Devizes Rural District Council – 1967

Guide to Devizes Rural District in 1967

Guide to Devizes Rural District in 1967

That’s a lovely front cover with a cornucopia implying wealth and prosperity.

This little booklet has recently been given to the museum. Apart from our own parishes of Market Lavington and Easterton, it covers all of those parishes which surrounded Devizes and were a part of the rural district. Of course, here we concentrate on our two parishes and this is the brief description given of the parishes. Distance and direction from Devizes are given

EASTERTON (7 miles S.) rises towards the Plain and includes extensive downland and woods. The church of St. Barnabas was built in 1866. There is a handsome old manor house at Eastcott, an interesting Manor House in Easterton village and Willoughbys, a historical gem in White Street. A new brick village hall has been erected by voluntary contribution. Local industry includes a jam factory.

In a remote part on the boundary of this parish lies Wroughton’s Folly, the site of a vanished 18th century house belonging to the Wroughton family and called Maggot Castle.

MARKET LAVINGTON (6 miles S.). From medieval times until the mid-nineteenth century a weekly market was held in Market Lavington, chiefly for the sale of sheep and corn. This large village is attractively situated amidst sheltering trees below the Plain. The church, dedicated to St. Mary of The Assumption, is of 14th century dating, with a Perpendicular tower and clerestory to the nave. Fragments of Norman masonry survive from an earlier building. The Chantry chapel founded by Peter de la Mere in 1343 is dedicated to St. Katherine and St. Margaret and has a spiral stairway to the former rood loft.

The Victorian Manor House is now occupied as a dormitory for boys at Dauntsey’s School in the neighbouring Parish at West Lavington.

The legend of the drummer boy, related by R. H. Barham in Ingoldsby Legends, whose accusing ghost appeared to his murderer and caused him to confess, is set on the old road across the Plain from Market Lavington to Salisbury and is marked by the signpost known as The Drummer Boy’s Post.

A photo of Market Lavington is in the book. It shows what was then still quite a new secondary school.

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Lavington School features in the booklet

We can see the photo was by Market Lavington’s resident photographer, Peter Francis. In fact he took most of the photos used whatever parish they came from.

Advertisers will have helped defray the cost of the book. Amongst advertisers was Peter Francis.

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Other local advertisers were:

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Systems and Components had taken over the old brickworks buildings.

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This pub, known affectionately as ‘The Volley’ was on the corner of Church Street and Parsonage Lane. The building is now a private house.

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The McBeths had the shop in Easterton which was opposite the junction with Kings Road. and the garage which sold Regent petrol was a little further along Easterton High Street towards Market Lavington. It was run by Mr Faulkner.

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The book makes a lovely addition to our collection. It offers a snapshot of life in the area almost fifty years ago.

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4 Responses to “Devizes Rural District Council – 1967”

  1. Jim Says:

    McBeths ran the stores where H K Motors now is opposite the turning to Kings Road and Delancy ran the post office opposite the Royal Oak PH. Mac’s stores acted as a ‘tuck shop’ to the jam factory workers. Mac was quite a character with his white beard, pleasant smile and scottish accent.

  2. marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

    Thanks Jim. Text altered!

  3. James Perry Says:

    It was amazing to find that the new school had three classrooms on each of the upper floors and those in the middle classroom had to pass through one of the rooms on either side to gain access to it. A peculiar design error, which presumably saved the additional cost of a corridor. My mother Mrs.Sybil Perry, who taught there when it opened, was not amused by this as she could end up waiting for classes on either side to finish before she could leave.

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Great comments, James. Thanks so much.

      I had wondered about the goods yard and absence of rails. It presumably dates the picture to between 1967 and 76.

      We owe a huge debt to your mother. She has left so many memories for the museum.

      Rog

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