Newsletter 026 April 1973


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An unexpected bit of news starts this month's Newsletter: the Society is to have a shop-window (and that phrase is quite literal) in which to show its wares at the end of this month.

Barnet Borough Arts Council have offered us free use, from Saturday April 28th to Monday May 7th, of a shop at 20, Church Road, Hendon, which they rent from the council (this is one of the properties to be demolished when the Church End Development gets under way).

We have accepted the invitation gratefully, and hope to use the short for two purposes -- to give people a general idea of the Society’s work, and to provide a recruiting centre for new members. In addition we have invited the London Archaeologist (the quarterly magazine which has often been mentioned in the Newsletter) to provide a small display, and have given a similar invitation to Rescue -- the Trust for British Archaeology -- with which Newsletter readers will be equally familiar.

May we now extend a cordial invitation to all members to come along to the shop between 10.00a.m. and 5.00p.m. on any weekday or on Sunday morning from 10-1 to see what's going on? We would also welcome offers to help in the shop. If you can spare either a weekday morning or afternoon (including Saturdays) or a Sunday morning any time between 28 April to 7 May, will you give the Hon. Sec. a ring and let her know? We hope to have at least two members on duty all the time to sell publications, answer questions and enrol in new members.

Forthcoming Events

Do come along too. St. Mary's Church House next Tuesday evening, 10th April at 8.00p.m. for the last lecture in the 1972-3 season. Dr Helen Wallis, Superintendent of the Map Room and the British Museum, will talk, with slides, on "Maps as an aid to Historical Research". Dr Wallis, who took her geography degree at Oxford and wrote a thesis for her doctorate on "Exploration in the Pacific", is a most able speaker -- she has just returned from a five week lecture tour in the USA.

And another reminder: on Tuesday May 15th at 8.00p.m. at St. Mary's Church House is the Annual General Meeting. A notice, convening it accompanies this newsletter. The business part of the meeting will be followed by a series of short films, and there will of course be refreshments.

The first of the summer outings -- the dates for which were announced in last month's newsletter -- is four days after the AGM on May 19th to Colchester. Further details in the May newsletter, but meantime that's another date to keep free.


At Church Farm House Museum there is, until 29 April next, an exhibition on the Art Nouveau Postcard. Art Nouveau was a revolutionary style which inspired some of the most beautiful postcards ever produced, and the part these played in promoting the "new art” is the theme of this exhibition, arranged by the President of the Postcard Club of Great Britain.

The Museum of Mankind (as the Ethnography Collections of the British Museum are called in their new sitting at 6, Burlington Gardens) will show, from May onwards, an exhibition on the Maya, of great interest for those who enjoy Central and South American archaeology.

And the British Museum itself, from May 4th to September 2nd, the B.M. Research Laboratories will mount, in honour of their Golden Jubilee, an exhibition on the scientific examination and conservation of antiquities. This will include the use of X-radiography, spectography and metallography.

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Special selections will deal with new methods of conservation and restoration of objects; with the processes used for making precise replicas of antiquities; and with the technique of radiocarbon dating.

Reception for the Mayor and Mayoress

Joyce Corlet sends the Newsletter this report on the Society’s highly successful Reception and Lecture held on March 31st in the Cavalier Suite of the Prince Albert:

“The evening was a primarily to honour the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet. The Mayoress, Mrs. J. L. Freedman, is one of our most active Vice Presidents: we felt this was a unique chance to show our appreciation of all the help she has given the Society since it was formed with her assistance, in 1961.

There was an excellent buffet and members had the opportunity to meet and talk to the Mayor and Mayoress and other notable guests -- the Bishop of Edmonton (who lives in the Borough), the Rt. Rev. Alan Rogers and Mrs. Rogers, and the Borough Librarian, Mr Stanley Butcher and Mrs. Butcher.

After the Reception, Councillor Jarman spoke of Mrs. Freedman’s many links with the Society; and then the Mayoress herself, in a deft and charming speech, introduced our guest speaker, David Price Williams, a Hebrew scholar, director of several Middle Eastern digs and a lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology. His talk, illustrated by splendid slides, was on "Archaeology in the Land of the Bible".

He made us all share in the excitement he felt when yet another layer of Ancient civilisation came to light as the team of archaeologists dug deeper and deeper into various Middle Eastern tells. The latter part of his lecture was of quite outstanding interest, when he dealt with the most recent developments in environmental archaeology. This is the point at which palaeobotanists, zoologists and other scientists seek to build up, from pollen grains, animal bones, snail shells and the weathering of old ground surfaces a complete picture of the climatic and geographical conditions of the past.

After the Mayor had proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer, coffee was served and members had a chance to look at the three albums of colour photographs taken by the Mayor and Mayoress on their four-week tour of Israel last year, organised for them by four families whose soldier sons they had entertained during the last war.”

Postscript from Hon Treasurer: HADAS funds are about £50 better off as a result of the evening's entertainment, thanks largely to the initiative and hard work of Christine Arnott, Daphne Lorimer and Nell Penny, who organised the “Old Curiosity Shop” during the Reception, and did a roaring trade in various fascinating objects, many of them linked with either archaeology or history.

The Fulham Potteries

Eric Grant provides this report of the Society’s March Lecture:

This was an absorbing account of the history and excavations of the famous stoneware potteries which still survive in the New King's Road, Fulham. Dennis Hazlegrove of the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society provided much information for members interested in the technical side of pottery, for those who are aesthetic ceramicists and, most of all, for anyone keen to see how to excavate a complex industrial site with elegance and finesse.

The pottery is well founded by John Dwight, a technician from Oxford, who had close associations with several founder members of the Royal Society. He received a patent from Charles II to make salt-glazed stoneware and porcelain, and at Fulham in 1672 he was the first person in England to produce stoneware on a commercial scale.

Fulham was then a small village, and it is not clear why Dwight set up business there, apart from being able to use the Thames for transport.

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He had studied manufacture in Germany, and much of his output at Fulham of blue-painted salt-glazed stoneware is indistinguishable from similar German wares. Although unsuccessful with porcelain, he managed to make an almost translucent stoneware, which has only just been identified as coming from Fulham.

The firm produced stoneware throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, especially beer pots with thistle and other medallions, as well as traditional Bellarmine-mug jugs. The pottery expanded tremendously in the nineteenth century, but by the 20th century stoneware was being phased out; instead the kilns diversified into chimney pots, vases and statuettes.

Mr Hazlegrove described the phases of kiln development on the site, taking us through an extremely complex pattern of evolution. He also showed clearly the joys and problems of digging a site that is undercover, and that has already filled 3,000 tomato boxes with sherds!

Clay Pipes at Staples Corner”

During the winter of 1971-2 to Research Committee members made a weekly inspection of the roadworks then taking place at the junction of Edgware Road and the North Circular, in the hope that some trace of Roman Watling Street might become visible. Little is known about the precise line of the Roman road here; and any indication of a pre-Medieval road surface would have given some indication of alignment and construction. As had been suspected, however, modern roadworks had previously levelled through the layers and no traces were found.

During one of these routine visits, I noticed a number of Clay Pipe stem and ball fragments in an embankment near the footpath, just north of the police station. Closer examination revealed a layer of such fragments about 1 ft below the surface at the end of the embankment nearest the police station. This layer ran for some 8 ft, at which point it was about 2 ft below the surface. In all, nearly 1100 fragments were recovered. The bowl fragments included the following main types:

1. - Plain bowl, with spur (62)

2. - Plain bowl, with leaf pattern up mould joint and leaf patterned spur (57)

3. - Plain bowl, with rouletting at mouth (9)

4. - Decorated bowl, with rouletting at mouth and nodules on bowl which continue onto stem (an imitation tree-trunk effect); decorated spur (6)

5. - Ragged bowl, with decorated spur (29)

6. - Decorated bowl, rope pattern just below the mouth, 3 rows of raised dots on the main body, leaf pattern up mould joint, fluting at base of bowl and onto stem, no spur (140)

7. - Decorated bowl, rounded oblong pattern just below the mouth, 3 rows of raised dots on the main body, leaf patterns up mould joint, leaf pattern fluting at base of bowl and onto stem, no spur (39)

(Note : numbers in brackets refer to number of examples found. There were also several other decorated bowl types, represented by only one or two examples.)

Early pipe-makers usually marked their products by stamping initials on the spur. During the nineteenth century the maker often put his name and address along the stem. None of the above examples have any initials, and only seven stems out of 670 are marked. Pieced together it is possible to read “E. SPAUL….” and on the other side “154 BERMONDSEY ST. S.E.”. These 7 pieces belong to a group of 20 stems and spurs made of fine white clay.

It is the contrast between the clay of this small group and had that of the rest of the find and that offers the first clue to the reason for such a large find. The clay of the main group is white, though some examples are light grey. It is also rather coarse -- too course to be used for comfortable smoking for any length of time; and in most cases the base of the bowl is blocked off.

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Associated material in the same layer consisted of two pieces of organic matter similar to coconut shell, a few whelk shells, a number of pieces of cheap Staffordshire white ware, some decorated, and a few pieces of glass. Two pieces of the pottery are marked, one with the word "BRINDLEY”, the other with part of a stagecoach on the decorated surface and the words “EXCHANGE WITH TR….”; on the back are the words “MADE IN”.

Our clay pipe Specialist, Jeremy Clynes, identifieds the pipes as a very late 19th/early 20th century. He has come to the same conclusion as I have, that these are fairground pipes made for stalls, shooting galleries and shies. It was never intended that they should be smoked -- the only thing that would have passed down the stem was soapy water for blowing bubbles. With the associated material it is reasonable to assume that this is part of the fairground site that stood opposite the Lower Welsh Harp Tavern. The Midland Railway had opened a Welsh Harp Station in 1870 and for the next 30 years Londoners travelled out here at Bank Holidays to the Fair (see John Hopkins, a History of Hendon, pp. 54-55).

If any member can remember this fairground, it would be useful to have a record of your memories of it. Jeremy Clynes would also be interested to hear from anyone who has any evidence for a clay pipe maker in the Borough. (Contributed by Alec Jeakins)

Moated Sites Research Group

This new group was set up, to study the history, survey and excavation of moated sites, at a meeting at Birkbeck College February this year.

The group has begun to make a national index of moated sites, covering Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as England and Wales. It has compiled a bibliography and drawn up a well-designed index card and field survey guide, which gives this useful definition of the kind of site the group is interested in:

"For the purposes of definition, a moated site must have a ditch at least 15 ft (approx 4.5 m.) wide. The ditch may or may not be banked, is not always flooded, and may not complete the enclosure. Sites vary greatly in manorial status but the survey may include defended manor houses and granges.”

Membership of the group costs 50p. Further details from the Secretary, Alan Aberg. (Contributed by Eric Grant)

Tailpiece to the above

HADAS became interested in moated sites in the Borough of Barnet 18 months ago. To members, Freda Wilkinson and Mary Southwood, went through the 50 ins. O.S. maps of the Borough and produced a list of 7 possible features which might be moats. Two, (O.S. grid refs: TQ 271 883 and TQ 272 884) were, in fact, different parts of the same moat (on Highgate Golf Course) and proved to be just outside the Borough. Another, near the Spaniards Inn (TQ 265 873) was investigated by Elizabeth Read and Form IV of Henrietta Barnett School. It was completely built over, and there is some doubt whether it was, in fact, ever a moat.

Two prove to be fine moats: one in the grounds of East End Manor, Finchley (TQ 254 899) which, with the professional help of Mr. B. M. Martin, the Society has surveyed; the other, still full of water, at Old Fold Manor Golf Club on Hadley Green (TQ 244 976) which Mr Martin, Raymond Lowe and Philippa Bernard will survey in the next few days.

This leaves two “moatlike features” all the original list unaccounted for: a ditch in Hadley Wood (TQ 263 971) which may be part of a prehistoric cattle enclosure (it is being investigated); and a possible moat (TQ 276 966) "near the Playing Fields, Cockfosters" which has not yet been identified on the ground.

Members with ideas about other possible moat-sites are asked to let the Hon. Sec. have details: particularly about moats which there may now be little or no evidence left.