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 Lydiard Park 
Menu:
This Location:   Main Page   
Outside Pages:    Around The Park    Conference Centre    Coach House    Dam    Ha-Ha    Ice House    Lake    Mansion House    Memorial Benches    Plunge Pool    Walled Garden
Related Pages:   St. Mary Church    Wiltshire Collections Entry


   
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Lydiard House & Park
Swindon, Wiltshire, England

Lydiard Park Own Website

Lydiard 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 (December 2016) they are £2 for up to two hours and £4 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 year, at  Open Times.  Planned closures for maintenance will be shown on their website.

Ticket prices can be viewed at: Ticket Prices.  Currently (December 2016) adult entry to the House and walled garden is £6.50.  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 main house reception 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 geard, enclosure."
Outside
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The St. John family's mansion house set in parkland
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Area to the left of the main entrance to the house - this is now the visitors entrance
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The rear of the House - and the end of the Church
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Coach house and stable yard
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The Conference Centre
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Inside the walled garden
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Information Centre, cafe, Ranger's office and public toilets
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Ha-ha
Wall and ditch marking the (previous) boundary of the park, not visible from inside the grounds
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Looking across to Lydiard Park Academy
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A weir at one end of the lake
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Looking towards the parkland from the dam. The railings show where the plunge-pool is located
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A plunge pool built 1820
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A repaired dam
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Approaching the re-instated lake
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The Ice House
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Jungle Parc - high wire forest adventure
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One of the two roads into the Park
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Taken from the West Swindon to Lydiard Millicent road
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Delicious cream teas - a great fundraiser for the church
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Trails into the woods ...
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... reveals den-building!
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