corner of High Street and East, with the Red Lion Inn on the left

Have you ever seen the village of Lacock? You might have

Have you ever seen the village of Lacock in Wiltshire, UK?

Before you say “No,” let me ask you – Have you ever watched the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Cranford, Wolfman, Downton Abbey, or Harry Potter?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, then you have seen Lacock. On screen.

Compare the image above with the shot below. Look familiar?

shot of the corner of East and High Streets in Lacock, during filming of the BBC Pride and Prejudice
shot of the corner of East and High Streets in Lacock, during filming of the BBC Pride and Prejudice

You can also see some great shots of the cast of Downton Abbey in “Downton Abbey filming held back by local tour guide.”

The village of Lacock, owned almost entirely by the National Trust, and located about a hundred miles west of London, has been used for filming several period movies and TV shows.

position of Lacock relative to London
position of Lacock relative to London

We went there in January 2013 with David’s Day Tours, a custom sightseeing guide we hired to take us to Stonehenge and Bath, but trust me, the village hasn’t changed much since then, thanks to the generosity of Matilda Talbot (formerly Gilchrist-Clark) who inherited the Lacock estate in the early 20th century from his uncle.

In 1944 she presented Lacock Abbey, Abbey Farm, all of the village that she owned and 284 acres of land to the National Trust.

As the Lacock Community Portal says, most of the houses in the village were built in the 18th century or earlier. The oldest buildings date back to the 14th century! And Lacock prides itself on preserving the history, character, and charm of the bygone days.

One of the oldest buildings in the village is The George Inn, a restaurant housed in a building from around 1360s.

The Red Lion hotel and restaurant, in front of which scenes from Pride and Prejudice where shot, seems young in comparison, even though it was built way back in the 1700s.

A Bit of History

The best accounts of the history of Lacock I found are on the “Wiltshire Community History” page of the Wiltshire Council site, and “About Lacock” on the Lacock Unlocked site.

According to these sites, the earliest finds in Lacock date from the Roman times, and were mostly coins. There was a major Roman road running through the south of the parish.

The name Lacock might have been derived from the Saxon Lacuc, which meant “a small stream.”

The village is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, and at that time it had between 150 to 200 inhabitants, 2 mills, and a ½ acre of vineyard.

In 1232, Ela, Countess of Salisbury, founded a nunnery at Lacock and built an Augustian house, now known as Lacock Abbey. In 1540, Sir William Sharington converted the abbey into a manor house. Scenes from several movies, including Harry Potter, were filmed at the Lacock Abbey.

Lacock Abbey, which was used as a location for several scenes in Harry Potter movies and others
Lacock Abbey, which was used as a location for several scenes in Harry Potter movies and others

If you’re planning to visit Lacock when you’re in the neighborhood (Stonehenge is about 25 miles southeast, and Bath is about 15 miles west) you might find this Lacock village map useful.

map of the Lacock village from www.nationaltrust.org.uk, but unfortunately the link I originally had here is broken, so I can't link to the original
map of the Lacock village from www.nationaltrust.org.uk, but unfortunately the link I originally had here is broken, so I can’t link to the original

You can also download to your mobile device a free audiovisual guide to Lacock, which you can review ahead of time in “Armchair” mode or “Live Play” as you walk around the village.

I had never heard of Lacock before our trip, but I’m certainly glad David suggested we stop there for a brief visit. It’s a lovely village, and walking down the narrow streets, looking at the houses with slate roofs and multi-pane windows, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.

houses along High Street in the village of Lacock
houses along High Street in the village of Lacock
medieval church of St. Cyriac
medieval church of St. Cyriac
house on the corner of Church Street and Nethercote Hill
house on the corner of Church Street and Nethercote Hill

How did the kids like Lacock?

Well, my daughter (the younger one) was barely six at that time and really didn’t care much for looking at old buildings. My son, who was eleven, was somewhat impressed by how old the buildings were, though for the most part he claimed he was bored.

I think now, knowing how many movies have been shot here, we’d do a “scavenger hunt” of sorts, trying to find all the locations, and they’d be much more excited trying to find the house that “played” Godric’s Hollow.

Yes, I’m thinking maybe we should go see this place again some time.

in front of Sign of the Angel, a 15th-century inn, where Harry Potter was shot and which housed cast of the Downton Abbey for a while
in front of Sign of the Angel, a 15th-century inn, where Harry Potter was shot and which housed cast of the Downton Abbey for a while

Other blog posts about Lacock

Not surprisingly, Pride & Prejudice and other period movie lovers have blogged about Lacock extensively. One of the posts I like is “Lacock – my Bath trip part 7” by The Secret Dreamworld of Jane Austen Fan, which includes photos from Lacock mixed with screen shots from the movies.

Where to Stay in Lacock?

We didn’t stay at Lacock overnight, unfortunately, but there are a few accommodations in the area that you might like to consider. I’m thinking next time we’re in the area, we just might.

Interested? Pin it for later

If this brief overview of the village makes you think you might want to visit it some day, feel free to pin it to your board on Pinterest.

Or, follow my Uk | Wiltshire | Lacock board, which includes not only this posts, but also all the links mentioned in this post, and more.

our UK | Wiltshire | Lacock Pinterest board
our UK | Wiltshire | Lacock Pinterest board

Invitation to #WeekendWanderlust Link Up

#WeekendWanderlust, hosted by Chris & Heather from A Brit and a Southerner, Jessi & Tara from Outbound Adventurer, Ashley from A Southern Gypsy, Justin and Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren, and yours truly, is a collaborative effort to share travel blog posts, and to discuss all travel-related things.

The hosts organize each week a link up through which travel bloggers from around the world can promote their posts, in exchange for a promise to give some attention to other travel bloggers. (One of the rules for linking up is to comment on three linked up posts.)

If the link up is still open, feel free to add a link to one of your posts below, then comment on three linked up posts. I welcome comments as well, of course, and will reciprocate as soon as I can.

#WeekendWanderlust link up logo
#WeekendWanderlust link up logo


47 thoughts on “Have you ever seen the village of Lacock? You might have”

    1. Thank you for reading, Lydia! I smiled at “the lady who got her head cut off.” I think you could say that a lot in London as well, though probably not that much in Lacock. It’s a small village, but the atmosphere is pretty amazing. Just imagine how much those walls have seen, though.

    1. Thank you for reading, Victoria! My husband was in a Ph.D. program in history, before he decided he’d rather do his own thing. I’m not good with dates or locations, but I do try to learn a bit about every place we visit, so that’s probably why my blog is very history-oriented. We see travel as a very educational activity.

    1. Thank you for reading, Shere. It’s not an “easy distance” as Elizabeth Bennett or Mr. Darcy would say, but it’s doable. I’m so glad we went there.

    1. Thank you for reading. Lauren. It’s a really cute place, and if you like old stuff, I’m sure you’d like it.

    1. Thank you for reading, The Adventure Ahead. I’m glad you liked the bit of history I included. Yes, your daughter might be able to recognize the important spots, and if you watch period movies, you probably would recognize some places as well.

    1. Thank you for reading, Karilyn! I also think that kids might like a scavenger hunt kind of sightseeing. I’d have to research it a bit, and print photos, but it might get them more involved.

  1. Andrew and I both love Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. We, along with our 11-year-old daughter, love Harry Potter. So yes, we’ve seen Lacock! I truly have never heard of this little place. This would be just the type of tour we would have enjoyed. I think it would be fun to do a bit of scavenger hunting as you suggested. Thank you for all the information and education.
    Brenda recently posted…Dish Our Town’s Guide to New York A-LMy Profile

    1. Don’t worry, Brenda, even though I had watched Pride & Prejudice dozens of times, when we were in Lacock, I didn’t realize that I was walking the same streets as Colin Firth, until I returned back to London and looked up the village on Google. :) Shame on me, really. I hope when we go back to the U.K. in a few years, we’ll visit this place again. Maybe by then I will have taught my daughter to like P&P as well.

    1. Thank you for reading, Ruth! A lot of movies are filmed in sets, yes, but sometimes they need to shoot outside, and it seems Lacock is very well known in the movie industry.

    1. Thank you for reading, Fairlie. Lacock is just a small village, so I’m not surprised you’d never heard of it. I had not either, until we visited.

    1. Thank you for reading, Sally. Yes, that’s what they do – they cover the asphalt road with dirt, and turn it into 19th-century Meryton :)

    1. Thank you for reading, Camille. I’m glad you learned something new today :) It’s a tiny village, but quite popular in the movie industry, apparently.

    1. Thank you for reading, Sarah. It’s a fun place, isn’t it? I would love to see one of those houses inside!

    1. Thank you for reading Katja. Lacock is pretty small and England is full of charming small villages, so I’m not surprised you don’t know them all. :) But yes, the movie factor is I think what makes Lacock stand out from the others.

    1. Thank you for reading, Cheryl! Lacock is a bit of a drive from London :) but worth visiting, and since you’re likely to be in the area anyway, visiting Stonehenge or Bath, you might as well stop there too!

  2. What a charming village – and so much history! One thing I love about England and Europe is the off chance of a building – or entire village! – that is so old and drenched in history. I had never heard of Lacock before, but now I’m going to be looking for any excuse to go find it! Thanks for sharing!
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  3. I love visiting old historic villages where movies and tv series are shot! We were in Barringtons Court earlier this year where Wolf Hall was shot, was fun seeing Tudor houses and the environment surrounding the house, imagining what it was like during that period. I haven’t been to Lacock but I bet I would love it as have seen several of the moves/series you mentioned. Perhaps next time we are in England :-)
    samiya selim recently posted…Review of Skyline Rotorua Gondola and Luge – Fun Family Adventure!My Profile

    1. Thank you for reading, Samiya! We haven’t been to Barringtons Court, but it sounds like fun. Lacock has some Tudor houses as well, though they’re pretty small. I don’t know if any of them can be called a “Hall”. Glad to hear my post made you want to visit Lacock. It’s a cute village.

  4. Super cool! I love finding places like this, that look awfully familiar… and then you realise! I feel very lucky that there are places like this in the UK that are so beautiful and could really have come straight from the past. I feel a day trip coming on!

    1. Thank you for reading, Rachel! The UK truly is a charming place. I’ll have to go there again some time. I hope you’ll get to visit it too!

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