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.

The lithics collection has been sorted into sites by Mrs Frere and site 5 was the most prolific but is unfortunately unidentified[1], though some other sites are named such as the allotments of OnslowGardensand

Selsdon Court

A large number of tools have been catalogued including axe fragments, arrowheads, cores, scrapers and blades. As usual, the itemised list is available through the Prehistoric Group and is also held by GuildfordMuseum.

One of the site boxes held a letter from William Rankine to Sheppard Frere written in January 1945 discussing a number of flints which he had studied and another box contained a drawing of a flint tool which also appears to be in Rankine’s hand. In view of the historic interest of these items they have now been archived separately in GuildfordMuseum.

It should be noted that Mrs Agnes Barbara Frere was the mother of Professor Sheppard Frere who is an Honorary Vice President of Surrey Archaeological Society and was an active member while living in Surrey. His career has been notable from digging at Little Woodbury in 1938 with Bersu to excavating Verulamium, as well as teaching at UCL before moving on to Oxford in 1965. He has informed us that his mother was a keen lithics collector who searched the grounds near SandersteadChurch and beyond, recording her find spots on a map which was also deposited at GuildfordMuseum.

WF Rankine was an eminent member of Surrey Archaeological Society who was a leading figure in the field of Mesolithic studies in particular. He excavated the interesting Mesolithic site at the Farnham sewage works during the 1930s and discovered the Badshot long barrow which he then excavated with Keiller and Piggott. A resume of his life and work can be found in his obituary in volume 61 of the Collections.

This work would not have been possible without the contributions of our current members: Roger Ellaby, Judie English, Robin Tanner, Chris Taylor, Ken Waters and Keith Winser. Although space is limited we welcome enquiries from anyone who might wish to participate as the opportunity arises.

Rose Hooker & Jen Newell sends e-mail) sends e-mail)