A map from 1923

At Market Lavington Museum, we have a good number of maps. Unfortunately, lack of space in the building housing the museum means that they are mostly tucked away in the drawer of the map chest upstairs. Of course, visitors are welcome to request to see them and we like to feature them on our blog from time to time.

We have recently accessioned a map from 99 years ago into our collection. It was printed for military purposes, but shows our villages as they were then as well as the training area up on Salisbury Plain.

Presumably the officers were being asked to focus on the area of the plain above Urchfont in their exam, with a battalion from Durham and one from Middlesex in marked areas including the scarp slopes of Salisbury Plain.

We see our local railway line named as the Stert and Westbury branch of the Great Western Railway.

At a museum conserving the history of Market Lavington and Easterton, this section is of particular interest to us.

It reminds us that the villages were rather more linear then, before the various more recent housing estates were built. Some things don’t change and we can see the stream from Broadwell and the Northbrook marked in blue.

Easterton still has its public house, The Royal Oak, but the school has been demolished, replaced by a newer building serving both Market Lavington and Easterton. The chapel is now a home and there is no longer a smithy in the village.

The Fiddington area to the east of Market Lavington (and formerly an exclave of West Lavington) now has a large housing estate where there had previously been the lunatic asylum, with its house set in extensive grounds. The chapel at nearby Townsend is now a private home, but its congregation still exists, worshipping in the Community Hall.

Grove Farm has been demolished and its fields are now the Grove Farm estate. The locations of Beech Wood and Lady Wood are remembered in street names, although some of the Beech Wood still remains near the homes built as Canada Rise.

The Manor House is now a boarding house for Dauntsey’s School, in neighbouring West Lavington. We have seen the exercising ring for horses marked on other maps at the museum and would be delighted if someone could provide us with a photograph of this.

We have never had mains gas locally, so are intrigued by the gasometer. Was this in any way connected with the acetylene gas produced at The Lighthouse on Church Street in Market Lavington? Do please add a comment to this blog entry if you can enlighten us on this or any on other issues that this old map might prompt.

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