Posts Tagged ‘Wiltshire’

Andrews and Dury

June 1, 2016

Messrs Andrews and Dury produced a reasonably accurate survey of Wiltshire back in 1773. In 1952 the Records Branch of the Wiltshire Archaeological Society published a copy of the map in book form. Market Lavington Museum has just acquired a copy of this book – a book which sold for 25 shillings in 1952 which made it an expensive purchase at the time. Our copy has an original, if rather careworn dust jacket.

Andrews' and Drury' Map of Wiltshire - 1773

Andrews’ and Dury’ Map of Wiltshire – 1773

How splendid to see the bustard in use as an emblem of Wiltshire over 60 years ago – long after the native population ended and long before the species was reintroduced.

But of course it is the maps, covering all of Wiltshire which are of real interest, and particularly, for us, the area around Market Lavington

The Lavington area

The Lavington area

The first thing to note is that there was no Market Lavington. Andrews and Dury have clearly called it East Lavington.


One of the features of the map is that the gentry get named so we can see that Henry Chiver Vince had Cleeve Hall – now Clyffe Hall. Fiddington was clearly not considered the home of gentry since no name is given. Fiddington was written as Feddenton. Broad Well, of course, we still know but the Lime kiln has long gone although the last vestiges of Lime Kiln Farm hung on into the 1960s.

We get some information on Salisbury Plain.


Easterton Ponds, later, became the site of Pond Farm and the East Lavington Pond was about where New Farm was built. We find the direction post where the road from Market Lavington met the one from Easterton fascinating. Getting lost on Salisbury Plain was a hazard. People who got lost often starved, unable to find their way. A direction post would have been very useful.

Returning to the north of the parish and area we can see that Dr Batters had Fiddington Common and Seymour Wroughton had a property in Eastcott and also Maggots Castle.


Only one small part of one page is truly relevant to our patch but we think this book is a great addition to our collection.



From the goods yard

July 4, 2015

Lavington had a railway station. It was by the bridge which the A360 road uses to get under the line. The road has traffic lights to control the road traffic under that bridge.

A station was more than a halt. Stations had facilities including the ability to handle parcels and, often, freight. Lavington had both. Parcels were handled on passenger trains, but a yard and sidings were needed for larger items of freight. This included milk at Lavington. This photo of the station was taken from the goods yard. It was taken in the 1960s, not long before closure.

Lavington Station from the goods yard in the 1960s

Lavington Station from the goods yard in the 1960s

The goods shed is on the left with the main running lines passing behind it. We can’t tell you anything specific about the carriage and guard’s van on the right. Back then, many goods trains were made up of wagons with no brakes. The guard, in his heavy van, was part of the driving team. He needed to know when the line was going uphill or down dale so that he could apply his brake to keep the troublesome trucks in order. That’s why a guard’s van is often called a brake van.

Further into the picture we can see there was a coal storage area.

Davis and Sons had the coal yard

Davis and Co had the coal yard

We can see that Davis and Co made use of a coal yard at the station. They were the Market Lavington coal merchants.

We can also see the impact steam trains had on infrastructure. Look at the blackened paintwork on the station footbridge. That’s filth from steam engines on London bound trains.

The telegraph pole with, potentially about fifty wires is also a reminder of times past. Such sets of wires often made use of railway line sides and so a view from a carriage window was often of wires.

This is living memory, but methods of working fifty years ago seem impossibly outdated now.


An old school photo

November 26, 2014

We don’t know much about this photo.

A school photo which includes Rose Polden. But which school is it?

A school photo which includes Rose Polden. But which school is it?

What we do know is that the girl, third person from the left in the back row is Rose Polden. Rose was born in 1892 in Chitterne but seems to have been raised by her aunt and uncle in Market Lavington. But the first documentary evidence we have of that was in 1901. This photo might date from about 1901.

Can you help us? We don’t recognise the location or any of the other people. Could this, in fact, be Chitterne?

Rose Polden is marked with a rather fancy cross.

Rose Polden is marked with a rather fancy cross.

It is, though, a lovely picture of Rose who set up her dressmaking business in Parsonage Lane whilst still a teenager. Later she married Andrew Poolman and the couple had two Market Lavington born children before moving to the Warminster area.

We feel the photo is worthy of a place in our museum – but it may be of interest elsewhere as well.

Unidentified young lady

March 29, 2014

Old and unlabelled photos are something of a nightmare. The one we show today is labelled only by the name of the photographer who was (who else) A Burgess , photographer of Market Lavington.

That, of course, gives it the provenance we need to have the photo as an item at our local museum, but of course we’d love to know who the young lady is.

Unidentified lady as photographed by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington in about 1900

Unidentified lady as photographed by Alf Burgess of Market Lavington in about 1900

The photo is cabinet photo size and it looks as though it has been mounted in a hand cut frame to get the photographer’s name on the front. The back of the photo is entirely blank. The subject of the photo, the lady, has been vignette – no background has been included and only the head and only her head and shoulders show.

Virtually everything about this photo and mount point to it being from the first decade of the twentieth century. If a single year had to be picked we might suggest 1900 itself.

But who is the lady?


If we enlarge the lady and alter the contrast we can see that she was a glasses wearer and has the most wonderful and elaborate hat.

If anybody does recognise her, then do get in touch. Bear in mind that she might not be a Market Lavington lady. Photographers were few and far between in rural Wiltshire at that time.

Reverend Sturton

July 25, 2013

John Anthony Sturton was Vicar of Market Lavington for more than thirty years at the start of the twentieth century. It seems amazing that we know so little of this man.

He was born in Little Bedwyn  in 1874 so he was a Wiltshire man.  His Father was Vicar of Little Bedwyn. In fact church service seems to have been a norm in the Sturton family. Certainly John Anthony followed in his father’s footsteps and on the 1901 census we find him as a clergyman in Lyme Regis, living in lodgings, so probably a curate. He became Vicar of Market Lavington in 1906.

By 1911 he was in Market Lavington with his mother and a brother who was also a member of the clergy.

John Sturton married in 1916. He and his wife, Iva, had no children.

We have a couple of photos of Reverend Sturton and this is one of them.

Reverend John Sturton, Vicar of Market Lavington, on his motorbike at Salisbury.

Reverend John Sturton, Vicar of Market Lavington, on his motorbike at Salisbury.

This is said to be a charabanc trip from Market Lavington in the 1920s. The picture was taken in Salisbury. It looks as though Reverend Sturton has joined the party on his motorbike. He has a youngster in his sidecar.  The bike, by the way, is a BSA. The lamp on the sidecar looks as though it might be an acetylene one. We have a lamp like it in the museum.

We have not positively identified any of the people on the charabanc but we wonder if the large man sat next to the driver might be Fred Sayer who owned the bus company.

After he retired in 1940, John lived in Easterton. He died in 1945. He is buried in Market Lavington churchyard. Iva joined him there in 1958 and his brother, Thomas, followed in 1960.

Samuel Moore gives his son the news.

June 22, 2013

It is more than two years since we featured a letter from Samuel Moore of the Easterton Jam Factory, to his son Wilf who was serving in France during World War 1. Here we have another.

Samuel Moore of Easterton - headed paper of 1918

Samuel Moore of Easterton – headed paper of 1918

Samuel used his company notepaper and here’s who he was sending to.

The letter was from samuel Moore to his son Wilf who was on WW1 duty in France

The letter was from samuel Moore to his son Wilf who was on WW1 duty in France

Like the previous letter we showed, the date looks like 1915, but we are sure Samuel actually wrote 1918. In the letter, Sam refers to Sunday August 18th as a date on which he was writing. That was in 1918.

The start of the letter

The start of the letter

Let’s transcribe.

Dear Wilfrid I have received your last card & letter and am pleased to hear you are getting on alright. I have had so much to attend to that I have not had time to write to you. Our business has grown to be a very large one. And fruits are very scarce & dear. I have been having a lot of fruit from Hampshire this year. Now everything about here is all different to what it was when you were here. But with all the changes our business of jam making is the best. You can make jams day and night and sell them. I have the large boiler fixed and am putting the building out in line with the front door. I should have said the government fixes all the prices for fruits and jams.

I have had to leave this letter unfinished until this day Sunday August 18th. Since then a great deal has happened. I am now taking fruits and ??? from what is known as the Wiltshire Fruit and Vegetable ???. We are having a lot of blackberries through them at 3d per pound. There are scarcely any apples this year. They are 6d per lb. And plums are not less than 3½d per lb. I have 4 cases of oranges at 50/- per case – 10d per lb – and am using them in my new preserve at 7½d per lb. People rush for it.

Now all that is wanted in the business is money to extend it.

I have plenty of offers but I would rather be my own master.

I now employ several people every week.

Percy Webb – he is just leaving as he will have to join up. ??? Clelford – she works for us constantly.

The rest of the letter is not clear, but for those who would like to try to decypher it, here it is.


The sign off is ‘your loving father S. Moore’.

Friendly Oddfellows

March 21, 2013

One of the good things about writing a blog is that you get a chance to see what search engine terms bring people to your writing.  Yesterday, for example, someone was searching for Ann Neate. I’m afraid we have no records of such a person. Maybe the Ann Neate searcher might like to get in touch and tell us more. We can respond to searches. Again, yesterday someone was looking for a history of nursing in Market Lavington and this blog post has a connection to that.

What we are looking at today is a rather unprepossessing note book.


This book at Market Lavington Museum may look a bit dull

This is an account book for the Wiltshire Friendly Society of Oddfellows. The book belonged to Alf Burbidge who was probably the treasurer.

It belonged to Alf Burbidge who lived at the house which is now Market Lavington Museum

It belonged to Alf Burbidge who lived at the house which is now Market Lavington Museum

Alf and his wife Louisa lived in our museum building and raised their two daughters there. Not surprisingly, we feel rather attached to things that belonged to the family.

One page lists committee members. It is undated but we believe it is from around 1916.


The Committee of the Wiltshire Friendly Society of Oddfellows inclusded men from Market Lavington and Easterton

Although this was called a Wiltshire society, Jacob Smith was a Market Lavington man (and someone looked at the page about him yesterday). William Smith may well have been from Market Lavington but it is a very common name. There were a couple of William Potters in Market Lavington but we’d be pretty certain that William Coleman was a local man, born in Easterton and living in Market Lavington. He served as Town Crier as well as being a boot maker and chimney sweep. We think Robert Cooper was a foreman at the brick works in market Lavington. This committee certainly had a strong Market Lavington presence.

Members seemed to take it in turns to visit the sick. These were sick visitors for the start of 1916.

People delegated to visit sick members each month

People delegated to visit sick members each month

It looks as though this friendly society did some of the caring for those who had health problems.

Other pages list pay-outs.


image012 Payouts to those in need

If we pick on James Ridout, it looks as though he may have become in need of assistance (again) in the March of 1916. Sadly he died in the April and his family received a payout. This, of course, was care in the form of cash rather than actual nursing help, but hopefully during March and April he was visited by Messrs Sainsbury, Sheppard and Ellis.

Nursing care at this time was very much a charitable business for there was no National health Service until 1948. But maybe these members of a friendly society got help from one another.