Proposed housing development at Lydiard Park

Yet again Lydiard House and Park is under threat from a proposed housing development on its very doorstep.

The owner of Brook Cottage, the former gamekeeper’s cottage on Lord Bolingbroke’s estate, has submitted planning permission to build four executive houses on land adjoining Brook Cottage in Lydiard Park.  This is the field immediately on your left as you enter the drive to the House.

So, why is Lydiard Park so important. This is what Historic England has to say:

Lydiard Park, formerly known as South Lydiard, Lediar, is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086); a former manor of Alfred of Marlborough it was acquired by the Tregoze family in c.1198, and was later known as Lydiard Tregoze. In 1270 Henry III gave Robert Tregoze a royal licence to impark a nearby woodland in order to create a deer park. From 1300 until 1348 Lydiard was owned by the Grandison family, and subsequently by the Beauchamps. In 1420 the estate came to the St John family through marriage (whose main seat was at Battersea, London), and they were to hold it until the Second World War. The court met at Lydiard in 1592 during Elizabeth I’s royal progress, and John St John was knighted. In 1583 it was recorded there was a park at Lydiard Tregoze owned by Nicholas St John, and much correspondence exists from 1659-64 from Johanna St John, wife of the third baronet, who was a keen amateur gardener.

During the early C17, probably during the time of Sir John St John, formal gardens including a canal were created as part of changes made to the medieval house at Lydiard (Swindon BC 2002). Sir John also laid out a series of formal avenues in the park. By c 1700 (Map of Lydiard Park), Lydiard had a park with formal avenues and woodland plantations, and a series of formal gardens including ponds and terraces. In 1742-3, under the ownership of the second Viscount St John, the south-east and south west fronts of the House were remodelled in the Palladian style. The house and parkland appear in two equestrian paintings by Stubbs in 1764-66. By 1766 many of the formal elements in the park had been removed, together with the formal gardens (Willington, 1766).

PRINCIPAL BUILDING Lydiard House (listed at Grade I) is situated in the eastern half of the site. Together with the Church of St Mary (listed at Grade I; and several Grade II listed tombstones in churchyard) which is situated immediately to its north, it forms an important group of buildings dating back to the medieval period. The fabric of the House dates mainly from the C17, but the south-west and south-east fronts are in the Palladian style, following their remodelling of 1742-3 by the second Viscount St John. This remodelling has been attributed to the architect Roger Morris (CL 1948). Attached to the rear north-west end of the house is a late-C20 conference wing. The former L-shaped stable block, now converted to a cafe, offices and education centre, stands circa 30m to the north-west of the house.

GARDENS AND PLEASURE GROUNDS The pleasure grounds consist of a small woodland to the south-west of the House, since the late C19 called The Avenue, separated from the park by an C18 ha-ha built of brick (restored late C20), and a terrace and lawn to the south front of the House’.

For the full entry visit the Historic England website.

This application for permission to build within the essential setting of Lydiard Park comes hot on the heels of the failed Taylor Wimpey attempt. Should this current application be successful it would pave the way for Taylor Wimpey to resubmit their plans, and to expect to also be successful.

If you are as concerned about this as we are please lodge your objections with Swindon Borough Council planning department by September, 4.

You can view the application and register your objections online click here to be taken to the SBC planning application portal, and type S/16/1832 into the search box.

When viewing the application in the SBC portal you can register your comments by clicking the ‘make a public comment’ button.

Please note you must login/register yourself (top tabs on the page) before the button becomes visible.

You can also send an email direct to the planners at You must provide the S/16/1832 reference in your email together with your name and address, otherwise your comments will not be registered.

Alternatively, you can write to the case officer, Sarah Smith at Civic Offices Euclid Street Swindon Wiltshire, SN1 2JH. You must provide the S/16/1832 reference in your email together with your name and address, otherwise your comments will not be registered

Please note there is a very tight time scale for objections to be registered – SEPTEMBER 4.

For more information visit



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