Lacock in Wiltshire owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust is a village full of picturesque streets and historic cottages. It is also home to the beautiful Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot photography museum.
Essentially unchanged for centuries and with the absence of TV aerials and satellite dishes, the village has become a favourite location for film makers. A few lorry loads of soil over the tarmac, and a farm animal or two is all that’s required to transform the scene.
Lacock during the filming of Cranford via
The Sign of the
Hotel was used as Cranford’s
pub and the Red Lion Inn became the village shop. Other Classic dramas filmed
here include Pride and Prejudice and Emma.
In the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Lacock was used to portray the
of Meryton while the Abbey was chosen for some of the Pemberley interior scenes.
This is how Jane Austen describes Meryton at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice;
was only one mile from Meryton; a most convenient distance for the young ladies, who were usually tempted thither three or four times a week, to pay their duty to their aunt and to a milliner's shop just over the way. The two youngest of the family, Catherine and Lydia, were particularly frequent in these attentions; their minds were more vacant than their sisters, and when nothing better offered, a walk to Meryton was necessary to amuse their morning hours and furnish conversation for the evening; and however, bare of news the country in general might be, they always contrived to learn some from their aunt. At present, indeed, they were well supplied both with news and happiness by the recent arrival of a militia regiment in the neighbourhood; it was to remain the whole winter, and Meryton was the headquarters. village of Longbourn
Lacock has been used in several other productions, including Moll Flanders, Tom Brown's Schooldays, The Lady in Black, Randall & Hopkirk, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Wolf Man and Lark Rise to Candleford.
Several locations around the village were also used in the Harry Potter films. The Abbey cloisters were the setting for the Mirror of Erised, and for the scene where Harry frees the house elf Dobby. Rooms off the cloisters became classrooms, particularly for Professor Snape’s potions lessons. Some of the outdoor scenes in the half-blood prince were also filmed in the village.
We couldn't have picked a nicer day to visit. According to the Met Office September the 5th was one of the warmest September days for seven years. A few wispy clouds were the only things to disturb the beautiful blue sky. My lasting memories will be of friendly people, period buildings and masses of flowers.
We spoilt ourselves with lunch in a pub and afternoon tea in the gardens of King John's Hunting Lodge. The scones, clotted cream (the cream specially produced for the tea room from a
Jersey herd near Frome) and quince jelly
were a delight! King John’s Hunting Lodge is the oldest house in the village,
with the main part dating back to the 13th century. Further details here
If you are thinking of visiting Lacock now is a good time. The National Trust is hosting ‘Regency at Lacock’ a celebration of Jane Austen's much-loved novel Pride and Prejudice in the year of its 200th anniversary. Further information here
Yet more beautiful flowers this time in the Abbey court yard. This is where you will find a second-hand book shop, with a range of lovely things to buy. Any trip to a National Trust property is enhanced by the added attraction of a book shop!
Getting a decent shot of this pretty house wasn't easy. It’s situated on a very narrow street but thankfully, parking is for residents only so I didn't have to contend with lots of cars.
I hope this makes you smile. It looks as though it's been ripped down and put back up a good many times, so perhaps not everyone in Lacock appreciates the funny side! I sympathise with the grandparents, but it still makes me chuckle. Everything in the village looks perfect on the outside but maybe there is more going on than meets the eye!
Thanks for calling in and taking the time to read my post.
Our 25% off everything sale is still on at March House Books.