Posts Tagged ‘well’

Well well!

October 4, 2015

Back in 1996 the old Parish Room was demolished and the site cleared as part of developments at the nursing home on High Street. Strange things can be found under an early twentieth century hut like building. This strange item is a well.

Well unearthed during 1996 developments at the nursing home

Well unearthed during 1996 developments at the nursing home

The team of workers may not have been aware of that well when they had their digger precisely on the top of it. It is interesting, though, to see the construction of a well from the outside.

That doesn't look the safest place to be

That doesn’t look the safest place to be

The well is made of ordinary brick – probably Lavington made ones. If the finish looks a bit rough, then that’s not surprising since wells were constructed from the inside. This outside part was never seen when the well was in use.

We assume it has been safely capped by now.




A Victorian Eye Bath

June 1, 2013

Eyes are obviously important to those of us who are lucky and not blind. It is no surprise that cures and devices for keeping eyes healthy have been around for centuries. This one, which we have in market Lavington Museum, is 19th century, but looks little different to eye baths of today. It is like a small oval shaped egg cup. Water can be put in the cup which is pressed around the eye and then when the head is tipped back the water irrigates the eye and, we hope, washes out any source of irritation.

A Victorian eye bath at Market Lavington Museum

A Victorian eye bath at Market Lavington Museum

As we can see, it is made of green glass and it was given to the museum by a White Street lady. But curing eyes also moves into the realms of ‘magic’. A Market Lavington spring was once known as ‘The Eye Well’ because it was believed that the water cured eye diseases.

Katy Jordan took an interest in holy and other wells and talked to Peggy Gye about this one. She recorded that ‘This tiny drinking-fountain is badly encroached upon by the road, but can still be seen at the foot of Clyffe Hall hill between Market Lavington and West Lavington. Peggy Gye’s aunt, as a child, often fetched water for an old woman suffering from cataract. The water was used in West Lavington for treating eyes as recently as the 1940s.’

This was the well as photographed by Katy in 1995

Market Lavington eye well as photographed in 1995

Market Lavington eye well as photographed in 1995

It is just outside Clyffe Hall and has a long history of useful service. By 2008 it had all but vanished.

The eye well had all but vanished in 2008

The eye well had all but vanished in 2008

It has now been renovated, but of course, people no longer stop for a drink and nobody would dream of using it for eye healing.

A Box made tile from Homestead Farm

March 24, 2011

All sorts of items are given to us at Market Lavington Museum. Every item must have a good connection with the wider parish of Market Lavington, which includes Easterton and Fiddington as well as areas now in West Lavington – Gore and the Russell Mill area.

Today we look at a simple item which was made in the parish and which has never left. It is a red floor tile made at the Market Lavington Brick and Tile Works at Broadway. It measures some 22 cm square and close on 5 cm deep.

A floor tile from Homestead Farm - now at Market Lavington Museum

As can be seen it has suffered a little of the ravages of time – but it has had plenty of time for it is of nineteenth century origin. It has been rescued from Homestead Farm, which is on Drove Lane. The old farm building was not in the best of repair and the current owners obtained permission to demolish and build anew but the old materials have been reincorporated wherever possible. We had a temporary display on Homestead Farm last year. Next time we feature the farm then there will be more items to include.

The tile carries a maker’s name – W Box.

William Box ran the brickworks for much of the second half of the nineteenth century so we know this tile dates from that era.

One item that has re-appeared as a result of changes at Homestead Farm is the old well. This had been covered and had become a part of the inside of the old building when an extension was built on that. But now old bricks have been used to create a well head and the 90 feet deep well has been opened. And what superb condition it is in.

The well at Homestead Farm - Box made bricks, perhaps?