Lacock village and countryside

Houses in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire

With its central grid of four streets, Lacock today looks much like it did 200 years ago. Its oldest house is older than the thirteenth-century abbey but since the loss of the village's main source of income from wool in the nineteenth century, new development has been minimal.


Village history

The name Lacock dates from Saxon times when the earliest permanent settlers lived by the Bide Brook, which runs through the middle of the village. They called it lacuc or 'little stream'.

The medieval landscape was dominated by Melksham Forest, which came right up to the village and stretched for 33 miles to the south and east. Settlement began around the church, reflected in the irregular line of Church Street, but the rest is a medieval planned town, deliberately laid out on a grid of the other streets which can be seen today.

Lacock village is full of traditional stone houses.
View of one of the traditional stone houses in Lacock village
Lacock village is full of traditional stone houses.

A quintessential English village

There's lots to discover in Lacock village: quaint traditional stone cottages, the old workhouse, the medieval tithe barn, the old lock-up and the village church.

Top tip: Start your trip to Lacock by pausing at the window of the old shop at 2 High Street. In the late nineteenth century the building was used as a coffee tavern, then after the First World War it became a stationers and in 1966, incorporated the Post Office. It remained in the same family until it closed in the early 1980s. Miss Butler, the last resident, arranged the shop window in the style of early twentieth-century displays and it has been untouched ever since.

tins Royal family

In the footsteps of the stars

Lacock village is a firm favourite for film and TV producers, most notably for its picturesque streets and historic cottages, untouched by modern alterations. The village’s most famous appearances include 'Downton Abbey', the BBC’s 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Cranford', and the films 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' and 'Wolfman'.

To find out more about the filming locations in Lacock village, why not download our locations map before your visit?

The cauldron in the Warming Room at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire

Lacock on screen 

Appropriate for the birthplace of modern photography, Lacock is no stranger to the screen and both the abbey and village are instantly recognisable from a variety of film and television productions.

Your visit

Village leaflets, books and maps are available from visitor reception, when open, to help guide you around.

Upcoming events

Janus Rising: photographic exhibition

Fri 27 May 2022
A new photographic exhibition: an exploration of time passing by Sal Taylor Kydd

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Romeo and Juliet

Thu 14 Jul 2022
Join us for Chapterhouse Theatre Company's new production of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers.

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Pride and Prejudice

Fri 15 Jul 2022
Join us as Chapterhouse Theatre Company brings to life one of Jane Austen's best-loved classics. Bring family and friends to picnic under a beautiful summer sky before you lose yourself in this unforgettable love story.

Illyria presents Peter Pan

Tue 09 Aug 2022
Join us for Illyria's performance of this beloved family classic.