Posts Tagged ‘then and now’

Church and Grove – 1920s

August 19, 2016

Some photos capture the quiet and rural nature of a place and we think this one did just that.


St Mary’s Church, Market Lavington – 1929

We are looking at the west end and north side of St Mary’s church. We think this was taken in 1929. The photo is in an album we acquired from an internet auction site and other photos in the album are captioned with the year 1929. We do not know who the photographer was but on this occasion they have got a truly pastoral view across fields to the unchanging church.

By the way the church is the Church of England and that is why St George’s Cross – the English flag – flies over the tower. It looks as though there was quite a strong westerly wind blowing that day.

This area has been reshaped to allow for an access road to the Community Hall but it has not been built on. Here’s a similar modern view.


The church – 21st century



The church in colour

August 8, 2016

Collectors of postcards often seem to dismiss the images which have been colour tinted. However, they give us an idea of what places actually looked like, 100 or more years ago. It reminds us that it wasn’t a black and white only world. Here is a view of St Mary’s Church in Market Lavington.

We can get a rough idea of the date of this image from the postmark – but it is always worth remembering that such a mark shows the date the card was posted, not the date the original photograph was taken.

St Mary's Church in about 1911

St Mary’s Church in about 1911

We can see it was posted in Market Lavington on July 25th and we think the year was 1911.

Posted in Market Lavington

Posted in Market Lavington

The big difference in that south side of the churchyard is that the path shown has now entirely grassed over. Now we use the cobbled path, unseen in this image, which heads up to the porch.

The church itself is comparatively unchanged. We can see this in a snowy view from February 2009.

The church in 2009

The church in 2009

The Grange – Easterton

June 4, 2016

The Grange is a hidden building in Easterton. It is along the main street but is hidden behind a high, evergreen hedge.

Easterton Street with The Grange all but hidden

Easterton Street with The Grange all but hidden

Those chimneys are what you see these days but it wasn’t always so. In times past The Grange was a Public House, known as ‘The Cow’ and landlords would have wanted it visible. Even though its role as a pub went 150 or so years ago, it takes time to grow a barrier hedge like the one shown so The Grange was visible in Edwardian times as shown in this postcard.

The Grange in Edwardian times

The Grange in Edwardian times

There we see quite a handsome house. There is a wall, a low hedge and other shrubs but The Grange is clearly visible.

How many people do you see? Is it 4, 5 or 6? If you don’t make it six, the chances are you’ve missed the chap standing on the wall.

Boy on the wall in front of Easterton Grange

Boy on the wall in front of Easterton Grange

The other people are all together.

Children in front of The Grange entrance

Children in front of The Grange entrance

The Grange clearly had quite a grand entrance.

What a lovely image of a scene now lost from view.

Easterton Street

May 3, 2016
Easterton Street - probably Edwardian

Easterton Street – probably Edwardian

This photo is undated. It was taken from the bridge over the stream at the bottom of Kings Road – the road that leads past the village hall and up onto the Sands but it shows the main street through Easterton. The people look to be clothed in Edwardian style.

Easterton Street has seen considerable changes, but the terrace hasn’t changed much externally.

The terrace - sometimes known as the barracks

The terrace – sometimes known as the barracks

Further down the street is a tall pole. We see no wires. Any ideas?

A pole for what?

A pole for what?

Let’s see the similar view in the 21st century.

21st century streetview

21st century streetview

Many changes can be seen, but perhaps it is the appearance of cars which marks the biggest difference between then and now.


Northbrook in the 1970s

February 24, 2016


Our information on this photo centres on Tom Burden’s cottage and says it was demolished because it was past saving.

The cottage referred to is the Tudor one at the left of this photo. Many people felt the demolition was something of a scandal but if asked, ‘would you have lived there?’ the answer was invariably, ‘oh no!’

It may have been sad, but the old, tumbledown damp and fairly derelict cottage went and was replaced by a modern house much more suited to present day needs. And we have photos and personal memories of the old cottage. It is now long gone but it is not forgotten.

There are many other changes that might be seen in that view today.


Well actually it is hardly recognisable as the same place.

An Owen Carter watercolour

February 10, 2016

Sadly we don’t have the original of this painting, just a photo of it. It’s a watercolour by Owen Carter painted in 1850 and it depicts Church Street.

Church Street in 1850 - from a watercolour by Owen Carter

Church Street in 1850 – from a watercolour by Owen Carter

Although there are many changes, the scene is instantly recognisable. It looks as though children are just tumbling out of the school gate with the church above them. There is still a ledge between the path up to the church and the track which used to lead to Grove Farm and now serves as a footpath to the Community Hall. There are still trees, now pollarded, on that ledge. The ledge has been neatened with steps put in.

Interesting that Owen just got in the sign for the New Inn.

The biggest changes are in the V between the main road and that track to Grove Farm. Let’s take a look at a 21st century image.

Similar 21st century view

Similar 21st century view

This Streetview image isn’t identical. We can see the ledge but the slightly overgrown trees hide the church and the Old School gate. There is still a pub sign in this picture which gives the name the pub took from the 1970s of The Drummer Boy. That pub is now closed.

The little bier house now stands in that V and a plethora of cottages have gone leaving just Church Cottage (which would have been a terrace of three in Owen Carter’s time.)

One of the displays we are creating for the 1916 season concerns pubs past and present. There have been many in Market Lavington and a couple in Easterton. Now we have one in each village.

Market Place – then and now

January 25, 2016

Our Market Lavington Market Place has changed a huge amount since the second half of the 20th century. People who didn’t know it have difficulty recognising just what was there in the older pictures. Here’s an attempt to offer help using a photo from the 1950s and another 21st century shot.

One of the features of this (and no doubt other) blog platform is that you can set up picture galleries which can merge one picture into the next. So here we have a sort of simple two frame animation of the two shots.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So there we have it. The Market Place in Market Lavington, then and now.

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

December 22, 2015

The title for this piece is a quote from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song, Big Yellow Taxi’. The song goes on, ‘They’ve paved paradise and put up a parking lot’.

Joni was probably singing about an area around Honolulu but she might almost be singing about what happened in Market Lavington in around 1960. It was then that some lovely looking Tudor houses were demolished in our Market Place and replaced with – you’ve guessed it – a parking lot.

On this blog we certainly wouldn’t criticise a decision made close on 60 years ago. Advantages stemmed from that decision, not least better employment prospects locally as the agricultural engineers were able to expand their much needed operations.

What Market Lavington had, before the changes was this.


Market Lavington Market Place – 1950s

This is a 1950s photo but by 1988 this was a similar, albeit more close up view

Similar view - 1988. The old Tudor buildings are now a derelict parking lot

Similar view – 1988. The old Tudor buildings are now a derelict parking lot

By this stage the age of the local agricultural engineer had ended. The parking lot, in the foreground, where the bank and other buildings had stood had its lack of beauty enhanced by an old rusty van of some sort. Even the ‘parking lot’ with its displays of fine red tractors and combine harvesters might have seemed like paradise by this time.

Clocks can’t be turned back but situations change and this is the 21st century view.

Market Lavington Market Place - 21st century

Market Lavington Market Place – 21st century

What looked so abjectly awful in 1988 has become the front area of Rochelle Court. A new building on the corner now houses a chemists shop and the other shop window, in the white building has a flourishing shop too. That’s a florist.

Obviously the buildings aren’t those old Tudor ones, but planners have done a pretty good job of bringing an area back to life, providing low cost housing and also a couple of retail outlets. Oh yes, part of it is still a parking lot as we can see

The unchanging church

December 7, 2015

Church buildings do change – but alterations are much deliberated over and are, in any case, quite rare. A church building often looks very much the same, even from almost 200 years ago.

And here is another 1837 sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow who was the brother of the vicar back then.

1837 church sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow

1837 church sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow

The trees have undoubtedly altered and their rather overbearing presence in this image has been reduced somewhat. The steps to the right have changed somewhat as well.

For a modern equivalent here is the church as depicted on the wall hanging in the Community Hall.

The church in the Millennium Wall Hanging in the Community Hall - Artist unknown

The church in the Millennium Wall Hanging in the Community Hall – Artist unknown

It can be seen to be just about identical. Once again we realise we can truly trust the 1837 Mayow sketches. They really do show us what the village was like.


Big Brother watches over the Vanishing Past

November 27, 2015

An interesting title for an interesting photograph

Northbrook in the late 1970s

Northbrook in the late 1970s

This photo shows a scene on Northbrook in the late 1970s. It was taken by our curator’s brother in law, Bill, on one of his visits to Market Lavington from his Sussex home. Bill was a very keen amateur photographer and a member of his local camera club. This photo was entered in competitions where it won prizes. The title for the blog is the one Bill wrote on the back as the title of his photograph.


The past is no longer vanishing. It vanished quite soon after. That was ‘The Tudor Cottage’ on Northbrook which was erased from this world in a single day amid much anguish from local folk. It has to be said, though, that whilst the old cottage looked an absolute delight, it wasn’t well suited to late 20th century needs. If you asked people upset by its demolition if they would have lived there, the invariable reply was, ‘oh no!’

Even so, the old cottage went with much regret and has been replaced by a modern house offering a modern family the space they need in a dry and comfortable building.

Even ‘Big Brother’ has altered – by getting even bigger. When the photo was taken this house, built on a slope was little more than a bungalow with a garage and utility room underneath. Since then it has sprouted an upper floor as well.

Here’s the similar modern view.

21st century Northbrook

21st century Northbrook

Thanks to Bill for taking such a stunning photo and producing the large print of it. It will bring back memories for many.