Lydiard Tregoze

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Lydiard Tregoze is a small village and civil parish on the western edge of Swindon in the County of Wiltshire, in the south west of England. It has in the past been spelt as Liddiard Tregooze and in many other ways.


Lydiard House

Mentioned in Doomsday as a manor belonging to Alfred of Marlborough Baron of Ewyas and a Tenant-in-Chief to King William I. Near Royal Wootton Bassett, the parish of Lydiard Tregoze was part of the Kingsbridge Hundred, while its village originally centred on the medieval parish church of St Mary and the nearby manor house, Lydiard House, which came to be the home of the St John family, Viscounts Bolingbroke. However, the original village of Lydiard Tregoze disappeared, giving way to the grounds of an important country house, although St Mary's church survives and contains important monuments.[1]

Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, was the stepdaughter of Oliver St John of Lydiard Tregoze. His marriage to her mother, Margaret Beauchamp of Bletso produced six children to whom she remained close throughout her life, and this gave the St Johns considerable influence at Court in the early decades of the Tudor dynasty.

In 1615, Lucy St John, daughter of Sir John St John of Lydiard Tregoze, married Sir Allen Apsley, one of the founders of the New England Company.[2] In 1644, Anne St John of Lydiard, the daughter of Sir John St John, 1st Baronet, married Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, a leading Royalist during the English Civil War. Anne St John was the grandmother of Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield.

Parish registers survive from 1666 and are kept in the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives.[3]

In 1801, the total population of the parish was 578, in 1901 it was 618, and in 1971 549.[4]

John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887) describes Lydiard Tregoze as: "Liddiard Tregooze, par. and vil., Wilts, 1 mile SE. of Liddiard Millicent, 5142 ac., pop. 660."[5]

Lydiard Tregoze is one of two suggested locations for the 9th century Battle of Ellandun.

Lydiard House[edit]

Main article: Lydiard House

Lydiard House was the home of the St John family for more than five hundred years. In 1943, the local authority, the Corporation of Swindon, bought the then dilapidated house and its overgrown park from the estate trustees, to whom the house had been left after the death of the dowager Viscountess Bolingbroke in 1940. Almost none of the original furnishings then remained. In the 1950s, the Corporation began to collect suitable contents for the house, aiming in particular to restore the 18th century State Rooms. These efforts were much helped in 1955 when some good furniture arrived on loan from the National Art Collections Fund, part of the E. E. Cook bequest. During the 1960s Lord Bolingbroke loaned several St John family portraits to the house and later sold them to the Corporation. When he died in 1975, he bequeathed to the trustees of the house everything he owned which had come from it.[6]

Lydiard House now belongs to Swindon Borough Council, the successor of the former Corporation.[7] Open to the public, the house now has a significant art collection, and one room has fine painted panels by Lady Diana Beauclerk.[8]

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Coordinates: 51°33′N 1°51′W / 51.550°N 1.850°W / 51.550; -1.850