Posts Tagged ‘Lavington Hill’

The barn at Lime Kiln

January 29, 2016

There have been many farms up on Salisbury Plain. Those in Market Lavington were taken over as part of the military range in about 1910. Farmers, their families and workers all had to go. There was no choice. Most of the farms were about to be used for target practice and obliterated.

But there were survivors, perhaps too near to the edge of the range and the villages beyond to be used as targets. One survivor was the barn at Lime Kiln Farm which is seen in this photo in gloriously snowy conditions.

The Barn at Lime Kiln in about 1965

The Barn at Lime Kiln in about 1965

Lime Kiln Farm was very close to the scarp edge. Our photographer was standing on the road up Lavington Hill close to where the reservoir is now. This photo got a caption on the back.

Caption - Demolished 1965?

Caption – Demolished 1965?

The Barn at Lime Kiln. Demolished 196?

Now what an irritating last digit. We are not sure what it says so well just say mid 1960s – now some 50 years ago. Possibly demolition came when the reservoir was built.

This was almost a last really visible reminder of hill farming in Market Lavington.

It is also a reminder of snowfall. There is still time for some more this winter.


A much dug landscape

April 1, 2015

The strip of land alongside the road up Lavington Hill has been much dug in the past. Perhaps a clue as to the reason came in the name of a vanished farm just at the top of the hill. It was called Lime Kiln Farm which might suggest that chalk was removed for conversion into agricultural lime.

An old and slightly light spoiled photo certainly shows a humpy-bumpy area on both sides of the hill road.

The road up Lavington Hill - early 20th century

The road up Lavington Hill – early 20th century

We can, of course, see why roads which led up onto Salisbury Plain were called White Street. It is nothing more nor less than a statement of fact. This is the one in Market Lavington, but Easterton and West Lavington have theirs as well. We can see the village down below spread out along the vale with the sandstone ridge rising up beyond.

The photo tends to flatten the scene. From Broadwell to the top of the hill is about a kilometre and in that distance there is a climb of about 100 metres so the average slope is about 1 in 10 or 10%. It’s enough that it would have been hard work for the pony hauling a little cart of some kind up the hill.

A pony and cart wends its way between the heaps of spoil from all the quarrying

A pony and cart wends its way between the heaps of spoil from all the quarrying

This close up really indicates just how much digging had taken place in that area. This is the section that is now set aside – not used for crop growing but left for nature.

The Hollow

March 22, 2015


These days there is an area of ‘set-aside’ land alongside the road up Lavington Hill. It is probably supposed to be a belt of land reserved for wildlife – and all credit to the farmer for trying. But it is a very popular spot for dog walkers so the chances of, say, lapwings nesting there are singularly remote.

Up until the 1960s this area was very different in form for a deep trench ran from the area we still call The Hollow up the hill. An early 1960s colour print photo shows the scene.


The Hollow in about 1960. We are sorry that the colour rendition is so bad.


Clearly, the colour rendition is very poor. It was a green and not a somewhat pink scene.

We are looking down the hill towards the village. At the bottom of the gulley we see the house in The Hollow and beyond that we can make out the houses on Lavington Hill and St Mary’s church. It looks better converted to grey scale.


An enlarged section of the same family but made into a black and white image

An enlarged section of the same photo but made into a black and white image

The Hollow was filled with rubbish, levelled and then cultivated by Mr Snook who farmed the land back in the 1960s.

A view from the hill

May 30, 2013

This photo, not in tip-top condition, dates from 1923 so it is 90 years old.


The hole in the photo is easily fixed digitally. And we think the sepia colour is due to fading so we have returned the photo to monochrome black and white.

Same photo digitally repaired.

Same photo digitally repaired.

We are looking at what some of us think of as ‘the last homely house’ for this is the highest dwelling now remaining up Lavington Hill. There used to be a limekiln higher up and that created The Hollow. This Hollow resulted from quarrying. We can see a track leading down into The Hollow to the right of the cottages.

These cottages are also called ‘The Hollow’. Behind them, the trees are in ‘The Plantation’

We can just make out the church in Market Lavington above the chimney on the cottages.

This photo has a transatlantic history. It was taken in 1923 by Mrs Maude Wright and must have travelled with her to Canada for she sent it to Peggy Gye from across the Atlantic, to be a part of our museum collection.