Posts Tagged ‘farm’

Grove Farm, the church and village

September 12, 2016

Here we have a period postcard of Market Lavington. We date this by TV aerial to about 1960. All of the TV masts we see are of the old 405 lines type.


The Village from Home Field – about 1960

This is a view of the village from the lower slopes of Salisbury Plain. We are looking across Home Field which had once been the recreation ground. The two dominant buildings are…

…Grove Farm …


…and the Church of St Mary.


We can see that Meadow Cottage still had its thatched roof.


It is also interesting to note those three bright white ventilators on the roof of the school.

And here we have more of Church Street and The Muddle.


This postcard has recently been given to the museum. It was part of the collection of former board member and archivist Priscilla. We offer her and her daughter many thanks.



Knapp Farm barns – a watercolour

April 26, 2016

Our stock of artistic interpretations of the local scene has increased considerably in recent times. Today we are looking at the Knapp Farm barns before their conversion to dwellings. Sadly this is unsigned and undated but we still think it is a lovely image.

Knapp Farm barns - a watercolour image

Knapp Farm barns – a watercolour image

This picture is in a sealed frame behind glass. The slightly squiffy angle of the photo prevented too much reflection off the glass.

This lovely gentle picture actually looks much like a photo of the scene we showed last August (click here). That dates from 1998. This could be a little earlier.

We think the artist may have been Patrick Manley but we would appreciate advice on that.


December 8, 2015

Much of our parish is out of bounds to members of the public for Market Lavington goes for some miles over Salisbury Plain which is military range. However, when the flags are not flying there is a right of way across Salisbury Plain. You start at the top of Lavington Hill and take the track that heads across the plain. It is about 10 kilometres across to Orcheston but on the way you’ll pass the sites of a number of long gone farms. Today we’ll look at the site of one of them called Philpotts.

The old farms on Salisbury Plain were never on metalled highways but they were close to tracks. The Plain was always wild and windswept and trees were often planted as shelter for farm houses and buildings. That is what may still offer a sign of past habitation but you might also come across clearly originally cultivated plants even though the inhabitants had to leave more than 100 years ago.

This is the site of Philpotts in a photo taken in the early 1970s.

Site of Philpotts Farm still delineated by the shelter belt of trees in the 1970s

Site of Philpotts Farm still delineated by the shelter belt of trees in the 1970s

This was the shelter belt.

By 2008 it was looking a bit more scrubby.

Site of Philpotts in 2008

Site of Philpotts in 2008

If you walk further, you’ll pass New Farm and Candown Farm before leaving Market Lavington.

It could be a pleasant way to walk off some of that Christmas lunch that you’ll be having soon but if your tastes are more gentle then you can visit the museum which will open its doors on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th December between 2pm and 4pm. Now there’s a chance to get guests and children out of the house for a while.


Joshua Hampton’s farm records

October 20, 2015

Joshua Hampton was a hill farmer. In the 1870s he occupied Pond Farm and Meeches Farm which were sited in what is now Easterton parish.

He kept brief records of what he grew. Here’s an entry for 1877


Extract from Joshua Hampton’s farm records from 1877 Click image to see a larger version


Began drilling wheat on Pond Farm (Picked Field) October 20th – about 6 acres across the middle at 2 bushels per acre.
Drilled 10 acres of Old Field below, October 30th and 31st 2 bushels and 1 peck of sanfoin. ??? of field now 5, 2½ bushels seed

Joshua's entry continues

Joshua’s entry continues

Began drilling in wheat in field front of house November 1st. Finished drilling just below the shord top of Pond Hill November 3rd. Ploughed in remainder of field November 5 6 and 7.

It is lovely to have a copy of Joshua’s book which gives an insight into the life and ways of a farmer 140 years ago. It is, of course, so very different from today. And we are informed (see comment) that a shord is a gap between two hills.

Knapp Farm Barns

June 29, 2015

People who live in what is now called White Horse Barns may like to see this photo of their homes, before conversion.

Knapp Farm Barns before conversion to White Horse Barns. The photo dates from 1997.

Knapp Farm Barns before conversion to White Horse Barns. The photo dates from 1997.

This photo, obviously not taken in ideal conditions, dates from about 1997, soon before the conversion into homes took place.

It is recognisably the same place, albeit it is a much tidier environment now. The conversion was very sympathetic to the original lines and purpose of the building.



Southcliffe Farm

June 24, 2015
Southcliffe Farm in 1934. It was once the home of the Alexander family.

Southcliffe Farm in 1934. It was once the home of the Alexander family.

This bungalow was the home of the Alexander family. Our photo of it was taken in 1934.

Sitting outside the front door is Geoffrey Alexander. He later emigrated to Australia and still has descendants there.

Getting an accurate fix on the location of this bungalow is quite difficult but we can see former council housing in the background which must be at Townsend.

We don’t think there are any members of this Alexander family left in Market Lavington but we’d be very happy to be told that we are wrong.


The Cooper Family at New Farm

January 14, 2015

New Farm is, or rather was, one of the farms on Salisbury Plain, in the parish of Market Lavington. To reach New Farm now you’d have to go to the top of Lavington Hill and then, if the flags weren’t flying, continue on the track across Salisbury Plain. After a mile and a bit you’ll find the track passes through a bit of a wooded area. New Farm was in that wooded area on the right hand side of the track. We have looked briefly at New Farm before and this page,  has a photo of the area taken in 2008.

Today we are looking back at a photo believed to have been taken in 1909. The person who gave it to the museum believes it is New Farm although it has to be said, we have doubts because stone like that big blank wall is made of just isn’t found on Salisbury Plain. However, the family shown is a Market Lavington family so the picture is definitely worthy of being seen.

The Cooper family, possibly at new Farm, Market Lavington.

The Cooper family, possibly at new Farm, Market Lavington.

This is the Cooper Family (possibly) at New Farm, Market Lavington in about 1909. Seated at the right is James T Cooper, born around 1865. Next to him is his wife, Sarah Jane (née) Taylor also born around 1865. Behind them in the dark suit is their son, George Thomas Cooper born about 1887. The other people are not known, but on the 1901 census (at New Farm) the other children of James and Sarah are Mary, born 1889, Walter, born 1891, Charley, born 1894 and Jacob (named after his grandfather) born 1898.

Sadly, nobody alive is going to recognise New Farm. It is now over 100 years since it vanished. But we remain hopeful that people just might be recognised.

A barrel lock

September 28, 2014

A short while ago we featured a barrel tap found by local metal detectorist, Norman (click here). This item set Philip’s mind working. He recalled finding a similar item when clearing his in-laws’ barn at Vicarage Farm in Easterton. It looked interesting and so he stashed it away. And now he has decided it is time this item came to the museum. It is significantly different to Norman’s find. First of all it is a bigger, chunkier item.

Barrel tap from Vicarage Farm in Easterton

Barrel tap from Vicarage Farm in Easterton

We don’t, as yet, have a date for this tap (maybe you can help us with that) but we feel it is much more modern than the tap Norman found.

The other significant difference is that the tap handle is actually a key and is not permanently attached.

The tap handle is a separate key

The tap handle is a separate key

This enabled a boss to be in charge of the distribution of drink. If we imagine harvesters out in a field, wielding their scythes then we can imagine they’d have emptied a barrel in no time. With a barrel lock the flow of drink could be controlled by the person who had the key.

He who holds the key controls the drink!

He who holds the key controls the drink!

The key is a simple, yet elegant piece of metalwork. It was designed to fit through the metal collar on top of the actual tap.

The collar is made to suit an individual key

The collar is made to suit an individual key

The collar is held in place with a simple grub screw. Perhaps an owner had more than one collar and key and could change it to defeat anybody who might make a replica key.

Thanks to Philip for another lovely item which helps to paint a picture of past rural life.



All gone!

September 17, 2014

All gone, but not forgotten. That phrase applies to the man-made bits of this photo.

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

A photo taken at Grove Farm, Market Lavington in 1986

This picture dates from 1986. That’s 28 years ago as this is written.

In the foreground we have the pens and yards associated with Grove Farm and behind them, on the right hand side there is the farm house.

At that time it all looked sad and derelict but of course it had been a tidy and well kept working dairy farm. When the Francis family had it they sold milk from buckets which they took around the village on bicycle handlebars.

Down below the house and to its left are various sheds which were also part of the farm.

This whole site is now where the Community Hall and car park stands. This new building has done much to maintain and revive community spirit in the area.

Those corrugated iron roofed sheds lined the road and opposite them, the brick and white building was the garage set up by Eddie Haines. Later it became Shires Garage and then that, too, was swept away and became the little housing development now called Shires Close.

Not all changes are for the worse. We might and do regret the passing of farm and garage which offered employment to people within the village. But it can’t be denied that the newer arrangements are neater and tidier.




Arthur Walton – Poultry Farmer

June 23, 2014

Much can be discovered from bill heads and letter heads and here is something we only knew about when we were given the opportunity to copy a collection of such bill and letter heads recently. It concerns the activities of Arthur Walton.

We knew of Arthur as the owner of the Lavington Supply Stores. This was Market Lavington’s very own department store, with a separate branch in Easterton and another at Pewsey.

We did not know of Arthur Walton, the poultry farmer which this letter head shows. It was sent on February 19th 1915.

Letter from Wiltshire Down Poultry Farm signed by Arthur Walton

Letter from Wiltshire Down Poultry Farm signed by Arthur Walton

The Wiltshire Down Poultry Farm seemingly shares its phone number with Mr Walton’s shop and this letter is signed A M Walton. He must have been renting a property from Mr Holloway at West Lavington. Arthur is having a gripe about the state of the building – presumably where his poultry man lived.

The letter is about the cottage at Brazen Bottom

The letter is about the cottage at Brazen Bottom

Brazen Bottom was one of the hill farms. Much of it still exists, but it is under military occupation now