Protecting, conserving and enhancing Lydiard House and Park

The Friends of Lydiard Park are an independent charity supporting and promoting interest, engagement and research into this important Palladian House, its beautiful grounds, the ancient church of St. Mary and the lives of people who have lived, worked and played here across the centuries.


View all news

Lydiard’s Last Lord and English Naturalist

Vernon Henry St.John was the last lord to live at Lydiard Park. Join us as we attempt to draw together the story of this retiring and reflective man, whose life and quiet achievements have so often been eclipsed by the scandal of his birth.

Read more

Lydiard’s Last Lord and English Naturalist

See all projects


Members' Summer Visit to Mapledurham Estate

Date: 9th July 2024

Time: 10:30 am Departure

Venue: Mapledurham Estate, Oxfordshire

We are delighted to be visiting Mapledurham Estate, a private house that has been associated with the St.John family since the 1500s.

View all events

Tales of Lydiard

Step into the story of Lydiard House and Park and explore the interesting, quirky and sometimes scandalous tales from its fascinating past and ongoing history.

Fred's Horses
Published on: 30th May 2024
"There was a meeting of two days at Newmarket this time of year, to see the sweetest little horse run that ever was; his...
Running Through History
Published on: 28th April 2024
Whether you are a dedicated park runner, or enjoy a regular dog walk or family cycle, you’ll be familiar with the open...
“Here is a good old mansion house…”
Published on: 28th March 2024
By the mid 19th century the Palladian mansion house at Lydiard Tregoze was a little the worse for wear. Generations of St...

View all Tales of Lydiard articles

The Lydiard Archives

Visit the Lydiard Archives, our unique on-line collection of objects, portraits, records, manuscripts, photographs, memories, and ephemera related to Lydiard Park.

Grave Matters - Memorials in St. Mary's Churchyard

Fragments of the Bishop’s Transcripts (copies of the parish registers) for Lydiard Tregoze survive from 1607 with the burial of James Gardiner in May of that year. However, this was not the first burial in the churchyard surrounding the ancient church of St. Mary’s. Read more

Visit the Archive

Explore Lydiard

Discover this beautiful mansion and parkland through all the seasons. Enjoy our year-round Nature Watch, and fun family indoor and outdoor trails, and explore its historic features, landscape, and architecture.

June brings wildlife and wildflowers

The long sunny days and short nights of June abound with wildlife. It’s a time when the baby birds are fledging, learning...

Bluebells and Garlic!

If you go down to the woods today – or to wooded parts of Lydiard Park – there are two wild flowers you may well find....

Family Discovery Trails

Family Discovery Trails Put on your family detective hats and follow our three cartoon trails to explore Lydiard Park,...

Historic Landscape

Lydiard Park is listed as Grade II in Historic England’s register of the most important gardens and historic landscapes in...

Explore more

Do you have a story/photo of Lydiard?

We’d love to hear your memories of Lydiard. The house, park, and church have all featured in the lives of many local people, from the residents of the 1950’s Lydiard Park Estate to those who have grown up with the park as their playground and backdrop to memorable events. Do you have a story or photograph you’d like to share?

Submit a story/photo
Meet a Friend

On 2nd May, 2024, Lydiard Friend Florence St.John Heller turns 100. We'd like to join all Florence's friends and family in wishing her a very happy birthday. Based in North London Florence has a keen interest in her family history, raising awareness of the important influence of Ambrose St. John on his great friend John Henry Newman, one of the 19th century’s most famous clergymen.

Lydiard Park and the St.John Family

Lydiard House and Park are all that remain of a once great estate which belonged to the St,John family, Viscounts Bolingbroke, for over 500 years. You can see their portraits, from Elizabethan times onwards, in the elegant State Rooms of Lydiard House and monuments to them adorn the adjacent Church of St. Mary’s.

The St. John’s story is inseparable from the great events of British history, affected by their kinship to the Tudor monarchy and played out in their tragic involvement in the bloody Civil War. Political fame in the 18th century was followed by years of financial decline triggered by the 2nd Vsct. Bolingbroke’s penchant for gambling and lavish expenditure. As the St. John’s fortunes declined Lydiard House fell into increasing neglect, eventually leading to its sale to Swindon Corporation in 1943.

The St. John’s departure was by no means the end of the story. Swindon Corporation’s purchase and restoration of Lydiard House and Park, is a remarkable tale of vision and determination, shared and remembered by many thousands of people to this day.

Abundant further resources and information about Lydiard Park, the St.John family and their history can be found at The Lydiard Archives, the digital resource library created by The Friends of Lydiard Park. Members of the Friends of Lydiard Park also enjoy unlimited access to the online St.John Family Tree, with over five thousand people and fifteen hundred places related to the St.John Family dating back to the 8th Century.

Join Us

Membership & Support

Being a member of The Friends of Lydiard Park is a fab way of being informed of everything about Lydiard, past, present and future, with ample opportunities to take an active part in its upkeep and history.

Billy Beaumont

By joining the Friends of Lydiard Park you will be part of a large sociable group helping to ensure that this important part of our local and national heritage is more widely recognised, enjoyed and preserved for future generations.

  • Free entry to Lydiard House and walled garden
  • Reduced price entry to programme of talks & events
  • Invitations to social events in May and at Christmas
  • Summer outing to historic house/garden destinations
  • Private members access to St. John & related families database
  • Opportunities to get involved in special projects