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.

Conservation in action

See conservation in action on one of Polesden Lacey’s Sneak Peek tours

Fridays in October, 11.30am to 3.30pm

Peek over the shoulders of the abbey's conservation assistants. We'll be cleaning and preserving special items in the abbey, including carpets and china.

On some days we'll be checking that no pesky pests have made a home in our fabrics and on others you can find out why we make padded hangers for delicate clothing.

Abbey cloister and attic tours

Discover the rarely-seen attics of Lacock Abbey

Every Tuesday, 12pm

The first floor abbey rooms are closed on Tuesdays, but you can still experience the magic of this historic building on a special tour.

This is a rare opportunity to see the abbey's amazing attics and to find out more about the cloister's hidden stories and secrets.

Tickets £4 per person, available at visitor reception on the day. Please ring 01249 730459 for more info.

The personal world of the Victorian lady

The wardrobe of the Victorian lady held many treasures

4 to 19 October, 11am to 4.15pm

Get a glimpse into the to the tantalising world of the nineteenth-century ladies. 100 carefully restored items, from a private collection, are on show in the abbey kitchen.

The exhibition is open during normal abbey opening hours (closed 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.