newsletter-093-november-1978


Newsletter
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MORE BLUE PLAQUES FOR BARNET

You never know - or so they say - when your chickens will come home to roost. A HADAS chicken (if you don't mind giving that youthful title to a bird that is five years old) has just arrived back in the nest, to our considerable pleasure. It is a bird whose ownership we share with three other local societies, a piece of co-operation which makes it even more welcome.

The chicken is not of the feathered variety. It is, in fact, ten new Blue Plaques, which are to go up in the fairly near future in various parts of the Borough of Barnet. Blue Plaques commemorating the famous have long been a feature of the inner London area, where first the LCC and then the GLC have been active in putting them up. Because of work done by the former Hendon Urban District Council in the 1950s, our own Borough of Barnet also rejoices in a number of plaques. They do not commemorate people only; some recall events or places, such as the site on which the Parish Cage stood, or where the Court Leet or Court Baron were held.

It was in 1973 that HADAS first suggested to the Finchley Society, the Mill Hill and Hendon Historical Society and the Barnet and District Local History Society that we should all get together and see if the London Borough of Barnet would be prepared to take up where HUDC had left off some 12 years before. Our four societies were all in agreement, and so was the Borough. In October 1973 the General Purposes Committee agreed to start putting up plaques again.

The timing was unfortunate, although we could not have foreseen that within months there came the great freeze on spending, and projects of this nature had to go. Recently, however, the financial climate has grown warmer. Particularly, the Borough has begun to administer a bequest - the Edward Harvist Charity - which allows for moderate spending on this kind of project. HADAS therefore suggested last April to its three collaborators a fresh approach to LBB, and a month or so ago we heard that this had been successful. The appropriate Council Committee had approved, "as a project to be met from the income of the Charity in the financial year 1978/9, the fixing of a maximum of 10 Commemorative plaques throughout the Borough to commemorate various events, personalities, etc, at a cost of up to £700."

Our four Societies have now worked out together and forwarded to the Borough suggestions for plaques which might be installed. Our suggestions are in two parts - a "Top Ten" list of those we would most like to see commemorated; and our reserves - or 2nd XI - in case some of the Top Ten cannot be used. The four societies were anxious that the majority of sites in the Top Ten should be in areas where there are few or no plaques now - that is, principally outside the old Borough of Hendon.

For a full list of those already existing in LBB see The Blue Plaques of Barnet, published by HADAS in 1973 (revised edit. 1977, 45p).



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Members may be interested to have details of both the Top Ten and the 2nd XI (it would be possible to field a pretty good 3rd XI, too), so here they are:
TOP TEN 2ND XI The Physic Well, Barnet. Mark Lemon, first Editor of Punch, with associations with Long Lodge, Nether St, nr. West Samuel Pepys Finchley Station The Tudor Hall, Wood St, Celia Fiennes, diarist and writer, Barnet, built 1573 Highwood Ash, Highwood Hill Dame Henrietta Barnett (1851- G D R Cole (1890-1959) Socialist 1936),founder of Hampstead economist & writer, 74 Holders Garden Suburb, Heath End Hill Road, NW7 House, NW3 Anthony Salvin, (1799-1881) The Manor House,East End Rd: site architect, Elmhurst, East of a manor house since 13th c; End Rd, Finchley present building 1723 Sir Thomas Lipton, (1850-1931) Richard Cromwell, (d. 1712), son of founder of Lipton shops and Oliver, himself Lord Protector for owner of Shamrock yachts in 7 months. Belle Vue, East End Rd, America Cup. Osidge House, Finchley. Chase Side, Southgate. Thomas Collins (l735-183O), Arabella Stuart, possible pretender ornamental plasterer, Woodhouse to the throne of James 1, Church Hill N. Finchley House, Stuart Road, E. Barnet Marie Lloyd, (1870-1922), music Site of Priory of Knights of St. hall artist, Woodstock Avenue, John of Jerusalem, Friary Park, Golders Green Friern Barnet Thomas Tilling, (1825-93) pioneer Site of Pointers Hall, Totteridgge, motor buses, Guttershedge home of Harmsworth family (Lords Farm (now Park Rd, NW4) Northcliffe, Rothermere, et al) Sir Francis Pettit Smith, (1808-74) invented screw propeller also Guttershedge Farm (on same plaque as above) Joseph Grimaldi, clown, Fallow Will Hay, actor & comedian, The Corner, High Rd, N. Finchley White House, Gt. North Way Rev Benjamin Waugh, founder Elias Ashmole, antiquarian & founder of NSPCC, Christ Church United. of Ashmolean Museum, Belmont, Mt. Reformed Church, Friern Barnet Pleasant, Southgate David Garrick, (1717-79), actor manager, Hendon Hall Hotel



Members may have other suggestions for possible Blue Plaque contenders. If so, please send them to the Hon. Secretary, particularly if you can give fairly precise details of the address and, if the original building has been demolished, what stands there now.
NOVEMBER LECTURE

On Tuesday, Nov. 7 we are fortunate in having Professor John Evans, Director of the Institute of Archaeology of London University, coming to talk to us on, the First Cretans. This is a subject on which he is pre-eminent. His excavations of the early 196Os added greatly to archaeological understanding of the Neolithic period in the Aegean and early Greece - particularly his discovery of the camp level on bedrock at Knossos, with early, middle and late Neolithic strata above it, all underlying the Palace levels of Bronze Age Minoan Crete found earlier by his namesake Sir Arthur Evans.
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This will certainly be a lecture not to miss. As always; it will be at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4, starting with coffee at 8 pm and the lecture at 8.30.
DIGGING AND FIELD WORK AHEAD

Nov 4/5 and Nov 11/12. Two West Heath processing weekends at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11. Details were in the last Newsletter, so this is just a reminder.

At the moment digging is, in far, more important than processing, with three trenches at West Heath still to be got down to natural before the season ends. For these first two weekends of November, therefore, we shall run a two-part exercise: there will be digging at West Heath in the mornings, 10 am-lunchtime, with Terry Keenan in charge; and, as well; processing all day at the Teahouse. Active diggers are invited - indeed, encouraged to divide their time between morning digging and afternoon processing. Not-so-active members will be welcome at the Teahouse from 10 am-on.


In addition, digging will continue on Wednesdays from 10 am-lunchtime until the weather breaks.


Sat. November 25. Surveying Practice. Barrie Martin will demonstrate the use of the new HADAS level at the West Heath site at 10.30 am. This will be a good opportunity for members to get to know and handle our new instrument, and we can discuss further plans for using it during the coming winter.

Sun. December 3. Desmond Collins has agreed to lead a field walk to look for other possible Mesolithic sites on Hampstead Heath. Assemble at the White Stone pond (near Jack Straws Castle} at 10 am.

Will members who intend to come either surveying or walking please let Daphne Lorimer know their intentions beforehand?

Wed. December 13. Christmas party at Grims Dyke, Harrow Weald. Arrangements have now been completed and a form is enclosed with this Newsletter for those members who have booked for the party.

LOOKING AHEAD still further, here is advance news of next years "1ong trip." In 1978 we went north to Orkney. In 1979 - from Sept. 19-23 in we shall go west to Wales.

We have been fortunate in securing the use of the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre for HADAS's sole accommodation. The Centre is manned by professional staff who will guide us and give evening talks on all periods of archaeology in the North Wales area. Further details and application forms will be enclosed with the January Newsletter.
OTHER EVENTS IN THE OFFING

The 13th Local History Conference, sponsored by the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society, will be held on Sat. Nov 18 at the Museum of London. Door's open at 1.30, Conference begins at 2.30.

This year the main subject is the history of commercial and nursery gardening in the London area. Tickets, price £1, including tea, are obtainable from the Hon. Soc, Local History Cttee, 3 Cameron House, Highland Road, Bromley, Kent (please enclose s.a.e}.

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The London Natural History Society will hold a symposium at the Zoo on Sat. December 9 next, and HADAS has been invited to take part in the proceedings by contributing a brief talk with slides on the West Heath dig.


Daphne Lorimer and Joyce Roberts will represent us, Daphne talking about the dig itself, Joyce about its botanical implications. Members of HADAS are cordially invited to attend. Tickets may be obtained from A J Barrett of-21 Greenway, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, price £2, including coffee and tea.

Wed. November 29 at 8.15 pm at Hendon Library, an LBB Library lecture, Journey to the Stone Age, in which John and Julie Batchelor will talk and show film on Indonesian New Guinea.
THE SPRING SITE 0N WEST HEATH AND ITS FLORA

When HADAS first planned to dig the Spring Site in 1977, the Society was asked to monitor the area after the dig finished; and to provide a report a year later, as a practical example of the regeneration of a dig site. Here is the report, by JOYCE ROBERTS MSc, PhD.

Lists of plants found on Hampstead Heath have been published over the years. There is one list by Henry T. Wharton, another in Barratt's Annals of Hampstead, and a third by members of the Hampstead Heath Society (1913). From these a picture builds up of typical lowland and bog present over a much wider area than the wet marshy patch known by HADAS as the Bog or Spring Site today. After the first exploratory "hole" was dug in July 1976 it seemed worthwhile to find out what plants were now growing in this damp hollow.

1976 was a very dry year and there was no standing water, though the ground was squelchy in places. The chief plant was the Reed Grass (Glyceria maxima L) in the spongy peat. Where the ground was slightly drier, clumps of Soft Rush (Juncus effusus L) were found. Numerous tiny seedlings (not identifiable) were seen in small bare patches and birch seedlings derived from birch trees in the adjoining higher ground were common. Where the ground was drier outside the central hollow there were tussocks of Blue Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea Moench) and Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus L); beyond this there were specimens of two heath grasses; Creeping Willow was noted; Woodrush was found in one place only. There was a bramble bush at one side and also Marsh Willowherb plants. It was clear that the more interesting bog plants such as marsh violet, bogbean, etc. no longer grew there.

In May 1977 the "big hole" was dug, leaving a pond with steep sides, a large spoil-heap of yellow sandy clay on one side and a gentle slope down to the water on the west - the runway - where the excavator had stood. Tho plants removed by the excavation were mainly the Reed Grass and Soft Rush growing in the central wetter part of the site, but large areas of the two species were undisturbed.

By July of that year the Yorkshire Fog had begun to colonise the edges of the spoil-heap, but other wise the sides of the pond, the runway and the spoil heap were bare.

By May 10, 1978, docks, Creeping Buttercup {Ranunculus repens L) and the Soft Rush were spreading across and down the runway. The spoil heap had in addition plants of Reed Grass, birch seedlings and various tiny unidentified seedlings. In a bank above the runway a robin was nesting.

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The Heath custodians now moved the chestnut paling fence much closer to the pond, so that any regeneration outside it will now not take place.

On Sept. 13, 1978, on a beautiful late summer day, the pond had lost its sharp edges and the vegetation had spread towards the water. Four fine dragon flies darted back and forth. In three places the Reed Grass had advanced into the pond; in a cleft in one of the baulks of wood floating in the water a seedling of Persicaria (Polygonum persicaria L) was growing. There were a great many Persicaria plants on the runway and near the margins of the water. In one place in the shallow water plants of the Bulbous Rush (Juncus bulbosus L) were growing. At one spot on the runway a poorly developed plant of the Lesser Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula L) had appeared. The spoil heap was now overgrown with Reed Grass, Yorkshire Fog, Creeping Buttercup and a few docks. It seems probable by next year all the bare soil will be covered and the pond will have silted up very considerably with the Reed Grass advancing still further.

It was always hoped that some of the plants recorded in the past might return, and a true regeneration of the bog take place. This does not appear to be happening, with the possible exception of the Lesser Spearwort. The draining of the bog in 1881 is supposed to have eradicated it; I suspect the one plant I have found was brought in by a bird, since it is not in general an uncommon plant - but maybe it is the result of the germination of a long dormant seed. The same may be true of the Bulbous Rush. Persicaria is often found at the margins of ponds and at the moment is growing on rough ground near Sandy Road (the unmade road which passes the lower West Heath site). One can only conclude that it does not seem likely, that the mechanical excavation of one part of the bog will lead to the re-appearance of interesting bog plants.
TUDOR PALACE

A report by EDGAR LEWY on the October lecture.

A distinct beginning-of-term feeling was discernible at Hendon Central Library on October 3 when Derek Gadd gave the inaugural lecture of the Society's winter season on "The excavation of the Tudor brick royal palace at Bridewell." Mr. Gadd had been site supervisor of the dig.

More than one hundred members and visitors enjoyed his outline history of the former Bridewell Palace, built by Henry VIII in the early 16th c. at the junction of the Fleet River and the Thames. Gardens and orchards had occupied the site, but Henry, a prolific builder, wanted a residence near the city, even though he already possessed of Sheen, Greenwich and Windsor Palaces. Today only part of the foundations remain of the elaborate brick structure he raised, shortly to be replaced by office buildings: a small panel of brickwork will be preserved as a memorial.

Mr. Gadd explained the techniques and thorough workmanship of the Tudor builders, and his generous pictorial references not only showed construction details as revealed by the excavators, but many views of Bridewell later in its history, when - abandoned by the King and his successors - it became successively a workhouse and then a squalid prison. The whole was demolished in 1865, leaving only part of the foundations to be excavated and recorded now.

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AIDS TO RESEARCH

JOANNA CORDEN'S next article in the series on archives for local historians.

IV. External Sources: Pt. 3: Greater London Record Office (Middx Recs)

This office is a fruitful source of information for Finchley, Hadley, Hendon, Edgware and Friern Barnet - that is, the areas within the former county of Middlesex.

Sessions records. Before the establishment of county councils in 1888, county government was in effect carried out by the Justices of the Peace, whom "the Tudors made one of their main instruments of government" with not only judicial but also considerable administrative functions. These included the overseeing of the poor law and vagrancy; gaols, asylums, houses of correction; fairs and markets; regulation of wages, prices and weights; upkeep of roads and bridges; licensing of non-conformist meeting houses, alehouses, playhouses; and levying of rates. It is therefore inevitable that references to areas within the present borough occur in these records.

THE MAIN TYPES OF RECORDS ARE:

the sessions order books (containing the formal orders of the court, reports from officers and committees and wages assessments);

sessions rolls and bundles (including, among other things, presentments of offenders, indictments, informants' reports, bonds, lists of offences, petitions, religious certificates of various kinds, licences and pauper removal orders);

session minute books – recording the verdicts and orders of the court, and lists of registered meeting houses);

records of committees (such as those dealing with licensing, finance, asylums, police); and accounts (especially for the different rates levied by the justices for specific purposes, and later a general rate) including books or rolls, cash books, ledgers, bills and vouchers.

The Quarter Sessions were also used for the enrolment, registration and deposit of documents. These include the registration of oaths, of licences granted, of electors after 1832, of dissenters' places of worship and the enrolment and deposit of deeds of bargain and sale, of enclosure and title' commutation documents, of taxation records and plans of projected canals and turnpikes.

Poor Law Records. During the 19th c. various bodies were established, e.g. law guardians, highway boards and local boards of health - which reduced J.Ps' powers. These, too, are an excellent source of information unobtainable by any other means.

This is particularly true of the poor law; with the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 the parish basis of poor relief ceased, direction for it passing to the poor law unions and elected boards of guardians. The most important records are the Guardians' minute books and general ledgers, which are the basis of any local study of poor relief after l834. They contain much detail on the administration of the union workhouse, such as the erection and alteration of buildings, reports from officials, and much on general social conditions. The general ledgers or account books of the boards of guardians provide information on the financial history of poor law administration, as well as a multitude of other general matters.

Land Tax Records are a valuable source of information for various purposes. They exist for most of the 18th c. until 1832. Duplicates of the annual assessments for each parish were deposited with the Clerk of the Peace, hence their presence in local county record offices. The assessments and returns were usually presented in four columns: first, names of landowners; second, names of occupiers of land (though until 1780 little effort was made to distinguish between owners and tenant occupiers); third, the rateable value; and fourth, the amount annexed and paid. In some cases the name of the property is given, and a description - e.g. close; garden, cottage, etc. they arc a useful indication of size of estates, and give information on the structure of land ownership, if used in conjunction with other local records such as enclosure.

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Diocesan Records. The MRO is a diocesan record office, hence all the records applicable to the diocese can be found here, including the parish registers (though not necessarily the vestry minutes, overseers, surveyors of the highways: or churchwardens; records). Most of the registers for parishes in our borough have been deposited, and when they have not, the same information can be found in the Bishops' Transcripts, made at intervals from the registers. The diocesan records have mostly been transferred to the Guildhall Library.

Manorial Records for this area can also be found at the MRO. For Finchley, court books, valuations, accounts and perambulations exist for 1716-36; for Friern Barnet, court rolls for 1528-32 only; and for Hendon court rolls for 1688-1934. Indexes exist only for Hendon l460-1849, a list of Admissions to Waste 1700-1886 and a copy of a Hendon Rental 1528-9.

Land Registry Record. The records of the Middlesex Land Registry are at the MRO, from 1709-1837; those of 1837-1937 have been transferred to County Hall, and an appointment is required to consult them. These records can be extremely useful; it was not compulsory to register the transfer of property, but once registered, the property can be traced thereafter in the Registry. There are of course deposited here a great many deeds and other records relating to property in LBB, and a search of the indexes for either persons or property is always fruitful.

The Greater London Record Office (Middlesex Records) is at 1 Queen Anne's Gate Buildings, Dartmouth Street, SWl. It-is open 9~30 am- 5 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri; and 9.30 am-7.30 pm Thurs.
ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY

...is one of the youngest branches of archaeology, and very much an in-thing at the moment. We are grappling with some aspects of it at West Heath. Indeed, so new is it that there has been no time for a literature to grow up about it.

However, John G Evans, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at University College, Cardiff, has just produced an Introduction to Environmental Archaeology which begins to fill the gap (published 1978 in paperback by Paul Elek at £2.95). It covers human environment (climate, geology, spatial variability, time, etc); plant remains; animal remains; soils and sediments and "natural situations" (e.g. deep sea cores, coastlines, ice sheets, peat bogs, etc).

The final chapter deals with archaeological (or contrived} situations, and provides a sort of potted guide to what to look for in each of them: banks and ditches of various kinds, buried ancient soil surfaces, pits, post-holes, wells, graves, lynchets, field walls, tells, urban sites and middens. This is a good basic hand-book, and worth adding to the bookshelf . .
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Talking of books, we reviewed five Shire books in the last Newsletter:

Elementary Surveying for Industrial Archaeologists - Hugh Bodey & Michael Hallas

Prehistoric Pottery - Nancy G Langmaid

Anglo-Saxon Pottery - David H Kennett

Medieval Pottery - Jeremy Has1am

Pottery in Roman Britain (revised) Vivien G Swan

Our Hon. Treasurer asks us to remind you that these five can be obtained from him, price £1.25 each plus 15p postage. He can also obtain any other title you may want in the Shire range, and will be happy to do so.
ROMAN LONDON

A course which may interest some HADAS members starts at Barnet after Christmas. It is on the Archaeology of Roman London, and is by an acknowledged expert - Ralph Merrifield, who was until last August, when he retired, a senior member of the staff of the Museum of London.

Mr. Merrifield - author of The Roman City of London, published by Benn in 1965 - will give 12 lectures on Fridays from 10.30-12.30 in the morning, starting Jan. 5, at the Old Bull, 68 High Street, Barnet. He will cover the origins of Londiniurn, its development as an administrative (centre and capital, its topography, defences, trade, crafts, domestic life, religion and later history. The course has been arranged by Barnet WEA and applications to join should be made to Mr. K L Woodland, 22 Birley Rd, N20.

Other news comes about Ralph Merrifield this month. The London & Middlesex Archaeological Society has produced, as its Special Paper No. 2:, a festschrift volume on his retirement, Collectanea Londiniensia.

After an introductory tribute from Professor Grimes and a bibliography of the Merrifield published works, there are 35 studies on various aspects of the history and archaeology of London, ranging from prehistory to the memorials of the West Norwood Cemetery. They cover such diverse topics as Iron Age coinage, Roman clay statuettes, Saxon land grants, the trousseau of Princess Elizabeth Stuart and the making of Coade stone.

Since HADAS is affiliated to LAMAS, we receive a copy of this interesting volume free, and at the next HADAS November meeting it will be in the Bookbox. If you would like to borrow it, please apply to our Hon. Librarian.

Another book, of interest to local historians and industrial archaeologists, has unexpectedly been added recently to the Bookbox - a history of Friern Hospital from the time it opened in 1853 as Colney Hatch Asylum up to 1973.

Called Psychiatry for the Poor, it is a medical/social history. There are chapters on the early buildings and their later enlargement; on early treatment, and how treatment changed and improved; on the financial side, the legal aspects of insanity, and many other points. It has kindly been presented to HADAS by one of its co-authors, Dr. Richard Hunter.

Friern Hospital figures in the current HADAS Industrial Archaeology exhibition, "Here Today Gone Tomorrow, now at the Barnet Museum. The hospital authorities have lent many interesting Relics, including early, photos, plans and objects. Members who are in Barnet in the next 3 months may care to look in to see this display - the times the Museum is open were given in the last Newsletter.
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