The Bathford Society

The Lavington Family

The Crown Inn was purchased by Walter Lavington in 1880 and run by the Lavington family until 1932.

In 2015, Mrs Strange gave Bathford Society access to an album of photographs mainly dating from about 100 years earlier. The subjects included many photographs of the Lavington family and of events at The Crown and also photographs and postcard images from the army from the period of the 1914-18 war. These include army training sites and military sites in France and Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

The head of the family at the time of the album was Frederick Lavington, who was born c. 1851. Mr. Lavington had led an active life. In his younger days he was a Trooper in the North Somerset Yeomanry (a Volunter Reserve Force) and he served the regiment for over 30 years. In 1882 Mr Lavington and his wife Elizabeth took over running the Crown Inn in Bathford. He was known not only for the ales, wines, teas & coffee but also for his collection of curiosities and antiques, particularly guns, coaching horns and brass and copper bed warming pans which hung in festoons from the walls of the bar and are featured in some of the photographs. By all accounts he was a colourful character having been a soldier, a farmer, a haulier, working in the dying business and operating a wood selling business from the stables next to the inn. Frederick and Elizabeth had 10 children: five boys and five girls. As well as raising the family, Elizabeth is listed as a refreshments contractor and caterer.

Frederick Lavington was a member of the Licensed Victuallers Association and for a long period was a member of the Royal Antedeluvian Order of Buffaloes. He was buried in St Swithun's Churchyard on the 5th January 1932, aged 80.

Photograph Albums

The condition of the material in the albums is poor but with the help of computer software, David Howells was able to restore many of the images and these are presented in two volumes as follows (click on the link to view):

A Collection of Photographs Vol 1: Lavingtons and The Crown.

A Collection of Photographs Vol 2: Lavingtons Military.

The document for Vol 1 "The Lavingtons and The Crown" includes a diagram fo the family tree at the time of the 1911 census. The Bathford Book of Remembrance lists the brothers Frank (Frederick Francis Lavington), John (William John Lavington) and Lionel Lavington as all serving with the North Somerset Yeomanry in World War I. They would have been aged 31, 27 and 22 respectively in 1914. The Book of Remembrance also lists another brother, T.E. Lavington (Thomas Edward) as a recruit. He would have been age 19 in 1914.

Source: Photograph album of Mrs Strange, Bathford Book of Remembrance, 1891 and 1911 census records
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