Throughout the centuries, Lydiard House and Park has celebrated the Yuletide season in its own unique way, and left a charming and poignant collection of memories to remind us of Christmases past. We have enjoyed working with our Archive partners in bringing together this Yuletide Collection, browsing through the digital records to curate a vibrant representation of the people of Lydiard Park and the parish of Lydiard Tregoze. From the lords of the manor, to the people who worked on the estate; from the American servicemen during WWII, to the locals who enjoyed a traditional Boxing Day walk in the Park, memories abound of Yuletide at Lydiard.
We found shopping lists from the 1600s – including a list of New Year’s Gifts from 1663 (goats, sheep, or nutmeg anyone?) and whimsical Christmas Cards sketched by Lord Bolingbroke in the 1960s. We discovered what Christmas Day was like on Elliot Woolford’s farm, reading his diaries written a hundred years ago. We added to our collection with Christmas bell peals from St. Mary’s Church, and a Christmas Eve ghost story featuring the Golden Cavalier. And, surprise! We even found four-hundred-year-old turkeys – in the Abraham Van Linge painted glass within the House.
We hope you have as much fun browsing this collection as we did curating it. And if you have any memories of your own of a Lydiard Christmas season, please share!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy Yuletide.