Hand-blocked Wallpaper



The Friends of Lydiard Park funded the conservation of an 18th century fragment of hand-blocked Chinese wallpaper. The wallpaper fragment was found behind the dado rail in the Drawing Room at Lydiard Park and was in very poor condition, with adhered lumps of plaster and a brittle hessian backing.

Lydiard House commissioned specialist paper conservator Catherine Rickman to treat the wallpaper. She carefully cleaned the paper, removed the backing and the large lumps of dried plaster.

Following the conservation, Friends of Lydiard Park trustee and architect, Michael Grey, created a simulation of the Drawing Room as it would have looked with the Chinese wallpaper in place.

Conserving the Lydiard Collection



In December 2013 the Friends celebrated the return to Lydiard House of two important 17th Century St. John family portraits following conservation works which we were delighted to fully fund.   

Both of these oil paintings were part of a large body of St. John family portraits which were removed by 6th Viscount Bolingbroke prior to the sale of Lydiard House to Swindon Corporation in 1943. Thanks to sensitive negotiations conducted by the Friends in the 1960’s Lord Bolingbroke firstly loaned and then sold the pictures to the council for the benefit of public display in his old ancestral home.

Both pictures had suffered the effects of many years of smoky fires and poor conditions prior to the council’s restoration of Lydiard House.  Conservation work has included the cleaning, relining and re-varnishing of the paintings as well as repairs to the battered frames. The pictures have been returned to the State Bedroom where they historically hung.

Barbara St.John (d. 1672) was the daughter of Sir John St.John and his wife Lady Lucy Hungerford. Barbara had married Edward Villiers (c. 1585 - 7 September 1626).  Barbara's son William Villiers was the father of the notorious Barbara Villiers who became the Duchess of Cleveland.

Oliver 2nd Earl Bolingbroke (1634 - 1688) married Frances, the daughter of William Cavendish 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Lydiard collection has both of the known portraits of Oliver.

Both portraits are by the English School.


Funds raised through membership help finance work that might otherwise not be possible.