Thursday, July 21, 2016

Europe Adventure: Day Ten, Part Three- Lacock

After leaving the Harry Potter studio tour we drove west toward the little town of Lacock. 
We parked in the car park and then walked the lovely trail through the woods to the visitor center. 

The Lacock Abbey and Fox Talbot museum would be closing soon so we paid our entry fees and then quickly walked there from the visitor's center. 

Lacock Abbey was founded in the early 13th century by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, as a nunnery. 
It remained a nunnery until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. 
Then it was the home for nobility and was fortified by the Royalists during the English Civil War. 
During the 19th century it became the home of William Henry Fox Talbot.
The museum celebrates William. 175 years ago he announced the invention of the photographic negative. The tiny image was of a window at Lacock Abbey. It formed the basic technique of photography. 

(image: google search)

It was really cool to walk through the Abbey learning about the history of the nunnery and the residents that have lived here throughout the years from the workers. 
I love the National Trust properties. Everyone that we came in contact with that worked at one of them knew so much and always seemed so happy to be there. 

I looked out this window to take a picture of the courtyard just in time to see a black and white cat walk by. It didn't show up in the picture but I was excited to see it. Yes, I get weirdly happy when I see cats. 

The rooms were quite beautifully furnished. 

Learning about William Talbot and his science and inventions. 

 After the Abbey was sold during the Dissolution in was bought by Sir William Sharington, a Renaissance adventurer. 
He was the one that had the convent church demolished except for its north wall which he kept to from the south wall of his home. He built an octagonal tower at the eastern end of the Abbey which is now called Sharington's Tower. 
We went up the staircase to the tower. 
It was built in an Italian style after William Sharington was impressed with Italian architecture on a visit to Rome during Henry the 8th's reign. It is believed that he had the task of trying to persuade the Pope to sanction Henry's divorce from Katherine of Aragon. 
The Sharington's kept their most precious items in this room as it was used as a strong hold and had locking cupboards. 
In the center of the room is a stone table. 
The table and the room are decorated by scorpions, a family icon, and leering satyr figures.

 In 1225, King Henry the 3rd had the Magna Carta re-drawn and a copy was given to the Sheriff of Wiltshire. He was the husband of Ela so the copy was kept in the abbey. It was then held by Sir William Sharington while he lived here. It was kept in the Abbey with it's residents until it was given to the British Museum in 1946. 
A replica of the document is in the Tower Room on the stone table.

The view through one of the tower windows...

A family unfinished cross stitch..

The window from the first negative...

The dining room: 

We exited the last room, the big hall, out onto a large staircase to the grounds. 

Then we entered what is left of the nunnery buildings and the Cloisters. 

A lot of Harry Potter was filmed here. 
The Sacristy: 
It dates from the 13th century. 
This was used as Professor Snape's classroom. 

The Chapter House. 
It was the place of business for the abbey. 
The Chapter House is the room where the Mirror of Erised was kept. 
It was also used as a study hall.

The tile floor was 19th century but they had this original tile displayed. 

We walked down the South Walk. 
The abbey church used to be next to this walk. There is now a modern terrace door taking the place of the former processional doorways.
This was used in the filming of Harry Potter as well. 
It was used as corridors for Hogwarts and you can spot it in many of the scenes!
This is where Harry exited Professor Lockhart's classroom and first heard the Basilisk and where Harry was picked for the Quidditch team. 

Looking out into the courtyard where Harry was seen with Hedwig in the snow...

 The Warming room was used as Professor Quirrell's classroom. 
The cauldron is not from Harry Potter. It is called the Mechlin pot. It dates from about 1500 and was used as a cooking pot for the nuns.

 This was also used as a location in the filming of the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. 
Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy can be seen finding Wickham behind that door and walking down this hallway in his cap and gown.

They have also been used in the new Hollow Crown and many other things. It is fun to look for these locations in the movies!

After exiting the nunnery areas we walked back through the grounds.

We went into the courtyard to find a restroom. 

And I found the cat!
I sat next to it on the bench and it climbed into my lap and we sat content like that with me petting it and it purring while we waited for my mom.

Then we walked back through the grounds to go to Lacock village. 

Lacock village is a very popular filming location!

They simply remove all the cars and cover the road with dirt and it makes the perfect spot for filming. 
It was used in Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Downton Abbey and Harry Potter
If you look closely you will see the buildings used as storefronts in Cranford, Mereton in P&P, the location of the cattle market in Downton, and some of the locations for Godric's Hollow and Budleigh Babberton.

We popped into the little shop and bought some soda and Hobnobs for the drive. 

After walking around Lacock village we went back to the car and made our way north through many little Cotswold villages on the way to our next stop. 
I made my mom take some pictures occasionally. 

Every time we came to a curve like this I would just be praying no one would come around fast from the other side!

Next up: Castle Combe


The Kings said...

It was so much fun taking your photo/commentary tour of Lacock! Brought back so many fun memories! I loved seeing the photo ideas and experiments of Mr. Talbot. It was very interesting touring the Abbey/home. I had forgotten about the scorpions. Of course, I loved all the "Harry Potter" places in the Abbey...and loved visiting the town and the sights of so many filming sites!

The Kings said...

I am pretty sure I commented on this post of Lacock and the next one on the Harry Potter World. So I don't know where the comments went.

cheryl said...

I loved it too. Honestly, I had forgotten about the scorpions too until I went through my notes. So glad I took notes!
And yes, the second comment was written before the first one was published so sorry- I hadn't got back on in between!

Seth and Julie said...

I just commented about sets being cool, but not kind of a buzz kill, but these kinds of sets, I love. I can picture all of those places from the movie and I love that they are real places and not in a studio. Don't get me wrong, I grew up with Universal Studios and I have fun seeing sets, but this is so much cooler.

cheryl said...

I agree. I loved being able to go to the studios but the out in the real world locations were my favorite. Just the fact that they aren't as crowded and they have a real life history as well makes them so cool.