Lydiard Park Own Website
ydiard House mansion and estate are collectively known as Lydiard Park. The park has beautiful and extensive grounds (some 244 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. There is also an 18th century lake, ice-house, picnic and barbeque area, an arboretum and a visitors
centre. During the summer there are outside events held which in the past has included Shakespear in the Park, the annual Wiltshire Festival (held in August)
- the 'Party in the Park', held over successive evenings and has mix of classical and pop music with a spectacular fireworks display staged in front of the mansion
The park is open each day (except Christmas day) and closes at dusk each day. Entry to the park is free and there is no charge to use the car parks.
The mansion House, former home to the St. John (pronounced 'sin jin') family, and walled garden is open to visitors Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.00am to 5.00pm (closed
Mondays). Entry to the House costs £3.50, the walled garden £1.85 or entry to both is £4.50 for adults and concessions are available for children,
seniors and SwindonCard holders. These times and prices are correct at September 2011, but check the Lydiard Park website for up-to-date information.
A trip into St. Mary's church is well worth the time. The key is available from the main House entrance 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 triptych (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 Swindon's Borough Council.
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
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.
During our visit in July 2006 there was some extensive work being carried out in various parts of the park. We have a few photographs of the work as well as some
more up-to-date ones, taken in 2008 and 2011. Areas include work on the weir, new bridges and stone walls, and a new children's play area.