Posts Tagged ‘watercolour’

Broadwell – about 1880

March 25, 2016

Broadwell features quite often on this site and that is only right and proper. For Broadwell was until living memory for the oldest residents the source of water which allowed our community to develop and prosper. Without Broadwell there’d have been no Market Lavington.

Our earliest image is the 1837 sketch by Philip Wynell Mayow – click here to see it. This painting, recently passed to the museum, dates we think, from around 1880.

Broadwell ca 1880 - a painting believed to be by James Gye

Broadwell ca 1880 – a painting believed to be by James Gye

The cottage we see belonged to Merritt’s the blacksmiths so let’s imagine it is Mr Merritt in the doorway. We can see the pump on the left. It’s no longer there but its former position can easily be spotted. In the 1837 image another cottage stood at the extreme left but that has clearly been demolished and it looks as though the wood may have been planted and fenced off.

The crossing is clearly a ford which has ducks swimming over it (not a common site at Broadwell) but for those who needed dry feet there are some well spaced stepping stones. It all looks an idyllic scene.

We believe this may have been painted by James Gye, grandfather of Tom who died last year. It isn’t signed but is clearly charmingly naïve and similar to another painting which the late Tom had told us was by his grandfather.

Whilst not pre-photography this dates from before common use of the camera so helps fill in a gap in our history. We feel very pleased to have this item in the museum.


Russell Mill

February 15, 2016

A few days ago a lovely photo of a watercolour painting popped into our Curator’s in-box. Actually, it wasn’t captioned and Carey, who sent it, wasn’t sure where it was but Russell Mill is well known at the museum and it was recognised immediately. Here is that image.

Russell Mill from a 1921 water colour

Russell Mill from a 1921 watercolour

The painting is dated at 1921 but we can’t yet make out the artist’s name. Can anybody help there?

What is the artist's name?

What is the artist’s name?

Let’s deal with a bit of history. In 1961 Russell Mill was ‘transferred’ from Market Lavington to West Lavington. The picture shows the house from the West Lavington side and we can see a decent level route way leading to it. The track from the mill into Market Lavington is deep, rutted and muddy – not usable by motor vehicles and in the 50s residents spoke of the absurdity of having to go past the West Lavington polling station on their way to vote in Market Lavington. Eventually, the residents won and the parish boundary was altered.

On our 1926 electoral roll, close in time to the painting, Ruth and Herbert Draper, William and Mabel Helps, Tom Lye and Thomas and Emily Matthews all lived at properties at Russell Mill. James Topp owned land there and was qualified to vote in Market Lavington.

But back now to the nineteenth century. The most famous residents were the Saunders family for whom this was home and also one of many business interests. Amram Saunders, the head of the family, was very active in local affairs and also nationally. He was non-conformist in religion and very much on side with working people. Amongst his children, raised at the mill, one became a British MP and one a member of the New Zealand Parliament. All of the children were full of radical and reforming zeal. They had quite an impact in the Lavingtons as well as further afield.

Many thanks to Carey for sending us this wonderful image.


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.

The High Street in 1850

January 14, 2011

Sadly we do not have an original Owen Carter watercolour. In fact, for this view of Market Lavington High Street, what we have is a black and white photograph of the watercolour painting. However, even that can tell us something of the past, from around 1850 when photography was still in its extreme infancy.

The High Street, Market Lavington - a photo of an 1850 watercolour by Owen Carter

This view shows roughly what, in 2011, is the Co-op and the corner of the Market Place. The building on the right hand edge of the image was a maltings and it, or a replacement, was still there more than 100 years later.

We believe that Owen Carter was an architect by trade, based in Winchester. He had been born in London soon after the start of the 19th century and may well have travelled in Egypt in his younger days. Experts suggest that whilst the buildings he depicts have been executed with accuracy and skill, the people are rather primitive in style. Perhaps that’s what you might expect from an architect.

The Museum has a number of photos of Owen Carter watercolours, all dating from about 1850 and all with the same style of well drawn buildings and rather more basically drawn people.

We’d like to know more of the man. Perhaps a blog reader can give us further information.