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Claire Hornshaw University of Bath in Swindon Press Office 01793 328890 or 07966 341 431.

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Restoration work on the lost lake, Lydiard Park
Restoration work on the lost lake, Lydiard Park
How the lake will look on completion
How the lake will look on completion

Press Release - 13 February 2006

Free public lecture: The Lydiard Park project

Local people can hear about the progress of the £5 million restoration of Lydiard Park at a free public lecture on Wednesday 15 February at the University of Bath in Swindon.

In September 2005, following news of the Council’s successful £3million bid to The Heritage Lottery Fund, the restoration of Lydiard Park commenced. Reinstatement works on the lost lake and the major transformation of the historic landscape and gardens is now well underway.

Restoration plans, which have an education and community focus, include the improvement of visitor facilities. The 18th century coach house and stable block, which once housed Lord Bolingbroke’s famous race horses, will be restored for the benefit of local schools and community groups, including an all purpose classroom and facilities for community volunteers and horticultural assistants.

Lydiard Park has a turbulent past. In the 18th century the eminent statesman Henry Bolingbroke suffered a fall from grace and was forced to hand it over to his half-brother, who remodelled the house in the fashionable Palladian style. A decline in family fortunes meant the estate was broken up and the house fell into disrepair. During the second-world war it became a German prisoner of war camp. The Swindon Corporation campaigned to restore the house which was opened to the public in 1955.

Sarah Finch-Crisp, Property Manager at Lydiard Park, will give an illustrated talk to show the exciting developments and dramatic results of the works to date, as well as highlighting the vital part played by the whole community and business partners.

Sarah joined Swindon Museum Service in 1984 as Education Officer with special responsibility for Lydiard House. She was appointed Keeper of Lydiard House in 1991 and combined this role with initiating and steering the Lydiard Park Restoration Project, assuming the new role of Property Manager in 2005.

Admission to the talk is free, and people can just turn up on the evening. Free parking available in the West Car Park. All lectures run from 5.30pm until 6.30pm in the Main Hall on the Oakfield Campus, Marlowe Avenue.

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