This week’s Throwback Thursday is a beautiful National Trust Park that Intecho designed a completely unique and fascinating project incorporating music and lighting.


Lyme Park is a large estate located south of Disley, Cheshire. The estate is managed by the National Trust and consists of a mansion house surrounded by formal gardens, in a deer park in the Peak District National Park. The house is the largest in Cheshire, and is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building

Drumbeats echoed across Lyme Park, and on the distant horizon, flashing lights lit up the woods in time to their rhythm. The drums and the lights were the inspiration of artist Sean Griffiths, who’d been given the task of devising a piece of interactive artwork which would link different parts of Lyme Park’s landscape together.


The result is Distant Drumbeat, as Sean explains: “The idea was to use a stone folly, The Lantern which is situated in Lantern Wood.


Lights set up inside the Lantern would be viewed and activated by a contemporary ‘lantern’ on Lyme’s top lawn. Visitors then gaze straight at the original Lantern half a mile away in the wood and strike a series of drum ‘pads’. Once struck, the Lantern will light up, according to the rhythm of the striker. In other words, you’ll literally be ‘playing the landscape’”.


The estate was granted to Sir Thomas Danyers in 1346 and passed to the Legh’s of Lyme by marriage in 1388. It remained in the possession of the Legh family until 1946 when it was given to the National Trust.

The house dates from the latter part of the 16th century. Modifications were made to it in the 1720s by Giacomo Leoni, who retained some of the Elizabethan features and added others, particularly the courtyard and the south range. It is difficult to classify Leoni’s work at Lyme, as it contains elements of both Palladian and Baroque styles. Further modifications were made by Lewis Wyatt in the 19th century, especially to the interior.

Formal gardens were created and developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house, gardens and park have been used as locations for filming and they are open to the public. The Lyme Caxton Missal is on display in the Library.

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