See how our Victorian ancestors celebrated the festive season as the State Rooms of Lydiard House are decked out with traditional decorations, real Christmas trees and floral from Saturday 1 to Sunday 30 December.
This popular season display gives visitors the chance to take time out of the hustle and bustle of modern day Christmas shopping and see how Christmas was celebrated in the past. The floral decorations will be typical of the style of elegant displays that the Lady of the Manor would have created from fresh evergreen foliage, gathered from the park, to add glamour and warmth to the house.
In Victorian times, decorating Christmas trees became fashionable, so there will be real trees in the Hall, Library and State Bedroom, decorated with hand-made baubles, scented sachets, cornucopia cones, cardboard spheres, paper starts and chains. These have been made by staff and volunteers at Lydiard House in the style of Christmas decorations from the 19th and early 20th century. In the Dining Room, the table will be laid out with a lavish Christmas meal, including roast beef and plum pudding, both popular in the late Victorian period and based on old menus belonging to the Bolingbroke family of Lydiard Park.
This year, Christmas cards made by Vernon, Viscount Bolingbroke, in the 1950s and 1960s, will be on display. These charming hand drawn cards, given to close friends, show the Viscount’s love of wildlife. Many are decorated with sketches of butterflies and moths, which were a passion of the Viscount.
Pictured, Lydiard House education interns Jessica Poole and Tayler Sampson dressing the tree in the state bedroom at Lydiard House. Photo: Richard Wintle ©Calyx Multimedia, 41, Churchward Avenue, Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon SN2 1NJ • 01793 520131 MOB: 07836 205196 www.calyxpix.com
On Sunday afternoons, visitors can enjoy some additional festive entertainment with the
St Mary’s Ukeleles making their first appearance in Lydiard House on Saturday 8 and 15 December;
the Swindon Co-operative Ladies Choir singing Christmas carols on Sunday 9 December;
Purton Pear Tree Pealers will play carols on traditional hand bells on Sunday 18 December.
Enjoy these informal live performances at 2.30pm alongside the traditional decorations – admission charge to the house applies.
Victorian Christmas display at Lydiard House is on from 1 to 30 December, open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 4pm, closed for the festive period from 24 to 26 December and 1 January. Please see voucher below or on page 20 of December’s Link magazine for 2 for 1 admission to Lydiard House during December.
Alongside the displays, Lydiard Park is running a series of Hand Crafted Christmas workshops on Monday afternoons in November and early December. They include making Beadwork Baubles and Green Christmas Wreaths, full details are on the website www.lydiardpark.org.uk or call Lydiard Park on 01793 770401.
Print off the two for one offer below