Posts Tagged ‘Eastcott’

Easterton Gardens Open Day

April 1, 2016

Back on June 15th various people in Easterton opened their gardens to the viewing (and paying to charity) public. These photos, taken on that day, offer views from and of private land that can thus rarely be seen by members of the public.

Let’s start with Easterton Manor.

Easterton Manor

Easterton Manor

The garden here slopes up onto the green sand ridge so here we see the Manor from quite high up.

From higher up we can look over the house and take a view along Easterton High Street looking at the Royal Oak.

View from Easterton Manor garden

View from Easterton Manor garden

Clays Farm is, as the name implies, along The Clays in Easterton. This view is from a public path so still available.

Clays Farm

Clays Farm

Although on The Clays, the farm always seems to have a chalk downland setting.

Kestrels is a fine old house up Oak Lane. It was once the home of Ben Hayward and he probably gave it its name.

Kestrels - once the home of Ben Hayward

Kestrels – once the home of Ben Hayward

Splendid, indeed.

The open gardens included ones in Eastcott and here’s the Manor there – formerly, perhaps, a monastic building.

Eastcott Manor

Eastcott Manor

Let’s see some detail on this building.

A delightful timber framed structure

A delightful timber framed structure

Other gardens were open as well – all interesting, lovely spaces but these photos of the day seemed appropriate for this blog post.

Eastcroft Farm

October 30, 2015

Eastcroft farm is in Eastcott. It lies on the main road through this settlement but also has a little loop lane all of its own.

image002We can see its location towards the top right hand corner of this modern map.

And here’s a view along the main road, possibly in about 1920.


Eastcott including Eastcroft Farm – possibly 1920s

Eastcroft Farm is on the right. On the left is Ducks Farm and straight down the road is the Manor House in Eastcott. Horse power is being used to haul a load towards the cameraman.

Almost inevitably, the view is more wooded and concealed today.


21st century view in Eastcott

No sign of the Manor at all there. Ducks Farm has extended but what we see of Eastcroft Farm looks much the same.



Edward Cook

June 17, 2014

Edward Cook was essentially an Eastcott lad although he was actually born in North Bradley, near Trowbridge. However, his dad and grandfather were Eastcott folk and so it is no surprise to find that Edward also lived there.

Edward was a child of the twentieth century for he was born in 1902. As yet we have found no certain details of his birth. He may be the Albert Edward Cook whose birth was registered in the Westbury district in June 1902. What we do know is that he was aged 9 for the 1911 census which says he was the only child born to William and Lottie – born at North Bradley. The family lived at Eastcott in 1911.

This photo shows Edward, said to be aged 17.

Edward Cook of Eastcott in about 1919

Edward Cook of Eastcott in about 1919

Edward certainly looks a very fresh faced young man in his military uniform in this picture.

Maybe a reader would recognise the cap badge??

Can you identify Edward's cap badge?

Can you identify Edward’s cap badge?

We assume Edward just missed serving in World War One.

As ever we’d like to know more. Do get in touch if you can help.

Widening the road

April 16, 2014

The year is 1993. Maybe the car is still king for it had been decided to improve the main road which runs through the Lavingtons to make it wider, straighter and faster. Twenty years on it may seem this was a mistake as long lengths of the improved road now carry permanent speed limits and parked cars in the villages do a wonderful job of making sure traffic passes through slowly.

In fact, when these schemes were planned, many people thought it was to make life easier for the cruise missiles which used the road on their way up onto Salisbury Plain. If that was the case there’s a certain irony in the fact that the decision had been taken to get rid of these missiles by the time the roads were improved.

Road widening in progress at Eastcott in 1993

Road widening in progress at Eastcott in 1993

Our first photo sets the scene in Eastcott where a sign records what was happening.

The sign gives us all the information

The sign gives us all the information

A new surface is laid

A new surface is laid

The scale of the works was quite large – and other stretches of the road were similarly – or even more massively, re-engineered.

Was there any advantage in the end? We do not know the figures, but maybe accidents have been reduced. Perhaps, journey times are a few seconds quicker than they otherwise would have been. And of course, those harsh new surfaces soon weather in and these days nobody will realise this was once a narrower route.

Miscellany 2013

September 15, 2013

The Museum Miscellany, now in its fourth year, has become a part of the social scene in Market Lavington. It seems to be a case of ‘be there or be square’. OK, perhaps it’s the opposite for by and large the clientele is not from the younger generation although, of course, there are exceptions to that.

This year over 100 people crowded into our wonderful Community Hall. Rog, our curator, who does most of the presenting, says it really is a humbling experience to see so many folks there to hear him – and to pay good money for it.

Rog grabbed this photo of audience just before the start.

The audience for Market Lavington Museum Miscellany - 14th September 2013

The audience for Market Lavington Museum Miscellany – 14th September 2013

There’s not an empty seat. The front row is filled with museum friends one of whom, May, sitting just beyond the computer deserves a special mention. Do we bandy a woman’s age? Let’s just say that May’s memory stretches back into the early 1920s. Rog was delighted to realise she was there for he had a photo of her in the ‘Church and Chapel Life’ section. It showed May and others on a church choir outing, paddling in the sea. They were all holding dresses up to avoid them getting wet and in some cases revealing just a little more than perhaps they intended. May did laugh when she saw it.

At the very end of the front row we see Philip who, along with other members of the family has made many donations to the museum. The ‘Phantasmagoria’ projector, which Rog used to wrap up the show, came from his family, along with many photos.

Also in the front row is Pat. Rog often turns to her when he needs people in photos identified – but then so many locals, in the audience, are helpful to the museum. Rog has what he calls his experts. Arthur, who is somewhere in the audience knows all there is to know about wagons. Philip (a different one) can be relied upon for farm help. We do have a wonderful local community.

This year Rog passed the microphone to Hugh who has a real in depth knowledge of the Saunders family who had a huge impact on the locality, Britain and the world. We can see Hugh in a darkened hall making his contribution.


Hugh passes on his knowledge of the Saunders family

Hugh passes on his knowledge of the Saunders family

Well done Hugh. We thought it was great to hear a different voice able to speak with such authority.

But of course, it wouldn’t be The Miscellany without the Museum Food. Each year our team of volunteers produce a finger buffet composed of items in Museum recipe books. The interval is a major part of the event as people can circulate, chat and enjoy sampling the food on offer. We can only hope there was enough this year for it all seemed to go so well done all those chefs who make such an enjoyable part of the evening.

We at the museum would like to thank all those who made this event such a success.

As the event continues to be so popular we plan another for next year. There’s no fixed date for it as yet. But we will look at early October as a possibility. It will be on a Saturday night since all the weekday nights are booked in the hall.

A major theme of next year’s event will be World War 1 – marking the centenary of the start of that awful conflict.

A milk churn label

September 10, 2013

At the recent Easterton Show a visitor arrived at the museum stall with a donation for us. It’s a brass label that was once attached to a milk churn. It gives the name of the owner and of his local Railway station which was, of course Lavington.

A milk churn label found at Ducks Farm in Eastcott

A milk churn label found at Ducks Farm in Eastcott

Let’s first deal with the finding. This item was dug up at Ducks farm in Eastcott. How or why it should have got there we don’t know, but there it was, in the parish of Easterton.

Lavington Station needs no introduction here. It was sited in Littleton Panell but was the railway station for all of the Lavington area. It should be noted that the Great Western Railway avoided confusion with other Lavingtons by calling our local train stop Lavington Wilts.

And now to E Bazell? Just who was he? Well, it is an unusual name and a quick hunt through on-line censuses provides the answer.

Edmund Bazell was born in about 1873 at Wyke in Dorset. His father was a farmer. Before the 1891 census the whole family moved to Little Cheverell and in 1897 Edmund married Annetta Butcher whose family farmed in West Lavington.

On the 1901 census we find that Edmund was listed at the farmer at Becketts Farm. This would have been close to Lavington Station.

In 1911 the Bazell family were at Glebe Farm which Edmund says is in Little Cheverell. Lavington would still have been the local station.

Annetta, his wife has a local connection for her grandmother was Mary Jane Gye who was born in the Fiddington area and was a distant relation of our Peggy who founded the museum.

So what a grand addition to our collection of local artefacts – a memory of the now vanished milk churn.

Easterton Show

August 27, 2013

Yesterday, August 26th 2013, was Easterton Show day.

It is always a pleasure for us, at Market Lavington Museum, to have a stand at Easterton Show. We don’t aim to raise money but we do aim to raise awareness. The people at the show seem more than willing to have awareness raised. We have been thoroughly educated as well. Once people start, they are so willing to share stories and tell us who people are.

Our stall is simple. We have a gazebo and a lot of photographs. Yes, we have a quiz and we have a wind-up gramophone so that we can play such classics as ‘The Sun has got his Hat on’ whilst the band take a rest.

Market lavington Museum's stall at Easterton Show

Market lavington Museum’s stall at Easterton Show

So there’s a stall in the lull before the gates open. It’s a popular show so we are all crammed in together as one happy family.

This is the chance to see what else is on show – and there are cars.


This one particularly pleased our curator because it’s an Austin 10, similar in shape, but not colour, to the first car his dad had.



Maypole dancers from St Barnabas School

But of course, the show isn’t all history but, to conserve something for the future we grabbed a photo of the Maypole dancing by the little ones of St Barnabas School which serves both Easterton and Market Lavington.

It was a wonderful afternoon so well done to Easterton for putting on such a good show.

Harvest – men and horses

August 20, 2013

As this is written, the harvesting of corn on Lavington Hill is all but over for 2013.

The mighty combine has hurried round the fields, cutting huge swathes of the crop at each pass. Tractors with grain trailers have bustled to and fro, removing the valuable crop.

The giant baler followed the combine and most of the huge rectangular bales have been carted off. Some have passed through the village on their way to unknown destinations.

Ploughs aren’t used, but some fields have already turned brown as the stubble has been turned in and broken up. The downs have an autumnal look to them.

With all that in mind we’ll look back at a past harvest which would have been much slower and more manual in style.

A past harvest at Eastcott. Note the pitchforks.

A past harvest at Eastcott. Note the pitchforks.

Our information about this photo is limited. The back of the cards says ‘Bowyer Farm’. Our records say it is to do with the Cook family of Eastcott Farm.

With such poor information it is over to you. Please get in touch if you can identify people, location or even the horse. It’s a lovely image of past times so it would be good to have proper facts about it.

William Cook of Eastcott

August 14, 2013


Eastcott always offers us a bit of a difficulty at Market Lavington Museum. This is because it has been part of neighbouring Urchfont (or Erchfont). But William Cook, in writing his 1911 census, seemed certain it was in Easterton.

William Cook of Eastcott considered it to be part of Easterton

William Cook of Eastcott considered it to be part of Easterton

Even so, it was enumerated as part of Urchfont.

However, there is no doubt that when William wanted a good cabinet photo of himself, it was to Market Lavington he turned – to the studio of Alf Burgess.

William Cook of Wastcott in a cabinet photo by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington

William Cook of Wastcott in a cabinet photo by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington

As we can see, the photo is not in A1 condition, but William has clearly scrubbed up well for having his likeness taken. And of course, Mr Burgess gets his name in on the act on the photograph mount.

As far as we know, William was born in Eastcott in early 1880. Unfortunately, we haven’t found William on the 1881 census (his parents are in Eastcott) but in 1891 three generations were living together at Eastcott Common. 62 year old William Cook was grandfather. George and Mary Cook were our William’s parents and William, aged 11, had Emily, Rhoda and Fred as younger siblings. All of them were born in Eastcott.

In 1901 William, his parents and siblings were still in Eastcott. William was now 21 and was working as a carter on a farm.

By 1911 William has been married for 9 years and he and wife Louisa have one son, Edward. As we have seen, this family lived in Eastcott and William was a farm labourer.  However, 9 year old Edward had been born in North Bradley so we assume the family had moved for a while. Louisa may have been Louisa Roberts and if so she and William married in Kensington in London. According to the census she came from Bath.

Any more information about this family would be very welcome.

Sheep Shearers at Eastcott Farm

July 3, 2013

Eastcott always provides us with a little problem at Market Lavington Museum. Is Eastcott part of our area or not? At one time it was firmly a tithing of Urchfont so not in our area but these days it is a part of Easterton so does fall into our zone. This photo perhaps indicates why we ought to include Eastcott as a part of our area. Two of the key men in the shot below were very much connected with Market Lavington. Indeed one was to be a Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, with a home in Market Lavington for forty years. However, this photo predates that and was taken in Eastcott.

Sheep shearing at Eastcott farm - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

Sheep shearing at Eastcott farm – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

We see a team of shearers, overseen by the farmer, with hands on hips and the shepherd, holding his crook. The photo was taken in about 1909. The shearers are at work with hand clippers. That’s a tough job.

The farmer is Mr Sidney Cooke. His family farmed at Eastcott farm.

Next to him is ‘Shep’ Perry.

Sidney Cooke later moved into Market Lavington. He’s on the 1926 electoral roll. He lived at White Lilacs on High Street.

Shep also moved to Market Lavington. On that 1926 electoral roll he lived at The Hollow on Lavington Hill.

The shearing gang might have been travellers.  That was and is normal. A group of men formed a gang and travelled from farm to farm.

It’s a lovely photo and we do have others of Eastcott, but perhaps it is time to collect more.