Posts Tagged ‘Knapp Farm’

Knapp Farm Barns

August 24, 2015

A photo from seventeen years ago hardly seems like history to most of us. It’s little more than yesterday, you might think.

But back in August 1998 the barns at Knapp Farm were just that – barns and definitely looking a bit the worse for age, wear and tear.

Knapp Farm barns in 1998

Knapp Farm barns in 1998

OK, they looked rather derelict in truth. But the church might help people who don’t know the area well to locate these barns. They are at the bottom of Lavington Hill. It was back in march that we showed a photo of thatch being removed from the barn facing the camera in this view. It was replaced in the 1950s with rather less lovely corrugated sheets.

The tiles on the building on the left may not have been original but they are real clay tiles and some of us think they look truly lovely. They would seem to be of double Roman style and were almost certainly made locally.

The yard looks an utter mess!

Soon after the photo was taken, the buildings were converted into homes. The present day scene may have lost some charm but it does all look neat and tidy. For reasons not entirely clear to us the new homes were known as White Horse Barns

 

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.

 

 

A View from the Church in 1914

May 12, 2015

Photographers do like to climb the church tower to take photos of the surroundings. This one was taken by a member of the Burgess family back in 1914.

A Burgess postcard view from Market Lavington church tower

A Burgess postcard view from Market Lavington church tower

It is just a thought as to what equipment had to be carted up the spiral staircase and ladder needed to open the trap door to the roof of the tower.

At the heart of this photo is Knapp Farm.

Knapp Farm

Knapp Farm

The house, of course, still stands but no farm is associated with it any more. The barns have been converted into a complex of dwellings known as White Horse Barns.

Limekiln Farm at the top of Lavington Hill

Limekiln Farm at the top of Lavington Hill

This photo has been stretched a bit far but it shows another farm – Limekiln Farm which was situated near the top of Lavington Hill quite close to where the reservoir is today. We can see the chalky road leading up Lavington Hill. No wonder many similar roads earned the name of White Street.

Church Street roof line and The Muddle

Church Street roof line and The Muddle

In this closer selection we look over the former pub (The Drummer Boy) and 21 Church Street and can see houses on The Muddle as well.

Let’s finish with a similar but more modern view.

Similar view in the year 2000

Similar view in the year 2000

This dates from the year 2000 and was taken by Maurice Baker.

 

 

Knapp Farm Barn

March 23, 2015

The second half of the 1950s was a time when wartime austerity was ending, we’d ‘never had it so good’ and it was time to get rid of old fashioned things and replace them with new. And that is precisely what happened to this barn.

Knapp Farm barn in 1957

Knapp Farm barn in 1957

This is a 1957 photo and work is in progress to remove the thatch from the barn roof.

Work is in progress to remove the thatch from the roof

Work is in progress to remove the thatch from the roof

There we see (just) a couple of men working on the barn roof with a tractor and trailer down below for collecting the discarded old thatching straw. The farmhouse can be seen beyond the barn and the photo must have been taken from somewhere near Broadwell.

This was very much an era for the removal of thatch. On dwelling houses it was replaced by tiles but a former thatched roof can often be picked out because they are much more steeply pitched than a standard tiled roof.

On a barn, it was deemed OK to replace the tiles with asbestos sheeting! Like Jesus on the cross, we must forgive the people who did this for at the time it was true to say, ‘they know not what they do’.

Some of this barn area has now been converted into desirable dwellings – ‘White Horse Barns’. That means these buildings look smart and tidy – far removed, of course, from their original purpose.

Knapp Farm House

January 28, 2015

Today we have a view of Knapp farm House which is not often seen. This photo was taken from the back garden about thirty years ago.

Knapp Farm House in the 1980s

Knapp Farm House in the 1980s

Although this photo was taken from the back and private garden it very much shows the front of the house. These days we think of Knapp Farm as being on White Street but in times past the main access was along the track which passes between Parsonage Mead and Meadow Cottage. These days that track is used for access to the footpath to West Lavington but a footpath passes by Knapp Farm heading up to the Hollow.

Map showing locations

Map showing locations

The footpath is shown on the map. It’s the green dotted line which passes the large blue M which points (more or less) to our museum and the telephone symbol.

The painter left his mark

January 21, 2015

Back in the early 1970s redecorating was going on at Knapp House (formerly Knapp Farm). Marks left by previous generations of decorators were discovered and, no doubt in trying conditions, were photographed. It’s one of these photos we look at today.

Marks left by painter, John Brown at Knapp Farm in 1871

Marks left by painter, John Brown at Knapp Farm in 1871

The writing at the top is mostly clear and says, ‘John Brown, painter glazier and something (perhaps related to plumbing or paper hanging), Market Lavington, Wilts – July 12th 1871.’

Very handily, 1871 was a census year and so we can easily identify John Brown. In that year John was living on Church Street (just across the yard from the old Volunteer Arms). He was aged 40 and was described as a journeyman painter. He had been born in Erlestoke. His wife, Mary, was nearly ten years older than John and had been born in Coulston. The two children at home, aged 15 and 11 had both been born in Devizes. However, they had been in Market Lavington for the 1861 census and were still there in 1881 and 1891.

The sketch under the name appears to be of a person tending the garden. Could this be the Lady of the house?

Knapp Farm barn fire

March 8, 2014

On the night of 16th/17th September 1989 fire broke out at a barn at Knapp Farm. It was soon a raging inferno.

Knapp Farm barn ablaze on the night of 16/17th September 1989

Knapp Farm barn ablaze on the night of 16/17th September 1989

Our curator, who lived on the opposite side of the village, recalls not just the sight of this fire, but also the noise. The roof was made of non-flammable asbestos sheeting. It may not actually burn but it makes very loud cracking noises as it breaks up.

The picture makes it clear that the open sided barn was a complete and utter write off. Anybody hoping to use the contents was doomed to disappointment.

When the dust had settled not much remained.

 

Barn fire aftermath

Barn fire aftermath

It is such a shame these things happen – or rather, are made to happen either by carelessness or deliberately. The knock on effect of the loss of winter feed for animals can make the difference between financial survival or not for a farmer and may mean that animals with potentially a long term future have to be slaughtered.

Other barns at the farm survived the fire undamaged, but they changed as the economics of life changed and are now dwellings called White Horse Barns.