Posts Tagged ‘book’

Devizes Rural District Council – 1967

January 21, 2014
Guide to Devizes Rural District in 1967

Guide to Devizes Rural District in 1967

That’s a lovely front cover with a cornucopia implying wealth and prosperity.

This little booklet has recently been given to the museum. Apart from our own parishes of Market Lavington and Easterton, it covers all of those parishes which surrounded Devizes and were a part of the rural district. Of course, here we concentrate on our two parishes and this is the brief description given of the parishes. Distance and direction from Devizes are given

EASTERTON (7 miles S.) rises towards the Plain and includes extensive downland and woods. The church of St. Barnabas was built in 1866. There is a handsome old manor house at Eastcott, an interesting Manor House in Easterton village and Willoughbys, a historical gem in White Street. A new brick village hall has been erected by voluntary contribution. Local industry includes a jam factory.

In a remote part on the boundary of this parish lies Wroughton’s Folly, the site of a vanished 18th century house belonging to the Wroughton family and called Maggot Castle.

MARKET LAVINGTON (6 miles S.). From medieval times until the mid-nineteenth century a weekly market was held in Market Lavington, chiefly for the sale of sheep and corn. This large village is attractively situated amidst sheltering trees below the Plain. The church, dedicated to St. Mary of The Assumption, is of 14th century dating, with a Perpendicular tower and clerestory to the nave. Fragments of Norman masonry survive from an earlier building. The Chantry chapel founded by Peter de la Mere in 1343 is dedicated to St. Katherine and St. Margaret and has a spiral stairway to the former rood loft.

The Victorian Manor House is now occupied as a dormitory for boys at Dauntsey’s School in the neighbouring Parish at West Lavington.

The legend of the drummer boy, related by R. H. Barham in Ingoldsby Legends, whose accusing ghost appeared to his murderer and caused him to confess, is set on the old road across the Plain from Market Lavington to Salisbury and is marked by the signpost known as The Drummer Boy’s Post.

A photo of Market Lavington is in the book. It shows what was then still quite a new secondary school.


Lavington School features in the booklet

We can see the photo was by Market Lavington’s resident photographer, Peter Francis. In fact he took most of the photos used whatever parish they came from.

Advertisers will have helped defray the cost of the book. Amongst advertisers was Peter Francis.


Other local advertisers were:


Systems and Components had taken over the old brickworks buildings.


This pub, known affectionately as ‘The Volley’ was on the corner of Church Street and Parsonage Lane. The building is now a private house.


The McBeths had the shop in Easterton which was opposite the junction with Kings Road. and the garage which sold Regent petrol was a little further along Easterton High Street towards Market Lavington. It was run by Mr Faulkner.


The book makes a lovely addition to our collection. It offers a snapshot of life in the area almost fifty years ago.

A table for everything

November 11, 2013

Back in 1908 a little girl called Flo Burbidge was born in our museum building. Flo lived in the village all her life, marrying Bert Shore who came, originally, from West Lavington. The Shores were not blessed with a family and perhaps that is why we have quite a lot of items which came from their house. It is, of course, appropriate that Flo’s items are back in her childhood home. Amongst the items is a little book of tables.

Wightman's Arithmetical Tables can be found at Market Lavington Museum

Wightman’s Arithmetical Tables can be found at Market Lavington Museum

The back cover has adverts for other Wightman products.


Adverts for other Wightman products

The little book has many ordinary tables – like multiplication, number bonds and tables of British money and weights and measures. There is also a table of the Kings and Queens of England which gives us a publication era. The little book is Victorian in origin.


The Kings and Queens of England give this book a Victorian date

We must confess to having picked out some of the more bizarre tables for display here and some of the tables suggest that although Queen Victoria was on the throne when the book was published, the contents had not been updated for some time.

Foreign coinage values in British money

Foreign coinage values in British money

We believe the French coin, the Ecu, went out of use in the 1790s although the name was in common usage for a 5 Franc coin. It is delightful to know that the Spanish Quartil was worth precisely forty three one hundred and thirty sixths of a British penny.


Table of hay and straw measures. This might well have been useful knowledge in Market Lavington and Easterton

Hay and straw measures would have been important in Victorian rural Wiltshire.

But Jewish weights and measures may not have been so vital.


Jewish weights measures and money

Interesting that ‘A Sabbath-day’s journey was just two miles. That would have denied the right for some of our parish’s outlying residents to go to church.

Finally, the length of a mile. Did you think this was always the same? It seems not. A Hungarian mile is 8 times as far as a Russian mile. It would also appear that Scotland had a different length mile. Now how confusing could that be?

The different lengths of a mile in different countries

The different lengths of a mile in different countries

What a wonderful little book which was issued, revised and reissued for many, many years

Pages from a school note book.

October 14, 2013


It would be good to know more about these pages. They date from about 1885 and do come from Market Lavington School.

First we have a composition. It’s an interesting little tale about spreading cleanliness and no doubt ragged boys and filth and squalor rang true with many of the youngsters.

Composition in a Market Lavington School note book dating from around 1885

Composition in a Market Lavington School note book dating from around 1885

It is fictitious, for there was no Tom Rogers in Market Lavington.

Geography - learning about Scotland

Geography – learning about Scotland

Another page shows a map of Scotland, probably a totally alien area to the young cartographer who produced it.

Sums were hard back in 1885

Sums were hard back in 1885

Some arithmetic – adding vast sums of money in pounds shillings and pence. Sums of money of that size were probably as alien to the pupil as was the map of Scotland.

It’s a very small sample, but we gain some idea of what went on in school about 130 years ago

Harry Greening Poems

August 9, 2013

We have met Harry before on this blog – he was the cricket and gardening loving headmaster of Lavington School. Harry the poet we are less familiar with but in 1997 Harry privately published a couple of his poems. One imagines it was done as a gift for family and friends.

Two poems written by Harry Greening, Headmaster of Lavington School

Two poems written by Harry Greening, Headmaster of Lavington School

Only 25 copies were printed, one of which has been given to Market Lavington Museum.


And now the poems.



How good to have a different memory of Harry.

A New Testament

June 20, 2013

The Bible is reckoned to be one of the world’s most printed books with about six billion copies having come off the presses. Not all of these are in English, but it follows that it is an exceedingly common book.

It’s smaller ‘half’ – The New Testament – is also very common indeed. We’d only have such books in the museum here at Market Lavington if there was something a little bit special about them.

And here we have a New Testament.

A New Testament to be found at Market Lavington Museum

A New Testament to be found at Market Lavington Museum

It really is a most unassuming copy but inside it is stamped with the mark of an owner.

This book once belonged to Wiltshire County Council, kept at the National School in Market Lavington

This book once belonged to Wiltshire County Council, kept at the National School in Market Lavington

Yes, it belonged to the Wilts County Council National School at Market Lavington, or, to put it more simply, to Market Lavington School.

This was the school housed in what we now call ‘The Old School’ which is used as a community room, just below our museum.

Interestingly, all three aspects of that printed mark are now history. Since 1971 there has not been a ‘Market Lavington School’ by that name. The new school built just over forty years ago replaced both Market Lavington AND Easterton schools. It is sited in Market Lavington but was called Saint Barnabas School – the name also given to Easterton Church.

Of course, the phrase National School has vanished. They never were quite what they sounded. They were 19th century schools founded by the ‘National Society for promoting Religious Education’. National Schools became church ‘voluntary aided’ or ‘voluntary controlled’ schools.

And Wilts or Wiltshire County Council no longer exists either. In a recent reorganisation and rebrand of local government, Wiltshire became a unitary authority and district councils were abolished. Presumably with no need to emphasise its county status, the new council became just ‘Wiltshire Council’.

So this little book carries a lot of history in its printed ownership name.

Butter’s Spelling

May 25, 2013

We love old school texts. They tell us what was important in times past and what youngsters were expected to know. One such book is Butter’s Spelling – a book of no great interest from the outside.

Butter's Spelling - a book at Market Lavington Museum

Butter’s Spelling – a book at Market Lavington Museum

The title page of Butter's Spelling = published in 1879

The title page of Butter’s Spelling – published in 1879

The title page tells us that the book was published in 1879 and that this was the 400th edition. Clearly it was a very successful book, used widely and not just in Market Lavington. We are also told that the book has a portrait of the author, so we are able to see Henry Butter in all his magnificent glory.

Henry Butter

Henry Butter

But of course, at the heart of the book are lists of words, arranged in interesting ways. Here we see words that sound similar except for one small piece of pronunciation – and they have different spellings.


Some similar sounding words and how to spell them

Some similar sounding words and how to spell them

One can imagine the poor scholars being given lists of spellings to learn – but Mr Butter wanted more. He wanted our Victorian ancestors to know the meanings as well. Mr Hatley, headmaster at Market Lavington, no doubt encouraged the youngsters with his ‘great big stick’, but probably some found it very hard.

We can pick out changes in life style from the words. We’d guess not many 21st century youngsters would know the words bodice or chaise, let alone disseize. And it is interesting to see that Mr Butter regarded the pronunciation of ‘practice’ and practise’ as different.  Maybe that would save problems these days.

This book hasn’t made it to our ‘school days’ display this year, but it is in place in a cabinet in the entrance room at the museum.

Here’s hoping I have avoided too many spelling mistakes in writing this!

A Royal Progress down Kings Road

May 9, 2013

How wonderful to record a new book written about Market Lavington and Easterton. Local character, artist and museum volunteer, Pat Stacpoole has written an account of the road he has lived on for many a year – Kings Road. This road is in both of our parishes and for many the first surprise will be to know that the name has no royal meaning. Pat’s writing shows a great deal of love of the local countryside. As a bonus, you get two of his paintings on the front and back cover.

A copy can be read at Market Lavington Museum

Let’s start here with the front.

A lovely new book about Kings Road in Market Lavington. and Easterton It can be read at Market Lavington Museum.

A lovely new book about Kings Road in Market Lavington. and Easterton It can be read at Market Lavington Museum.

Now, Pat’s own introduction.

This is the story of Kings Road, a Wiltshire lane that pretends to be a road. It goes from nowhere very special to nowhere else very special. Nothing dramatic has ever happened here. No great houses built, no battles fought and no kings have passed this way but, in its own small way, it has been a tiny vein through which the life blood of England has flowed. Its history is not even recorded in the fine village museum in Market Lavington, and, as it is on the parish boundary, it is not shown on the magnificent tapestry of the village made to celebrate the Millennium.

Along and across its narrow twisting way have passed shepherds and their flocks, a highwaymen and toll gate keepers, soldiers returning from the wars, jam makers, worshippers, railway builders and humble dog walkers. The gentle history of England sleeps here.

Those of us who live on or near the road enjoy the tranquillity of Wiltshire. It was not always thus. John Foster writing to a friend in 1790 described Market Lavington as “A place notorious for wickedness for miles around, with bull baiting, dog fighting, depravity of manners, pugilistic encounters, drunkenness and profanity. Thank Heavens we are (geographically too) above all this now.

Kings Road runs from Easterton up to a green sand ridge to join the road from Market Lavington to Devizes. Narrow and single tracked for most of the way, it sprouts even smaller lanes, rough, muddy and mostly cul de sacs. An unremarkable strip of English countryside, except to those who live there and love it, Kings Road’s only obvious distinction is the magnificent views it gives. To the north and west the Avon Vale stretches out towards Westbury, to the Mendips and infinitely beyond. To the south the escarpment, the line of the 7000 year old Ridgeway from Urchfont to Joan a’Gore, makes a shore line for the waves of clouds which flow across wild Salisbury Plain.

And finally, the poignant back cover.

The books back cover shows Windmill Lane - one of those old ways that lead off Kings Road

The books back cover shows Windmill Lane – one of those old ways that lead off Kings Road

Some weird history

April 4, 2013

Users of the Twitter website may have seen a piece of weird history which is about a crime which took place in Market Lavington back in 1747. The crime was the somewhat unpleasant mis-use of a hat

Some may have thought the first appearance of this item was just a tad early for April Fool’s day but in fact it is entirely genuine. The original tweeter got his information from a book entitled ‘The Justicing Notebook of William Hunt 1744 – 1749’.

William Hunt, a West Lavington man, was a justice for a wider area. His job was to decide if cases should go for a proper trial, or whether he might mete out a suitable punishment or persuade people with disagreements to settle them.

The Wiltshire Records Society transcribed his notebook for the roughly five year period back in 1982.

We now have a copy of this book – it is totally plain on the outside so we’ll look at the title page.

Justicing Notebook of William Hunt - many of his cases involved market Lavington or Easterton

Justicing Notebook of William Hunt – many of his cases involved Market Lavington or Easterton

The only picture in the book is a presumed image of William Hunt

This portrait - the fronticepiece of the book - is believed to be of William Hunt

This portrait – the fronticepiece of the book – is believed to be of William Hunt

He looks a kindly man and in reading his notes it does seem that he tried to avoid too much difficulty for those who transgressed. Here is the item about the hat which was tweeted.

This was the case which was posted on Twitter - a crime in Market Lavington

This was the case which was posted on Twitter – a crime in Market Lavington

It seems that James Allexander provided a new hat or the value of the hat.

Another entry does suggest that more value was attached to property than to the wellbeing of women.


In the event, John Hopkins paid five shillings compensation for the theft.

This book makes an interesting addition to our knowledge of Market Lavington

Hymns Ancient and Modern

April 1, 2013

On April 1st we play tricks on people in the UK. But there is no trick here. This page is as genuine and serious as all of the other posts on this blog.

The book, Hymns Ancient and Modern, is not of itself really a museum item.

This copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern is at Market Lavington Museum

This copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern is at Market Lavington Museum

These books have been printed in huge quantities and there needs to be something special for them to be kept in a museum. In this case it is the inscription on the fly leaf.

This inscription is the only item we have from the Marquess de Lavalette, former resident at Market Lavington Manor

This inscription is the only item we have from the Marquess de Lavalette, former resident at Market Lavington Manor

The top name reads G de Lavalette. This was Georgina, Marquess de Lavalette and we can find her on the 1901 census as the head of house at Market Lavington Manor. We knew she rented the house for when Charles Awdry purchased the manor in 1902 he took on Georgina as a tenant. We know little of Georgina although we have seen her car on this blog – a fine Mercedes (click here).

The 1901 census lists her as a gentlewoman who had been born in Edinburgh some 77 years earlier. She was a widow and the other nine residents were all servants.

Brian McGill, in his wonderful book about Market Lavington called Village under the Plain, suggests that Georgina died in 1907.

From the site we can find that

Georgiana Gabrielle de Flahault

Died 16 July 1907

Georgiana Gabrielle de Flahault was the daughter of Auguste Charles Joseph de Flahault, Comte de Flahault de la Billardrie and Margaret Mercer Elphinstone, Baroness Keith. She married Marquis de Lavalette on 2 February 1871.2 She died on 16 July 1907, without issue. He died 1881.
From 2 February 1871, her married name became de Lavalette.

We’d love some further information as to why this widow of a French Marquis ended up at Market Lavington.

The next name on the book’s flysheet is easier to know about. Anne P Bouverie was Anne Pleydell Bouverie, resident of The Old House in Market Lavington. She was born in about 1844 and lived to a good age. She died in 1940 so people still alive remember this old lady who became increasingly reclusive. Anne was the daughter of Edward who built the Manor House.  It is not clear if Anne ever lived at the Manor but by 1901 she was at The Old House where she remained – a spinster lady – for the rest of her life.

How she got the book, we don’t know but she clearly passed it to Elizabeth Fielder. We do not know who she was at all. We have no record of any Fielders in Market Lavington or Easterton.

Friendly Oddfellows

March 21, 2013

One of the good things about writing a blog is that you get a chance to see what search engine terms bring people to your writing.  Yesterday, for example, someone was searching for Ann Neate. I’m afraid we have no records of such a person. Maybe the Ann Neate searcher might like to get in touch and tell us more. We can respond to searches. Again, yesterday someone was looking for a history of nursing in Market Lavington and this blog post has a connection to that.

What we are looking at today is a rather unprepossessing note book.


This book at Market Lavington Museum may look a bit dull

This is an account book for the Wiltshire Friendly Society of Oddfellows. The book belonged to Alf Burbidge who was probably the treasurer.

It belonged to Alf Burbidge who lived at the house which is now Market Lavington Museum

It belonged to Alf Burbidge who lived at the house which is now Market Lavington Museum

Alf and his wife Louisa lived in our museum building and raised their two daughters there. Not surprisingly, we feel rather attached to things that belonged to the family.

One page lists committee members. It is undated but we believe it is from around 1916.


The Committee of the Wiltshire Friendly Society of Oddfellows inclusded men from Market Lavington and Easterton

Although this was called a Wiltshire society, Jacob Smith was a Market Lavington man (and someone looked at the page about him yesterday). William Smith may well have been from Market Lavington but it is a very common name. There were a couple of William Potters in Market Lavington but we’d be pretty certain that William Coleman was a local man, born in Easterton and living in Market Lavington. He served as Town Crier as well as being a boot maker and chimney sweep. We think Robert Cooper was a foreman at the brick works in market Lavington. This committee certainly had a strong Market Lavington presence.

Members seemed to take it in turns to visit the sick. These were sick visitors for the start of 1916.

People delegated to visit sick members each month

People delegated to visit sick members each month

It looks as though this friendly society did some of the caring for those who had health problems.

Other pages list pay-outs.


image012 Payouts to those in need

If we pick on James Ridout, it looks as though he may have become in need of assistance (again) in the March of 1916. Sadly he died in the April and his family received a payout. This, of course, was care in the form of cash rather than actual nursing help, but hopefully during March and April he was visited by Messrs Sainsbury, Sheppard and Ellis.

Nursing care at this time was very much a charitable business for there was no National health Service until 1948. But maybe these members of a friendly society got help from one another.