Lacock Village is separated from the Abbey by a very pleasing landscape consisting of the Abbey grounds, the Botanic Garden and Orchards. The village itself is quite small, and consists of a large central 'square' with houses build along both sides of its four main streets (Church, East, High and West). This organized arrangement was no accident, since the village was specially built in the middle ages to accommodate the workers required at the Abbey. It also became wealthy during the wool-trading era up into the 1700's. After it declined in importance, its architecture was retained fixed in this time period by the Talbot family, who owned the village as part of their estate. This has made present day Lacock Village into a coveted site for period movies and TV productions, and it has featured in productions of 'Pride & Prejudice', 'Moll Flanders' and 'Emma'. This view was taken in front of The George Inn and looks down West Street from High Street.
Longleat is the home of Lord Bath; the safari park is very interesting with many animals to see, & lots of entertainments for the kiddies. Set in more than 900 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown designed parkland with a additional 8,000 acres of forests, lakes & farmland, Longleat mixes the magic of the old with the attractions of the new. Longleat was the first stately home to open its door to the public; Longleat is also the first place, outside Africa, to open a Safari Park. &, after more than 36 years, Longleat is still one of Britain’s most admired tourist attractions. You can enjoy really close encounters with some of the largest, fiercest, cutest, & strangest animals from around the world in the Safari Park. On entering there is a large building designed in the style of an African lodge, it over looks the Llamas enclosure, here you can buy African things like drums & spears. There is the world’s largest hedge maze (I thought Hampton Court won on that one), there is an adventure castle for the kids to get lost in & another Blue peter maze to lose the naughty one’s in.
LONGLEAT PASSPORT TICKET
For £18 you can see all the parks attractions. It can save you over 50% off the shared attractions’ prices, but it is also valid throughout the season 2005 and will be hole punched when you have done each one. My only gripe is when we tried to get wheelchairs onto the carriage for disabled people on the train. It was full of able-bodied people, who completely blanked us out despite the sign asking passengers to give up seats; shame on you!
Salisbury is famous for its Gothic cathedral, the tallest in England. It was built in a record time of thirty eight years between 1220 and 1258.
Around the cathedral is the Close, an impressive precinct of lawns and Georgian houses surrounded by a medieval wall, which has three gates: North Gate, St Ann’s Gate and HarnhamGate.
Market square, St. Thomas Church and St Edmund’s Art Centre are all located within walking distance of the Cathedral.
Bradford-on-Avon town is situated east of Bath and divided by the river Avon.
This charming town is full of Georgian houses, one of the most attractive ones is the Bridge Tea Rooms (next to the medieval bridge) where you can have a nice tea and cakes.
St.Laurence Church is a Saxon church built about 700 AD.
The local museum (free entry), located at the upper floor of the local library, is worth a visit, there is a restored old pharmacy, some old photographs and relics.
The White Horse is carved on a chalk hillside easily seen on the A4 road if you are driving toward Avebury, if you are driving in the opposite direction you will not be able to see it unless you look back.
This huge chalk-cut horse figure is one of the eight which are still visible of the total of thirteen white horses known to have existed in Wiltshire, the other five horses have either been lost completely or been buried by the vegetation.
The horse is believed to be only three hundred years old.
If you are driving on the A4 between Marlborough and Bath you can not miss Silbury Hill. It is located eight kilometres west of Marlborough.
Silbury Hill is one of the several interesting prehistoric sites of the region. This peculiar conical hill has a maximum height of forty metres. It was built around 2600 BC probably as a burial place.
You can only view this prehistoric site from the car park or the road but access is forbidden and the whole hill is fenced.
Avebury village is famous for its Stone Circle. Monumental rocks form a wide circle around the village. Sheeps grazing around the stones and fellow travellers are the only signs of life in the village.
The stones are believed to have been built around 2500 BC. You can find more information about the history of the village at the Alexander Keiller Museum.
There is a convenient car park for both coaches and cars (although I parked in the village during my short visit) situated at the south of the village.
The picturesque village of Lacock is one of the highlights of any visit to the Wilthsire county. It is located at the southern edge of the Costwolds at about seventeen kilometres from Bath.
This photogenic village is owned by the National Trust, which has done a great job to keep it as it was a hundred years ago. It is very popular with tourist specially at weekends and the summer months.
Lacock Abbey was founded in 1232 as an Augustinian nunnery. Parts of the nunnery, including the cloisters, chapter house and sacristy, were preserved when the building was converted into a private residence in 1550.
Next to the Abbey there is a barn, which is now the Fox Talbot Museum. The barn displays the life of Willian Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) who was the first individual to create a photographic negative.
The charming village of Corsham is located approximately ten kilometres northeast of Bath.
The village is full of lovely Georgian houses built in previous centuries from the wealth generated by the wool and cloth trade. The main centre of activity in this peaceful village is the High Street.
Both St. Bartholomew’s Church and Corsham Court are worth a visit.
Corsham Court mansion has an interesting collection of paintings.
Former Abbey resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, was an innovative and experimental photographer of the 19th Century. He was the inventor of the negative/positive process. His work is shown in the Museum next to the Abbey.
Wiltshire boasts quite a few of the famous White Horses. These are figures carved into the landscape on sloping hills.. quite startling to see as one drives past. They're marked on maps.. don't miss seeing at least one.
Constructed during the Neolithic, around 3500BC, West Kennet long barrow is the largest of its type in England. The mound is 100m long, running East/ West at the crest of Ovebury Hill. Inside, behind the huge stones used to seal the barrow after 1000 years of use, lie 5 separate chambers leading off a 10m long passage. Excavations in 1859 and the 1950's discovered the remains of 46 people, although it is certain the tomb had been disturbed before.
Try to go inside by yourself if you can......it is easy to see who is coming up the hill, and it is far more impressive and atmospheric if you can experience it undisturbed.
Silbury Hill is the largest man-made mound in Europe. Constructed around 2500 BC, it stands about 40 metres high and covers nearly 5 acres. Although various excavations and investigations have taken place over the years, no burial has ever been found and no-one really knows why it was built.
It is just stunning.
Please do not climb the mound: it is very old, very precious and very fragile (and climbing it is forbidden).
Lacock Abbey was begun by Ela, Countess of Salisbury in 1232 in remembrance of her husband, William Longespee, illegitimate son of Henry II, & one of the most influential barons of the time. On one of her husbands long absences abroad, when everyone thought he was lost & wouldn't return, the faithful Ela refused to marry any of the many suitors after her money, saying that she had a dream that her husband would return. This vision came true,& after his death, Ela started two religious houses, one at Hinton Charterhouse, near Bath, for men & Lacock Abbey for women. Ela herself joined the order in 1238 & became the first Abbess in 1241. She had obtained many rights for the Abbey & village, such as the right to hold a three-day fair at St. Thomas tide & a market every Tuesday. She was also Sheriff of Wiltshire for two years after her husband's demise, the only woman sheriff Wiltshire ever had.
William Henry Fox Talbot, did important photographic researches during 1830 &1840, in 1839 made the process known. He had invented the 'negative,' the story of his work is shown in the Fox Talbot Museum of Photography at the entry to the Abbey grounds. His grand-daughter Matilda Talbot offered the Abbey &village to The National Trust in 1944; her great-nephew and great-niece are there today.
Two kids at the abbey were badly scared when an ugly small man went through their room, years later a skeleton of a deformed man was found behind one of the walls of the room. The spirit of a woman has been seen near the lake, her identity isn’t known as could be the lover of King Henry 2nd.
This was very hard to find, but so romantic and fun to visit. It isn't very crowded, but is well worth a visit. You can even picnic on the lawn. The castle was built in 1393 by John, 5th Lord Lovel, a veteran of the Hundred Years War. It was fashioned after the French style at the time. I think that it was featured in the film "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves" with Kevin Costner. But I didn't see the movie.
April - October: open daily, 10am-6pm
Nov - March open Wednesday-Sunday 10am-4pm, Closed l-2pm
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