Market Lavington parish is long and thin. The village fits across the thin dimension. To the south of the village there is a large, empty tract of land on Salisbury Plain. Much of the land to the north of the village is farmland with arable and meadow on the sand and dairying on the lush grass of the clay around the railway line. Some areas are woodland and it is an area of woodland we are looking at today.
Here we are looking down a path. Behind us, but at quite a distance, is Market Lavington Manor – now in the possession of Dauntsey’s School. This path was sometimes called ‘The Road to the Manor’. Ahead we see the bridge over the Northbrook Stream close by the little spring which usually gets called ‘The Bubbling Kettle’ but was known as ‘The Pot Boiling’ in times past.
Perhaps the good news is that the view, today, is virtually unchanged from this photo – taken about 100 years ago. The same path is still there and a similar bridge spans the stream.
The difference would come after you crossed the bridge. 100 years ago you’d have arrived at the pastureland of Grove Farm. This became an area for housing in the last years of the twentieth century – so all change beyond the bridge.
Development and change is not bad, just because it happens. The Grove Farm housing is generally pleasing and mixed in style and size. There’s something there to suit many different tastes. New housing brings new people who add to the lifeblood of a community. Some of us may miss our rural walk from home to village centre, but Market Lavington and Easterton are still very fortunate to have so many footpaths in rural areas as well as a community big enough to support a good variety of shops, pubs and other services.