Memories of Lyveden

Page last updated: 24/02/23

Image c2012

A collection of memories to celebrate the centenary of the acquisition of Lyveden by the National Trust on 12th April 1922

This year, 2022. The Platinum Jubilee year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and on 12th April, the 100th Anniversary of the National Trust’s ownership of Lyveden.

It was on 12th April 1922, the National Trust purchased, “the ancient unfinished building known as Lyveden New Building, twenty eight acres and twenty eight perches or thereabouts and the cottage therein erected”. It cost £1,400 – half from the Trust and half from public fundraising.

It had slumbered undisturbed and relatively peacefully in its surroundings since the death of Sir Thomas Tresham on 11th September 1605, and continued to do so for almost another century under the guardianship of the National Trust.

In 1995 the Trust appointed Mark Bradshaw as resident Custodian to live in the cottage. It was under his stewardship that the dormant Tresham landscape was uncovered and restored to a state in which Sir Thomas would recognise it today. Since then, there have been many volunteers who have contributed to the care and maintenance of the Bield and its surroundings and the welcoming and guiding of visitors.

A group of us who used to work on the Archiving Project prior to the renovations at the Manor House have met regularly for coffee and cake whenever ‘lockdown’ permitted. We decided that we would like to do something to mark the centenary of the acquisition of Lyveden by the National Trust. As we were all getting older and that, sadly, some of our volunteer colleagues were no longer with us, we felt it important to record some of the happy events and memories for posterity.

This compendium records those memories and reflects just some of the multitude of experiences and pleasures that the Lyveden property has given them, and by association the many thousands who have visited in the last 25 years.

As many of as possible met up at Lyveden (see photo) on Tuesday 12th April to have coffee and cake (well, we are National Trust members, too!) and to present our collection of memories to the current Property Operations Manager, Jenny Hatton.

This on-line collection of memories associated with the Lyveden property is not closed, and corrections/additions to the existing records can be made, or new records added. If you, the reader, would like to add your memory of working/volunteering at Lyveden (or change an existing contribution), then please email


(Click on each name below to view their individual memory record. Note that each link will open in a new tab on your browser.)

My thanks to Mark Bradshaw and to the other Lyveden Volunteers listed below who have contributed to this collection of memories.

Judith and Keith Alvey, Chris and Janet Batson, Margaret Bauchop, Clare Bense, Barbara Ding, Geoffrey Fairhurst, Wendy Fairhurst, Margaret Feggetter, Gerald Fisher, Ana Geyer, Mel Gloster, Jane Harris, Penny Jessep, Susan Lees, Lynn Murray and Sue Royds, Cathy Nichols, Mike Rogers, Ann Rowlett, Sheila and Tony Simmons, Neil Underwood, Sheila Underwood and Jennie Wickham.

[Neil Underwood has also compiled and annotated a set of photographs which can be seen here.]

These fascinating personal contributions have made me smile and reminded me of some events which I had forgotten.

We all hope that everyone who reads this will get as much pleasure from their time at Lyveden as we have had.

Susan Lees

12th April 2022