Posts Tagged ‘Manor’

Easterton Manor Garden

October 15, 2015

There is not a huge amount to say about this photo. It is just one to admire and enjoy.

Easterton Manor Garden - early 20th century

Easterton Manor Garden – early 20th century

We are looking, presumably, from an upstairs window, at a part of the garden at Easterton Manor. That’s the large house more or less opposite White Street in Easterton.

The garden looks simply stunning and has all the hallmarks of a household where gardeners were employed. The home owners were John William Morgan Williams (1855-1942) and his wife Florence Letitia (1866 – 1946). All tales point to Florence Letitia being the manager and organiser whilst John spent money he hadn’t really got on all sorts he probably shouldn’t have.

But there’s no doubt that the garden was in wonderful order. Everything looks in perfect, and beautiful condition. A couple of chairs look to be just the place for a servant to bring a tray of tea out to the couple.


The Manor Sale of 1916

April 23, 2015

Sale catalogues can be very interesting items and this one, complete with well reproduced photographs certainly is.

Manor sale catalogue - 1916

Manor sale catalogue – 1916

The bulk of the estate had been sold off following the death of Charles Awdry. James Welch, the father of the man whose war diaries and letters can be seen here acquired and kept the auction catalogue for the remainder of the estate. This was sold off in 33 lots on July 28th 1916.

Buildings in the sale included


Bouverie Lodge, now happily rebuilt after the awful fire there.


The Fishing Cottage which also still exists.


The cricket pavilion which stood where the houses of Pavilion Gardens have been built.


The manor house itself.

Let’s take a look at a description of lot 23 which included the pavilion.


It sounds delightful.

James Welch, we guess, was at the sale and recorded price and buyer.


So we think the ground and pavilion were purchased by Mr Holloway for £535 (or maybe £555).

Lavington School now occupies part of the former cricket field.

Potter’s Steps

December 18, 2014

Edwin Potter (junior) was the son of Edwin Potter the horse bus operator and also the mother of May Potter who became Mrs Elisha.

Amongst many jobs he had one was as a member of the ground staff for Dauntsey’s School. It fell his lot to produce a handy footpath so that the boys (the school was boys only in those days) could walk easily from the main site in West Lavington to the former Manor House in Market Lavington. The path he built started on the main road between Market and West Lavington and had to cross the Broadwell stream and the Northbrook before reaching the manor. Edwin constructed flights of steps to go in and out of each of these two steep sided valleys. He was obviously proud of his work for our photo shows him with a broom, keeping his walkway clean and tidy.

Edwin Potter of market Lavington cleans the path he made to the old Manor House. This path was once known as Potter's Steps.

Edwin Potter of Market Lavington cleans the path he made to the old Manor House. This path was once known as Potter’s Steps.

This route became known as Potter’s Steps and is still in existence and use today. But it is on private land and is not a public right of way. We can see that in times past – the 1930s – a rural chap was expected to be able to turn his hand to anything and constructing a path like this really did involve thought in the layout, engineering in bridge construction and a large dose of hard graft and heavy labour.

Market Lavington Manor

December 9, 2013

We have said it before, but many people do not realise that Market Lavington has a Manor House.

It was built, somewhat extravagantly, in the mid-19th century to suit the whims and fancies of Edward Pleydell Bouverie. Some commentators are sure there was a big masonic influence in its design features.

It still stands and still looks very grand. As we head for the season of snow, let’s look ahead to spring and see what the Manor House looked like in daffodil season in the 1980s – thirty years ago.

Market Lavington Manor has been owned by Dauntsey's School since 1926

Market Lavington Manor has been owned by Dauntsey’s School since 1926

It really is a handsome structure – particularly for those folks who love brick. The bricks were local, from the Market Lavington Brick Works and various patterns and motifs are picked out in darker coloured bricks.

So how can people not realise this huge house exists? Well they probably know of its presence, but don’t realise that it was once the Manor House for our parish.

After the death of Edward Pleydell Bouverie the house had a somewhat chequered career. During World War 1 it came under military or government control and got really run down.

In 1926 Dauntsey’s School were able to buy the building and nearly 90 years on they still own it.

People refer to the building as ‘Dauntsey Manor’ and as that school is based in West Lavington they may well think that the Manor is in that parish. In fact it remains a part of Market Lavington parish.

We probably need to thank Dauntsey’s School for the fact that the building exists and is still in good order. It is hard to imagine any individual wanting to live there these days.

Looking back at the cricket

September 17, 2013

For lovers of England and Test Match cricket it has been a grand summer with England beating the old rival – the Australians – by three matches to nil.

Perhaps the heyday for Market Lavington cricket was 100 years earlier.

Charles Awdry, who had bought the Manor and what was left of the estate had laid out a very fine cricket ground and built a pavilion on quite a lavish scale for a village ground. Wiltshire never had a first class team but it seems some quite prestigious matches were played at the ground. It is rumoured that a touring Australian side. The MCC have no record of a match but have suggested that the 9th June 1909 was a likely date if such a match ever happened.

Today we look at cricketers and supporters a few years after that event – in 1914.

Players and supporters at Market Lavington Cricket Week in 1914

Players and supporters at Market Lavington Cricket Week in 1914

Lavington Cricket Week was probably having its last fling as a social event. The outbreak of war ended such frivolity and much of it never returned.

This picture was copied from an album still owned by members of the Awdry family.  Sadly we do not know who any of the men are but we hope they enjoyed their time as cricketers at Market Lavington.

At Market Lavington Manor

November 2, 2012

Many people don’t realise that there is a manor house in Market Lavington. It is strangely out of the way, almost on the boundary with neighbouring West Lavington. Even though it only dates from the 1860s, it was a time before the present network of surfaced roads was created. We might see entrances to the manor from Market Lavington as little more than footpaths but back then, that was what roads were like. In fact a rather grand carriage drive was built from Bouverie Lodge (now under repair after the appalling fire) down to the manor.

In the 1930s the manor became a boarding house for Dauntsey’s School. The main part of that establishment was and is in West Lavington. A footpath was created to make an easier walk for the boys (it was all boys in those days). This footpath goes down into two stream valleys and has flights of steps. It was constructed by a Mr Potter and some still refer to the route – which is not a public right of way – as Potter’s Steps. The old back entrance to the manor, on the A360 road became the main vehicular access and this provided a close link with the Lavington Railway Station. The manor became associated with West Lavington.

Yet it was Market Lavington Manor and it is still in the parish of Market Lavington.

So, today we are looking at a Dauntsey’s School photo which dates from the 1930s.

Pupils and staff of Dauntsey’s School at Market Lavington Manor in the 1930s

The steep bank, below the Manor made an ideal place for a group photo like this, with boys towering up above boys whilst men sat, comfortably, on chairs on the flat ground at the bottom. Altogether, there are some 220 people in the photograph.

The location is made 100% certain by the presence of the famed balustrade above the boys.

The balustrade was designed and built by William Box of the Market Lavington brick works

This balustrade was the one designed by William Box for the manor, and subsequently used by him at his own house, leading to a legal dispute between Box and the Manor owner – Edward Pleydell Bouverie.

We do not know anyone in the picture. Many would have been temporary schoolboy residents. It would need something amazing for anyone to identify people in the little, blog sized photo of all 220 people, but here’s an enlargement of some of the men and boys. The photo itself is of good quality.

Close up on some of the boys and staff

Do get in touch if you know any of these people, and perhaps a visitor to the museum will identify more.

The Disputed Balustrade

September 23, 2012

Market Lavington Manor was built in the 1860s. Edward Pleydell Bouverie had decided on a grandiose building based on a Tudor style brick building. The ornamentation was lavish. No expense was spared in making sure the new Manor House was by far the best dwelling in the parish. Amongst the design features was a balustrade around the terrace just outside the house. This attractive little wall was designed and provided by Edward Box who had taken Market Lavington Brick Works in 1859. It was essentially brick, made in moulds much as ordinary bricks were. Here we see the balustrade surrounding the manor.

An undated photo of Market Lavington Manor shows the balustrade around the terrace

Another photo shows the balustrade after the snow storm of 1908.

Market Lavington Manor terrace and balustrade after the snow of April 28th 1908

But back to the 1860s. Edward Box looked at his work and he was pleased. In fact he was so pleased he decided he’d have an identical balustrade around the house he was building for himself. His house, sometimes called Mowbray House, is close to the old brickworks on Broadway, Market Lavington.

Edward Pleydell Bouverie was incensed. He was obviously of the opinion that he alone had the right to this particular and very stylish balustrade. He demanded that Box remove it from his house. This did not happen. Bouverie was a lawyer and he took Box to court over  what was no more than a garden wall. Bouverie lost.

So here is the balustrade at the brick master’s house. This picture dates from the 1920s and may feature members of the George family.

The identical balustrade built by Edward Box at his own home at Broadwayt, Market Lavington

In the Manor

July 19, 2012

Photographs taken inside Market Lavington Manor are almost as rare as hens’ teeth but here we have one, albeit of poor quality.

Let’s start by remembering that the Market Lavington Manor House is not, by the standards of these things, of any great age having been built in the 1860s. It reflected, no doubt, a desire for gracious rural living that was reaching its sell by date even when the house was built. Estates dependant on local agriculture proved unable, certainly in this case, to provide the income that the Lord of the Manor, Edward Pleydell Bouverie required.

Our photo shows the hall of the manor, ‘during Bouverie days’ and it shows a room built and furnished on a lavish scale.

The Hall at Market Lavington Manor in Bouverie days

It isn’t clear what is under the large, striped cover, but it could well be a billiard table (one suspects snooker might have been deemed a rather common game whereas billiards was much more gentlemanly). It, and the other décor  reflect the grand lifestyle.

At the end of the room there is a huge open fireplace. Feeding the fire would have required servants, not to mention foresters to cut down trees and prepare logs of a suitable size. Above the fire there is a painting. In this photo we are unable to judge its quality.

The furniture along the side wall sits under a balcony. Maybe spectators could watch something of the billiards from there. There is a very French looking clock, a number of portraits – maybe of Pleydell Bouverie ancestors and another huge painting. There’s also a highly decorated and handy little cabinet.

It certainly looks as though the Lords of Market Lavington Manor lived the high life, in terms of possessions. But of course, possessions do not equal enough cash to live on.

A flood at Easterton

May 12, 2011
Easterton’s main street has a stream running alongside one edge of it. Very occasionally, after times of high rainfall the stream floods across the street. Our photo shows one of the occasions when this happened.

An Easterton flood, possibly in the 1930s. The photo is now at Market Lavington Museum

We think this photo dates from the 1930s. There is clearly an electricity supply as the poles indicate, but there are no TV aerials to suggest it was into the 1950s.

This scene has changed considerably. We are looking at the junction where Easterton’s White Street joins the main road. You can see the standard finger post to the left of the people inspecting the flood. The building next to the 30 MPH sign on the right has been demolished and the road has been straightened. The wall on the left is around the grounds of Easterton Manor. It is still there but is separated from the roadway by a footpath and a grassed area. The road now goes straight through where the building on the right stands.

Immediately next to the 30MPH sign we are looking at the end of ‘Kandy Cottage’. Joined to that, and a little further alongside White Street was ‘The Bakehouse’ one of two such establishments that operated in Easterton.

Looking up The High Street we can see the former Post Office. The building remains but is now a residence rather than a shop.

Just in front of the finger post we can see a churn of milk on a trolley. This photo was part of a collection belonging to the descendants of John and Florence Williams who held the Manor of Easterton until the mid 1940s. It would seem that the churn of milk probably represented the main source of income for the manor estate at the time the photograph was taken.

Market Lavington Museum is delighted to be receiving more information, records and artefacts from Easterton which was, until the 1870s, a part of Market Lavington parish.

Edward Pleydell Bouverie

July 28, 2010

Edward Pleydell Bouverie was the Lord of Market Lavington Manor in the latter part of the nineteenth century. This extract and sketch comes from Vanity Fair for July 17th 1872. They are on display at Market Lavington Museum.

Statesman No. 119

The Rt. Hon. Edward Pleydell Bouverie M.P.

Edward Pleydell Bouverie - a Vanity Fair cartoon on display at Market Lavington Museum

Mr. Bouverie is of that elder and steadier school of Liberal politicians who know what politics mean and who are not to be led away from that meaning by a caprice for any cause or question. A younger son, and conscious of ability, he entered at an early age into political apprenticeship under the auspices of Lord Palmerston and he is now become eminent in the trade.

For many years he followed a regular course of promotion. A précis writer at twenty two, he became an Under-secretary at thirty two, Chairman of Committee at thirty five and President of the Poor Law Board at thirty seven. In the course of these employments he had not only displayed a sound judgement of the relative importance of things but had also acquired an intimate knowledge of the practical machinery of politics and became regarded as a supporter of his party of more than parrot value, having claims that must be considered.

When, therefore, it was known that Mr. Denison was to be translated to an upper chamber there were many who thought that Mr. Bouverie would be his successor in the chair. He did not decline the speakership, however, for it was not offered to him; and he is not unconscious of the loss that the House of Commons has sustained through the omission. All this session he has hung upon the flank of the governments, showing them without pity the blunder with which they are to be charged. The biting criticism of a ripe politician of fifty four and a former ally is not without effect, and Mr Bouverie will one day have to be dealt with seriously as becomes his standing and pretensions.