The Lydiard Archives

House History

It is probable there was a house on the site from the Middle Ages, perhaps a hunting lodge, though the earliest evidence comes from a plan of 1700, which shows a traditional manor house with extensive service accommodation. In the mid-18th century, John 2nd Visct St.John gave the house a fashionable makeover, remodelling it in the classically inspired Palladian style with a grand new southwest façade fronting a new suite of state rooms. 

Dwindling family fortunes meant the house became increasingly neglected in the nineteenth century. The 4th Visct tried to supply the house with some of the amenities it lacked and built a service wing in 1830, but no improvements and probably scarcely any maintenance was undertaken thereafter. 

On the death of Lady Bolingbroke in 1940, the estate was mortgaged up to the hilt with no option but to sell up. In a farsighted move, Swindon Corporation purchased the property and set about its restoration, opening it to the public in 1955. Today, Lydiard House is an Accredited Museum with much of the original contents returned.



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House History

Featured Items

Photographs of HM Queen Elizabeth's visit to Lydiard House, 1997
Photographs of HM Queen Elizabeth's visit to Lydiard House, 1997

HRM Queen Elizabeth II visited Swindon in November...

Plan of Lydiard Park, c1700
Plan of Lydiard Park, c1700

The plan is believed to date from around 1700 and...

Film of Lydiard House opening to public, 1955
Film of Lydiard House opening to public, 1955

This rare and evocative film marks a triumph for t...

Engraving of Lydiard House by Frederick Nash, c1808
Engraving of Lydiard House by Frederick Nash, c1808

'Lediiard Tregoze' (Seat of Lord Bolingbroke) Wilt...