Market Lavington Museum

The school cottage


Market Lavington Museum is housed in a cottage next to St Mary’s churchyard and behind the Old School. This building has served several purposes since it was built in 1846. Intended as a home for the schoolmaster, it was actually lived in by Miss Pleydell Bouverie’s gardeners – first Mr Godden, then Alfred Burbidge and his family, until 1954.

In one of the many scrapbooks of news cuttings in the museum, we find an article on the first page of the October 1965-March 1968 book, which gives details of how the cottage was used after the Burbidge residency.

The reporter was informed by the headmaster, Mr Pickering, that his predecessor, Mr Metherall, had saved the house from demolition by suggesting that it could be used by the school for extra rooms and outside area. The old Victorian school was short of both.

We already knew about the cottage being used by the school to provide a television room, an office for the secretary, a crafts room and a home for the school pets. This article fills in a few more details.

For instance we learn that, at the time of writing, there were four pigeons, two hens, a bantam and two chicks, two guinea pigs and a rabbit with two young.

We are so grateful for the time and effort put in to saving local paper articles and preserving them for future generations.

(See also Market Lavington School – 1967 and The Old School House.)