Newsletter-498-September 2012

No. 498                                    SEPTEMBER 2012                                             Edited by Graham Javes

HADAS DIARY 2012-2013

Sunday 30 September: Outing to St Albans and environs, with June Porges and Stewart Wild. The cost is £25 all-inclusive, which is lower than last year’s visit to Chatham. We have done our best to design an attractive day out, catering to a wide range of interests. From the Iron Age to the Romans and the Saxons, and from the Middle Ages to the Second World War, we cover a lot of ground in one day! Do join us. A booking form was enclosed with the August Newsletter.

Tuesday 9 October: The Life and Legacy of George Peabody - Lecture by Christine Wagg

Tuesday 13 November: Archaeological Discoveries in Southwark – Lecture by Peter Moore, Pre-Construct Archaeology.

Sunday 2 December: Christmas Party at Avenue House, 12 noon – 4.30 pm (approx.) A buffet lunch. Details in next month’s Newsletter.

Tuesday 8 January: The Reign of Akhenaten: Revolution or Evolution? by Nathalie Andrews

Tuesday 12 February: From Longboat to Warrior: the evolution of the wooden ship. Lecture by Eliott Wragg, Thames Discovery Programme.

Tuesday 12 March: The Railway Heritage Trust – Lecture by Andy Savage.

All Lectures are held at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE, and start promptly at 8.00 pm, with coffee /tea and biscuits afterwards. Non-members welcome (£1.00). Buses 82, 125, 143, 326 & 460 pass nearby and Finchley Central Station (Northern line) is a short walk away.

Finds in Focus now fully booked.

Finds in Focus, the HADAS course on post-excavation analysis, held on Wednesdays at Avenue House, will start again on 26th September. Please note that this course is now fully subscribed. The course will again be tutored by Jacqui Pearce, BA FSA M IfA.

Membership Renewals

A number of members have not yet renewed their subscription, which became due on 1st April. If this applies to you a letter with a renewal form is enclosed with this newsletter. If you do not receive a letter but have not yet posted your cheque, please get in touch with me by 1 st October. Stephen Brunning, Membership Secretary.

Field School and Excavation at Hendon School, 11th - 16th June 2012 by Don Cooper

This excavation is run in conjunction with University College London, Institute of Archaeology (IoA). It is amazing to think that this year HADAS returned to Hendon School for the seventh time– doesn’t time fly! The main objective remains to give the young pupils at the school, boys and girls from years 7 and 8, an opportunity to experience practical archaeology in the field. Sarah D hanj al , a PhD student at the IoA, and I met the pupils for an afternoon at the end of May to explain to them what we were doing, to give them an introduction to archaeology, and a description and history of the site. We also told them of the requirements for taking part in the dig – letters of permission from their parents, proof of tetanus injections, a health and safety briefing, and we gave them a recommendation on the type of clothes and boots they should wear. There were about 25 pupils. Following this meeting Sarah prepared a comprehensive booklet for each pupil. Quoting from the booklet, here is an example of the programme:

Day 1 – Archaeological Finds – we will look at the things we have found before, to work out what they are and what we might find this year. We will also look at how we look after what we find.

Archaeological Recording 1 – we’ll be working on photography and using surveying techniques to record our trench.

Day 2 – Archaeological recording 2 – We’ll be working on plan and section drawing. To these tasks, excavating, finds washing and finds marking must be added.

This one week intensive field school in practical archaeology has been developed over the last seven years, and enabled a large number of young pupils from the school to experience, however fleetingly, what field archaeologists do. It was very heartening this year to have a pupil who took part in one of the first field schools return to help to supervise the school, before herself starting an archaeology degree at UCL.

What of the Archaeology?

Site Code: HDS06. This year the context numbers were preceded by “2012” to distinguish them from previous years. The nearest fixed grid reference was 523675.129E 189026.785N. The centre of the only trench was 8 metres north-west of the grid reference and 61.08 metres above sea level. The trench was sited at the north-east corner of Hendon School playing field (Fig.1). This was in the general area of the trenches from the 2010 and 2011 excavations. The main reason trenches were sited here originally was so as not to interfere with the sports arena, as the school’s sports day usually occurred around the same time as the excavations. However, after the discovery of over 100 pieces of early medieval pottery sherd in 2010, and a similar number in 2011, a return to broadly the same area was considered appropriate. In the event a 4 metre by 2 metre trench was opened to the north -west of the previous year’s trench. As has become a familiar pattern, the de-turfing layer and the context below the grass was full of the detritus of a school playing field – sweet wrappers, broken biros, bits of glass and low denomination coins. As a sign of the times there was one computer flash drive – the artefact of the future? The main context was a thick layer of disturbed soil, which included a slight gravel spread, and had a mix of clay pipe, glass (green and white bottle glass), and pottery sherds dating anywhere from 12th century to the 20th century.

The area had been used for garden allotments during the Second World War and had been well and truly “chewed up”. Unfortunately the June weather intervened (I’m sure you remember the rain!) and so again we were thwarted in fully completing the excavation.Nevertheless the undisturbed layer immediately above the natural London clay contained over 50 sherds of early medieval pottery. These are currently being analysed and it is hoped that the 2010, 2011 and 2012 collection of early medieval pottery sherds can be brought together and reported on in the near future. Although we are no nearer to having a satisfactory theory as to why all these early medieval pottery sherds we found accumulated in this particular area, the fact that they are mostly abraded, and that we haven’t found evidence of structures is leaning towards the idea that they represent hill wash from the hamlet that existed where Brent Street and Bell Lane meet. However, one of the alternative theories, that these sherds are the detritus from along the side of a very old lane that crossed Mutton Bridge on its way to Hampstead/London cannot be fully discounted. Perhaps we will never know!

Thanks are due to all the people who made the practical archaeology field school and excavation possible, particularly Sarah Dhanjal, Gabe Moshenska, Lewis Hopper, Jenny Murphy from UCL, Angie Holmes, Jim Nelhams, Vicki Baldwin, Bill Bass and Sigrid Padel from HA DAS and student Emma Densem, as well as Jill Hickman from Hendon School.


Friends of Avenue House lecture, 13th September 2012, 7.30pm, in the Drawing Room. From Finchley to the Mansion House, Sir Michael Bear will speak on his year in office as Lord Mayor of London.

Cost: £7.50, which includes a glass of wine and nibbles on the terrace afterwards. The first drink is free on presentation of ticket. Cash bar. All proceeds towards the upkeep of Avenue House Estate. To book '9: 020 8346 7812, or email:

A NEW LOCAL PLAN FOR BARNET                                                                               Peter Pickering

The last Unitary Development Plan (UDP) for Barnet was adopted in May 2006. Virtually at once, the Council started work on its replacement, which in accordance with legislation passed in 2004, was to be called the Local Development Framework (LDF). The main documents in this are the Core Strategy (CS) and Development Management Policies (DM P),

which together form the Local Plan. In July this year Barnet's Cabinet approved, for submission to the full Council for formal adoption on September 11th, the CS and DMP. These will then be of the highest importance, taking over from the UDP as the basis for all planning decisions taken by the Council.

I was actively involved on behalf of the Finchley Society and of HADAS in the lengthy process of preparing these documents, up to an Examination-in-Public before an Inspector in December 2011 last year. Though they are less than satisfactory in several other respects (tall buildings and flat conversions, for instance), as far as the heritage and archaeology are concerned I am happy with them. Here is Policy DM06 "Barnet's Heritage and Conservation":-

a.    All heritage assets will be protected in line with their significance. All development will have regard to the local historic context.

b.    Development proposals must preserve or enhance the character and appearance of 16 Conservation Areas in Barnet.

c.    Proposals involving or affecting Barnet’s heritage assets ... should demonstrate the following:

the significance of the heritage asset

the impact of the proposal on the significance of the heritage asset

the impact of the proposal on the setting of the heritage asset

how the significance and/or setting of a heritage asset can be better revealed the opportunities to mitigate or adapt to climate change

how the benefits outweigh any harm caused to the heritage asset

d There will be a presumption in favour of retaining all 1,600 locally listed buildings in Barnet and any buildings which makes a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the 16 conservation areas.

e. Archaeological remains will be protected in particular in the 19 identified Local Areas of Special Archaeological Significance and elsewhere in Barnet. Any development that may affect archaeological remains will need to demonstrate the likely impact upon the remains and the proposed mitigation to reduce that impact.

Whether these admirable policies will always be maintained against pressure from developers or other priorities of the Council's own, remains to be seen. But as long as the Council is prepared to hold to them, their being enshrined in a Local Plan means an Inspector is very much more likely to turn appeals down, despite the Government's national presumption in favour of "sustainable development".

Trent Park Open House -                                               Stephen Brunning

On 28th July I had the opportunity to visit Trent Park mansion as part of their Open House events. The Grade II listed country house stands in the grounds of Middlesex University. The university is being relocated later this year and the grounds are to be put up for sale.

In 1778 a small villa was commissioned by Sir Richard Jebb. The walls of the original house can still be seen inside the existing building, complete with doorway and alcoves either side. John Cumming, a Russian merchant bought the estate’s leasehold in 1815 and added two wings, a basement and attic. In 1908 the lease was acquired by Sir Edward Sassoon, MP for Hythe who had married into the wealthy Rothschild family. In 1912 the lease passed to Sir Phillip Sassoon on the death of his father. Sir Philip also became the MP for Hythe, was an

art collector and cousin to wartime poet Siegfried Sassoon. During the First World War he was aide-de-camp to Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. In 1926 began a five year programme of redesign internally and externally. This is the Trent Park we see today.

Sir Philip’s monogram appears everywhere: on the walls, over doors and on the fireplace. Most were gilded in gold leaf. There are finely decorative pillars in the house. They do not support the ceiling and are therefore purely ornamental. In the 1920’s a terrace was built on the side of the sloping gardens, to entertain during the lavish parties held there. This terrace is now out of bounds due to subsidence since no foundations were dug.

The guests at Trent Park enjoyed a level of service that was second to none. There was golf, tennis and swimming in the grounds that had earlier been landscaped by Humphrey Repton Dyed flowers matched the curtains in each bedroom, ladies received an orchid before dinner, and the gentlemen would find a carnation and cocktails on their dressing table ( Leiva & Ali, 2012) . Famous celebrity guests included Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, T E Lawrence, Edward and Wallis Simpson. Our tour guide Oliver explained that T E Lawrence liked to sign the visitor’s book under a pseudonym. Indeed on the day I was there Lawrence, Edward and Mrs Simpson had returned (in reality, actors in period costume).

Winston Churchill was known for his landscape paintings. He also did a number of interior scenes, at least two of which were painted in the “blue room” at Trent Park. Churchill loved the peace and tranquillity at Trent, away from the hustle and bustle of politics in London.

Sir Philip Sassoon died in June 1939, and his ashes were scattered over the estate from a plane of 601 squadron (County of London, Auxiliary Air Force) of which he was Hon. Air Commodore. The valuable furniture was given to his sister’s estate at Houghton Hall, Norfolk.

During the Second World War Trent Park became a POW camp and Interrogation Centre for captured high ranking German Officers. When the war ended the Ministry of Education set up a training college for teachers of Art, Drama, and later, Handicrafts. In 1974 Trent Park College became part of Middlesex Polytechnic, and Middlesex University in 1992.


Leiva, Oliver & Ali, Aadam (eds.) 2012. Trent Park Open House guide. I have uploaded 22 photographs taken during the afternoon:


THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF MOST ANCIENT EGYPT Tutor: Scott McCracken. This course, arranged by the Mill Hill Archaeological Study Society, will examine the development of one of the world’s oldest civilisations, from its formative stage to the end of the Old Kingdom. The Predynastic Period saw a settled agricultural land with towns along the banks of the Nile. These settlements grew into a civilisation with one of the earliest writing systems and a complex set of religious beliefs. The course will consider why a civilisation began here and look at settlement pattern, religion, burial practice, social and political organisation, and architecture.

The course will be on Fridays from 10:00 - 12:00pm, at The Eversfield Centre, 11 Eversfield Gardens, Mill Hill, and will run for 22 weeks beginning 28 September, at a cost of £130. Enrolment will be at the first meeting. If new to the society, please contact the Secretary, Peter Nicholson, 'M 020 8359 4757 or see the website:


LAMAS Local History Workshop

LOCAL HISTORY IN SCHOOLS – THE LOCAL HISTORIAN’S ROLE Wednesday 17 October 2012, 2.00 5.00pm, Museum of London, Clore Learning Centre. This workshop is intended for members of local history societies, librarians and museum workers, and others who visit schools or explore historical and archaeological sites with

young children and would like to exchange ideas and enhance their skills. Case studies from local history societies will be presented as examples of what has been achieved and what was successful.

The cost of the workshop is £10. For more information please contact Eileen Bowlt at, 'M 01895 638060. To reserve a place please send £10 with your contact details (email, phone and address) to LAMAS Local History Workshop, 9 Umfreville Road, London, N4 1 RY.


SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2012: 10:00 5:00pm Weston Theatre, Museum of London A CAPITAL WAY TO GO: DEATH IN LONDON THROUGH THE AGES

St Brides’ s: Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Jelena Bekvalac, Curator Human Osteology, Museum of London

‘I will have a stone to lye a pone me’: Memory and Commemoration in Medieval London, Christian Steer, Royal Holloway, University of London

Presentation of Publications Awards by Prof Martin Biddle, President of LAMAS

Lunch (bring your own food & drink to consume in the lunch space in the Clore Learning Centre, or purchase from the Museum of London cafés or restaurant.

Mortality in London 1550-1800, Peter Razzel l, Historical Demographer

The Gruesome History of Body Snatching, Robert Stephenson, Guide in the City of London and at Kensal Green Cemetery

Afternoon break

From Here to Eternity: Victorian Developments in the Disposal of the Dead, John Clarke, Head of Library Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Consultant Historian to Brookwood Cemetery

The Last Word: Epitaphs and Obituaries, Brent Elliott, Historian, Royal Horticultural Society

Cost: Early-bird tickets purchased before 31 October: £10; after 31 October: £15. Tickets may be purchased on the LAMAS website ( with payment by PayPal, or by post to Pat Clark, 22 Malpas Drive, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 1 DQ, enclosing a cheque and SAE.  Further details are available on the website, where an application form may be downloaded.

Other Societies’ events, compiled by Eric Morgan

Sun 9 Sept. Muswell Hill Festival. Cherry Tree Wood, East Finchley (off High Road, N2). Hornsey Historical Society will have a stand . Lots of community stalls + Donkey Derby.

Sat 15 Sun 16 Sept. R.A.F. Museum. Grahame Park Way, NW9 5QW. Battle of Britain weekend. 1 0am – 6pm. Last admission 5.30pm

Sun 16 Sept 12-5.30 Queens Park Festival. Harvist Rd, NW6. Willesden Green Local History Society will have a stand.

T ues 18 Sept.. 2-3pm Harrow Museum. Headstone Manor, Pinner View, North Harrow ‘From Wealdstone Station to Greenhill.’ Talk by Peter Scott. £3.00

Wed 19 Sept 7.30 pm Willesden Local History Society. St.Mungo’s Centre, 115 Pound Lane (opp. Bus Garage) NW10 2HU. ‘My Neasden of the 1950’s’ Talk by David Unwin.

Wed 19 Sept 8.00 pm Islington Archaeology & History Society. Islington Town Hall, Upper St, N1. ‘The Day Parliament burnt down’ (October 1884) Talk by Caroline Shenton

T hurs 20 Sept 7.30 pm Camden History Society, Camden Study Centre, 2nd Floor, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Rd, WC1 8PA, ‘The restoration of St.Pancras Station and the Midland Grand Hotel’, talk by Robert Thorne.

Mon 23 Mon 30 Sept. Barnet Borough Arts Council. The Spires (opp. Waitrose) High St. Barnet. Paintings, prints, photographs & What’s on information, incl. HADAS

Wed 26 Sept 7.45pm Friern Barnet & District Local History Society. St. John’s Church Hall. Friern Barnet Lane, N20. ‘The Temple’ Talk by John Neal. Visitors £2.00 Refreshments

Sat 29 Sept. 10.30 – 4pm. Metroline Willesden Bus Garage. Pound Lane, High Road, NW 6 2JY. Centenary Open Day. Vehicle displays, sales stands and Heritage vehicles running on special services. Admission by programme on the day.

Thurs 4 Oct. 6.30pm Childs Hill Library, 320 Cricklewood Lane, NW2 2QE, ‘Scarp’, talk by Nick Papadimitriou on his new book on the 17-mile North Middx/ South Herts escarpment known as Scarp.

Mon 8 Oct. 3.00pm, Barnet Museum & Local History Society, Church House, Wood St. Barnet, ‘Edith Cavell – an Extraordinary Woman’, by Lucy Johnston.

Fri 12 Oct. 8.00pm Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ. ‘Post-Medieval Archaeology in London’, by Jacqui Pearce. Visitors £1, refreshments from 7.30pm.

Sat 13 Oct. 10.30am – 3.30pm, London Omnibus Traction Society, Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Ave, Wealdstone (nr. Harrow & Wealdstone Stn). ‘Autumn Transport Spectacular’. About 60 stands, incl. North London Transport Society.

Wed 17 Oct. 8.00pm, Edmonton Hundred Historical Society, Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. ‘Tales from an Heir Hunter: Tracing Beneficiaries’, by Alan Lamprell.

Thurs 18 Oct. 7.30pm, Camden History Society, Burgh House, New End Square, NW3 1LT. A Hampstead Coterie: the Carrs and Lushingtons’, by David Taylor.

Thurs 18 Oct, 8.00pm, Enfield Society, Jubilee Hall (address above) ‘Historic Buildings and Monuments in Enfield at Risk’, by Tony Dey.

Fri. 19 Oct. 7.00pm. COLAS, St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane, EC3. ‘London’s Food Plant Remains’, by Karen Stewart, MOLA. Visitor £2

Sat 20 Oct. 10.00- 11.00am, Hendon Library, The Burroughs. ‘Barnet’s First Black People’, by Hugh Petrie, archivist. Part of Black History Month. Followed by various other talks.

Wed 24 Oct. 7.45pm, Friern Barnet & District LHS. St John’s Church Hall (next to police station) Friern Barnet Lane, N20. ‘Dig for Victory’, by Russell Bowes. Visitors £2.

Thurs 25 Oct, 8.00pm, Finchley Society, at Avenue House in Drawing Room, ‘Discussion’, TBA, see next Newsletter or

Sat. 27 Oct. 10.00 -- 4.30pm, Edmonton Hundred Historical Soc. Jubilee Hall, DAY CONFERENCE, TBA. Check for details.

Tues 30 Oct. 6.30-7.30, Osidge Library, Brunswick Park Rd, N11 1 EY, ‘Individuals in Communities, Black People in Barnet before 1940’, by Hugh Petrie, archivist.

Thanks to all who supplied copy: Stephen Brunning, Don Cooper, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams, Peter Nicholson, Peter Pickering and Sue W illetts.