The Swindon Borough Council-owned and operated Lydiard House Museum has reopened to the public.
In preparation for reopening, the museum achieved the UK-recognised 'Good to Go' certification, operated by Visit England and developed in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales.
The Grade II Listed underwent a thorough cleaning prior to reopening and enhanced cleaning will take place every day.
Visitors are requested to respect social distancing measures and wear a face covering inside the house, unless exempt. Hand sanitiser is available throughout the house.
The museum has a new exhibition exploring the hidden architectural features of Lydiard House. Entitled ‘Look Up! The hidden architectural features of Lydiard House’, it explores some features hidden up high, from Green Men to Greek goddesses. The also has a free family trail.
Cllr Robert Jandy, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “I am very pleased that Lydiard House is reopening. The new exhibition is a great way of exploring the incredible beauty and history of Lydiard House. ‘Look Up!’ encourages visitors to spot the fascinating features that adorn the ceilings, walls and chimney breasts of the historic house.
“One of the exhibition highlights are the seven plaster busts copied from Roman and Greek examples, displayed in the Main Hall of Lydiard House, that represent important figures from Roman society and mythology. The Hall was an architectural status symbol for the St John family and these details confirmed their knowledge of the classical World.
“The new measures which have been put in place mean we can open the house in a safe manner. I would really urge everyone to view the exhibition and learn more about the rich history behind Lydiard House.”
There has been a manor house at Lydiard since medieval times, and when John St John and his wife Anne inherited the house in 1738 it was extremely old fashioned.
The house was remodelled to become what it is known as today; an impressive Palladian building with grand State Rooms, pediments, towers and ornate plasterwork.
At the time, Roman and Greek classical influences dominated Georgian architecture. Lydiard’s lavish interior showcased the wealth and knowledge of the St John family.
Tickets can be purchased from the house on the day of visiting. Combined admission for Lydiard House and Walled Garden costs £7.25 for an adult and £4.00 for a child. Under 3s go free. Tickets for the house only and family tickets are also available.
Lydiard House is open on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays, from 11am to 4pm. Last admission is 3.30pm.
More information can be found at www.lydiardpark.org.uk