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Art captures history of Tresham

Artwork at Tresham College exhibition.

A fantastic opportunity has been given to art students at Tresham College – to work with the National Trust on a project featuring the historic figure after whom the college was named.

They have partnered with the National Trust at Lyveden to create a unique art exhibition ‘Views on Lyveden’, which runs until October 2023.

Art students visited the Elizabethan site, including the beautiful Manor House, 16th century lodge, and 140 acres of orchards and meadows – harbouring secret religious symbolism. There they learned the captivating story of its former owner Sir Thomas Tresham, who lived as a Catholic during Protestant Tudor England.

Artwork at Tresham College exhibition.

Contemporary reflections

Inspired by their visit, the students created a variety of pieces, reflecting on themes from religious (and authoritarian) persecution to the beauty of the natural world.

National Trust staff and volunteers from Lyveden then selected the pieces to be installed as part of the exhibition ‘Views on Lyveden’, which will be shown on rotation throughout the year.

Jennifer Hatton, Property Operations Manager said,

“We’re really proud to be playing host to such an inspiring and interesting exhibition, and to highlight young local talent.

“For many of the participants, this will be their first interaction with the National Trust, and it’s exciting to see their contemporary reflections and personal connections to a local story that happened over 400 years ago.”

Student looking at artwork at Tresham College exhibition.
Artwork at Tresham College exhibition.

Fantastic opportunity

Spencer Graham, one of the Art and Design lecturers from Tresham College said:

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to work on a live project with the National Trust. Our initial visit to Lyveden in September 2022 emphasised the importance of primary research and allowed the students to engage meaningfully with the beauty of the site, whilst taking part in a series of workshops. Back in the studios at college each student developed an individual body of work leading towards the outcomes within the exhibition.”  

Jay – Level 3 Year 1 Art & Design: 

“Lyveden had a sense of calm and undisrupted environment, this I wanted to communicate in my work”.

Becky Mills, Art Lecturer said:

“The show has been really well received and is still running now. It will be updated at the end May with work by the HND and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design students.”

Tresham College is part of The Bedford College Group, the 7th largest FE group, by income, in the UK.

Lyveden, which re-opened in 2021 following a project to reorientate the site, has long been a local icon of Northamptonshire and has stood the testament of time. The new exhibition space is inside Lyveden Manor, which will continue to work with community groups to develop engaging and exciting exhibitions for visitors.

For more information about the Lyveden visit .

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