newsletter-429-december-2006

Newsletter

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As it is that holiday season again, we take the opportunity to wish all our readers a happy holiday and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

HADAS Diary

Tues. 12th December 2006 HADAS CHRISTMAS DINNER This will take place at Headstone Manor in Harrow, Middlesex, a very important 14th century Manor House. The cost is £29 per person and includes a free coach ride. So do come and take the opportunity to meet old friends and new members. IMPORTANT - Note the change in coach pick-up times as follows: Barnet at 5.00pm, Finchley 5.20, Golders Green at 5.35 and Hendon at 5.50.

Tues. 9th January 2007, 8pm Lecture by Stephen Knight – Curator of the Colne Valley Postal Museum, Essex: British Post Box Design & Use – the first 150 years.

Tues. 13th February 2007, 8pm Lecture by Dr Andrew Gardner – Lecturer in the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London: The End of Roman Britain

Tues. 13th March 2007, 8pm Lecture by Eileen Bowlt – LAMAS chairman. The London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) in the early days.

Tues. 10th April 2007, Denis Smith – Lecturer on Industrial Archaeology. Title TBA. Tues. 8th May 2007, TBA

The winter lecture series takes place in the Drawing Room at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. Lectures start promptly at 8pm – non-members £1, Coffee or tea 70p.


HADAS wins commendation at British Archaeology Awards by Tim Wilkins

Members will be pleased to hear that HADAS received a commendation at the prestigious British Archaeological Awards (BAA), for its latest publication “The Last Hendon Farm” The biennial BAAs, held in Birmingham on the 6th November 2006, are the most prestigious awards in British archaeology. Since their foundation in 1976, they have grown to encompass 12 awards covering all aspects of British archaeology.

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HADAS was a finalist in the section for the Pitt-Rivers Award for the best project by a volunteer organisation. In presenting this category, the BAA said “We are delighted to report that we had an excellent set of submissions, sixteen entries in total. The overall quality of the work is the highest for many years and a tribute to the voluntary sector. We are particularly impressed where groups are training their own members to study and write their own reports”.

This last comment is especially relevant to HADAS, where the book is the first major product of the HADAS course on post-excavation analysis, run as a joint venture with Birkbeck College, University of London. Late breaking news: At the SCOLA (the Standing Committee on London Archaeology) archaeological awards ceremony on 14th November at the Society of Antiquaries at Burlington House, which looks at professional and amateur publications on London archaeology over the last two years, out of the seventeen entrants, HADAS’s “The Last Hendon Farm” was among the four finally short-listed. In the event, “Sutton House” a joint publication by English Heritage & the National Trust was deemed the winner and “Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate” by the Museum of London Archaeological Service (MoLAS) was second. The other short-listed book with HADAS’s was another MoLAS book “Old London Bridge”. The HADAS book was the only “amateur” publication among these illustrious professionals – quite an achievement!!

Editor’s comment: For those of you who would like a copy or maybe give one as a present, they are on sale to members at a special price of £8 each (plus postage if necessary). To order please contact Don Cooper (details below) Personal Note by Don Cooper As I will have been chairman of the society for four years next June, I feel it is time to hand over the reins to some new blood. This early notice is to give members time to consider whether they would like to stand for this important position. Do contact me if you require further details.


RETURN TO PINNER HILL GOLF CLUB by Don Cooper

Site code PGC05 Grid reference NGR TQ 1097/9154

No – we weren’t playing golf, but as many of you will remember, we conducted a resistivity survey there in July 2004 (see Newsletter no. 401 August 2004) and excavated a small area in May 2005 (see Newsletter no. 412 July 2005). We returned in June 2006 to continue our investigations by excavation of an adjacent area (see report below.) It is worth, however, trying to piece together the documentary and other sources for the probable 1650s mansion at Pinner Hill and its residents. From our point of view, the story starts with another dry summer (1990). Ken Kirkman, Vice-President of the Pinner Local History Society (PLHS), and, at that time also a golfer, noticed parch marks on ground near where he had long suspected the lost Pinner Hill mansion might have been. He and members of the PLHS contacted the Museum of London; and Jon Cotton and colleagues examined and mapped the parch marks, a copy of which, by Pat Clarke, is reproduced here (Fig. 2). The scale of the parch marks was then compared by Pat Clarke (personal communication) with the footprint of other Middlesex houses from around that time including, Boston Manor (built in 1622/3, 15 hearths), Swakeleys (1629/38, 18 hearths), Forty Hall (1629/32, 15 hearths), Cromwell House (c. 1630, 10 hearths), York House

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(c. 1690, 15 hearths), Tottenham Priory (c. 1620), and Sutton House, Hackney (c. 1520, 11 hearths?). The footprint of the parch marks at Pinner Hill fits well with these measurements. John Hawtrey of Pinner Hill House was assessed for 14 hearths in 1662 (Druett, 1980). Then our resistivity survey confirmed many of the parch marks and this, in turn, led to our first small excavation in 2005. The results of that excavation produced standing walls of Tudor brick, that matched the parch marks, and a couple of sherds of pottery (one sherd of Frechen ware (1550 – 1700) and one sherd of Post-Medieval redware (1650 - 1800). One further piece of evidence provided by Pat Clarke, is that the Messeder map of 1759 shows a house in “approximately the correct location and outline”. The present Pinner Hill house (the club house of the golf course) is not a candidate for the 1650s mansion. On the basis of its architecture, it is dated by the Victoria Country History as late eighteenth century, and Sir Nicholas Pevsner calls it “Georgian” (Clarke, 1980). There is circumstantial evidence that it was built in about 1785, when owned by Lady Jane Brydges, as there is a reference to a large amount of brick-making on the site by Bodimeade of Harrow Weald as well as a tangential reference in a will (Ken Kirkman, personal communication). So if we have found the site of the house, what of its builder and subsequent residents? Sir Christopher Clitherow (1570 – 1642) appears to have been responsible for building the original Pinner Hill House sometime between 1629 and 1640 (Clarke, 1980). He was the son of a wealthy city merchant (Ware, 1955) and a remarkable man who held many prominent positions in the society of his time. He was admitted to the East India Company in 1601, and became its Governor in 1638 (Ware, 1955). He was also a signatory to the Second Virginia Charter of 23rd May 1609. He was elected Master of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers on 26th April 1618, even though he had been fined for refusing to serve as either Sheriff or Warden of the said Worshipful Company (Glover, 1991). In 1625 he was Sheriff of London and Middlesex (his predecessor having died of plague!), and he was M.P. for the City of London in 1627 (Ware, 1955). He was elected Lord Mayor of London for 1635, and subsequently knighted (Ware, 1955). Incidentally, Isaac Walton, he of The Compleat Angler, served as his “bachelor in foins” during his mayoralty (Glover, 1991). In 1929, Colonel J. B. Stacey Clitherow (I presume a descendent) presented a portrait of Sir Christopher to the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers (Glover, 1991). He was President of Christ’s Hospital in 1637 (Clarke, 2004), where his portrait hung in the boardroom (Ware, 1955). He was married twice; first to Catherine, daughter of Thomas Rowland, and then to Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Cambell (Ware, 1955). Sir Thomas Cambell was another Master of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers, and a Lord Mayor of London in 1610 (Glover, 1991). The number of children Sir Christopher and Mary had is uncertain, but the word “many” comes to mind, probably six sons and four daughters, if the memorial in St Andrew Undershaft is to be believed! Sir Christopher died on 2nd November 1642 and is buried in St. Andrew Undershaft in Leadenhall Street. In his will he refers to his “house at Pinner”, the contents of which he left to his wife (Clarke, 1980). Besides Pinner Hill House, he had estates in Essex and Hertfordshire (Ware, 1955). Sir Christopher was very successful during very difficult political times and managed to pass on considerable wealth to wife and sons. After the Clitherows and their descendents, there is a continuous line of ownership of Pinner Hill House right down to the present day (Clarke, 1980). It would be nice to think that we have found the house that Sir Christopher built, and I would have thought that he is worthy of a blue plaque or at least a golf-hole named after him!!

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THE 2006 PINNER HILL (Site code PGC05) EXCAVATION By Bill Bass

Images and figs not yet included

For the 2006 dig it was decided to open up a trench across the edge of a large circular depression which is a feature of the parch-mark and survey area. The depression was thought to be the result of fill compacting into a possible cellar, but this needed confirmation.

A possible entrance to the cellar is shown on the parch-mark survey (see Fig. 2). Floor levels at the ground appear not to have survived so it was thought that an excavation of the cellar could provide evidence of a floor and possible further dating evidence from the style of the floor and finds contained in the cellar.

An initial trench of 3x1m was opened up north-south across the edge and the body of the depression. Beneath the turf the red brick began to appear on the west side of the trench, it appeared (in plan) to be the end of a wall (2F1) with a moulded or curved edge on one side and a rebate (?) on the other, north side, (see Fig.1). A start was made on excavating the presumed infill of the cellar; this consisted of a brick, tile, mortar and rubble demolition layer [203]. This fill was excavated to a depth of 0.70cm but with no sign of a floor.

In the meantime, the trench was extended to the east with a 1x1m block to pick-up the opposing door edge. This was duly found (2F2) revealing a gap of 1.25m between the wall (doorway?) edges, this brickwork also showed signs of a shaped or moulded corner but not as defined or well-shaped as the western edge. Also shown in the extension was part of a north-south wall (wall of the cellar) which had an untidy butt joint with the doorway edge.


Photo showing the moulded door edge (2F2), nearest the top ranging pole.

The above excavation confirms the parch-mark survey with two sides of an entrance doorway – the two sides may not match-up exactly and the brickwork is of varying quality and workmanship but it is near enough. The entrance/door with its inner moulded wall would lead into a cellar or similar structure; unfortunately there was not enough time to excavate fully down to the cellar floor level. Finds There were only a small amount of finds from this dig and these were similar in style and date to the 2005 excavation.

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Bibliography. Clarke, Patricia, A. 1980. The Story of Pinner Hill. Pinner Local History Society: A Pinner Miscellany. Vol. VI. P8-18.

Clarke, Patricia, A. 2004. A History of Pinner. Chichester, West Sussex: Phillimore Press.

Druett,Walter, W. (3rd ed.) 1980. Pinner through the Ages. London: Ringstead Press.

Glover, Elizabeth. 1991. A History of the Ironmonger’s Company. London: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers.

Ware, Edwin, M. 1955. Pinner in the Vale. London: Pinner Local History Society.


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Hendon School Archaeology Project By Gabe Moshenska

A blue plaque on the front wall of Hendon School highlights its historical importance as the site of Hendon House, the sixteenth century residence of John Norden, cartographer to Elizabeth the First. For a week in June a group of pupils at Hendon School took part in an archaeology project, run by UCL Institute of Archaeology Widening Participation and supported by HADAS, to find out more about the history of the site and about archaeology in general.

By consulting maps and historical sources we were able to establish that Hendon House itself was buried beneath the houses to the west of the school gates, well away from the area where we could dig. Nevertheless, a resistivity survey of the playing field showed some promising linear features, which we set out to investigate.

The UCL/HADAS dig team, together with a group of sixteen school students, opened two small trenches on the playing field: trench one, a 2m x 6m to the south; and trench two, a 1.5m x 8m to the west. The school kids with their shiny new trowels quickly got the hang of digging, and within a short time were mattocking like professionals. They also brought their own distinctly teenage flavour to the project: there was great excitement whenever a worm was discovered, and one or two students showed a remarkable ability to send text messages while trowelling.

Trench one reached natural clay relatively quickly, but produced a large amount of smelting slag, as well as iron ore and malachite (copper ore). There was also an unusual hemispheric hand-held grindstone, which we speculated might have been used to grind up the ores for smelting. While it is difficult to date this material precisely it is likely to be post-medieval, based on the pieces of glazed tile found in the same contexts.

Trench two was placed to cut across a linear feature that was visible both on the geophysics and later as a parch-mark on the grass. This proved to be a collapsed wall, largely made of brick and mortar rubble, which made it hard to define the sides clearly until we had gone down quite far. However, when cleaned up it proved to be on the same alignment as a wall on an Eighteenth Century map. Interestingly, trench two also produced a respectable quantity of Roman brick and tile fragments, which correspond to similar finds on sites further along Brent Street.

The interest, excitement and commitment demonstrated by the school students to the archaeological work is every bit as important as the actual findings, if not more. In these respects the project was a success all round: many of the students, who were each allocated one afternoon on site, came back every day, sometimes after school, (with their teachers’ permission) to keep digging. Hopefully this enthusiasm, nurtured by teaching sessions before and after the dig, will lead some of the students to follow their interest in archaeology either at university or with HADAS. The school is considering another dig next summer; meanwhile UCL Institute of Archaeology is forging links with other schools in the borough. Watch this space!

The Hendon School Archaeology Project was instigated by Maria Phelan of Hendon School, together with Sarah Dhanjal and Jenny Stripe of UCL Institute of Archaeology Widening Participation. Thanks to the volunteer excavation team from UCL, and to Jim Nelhams and Andrew Coulson of HADAS, who are to be commended for their courage in the face of hordes of teenagers.

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What’s on By Eric Morgan

Wednesday, 6th December at 8pm, Islington Archaeology and History Society, Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, N1, a lecture entitled “Cornucopia of Islington oddities – artefacts and facts” by Michael Marland & Peter Powell.

Wednesday, 13th December at 6.30pm, LAMAS, The Learning Centre, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2, a lecture entitled “New finds from Roman London” by Angela Wardle of MoLSS.

Wednesday, 13th December at 8pm, Mill Hill Historical Society, Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, NW7, a lecture entitled “ Stagecoach journey from London to York in 1820” by Hugh Granger.

Wednesday, 13th December at 8pm, Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, corner Ferme Park Road/Weston Park, N8 a lecture entitled “George Orwell’s North London” by Peter Powell.

Thursday, 14th December at 7.30pm, Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3, a lecture entitled “London Statues of the famous and forgotten” by Susan Jenkinson

Friday, 15th December at 8pm, Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, junction of Chaseside/Parsonage Lane, Enfield, a lecture entitled “Romania’s Heritage – Medieval Towns and Castles of Transylvania and Painted Churches of Moldavia” by Stephen Gilburt.

Monday, 18th December at 8.15pm, Ruislip, Northwood & Eastcote Local History Society, St. Martin’s Church Hall, Ruislip, a lecture entitled “Stanmore History – Bentley Priory and the 1632 Brick Church” by Frederick Hicks.

Thanks to our contributors: Bill Bass, Eric Morgan, Gabe Moshenska, Tim Wilkins


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