Unique Archive Secured for Posterity

In December 2019 the Friends achieved their ambition to find an appropriate home for the late Brian Carne’s irreplaceable Lydiard archive which contains over forty years of scholarly research into the St. John family, Lydiard Park and the parish of Lydiard Tregoze.

Brian Carne

The archive has been deposited by Sonia and Anthony St.John in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham which already has an impressive collection of Lydiard material. Brian, who was Rector of St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze from 1960 to 1968, would have been pleased.

Brian co-founded the Friends of Lydiard Tregoz in 1967, (the precursor to the current Friends of Lydiard Park), and he developed a wide network of historians and academics who contributed to the annual reports he edited, drawing on extensive published and other unpublished material. He also saw the enormous value in capturing the memories and voices of local people. Brian’s archive contains his original correspondence and letters, photographs and documents that informed the historical reports and provide an unrivalled reference point for researchers today.

St. John historian Sonia St. John says:

‘Brian took the lead in ensuring that aspects of the history of Lydiard House, St. Mary’s Church and the related families should be recorded for posterity. I am delighted that the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre has recognised the enormous value of his work and that it will be preserved for the future. Brian was one of those rare and special people whom it was a privilege to know and to work with. Lydiard was especially fortunate that he gave his considerable and diverse talents to its preservation and future.’

Donna Marshall, Principal Archivist at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre says:

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre is delighted to have been approached by the Friends of Lydiard Park as a fitting place for the permanent deposit of the Brain Carne archive. The History Centre will ensure the long-term preservation and secure storage of Canon Carne’s papers, and we look forward to making this wonderful archive available to the public for free. Canon Carne’s research and papers will undoubtedly be of great interest to local and family historians and researchers of the North Wiltshire and Swindon area, and will complement collections of historic documents relating to the St John family, Lydiard Park and Lydiard Tregoze parish already held at the History Centre in Chippenham.

See more information on the history of Lydiard.