The gasworks explained

In our recent blog entry, A map from 1923, we posed a question about the gasworks, which were marked on the map on the western edge of Market Lavington, near Russell Mill. (Russell Mill, Russell Mill and Russell Mill.) This area has now passed from Market Lavington into West Lavington, but our museum preserves the history from anywhere that was ever in the Market Lavington parish.

We wondered if gas from the Lavington Gas Works had ever been transported from the acetylene gas works on Church Street all the way over to the vicinity of Russell Mill. We had no responses to our query but, perchance, have found the answer in one of our museum treasures.

In the late 1960s, before computers were commonplace household items, Market Lavington and Easterton Women’s Institute did a major piece of work recording the history of the village. We have a typewritten copy of their book.

On reading through this recently, we came across this paragraph.

So, there is the answer. The Manor House was lit by gas from the 1860s and produced its own gas supply.

Near to the gasometer on the map, we see the horses exercising ring. Notes taken by our curator whilst visiting museum founder Peggy Gye’s 1st Village Festival history display in St Mary’s Church in September 1993, give us an insight into this map feature too. When the Bouveries moved into their newly built Market Lavington Manor in the mid 1860s, they brought sixty horses with them.

We would be delighted if anyone could donate to the museum copies of pictures of either the gas works and gasometer or the horse exercising ring.

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