The original Friends group, the Friends of Lydiard Tregoz, was formed in 1967 with the approval and full support of St. Mary’s Church and the Borough of Swindon. The Friends of Lydiard Park, an independent charity dedicated to supporting the conservation and continued enhancement of Lydiard House and Park, was formed in 2005. The objects of the society have changed little over the subsequent 51 years and today the Friends continue to promote interest in Lydiard House and Park and St Mary’s Church, which is presently in the middle of an exciting conservation project.
The Friends of Lydiard Tregoz produced an annual Report between 1968-2007, a magazine of articles concerned in the broadest way with the history of the parish, its buildings and people, the St. John family and its antecedents as well as more locally-based families, and the early years of the Sir Walter St. John School in Battersea. Copies of the Reports were deposited with libraries (including Local Studies at Swindon Central Library) and institutions in England, Wales, and the United States of America. Digitised versions of these Reports are now being made available through the Members’ Area on the Friends of Lydiard Park website.
The Friends of Lydiard Park continue to make contributions towards the cost of projects in either the House or the Church.
The Friends hold two meetings, one at Christmas and one in mid-May. This year’s event took place in the Conference Centre on May 5, where members were brought up to date with events regarding the future of Lydiard House and Park. To read more please visit the following websites: Lydiard Park Heritage Trust, the Swindon Advertiser and Swindon Link.
At this year’s meeting Friends welcomed Julie Holland to the Board of Trustees. Julie updated members about ongoing plans for the 2018 annual summer trip. This year the Friends are invited to Cirencester Park, the home of 9th Earl and Countess Bathurst, whose ancestry traces back to Lucy St John and her husband Sir Allen Apsley. More details are to follow shortly.
And Friends are reminded to purchase a ticket for a special Swindon Festival of Literature event at Lydiard House on May 17 when Elizabeth St John will talk about By Love Divided, her second novel in the Lydiard Chronicles series.
Last but not least, local artist Billy Beaumont surprised the Friends with never before seen views of Lydiard House. For more information visit Billy’s website.
To join the Friends of Lydiard Park please visit the website.