Sunday, 5 September 2010

A visit to the past, via Lacock Abbey and village

I'm sure this cat posed for the photo

In the grounds leading to the Abbey

A wonderful collection of candles, in a shop full of so much lovely homemade soap

Some old photos on a table in the Abbey

The most glorious rocking horse and wallpaper
Taken from a shelf in a cabinet of curiosities

Don't you just love it when there's a dressing up room

Just done the garments and strick a pose

I loved loved loved this patchwork quilt

The courtyard in the Abbey

Just a few of the old cameras on display
This Saturday I went to Lacock and loved it so much, although it was certainly a surreal experience. The small town was totally quiet, no one about apart from a whole load of tourists and daytrippers milling around and enjoying one of our few days of sun. The village is total picture book fairytale, a proper chocolate box. It's as if the whole place is national trust, rather than just the museum, and abbey house on the outskirts. You can certainly feel the history as you wonder around, although certainly in a strange way. There was a lovely big old barns that had been preserved, and there was even, on that very day, a reunion for those evacuated there during the war! All the shops are quaint and full of rustic and homemade things and we were served in the bakery by women in period serving outfits before going on to have cream teas outside. I mean where could you feel the history more than in a place where Cranford was filmed and Colin Firth strutted around in when the BBC filmed Pride and Prejudice? And that was just the village.

Yes there was more. Lacock Abbey is breathtaking and certainly worth visiting if you can. It's even more steeped in history, you can see the layers, appreciate all that has gone on there. It really feels like something where so much has happened. All I can share is a potted history and hope that it inspires you to visit. The Abbey was founded by Ela of Salisbury in the 13th Century. Her husband witnessed the Magna Carta and she seems to have been a remarkable and powerful woman in her own right. When Henry VIII disbanded the nunnery that was there, part of the building was kept and attached to the grand house that was built there. And so today you can wonder round the Abbey (which was used in two of the Harry Potter films) and then walk straight into the house, which is decked out in former glory as so many National Trust properties are.

And still there's more. In the nineteenth century the house was owned by the Talbots. Fox Talbot invented the photo negative! And so we have two of my favourite things - history and photography. There is a small museum there that is so well done, half box of curiosity with interesting things to show and tell, half exploratory and explanatory, sharing what occurred and its significance. It's a joy to walk around and brilliant that they have a changing gallery space above. I loved the exhibition on significant negatives that was on, so fascinating to see photos entirely differently.

So, I am now in love with Lacock (despite the strange feeling of the village itself) and had a wonderful day - especially with the new Vignette app I downloaded for my HTC phone (available on Android marketplace and the iPhone equivalent). It was so fun to play around with the settings and I think the photos turned out great!

Helen at Clio's Curiosities


  1. yes, these pics are super fun! your love of history really comes through in your posts too.

  2. Oh, what an amazing place! And such an epic amount of history! The photos you took are so dreamy and enchanting, I just love them. Thanks for stopping by so I could visit :)

  3. Drucilla - I'm so glad you can tell I love history! Seeing as I kinda do :p

    Heather - awwwwww, am glad you liked the pics. Definitely make your way over if you can, it really is the most amazing place!