Posts Tagged ‘congregational’

A former chapel

February 4, 2014

At the Easterton end of High Street in Market Lavington there stands a rather odd looking building – this one.

This building near the Easterton end of Markiet Lavington was built as a Meeting House for Quakers in the early 18th century

This building, near the Easterton end of Market Lavington, was built as a Meeting House for Quakers in the early 18th century.

It is right alongside the pavement, yet has only the one window on that side. The building is oriented at right angles to the road.

The building was, originally a Quaker meeting house. The Wiltshire Community History website at has this to say about the Quakers in Market Lavington and the chapel building.

There was a strong Quaker influence in the village by the 1650s and this continued for several generations with three or four families as the mainstay of the Friends. These included the Selfe, Gye and Axford families. A meeting had been established by 1656 and the Friends were persecuted by the authorities from around 1660. Members of the Selfe family were imprisoned along with Edward Gye and John Smith. This continued into the 1670s. They continued meeting through the latter 17th century and the 24 dissenters recorded in 1676 were probably all Quakers. It was a fairly small group of families which, in c.1680, formed the Lavington Monthly Meeting, which continued until 1775. A meeting house, on the north side of the High Street and at a right angle to the road, measuring 33 feet by 22 feet, was built in 1716, but by the mid-18th century Quakerism was in decline throughout Wiltshire and Market Lavington felt the effect of this. By 1790 there were only three Quakers in the parish and by 1799 this was reduced to one. The meeting house, with its small graveyard was sold and in 1809 was taken over by the Congregationalists, who enlarged it, using it first as a chapel and later, after 1892, as a schoolroom.

In fact the Congregationalists used the building until about 1960 when they built the Powner Hall alongside their church, across the road. The old chapel was sold into private hands.

Back in 2009 a chance came to see the inside which was in use as a store for an artist. But it still retained features of a chapel.


Here we look at the entrance and above, the balcony which provided extra seating in church days is still there.

The building, along with its graveyard, is owned privately and is not normally available to the public.

Congregational Church members in the 1920s

January 7, 2011

No doubt, one day, we’ll tell the history of the Congregational Church in Market Lavington for it has been long and varied and is still an ongoing story. Here we feature a photo of some church members in the 1920s.

Congregational Church members in the 1920s - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This is one of those photos where we could wish the caption was better. We have a list of names of some people and they are said to be ‘from left to right’. In truth, we do not know who is who in the photo.

These are the names in that left to right order.

  • Betty pike
  • H King
  • Mrs Hobbs
  • Mr George pike
  • Miss Alice Gale
  • Poppy Gye
  • Draper?
  • Draper?
  • Mrs S Hopkins
  • Mrs George Hopkins
  • Mr Sam Hawkins

This is one of our regular pleas for help. Can you attach the names to the right people? If so, please contact the curator.

Congregational Church Concert Group

December 22, 2010

It may be coming up to Christmas but today we’ll remind ourselves of summer days when people were out and about and enjoying themselves with a concert group.

This photo dates from about 1942 and shows a concert group put together by the Congregational Church in Market Lavington. This photo was a gift to the museum from Mrs Baker who gave us a copy back in 1999. Mrs Baker has done well naming the people on the photo but some names are missing. The photo dates from wartime, so men are conspicuous by their rarity in the photo.

Congregational Church Concert Group in about 1942 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The church minister’s wife stands left at the back with the bunch of flowers. Then we have Beryl Baker, Jean Potter, Lily Baker, ? Jackson, Janet Burt, Eileen Perrett, unknown, June Baker, unknown, unknown and Mrs Gibbons.

We do not know the names of the youthful sailor and his bride in the middle row.

Can you identify the young sailor and his bride?

The front row has unknown, Pat Hobbs and Marion Phillips sitting on the ground.

Pat Hobbs with a familiar cheery smile

Market Lavington residents may recognise the cheery smile worn by Pat Hobbs, for it is still seen at village events, taking a full and active part in the life of the area. In fact, Pat, may well be the very person to name those other people in the photo or tell us what the concert party performed.

Or maybe a reader of the blog could help. Do contact the curator if you can help.