NEWSLETTER 208:   July 1988                       Edited by Christine Arnott


Saturday 16th July Outing to Docklands. Details and application form enclosed.

Bill Firth's visit to RAF operations room is now full.

Saturday 20th August Outing to Thornborough Barrows, Buckingham, and Winslow Hall.

Saturday 10th September Charterhouse tour with Mary O'Connell.

Saturday 8th October Stepney walk with Muriel Large.

Saturday 15th October Minimart.

As cancellations and empty places do occur, for late applications ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950).



Vanessa Bond, a member who is an actress, is appearing in a summer show at the Hippodrome, Eastbourne.

Dr. Ann Saunders, whose book entitled "The Art and Architecture of London" has a foreword by the Duke of Edinburgh, is now issued in paperback at £12.95. This is an illustrated guide.

Reva Brown, One of our newsletter editors, has been awarded a studentship to study full-time. She has given up her job as lecturer at the Hendon College of Further Education and has been accepted by Bradford University to study for a Ph.D. in Management. Congratulations!

Gillian Braithwaite, who has done so much for the society, is leaving us - at least temporarily. She directed our excavations last year at Brockley Hill and now is going to Moscow where her husband, Rodric, has been appointed as British Ambassador. Incidentally he received the K.C.M.G. in the recent Birthday Honours List.

For the next three years they will be living in a "sugar-plum fairy' palace overlooking the Kremlin. They are both delighted with the posting as they have always been Russian experts. After reading Russian at Cambridge, Rodric's first diplomatic posting over 20 years ago was to Poland, where Gillian began learning Polish. Subsequently they were posted to Russia, where she studied Russian. Although her original London degree was in French and Italian, she has subsequently taken a degree in Archaeology at the London Institute. Travelling the world with her husband, her well-known paper on Romano-British face urns was written while living in the Embassy in Washington.

We all wish her well in the new life and certainly HADAS members will now listen to the news from Moscow with a special and personal interest.

Helen Pickering. By a strange coincidence, Helen, the daughter of Peter Pickering, a member for many years, will also be going to the Embassy in Moscow this summer. Her post, though much humbler, will also be onerous, that of vice-consul. 

Paddy Musgrove Sadly we have to report the death of one of our most valued members. Below is printed an appreciation of him from Brigid Grafton Green.


It was sad and shocking to hear of the death of Paddy Musgrove. In the 15 years that he was a member he had become a part of HADAS life - at lectures, on outings, as an active differ and as a meticulous researcher. When he and his wife Margaret joined, in April 1973, Paddy described his interests as mainly prehistory and the Roman period in Britain; adding, with that bit of a brogue that never left him - "and Ireland, of course."

He dived straight in at the deep end as regards HADAS activities. He had been a member only two days when he turned up for a Brockley Hill pottery session at the Teahouse; that summer he was digging at Church End, Hendon; and in July he and Margaret set up the first ever HADAS stall at Finchley carnival and stewarded it.

Their interests were wide and different. She was an expert at light-hearted quizzes, providing Twenty Questions on every subject from middens to strigils for the HADAS Christmas party. When she died in 1976 a lot of joy must have gone out of Paddy's life. He threw himself more vigorously into the affairs of the two local societies in which he was interested - HADAS and the Finchley Society, of which he later became Chairman.

For HADAS he made himself into a specialist in the tricky technique of dating hedges from the species contained in them, eventually identifying two historic hedges in our area - the one which meanders across Lyttelton Playing Fields in Hampstead Garden Suburb, marking the north-west boundary of the Bishop of London's estate from time immemorial; and the hedge which crosses Old Fold golf course at Hadley, which local legend claims as the "hedgesyde (under which) were redy assembled a great people, in array, of th'Erle of Warwike" before the Battle of Barnet in April 1471. There was a good dash of scholarly caution about Paddy. Having placed the date of planting of that hedge at probably around late 14C he added drily "it is possible that local tradition just could be correct."

Parish boundaries - and particularly the remains of the boundary stones which marked them - were another speciality. In 1975 he undertook, for the Research Committee, the investigation of the parish boundaries of the Borough of Barnet. It was right up his street, because he loved working  with maps; and when he handed the project on, in 1977, to Pete Griffiths to organise, he had put in two years intensive work on it.

Because of his other interests there, Paddy was always ready to undertake any archaeological work in Finchley, such as site-watching the building of the big Tesco store in Church End in 1978. He directed digs at the site of the old Rectory in Finchley and at adjacent Church Crescent, uncovering on made-up land, not the stratification for which he had hoped, but a mixture of artefacts ranging from half a dozen mesolithic flakes to pottery from the 12C to the 20C. His "short, sharp dig" in the basement of Finchley Manor House put another local legend to rest by producing the important basic fact that the cellar flagstones were contemporary with the main building (1723). They were not the floor of the original medieval manor which, it had been suggested, might have been on the exact same site.

After retiring as a Pan-Am administrator, Paddy had a chance to cultivate his many talents. Among them was first-class writing ability. He provided the Newsletter with many interesting articles on subjects as diverse as the evils of treasure-hunting and the joys of digging a Bronze Age promontory fort with our revered President, Professor Grimes - Paddy's holiday occupation in many recent summers. He was a natural to report our most famous "outing", calling his article "The Adventures of HADAS in Orkney". 

Finally, here's an example of Paddy's careful observation and meticulous recording. In December 1978 we had been discussing what line Roman Watling Street might have followed at Brockley Hill, and Paddy said "I believe I saw the Roman road under the modern road 25 years ago when the Electricity Board opened a trench across the road." Later he rang me up. "I've checked that," he said. "It was in 1954, when Philip Suggett was digging at Brockley Hill. I wrote and told him that I had seen, in the section, a portion of the Roman roadway - coarse rammed gravel, at a surprisingly sharp camber - 4 to 5ft below modern road surface. I have the carbon of my letter to Suggett in front of me now." Add to acute observation a splendid filing system

I shall miss Paddy horribly; and I'm sure that, in saying so, I voice the feelings of his many HADAS friends.


ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON - Those members who missed the extremely interesting lecture by Gustav Milne on recent excavations in the City might like to know that we have purchased his book on the subject, and it is in the HADAS library (librarian June Porges, 346 5078).

Brian Wrigley's letter concerning the site of the Paddock in the Burroughs, and suggesting it as the Hendon village green was given prominence in the "Hendon Times I' The publication gave rise to a good deal of discussion among local residents.

HADAS is also working with others to persuade the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission to register our concern over the proposed developments at The Manor House, Finchley. If the development is given consent, HADAS is urging that the developer should provide for a proper archaeological investigation by the Museum of London.



With the current interest in medieval Barnet aroused by HADAS's activities at Stapylton Road and St. John's Church, it may be useful to draw attention to an important documentary source which has never been fully exploited. The manor of Barnet belonged until the Reformation to St. Alban's Abbey and a court book for the manor covering the years 1246-1537 survives in the British Library as Additional MS 40167. It was extensively used by Professor Levett during her researches into the St. Alban's estates, and although she did not live to complete her work much of it, including a description of and frequent references from the court book can be found in A.E. Levett: "Studies in Manorial History," OUP 1938, reprinted 1963.

Professor Levett was not however concerned with detailed local topography and the court book does not ever seem to have been looked at from this perspective. During a brief preliminary examination I made several interesting discoveries, and I am sure that a more prolonged study would yield others. The book comprises extensive extracts made from the original court rolls, which do not survive. Although it did not begin to be compiled until 1355 the extracts are verbatim and are accurate and reliable.

Until 1350, one undivided court was held for the whole manor, and the name 'Barnet' was often used for the whole area. The two settlements, Chipping and East, are however sometimes distinguished in even the earliest entries. The name 'Chipping' is first used in 1323-4 and quickly becomes standard. The earlier standard form for the town, though, and this is a point which seems to have escaped the compilers of the Place-Name Society's volume for Hertfordshire and all subsequent commentators, was Barnetley. Thus an entry for February 1249 records that the men of 'Barnetleye' and the men of 'Estbarnet' both pay 15s. in tallage. (This entry is transcribed in Levett, p.327). In 1263 an edict was given 'hominibus de la Barnet viz. tam de la leye quam aliis' (to the men of Barnet viz. both of la leye and the rest) to elect a reeve. The term was probably already becoming archaic, and what was by now the main settlement in the manor was often referred to as the town of Barnet (villa de Barnet), la Barnet, or simply Barnet. The older usage still survived, though until its complete replacement by Chipping Barnet, probably in the 1330s. In 1273, for instance, an enquiry was made 'per totam villatam de la Leye’ concerning a property 'in villa de la Barnetleye'. The forms Leyebarnet and in la Leye are also found. 'Ley' in wooded areas such as this means a clearing, and of course it also occurs locally in both Hadley and Finchley. East Barnet rather than Barnetley must have been the original settlement within Barnet since it had the parish church.

There is a lot of other interesting place-name evidence in the book which would richly repay detailed study. Of particular importance are the references to Southaw, which was an extensive area, and to the county boundary (le Schiremare de Middelsex), since these might shed light on more general problems of early settlement. There are also a number of quite early references to such places as Grindelsgate (Barnet Lane), where the manor court was sometimes held, Old Fold, Potters Lane and Mays Lane as well as many fields and crofts, many of them taking their names from the local families some of whose known histories could also be enlarged.

Within Chipping Barnet, some specific topographical references may be of particular interest. First, although we know that the market existed at least by 1199 when it received a royal charter, and therefore well before the earliest date of the court book, archaeologists might like to know of references to buildings in the market place (in mercato). The earliest which I noticed occurred in 1261-2. There are also some references to buildings within South Mimms parish, i.e. west of the High Street. At a preliminary glance the number of buildings in the town as a whole seems to have increased considerably during the 15th century, but this would need systematic study.

Finally, the court book provides what are currently by far our earliest references to St. John's church. A court held on Monday 28 November 1272 recorded that Galien Smith had transferred 'ad hostium ecclesie de Barnet quodam parcum messuagium suum in Barnet' (at the door of the church of Barnet a certain small messuage of his in Barnet). Barnet used in a context like this seems always to mean Chipping rather than East, but if any doubt remains the next reference which I noted (and I may have missed others) is unambiguous. This occurs on 2 June 1305 when a property is described as 'iuxta cimiterium sancti Johannis in le Barnet' (next to the cemetery of St. John in Barnet).

It is hoped that a microfilm of the court book will soon be available at the borough's archives and Local Studies Department at Egerton Gardens.


GOVERNMENT OBSERVED - An exhibition at Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, NW4

Have you seen the first ballot box used in a British election, or Clement Attlee's own typewritten report on his cabinet colleagues, or Hogarth's vivid paintings of corrupt 18thC Electioneering, a Whip's 'wand' or an Ecu, which may become European currency? No? Then visit this exhibition, organised by a HADAS member.

Open daily 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5.30 pm, except Tuesday afternoons and Sunday mornings, 11th June to 24th July 1988. Admission free.


OUTING TO WINDSOR - 14th May            Aubrey and Valerie Hodes

A glorious summer day for a right royal excursion to Windsor Castle. Unfortunately, it was also F.A. cup final day, among other rival events, so the attendance was low, only 23 people. Undaunted, we travelled beside the Thames at Runnymede and saw the site where Magna Carta was signed in 1215 and the memorial to J.F. Kennedy erected. We arrived in Windsor in time for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. After we went to St. George's Chapel, begun in 1475, one of the most dazzling late Gothic buildings in England. We saw the joint tomb of Henry VIII and his wife Jane Seymour; next lay the remains of King Charles I brought here secretly after his execution in Whitehall in 1649. The simple dignity of the tomb of King George VI contrasted with the florid, heavily ornamented memorial chapel to Victoria's beloved Albert.

We moved on to the State Apartments, richly embellished during the reigns of George III and George IV. Here we were impressed by the magnificent paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens and Rembrandt, fine chandeliers and carpets, tapestries, suits of armour and ornate furniture. In the midst of these displays of pomp and circumstance, we came across the tiny box containing the bullet that robbed Nelson of his life at the battle of Trafalgar, and this will linger longest in the memory.

After separating for lunch some of us walked by the river, admiring the swans; others explored the antique shops of Eton or watched morris dancing outside the old pub - the Donkey House. A few of us visited the house built by Christopher Wren for himself in 1676, when he was the member of Parliament for Old Windsor, with its original oak panelling and drawing room. It is now an hotel.

After lunch we met our tour leaders, Dorothy Newbury and Ted Sammes, outside the Royalty and Empire exhibition, run by Madame Tussauds. This recreates the day in 1897 when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. She is shown arriving in Windsor on the royal train; the little old lady in black, surrounded by some members of her family, reviewing the guard of honour. In the little theatre, a video showed Victoria, Albert, Benjamin Disraeli and Charles Dickens, talking and gesticulating as naturally as if they were not made of wax.

Then we set off for home, passing the splendid pile of Hampton Court, David Garrick's house, Alexander Pope's villa and the horse chestnut avenues of Bushey Park, to end a thoroughly delightful day full of history, pageantry and tradition.


OUTING TO FLAG FEN - 11th June 1988  Ann Lawson

We could have been forgiven if we had thought that another ice age was engulfing these islands on this June day. A N.E. wind was blowing in from the Wash, chilling us all as we filed from the HADAS coach and alighted on the Roman road that had straddled the Fens 900 years after the Bronze Age farmers had built this island in the shallow waters of the Fens.

The site, a man-made island about 2-3 acres, of which 2% is currently being excavated. These villages, built in the middle of lakes, must have been sited with defence as the main objective. The environment was cold, wet and in constant danger of variable flooding. The island may have housed a ruling family and could therefore have been seen as a symbol of power to all around.

Dr. Francis Pryor showed us the small area being excavated with the enthusiasm of all great archaeologists. In 1983 when field-walking along a newly-cleared dyke, he saw shaped logs and planks protruding all along the dyke sides. During the next three weeks he and his team had found thousands of timbers, some worked by expert carpenters - some roughly hewn, all showed clearly tool marks and the fact that the trunks had been split lengthways. The British Museum has dated the site to 1000 BC and some of the oak trunks were found to be 200 years old when felled and probably cut in the primeval forest, some seven miles to the west of the site. Apart from oak, alder, willow and ash, all indigenous to the area, were used.

The edges of the island were made of stout timbers, some cut trunks and some planks, and laid in a criss-cross way; this was built up to make a substantial edge and walk-way round the island. Even the very large planks had been split, some measuring 50 cms wide and 30 metres long.

We now made our way (gratefully) into the covered excavation with its viewing platform. A large rectangular building is in the process of being uncovered and has to be continually sprayed with water. The building is approximately 20 metres long and 6 metres wide; the collapsed walls and supports were thick and built with cavity walls. The wall posts were 70 cms across and were pegged with mortice and tenon joints, as were the door lintels and roof supports. The house would have been thatched. Charred wood has been found but no sign of hearths.

The floor was a continuation of the "island floor", layer upon layer of wood being remade time after time through 300-400 years in an on-going effort to keep the water at bay. The criss-cross of wood covered with sand and gravel each time a new layer of wood was laid down.

In the successive layers of gravel pottery sherds, animal bones, vegetable seeds and pollen have been found; a few flint tools, a bracelet and a dagger, the last two being on view in the British Museum. The whole area was flooded about 700BC. As the water level rose the island was abandoned and the farmers with their cattle probably moved westwards on to marginally higher ground.

It is hard to realise that 3000 years ago the land-table on which we were standing and the water level would have been 10ft. higher than today. This is the story of the drainage of the wetlands in this part of Britain. There is no evidence that the Romans had any drainage system, although the area was settled in the 1st and 2nd centuries; some attempt at drainage was made in early medieval times, but the 17th and 18th centuries saw the beginning of drainage on the grand scale and now the archaeologists must work fast before the wet peat and alluvial clays dry out.

The afternoon found us in Peterborough to look at the Norman Cathedral and the Museum. The cathedral, a superb example of Romanesque architecture, still dominates the modern town. The painted wooden ceiling dates from about 1220 and is unique in England. The herb garden in the old cloisters should not be missed, though the cloisters were badly damaged by Roundheads in 1643. In Priestgate is the Museum, where one is led through pre-history to the present day comprehensively.

There is only one way to end this account of a most enjoyable day, to give many thanks and congratulations to Dorothy for the unflappable organisation of the trip.



An account from Clodagh Pritchard to whet the appetites of any HADAS members who would like to visit this area of Italy!

Owing to a "little problem", so we were told, our plane, bound for Rome, took off two hours later than expected. Consequently, the three-hour coach drive to Naples was completed in darkness. It was only on the return journey, nine days later, that I realized there is no stretch of real country between the two cities. The land, through which the motorway runs, lies between mountain ranges and it is cultivated and built up all the way.

Apart from its beautiful situation on the Bay, present day Naples is not a city to enjoy a walk in. Cars are parked on most of the pavements, and the constant flow of cars, buses and the manoeuvres of motor bicycles carrying one or more passengers, (complete with umbrella up if it is raining) is very confusing. There is a "spaghetti junction" to connect the lower city with the upper heights which defies the pedestrian. However, we moved about easily in a luxurious, air-conditioned coach, and only on rare occasions did we walk the streets to visit a church or cathedral.

The Archaeological Museum is housed in a palatial building which was distinctly chilly in the early morning. School parties were being introduced to the many treasures exhibited therein; and we had to take our turn to see the mosaics, frescoes and tempera painting from Pompeii and Herculaneum, the finds from these and other sites and the collection of bronzes. That afternoon, we drove out along the motorway to Cuma to the cave of the Cumean Sibyl, and on a sunny afternoon, to enjoy a walk up to the Citadel and on to the Temple of Jupiter at the summit. On the way back to Naples we stopped at Baia, a place where many notable Romans built sumptuous seaside villas; mosaic floors in situ and the remains of the public baths complex are still to be seen there.

The Palazzo Reale at Caserta was built in 1752-74 for Charles III of Bourbon. It was intended to rival Versailles. The State Apartments are very grand, but I found the smaller rooms with fireplaces, books, musical instruments and landscape paintings more pleasing. The grounds are so extensive that tourists are advised to take a bus to and from the Palace to the Cascade and the famous "Diana and Actaeon" fountain at the limit of the Park. The so-called "English Garden" gave us a walk before our return to the Palace and the postcard shop. Because of the climate and the heat in summer, there are no colourful bedding plants to please the eye. Well-kept hedges form the background to innumerable statues and the parkland provides ample space for Italian families to enjoy their leisure. The next morning we spent in Naples, and because our coach could not take us, we made our journeys on foot through the narrow streets to visit the Cathedral and several Churches.

Later we were collected again and taken to the beautiful, early nineteenth century Villa Floridana which houses a famous collection of porcelain and ceramics. At the back of the Villa, a flight of steps leads down to a terrace which overlooks the Bay of Naples and the port area of the city.

Capodimonte is a Royal Palace in Naples. Again the state rooms were chilly for our morning visit. The picture gallery has works by Titian, Holbein, Rubens, Caravaggio, Cariacci and many artists whose names and works are familiar in other European galleries. To end this day our driver drove us half-way up Vesuvius, and the most energetic members of our party were allowed time - about 45 minutes - to walk up to the crater. The sun was setting in a cloudless sky, and many other people were on their way up from, and down to the level of the tourist centre where our coach was parked.

On our way to Pompeii we stopped first at Oplontis, a large Roman Villa not yet open to the public and still under excavation. The inhabitants are thought to have had warning of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, because no human or animal bones have been discovered there. The wall- paintings at Oplontis are remarkable for their vivid colours and almost perfect state of preservation. The layout of the garden has been carefully recorded. Environmental research has revealed what plants and trees grew there in Roman times, and it is planned to replant the garden as it was originally laid out. After this site both Herculaneum and Pompeii were a little disappointing. There was much ground to be covered on foot in order to see important houses where wall-paintings and artefacts we had seen in the Museum were found, or in the case of Pompeii, plaster casts of the human figures and a dog, where they had been overcome and died in AD 79.

We went by hydrofoil to Capri on a Sunday. So did a great many other people. There was a little peace and quiet there in a monastery garden overlooking the sea. A bus ride took us to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele where Axel Munthe lived and wrote his famous book,("The Story of San Michele"). The Villa Ioris, built on a remote promontory by the Emperor Tiberius, involved a long and arduous walk, not recommended for the older members of our party.

Salerno is a modern container port. We stayed there for four nights and ended our tour with a visit to Amalfi, Ravello and Paestum. We were held up for some time on the spectacular coast road to Amalfi by meeting a similar coach on a bend in the narrow road. Cars piled up fore and aft, Vespas sped up to the impasse and some were able to squeeze through. Several patient drivers left their cars and eventually sorted out the chaos and then, because of the delay, we took the mountain road to Amalfi. In this part of Italy, and at this time of year (mid-April) vines, orange and lemon trees, vegetable gardens are all shrouded in black polythene nets giving the sunlit landscape a funereal look. Why is this? Because of the risk of sudden hailstorms; no-one guessed the correct answer! The cathedrals at Amalfi and Ravello are very impressive and the Villa Rufolo at Revallo, high up the hillside, has a pleasant garden with a lovely view over sea and land.

On our last day we went to Paestum. Again, much more time was needed to fully appreciate the Greek Temples in this lovely, open site and the splendid Museum across the road.

On our return journey there was another "little problem" on our flight from Rome to Heathrow, but only one hour's delay this time.



There are several interesting sites we hope to do some excavation on during this summer - unhappily, at the time of going to press we are still on tenterhooks with all of them, as to when they will be available for us to make a start! However, we are sure there will be an opportunity, somewhere, during July, and if you are interested in digging or fieldwalking or resistance survey, the best thing to do will be to let one of the three people following know, so that when one of these chances crystallizes, we can get in touch to muster up a team;

Brian Wrigley 21 Woodcroft Avenue NW7 2AH   959 5982

Victor Jones 78 Temple Fortune Avenue NW11 7TT 458 6180

John Enderby 19 Chatsworth Avenue NW4          203 2630

The sites possible are:

The Burroughs NW4 - proposed development in the grounds of St. Joseph's Convent backing on to Burroughs Gardens where Ted Sammes found Saxon and medieval material.

62 High Street, High Barnet - area at the rear adjoins the area where remains of a building circa 1400 were found in the 1930's.

Rear of Salisbury Hotel, High Barnet - possibility of finds from the retreat from the Battle of Barnet.

The Cottons, Mays Lane, Barnet - proposed development is near where medieval pottery was found in the 1950's.


CHURCH TERRACE"REVISITED", a trailed slip-ware dish.               TED SAMMES.

Recently, March 1988, Dorothy Newbury drew the attention of John Enderby and myself to the trenches being dug by the Electricity Authority across the site. Grid ref. TQ 2289 8953.

 Two trenches were dug by the workmen, one close to the main road at Church End Hendon close to the spot where we found Roman material in 1974. The second trench was at the S.E. corner in part of the site which was not excavated by us in 1974.At that time a very full range of Post Medieval pottery was found. Two categories were missing, salt-glazed stoneware, Bellarmine and Metropolitan trailed slip-ware.

In March the trench near the church produced only broken pieces of post-med peg roofing tiles. John Enderby was able to look when the second trench was open at the S.E. corner of the site. This trench cut through a layer of dark soil and also there were areas which were much reddened. I suspect that these do not reflect fires on the site but are brick dust. This was certainly vised in the road foundations of Brampton Grove, Hendon and could have been used in the original road, foundations for Church Terrace. The course of this road was diverted in 1975.

John found a very small piece of salt-glazed stoneware, probably from a Bellarmine bottle (mid 16 th c or later). More interestingly was a sherd in redware, part of a shallow dish with a white slip pattern, see drawing above.

The dish had an external diameter of 360 mm.(142" inches)and was 58mm inches) deep. It was only glazed internally and had a white trailed slip pattern under the lead glaze. Such a pattern could have been produced using a cut off quill, through which liquid slip flowed, producing a simple pattern. The lead glaze would then have been put over the whole of the inside and later the dish was fired.

The date of the dish is probably mid to late 18th century and could have originated from the Harlow kilns in Essex.

Such pottery was made at many places, amongst them, North Staffordshire, Kent, Derbyshire, Sussex, Cheshire and Devonshire.

For further readings-

Post-Medieval Pottery, Jo Draper, Shire Archaeology No. 40,1984.



In 1970, as part of the work which we were doing in collaboration with The Greater London Industrial Archaeological Society I produced a map showing the milestones I had been able to trace within the present London Borough of Barnet, This work, with other material was part of our exhibition at their A.G.M. held at the Institute of Archaeology on July 4th that year. Since then I have continued to take an interest in milestones. It was with pleasure that I saw that the eighth milestone from London , close to Hendon Park Cemetery, which with the passage of time had sunk, had recently been dug out and re-erected as part of the rebuilding in the area. Congratulations to all who were responsible for its re-instatement.

There would seem to have been eleven in the series. Mileages were measured from traditional points in London, used in stage coach days; e.g. Hick's Hall (St. John's St. EC1),Tyburn Turnpike (Marble Arch), Hyde Park, Charing Cross, St Giles Pound. Our stones were probably erected about 1751 since Peter Collinson, Botanist, who came to live at Ridgeway House in 1749 wrote in 1752 that they were then newly erected.

All are of hard limestone and inscribed simply with the distance from London. With one exception, Noll, they are all on the lefthand side of the road coming from London.

The locations of those in our area are:-

IV. 4 miles from London, near Whitestone pond at N. end of Hampstead Grove. I suspect that this stone which reads IV miles from St. Giles Pound is not T measured from the same point as only 3/4 mile separates it from the site of No.5 and the rest. It seems reasonable to assume that our stones, which are in the old Hendon parish, are measured from near Charing Cross. That there are differences is not surprising since there was no National road authority, each parish doing what it believed to be correct.

V.            Missing, would have been roughly opposite Welgarth Rd. I think it is preserved behind Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon. NW4

VI.          Was by the pub. signpost of the White Swan, Golders Green Rd. until the 1960's.

VII          Built into a wall, between shops in Brent St. between Lodge Rd. & Church Rd.

VIII         In Holders Hill Rd. just before Hendon Crematorium, recently re-erected.

IX.           At top of Bittacy Hill, in front garden of No. 8, Evergreens.

X.            Almost completely buried in the grass on Mill Hill Ridgeway, about 20ft. west of the War Memorial.

XI.           When last noted it was lying in the right-hand verge in Highwood Hill, close to the junction with Hendon Wood Lane.

For further reading; HADAS, Newsletters Nos.  4 and 22.

Trans. LAMAS, Vol VII, PtII, 1935,pg327.

Money, Milk & Milestones, HADAS, Occasional Paper No. 3, 1976. Now out of print.