Lyveden New Bield

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Lyveden New Bield
Lyveden New Bield July 2016.jpg
Lyveden New Bield
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General information
Typeunfinished country house
Architectural style Elizabethan
Location4 miles west of Oundle
Coordinates 52°27′25″N0°33′12″W / 52.45694°N 0.55333°W / 52.45694; -0.55333 Coordinates: 52°27′25″N0°33′12″W / 52.45694°N 0.55333°W / 52.45694; -0.55333
Openedcirca 1604–05
OwnerNational Trust
Technical details
MaterialStructure constructed from stone

Lyveden New Bield (sometimes called New Build) is an unfinished Elizabethan summer house in the parish of Aldwincle in East Northamptonshire, England, owned by the National Trust. It is a Grade I listed building, classing it as a 'building of exceptional interest.' [1]

Aldwincle village in United Kingdom

Aldwincle is a village and civil parish located in the district of East Northamptonshire, with a population at the time of the 2011 census of 322. It is situated on a bend of the River Nene, 4 miles (6.4 km) to the north of Thrapston.

East Northamptonshire Non-metropolitan district in England

East Northamptonshire is a local government district in Northamptonshire, England. Its council is based in Thrapston and Rushden. Other towns include Oundle, Raunds, Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers. The town of Rushden is the largest settlement in the district and the smallest settlement is the hamlet of Shotley. The population of the District Council at the 2011 Census was 86,765.

National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty Conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust, is an independent charity and membership organisation for environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.



It was constructed for Sir Thomas Tresham, the fervent Roman Catholic of Rushton Hall, and is thought to have been designed by Robert Stickells. The exact date is unknown but can be estimated to circa 160405, the year of Tresham's death. The New Bield was on the estate of Tresham's second home, Lyveden Manor House, also known as Lyveden Old Bield.

Thomas Tresham (died 1605) English Roman Catholic recusant politician

Sir Thomas Tresham was a prominent recusant Catholic landowner in Elizabethan Northamptonshire. He died two years after the accession of James VI and I.

Rushton Hall country house hotel in Northamptonshire, UK

Rushton Hall in Rushton, Northamptonshire, England, was the ancestral home of the Tresham family from 1438, when William Tresham bought the estate. In the 20th century the house became a private school and it has now been converted to a luxury hotel. The estate is about 227 acres (92 ha) of which 30 acres (12 ha) are formal gardens. The River Ise flows from west to east south of the Hall.

Just as at Tresham's smaller folly Rushton Triangular Lodge, his principal estate, the New Bield has a religious design full of symbolism. Designed on a plan reminiscent of a Greek cross, the facades have a strict symmetry. The building has two floors above a raised basement, with mullioned and transomed windows. Each floor had three rooms with a staircase in the south projection of the cross. The exterior of the building is decorated by friezes of a religious nature. The metopes contain the emblems and motifs found also at the triangular lodge, such as the "IHS" christogram.

Folly architectural structure characterized by a certain excess in terms of eccentricity, cost, or conspicuous inutility; often found in gardens or parks

In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs.

Rushton Triangular Lodge Grade I listed folly in the United Kingdom

The Triangular Lodge is a folly, designed and constructed between 1593 and 1597 by Sir Thomas Tresham near Rushton, Northamptonshire, England. It is now in the care of English Heritage. The stone used for the construction was alternating bands of dark and light limestone.

Basement below-ground floor of a building

A basement or cellar is one or more floors of a building that are completely or partly below the ground floor. It generally is used as a utility space for a building, where such items as the boiler, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air-conditioning system are located; so also are amenities such as the electrical distribution system and cable television distribution point. In cities with high property prices, such as London, basements are often fitted out to a high standard and used as living space.


The house was obviously meant for occupation, as it has a great hall and parlour on the first floor, kitchen and buttery in the basement, and a bedroom on the upper floor. However, it was probably never intended for full-time occupation. Too close to the main house for use as a hunting lodge, it may have been intended for use as a "Secret House"—keeping a secret house was a custom of the 16th century. Often within a mile of the main house, the secret house was a place where the head of the household would retire for a few days with a minimum of servants, while the principal house was thoroughly cleaned and, bearing in mind the sanitation of the time, fumigated. Similar examples of "secret houses" exist at Leconfield and Warkworth, where their use for this purpose has been well documented.

Great hall largest room in a medieval manor

A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, nobleman's castle or a large manor house or hall house in the Middle Ages, and continued to be built in the country houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries, although by then the family used the great chamber for eating and relaxing. At that time the word "great" simply meant big, and had not acquired its modern connotations of excellence. In the medieval period the room would simply have been referred to as the "hall", unless the building also had a secondary hall, but the term "great hall" has been predominant for surviving rooms of this type for several centuries, to distinguish them from the different type of hall found in post-medieval houses. Great halls were found especially in France, England and Scotland, but similar rooms were also found in some other European countries.

Parlour reception room

A parlour is a reception room or public space. In medieval Christian Europe, the "outer parlour" was the room where the monks or nuns conducted business with those outside the monastery and the "inner parlour" was used for necessary conversation between resident members. In the English-speaking world of the 18th and 19th century, having a parlour room was evidence of social status.

Leconfield village in the United Kingdom

Leconfield is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) north-west of Beverley town centre. It lies on the A164 road. The civil parish consists of the villages of Leconfield and Arram and the hamlet of Scorborough. According to the 2011 UK census, Leconfield parish had a population of 2,127, an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 1,990.

Lyveden New Bield was never completed. It remains as it was when the builders left following Sir Thomas Tresham's death. Today, it is in the care of the National Trust.

Lyveden Old Bield

Lyveden Manor House, now also known as Lyveden Old Bield, the once grand principal house of the estate, had belonged to the Tresham family from c.1450. Today, little remains and what does was probably built by Thomas Tresham's grandson Lewis. The gatehouse has been removed to Fermyn Woods Hall, and the staircase was transported to America, where it was incorporated in the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House near Detroit.[ citation needed ] One wing remains with mullioned windows.

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House United States historic place

The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is a mansion located at 1100 Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe Shores, northeast of Detroit, Michigan; it stands on the site known as "Gaukler Point", on the shore of Lake St. Clair. The house became the new residence of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford family in 1928. Edsel Ford was the son of Henry Ford and an executive at Ford Motor Company. The estate's buildings were designed by architect Albert Kahn, its site plan and gardens by renowned landscape designer Jens Jensen. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2016.

In 2013, the National Trust acquired Lyveden Manor House. It is open to the public. The National Trust's long-term aim is to restore the historic gardens and open them to the public. [2]


Tresham designed extensive gardens between the manor house and the New Bield, but for centuries little evidence of the gardens remained. In 2010, National Trust experts studying photographs taken by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War discovered the remains of an Elizabethan labyrinth, garden and orchard in the grounds. [3] The gardens were subsequently upgraded to a Grade I listing by English Heritage. [3]

The National Trust has reconstructed Tresham's orchard, and restored the moat on three sides of the labyrinth.

The Tresham Family and The Gunpowder Plot

Sir Thomas Tresham died in 1605 following decades of religious persecution, his once vast wealth having been severely depleted. His son Francis Tresham inherited the estate, but within the same year, along with his cousins Catesby and Wintour, he became involved in the Gunpowder Plot. Thus, within a year the estate had a third owner, Francis's son Lewis Tresham. The estate was managed by Lewis's mother until her death in 1615.

After this, Lewis Tresham, a spendthrift, lost the remaining family wealth. The estate was eventually sold following the death of his son in 1643.

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  2. "Lyveden New Bield". National Trust.
  3. 1 2 Gray, Louise (6 November 2010). "Photos taken by the enemy in Second World War shows lost Tudor garden". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 November 2010.

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