Beech House

Beech House is an interesting building, standing on White Street in Market Lavington, nearly opposite Broadwell. We have seen a rear view photo of it In the Garden at Beech House. The photograph in the Millennium folders shows the front of the house with its then occupants, Jonathan and Cherrie Gye. It had been in the Welch and Gye families during the 20th century and for parts of the 19th too.

The Wiltshire News article on Market Lavington from 24.7.1959 reported that ‘An odd feature is that you have to go upstairs and through a French window to the lawn, for the house is built into the side of a hill and, at the back, a tunnel runs the length of it to prevent damage by damp.’

Behind the owners in our photo and partly obscured by a gatepost, it is just possible to make out a window apparently in the chimney. In fact, there is only a fireplace in a room in the storey above and the ‘stack’ below is not really a chimney at all.

The newspaper article continued with ‘Another unusual feature is that the floors of the upper rooms cut across the windows, which rather suggests that at one time this was some kind of building – perhaps a public one such as a chapel – to which inside upper floors were added later. The lattice windows of the upper floors also suggest a chapel.’

It is a grade two listed property and so there are details about it in the Historic Buildings Report of 1972, which are quoted in the local history book, Village under the Plain (obtainable from the museum or village Post Office).

This states that it is a 17th century building, with alterations made in 1725 and later. It has no suggestion of use as a chapel but does say that the first floor was raised in the early 19th century and the ground floor to right bay was lowered over the cellar. Maybe these alterations affected the alignment of floors and windows. The theory in the book is that it must have been a farmhouse originally.

One Response to “Beech House”

  1. James Perry Says:

    I was told that some people have seen an old oil lamp alight in the upstairs arched window when nobody was at home. I am sure there are other “ghost” stories associated with this old house.

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