About Lyveden New Bield
Lyveden New Bield is an unfinished Tudor summerhouse and historic garden landscape perfectly preserved in its original Elizabethan state.
Lyveden New Bield history
The site of Lyveden New Bield was first purchased by the Tresham family in the latter half of the 15th century for use as sheep pastures. However, it was Sir Thomas Tresham who later transformed part of it into a magnificent garden with moats and an orchard, and began building the striking summer lodge.
As a staunch Catholic, Tresham faced much religious opposition in his life. This didn’t stop him from imbuing his new building with religious iconography however, with religious friezes and Christograms decorating its exterior, and the building shape itself resembling the Greek cross.
The grand lodge would remain unfinished however as Tresham died in 1605, following which Lyveden passed on to his son Francis Tresham. That same year however, Francis was arrested for his involvement in the Catholic Gunpowder Plot, of which he was one of the 13 plotters. He later died of natural causes in the Tower of London. After this, his younger brother Lewis Tresham inherited the estate before it was sold off in 1643.
Lyveden New Bield today
Under the remit of the National Trust since 1922, visitors to Lyveden New Bield can enjoy its landscapes, have a picnic on site, explore with an audio guide, and enter the intriguing garden lodge.
The lodge remains in the same condition as when its owner died in 1605, unfinished yet dotted with Catholic influences and what would have been richly decorated rooms.
Its gardens have since been restored and are now back to their Elizabethan design – a rarity in the modern gardening world. The orchard may be explored, as well as the labyrinth, raised terrace walk, winding moat, and wildflower meadows.
Getting to Lyveden New Bield
Lyveden New Bield is located just off the A6116 near Oundle in Northamptonshire, from which the A427 may be taken towards the site. The nearest train station is Kettering, 10 miles away.