Symbols of Faith Project

Lyveden, Northamptonshire

As part of a new exhibition in the Great Chamber at Lyveden, we asked local people about objects that express their faith and beliefs.

Sir Thomas Tresham created the lodge and Elizabethan garden at Lyveden as a symbol of his faith. As a Catholic, Sir Thomas practiced his faith in secret and suffered persecution at the hands of the Protestant authorities. He used decorative symbolism on his lodge to hide his faith in plain sight and as a practice of devotion. Inspired by Sir Thomas' story, our new exhibition in the manor explores the importance of symbolic objects for people of faith in our local community today.

In March, we asked local people to get involved by bringing objects with symbolic meaning to photography sessions held locally. 

What sort of objects were we looking for?

We were looking for anything that has symbolic meaning for you in relation to your faith or beliefs. It could be a formal object of faith, a text, or something much more personal. It could be something very small, or something quite big (as long as you could transport it to us!). It could represent any religion, or a different kind of faith or belief.

Why is the National Trust at Lyveden doing this?

Lyveden is a unique place, with a 400 year history, that represents the strength of one man’s beliefs during a time of great instability, change and danger. The site is currently closed to the public to undergo a dramatic transformation. Once complete, the design will include a new emphasis on what faith and belief mean in society today. At Lyveden Sir Thomas Tresham created a spiritual landscape as a symbolic expression of his religious identity. Alongside the story of Sir Thomas we want to show how religious symbolism plays a diverse role in the lives of our local community.

When will the photographs go on display?

The Symbols of Faith project will be on display when Lyveden re-opens to the public. If
all of the works go to plan this will be later in 2020. 

Objects displayed will feature a short explanation or story.