A village outside the Wiltshire town of Swindon has one of the county’s most beautiful churches. Local visitors and worshipers are proud of the painted walls and ceilings. It’s an important building both locally and nationally. It is considered one of the country’s most celebrated small churches, dating to the 12th century. Why? Because of its history. It’s the resting place of Edward St John who died at the Battle of Newbury and home to the Bolingbrokes. Oliver St John’s stepdaughter was Margaret Beaufort who was the mother of Henry VII and grandmother of Henry VIII. Because of this history and art, it’s vital to keep it maintained.
Lydiard Tregoze Church Funding
In line with preserving our built heritage, the St Mary’s church recently applied for and won a £615,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This money adds to the existing £200,000 of fundraising from local people, and £100,000 private legacies. This money will go towards restoring and maintaining the building’s painted interiors for years to come. Lydiard Tregoze Church has always attracted local visitors from the nearby Lydiard Park. Anybody can access it at any time from the house within normal hours. But the restoration work of the decorations is not the only plan going forward.
Work will also improve accessibility, opening up a previously hidden side entrance. Volunteers will be encouraged and trained. Also, a new interpretation area of activities centre will encourage children and educational groups to visit the important Lydiard Tregoze church. Most of all, it expects to offer higher education It is hoped and expected that the long-term future of the church will be secured through this funding. Hands on workshops and teaching conservation skills will be vital, not just for this church, but for other older buildings too.