newsletter-363-june-2001

Newsletter

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HADAS Diary

Tuesday, 12th June ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The Minutes of last year's AGM, Notice of the AGM, Annual Report and Accounts, and proposed alterations to the Constitution were sent with the last Newsletter - please bring them with you to the meeting. Followed by a talk and slides on some of our activities over the past forty years. Saturday 9th June Outing: CRANBORNE CHASE near Salisbury with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward

TuesdOuting: WALTHAM ABBEY GUNPOWDER MILLS with Stewart Wild

Lecture: GADEBRIDGE ROMAN VILLA by Dr David Neal

There is a question mark about the present destinations of our July and August outings due to the restrictions of the Foot & Mouth epidemic. The outing organisers are monitoring the situation and, if necessary, alternative destinations will be arranged and details posted in the Newsletter.

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Resistivity Survey at Copped Hall, Epping Forest

As reported in the April, 2001 Newsletter, HADAS had been asked to assist in the investigation of the site of a large Tudor House, Copped Hall, near Waltham Abbey in Essex. The Waltham Abbey Historical Society will be excavating the site following the HADAS resistivity survey. This survey had been delayed because of the restrictions of the Foot and Mouth outbreak. Work, which finally commenced on 20th May, is expected to take several weeks (that is, working just one Sunday a week) and volunteers would be welcome to join in this exercise. This is an opportunity to understand the technicalities of geophysical surveying and certainly would be of benefit to anyone studying for the archaeology certificate or diploma at evening classes. If you are interested, please contact one of the excavation team:

The Handlist to the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archive

The huge amount of archive material amassed by the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archive Trust (HGSAT) was deposited with the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) in 1997 for safe keeping, following a flood in the basement storage area of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, which had threatened its preservation. This collection was largely assembled by Brigid Grafton Green who died in 1991. The LMA have created a full catalogue, which is also held on disk at their centre and, at the request of Dr Ann Saunders, Chair of the Hampstead Garden Surburb Archive Trust, they organised the preparation of the Handlist. However, the HGSAT provided a significant proportion of the funding for the 1,350-page catalogue and the Handlist, which was edited by Dr Saunders and Mr Harry Cobb, the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archive archivist. The work was completed and finally published this year with a launch party at St Jude's Church in April, with representatives from the LMA, various Suburb organisations and long-standing Suburb residents in attendance. The vicar of St Jude's, the Rev. Alan Walker opened the evening, and Paddy Grafton Green expressed his appreciation of the Handlist being dedicated to the memory of his mother. The editor of The Buildings of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Bridget Cherry, spoke in praise of the Handlist recalling that she had lectured at the HGS Institute in the 1960s. Dr Ann Saunders, addressed the 170-strong "congregation" explaining why a handlist, or guide, was needed. The collection of material includes 6,000 house plans, photos, oral histories, slide collection, records of the HGS Trust, Residents' Association, Drama Society, Wellgarth Nursery, etc, plus, of course, Henrietta Barnett's letters and papers. The Handlist contains a summary list of contents, lavishly illustrated with photos. Also, a reprint of Brigid Grafton Green's short but informative History of the Suburb 1907-1977, and a tribute by Dr Saunders to Brigid: an extraordinary woman, strong, clear minded, enthusiastic, energetic and kind". Some material remains with the HGS Archive at their office in the basement room at Bigwood House: correspondence, newspaper cuttings and various documents. The Handlist is available there, for f10.00; it is also on sale at the LMA. The London Metropolitan Archives are based at 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB, tel: 020 7332 3820. Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am-4.45pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am-7.30pm. Generally appointments are not required although advance notice is sometimes needed for access to normally restricted documents. LMA is closed for stocktaking for the first two weeks of November. LMA has access for people with limited mobility and parking bays for orange badge holders. Local bus routes include 19, 38, 171A to Rosebery Avenue; 63 and 259 to Farringdon Road.


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The Spitalfields' Excavation Sheila Woodwood

Excavation at Spitalfields, site of the vast medieval Priory Hospital of St Mary Spital, was first undertaken in the 1980s. It is still very much an ongoing project, as Chris Thomas's lecture to the Society in April amply demonstrated. After closure by Henry VIII the priory and hospital buildings began to be demolished and all traces of them eventually disappeared under Spitalfields Market founded in 1682 and enlarged and rebuilt in subsequent centuries. It was the decision to move the market out to Leyton that provided the opportunity to dig at Spitalfields prior to its redevelopment. The earliest occupation evidence on the site apart from a few flints is Roman. Situated next to Ermine Street and outside the Roman city walls, the land was used for agriculture and as a cemetery. The latter was fairly unusual in layout: the graves well spaced and neatly aligned with no inter-cutting. About one hundred have been excavated so far. Many more would have been destroyed by the medieval cemetery. The burials mostly date from the late 3rd and early 4th century. Grave goods include jet and shale bracelets, necklace heads, good quality pottery and one of the finest collections of 4th century glass vessels yet found in south-east England. The most dramatic discovery was made during the excavation of the medieval cemetery when an underlying Roman sarcophagus was found. Taken to the Museum of London and opened in the full glare of media publicity, a lead coffin was revealed containing the skeleton of a young woman. Examined and analysed, (DNA, oxygen isotope etc), the lady is said to have been aged 25 to 30 and in good health. She had never had children, was born in southern Europe (probably Spain) and came to this country after the age of eight. Her luxurious burial included a pillow of bay leaves and traces of silk damask and gold thread suggest a rich dress. Grave goods included a jet box and two glass phials with delicate decoration, which may have held unguent.* The Roman Empire disintegrated and the new Saxon settlers favoured the Covent Garden/Aldwych area. It was not until 1197 that the Spitalfields area revived (and gained its name) with the founding of the Priory and Hospice and Hospital of St.Mary¬Without-Bishopsgate, soon abbreviated to St Mary Spital (=Hospital). The original foundation was small but was expanded in 1235 to cope with the influx of migrants to the capital. The church had two great wings or transepts, which were used as the infirmary, one for men and one for women. Later, a twostorey infirmary was built. Excavation of a waterlogged area has produced wooden bowls and plates used by the patients, and a collection of tiny copper and iron keys which may have belonged to lockers in the first infirmary. The Prior and Augustinian Canons dealt with the spiritual needs of the infirmary inmates; lay sisters cared for their physical nursing. There were seven of the latter and Stow says that at the time of the Dissolution the hospital had 180 beds (more probably ninety beds with two patients in each). The ratio of nurses to patients was even worse than in the NHS! Examination of the areas south and north of the main complex has revealed valuable evidence of building methods and materials, water supply and changes in use and. structures. For example, at one period the Priory kept its own domestic animals but later bought its meat supplies from the London markets. In about 1400 the church was again enlarged and the Canons built their own infirmary, that is, separate from the public infirmary. Excavation of the medieval cemetery is proving a daunting task as the burials run into thousands. They mostly follow the traditional west-east alignment (head to the west) and have no grave goods. In the later period there are some stacked burials without coffins with the lower bodies reversed (head to the east). Church patrons were buried clutching a "Papal bull", a disc-seal originally attached to a parchment recording the good works of the deceased - an entry fee to heaven, reminiscent of the classic Charon's fee of an obal. Priests were buried with pewter replicas of paten and chalice, presumably serving the same purpose as the Papal bull. There are some burial pits, which may contain up to forty bodies. These date from about 1280 to 1320 and suggest either an epidemic or a hurried burial. There is a charnel house of the late 14th century with a chapel above. The site of the pulpit cross (an early preaching cross also used for public proclamations) has been found, and the remains of the gallery from which the Mayor, aldermen and sheriffs listened to the Spital Sermon during Easter Week. The hospital/hospice probably provided nursing care rather than surgery or medical skills. However, the cemetery contains evidence of healed fractures, trepannings in which the bone has begun to heal over, and at least one amputation. The closure in 1539 of such a large hospital must have been a disaster for the sick. To quote Stow again, it was "well furnished for the receipt of the poor, for it was an hospital of great relief'. After demolition of priory and hospital and before the creation of the market the area was used as an artillery ground by the Tower of London gunners. Finds of this period have included pieces of chain mail and musket balls. There was also a small defensive fort from the Civil War. Some prestigious 17th century houses were built with gardens behind them. The Master Gunner of England's House had impressive rooms and an impressive cellar, though a bottle of Madeira of about 1670, its cork still intact, was found to be unfortified and undrinkable! The builders of the market in 1652 heralded a great redevelopment. Fine 18th century houses were built, some of which stilt stand, and French Huguenot immigrants settled here and introduced silk weaving, bringing new prosperity to the area. Later immigrants were less prosperous and the affluence of the neighbourhood gradually declined during the 19th and 20th centuries. Perhaps the development now proposed, having given great opportunity for excavation, will also revive the fortunes of this fascinating part of London. HADAS were fortunate enough to see the Roman sarcophagus on their visit to the Museum of London Archive Centre at Eagle Wharf Road in February last year.

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The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey by Bill Firth

This lecture, given in May by Norman Paul, Chairman, Friends of Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills, was the one that had to be cancelled at short notice in March because of the power failure at Avenue House. In addition to being Chairman of the Friends, Mr Paul worked at the mills for 30 years. We started with a little history. Gunpowder was known to the Chinese at least by the 9th century when it was used in fireworks and by the 10th century it was being used as an explosive. It probably came to Europe via the Arabs. It was used in a crude bombard at the Battle of Crecy to batter down the walls of fortifications but the long bow remained the best weapon against enemy soldiers for a long time. In the 16th century Roger Bacon worked out the ratio of the three ingredients, carbon, sulphur and potassium nitrate to give the best explosions. He wrote his formula in code but it leaked out. There is a story, but no proof, that Guy Fawkes obtained the gunpowder for his plot from Waltham Abbey. Gunpowder mills at Waltham Abbey were first recorded in 1664 but these were privately owned, largely by three generations of the Walton family. The government came to realise that gunpowder from privately owned mills was of very variable quality and in 1787 they were bought by the Crown. It was Sir William Congreve who arranged tests of many manufacturers' powder and conclusively showed that the Waltham Abbey product was superior. His son, also William, developed the military rocket that was successfully used at Copenhagen, Trafalgar and Waterloo. Later the technique was developed for line throwing for rescue efforts from ships in distress. Carbon was obtained from charcoal. Roger Bacon had shown that the best charcoal was obtained from the wood of alder or willow. Sulphur came as a natural product from Italy and required purification by vaporisation and condensation as flowers of sulphur. Potassium nitrate, nitre, could be obtained from excrement from middens and dovecotes but it was also imported from natural deposits in India. The nitre was purified by recrystallisation from boiling pans of material in the same way as domestic salt. The raw materials were ground separately and crudely mixed in the right proportions in incorporating mills, a form of edge runner. There were then various completion processes to produce coarse grains for artillery and fine grains for rifles, any very fine grains were recycled. The machinery was powered by water wheels fed from the River Lea. There was always the risk of explosion but stringent precautions minimised the risk and there were remarkably few casualties. Workers were searched on entering and matches, tobacco and metal objects were taken away. They dressed in special clothing with footwear made of a shiny material that did not pick up dust. There were no buckles or buttons. The buildings were designed with a wooden frame and a light wood cladding which would blow out in the event of an explosion. Each building was built at a good distance from the next one. For a long time transport of materials was by wooden wheeled carts or water along a specially built internal canal system. By the time of World War I gunpowder was no longer the main military explosive and production of nitro-glycerine,guncotton cordite and later other more advanced explosives was undertaken. The works were modernised; a steam engine for power was put in and new buildings were built within bunds which tended to direct any explosion upwards and meant that they could be built closer together. In World War II it was evident that Waltham Abbey was very open to air attack and gunpowder production was transferred elsewhere but production of some explosives continued. RDX for example was developed for the famous Barnes Wallace bouncing bomb. After the War the site became a research establishment only, until it was finally closed. On the north site, which is the most important, there are twenty-one listed buildings, scheduled monuments and, because so much of the site was neglected for so long after the war, a large site of Special Scientific Interest. However, thanks to f6.2 million lottery money, a third of the site has just been opened as a visitor attraction. It mixes history, science and beautiful surroundings to give something for everyone. Visitors will be free to explore a large part of the site unguided including a wild life watch tower.

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Meet the Members

Dorothy Newbury

Each month you will see the name Dorothy Newbury "dotted" around the Newsletter. Newer members may not be aware of how much Dorothy does for HADAS. She plays many roles within the Society: Newsletter co¬ordinator and printer; programme co-ordinator; outings administrator; organiser of the Christmas Dinner, organiser/co-ordinator of the annual highly successful fundraising event, the Minimart; and is on call to members, seemingly twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, answering a host of queries. Dorothy joined the Society during the early 1970s and liked to involve her two children, Marion and Christopher in her hobby. However, when Ted Sammes spotted the 12-year-old Christopher trowelling a little too enthusiastically and shouted at him to stop, the young archaeologist decided to give up excavation. Fortunately, he did not give up HADAS and still helps with the Minimart and with the newsletter production. Dorothy first met her husband, Jack, at a Services canteen at a church hall, during the Second World War. Dorothy helped out at the canteen, and used to bring eggs from the chick hatchery where she worked. The eggs were sexed by expert Japanese (before they entered the war) - as they had excellent eyesight, and the dud eggs were sent to the Forces canteen for omelettes. For those of us who remember pig bins, Dorothy can reveal that some of this swill reached her at the hatchery where she filled up the pig food boilers. Another task was thatching the pigs' huts - the pigs are very clean animals, she assures us. This rural activity helped compensate for her childhood wish to work on a farm, which her father re-directed into office work! Later, she became a telephone subscribers' fitter, driving around, installing telephones. When the American Air Force arrived in Britain, one foggy day Dorothy met one of their jeeps head on in a narrow lane near Dunmow. She still remembers her green Morris van's registration, EXC 964! She was rescued by a steam roller and taken off to the US camp to recover, and still remembers lunch with meat, rice pudding and jam on the same plate! Of her beau, Dorothy recalls that Jack's Colonel reluctantly handed him his stripes, remarking that he was the scruffiest soldier he had ever seen, but he had to give him the stripes so he could teach PE (Sorry, Jack!) Nowadays Jack can be spotted at the annual Minimart - on the stationery stall, or on the outings - bursting into song at the drop of a hat or making cheeky remarks. On the subject of Minimart, there are sometimes objects which defy description, and at one HADAS Christmas dinner, Dorothy took fifteen of these UMOs along and, with the might of HADAS reasoning, they still defied identification! Another highlight of the Minimart was when a potential customer tried on a pair of underpants on the stage. Before The Full Monty was heard of! As well as all the work Dorothy does for HADAS, she still has time to run the Hillary Press with Jack. In her quieter(!) hours she makes time for her four grandchildren, Alexander, Grace, James and Sarah. Jack and Dorothy started the business in the back room of a baker's shop in Cricklewood in 1948 before moving to Hendon and so to HADAS. Asked whether she ever had time for other interests Dorothy laughed and said "cookery"! When she was twelve, she and her mother went in for a cookery competition, probably run by Brown & Poulson, which she won - beating her mother. The certificate has survived, should anyone doubt! This early skill came in good stead when HADAS held their Roman banquet. Dorothy, Daphne Lormier, Brigid Grafton Green, Nell Penny and one other HADAS member took themselves off to a 4-day course on Roman cookery held at a private girls' school, St Swithins. Winchester to try out recipes from the only surviving Roman cookery book author, Epicurus. On the last evening they had to dress the part for their end-of-course banquet, after which they waltzed into their hotel bar for a nightcap, still enrobed, to receive a deafening silence. The actual HADAS banquet received a much noisier reception. Everyone got into role, and Roman oil lamps were made and fired at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute pottery class, and duly lit for the feast. However, the newly decorated venue was left with a fine layer of greasy dirt, much to HADAS's embarrassment. Dorothy didn't say whether they had to pay for the damage! Incidentally, she still uses some of the recipes. The do-it- yourself success was repeated for an "Arabian Nights" evening, when that pillar of society, the director of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, John Enderby, arranged for belly dancers! Not HADAS members! They had a third banquet on the occasion of HADAS's 21st birthday, only this time it was Morris Dancers. Maybe we should do it again - how about it Dorothy?

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Gerrard Roots and Church Farm House Museum (not forgetting Henry)

Gerrard Roots has a long association with HADAS, providing space at the museum for displays of HADAS exhibits, giving talks to our members, offering advice and assistance, in other words, a good friend to the Society. He is also a very forgiving person as we found out when we accidentally triggered the museum alarm system one Sunday morning in 1999 when we were excavating the museum garden - but we don't talk about that! Many HADAS members will have visited Church Farm House Museum. However, to those not yet acquainted, it is high time you paid a visit to this listed,16th century farm house which lives comfortably next to its equally elderly neighbour the Greyhound public house, with St Mary's Church, Hendon beyond. The farm house was acquired by Hendon Borough Council in 1944 and opened as a local history museum in 1956, some six years before HADAS was formed. Gerrard Roots, the Curator, was appointed in 1979, and has worked to develop this social history museum's potential. He recalls decking out the dining room with Victorian Christmas decorations in his first year there - a tradition he has kept each December, and one which adds to the museum's welcoming atmosphere. Exhibitions Another regular feature is the series of exhibitions, with an emphasis on local connections. Gerrard has mounted some 130 exhibitions over the years, using no small amount of imagination and enthusiasm on an extraordinary diversity of topics. HADAS has been a regular exhibitor, one such notable occasion being Ted Sammes One Man's Archaeology, a celebration of HADAS excavations. The current display celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Festival of Britain has, in fact, turned out to be the largest exhibition of its kind anywhere. From 27th of June to 2nd September we are invited to view Masks at the Museum - every conceivable type of mask, including the obvious theatrical and death masks, and from 22 September until December there will be an exhibition on conjuring and magic. If anyone has an item, poster, anecdote, etc, which they are willing to go on display, please contact Gerrard on 020 8203 0130. You may of course, get through to Derek Haynes who has been with the Museum since 1992. If you are fortunate enough to visit when he is on duty you will receive a genuine welcome and can ply him with questions about the exhibitions or local history without feeling you might be a nuisance! whatever next? The basement area, for many years a handy storage area for the museum and occasional site hut" for HADAS diggers, is being refurbished to create a classroom which will open in time for the autumn term. Gerrard has, over the years, made numerous visits to local schools, giving talks and taking objects from the museum's collection for the children to handle but, with this new facility at the museum, the classes will he invited to visit him. The building is Grade II* Listed, and the garden is a conservation area and public park, so there is no room for expansion; there is only so much that could be achieved. However, since he joined, Gerrard has seen the creation of the shop/reception area, additional Victorian period furniture, and the laundry room. He has also hosted three HADAS excavations in the museum's garden, in 1993, 1996 and 1999. Our excavation team, comprising Brian Wrigley, Andy Simpson and Bill Bass, is presently preparing a full excavation report combining the three digs, and Gerrard confirms that will be pleased to find us a corner in the museum to mount a display when this is published. Asked for a "wish list", although it would mean less exhibition space, Gerrard would like to create Victorian middle-class family's and servant's bedrooms; he would definitely like the museum store to be nearer than Totteridge(!); he would like to have a local history room for joint use with the Borough Archives; and he believes that the museum should be "on-line. Also, he plans to update the Church Farm House guide book. Friends Gerrard believes there are around eighty Friends of Church Farm House Museum, lending support in practical ways: purchasing items for the collection, providing volunteers to assist visitors to the museum and, to mark the millennium, the Friends paid for the installation of floodlighting. Members pay £9 a year or £12 for joint membership at the same address, receiving newsletters, invitations to attend official openings and the summer and winter events at the museum. The Friends can be contacted care of Church Farm House Museum, Greyhound Hill, Hendon, London, NW4 4JR


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The Festival of Britain Exhibition at Church Farm House Museum Vikki O'Connor

The 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition was inspired not only by the 1851 Great Exhibition but the Britain Can Make It exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1948. Herbert Morrison was keen on holding the festival but Churchill and the Conservative Opposition, together with the Daily Express and the Evening Standard, attacked it as being a socialist plot and waste of money. So, Morrison appointed General Lord Ismay as Chairman of the Festival Council. Ismay had been Churchill's Chief of Staff and was a close friend - and the opposition vanished! London's South Bank area became the focus of the nation-wide festival, with new Pavilions to celebrate the nation's faith in its future. The display at Church Farm House Museum portrays the scope of the project partly through the enormous number of postcards published. The souvenir industry took full advantage of the event; there are dozens of examples on display at the museum - tablewares, playing cards, ashtrays, shoe horns etc. You name it - they made it. Even a hand-knitted lady's jumper with the famous logo, and a pattern to knit one yourself in Woman's Weekly (price 3d). The poster with that logo was designed by Abram Games OBE, RDI (1914-96). He apparently got the idea for the bunting from his wife's washing line! A mothballed warship, the Campania, was rigged out as a floating exhibition to tour British coastal resorts, whilst a further exhibition toured Britain by road. At the South Bank, the Dome of Discovery was a great favourite with the public, with its 'stories" of agriculture, geological sciences, astronomy, and archaeology - which featured famous sites where British archaeologists had worked, including Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan which Sir Mortimer Wheeler excavated. Another success was the Skylon, a cigar shaped vertical sculpture in steel and aluminium, designed by Powell and Moya which was suspended in mid-air by steel hawsers. The name, a hybrid of Skyhook and Pylon, was devised by poet Margaret Sheppard Fidler. The only thing I can remember about the festival itself is standing under the Skylon, terrified it would drop through my eye socket, happy days! I'm sure our next editor, Ann Kahn, would love to hear your memories of the Festival of Britain...You have only three days left to view this chunk of nostalgia, the exhibition closes on the 3rd of June.

The LAMAS Conference, 2001 by Roy Walker

This year's Conference held in March this year was perhaps not as well attended as usual but the lectures were as interesting and informative as ever with one or two archaeological surprises presented to us. Many local societies had bookstalls and displays and there was as usual a chance to meet up with old friends and acquaintances from the world of archaeology.

The Ralph Merrifield Award

The day commenced with the presentation of the Ralph Merrifield Award for "Services to London's Archaeology" to Gillian Clegg, LAMAS Production Editor from 1992 to 2000 following her success at producing eleven volumes of the LAMAS Transactions in those eight years and transforming the publication into the essential work it is today. Work in the London Area was the morning's theme.

Plantation Place, EC3

Excavations here in 1999 by MoLAS followed in the footsteps of earlier Roman finds made in the 1920s. The east/west Roman road was uncovered (much narrower than that at No 1 Poultry) and signs of the Boudican fire of 60AD. Defensive double ditches and a rampart had been built directly on to the fire debris perhaps signs of the reinstatement of the army in Londinium much earlier after Boudica than previously realised. The later Roman period left a network of robbed out masonry foundations. From the section of a robber trench was found a hoard of forty-three solid gold aurei - a fortune missed by the person who took the wall!

Dollis Hill, Brent

Another MoLAS site in an area excavated for the first time. Here were found Iron Age and Roman field ditches with evidsence for a Roman villa site evidenced by the quern stones, flue tiles and charred grain recovered from the Roman sequences.

Floral Street & Long Acre

Two sites in Covent Garden, the area where the middle Saxon settlement of Lundenwic stood, both sites excavated by AOC. The interest here was that early Saxon remains were found on both sites - pottery at Floral Street but six inhumations at Long Acre. A later speaker had to amend his lecture to allow for these additional burials! Although the burials had the accepted Christian alignments, grave goods were found with three of them including a magnificent 7th century copper disc brooch decorated with domed garnets and gold wire.

The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich

This Oxford Archaeological Unit dig was on a site known for its archaeological importance but on which development amazingly had commenced without any archaeological input. The main work consisted of some excavation which recovered Roman material including 130 Roman graves, no bone just body stains, and the recording of riverside timber revetments and post-medieval building foundations. Industrial archaeology was naturally prevalent with a 100-ton steam hammer base and the remains of an 18-inch gauge tramway.

Narrow Street, Tower Hamlets

A look at the post-medieval archaeology of a residential area in Limehouse. Here was found by Pre-Construct Archaeology evidence of much wealth - the basement of a house lined with timber and a Flemish tiled floor, bellarmines (including complete vessels so regularly replaced), imported wares with some from China earlier than the 1640s and exotic wares including an early 17th century Turkish blue and white dish. The source of this surprising wealth? The residents here were, it was suggested, pirates and privateers financing their fabulous lifestyles with lucrative voyages to the Caribbean. Archaeology in the Landscape was the theme of the afternoon session.

Topography and Natural Resources of London

Jane Side11 of UCL was concerned that much of the stratigraphy labelled "natural" by archaeologists was not the limit of habitation - it could be for instance alluvium or flood plain deposits sealing earlier archaeological layers. True "natural" is bedrock, clay or chalk The Inhabited Landscapes of London's Later Prehistory John Barrett of Sheffield University had the aim of constructing a credible picture of an inhabited landscape and to suggest how people dealt with their environment in the search for food, shelter and security. He used the Perry Oaks cursus, the laying out of the City streets and the aurochs burial as examples which could throw light on the use of the landscape.

The Saxon Landscape

Robert Cowie of MoLAS looked at the various factors which affected the distribution of Saxon settlements in the London area, the agricultural potential likely to be the most important. The early Saxon settlements were often found close to Roman ones perhaps not due to continuity but due the resources which drew the Romans there in the first place. Documentary sources play a great part in examining this period as there is a shortage of domestic finds and grave goods in burials. He advocated integration of archaeological. historical and place-name research to present a fuller picture of landscape development in the Saxon period.

The Medieval Landscape

Barney Sloane, University of Reading, described a complex landscape - 600 square miles in area, medieval Greater London comprised 219 settlements with parish churches plus 200 smaller, mainly nucleated, settlements and single farmsteads. The landscape of power gives us Westminster with town houses along the Strand linking 12th century power with the city's economic power. More archaeological work is needed on these buildings - only a few moated manor houses such as low Hall have been excavated. Crosby Hall, Somerset house Arundel, have not been fully excavated. More work is need on the monastic sites - many are in the city but there were others at Greenwich and Richmond founded by Royal patronage. He looked at burial sites, the spital sites, including St Mary spital with 12,000 burials and at the cluster of pottery kilns around the Greater London area creating a mini-landscape of use. The problem was the density of data especially from the written record. There was a need for archivists and archaeologists to work together as illustrated by the example of St Mary, Stratford. The Victoria County History had a cloister on the north side, archaeologists located it on the south side.

A View of London from the North, c 1600

John Schofield of the Museum of London presented a puzzle. In The Utrecht Panorama a print which shows the City of London unusually from the north is depicted a theatre. It can be placed near Bishopsgate and is either The Theatre or The Curtain as both stood near to each other at that location, Both were established in 1577. The methods used to date the Panorama were explained, as were the methods of locating the artist's viewpoint. Unfortunately, john has been unable to identify which theatre is shown but the London Topographical Society will be reproducing the Panorama later this year so we will be able to start our own investigations.


A Brief History of Mankind by Desmond Collins A Review

Desmond Collins has been associated with HADAS since the early 1970s when he confirmed that the flints, being recovered from the Leg of Mutton Pond area of Hampstead Heath, were Mesolithic. When the excavations commenced in 1976, he joined the team as overall consultant. He also co-edited the 1976-1981 excavation report with Daphne Lorimer. He taught Human Evolution as Year 1 of the Birkbeck Certificate in Archaeology during that period, and he sends his best wishes to all who attended those classes at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Also, members who went on the HADAS weekend to Exeter in 1986 will remember being invited to tea at Desmond's home in Tiverton. He has donated a copy of his new book, this will be added to the HADAS library, alongside his 1976 book "The Human Revolution". A Brief History of Mankind presents an analysis of the cultural development of our species, with five main levels of cultural organisation marked out, with transitional sub-levels. Many of the terms are unfamiliar, but it is well worth the effort to absorb both terms and concepts, and to follow Desmond's reasoning. In simple terms, the cultural levels describe Hunter-Gatherers, Tribal Farmers, Archaic Literate States, Pioneer Rationality-based States (Greco-Roman and medieval), and the Industrial Era. Each society must evolve through a necessary sequence to progress; lower levels being unable to by-pass the necessary sequence and skip a level using contact with higher levels as this would result in collapse, or possibly assimilation. Progression from "lower" to "higher" is irreversible, and Desmond argues that any society slipping backward would not reach a previous level of equilibrium. He refers to the increasing age at death statistics at each level to illustrate the progression. He was interested to see how Piaget's cognitive stages broadly fit in with his own understanding of ape and human development. Another point which emerges is the evolution/development of belief systems. Although a slim volume, it is not a book to read in a day, or even a week. There is much on which to ponder, and if you have half an interest in human development, you will find this book fascinating. A Brief History of Mankind is available from Clayhanger Books, The Old Rectory, Clayhanger, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7NY, price f 11 :99 which includes postage and packing. ISBN 0951131869


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Other Societies' Events Compiled by Eric Morgan

Wednesday 6th June Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society Talk on Kenton & North wick Park by Len Snow of Wembley & Harrow LHS Venue: Wealdstone Baptist Church, High Road, Wealdstone at 8.00pm.

Thursday 7 June London Canal Museum Talk on The Grand Union Canal - It's Boats and Their History by Martin Jiggens. Venue: London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, King's Cross, N1 at 7.30pm_ (£1.25)

Wednesday 13 June Barnet & District Local History Society Talk on The King Arthur Cross by Geoff Gillam of Enfield Archaeological Society Venue: Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet at 8.00pm

Wednesday 13 June Hornsey Historical Society Talk on Historical Jewels & Plate by Ted Donohoe Venue: Union Church Hall, Corner Ferme Park Road, Weston Park, N8 at 8.00pm (£1.00)

Friday 15 June City of London Archaeological Society Talk on England 1940 and the Landscape of Defence by William Foot, CBA Venue: St Olave's Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3 at 7.00pm

Friday 15 June Wembley Historical Society Talk on The RAF Museum, Hendon by David Keen (Education Officer) Venue: St Andrew's Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury NW9 at 7.30pm (11.00)

Monday 18 June Friends of Barnet Borough Libraries Talk on Edward VIII, Mrs Simpson and the Constitutional Crisis of 1936 by Cyril Dombey Venue: Church End Library, 24 Hendon Lane, N3 at 8.15pm

Wednesday 20 June Edmonton Hundred Historical Society Talk on Further Aspects of the History of Bruce Castle by Sian Harrington Venue: Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, N17 at 7.00pm


Wednesday 20 June Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery Talk on The Work of Friends of War Memorials by Maggie Goodall Venue: The Dissenters' Chapel, at the Cemetery, W10, (Ladbroke Grove) at 7.30pm (13.00)

Thursday 28 June The Finchley Society: Annual General Meeting Followed by talk on Auctions, Antiques and Oddities by Noel Lynch Venue: The Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 at 8.00pm

Sunday 1 July North London Transport Society Walk and Tour of uncompleted Northern Line extensions with Jim Blake Advance booking only: £5.00 to NLTS, 8 The Rowans, London, N13 5AD Meet at Finsbury Park Station at 10.30am (until 7.00pm)

Lecture series at Hampstead Garden Suburb The final lecture in the series on Ancient Egypt will be conducted by T.G.H. James, former head of department at the British Museum, at St Jude's Church Rooms, Central Square, NW11, on Wednesday 6th June at 8:00pm: "How Howard Carter came to discover Tutankhamun". Admission is £5.00 in aid of St. Jude's organ fund (the final push!) Enquiries to Bridget Cox: 8458 5790 or Caroline Lazar: 8731 7279



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