Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire…

Lacock Abbey – a country house, built on the site of an Augustinian Abbey, retaining some original buildings.

The National Trust website for Lacock Abbey, describes it as ‘quirky‘ – and I think that’s entirely apt. It certainly is a quirky building, incorporating elements of medieval monastery, Tudor manor, Gothick Revivalism and Victoriana. By rights it should be a total hotch-potch, and I suppose in a way it is, but in fact it manages to come across as a rather lovely, if eccentric old house.

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I used to struggle a bit with Lacock, it was one of those properties where you felt too much was being kept hidden away, but at last it’s being opened up, and now you get a tremendous sense of what it was like to live in over the centuries. There are  wonderful portraits and curios inside the main house, and of course any photographer will want to see the gallery where Fox Talbot took what is claimed to be the first real photograph.

But for me, it is still the original medieval monastic cloisters that  make Lacock special.

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Lacock was once the home of an Augustinian community of nuns, founded by Ela, the Countess of Salisbury in 1232. I wonder if a feminine influence can be felt in the building? For me the cloisters have a friendly, bustling feel about them – but perhaps that’s just imagination.

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By the way, if you’ve watched the early Harry Potter films, you may already be familiar with the Lacock cloisters – they were used to film parts of Hogwarts.

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Take a good look at the ceiling bosses – a marvellous collections of whimsical characters.

My favourite is the ferocious dog.

And I love old doorways – what is it about them that intrigues me – magical places.

IMAG3079Even if you don’t go around the whole house, I urge you to explore the cloisters and soak up their atmosphere. It certainly has a sort of magic – and not of the Harry Potter kind.

Lacock village – where have you seen it before?

Avid fans of  BBC costume dramas will probably recognise where this is…

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…and perhaps this – think balls and Elizabeth Bennet…

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And if you wonder what the inside of the crooked barn looks like…

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…it has this most impressive roof.

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If you visit Lacock Abbey, be sure to have a stroll around the village too – you’ll soon see why it gets used as a film set so often – it’s just like stepping back in time. There’s a lovely website here that will give you lots more information and views around the village.

 

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PS: Just so you know, if you’re seeing any adverts on my blog, it’s WordPress, not me putting them there. If I’m feeling flush one of these days, I’ll go ad-free, until then, please forgive.

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