Lacock - a very quintessential English village

in Haveyoubeenhere2 months ago

England has many idyllic villages where you can step back a few hundred years. Many visitors will be familiar with the more famous ones around Cotswold that are flooded with tourists. As beautiful as those villages may be, it is very difficult to appreciate their charm when you are constantly bumping into other people.

Today, I want to take you to a quintessential English village, where you can stroll around leisurely at your own pace and not have to share it with hundreds of other people.

Come and join me on a walk around at Lacock everyone.
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Lacock is located in Wiltshire, in south west England, about 22 km away from the famous Roman spa town Bath. Most of the buildings dates back to the 18th century, and the most famous building in the village, Lacock Abbey dates back to 1232. Sadly I didn't visit Lacock Abbey as currently visitors need to pre book tickets. I don't know what I missed from not going to the Abbey, but my time spent walking around this picturesque little village was an absolute delight.
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High Street

Let' start at Lacock High Street. If you're a Downton Abbey fan like me, you may like to know this is the filming location for the Royal parade to welcome the King and Queen to Downton Abbey in the 2019 film. In normal times like now, the High Street still retains its charm and beauty. Save for the cars parked ouside, one could easily feel like they've been transported back a few hundred years.
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The local primary school stands in the middle of the High Street. It was built in 1824 by William Henry Fox Talbot. Photographers may be familiar with Talbot. He was a Victorian photographer and created the earliest photographic negative that still exists today. Talbot lived in Lacock till his death in 1877. When I arrived, there were some children playing in front of the school. The sound of children's laughter filled the street, it sounds so beautiful.
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Apart from the many original stone structure buildings, Lacock retains something that is lost in many places in modern day society. Honesty. As I was walking down the High Street, many villagers placed products outdoors for sale. This one had some quaint bric n brac, others sold home grown fruit and veg, and another sold freshly cut flowers. Customers would take the goods they want and post the money through the letter box in the front door. The trust is placed on visitors, hopefully that is returned to the villagers.

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WEST STREET

Turn right at the end of High Street is West Street. This is one of the larger roads in the village with local buses passing by. I crossed the road from the High Street towards the World War One monument. Many little villages in England have these memorial to commemorate the local lads who went away to fight for the country and never returned. It's always very poignant to see these monument.
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The George Inn is further along West Street. I think it was closed as there were no cars parked outside. Would you believe me if I told you we're in the 18th century now?
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CHURCH STREET

Church Street runs along side Lacock village, if you keep on walking you will leave the main village. I took a right turn down Church street by these two beautiful stone houses. More gems were awaiting me here.
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This house is without a doubt my favourite one in the entire village. It's charming enough on the front, but the side was definitely something that I'd never seen before. I loved the curved wooden beam on the side, extending from just beneath the chimney, all along the edge of the roof and then slightly curves downwards on top of the white washed brick wall, tucking comfortably into the stone structure. I think it looks so elegant and is an absolute beauty.

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You'll find more honesty shops in Church Street. Such as this one that sells horseshoe, and here's one for Harry Potter fans. Do you recognise this house selling Harry Potter wands?
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Back to my favourite TV show Downton Abbey. They filmed in Lacock not once, but twice. In the final season, Church Street was transformed into a livestock market. If you remove all the vehicles, it's not difficult to imagine the scene, particularly with the charming bakery (it's a real one!!!) and stone houses along the road.

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I'm going to show you one more building on Church Street. This is the St Cyriac's Church and is dedicated to the Norman saint St Cyriac The church dates back to the 14th century and is a Grade I listed building in England. One good thing about travelling right now is that there aren't many people around and you can take your time to enjoy the surroundings. The downside is that many places have restricted entry or are closed. It was such a shame this church was closed as I love going inside churches even though I'm not religious. Maybe another reason to come back at a later date?

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EAST STREET

And finally we turn down East Street (remember we were on West Street earlier on?), this leads back to the High Street and is the last street that forms the grid of Lacock.
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The Village Hall is located here. In small villages, the church, the local pub and the village hall together probably form the center of activity. It seems like the Village Hall is still put in good use today. I was there just before lunch time and heard loud music being played inside, it sounded like some sort of fitness class. I wonder what the villagers from over 200 years ago would think about people jumping around inside in leggings and skimpy outfits!!!

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The most notable building on East Street is the Tithe Barn, also a Grade I listed building from the 14th century. Tithe barns were common in northern Europe around the Middle ages and were usually attached to the local church. Tithe means one tenth of earnings, typically paid to support the local church. Back in those days, the villagers' earnings would be in the form of their agriculture output, in Lacock's case corn and fleece. The tithe would be stored in this barn.

the interior of the barn is divided into eight bays by the roof structure of raised cruck trusses with arch-braced collars, the crucks supported on dressed stone blocks. There are two purlins on each pitch, with windbraces between the lower purlins and the wallplates. The east wing has two raised cruck trusses with arch-braced collars and windbraces, and one purlin to each pitch. The wing has iron rods at tie-beam level. Some of the timbers have carpenter's marks, and some have apotropaic protection symbols. The floor of the barn is of beaten earth.
Source https://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk

It was quite cool inside the barn as the slated roof is quite high and there was a nice breeze entering through the three ventilation openings. Despite its age, a lot of the fabric is original from the medieveal times hence its historical value and importance. However, the roof top has been restored over the years.

Do you see the blocked arch opening below the one of the ventilation opening?

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The other side of the arch opening is the high street, and where we started off our walk today!
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I hope you enjoyed the walking around Lacock today and managed to get a feel of what it was like in an English village a few hundred years ago.

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You can checkout all my travel post on the Pinmapple here or click on Mr Pinmapple below

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Thanks for the share! Did any of the buildings you photographed have an alleged paranormal/ghostly activity that you were aware? thanks!

Not that I'm aware of and I hope not 😟.

England actually has lots of these old buildings, and these English villages normally like to focus on the quintessential side, it's good for tourism and business!!!

!ENGAGE 30

I believe that. I do like a good old historic building with a "haunted" past, however. I've done a few "dark tours" in older cities over here, and found it fun - thanks!

I went to Lacock when I was there! Funny name. Awesome buildings!!

Hi @livinguktaiwan! I had the chance to visit Lacock some years ago as a side trip from my tour of Bath, the ancient Roman town. And I truly admire the honesty shops that are spread all over the place. I think most of us should adopt this honesty culture especially during these difficult times.

I don’t know about you, but I also experienced paranormal activity in the UK, during my stay at an extremely old hotel from the 12th century in Chippenham. Does the village of Lacock also have their share of ghost stories?

I'm so scared of paranormal activities, I hope I will never come across them 😩 I didn't hear anything specific about it in Lacock as I didn't join any guided tour anything, just wandered around myself.

Did you go to the more popular villages in Cotswold like Bourton on the Water and Bibury as well? Those are always packed with people. I spend 10 minutes at Bourton the other year and couldn't leave quick enough.

I hope so too - that you won’t encounter paranormal events there. My previous experience was with a poltergeist and it was an unforgettable one indeed.

No I haven’t been to the more popular villages you’ve mentioned. Perhaps on my next visit there. And I hope that specific future travel would be free from haunted episodes.

Nice :-)

Looks like a quaint little village. I have yet to visit the UK but hope to sometime next year. Hopefully I'll get to see some small villages like this one while I'm there. The honesty shops are cool and it's neat that the one street appeared in Downtown Abbey. It would be exciting to see how they transform a town for television

There are plenty of these lovely villages around England, and many have been film sets. Another one I would recommend is Castle Coombe which is also nearby. That was the set with War Horse. You're from France, right? Hopefully, you will come over sometime, I promise us Brits will be nice to the French 😉

I'll keep Castle Coombe in mind. I'm currently living in France but I'm not actually French. My wife and I are english Canadian. We are in France on an expat for her work

In that case you'd be ok, one big family with the Brits!!! The reference to the French is the joke that you've probably heard about, how the Brits and French used to hate one another!!! 🤣

Haha yeah I understood. I like to think that the old animosity between the two is slowly disappearing though.

What a beauty! This is a real gem! You know how much I love these little villages, for their simplicity and historical value. I 😍 stone and stone buildings and nothing can be compared to these gorgeous houses. I'd stay there for a day or two, maybe a week to explore the whole village and their way of life.

What have surprised me is their way of selling their products. As you said, honesty! If you do that here, in a few minutes they would stole not only the products, but the baskets and everything you put outside the gate.

You have no idea how much I appreciate these posts, as I get to travel and see the world, that part of the world that is not so popular and less visited by many. Those are the real gems! Thank you!! 😍

There's a 15th century house on Church Street that is a pub and has accommodation, I read the reviews (not that I was planning to stay there) and wasn't too impressed, seems like they were milking tourists! But other than that, it's a nice place to stay.

Honesty is a rather difficult to find virtue nowadays, and that's so sad. The things they sell aren't expensive, and are probably old stuff they don't need at home or home grown excessive fruit and veg, but its the whole ethos that matters.

Glad you enjoyed the post @erikah

That's a big disappointment. You go there in good faith, enjoying what the village has to offer, then you find out they are milking you and the situation. That is not nice! I thought that can only happen in my country.

Feels like travelling back in time.The St. Cyriac church is just awesome in its majesty. You're right. Walking around this town with a minimum of tourists is cool. You can take your time and take better pictures to recreate the aura of how the town was in the 18th century. The honesty shops are great and speaks volume as to what kind of people live there. My kind of town. And your walk did remind me about the Harry Potter movie especially the area where he lived with his aunt Peturnia and cousin Dudley.

A Harry Potter fan!! I have to confess I'm not one myself and might have watched one out of the many, but the home owner made sure people knew and had photos and stuff outside his/her house.

As to the honesty shops, its a two way thing, more on the visitors really. The fact the villagers continue, probably means the visitors are well mannered, if I could use that phrase.

What a charming town full of history and character but a shame as it appears so deserted of people that should be going about their daily business. The pandemic shutdown sure takes the life out of everything. Thanks for the tour.

please tell me you bought a horse shoe, didn't you?

shame the pub wasn't open 😠. Love village pubs. Great post as usual. Made me long for pub grub and real ale. Country lanes and old buildings.

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So gorgeous i just love walking through time like that it really gives you that feeling of hardship those people when through in them days yet there was so much beauty and trust amongst people.

This is so beautiful i love going back in time it just seemed like a more tight community of living i think it was more simply without a lot of demand like today's world i do love them old houses.