Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Lacock

This blog goes back to last month, when we were in the UK.  During our visit, our various routes took us several times through the beautiful little village of Lacock in the county of Wiltshire, but we were always in too much  of a hurry to stop!  Just before we came home to France, we took Nigel's Dad to lunch (an early 91st birthday celebration), and we managed our schedule so that we could spend a few minutes walking around the village, en route to the restaurant.  

Lacock is a well known tourist attraction and I thought that my followers might like to have a look around; I hope you will agree that England does have beautiful villages to compare with France.  There was a big crafts show taking place on the day we stopped, so it was difficult to get photos without people all over the place. In the summer holiday season, it is even worse; the whole place is packed with coach tours!

Lacock Abbey today; at its gates, a village was established in the 13th century for workers on the Abbey estate. For 200 years or so, the village became prosperous from the wool trade and the proceeds from weekly markets; when the wool trade declined in the late Middle Ages, the settlement continued to prosper as a staging post, being in a very good position on the road between Bristol and its water transport in the west and locations to the east, where sheep were kept on the fine grazing of the chalk downland. Its many inns provided accommodation for travellers until about 1750, when the village development came to a standstill. The Talbot family, who owned the village, ensured that the industrial revolution and the railroad passed it by and it has since remained in the unspoilt state you can see below. Film companies are often to be seen in the area, making period productions in the truly authentic scenery.
Posted on a small bridge entering Lacock. The National Trust restores and maintains historic buildings in the UK  and raises funds by exhibiting them to the public.


Some of the beautiful old village buildings, laid out on four streets which form a square.



 I just loved this door with the clock.  Not much use for the owners, but perfect for the people in the street!


 The small church; I am afraid we did not have time to see if it was open!







The arched doorway, with a room beyond, (centre of photo), with its barred window, has been put into  service as the local bus stop and shelter!

 The splendid War memorial, built in the local soft yellow stone.

We saw this religious procession passing through the streets, but we couldn't discover the reason for it. Maybe a trial run for a future occasion?

We loved these ornamental hedges; the topiary so beautifully executed!

 This ancient winding stone bridge leads into the village over a stream and marsh; wide enough only for a horse and cart, or one car at a time!

We hope that you enjoyed this trip over the water, as a change from the local views in Charente.


You might also like My Life Before the Charente 
 

72 comments:

  1. It was lovely to open up my Google Reader this am to see first on the list a post from you and about Lacock. It is many years since I was last there so I thoroughly enjoyed this virtual trip and appreciated that it looks as though it is unspoilt by tourism.

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  2. This post makes me wonder if we have been too Francophile Diane. Are we missing out by not having been to the UK. Have we been blinded by France?

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  3. Ohmygoodness Diane - I think that I'd put aside my dislike of crowds just to wander around this village for a day or two - now I just need to find some cash ... :)

    Thanks for the pics and detailed commentary ...

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  4. Linda, Lacock really is a pretty village, and yes I think you are right, it has not been spoilt by tourism, despite the fact it is hard to take photos as there are so many visitors! I wish that I had of had more time there but...... Diane

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  5. Leon and Sue, there are some beautiful places in the UK and this is one of them. There many things totally different to France so I would say it is worth taking a look if you have never been there. Problem is the weather...... not that it is very good here at the moment. I have to admit though, as beautiful as England can be, I would prefer to travel and see history in France :) Diane & Nigel

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  6. Graham I was sorry that we were short of time. Lacock really has only 4 streets and is pretty small but I would have liked to have seen more than we did. The buildings there are wonderful and that stone work. If you ever make it to the UK this is one little village that is worth seeing, yes despite the crowds.
    Hope the back is standing up to the work. Diane

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  7. What a beautiful historic village. It sure looks like a film set. That bridge looks a little narrow to navigate. The houses are amazing.

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  8. I love your new header, Diane. the village looks lovely too and nice and green. I'm always struck by how much beautiful countryside I see in photos of England.

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  9. diane b the bridge is fine so long as the other person at the opposite end waits for you!! So far as I know it is the only road into the village from the one side. The houses are lovely and yes it is a perfect film set. Take care Diane

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  10. Joyful this is a particularly lovely village. As for being green, even when England had drought conditions the country still seems to be green!

    The header is the only bit of sunshine around at the moment... Keep well Diane

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  11. Diane, thanks again for sharing another beautiful place. It's not easy to travel these places for a stranger or outsider like me. :o)
    Have a lovely day, dear.
    Kristy

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  12. Hello Diane:
    Yes, Lacock is indeed exceedingly pretty and beautifully preserved by the National Trust. Th timber-framed buildings are especially fine and remind us fondly of our time in Herefordshire and the 'Black and White' villages to be found there.

    We always talked about,but never managed to actually see the drifts of Snowdrops around Lacock Abbey. we understand them to be a most marvellous sight early in the year.

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  13. Jane and Lance, we would have been to late for the snowdrops in May so we never saw them either. Glad that I brought back some good memories though. Keep well Diane

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  14. Kristy glad that you enjoyed this post. Yes if you have never seen these historic places it must be quite different for you. keep well Diane

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  15. A very well preserved village. Can see why it's a tourist destination. Do cars really drive over that one lane bridge?

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  16. Gaelyn we drove over it several times while we were there. So far as I know it is the only way through the village from the way we came. Diane

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  17. What a great historical village. It's too bad the RR passed it by years ago. I am a huge fan of "Downton Abbey" and the first photo reminded me of that. How I would love to visit the area you described so well. Thanks, Diane for the fine tour and history!

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  18. Pam it is an amazing village, truly historical. I think it was good that the RR did not go through it, the calm and peace of the place would have been spoilt. Rather go there by coach. Keep well Diane

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  19. Lovely tour round somewhere we've been meaning to see. Hopefully we'll manage it the next time enroute back from edinburgh we'll have time. Speaking of film sets; I think it has been used by the BBC but the name of the series escapes me.

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  20. What beautiful place Diane! look amazing! love the pictures!

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  21. Niall & Antoinette, It is well worth stopping by if you can, it is a lovely village, I just regret that I did not have more time to see it properly. BBC have used it for Pride and Prejudice, also Robin hood amongst other series. Hope your weather up there is a little better than ours!! Diane

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  22. Gloria it is a lovely place and if you are ever in the UK I think this is a place to see. It really is historic. Diane

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  23. Yes, enjoyed the visit to this awesome village in the UK. I'm sure that the personality of each village, weather in the UK or France, is totally awesome. These old places have such great History.

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  24. Diane, not only do you do justice to French villages, but you have captured this little English place so beautifully. I can actually "feel" the place even though i've never been there.
    Such a lovely post and i am glad that you finally had the chance to visit it.

    All the best
    Red

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  25. A beautiful village, and well preserved too. Thanks for the tour.

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  26. I just can't get over how amazing the old buildings are in your country. Great post Diane!

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  27. rosaria this is a village well worth visiting if you should ever go to the UK. It is so well preserved. Keep well Diane

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  28. Lacock is somewhere that I have never been to. So thank you for sharing it. If I had not known where it was I would probably have thought that it was France. There are a lot of similarities.

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  29. Pam both France and the UK are so full of history. If you have never been to either you are missing a great deal. I hated history at school but now I just love it! Diane

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  30. There are so many wonderful beautiful villages and towns in the UK and I have yet to see so many of them. I could not say I prefer France to the UK or the UK to France -- I love both countries and quite probably find the diversity and similarities quite intriguing. Thank you so much for such a lovely tour -- of a village I have heard of, but not seen.

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  31. Love this Diane, I'm actually in the UK right now and I have to agree that the small villages are charming without compare but France certainly has it share too, uniquely different but very beautiful! Thanks for sharing Lacock, I will have to check it out on one of my visits to see my daughter in London!

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  32. cheshire wife there are many similarities in the old villages of both France and the UK, especially with the houses. It is a little town well worth a visit. Diane

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  33. Peggy it is a beautiful setting and it understandable why the place has been used for many film settings. Diane

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  34. The Broad, if you are in that direction Lacock is well worth a visit, it really is pretty and I did not have time to see enough. I agree there are many places in both the UK and France which are full of history and interest. I do though (generally) prefer the weather here in the Charete LOL. Diane

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  35. The Café Sucré Farine, well worth a visit if you have the time while over there. I find many villages in both countries similar but as you say many very different. I would love to have the time to tour both the UK, France and Italy, not forgetting of course Greece, Spain and Portugal, but then Russia I believe is also beautiful, where do you end? Enjoy your stay Diane

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  36. What a lovely place. It is so nice to see that it has not been modernized and still maintains its historical veneer. I'm so glad you shared your photos with us.I hope you had an enjoyable lunch. Blessings...Mary

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  37. Mary it is really very unspoilt and traditional, a lovely place to imagine what England used to look like. Glad you enjoyed the visit. Take care Diane

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  38. Such a pretty little village! I'm so glad you had a sunny day there. Hope Nigel's father had a good actual 91st birthday.

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  39. I'm so happy that you had time to show us this quaint town. It had so much character.

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  40. Hi Diane .. great to see the photos of Lacock .. I know it's 'the place to film period dramas' .. but you've shown us a different side to it .. fascinating - one day I'll get to visit I hope.

    Love the story you've given us here - and so pleased you were able to take your FIL out for an early 91st lunch ..

    Happy times and a decent day!! Cheers Hilary

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  41. Marjie it is a lovely village and yes I think FIL had a good luncheon. His Son-in-law was there for his actual birthday, so he went out to lunch then as well so he did well out of it :-) Diane

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  42. Hilary I also hope that you get to visit Lacock, it is a beautiful, unspoilt village.

    We had one day of sun yesterday and now it is cloudy again! Keep well Diane

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  43. backroadjournal I would have been upset if I had not have had time to stop and take some photos, as it was I would have liked more time there! Glad that you enjoyed the quick tour. Diane

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  44. yes I agree, England can compete with France and not only in soccer !
    Lovely pictures, the stone walls remind me of Normandie,
    you took your readers on a great trip
    anni

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  45. What beautiful buildings! Another wonderful place. Love the Sunflower header too.

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  46. You brought back so many great memories. I loved Lacock and the house and the history. It really is an amazing place. My only wish was that there were fewer cars... they were always in my way when I wanted to snap a great picture!!!

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  47. Wow what a beautiful place. I'd never heard of Lacock until I read your post.

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  48. anni I think that soccer is the only sport that I do not follow!!!

    You are right though, France and England compete in many ways and very successfully. This village really is beautiful and one not to miss if you visit the UK. Thanks for the lovely comment. Diane

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  49. JM it is beautifully unspoilt village, well worth visiting and spending a bit more time there than I did! Thanks for the comment Diane

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  50. lostpastremembered you are so right, always a car or a crowd just where you do not want them to be!! It is well worth a visit though, such a beautiful place. Glad I brought back some good memories Diane

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  51. Kerry if you can plan a day out this would be a great place to go to. It is beautiful. You could also then do a post and show me everything I missed because we were in a hurry :( Hope all well there, we have had 2 days of sunshine :)) Diane x

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  52. What a beautiful village and thank you for the trip. There is something so lovely about the homes and styles.
    Unique..I guess I would say..compared to Maine. Just beautiful.
    xoCarolyn

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  53. What a pretty village! We have spent exactly 3 days in England so we know nothing about the country. Thanks for sharing your visit.

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  54. Carolyn this is one of the special villages of England that is completely unspoilt. Glad that you enjoyed the trip. Diane

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  55. Michel I have to admit that it is not my favourite place but there are some beautiful, historic places there and this is one of them. If you should ever go thee again put this on your to see list :) Diane

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  56. Awesome travels!
    I love all the old stone buildings.

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  57. this is absolutely a wonderful post..thanks for sharing..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  58. There are so many lovely little villages in England. I would love to visit and take a look round some of them. I've never been to Lacock before but it does look very quaint.
    Thanks for sharing your great pictures.

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  59. What a gorgeous village! I hope the weather has improved in France. I hear you "bloggers" complaining about the weather, but it is really not fun in Southern California without rain Sometimes we can count on 1 hand how many days of rain we've had in 1 year. Oh course, living in a desert would be a clue (lol).

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  60. Nadege, good to hear from you. We have just had a couple of sunny days, but not that warm. I am not sure which is worse, living in a desert or too much rain!! We can't really complain too much, I think this year is exceptional and hopefully we will not get too many repeats LOL. Diane

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  61. Auntie Bliss, I also love stone and these buildings are gorgeous. Diane

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  62. Jay I am glad that you enjoyed this change from my usual French posts. Diane

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  63. Ellie if you are ever in that direction, Lacock is really worth visiting. It is one of the best I have seen. Very unspoilt. Take care Diane

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  64. What a beautiful Abbey and village - I love Wiltshire - it's a magical area
    mary x

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  65. thanks for sharing your walk in lacock with us and that's pretty a cute idea hanging that clock outside on the door!

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  66. Absolutely a beautiful place!

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  67. chubskulit, how right you are, take care Diane

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  68. Diane it is always a pleasure to go for a walk with you in any country!

    Although I have seen much of Wiltshire (by foot as I treked my long distance paths) I have not been to this village. Its half-beam architecture is really something and the photo of the winding bridge is brilliantly composed.

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  69. Dolly I am pleasantly surprised that I have found a village that you have not been to. This to my mind is one of the best I have seen. If you should take up walking again I suggest you head in this direction :) Keep well Diane x

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  70. Horst sorry somehow I missed answering your comment. I am glad that you have been to see Lacock, it is one of the best I have seen and well worth the visit. Diane

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