Lacock Abbey

192 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Things to do


Date of travel

December, 2017

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Reasons for trip

In early December, we were traveling between Swindon to Gloucester and decided to take a detour to the National Trust Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village. I had visited before in summer, but my photographer friends were interested in seeing the birthplace of photography. It is not far from the busy A350 road, but when you are in the village it is so unspoilt it could be a million miles away. There are no trappings of modern life to be seen within the picturesque streets. Lacock is the film location of episodes of Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Wolfman and Harry Potter & the Blood Prince.

The Museum explores the history of photography from the earliest surviving photographic negative created by Fox Talbot in 1835, which was of a window in his home Lacock Abbey. He used the calotype process, Louis Daguerre invented the daguerreotype and Sir John Herschel the cyanotype. The historic Fenton Collection has been transferred here from the British Film Institute. It is a collection of cameras, optical devices, toys and images from the 18th century to the 1980s.

We were able to wander around the medieval cloisters and the downstairs rooms of the Abbey, which were charmingly decorated for Christmas. What is new is the Courtyard tea-rooms featuring the usual National Trust high standard soups, sandwiches or cakes – so of course it was not to be missed!

One of the most enjoyable parts of our visit was the costumed singers in the courtyard. They had beautiful voices and were not just singers, more of a double act of entertainment. It really made our day, which was actually a Friday as I would imagine weekends could be a lot busier.


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