Lydiard’s future is assured

The Lydiard Park Heritage Trust has been recommended as the preferred bidder to take over the running of Lydiard. THANK YOU to everyone who signed petitions, wrote letters, attended meetings and provided so much support and encouragement over the past eighteen months. The decision will be formalised at next week’s Council meeting. We are so excited to share the vision for Lydiard that will preserve its legacy and assure its future.…/


Remember Remember

When I was last at the Tower I was excited to spend some time inside the Lieutenant’s House. This pleasant dining room is actually the chamber where Guy Fawkes was “questioned” … and his view, if he could even lift his head, was over Tower Green. The Gunpowder Plot would have flattened the House of Parliament (although there is some doubt that the gunpowder itself was fresh enough to ignite). Happy Bonfire Night!

The Ghosts of Lydiard Tregoze

My daughter and I spent the night alone at Lydiard once, hoping to meet some of our ghostly relatives. Alas, although we crept up secret staircases and slept in an ancient four poster bed, none appeared. Perhaps they accepted us as part of the family, and weren’t worth the effort. But, reported apparitions at the Manor include that of Sir John St. John (1585-1648), who has been sighted in the Morning Room and Library. A drop in temperature is said to be noticeable before he appears, followed by the smell of “sweet tobacco”. He is also seen walking in the grounds, where a phantom Civil War-era drummer boy silently beats his drum, perhaps in memory of Sir John’s three sons who died in the war. Not so specific, but still rumored, is a White Lady and a phantom coach and horses.

St. Mary’s Church is haunted by more members of the family including a malevolent grey hooded figure (I’m glad we didn’t bump into that one). The sounds of a female crying, a choir singing and organ music have been heard – long after the last person has left and the door locked behind them.

The Court at Oxford

I was fortunate to be able to attend the HNS Conference in Oxford last month, and took the opportunity to explore the Colleges that housed the royal court during the Civil War. As I write my new book, I find myself often looking at the photographs I took, knowing that my characters stood in the same place and saw the same buildings and carvings. Here’s Merton College…and the rooms above the archway is where Queen Henrietta Maria lodged during the Civil War.