Posts Tagged ‘house’

Where is this?

February 19, 2015

Items seem to be able to arrive at a museum without any documentation. We guess this photo has been hanging around for years. It’s a large photo being eight by six inches – a good old British photo size. It is card mounted with that mount measuring about 14 by 11.5 inches. The photo depicts a large four square brick built house with interesting chimneys. All very well, except that we can’t identify it. We appeal for your help.

A large and distinguished looking house - but where is it?

A large and distinguished looking house – but where is it?

This really should be identifiable. The chimneys are certainly distinctive.

Distinctive chimneys

Distinctive chimneys

It’s probably too much to expect that anybody might recognise the family group.

A family group in the garden

A family group in the garden

The cow looks to be a Jersey. She could well be in calf.


The house cow, perhaps


Another distinctive feature could be the thatched wall to the right of the house.

The thatched wall could shelter a kitchen garden

The thatched wall could shelter a kitchen garden

If this is Market Lavington or Easterton then we do hope somebody can tell us just which house this is or was.

If it isn’t, then we feel the picture should go to a more suitable home.

Either way, do get in touch and let us know where this is.


Mr Dempsey’s shop

February 1, 2015

Mr Dempsey had a shop on Church Street into the 1980s – and here it is.

Mr Dempsey's shop on Church Street, Market Lavington - 1980s

Mr Dempsey’s shop on Church Street, Market Lavington – 1980s

Let’s position this shop, for it is no longer there as a shop. Actually, it is quite hard to define its place. People who have been in the village a long time might say things like, ‘next to Peter Francis’s photography shop’ or ‘opposite the Volunteer Arms’. But these will mean nothing to newer residents.

The building on the right (and that was clearly a shop back then) still looks the same. Mr Dempsey’s shop is on the south side of Church Street 30 yards or so from the crossroads.

It is a much altered building. Back in Edwardian days it looked like this.

In Edwardian times the same building still looked like a chapel

In Edwardian times the same building still looked like a chapel

It was still betraying its chapel origins.

Older residents tend to refer to the shop as Potter’s store.


Mr Potter had the building as a shop in the 1950s


The old school ‘torch’ sign adds interest to this image as does Mr Reid’s garage selling Cleveland petrol across the pavement.

By the 1970s the shop had become a Spar

It was a Spar shop in the 70s

It was a Spar shop in the 70s


The shop next door was in a sorry state and was subsequently rebuilt as in the Dempsey photo. Petrol pumps were still by the old garage but we don’t believe they were still in use at that time.

Mr Dempsey was the last shop keeper here and if we look back at his picture we’ll see that he sold fruit and veg as well as being a general store. After he left, the building reverted to being a private house.

The building has reverted to a private house - a 21st century image

The building has reverted to a private house – a 21st century image

And there it is with a hanging basket on each corner.

Parapet Collapse

December 30, 2013

In May 1993 the parapet at the top of what had once been Mr Walton’s shop fell down. It could have been a tragedy, but fortunately nobody was hurt so it was only an inconvenience.

1993 collapse of parapet - White Street, Market Lavington

1993 collapse of parapet – White Street, Market Lavington

This was quite a collapse of hefty pieces of masonry falling from roof height. That would not have done much good to anybody had they happened to be underneath it at the time. Fortunately, nobody was and in the fullness of time the building was repaired. The painted sign, ‘The House that Value Built’ survived this mishap but twenty years on it has almost faded away.

The parapet, above numbers 3 to 5 White Street in Market Lavington had once had signs fixed along it. The photo below dates from around 1913.

White Street in 1913. It says' Lavington House' along the parapet.

White Street in 1913. It says’ Lavington House’ along the parapet.

There’s the parapet in place and proudly proclaiming that this is ‘LAVINGTON HOUSE’. It was a part of Mr Walton’s empire.

The painted sign had a different message back then.


A different painted sign in 1913


Along White Street we can see that the old Brewery Tap pub was in operation.

The Brewery Tap was still trading

The Brewery Tap was still trading

The Tap went in the early 1920s and was converted into a pair of houses. There’s nothing new about that process which is still continuing in the village.


Ben Hayward and Kestrels

January 7, 2013

Kestrels is a house in Easterton. The present owner is attempting to write up the history of the house. This blog is an appeal for help, information and photographs.

Kestrels is a listed building so we can turn to the listing citation for starters.

House. Early C18. Flemish brickwork with raised stone quoins and dressings on malmstone plinth. Stone tiled roof. Two storeys and attic, 5 x 2 bays ‘L’-plan, front extended to left by further 2 bays. Central 6 x fielded and panelled door with moulded stone architrave and stone broken scrolled pediment on brackets. Stone plinth offset moulding. Windows 12-pane sashes with raised moulded architraves and flat frieze meeting moulded plat band. Timber moulded eaves cornice. Elevation to road has 3-light stone framed windows with arris beading, and similar windows to rear. Re-entrant angle of plan filled with 2-storey flat roofed building containing rear door and kitchen. Roof hipped with 2 gabled dormers to front and stack central to wing.
Interior: Main stair hall has C17 stair, and fine moulded plaster ceiling comprising an oval floral border with putti in angles. Central rosette. Further boldly moulded putti on soffite of stair. Main rooms left and right of hall have moulded panelling and shutters.

But of course, the area was inhabited long before the early 18th century when this house was built. We have already looked at Roman finds from the Kestrels area. Click here for that information.

We know that Ben Hayward lived at the house during the second half of the nineteenth century and we think it pretty well certain that the name Kestrels was his choice.

Our curator recently acquired an old magazine published by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society magazine

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society magazine for June 1908

This has an article in it which mentions Ben Hayward and Kestrels although the article is about a dispute regarding small pox victim burials. But here is what the author had to say about Ben and Kestrels.

The first document is endorsed” The King v. Williams on the prosecn of Axford. Case.” And Oil the packet containing both documents, in my father’s (the late Rt. Hon. Edward P. Bouverie) handwriting is written

“These papers were given to me by Mr. Benjamin Hayward, of Easterton, 1876.” This Mr. Hayward, who lived to a great age, and died shortly after this date, was a yeoman farmer and resided in a charming little seventeenth or early eighteenth century house, which still exists with its architectural attractions, on the west side of the lane running north alongside of the Royal Oak Inn, at Easterton. The taste of the later Victorian period has, I think, done the house some injustice by calling it ” The Kestrels,” though it may be that the ornithological researches of the then proprietor justified him in this nomenclature, and I believe the present occupier-Mr.Selfe-adheres to the name which he found recently attached to the house; but there are perhaps few houses of so small a size in the South of England where the architect has been allowed to exercise the style which is associated with Inigo J ones and his successors.

Any further information would be very gratefully received.

Marks of Occupation

November 27, 2012

Some Items just can’t be brought to a museum, for they are part of the structure of another building. However, we may be allowed to photograph them and so we have a photo of stonework surrounding the fireplace at what must be one of the oldest cottages on Northbrook in Market Lavington.

Marks of occupation in the stonework around a fireplace at Northbrook, Market Lavington

It may look ordinary enough, but a closer look reveals names and initials and other marks all over this fire surround. Apparently it was not unusual, in times past, for residents to add their name to others already there.

So here’s a closer view of a small part of the image.

A closer view of some of the marks.

And here some enhancement has been done to improve the visibility.

Digitally enhanced!

It still isn’t easy to make out names or initials. Perhaps the most prominent are J P – but there seems to have been little care about finding an empty spaced for new etchings.

A view from the Church Tower – 1980

October 1, 2012

By 1980 we were into the world of colour print photography. It was, of course, still film based and exposed film would have been given in at the chemist or photographers for processing, or sent away to a central processor who may have given you your next film as part of the deal.

An unknown photographer climbed the church tower and took a series of colour photos. We show one of them here. This is looking in a generally northerly direction.

1980 view from Market Lavington church tower towards Bouverie Drive and Northbrook

It seems to be a common feature of photos of this era that they are not as sharp as you might like. This was probably due to cheaply made plastic cameras and machine processing to what might be called an average standard. Professional photographers seemed to get good quality pictures.

However we can zoom in and see a little more detail. Let’s start with the Bouverie Drive area.

Bouverie Drive from the church tower

We can see houses and a bungalow on Bouverie Drive here but behind (left side) we are looking at houses on Northbrook, including The Rest which is thatched. In the background we see Drove Lane.

Northbrook and Northbrook Close from the church tower

Here we see Northbrook Close and other houses at the top of Northbrook. Once again, we look to Drove Lane in the background. The barn at Homestead Farm stands out.

But the big changes have taken place nearer the church.

The fields of Grove Farm are now under houses.

Immediately outside the graveyard now you’d see the houses of Roman Way and beyond that, those of Beechwood. This area was once part of Grove Farm so now it all tends to get called the Grove Farm Estate.

Local photographers have used the church tower as a good vantage point over many years. It certainly enables the changes in the village to be seen.

Whither now the Thatcher?

September 29, 2012

Albert Hiscock was a long term Market Lavington thatcher. We have read about him a couple of times on this blog. (Click here and here). Albert and his wife lived at Hillside at the bottom of Lavington Hill.  One of the nicest photos we have of their house was taken in 1936 – a quickly snapped photo taken when military tanks came off Salisbury Plain and into Market Lavington.

Hillside Cottage, Market Lavington, looks to be well thatched and well protected by a tank – a great photo snapped with a box camera in 1936.

Harriet, Albert’s wife, died in 1954 and Albert joined her in St Mary’s graveyard in January 1955.

Soon after, scaffolding appeared on Hillside cottage.

Hillside Cottage on White Street, Market Lavington in 1955. Now you see the thatch!

And now you don’t. Later in 1955 Hillside Cottage is under a new roof.

By the end of the year, the thatch was gone and Hillside Cottage sported a new, tiled roof.

Once upon a time many houses in Market Lavington were thatched and there was plenty of work for the thatcher. Someone will correct us if we are wrong, but we can place just three thatched houses now.

So, whither now the thatcher? For a while his future looked bleak, but now he’s in his van and maybe operating over a wider area, but the trade is certainly still very much alive and kicking.

Six and Eight, Parsonage Lane

September 22, 2012

Hands up if you hear six and eight and think, ‘that’s a third of a pound’. Well it was in old money and if you do think that, you may remember this wonderful bit of topiary outside these Parsonage Lane semi-detached houses. This photo, of numbers 6 and 8, Parsonage Lane, dates from about 1930.

Numbers 6 and 8, Parsonage Lane in Market Lavington in about 1930

These cottages were built after the demolition of the former parsonage. That was in 1852. The cottages carry a hallmark of Edward Pleydell Bouverie who owned the Manor at that time in the shape of the ornate chimneys.

Chimneys on the cottages in 2012

It is hard to be certain about the occupants of these houses in times past. Census data does not always give precise addresses but we think the nearer of the pair was occupied for many years by members of the Potter family. It seems likely that May Potter, later Mrs Elisha, was born there. Walter James who became a baker at what is now the Post Office may have lived in the other.

The 1964 electoral roll shows the Potter family in one of pair and the Moger family in the other.

We’d love to receive more information about these two cottages. We suspect that the topiary was originally by Edwin Potter, but local people with memories are not certain. As we said just over a month ago, we are short of good information on Parsonage Lane.

We would also like more about the 1960s in Market Lavington and Easterton. This follows two recent request which we are not well able to meet. For those people who think the 1960s were yesterday and not yet the stuff for museums, let’s just say that something like half of the population has been born since the 1960s. We are in 2012 which means 1962 was 50 years ago. Again, do get in touch if you can help.

Church House

June 1, 2012

Was this ever actually called Church House?

It is the building we now know as The Rectory (formerly The Vicarage) but at the unknown date when this picture was taken it was a private house, and the centre of activities of the Alexander family who were chapel members. However, we cannot dispute the house is on Church Street. The electoral rolls we have for 1926 and 1939 just tell us that Alfred and Sarah Alexander lived on Church Street.

The information on the back of the photo gives us a little information.

The information on the back of a photo tells us this was the home of Alfred and Sarah Alexander of Market Lavington

And here is the actual picture.

Church House, Market Lavington – a photo at this Wiltshire museum which is concerned with market Lavington and Easterton.

It would be good to know the year and the occasion. Sadly, the photo is not clear enough to read messages on the banners. Perhaps the large H in the window above the door indicates that this was Hospital Week?

Alfie Alexander was well known for being a character. He had certainly done well for himself in terms of housing. Alfie kept pigs in the back yard of the house – roughly where the rector now has his office. He ran some kind of refuse service, spreading what he collected over land in the Parham area.

An earlier entry on this blog showed Alfie walking with Winston Churchill in London. Alfie had decided to get this picture – and made sure he did. He didn’t know Mr Churchill at all.

Church Street – about 1970

March 22, 2012

Church Street, Market Lavington in about 1970

For many years, Peter Francis, our village photographer and his wife Bessie, lived in the flat above his Church Street shop. This view of Church Street, dating from about 1970, was taken from his window, one bright, sunny morning. The houses on the left side of the street are hidden in the deep shadow, but keen lookers might make, at extreme left, out a part of an ‘over the pavement’ petrol pump which still existed on the premises once operated by the Merritt family. Further down that side of the street a pub sign hangs over the pavement. It’s hard to be certain, but we think it says ‘Drummer Boy’ on it. Not long before the photo was taken it was called The New Inn’.

The houses and buildings on the right are clearer to see. The gable end at the extreme right is a shed or store building on the yard of the old Volunteer Inn which still stands, as a private house, on the corner of Church Street and Parsonage Lane.

Next to it is a building with an interesting past.

The Lighthouse, Market Lavington was where acettlene gas was once manufactured

This was once a part of the Hopkins’ empire and was the factory where they produced acetylene. This was piped around the village for lighting. The Hopkins called this building, ‘The Light House’. Early photos show a marked checkerboard effect in the brickwork. We have seen this photo before.

"The Lighthouse" on Church Street - where Hopkins brothers made acetylene - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This effect must have been due to differences in film. They didn’t respond equally to all colours.

Church Cottage, Market Lavington

Further down the street we can see that Drummer Boy sign on the left, but we are looking at two different buildings facing us. The small building with the large door is the bier house – the place where the ‘coffin cart’ is kept. The white house, behind it, is called Church Cottage and was, for many years, the home of Lavington School headmaster, Harry Greening. But before that it had been three separate cottages and there were three more squeezed in between the bier house and the existing cottage.

There are so many wires overhead you almost wonder how the birds managed to fly in and out!