Lydiard House and the restored walled garden at Lydiard Park will be open to visitors without charge on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, 11am to 5pm, as part of Heritage Open Days, the annual national event which celebrates England’s architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to interesting properties that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee.
Take a tour round the restored ground floor rooms of the house to see the stunning plasterwork, elegant fireplaces, original furniture and portraits of the St John family, who lived at Lydiard Park for over 500 years.
Next to Lydiard House, St Mary’s Parish Church will also be open on Saturday from 11am to 6pm and Sunday 12noon to 6pm. Look inside this fine small church and view the famous St John family triptych, along with other exceptional monuments to the St John Family including the 17th Century tomb of Sir John St John and the Golden Cavalier – a life size effigy of his son, Edward St John, in full Civil War battledress.
Also, find out the latest about the £1 million church restoration project.
Outside, take a stroll in the lovely 18th century ornamental fruit and flower walled garden. The garden was built by the St John family in the 1740s and fell into decline in the early 20th Century. After archaeological investigations and piecing together evidence from the collection in Lydiard House, the garden has been restored to its former glory.
In the grounds discover the ice house, the underground freezer that allowed the St John’s to enjoy chilled food all through the year.
On Sunday 12noon to 3pm, the Lydiard Park education team will be running a drop-in craft activity for children to make their own triptych picture frame to take home. The cost is £3 per child.
Also open over the weekend:
Sunday 11th, 2pm to 5pm – Richard Jefferies Museum. Birthplace and home of author Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), next to Coate Water which featured in his writings.
Saturday 10th, 2pm to 5.30pm and Sunday 11th, 2pm to 5.30pm St John the Baptist & St Helen’s Church, Wroughton. Grade I listed church built between 12th and 15th centuries on earlier foundations. On Saturday there will be bell plates available to try bell-ringing and on Sunday there will be an organ recital.