Posts Tagged ‘then and now’

The east end of the High Street in 1837

November 16, 2015

Yes, this is another of the fantastic sketches by Philip Wynell Mayow, brother of Market Lavington’s vicar back in the first year of Queen Victoria’s reign. Philip, our artist, was able to set himself up in the road more or less outside where the Workman’s Hall is now so that he could produce this sketch.

The East end of Market Lavington High Street by Philip Wynell Mayow

The East end of Market Lavington High Street by Philip Wynell Mayow

As usual, Philip has captioned his work.

Dated 20th May 1837

Dated 20th May 1837

So it looks as though this dates from May 20th 1837. To be historically accurate, this was a month before the death of King William IV so Victoria hadn’t become queen at that time.

We are going to look a little way down the street first.


Palm House is on the right

On the right here we see Palm House. Only three years before this sketch was made this had been the site of Mr Willett’s asylum but in 1834 he acquired Fiddington House and set up his asylum there, from then on.

A modern photo of Palm House shows just how little it has altered. It even has the same porches.

Similar view of Palm House

Similar view of Palm House

Philip Wynell Mayow’s accuracy is really shown to good advantage here. It means we trust that his sketches really do show us what the village was like.

The first building on the right in the whole photo is no longer in existence. It has been replaced by the 1865 built Workmans’ Hall. Back in 1837 this was the home of William Cambridge the engineer and we believe it was at these premises that he was building portable steam engines for export all over the world and also designing his famed clod crushing agricultural roller which is still made and used and is called the Cambridge roller.

On the left of the whole picture there is a gap in the housing with a row of trees. That area is now the entrance to the nursing home. Our knowledge of what was there in 1837 comes from the other sketch of High Street by this artist. It shows what looks to be a farm house, set back from the road. Later, a new vicarage was built there and this is still at the heart of the nursing home. The old Parish Room occupied the entrance area where the trees are.

We can see that most of the houses further along High Street sit snugly under thatched roofs.

Yet again, we have a fantastic image showing us our village in pre-photography days.


Easterton High Street – 1937

November 4, 2015

We know this photo dates from 1937 for the flags are out for the coronation of King George VI.

Easterton High Street in 1937

Easterton High Street in 1937

On the left we have Easterton’s Jubilee Buildings – a terrace erected in 1897 which was Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Year. The one marked with an X shows the home of the Shepherd family who ran a bakery from there.

The cottage facing up the street has long gone. Pass to the left of it and you’d have been on the sands (Kings) road. Pass to the right and you’d have been on the main road heading towards Urchfont.

At the far end of the right hand row we can see The Homestead and down at this end, with the open windows is the terrace which has been called ‘The Barracks’.

We cannot identify the lone cyclist.

And here’s a similar 21st century view.


Eastcroft Farm

October 30, 2015

Eastcroft farm is in Eastcott. It lies on the main road through this settlement but also has a little loop lane all of its own.

image002We can see its location towards the top right hand corner of this modern map.

And here’s a view along the main road, possibly in about 1920.


Eastcott including Eastcroft Farm – possibly 1920s

Eastcroft Farm is on the right. On the left is Ducks Farm and straight down the road is the Manor House in Eastcott. Horse power is being used to haul a load towards the cameraman.

Almost inevitably, the view is more wooded and concealed today.


21st century view in Eastcott

No sign of the Manor at all there. Ducks Farm has extended but what we see of Eastcroft Farm looks much the same.



A prize draw ticket

September 29, 2015

We have published this ticket before on the museum blog.

1924 draw ticket

1924 draw ticket

We are grateful that somebody thought to save such a thing just over 90 years ago. We make sure we still do the same today so here we present a similar ticket, 2015 style.

2015 draw ticket

2015 draw ticket

Sadly the old ticket had no price, but we can be sure it was nothing like a pound – the price of the current one. But the information we have about prizes shows a huge difference.

What would people have done with a fat lamb in 1924? To be honest, we don’t know but we can be equally sure that it could be seen as an unlikely top prize in 2015 even though many have freezers these days and could, in fact, make use of it.

Then as now, sponsors gave prizes because they supported the causes. Back in 1924 a cash prize would surely have been very welcome, but golf for four at Castle Combe just couldn’t have been on the agenda. How would people have got there? It was probably all but impossible. Obviously there could not have been helicopter rides. The first real helicopter took to the skies in 1936.

The prizes in 2015 reflect the leisured nature of 21st century life. The prizes, apart from the cash, are not things people need but maybe are very much wanted by some.

Snow at St Mary’s

September 17, 2015

Photographers who entered the ‘Seasons’ category at Market Lavington show at the start of the month commented on how difficult it was to portray four seasons that looked different this year.

Perhaps they’d not have had the problem in 1897 when this photo was taken.

Snow at St Mary's Church in 1897

Snow at St Mary’s Church in 1897

Snow clearly fell that year – and settled or pitched as people say around here.

We can see part of St Mary’s Church and a corner of the village school on the right. That could be a chap trying to clear the path up to the church.

Snow clearance on the path up to the church?

Snow clearance on the path up to the church?

Now that path is treacherous at any time. If slippery with compressed snow it would be awful.

Straight ahead we are looking at Grove Farm. That’s the path that leads to the Community Hall now.

On the left, the little single storey building is the bier house and behind it a row of cottages stand along the edge of Church Street.

The view is difficult to recreate during summer. The trees are in full leaf and hide items.

Bier House and church remain

Bier House and church remain

What we can see is that the church and bier house stand, more or less unchanged. That line of cottages behind the bier house has gone to reveal Church Cottage.

Let’s hope we get no snow until the winter and maybe some of us could look forward to a bright sunny day with snow on the ground – in January.


The Alban Estate

August 29, 2015


The Alban Estate dates from around 1926 -28. We could say it was the first modern housing estate built in the village with houses along The Spring and also on Park Road which was, for many years, known as Estate Road. Twenty six houses were built which must have had quite an impact in Market Lavington, more or less joining our village with neighbouring West Lavington. When built, at the end of the twenties, the houses were built for rental but in 1939 the estate was sold off with sitting tenants getting a favourable price.

This photo dates from the 1930s

The Alban Estate in about 1930

The Alban Estate in about 1930

At the extreme left of the photo is the former cricket pavilion which is now the site of a much newer and smaller housing estate known as Pavilion Gardens. Then we get the row of ‘villas’ as built by George Bishop and known as the Alban Estate.


This estate saw houses built on generous plots. Recent householders have all, it seems, found space for cars off the road and this view, for most of the day is still devoid of parked cars.

Here’s a 21st century photo.

Similar view - 21st century

Similar view – 21st century

Court Close Farm

July 14, 2015

There are some photos you just have to love and this is one of them. It says so much about past times. It shows Court Close Farm in about 1940.

Court Close Farm, Easterton in about 1940

Court Close Farm, Easterton in about 1940

This is taken from the front garden of recently renovated Manor Cottage and the buildings we see are on White Street, Easterton. Court Close Farm is the further away building.

In this 75 year old picture Court Close Farm looks resplendent under its thatched roof and the cottages, this side of it and often lumped together and called Kandy Cottages look pretty good too.

But let’s take a closer look at something on the side of the road.

The milk churn stand

The milk churn stand

Just in front of the farm house there was a stand for milk churns. A couple of empty churns stand next to it. When full, those churns would have weighed close on a hundredweight (50kg).  They were put on the stand by the farmer to make it easier for a dairyman to get them onto a lorry. They may well have been taken to Lavington Station for onward transport by train. We do not know when churn collection ceased in this area but it was probably stopped by about 1970. So we have a real link with past times here.

And of course in the 1950s and 60s road improvement was the thing and Kandy Cottages became a victim of that. It was decided to straighten a kink in the road as it left Easterton heading for Market Lavington. Those cottages, or part of them, stood in the way and so they were swept into oblivion. This is a similar but much more recent view.

21st century - a similar view

21st century – a similar view

Court Close Farm is still there and still looks grand. If we hadn’t got the older picture we’d suspect it had once been thatched. The steep pitch of the roof tiles now on it is a bit of a giveaway.

Where one end of the cottages once stood there is now a verdant lawn. This end of the cottages would have been in the road. We now get a better view of the rather ramshackle collection of barns behind Court Close Farm.

A view of the village in the 1960s

June 9, 2015

The presence of Lavington Hill and Salisbury Plain is a draw for photographers, keen to get what looks like an aerial view of Market Lavington. This one dates from the 1960s so is fifty years old now.

Market Lavington from the Downs - 1960s

Market Lavington from the Downs – 1960s

This would be taken from somewhere near where the reservoir is now. We can see the road down Lavington Hill wending downwards from near the bottom left corner. The village itself looks distant and is not amazingly distinct. We can make out St Mary’s church near the left.

The village and the church

The village and the church

Perhaps most interesting is the farm trailer on the recently cultivated strip.

The trailer on the hill

The trailer on the hill

This now has the look of something from past times, which, indeed, it is. A small two wheeled trailer is laden with small bales of the kind that a single person can manhandle. The load looks like hay but these days that area is always arable so it is more likely straw. For comparison let’s look at a bit of May 2015 grass cutting.

2015 farming - poles apart from the methods of the 1960s

2015 farming – poles apart from the methods of the 1960s

A huge 4 wheel drive tractor is travelling at high speed (20 mph?) through a field being cut for silage. It cuts a huge swathe on each pass. One cutter is in front of the tractor and two others are to the side and behind. The tractor cab roof bristles with lamps. A field of several acres is cut in a quarter of an hour. This would all be beyond the imagination of the 1960s farmer.

Re-creating the Market

May 17, 2015

In 1915 a hugely successful ‘Our Day’ sale was held in Market Lavington to raise funds for the British Red Cross.

Red Cross Market in Market Lavington - 1915

Red Cross Market in Market Lavington – 1915

This event was re-created yesterday, 16th May 2015. For all sorts of reasons things had to be different For starters there are roads out of the Market Place and they had to be kept open. Both roads would have been entirely blocked in 1915. Secondly, no building shown in that 1915 picture still remains so, inevitably, the environment looked different. A major difference is that fit young men were present to be a part of the 2015 recreation whereas in 1915 most were away from home supporting the war effort.


A similar view for the 2015 re-creation


Our photographer grabbed a high vantage point for this photo which covers a very similar area.

Red Cross nurses appeared to be out in force for the 2015 market.


They were offering people the chance to have a bandage applied so that they looked like a wounded serviceman or woman – or, indeed, a civilian.

Our curator had a head bandage and here is pretending to need the support of a nurse who is actually one of our wonderful team of stewards at the museum.


The museum was able to display photos of the 1915 event on the window of the chemist’s shop.


Our thanks go to Day Lewis Pharmacy for the use of the space which matched a window used to display notices 100 years previously.

We’d also like to thank the local folks who normally park their cars in the Market Place. As people arrived to set up stalls, the whole area was completely devoid of cars – a real testament to the support our village gives to local events.

And thanks must also go to the members of the First World War group who worked tirelessly to make the event a success. We can only wonder as to whether the event in 1915 was fun. The recreation certainly was although moments had the solemnity that perhaps was felt at the original event.

Let’s finish off with some more of those delightful nurses.




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.