Special offers and discounts in and around London

Lacock Abbey

National Trust run medieval abbey used for Harry Potter films

Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey: National Trust owned


Lacock Abbey was originally founded in 1232 and for over 300 hundred years functioned as a nunnery with up to around 25 nuns. The fine medieval cloisters, sacristy, chapter house and monastic rooms of the Abbey have survived largely intact. Today the property is owned by the National Trust and the public can visit.

 

Filming Harry Potter at Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey was featured in the first two Harry Potter films and also with the village of Lacock for some of the subsequent films.

The Abbey's cloisters and side rooms were transformed into the classrooms at Hogwarts School while the location was also used for Harry's discovery of the Mirror of Erised.


Early photography at Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey is also home to a fascinating exhibition of the discoverer of photography - William Fox Talbot. You can see the actual window where the earliest surviving photographic negative ever was taken!

 

Lacock survived its original purpose as a nunnery for around 300 years until Henry VIII transformed England in the 16th Century during the reformation, Lacock like nearly all similar establishments were closed down and Lacock Abbey reverted to being a Country House.

 

The Sharington/Talbot family subsequently lived in the Abbey right up until about 50 years ago when the National Trust took over Lacock.


William Henry Fox Talbot

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-77) was one of the Fox Talbot Family who lived and owned Lacock Abbey. He is remembered for his pioneering work with photography. There is a museum to Fox Talbot, part of the entrance complex to Lacock Abbey and is part of the Lacock Abbey attraction.

Lacock Abbey Cloisters

Lacock Abbey Cloisters

 

William Henry Fox Talbot carried experiments in the mid 1830s led him to discover the negative/positive photographic process.


In 1834, Talbot experimented with a process which he called photogenic drawing: coating drawing paper with salt solution and after it had dried, adding a solution of silver nitrate. By placing a leaf, or fern, or a piece of lace, on the paper's surface and exposing it to the sun, he obtained an image.


In 1835, Talbot made the earliest known surviving photographic negative using a camera, a small photogenic drawing of the latticed window in the south gallery of Lacock Abbey.


Talbot's findings were announced on 31st January 1839, one of the first official announcements of the birth of photography.

 

He discovered that paper treated with a coating of silver iodide, exposed in camera, and developed in gallic acid mixed with silver nitrate and acetic acid would bring out a latent image.

With elation and wonder on 23rd September 1840 he watched a picture gradually appearing on a blank sheet of paper.

 

Visiting Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey Harry Potter information sign

Harry Potter: at Lacock Abbey

The Abbey itself is in large grounds immediately adjacent to Lacock Village. Its sweeping lawns often with sheep on them go down to the River Avon.


You can tour the Abbey House itself, though opening hours are restricted compared with the rest of the site. The gardens are of interest and the groundsmen make an effort to label and educate. Full opening hours are at the official National Trust web site.


You can also see an early brewery, perhaps something you wouldn't associate with nuns!


It is hard to gauge how much time the typical person spends at Lacock. For those who just want to see the Harry Potter connection you can easily be in and out in 30 minutes.

 

Most visitors touring the house and museum and a walk around the house may take a couple of hours. A lot of people laze out and just watch the world go by in the extensive grounds.


Visiting Stonehenge and/or Bath and/or Windsor

Stonehenge Morning Or Afternoon Half Day Tour- £52

Stonehenge & London Day Tour (Apr-Oct only) - £61

Windsor Castle Windsor Morning & Afternoon Tours - from £55

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (inc Lunch, no adm Roman Baths) - £114

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (no Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - £103

Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £101

Windsor & Bath Day Tour - from £79

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group - Max 16 people) - £149

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £74

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Baths adm) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £89

Stonehenge & Windsor (featuring extended time at Windsor) - £95

Stonehenge & Avebury - £109

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £106

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £99

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury (Small Group) - £149

Lacock, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group) - £149

Visiting Cotswolds and/or Oxford and/or Stratford and/or Warwick

Oxford, Stratford & Warwick Castle - £99

Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford (Small Group) -£149

Stratford & Cotswolds (inc Anne Hathaway’s) - £89

Shakespeare’s Stratford–upon–Avon - £57-75 (no admissions incl)

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch - £96

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch (Small Group) - £149

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & Cotswolds Tour - £65

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £99

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £106

Oxford & Cambridge Tour (May-Sep only) - £101

Downton Abbey & Blenheim Palace (Small Group) - £149

Visiting Canterbury, Leeds Castle & Dover

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury with river cruise - £99

Canterbury, Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Rochester (Small Group Apr - Oct) - £94

Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Canterbury - £99

Special Theme Tours

Stonehenge Special Access (Walk Among Stones) Tours

Downton Abbey + Highclere Castle Tours

Harry Potter Tours

Day Tours by Train to Liverpool, Paris and Scotland

Beatles Liverpool Day Tour - £169

Day Trip to Paris - from £179

Day Trip to Edinburgh - from £199

2 to 12 Day Tours covering Great Britain, Ireland, Paris & Amsterdam

2-Day Avebury, Cotswolds, Bath & Oxford - from £174.25

2-Day Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds & Oxford - from £195.21

3-Day Tours of English Regions (3 tours) - from £294.80

3 Days in Paris - from £339

2-Day Edinburgh - from £312

3-Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekend - from £329

3-Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekday - from £499

3-Day Amsterdam - from £315

6-12-Day tours of Great Britain and Ireland - from £925


Special Offer Day Tours From London
Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.