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Exploring the village at Lacock

A visitor takes a photo of a half-timbered house in Lacock village, Wiltshire on a summer day
Visitor taking a photograph of a traditional half-timbered house in Lacock village. | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

Explore the historic streets of Lacock, a quintessential English village with timber-framed cottages and local shops. With its central grid of four streets, Lacock today looks much as it did 200 years ago.

Lacock 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'.

Medieval Lacock

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. However, the rest is a medieval planned town, deliberately laid out on a grid of the other streets which can be seen today.

A bike parked in front of the bakery in Lacock village, Wiltshire
The bakery at Lacock Abbey and village | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Explore Lacock village

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

History on the high street

Why not start your trip to Lacock by pausing at the window of the old shop at 2 High Street? In the late 19th 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 20th-century displays and it has been untouched ever since.

Two people walking through a field in Lacock village in Wiltshire
People walking in a field in the village at Lacock | © National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Lacock village on film and TV

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. The films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Wolfman were also filmed here.

To find out more about the filming locations in Lacock village, download the locations map below before your visit.

Your visit

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

Row of cottages in the village at Lacock, Wiltshire

Discover more at Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum

Find out when Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum are open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Filming locations in Lacock village 

Discover where famous TV shows and movies have been filmed around the village of Lacock.

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History of Lacock Abbey 

In its 800 years of history, Lacock has been an Augustinian abbey, a Tudor family home, a birthplace of photography, and a film and TV location.

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Eating and shopping at Lacock Abbey 

The Stables café is ready to welcome you for refreshments, while the High Street Shop stocks a wide range of gifts and souvenirs.

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Lacock Abbey's peaceful garden is a place to relax. Discover the Botanic Garden, greenhouse, orchard and woodland along with the sounds of nature at this green natural setting.

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Treasures to see at Lacock Abbey 

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Visiting Lacock Abbey with your dog 

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Family-friendly things to do at Lacock 

Spring blooms, medieval architecture and photographic discovery: have an eye-opening adventure at Lacock this winter. The new year brings in drifts of snow drops which bring light to the gardens and woodland. The Abbey rooms are closed for the winter clean, but you can explore the medieval cloister which remains open and discover Lacock's link to the history of photography in the Fox Talbot Museum.