Inspired by a love of travel Marion and Richard Lightbown set up Indigo Antiques & Interiors in the early 1970s to introduce beautiful hand crafted Asian furniture to the UK.
‘After meeting in Australia Richard & I returned overland to the UK in a van we bought in Kathmandu. While in Delhi we met a lovely couple whose home was furnished with a fabulous mix of European antiques & Indian pieces. Enthused by what we saw we started importing furniture from Asia, first selling it from a market stall in Camden.’
Since then they’ve had shops in London & Bath – they’ve been at their showroom in Manningford Bruce near Pewsey for 15 years. Brimming with beautifully preserved original painted furniture, they also stock collectibles such as mirrors, Rajasthani bedspreads & handmade paper products. Their shop is an eclectic mix of restored antiques & quirky pieces.
‘We love the original painted furniture from Tibet and Mongolia but that’s high end, so we also sell a more affordable custom made range from China. Like the UK the Chinese use walnut & elm, so the furniture is as comfortable in country homes & cottages as in its native home. Many of the pieces have stunning intricate patterns & our showroom is constantly changing as antiques are so unique’.
It’s an unexpected treasure trove that’s a little bit different from the mainstream. Pop in next time you’re passing & you won’t regret it.
It wasn't by chance that we chose to live in one of the least populated parts of the UK. We both lived in Australia in the 1970's and hankered after the big open spaces. Wiltshire is a very special place, with so many wonderful ancient sites there is the real sense of history here and it felt like home from day one. We love its isolation, but it is also perfectly situated between the M4 &M3 to make easy commutes to airports. We also have Pewsey station just a few miles away. It's perfect for us.
Marion and Richard Lightbown
Avebury is an extraordinary place. A beautiful village, run by the National Trust, inside a neolithic stone circle. Unlike Stonehenge the stones are accessible to the public all year round. Avebury also has an interesting 16th century Manor house the renovation of which was featured on the BBC in a programme called The Manor Reborn. The people who work there are very well informed and encourage you to open all the drawers and doors and try on the various period costumes supplied, it's a lot of fun. The well-tended walled garden is also a delight.
Devizes Museum - run by Wiltshire Archealogical and Natural History society, a tiny museum with some amazingly interesting artefacts including an early bronze age sun disc made in 2400 BC. Open daily to the public, they also have activities suitable for families & schools.
The meadows around Adams Grave Longbarrow is at the summit of Walkers Hill. A wonderful place to walk in all seasons with a beautiful view across the Pewsey Vale. Walk up from the main road along the spine of the hill to get to the summit. Just above the huge Alton Barnes chalk White Horse, maintained by the local community. The hillside is full of a wonderful array of native wild flowers. I feel privileged to live in such a beautiful part of Britain.