A treasured Swindon landmark has been given a new lease of life following extensive renovation work.
Lydiard House, which stands in the grounds of the magnificent Lydiard Park, has benefitted from significant improvements to the exterior of the building.
The striking Grade 1 listed Palladian house was given the £330,000 facelift by Swindon Borough Council with work starting in July last year.
Local firm and historic buildings specialist, Beard Construction, carried out the improvements, which includes repairs to the stonework, rendering and windows.
The 19th Century service wing and the much older rear elevation of the house were also redecorated, providing protection for at least another decade.
The rear of Lydiard House has also been given a makeover with the roughcast render, which covers the ancient part of the building, receiving several coats of traditional limewash. This is expected to last for up to 15 years before a further recoat is required.
The exterior works come after a new heating system was installed in the ground floor State Rooms, which has improved environmental conditions for the building’s elegant 18th Century interiors and important portrait and furniture collections.
Lydiard House was home to the St John family for 500 years and stands next to the ancient church of St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze, widely regarded as one of the most important small churches in England.
The ground floor state apartments of Lydiard House have been beautifully restored and contain original family furnishings and portraits dating back to Elizabethan times.
Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Lydiard Park and House, said: “Lydiard House is an important part of Swindon’s heritage, it belongs to local people and we must treasure it.
“I am really pleased the team was able to complete the work during the pandemic and I am sure all visitors to Lydiard will be impressed with the results. The house is one of the things that makes Lydiard so special and the renovations are a great example of our commitment to preserving our historical buildings for future generations to enjoy.
“But this is just the start. My £2 million Country Parks Improvement Plan will enhance Lydiard House and Park, Coate Water, Stanton and Mouldon Hill over the next four years.”
Sarah Finch-Crisp, chair of the Friends of Lydiard Park, said: “The Friends of Lydiard Park are following the Council’s repair programme at Lydiard House with great interest and are delighted to see such important and specialised repair works being carried out.
“Lydiard Park is a vital and unique part of Swindon’s heritage and only through this type of care and attention will it remain in good order for future generations to enjoy. The combination of the House and its original collections, the recently conserved Church of St. Mary Lydiard Tregoze and the historic parkland make Lydiard something any town would be proud of.
“As Friends we are very conscious how much local people, along with visitors and supporters from this country and abroad, appreciate and value it. The Council is to be commended.”