Tales of Lydiard

There are dozens of interesting, quirky and sometimes scandalous stories from Lydiard House and Park and the Parish of Lydiard Tregoze’s ongoing history. Whether contained in the historical Reports of The Friends of Lydiard Tregoze, or collected through interviews, letters, diaries, and recordings, we are digitizing and adding these tales to The Lydiard Archives and making them freely available for visitors. They are a colourful and intriguing peephole into the events and people of Lydiard’s past, and we couldn’t resist sharing some of these fascinating stories with you here. If you have a Tale of Lydiard you’d like to share, do please contact us!
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Tracing the final resting place for Lydiard Park POWs
Published on: 29th September 2023

Looking at Lydiard Park's beautiful grounds and playing fields in 2023 it is hard to imagine they were once occupied by a...

The Elliot Woolford diaries - 1900
Published on: 21st September 2023

The turning of the year and the beginning of a new century appear to have made little impact on the establishment at Hook...

Satire and the St.John Family
Published on: 28th August 2023

The Lydiard Archives contain a number of satirical cartoons referring to members of the St John family. Satire uses humour,...

Lydiard’s Austrian Rose
Published on: 2nd August 2023

Lady Johanna St John, wife of Sir Walter and one of the 17th century chatelaines of Lydiard Park, was famous for her...

Elliot Woolford’s Wedding.
Published on: 31st May 2023

In 1911 Elliot Woolford of Hook Farm attended the wedding of his future sister-in-law. He writes in his diary dated January...

The Case of the Coronation Hand-me-downs.
Published on: 27th April 2023

The portrait collection at Lydiard House contains two pairs of portraits that have intriguing similarities. The first pair...

Victorian Taxes
Published on: 23rd March 2023

On April 24th 1889, Viscount Bolingbroke of Lydiard Park was issued with this licence to keep a carriage. The carriage had...

Francis King of West Blagrove Farm
Published on: 1st March 2023

In this month’s Living History article, Frances Bevan traces the story and complicated personal life of Francis King...

Woolford Diary – January 1923
Published on: 25th January 2023

On January 1, 1923 it was work as usual for Elliot Woolford with a trip to Swindon market and a delivery of 13 gallons...

Good Gentlewomen

The history of Lydiard House is woven through with the stories of remarkable women. Explore Frances Bevan’s Good Gentlewoman articles and learn about the diverse and determined women of the St John family.

Lady Katherine Grey
Published on: 2nd November 2023

On a recent visit to Salisbury Cathedral I discovered this magnificent memorial. I took a step back, well several infact as...

It's a small medieval world
Published on: 19th September 2021

If you think your family is quarrelsome, spare a thought for the Royal family. No, not the present one. I’m talking about...

Elizabeth, Lady Berkeley
Published on: 23rd August 2021

The magnificent tomb of Elizabeth, Lady Berkeley stands against the south wall of the chancel in the church of St. Dunstan...

Clarice de la Warre
Published on: 14th July 2021

Set in a niche in the church of St Michael at Ewyas Harold is this magnificent effigy, a survivor from the late...

Do you have a story/photo of Lydiard?

We’d love to hear your memories of Lydiard. The house, park and church have all featured in the lives of many local people, from the residents of the 1950’s Lydiard Park Estate to those who have grown up with the park as their playground and backdrop to memorable events. Do you have a story or photograph you’d like to share?

Submit a story/photo

As a Friend of Lydiard Park, you become part of its ongoing story. With your help, we can conserve and enhance this wonderful place and its many tales for the future.