A Review of National Archaeology Week
at the Leatherhead Museum 21-23 July 2005

A combination of good weather and the fact that the Leatherhead Museum was open for three whole days, on 21, 22 & 23 July, from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. to mark National Archaeology Week contributed in part to the success of this event.

This was the first year that the L&DLHS and the Leatherhead Museum had participated in marking this event which from all accounts drew a total number of 92 visitors to the museum over the three days including 25 children with parents and grandparents. This was a national event sponsored and promoted by the Council for British Archaeology (www.britarch.ac.uk) and was also supported by English Heritage.

The museum curator, Graham Evans, delved into the museum’s store to recover artifacts to provide an archaeological theme to the window display and make space for a large reconstructed medieval pot from the Pachenesham site known as The Mounts.

David Hartley, the archaeology secretary, also prepared a number of themed presentations to exhibit and demonstrate human ingenuity and technology. First up was ‘Man the Toolmaker’ illustrating early flint tools together with a practical video demonstration of flint knapping by the well known flint knapper John Lord from Norfolk who produced an example of a Bronze Age barbed & tanged arrowhead (www.flintknapping.co.uk). John Lord started with a large flint nodule from which he selected a large flint flake waster and by a careful and considered reduction of this flake created a fine flint arrowhead worthy of our ancestors.

Other presentation boards reflected some of the Romano British Villa types and mosaic floors found at villa sites in Surrey together with known bath houses with hypocausts which were employed to illustrate the use of under floor heating and of box flue tiles to provide ducted heating.

The villa and tile works on Ashstead common and the kiln site at Horton and Wykehurst Farm were singled out as an example of Romano British production and manufacturing, producing a range of building products used in the construction of local villas and bath houses. Examples of these products have been found during the excavation of these sites in the last century by A.W.G. Lowther and other archaeologists.

A practical demonstration was also given by David Hartley showing the use of patterned rollers and dies replicating some of the original box flue tile patterns identified by A.W.G. Lowther.

A number of the children visiting the exhibition had the opportunity to try their hand at using these rollers and dies for themselves especially the famous dog and stag pattern and they were encouraged to take their samples home.

A special I-Spy Picture Quiz was compiled specifically for all children aged 5-12 years visiting the museum. This quiz involved identifying the pictures of exhibits and artifacts displayed in the museum and there were prizes of a 5.00 book token on offer for each of the first three completed and correct entries drawn from a hat; the winners have yet to be notified.

Some children had the opportunity to practice Roman writing and numerals on pre-prepared beeswax writing tablets in the Roman manner. Others used dipping pens with the old fashioned nibs and black ink to write on paper since no Papyrus was available.

Two young bright scholars, a girl and a boy on different days, demonstrated their knowledge of the Latin they had learnt at school. Both spoke fluently and one wrote a Latin text in the Roman way on one of the wax tablets.

On the Saturday, to conclude this event at the museum, we all had the opportunity to sample some of pre-prepared recipes for Roman food which involved the considerable use of honey and an anchovy sauce as a substitute for a rather lethal fish stock, known as Garum.

Our simple Menu consisted of:

* Gustatio –Conditum paradoxum (spiced wine)
* Sala Cattabia ( bread & chicken salad)
* Honeyed mushrooms
* Epityrum or olive relish
* Celery Puree
* Savoury Cheesecake
* Sweet Cheesecake

Finally, in the afternoon, we all had the opportunity to meet Justine Monson a well known local potter who gave us a demonstration of wheel thrown pots having produced in advance, for our exhibition, a Roman copy of a funerary jar, based on an original design with a humorous face, together with a wine flagon without handle. It is hoped both pots will be put on show at the museum , following firing, later in the year together with a replica of a box flue tile demonstrated at this event. A number of children were also given the opportunity to raise a pot on the wheel with guidance and assistance from Justine.

To all our guests and visitors, those stewards on duty on the three open days and to those members of the L&DLHS and the Friends of the Leatherhead Museum who encouraged and supported this event, I would like to thank you one and all.

David Hartley


Leatherhead & District Local History Society
in conjunction with the Leatherhead Museum

National Archaeology Week, 16th-24th July 2005

The Aim
The Council for British Archaeology have for a number of years run an annual National Archaeology Day.
The event this year has been expanded to include two weekends to start officially on Saturday 16th July and run for a whole week concluding on Sunday 24th July.

The Leatherhead Museum is to stage a number of events in the latter half of NAW involving families, children and parents coinciding with the museum open days on 21st, 22nd & 23rd July, from 10am to 4pm

Proposed Museum Activities
• Handling selected artefacts from different periods and usage.
• A Children's Eye Spy Quiz and drawing competition to identify and draw objects from the Museum Collection.
• Iron Age/Roman British pottery making - a demonstration given by the well known local potter and ceramicist Justine Monson on Saturday afternoon 23rd July. Making coil pots in clay, experimenting with both texture and pattern using simple implements (tools) to re-create ancient vessel.
• A demonstration of manufacturing in clay of a replica Roman Box Flue Tile discovered at Ashstead Common Romano-British Villa & Tile works, using applied surface decoration and based on an original design identified by AWG Lowther a noted local Archaeologist who excavated this site.
• Practice writing the Roman alphabet and numerals with a stylus on a replica Roman wax tablet.
• Handling actual Roman pottery sherds discovered on local sites.
• Looking at the preparation and tasting of Roman Food

Walks/ Tours /Field walking & Other Events
• A proposed conducted walk along to the Roman Road Stane Street on Mickleham Down and a visit to the site of an ancient Celtic/Romano British field system on the downs on Sunday 24th July.
• Lucy Quinnell of Fire & Iron Gallery has arranged to give a demonstration of the art and craft of Blacksmithing at 3pm on Saturday 23rd July at their excellent demonstration theatre at the Fire & Iron Gallery at Rowhurst Forge, 0xshott Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 OEN. Phone 01372 386453. Web site:

Young Archaeologist of the Year Award 2005
please click the link or image for more information

Walk along Roman Road Stane Street Sunday 24th July at 12 noon

To mark the conclusion of National Archaeology Week.

The walk will start from the entrance to Juniper Hall Field Study Centre at the junction of the London Road & Headley Road, Mickleham, Surrey.

The route will be a steady climb up onto Mickleham Downs from Juniper Hall, along the roman road Stane Street to Tyrrell’s Wood Golf Club where the road crosses the Headley Road. A stop is proposed at Tyrrell’s Wood for refreshment before returning back to Mickleham along the same route - click for pdf file of map

Please come equipped with appropriate clothing and footwear for the time of year and the terrain, more importantly please ensure that you have with you liquid refreshment and perhaps a snack or small picnic.

The walk will be directed and lead by Alan Hall, Archaeologist and secretary to the Roman Studies Group of the Surrey Archaeological Society and leader of the Roman Roads Group.

Alan will give us an initial introduction to the Roman Road following registration at 12.00 noon in the car park at Juniper Hall where Stane Street crosses under the lawn before rising up on to Mickleham Down. The walk will move off at 12.30pm. The walk will halt en-route to point out features in the construction of the road and the surrounding landscape.

Please Note: Parking is not permitted on the road double yellow lines are in force.
A public car park is available locally opposite Burford Bridge Hotel.
A limited amount of car parking will also be available just inside the grounds of Juniper Hall in the front area only, courtesy of the Juniper Hall Field Study Centre.

last updated 16 Sep 2005