Photographs (5) of Mrs Eileen Edmonds, daughter and granddaughter at Lydiard Park, 1980's

Photographs (5) of Mrs Eileen Edmonds, daughter and granddaughter at Lydiard Park, 1980's
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Four photographs show a trip to Lydiard Park by the Edmonds family of Stratton St Margaret as part of a Wiltshire Centre Caravan Club weekend to Lydiard Park in August 1984. A fifth picture, taken a few years later, shows Debra Edmonds and her brother Kevin and sister in law Caroline at her twin nephews Jack and Samuel Edmonds christening at St. Mary's Church on 17th July 1988.

Debra's ancestors lived and worked within the Bolingbroke estate and worshipped in St Mary’s Church. Moving to both Wootton Bassett and Swindon in the 20th century, the family stayed close to their roots, visiting the park on many occasions. 

 At her twin nephews christening in 1988 they noticed the family surname ‘Edmonds’, Debra's maiden name, on some of the gravestones in the churchyard. Further research by Debra revealed that her five times Great Grandfather Jonathan married in St Mary’s on 16 November 1755 and that over the years the Edmonds held various skilled jobs from glazier to tailor, chairmaker, shoemaker, mason and bricklayer, carpenter, baker and machine maker. One later ancestor purchased ‘Lot Number 16 of 52 acres, Park Copse’ at the auction of the Bolingbroke estate in 1943.

In 2022 Debra wrote:

"I loved Lydiard from my first visit, long before I knew about my family. In August 1984 we stayed in our caravan with the Wiltshire Centre Caravan Club on what is now the school field of Lydiard Park Academy. I became fascinated with the parkland, and loved to hunt out lost pathways and tracks, especially as it was more overgrown back then. I would wonder about abandoned parkland walls, where were the various carriage entrances, why had some features disappeared, why did some remain."

Inspired by both Lydiard Park and Littlecote House's parkland, and countryside walks with her father Alan, Debra went on to study Landscape Archaeology and has pursued a career analysing and devising digital maps in the heritage sector. She is a Member and Volunteer of The Friends of Lydiard Park and a Volunteer guide at St. Mary’s Church, Lydiard Tregoze.

Private Collection
Debra Melsom (ne Edmonds)
Debra Melsom
Friends of Lydiard Park
Last updated on:
Sunday 27th August 2023

Items of Interest

Window graffiti, St. Mary's Lydiard Tregoze, 19th Century
Window graffiti, St. Mary's Lydiard Tregoze, 19th Century

St. Mary's Church contains a quantity of graffiti...