newsletter-053-july-1975

Newsletter

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Summer and Autumn Plans

HADAS has a busy summer and autumn ahead. Apart from our programme of outings, culminating in the weekend trip to Hadrian's Wall in September, a variety of other activities is planned in which members are warmly invited to take part.

The dig in the churchyard of State James the Great at Friern Barnet continues and will go on for several more weeks. It is being carefully documented, with Peter Clinch photographing each stage and Ann Trewick, who is in charge, now engaged on preparing plans and sections. William Morris is drawing the coffin-plates, etc, which have come to light. A small exhibit of maps, plans, photographs and drawings will be shown on the HADAS stand at the Friern Barnet Show in August.

A resistivity survey has begun on the open spaces at Brent Bridge Hotel, and should be finished in the next few weeks. When demolition of the hotel is complete and when the results of the meter survey has been assessed, the Research Committee will decide whether a dig should be mounted and what area it should cover. Unfortunately there were cellars, so it is unlikely to be worth excavating under the building itself.

A little further south, on the empty site next to the White Swan Public House on the west of Golders Green Road, it is hoped to start a small excavation in August. The dig must be confined to the strip out the front of this site as unfortunately some two years ago, before the site was fenced, a load of concrete was dumped about 15 yards in from the road frontage.

The Newsletter will carry further news about work on the White Swan and Brent Bridge Hotel sites as soon as it is available, as volunteer diggers will be much in demand.

On the field work side the parish boundary survey, announced in newsletters 50 and 52, is now under way. It is throwing up some interesting information -- see, for instance, Paddy Musgrove's notes one and "island" boundary stone later in this Newsletter. Members who would like to help with the survey are asked to get in touch with the organiser, Christine Arnott.

HADAS also proposes to seize every opportunity to display the results of its research to the public in various parts of the Borough. We have already mentioned the Friern Barnet Show in August. In addition in July we shall have a stand at the Parents-Teachers Association Medieval Fair at Woodhouse School; and one at Finchley Carnival where a record of the resistivity meter surveys and other research on Finchley Manor House, East End Road, will be shown. In September at the Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens, NW4, material from the Church Terrace and a Burroughs Gardens digs will be on display.

This year Edgware is celebrating a special Edgware Week from 24-31 August. We hope to have a one-day stand in the marquee at the Carnival in Montrose Park. The Library authorities of the London Borough of Barnet have also kindly given permission for some of the Brockley Hill Roman pottery to be shown at Burnt Oak Library throughout Edgware Week. This is an opportunity HADAS particularly welcomes, as it means that the Brockley Hill material will be on show close to the very site on which much of it was manufactured in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. As many HADAS members who have worked on the pottery know, there are fine specimens of flagons, tazze, bowls and mortaria, not to mention many small finds, which can be displayed.

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This programme of exhibitions means much work for those members of the Society transport exhibition material, plan and set up displays and steward the stands. The more members prepared to help with these jobs -- and even a couple of hours represents real help -- the easier it is to spread the load, so if you have any time to offer get in touch with the various organisers, who are:

Woodhouse School (July 5). Jeremy Clynes.

Finchley Carnival (July 10-12). Paddy Musgrove.

Friern Barnet Summer Show (Aug. 15-16). Paddy Musgrove or Ann Trewick.

Carnival Day, Edgware (Aug.30). Jeremy Clynes.

Burnt Oak Library Exhibition of Brockley Hill material (setting up only, prob. On Aug. 22-23). Ann Trewick.

Henry Burden Hall (Sept. 6). Jeremy Clynes.

Or if it is easier to send your offer of help to our Hon. Secretary she will gratefully pass on the information.

Outings Ahead

On July 12th we break new ground with a visit to Norwich -- a city which, in medieval times, was second only to London. Its historical wealth cannot be seen in a day, but we are engaging a local guide to show us as much as possible. An application form is enclosed. Please return it to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible.

Please, also, check that you have the following dates in your diary:

Sat Sept. 13 - Lullingstone Roman villa and Knole
Sept. 26/27/28 - Weekend at Hadrian's Wall

Clay Pipes for the Archaeologist

A review by Jeremy Clynes.

The recently published "Clay Pipes for the Archaeologist" by Adrian Oswald (British Archaeological Reports 14, 1975, obtainable directly from the publishers at 122 Banbury Road, Oxford, £3.80, post free) will no doubt be the standard work on this subject for many years to come.

Adrian Oswald, probably the leading specialist in the study of clay tobacco pipes, has in one book brought together the researches of a number of writers, updating these where necessary to provide, in his words, "a practical workhorse for the archaeologist".

The book, which covers the whole British Isles, describes the introduction into Europe of both tobacco and the pipe; it outlines the organisation of the industry, as well as describing the process of pipe manufacture. It then discusses ways of dating pipes, giving a comprehensive typology and including decorated pipes. There is a good bibliography, and the last part of the book lists pipe-makers by areas.

Although this book will be invaluable to museum curators and to archaeologists in the field, it goes too deeply into the subject for the general reader, who would probably not want the list of pipe-makers which occupies 1/3 of the book; and at £3.80 the book is certainly not cheap.

As an introduction to the subject I would therefore recommend Oswald's two previous works:

English Clay Tobacco Pipes -- reprinted in 1967 as a separate pamphlet at 12s.6d, from the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 3rd series vol. XXIII, 1960.

London Clay Tobacco Pipes -- (in conjunction with David Atkinson) reprinted from J.B.A.A. 3rd series vol. XXXII, 1969.

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An Island Boundary Stone

The April newsletter referred to a mysterious boundary stone which once stood on island on the Finchley-Hendon border. PADDY MUSGROVE now reports that its position was approximately 120 yd North of Finchley Bridge (the Hendon Lane-Finchley Lane crossing of the Dollis Brook, close to the Great North Way). Indeed, it may still be there underground. The only trouble is that both the island and the lake in which it still stood have disappeared.

The existing mini-waterfall at Finchley Bridge marks the dam erected by a former occupier of Hendon Place. Edward Walford (Greater London, 1882) wrote: "The River Brent, which skirts the eastern side of the grounds, has been artificially widened so as to form a moderate lake, which, with the bridge by which it is crossed, adds not a little to the beauty of the Landscape".

The Ordnance Surveys of 1863-69 and 1893-95 show both the lake and two islands. The former records a boathouse in the grounds of Hendon Place; the latter indicates the boundary stone on the more southerly of the islands. Both maps show the Finchley-Hendon border meandering through the lake, following the original course of the Brook. The modern boundary follows the present line of the Brook, which is that of the western limit of the old lake.

The open space of Brookside Walk has been created by the infilling of the lake, which originally extended from Finchley Bridge northwards to Waverley Grove and from the present line of the Brook eastwards to the bottoms of the gardens in Broughton Avenue.

Suburb Heritage Exhibition

This is, as all HADAS members will know, European Architectural Heritage Year. An exhibition to mark the fact will be held in Hampstead Garden Suburb -- itself very much part of Britain's architectural heritage, since it is the prototype of garden suburbs, which has been copied not only all over Britain but also in many countries overseas.

The Exhibition -- to be called Suburb Heritage -- will be sponsored by three Garden Suburb organisations -- the New H.G.S. Trust, the Residents' Association and the H.G.S. Institute. It will illustrate the early history and architecture of the Suburb and will include some of the original architects' plans for houses and public buildings on the estate.

These plans carry names which are now famous – Edwin Lutyens, Raymond Unwin, Barry Parker, Baillie Scott, to mention but a few -- although 60 or 70 years ago the designers were young and comparatively unknown. A collection of the plans, many in colour and showing a meticulous attention to detail, was found recently in a cellar off Victoria Street and was rescued and brought back to form part of the Suburb archives. They will be on show for the first time.

The exhibition -- with which many HADAS members are helping -- opens on 27 October in the Henrietta Barnett Junior School, Bigwood Road, NW11 and continues till 1 November. Their first visitor will be Sir John Murray Fox, Lord Mayor of London, himself is an ex-resident of the suburb. Opening times are: October 27-10.00a.m.-9.00p.m.; Saturday 1 November: 10.00a.m.-9.00p.m.

Photographic Competition

A photographic competition in which HADAS photographers are cordially invited to take part is being sponsored by the Hendon Times in connection with the Suburb Heritage exhibition.

Photographs, in black and white, can be of any building or group of buildings or of any building feature in the Garden Suburb which illustrates the place the area holds in our architectural heritage. The sort of building features envisaged are, for instance, the use of patterned brickwork, dormer windows, design of roofs or chimneys or the use of open space in relation to buildings.

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Each photograph should be accompanied by an entry form, obtainable either from the H.G.S. Institute (Central Square, NW11) or from the New H.G.S. Trust (862 Finchley Road, NW11). Entries close on 31 August 1975. The Hendon Times is offering a price of £5 for the winner, with subsidiary prices of £3 and £2.

Trip To Maiden Castle, 14 June 1975

Report by Christine Arnott.

After the extreme heat of previous days, 14th June dawned grey; but during the journey the sun came through and we picnicked at Maiden Castle in full sunshine, with a gentle breeze.

After lunch we climbed through the successive defensive embankments and ditches and the intricacies of the entrance to the heights commanding the surrounding country. From this magnificent vantage point Ted Sammes gave us the outline details of the site, describing the original much smaller causewayed camp of the Neolithic period, around 3,000 BC; the long barrow that was constructed towards the end of this phase; and the child burials found at the eastern end.

Approximately the same area was utilised by Iron Age peoples About 350 BC. They enclosed it with a single rampart and a ditch. About 150 BC it was extensively enlarged, further ramparts and ditches being added and the entrances strengthened. There was more remodelling around 75 BC. These processes continued until AD 44 when the Fort was attacked by the Legio II Augusta under the Roman general Vespasian (later Emperor Vespasian) who stormed the east gate with attendant carnage and destruction, as was graphically brought to light by Mortimer Wheeler's excavations.

There is no further knowledge of the fort as a defensive unit after this time, although a small Romano-Celtic temple was built inside the northern part about 367 AD. After a walk round the top of the "walls" surrounding the area, Ted Sammes led us to the footings of this temple, speculating on the ceremonies that took place on this hill-top with its stupendous views.

It was doubly interesting later on to see in Dorchester Museum some of the objects from the Maiden Castle excavations: they ranged from the macabre -- Celtic vertebrae pierced by a Roman ballista ball -- to the domestic: weaving equipment with loom weights and combs. For numismatists there was a splendid collection of Roman coins.

Finally, Dorothy Newbury had arranged a welcome and refreshing tea at Judge Jeffrey's Restaurant. We were all deeply grateful to Ted Sammes for shepherding us, explaining sites and calling attention to the monuments we passed en route – Figsbury Ring, Ackling and Bokerley Dykes, the round barrow cemetery on Oakley Down and the clear line of the Roman Road cutting through it. A full programme, a splendid outing, a glorious day weatherwise and first-rate HADAS staff work.

An Unique Chance Find In Hendon

As this Newsletter was in preparation there came the news of an exciting find. Mr. J. M. Lewis, a school teacher in Hendon, rang up saying that one of his younger pupils had come to school with "a pretty stone" which had been found on the surface of a back garden in Kings Close, Hendon.

Mr Lewis thought it was more than a "pretty Stone" and had it taken forthwith to the British Museum, where it was identified as a Neolithic jade axe, 22 cm long and dated around 3,000 BC. According to Museum records, it is the first of its kind to be found in the London area. Ted Sammes adds that it must be one of only a dozen jade axes known in Britain; nearest similar find in the south-east was in Canterbury.

At the moment the axe is being studied at the British Museum; as soon as it is returned, HADAS has been promised a chance to draw, photograph and record it for the LAMAS archaeological finds index.


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