Newsletter-369-December 2001

 Number 369                            December 2001           HADAS 40th Year     Edited by Liz Holliday 


There will be no lecture in January, a cold and busy month for both lecturers and audiences. Instead, there will be an extra lecture in May as the AGM is now held in June. The first lecture in 2002 will be held at 8.00pm on Wed. 12 February at Avenue House.

Speaker: Francis Grew

Life in Roman London


Pubs and Brewers in Barnet Borough


Church Farmhouse Museum will be mounting an exhibition on the history of local pubs and brewers from May to September 2002. There is no shortage of pictorial or documentary material already available but the museum is particularly keen to borrow relevant objects - from barstools to beer mats, bottles to beer-engines - for display.

If anyone has any material which they would be prepared to lend or if they know of local pubs being refurbished, please phone Gerrard Roots at the museum on 0208 203 0130. 

The 19th-century paneled dining room at Church Farmhouse Museum will, as usual, be decorated for a Victorian Christmas. Be sure to catch this wonderful display which is only on show from 6 December until 6 January.


MICRO-MINIMART   13 OCTOBER 2001                  by Dorothy Newbury

As intended, this was to be lower key, as well as the last Minimart I feel I can organise. As it happens, it was a very happy day with members, friends and the public chatting over Tessa's freshly served lunches. I would have been happy to make £500, but thanks to everyone's willing help we made over £600 clear profit, and I am still selling items un-sold on the day - watch for future Sales & Wanted Lists in your Newsletters.

If anyone would like to view the substantial number of books we have left over before we dispose of them, please come and browse. (Bargains at a few pence each!).

There has been no response to my request for a volunteer to run a Car Boot Sale - I'm sure there must be someone out there who relishes the cut and thrust of bartering in the snow! Please get in touch if you are able to help with this (0208 203 0950).

I would like to thank everyone who, over the last 25 years, has helped the Minimart sales to raise about £16.000 for the Society.



a note on the venue for our Christmas party by Sheila Woodward

Grim's Dyke earthwork, much damaged by modem development, has never been securely dated. It originally extended 3km southwest of the hotel to Pinner Green where P.G.Suggett excavated in 1957 and found Iron Age and Belgic pottery. in 1979, excavating in the hotel grounds prior to new building, Rob Ellis found only two abraded pottery sherds, probably Iron Age, and a possible hearth with charcoal, radio-carbon dated to AD50+-80. This suggests that Grim's Dyke earthwork pre-dates the Pear Wood earthwork, 3km to the east (excavated by Stephen Castle 1948-73) which is post-Roman possibly 5th or 6th century AD. (See LAMAS Transactions Vol. 33 pp 173- 176).



The following letter was sent to our Chairman.

Can any member help?

Dear Sir,

I got your contact details from the HADAS website having seen an article in Archaeological Matters. I must congratulate you on your website, it's excellent!

I have been researching the Heydon family of Watford on behalf of Charles Le Quesne, the site director in charge of excavations at The Grove Estate, Watford.

(See www.archaeologyatthe

William Heydon, the first of the family to own The Grove married Elizabeth Aubery around 1479. Her parents were Robert Aubery and Christian. The Visitation of Heralds to Hertfordshire in 1572 states that he was Dailey, co. Middx. By going through various documents I have come to the conclusion that this could be Dollis, as in Dollis Hill.

I noticed that HADAS have done some work on medieval Hendon and wondered if you could throw any further light on this for me.


Stella Davis

284 Baldwins Lane Croxley Green Rickmansworth HERTS., WD3 3LD



Prepared by Eric Morgan Wed. 5 Dec. at 5pm British Archaeological Association at Society of Antiquaries,

Burlington House, Piccadilly, W.1 Nonsuch Palace Revisited a talk by Martin Biddle.

Wed. 5 Dec. at 8pm Islington Archaeology & History Society Islington Town Hall, Upper Street N.1 The Archway a talk by Simon Morris

Thur. 6 Dec. at 8pm The Historical Association at Fellowship House, Willifield Way, NW 11 Observing the Western Front: Changes in Depicting the Battlefield 1914-18 a talk by Dr. Keith Grieves

Thur. 6 Dec at 7.30pm London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, N.1 The Salisbury and Southampton Canal a talk by Peter Oates. (Cones. £1.25)

Sat. 8 Dec 10.15am-3.30pm Amateur Geological Society at St. Mary's Hall, Hendon Lane, N3 Mineral and Fossil Bazaar Refreshments. Admission 50p Wed. 12 Dec at 6.30pm LAMAS at Interpretation Unit, Museum of London After the Fire: London Furniture 1660-1714 by David Dewing

Wed, 12 Dec. at 8.15pm Mill Hill Historical Society at Harwood Hall, Union Church, Mill Hill Broadway. Christmas in England 1539-1939 a talk by Peter Street.

Thur. 13 Dec. at 7.30pm Camden History Society at Burgh House, New End Road, NW3. Photographic Surveys of Camden (previous 8,, recent) a talk by Aiden Flood

Fri. 14 Dec. at 8pm Enfield Archaeological Society. Junilee Hall, Parsonage Lane, Chase Side, Enfield Poland: 1000 Years of Civilisation a talk by Stephen Gilburt


GADEBRIDGE ROMAN VILLA REVISITED Report of the October lecture by Peter Nicholson

On Tuesday 9 October Dr. David Neal, well-known for his work on Roman mosaics, spoke to members about his excavations of the Roman villa at Gadebridge Park, on the north side of Hemel Hempstead.The first discovery was made in 1962 when a new road cut the site of a Roman swimming bath and provided archaeological interest and exercise for local schoolchildren. A systematic exca­vation directed by Dr. Neal began the following year and contin­ued until 1968. Although, the dig was professionally directed, volunteers made a substantial contribution, showing the differ­ence between archaeology then and now, as does the timescale of the investigation.Dr. Neal's excavation revealed that the swimming bath belonged to the last phase in the development of a villa complex. Its begin­nings were dated 75-100AD. The only substantial survival from this period were the remains of a stone, three-room bath house. The villa it served was probably timber built as the only remains are some ditches and drainage gullies. Both the villa and the bath house were to go through a number of modifications and enlargements. A particularly significant change occured in 150- 160AD when the bath house was extended and the villa was built in stone. The villa was of a design which frequently occurs, having a linear spine of rooms with shorter wings projecting at each end, the whole being surrounded by a corridor, probably in the form of a verandah.The swimming pool was found to be of remarkable size. At 21 metres long by 12 metres wide, with a depth of 1.5 metres it was almost the same size as the great bath at Bath. Its construcyion c.325AD was part of the final phase of building on the site, when the last of a series of extensions and alterations was carried out. Coin evidence showed that the villa and bath house complex was demolished in 353AD, with only two small outbuildings being left standing. It was thought that the demolition may have been part of the punative measures taken against supporters of the usurper Magnentius, who was defeated at Mursae in 351 AD and died two years later.

The 1960s excavations are described in articles in Current Archaeology No.1 (March 1967) and No. 18 (January 1970) which are available from The Hadas library.          

Last year Dr. Neal returned to excavate at Gadebridge as a millenium project.

The passage of time has increased background knowledge of the period and Dr. Neal's own expertise. It has also brough changes in excavation techniques, particularly in the excavation of extended areas rather than small trenches. These considera­tions caused Dr. Neal to doubt some of his earlier interpretations and wonder if more information could be obtained. Not surpris­ingly, this proved to be the case.

Although the main features of the earlier picture remained the same, some interpretations were amended. What had originally thought to have been a cottage associated with the bath house proved to be an extension of the porticus of the villa. A chalk surface, dated 75-100AD originally believed to have been an external yard was found to have been the floor of a circular building and evidence was found of an earlier, smaller, swim­ming bath. Finally, the "blood and thunder" explanation of the cause of demolition of the villa in 353AD is now thought unlike­ly as their is evidence of a general economic decline in south east Britain during this period. This is confirmed by the diminished state of London at this time as well as evidence from other villa sites in the area.

Dr. Neal's talk not only supplied interesting and relevant infor­mation but also reminded us that that reports, which always appear authorative on the printed page, are only interpretations which which depend on the skill and knowledge of those who make them.

Gadebridge Roman Villa seems to be auspicious for beginnings. The report of the original excavation appeared in the first issue of Current Archaeology and the October talk saw the faultless debut of our new slide projector, complete with infra-red control. Technology marches onward at HADAS - can it be long before our pot-washers are equipped with electric toothbrushes?


This is now fully booked with 60 members attending but there is no-one on the waiting list at present. If anyone would like to join us please phone Dorothy Newbury on 0208 203 0950 as there may be late cancellations.See page 3 for a note about the venue. As it will be too dark to see much on the 4 December, members may like to return there for tea during the summer to see the site.



HADAS members Bill Bass. Andrew Coulson and Brian Wrigley joined forces with members of the Enfield Archaeological Society in October to take part in a resistivity survey to try to locate the remains of a Tudor building in the grounds of Myddleton House in north Enfield. The twelve-room, red brick gabled 16th centu­ry manor house. known as Bowling Green House, was demol­ished in 1818 when Myddleton House was built. The founda­tions of the Tudor house were discovered in 1986 when they were struck by a digging machine while irrigation pipes were being laid.

Myddleton House is owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and no decision has yet been made whether to give permission for a full excavation on the site.

A photograph of our intrepid resistivity team is recorded for pos­terity in the pages of the Enfield Advertiser for 24 October.


by Andy Simpson

As one or two other HADAS members are aware (and have even indulged in themselves) I am a habitue of transport enthusiasts collectors fairs, where those so inclined can pick up all manner of railway, tram, bus and shipping memorabilia and ephemera, from models to tickets, photos, books, magazines, records, timetables, waybills, posters and hardware (wagon plates to used ticket boxes). A regular venue is Camden Town Hall (next fair to be held on 2 February 2002) with others in Enfield (St. Paul's Centre, near Enfield Chase Station) and an annual major event at Picket's Lock Leisure Centre early in November. Here, careful perusal of box upon box of photos, prints and slides can produce the occasional gem - at a price. Black and white postcard-size prints average 40p to 70p each; £2 to £3 or more on certain stands for "rare" subjects!

My own chief quarry is Black Country tram and trollybus pho­tos, with a more local interest in the Barnet, Edgware, Finchley and Golders Green areas. Therefore I was particularly pleased with a discovery at the October event at Camden Town Hall. This was a postcard-size print showing the last electric tram to run from High Barnet in 1938. An early hours of the morning view, it shows the trams driver and conductor in traditional leather- cuffed uniforms, the driver complete with heavy overcoat, flank­ing a smartly dressed gentleman holding three tram tickets. On the vestibule bulkhead window of the tram is a small hand-writ­ten paper notice, "Barnet The Last Journey 1907-1938". The caption on the back of the photo reads:

"LPTB (London Passenger Transport Board) Staff/Passenger off the last tram Barnet Route. On the morning of 6th March 1938 at Tally Ho Corner depot. Driver Lowe Conductor Mardell Passenger Herbert Bee holding first and last tickets of 1907 and 1938"

The tram itself is a former Metropolitan Electric Tramways H class double deck eight-wheeled car, which was scrapped within a few months.

The first public tram to Barnet ran from Whetstone on 28 March 1907; when route numbers were introduced the Barnet to Tottenham Court Road (Euston Road) via Highgate, Archway and Camden Town run became Route Number 19. A full trip took 54 minutes and cost 8d (3p!) in 1935.

Trollybuses on route 609, and shortly afterwards the 645 to Canons Park. replaced the trains on Sunday 6 March 1938 and survived until 2 January 1962, since when the motorbus has ruled the roost.

The former Metropolitan Electric Tramways Finchley depot off Ballards Lane/Rosemont Avenue, which opened in 1905, closed to trams in March 1938. It later served as a trollybus and motor­bus depot, closing completely in December 1993. It was later demolished and replaced by a Homebase Superstore, although the wall of the former offices fronting Rosemont Avenue survives, complete with bricked-in doors and windows and some relics of it remain in London Transport Museum's store at Acton Town.

Andy Simpson hopes to write a follow-up article on these and other Barnet Transport relics held by London Transport Museum in due course.


Two 18th century recipes "The best recipt for Minced Pie mixture:

One pound of tripe well shred or thirteen eggs hard boiled with half the whites taken out; two pounds of suet well shred as small as pos­sible; one pound raisins; two pounds of prunes stoned and shred; one pound currants and half an ounce of nuts; cinnamon, mace and cloves a quarter ounce each; eight sour apples shred; one gill each of verjuice, sack and brandy; and half a pound of lemon peel with sugar."

Fairfax Household Book

Mince pies were originally rectangular in shape and said to rep­resent Christ's manger. They were abominated as "Popish and superstitious" by the Puritans and in 1656 were described as:

"Idolatry in crust? Babylon's whore

Defiled with superstition, like the Gentiles

Of Old, that worshiped onions, roots and lentils"

On the Tenth Day of Christmas you should set about making your Twelth Night Cake:

" Put two pounds of butter in a warm pan and work it to a cream with your hand; then put in two pounds of loaf sugar sifted; a large nutmeg grated; and of cinnamon ground, allspice ground, ginger, mace and coriander each a quarter ounce. Now break in eighteen eggs one by one, meantime beating it for twenty min­utes or above: stir in a gill of brandy; then add two pounds of sifted flour, and work it a little. Next put in currants four pounds, chopped almonds half a pound; citron the like; and orange and lemon peel cut small half a pound. Put in one bean and one pea in separate places, bake it in a slow oven for four hours, and ice it or decorate it as you will."

From The Experienced English Housekeeper' by Elizabeth Raffald 1769.