Broadwell

Broadwell, which locals definitely pronounce as two words – Broad Well, was the main water supply for Market Lavington from time immemorial until the 1930s when mains water came to the village. But Broadwell water was still favoured by some and Ken Mundy, the village cobbler, still walked down to Broadwell with two buckets on a yoke until well into the 1950s.

As well as being the main source for drinking water, Broadwell was a social vortex. Day in and day out there was the continual clatter of buckets and the chatter of people as they gathered life’s vital liquid.

Village life went on around the Broadwell in other ways. The Merritt family had a smithy by Broadwell and also a milking parlour for a small herd of Jersey cows which they kept.

And of course children loved to play in the water and they still do, into the 21st century.

The picture shown here is of Broadwell being cleared of snow in 1891. Most villagers would have been making a daily journey to this natural spring then and keeping things safe was important.

Broadwell in 1891 with snow clearance under way

By the magic of recording, you’ll be able to discover more about Broadwell at our ‘Museum Miscellany’ at 7.30pm on Saturday 18th September at Market Lavington Community Hall where the person telling us about the location will be our former curator, Peggy Gye. Peggy spent much of her life living very close to Broadwell from a time before mains water came to the village. She knew it well. We are lucky that amongst our audio recordings at Market Lavington Museum we have several of Peggy talking about different aspects of village life.

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