A report by PAUL CRADDOCK on the November lecture.
A large audience, even for HADAS, came to hear Professor John Evans, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, London, lecture on the first Cretans, in which we heard about the Neolithic cultures that preceded the great Minoan Bronze Age palaces. In fact, the Neolithic settlement excavated by Professor Evans lies beneath the world famous Palace of Knossos.
The natural hillock upon which Knossos lies was first occupied about BC 6000 by immigrant farmers, probably from south-west Anatolia. Although they built rectangular houses of mud-brick and had figurines of fired clay they apparently did not use pottery. Only after some considerable time was pottery made there. These first pots are very proficient, certainly not the work of beginners, but apparently have no precursors -puzzling.
The economy of the farmers was based on wheat (including so-called 'modern' breadwheats), barley, sheep, pig and cattle. These are amongst the earliest domestic cattle known. Throughout the 3000 years of the Neolithic the settlement closely expanded until it must have incorporated' many hundreds of people farming, potting, weaving and trading occasionally with the coast for shell fish, and even further afield across the Aegean to Melos for obsidian. Through careful excavation and painstaking analysis Professor Evans has been able to reconstruct their world, a world lost for over 4000 years.
The appreciative HADAS audience which came to hear Professor Evans was probably the largest that the Society has had at one of its lectures: but that very success has brought problems in its train.
The Borough Librarian, David Ruddom, has drawn our attention to the fact that the audience on that occasion greatly exceeded the maximum capacity of the hall, which is 116. This is laid down by GLC regulations which, the Librarian points out, are designed for the safety and comfort of those attending meetings.
Mr. Ruddom has therefore asked us to ensure in future that our audience does not exceed 116. To comply with this request we shall for the next 2 or 3 months limit the audience to the permitted number; and regretfully we shall not admit any non-members. Members are accordingly asked to bring their membership cards with them to the January lecture and thereafter. Any member who has mislaid a card should send the Hon. Treasurer a stamped addressed envelope for replacement.
The problem of such exceptionally large audiences does not arise often - only occasionally when either the speaker or subject is of wide interest. Should this happen again, we shall investigate the possibility of finding a larger hall. If any member knows of a possible venue, we would be vary glad to hear of it - please pass the suggestion on to any of the Society's officers.
Some news from York this month - a city which is of importance to every British archaeologist, but is particularly interesting to HADAS since the long weekend we spent there two years ago.
First, a conference on Environmental Archaeology (very much the in-thing in 1978 archaeological circles) to be held at the University of York from Jan. 5-7 1979, under the CBA umbrella. The title is Environ- mental Archaeology in the Urban Context, the Chairman is Barry Cunliffe and the opening lecture on Friday evening is by Peter Addyman of the York Archaeological Trust. On the succeeding 2 days Soils and Sediments, Botanical Studies, Invertebrate Zoology (one speaker will be Maureen Girling, who has helped us at West Heath, on insect evidence) and Vertebrate Zoology will be examined. Cost, which covers full board, is £28.50. Closing date for applications Dec. 20 next, forms from CBA, 112 Kennington Road, London SEll 6RE.
Secondly, a beautifully produced booklet for the general reader has just been published by the York Archaeological Trust on 2000 Years of York - the Archaeological Story."
It is in colour and the photographs are magnificent, both of sites under excavation and of objects. Particularly good are the series of five conjectural maps (done from a precisely similar angle to that of the opening air photo of York today) in four colours which show in turn Roman York in the 4th c, Anglian York c. 800 AD, Viking York c. 1000 AD, Norman York in the early 12th c and Medieval York about 1350 - a most lucid presentation of the successive phases of settlement. Price £1.45 (post 20p extra) from the Trust, 47 Aldward, York.
HADAS at last has a room of its own - only a small one, 11 ft by 8 ft, but after 15 years or more of homelessness any kind of roof over our head is a start. We are renting Room 3 at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley; under license from the Borough of Barnet. We intend to use it mainly for storing books (the Bookbox now contains over 200 volumes) negatives, photographs and other papers and possibly a few finds, though not many things of any bulk will fit in.
Avenue House, a piece of high Victorian architecture, was mainly built in 1858/9 by a local builder, Charles Plowman, for the then owner of the land, the Rev. Edward Philip Cooper, heir to the Allen family estates. In 1874 it was bought by Henry Charles ("Inky") Stephens, maker of Blue-black and other inks, with the famous trademark of a large blot.
Stephens often used his estate for entertaining the locals - his parties were famous - and when he died in 1918 he left the house and its magnificent grounds to the people of Finchley. There was a proviso that it be "kept open for the use and enjoyment always of the public under reasonable regulations"
The house - and the benefaction - have had a somewhat chequered career since, but it now seems that local groups are getting more chance to use the legacy. Barnet Borough Arts Council, Rotary, the Finchley Society and HADAS are among those which have found space there. Unfortunately for those like ourselves engaged in 'leisure time activities', the building is closed on Saturdays and Sundays; it is open on weekdays from 9 am-10.30 pm, except occasionally in July and August when it may close earlier in the evening.
At Grimsdyke, Dec. l3. The following are the arrangements for coach pick-up:
PLEASE BE PUNCTUAL. If you alter your pick-up requirements, please let Dorothy Newbury know immediately. Otherwise you may cause delay or the coach could leave without you.
CANCELLATIONS. There have been 6 cancellations, so if anyone would like to, take part, or to bring a friend, please ring Dorothy soon. Tickets are £9.25 each.
For the information of those travelling independently, dinner is 7.45 for 8 pm. Dress is informal -long or short for ladies. The party should end about 10-10.30 pm.
Lest your January Newsletter should not reach you before the next lecture on Jan. 2 (postal services are often tricky in holiday time) here is advance information. The lecture - "I've come about the drains" - will be given by Tony Rook and will be on the development of Roman bath systems.
Many members will know Mr. Rook, but for those who don't, he is Director of the Welwyn Archaeological Society, Education officer to the Lockleys Archaeological Trust and was responsible for the preservation and display of the Roman bath under the motorway at Welwyn. He has spent 6 years working on building research, three of them on Roman building in Britain and abroad. At the moment he has in the pipe-line a series of TV programmes on that subject, of which his talk to us will be a foretaste.
HADAS's site-watching activities (described in Newsletter 85 of last March) in the Borough of Barnet include keeping a special eye on areas likely to be of particular archaeological interest. One of these is the Edgware Road, the A5, which forms a great part of the Borough's western boundary. The road is thought to run, for most of its length, on the line, or very close to it, of Roman Watling Street probably first constructed soon after the invasion of 43 AD. It is therefore worth looking into any hole which may be made by builders or developers near the A5 in case evidence of the Roman road has become visible.
Accordingly when HADAS member Albert Dean rang up one recent Saturday to report a trench open on the west of Edgware road near Burnt Oak, beside a bingo hall formerly a cinema (at approx. OS grid ref. TQ 2029 9020) Ted Sammes and Jeremy Clynes went off to have a look.
There was one open section to be seen, about 30 ft. long. At the west end the section was 1 ft. deep, but because of a rise in the land surface and deeper cutting, it was 6 ft. deep at the east end. There was a thin layer of mixed grey disturbed topsoil, a few inches thick, overlying the whole section; for two-thirds of the trench from the east end this lay over a solid expanse of yellow clay, with few stones, which had not been bottomed even at the end where the section was 6 ft. deep; for the remaining one-third the clay shaded off into pale grey disturbed soil. There was no indication of metalling, camber or ditch which might have indicated the presence of the Roman road.
This is, of course, purely negative evidence; but collecting such scraps whenever they become available, and recording them, may someday prove valuable for future research.
Unfortunately - and possibly because the modern road does run very much on the Watling Street line -sightings of the foundations of the Roman road are rare. One such was made well south of our Borough. It is described in Ivan Margary's Roman Roads in Britain (revised edit. 1967, p.171) as follows: "there is no doubt about the Roman origin of Edgware Road, for considerable remains of the ancient metalling were found during road excavations between Marble Arch and Seymour Street...The general alignment of the road is closely followed by the present streets: Edgware Road, Maida Vale, Kilburn High Road, Cricklewood Broadway, Edgware Road and Stone Grove, and it was evidently sighted upon high ground at Brockley Hill, two miles beyond Edgware. The route was cleverly chosen to keep clear of low ground to the east, where there are several small streams."
From the northern part of Barnet Borough boundary at Brockley Hill there is also evidence (though somewhat 'conflicting) for the line of Watling Street. In Trans. LAMAS (vol 27, 1976) Stephen Castle sums up the position like this: "trenches cut in 1951-2, 1960-1, 1968 and 1970 have provided. evidence of an early road on the west side of modern Watling Street, 'consisting of a gravel-capped clay bank with irregular side ditches, which in places contained first to second and fourth century artefacts in their infill. In a field south of the orthopaedic Hospital its width was found to vary from l3 ft. to 25 ft. over a distance of 250 yards. However, the evidence for its being Roman Watling Street is at present inconclusive. Between this road and modern Watling Street was found the remains of a later hollow way, which was apparently in use during the middle ages, certainly in use during the 18th c, but which had been supplanted by 1827 when the present road had, come into being ...'A U-shaped ditch excavated in 1970, on the west side of the modern road, is clearly pre-Flavian and appears to represent the original west boundary ditch of the Roman road."
A further piece of evidence is supplied by HADAS member Paddy Musgrove. It is a testimony to meticulous recording and a good filing system - because he made the observations 24 years ago, long before he became a member of HADAS. He had studied an Electricity Board trench across the A5 at the foot of Brockley Hill (app. TQ 182928) and wrote to Philip Suggett, then directing archaeological work at Brockley Hill for the North Middlesex Archaeological Research Committee, in December 1953: "the trench had been driven half way across the road at the time I was there and I am certain that I could see a section of portion of the Roman roadway. It was physically impossible for me to examine it at close quarters - but it seemed to be composed of coarse gravel and the portion visible indicated a surprisingly sharp camber. It was four or five feet below the level of the modern roadway."
Mr. Suggett replied "thank you for the information about Watling Street. We took photographs of the trench ...the metalling underneath the modern road is, I believe, the Roman road. It is about 13 ft. 6 ins. wide and, as you say is very steeply cambered. We also noticed a ditch on the east side, below the pavement." Subsequently, in a footnote to one of his Brockley Hill reports (Trans. LAMAS vol XI 1954) Mr. Suggett published this information: "gravel metal1ing, flanked on the east by a well marked ditch, was found under the modern road."
At the moment this is where the material evidence for Watling Street rests; but HADAS hopes some day to add to it.
Sun. Dec. 3. Walk on Hampstead Heath, led by Desmond Collins, looking for struck flints as signs of Mesolithic occupation. Meet at Whitestone Pond, Hampstead, 10 am. Members of the Camden History Society have been invite to join us, and we hope some of them may be able to do so.
Digging continues in three trenches at West Heath on Wed, Sat. and Sun. mornings, 10 am-l pm, until these trenches are down to natural. The evidence they may contain is needed for the interim report which Desmond Collins hopes to publish in 1979. As soon as they are completed, digging will end for: this season. Processing of 1978 finds. There will be further processing weekends at the Teahouse, Hampstead Garden Suburb, in the early spring (details in the next Newsletter). Some processing will take place on Wednesday afernoons (2 pm-5 pm) from Nov. 29 in the new HADAS room at Avenue House. As the room is small, members who would like to help are asked to phone Daphne Lorimer first.
In the last Newsletter we listed the various suggestions which we have made to the Borough of Barnet about possible contenders for commemorative Blue Plaques. Now, at the suggestion of the Mill Hill and Hendon Historical Society, we have added a further item to our reserve list - the Inglis Barracks at Mill Hill. We are indebted to the Secretary of the Society, John Collier, for the following note on its history.
The Barracks was built in 1905 as the depot of the Middlesex Regiment, the Die-Hards. It was first known as "The Garden Barracks. It was subsequently officially known as "Inglis Barracks" after the Commander of the Middlesex Regiment, Colonel Inglis who, at the battle of Albuhera, while lying wounded, called out to his men as they passed "Die hard, Middlesex, die hard." The flag of the Middlesex Regiment was finally hauled down on January 31, 1961.
This cry for help comes from two very different fronts...
First, has any HADAS member a folding chair or two which is not needed? If so, and you would be prepared to donate them to the Society, they would be of great use in the new room at Avenue House. Dorothy Newbury has kindly provided us with a table; and Dave King is about to go into action putting up shelving for books etc. We are, however, short of chairs; we need about 6, and they must either fold away or be very small, to suit the room.
Secondly, is there any hidden (so far) typing talent in the Society? If so, could it now come forth from its hiding place and help HADAS? We have several very faithful, industrious and conscientious typists - among them Eileen Haworth, Liz Aldridge and Olive Burton - but we hesitate to overload anyone of them. A few more volunteers who would be prepared to type occasional exhibition captions or to cut stencils (for which a strong machine is required) of notices, minutes and the like would be most welcome. May we, at the same time, thank those members who already help in this way? Offers either of chairs or typing help, please, to Brigid Grafton Green.
Two valuable additions to the Book-box, from an anonymous donor, are volumes in the Routledge & Kegan Paul Archaeology of Britain series.
Iron Age Communities in Britain, by the Editor of the series, Barry Cunliffe, begins to bring some order into what has, for the past decade or so, been a particularly muddling and difficult period of British pre-history, on which ideas have been constantly changing. It Covers England, Scotland and Wales from the 7th c. BC to the Roman Conquest, including the initial establishment of Roman rule, and deals with every aspect - trade, settlement, economy, defences, industry, art, religion and social mores. There are appendices on pottery and on radiocarbon dates, and a very full bibliography.
The Prehistoric Settlement of Britain, by Richard Bradley, is a "must" for all 4th Yr. Diploma students taking either the Prehistoric Britain or the Environmental Archaeology courses.
Mr. Bradley has taken four fascinating aspects of Prehistoric Settlement - Clearance and Colonisation; Arable and Pastoral Farming; Trans-humance and Nomadism and Hunting, Gathering and Fishing -and has produced a synthesis of the latest developments in their study. The text is lucid, the diagrams clear, the bibliography valuable and the only jarring note is a slightly precious choice of chapter titles. D.L.
The Ordnance Survey is in course of issuing new editions of two favourite specialist maps.
The third edition of the map of Monastic Britain has just been published in 2 sheets, North and South, showing the geographical distribution and historical development of monastic houses from lO66-Dissolution. There is a 36-page text by Richard Neville Haddock. Hard cover £5.00; single sheets flat £I each.
The 4th edition of the map of Roman Britain (also now 2 sheets, at 1:625000 scale, North and South) will come out in January 1979 with a text of 56 pages, an index of Roman place names, a chronology of 55 BC-AD 446, two supplementary maps and a topographical index of sites. Hard cover £5.00, single sheets £1.00 each.
Obtainable now or when published from Cook, Hammond & Kell, 22-24 Caxton St SWl or Stanfords, 12-14 Long Acre, WC2.
In addition to its degree courses the Open University provides a number of short home study courses, each lasting 10 weeks. Two which start next Feb/March may be up the street of some HADAS members. One is called "Doing History," the other is on Industrial Archaeology.
The correspondence texts for the courses are based on degree material; there is also a study guide, radio and TV broadcasts and a series of optional assignments. Built into each course is a project specially tailored to encourage local study.
Final date for applications is Dec. 15, 1978. Forms and further information can be obtained from the Associate Student Central Office , Open University, PO Box 76, Mil ton Keynes, MK7 6AN.
Talking of Industrial Archaeology, our exhibit on that subject, "Here today, Gone Tomorrow," is now on show at the Museum, Wood Street, Barnet, on Tues. and Thurs. 2.30-4.30 pm, Sats 10.00-12.30 and 2.30-4.30 until January 31 next.
The exhibition deals with transport and farming: two key industries in our area for many centuries; and has a special section on Friern Hospital (formerly Colney Hatch) containing material which has not been shown before and is now on display only because of the helpful cooperation of the hospital authorities. An information sheet about the various exhibits has been prepared for visitors. The following are excerpts from it.
TRANSPORT IN BARNET.
As a market town Barnet must have a long transport history. A "great north road" has existed at least since 1386 but no visible evidence pre-dates the 18th c. turnpike trusts. A milestone exists on Barnet Hill and a boundary stone is preserved in Ravenscroft Park. By the mid-19th c. there were regular horse-bus services to the Bank and connecting the local villages to the new railway stations.
In 1855 the Great Northern Railway's main line to York was opened, with stations originally at Colney Hatch (New Southgate) and Barnet (New Barnet). The former served the new asylum whose site was chosen for rail access. The Edgware and High Barnet branches date from about 1870. Taken over by London Transport in 1939-40, most of the stations retain considerable Victorian atmosphere, but Edgware has disappeared.
The Midland Railway's London extension was opened in 1867, but electrification threatens the few remaining original traces which the building of the M1 extension left untouched.
Trams started to run in the area about; 1906 and Finchley depot, now a bus garage, remains. Trolley buses replaced trams in 1936-8 and were themselves replaced by buses in 1962. Trolley bus poles, adapted as lighting standards, remain around New Southgate station.
Lamp posts bring us to the many interesting examples old, and not so old, street furniture of may kinds which still remain in the area.
In the exhibition we have tried to illustrate some of this history, mainly photographically, with examples of each phase of transport development. Bill Firth
Each age puts together the institutions it needs. The Victorians created caring communities, called asylums, for all manner of the deprived, handicapped and diseased.
The foundation stone of what was England's finest - and Europe's largest - mental hospital was laid by the Prince Consort in 1849. It opened in time for the Great Exhibition in July, 1851, with accommodation for 1250 patients, as the Middlesex County Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Colney Hatch. As plain Colney Hatch it became synonymous with madness, as Bedlam was in previous centuries.
It was planned as a largely self-supporting rural community with its own farm and kitchen garden, well, gas-works, brewery, laundry, needle-room and upholsterer's, tailor's and shoe-maker's shops; even its own graveyard. Most of the labour was done by the patients, which kept down their cost to the ratepayer while providing varied occupational therapy. As next to nothing was known of the causes of disease, treatment was on general lines by good food, fresh air, rest, exercise, occupation and amusement.
In 1889, on the creation of the LCC (now the GLC}, Colney Hatch became a London County Asylum. During World War I more than 3000 patients were accommodated. In 1937 it was renamed Friern Hospital, to remove old associations. In 1948 it was taken over by the National Health Service and given responsibility for a catchment including the boroughs of Camden, Islington and parts of Haringey and Enfield.
As medical knowledge grew, many of the diseases which filled it vanished and treatment for the remainder improved. In consequence the need for such a large and isolated establishment declined and continues to do so. Today there are fewer than 1000 patients and the numbers are still dropping.
The story of the old hospital is typical of many all over the country. Its medical and social history have been described in Psychiatry for the Poor, mentioned in last month's Newsletter. Our exhibits at Barnet Museum attempt to convey some aspects of its history. David Tessler
...of Industria1 Archaeology are as diverse as the industries from which they come. HADAS has chosen two to show at Barnet: bottles and clay tobacco pipes. Both have two great archaeological virtues: they are difficult to destroy, and their typology provides excellent dating evidence.
Bottles of glass and stoneware can almost be described as being all things to all men: they can supply a wide variety of information depending' on one's point of view.
They can represent the stage which glass making technology has reached; which closures or methods of sealing have reached; the packaging philosophy at the time of manufacture; something of the economic and social history of an area; while the shape of the container and the style of lettering can tell us a little about the artistic taste of people buying and selling the goods within the bottles.
Although a few of the bottles on show at Barnet are about 100 years old, most are much more recent. Changes in packaging mean that today's litter becomes tomorrow's museum piece. When did you last see for instance, a quart or a half-pint bottle of milk? Alec Jeakins
CLAY TOBACCO PIPES.
Tobacco was introduced into the British Isles in the reign of the first Elizabeth (1558-1603). At first the smoke was inhaled from a "little ladell" - made of silver for the rich and walnut shell for the poor. Soon, however, these "ladells," or pipes, came to be made of clay.
Because of the high price of tobacco in the 16th and early 17th c, early pipes were very small. The size of the bowl then gradually increased, with minor fluctuations, up to the end of the 19th c. With the 20th c. came briar pipes and cigarettes, and production and use of clay pipes died out.
Up to the end of the 18th c. some makers put their initials or trade marks on their pipes. In the 19th c. pipes began to appear with the full name of the maker and more elaborate makers' marks. Many other decorations also appeared, both on stems and bowls, and this exhibit shows a few of the hundreds of designs that were produced. Included, too, is a chronological display of pipes from early 17th to late 19th c. All pipes on show at Barnet come from within our Borough. Jeremy Clynes