The abbey, in the nineteenth century, was residence to William Henry Fox Talbot—a pioneer of photography. A negative of one of the abbey’s windows may just be the oldest surviving example in the world. The abbey and gardens were bequeathed to the National Trust by Matilda Theresa Talbot in 1944. The abbey houses the Fox Talbot Museum, which was founded to celebrate the work of the the old owner.
Lacock Abbey—a grade I listed building—forms an integral part of a tour of Lacock Village with visitors from home and abroad experiencing the delights the former Augustinian nunnery has to offer. The abbey was established in the thirteenth century and lasted until the sixteenth century when it was converted to a private residence by Sir William Sharrington. The abbey was fortified and remained a royal stronghold until Parliamentary forces took over the property in 1645. The house—built in stone with twisted chimneys and mullioned windows—was constructed over the old cloisters, with living quarters on the first floor. Visitors can still see the original medieval cloisters from the inner courtyard. Gothic Revival style features were added to the property in 1750 by the politician John Ivory Talbot. The medieval bakehouse and brewhouse remain as part of the Tudor courtyard but most of the property as seen today is a hotchpotch of periods and architectural styles.
The picturesque gardens, with meandering pathways through parkland and woods, provide the perfect backdrop to explore the abbey’s longstanding history and its influence on the surrounding area. Visitors can explore William Henry Fox Talbot's Botanic Garden and greenhouse as well as the historic Rose Garden. An 1840 photograph of the garden taken by Talbot was later used as reference to restore the garden to his mother’s design.
The abbey has been used as a film set on numerous occasions, appearing in three Harry Potter movies, the screen adaption of The Other Boleyn Girl, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Visit two World Heritage Sites as part of a private 16-seater minicoach tour. See a preserved medieval town and picturesque thatched villages.
Private Minicoach Tour
Stonehenge, Lacock & Bath: Day Trip from London
Visit two World Heritage Sites in a traditional London Black Cab. See a preserved medieval town and picturesque thatched villages.
Black Cab Tour
Stonehenge Inner Circle Tour
An up-close day tour with access to the ancient stones at Stonehenge in a chauffeur-driven car from London with an experienced guide. Combine with Salisbury Cathedral, Old Sarum, Roman Baths, Windsor Castle, Avebury or Lacock Abbey & Village.
Chauffeur Driven Car
Stonehenge, Lacock Village & Abbey Tour
Visit the ancient monument of Stonehenge and picturesque and historic Lacock Village & Abbey on a chauffeur-driven day tour from London with an experienced guide.
Chauffeur Driven Car