Lovely Lacock

One of my favourite things to do over a weekend is to explore the many fabulous villages in the UK, and the stunning village of Lacock is up there as one of my faves. 

Nestled in the famous hills of the Cotswolds, Lacock is a village and civil parish in the county of Wiltshire, just south of the town of Chippenham.  

The amazing thing about Lacock is that it is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust. It attracts thousands of visitors a year by virtue of its unspoiled appearance.  

When you bimble along the narrow lanes and visit the quaint shops, you actually feel like you have been transported back to a more genteel time, a time when you dressed for dinner, had cucumber sandwiches for tea, and had far more time to stop and appreciate life. It is relaxed and enchanting, absolutely perfect. 

Now, if you think that this picture perfect village looks like someone has rolled out a film set for you, you’re not far wrong. 

Lacock is a hot spot for filming both TV and movies, with one of the most notable being the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. 

The 2007 BBC production of Cranford (in my opinion, one of the great British dramas) was also filmed here, as well as parts of the Harry Potter films Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and the spin-off film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. 

In the spring of 2012, it was a filming location for the fantasy adventure film Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box and in 2015 it was used for Downton Abbey episodes (my absolute all-time favourite). 

You may not see any famous actors roaming the streets when you visit, but you will see the magnificent Abbey. It’s a must see. 

Lacock Abbey was founded on the manorial lands by Ela, Countess of Salisbury and established in 1232. 

The village, with the manor, formed its endowment to “God and St Mary”. Lacock was granted a market and developed a thriving woollen industry during the Middle Ages.  

Lacock Abbey

At the dissolution, the Abbey and estate, including the village, were sold to William Sharington, later passing into the Talbot family by marriage – Henry Fox Talbot from 1800 to 1877. 

And then there’s Lackham House, which you will find in the north of the parish overlooking the Avon. Lackham House, a three-storey Palladian style country house, was built in 1791–6 for James Montagu, a naval officer. The Montagu family seat was at Lackham, in the north of Lacock parish. 

Today the house and grounds are the home of Lackham College, an agricultural college. 

There truly is something very special about the villages in the UK – I love them.  

Penelope Keith did a wonderful series on the hidden villages in the UK.  If you get a chance, I would thoroughly recommend watching it, and then if you feel so inclined, visit a few of the villages yourself. I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Happy visiting! 

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