Sunday, 7 June 2009
The history of Lyveden dates back far beyond the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the Tresham family. Roman and medieval settlements occupied the valley of Lyveden for many hundreds of years, benefiting from the rich mineral deposits and dense hunting grounds of the Rockingham Forest.
From 1605 to the present day, Lyveden remains virtually as it was left four centuries ago. A building with no roof, no windows and no floors. A garden with moats on three of four intended sides, no plants, no statues and no paths. Surrounded in folklore and mystery, Lyveden escaped the influence of time, fashion or conflict.
Donated to the National Trust in 1922, Lyveden has been protected from the modern influences of the 20th century. In the 1990's the Trust began the gradual process of uncovering the neglect and abandonment of the hidden garden. Today, the scale, form and beauty of Tresham's work can again be appreciated and acknowledged as one of the rarest survivals of Elizabethan garden design.