Posts Tagged ‘tile’


August 26, 2014

There was a time when Market Lavington was full of malthouses. In the 18th century there were 27 of these ‘factories’ where barley was sprouted to produce malt.

Very little remains today, to remind us of these old buildings. They have all been swept into oblivion.

One of the last Malthouse survivors was in the Market Place – and that went some 60 years ago but it can be seen in photos.

A rather careworn photo shows a malthouse in Market Lavington Market Place

A rather careworn photo shows a malthouse in Market Lavington Market Place

This photo has suffered damage, but the malthouse is clear, close by the old coach.

We do have a few relics in the museum and amongst them is this tile.

A ventilation tile from a Market Lavington malthouse

A ventilation tile from a Market Lavington malthouse

This was made locally at the Lavington brick works and measures some 25 cm square. It was part of the ventilation in a maltings kiln.

With a local brick industry we have many examples of different styles of local brick and tile in the museum, but this one, which links to another long gone industry, is rather special.


A Fishtail Tile

November 24, 2012

The old brick and tile works is long gone. The clay pit is filled and the whole site now has other, light industrial uses. But at Market Lavington Museum we can preserve the memory of the heyday of brick and tile making in the parish. We have a couple of the slightly fancy fishtail tiles.

Fishtail tile from the 1870s at Market Lavington Museum

This one dates from about 1870 and is clearly labelled with the brickwork owner’s name – ‘W BOX’

The tile is clearly stamped W BOX. William Box owned the brickworks

With a little digital jiggery-pokery we can get some idea of what these bricks might have looked like when laid together.

The tiles could have looked like this when hung.

It has been said of Christopher Wren, in St Paul’s Cathedral, ‘if you seek his momument, look around you’. The same could be said for the brick masters of Market Lavington. And you don’t have to look far from the museum to find fishtail tiles. Indeed, the nearest building, now The Old School, is covered in them.

A part of Market Lavington Old School roof – it is covered with fishtail tiles.

We can see that the tiler had a course with a triangular, rather than rounded tail, to make a pattern across the roof.

A Robert Oram signed tile

August 8, 2011

At Market Lavington Museum we have a tile signed and dated by Rbt Oram. That is, of course, Robert Oram.

A tile from the 1870s, signed by Robert Oram of Market Lavington

The inscription on the tile starts with V R – Victoria Regina.  Robert was clearly a loyal and patriotic subject who commemorated his queen and who, later, was to build Jubilee Cottage on Northbrook.

A loyal and patriotic V R on the tile

The inscription continues with the name, Robert Oram and then gives his trade – bricklayer and tiler – and then a year. We are not 100% certain of the year but it was certainly in the decade of the 1870s – possibly 1878 or 1872.

The inscription reads, 'Robert Oram Bricklayer And Tiler 1878'. The tile can be found at Market Lavington Museum

Robert Oram, the son of William and Ann may well have been baptised on 6th June 1843.

In 1851 Robert, aged 7 lived with his parents, William and Ann on Northbrook, Market Lavington. William, was a bricklayer born in Market Lavington. His wife, Ann, was also from Market Lavington. There were no other children at home.

In 1861 Robert aged 17 was still with his parents on Northbrook, Market Lavington. Robert, like his father, was a bricklayer.

Robert Oram married Priscilla Smith on 17th September 1866 at little Cheverell. The spelling of Priscilla varies. On the Market Lavington grave it reads Pricillia

In 1871 Robert and Priscilia lived at number 2 Stobbarts road in Market Lavington. Robert was a bricklayer aged. His wife was 28 and hailed from Little Cheverell, as did their two children, William aged 3 and Francis aged 1. The household was completed by Frank Wheeler, a 22 year old groom who was a boarder from Market Lavington.

In 1881 Robert and Pricilla lived on Northbrook, Market Lavington. Robert, aged 37 was an estate bricklayer. Pricilla was 39. The children were William (13), an apprentice painter and Francis (11) who, like their mother, were born in Cheverell Parva or Little Cheverell, followed by Market Lavington born Jesse (8), Henry (5) and a sole daughter, Annie aged 2. There was also a boarder, 32 year old Frank Wheeler, a groom from Market Lavington.

In 1891 Robert and Priscilla lived on Northbrook, (almost certainly Jubilee Cottage) Market Lavington with their family. Robert was a bricklayer. Of the children at home, William, 23, was a painter and Jesse, 18, (now given as born little Cheverell) was an apprentice wheelwright.  Henry, 15, was a bricklayer’s labourer and Annie, 12, was a dressmaker’s apprentice. The youngest two children were Herbert, 9, and Edith aged 5. Frank Wheeler is still with the household and now called a cousin.

In 1901 Robert, the bricklayer and Priscilla were still living on Northbrook, Market Lavington. There were just the three youngest children at home – Annie  a dressmaker, Herbert a bricklayer and Edith.

Robert died in 1915.

Roman Easterton

May 5, 2011

Market Lavington’s Roman heritage came to the fore when the Grove Farm estate was under construction although earlier excavations had certainly hinted at a Roman past.

In Easterton, the evidence for a villa estate dates from the Victorian era. Archaeologists may not always agree so you can take your pick from two versions of the same evidence available on line.

The following extract is from Wikipedia at

The rich soils may have been exploited many centuries before the surviving evidence of settlement, but Easterton, unusually among plain-edge villages, is the site of a Roman villa estate, known from stray archaeological finds in the area of Kestrels in Oak Lane, west of the village. This may be linked with a mid 4th century Roman coin hoard, discovered in an urn during the Victorian era and dispersed, although some coins passed to Devizes Museum. Another possible Roman site, deduced from place-name evidence, may lie at Wickham Green on the boundary with Urchfont some 2 km north of Kestrels.

This is from the Wiltshire County web site at

In the middle of the 19th century, an urn was excavated somewhere in Easterton which held Roman coins from around 350 AD. However the coins were sold and where the urn was dug up is not known. In the 19th century a trench was dug in the grounds of Kestrels, a large red brick house which was at that time owned by a Doctor Lake. Within this was found a skeleton and some Roman pottery, so it seems that there was some form of Roman occupation in the area at the start of the 1st millennium.

At Market Lavington Museum we have a piece of Roman tile that was found near Kestrels (named by Ben Hayward who lived there in the 19th century. He was keen on falconry). Our tile is part of decorated Roman blue tile, considered to be associated with Roman wall-plaster  and is regarded as evidence for a high status Roman Building.

Piece of Roman Tile found near Kestrels, Oak Lane, Easterton