Lydiard House; brighter and better protected

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Lydiard House has been given a bit of a facelift; and its more than cosmetic. Swindon Borough Council have completed a package renovations to the Grade 1 listed building which began in July 2020. The works were undertaken by local firm and historic buildings specialist Beard’s Construction and included repairs to stone work, rendering and windows.

The 19th century service wing and the much older rear elevation of the house were also redecorated, providing protection for at least another decade.

19th Century Service Wing following renovation
North Courtyard and Service Wing following renovation
North Courtyard and Service Wing during renovation

As often happens with an old building, there were some unforeseen issues. A council spokesman said they had planned to remove all the old cement render on the service wing but found it was so well bonded to the brickwork underneath it was too destructive to remove it. However they successfully stripped away the previous moisture retaining paint surface, replacing it with a more sympathetic mineral based paint to reduce the likelihood of further problems.

The back of the house with traditional limewash applied
The back of the house with traditional limewash applied
The back of the House in 2018, prior to recent renovations

The back of the house has also benefited from a timely refresh. The roughcast render which covers this ancient part of the building has had several coats of traditional limewash applied to it which is expected to last for up to fifteen years before needing a recoat.

These latest works followed the introduction of a new heating system to the ground floor State Rooms which has improved environmental conditions for the buildings elegant 18th Century interiors and important portrait and furniture collections.