Posts Tagged ‘Queen Victoria’

The Spring – 1978

December 10, 2015

We have another view of the road known as The Spring today. This one is some 17 years newer than the one we saw yesterday. It was taken in 1978 and shows a view across the field once known as the Warrington Field. By 1978 part of this had become the front field at Lavington School and part of it belonged to Dauntsey’s School. Here’s the image.

A Spring view in 1978

A Spring view in 1978

The most prominent feature in this photo is the tree which stands in the grounds of Lavington School. This is a Wellingtonia Fir and was planted in 1887 to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

To the left of the tree we can see a reminder of an earlier use of this field.

Former cricket pavilion

Former cricket pavilion

This building had been originally erected as the cricket pavilion in about 1910. Charles Awdry, who owned the Manor at that time, was keen on cricket and laid out a very classy ground with a superb pavilion. After Charles’ death in 1912 and then the outbreak of World War One, the cricket pavilion found other uses. At the time of this photo it was probably the home of the Lavington School caretaker. It has now been demolished and a small estate of houses, ‘Pavilion Gardens’ stands on the site.

The photo shows the house once known as The Alban Estate, lining The Spring beyond the pavilion.

There is another house to the right of the tree.

Gardener's Cottage, Clyffe Hall

Gardener’s Cottage, Clyffe Hall

This was the gardener’s cottage for Clyffe Hall and would once have been lived in by James Lye. He was known far and wide, particularly for his skill in raising fuchsias. He developed many cultivars and many are still available. Gardeners could grow these Lavington developed plants for there is a James Lye Fuchsia collection, dedicated to preserving the known James Lye varieties and, just maybe, finding some of the lost ones again. You can see their site at

That’s quite a bit of history in a small area.


Long and Loyal Service

March 17, 2015

Back in Victorian times, the Loyal Volunteers were ready to serve their country as armed soldiers if need arose. They practised regularly and certainly had skills as marksmen. We have seen a couple of pictures of the men on this blog and also buttons found by a local metal detectorist.

Loyal Volunteers were able to earn long service awards and today we show one such award.

Medal 'For long service in the Volunteer Force'

Medal ‘For long service in the Volunteer Force’

Nobody is named on this medal and we do not know who it belonged to. But many local men served lengthy periods in the Volunteer Force.

The other side has an image of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria is on the other side

Queen Victoria is on the other side

This is a fairly elderly looking queen and that suggests the medal was awarded, perhaps in the 1880s or 1890s.

It’s a lovely item but it would be good to know more about it.

Golden Jubilee medallion

August 29, 2014

It was a couple of years ago that we really had a royal year at the museum as we celebrated the diamond jubilee of our present queen.

Today we look back to 1887 and the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria via another of Norman’s metal detector finds.

1887 Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee medallion - a Market Lavington metal detector find

1887 Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee medallion – a Market Lavington metal detector find

This medallion measures less than two inches (5cm) across. It shows a profile view of Victoria in the middle and traces four major events in her life on the four branches of the cross.

Starting on the left we have that she was born in 1819 and this branch of the cross shows a shamrock plant to represent Ireland which was all, then, a part of the one country.

At the top we have that she was crowned in 1838 (she became queen in 1837). That branch of the cross shows a crown.

On the right we have that she married in 1840. Her husband, of course, was Albert. We also see here a thistle to represent Scotland.

And at the bottom we have jubilee year of 1887 with an English rose.

The medallion looks as though it might have had a bar at the top and may have been held to a garment with a ribbon and pin.

We imagine somebody was sorry to lose it. Maybe they’d be happy to know that nearly 120 years after it was made it now has a home at Market Lavington Museum.

The Black Bordered Envelope

February 5, 2013

Back in Edwardian days as well as earlier and later, things were done properly. If someone died then letters were sent in a black bordered envelope. These, of course, were the days before the widespread use of the phone, let alone E-mail or social media. Your notification that someone had died would drop through your letter box in a black bordered envelope,

But propriety required that black bordered envelopes were also used for a period of mourning afterwards. Our envelope today covers that period of mourning following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Black bordered envelope received by James Welch of Market Lavington in 1901

Black bordered envelope received by James Welch of Market Lavington in 1901

James Welch, as we can see, was Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association. This body of men had obviously sent their condolences to the close relatives of Victoria which included, of course, the new King, Edward VII. The letter in the envelope was to thank the association for their kind thoughts. It is a form letter, making use of what we’d now call mail merge although back in 1901 this involved a scribe in handwriting in various sections.

The letter to James was in his role as Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association

The letter to James was in his role as Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association

As we see, the King did not deal with this himself. He commanded the signatory and he got someone else to do the scribing. But obviously the Welch family thought this was worth keeping – until it was passed to the museum.

James Welch was our museum founder’s grandfather.

A memorial Service for Queen Victoria

November 4, 2010

Queen Victoria died in 1901 after more than 60 years as the monarch. It would seem that there was central direction in how the commemoration service, in churches and chapels throughout England and Wales should be held and an order of service was published for all religious venues throughout those areas. Market Lavington Museum holds the copy that came for St Mary’s Church Our image, here, just shows the front cover.

Order of Service for the commemoration of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Of interest is the special mention of Berwick-upon-Tweed. This reflects that town’s varied political past, changing hands frequently between the Scots and the English. These days it is officially part of England but in the nineteenth century Berwick had a high degree of autonomy and acts of parliament had to mention the town specifically.  The act which took Britain into the Crimean War, specifically mentions Berwick, but it didn’t get mentioned on a peace treaty which means that, technically, Berwick is still at war.

These strange quirks of political history probably mattered hardly a jot to the people of Market Lavington as they mourned the loss of their Queen.