Posts Tagged ‘Grove Farm’

Grove Farm and Meadow Cottage

June 14, 2016

It ought to be able to date this photo with a degree of accuracy but actually our recent records are not as good as they could be. The photo was taken from the former recreation ground behind Chantry Mead on The Spring. In fact it shows groundwork and the beginnings of walls as Chantry Mead was built.

Grove Farm and Meadow Cottage from the old 'rec'

Grove Farm and Meadow Cottage from the old ‘rec’

This was a scene in transition.

In the centre of the picture we see Grove Farm House and that, with its outbuildings, has all been swept away.


Grove Farm was demolished and the Community Hall built on the site

It has, of course, been replaced by the Community Hall. The old farm house is roughly where the higher level of the car park is now with the hall itself replacing farm buildings.

But of course, from this viewpoint you’d barely see any of this for Chantry Mead is complete and now has the look of a mature house that has been there for ages. At this time it was a building site.

Chantry Mead under construction

Chantry Mead under construction

Meadow Cottage is held in affection by the museum for it was there, back in 1921, that our founder, Peggy Gye (née Welch) was born. It seems to sit below the church – St Mary’s on its hilltop site.

Meadow Cottage and the church

Meadow Cottage and the church

But the date? Was it about 1985? Do get in touch and let us know.


Wessex Archaeology at Work

September 13, 2015

Back in 1990 a Saxon burial site was discovered on the Grove Farm estate.

Wessex Archaeology set to work on the Grove Farm site

Wessex Archaeology set to work on the Grove Farm site

Building work was temporarily halted so that Wessex Archaeology could investigate.


The dig uncovered people who lived in the area more than 1000 years ago.


Of course, the archaeologists worked very carefully and methodically.

Archaeologists at work at Grove Farm in 1990

Archaeologists at work at Grove Farm in 1990

Other finds could tell the experts much about the way of life led by our ancestors.

Hundreds of other finds

Hundreds of other finds

Very little of this material is at Market Lavington Museum. We are not a designated archaeology centre. But we do have many photographs and the Wessex Archaeology report.

No Grove Farm! No Garage!

May 24, 2015

This photograph dates from 1999. What changes the new century brought!

Looking over the Grove Farm site in 1999

Looking over the Grove Farm site in 1999

We are looking across the area where the buildings of Grove Farm had stood. The two houses we see are on the south side of the main road. Meadow Cottage, birthplace of museum founder Peggy Gye, is just off shot to the left. To the right of the houses the concrete area was where the Spring Filling Station (Lavington Garage) had stood. Sad to say, like so many village petrol stations, all over the country, that had been swept into complete oblivion.

It’s the concrete area in front of the houses, and on this side of Church Street, that used to be yard and buildings for Grove Farm.

The area has, of course, been transformed.

Similar view - 21st century

Similar view – 21st century

Now, we look over the approach road and car parks for our wonderful Community Hall. The two houses have been joined by Shires Close on the site of the garage.

Now that’s change for the better!

Grove Farm Plans

December 7, 2014

This plan has recently turned up at Market Lavington Museum. We do not know its origins, but it looks, perhaps, to have been part of some kind of school project display, produced by an adult. The plan shows the area we generally call Grove Farm.

A plan of Grove Farm, Market Lavington in about 1970

A plan of Grove Farm, Market Lavington in about 1970

Just north of the main road we can see the main farm buildings. This is the area now occupied by the Community Hall. The map is not strictly accurate. The church and churchyard do not reach Parsonage Lane (the road running roughly north) by quite a long shot. For one thing, our museum is in that area.

We can see the site of chicken houses, the pumping station and an area sold for housing. That must be Canada Rise, just above Beechwood.

The plan is somewhat textured. An area near the top has hay stuck on it.

The plan came with a second sheet with added information.


There’s slightly too much for one photo.


And then there’s a cross section map.


We are fairly confident this information dates from very close to 1970. Mr Ron Francis died in 1969 and Canada Rise was being constructed in 1971.

We also think it is a lovely record of a farm which has entirely vanished.

Grove Farm , 1972 – Community Hall, 2014

October 4, 2014

Many older people will be horrified when it is pointed out to them that 1972 was more than forty years ago. Let’s face it, it feels like yesterday. But roughly half of our population were not alive back then. It is real history to the under 45s.

So here we have a photo from 1972.

Grove Farm in 1972

Grove Farm in 1972

What we see here is a corner of Meadow Cottage on the right. We are looking up the track by this cottage to the main road which runs across the picture just this side of the brick wall. The other side of the wall is where we see Grove Farm – buildings and farm house.

On the left of the picture, behind the metal railings was an open area which may have been used for light agriculture at the time but had seen usage as a school adjunct in times past.

Now we fast forward to October 2014 and recreate the same view.

Same view, October 2014 shows the Community Hall

Same view, October 2014 shows the Community Hall

Meadow Cottage, on the right, is still much the same. The track alongside looks tidier, but is also still much as it had been.

The area to the left now has a couple of houses and a neat wall around the garden. The wall on the other side of the road maybe looks less well kept than it did 42 years earlier.

Grove Farm has entirely gone. The farmhouse, barns and buildings have all been swept away. Where once a Dutch barn and sheds stood we now have our Community Hall. We’ll be using it tonight for our annual Museum Miscellany.

Up on the hill we can see the cottages which were built when the hall was and other houses on the Grove Farm estate.

So all change – but change can often be for the better – and the Community Hall is a fantastic asset within Market Lavington.

We look forward to seeing you tonight – 7.30 in the hall for a couple of hours of local history, local food and a bar to make sure your needs are met.

Before the Grove Farm Estate

July 24, 2014

Many people realised that the building of the Grove Farm estate was a big change for the village of Market Lavington. This was a big development of new housing. Quite a few folks were out with cameras to record the scene.

We have recently been given some photos by a member of the Francis family. This family were the last to actually farm at Grove Farm and, indeed, one of the new roads was called Francis Road in honour of that family.

Here is one of the photos.

The start of work on the Grove Farm Estate in 1987

The start of work on the Grove Farm Estate in 1987

Work has just started in this view in which we look west over the fields. Lavington School is on the right hand edge of this photo.

Lavington School

Lavington School

Looking further round we can see the Park Road houses. We believe the house with windows in the roof line once belonged to Sybil Perry.

Park Road

Park Road

Further round we see houses on The Spring

The Spring

The Spring

Present day residents on Grove Farm quite often ask, ‘What used to be where my house is now?’ This photo really gives the answer – it was pasture land.

This photo and half a dozen others date from 1987. It may seem like only yesterday to many of us, but it is more than a quarter of a century ago. You’d need to be over thirty to have any real memories of the fields that were Grove Farm.


West from the church in 1972

May 13, 2014

This is a very unassuming image yet it was taken with foresight or maybe foreknowledge of the future. It is a view from the churchyard in Market Lavington, looking in a westerly direction and taken in 1972.


Wast from Market Lavington Church in 1972


In the immediate foreground we have the fence, hedge and gateway between the churchyard and Grove Farm.

This fence, hedge and opening now link church and green

This fence, hedge and opening now link church and green

This is still recognisably the same as now although the rather tumbledown kissing gate has gone. The area just outside that gate is now the Community Green.

In the fields we can see what must have once been a building on Grove Farm.


A former Grove Farm building


Goal posts on the football field

Goal posts on the football field

Beyond that there is a football field – all these areas are now the Grove Farm housing estate.

Further away we return to the older areas – Park Road. When built that had the rather prosaic name of Estate Road.


Beyond Park Road we can see Lavington School, little more than ten years old when the photo was taken and without many of its present day buildings.

Much has changed in the past forty or so years.


The day before they felled the limes

March 23, 2014

Our dateline today is 1987. Grove farm estate is under construction and a new road, Grove Road, needs driving through it. A line of lime trees is more or less on its route and they have to go. A quick thinking person had discovered that the trees were to be felled and snapped a photo, just in time.

The Spring, Market Lavington in 1987 - the day before they felled the limes.

The Spring, Market Lavington in 1987 – the day before they felled the limes.

It is a grand photo, capturing that snapshot in time – and not only with regard to those wintry lime trees.

On the extreme right we have some corrugated buildings which had been a part of the farm. That, of course, has all gone and the wonderful Community Hall occupies the spot. Overhead there is a wonderful myriad of cables and the lime trees are just beyond the wires which cross the road. There’s a period ERF lorry, probably delivering materials for the building work. Pearce, the lorry owner was a builder’s merchant. Lavington School can just be made out above the cab of the lorry.

The garage has gone too. The housing known as Shires Close stands there now. But we are reminded that back in 1987 we could buy petrol branded as Elf in the village and that it cost somewhere either side of £1.50 – and that would be for a gallon which works out at about 33p for a litre.

Something was on offer for free at the garage. This probably meant you had to buy a can of oil and then you got a little bonus.

Amongst ‘free’ offers the garage made there was a little sports bag which is still used by our curator.

'Free' gift from Shires Filling Station

‘Free’ gift from Shires Filling Station

A view from the church tower in 1990

March 14, 2014

Views from on high are always interesting. In Market Lavington to get the best vantage point you have to get to the top of the church tower. That’s something photographers have done for well over 100 years. This time we have the village in a state of change. The old open fields are becoming the Grove Farm estate.

A view from St Mary's, Market Lavington in 1990

A view from St Mary’s, Market Lavington in 1990

We are looking roughly due north from the church. The line between the old and newer burial grounds shows up well as a change in colour. There is a brick wall on the right which surrounds the garden of the Old House. Down in the lower land we are looking at new housing on Roman Way and Saxon Close. Across Grove Road a white house faces us. That is on Beechwood.

The white house facing us is on Beechwood

The white house facing us is on Beechwood

Other Beechwood houses were not completed when this photo was taken.

Beyond the trees the land continues its upward rise to the top of Northbrook.


Northbrook and on to Drove Lane

That part of the view remains much the same.


A view from Northbrook

May 15, 2013

Now here’s a confession. Our curator actually took this photo and, being a black and white image, he processed it himself. But he never captioned it and now he has no idea just when the photo was taken or what was going on.

‘It was almost certainly the late 1970s’ is all we can get from him.

A view down Northbrook, Market Lavington in the 1970s

A view down Northbrook, Market Lavington in the 1970s

The location is clear enough. St Mary’s Church is framed within the crane’s arm and cable. To the right of the church we can see the wide open fields of Grove Farm.

To the left of, and in front of the church we can see the houses and bungalows of Bouverie Drive. Behind Bouuverie Drive there is the pale coloured terrace of Market Place and in the backdrop we have the strip lynchetts near Ramscliff.

Immediately behind the Chivers name on the crane we can see Jubilee Cottage on Northbrook and under the crane we can make out the thatched roof of ‘The Rest’.

There look to be ground works going on in the left foreground. Were footings being prepared for a new bungalow – High Ryde?

Can you help our curator and tell him just what was going on in the photo he took!