History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Wander into the 18th century. Feast your eyes on thatched and stone cottages. Revel in Tudor, half-timbered black and white buildings. Lacock, on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, was once a centre of the medieval wool trade. Today it still reflects those times, and no TV aerials, overhead cables or yellow lines on its streets spoil the scene.
The village started its life in Saxon times. Norman lords then ruled the area and built a church in honor of St. Cyriac. Lying on the direct London to Bath route, the village prospered, and the church was rebuilt in the Perpendicular style in the 15th century. The black and white timbered 15th century wool merchant's house, now "The Sign of the Angel", occupies pride of place on the main street.
Wander inside to partake of old beams, low ceilings, creaking floors and crooked walls.
Cruck House continues the feast with its bent wooden beams leaning to hold up the roof. The Tithe Barn, also constructed in the cruck beam manner, retains its dirt floor. The Packhorse Bridge, built in the 18th century, plied its trade on what was the main road from Lacock in medieval times. It solved the problem of passage when the Byde Brook was in flood.
Lacock Abbey, in the village, was founded in 1232, by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, This unusual lady-she was the first and only female sheriff of Wiltshire-built the Abbey as a tribute to her husband and became its first Abbess. At the dissolution of the monasteries, the Abbey was turned into a country house and its church was destroyed. Fortunately, it still retains its cloisters, sacristy, chapter house and monastic rooms. Fine furniture, portraits, and stone carvings please the eye's palette.
Enjoy the 16th century stable courtyard with its half-timbered gables and bakehouse. Wander in the Victorian woodland garden amidst its spring flowers and roses. At the entrance to the grounds is the Fox Talbot Museum dedicated to William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the positive-negative film process and is known as the father of modern photography. Thanks to his granddaughter, who presented the Abbey and village to the National Trust, we can, today, partake of the past.
The films, Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders and Emma were partially filmed in the village.
Address: Lacock, Wiltshire, England
Attraction Type: Town
Location: 3 miles south of Chippenham off the A350
Photo Credit: David Ross
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
Find other attractions tagged with:
15th century (Time Period) - 16th century (Time Period) - 18th century (Time Period) - chapter house (Architecture) - Medieval (Time Period) - Norman (Architecture) - Perpendicular (Architecture) - Saxon (Time Period) - Tudor (Time Period) - Victorian (Time Period) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Lacock Abbey - 0.1 miles (Historic House)
Corsham Almshouses - 3.1 miles (Historic Building)
Corsham, St Bartholomew's Church - 3.2 miles (Historic Church)
Bowood House and Gardens - 3.9 miles (Historic House)
Sheldon Manor - 4.2 miles (Historic House)
Corsham Court - 4.7 miles (Historic House)
Great Chalfield, All Saints Church - 4.7 miles (Historic Church)
Great Chalfield Manor - 4.8 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Lacock: