The Friends contribute to Lydiard in many ways:

A Glimpse of Lydiard House in the 1950's


Two remarkable watercolours recording the dilapidated Lydiard House in c1951 were purchased by Lydiard House in 2012.  The paintings by the Canadian War Artist George Campbell Tinning (1910-1996) were produced to illustrate an article by Aldous Huxley in the Ford Motor Company’s Journal which employed Tinning as an illustrator in the 1950’s and 60’s. Huxley recommends a drive to see Lydiard House and St. Mary’s Church for a glimpse of a vanishing world. Writing of the House he says,
‘.. ..all is desolation…the roof leaks… The ceilings with their delicate Italian plasterwork have begun to disintegrate.  The paint is peeling, the wallpapers are blotched and leprous with damp… there is a sepulchral smell of mildew and dry rot. ‘
Huxley was not to know then that Swindon Corporation would succeed in their ambition to restore Lydiard House. These striking watercolours were purchased with assistance from The Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Trust.  The Friends of Lydiard Park have funded the framing of the paintings which are now on display in the entrance hall of the House.

Evening Lectures at Lydiard House


The Friends of Lydiard Park have supported a series of four evening lectures at Lydiard House. These formed part of the Lydiard House’s Science and Superstition project, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The lecture series saw talks given by Sophie Cummings (the then Collections Manager of Lydiard House), Dr Elaine Leong (Max Planck Institute, Berlin), Professor Timothy Peters (University of Birmingham) and Dr Claire Hickman (University of Oxford).

Each lecture was inspired by the Science and Superstition project, which focused on Lady Johanna St John, her herbal garden and book of medical remedies. The talks looked at scientific gardens, 17th century housekeeping, 17th century surgeons, as well as looking at Lady Johanna herself.

The Friends provided financial support which contributed towards the speakers’ costs. All four lectures sold extremely well and we received very positive feedback from visitors.


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