SU1084 : Walled Garden, Lydiard Park and House, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon (11)

taken 7 years ago, near to Lydiard Millicent, Wiltshire, Great Britain

Walled Garden, Lydiard Park and House, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon (11)
Walled Garden, Lydiard Park and House, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon (11)
One of a few images of the restored 18th century garden. The tower of St Mary's Church is visible in the background.
St Mary’s Church, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon
Written by Brian Robert Marshall

St Mary’s Church has its origins in the 13th century. Part of the nave and of the north aisle are of that age. However, the church as it is seen today largely dates from the 15th century when the church was rebuilt with a new roof, the tower, the south aisle, the chapel and the chancel. Many wall paintings within the church date from then. The last major changes were carried out in the 17th century when the east end of the church was remodelled. The main stained glass east window was installed then and the chapel ceiling painted.

The exterior of the church is undeniably attractive Link but is typical of many such churches to be found in Wiltshire which have Norman origins and subsequent alterations and extensions. It is the interior where the main interest lies and it is largely the creation of the 1st baronet John St John who lived between about 1585 and 1649. The baronetcy commenced some time during the reign of James I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) when John purchased it for £1095.00.

There are significant traces of wall paintings on the interior surfaces Link and Link These date from 1400 to 1450. Unfortunately it seems that they were painted over in the Civil War years. Attempts to uncover the paintings were made by doubtless well-meaning but inept worthies in 1901 who took off much of the wall paintings with the Cromwellian distemper. Enough remains to provide clues as to their original splendour.

There is a splendid coat of arms dating to the days of James I who reigned between 1603 and 1625 Link and Link

The oldest monument dates to 1592 Link and Link and there is an interesting example of a memorial erected by the subject himself before his eventual demise. Perhaps he didn’t trust his offspring to do it or perhaps he feared that there wouldn’t be any of them left – only four of his thirteen children survived him. Three boys and a girl died in childhood. The eldest son Oliver pre-deceased his father. Three other sons, John, William and Edward, all died fighting in the English Civil War on the Royalist side Link The 1st baronet’s monument to himself can be seen here Link and Link

Two more sons fought for the Parliamentary side.

These photos are no substitute for seeing the interior of the church in person. The church is kept locked but the key can be obtained from the main house on production of proof of identity and address.
18th Century Ornamental Walled Garden, Lydiard Park and House
Compiled by Brian Robert Marshall from lydiardpark.org.uk

Lydiard Park is the ancestral home of the Viscounts Bolingbroke. The Palladian house, beautiful church, formal parkland and surrounding pasture are the striking remains of a great country estate which reached its peak in the 18th Century. Rescued from ruin by the Swindon Corporation in 1943, the house is beautifully restored and opened to the public in the 1950s. In 2005, work began on a £5 million landscape restoration project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. To date, many significant 18th Century landscape and architectural features have been restored including:

re-instating the lost lake
renovating the Grade II listed Coach House
restoring ice house and castellated dam wall
and returning the 18th Century ornamental fruit and flower Walled Garden to its former glory.

Open all year round, Lydiard Park includes the striking Palladian house with the ground floor State Rooms open to the public, with its original furnishings, ornate plasterwork and family portraits. Next door, St Mary’s Church is packed with intriguing monuments to the St John family including the unique triptych and Golden Cavalier statue. The ornamental fruit and flower Walled Garden built in the 1740s to provide the St John family with a peaceful, sheltered garden to stroll has been faithfully restored with stunning displays of flowers, fruit trees and topiary.

Lydiard's ornamental fruit and flower walled garden is open to the public. For the first time in centuries, the 18th Century walled garden is restored to its former glory, complete with well, flowers elegantly displayed with colour, texture and smell from beautiful tulips, lilies and bedding plants.

The planting plans for the garden are based on archaeological excavations and expert historical research.

In the museum collection, letters written in the 1660s by Lady Johanna St John reveal her love of plants and there are illustrations in the 17th Century painted glass window and beautiful floral panels painted by the Society artist and beauty, Lady Diana Spencer in the 1760s.

The centrepiece of the restored walled garden is a replica of the original 18th Century sundial.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SU1084, 149 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Sunday, 29 July, 2012   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 31 July, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Suburb, Urban fringe 
Category
Garden   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 103 848 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:33.7516N 1:51.1598W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 103 848
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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18th Century 

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