The Museum Building

Market Lavington is very lucky to have a museum which is 100% dedicated to the parish. Our parish is complex but at times past or present it has included Easterton, Fiddington, Gore and other places which are now in West Lavington. The little museum building is dedicated to all of these areas.

The museum is a two up and two down cottage, with a lean-to extension, making five rooms in all. It was built in the 1840s as a home for the schoolmaster at the new school which was built at the same time. However, for most of its life, the building was occupied by gardeners. We have photos showing what is now our courtyard as an immaculate garden.

In truth, it can not have been a very convenient house. It had water, from a well, but this was very close to the church grave yard. It had no drainage and at a time when other cottages were getting electricity, it had none. The last occupants left in the 1950s but with a growing school population, the building found use as an office and for practical classrooms and the old garden was covered to make a bit more playground for the youngsters.

In the 1970s a new, purpose built school was opened (on Drove Lane) and the old school became vacant along with the cottage. The Old School soon found use as community rooms. The best that can be said for our cottage was that it was resting. It steadily became rundown – even derelict until a dedicated team of museum hopefuls brought it back to life to open those twenty five years ago.

This picture of the museum is a watercolour by a village artist and was painted in 2007. It catches the charm of the building beautifully. Needless to say it hangs in Market Lavington Museum.

2007 water colour of Market Lavington Museum

Since 2007, the building has been re-slated and it was reluctantly decided that the tall chimney needed to be removed so the museum now looks like the picture in the header to this blog.

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