Sunday, November 15, 2015

War time purchase of Lydiard House and Park

The Swindon Advertiser published this enthusiastic report about the future of the newly acquired Lydiard House and Park on August 6, 1943.

In the middle of a war, Councillors were far sighted enough to see the potential of the House and Park, and with the help of Councillor F.E. Akers (after whom Akers Way is named) managed to purchase the property.

If only the present day SBC could see past the £450,000 subsidy and how by keeping the property in council hands it could earn them an income instead of leasing it out to private companies to reap the benefits.

Visit 'the list' for a few income generating ideas.

Lydiard Park Secured for Swindon People?
Future of a Grand Old English Home

It is reported that the beautiful and historic Lydiard Park, with its mansion, gardens, woodlands and lake, which for long years was the home of the Bolingbrokes, has been acquired by Swindon Corporation.

As reported last week, the estate was purchased by Councillor F.E. Akers at a cost, including the surrounding pasture lands and farm properties, of £14, 250.

Future Development

Councillor Akers told a North Wilts Herald and Advertiser reporter that it would have been a great pity had this glorious old English home passed into the hands of people who were not concerned aiwht the future development of the country surrounding Swindon. He agreed he had purchased the estate in the hope that it would be acquired by the Corporation and preserved for all time for the benefit of the community.

The Coporation were interested and had mentioned to him the figure they were prepared to pay for the estate, exclusive of the farms and pasture land. They did not, however, want the purely agricultural part of the estate: so he purchased the whole lot, intending, of course, to release the mansion and park lands to the Council at their own figure.

Yesterday it was reported that the deal would soon be an accomplished thing.

A Second Coate Water

The use to which the estate …

It is easy to discern many ideal purposes that the park might serve. It would, for instance, comparable in some respects to prove invaluable as an adult educational centre, and, with the increased travelling facilities to be expected after the war, it would command great popularity as a picnic centre, Coate Water.

An important reminder:-

A view of the back of Lydiard House as referred to by Harry Underhill (see comments below)


  1. A picture showing the back of the house is actually a LOT more interesting than the front. The back shows how old the house is and all the different bits of the building that this front was bolted onto when it made into the Palladian in the 1700s.

    1. Hi Harry - I agree that Lydiard House is interesting from this and every view. Do you have any suggestions to add to 'the list' of ideas to generate a sustainable income for the House and Park. Thank you for taking the time to comment.