The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre is delighted to support this wonderful project by the Friends of Lydiard Park. The digital images and information available on this easy-to-use website will help researchers and anyone interested in the rich heritage of Lydiard Park to discover more about the house, landscape and the people who lived and worked on the estate and in the wider parish. It really brings history to life!
Terry Bracher, Heritage Services Manager, Wiltshire Council
The Wiltshire and Swindon Archives service based at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham www.wshc.org.uk contains over 8 miles of archives going back 800 years for the county of Wiltshire and the borough of Swindon. These include numerous records that relate to Lydiard Park and the parish of Lydiard Tregoze.
Private deposits include estate archives, that tell us much about the families who built and owned houses like Lydiard Park. They also help us understand the rhythm of everyday life on the estate, including business, work, and social interactions of those in all parts of society; from the landed gentry and life in high society, to estate workers, tradespeople and local parishioners who had connections with the house and the surrounding area. The main collections that relate to Lydiard Park include the following:
WSA 305 Records: St.John (Viscount Bolingbroke) family from 1565 – c.1930, originating from Goodwyn and sons, land agents to Lord Bolingbroke and later Viscountess Mary Bolingbroke.
WSA 2323 Papers: St.John Family, Viscounts Bolingbroke of Lydiard Park c.1825 - 1957 deposited by solicitors who acted for the family.
WSA 3430 Papers: St.John Family of Lydiard House Wiltshire; Battersea, London; and Frampton-on-Severn and Kempsford, Gloucestershire, from 1528-1950.These records also relate to estates in Essex, Kent and Surrey, and in North America.
WSA 4482: Friends of Lydiard Park, Papers of Brian Carne, who was Rector of St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze from 1960 to 1968 and co-founded the Friends of Lydiard Tregoze in 1967. This collection contains over 100 volumes of research and information on the families of Lydiard Park and St Mary’s church.
Official records are also held at the History Centre, including Parish records, such as the churchwardens accounts from 1668 - 1966, Overseers of the Poor accounts 1780 - 1843 and charities 1645 -1948.
School records, especially logbooks, can provide an insight into not only school life but also the whole community, including notable events such as the First and Second World Wars, coronations, epidemics etc. The Archive contains logbooks for Lydiard Tregoze primary school 1866 -1965 and admission registers 1866-1928; and for Lydiard Park temporary County School 1952-1960.
Some information about individual parishioners and their families may also be found in records of the Cricklade and Wotton Bassett Poor Law Union, with the workhouse being erected in Purton in 1837. However, only the Board of Guardian minutes from 1839-1930, Workhouse Committee books 1914-1926 and indoor relief ledgers 1913-1916, survive.
Prior to the existence of local authorities counties were administered by the Quarter Session courts. Dating from the 1600s to c.1890s these archives include information on civil and criminal cases brought before the court, corners records, jurors’ books, oaths and declarations, militia, alehouse licenses, turnpikes, repairs of highways and bridges, enclosure, taxation assessments, poll books and more.
Researchers can contact or visit Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre: email firstname.lastname@example.org and can also search the catalogue online Home Page (wiltshire.gov.uk)