Lydiard Park Own Website
ydiard House mansion and estate are collectively known as Lydiard Park.
The park has beautiful and extensive grounds (some 260 acres) where you can just sit and admire
the scenery, or follow one of the trails through the woodland. For the youngsters there
is an adventure playground and toddlers play area, and for the more energetic a cricket and
football pitch and the Jungle Parc high wire experience. There is also an 18th century
lake, ice-house, a picnic and barbeque area, an arboretum and a cafe and visitors centre.
During the summer there are outside events held - previously included Shakespear in the Park,
the Wiltshire Festival, the 'Party in the Park' (successive evenings of mixed classical and
pop music with a spectacular fireworks display staged in front of the mansion house), dog
shows, falconry displays, vintage cars ... the list goes on.
The park is open each day (except Christmas day) from 7.30am and closes at dusk. Entry
to the park is free. In July 2016 car park fees were introduced and at time of writing
(June 2020) they are £2.10 for up to two hours and £4.40 all day. Check this
before your visit at: Parking Fees
Lydiard House, former home to the St. John family (pronounced 'sin gin'), and walled
garden is open to visitors, along with a few refreshment options. If you are planning
a visit, be sure to check their website for opening times, as they do vary throughout the
Planned closures for maintenance will be shown on their website.
Ticket prices can be viewed at:
Currently (June 2020) adult entry to the House and walled garden is £7.25.
There other options, concessionary prices are available, as are season tickets - check
details at their website for up-to-date information. You could consider joining
the Friends of Lydiard Park and your annual (or life time) membership includes unlimited
entry to the house and garden. Their website can be seen at:
Friends of Lydiard Park
A trip into St. Mary's church is well worth the time. The key is available from the
stables cafe and you will need to sign for it and provide some sort of proof of identity.
The church is often open anyway for various events, and if you are lucky your visit may
coincide with the polyptych being opened. Do remember this is a 'working' church so
services and other activities do take place and priority.
The village of Lydiard Tregoz disappeared over 300 years ago and all that remains of it
is the church. Lydiard House was built adjacent to the church - guide books state
a house could have been here from the Middle Ages, although the earliest record dates
from the 1700s. Today, what is left of the estate is run by the Swindon Borough Council.
The former Swindon Corporation bought Lydiard Park back in 1943 when the house was in
a terrible state of repair. Over the years parts of the house have been
impressively restored. This is an on-going project as conservation and
restoration is a slow and expensive task. What a splendid job they have
achieved so far - well done to everyone involved for their dedication and hard
work. Their efforts have resulted in something for Swindon to be proud of.
The future of the park does not feel secure to the people of Swindon since the Council
announced they will contract it out to a company or group. The thought of a private
company taking over has caused much concern because it needs to make a profit or it
fails. Therefore will it adequately fund the preservation of the house or will
it go into decline? Will prices go up to pay for those profits? Will access
be limited and charges introduced for areas currently free to use? We understand
there are a couple of groups that are not profit based who have put in a bid for the
contract. Swindon waits to hear the Council's decision.
Although the name is now spelt Lydiard Tregoze, according to John Jackson (in the Wiltshire
Collections book) it has gone under various names over the years: "Lydiard Tregoz,
or South Lydiard, is in the old Hundred of Blackgrove, now included in Kingsbridge.
The name occurs in a multitude of forms: Lydeyerd, Lidegherd, Lideyert, Lidiarde,
Lydyarde, Lydeyarde, Lidyard, Ledyerd, Lydeard, Liddiard, Ladyhart, Lidyhart and
Lediar. The derivation is Anglo-Saxon, from
Leod, people, and