Spotlight Talks at 1pm every day
Join us for a short, informal talk on the people, objects, architecture and anecdotes of Lydiard House and Park, every day at 1pm - included in the cost of admission to Lydiard House.
At the heart of the park is Lydiard House – a striking Grade I listed Palladian house that for 500 years was home to the St John family. The ground floor state apartments of Lydiard House have been beautifully restored and are open to visitors all year round to view the ornate plasterwork and original family furnishings displayed alongside portraits and photographs of the St John family.
Your visit starts in the grand Main Hall, which was originally the impressive entrance to the St John's family home as well as being a space for dancing and entertainment. To the right, you will find the Library, lined with bookshelves decorated with classical plaster busts of famous philosophers.
This room was mainly used by the male members of the house and leads into the Morning Room. This small room is decorated in mid-Victorian style and holds a display of personal objects belonging to Henry, 5th Viscount Bolingbroke and his wife, Lady Mary, as well as archive photographs and documents telling the story of the estate staff and house servants who worked here.
Walking back through the Main Hall to the Dining Room, you find an elegant room designed to showcase the St John family's wealth and taste. Look up to see the ornate plasterwork decorated with shells, leaves, fruit and flowers and enjoy the table set out with the family's fine porcelain, glass and silverware.
The Drawing Room is richly decorated with family portraits and Giltwood furniture. Some of the original 1820s red flock wallpaper is still in place and the white marble fireplace is one of the highlights of this house.
In the 18th century, it was commonplace for homes to have a grand, ground floor bedroom and accompanying dressing room that would be used only for the family's most important and high status guests. The room is dominated by the restored bed, complete with embroidered decorative panels.
The Dressing Room celebrates Diana Spencer, 2nd Viscountess Bolingbroke and it is in this room that you can find two of Lydiard House's most unique objects - the rare 17th century painted window and the mechanical desk, made by Giovanni Socchi in the early 19th century.