News and Reports from Lithics Group

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Flints from Holmbury Hill

Dr Alan Massey, now an Honorary Fellow of Loughborough University, lived for many years in Surrey and collected a large number of unpatinated struck and worked flints from the edge of Holmbury Hill Car Park 1 (TQ 098 432).

A selection from this collection was recently given to David Williams, Surrey Finds Liaison Officer, for analysis. This has now been completed. From an assemblage of just over 400 flints there were 28 identifiable items which included 20 scrapers and a few blade flakes. There were 380 pieces of flint waste.

Bliaux Lithics Collection

Some members of the Prehistoric Group have recently catalogued a small collection of lithics deposited at the Lightbox, Woking. These items were collected by Mr Arthur Raymond Bliaux, who had been headmaster of Horsell Primary School from before WW2 until about 1946.

St Martha's Hill near Guildford TQ 035485

The Lithics section of the Prehistoric Group has recently reviewed a collection of flints made by Anne Bowey from this location. Mrs Bowey learnt to recognise worked flints during her participation at the dig of Weston Wood which was directed by Joan Harding.  This collection was checked by one of Mrs Bowey’s old pupils at Woking Girl’s Grammar School, the archaeologist and historian Joy Verrinder of Carisbrooke Castle Museum, IoW.

The flints were collected from St. Martha’s East side which is an area well known to have been rich in finds from many periods. The SSHER contains a number of references to Mesolithic , Neolithic and Bronze Age flints as well as Iron Age and Medieval remains.

Lasham Collection

During 2010 the Lithics section of the Prehistoric Group reassessed a collection of stone tools which had been amassed by Frank Lasham during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and deposited in GuildfordMuseum at the end of his life. Frank Lasham was born in Essex in 1850, but lived in Guildford from the age of 16 until his death in 1925. He was a successful businessman, owning a book suppliers shop in the High Street, and supported many local worthy causes.

Mangles Collection

The lithics section of the Prehistoric Group has recently reassessed the Mangles Collection held by GuildfordMuseum. This collection has now been itemised on a spreadsheet held by the group and used by the museum in the formation of a database. There are over 100 implements, a third of which are unprovenanced, and the rest of the collection is largely from sites in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, with a number of scrapers, axe fragments, blades and hammerstones; mostly attributable to the broad dating range of the Neolithic. Amongst the collection from Sussex is a number of implements from Cissbury including a probable Early Neolithic handaxe which looks like a Palaeolithic ficron, and induced much discussion.

Frere Lithics Collection

Over the last few months members of the Lithics working group (composed from members of the Prehistoric Group) have been cataloguing a collection of lithics from Sanderstead, which was amassed by Mrs NG (Agnes Barbara) Frere during and just after the Second World War. They were deposited in GuildfordMuseum in 1965.

Hooper Collection

During 2010 the lithics section of the Prehistoric Group continued to reassess lithics collections held by GuildfordMuseum. One of the more interesting collections was that of Dr Wilfrid Hooper, LL D, FSA (1882-1950). There were 86 bags and boxes which included examples of lithic forms from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age collected largely from parishes between Dorking and Redhill. These items represent only a portion of a collection amassed by an enthusiastic prehistorian and member of Surrey Archaeological Society. Other parts of his collection are held in the Museum of the Holmesdale Natural History Club and in private hands.

Grinling-Collins Collection

The Lithics section of the Prehistoric Group recently reassessed the Grinling-Collins collection of lithic tools held in GuildfordMuseum. Little is known about Charles Grinling (1860-1947) (below) who moved to ‘Merriedown’, Peaslake at the end of WWI, except that he is said to have excavated at Holmbury Hill (pers. Comm.: K Winser), although there does not appear to be any record of this activity. In due course he met and encouraged Patrick Collins in his interest in lithics. Collins (c1921-1991) lived at Weyside, Wonham Way, Peaslake, and joined the Surrey Archaeological Society in 1935, eventually becoming a well known and respected archaeologist in Northern Ireland. He moved from ReadingMuseum to join the newly established Archaeological Survey of Northern Ireland in 1950, and lectured at Queen’s University Belfast. Collins was primarily responsible for prehistoric sites and carried out a number of pioneering excavations on megaliths. He was interested in ancient technology and an international authority on the production methods of flint tools. His memory was honoured in 2003 when the public archive facility, Waterman House, in Belfast was opened with the naming of the research room as ‘The Pat Collins Reading Room’.

Turner Collection

This is a small collection donated by C.Bateman and said to be from the Dorking area.