Lacock Abbey

See where Henry Talbot worked and pondered the universe © Barry Batchelor

See where Henry Talbot worked and pondered the universe

800 years of history

Lacock Abbey is packed with history. It started as an abbey and nunnery, then turned into a Tudor family home. The last owners were the Talbots, a caring close-knit family that loved their home in Lacock. You might know it as the birthplace of photography.

Discover the cloisters

Step into the atmospheric medieval cloisters and walk back in time. Imagine how the nuns would have spent their days here 800 years ago and pick up one of our new information maps to learn about Lacock Abbey’s monastic past.

Capturing the light

Visit the South Gallery to stand in the spot where William Henry Fox Talbot took the first photographic negative. During your visit you can discover the man behind the camera. Talbot was a loving family father, and cared hugely for the abbey. Walk into his study and imagine how he spent evenings trying to come up with ideas of capturing a photograph.

Winter cleaning and conservation

Every book is dusted and cleaned

Every book is dusted and cleaned

The first floor abbey rooms are closed for most of the winter months, so we can look after our collection and give the house a well deserved rest after a busy year, but we do open some of the rooms on winter weekends (please see info on the right).

All our collection items will be cleaned, fabrics cared for and checked for pests, silver is polished, paintings are looked after and the conservation assistants and house stewards prepare the rooms for 2015. We are excited that next year we will be open every day from 14 February to 1 November.

You can still enjoy heaps of history during your visit; the medieval cloisters, Tudor bakery and brewery and the Fox Talbot Museum stay open, as well as the grounds with the Fox Talbot tree trail and play area. Don't miss Frozen world outdoor sculptures, an intriguing art exhibition in the grounds (17 January to 8 February).

Winter opening

5 January to 13 February
Guided tours on weekends

The first floor rooms can be seen via guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays (start 12pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm). Tickets are available from Visitor Reception. The Great Hall will also be open on weekends (12pm to 3.15pm).

From 14 February until 1 November
Daily, 11am to 5.30pm

The first floor rooms will be open daily (including Tuesdays).

Get to know Lacock Abbey

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Book treats

You’ll find a variety of titles in our second hand bookshop

Visit our second-hand bookshop in the Tudor courtyard and find a variety of books.

Every time you buy a book here you support important conservation projects at the abbey. The money we raised last year made it possible for us to restore two of our rare harps.

The bookshop is run by our volunteers, we try our best to open it every day - but cannot guarantee it.

Take a rummage in our cupboards

Peeking behind our doors couldn't be easier with the online collection data

Peeking behind our doors couldn't be easier with the online collection data

Discover more about the Lacock Abbey collection through the National Trust's collection database. There are lots of interesting things to see.