In 1832 stonemasons working at Rushton Hall, discovered bundles of old documents relating to family affairs. These provide a detailed account of expenditure, religion and estate management throughout the late Tudor and early Stuart period. Included were letters which relate to Francis Tresham’s involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605, and after this event the papers were concealed, and remained so for over 200 years.
The richest documentary clues to Lyveden are contained in a letter written by Sir Thomas from Ely prison on 9 October 1597. In it he directs his foreman, John Slynne for the laying out of the garden, as well as the listing of specific plants.
Much of the original form described by Tresham, is still visible today including the ‘ascents’ of the mounds and terracing. These remain, as Tresham described, “very convenient both to walk in open air, as well in summer in shadow”.