Tuesday 31st July 1906 was an important day in fashioning the life in these villages. On that day, Giddy and Giddy held an auction to sell off to private bidders the second portion of the vast Meux estate. What follows here are the documents forming the auction catalogue including the hand written notes of Mr Swanton who owned the original document. You will find in here many of the addresses and names still associated with these villages along with the descriptions of the properties sold, at what seem today, to be very low prices.
The full catalogue for the auction can be downloaded from here
Sample pages from a wage book showing the workers names and wages can be seen here
The auctioneers remarks gives a first insight into the business at hand.
Introductory Remarks and Stipulations
THE EXTENSIVE FREEHOLD PROPERTIES described in the following Particulars comprise the Downs Portion of the Meux Estates, of which Lady Meux is absolute owner, and are offered for the purposes of this sale in various Lots, the principal comprising one of the finest
Sporting Manors in the South-est of England, and the whole representing a number of unusually sound investments in land and house property, suitable for the purposes of Trust Funds as well as large or small investors. During the last few years this Estate has been divided for Sporting Purposes into two portions, respectively North and South of the Bath Road. The game bag over the former in 1904 was as follows:- Partridges 331, Hares 525, Rabbits 5,030, Pigeons 123. The Partridges were very lightly
shot, as the shooting tenant did not understand the method of shooting on the Wiltshire Downs, and tried walking-up the birds instead of driving them. No reliable records of the game bag were made last year, but a good breeding stock was left, and with favourable conditions there is no reason why 400 or 500 brace of partridges should not be obtained on this portion of the Shooting. The bag obtained from the West Woods and other lands South of the Bath Road in 1905 was as follows:- Pheasants 3,849, Partridges 94, Hares 327, Rabbits 167 (besides several hundreds killed by the keepers), Pigeons 27, Woodcock 4. During last season the Woods were only shot eight days, owing to the Elections as compared with fourteen days in other years.
The Estates include a wide extent of the famous Marlborough Downs, on which there are several first class Training Gallops, many famous Racehorses having been trained there. Amongst those who use these gallops, or others close by, are the following well-known Trainers: Mr. Alec Taylor of Manton House, Mr. T.Leader of Wroughton, Major Edwardes of Ogbourne St. Andrew, Mr. Sam Darling of Beckhampton, Mr. Charles Randall of Avebury, Mr. W. T. Robinson of Wadborough,
The Estates are situate in a district rich in historical interest. The fine old Town of Marlborough, with its well-known College and other social and educational advantages, with stations on the Great Western, Midland and South Western Railways, is about two miles from the nearest point on the Estate, and there are an unusual number of Roman and Druidical remains on various parts of the property. The hunting in the neighbourhood, with the Badminton, Craven, Tedworth and V. W. H. Hounds, is excellent.