A map last seen in the village pub in the early 1990s has been returned to Chitterne by Keith Lacey ex-landlord of the Kings Head. He and his wife Jackie left the pub when Ushers sold it to Gibbs Mew. Jackie sadly died in 2021 and Keith has returned the map in memory of her:

I’ve donated it back to the village in memory of my late wife Jackie Lacey, a previous landlady (famous for her Sunday bar treats like cockles and roast potato pieces. Locals loved it all). They all adored her.

The map was given to Keith and Jackie by Ernie George about 100 years after the original was drawn by Olivia Ann George (1877-1950). Olivia was Ernie’s Aunt. Many of you will remember Ernie who lived in Townsend Chitterne all his life from 1921-2012 (except for war service).

Olivia Ann attended Chitterne School when it was led by William Brown the successful headmaster. She was 10 years old when she drew her map of the village. Now 135 years later we can see how she viewed her environment thanks to another member of the family, Kenneth George 1920-1981, Ernie’s older brother, who made this ink and wash copy of the original 90 years ago in 1932.

We know these details from the back of the map, added by Ernie.

” Copy by Kenneth Victor George, Age 13. 1932.

From a pen/ink by a ten year old schoolgirl of 13 Townsend Chitterne All Saints with St Mary, May 1887. (O.A.G. (Olivia Ann George) Born 25 April 1877 at All Saints.)

Not shown are:- Penning cottage, Down Barn cottage, Bee cottage, Breachill cottages, Bush Barn cottage and Two Barn cottage. Middle Barn cottages, which are all within the parish of Chitterne.

Oram’s grave is East of New Barn cottages on the old Warminster/Sarum road nr. MS (milestone) WAR 10 SARUM 12 crossed by the Warminster/Shrewton road (Codford/Maddington road). 5 March 1797 Elizabeth Windsor born; as a child, about 1805, witnessed Oram’s burial at the crossroads, a stake was driven through his body, and buried without funeral service as he had hung himself on account of disappointment in love, the man was a suicide, therefore dealt with according to old custom and law by the people of Chitterne. “

The story of Oram’s Grave and Elizabeth Windsor has since been disputed, for the newer version see http://www.chitterne.com/history/oram.html

Interesting things to note on Olivia’s map are: The number of farms in 1887 (shaded in grey); the prominent ways to Heytesbury (top), to Imber and to Tilshead; Lodge Paddock, the site of the yet to be built racing stables; and the twelve houses in Bidden Lane on the south side that no longer exist.

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