NEWSLETTER - MAY 2003

Mick Aston
We are pleased to say that Mick Aston is home and making progress, albeit slowly.

SUBSCRIPTIONS REMINDER
Subscriptions were due this month. If you have not renewed yet then please see last Month's Newsletter for a Membership Renewal slip, or contact Della on 01258 840338.

EDAS BBQ on Saturday 5th July
Just a reminder about this year's EDAS Barbecue at Down Farm, and that this year it is EDAS's 20th birthday. There will be a Celebration Toast and Anniversary Cake (and no doubt some reminiscing). See an earlier Newsletter for more details and an application form, or contact Haydn and Wendie on 01725-552843.

Myncen Farm
There are moves to create an Archaeological Centre at Myncen Farm. Planning permission is being sought and we hope it will be given in the next few weeks. EDAS gives it every support and we will give more details about it at a later date.

RECENT EVENTS
At our last EDAS Lecture on 9th April Peter Bellamy gave us a talk on the Hamworthy Pilkington Site. He came at a time very awkward for archaeologists: part way through the digging when many questions had arisen but not yet been answered! However, it turned out that there was still a lot that could confidently be said about this very interesting site. On the very end of the point of land itself were the remains of Roman ditchworks dating from the early occupation period, although their alignment did not immediately suggest a standard Roman Fort. By the mid to late first Century the 'fort' had been abandoned, and the whole area turned over to extensive salt working; this activity continued for a few centuries. When considered with the shale working at Hengistbury and the pottery factories at Bestwall, it is apparent that our beautiful 'Heritage' coast was more like an industrial estate in Romano- British times! We thank Peter for a very interesting lecture about this important site.

THE APRIL WALK
The April walk, led by Karen Brown and her friend Pauline, took us to the pleasant village of Upwey This is a small settlement tucked in the surrounding hillsides, their close steep sides making for parking problems. Karen pointed out it was a village not immediately obvious that it was an historical gem.

We meet at the Wishing Well restaurant, quickly learning it is an excellent venue. Gathering outside by the well upwey wishing wellwe were given a rundown of its history. Like most such features well is a misnomer captured spring is more appropriate. We learnt that while in ancient days the essentialness of water was recognised its natural history was a mystery, so as was the case of things not understood they were seen as the homes of Gods, with the resultant accompaniments of pagan festivals. To encourage Christianisation the church took over many pagan practices, giving them legitimacy by supplanting pagan Gods with Christian saints, thus making wells religious sites. Hence the frequency of wells situated near churches and associated with religious miracles. Again, as with many such sites, it was taken advantage of the number of -miracles' increased and encouragement given to propitiate the saints by putting things in the water. The custodians usually prefer money! Some of us practised one such ritual taking a glass of water making a wish, and throwing it over the left shoulder. We may well have joined Royalty in doing this as the well was once visited by King George.

The river Wey actually rises at this point and we traced it through delightful and unusual gardens to the mill. upwey mill The history of the mill goes back to Domesday, though its site at this time is unknown but likely to be very close by. (It was suggested an EDAS project could be to try and find out where it had once stood) We know that in the early 14th century there were 18 free holders paying tax, including Willelmo Day and Roberta clerico. The mill is in bad need of renovation though its "works" are still extant The owner is hoping to raise enough money to turn it into a working mill once again.

St. Laurence church was included in the itinerary and here we saw a sculpture of the Green Man and unusually wall paintings of Tudor Roses, but why these paintings are to be found here is an unsolved mystery. upwey churchThe first recorded priest is John Wydestone in 1267; there is little in the church fabric of the 13th century but 15th and 16th work is more clearly apparent. Lunch was had in a pleasant Pub in the equally fascinating adjacent village of Ewell. The afternoon started with a visit to a potter who was making Black Burnished Ware in an open fire We were given an interesting talk on the difference between reduction and carbonisation Space does not allow me to do justice to this part of the day. Our last visit was to the east end of the Southern Ridgeway Cemetery; truly an amazing series of prehistoric monuments The first to be seen was the Bank Barrow, which marked its terminal point and nearby we climbed the Culliford Tree Round Barrow, known by many as Kingsbarrow. Its later use was as the site of a Hundred court and tradition has it that music could be heard from it, hence it is known as the Singing Barrow. Here Karen's friend. Pauline, gave us a talk about dowsing. Though there was some scepticism about this it was interesting to hear about different interpretations than we are usually involved in, and there was a certain amount of fun in trying our hands at having a go at dowsing. Then, back to the Wishing Well restaurant to replenish ourselves after a most interesting day for which we thank Karen & Pauline.

FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Sun 18 May - EDAS Walk around Studland with Mike Fryatt

Start in the National Trust car park (3, free to NT members) next to the Bankes Arms at Studland (SZ 037825) for a 6 mile walk.

Visit the Studland Norman church, then to the Agglestone and across Godlingston Heath, up Ballard Down to the Obelisk, then along Ballard Down to Old Harry Rocks and back to Studland.

As well as much of interest, there are spectacular views. Suitable footwear and packed lunch required. Further details from Mike Fryatt on 01202 710908.

Sunday 22 June - Walk around Pamphill and Eye Mead with Phil Roberts
The walk, for about 5 miles, will explore the archaeology of Pamphill and the field of Eye Mead, which is crossed by the Roman road from Lake Gates to Badbury Rings. Meet at the car park (195/989007) nearest to, and on the approach road to, St. Andrew's Church. Lunch will be in the vicinity of the Vines Inn, which serves bread-based snacks, only. So, bring a picnic, if you wish. Contact; Phil on 01929 400507

LIBRARY
Stonehenge Decoded
- by Prof. Gerald Hawkins - Astro-Archaeology is now a recognised discipline in its own right, but when, in 1965, Prof Hawkins made his comprehensive study of Stonehenge and other monuments there was perhaps an unwillingness to accept that many of these prehistoric sites were observatories. Although published in 1966 this small book covers the ground listing many likely and many possible alignments. Other monuments besides Stonehenge are reviewed including the Circle at Callenish, the subject of a recent talk.

The Journal Antiquity also features links with the subject, with a paper on the lunar and solar alignments of the gold lozenge from the Bush Barrow (near Stonehenge) Antiquity - vol 62. Both books available from our library plus many more. A full list appears on our web site and a copy is available at meetings or on request.

POTTERY MAKING - Saturday 28th June
The building of the new kiln at the R-B Farm in Upton Country Park, was completed on schedule and we hope it will be ready for its first test firing soon. Pottery making has been arranged for Saturday 28th June, when we will continue our attempts to replicate Black Burnished ware - Romano British pottery. We will follow a similar routine as before and novices and the more experienced are welcome to join in. If you cannot make the 28th other groups have shown an interest so there may be additional days for pot making (this may be arranged as part of the Museum Education Service activities) or if you want to have a go make some at home ready for firing in July. Numbers will be limited so phone Alan Hawkins on 01202 668178 to book your place

KILN FIRING - Weekend 19th - 20th July. Archaeology Week (end)
This goes on all day, starting with the loading of the kiln at around 8.30am. Members are welcome to stay and assist and as this is archaeology week there may be an opportunity to give demonstrations or help with a display. If you have can prepare an information sheet on an archaeological subject - have a go.- Tel - John 01258 840338

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

The dates for EDAS events are underlined. Walks and field visits usually meet at 10.30 am at the published Grid Reference. Ring the leader if the weather is doubtful or if more details are required.

Sun 18 May Walk around Studland, Godlingston Heath, and Ballard Down with Mike Fryatt. See earlier for details.
Sun 22 Jun Walk around Little Pamphill and Eyemead with Phil Roberts. See earlier for details.
Sat 28 Jun Pottery Making Day in Upton Park. See earlier for details.
Sat 5 Jul EDAS BBQ at Down Farm. See earlier for details.
19 -20 Jul Kiln Firing Weekend. See earlier for details
Sun 20 Jul Walk around the Tollard Royal area with Mike Beams. More details later.
Sun 27 Jul Silchester Visit with option of walk around the walls or visit Reading Museum afterwards. More details later.
Sun 24 Aug Walk - A Purbeck Stroll with Len Norris. More details later.
Wed 10 Sep EDAS Lecture 'New Glimpses of Prehistoric Landscape changes in the Upper Allen Valley', with Dr. Charly French of Cambridge University.