What’s in a Name?
The connection between the Brudenell Estates and the name Tresham is steeped in history. Deene Park has been the home of the Brudenell Family for over five hundred years and over fourteen successive generations.
Sir Thomas Tresham (1543 – 11th September 1605), a prominent Catholic landowner in Elizabethan Northamptonshire, was the creator of three notable buildings in Northamptonshire.
The extraordinary Rushden Triangular Lodge is a testament to Tresham’s Roman Catholicism: the number three, symbolising the Holy Trinity, is apparent everywhere. There are three floors, trefoil windows and three triangular gables on each side. Each of the three outside walls measure exactly 33 feet long. The inscription ‘Tres Testimonium Dant’ (‘there are three that give witness’), a Biblical quotation from St John’s Gospel referring to the Trinity, adorns the front of the building. It is also a pun on Tresham’s name; his wife called him ‘Good Tres’ in her letters.
His sense of civic responsibility in local society, occasioned by his geniality and the expectations of his rank and family practice led him to begin building the Market House at Rothwell in 1577.
The third of his notable builds is the Lyvedon New Bield. The exact date of construction is unknown but can be estimated to circa 1604–05, 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.
New Bield also embodies 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 basement, with mullioned and transomed windows. Each floor had three rooms with a staircase in the south projection of the cross. Religious friezes decorate the exterior of the building. The metopes contain the same emblems and motifs as at the triangular lodge.
Well read, Thomas Tresham dedicated much of his life to collecting books. The Tresham books formed the basis of the Tresham/Brudenell library kept at Deene Park, which was given us a dowry when his youngest Daughter Mary Tresham married Thomas Brudenell. Read our Blog: House Blog | Restoration: The Brudenell Tresham Library for more information.
Mary’s Brother Francis Tresham was involved in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. As a consequence of this and her husband’s faith, the Family continued to pay huge fines for their beliefs. Life was incredibly difficult for Mary. She had two Sons and a Daughter. Her eldest Son was kidnapped on the way to the continent for his grand tour and negotiations for his £3000 ransom took two years to complete. Her youngest Son Edmund was captured at Naseby and died several years later at Newby jail.
Her husband disappeared to Wales, but was handed over to the Cromwellian Troops at Hereford and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Deene Park was sacked by the Cromwellian Troops in 1643 and the library, the furniture, the paintings and most of the contents went. She was left shivering at Deene and allowed to live off a fifth of her income after fines for being Catholic and a Royalist were levied.
Mary’s tenure at Deene was one of enormous bravery without the knowledge of the whereabouts of her family and of huge discomfort and penury.
We had a terrific time at Deene Park. Please pass on our thanks firstly to the owners, but also to everyone else who contributed to such a delightful afternoon. We know it takes an awful lot of work by unseen staff, as well as those we met, in order for these events to be successful. We were made very welcome by the lady on the gate and had a fascinating insight into Deene Park’s history by our tour guide. The gardeners too are to be commended for the outstanding plants, inside the house and grounds. All in all, a splendid house, in a fabulous setting. What better way to spend a summer afternoon. We certainly hope to visit again.
Averil & Lloyd FaireyAugust 2015
I pass on our great thanks from all the folks who came from St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s, Woodkirk for a really wonderful visit. The weather was very kind so we were able to enjoy the lovely gardens and both guides were very informative and friendly and everybody enjoyed their lunch and endless pieces of cake. The house look superb and the extra displays covering 500 years of the Brudenells life at Deene Park were really informative and helpful. For my wife Angela and myself it brought back memories of visiting Deene Park literally ten years ago to the day to be interviewed by Edmund and Marian for the post here at East Ardsley – happy memories and also of the butler at the time who I understand has also died. Please do pass on our thanks to the team and all who helped make our visit very special.
Glenn CogginsVicar at St. Michael’s East Ardsley
Thank you for all your help which contributed to the success of our visit to Deene Park. We all had a very good time and were blessed with lovely weather to enjoy the garden. Please congratulate your catering team, the food was simply delicious. I chose well and thought the summer pudding was one of the best I’d ever tasted! We had a very good holiday and our visit to Deene at the beginning really set the tone for what was to follow, the guides were also excellent. My thanks for all your endeavours.
Linda DippyUpper Thames & Ridgeway NT Association
I would like to thank you for a fabulous visit on Wednesday. Everyone loved it and said there was a lovely atmosphere. The guide who took my group around was fantastic. Not only was he very knowledgeable, but he put it over very clearly and in an interesting manner, we were sorry we had to stop for lunch! The food was delicious and the ladies were friendly and helpful. All in all a perfect day.
Maureen StruttLetchworth Arts & Leisure Group
I visited today 29th June as part of the Boughton House group. Absolutely bowled over by this lovely warm house, its antecedents and history. Above all it felt like a home. Very privileged to be shown the Church especially by Charlotte Brudenell. I can’t praise the family enough for managing the complex preservation issues, but most of all for preserving this magical place for us all. Special thanks for making time for us, your pride in your ancestors is well founded.
Boughton Monuments Guides
Wow!! What a great day we had. Deene Park was a little hidden gem. What a history it had and on behalf of all my group I would like you to pass on our thanks to our two guides, Ruth (my group) and David. They made the house come alive and had so much knowledge. Please also pass on our thanks to the chef, the food was excellent and the waitresses who were so pleasant and efficient. All in all it was a wonderful day and I will have no hesitation in recommending Deene Park as a great place to visit.
Thank you so much for all your help in arranging Ed and Jenny’s wedding at Deene Park. It was a long time ago when we came to Deene Park and despite the rain we knew straight away that this was the right place for us. The House and Gardens were wonderful and we were very impressed by you, Tina and you completely lived up to our first impressions. You have been an absolute rock throughout for Ed and Jenny and we really appreciate everything you have done. Saturday was one of the happiest days of our lives.
Sarah Mellor5th June 2018
Just to say thank you for arranging our visit to Deene Park, which was much appreciated by our group. Also thank you to Mrs Brudenell for greeting us so warmly – it is certainly a lovely house to live in. There is so much potential for the gardens, which are being well tended by Andrew.
Historic Roses Group20th June 2018
On behalf of the Fuchsia friendship travel club, I should like to thank you and all your team for the wonderful reception we received and care and attention during our visit. The ladies doing the food were so friendly and caring going out of their way to satisfy our needs! The tour guides in the house had a wealth of information, sometimes too much to take in, there was so much history to absorb about the family. Even the gardeners were giving us tips on growing their plants. Thank you for making our visit so enjoyable.
Barbara Barker19th June 2018
We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Deene Park today. Please thank your guides for making our tour around the many rooms and the information they shared with us so interesting. The cups of tea and choice of cake gave us the energy to walk round and explore the magnificent gardens and admire the long borders and topiary. We were fortunate to have fine weather and the butterflies, bees and dragonflies were a bonus.
Oundle Historical Society
Despite the weather we had a wonderful day with you all and everything worked out so well – the welcome was so warm and your staff in the kitchen were spot on! Presentation of food was excellent and I felt the prices were most acceptable! Wendy, the guide was quite wonderful and I hope she realised how much we enjoyed the tour – everybody paid full attention. We were lucky enough to have a window of dry after lunch and were able to get around the grounds and also bought plants! We even had a “Gardener’s Question Time” with the Head Gardener, who was patient and knew everything we asked! All in all despite the weather we had a really good day. Thank you again.
JanetWednesday 18th May 2016
Just to say a very big thank you to you for your patience and help, given that we were almost an hour late for our tour. We all thought the house and grounds were absolutely delightful and the historical talk you gave was pleasant, amusing and enjoyable. Thank you so much, once again, we all felt very privileged to have been able to not only visit Deene Park, but have had the exclusivity of a private viewing.
Offley Car Club10th May 2018
Our guide was Andrew the Head Gardener who is to be congratulated for his depth of knowledge about the origins of the gardens. He had studied the original records of the early days of the Brudenell/Cardigan family and produced a very interesting talk and tour. His passion and vision for the garden is refreshing and has produced a wonderful collection of “Cottage Garden” plants that flourish through the seasons with the encouragement of Mrs Brudenell. The Estate now has a lovely wooden framed shop selling plants and memorabilia pertaining to Deene Park. I’d love some of his Cottage Garden seeds! Very enjoyable couple of hours and the sun shone which is a bonus. Highly recommend.