An unfinished Elizabethan country house

22nd October 2016


A couple of weeks ago I visited the National Trust property of Lyveden New Bield, an unfinished Elizabethan summer house in the east of Northamptonshire, and a Grade I listed building.

It was constructed for Sir Thomas Tresham, who was a figure of national importance and a talented designer, and also a fervent Roman Catholic, for which he suffered persecution a good portion of his life. Much of the garden design and cultivation instruction were penned by Tresham from his prison cell. The house is thought to have been designed by Robert Stickells. The exact date is unknown but can be estimated to circa 1604–05, the year of Tresham's death.

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