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Story of Lydiard House at history group

MELKSHAM and District Historical Association met recently to hear about the history of Lydiard House in Swindon.

Our March meeting was an insight – prior to visiting for our outing in July – into the history of the ownership of Lydiard House, Swindon, from 1086  until the present time.

Lydiard House is the ancestral home of the Viscounts Bolingbroke and the St John family.     Some of the family were noted for their philandering. By 1826 the house was very neglected and a lot of valuables had been sold.

Mary, widow of Henry junior, was the last occupant of Lydiard House and moved around rooms as floors and ceilings collapsed. After her death the house and grounds were bought by Swindon Corporation in 1943 for four and a half thousand pounds. Lottery funds have helped to restore the property.

The presenter Rita Burstow was able to give us anecdotes concerning Lydiard House. Her love of the house and property shone through her talk and she gave us points of interest to look out for on our visit.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 20th April at 7.30pm in the Assembly Hall. The talk will be entitled ‘The Extraordinary Ladies of Wiltshire’ including Matilda Talbot and Mary Bruce. Visitors are welcome for £3 each.