Market Lavington Museum

Easterton in 1939


At Market Lavington Museum, we find directories very helpful when checking facts about local people and places at particular times in history. They often give lists of the ‘important’ residents and the tradespeople and services available. The entry for each town or village usually starts with a description of the place.

This is the writing about Easterton in Kelly’s Directory for 1939 and now, just over eighty years later, it’s interesting to see what has changed over that period.

Our museum conserves the history of Market Lavington and anywhere that was ever in its parish. Easterton, just under a mile north east of Market Lavington, was part of that parish until 1875, when its church was built and it became an ecclesiastical parish in its own right. The postcard picture below is possibly Edwardian.

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The Kelly’s description reminds us that Easterton parish consists of Easterton (once in Market Lavington parish), Eastcott (a hamlet just beyond Easterton, that was formerly a tithing of Urchfont parish) and Fiddington (lying between Market Lavington and Easterton, which was once part of West Lavington parish).

In 1939, it was important to explain where the local railway stations were. Lavington Station, just two miles away, was opened in 1900 and closed in 1966. (Type Lavington Station in the search box on the most recent page of our museum blog, for more information and photos of this short lived station.)

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Kelly’s Directory also mentions Devizes Station for local transport, but that has also closed. (At the time of writing, in 2021, there are plans to build a new station just outside Devizes.)

So what else has changed since the 1939 description? With regard to the churches, Kelly’s mentions the living being a vicarage. That is now a private house, as Easterton is now part of a group of five churches, in the care of one rector, rather than each having their own vicar. The Methodist Chapel in Easterton is also now a private house.

We will look at some more then and now comparisons based on the 1939 Kelly’s Directory in our next blog entry.