Living History Archive

Boxer George Strange
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 20th September 2021

George Strange was born in 1843 at Prioryfield, in one of a group of tiny stone cottages isolated at the end of a long track...

St John of Bletso Table Carpet
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 28th June 2021

This month’s Living History piece is about table carpets and in particular the St John of Bletso table carpet that is now...

The First Lady of Lydiard
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 25th May 2021

Throughout the long history of Lydiard Park, there has been a whole succession of fascinating women who have been born or...

Elliot Woolford
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 6th May 2021

March 1930 Entries In a meticulously kept diary, Elliot Woolford provides the reader with a no-nonsense view of farming...

The Fearless Aeronauts
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 1st April 2021

Lydiard House and Park feature in the local and national newspapers many times over the decades and today we bring you an...

Love at Lydiard
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 29th January 2021

Local historian Frances Bevan in her Good Gentlewoman blog once sagely observed that the St John men did not make good...

Thomas Becket Wall Painting
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 19th November 2020

2020 marks an important anniversary for the extraordinary figure of Thomas Becket. On 29th December it will be 850 years...

The Silent Companions
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 6th November 2020

I well remember the first time I visited Lydiard House. I walked into the Dining Room – and jumped a mile when I saw the...

Lydiard House Ghost Stories
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 27th October 2020

Frances Bevan writes: What better subject for a Halloween post than tales of ghostly happenings in Lydiard House. Like...

The Wiltshire Loaf Cheese
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 5th October 2020

A famous product of the local area is Wiltshire Loaf Cheese, which is a semi-hard cheese, smooth and creamy on the outside...

Prince George, Princess Charlotte & the Battersea Connection
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 28th August 2020

Prince George and Princess Charlotte are expected to return to school at Thomas’s Battersea this September, a school...

Taking the Plunge
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 17th August 2020

In the news recently was the story that David and Victoria Beckham want to create a new lake on their estate in the...

Vernon St John, the “Lord of the Butterflies.”
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 26th June 2020

Vernon Henry St John, 6th Viscount Bolingbroke is remembered more for his passion and knowledge of natural history than for...

The Forest of Braydon and Lydiard Park’s veteran trees
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 1st June 2020

Map of Lydiard circa 1700 The great Forest of Braydon originally extended across North Wiltshire, covering much of the...

A Victorian Country Wedding
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 5th May 2020

Wedding arrangements in the Victorian parish of Lydiard Tregoze were dictated by the busy agricultural calendar. At Wick...

Fred's Horses
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 1st April 2020

"There was a meeting of two days at Newmarket this time of year, to see the sweetest little horse run that ever was; his...

Lady Johanna St John - A 17th Century Mother
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 1st March 2020

This month we’re celebrating Mother’s Day on 14th March with an article by Frances Bevan about Lady Johanna St....

Running Through History
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 27th February 2020

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…”
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 13th January 2020

By the mid 19th century the Palladian mansion house at Lydiard Tregoze was a little the worse for wear. Generations of St...

The Ice House
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 13th January 2020

“There ice, like crystal, firm and never lost, Tempers hot July with December’s frost;” From “On St James’...

A 17th Century Lydiard Christmas
Category: Living History Articles Published on: 9th January 2020

The letters of Johanna St.John to her steward at Lydiard, Thomas Hardyman, give us a fascinating insight into the menu for a...