Lydiard Park

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 20, 2021 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
The Palladian exterior of Lydiard House.

  • Lydiard Park is the home of Lydiard House, the Walled Garden, St Mary's Church, and acres of lawns, woodland, and more.
  • Explore the Palladian House, full of beautiful and unique things to see, and hundreds of elements of the St John family.
  • See the monuments of the St John family in St Mary's Church.
  • Walk through the park, and maybe enjoy one of the parks events throughout the year.
  • Enjoy a cream tea, or a BBQ if the weather is nice.

Lydiard Park in Swindon is made up of a Palladian House, Church and Walled Garden, as well as the park itself. The formal name of the park was Lydiard Tregoze, named after the village, and it's 260-acres of beautiful things to see.

One of Swindon's most beautiful parks, this is a must-visit. It's time to plan your visit, check the site map, and have a great day out at Lydiard Park. If you like Bowood House and Gardens or Stonehenge, you'll have a great day out year-round.

A settlement at Lediar may have been there since the 1190s, owned by the Tregoze family. A deer park was created in 1259 by Robert Tregoze in the nearby woodland.

In 1420 the ownership passed to the St John family who owned it until the Second World War. In the 17th century, formal gardens and a canal were added by Sir John St John, though much was removed by 1766.

In 1942, the house was used as a military hospital, before becoming a Prisoner of War hospital in 1946. It has been open to the public since 1955.

Lydiard House is in the heart of Lydiard Park. It's a Grade I listed building and was used a home for 500 years.

The state rooms in the Ground Floor have been restored and can be visited. Enjoy the ornate plasterwork used in the restoration and original family furnishings with portraits and photographs of the St John family. Starting in the Main Hall, you can see where St John's would have held dances and had other entertainment for their guests.

To the right is the library, with busts of a variety of philosophers among the beautiful book collections. The Dining Room is decorated with family portraits and original Glitwood furniture. The 1820s red flock wallpaper is still in some places adding the vintage flair.

One of the house's highlights is the white marble fireplace. The ground floor bedroom is grand, as was the style in the 18th century.

The room has a beautifully restored bed, with decorative embroidered panels. The Dressing Room honours Diana Spencer, 2nd Viscountess Bolingbroke.

It has two of the most unique and precious objects at Lydiard Park. The Giovanni Sochi mechanical desk was made in the 19th century. The beautiful painted window was made in the 17th century.

Just behind Lydiard House is St Mary's Church, all that remains of Lydiard Tregoze. It's a small church from the 12th century and includes lots of historical evidence about the St John family.

You can find the St John Polyptych and the Golden Cavalier, a full-size effigy of Edward St John. There's also the monument to Nicholas and Elizabeth St. John.

There's even St John Chapel inside, home to the majority of the St John monuments and vividly decorated. Still a place of Swindon worship today, it's available to visit on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as Sunday afternoons.

The walled garden outside is a rare example of an 18th century walled garden. The garden is rhombus-shaped and is behind the Coach House and Stable buildings; the design is classically Georgian.

The walled garden is split into six sections, with pathways, a well, and a sundial. Flowers and fruit were grown there and were still grown there, and the family would stroll through there after meals.

The garden has flowers and bulbs, and several different trees from apples to greengages to apricots and pears. The collection of flowers in the walled garden are particularly good for local wildlife.

The garden was restored in 2007. You can take some of the Lydiard Park plants home too by visiting the Heritage Garden Centre, and you can also try some Lydiard Cider.

Lydiard Park itself, over its many acres, has many parts to see, with lawns, woodlands, lakes and more; lots of wildlife like to live in the parklands. You might be able to find the Ice House in the woodlands; it was used to store ice for the summer.

There are plenty of other features too. If you'd rather relax, there are plenty of benches, and places to picnic, as well as BBQs, to hire.

There's also the Lydiard Park café, with the Lydiard Park play area next to it. Children can run, swing, slide, climb and more.

Lydiard Park has many events that go on throughout the year. Lydiard Park events include Open Air Theatre, Live Music, cinemas and more. Many high profile events happen throughout the year too.

The Royal British Legion's Royal Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance and Cancer Research UK's Race for Life all take place at Lydiard Park. If you want to try something unique at Lydiard Park, try Jungle Parc.

Jungle Parc is a Children’s Adventurer and Xplorer course for children aged over 3 years old. There are 50 different activities to try throughout, including swinging, gliding and climbing. It's fun for all ages.

The Forest Café has everything needed for a light lunch; hot and cold drinks, snacks, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes. The Coach House Tea Rooms are great for special occasions with the available cream teas, within the atmospheric building. There are also picnic and BBQ spots. Within Swindon, there are plenty of places to eat too.

Smile Thai Café and Takeaway has great Thai food. Terry's Chinese Takeaway is great to enjoy among the woodlands of Lydiard Park. Ruchi has great Indian food too.

Want to stay at Lydiard House? You can! The Lydiard House and Annexe is accommodation fit for a member of the St John family. Tranquil and elegant, you'll have views of the beautiful parkland.

There are 36 bedrooms, with tea and coffee, Wi-Fi, hairdryer, TV and more. You can breakfast, lunch and dinner downstairs too. There are plenty of places to stay in Swindon like a Premier Inn, Village Hotel Swindon, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Swindon and Holiday Inn.

What to know before you go

  • Lydiard Park is open at all times, but car parking is open from 7.30am to 5.30pm. Lydiard House is open at certain points throughout the year, particularly the summer months. The Forest Café is open from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Coach House is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday.
  • There is accessible access to the House, Church and Visitor Centre.
  • The majority of the park is suitable for buggies.
  • Dogs, except service dogs, are not allowed in the children's play area, playing fields, Lydiard House and Walled Garden, the Lydiard Park café and indoor areas of the Tea Rooms.
  • There are accessible toilets inside the Coach House, next to the Tea Rooms, located between Lydiard House and the Walled Garden, and at the Visitor Centre, next to the Forest Café by the children's play area. Toilets and baby changing facilities are found in the same place.

Getting there

  • Lydiard Park is in Swindon and has two main entrances: Hay Lane and Hook Street. Hay Lane is near Lydiard House and St Mary's Church. Hook Street is near the Forest Café.
  • Lydiard Park parking is close to Lydiard House. It's £2.10 for up to two hours or £4.40 all day.
  • The closest train station is Swindon Train Station. You'll then need the number 1 or 1A, asking for Lydiard Park.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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