Market Lavington Museum

Wallpaper from 13 High Street

Last year, Market Lavington Museum was given a sample of wallpaper taken from a High Street house. The house is one with history and has featured before in these pages as the one where, amongst other things, clay pipes were found.

We were quite excited about this wallpaper for it had an impression of age on it – or possibly of being  arts and crafts, or William Morris in style.

Wallpaper removed from a wall at 13 High Street and now at Market Lavington Museum

The hessian backing of the wallpaper

We consulted the experts at the Victoria and Albert Museum and, in a sense, they brought us disappointing news. Our wallpaper is quite ordinary.

The wallpaper in your photograph dates from the period around 1915 to late 1920s and is fairly typical of the fashion at that time for designs based on historic patterns – in this case, Jacobean-style embroidery or tapestry. It is quite common to find wallpaper of any date backed with linen, hessian or stiff paper, to give it more substance and durability.

yours sincerely

Gill Saunders

Senior Curator (Prints)

However, it means the wallpaper is almost 100 years old and it dates from a time when our local professional photographers, Alf Burgess and his sons, owned this house at number 13 High Street and had shop and photographic studios and dark room facilities. We rather like the fact that we know precisely who put up this wallpaper.