newsletter-102-august-1979

Newsletter

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT - NEXT WINTER

To talk of winter activities when we have had as yet hardly any summer may seem unkind: but such is the popularity of evening classes, specially in archaeology, that we felt HADAS members would like to know as soon as possible what opportunities are in store.

CHRISTINE ARNOTT has prepared this round-up of evening classes that will be available next winter.

The following selection of classes gives only half the story; the other half will follow next month. This month I have concentrated on classes provided by centres where enrolment is preferable before the course commences. In Part II I hope to deal with WEA courses - often less formal as regards enrolment.

Barnet College, Wood Street, Barnet.(Enrolment for all classes at the College, Tues Sept 11, 10am-8pm, Wed Sept 12,6-8 pm)

This year the College is running classes for the 3rd year of the extramural Certificate in Field Archaeology of London University (28-week course approx. £15). On Wednesdays, beginning Sept 19, 7.30 pm, John Schofield will lecture on Field Archaeology and the Post-Roman Period in South-east England. Several HADAS members have taken the Certificate and enjoyed it considerably. It is more practical than the extra-mural Diploma in Archaeology and concentrates on southern Britain. Although obviously preferable to begin with the 1st year, students are not precluded from starting at the 3rd.

The College also offers two local history courses:

Trace your Family History, Tues from Sept 18, 7-9.30 pm, East Barnet Senior Schoo1, Chestnut Grove, Barnet, 30 weeks, app. £15.

Local Hjstory - Thurs from Sept 10, 7-9.30 pm, East Barnet Junior School, Westbrook Crescent, New Barnet, 20 weeks app. £10.

Members might also be interested in a 6-week course on Antiques at East Barnet Senior School - Mons 7.30-9.30 pm from Oct 1.

Note: the above information is given in advance of the printed prospectus, so that some facts are not yet available. A check with the College about details might be advisable.

Hendon College of Further Education Flower Lane, NW7. Enrolment at Hendon College, The Burroughs, Sept II & Wed Sept 12, 2-9.30 pm).

Archaeology in Action, a course of 21 lectures and visits, starting Mon. Sept 24, 7.30-9.30 pm. This study of man and technology from the Stone Age to the Dark Ages is being provided by HADAS - the third year that the Society has done so. The course will cover the development of building skills, ship-building techniques, irrigation, the opening of trade routes, metal-working and systems of barter, leading on to currency, weights and measures, etc. The course is designed for beginners or for those with a slight knowledge of archaeology: highly recommended for HADAS members who feel they would like to brush~up on basics.

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Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, Central Square. NWll. (Enrolment at the Institute, weekdays 9 am~5pm, 6.15-8.15 pm -daytime only during August).

At least two classes of general historical interest are offered:

London's Heritage, Fri, 10-12 noon, at Fellowship House, Willifield Way, NW11, beginning Sept 28, 22 lectures and 4 visits, £8.50. Those who attended a similar course last year reported Ron Phillips a fascinating lecturer - a taxi-driver who is a mine of information about London's past.

Henrietta's Dream - Social Change in England, 1900-1980, with special reference to Hampstead Garden Suburb. 12 lectures by Kathleen Slack, B.Sc (Soc), Weds, 8-9.30 pm from Sept 19 (£4).

As previously, the Institute offers classes for years 1 & 2 of the London University Extra-mural Diploma in Archaeology. These Diploma courses Greatly enrich one's archaeological knowledge, and no one need fear that the lectures will be too difficult to follow or the course of study too advanced. One gradually grows in understanding and ability during the course - as I can testify from personal experience - and help is always forthcoming from the lecturers and from fellow students.

The Archaeology of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Man, Weds from Sept 19, 7.30-9.30 pm, - 24 lectures and 4 visits, conducted by Desmond Collins. £9.

The Archaeology of Western Asia, Thurs from Oct 4, 7.30-9.30 pm, 24 lectures and 4 visits, lecturer David Price Williams, £9.

Finally, a special class for advanced students on Stone Tool Typology, Thurs from Sept 20, 8-9.30 pm, lecturer Desmond Collins (12 lectures, 1 visit, £4).

Extra-Mural Department. London University, 7 Ridgmount St. WCl.

Many archaeological and local history classes are run by this department in central London, and some people may find it easier to attend a central class straight from work. Classes include the 4 years of the Diploma in Archaeology. Details from address above - enclose large SAE.

One University-sponsored class is at Camden Institute, Haverstock Hill, NW3: a sessional course on Prehistoric Britain, given by a new and, I am assured, enthusiastic lecturer, Bernard Johnson. Beginning Mon Sept 17 at 7.30 pm. (24 lectures, 4 visits, £8.50). Enrolment at Haverstock Hill the previous week.

The Extra-mural Department's usual series of Thursday lectures on the latest advances in archaeology will deal, this year, with Roman Britain, a subject close to many HADAS hearts. Starting Oct. 4 at 7 pm, with lecturers of the calibre of Philip Rahtz, Mark Hassall and Graham Webster. Series £8 or individual lectures 50p each at the door.

THE LAST WORD ON ADULT EDUCATION?

At this moment when cuts in public expenditure seem to be almost the sole preoccupation of both national and local government, it is salutary to read this quotation from the Ashley Report (1954) on the Organisation and Finance of Adult Education in England and Wales:

"There is perhaps no branch of our vast educational system which should more attract within its particular sphere the aid and encouragement of the State than adult education. How many must there be in Britain, after the disturbance of two destructive wars, who thirst in later life to learn about the humanities, the history of their country, the philosophies of the human race, and the arts and letters which sustain and are borne for ward by the ever-conquering English language?

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This ranks in my opinion far above science and technical instruction, which are well sustained and not without their rewards in our present system. The mental and moral outlook of free men studying the past with free minds in order to discern the future demands the highest measures which our hard pressed finances can sustain.

I have no doubt myself that a man or woman earnestly seeking in grown-up life to be guided to wide and suggestive knowledge in the largest and most uplifted sphere will make the best of all pupils in this age of clatter and buzz, of gape and gloat. The appetite of adults to be shown the foundations and processes of thought will never be denied by a British Administration cherishing the continuity of our island life."

No prizes for guessing the author of that gorgeous rolling prose: it was Winston Churchill, in a letter dated March 11, 1953. It is enough to warm the cockles of your heart as you set out on a cold winter's night for an evening class on the distribution of stone axes in Outer Mongo1ia!

THE AUGUST 0UTING

The last of this year's one-day outings will also be the longest. We are visiting Castle Acre and Oxburgh Hall in northwest Norfolk. The main site at Castle Acre is the Priory, founded 1090. The church has a fine west front dating from late 1lth/early 12th c. The monastic buildings include the Prior's study and his private chapel.

The castle is now mainly an earthwork showing clearly the motte-and-bailey principle. The only building to survive is the gatehouse, dating from the 13th c. Oxburgh Hall is a moated house with the finest remaining l5th c. brick gatehouse in the country. The house contains needlework by Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. The National Trust has restored the beautiful parterre garden first laid out in 1850.

If you would like to join this outing, please fill in the enclosed form and return it as soon as possible to Dorothy Newbury.

THE WELSH LONG WEEK-END

… takes place from Sept 19-23. Dorothy Newbury has had one or two recent cancellations, so the waiting list is now a short one. If you have last-minute thoughts about joining this trip, please let Dorothy know so that your name can be added to the waiting list. You might be lucky and find a place.

AUGUST PLANS FOR WEST HEATH DIG

Daphne Lorimer asks us to say that as a number of diggers are free - and keen to dig - during August, arrangements have been made to continue digging on an informal basis on Weds, Sats and Suns throughout the month. Brigid Grafton Green will have a list of the site supervisors for each day, and it is suggested that members check with her for the day's plans. It may not always be possible to provide coffee and tea, so diggers are advised to bring their own thermoses.

There will be a FULL-TIME DIG FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER. starting on Mon Sept 3, 10 am-5 pm each day. Do please turn up as often as you can during that week. West Heath is full of surprises, and we still have to find that burial!

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REVIEWS

BARROWS IN ENGLAND AND WALES by Leslie V. Grinsell. Shire Archaeology, £1.50.

This 64-page booklet, excellently illustrated - as all the Shire Archaeology series is - with plans and photographs, is by an acknowledged master of his subject. Now retired, but formerly head of the Archaeology Department of Bristol Museum, Mr. Grinsell has made barrows the special study of a lifetime. He has written many books and papers on various aspects of them, starting with his classic Ancient Burial Mounds of England 25 years ago.

The present booklet is therefore the distillation of a deep and wide knowledge. It covers the history of barrow study; deals with barrows from the Neolithic through every succeeding period to the Viking; and ends with a bibliography and an extremely useful list of museums which contain interesting barrow material.

ROMAN VILLAS by David E. Johnston. Shire Archaeology, £1.50.

Anothcr finely-produced booklet in the same series, this time by the tutor in Archaeology to the extra-mural department of Southampton University. Again there are good photographs, plans of villas and field systems and drawings of villa reconstructions and of finds.

The text investigates types of villa, their function at different periods, their architecture and interior decoration and the final intriguing, and as yet unsolved question of just what did happen to the villa estates with the coming of the Saxons. There is a final list of the most interesting villa sites to visit.

These two Shire publications are obtainable from our Hon. Treasurer, Jeremy Clynes. Please add 15p to your order for postage.

SAXON AND VIKING BRITAIN. Council for British Archaeology and Map Productions, Ltd. £1.25.

This is the first in a series of folding paper maps which CBA is sponsoring, showing important sites and monuments at various periods.

The map is based on a modern road map. It shows three cultures - Anglo-Saxon, native British and Viking - and various types of find in each culture: burials, royal residences, churches, sculptures, mints, towns, bishop's sees, burghs and fortified sites.

Around the margins is a text, by James Graham-Campbell, which deals with agriculture, settlement, trade, transport, etc. There are small marginal settlement maps, town plans and illustrations in colour.

Obtainable from most booksellers.

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY published by the Argus Press Group at a subscription of £10 a year.

This new monthly magazine has Magnus Magnusson as its editor and an editorial board with some imposing archaeological names. The first issue came out in July 1979; it contains articles by Bruce Norman {editor of the BBC Chronicle programme), Barry Cunliffe, Graham Webster and Henry Cleere. In this first issue the accent seems to be on the word "popular." If that continues, the magazine may well ,fill a Gap which no other publication touches. It will be interesting to see how it progresses. Obtainable from newsagents, who may not stock it yet, but can order it for you.

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A TOWN TRAIL FOR HENDON

The foregoing reviews are of general publications. Now we come to something nearer home - a booklet, published last week, on which HADAS and the Libraries Department of the Borough of Barnet have collaborated.

It is a Town Trail for the central area of Hendon, describing the sort of walk you might take on a Sunday afternoon, and the buildings and history you would pass on your way. Starting at Hendon Central station, it takes you by way of Shirehall Lane and Brent Street through to The Burroughs, down to Church End and finally round by way of Ashley Lane and Parson Street. Along that route lies much of Hendon's history - and Hendon has a long history, as the Trail proves.

In this joint undertaking HADAS provided the research, the text and the illustrations for the Trail, while the Library produced finance to print it and designed the cover and the format. We hope members will find the results of this collaboration happy and fruitful.

The Library is also arranging a small exhibit, based on the Trail, at Church Farm House Museum from August 6 for several weeks. This will include the original illustrations by HADAS member Mary Allaway.

CHURCH FARM HOUSE, HENDON

Here is another chance for HADAS to collaborate with the Library. Our Borough Librarian, David Ruddom, sends us the following letter, which we are happy to print:

"Early next year the Libraries Department hope to publish a folio of information illustrated with prints, plans, drawings and photographs about Church Farm House, Hendon. We hope to be able to link the history of Church Farm with the development of the village of Hendon and include a record of farming in the area.

At this stage, preliminary research is being undertaken to check suitable material available and we are anxious to locate any illustrations, particularly early photographs, recording farming and farm workers, local shops, shopkeepers, tradesmen or local families in the Hendon area.

I should be most grateful if, through your Society Newsletter, you would bring this proposed project to the attention of your members with a request that if anyone has any illustrations or information they would allow us to use, to contact the Librarian in Charge of Special Services, Miss E A Holliday."

We understand that the occasion of the publication of the folio (which at the moment is being thought of as something like a school "jackdaw") will be the Museum's Silver Jubilee - Church Farm House was completed as a museum in September 1954. We hope HADAS members may be able to help.

HADAS GOES TO COVENTRY

By Betty Jacobs.

Jupiter Pluvius looked benignly on the coach taking 53 HADAS members to Bagington and Coventry on July 14. At Baginton we met Michael Stokes, our guide and mentor for the day, who outlined the history, excavation and "reconstruction" of the Lunt Roman fort.

In the early 60s, because of the Boudiccan revolt, a large fort was hastily built, but with the quelling of the uprising a smaller fort sufficed. The excavations which began in 1965 were expected to uncover a typical fort of playing-card shape. In fact the second fort, covering some 4 acres, proved to be unique, both in shape and function.

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The eastern boundary was found to bulge curiously, in order to contain a large circular fenced and double-gated space. This, linked with numerous cavalry finds, was identified as a gyrus, Or training area for horses. This gyrus, unique in excavated Roman forts, suggests that the Lunt was a specialist cavalry training establishment. Barrack blocks in two pairs, with stabling area, adjoin the gyrus entrance, and to the north are large granaries and an equipment shed. Finds in the northeast quadrant suggest the position of the workshop or fabrica.

Entering the fort through the rebuilt 2-storey eastern gateway, with turf and timber ramparts (and look-outs, we walked on the line of the Via Principalis past the outline of the ablution block to the Principia with its sunken sacellum, the first to be found in a timber fort. The east half of the Principia may have housed the resident officer at one time, but a much larger Praetorium was found in the southeast quadrant. This building, disproportionately large for a fort manned by a single cohort, reflects the specialist nature of the fort, and suggests the presence of an officer of very high rank. The main feature of the Lunt today is the reconstructed granary lying to the east of the Principia. Now imaginatively furnished as a museum giving a vivid impression of life in a Roman fort, this building is a simulation rather than a reconstruction, as no prototype has been discovered. Based on slots and postholes, it was built by 16 men of the Royal Engineers in 10 days, using, as the Romans had done, stripped elm wood, with Roman joints and Roman-type roofing shingles. The roof was pitched to take British rainfall and the roof-space was ample for Storage of meat, wine and oil. Grain was stored to the height of 10 ft. in the body of the building. With capacity for nearly 4000 cwts, this would confirm a camp size of one cohort. Piles at ground level and louvred windows would give ventilation; elm wood has water-repellent qualities.

The working life of the fort was only some 20 years. Apparently in 80 AD it was dismantled. No coin later than the time of Titus was found in the southern quadrants. Sadly, the gyrus was not used as a ready-made rubbish pit; it was filled only with sand and gravel.

In the afternoon we drove to Coventry, which took over from Baginton as the centre of population in the 9th/10th .c. The modern ring road follows roughly the outline of ancient Coventry, giving us the scale of the place. We stopped at Whitefriars, the remains of a Carmelite Priory, where we explored the eastern range of the cloister, excavated in 1960 and restored in 1966. A large church was excavated in 1960-69 and again in 1977-8 - a richly endowed church of red sandstone, of which only the chancel and choir remain. Choir stalls indicate the size of the community: 50 friars, 50 novices, 50 others. The large nave and 2 echo-chambers under the choir stalls indicate a preaching order.

Whitefriars Museum, presently used for processing finds from various digs, is housed in a huge room (originally the monks' dorter, or dormitory) with a vast roof of great timbers joined in many styles. A plethora of sherds await identification, and interesting medieval wood carvings cover the floor.

Mr. Stokes then conducted us across Coventry to Spon Street, which houses an impressive group of timber-framed buildings. It is hoped to add to this, so that a complete cobbled medieval street can be reconstructed. After tea, quick visits to the old and new Cathedrals and to Coventry Museum rounded off a day full of interest and contrasts. We felt greatly indebted to Eric Grant, who had arranged it so expertly, and to Mr. Stokes, whose unassuming erudition added much to our pleasure.

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THE HARVIST ESTATE

An ancient charity which still benefits various activities in our area is the Edward Harvist bequest. Recently, for instance, money from this charity was earmarked for the erection of Blue Plaques to commemorate famous people and places in the Borough.

Below GEORGE HOPKINS, Director of Financial Services and Borough Treasurer of the London Borough of Barnet, explains the background of this charity.

The Harvist Estate Trust is the subject of a Charitable Trust set up under the Will of Edward Harvist in 1610 for the purpose of repairing and amending the Highway between Tyburn and Edgware (now Edgware Road). Between 1610 and 1826 the road was subject to some Turnpike Trusts which in 1827 became invested in the Commissions of Turnpike Roads North of the Thames. As a result of amending legislation and local authority boundary changes over the following lOO years, the proceeds of the Trust were divided between the various local authorities responsible for the maintenance of the road.

The income from the Estate was derived from 333 houses, shops and workshops in the northern part of the Borough of Islington. In 1966 the Estate, then much below standard and partialy derelict, was sold to the London Borough of Islington, for development, at a price of £675,000, and income is now derived from the investment of this sum.

As the maintenance of the road which is the subject of the Trust had become the responsibility of the local authorities, a scheme was devised and became law under The Charities (Edward Harvist Estate) Order 1975, whereby the original objects of the Charity, i.e. maintenance of the road, were altered to the following:

1. The relief of the aged, impotent and poor inhabitants of the City of Westminster, The London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Camden and Harrow.

2. The relief of distress and sickness among the said inhabitants.

3. Provision of facilities, and support of recreation.

4. Provision of facilities, and support of education.

5. Any other charitable purposes.

A proviso is that no expenditure can be incurred which is properly expenditure due to be met from the General Rate. The Trustees and proportion of Income due to each are as follows:

Westminster 25%.

Barnet 31.02%.

Brent 27.68%.

Camden 10.714%

Harrow 5.594%

Acts and Authoritics for the setting up of an administration of the Trust:

I. The Will of Edwalrd Harvist, dated Feb. 21, 1610

2. The Metropolis Roads (Harvist Estate) Act, 1855

3. Scheme of the Charity Commissioners, July 22, 1949

4. The 'Charities (Edward Harvist Charity) Order, 1975

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STATION ROAD BRIDGE, HENDON

A note from BILL FIRTH.

Members who use Station Road, Hendon, may have been wondering what the road works on the railway bridge are all about. In fact it is an interesting, albeit minor, piece of industrial archaeology.

When the Midland Railway was constructed in the 1860s a narrow low-arched brick bridge was built to carry what was then Burroughs Lane over the line with a road level 8-10 ft. lower than now. Over the years the bridge has been widened on both sides on metal girders and the road level has ben raised, but the original arch has remained embedded in the new structure only visible on close scrutiny from the station platforms.

The electrification of the line requires more head room for the overhead wires than the original arch provides, and it is being removed by dismantling it from above. The bridge will be rebuilt on girders. Periodic site-watching has not revealed anything very interesting - Midland Railway brick-arch bridges are fairly commonplace - but the work represents a little bit of local Industrial Archaeology worth recording.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL WEEKENDS

Knuston Hall, Leicester University's residential adult education college, is a favourite stamping ground for HADAS members. It provides this information about weekend courses next winter:

Oct~ 5-7. Roads and Trackways (prehistoric through to Saxon)

Oct. 19-21. Recording Historic Buildings (practical measurement and drawing)

Nov.30-Dec.2. Environmental Archaeology {preservation and sampling: plants, snails, insects, bones, leather)

Dec. 14-16; Ancient Civilisations in Mesoamerica and the Andes.

Jan. 25-27, 1980. Mining/quarrying in Roman Britain and the Empire (various metals and stones, in Britain and Spain)

Feb.28-Mar. 2. Statistics for Archaeologists (dating techniques, artefact distribution patterns)

Mar. 7-9. Farming in the Iron Age (based on Butser programme)

May 2-4. The English Abbey (various Orders up to the Dissolution)

There will be, as usual, a week's course in Field Archaeology (tutors Chris Taylor and Tony Brown) from Mar. 28-Apr. 3, for which only 12 places are available.

Full residential fees for weekends are usually £15.00 (the Iron Age Farm weekend is £16.00). The Field Archaeology week costs £45 all in.

The University of Leeds is organising its Annual York Archaeological Weekend, as it has done for seven years or so. This one will be on 16th and 17th c. York. It takes place from Nov. 23-25 and is non-residentia1 - you arrange your own accommodation. Conference fee £11.

Further details of all the above events, if required, may be obtained from Brigid Grafton Green.

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A ROMAN PRESENCE IN THE BOROUGH OF BARNET

This round-up of evidence for the Roman period in our area has been com piled by HELEN GORDON.

Evidence for Roman occupation in the Borough of Barnet lies almost entirely on the west side. Watling Street was probably in use soon after the Claudian invasion of 43 AD, and pottery was being produced at Brockley Hill from between 50 and 60 AD. As yet no evidence for a Roman posting station on this important road, or for Romanised villas, has been found, although the people whose burials were uncovered near the road must have lived in the region.

Hendon evidence suggests the possibility of settlement near Church End and Hendon Grove, and rubbish pits at Burnt Oak indicate possible habitation there. The tenuous route 167 must have led somewhere; it appears to have followed high ground between the Silk Stream and Dollis Brook, but its destination is now well masked by modern suburban building.

The remaining chance finds add little to the picture, but it seems possible that suburban gardens and building sites, watched at the stage when drainage and foundation trenches were cut, might yet reveal material to expand our understanding of the communities, probably of farmers, who inhabited Barnet during 400 years of Roman rule. Further study of the hundred and Parish boundaries might show the cultivated areas as defined during that period.

GAZETTEER OF ROMAN SITES AND FINDS: Pt. I

The plan of this gazetteer is to deal first with the two Roman roads for which we hove evidence; and to continue with sites and finds area by area, beginning in the northwest corner with our principal Roman site at Brockley Hill and proceeding anti-clockwise through to Barnet.

The Gazetteer has been divided into two parts purely for space reasons. Pt. I covers more general points; while Pt. II, which will appear next month, will detail the finds. The map printed with this issue should be used for Pts. I & II.

Watling Street

Watling Street (the name derives from a Saxon group, the Waecingas, who settled near Verulamium; the Roman name is unknown) ran from The Channel ports through London to the northwest. It is Iter II of the British Section of the Antonine Itinerary. Between Marble Arch and Verulamium it is thought to have followed the line of the Edgware Road and Stonegrove to Brockley Hill, where it made a short turn north north east before resuming approximately its original line alone the modern A5 to Verulamium; this twist was probably made to avoid marshy ground.

The road forms the western boundary of the Borough of Barnet, except for a short distance in West Hendon where the boundary is further west than the road; taking in part of the Welsh Harp and the Cool Oak area. Significantly, parish boundaries follow the line of Watling Street for a long distance.

However, archaeological evidence for the road is slight. In the Brockley Hill area it has been suggested that the alignment lay either to the east, west or underneath the modern road. In 1949 Helen O'Neil suggested a route to the east, based on topographical evidence, but this has not been confirmed by excavation. Twenty-five years ago Philip Suggett (at the instigation of an observer who later became a HADAS member) found some evidence of the ditches characteristic of Roman roads on both sides of the modern road and a 13 1/2 ft. width of gravel, 2 ft. thick, beneath it. Stephen Castle's more recent excavations have uncovered sections of an early road in a distance of 250 yds. on the west side. It consisted of a gravel-capped clay bank with irregular side ditches; 1st, 2nd and 4th c. artefacts were found in the ditches.

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Brockley Hill has been suggested - but not proven -as the site of a posting station, Sulloniacis, which is shown on the Antonine Itinerary 12 miles from Londinium and 9 miles from Verulamium.

Possibly a pre-Roman road already connected the Verulamium district with the Kent area, crossing the Thames at Westminster, and the Romans improved this route. Evidence from Southwark shows that they built a road connecting this crossing with London Bridge between 50-65 A.D. Excavations at Verulamium indicate that the road there was built between 43-49 AD. Watling Street was therefore almost certainly in use by 50 AD and possibly earlier. The date of the metalling at Brockley Hill is unknown; nor was it possible to date the metalling of an early road observed in 1902 and 1924 in the Edgware Road near Marble Arch.

References:

Rivet, A. L F, "The British Section of the Antonine Itinerary" Britannia I, 1970, 34-82

Margary, I D, Roman Roads in Britain, 3rd ed. 1972

O'Neil, H E, "Watling Street, Middx." Trans LAMAS, NS X, 1951, 137-8.

Suggett, P G, "Report on the-Excavations at Brockley Hill, Middx, March 1952-May-1953," Trans LAMAS NS XI, pt. 3, 1954, 259-276.

HADAS Newsletter, 94; 3-4.

Castle, S A & Warbis, J H, "Excavations on Field No. 157 , Brockley Hill (Sulloniacae ) Middx. Feb-Aug 1968", Trans LAMAS 24, 1973, 85-110.

Southwark Excavations 1972-4, LAMAS & Surrey Arch Soc Joint Publication No 1, 1978.


Viatores Route 167: London-Hampstead~Hendon-Mill Hill-Barnet Gate-Verulamium

Norden, Camden and others suggested that an ancient road ran northwards across Hampstead Heath, continuing along Brent Street, Parson Street, The Ridgeway, Highwood Hill and eventually reaching St. Albans. An alternative route after Brent Bridge was also suggested: across The Burroughs and down Colindeep Lane to join Watling Street. This undoubtedly was an old road, but there is no evidence that it was Roman, and the marshy nature of the ground at Colindeep Lane makes it improbable. Another ancient way was reported by historians across Hampstead Heath Extension and via Temple Fortune Lane, Bell Lane and a footpath to The Burroughs; a coin (No. 22 on the map) was found on this route.

The evidence given by the Viatores in 1964 for route 167 through the Borough of Barnet includes:

1. Reported observation of agger on either side of Nan Clarks Lane and along the road and footpath past Hendon Park Farm (TQ 217943), and near Barnet Gate (TQ 218 948, 217 953, 217 956).

2. Reported observation of metalling near Barnet Gate (TQ 218948, 217956) and on the edge of Barnct By-pass (TQ 212966).

3. Roads and footpaths lying on the route included Milespit Hill, The Ridgeway, footpaths at Hendon Park Farm, Barnet Gate.

4. Names associated with a Roman road included (i) ancient "streets" - Brent Street, Parson Street, Dole (or Dold) Street; (ii) Caldecote, Chaldecote or Chalcot, all of which appear on early maps as the derivation of Chalk Farm.

5. Finds lying on the postulated route include a lamp and coins at Mill Hill (No 29) and a coin at Arkley (No 32); as well as burial urns at Well Walk, Hampstead.

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Evidence which might be connected with route 167 discovered since 1964 includes:

1. A stretch of road in Copthall Fields (No 2). This was revealed by a resistivity survey by HADAS in 1968, followed by excavation. Other resistivity surveys across possible lines of route 167, made between the Ridgeway and Totteridge Lane, and on Hampstead Heath, proved negative. The excavation at Copthall Fields produced pottery from the roadside ditches of lst/2nd c. date. The road found, however, was not aligned on the Viatores route; and they had postulated route 167 as of late, not early, construction. Excavations by HADAS on the suggested line of 167 at Lawrence Street allotments, Mill Hill, two digs near Brent Bridge and one near the White Swan, Golders Green Road, all proved negative.

2. The following finds: (i) burial urn, Sunny Gardens Rd, Hendon (No 19); (ii) lamp (No 21) on edge of Copthall Fields, and coin; (iii) coins in Hendon Park Farm, Moat Mount Park (No 30); (iv) pottery and tiles at Church End Hendon (No 18).

To this might also possibly be added the find of Roman material, including a flagon, in 1889 near Grove House, The Burroughs, Hendon. (No 17)

References:

Viatores, 'Roman Roads in the Southeast Midlands, 1964, 117-125

Robertson, E, "An Investigation of Roman Road 167", Trans LAMAS, 22 pt. 2, 1970 10-29

"Roman material found at Grove House, Hendon, 1889," Trans LAMAS 24, 1973, 146-150

HADAS Newsletter, 63, 1976, 3~5 and 64, 1976, 4.

Brockley Hill

Excavations at Brockley Hill since 1937 have provided evidence that a pottery industry developed there soon after the Roman Occupation of Britain; production increased to a maximum in the early 2nd c and then declined, until by 160 AD little remained except a small output of mortaria. Production ceased in the 3rd c. The principal products wore mortaria and flagons of several types (ring-necked; pinch-mouthed, disc mouthed, Hofheim type, etc); but bowls (2-handled, reed-rimmed and footed bowls or tazze) jars, sometimes lidded, amphorae and a variety of other forms were also produced, mainly in a characteristic cream-pink-buff granular ware, fired in an oxygenating kiln.

The kilns that were excavated lie in a ribbon development along Watling Street, which no doubt provided easy recess to markets. Today the road forms the boundary between the boroughs of Harrow ,(on the west) and Barnet (on the east). Of 14 kilns so far discovered, 8 lie to the west and 6 to the east of the road.

Evidence suggests that continental potters arrived soon after the conquest and began to produce, for army consumption, wares such as bowls, flagons and mort aria which native potters were unused to making. Similar potteries are known at Verulamium, Park Street, Radlett, Elstree and Brickett Wood, all situated on or near Watling Street. The products of the Verulamium region were distributed throughout Britain: mortaria produced by the potter Doinus in Brockley Hill kilns have been found in Ayrshire, Caernarvon and many other sites. Domestic ware was also produced and marketed, particularly to Londinium.

When the industry began to decline, there is evidence that the potters moved on; Marinus, for instance, who had previously worked at Colchester, left Brockley Hill and moved to Warwickshire. The reason for the decline is unknown; it is unlikely that raw materials became exhausted, since clay, water and wood wore still plentiful, Howewer, it has been suggested that a general economic decline took place in London at that time: and that strong competition for the pottery market developed from kilns in Mancettcr-Hartshill and Qxford.

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There is evidence that some occupation, probably by farmers, took place at Brockley Hill in the 3rd/4th c, but little detail is known.

More than 20 potters' names appear on stamps at Brockley Hill; but Sulloni, whose stamp is on mortaria of local fabric found at Corbridge, is not thought to have worked at Brockley Hill, although it is possible that he originally came from Sulloniacis.

Tiles were probably not made at Brockley Hill, but tile fragments have been found, including one stamped PPBRLON; this is similar to the P.BR.B and P.P.BR. found on mortaria in a Verulamium region fabric; they are thought all to have been produced at the same site. This would be the first known conjunction of tile and mortaria production in Britain, though this combination is well known in Italy. The nearest known tile kilns are at Elstree and Garston; a recent discovery of a large deposit of tile wasters in Canons Park, about l km south of Brockley Hill in the borough of Harrow, indicates the possibility of a tile kiln in that area.

Settlement at Brockley Hill.

Excavation has failed to demonstrate the substantial mansio buildings that might be expected of the Sulloniacis shown as a posting station on iter II of the Antonine Itinerary. Nor has any evidence yet been found for a settlement to house the industrial workers of the potteries.

That the name Sulloniacis is omitted from itinera VI nnd VIII, both also passing between Londinium and Verulamium, is possibly an indication of the smallness 'of the posting station. 'The -acis ending (in the Latin locative plural), meaning "the estates of," and the Celtic origin of the name Sullonios, perhaps indicate that the locality was little more than a group of native farms where the pottery industry arose because of availability of clay in Claygatc Beds and the convenience of the site astride one of the principal roads of Roman Britain.

However, early historians such as Stukeley reportcd "arched vaults of brick and flint" with finds of urns, pottery, coins and other antiquities during house construction on the east side of Watling Street. Hitherto excavation has been piecemeal; further excavation might uncover substantial buildings.

Alternatively, scattered finds of pottery and building material in the neighbourhood suggest the possibility of a wider distribution of buildings. The potters themselves may have worked only seasonally, since clay is difficult to handle in winter (they may have been itinerant, as has been suggested at Highgate); in that event their habitations might have been slight summer shelters.

The identification of Sulloniacis with Brockley Hill is still speculative; though the situation approximately fits the requirements of the Antonine Itinerary, a possible alternative is Elstree. There is also speculation about the location of Lugudunum, a place indicated by the LVGV counterstamp used by the potter Ripanus on mortaria found at Brockley Hill (and at Radlett and Brickett Wood); at present it cannot be identified.

Roferences:

Castle, S A, "Brockley Hill the Site of Sullonicae?" Lond. Arch. 14, 1972, 324-327.

"A Kiln of the Potter Doinus," Arch. J. 129, 1972, 69-88.

"Roman Pottery from Brockley Hill, Middx, 1966 & 1972-4, Trans LAMAS 27 1976 206-227.

Southwark & Lambeth Arch. Excav. Cttee, Joint Publication No 1, LAMAS and Surrey Arch. Soc, 1978.

To view the map relating to the above, select the following link.


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