in time to collect the group after they had finished. She knew the name of the hotel where our tea was being arranged and she saw a passing local bus, which stopped and she found that the bus was indeed going to the hotel. She caught this bus and duly arrived at the hotel to wait the arrival of the coach. What of the two men who had gone to look for her? They had seen a local lady out for a walk who they mistook for our missing lady. She must have thought these two fellows were raving mad, as they were waving their arms frantically and telling her she was going the wrong way, and she should follow them. They were certain it was the missing person and did not bother to check if indeed she w as following them. I wonder if the naughty lady remembers the problems she caused us on that cold windy day?
To mark National Archaeology Day Enfield Museum Service and Enfield Archaeology Society are hosting a family activity day at Forty Hall, Forty Hill, from 11.30am-4.00pm with last admission at 3.30pm. Members of the public are invited to watch EAS excavate the site of the Tudor Elsyng Palace, where HADAS has carried out a preparatory resistivity survey. There will be experts on hand to identify visitors’ finds, a display of metal detector finds, and events for children. For further information ring Enfield Museum Service r? 020 8363 8186, or go to www.enfield.gov.uk/museum For a full national list of events for National Archaeology Day on the weekend of 17th & 18th July go to www.britarc.ac.uk/nads/nad2004.html
Members will know that fellow member Derek Batten has his own castle in Northamptonshire. Derek lectured to us on the castle some couple of years ago, prior to our visit to see the excavations there. The castle was the subject of a later Time Team dig. Derek has written to Dorothy with details of a production there of Macbeth, by Heartbreak Productions, described as ‘Britain’s premier open-air touring Shakespeare professional company’. The dates are Saturday & Sunday, 7th & 8th August at 7.30pm. The venue is The Mount, Alderton, Towcester. There will be a licensed bar and refreshments. Tickets are £12.50 (cons. £8.50). Contact Derek for details. Tickets may also be booked online at www.heartbreakproductions.co.uk
The ruins of Ephesus are magnificent and elegant, set between two dramatic hills and sloping steeply down to what was formerly the Aegean Sea. The streets are paved in marble and edged with columns and statues. We were there in May when the temperature was perfect, in the low 70’s, and poppies, campanulas and wild antirrhinums dotted the ruins. At the top end of the city stands the Palace of the Council, built by Emperor Augustus in the 1st-2nd century, the dwelling place of the governmental body of the Province, where the Eternal Flame burned. It was here during excavations in 1956 that three statues of Artemis were found, thought to have been hidden for preservation. Adjacent to the Palace can be seen the Varius baths, the Basilica area and the Odeon, a small theatre seating 1,500 people. Walking on down Marble Street we came to the Square of Domitian. We saw statues, a beautifully carved relief of Nike, the Goddess of victory, and the Temple of Domitian, a two-floored ruin which had had warehouses and shops on the first floor and the temple on the second floor. Then the street became steeper and changed its name to Curetes Street, passing through the two carved columns of Heracles and the wonderful Trajan Fountain, which must have been so refreshing in the heat of summer. On the left-hand side an enormous excavation of the fifth terrace has revealed two high status houses, with rooms ornamented with exquisite frescoes and mosaics. For protection and to allow the public to view the houses in-situ, the excavations have been covered with huge plastic roofing. However this has made the whole site extremely hot, both for excavators and for the public. At the moment the project is on hold until further funding is forthcoming. Further downhill, where the route turns right, we caught sight of that most famous building in all Ephesus, the Library of Celsus. We sat in the shade of a pomegranate tree to admire this elegant building, before we attempted to climb the nine very steep steps to see closer the statues and the double walled niches where the scrolls had been kept. It should have been possible to visit the grave site of Celsus, however his beautiful white marble sarcophagus has been excavated and stands in the Ephesus Museum. The Marble Road then led on past the Baths of Skolastica, which not only had a swimming pool and the usual caldarium, tepidarium, frigidarium and apodyterium, but also three floors to accommodate people wishing to stay there for several days. Nearby a left footstep carved into the pavement shows the direction to the House of Love. At the end of Marble Street, we were intrigued to hear a wonderful baritone voice singing the Lord’s Prayer. We had reached that monumental masterpiece of Ephesus, the Great Theatre, set into the mountainside, and seating 25,000 spectators. It is here that Pavarotti, Sting and Elton John have performed, and on this particular day an unknown singer, the wonderful natural acoustics being the same for everyone. It was also here in this theatre that one of the verbal combats between the followers of Artemis and those of Christ took place, as a result of which St. Paul was taken and put into prison. Finally we looked down Harbour Street towards what would have once been the bustling harbour of the most important commercial centre and capital of the Roman province. But where the Aegean Sea once lay and cargo boats plied their trade, now dinky little red tractors tend a rich and fertile plateau, the whole area having silted up, and Ephesus now lies 6 km from the sea. When the Ionians conquered Ephesus -they found a wooden, walled-temple in this area devoted to a mother goddess. They named her Artemis and her statue was accepted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. King Croesus rebuilt the temple in stone. In the middle of the 19th century English archaeologists excavated here and these rare finds are now in the British Museum and the Istanbul and Ephesus museums. Since that early time Ephesus has been invaded by the Persians, Athenians, Spartans and the Romans, Alexander the Great was here and St John lived here: what about a visit by HADAS?
Does anyone know of the existence of a photograph showing the former stables of The Mitre Inn at High Barnet? At the time of their demolition, about 1990, it was suggested that the stables dated from Tudor times. Has anyone any evidence to substantiate this claim? If so, please contact Graham Javes,
Sat & Sun, 3rd & 4th July, 12 noon – 7pm, East Barnet Festival, Oakhill Park, East Barnet. Community & craft stalls. HADAS hopes to have its usual stall, for which volunteers are needed, please. Contact Eric Morgan,
Sunday 4th July, 10.00atn – 6.00pm, Kensal Green Cemetery Open Day, Ladbroke Grove, W10. Tours of the cemetery, catacombs, crematorium and displays.
Sunday 4th July, 2.00 — 4.00pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, Tour of North Finchley, with Oliver Natelson. Meet at corner of Dale Grove and Ballards Lane, N12. Cost £1. Includes the Arts Depot, old roads, the oldest shops, 1840s houses in Torrington Park, ancient hedges from 1780s, and the site of Finchley nudists’ colony.
Daily, until 8 July, Barnet Borough Arts Council, Remembering the Bull. Exhibition mounted by Pam Edwards. Bring your own written reminiscences for this final event at the Bull.
Tuesday 13 July, 8.00pm, Amateur Geology Society, The Parlour, St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Ave., N3. The Role of the Amateur in British Science, (including archaeology), talk by Stuart Baldwin.
Sunday 18 July, 2.00pm — 4.30pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, Tour of Friern Hospital. Meet New Southgate Station forecourt, Station Rd, N11. Cost £1. Linear walk to include ancient parish boundary, the railway serving the old asylum, asylum grounds, gate house, old cemetery, and covered reservoir. Not for the squeamish.
Saturday & Sunday, 24th — 25th July, from 12 noon. City of London Archaeological Society. Public Open Days & Archaeological Displays, at Tower of London Wharf and Foreshore.
Saturday & Sunday, 24-25 July, North London Transport Society, Rally, in Finsbury Park. Golden Jubilee of the Routemaster bus. Stalls, etc.
Wednesday 28th July, 8.00pm, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society, St John’s Church Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, N20. The Two Remarkable Stephens: the history of the famous ink firm, by Norman Burgess. £2.