Posts Tagged ‘box’

The brickworks balustrade

November 29, 2015

The balustrade at the front of the old brickworks has featured before on this blog but here we have a particularly fine photo of it.

Sylvia at the brickworks - clearly showing the balustrade.

Sylvia at the brickworks – clearly showing the balustrade.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a date but the back of the photo tells us that the little girl was called Sylvia.

The balustrade is the main focus here. This had been designed by Mr Box, when he owned the brickworks, for use at Market Lavington Manor, built in the 1860s. There is a possibility that a dispute arose between Box and Pleydell Bouverie – who was having the Manor built and it is possible that Mr Box was not properly paid for the Manor’s balustrade.

Anyway, he decided to use the same pattern and make a similar balustrade for his own house, by the brickworks on Broadway.

Pleydell Bouverie was incensed by this. He claimed that a promise had been made that this pattern would only be used at his grand Manor House. Box was ‘invited’ to remove the balustrade from around the brickworks. Box refused.

The result was a court case which found in favour of Mr Box who thus kept the balustrade.

Sad to say, it is no longer there. But photos keep its memory alive.


Another Box brick

September 9, 2015

We don’t suppose everybody thinks bricks are amazing – but plenty of people do and we certainly like the right bricks at Market Lavington Museum. The right bricks should, of course, have been made at the local brickworks. The one we were given in mid-August certainly fits that bill and is interesting in shape and style as well. Its location, when found adds a little to its story too.

Semi circular brick for capping a wall

Semi circular brick for capping a wall

The brick is clearly semi-circular and is about 11 inches across the base. It is standard brick width. This was a capping brick for a wall. That 11 inch measurement means it would be wider than a double brick wall and its shape means rain that fell on it would drip off the ends and not into the wall.

It carries the maker’s name, embossed into it when made.

The brick was made by Box who had Lavington brick works for the second half of the nineteenth century

The brick was made by Box who had Lavington brick works for the second half of the nineteenth century

The brick was made by Box. William Box owned the Market Lavington brick works for most of the second half of the 19th century so we can get a rough date for this special brick.

The brick was dug up at Roundway Down Farm which is on the edge of Devizes. We know Lavington made bricks travelled but this is the first authenticated one we had that came from outside the Lavingtons.

We think this is a great item and we are delighted to have it at the museum.

Norman Box

July 29, 2015

This blog post stems for a bit of serendipity. Our curator’s son visited a steam rally in his local (to him) Buckinghamshire village and snapped this shot of one of the road locomotives there.

When Dad, our curator, saw the picture he blinked and commented, ‘Norman Box was born in Market Lavington’. Of course, our photographer had no idea that this was the case. It was just one of those lucky chances that made him take this engine.

Former Norman Box traction engine photographed at a rally in 2015

Former Norman Box traction engine photographed at a rally in 2015

The engine itself is a Fowler and dates from 1902. It probably had no connection with Lavington apart from its owner, and possibly its driver, coming from the area.

Norman Box was born in the first quarter of 1881 in Market Lavington. He was three months old at the time of the 1881 census at which time his father, Edward, was the brickyard manager. He and his wife Mary and 3 year old daughter Lilian lived in the Market Place. Edward was the son of William and Sarah. William owned the brickworks and lived at the brick master’s house by the works.

Edward’s passion, however, was traction engines. It was probably a young Edward who was responsible for the brickworks becoming very early users of this form of motive power – possibly the first traction engine users in Wiltshire. Edward’s brother William was equally enthusiastic and it was him who devised a transmission system to cause less damage to bricks in transit.

Edward moved up to the Liverpool area taking his young family with him. Norman would certainly still have been a schoolboy when they went north.

Edward worked as a traction engine driver, nominally working for his brother. Amongst other drivers was Sam Rumble, also from Lavington and a relative of the Box family.

We can find Edward Box and family in Kirkdale on the 1891 census. In 1901 Norman, still with his parents, is an engineer. The family were in the Bootle area.

Norman married Mary Fishwick in 1907 – still in the Liverpool area.

In 1911 Norman, Mary and a 1 month old baby Mary were living at Rusholme in South Manchester. Norman was a haulage contractor and an employer.

Almost inevitably data gets less from then on.

Sadly, Mary, his wife died in 1921. At some point Norman’s business was bought up by Pickfords.

Norman was in Canada when he died in 1957 but his will was proved in the UK and he left a large sum of £122383 4/9 according to the probate book.


Now that’s at least two and a half million in today’s money. Not bad for the lad from Market Lavington.




The trouble causing balustrade

April 12, 2015

Some of us rather like the idea of those who deem themselves in high and mighty positions losing out to the more ordinary folks. And this photo reminds us of one such event.


Brick master’s house with Victorian balustrade around the front garden. The photo dates from about 1930

This shows the brickmaster’s house in the 1930s. It’s a shame the photographer missed the distinctive chimneys but perhaps our intrepid camera user was keen on the front garden wall or balustrade. It is of a distinctive design and was made, not surprisingly by Edward Box and Co at the Lavington Brick, Tile and Pottery works back in Mid-Victorian times.

The trouble – or should we say dispute – ended up in the law courts. That wall certainly cost someone a lot of money.

The design occurs in one other place in Market Lavington. That’s at the Manor House which was built in the 1860s by Edward Pleydell Bouverie. The same pattern balustrade  stops folks from falling off a terrace just outside the house.

According to Edward Playdell Bouverie the Box family told him that this pattern balustrade would not appear anywhere else.  He was incensed when he found the same design around the Box’s own home. He ordered them to remove it. They refused so Mr Bouverie sought a court order demanding its removal. One wonders if he thought his position of Lord of the Manor, member of parliament etc was a guarantee of success at court. It proved not to be the case.. The Box family won and kept their garden wall.

The house, by the way, is now known as Mowbray House and looks like this.


Same house – 21st century

So perhaps Edward Pleydell Bouverie has the last laugh for the old balustrade has gone and a wooden fence with shrubs has replaced it.

A plinth brick

November 2, 2014

Our museum at Market Lavington is now officially closed for the winter. We’ll be dismantling 2014 displays and preparing those for 2015. But if you are coming to the area and want to visit then please contact us and we’ll try to arrange it but the visit will be on an ‘as you find it’ basis.

And frequent visits with careful looking always seem to reveal something different. Take this brick, for example, which has been on display in our trades room for years, without really being noticed although it is a lovely item.

Market Lavington made plinth brick from the 1860s

Market Lavington made plinth brick from the 1860s

What a great item and here’s an end view to make the cross section clear.

How do you make a brick with a hollow section?

How do you make a brick with a hollow section?

This brick dates from the building of Market Lavington Manor in the 1860s. The brick was made by Edward Box’s company – the brickworks in Market Lavington and has the Box name several times on the underside.

The brick was made by Edward Box's company

The brick was made by Edward Box’s company

We wonder if there is a brick expert out there who could explain how a brick like this is actually made.

A Cardboard Box

January 29, 2011

Can a cardboard box be interesting, or worthy of space in a museum?  Well, yes it can, particularly if it has words or images on it.


Market Lavington Brick and Tile Works Ltd. box at Market Lavington Museum

This box, as can be seen, carries the words

The Market Lavington Brick and Tile Works, Ltd. Broadway, Market Lavington and Cheverell, Devizes, Wilts.

It is not a box of huge antiquity as evidenced by the phone numbers. A four digit Lavington phone number means this box dates from the middle years of the twentieth century.

It looks a substantially made box. Mere glue was not deemed sufficient to hold it together. Staples are used to strengthen joints.

The box is the size of a standard house brick. In those not so far away days, if a potential customer wanted to know just what your bricks were like, then you put one in a box and sent it to him. The idea of bricks by post seems totally anachronistic in the second decade of the 21st century but must have been a matter of course in earlier times.

One can have sympathy for the postman who had bricks to deliver!