The Friends of Lydiard Park is an independent charity dedicated to supporting the conservation and continued enhancement of Lydiard House and Park.
Our mission is to ensure Lydiard is preserved for future generations to enjoy and to increase appreciation and understanding of this important national asset and local treasure.
To do this we carry out a wide range of activities which include promoting and carrying out research into the Lydiard estate, the St. John family who owned it for 500 years, related families and the wider parish of Lydiard Tregoze.
Where possible we fund conservation and assist Swindon Borough Council in the acquisition of works of art and other items for display in Lydiard House as well as providing opportunities for the council to attract grant funding for restoration of historic buildings and structures within the parkland that is not otherwise open to them.
Members of the Friends bring their expertise and experience to assist both Swindon Council and St. Mary’s Church through heritage advice. We also provide information to many people enquiring about family history.
The 21st Century has brought new challenges including unwanted Planning Applications which threaten the rural setting of Lydiard Park. The Friends have a successful track record in campaigning to prevent and push back intrusive housing development.Our History
Over the years the Friends have contributed funds and expertise to a wide range of projects, fostering local interest and bringing Lydiard to the attention of both national and international audiences, including the milestones below:
The historical Reports of the Friends of Lydiard Tregoze, edited by the organisations founder and former rector of St. Mary’s Church, the late Canon Brian Carne has provided a unique and permanent resource that continues to assist in research and project development today.
The Friends were instrumental in helping Swindon Borough Council secure £5.3 million to restore Lydiard’s lost lakes, its stable buildings and walled garden. The project also involved laying miles of paths, planting new avenues and woodland and creating the children’s playground.
When Lydiard’s future was at risk from a commercial take-over the Friends led the campaign to keep Lydiard out of private control; our petition gained over 10,000 signatures and a packed public meeting attracted an unprecedented number of local residents.
Find out more
This month our “Friend of the Month” is Billy Beaumont who talks here about what he loves about Lydiard and how he draws inspiration from the house and its historic landscape. Billy writes:
“I have been a member of The Friends of Lydiard Park for 3 years but a friend of the park for over 20 years.
I love the fact that Swindon has such a historical park that can be enjoyed by everyone, with both the house and St Mary's church also being open to visit...
By joining the Friends of Lydiard Park you’ll be supporting an important part of our heritage and a hugely popular community resource. You’ll also be part of a friendly and diverse group that enjoy regular meetings and events.