Winter conservation work at Lyveden

Scafolding on the chimneys of the manor

While Lyveden is closed this winter we're keeping busy as work continues on the Lyveden Reconnected project. Up to now the construction and buildings works have mainly been focused on the facilities at the manor. This new year, work will commence on improving the setting of the unfinished garden lodge at the top of the site.

At the manor conservation work has been completed to repair the original seventeenth-century chimney stack on the southern side of the building. It was necessary for out contractors to do some fire improvement work in the attic spaces of the building, this has  given us the opportunity to learn more about and protect our resident bats. Conservation work in the attics is not only making the building safe for humans but also making it better for the bats and ensuring that we can live together in harmony.

Construction of new car park and visitor facilities
Aeriel photograph of construction work at manor, winter 2019
Construction of new car park and visitor facilities

While the new car park and paths are being put in outside, we've been working inside to remodel the first floor and put back the Great Chamber. Painting has now started in the new cafe areas and visitor spaces. By moving our visitor faclities to the bottom of the site our visitors can experience Lyveden as it was intended, as a journey through the landscape gardens to the lodge at the top of the hill.

Rooms inside the manor begin to take shape
Painting in the manor
Rooms inside the manor begin to take shape

Visitors will be able to explore the spaces inside the manor to find out more about the story of Lyveden, and about the vision Sir Thomas had for the garden landscape. The Great Chamber will provide you the option of delving deeper into the meanings behind his choices and the political upheaval at the time. It will also provide an exhibition space for us to show how Tresham's story still has relevance in the modern world.

Painting in the Great Chamber
Blue paint on the walls
Painting in the Great Chamber

Meanwhile at the top of the site, the existing visitor centre will be demolished and the concrete foundations removed. The green storage containers will be moved down to the bottom of the site for re-use. This work will create a path around the outside of the eastern spiral mount enabling visitors to follow the designed layout of the moated garden.

It will also open-up the intended views across the Northamptonshire countryside from the spiral mount, as well as the view looking towards the spiral mount, lodge and cottage from the north. We will retain as much of the current character of the cottage garden, creating a sheltered and enclosed resting place at the top of the site.

View of the cottage and old visitor centre
View looking back towards the lodge and cottage from the northern end of the garden
View of the cottage and old visitor centre

The visitor car park adjacent to the cottage and lodge will be reduced in size and the bulk of hard-standing reverted to grassland. In the long term the grass areas will be developed to extend the perennial meadows surrounding the historic gardens. The trees on the edge of the car park will be managed to recreate the woodland fringe enclosing the property on the eastern boundary.

View of the lodge, the green containers and visitor centre
View towards the lodge from the eastern moat
View of the lodge, the green containers and visitor centre