Lyveden Manor House
Sir Thomas Tresham planned ‘Lyveden House’ to be the starting place for Elizabethan visitors to experience the pleasure grounds and his garden lodge.
The house is grade one listed and was owned by the Tresham family until 1649 when it was sequestered during the Civil War because of continued Catholic links. In 1660 Charles II granted Lyveden to the Earl of Sandwich and from then the house passed through various family members including the Earls of Ossory and Robert Vernon Smith, 1st Lord Lyveden who acquired the house in 1841.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Lyveden Old Bield’ the house is in fact newer than the ‘New Bield’. It is believed that the house is built on the footprint of an older Elizabethan house, possibly built by Sir Thomas’ great grandfather around 1570.
A decorative stone archway, which may have formed the entrance to the garden, was moved to Fermyn Woods Hall (2 miles north of Lyveden) around 1890.
It’s believed the original oak staircase was removed from Lyveden House in payment of a gambling debt to the Ford motor family around 1920. In fact Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford, built his country house around the staircase which still stands and can be seen in the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Michigan, USA. An exact replica was re-built within the house in 2000.
Acquisition and future plans
In 2013 the National Trust was successful in acquiring Lyveden House and 27 acres of ground including the lower terraces to Tresham’s garden. The house is currently rented to tenants but our longer term aim is to restore the historic grounds and offer visitors the opportunity to experience the Elizabethan garden as Tresham once envisaged.