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Lyveden New Bield
Wednesday, 7th October 2009

Outside Outside

Virginia and I went to see the unfinished Elizabethan mansion of Lyveden New Bield belonging to the National Trust. The rains held off, and it was clear (but cold on the exposed hilltop the mansion is built on.)

The mansion was being built for Sir Thomas Tresham, but abandoned on his death in 1605. The family fell on hard times, particularly as the son was involved in the Gunpowder Plot and died in the Tower of London. The mansion against all the odds survived in its unfinished state til the National Trust bought it.

Catholic Codes Catholic Codes

Sir Thomas was a staunch Catholic, and this mansion had lots of Catholic symbols and codes in its design. It is built in the shape of a cross, important numbers like 3 and 5 and 7 and 14 feature, a plinth ready for a status of the Virgin Mary can be seen.

Apart from the mansion there is a snail or spiral mound to be seen (intended for exercise and taking the air,) and also a nascent orchard containing fruit trees of the period.