Lacock Abbey

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Lacock Abbey from the south, including the window famously photographed by William Henry Fox Talbot

Lacock Abbey is a beautiful country abbey, formerly the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, a pioneer of early photography.

The astonishing Lacock Abbey is situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Lacock, Wiltshire, UK, with its lime-washed, half-timbered stone houses, this is the perfect place for a relaxing day out. A peaceful stroll through the Abbey’s Victorian grounds reveals a stunning flower garden and magnificent trees, spectacular in the spring. This is the perfect location for a relaxing day with a loved one, or family. De-stress while seeing the beautiful sights of the Lacock Abbey.

The Botanic Garden reflects the plant collections of Fox Talbot, former owner of Lacock Abbey, who successfully experimented with photography and made history with his advance in printed illustrations, many of which are available to see in the Lacock Abbey museum, situated in the grounds of the Abbey. Lacock Abbey was where Fox Talbot created his inventions within photography, much of which was inspired by his beautiful home and flowers. The atmospheric rooms of the Abbey include medieval cloisters, and chapter house which have survived throughout the years.

Lacock Abbey dates back to the 13th century and was founded by Ela, Countess of Salisbury. Ela was the daughter of Patrick, Earl of Salisbury. The Abbey was built with stone obtained from Ralph Croc, who owned a quarry at Hazelbury near Box, Wiltshire and with timbers from the royal forest. Generally, the Abbey was used throughout the Middle Ages. The wealthy farmlands of its endowment by Ela ensured a comfortable income from wool throughout its medieval life.

Up until 1539 Lacock Abbey was used as an Augustinian nunnery. Lacock Abbey was used by nuns and lay sisters of the community who ran the Abbey, they looked after the tedious tasks in the Abbey, such as cleaning and general housekeeping and they were also responsible for looking after the guests who came for hospitality.

The Abbey is now used more as a tourist feature, where people travel from all over the country to see the scenic Abbey. Lacock Abbey has been made famous for featuring in many TV and film productions, including Pride and Prejudice, Cranford Chronicles, Emma, two of the Harry Potter films, as well as the recent The Other Boleyn Girl.

There is something for everyone at Lacock Abbey. The Fox Talbot Museum which commemorates the life and work of W.H.E. Talbot’s photography 1800-1877, which holds his famous photography equipment and pictures, for people with a passion for photography. Mesmorising tours with the Abbey manager will take you in and around the Abbey – these are available by booking in advance. There are play areas situated just outside the grounds, in the village of Lacock to keep the children entertained. Guided tours for a children’s school trip are also available, these include children’s quizzes and trails.