Ivy Lodge

Ivy Lodge is a fascinating house at the Easterton end of High Street, more or less opposite the old Congregational Church. It is a listed building and the listing citation reads:

House. Late C17 and 1832. Greensand rubble with brick side elevations, slate roof. Two storeys, reducing to single storey and basement on right. Three bays. Central stair hall plan with kitchen to right, parlour to left, and rear wing on left converted to drawing room and second entrance in early C19. Re-entrant angle infilled with dairy, now general purpose room. Central half-glazed door within wide arched porch. Twenty-paned sashes, the upper floor having brick patching from an earlier scheme of fenestration.

Right front added early C19, windows etcetera said to come from Erlestoke Manor, re-erected here approximately half metre in front of original end. This has central door within metal lattice porch, and flanking large 12-paned sashes and arched brick lintels. Roof hipped. Interior remodelled 1832 (new dwelling extension referred to in deeds). Left room of earlier work has angle stack and binder with stop and scoop chamfer stops. Main chamber above has similar beam with double leaf shaped stops, bar and pellets. Stair split to upper and lower levels, with high early C19 drawing room with cornice. Front has butt and threaded purlin roof.

That’s not the easiest reading so let’s see the building in a postcard recently acquired by the museum.

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Ivy Lodge, Market Lavington on a postcard sent in 1908

The fascinating feature of the house is that the designer had a real desire for symmetry from the outside, made hard by the sloping conditions. To overcome this, the window to the left of the porched entrance is actually on two floors. The top half of the window is at the bottom of an upstairs room whilst the bottom of the window casts light into a downstairs room.

The house is still there and still looks much the same.

The card was posted in 1908 by a visitor who was staying at the house. The house was occupied then by Dr Lush.

Back of the card, sent to Mrs H B Strofton

Back of the card, sent to Mrs H B Strofton

The recipient was Mrs H B Strofton, a lady who was born in New York but who was British by parentage. Her husband Herbert Bernard Strofton was a commercial traveller working in Drapery.

The card as is often the case, is little more than the equivalent of a modern text message, but May, who sent it, comments on the ‘sweet little house’ and the ‘nice garden’.

A great addition to the museum’s collection.

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