Once again I found myself crossing the country to Gloucestershire today so I took the opportunity to explore an intriguing place called Lyveden New Bield in Northamptonshire. This half built Tudor lodge was commissioned by Sir Thomas Tresham in 1594 as a companion to the manor house at Lyveden, set in its extensive grounds. This 'new build' was designed to be part of a grand scheme to create a whole landscape and was carefully designed to reflect Tresham's devout Catholicism, with precise symmetry and religious symbols carved into the stonework. However, Tresham's son Francis was involved in Guy Fawke's Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. His arrest threw the family into financial difficulties and on Thomas Tresham's death in 1605 all building work ceased. Since then Lyveden has remained frozen in time, a mere hint of what would no doubt have been a magnificent architectural tour de force. In recent years the National Trust have done a lot of work to restore the landscaping that had already taken place around the Lodge so it is now possible to see the many vistas at which Tresham intended his guests to marvel.
26 August 2016