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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Running Through History
Published on: 28th April 2024

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…”
Published on: 28th March 2024

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

The Forest of Braydon and Lydiard Park’s Veteran Trees
Published on: 28th February 2024

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

Why did the St.John family choose Bolingbroke?
Published on: 15th January 2024

When many people think of the name Henry Bolingbroke, the first character that comes to mind is John of Gaunt’s son Henry,...

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...

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.

Valezina Frohawk, 6th Viscountess Bolingbroke
Published on: 14th December 2023

You could be forgiven for not knowing who Valezina Frohawk was. She did not leave any mark on the Lydiard Estate, the...

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...

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.