A Brief History

The village was first mentioned in 1348 as a tithing of Market Lavington. It appears that we
were part of Lavertone in the Domesday Book (1086). However, there is evidence of earlier
settlement through Roman remains that were found near Kestrels on Oak Lane.
Looking around the parish you will soon discover there is a wealth of spectacular buildings
dating from the 14th century onwards. Many of these beautiful timber framed properties
were originally farm houses. Rumour has it that Oliver Cromwell slept in one of these before a
battle. In another house a friendly ghost still roams, apparently!

The village pub, the Royal Oak, was built as a farmhouse and has an impressive steep sloped
thatched roof and timber framed gable. The local pub in the 18th century, known as The
Cow Inn, was a few doors down at The Grange (now behind the large laurel hedge).
The parishioners of Easterton worshipped at St. Mary’s in Market Lavington while Eastcott
worshippers journeyed to St. Michael’s in Urchfont until 1875 when the red brick church
of St. Barnabas was built. A primary school was constructed beside it but has since been replaced
by St. Barnabas School on Drove Lane.

Over the centuries the greensand slopes of Easterton have provided an ideal growing
area for fruit and vegetables such that jam making became a major industry. With humble
beginnings Samuel Moore began making jam at Woodbine Cottage in 1910, starting his jam
empire with a galvanised bath and primitive apple peeler. The business developed and a
need to sell the jam further afield necessitated the construction of a wheelbarrow from old
wooden planks. In 1918 manufacturing moved across The Drove to an old army hut which was
erected on the site. The business flourished and as many as 100 were employed in peak season.
In 1985 much of the village became a designated Conservation Area which now means that it is
necessary to seek permission from Wiltshire Council before embarking on any building
project or tree surgery.

There are many more places of interest in the village and in Eastcott and if you are interested
in finding out more the Parish Council hold a copy of “The History and Development of
Easterton” by Sheila M Judge. Also held in the library in Market Lavington.