Market Lavington Museum

The beaters at the Manor Shoot


The year is 1908. A shoot was held at The Manor. These were important social occasions. No doubt the gentry from near and far came to enjoy a day’s shooting, hoping to bag something for the table.

To make sure the guns had a good day, the workers were employed as beaters. The beater’s job was to make sure birds – probably partridge or pheasant, kept appearing in front of the guns and in the air. The etiquette of the business means you don’t shoot a sitting target.

Of course, there’d have been employed gamekeepers – manor staff who had the job of rearing the birds until the time came to shoot them. But for big shoots, many more were employed for the day. Often these were just the village lads who probably skipped off school for the day quite happily.

On this occasion, Mr Burgess got the beaters lined up for a photograph.

Beaters at a 1908 Manor shoot in Market Lavington

We don’t have any names but maybe somebody out in blog land will recognise their relatives or even ancestors here.

Some of the younger beaters in close up

It is interesting to see that the older chaps really are wearing gaiters.

Gaiters being worn in Market Lavington

We have a couple of pairs of gaiters like these in the museum.