Market Lavington Museum

Drawing room or games room

Market Lavington Manor House was built in the 1860s. It was a large house, comprised of many rooms. This photograph from the 1907 auction brochure for a sale of contents is of the drawing room. The withdrawing room was where ladies went after a meal, whilst the menfolk had some time to themselves for drinking and smoking before rejoining the ladies.

According to Jack Welch, in his handwritten history of Market Lavington, the manor and its grounds were put up for sale in 1929. Jack reported that there were only two parties interested in purchasing this. Dauntsey’s School in West Lavington bought it for £4,800, ‘the only other bidder being a junk merchant who desired to sell out the building materials by pulling down the house.’

Dauntsey’s School still use the manor as boarding accommodation. In the 1972 Historic Monuments Commission’s report on listed buildings, the description of the room they called the games room seems to match our picture of the drawing room. ‘Games room in south-east corner, carved stained pine overmantel, marble slips and encaustic tiles to fireplace. Ceiling with moulded ribs forming polygons.’

Whilst Market Lavington Manor does not have a long history, it is an interesting building and we should be grateful that the scrap dealer didn’t win the bidding at the 1929 auction.