LYDIARD Park’s 300-year-old walnut tree, which perished in last winter’s storms, has been turned into collectors’ items by a local craftsman.

The tree, located on the lawn outside Lydiard House, and believed to have been one of the country’s oldest walnuts, had lived through two world wars, offered shade and shelter to visitors, become a play haven to children and was home to a variety of wildlife.

But in December last year fierce winds ripped off branches and severely damaged the trunk.

Although a little of the tree survived, the Lydiard gardening and warden team were able to save some of the timber deemed usable for wood turning.

And not wanting to let the characterful and historic wood go to waste, the Lydiard team commissioned craftsman, Simon Webb, to create a collector’s series of limited edition pens that will feature the fine walnut heart wood.

Ian Surtees, Income Generation Manager at Lydiard, said: “The new Lydiard walnut pens are beautiful and form part of our expanding limited edition product range we are developing to reflect the natural beauty and high quality of the Lydiard estate.

“The first Lydiard Walnut pen is an attractive heavyweight ballpoint pen featuring a hand-turned and finished body made from the 300-year-old walnut.

“Once turned and sanded, the wood then has 20 coats of clear acrylic applied and polished back to a dipped in glass finish.

“The acrylic finish not only enhances the beauty of the wood but also protects it.

“Finished in gun metal and platinum plating, the pen is presented in a high quality black velvet case and comes with a certificate of authentication and will retail at £75.

“While it is extremely sad to lose the tree, we are pleased to preserve the remaining valuable wood in this way.

“Each pen has its own unique character and includes original timber so it really is an exquisite collector’s piece.”

Coun Garry Perkins, cabinet member for the economy, regeneration and culture, added: “The Lydiard walnut tree was part of Swindon life for so long and given so much pleasure to many generations of people in the town.

“It is fitting to create something beautiful from the remaining wood and it would make a perfect Christ-mas present for anyone who has a special affection for Lydiard.”

The Lydiard Limited Edition range is being developed to produce high quality products from Lydiard’s owns sources, using local suppliers, with profits going back into the funds to develop and sustain the important Lydiard estate and parkland.

  • To find out more or to place an order for the Lydiard Walnut pen, contact Lydiard Retail on 01793 466664 or visit the Lydiard House and Park website at