The Kings Arms


Until a few years ago Market Lavington had three pubs. The Kings Arms on High Street, opposite the newsagents closed some five years ago and the area is now used as a number of houses, some in the pub itself and others in what was the pub yard.

Today we are looking at a photo which dates from a time when the village had at least five pubs – the early years of the twentieth century. It shows the Kings Arms pub along High Street.

The Kings Arms, Market Lavington - an early 20th century photo

The Kings Arms, Market Lavington – an early 20th century photo

The most obvious part of the picture is the pub sign.

The landlord was Fred Simpson

The landlord was Fred Simpson

That’s handsomely written in raised writing and it carries the name of Fred Simpson. We assume he was the landlord but sadly the name crops up nowhere else in our annals. We have no other record of the man at the museum and he doesn’t appear on censuses.

So, the inevitable question – is there anyone out there who can tell us more about Fred Simpson?

Next to the former pub is the cottage many of us refer to as Kyte’s Cottage – and even that is having a new dwelling built in the back garden at the moment. In this photo it has a sign on it which we can just make out.


Mr Whitchurch’s name was on the shop next to the Kings Arms

Part of the name is hard to read, but we know that the man who had this shop was Mr Whitchurch but he was a druggist. However, in 1911 his married daughter was a newsagent and confectioner and his widow still lived in the house. Mr Whitchurch had died in 1906.

We think the photo dates from before 1911 but again, we’d appreciate any further ideas from our readers.

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2 Responses to “The Kings Arms”

  1. Cassy Taylor Says:

    Might “Fred Simpson” be the brewer rather than the landlord?

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      That is possible although at that time it might well have been one and the same person.
      Pub landlords always seem to have either stayed put for generations or they have been frequent movers. That doesn’t surprise me. I reckon it must be a lousy job – 24/7 and always cheerful!

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