A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
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THE IRON AGE
By about 1200 B.C., during the British Middle Bronze Age, the manufacture of iron had been mastered in the Near East. From there the knowledge spread to southern and central Europe and eventually to Britain. (fn. 1) The earliest dated iron objects in Middlesex are some daggers from the Thames, to which a date somewhat before 500 B.C. has been attributed. (fn. 2) The Middlesex material, most of which has come, like the antiquities of earlier periods, from the Thames to the west of London and from the south-west of the county, (fn. 3) falls broadly into two groups, occupation sites, and the objects found in them, mostly pottery, and single stray finds. (fn. 4) No burials are known in Middlesex, but occupation sites are known or suspected at Bush Hill Park (Enfield), Hadley Wood (mostly in Herts.), Harefield, Heathrow, Ponders End, Shepperton, Yiewsley, the Thames foreshore between Isleworth and Brentford, and, perhaps, at Brockley Hill. The main classes are metalwork and pottery, much of which comes from the Thames at Mortlake.
The metalwork is of bronze and iron. Bronze continued in use throughout the period for bowls and decorative objects. Iron was used for plainer, utilitarian articles like swords, axes, sickles, and 'currency bars'. (fn. 5) The number of known Iron-Age iron objects from Middlesex is small, particularly when compared with the plentiful Late BronzeAge implements. This apparent scarcity may, however, be an illusion created by the perishable nature of iron and by the fact that some types of iron tools seem to have changed little in style from Iron Age to medieval times. (fn. 6) Towards the end of the Iron Age coins, made of gold, silver, and alloys, appeared for the first time.
The fabric of Middlesex Iron-Age pottery is usually harder than that of most BronzeAge pottery and ranges from coarse, heavily-gritted wares to the rarer, fine burnished pieces. Some pots have simple convex or straight sides, but most have shoulders of varying sharpness. Many have finger-tip-impressed decoration on the rim and shoulder, usually directly on the surface, and not on an added cordon in bucket-urn style. A few have dimpled or omphalos bases, and one or two have small handles or lugs. (fn. 7)
The only thoroughly excavated Iron-Age dwelling-place in Middlesex is a site, once called Caesar's Camp, now destroyed by a runway of London Airport at Heathrow. Excavations revealed a settlement surrounded by a bank and ditch forming a four-sided enclosure about 450 feet across. Within the enclosure were the gullies and post-holes of eleven circular huts. A little apart from the huts were traces of a solidly-built, rectangular timber building surrounded by a colonnade resembling in plan a classical temple. Later than the huts and the temple was a secondary enclosure inserted among the huts, and the latest structure of all was an unfinished boundary ditch, producing an effect which has been compared to the sacred enclosure of a Romano-Celtic temple, possibly dug during the Roman period. The temple, which had been frequently repaired, is assumed to have been in existence throughout the occupation of the site. The southern half of the site was never built upon and was probably used for herding animals.
The dating of the settlement depends mainly on the very varied pottery of which it produced a large quantity. (fn. 8) This has not yet been fully evaluated, but since some shows affinities with British Late Bronze-Age pottery, the earliest settlement may possibly date at least from the beginning of the Iron Age in Middlesex, perhaps to about 500 B.C. (fn. 9) Judging by the repairs to the temple, the site was in use for a long period. A piece of pottery from the secondary enclosure probably belongs (fn. 10) to a type thought to have come into use about 100 B.C., (fn. 11) and a fragment of Roman pottery was found in the boundary ditch. Occupation of the site seems therefore to have ranged in time over most of the Iron Age in Middlesex, but whether occupation was continuous is not yet clear. (fn. 12)
Information from other possible Iron-Age occupation sites is less conclusive than that from Heathrow. At Harefield at least two coarse late-Bronze or Iron-Age pots were found in a sandpit. At Ponders End a quantity of coarse, probably early Iron-Age pottery was found in a gravel-pit, reputedly with pieces of baked clay and burnt flints, perhaps hearthstones. At Yiewsley pottery that appears to be Iron Age and probably indicates domestic occupation was found in the same field as Bronze-Age DeverelRimbury pottery. The Thames foreshore between Isleworth and Brentford produced fragments of coarse Iron-Age pottery, some associated with a hut floor of clay and hazel wattles. (fn. 13) At Shepperton (fn. 14) a hoard of over 360 coins which may date from about 50 B.C. to A.D. 50 was found with or near some Iron-Age pottery, animal bones, and heatcrackled flints, suggesting domestic occupation. Late Iron-Age pottery of Belgic type was reported from Brockley Hill south-east of the Roman site of Sulloniacae, but this may not be older than the Roman conquest. An earthwork in the middle of Hadley Wood is possibly an Iron-Age fortified camp. (fn. 15) The D-shaped earthwork at Bush Hill Park may be of Iron-Age date, although excavations proved inconclusive. (fn. 16) The large amount of Iron-Age pottery found in the Thames at Mortlake, a reach which has also produced Iron-Age iron axes and daggers, (fn. 17) suggests settlement in this district. According to one account, (fn. 18) most of the Iron-Age objects described as coming from the Thames here came from the middle or the Middlesex side of the river.
The events represented by the Iron-Age antiquities of Middlesex are imperfectly understood, as is much in the British Iron Age. It is generally believed that in the Late Bronze Age immigrants from western Europe were entering Britain and that the process continued during the Iron Age, when bands of people arriving at different times and from various destinations introduced the new elements that constituted the British Iron Age. (fn. 19) Specialized metal-working techniques may have been introduced by a few craftsmen, and goods with continental parallels found in Britain, such as the bronze brooches from the Thames at Syon Reach (fn. 20) and London, (fn. 21) and a bracelet from the Thames at Hammersmith, (fn. 22) may have arrived here through trade rather than by population movement.
Influences from the Hallstatt, La Tène, and Belgic periods of the continental Iron Age (fn. 23) have been distinguished in British Iron-Age material, but it is now generally accepted that the British Iron Age cannot be equated with the continental pattern, (fn. 24) and there is therefore as yet no overall framework into which the Middlesex material can be fitted. Moreover, as for Bronze-Age material, pottery and metalwork have not been found together, except for the few pieces of pottery found with the Shepperton coin hoard. (fn. 25) Consequently the metalwork, for some of which fairly close dates and affinities have been suggested, cannot be correlated with the less well known pottery. Moreover, most of the stray finds have been recovered from the Thames in a haphazard manner with no indication of how they are related to each other. Why so much material should have been lost in the river is a mystery, to which the changing course and level of the river (fn. 26) and its possible use as a repository for religious offerings may be a partial solution. (fn. 27)
Finds of metalwork in Middlesex suggest that there may have been no chronological gap between the latest Bronze-Age bronzes and the introduction of Iron-Age-style metal goods. (fn. 28) The county has produced some of the latest Bronze-Age metalwork, such as winged axes from Kensington and from the Thames at Brentford and Syon Reach (dated to c. 300 B.C.), and Hallstatt-style bronze swords and horse trappings from the Thames at Brentford (dated to c. 300 B.C.), as well as some of the earliest known British Iron-Age products, like the Hallstatt-style iron daggers with bronze sheaths from the Thames at Battersea and Mortlake, at present dated to the late 6th and early 5th centuries B.C. and thought to be derived from south German and Austrian models, (fn. 29) the Hallstatt-type iron antennae sword from the Thames at London, (fn. 30) and a bronze cauldron from the Thames at Hammersmith, (fn. 31) both compared with Belgian types and thought to date from about 500 B.C. (fn. 32) Moreover, some of the traditions of the Bronze-Age smiths seem to have survived into the Iron Age, as in techniques used on some of the Iron-Age daggers; (fn. 33) the similarity to Bronze-Age shapes of some iron spearheads (fn. 34) such as one from the Thames at Mortlake, (fn. 35) and even one from the Thames at London dated by its decoration to the latter part of the Iron Age; (fn. 36) and in a series of iron socketed axes from the Thames that are clearly modelled on bronze socketed axes in a technique that is not suited to iron working. (fn. 37) The metalwork evidence suggests that there was, at least along the Thames west of London, fairly continuous occupation throughout the Bronze Age and into the Iron Age, reinforced from time to time by new arrivals of peoples and ideas.
This continuity is reflected in the pottery of this period. At Yiewsley, although IronAge pottery was found in the same field as Deverel-Rimbury urns, it is not known whether the two groups were connected. (fn. 38) Continuity of occupation between the Middle Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Middlesex is, however, suggested by the appearance in some Iron-Age pottery of characteristics which are clearly devolved from Deverel-Rimbury or Late Bronze-Age types. (fn. 39) In other parts of southern Britain, also, sites considered to be of Late Bronze-Age date, like Plumpton Plain (Suss.) (perhaps c. 750 B.C.) (fn. 40) and Minnis Bay (Kent) (perhaps c. 600 B.C.) (fn. 41) have yielded pottery which resembles Iron-Age pottery from Middlesex and vessels from sites like Scarborough (Yorks. N.R.) which apparently belongs to the transition period between the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages, perhaps about 500 B.C., (fn. 42) and West Harling (Norf.) and All Cannings Cross (Wilts.), considered to be wholly Iron Age. (fn. 43)
Much of the British Late Bronze Age-Iron Age pottery to which the Middlesex examples are likened is attributed to continental immigrants entering the country, particularly from France and the Rhineland, perhaps from the 8th century B.C. onwards, (fn. 44) rather than to indigenous development from Deverel-Rimbury pottery. If this interpretation is correct, some of the Middlesex pottery of the period spanning the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age may represent the entry into the area of new people who would not necessarily be identical with the initiators of the new metal styles. (fn. 45)
Whether any of the Middlesex pottery can properly be called Hallstatt is uncertain; but one bowl from the Thames at Hammersmith, (fn. 46) of different shape and ware from the rest of the pottery discussed, may be a debased version of a continental Hallstatt type, perhaps of the 6th or 5th century B.C., and roughly contemporary with the Hallstatt daggers from the Thames. (fn. 47)
The history of the rest of the pre-Roman Iron Age in Middlesex is also uncertain. Some metal objects show the impact of La Tène styles: daggers, later versions of which, dating perhaps from about 450 B.C. to about 300 B.C., seem to have been inspired by workmanship of the period spanning the late Hallstatt and early La Tene periods in the Marne and adjacent areas of north-east France and Belgium; straight-edged iron swords; a few brooches; and the highly decorative bronze shields and other ornamental metalwork of the later La Tene phases. (fn. 48) The only Middlesex metalwork generally accepted as Belgic is some coins, a few bearing the names of kings who ruled in Hertfordshire and Essex. (fn. 49) Few Middlesex metal finds can be firmly assigned to the middle part of the Iron Age.
Middlesex has produced a group of good quality pottery, quite different from the comparatively coarse types of the period spanning the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age, which accords reasonably well with the La Tène-style metal objects. A number of pots from the Thames seem, like the La Tène daggers from the same reaches of the river, to derive ultimately from the La Tène culture of northern France and Belgium, particularly from the pottery found in the cemeteries of the Marne and Aisne valleys. An omphalos-based bowl from the Thames at Hammersmith (fn. 50) may be devolved from pots like those found in graves of the period spanning the late Hallstatt and early La Tène periods such as those at Les Jogasses (Marne), the source to which the La Tène daggers are also attributed. (fn. 51) A rather unusual biconical pot from the Thames at Mortlake (fn. 52) may be Marnian inspired and, like the La Tène daggers, of the 5th or 4th century B.C. (fn. 53) Four pots from the Thames at Mortlake, (fn. 54) Hammersmith, (fn. 55) and Wandsworth (fn. 56) also show similarities to the wares of the Marne and Aisne valleys. The haematite coating on a sherd from the Thames at Mortlake, (fn. 57) which was probably made locally of London Clay, may also be due ultimately to influence from France, where haematite coating seems to have originated. Some of the French-style pottery from Middlesex can also, however, be compared with wares from further west in Britain, particularly from sites on the upper Thames and in Wessex, like Chinnor (Bucks.), (fn. 58) Long Wittenham (Berks.), (fn. 59) and Maiden Castle (Dors.). (fn. 60) As the pottery from the west appears closer to the continental prototypes than to the Middlesex examples, some of the inspiration for the Middlesex pots may have come down the Thames rather than directly from the Continent. Another indication of western influences is the incised linear decoration on the haematite sherd and on another sherd from the Thames at Mortlake. (fn. 61) Such decoration has been thought to be characteristic of an early phase of the Wessex Iron Age, (fn. 62) although it occurred also at Late Bronze-Early Iron-Age sites in Sussex (fn. 63) and Norfolk. (fn. 64)
The identifiable Iron-Age pottery so far discussed probably belongs to the earlier part of the period. From later times there is an incised sherd from the Thames at Barnes (fn. 65) which shows similarities to pottery from Somerset of perhaps about 150 B.C. or similar pottery from south-east Britain, which may be rather later. The omphalos bowl from the secondary enclosure at Heathrow (fn. 66) belongs to the late south-eastern type (fn. 67) and the rest of the pottery from the secondary enclosure is presumably of similar date. The pottery which accompanied the speculum coins from Shepperton (fn. 68) is unlikely to be earlier than the coins, which are usually assigned to about 50 B.C.-A.D. 50. A few pieces which may be Belgic, including a vase from Hammersmith, (fn. 69) were found in the Thames, (fn. 70) in addition to those reported from Brockley Hill.
The pottery, like the metal, suggests that there was little activity in Middlesex in the middle of the Iron Age. (fn. 71) Much of the pottery is not, however, securely dated. Some of the coarse, indeterminate wares may be of almost any Iron-Age date. The shouldered bucket shape, even with finger-tip impressions, is known to have continued later in other areas, as in Surrey, and may have been reintroduced from time to time. (fn. 72)
Little evidence has survived of the occupations of the Iron-Age inhabitants of Middlesex and none at all of their burial customs. Presumably some kind of farming was carried on. Heathrow has not produced any positive evidence of farming activities such as that produced by some Iron-Age sites outside Middlesex, (fn. 73) but Caesar's references to cattle and the finding of iron sickles (fn. 74) in the Thames are slight confirmatory evidence. Wheat seems to have been the predominant crop as opposed to barley, which had been commonest in the Bronze Age. (fn. 75) Hunting and fishing were almost certainly carried on, and weaving is indicated by the loom-weights from Heathrow and weaving-combs found in the Thames at Mortlake and Wandsworth. (fn. 76)
Metal-working seems to have been practised near the Middlesex-Surrey reaches of the Thames. The iron daggers with elaborate bronze sheaths, (fn. 77) although based on continental models, were probably made in Britain and since a very high proportion of the known examples has been found in the Thames near London, they are thought to have been made by local smiths. (fn. 78) A school of bronze-smiths is believed to have been working in the same district in the Middle Bronze Age producing bronze rapiers. Dagger-making was carried on from the opening of the local Iron Age, some time before 500 B.C., until about 300 B.C. when daggers fell out of fashion. It has been argued that the existence of so many obviously costly daggers in the Thames near London implies a local class of rich patrons. (fn. 79) Examples of elaborate later metalwork found in the Thames also seem to imply a rich warrior class in or near Middlesex.
Pottery and coinage provide slight evidence of Belgic influence in Middlesex in the later Iron Age, but it is not known whether Middlesex was settled by the Belgae or formed part of the Belgic kingdom established in Hertfordshire and Essex in the last hundred years or so before the Roman conquest in A.D. 43. (fn. 80)
The Iron-Age population of Middlesex must have been comparatively small, and, judging by the distribution of finds, concentrated along the Thames and on the gravelly, well-drained soils in the south-west. Presumably, however, there was some habitation on the northern fringes of the county, likewise concentrated upon areas of sandy soil, as at Harefield and Ponders End. Much of the centre of the county, where clay soils probably supported thick forests, may have been uninhabited. (fn. 81) In considering the great concentration of Iron-Age material from the Thames, it should be remembered that a number of Iron-Age settlements in north Surrey are quite close to the river. (fn. 82) There is no real evidence for a pre-Roman town or trading station on the site of London. No certainly Iron-Age pottery or structural remains have been found in the City of London, (fn. 83) but the fact that the Romans called London by the Celtic name it still bears in truncated form perhaps suggests that the place had some local significance in IronAge times.
A few Celtic place-names besides London have survived in Middlesex. They are the rivers Thames (Tamesis in Julius Caesar), meaning perhaps 'dark river'; (fn. 84) Colne, of unknown meaning; (fn. 85) Lea, meaning perhaps 'bright' or 'light' river or 'river dedicated to the god Lugus'; (fn. 86) and Brent. The last name, and that of the town of Brentford, situated near the junction of the Brent and the Thames not far from the place where the remains of Iron-Age huts were discovered, (fn. 87) can be linked, through Anglo-Saxon forms like Bregantford, with the Celtic name Brigantia, possibly meaning 'high' or 'holy'. (fn. 88)
|Ponders End: collection of IA pottery from gravel-pit. Most coarse, gritted ware, but, as at Heathrow, a few fragments of finer fabric. Recognizable forms are situlate, some with finger-tip impressions on rim. One smallaperture lug of coarse, soft, gritty ware. Also pieces of baked clay and burnt flints, possibly hearthstones. Bones of animals, including bos longifrons, pig, and swan, believed associated with the pottery. Accounts not clear, but almost certainly represents habitation site.||B.M. Hazzledine Warren Coll. (fn. 89)|
|Stamford Hill: fairly hard, coarse sherd; possible traces of impressed cable pattern on flat top of rim and row of oval depressions on high rounded shoulder. Found by W. G. Smith, 1883.||L.M. 28.111 (fn. 90)|
|Gravel-pit: fragments of coarse pottery. Described as IA but seem similar to supposed Saxon pottery in L.M. from Hanwell gravel-pits. (fn. 91)||Gunn. T.2231|
|Sand-pit 450 yds. N. of Dewe's Farm: remains, probably of two pots. Determinate one apparently shouldered bowl with exterior below shoulder rendered in vertical strokes, possibly with finger-tip. Reputedly contained 'black stuff', but no bones. Possibly occupation site. Late BA or early IA.||B.M. 1918.104.22.168|
|Heathrow (TQ. 805766): settlement site. (fn. 92) Finds suggest Late BA activity. Include bronze disc of carp's tongue sword complex (may be a stray find), clay loom-weight of cylindrical BA shape. (fn. 93) Scrap of coarse pottery with finger-tip impressed cordon round constricted neck, resembling pottery from Late BA and early IA sites, (fn. 94) with remains of perforated baked clay slabs similar to objects from Yiewsley (fn. 95) and IA sites outside Mdx. (fn. 96) Remains of c. 100 vessels comprise variety of IA types in wide range of coarse and finer wares. Some have similarities to BA pottery. Forms include many angular and round-shouldered vessels, some with finger-tip impressions; a few barrel-shaped pots, one, of coarse ware, with internally bevelled rim and splayed base; (fn. 97) remains of two lugged vessels, one with both ends of handle pushed through wall of pot; (fn. 98) fragment of dark grey burnished ware with faint impressed chevron decoration on round shoulder. Also at least one clay loom-weight of cubic IA shape (fn. 99) and pieces of daub and clinker. Pottery from secondary enclosure includes small omphalos-base bowl of fine burnished ware belonging to group known as S.E.B. or S.E. 3rd B. found in S.E. Eng. and dated from 1st cent. B.C. onwards, (fn. 100) and some unusually light-weight, corky sherds with rounded sides and simple rims with external grooves. None of IA pots is wheel-made or has a pedestal base.||L.M. unnum.|
|Two supposedly Celtic urns exhibited to Soc. of Antiquaries in 1725. (fn. 101)||Unknown|
|Shepperton (TQ. 07186758): pot reputedly containing hoard of speculum coins. Of fairly coarse ware with flint and stone grits and smoother surface,made in simple bowl shape with flat-topped rim. When found reported to have had buff deposit inside, as if it had been used for cooking. Also found at same time were other sherds, including one of coarse ware with beaded rim and small hollow neck, one of dark grey burnished ware, some cracked flints, and broken animal bones. Whole perhaps indicates habitation site.||L.M. 62.15 (fn. 102)|
|In same field as Deverel-Rimbury urns: pottery of Late BA or early IA character, most decorated with finger-tip impressions either on applied bands (fn. 103) or directly on pot. Pierced slabs of baked clay, of same general type as those from Heathrow and other IA sites also found here. Domestic occupation indicated, but relationship to Deverel-Rimbury cemetery uncertain. (fn. 104)||B.M. 1922.214.171.124-42, 146-50, 162|
|Fragments of coarse pottery, probably Late BA or IA, in box labelled 'pottery found at Yiewsley with the flints'.||L.M. unnum.|
|Small, weakly-shouldered jar of fairly hard, dark grey ware. Possible traces of curvilinear impressed decoration on neck.||L.M. A.13677 (fn. 105)|
|Part of apparently dumpy pot of fairly hard, gritty ware, with flat base and convex walls, top showing signs of thinning to form incurved neck.||L.M. A.13678|
|Mortlake: two dark brown-grey burnished sherds of carinated bowl, neck decorated with horizontal and parallel oblique grooves. Similar ornament, but with chevrons instead of one-direction oblique grooves, occurs on some Brit. Late BA pottery thought to be derived from France. (fn. 106)||L.M. A.10559, A.10561|
|Fragment, apparently from rounded bowl, with traces of incised double or triple chevron ornament round upper part. Haematite applied to exterior and interior surfaces producing glossy, rust-coloured appearance. Composition of clay suggests local manufacture. (fn. 107) Piece cannot be assigned to either Brit. group, (fn. 108) but incised chevron ornament possibly indicates Wessex influence. (fn. 109)||L.M. A.13674|
|Sherd of fine, dark grey ware, burnished inside and out, from bowl with simple, flaring rim and sharp shoulder forming an angle with neck. Two horizontal furrows round shoulder, three deep vertical grooves below. Base missing. Similar bowls possibly derived from N. French pottery. Two similar, plain sherds from Thames at Hammersmith (fn. 110) and Wandsworth. (fn. 111) Other somewhat similar pottery from Chinnor (Bucks.). (fn. 112) Sharply-angled shoulder recurs at Wisley (Surr.), (fn. 113) and on haematite-coated bowl from Maiden Cas. (Dors.), dated c. 300-200 B.C. and considered derivative of pottery from late Hallstatt-early La Tène cemetery at Les Jogasses (Marne). (fn. 114)||L.M. A.13675|
|Sharply biconical pot with lipped rim; of fairly hard, partly burnished reddishbrown ware mottled with dark grey. Probably of early La Tène date, perhaps 5th or 4th cent. B.C. (fn. 115)||L.M. A.18834|
|Small bowl of fairly fine, small-gritted, dark grey ware, with slightly omphaloid base, rounded sides, and concave neck. Most of rim missing, but appears to be turning outwards. Omphalos bases possibly introduced early in Brit. IA (fn. 116) and reintroduced towards end of period. (fn. 117) This example appears to resemble earlier rather than later group. (fn. 118) Similar bowl found in Thames at Old England. (fn. 119)||L.M. A.13679|
|Shouldered bowl of fairly hard, thin ware, with concave neck and omphalos base. (fn. 120)||B.M. 1909.5.18.16|
|Fragmentary bowl of fairly fine ware, with small base and rounded sides and shoulder. Rim, largely missing, turns outwards and has slight internal bevel. Similar bowl from Thames at Strand-on-the-Green, but lacking internal bevel. (fn. 121)||L.M. Lay.P.31|
|Fragmentary bowl of fairly fine dark brown ware with simple rim, hollow neck, and rounded sides; carelessly executed grooved decoration between neck and shoulder, apparently of imperfectly-formed detached lozenges between horizontal lines. Grooves appear to be inlaid with whitish substance. Base missing. Shape and decoration recall those of pottery from Glastonbury and Meare (Som.) lake villages, (fn. 122) dated from c. 150 B.C. to Roman conquest. (fn. 123)||L.M. A.13681|
|Hollow-necked sherd of hard, smooth ware, with impressed zig-zag decoration. Possibly Belgic.||L.M. A.10557|
|Fragment of large jar of hard gritty ware, with applied band of cable ornament inset along rounded shoulder. Possibly derived from BA forms, (fn. 124) but technique is IA. (fn. 125)||L.M. A.13663|
|Fragment of handled, shouldered jar of fairly coarse ware. Upper arm of slender surviving handle pushed through wall of jar at shoulder level and lower arm appears to be attached to surface. Form of handle reminiscent of BA styles. (fn. 126)||L.M. A.13673|
|Fairly coarse, smooth-surfaced sherd, with slightly turned-out rim and row of small finger-tip impressions along shoulder.||L.M. A.13669|
|Fairly coarse sherd from large, sharply-shouldered jar with markedly concave neck. Finger-tip impressions on top of rim and round shoulder. (fn. 127)||L.M. A.16944|
|Fairly coarse sherd with smoothed surface, from large vessel with rounded shoulder bearing deep finger-tip impressions, deeply hollowed neck, and everted, flattened rim. (fn. 128)||L.M. A.17173|
|Two adjoining fragments of coarse ware from large, sharply-shouldered jar with sloping, flattened rim. Shoulder is irregularly worked and wall below it is lightly and roughly scored.||L.M. A.10555, A.17301|
|Sherd of fairly hard, rough, dark grey ware, with row of finger-tip impressions.||L.M. A.10562|
|Fragment of coarse ware, surface lightly and roughly impressed, horizontally and diagonally, apparently with finger-tips. From large vessel with rounded shoulders and finger-tip pie-crust impressions along top of rim.||L.M. A.951|
|Fragmentary pot of coarse ware with finger-tip impressions below rim and round slight shoulder.||B.M. 1910.10.7.3|
|Fragment of coarse, thick ware, with rough pattern of criss-cross lines lightly scored on smoothed surface. (fn. 129) Scored decoration, fairly common in E. Eng., (fn. 130) may have originated in Late BA, but continued late into IA. (fn. 131)||L.M. A.10216|
|Indeterminate coarse sherd. Probably IA.||L.M. A.13671|
|Sherd of hard, smooth ware, with dark grey surface. Curvature seems too slight for piece from normal pot. On less well finished, slightly concave side are remains of c. 8 circular to sub-triangular depressions.||L.M. A.10556|
|Two sherds with chevron decoration. Possibly IA.||B.M. 1909.5.18.20, 21.|
|Barn Elms, Surrey side, from ballast on foreshore; two-handled cup of fine black ware; 7th cent. B.C. Italic type, possibly an import. (fn. 132)||B.M.19126.96.36.199|
|THAMES (nr. London, possibly BATTERSEA) (fn. 133)|
|Two small black pots, reputedly found in Thames c. 40 yds. from bank and containing bones. (fn. 134) 188.8.131.52 is shouldered, possibly late version of situlate form; 184.108.40.206, burnished and showing coil construction, has slight footring and faint finger impressions near rim.||B.M. 220.127.116.11, 3|
|THAMES (BRENTFORD & CHISWICK)|
|Brentford: fragment of large pot of loose-textured, thick, gritted ware, blackened on inside. Possibly part of late Belgic cooking pot. (fn. 135)||L.M. A.10781|
|Fragment of hard, slightly gritty ware, from curving wall of vessel, with rough, possibly accidental scorings on exterior.||L.M. A.10910|
|Fragment of fairly hard, smooth ware, with notched rim and band of oblique incisions, below which pot wall turns inwards.||L.M. A.10911|
|Sherd of fairly coarse ware, with finger-nail impressions on rounded shoulder and on cordon round constricted neck and finger-tip pie-crust impressions on top of rim. (fn. 136)||L.M. A.10991|
|Brentford, Old England: eight fragments of Late BA-early IA pottery. More than 20 sherds found off Old England during excavations in 1928. (fn. 137)||L.M. A.10634, 28.103, 38.99|
|Very small bowl of fairly fine, coarse-gritted dark grey ware with apparent traces of burnishing; omphalos base, rounded sides, and hollow neck. (fn. 138)||L.M. Lay.P.24|
|Three fragments of fairly coarse, gritty IA pottery; one associated with hut foundations discovered 1955. (fn. 139)||L.M. 57.10/17, 19, 48|
|Chiswick, Strand-on-the-Green: bowl of fine-gritted, dark grey, burnished ware, with small flat base, rounded shoulder, and simple, slightly flaring rim. Resembles softened version of Marnian-type bowl from Thames at Wandsworth (fn. 140) and similar to bowl from Thames at Mortlake. (fn. 141)||L.M. Lay.P.34|
|Sherd of fairly hard, coarse ware, with band of finger-tip impressions just above turn of rounded shoulder, which forms an indentation where it joins almost upright neck. Simple, slightly flaring rim.||L.M. A.27165|
|Bowl of grass-tempered ware, with short upstanding neck and flat base. Date uncertain. Possibly debased Hallstatt form of 6th or 5th cent. B.C., but DarkAge date also suggested. (fn. 142)||L.M. C.701|
|Rim sherd similar to La Tène bowl from Thames at Mortlake, (fn. 143) but of inferior ware and lacking grooved decoration.||L.M. A.19133|
|Small bowl of fairly fine ware, with widely flaring rim, rounded body, and small omphalos in base, probably made with stick. Related to pottery from upper Thames sites, like Long Wittenham and Allen's Pit (Oxon.) (fn. 144) which appears to be derived from N. French or Belgian late Hallstatt-early La Tène pottery. (fn. 145) May be 4th cent. B.C. (fn. 146)||L.M. Lay.P.26|
|Small cup of hard, dark grey ware, with simple, flaring rim, hollow neck and very low, sharp carination. Presumably IA, (fn. 148) although some late Roman bronze bowls (fn. 149) and Saxon pots (fn. 150) have similar shapes.||L.M. A. 14687 (fn. 147)|
|Slender vase of hard burnished ware with solid base and bead rim. Belgic. (fn. 151)||Ashm. 1955.133|
|Small fragment of thick, fairly coarse ware, apparently from large vessel, with rough, grooved lattice pattern. Perhaps late Belgic. (fn. 152)||L.M. A.19875|
|Fairly coarse sherd, incised with horizontal line and rough chevron pattern. (fn. 153)||G.M. 397|
|Small bowl of thin, gritty ware, with rounded sides and slightly hollow neck.||L.M. Lay.P.22|
|Fairly fine, dark grey sherd, with sharp shoulder and finger-tip cabling on top of rim. (fn. 154)||L.M. A. 19134|
|Fairly coarse, smooth-surfaced sherd, with rounded shoulder, hollow neck, and band of finger-tip pie-crust impressions inside rim. (fn. 155)||L.M. A.28178|
|Small, fairly coarse sherd, with hollow neck and finger-tip impressions along rounded shoulder.||L.M. C.947|
|Small sherd of coarse ware, with weak shoulder, flattened turned-out rim, and deliberately-made hole in hollow neck.||L.M. C.945|
|Small fragment of large vessel of coarse ware, with row of triangular impressions round hollow neck. (fn. 156)||L.M. C.943|
|Part of base and wall of pot of coarse, fairly hard ware, surface irregularly marked, probably with fingers, and base projecting slightly from wall. Probably Late BA or early IA. (fn. 157)||L.M. A.20888|
|Almost straight-sided rim sherd of coarse, dark grey ware with smoothed surface. Slight horizontal ridge c. 9 cm. below rim recalls profile of cordoned bucket urn, (fn. 158) or Late BA pottery; (fn. 159) but potting technique seems to be IA.||L.M. A.19132|
|Fragment of soft, dark grey gritted ware with smoothed surface, apparently from bowl with rounded sides and slightly hollowed neck, with three rows of, probably, finger-nail incisions round neck and shoulder. Possibly IA. (fn. 160)||L.M. C.942|
|Off Biffen's Boathouse: fragment of large vessel of coarse soft ware with large shell grits. Simple rim, hollow neck, and band of oblique slashes on round shoulder. (fn. 161)||L.M. A.13662|
|Crab Tree: three sherds. Possibly IA or Roman.||B.M. 1906.7.2.7-9|
|Hammersmith Mall: squat, rough pot, found 1862. Partly smoothed surface, sides slightly convex.||L.M. Lay.P.6|
|Off Sawyer's: roughly-made, squat barrel-shaped pot, with slightly flattened rim. Found 1855. (fn. 162)||L.M. Lay.P.5|
|Site of pile dwelling: base of medium quality, shell-gritted ware. Round internal circumference, at junction with wall, incised apparently haphazard strokes, filled triangles, and ladder patterns, faintly reminiscent of designs on some Hallstatt pottery. (fn. 163)||L.M. A.23398|
|Site of piles: fragmentary pot. Omphalos base and rough grooved decoration. (fn. 164)||G.M. 10416|
|THAMES (HESTON & ISLEWORTH)|
|Syon Reach: coarse sherd with hollow neck and finger-tip impressions on top of flattened, turned-out rim and round shoulder.||L.M. A.11949|
|Syon Reach: small squat pot of rough ware, with rounded sides. Rim missing. Probably Late BA or early IA. (fn. 165)||L.M. A.27339/1|
|Small pot of rough dark grey ware, with smoothed surface; vague, somewhat circular grooving along rounded shoulder.||L.M. A.13105|
|Pot of fine, dark grey, burnished ware with high rounded shoulder and, apparently, erect rim, top of which is missing. Rough zig-zag pattern shallowly engraved round wall. (fn. 166)||L.M. 49.107/938|
|Hampton Court, nr. Karno's Island: small, barrel-shaped pot of dark grey, burnished ware, with four small perforated lugs. Form reminiscent of BA pottery, but pot is of IA. (fn. 168)||L.M. A.26497 (fn. 167)|
|Karno's Island, among piles: roughly-made, squat, shouldered pot. Probably IA or, perhaps more likely, Saxon. (fn. 169)||L.M. A.26335|
|Fragmentary carinated bowl of fine, dark grey ware, burnished inside and out, with inward-sloping neck and groove below rim and round shoulder. Base missing. Probably derived from Marnian La Tene pottery. (fn. 170) Possibly used as cover for pots similar to La Tene bowl from Thames at Mortlake. (fn. 171)||L.M. A.10212|
|Shouldered bowl, similar to La Tene bowl from Thames at Mortlake, (fn. 172) but apparently of inferior quality. (fn. 173)||B.M. 1818.104.22.168|
|Nr. Putney Bridge: rough pot, with splayed base and band of finger-tip impressions along rounded shoulder. (fn. 174) Exterior surface has slight vertical streaks, apparently similar to some Late BA pottery. (fn. 175)||L.M. Lay.P.1|
The Thames, especially between Waterloo Bridge and Richmond, has yielded an exceptional quantity of objects of Celtic art. (fn. 176) Suggested explanations for these finds of shields, helmets, swords, daggers, horse-equipment, and items of personal adornment include sacrificial deposit and loss in mishaps of crossing or skirmish. A further, although little favoured, view is that many of the numerous finds were manufactured locally. The majority of these finds, however, are probably relics of mishaps during passage rather than evidence of settlement, although this is not to deny that there was settlement in the area. (fn. 177)
A bronze 'horn-cap', (fn. 178) part of the handhold of a chariot, which was found near the Thames at Brentford, is generally regarded as an import of the 'Waldalgesheim' style of the 3rd century B.C. or earlier. Although not the earliest of the Middlesex art objects, it is certainly one of the most striking. Among earlier and possibly foreign items are daggers with decorated bronze sheaths of which eleven (fn. 179) have been found in the Thames between Chelsea and Isleworth. Many of them have chapes with rings at the end. Continental analogies have been used in giving them a range from the beginning of the 6th century B.C. to the late 4th century or the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. (fn. 180) They include both 'Hallstatt-D' and 'La Tene I' types, and it has been suggested that they may represent a local development rather than imports. (fn. 181) Since it is still uncertain whether they represent trade goods or local manufacture, the horn-cap and sheaths can tell us little of local daily life. A group of brooches from various points along the Thames also casts little light on local life. Some of the brooches are continental types which came by trade or on the clothes of immigrants, but others are local adaptations.
Another, more spectacular, object is an iron sword with antenna-pommel which may date from the 6th century and was found in the Thames at London. (fn. 182) A bronze cauldron, also from the Thames, has been assigned to the 6th-5th century B.C. (fn. 183) The daggers, cauldron, and other such objects are clearly luxury articles.
The 'Marnian' invaders who entered Britain about 400 B.C. are conspicuous in the archaeological records of East Yorkshire. An ugly pin from the Thames at Hammersmith (fn. 184) has been adduced as evidence of their influence in other parts of the country. The pin, however, may well be later and non-Marnian. Two fine 'Marnian' horse-bits came from the Thames at Windsor and the City, and also from the river at Hammersmith came a brooch with a red stud near the catch-plate end which may be of the same period. (fn. 185) The brooch is certainly of continental tradition and of early La Tene date, but again it is uncertain whether these are local products. The earliest evidence of local craftsmanship (apart from the daggers above), indeed for a 'native school' in Britain, perhaps in the mid-3rd century B.C., may possibly be found in the art recovered from a few places which include the Thames and Witham (Lincs.). The two shield bosses (fn. 186) from the Thames between Hammersmith and Wandsworth and the well-known Battersea shield are the main evidence for this phase, although there may be a century between the Wandsworth items (c. 250 B.C.) and the later Battersea shield. The following century saw the making of a helmet with great horns found in the Thames near Waterloo Bridge. (fn. 187) Fox suggested that this was from the same atelier as one of the late Wandsworth shield bosses. If his dating of 25 B.C. is correct, the helmet reflects life during that restless period of independence between the invasions of Caesar and Claudius.
Most of the items so far mentioned are military, and few non-martial chattels, such as the fire-irons from Welwyn (Herts.), have been found in Middlesex. A small bronze big-eared boar from Hounslow (fn. 188) was possibly used as a fitting for some piece of fighting equipment.
Celtic thirst has often been alluded to, and the tankard found at Kew is one of many such objects found in Britain. (fn. 189) The tankard's great capacity renders it an awkward vessel and one cannot know today what liquid it held. This object can be assigned to about the end of the 1st century B.C.
The use of horses or ponies may be inferred from the ornamental bridle bits found in and near the London area. (fn. 190) These bits, which seem very awkward to a modern rider, may provide some evidence of the size of animals at this period. Some are of iron and probably of late date, while others, of bronze, may date from 'Marnian' times.
Although the broad pattern of entry and movement of the Belgae and other tribes is known, it is difficult to connect objects with particular migrations or incidents. A further difficulty in Middlesex is that no find in the county is from a settlement or associated with pottery. An example once thought to be of Belgic origin is a handsome sword scabbard (fn. 191) from the Thames between Chelsea and Battersea. This, however, could at best be described as derived from La Tène III prototypes.
A handled cup of Italian type of the 7th century B.C. was found on the riverbank at Barnes (Surr.). (fn. 192)
Many examples of Celtic coinage have been found in Middlesex and London. These have been conveniently listed. (fn. 193) Some were found in or near the Thames, always an area of settlement and movement, but their distribution appears to be of little significance and they give no sure evidence of trade and other activities in the area.
The earliest coins, the gold staters and quarter staters traditionally but wrongly ascribed to the Bellovaci of Gaul, (fn. 194) were certainly originally struck in north-east Gaul but are found fairly frequently in Britain, usually in a very worn condition. One was found at Golders Green. It has been tentatively suggested (fn. 195) that these coins first began to appear in the late 2nd century B.C., and that most of them were introduced by immigrants rather than as a result of trade.
Of greater local interest is a coin group with defaced obverse dies, (fn. 196) only a little later than or perhaps roughly contemporary with the north-east Gaul group. These coins are found 'in a wedge spreading across Greater London from north-east to southwest, both north and south of the Thames'. It is not certain whether they arrived by trade or by invasion, but it has been suggested (fn. 197) that they are the result of an exodus from Gaul.
Harlington and Sunbury have each produced a gold stater with the so-called 'Remic' three-strand tailed horses device. A quarter stater of this kind was found at St. John's Wood. Such coins may be synchronous with the movements of the chief Commius who was a contemporary of Caesar. (fn. 198)
From Sunbury, Brentford, Chiswick, and Acton have come at least 650 examples of 'native tin money' of 'speculum', a mixture of cast tin and bronze. It is not known whether the coins found in hoards in the Thames area were deposited in times of danger or whether they are hoards of passage. (fn. 199) The coins have a 1st-century-B.C. origin, but in Kent they have been found in Roman contexts of the 1st century A.D.
Although Middlesex lay between the territories of the Belgic Catuvellauni (fn. 200) and their enemies the Trinobantes of Essex, their coinage is found only sporadically in the county. A coin of Tasciovanus, a ruler of the Catuvellauni (c. 20 B.C.-A.D. 10), was found at Poplar, while in Chiswick was found a coin of Addedomaros, a ruler of the Trinobantes (c. 15-1 B.C.). In Brentford was also found a coin of the son of Tasciovanus, Cunobelinus, (fn. 201) who appears to have ruled both tribes. If Brentford is regarded as a centre or post, the presence of these coins in the area is easily explained.
J. G. Milne lists finds of eight Carthaginian and pre-Roman bronze coins from London and Middlesex: (fn. 202) Ashford and Ealing (Carthage); London and Westminster (Ptolemaic); Edmonton (Seleucid (2), Rhegium, Bithynia). The grouping is not so significant as for similar and more plentiful finds from Dorset, and Milne suggests that some of the finds represent parts of imported bronze scrap. In any case coin finds from near a large city are always suspect since they may be lost collectors' items.