Newsletter-267-June-1993

ISSUE NO 267                                  Edited by Vikki O'Connor            JUNE 1993


OUTING TO BIGNOR & CHICHESTER

- with Micky Cohen and Micky Watkins. Details and application form enclosed.

OUTING TO STONEA & ELY - with Bill Bass & Vikki O'Connor.

Guided walks round Stonea Iron Age Camp, Ely Cathedral, plus optional visit to Stained Glass Museum or Ely Museum.

Full details in July Newsletter.

PINNER AND HEADSTONE MANOR Walk organised by Dorothy Newbury.

HADAS OPEN DAY

National Archaeology Day Further details next month.

CHESTER & LLANDUDNO weekend Organised by Dorothy Newbury.

MUSEUM OF LONDON - private viewing of Brockley Hill pottery plus talk & walk with Francis Grew,

"ASPECTS OF ROMAN POTTERY" - Dr Robin Symonds First in new season of HADAS lectures.

MINIMART - at St Mary's Church House, Hendon

Members with items to donate please confact Dorothy Newbury.

"FUN & GAMES IN THE ROMAN BATHS" Mark Hassall, FSA, Institute of Archaeology HADAS lecture

VISIT TO ST PAUL'S CATHEDRAL - with Mary O'Connell

CHRISTMAS DINNER at University College, Gower Street Organised by Dorothy Newbury.


Members wishing to suggest possible future lectures should write to Dorothy Newbury at 55 Sunningfields Road, NW4 4RA.

General enquiries should be addressed to the Hon. Secretory, Gorse Cottage, The Common, Chipperfield, Herts, WD4 9BL


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - musings from the top table                                          Liz Holliday

What is it, I wonder, that makes an AGM so different from an "ordinary" meeting? Well, for a start of course, everything is the wrong way round - I'm up here and all those smiling faces (50 plus) are looking this way ... with anticipation? Daphne Lorimer in the Chair, Andrew Selkirk poised to give his Chairman's Report and Victor Jones clutching his Financial Report. Our Vice Presidents have been confirmed in office: Miss D P Hill, Brian Jarman, Daphne Lorimer, Mary Phillips, Ted Sammes and Andrew Saunders, and the proposal to elect John Enderby was supported unanimously. Andrew Selkirk and Brian Wrigley have been re-elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. Oh! I've been re-elected as Hon. Sec. Still no Hon. Treasurer - it really is too much to expect Victor to continue. After all, when you've resigned, you've resigned... perhaps a volunteer will emerge...

Now the Committee. Must get their names spelt correctly for the Minutes: Bill Bass, Micky Cohen, John Heathfield, Victor Jones, Margaret Maher, Dorothy Newbury, Peter Pickering, Ted Sammes, Andy Simpson, Myfanwy Stewart and Micky Watkins. Good. All done. Meeting closed at 8.50pm.

Finally the part of the meeting that most members have been looking forward to. The showing of a film ­HADAS' entry for the BBC "Chronicle" competition. We have Alec Jeakins to thank for making the film available... When was that competition? 197 ? How young everyone looks! Daphne's slides recording the HADAS Roman banquet (what fun that was!); Ted with an excellent selection of slides taken on last summer's outings (how does Dorothy keep finding such interesting places to visit? ) and Bill Bass' clear resume of the excavation in Barnet High Street.      

That's it then. Another AGM over. And no-one need know that we only got sound on the film because I was holding a screw in the microphone socket. I don't think I'll tell anyone - looks rather inefficient...

MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Miss S Spiller who recently moved to France has now resigned from the Society but will however "retain a warm appreciation of the interesting and lively lectures". Pamela MacGregor who lives in Edinburgh has also resigned and she wishes to thank everyone involved for the interesting and informative newsletters. Our best wishes to them both.

A quick reminder to a small percentage of our members: subs are now due.

LIBRARY                                                                                                                                   Roy Walker

What's in a name?

While cataloguing the books for the library it is often amusing to note that authors' names sometimes match their subject. Here are a few surnames and book titles all of which are, of course, available for loan to members of HADAS.

Lambrick                     Archaeology and agriculture

Bass                             Archaeology under water

Field                            English field names

Brothwell                    Digging up bones

Flint                             Glacial geology

Court                           Dartmoor

Hewett                        English historic carpentry

Forrester                      Timber framed buildings

Eh, Again

In the May newsletter I wrote about the "a" missing from "archaeology" on the notice board outside Avenue House. Since then I have visited Bignor Roman villa where, believe it or not, at least two signs had "archaeology" misspelt - the second "a" had again been missed. The Sunday Times which had used the same spelling told me that it had been an error but a librarian at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London thought this was the current American spelling. Presumably, the Sunday Times article was a straight copy of an American press release, not corrected for the British market. Incidently, the Hendon & Finchley Times of 13th May commented on the HADAS newsletter article and published a photograph of the offending Avenue House notice board.

CHURCH FARMHOUSE EXCAVATION - HADAS SEMINAR, SATURDAY 15 MAY

Some 40 people attended the seminar organised as an introduction to the forthcoming dig and Dr Pamela Taylor, Borough Archivist and HADAS member, began proceedings with the development of the Church End area. The place-name evidence for Roman and Saxon settlement in Hendon was confimed by HADAS' Church Terrace dig of 1973/74, and although the size of Roman, Saxon or medieval settlements and their boundaries is unknown, Dr Taylor believes they would have remained at the top of the plateau. Hendon consisted of a series of hamlets rather than one nucleated village. John Blair's study of village layouts, when applied to Hendon, leads to the model where the manor house would not be in the village centre; the church would be in the village centre, having been built to serve the community rather than act as the manor chapel. The Domesday Book mentions a priest with a virgate of land in Hendon, suggesting (but not proving) the existence of a church, but we do know it was built by the mid-12th C. In 1312 a new Manor House was built at Parson Street, but the site of the previous building is unknown. The present early 19th C vicarage is in Parson Street and could be on the site of or near a previous vicarage. Parson Street could be named after the rectory or manor house rather than the vicarage. Dr Taylor concluded, reminding us how little is known about the Church End area, that in the Museum garden (as in the rest of Church End) there could be part of a manor house or a vicarage, although more probably there are signs ofmore humble settlement of almost any period before the present house. If no remains are found the result will still be of value as negative evidence.

Gerard Roots, Curator of Church Farmhouse Museum gave a brief history of the building which, it is conjectured, dates from c.1660. Now L-shaped, it was originally rectangular, several changes being made in the 19th C including the building of a porch for the present front door (the main entrance used to face the farmyard). The farm land comprised some 200 acres, although, as Dr Taylor mentioned, individual fields were interchangeable between the three farms at Church End. It is possible that our dig could reveal a barn and stables in the garden area. Mr Roots listed some of the tenants, starting with Daniel Kemp,1688, up to World War II when the Council put in people who had been bombed out of their homes. In 1955 the building became the Museum. HADAS will have a display case in the Museum with information on previous digs, and after the plastics exhibition ends in July we will have a room available to present progress on the dig.

Ted Sammes illustrated the archaeology of the area with slides and maps, summarising the three HADAS digs in the area, at Church End Farm (1961 for 6 seasons), The Burroughs, opposite the White Bear (1972), and Church Terrace (1973-74). In addition, a wide range of finds from these digs was on display, the selection of pottery painstakingly and artfully restored, some of which will shortly be on view at the Museum. Finds on the first above-mentioned dig showed the site was inhabited from the 12th/13th C, the one Roman potsherd was unstratified. The Burroughs site was occupied from 12th C and Ted showed slides of pottery including large body sherds with very little rim. One interesting feature of this dig was the floor of Dutch ballast bricks. Ted showed a slide of a similar, herringbone, floor from a dig at the mineral water factory at 64a Highgate. Finally, Ted recounted the history of the Church Terrace dig, which is detailed in "Pinning down the Past". Briefly, the finds from this site included a variety of 3rd/4th C Roman pottery including a moulded face flagon neck, colour coated wares (Nene Valley?) and grey wares. Two boundary or drainage ditches were excavated; the contents were mainly later medieval with grass-tempered Saxon ware and a double-headed Saxon pin. Four medieval coffinless burials were located. The finds from this site ranged from Saxon through Tudor to 19th C and included a forged Elizabeth I groat, early handleless teacups, wig curlers, tobacco pipes, a bottles dump, and mocha ware common to 18th C public houses.

Brian Wrigley rounded off the afternoon, detailing preparations to date which include: site surveys; measuring and marking out trench areas; negotiations with Barnet Council (via Liz Holliday); preparing site paperwork; organising the digging team; appointment of members to specific tasks and contacting those who have expressed an interest in taking part.

Our thanks to all involved who, in the space of a few short weeks, organised and executed an informative and entertaining afternoon - in alphabetical order. Helen Gordon, Liz Holliday, Victor Jones, Dorothy Newbury, Gerard Roots, Ted Sammes, Andrew Selkirk, Tessa Smith, Pam Taylor, Brian Wrigley, and other members who helped to set up the room. Andrew Selkirk is preparing a detailed report on the afternoon's talks to be available to diggers on site, at our Avenue House Library and at Church Farmhouse Musuem.


DIGGING NEWS                 Bill Bass

Site preparation for the Church Farmhouse Museum excavation started on Saturday May 1st. Work included laying out a baseline along the eastern edge of the garden adjacent to the boundary of St Mary's church. Two trenches were then offset from this line, measuring 2m x approx 20m. A shorter trench will section a bank which falls away at the northern boundary. It has been decided to cut the turf by hand rather than machine strip, opening sections as excavation progresses. A site datum (height above sea level) was also established from a benchmark conveniently situated on St Mary's church.

Saturday May 8th saw the team conducting a resistivity survey, looking for any walls or ditches located below the turf line. Some rolls of paling fence and stakes have been lent/donated (we are not sure which yet) by Barnet Council. HADAS Removals Ltd were called upon to transport the fencing from a depot in Cricklewood back to the Museum.

The Dig starts on Sunday 6 June at 10am, stripping turf from trial trenches. All volunteers welcome ­if you can bring your own straight-edged spade, or turf-cutter, it will be useful!

INDEPENDENT ARCHAEOLOGISTS' CONFERENCE    by Brian Wrigley

CIA, DGLA, EH, LBB, MoLAS, PPG16, SMR and Barnet Borough Archaeology

For those readers who have braved the somewhat forbidding title and actually started to read this piece, the good news is that there is a glossary of abbreviations at the end.

Having given a short talk to the Congress of Independent Archaeologists, at the invitation of their Chairman, who is also ours, at the end of April, I was reminded that it is time to bring HADAS members up to date on the position in Barnet of what one might call 'official' archaeology. The themes of the Congress were the effects of PPG16, and of EH's current policies on scheduled monuments, where do local societies fit into these, and what should be our strategy in the changing world? I will set out first what I know of HADAS' position.

Barnet's archaeological maps

I reported in Newsletter 257 that we were awaiting consultation on our draft map of archaeological priority areas. The archaeologists have consulted together (EH, MoLAS, HADAS) and the results of that have been given to the LBB planners by EH, who are of course now (since April 1992) the official appointed advisers to LBB. However, I have heard nothing more of official adoption of our draft map as part of the UDP, although it does seem from what we see of EH's advice to LBB that the draft map is in fact being used and referred to; one could put it that, whilst the slow processes of official approval grind on, the practical folk who get on with the job are already using the useful tool we have provided.

In Newsletter 257 I said that we were preparing the second map, of sites and findspots. This is now completed in draft (so far as it can ever be said to be completed - new information comes in all the time!) ready for official approval. It includes an outline of the Borough's geology, thanks to the help of John Whitehorn, a Barnet member of HADAS. Unhappily we have only one master copy, and no facilities for reproducing such large map sheets, except by repeating the labourious process of sticking little numbered dots on a new print of the map. We are hoping that in the course of time, the LBB will help us by providing copies, as they did for the first map. As an index for the "sites & finds" map we found it convenient to use the DGLA Gazetteer of 1988, adding to and amending it as needed, and using the massive computer print-out of the SMR (see my note in Newsletter 240) for reference. A side benefit of this exercise is that we now have all the essential information from the SMR reduced to a 32-page A5 booklet, which can be readily photocopied.

PPG 16

In 1988 I wrote, on behalf of HADAS, a response to the London Planning Advice Committee's consultation document 'Strategic Planning Advice for London'; our main point being that in suburban London, the archaeology was to be found mostly buried below shopping centres built on earlier habitation centres, so that chance to investigate only arose on redevelopment and demolition, hence archaeology should be an integral part of the planning and redevelopment process. Although we never had any acknowledgement in 1990 I thought someone must have heard my cry, when PPG16 was issued. This advises planning authorities that it is reasonable; (1) to request... the developer to arrange for an archaeological field evaluation... before any

decision on the planning application (2) to satisfy itself before... permission, that the developer has made... satisfactory provision for... excavation and recording of (known) remains and it is open to them (3) to impose conditions... (for) reasonable access (by) a nominated archaeologist - either ... 'watching brief ... or... investigation and recording in the course of the permitted operations and (4) to... use... a... condition prohibiting the carrying out of development until such... works... have been carried out.

This is, in practice, certainly starting to work in Barnet Borough; I think, in the last 12 months there has been more professional archaeological work done in the Borough than I remember during the years I was Secretary. Both EH and HADAS monitor the weekly planning application lists. EH's Archaeology Officer for this area (who is Robert Whytehead, well known to us as a year or two ago he did the same job for DGLA) advises LBB of any archaeological implications and suggesting evaluation or site-watching as needed, frequently consulting HADAS. We have organised our site-monitoring team, Myfanwy Stewart (Co-ordinator) Bill Bass (Northern area), Tessa Smith (Western area) and Bill Firth (Central area) so that they are in touch direct with Rob Whytehead on sites of interest. On small developments (patios, conservatories etc) where evaluation seems unlikely, we have agreed we will get in touch direct with the applicant/house-holder for permission to site-watch. Time will tell what changes we may need to make in these arrangements, but certainly we have a steady stream of information both ways on the archaeological side, so everyone knows what is going on.

Where an archaeological evaluation is required, the developer chooses the unit he will pay to do it. So far, most have been done by MoLAS; one has been done by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit; two have been done by HADAS (Barnet High Street 1990 and The Burroughs/Watford Way 1991). We receive copies of the reports, and supply ours to EH and MoLAS so that the archaeological information flows freely. Of the two sites where HADAS did the evaluation, one was in the early days of PPG16, where we were already independently in touch with the developer, a local firm, and DGLA after discussion were prepared to leave the work to us; the other was a housing association development, where there was no money to spare for archaeology, so we were put forward as a suitable body - I may say with welcome support and advice from DGLA.

HADAS have also tendered for an evaluation at Victoria Hospital, Barnet last autumn (the development seems to be hanging fire at present and we have not heard what is to happen); doing the paperwork needed for this, for approval by the developer and by LBB with advice from EH (and the help of Rob Whytehead here I gratefully acknowledge) has certainly brought home to me, at least, the realisation that a voluntary society like HADAS is simply not geared to cope with this sort of job as a regularly occurring matter: the fact that, once accepted, it becomes a legal contract with time-scales to be kept, the standards and specifications to be (very properly) kept to, and the need for immediate authoritative research/finds etc back-up, make this something we can only take on rarely. On the other hand, sites where there is no develoment money available, like the forthcoming Church Farmhouse dig, can still be available to us; also, there may be opportunities for small excavations arising from 'patio' sitewatching already mentioned. It is good for archaeology that more excavation is being done in the Borough, and being done professionally; as I see it, we have to accept that the increased amount is more than HADAS could cope with effectively. However, HADAS have not dropped out of the picture but are being kept informed, are consulted, and playing our useful part.

The Congress of Independent Archaeologists

The session on PPG16 started with Dr Geoffrey Wainwright, EH's chief of archaeology. I found it very interesting, not to say entertaining, to hear his good-humoured account of the conception and origins of PPG16 in the need to enliven local planning authorities to their duty to archaeology in planning decisions. From the contributions which followed from local groups, I am sure that it is indeed working in the way intended.

It was clear that many local societies are maintaining a presence (if occasionally against some professional inertia) in active field archaeology, but having to accept the limitations I outlined above for HADAS. There seemed to be a general theme of more emphasis on research excavation, and sites where there is little money; so HADAS' experience appears to be fairly typical.

What then is the message for HADAS from all this? I suggest it is that we should be willing to adapt ourselves in order to maintain our proper and useful place in the new scheme of things. In the first instance, I think this means accepting a certain measure of 'red tape' - formalising the organisation of our work, allocating specific responsibilities to volunteers, and being prepared to deal with an increased amount of administrative paperwork. We have already made a start - the map, the gazetteer, the sitewatching organisation; and these have happened in the best possible way - not be being imposed by rule from above, but by interested people seeing that a job needed doing, and forming a team to get on and do it!

 

GLOSSARY

CIA     Council for Independent Archaeology which organises, every 2 years, a Congress of Independent Archaeologists to exchange views.

DGLA Department of Greater London Archaeology of The Museum of London which had a general oversight of Greater London archaeology, originally under the GLC, until April 1992 when the function of advising London Boroughs on archaeology became the official function of EH (qv).

EH       English Heritage, which since April 1992 has been the official adviser to London Boroughs on archaeology, whilst not
taking on actual field-work, which is left to voluntary or commercial bodies such as MoLAS (qv) in accordance with specifications laid down by the planning authority (in Bamet, the LBB) on EH advice.

LBB    London Borough of Barnet, the planning authority for the area of HADAS activity.

MoLAS Museum of London Archaeological Service, the successor to DGLA, but now organised as a commercial archaeological unit undertaking work for a fee.

PPG16 Planning Policy Guidance No 16 'Archaeology and Planning' issued by Department of the Environment in November 1990 for the guidance of local planning authorities, no doubt with the advice of EH (an offshoot of the Department).

SMR            Sites & Monuments Record, the official computerised record of all sites in the country of archaeological importance,
which in Greater London is maintained by al, although originally started on their behalf by The Museum of London;

EH receive, at their request, copies of the HADAS Newsletter so that any items of value go into the record.

BOOK REVIEW                                                     by Andy Simpson

All stations to Edgware

HADAS members with an interest in local transport history would be well advised to look out a newly published book under the title "British Railways Illustrated - Annual No 1" published by Irwell Press, price L8.95. This is an excellent value today for an A4-sized 92 page hardback?

Of particular interest is K Coventry's 20 page article "Ally Pally, Barnet and Edgware", a beautifully illustrated historical account of the Great Northern Railway's "Northern Heights" lines to High Barnet and Edgware, now absorbed into the Northern line of the "tube". There are detailed track plans and high quality 1930s photographs of the stations at Highgate, Cranley Gardens, Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill, East Finchley, Finchley Church End (now Finchley Central), Mill Hill (The Hale), Mill Hill East, West Finchley, Edgware, Totteridge, Woodside Park and High Barnet. It is fascinating to study the photographs of those stations hardly changed in 60 years, such as High Barnet, and compare them to the situation of the former Edgware (LNER) station site now lost under a supermarket car park.

A little further afield, but still relatively local, is the 16 page article on Watford loco shed, again beautifully illustrated with 1940/50s photographs. Highly recommended.

THE UPPER NENE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY - URGENT APPEAL

Roy Friendship-Taylor, Chairman of UNAS, wrote to HADAS advising that they have purchased a redundant Wesleyan Chapel in Piddington and that they plan to create the "Tiberius Claudius Severus Villa Museum" to tell the story of Iron Age and Roman Piddington. The museum, which should open in two years time, will incorporate a children's education area and house the Society's library. The HADAS Committee have agreed to make a donation of £20 towards this worthy project. Should members wish to make individual donations to the UNAS appeal, cheques payable to UNAS may be sent to: The Honorary Secretary, 'Toad Hall', 86 Main Road, Hackleton, Northampton, NN7 2AD.

NEWS FROM BILL FIRTH

The Spaniards Inn

In our February newsletter 263 we reported the planning application to put illuminated signs on the Spaniards Inn and Toll House. We have been informed that the Planning Committee has approved the placing of signs on both buildings but those on the Toll House are not to be lit.

Industrial Heritage Year

One of the better kept secrets of the year is that the English Tourist Board has designated this year Industrial Heritage Year with the slogan "Experience the Making of Britain'. Many museums and societies are co­operating by holding special events and the Tourist Board has published an Events List covering the country. There are also five maps of the country showing industrial attractions. Apply to: Experience the Making of Britain, PO Box 151, London El5 21-IF.

In London the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society is leading a series of industrial walks on Saturdays at 2.30pm. Approximately two hours of leisurely walking will either end at the starting point or at another underground station.

June 12: South of the Border - Southwark/Bermondsey. Meet by Water Carrier statue, north-east end of Blackfriars Bridge, adjacent to Blackfriars Station.

July 10: Markets and Medicine - Smithfield. Meet outside Barbican Station.

Aug.14: Gateways to the North - King's Cross. Meet in St Pancras Station forecourt by steps down to Pancras Road.

Sept.4:       The Eastern Fringe - Whitechapel. Meet outside west entrance, Tower Hill Station.

TAKE ONE METAL OBJECT                                                       by Roy Walker

Many metal objects found on HADAS excavations are corroded beyond recognition - is it a coin or a button? Some copper-alloy items, however, have been restored to a more stable condition by the application of simple technology. Excavation team member Arthur Till, with the aid of a 4.5 volt battery, some iron wires (taken from his wife's flower arranging kit), washing soda and a jam jar, has been reversing the results of this oxidisation process by the use of electrolytic reduction. Copper wire from the negative pole of the battery, the cathode, is connected to the object (coin, nail, brooch, button or whatever) with a crocodile clip ensuring that the wire is in contact with the object. The anode or positive pole is connected by wire to a piece of ironfor

 carbon. Arthur has found that carbon, taken from the core of a battery, does not work as well as the iron supports used in flower arranging. It does seem as though most of the components of this technique owe more to his wife than to Arthur! The object and anode are then immersed in a solution of sodium carbonate (washing soda) or sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). A current produced by not more than 6 volts is passed to start a process similar to electroplating except that the metal being deposited comes from the corrosion deposits on the object itself , close to its original position. Oxygen bubbles form on the anode and at the end of the process hydrogen bubbles form on the object. Provided the object is not in a state of disintegration good results can be obtained enabling positive interpretation.

There is another method of reduction which works especially well on highly-corroded objects. They are heated in a stream of coal-gas at a temperature of 200°C for thirty minutes and then at 500°C for a few minutes more. It is understood that Mrs Till will not allow rusty coins near the gas cooker but fortunately for HADAS has no objection to losing the odd jam jar in the name of archaeological research.

HEROD'S PALACE, CAESAREA

In August 1991 the Newsletter carried a report on a Finchley Friends of Israel lecture by Alexander Flinder, the underwater archaeologist. In this lecture he described the discovery of the Herodian harbour of Sebastos at Caesarea found beneath the waters of the Mediterranean. A team of archaeologists working last year at Caesarea have now discovered what is believed to be Herod's palace on a rock that extends several hundred feet into the Mediterranean. Those who have seen Masada will realise the extraordinary architecture of Herod's works and this palace is no exception. It is built around a 115' long swimming pool carved into the rock, there is a fountain beneath a half dome at one end of a dining room next to which was a luxurious private hot bath. After his death the palace would have been used by Roman Governors and it is likely that St Paul was imprisoned there around 58AD prior to being sent to Rome for trial.

'ON TARGET'

The RAF Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, is running an exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the "Dambusters" raid in May 1943, based on the history of strategic bombing. A range of new displays include a Lancaster bomber surviving from the World War II. laser-guided bombs from the Gulf War and an audio-visual display of the darns raid. The exhibition will run until 31st October. The Museum is open daily 10am - 6pm, 24hr information line: 081-205 9191.

FENTON HOUSE, Hampstead Grove, is the oldest surviving mansion in Hampstead, dating from 1693. It is administered by the National Trust and houses a collection of porcelain, furniture and antique musical instruments including a harpsichord played upon by Handel. A HADAS member, a voluntary room steward at the house, has reminded us that this year is of course its 300th anniversary, and in celebration a week of festivities is being held from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th June. The programme of events planned include a harpsichord recital, lectures on local history, painting workshop, a gardens day and the festival fair on Wednesday the 9th 11 am - 330pm which has musical entertainments, refreshments and an evocation of the 17th century by History Re-enactment. The Festival Marquee will have stalls selling National Trust goods, plants, produce and fancy goods. Entrance fee to the garden is 50p. Most events, however, require prior booking as numbers are restricted so a visit to Fenton House may be necessary to obtain the booking form.

BRITISH MUSEUM

The film "Orkney Underground" (40mins running time) will be shown free of charge at the British Museum Lecture Theatre (basement) at 3.30pm on 15 -18 June inclusive.

WHAT HITLER LEFT....                                                            A.M.L.

One little-publicised effect of the recent bombs in the City of London is their impact - literally - on the City churches, the jewels which nestle behind or between those temples of Mammon, the office blocks. In the first bombing at the Baltic Exchange, the church of St Andrew Undershaft rose bodily a few centimetres and came down slightly askew on its foundations. Underpinning has been going on for over a year and then there will be replacement of shattered stained-glass windows. St Katherine Cree also lost most of its east end glass including a fine rose window and St Helen's, Bishopsgate suffered quite severely. This is an unusual conventised church with a double nave, one for the nuns and one for the parishioners. After the second (Bishopsgate) bomb much of the work at St Helen's needs to be done again. St Ethelburga, a Saxon foundation with 15th century work, was demolished all but its east wall, and St Botolph's Bishopsgate - to which St Ethelburga's parishioners had temporarily migrated after earlier damage to their own church - was badly affected. Both sets of worshippers are on the move again. This is purely IRA damage.

Quite separately, St Mary at Hill was severely damaged by a fire, cause not widely known, and St James Garlickhythe had part of a builders' crane fall through the roof into the south aisle. The list may not be complete - it is purely the result of recent wanderings around the City, but didn't some mention an annus horribilis?

St Ethelburga's, a footnote. The meeting of the North London Archaeological Liaison Committee was told on 19th May that there was an unexpected result of the bombing of St Ethelburga's church. In the road crater in Bishopsgate were the foundations of a 2nd century Roman building which displayed Hadrianic fire damage (c 125AD). An evaluation of the standing building had in fact been completed by MoLAS prior to the bombing and the Roman remains will now receive their attention.

HOLD THE BACK PAGE...

Further to the Hon.Treasurer's Report at the AGM, Victor Jones reports that the 1992/93 accounts are now correct and audited. Excellent news for Victor and the Society is that we have been introduced to someone who is interested in becoming our new Hon.Treasurer. Hopefully, we will be able to confirm this officially in the next HADAS newsletter... watch this space.

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