A Market Lavington Photographer at Stonehenge

We’ve said before, on these pages, that Market Lavington was lucky to have a resident photographer from the 1880s and onwards. This was, Mr Alf Burgess, and later his sons took over the business. After World War 2, Peter Francis took over and when he retired, Richard Hale, the present incumbent arrived.

But today we feature an Alf Burgess photo – a delightful shot of a group of people at Stonehenge. These famous stones are not in the parish of Market Lavington. They are about 12 miles away, across Salisbury Plain and they were just the place for a lengthy day trip out by horse and carriage. We have already featured some local folk having a picnic at the stones – click here to go to that page.

This shot is more formal in style than the previous (and older) photo.

Stonehenge by Alf Burgess - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

That’s the photo in a rather careworn cardboard mount – but that mount carries the photographer’s name.

Burgess Photographer - it would have said Market Lavington ut that bit of the mount is missing.

Lets look more closely at the photo.

The stones and visitors

This photo was taken before quite extensive rebuilding of the stones was carried out. A modern photo (thanks to the wikipedia site) shows a similar view in 2008.

Stonehenge as rebuilt - taken in 2008. Thanks to Wikipedia.

But let’s return to our picture and zoom in on the people. We do not know who these visitors to the stones were. They may have been chance people, but more likely Alf had commandeered some willing folks to be a part of his planned photo.

It would be grand if anyone recognised these fine visitors, relaxing at Stonehenge in the 1890s.

And who, we wonder, brought the carriage, which is nestled up against a stone?

A carriage at Stonehenge

What a lovely item.

Just for interest, the journey from Lavington to Stonehenge would not have been on the present main A360 road. Before Salisbury Plain became a military training area, the route would have been straight up White Street and on to Lavington Hill. The route continued straight ahead passing the remote farms at Philpot’s and Candown before arriving at the Drummer Boy Post where the route – the main road from Devizes via Redhorn Hill merged in. The way continued to the Bustard Inn (and how welcome that must have been) before arriving at what we now call Airman’s Cross where you’d take the left turn towards Stonehenge.

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