newsletter-374-may-2002

Newsletter

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HADAS Diary

Tuesday 14th May A ROMAN TEMPLE IN GREENWICH PARK? Harvey Sheldon

Tuesday 11th June ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

All lectures start at 8.00 p.m. prompt in the drawing room on the ground floor of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley N3, and are followed by question time and coffee, We close promptly at 10.00

Outings Saturday 16 June OUTING TO ROMAN BATHHOUSE WELWYN and to PAU LE RS P U RY, where we shall see Derek Batten's earthwork which Time team investigated and which Derek told us about in January 2001

Friday to Tuesday le -16th July Long weekend to Ireland. This is now full. If anyone would like to be put on the waiting list in case there are cancellations, please ring Jackie Brookes on 020 8349 2253.

Saturday 20th July SUTTON HOO and ORFORD, with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward

Application forms for outings are sent out with the Newsletter the month prior to the event.

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APRIL LECTURE Tessa Smith

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF ROMAN BRITAIN Dr Neil Faulkner

The lecture was sparkling, enthusiastic and provoking. Dr Faulkner has gathered archaeological evidence from over 300 excavation reports, and built a database showing the chronology of Roman buildings throughout Britain. This database shows the sequence of urban development, when built, when occupied, and when building went out of use and became unoccupied. He compared the number of rooms, small houses. large houses, mansions, public buildings and defence systems. The peak of villa construction was 300-325. Based on this research, he challenged the assumption that Rome was the civilizing power than many presume it to have been. His hypothesis was that Rome's authority was basically a system of robbery and violence, imposing crippling taxes and enforcing payment. Dr Faulkner showed that the Romans were able to advance swiftly throughout the south-east of Britain, where land has already been cleared and cultivated, and where prosperous farms were already generating a surplus, but, at a much slower rate of advance in the north and west, due to the geology of the territory, and poor drainage. The settlements were subjugated. Forts were built to strengthen the Roman grip, and taxes imposed. During the fourth century, Britain became a highly military state, with massive defensive walled towns. In the north and west, a frontier system was imposed with forts housing the roman army and tax collection units. Large stone buildings indicated that some taxes were being paid in kind rather than coin. From the end of the 4th century, the system was no longer thriving, but shrivelling due to heavy taxation. No longer were any mansions or high status building being built. The small and low status buildings were crumbling and becoming increasingly derelict. By 400, two-thirds of the villas had gone and not one villa was in occupation after 410. P easant agriculture had been squeezed dry by taxation and farming was no longer viable. The army had taken too much out of the economy and the state could no longer be subsidised by taxes. By 425, no more town buildings were constructed, no mosaics laid, no frescos painted, no wheel-thrown pottery made, and finally, no more gold coinage issued. Dr Faulkner ended his controversial hypothesis by stating his view that this was the end of Roman Britain and that from then on, the peasants enjoyed a tax- free state! After a lively question time, Andy Simpson offered a vote of thanks and, during coffee, we all agreed it had been a dynamic and thoroughly enjoyable lecture.

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THE LONDON MAZE Lynne McNab and Ann Saunders

On Saturday 23rd March 2002, the doors of the Bishopsgate Institute opened to reveal the first London Maze. Organised by the London and Home Counties Branch of the Local Studies Group of the Library Association, this was a display on 13 separate tables, of material about and published by a rather larger number of London history- related bodies and societies, since several tables generously acted as hosts. The Guildhall Library was there, as were London Metropolitan Archives, Camden History. Consignia - there will have to be a change of name - Kensington and Chelsea Community History Group (with photos of the Notting Hill Carnival which made for a colourful stall), Westminster, London Archive Users Forum (with CLAN), London at War Study Group, Haringey, PhotoLondon and the National Monuments Record. Nobody knew how many people would turn up, whether we would be ignored or swamped - we feared the former but hoped for the latter and our hopes were rewarded. Over 300 people came and bought books. The day was officially launched by Anne Saunders who eloquently summed up the interest and appeal of local history research in London. Dr Andrea Tanner, Ian Maxted, Dr. Cathy Ross and Katherine Burn gave lectures on various London subjects. Tea and coffee were served. Walks round Spitalfields were led by David Webb and William Tyler. David (marathon man) had to repeat his talk, so popular it was. At the end of the day, the LTS stall had sold £556 worth of publications - Roger had had to leap on his bicycle to bring in more stock - we had one new member signed up and several more were considering joining. The organisers hope to lay out another Maze next year, so watch this space.

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RECENT FIELDWORK ANNUAL REPORT 2001/2002 Andrew Coulson

1263-75 HIGH ROAD WHETSTONE The Thames Valley Archaeological Service conducted an excavation here in May and June of 2001. several members of HADAS were able to volunteer over a number of weeks. TVAS were grateful for the extra help and it is hoped that future collaborations along similar lines can be undertaken in the future. Medieval and Post-Medieval features were recorded on this corner.

COPPED HALL, Waltham Abbey, Essex: This was the site of a large Tudor mansion and associated formal gardens now largely levelled and overgrown. The site may be the subject of a research excavation. HADAS was invited by the West Essex Archaeological Group (WEAG) to conduct a resistivity survey to recover the plan of walls and foundations. A wide area was surveyed in May and June 2001, but the results were inconclusive, which was mostly due to later landscaping and the overgrown nature of the site. WEAG have been asked to dig in early June and HADAS members are invited to take part.

HANSHAWE DRIVE, Burnt Oak: No recent excavation has been possible here due to building works, but in early summer 2001, members carried out a watching brief of lift shaft foundations. Unfortunately, no archaeological features were seen. It is hoped that excavation may be resumed by late summer/autumn 2002. A report is in preparation by Andy Simpson.

BOWLING GREEN HOUSE, in the grounds of Myddleton House, Enfield: Dennis Hill of the Enfield archaeological Society asked HADAS to conduct a resistivity survey at this site that was a small Tudor mansions or lodge. The Digging Team along with members of WEAG surveyed the area on 21st October 2001. The survey plot indicated a long linear feature with clearly defined edges, possible a wall foundation or similar. Dennis has obtained permission for a trial excavation in the near future.

FRIARY PARK: Dr Oliver Natelson of the Friern Barnet Local History Society invited HADAS to look at earthworks in the park with a view to conducting an archaeological survey here. The site is adjacent to the medieval route of the Great North Road, the local place name and folklore suggests there -ma have been a Friary and hospital in the area, although visual and historic evidence is scant. A research design has been prepared and assuming permission from the authorities, the survey will take place in April or May 2002.

BROCKLEY Hill FINDS PROCESSING: Steven Allick and Peter Nicholson have continued to sort through the building materials from this fieldwalking project. The end of this work is now in sight, and thoughts will now turn to the production of a report to include all finds from the project.

GARAGE: The Society has leased a lock-up garage in the grounds of Avenue House. During January/February 2002. the garage was refurbished, shelving purchased. and finds/tools etc. were removed from College Farm and the Garden Room to the garage.

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NOSTALGIA CORNER

This newsletter includes a copy of the first newsletter, published by HADAS in October 1969, which Dorothy Newbury has received from John Enderby (a founder member). The comment in the box states that the newsletter was posted to 26 places outside Hendon. How many do we mail to today, as members disperse and wish to keep in contact?

Other Societies' Events by Eric Morgan

Wednesday 8th May Barnet and District Local History Society, Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall,8.00 pm Staplyton Road, Barnet. "Maurice Thomson - A Jacobean Yuppie?", talk by Dr Alan Thomson.

Wednesday 8th May The Finchley Society. "Avenue House Safari - Guided visit to the features of the estate". Meet in front of Avenue House, East End Road Finchley N3. at 2.30

Saturday 11th May Brent Archives, Cricklewood Library, Olive Road, NW2 Open Day - event for Local History Week (4th - 12th May)

Wednesday 15th May Willesden Local History Society, Willesden Suite, Library Centre, 95 High Rod, NW10. "Images of London", talk by Jean and Douglas Linwood, Friday 17th May City of London Archaeological Society, St. Olave's hall, Mark Lane, EC3.7.00 pm "Jewish Converts in Medieval England", talk by Prof. Reva Brown (who has edited this newsletter) and Sean McCartney.

Friday 17th May Wembley History Society, St, Andrew's Church HMI, Church Lane, 7.30 pm Kinsgbury, NW9 "Planes and People", talk by David Keen (R.A.F Museum). The Museum, Graham park Way, Hendon NW9 is holding activities for Local History Week.

Tuesday 28th May The Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House. East End Road 8.00 pm Finchley N3. "My Life in Ruins", talk by Tony Rook

Tuesday 28th May at 0800 Friern Barnet and District Local history society, Old fire station (next to Town Hall), Friern Barnet Lane, N11. Preceded by AGM, "Folk Remedies", talk by Dr Oliver Natelson (who is co-ordinating our survey of Friary Park).

Exhibitions

27th April -1St September 4th-5th May Church Farmhouse Museum, at top of Greyhound Hill, Hendon NW4 History of Pubs and Breweries in Barnet Borough Monday-Thursday, and Saturday 10.00-12,30, 1.30-5,00, Closed Friday, Sunday 2.00-5.00 Royal Horticultural Society, New Hall and Conference Centre, Greycoat Street, Westminster, SW1. Society of Genealogists, event to launch Local History Week (4th-10th May) Family History Fair 10.00 - 5.00




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