Market Lavington Museum

Grove Farm for sale – 1916

Grove Farm is no more. It was demolished and Market Lavington’s community hall and car parks were built on the site near St Mary’s Church.

The farm had once belonged to the manor estate and was put up for sale in the auction of 14th August, 1916. The farmhouse was lot 2 in the auction and the brochure stipulated that lots 2, 3 and 4, should be offered together in the first instance, so that the purchaser of the house had the option of buying the land too.

We learn from the auction brochure that the house had four rooms downstairs and five bedrooms. Market Lavington had no mains water supply back in 1916, so the well and pump were important facilities. Interestingly, we see that the house had been divided and let as two cottages at that time.

The farmyard area comprised a cow stall for milking a dozen cows at a time. There was also stabling for eight horses. There were two thatched barns and a meal house. The granary was perched up on staddle stones to prevent vermin from entering to eat the grain.

Lot 3 was the walled garden and lot 4 the field with 9 acres, 1 rood and 17 perches of grazing land and a stream running through it. A rood was a quarter of an acre and 40 perches made a rood.

At that time, Market Lavington had plenty of elm trees. Sadly, these disappeared through Dutch elm disease in the late 1970s.

It would appear, from the handwritten note at the bottom of the page, that J Watts, who had been renting Grove Farm, purchased the house, farmyard and field for £770.

Our blog entry The Francis family at Grove Farm says that they took over the farm in the 1950s, at first renting it from Henry Davis who, in turn, had taken it on after Henry Watts.