Lydiard Park is Swindon’s foremost historic park. It is a designated country park, which includes the striking Palladian House with many of its original contents, and is the setting to one of the country’s most beautiful parish churches.
By the beginning of the 21st century, the park was in need of substantial works to conserve its heritage value - the lakes were silted up and unique features like the ice house and castellated dam wall were in need of urgent repair. In 2005, Swindon Borough Council was awarded £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Lydiard Park Project began to restore and reinstate significant 18th century landscape features, while improving community involvement, visitor access and enjoyment of the park.
One of the largest projects was to reinstate the 2 acre "lost lake", which had been largely dry for nearly 100 years when the dam wall collapsed. Extensive works were needed to clear the silted up lake bed, create a new spillway and install a Chinese style bridge between the two lakes.
Alongside the lake the whole length of the great castellated dam wall was restored to its former grandeur and the unique plunge pool was restored as a permanent monument. Work was also completed to restore the Ice House in the woodlands close to Lydiard House.
By 2007, work to restore these significant 18th century landscape and architectural features was mostly completed, including renovating the Grade II listed Coach House, housing a new Tea Rooms and Education Room, and returning the 18th Century ornamental fruit and flower Walled Garden to its former glory.