The History of Lyveden New Bield
Lyveden New Bield is considered to lie in Northamptonshire, despite it's Cambridgeshire postcode. It was built for Sir Thomas Tresham see image, believed to be intended as a 'Secret House'. This was somewhere close to the main residence that could be frequented when the home was being cleaned. As it was built only a mile away from the main Lyveden House, this theory is quite likely.
The building work started in 1604. It boasts many religious aspects to it's design. The layout is reminiscent to a Greek cross, the exterior shows friezes with religious decor as well as other emblems and motifs such as the 'IHS' Christogram (an monogram of Christ)
The following years showed a succession of owners of the estate. At the time of Sir Thomas' death in 1605, his previous wealth was now almost non existent, following years of religious persecution. Building work began to slow. The house was inherited by Thomas' son, Francis Tresham. The estate was then taken on by his son, Lewis Tresham, after Francis became involved in the Gunpowder Plot. Lewis soon spent the rest of the family fortune, and the house was sold in 1643.
The building was never completed or used as intended, and is now maintained by the National Trust.