We are delighted to announce that St Marys Church Lydiard Tregoze, which lies on the western edge of Swindon in historic Lydiard Park, has received a confirmed National Lottery grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conserve its gorgeous interiors. The project aims include conserving the buildings extensive and nationally significant medieval wall paintings, 17th Century monuments, ancient carved woodwork and star spangled ceiling.
The grant of 615,000 will go towards the 901,605 delivery phase and will enable the church to carry out the conservation work, environmental improvements and access improvements to St Marys Church as well as the delivery of a specialist training programme and associated learning, volunteering and community engagement activities .
The project aims to rescue the church from deteriorating further and improve public access by re-opening the hidden south porch and creating a welcoming interpretation and activity area. The church plans a wide range of educational activities and events as well as offering training and volunteer opportunities for local people, families, schoolchildren and higher education students. These will include hands on conservation workshops and skills training.
St Marys stands behind Lydiard House and is famous for the richness of its monuments to the St John family who lived at Lydiard for more than 500 years. The church currently attracts over 8,100 visitors a year from both this country and abroad, and is used by local schools researching heritage on their doorstep and visitors to the adjacent house and park.
Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon, said: "The National Lottery receives many deserving applications so it is particularly heartening that Swindon has once again been supported by the award of a major grant. St Marys remains a national treasure and enabling us to preserve and restore its unique features continues to benefit local people as well as enriching our countrys heritage."
Revd Captain Clive Deverell, Vicar of St Mary's Lydiard Tregoze and Area Dean for Swindon, added: "I am delighted that we have been awarded this National Lottery grant, it will ensure families from across West Swindon will be able to share in its worship and special history for generations to come. Also we will play our part in training a great number of future conservators of medieval wall paintings."