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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lyvden New Bield

A photograph taken by the Luftwaffe in 1944 may have revealed details of Thomas Tresham's garden at Lyvden New Bield.

Tresham was a Catholic under Elizabeth I who didn't recant his faith. Lyvden and its garden were incomplete in 1605 when Tresham died.

National Trust gardens and parks curator Chris Gallagher said:

We checked the database and found the photo existed but when we ordered up the image it revealed far more than we ever expected.' he said.

Not only did it expose the remnants of the original circular design, set within what Sir Thomas Tresham, who created the garden, then called his moated orchard, you can also make out the vestiges of a regular array of planting holes, which we have taken to be the last remains of an Elizabethan fruit garden

The photograph shows an arrangement of ten, huge concentric circles within the garden, measuring approximately 120 metres across.

Letters of Treshams' found in 1821 refer to 400 raspberries and roses to be planted within resham’s ‘circular borders’. This could suggest these are the same circles that appear in the aerial photo.

What makes Lyvden important is that few Tudor gardens survive in any form. English Heritage have upped Lyvden to Grade 1 status.

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