10 Oct 2016
Don't forget to come and see Kris Lockyear's talk this Friday on recent work on the Roman town of Verulamium, in St Albans. (enfarchsoc.org/lectures). Kris will be selling copies of his book "Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research" as well as tickets to the Welwyn Archaeological Society's upcoming conference of the same name (details below).
Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research
6th November 2016 Hitchin Town Hall, Brand Street, 9.10am–4.45pm
Tickets are £15 (£12 for WAS members) which includes morning and afternoon tea, but not lunch. Please send a cheque payable to the Welwyn Archaeological Society with a stamped addressed envelope to Kris Lockyear, 3 Lamer Park, Lamer Lane, Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8RJ. There will be tables available for local archaeological or historical societies to have small displays and/or sell publications. We only ask that those manning the stalls have tickets to the conference.
Download the flyer with full details (and programme) here
20 Aug 2016
Day Conference “20th Century Enfield – the time of change”: Saturday 12th November in the Dugdale centre, Enfield.
To complement the current exhibition at the Dugdale centre the Enfield Society is holding a day conference on Enfield in the last century which will include talks by Monica Smith -author of the fourth book in the Enfield series, and Ian Jones on Enfield in the first world war. Joe Studman and Dave Cockle will lead a walk round Enfield Town looking at the buildings the Society has helped to save over the past eighty years and even the Enfield Beast will be coming! If you are not able to do the walk there will be other activities in the museum so do book your place.
The cost of the day (to include lunch, coffee and tea) will be £15. To book a ticket please send your name and telephone number to "Day conference", Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Enfield EN2 0AJ and include a SAE and cheque payable to the Enfield Society. Alternatively, you can book via the website at enfieldsociety.org.uk/conference using a debit card, credit card or PayPal.
07 Dec 2015
Enfield Council has announced the results of its consultation regarding the future of the Museum and Local Studies Library.
Happily, the proposal to close the museum’s ground floor exhibition space at the Dugdale Centre has been scrapped, but most of the other proposals appear to be going ahead largely unchanged. While “drop in” access to the library will continue, consultation with the library staff will become by appointment only. Plans to digitise the archives will apparently go ahead, though details of these plans remain exteremely vague.
Most worryingly, there remains no word on staffing and budget cuts to either service, which will have a profound impact particularly on how the museum is able to operate. The reduction of staff to one junior post and no operating budget will likely prevent the museum from staging any more of its successful and popular exhibitions, or any of its other public outreach activities.
We have offered the museum our support in maintaining a permanent display in the ground floor space of the Dugdale Centre, which will hopefully continue to showcase the history and cultural heritage of the London Borough of Enfield. It is sad that a council that so often pays lip service to our unique heritage assets should be so reluctant to invest in their presentation and curation.
More details and news on the cuts are available from The Enfield Society
16 Jun 2015
19 May 2015
With less than two months to go to this year’s Festival of British Archaeology, an online gallery of last year’s dig in Forty Hall on the site of Elsyng Tudor Palace is now online here.
If this year’s digs are half as successful as last year’s, there’s plenty to look forward to!
01 Apr 2015
This coincides with the news this week that the entry in the Schedule of Ancient Monuments for the site of Elsyng Palace in Forty Hall has been updated, significantly increasing the protected area of the park, thanks in no small part to the work done by the EAS over the last ten years.
29 Mar 2015
It’s been a long and extremely wet weekend, but we got the job done; although the archaeology didn’t quite turn out as expected we have confirmed the presence of the (presumed palace) midden and added a little to our understanding of its nature, though unfortunately definitive dating evidence is still elusive.
As planned, we opened two trenches at the far end of the lime tree avenue in Forty Hall, directly next to Maidens Brook, both targeting the dense bone deposit we’ve seen before in the ‘Greenway’ cycle track and the new HLF footbridge installation.
14 Mar 2015
This year’s summer dig dates have been finalized: We will be digging at Cedars Park, Broxbourne, on the former site of James I’s Theobalds Palace on the 10th 11th and 12th July and the following week in Forty Hall, Enfield, on the former site of the Tudor palace of Elsyng from the 14th to 19th.
The dig in Cedars park will be further exploring the palace ‘loggia’ garden feature we successfully uncovered last year, to further establish its size and date, and also to get a better look at the ornamental ‘canal’ that bounded it.
The dig in Forty Hall will continue to look at the new (possibly early Tudor) palace building we discovered last summer, and hopefully continue to follow the palace boundary wall west of the lime tree avenue, further defining the perimeter of the palace complex.
As ever, the digs will take place as part of the nationwide Festival of Archaeology, and members of the public will be welcome to come and see how we get on – each Sunday there will be stalls and other activities and members of the Society will be available to explain our work.
Members of the Society wanting to join the digs should preferably bring a packed lunch, and are reminded that stout footwear and sensible clothing are essential. Details of times and meeting places will be published later in the year.
14 Feb 2015
After an unexpected series of technical delays we have finally confirmed dates for the first dig of the year. We will be digging in Forty Hall at the site of Elsyng Palace on the weekend of March 28th and 29th in search of a late medieval/early Tudor palace midden (see previous post).
The dig site should be easy to find at the far end of the lime tree avenue in Forty Hall; members of the public will be welcome to come and see how we get on, but members of the Society who wish to join in are asked please to contact Lesley (membership) first.
20 Dec 2014
The 2015 lecture programme has been published and can be seen here.
Although we’ve been very busy since the summer digs, there’s not been much to write about – The Heritage Lottery Funded works in the park and grounds in Forty Hall are now mostly complete, and we have monitored and recorded a variety of trenches and post-holes, which have provided snippets of useful information but nothing really very newsworthy.
One of the more interesting jobs we monitored was the installation of a new footbridge across Maidens Brook, at the north end of the lime tree avenue. This involved partially restoring some nineteenth century brickwork which in turn is built on top of the remains of an earlier water-stair and sluice arrangement which once formed part of the complex water feature network and landscaping scheme in the park, probably built by the Hall’s owner, Eliab Breton, in the eighteenth century.
The work to renew the brickwork revealed a widespread deposit including brick and mortar fragments, but most predominantly animal bones, which we have encountered before during the ‘Greenway’ cycle track work. Dating evidence shows that this is most likey a palace era midden (rubbish tip) – and since it is a reasonable distance from the palace complex we had originally thought that the material must have been redeposited, perhaps when the eighteenth century landscaping work was carried out.
Now that we have seen more of it, it seems more likely the midden is in fact in-situ. We will have an opportunity to see more soon, as a new fence is due to be installed near the bridge – we will take the opportunity to open some archeological trenches and investigate the deposit formally, probably in early January.
The site is marked in the above photo by the end of the rainbow – we hope that this is an auspicious sign!
02 Jul 2014
Coming in September:
Interested in ancient writing, art, culture, and chocolate? Want to learn more about the ancient Maya? Then come and join us at the 3rd Annual Maya-on-the-Thames workshops at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London from Friday 19th September until Sunday 21st September 2014!
This event offers something for everyone! Sign up for a package introduction to Maya culture that includes workshops on the calendar, trade and travel, art, agriculture, and chocolate.
Or, if you prefer, spend your weekend learning how to read and write ancient Maya glyphs in one of our three hieroglyph workshops.
Learn the basics in our no-previous-knowledge-necessary beginner's workshop, or for those with previous experience, quench your hieroglyphic appetite in our intermediate class. Or if you want to read the rules of ancient Maya sports, sign up for our ballgame one!
For more details and to register please see our website: ucl.ac.uk/mayaglyphs or call 0207 679 7532.
Book your place early to avoid disappointment!
19 Jun 2014
An unusual and intriguing mystery has arisen in the cemetery of All Saint’s Church, Edmonton, which the EAS has been asked to help with.
Following the spell of very wet weather early in the year, a small patch of ground in the churchyard subsided revealing brickwork and a void leading to what appeared to be part of a brick lined chamber.
The subsided ground is free from grave markers of any kind and so after making the site safe, Enfield Council and the Church asked the EAS to advise on identifying the date and function of the structure, and in early June a site visit by EAS members confirmed it unsurprisingly to be a burial vault.
02 Dec 2013
A small EAS team went over to Cedars Park yesterday to lend a hand with a small scale ground penetrating radar survey just south of “Pets Corner”. The building at the south end of Pets Corner has long been believed to be standing partly on the footprint of a wing of Theobalds Palace. New documentary evidence has recently come to light suggesting the possibility that the palace wing may have continued further south than previously thought, towards what is now rose beds and it is hoped that geophysics may shed more light on this hypothesis. The collected data is now being analysed and we will hopefully share a summary of the results here soon (and probably eventually in the society news bulletin).