St Mary's Church Lydiard Tregoze

Conservation Project

An extensive conservation project is underway to reclaim and preserve St Mary’s beauty – and to develop its educational potential.

Image Credit: LynPix, Swindon Photographic Society
Image Credit: Jim Bullock, Swindon Photographic Society

About the Project

A Grade I listed building, St. Mary’s church is a unique and important part of our national heritage. Now, a major conservation project – the first in a century – will preserve its beauty for future generations. The St Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze Conservation Project aims to renovate and conserve the church, to tell its story to a wider audience and to develop its potential as an inspiring educational resource.

What We’ve Achieved

Repairing and conserving a historic building, and helping it to reach a 21st century audience, is a major undertaking. Much has been achieved on this exciting project — though much more still lies ahead. The project timeline shows some of the key milestones on our journey.

2019 October

Scaffold removed to reveal conserved wall paintings and decorative schemes, creating a harmonious look throughout the building.

2019 July

Third phase of conservation commences in the Nave, and 18th Century memorial tablets relocated to reveal hidden wallpainting.

2019 June

Conservation students from the UK and across the world arrive to learn and work on the St. Mary’s wallpaintings and polychromy.

2019 April

Second phase of wallpainting conservation begins in the St. John Chapel, on its architectural features and sky painted ceiling.

2019 Feb

Roof repairs to St. John Chapel commence

2018 Nov

First of three phases of wallpainting conservation begins in the South Porch, revealing Christ Crown of Thorns painting.

2018 Sep

HLF awards a £615,000 Round 2 grant to undertake conservation works, improvements to access and interpretation and an ambitious public activity programme with project partners (link to project partners)


Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awards a Round 1 grant to develop detailed proposals to conserve St. Mary’s historic interiors


Conservation completed on 18th Century Reredos on east wall, funded by St Mary’s, public donations and other grant making bodies


Completed repairs to make the building weather proof and St. Mary’s removed from English Heritage’s Building at Risk Register.


Awarded English Heritage Place of Worship grant to tackle urgent structural repairs and stabilisation of the rare Tudor wall painting over the Chancel Arch.


Launch of the Conservation Appeal. £100,000 financial pledge from The Friends of Lydiard Park

Conservation Work

From its ancient stone font to its medieval wallpaintings and 17th century family monuments, St Mary’s Church was crafted by generations of skilled artisans and artists. Now those craftsmen’s successors are conserving their work, revealing its true significance and beauty. Priority is being given to the remarkable wall paintings and vibrantly painted architectural features. The painstaking conservation process requires specialist knowledge and world-class expertise.

Conservation Training

The St Mary’s Conservation Project is not just restoring one of our most important churches, but also helping to train the next generation of skilled conservators. Our conservation team, leading experts in their field of wallpaintings and architectural decoration, are committed to education and training. During summer 2019, twenty-five trainees will learn about the complex conservation needs in our ancient building. The experience that trainees acquire at St Mary’s will help them to work on other heritage projects, nationally or internationally.

Swindon College School of Art

The Conservation Project has forged strong links with Swindon College School of Art. The project represents a fantastic local learning resource for students and has been incorporated into several aspects of their courses. For example, students are learning about art history, developing their drawing skills and, of course, engaging with conservation work.

Get Involved

Conservation Cleaning

With the main Conservation Project nearing completion, the fabric of St Mary’s and its monuments need to be kept in top condition. Cleaning historical items requires special training, and the first Training Day for 5 St Mary’s volunteers was held on 03 September 2021.

A quote from the day:

It was a pleasure to work with Lee and we all learned a lot.  It was also really lovely that he said we were the friendliest and happiest church he has worked with – that says a lot about the passion and care we have both for the church as a building and appreciation for each other. Well done.

Forthcoming Events

Funding the Project

The St Mary’s Conservation Project has attracted significant funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Together with the generous support of other donors, this has allowed our project to get underway. However, more funds are needed and we are grateful for any donations.